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Planning Board Minutes 07/27/2010
VILLAGE OF CROTON ON HUDSON, NEW YORK

PLANNING BOARD MEETING MINUTES – TUESDAY, JULY 27, 2010

A regular meeting of the Planning Board of the Village of Croton-on-Hudson, New York was held on Tuesday, July 27, 2010 in the Municipal Building.

MEMBERS PRESENT:        Chris Kehoe, Chairman
                                Mark Aarons
                                Fran Allen
                                Bruce Kauderer
                                Robert Luntz

ALSO PRESENT:           Daniel O'Connor, P.E., Village Engineer

1.  Call to Order:

The meeting was called to order at 8:00 P.M. by Chairman Kehoe.

2.  PUBLIC HEARING:

  • Croton Community Nursery School – Lower North Highland Place (Sec. 67.20 Blk. 2 Lots 5, 6, 9 & 25 [formerly Lots 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12 & 25] – Application for a Preliminary Subdivision Approval – Request for an Adjournment
Chairman Kehoe stated that the Applicant has requested that the public hearing on this application for a preliminary subdivision approval be adjourned. This item would be put back on the agenda for the next Planning Board meeting to be held on Tuesday, August 10th.  

3.  NEW BUSINESS:

  • Croton View Properties, LLC – 40-50 Maple Street (Sec. 79.09 Blk. 1 Lot 30) – Application for an Amended Site Plan Approval for a Proposed Tenant Space Addition
Edmond Gemmola, architect for the Applicant, and Fred Nicotra of Croton View Properties, LLC, owner of the property, were present.

Mr. Gemmola said that the proposed tenant space addition would be slightly more than 500 square feet in size. The area of the shopping center where the addition would be constructed is at the “open area” at the corner near the drycleaners, bank, etc.  Mr. Gemmola showed the board photographs of this “open area.”  

Mr. Gemmola referred to the Applicant’s plan showing the proposed addition and said that the new addition would match the architecture of the brick and glass storefront(s). Mr. Gemmola said that the proposal is (would be) to “fill in” the area under the existing roof canopy. As part of the proposal the existing bike rack would have to be relocated.  

Mr. Gemmola noted that, at present, people have to walk in the fire lane to get from the drycleaners to CVS.  As part of the new plan, a walkway would be created to serve as a link between the stores at both ends of the shopping center.  

Mr. Gemmola said that, by Code, two additional parking spaces would be required for the new tenant space addition.  Mr. Gemmola referred to the Applicant’s proposed site plan (drawing #SY-101) and showed the Planning Board the new parking configuration. Mr. Gemmola explained the adjustments that were made to the parking. The four spaces situated at the side of the new addition were reconfigured so that they could “get an aisle.”  The parking spaces were adjusted to be 8 feet in width with the two handicap spaces situated closest to the side of the building.  Mr. Gemmola referred to the Applicant’s site plan and said that the double row of parking spaces situated across from the proposed addition has been changed to “end up with” two more 8-foot wide parking spaces.  In the new configuration, there would be 15 spaces per row as opposed to 14 spaces.  

Mr. Nicotra said that his company has received telephone calls from telecommunication companies that are interested in renting the new tenant space at the shopping center.  Mr. Nicotra noted that Verizon has expressed an interest. He (Mr. Nicotra) was told that there would only be one employee working at the store.  Mr. Nicotra referred to the exterior elevations plan (drawing #A-202) and noted that the façade of the cell phone store would match the facade (brick/windows) of the CVS store.

Ms. Allen recalled that for the last expansion of the shopping center, the Planning Board had to give the Applicant extra parking spaces.  She wanted to know what the present parking count is.  “How far are we over right now?”  Mr. Gemmola said that they took the parking count from the last site plan that had been submitted by Cronin Engineering.  Mr. Gemmola said that the parking count was 148 spaces.  Their modification came to (a total of) 150 spaces (148 + 2 = 150).

Mr. Gemmola said that the new tenant space would house a small bathroom.  The sales area would be approximately 480 square feet in size.

The Village Engineer said that they looked at the plans for Zeytinia for the parking count.  The note on the plan says that the total number of spaces per the variances was 140 spaces.  The required number of spaces was 148. Ms. Allen said that she would think that the Planning Board needs to look at the history of the parking at the shopping center and the current agreements on the parking that the Village has. Ms. Allen recalled that there were parking issues with the post office; a number of variances were granted.  Mr. Kauderer asked what the square footage of the entire shopping center is, to which the Village Engineer said 40,260 square feet.  Ms. Allen said that, in so far as the parking is concerned, she would like to know what the base requirement [for the parking] is and “how we evolved that requirement over the years with variances and agreements with the occupants of these buildings.”  Chairman Kehoe said that he understands Ms. Allen’s point but, at the end of the day, this 500 square foot addition is going to require two additional parking spaces; we [the Planning Board] have to decide whether to grant this or not.  Ms. Allen said that the Planning Board would have to look at the parking from a safety point of view.  “We can’t just say two more [spaces] is alright.”  Chairman Kehoe asked if the parking for the post office is calculated any differently than 1 space per 300 square feet, to which the Village Engineer said, “no.”  Chairman Kehoe questioned if there were any parking easements for the post office.  Mr. Luntz said that he would think that there are agreements with the post office for parking.  Mr. Aarons said that the food stores on the premises have some seating.  He questioned if the requirement for 1 space per 4 seats was ever considered in the prior parking calculations.  Mr. Aarons said that, as far as this application for an additional tenant space is concerned, he would agree with the property owner that the fascia of the building would benefit from having another store front.  

Mr. Aarons noted that with the present (existing) open space area of the building filled in, a blind corner would be created for people backing out of the parking area where the handicap spaces are. Any oncoming vehicles would be blocked from view. The Planning Board would need to look into this matter.      

Mr. Aarons noted that there are boulders at the end caps of the parking lanes.  When people are backing up these boulders are not visible, so people tend to back up into them. Mr. Nicotra said that he would be willing to remove these boulders.  He would have them removed by the end of the week.  

The Village Engineer noted that a cell phone operation (store) would be moving into the proposed tenant space.  This was one of the stores that the Harmon Economic Development Committee had suggested should be in Harmon.

Chairman Kehoe said that, as suggested by Ms. Allen earlier in the meeting, it would be helpful to know the exact number of parking spaces that would be required counting the eating and drinking establishments in the shopping center.  Chairman Kehoe said that his interpretation is that they need more than 148 spaces.  The Village Engineer said that there were supposed to be 148 spaces when the shopping center was built. The variances from the parking requirements that were granted brought the number down to 140 spaces.  Chairman Kehoe asked Mr. Gemmola if the restriping being proposed is going to get them to 150, to which Mr. Gemmola said, “yes.”  Chairman Kehoe said that he still does not understand if this site, as it stands now, meets the parking requirements.  Mr. Luntz said that he would think that it would be worthwhile to do research on the parking so that the Planning Board could know the number(s) they are working with. Mr. Luntz said (again) that he would think that there were probably agreements drawn up with the post office for parking, to which Ms. Allen said that these agreements need to be looked at.  The Village Engineer pointed out that parking at the shopping center is “at a premium now,” so adding two more parking spaces would be a benefit.

Ms. Allen said that the drop-off mailbox at the post office is on the wrong side of the road.  Ms. Allen noted that when the last application for a business/store at the shopping center was before the board, there was a discussion about putting the mailboxes somewhere else.  Ms. Allen said that she would like to reopen that discussion. Mr. Kauderer said that a discussion on these mailboxes “may not have to do with this application.”  

Ms. Allen said that she has experienced difficulty exiting the parking lot from the two double rows of parking spaces across from CVS. When one goes between the two parking aisles and makes a right turn, one ends up in the wrong lane. There just is not enough room.  Mr. Kauderer said that the parking layout to which Ms. Allen is referring is on the approved site plan, to which Ms. Allen said that the Planning Board may have “pushed the limits” in this case.  The Village Engineer said that he would do the research on the parking and look for any agreements with the post office relating to the parking.

Chairman Kehoe suggested that the Planning Board could call for the public hearing tonight.  Chairman Kehoe said that if the information requested tonight is not available by the next meeting, then, the public hearing could be adjourned.  Mr. Luntz agreed with Chairman Kehoe’s suggestion that the public hearing on this application should be scheduled.

Mr. Gemmola said that, for the next meeting, he would look into the matter brought up earlier in tonight by Mr. Aarons of the blind corner and the problem with people backing out.  He would try to come up with a solution that would ensure the safety of people driving or walking in that area.  The Village Engineer said that, currently, people walking from the Black Cow to Zeytinia have to walk in the fire lane at one point. The Village Engineer said that, as part of this proposal, a sidewalk would be installed to create a pedestrian “link-up” between stores at both ends of the shopping center.  Mr. Aarons said that he would be concerned about losing the overhang that currently exists in the area of the shopping center where the addition is being proposed. This overhang has served to protect pedestrians from inclement weather. People who walk to the shopping center might be upset if at least some of the existing walkway overhang is not preserved. He questioned if there might be a way to create a partial overhang as part of the tenant space addition.  

Mr. Nicotra noted that the cell phone operation being proposed would be a corporate-run operation.

Chairman Kehoe asked if there were any other comments, to which there were none.  Chairman Kehoe entertained a motion to hold the public hearing for the next meeting to be held on Tuesday, August 10th.  The motion was made by Mr. Luntz, seconded by Mr. Aarons and carried by a vote of 5 to 0.   

4.  APPROVAL OF MINUTES:

The minutes of the Tuesday, June 22, 2010 Planning Board meeting were approved, as amended, on a motion by Mr. Luntz, seconded by Ms. Allen and carried by a vote of 3-0-2.  Board members Mark Aarons and Bruce Kauderer abstained.

5.  ADJOURNMENT:

There being no further business to come before the board, the meeting was duly adjourned at 9:00 P.M.

Sincerely,



Sylvia Mills
Secretary


Sylvia Mills
Village of Croton-on-Hudson
Engineer's Office
tel: 914-271-4783
fax: 914-271-3790