Skip Navigation
This table is used for column layout.
Welcome to the website for the Village of Croton on Hudson, New York

Contact Us
Subscribe to News
Spacer
On Our Site

Click to Search
Village Seal

Village of Croton-on-Hudson
1 Van Wyck Street
Croton-on-Hudson, NY 10520

Phone: 914-271-4781
Fax: 914-271-2836


Hours: Mon. - Fri., 8:30 am - 4 pm
 
Planning Board Minutes 09/28/2010
VILLAGE OF CROTON ON HUDSON, NEW YORK

PLANNING BOARD MEETING MINUTES – TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 28, 2010

A regular meeting of the Planning Board of the Village of Croton-on-Hudson, New York was held on Tuesday, September 28, 2010 in the Municipal Building.

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

ALSO PRESENT:           Ann Gallelli, Member of the Board of Trustees
                                James Staudt, Esq., Village Attorney
                                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.

  • PUBLIC HEARINGS:
  • 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, as has happened several times in the past, the public hearing on this application for a preliminary subdivision approval is being adjourned. This item will be back on the agenda for the next Planning Board meeting to be held on Tuesday, October 12th.  

  • Rakis Inc. (Peter Tsagarakis) – 215 South Riverside Avenue (Sec. 79.09 Blk. 1 Lot 54) – Application for an Amended Site Plan for the Croton Colonial Diner
Edmond Gemmola of Gemmola & Associates, Architects/Planners; Gerald Klein, Esq. of Katz & Klein; and David Ferris Miller, landscape architect for the Applicant, were present.

Mr. Gemmola said that this application was last before the board on August 10th.  For the meeting tonight he has written a narrative outlining the revisions made to the Applicant’s plans.  Mr. Gemmola said that a note has been added to the site plan about abandoning the water, sewer and gas lines at the Applicant’s property on 6 Hudson Street; another note has been added about relocating the telephone pole wire on Bungalow Road.  Mr. Gemmola said that he has also included notes on the site plan for removing the existing concrete pad at the old trash location and providing a new concrete pad at the new location; a construction detail of the new trash enclosure has been provided.  Mr. Gemmola said that he has included a note about removing a portion of the existing guiderail behind the diner. Part of the guiderail has to be removed for the construction of the handicap ramp.  Mr. Gemmola noted that at the Hudson Street side of the diner, there is a short walk between two planters. Due to visibility problems at that corner location, they are proposing to close off access to the street by removing the short walk and building a stone wall to match the existing wall.  The planter in that location would be made slightly larger.  Mr. Gemmola said that the drop curb at the corner of Hudson Street is heaved; a note has been added to repair this drop curb.

Mr. Gemmola said that a new catch basin would be installed along the rear entry to the diner near the planter.  They intend to install a curb in that location.  Mr. Gemmola noted that on the Bungalow Road side of the property there is a sidewalk, “which goes nowhere.” They are proposing to eliminate this sidewalk and put in a stone wall and landscaping.   

Mr. Gemmola said that notes have been added to the landscaping plan to clarify the types of plants, quantities, etc.

Mr. Gemmola said that on plan SY-4 “Proposed Site Details,” they have added catch basin-drop inlet details, concrete curb and pavement details, trash enclosure details, and details for the pole-mounted lighting fixtures.  The photometric plan has been revised.  Mr. Gemmola said that additional information on the photometrics at the front of the building has been provided.  

Mr. Miller said that they want to give a “residential feel” to the landscaping.  They are proposing a variety of flowering plants that bloom at different times during the growing season. The plan also includes grasses and evergreen trees for the winter months.  Mr. Miller noted that the Advisory Board on the Visual Environment (VEB) had recommended some changes to the planting plan being proposed; for example, the VEB is asking for some additional evergreen trees at the front entranceway to the diner. Chairman Kehoe noted that the VEB had some specific comments about the plantings.  He asked Mr. Miller if he agreed with the VEB’s comments, to which Mr. Miller said that, basically, he would not have a problem making the changes being suggested. He would want to be certain that, with these changes, there are trees/flowering plants in bloom all season long.     

Chairman Kehoe said that on the current landscaping plan, two flowering pear trees and a row of 7’ to 8’ tall Arborvitae trees are being proposed along the Hudson Street side of the property, to which Mr. Miller noted that these plantings would be on the diner side of the stone wall.  If a person were standing on Hudson Street, he/she would see the stone wall and fencing and the trees coming up behind them. Chairman Kehoe noted that in the VEB’s email, the VEB suggested plantings that would help to shade the parking lot on the Hudson Street side of the property.  The VEB suggested substituting large shade trees with a high tolerance to drought for the ornamental trees presently being proposed. Mr. Miller said that he chose ornamental plum trees for that location because these trees would “give you colors all season long.” The Village Engineer questioned Mr. Miller’s choice of Arborvitae plants.  The Village Engineer noted that Arborvitae are susceptible to being eaten by deer, to which Mr. Miller said that he was under the impression that the diner did not have a problem with deer.  Ms. Allen said that she agrees with the VEB’s comments about the benefit(s) of planting some substantial shade trees for the parking lot area(s).

Chairman Kehoe noted that the Zoning Board of Appeals had made it a condition of their resolution of approval that the fence along the Hudson Street side of the property be wrought iron.  Mr. Gemmola said that he was hoping to get a recommendation from the Planning Board on the fencing.  For now, he has left it as is, i.e., a chain link fence. Chairman Kehoe told Mr. Gemmola that unless the Planning Board objects to wrought iron and wishes to pursue it further, the fence would have to be wrought iron. It would seem that the Planning Board is not going to object to the wrought iron. Mr. Gemmola said that there is a portion of the fencing on the existing stone wall that he thinks is either wrought iron or a material (aluminum) in a wrought iron style.  He is not sure.  He would check to see what the material of the fencing is and match it.

Chairman Kehoe opened the public hearing. Chairman Kehoe noted to those present that the threshold issue about the parking on the Hudson Street lot has been settled by the ZBA.  The Planning Board is looking at site-related issues tonight such as wall treatment, handicap access, etc. Chairman Kehoe said that he has looked at Charles Henley’s submission for the meeting tonight and the issue pertaining to the ZBA’s granting of a special permit to allow parking on 6 Hudson Street is no longer a debatable issue.  

Harold Lockwood of 11 Hudson Street said that, as he understands it, until all of the construction taking place at the diner is complete, a Certificate of Occupancy could not be issued. This would mean that the Applicant could not use any part of the “new” parking until all is finished.  The Village Engineer said that he would expect the Applicant to submit a “phasing plan” for the construction so that he would be able to continue conducting his restaurant business.      

Mr. Lockwood asked what would happen to the parking lot on Hudson Street if “they [the Applicant] don’t pay the money to renew their special permit.”  Chairman Kehoe said that the ZBA has granted a three-year special permit; the reason for putting a three-year time frame on the permit is so that, in case the Applicant does not meet the conditions of the special permit, the special permit renewal could be denied.  The Village Engineer noted that it is true that the special permit for the guiderail in the parking lot on the Bungalow Road side of the property had expired, and the Applicant did not come back to seek a renewal when they were supposed to.  The ZBA has since renewed this special permit and granted the special permit for the parking on the Hudson Street lot.  Mr. Lockwood noted that in three years the trees that are a part of the landscaping plan being proposed could all be dead, to which Chairman Kehoe asked the Village Engineer if the Planning Board would require that a bond be posted to guarantee these plantings. The Village Engineer responded that the approved site plan improvements including the plantings have to be maintained, or the Applicant would be in violation of the Zoning Code.   

Ms. Allen asked if the ZBA imposed any restrictions on parking on 6 Hudson Street.  The Village Engineer referred to the ZBA resolution dated May 12, 2010 and read aloud the conditions the first of which states that, “All employee parking shall be located in the Hudson Street parking area (Lot 55), which shall contain no more than six (6) employees parking spaces.” Mr. Luntz asked Mr. Gemmola to show how the Applicant would be complying with that condition, to which Mr. Gemmola referred to the site plan and said that, as is shown on the plan, there are a total of 11 spaces on the 6 Hudson Street lot, 6 of which are designated employee parking. Mr. Luntz asked the Village Engineer if he thinks the Applicant meets the ZBA condition for parking, to which the Village Engineer said that he would say, “Yes.”  

Mr. Luntz noted that one of the ZBA conditions pertains to “neighbor friendly lighting.”  He asked Mr. Gemmola if he could explain the lighting at the diner property.  Mr. Gemmola said that plan SY-4 shows a detail of the pole-mounted lighting.  Mr. Luntz asked if the lights are “downward facing,” to which Mr. Gemmola said that the lights all have shields. Plan SY-4 shows a detail of the sconces. The light is inside the box facing downward. Mr. Gemmola said that plan P-1 “Proposed Photometric Plan” was prepared by a lighting consultant.  The objective is to not allow the lighting to spill over the property but to have enough lighting for people walking on the parking lot at night. Mr. Gemmola noted that the lighting fixtures selected are “very sensitive to neighboring areas.” Mr. Gemmola referred to the photometric plan and stated that the values shown on this plan indicate that “there is less and less spill-over as it contours out.”  Chairman Kehoe noted a difference in the values shown over a light pole near the property line on Bungalow Road and Hudson Street, respectively and asked if these values should not be the same, to which Mr. Gemmola said that, “There is a difference in the bulbs depending on where you are.”  Mr. Gemmola said that the main objective is to not have intensive lighting at the property lines.  Mr. Luntz said that the plan shows zero values and a few “0.1” and “0.2” values along Hudson Street, which he assumes are quite low values, to which Mr. Gemmola noted that there will be plantings along the perimeters as well.  Mr. Luntz said that it would seem that the lighting being proposed is meeting the criteria for “neighbor friendly lighting.”

Mr. Luntz referred to the ZBA condition stating that “No further accessory uses will be permitted on any adjacent properties” and said that, as he understands this condition, no further encroachment for parking on adjacent properties would be permitted.   

The Village Engineer read the ZBA’s condition on the garbage container, which states that “The garbage container and disposal will be relocated according to plans submitted and will be enclosed and screened.” The Village Engineer noted that, according to the Applicant’s plan, the garbage container would be situated at the back of the diner, to which Mr. Gemmola added that a six-foot high enclosure would screen the container from view.  Chairman Kehoe said that it is his understanding that the stone veneer on the container would match the veneer on the retaining wall, to which Mr. Gemmola said, “Yes.”  Mr. Gemmola added that the stone being used is indigenous to the area.

Mr. Lockwood noted to the board members that there is a fire ordinance that states that a dumpster has to be a certain distance from a building. He asked if the garbage container being proposed meets that criterion, to which Mr. Gemmola said that as shown on the plan there is a gap between the garbage dumpster and the building; there is also a solid masonry wall. Chairman Kehoe suggested that the Village Engineer should look into this matter about the dumpster.

The Village Engineer noted that the ZBA deferred the matter of the sidewalk removal on Bungalow Road to the Planning Board, to which Chairman Kehoe said that, as discussed earlier in the meeting tonight, this sidewalk is being eliminated.

Michael Calcutti of 10 Hudson Street told the board members that the guiderail was installed on the Bungalow Road side of the property for safety reasons. Mr. Calcutti said that, “They did not want customers coming off of Bungalow Road because of the playground (across the street),” to which Chairman Kehoe explained to Mr. Calcutti that, on the Applicant’s proposed plan, a vehicle going up Bungalow Road cannot make a left hand turn into the diner parking lot and a vehicle exiting the parking lot cannot come out onto Bungalow Road. The Applicant’s plan shows a “right turn in only” entrance into the parking lot from Bungalow Road.

Charles Henley of 7 Hudson Street came forward. Mr. Henley said that he has reviewed the Village’s Comprehensive Plan. This plan talks about “enhancing sidewalks.”  Now, the Planning Board is talking about eliminating a sidewalk.  Mr. Henley questioned why there is no sidewalk on Hudson Street.  He noted that children have to walk down the middle of the street.  Mr. Henley said that he thinks a sidewalk should be installed on Hudson Street “as a mandate to approving this plan.”  Mr. Luntz asked Mr. Henley if, rather than a stone wall and plantings, he would want a sidewalk, to which Mr. Henley said that he would want both the screening being proposed and a sidewalk.  The Village Engineer noted that there are issues pertaining to the Village right-of-ways in that area. The right-of-ways are undersized and the streets are narrow. The Village Engineer noted that the Village had a survey done recently for Elm Street at which point it was discovered that some of the retaining walls for homes are in the Village right-of-way.  The Village Engineer reiterated that there are a number of issues that need to be addressed in the Hudson Street/Elm Street area. Mr. Henley noted that a sidewalk on Hudson Street would help with the dangerous intersection at the corner.  

Mr. Henley referred to the memorandum from the Planning Board to the Zoning Board dated February 13, 2009, in which the Planning Board recommends that the special permits for parking and the variance for the removal of the guiderail be granted.  Mr. Henley said that, by this memorandum, the Planning Board told the Zoning Board to grant the Applicant these approvals, to which Chairman Kehoe noted that the Planning Board did not tell the Zoning Board to grant these approvals. The Planning Board made a recommendation.  Mr. Henley said that it states in the ZBA resolution that this proposal would not have an adverse impact on the neighborhood.  He thinks this is false. Chairman Kehoe asked Mr. Henley if he said as much to the ZBA, to which Mr. Henley replied that he did not have the opportunity to. Mr. Henley explained that it took a few months for the ZBA minutes/resolution on this application to become available. Mr. Henley noted that the Planning Board and not the Zoning Board is the Lead Agency on this application, to which Chairman Kehoe told Mr. Henley that the Zoning Board has the jurisdiction over the granting of special permits and variances.  The proposal for using the vacant lot on Hudson Street for parking has been approved by the ZBA.  The Planning Board is reviewing the site-related issues. Chairman Kehoe gave an example of a site issue that would be of concern stating that if the Planning Board wanted a certain number and variety of trees planted and the Applicant refused to do so, then, the Planning Board could deny the site plan.          

Mr. Henley said that in 2004 the Planning Board reviewed an application submitted by the owner of the diner and voted “no.”  In preparation for the meeting the chairman of the Planning Board at that time had prepared a four-page history of the diner property, which included all of the violations that had been issued.  Chairman Kehoe noted that the “no” vote to which Mr. Henley is referring was in the form of a recommendation to the Village Board on the rezoning of 6 Hudson Street from a residential to a commercial zoning district.  Mr. Henley gave some examples of the violations on the property such as the violation issued in 1974 in which the Applicant was cited for not following the Planning Board’s approved site plan. Mr. Henley said that the current site plan application is “being marketed” as making improvements for the handicapped. He is not against these improvements. What he is against is “seizing the property and using it for commercial purposes just to have a ramp.”  Mr. Henley said that he would think that there are different options for handicap access.  He thinks that it is “awful” to used handicap access “as a vehicle for turning 6 Hudson Street to commercial use.”  Mr. Henley referred to a comment made by the former Planning Board chairman Ann Gallelli at the board meeting of March 23, 2004 in which Chairman Gallelli says that, “Encroachment of a commercial zone into a residential neighborhood is not a solution to this [the handicap access] problem.”  Mr. Henley said that he would agree.

Mr. Henley said that in the materials that he submitted to the board for the meeting tonight he provided a petition signed by the neighbors.  Mr. Henley noted that there have been petitions in the past as well.  Mr. Henley noted further that the Planning Board opposed three times before not to turn 6 Hudson Street to commercial use.  Mr. Henley said that this will have an adverse impact on the neighborhood; he and his neighbors will be back in two years and seven months when the special permit needs to be renewed.

Mr. Henley expressed concern about the blind spot at the corner of Hudson Street and South Riverside Avenue where the diner “sticks out onto the sidewalk.”  

Mr. Henley said that allowing commercial parking on a residential lot goes against the Village’s Comprehensive Plan in which it states that the Village should focus on maintaining the scale and character of Village neighborhoods. Mr. Henley said that the Comprehensive Plan also calls for enhanced pedestrian access and, yet, the Planning Board is now allowing the Applicant to remove a sidewalk.  Mr. Henley said that, “Let us at least follow the Comprehensive Plan and take a look at sidewalks on Hudson Street.”  Mr. Henley said that a “yes” vote by this board sends a message that there is a lack of consistency between past and current decisions.  He would like to see 6 Hudson Street returned to a residence/house, to which Chairman Kehoe noted that the Planning Board lacks the authority to tell this Applicant that he has to put a house on that lot. Mr. Henley suggested that the Planning Board could make it a condition that the Applicant can use the Bungalow Road property for parking if the Applicant improves the lot on 6 Hudson Street by turning it into a residential status. Chairman Kehoe told Mr. Henley that the decision on the special permit for the commercial parking was the ZBA’s and not the Planning Board’s.  Chairman Kehoe asked Mr. Henley if he made this presentation to the ZBA, to which Mr. Henley said that when this application was before the ZBA, he was unprepared.  He is trying to be more thorough this time.  Mr. Henley expressed concern that having commercial parking in a residential area will bring the house values down.  Mr. Klein recalled that the issue about the sidewalk was raised by either the ZBA or a Village staff member; the Applicant is only removing the sidewalk to comply with their request.  Mr. Klein said that Messrs. Henley and Lockwood have been to every meeting of both boards (ZBA and Planning Board) and have made their comments accordingly at those times. Mr. Henley said that the submission prepared for the Planning Board tonight was not provided to the ZBA.  He would encourage the Planning Board to bring this matter up again to the ZBA.

Chairman Kehoe informed those members of the public present that the Planning Board has unilaterally decided that they would not vote on this application tonight.  Chairman Kehoe said that he would recommend that the Planning Board close the public hearing.  The Planning Board would still welcome public comment even if the public hearing were closed.  Mr. Kauderer said that he would think that the public hearing could be closed tonight.

Chairman Kehoe entertained a motion to close the public hearing.  The motion was made by Mr. Kauderer, seconded by Mr. Aarons and carried by a vote of 5 to 0.   

Chairman Kehoe said that those who spoke tonight brought up some very good points.  This item would be back on the agenda for the meeting of Tuesday, October 12th.

Mr. Aarons referred to the lighting plan P-1 “Proposed Photometric Plan” and pointed to an area that shows two lights within 30 feet of each other. Mr. Aarons said that he thinks that this is a strange (lighting) configuration, to which Chairman Kehoe said that he would assume that these light fixtures in close proximity would direct their light to different areas of the parking lot.  Mr. Gemmola suggested that, if the board so chooses, he could have the lighting consultant come to the next meeting to answer any questions on the lighting plan(s) that the board might have.

Chairman Kehoe asked Mr. Gemmola if, for the next meeting, he could come prepared to explain the difficulty or ease of putting in a sidewalk on Hudson Street, to which Mr. Gemmola said that he would look into this matter. Chairman Kehoe asked the Village Engineer if putting in a sidewalk in that location would be a municipal project, to which the Village Engineer said that if the sidewalk were in the street right-of-way, it would be; however, if the sidewalk were on private properties, it would be up to the various owners of the properties. Mr. Aarons said that judging by the comments tonight these residents would like to have a sidewalk, so, the Applicant/Village should look into it.
 
Chairman Kehoe said that he, personally, does not have a strong opinion about the sidewalk on Bungalow Road.  Mr. Gemmola said that he thinks it makes sense to eliminate this sidewalk and put in landscaping.  Mr. Luntz agreed that the Bungalow Road sidewalk should be eliminated. Chairman Kehoe said that it would seem from the discussions on this sidewalk that the board is “okay” with eliminating it.

Chairman Kehoe asked the Applicant’s landscape architect David Miller to look at the VEB’s suggestions on the plantings.  

Chairman Kehoe told the Applicant to (also) talk to the Village Engineer about the existing two-foot high retaining wall on Hudson Street, which is not to his (Chairman Kehoe’s) liking. Mr. Aarons suggested that they should put in screening in that location that does not look so “institutional.”  He would want the screening to be less obvious as a commercial property.    

Mr. Gemmola told the board that, given the issues raised tonight, he might not be ready for the next meeting on October 12th.  He would let the Village Engineer’s office know.
  
  • OLD BUSINESS:
  • Referral from the Village Board Regarding Local Law Introductory No. 3 of 2010 – Repeal and Enactment of Harmon/South Riverside Gateway Overlay District Zoning Amendments
Village Attorney James Staudt was present for this referral application.

Chairman Kehoe said that he did not have an opportunity to draft up the document that he had hoped to have ready for the Planning Board’s use in their discussion tonight of the subject zoning amendments. Chairman Kehoe said that the Planning Board could still discuss the items listed in Section 230-180 Amendment Procedure in the Village Code, which governs how the Planning Board is supposed to handle amendments. Section 230-180A(1) and A(2) of the Village Code contain the criteria that the Planning Board has to review and comment on.

Chairman Kehoe said that at the last meeting it was noted that the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation (SHPO) had evaluated the Perfect Nails building at 73 Benedict Boulevard and had determined that this building was not worthy to be designated “historic” on the State Register of Historic Places. He (Chairman Kehoe) asked if SHPO had sent a letter to that effect. He has since received via email a copy of the letter that SHPO had sent to the Village. Chairman Kehoe noted that Mr. Kauderer raised a point at the last meeting about the Planning Board being given the authority, in their review of a site plan, to require parking easements. Mr. Kauderer said at that meeting that the concept of a unified parking lot design might work if there were language in the Code giving the Planning Board a mandate to require a parking easement. Mr. Staudt said that he has looked into this matter and there could be a mandate for easements if it is determined to be a necessary part of an applicant’s site plan.  For example, there might be traffic circumstances that would warrant such an easement.  Mr. Staudt said that, for safety reasons, storeowners would usually prefer a connected/unified parking lot design. These storeowners do not want shoppers “running in and out of driveways” to get to their stores. Chairman Kehoe suggested that the Planning Board could work into their recommendation to the Village Board this idea of giving the Planning Board a mandate.      

Chairman Kehoe said that it was also noted at the last meeting that, on page 45 of the Environmental Assessment Form (EAF), there is a discrepancy in the number of students in the school district. The calculations for the total number are off by 12 (1,786 – 1,774 = 12).  Mr. Kauderer had suggested that the discrepancy in the numbers could be explained by looking at footnotes 14 and 15, which shows that the data for the number of students comes from different years (times).

Chairman Kehoe said that, at the last meeting, Mr. Kauderer questioned what is considered a “fast food restaurant” in the Village Code.  It is not clear in the Code what the definition of a “fast food restaurant” is. Chairman Kehoe suggested that the Planning Board could also bring this matter up in their recommendation to the Village Board.

Chairman Kehoe referred the Planning Board to Section 230-180A(1) and A(2) containing the list(s) of criteria for the Planning Board’s review of zoning amendments. Chairman Kehoe read aloud A(1)(a) “Whether such a change is consistent with the aims and principles embodied in the chapter as to the particular districts concerned.” Chairman Kehoe asked if a mixed-use building is currently permitted in the C-2 district, to which the Village Engineer said that there are some mixed-use buildings that are legally non-conforming. These buildings do not have special permits because the building’s use was established prior to the Village Zoning Law going into effect.  Mr. Staudt noted that there is in the Village Code an existing mixed-occupancy concept. Chairman Kehoe said that the question to ask is if we (the Planning Board) think that this zoning change is consistent with the underlying C-2 zoning.

Chairman Kehoe read aloud A(1)(b) “Which areas and establishments in the Village will be directly affected by such change and in what way they will be affected.” Chairman Kehoe said that he would think that the adjacent residential areas would feel that they are being affected by this zoning change.  Mr. Staudt said that certainly the areas within the Gateway Zoning District itself would be affected. Mr. Staudt added that it is up to the Planning Board to judge if they feel that the surrounding areas are also affected.  Mr. Staudt suggested that, in their response to item A(1)(b), the Planning Board could use the maps in Part 3 of the EAF showing the subject parcels.  

Chairman Kehoe read aloud A(1)(c) “The indirect implications of such change in its effect on other regulations.” Mr. Staudt said that the board would have to determine if they think there would be any indirect effect(s).  Chairman Kehoe questioned if the visual impacts of a project would be considered an “indirect effect.” Mr. Staudt said that an example might be the implications for the Village’s infrastructure (sewer, water, etc.).

Chairman Kehoe read A(1)(d)“Whether such proposed amendment is consistent with the aims of the Comprehensive Plan of the Village.” Chairman Kehoe noted that Patricia Moran sent a letter to the Planning Board, dated September 23, 2010, on that very issue. Chairman Kehoe said that he went through the Comprehensive Plan and, in his reading of the Comprehensive Plan, felt that the goals and policies are “broadly based.”  He does not necessarily agree that the subject zoning amendments are inconsistent with the Comprehensive Plan. Chairman Kehoe said that he is confident that the Planning Board can go through the Plan and, then, “talk about this intelligently.”

Chairman Kehoe referred to A(2)(a) “Whether the uses permitted by the proposed change would be appropriate in the area concerned.” Chairman Kehoe said that the Planning Board has to determine if, for example, they feel that the third floor would have a significant adverse impact and/or if it would be appropriate. Chairman Kehoe read A(2)(b) Whether adequate public school facilities and other public services exist or can be created to serve the needs of any additional residences likely to be constructed as a result of such change.” Chairman Kehoe said that the Planning Board has to determine whether they agree with the findings on student generation rates and tax implications.

Chairman Kehoe read aloud A(2)(c) “Whether the proposed change is in accord with any existing or proposed plans in the vicinity.” Mr. Staudt said that the Planning Board would take into consideration whether there is a project/activity being planned immediately adjacent to this zoning district that would be in accord with the zoning amendments being proposed. Chairman Kehoe asked if the “bike plan” would be an example of such a project/activity, to which Mr. Staudt said that it would be.

Chairman Kehoe read aloud items A(2)(d) and A(2)(e) as follows: (d) “The effect of the proposed amendment upon the growth of the Village as envisaged by the Comprehensive Plan” and (e) “Whether the proposed amendment is likely to result in an increase or decrease in the total zoned residential capacity of the Village and the probable effect thereof.” Chairman Kehoe said that items (d) and (e) get at the central discussion of how much one thinks this zoning amendment proposal is going to affect the zoned residential capacity of the Village.  

Chairman Kehoe said that, in so far as these zoning amendments are concerned he, personally, feels that what is being proposed is not in great conflict with the nine items (criteria) that are being discussed tonight. Chairman Kehoe said that he does not find any great inconsistencies, to which Mr. Kauderer agreed. Mr. Aarons told Chairman Kehoe that he would take exception to that, to which Chairman Kehoe said that, “That is what we [as the Planning Board] have to discuss.”

At this juncture, Mr. Aarons asked for an Executive Session with the Village Attorney, to which Mr. Staudt replied that if the Planning Board is looking for legal advice, they have to make a motion to go into a private session; that is what is permissible.  Chairman Kehoe entertained a motion to go into a private session to ask for legal advice from the Village Attorney.  The motion was made by Mr. Aarons, seconded by Mr. Kauderer and carried by a vote of 5 to 0.  

The Planning Board members left the meeting room. Upon their return, Chairman Kehoe entertained a motion to bring the Planning Board out of the private session with the Village Attorney.   The motion was made by Mr. Aarons, seconded by Mr. Kauderer and carried by a vote of 5 to 0.

Chairman Kehoe said (again) that he did not have the opportunity to draft up the document pertaining to the items listed in Section 230-180 that he had hoped to have ready for tonight. He would have this document ready for the next meeting.

Chairman Kehoe asked if there were any other comments. Mr. Aarons said that at the last meeting he brought up the issue about the new parking requirement(s) being proposed for the Harmon Gateway.  It was noted that for a commercial use the parking requirements would be the same and, also, that there could not be an approval without an applicant’s meeting these parking requirements. Mr. Aarons said that he would be concerned about the parking for residential use.  Chairman Kehoe said that in a mixed-use building the parking for residential use would be based on the number of bedrooms, i.e., one parking space plus one additional parking space for each bedroom in the unit in excess of one bedroom. Mr. Aarons said that the Planning Board has been asked to look at the consistency of these new regulations with the C-2 district. He does not know if in the parking analyses that were done the Village looked at the existing C-2 residential use.  Mr. Aarons said that in order for the Planning Board to look at the consistency with the C-2 district a one- or two-bedroom analysis has to be made.  Mr. Aarons said that in the current regulations, two parking spaces per residential unit are required whereas in the proposed regulations one space for each one-bedroom unit is required.  He questioned what the basis is for requiring one space now when in the past it was two (spaces).  Mr. Aarons suggested to Chairman Kehoe that this might be one of the topics for discussion at the next meeting.  Mr. Luntz said that he recalls that some thought was given to shared parking, to which Chairman Kehoe noted that the shared parking concept was eliminated.  Mr. Aarons said that if the residential units are all two-bedroom, then, the required number of spaces would be the same; however, if they were one-bedroom, there would be less parking available when using the new bedroom count scenario. Mr. Aarons noted that the bedroom count for future mixed-use buildings is unknown.  He reiterated that, for the next meeting, the Planning Board should take a look at the parking to make sure that it would be adequate.  Chairman Kehoe said that the board would continue the parking discussion the next time. He would also prepare the aforementioned document pertaining to the items in Section 230-180 of the Village Code.

  • Nida Associates, Inc. – 120 Scenic Drive West (Sec. 67.10 Blk. 2 Lot 5) - Referral from the Village Board for an Amendment to the O-2 (Limited Office) Zoning Regulations to Allow Day Care Centers as a Special Permitted Use.
Ralph Mastromonaco, P.E., was present for this application.

Chairman Kehoe noted that the Planning Board has received at the meeting tonight a second drawing from the Applicant’s engineer dated September 22, 2010 and last revised September 24, 2010.

Mr. Mastromonaco said that at the last meeting the Planning Board had requested a drawing showing a conceptual view of a proposed day care center on the Hendry Building site.  The plan submitted for tonight’s meeting shows what a day care center facility might look like in that zone (O-2).  

Chairman Kehoe said that, as he understands it, Ms. Allen’s point at the last meeting has less to do with whether a site plan layout could handle a day care center and more to do with whether there is a specific applicant who is proposing to put a day care center at this site.  Ms. Allen added that part of the Planning Board’s decision on whether or not a day care would be appropriate is geared by the neighborhood.  Ms. Allen said that, “These neighbors would be surprised to find that a day care center can be built here. It’s really how it affects the neighbors and what assumptions people in the neighborhood have about what can be next door.”

Mr. Aarons asked what the square footage of the Hendry Building is, to which the Village Engineer said 10,908 square feet.      

Chairman Kehoe said that he would think that the Planning Board could make a decision on this zoning amendment regardless of whether or not an operator of an actual day care center is before the board.  The Planning Board can make a decision as to whether they feel, for example, that an increase in traffic or some other impact on the neighborhood is of a sufficient concern to recommend against the subject zoning amendment.  Ms. Allen said that the Planning Board would not be holding a public hearing, which is how the board could get the input from the neighbors, to which the Village Engineer said that the Village Board would be holding a public hearing. The public hearing would take place after the Planning Board makes its recommendation back to the Village Board.  Mr. Luntz suggested that the Planning Board could recommend to the Village Board that they notify the neighbors so as to have adequate input from the adjoining property owners.  Chairman Kehoe noted that there are only two parcels in the O-2 zone one of which is the Hendry Building.  Mr. Kauderer said that the other parcel, the Croton Medical Center, “is never going to be a day care center.”  He questioned if, as a practical matter, sending everyone a notice is necessary.  Chairman Kehoe said that he, personally, thinks that adding a day care center use to the potential uses to properties in the O-2 zone is reasonable.  Mr. Aarons asked if, when a prospective day care center applicant actually wants to operate a day care center, they would have to come back before the Planning Board for a site plan approval, to which the Village Engineer said that they would. The Village Board would also refer the application to the Planning Board for a recommendation on the granting of the special permit.

Mr. Mastromonaco said that in the letter that he had submitted to the Village Board back in March of this year, he had noted on page 2 under “Background” that this matter pertaining to day care centers in the O-2 district had been looked at earlier on in late 2006. At that time the Village Board was considering, and ultimately passed, the zoning amendment to allow day care centers in the O-1 zone as a special permitted use. Mr. Mastromonaco said that, for some reason, the discussion about day care centers in the O-2 zone did not move forward at that time.  Mr. Mastromonaco noted that there are already a number of restrictions in place for day care centers in the O-1 Zoning District. Chairman Kehoe asked if Mr. Mastromonaco is suggesting that these same restrictions could be applied to the O-2 zone, to which Mr. Mastromonaco said, indeed, he is.

Chairman Kehoe recalled that in the last discussion on this zoning amendment, there was an issue raised about condition “(f)” pertaining to a change in ownership. There was a question about what the term “change in ownership” means in the context of the sentence, which reads, “A change in ownership of a day care licensed under this section shall require renewal of the special permit.” Chairman Kehoe suggested that the Planning Board could recommend that day care centers be added as a special permitted use in the O-2 zone subject to the same restrictions that are applied to day care centers in the O-1 zone. Chairman Kehoe noted that there are seven conditions (“(a)” through “(g)”).  As part of their recommendation, the Planning Board would suggest that the language used in condition “(f)” pertaining to a change in ownership be clarified.  Chairman Kehoe said that he thinks the intent of this condition is that if there were a change in the operator running the day care facility, then, he/she would have to apply for a special permit.  

Mr. Kauderer referred to condition “(b)” “No outdoor play area or recreation area shall be closer than 20 feet to any property zoned residential.” Mr. Kauderer said that, given the size of the Hendry Building site and its proximity to residential areas, he would think that the Planning Board would be unwilling to recommend installing a play area at a distance of only 20 feet from the property line.  Mr. Aarons agreed and said that he would think that 50 feet would be more appropriate. The Village Engineer noted that the side yard setback requirement in the O-1 zone is 10 feet and in the O-2 zone, 25 feet. If the Village were to require a 50-foot setback, then, the setback requirement would be doubled. Chairman Kehoe suggested that, perhaps, 40 rather than 50 feet would be better. Mr. Kauderer said that the Planning Board would be having a different discussion if the building were not already there.  Chairman Kehoe asked if the board members would agree to recommend that the setback requirement for a play area be a minimum of 50 feet, to which the board members all agreed.  Mr. Kauderer said that he would think that this change in the setback would make the neighbors feel better. Chairman Kehoe noted that the setback for a play area in the O-2 district would be more stringent than that which is permitted in the O-1 district.

The Village Engineer noted that, in so far as notifying the neighbors is concerned, the Village “will conduct [the process] according to the standard procedures for a public hearing.” Chairman Kehoe said that, as discussed earlier, he would want to make a recommendation to the Village Board that they notify all the adjoining property owners.  

Mr. Kauderer noted that it does not say anything in the special permit conditions for the O-1 district about screening the outdoor play area. Mr. Kauderer questioned if it is clear that the Planning Board has the authority to require screening in the site plan approval.  Chairman Kehoe said that, when a special permit is granted, the applicant has to come before the Planning Board for a site plan approval at which point the discussion on the screening would take place. Mr. Kauderer questioned if the Planning Board should recommend to the Village Board that screening be required as a condition for a day care center in the O-2 zone. The Village Engineer suggested that this matter regarding screening could be included in the condition about the setback requirement for an outdoor play area. The condition could say, “50 feet from a residential property and suitably screened.”

Mr. Aarons referred to condition “(d)” pertaining to the hours of operation and said that he would think that a half an hour should be added on either side, i.e., “…..commencing no earlier than 6:30 a.m. and ending no later than 7:30 p.m.” Mr. Aarons said that these longer hours of operation are more realistic for commuters taking the train into New York City.

Mr. Mastromonaco said that the parking requirements for this district are one space per 300 square feet of building, which would mean that 37 parking spaces are required.  Mr. Mastromonaco said that if the Applicant is held to that number, it would mean that more land would have to be disturbed to put in the required number of spaces; he would think that a day care center use would not require that many parking spaces. His office has computed that for such a use, probably 20 spaces would be needed.  The Village Engineer said that in the O-2 district the requirement is one space per 300 square feet of building regardless of the use.  The Village Engineer said that this building was constructed in the 1970’s. The site plan was approved for 32 spaces.  The Village Engineer said that the people who developed the property did not follow the site plan. The building could be considered “grandfathered” in terms of the 32 spaces; any less than that would require a variance from the Zoning Board of Appeals. Mr. Kauderer questioned if the Planning Board has to look into this matter at this time. In so far as the parking is concerned, a future applicant/operator of a day care center would have to “make it work” on the site plan or this applicant would have to go before the Zoning Board for a variance from the parking requirement(s). The Village Engineer told the board that if the Planning Board is going to look at the parking for day care operations, then, the board would have to analyze the implications in zones where this use is permitted. Mr. Kauderer said again that he would think that this is not the time to be looking into this matter concerning the parking.

Chairman Kehoe asked if there were any other comments, to which there were none.

Chairman Kehoe entertained a motion to recommend that the Village Board permit day care centers as a special permitted use in the O-2 Zoning District.  The Planning Board would recommend that conditions/limitations “(a)” through “(g)” for day care centers in the O-1 district be applied to the O-2 district taking into consideration the modifications discussed tonight.  In condition “(b)” the outdoor play area shall be no closer than 50 (as opposed to 20) feet from a property zoned residential. Language should be added that adequate screening from residential properties must be provided.  In condition “(d)” the hours of operation should be changed to commence no earlier than 6:30 a.m. and to end no later than 7:30 p.m.  Finally, in condition “(f)” the Planning Board would recommend that, for clarification purposes, the language about change of ownership/licensed day care centers be expanded upon and/or changed.  Chairman Kehoe noted that the Planning Board would also recommend enhancing the notification procedures for a public hearing on a zoning amendment to be certain to include the adjacent property owners of the Hendry Building site.  The motion to make a positive recommendation to the Village Board was made by Mr. Luntz, seconded by Mr. Kauderer and carried by a vote of 5 to 0.

  • Referral from the Village Board for a Special Permit for an Auto Repair and Auto Sales Shop at 365 South Riverside Avenue – Update from the Village Engineer
The Village Engineer told the Planning Board that he met with the Village Attorney and the Applicant’s attorney John Gochman regarding the Palladino application.  The Village Engineer said that in Section 230-17(B)(3) of the Village Zoning Code there is a special permitted use called “repair garage.”  Whereas at a “motor vehicle service station” the sale of used cars is a permitted accessory use with the issuance of a special permit, it is not a permitted accessory use at a “repair garage.” The Village Engineer noted that Mr. Gochman had come before the Planning Board recently with the New York State definition of a “service station.”  After the discussion with the Village Attorney, he (the Village Engineer) has changed his mind and has made a decision that the auto repair use presently being proposed can be classified as a “repair garage.”  The Village Engineer reiterated that the sale of used cars is not permitted at a “repair garage.”  The Applicant would have to go before the Zoning Board of Appeals for a use variance for the sale of used cars.  

The Village Engineer said that as he noted in his letter to the Planning Board dated September 23, 2010, in order for the Applicant to proceed, he would have to go before the Village Board with an amended special permit application.  The application would have to be for just a “repair garage” without the used car sales component.  Once the Applicant’s special permit application has been amended, the Village Board would refer this amended application back to the Planning Board for a recommendation.  

Chairman Kehoe asked if the Applicant is going to simultaneously go before the Zoning Board for the use variance, to which the Village Engineer said that, if the Applicant so chooses, he may start the variance process at the same time.  Mr. Kauderer said that, with respect to the sale of used cars, he would think that the sale of vintage cars might not be that objectionable; however, a typical used car sales dealership/business would be.  Mr. Kauderer said that he would like the Planning Board to go on record as saying that they do not want a used car sales dealership.  Mr. Kauderer said that the subject property is too big to be just a repair garage.  He thinks that the Applicant will want to have the used car sales component.  Chairman Kehoe said that the Planning Board would have to come up with a way to let the Zoning Board know that this board does not look favorably on the sale of used cars.  In the interim, the Applicant has to go back to the Village Board for an application for an amended special permit.   

  • NEW BUSINESS:
  • Bryan Stephens – 48 Prospect Place (Sec. 67.20 Blk. 4 Lot 19.01) – Application for a Modification to the Building Envelope for the Construction of a Swimming Pool
Gregory McWilliams, A.I.A., was present for this application.

Mr. McWilliams said that this Applicant had been before the Planning Board with a modification to their previously approved landscaping plan, which included the removal of trees and the re-grading of the back of the property. Mr. McWilliams noted that he was not involved with this application.  The current application is for a building envelope modification for the construction of a pool in the Applicant’s back yard.  Mr. McWilliams displayed for the Planning Board the original site plan prepared by Cronin Engineering and said that the green line represents the approved limit of disturbance and the light yellow line indicates the zoning setback(s). Mr. McWilliams displayed another plan showing an orange line that represents the proposed modification to the limit of disturbance.  

Chairman Kehoe told Mr. McWilliams that the Planning Board “touched on” the swimming pool when they were asked to approve this Applicant’s amended landscaping plan. The Planning Board had asked at that time if the pool would be outside the envelope. The Applicant had said that they would look into it. Mr. McWilliams said that the proposed pool is a Gunite pool, 20 by 40 feet in size. Rather than pool decking going around the pool, there would be pavers on the ground level with steps.  Chairman Kehoe said that the Planning Board has already approved the grading at the back of the property and is now being asked to approve the pool.

Mr. Kauderer asked about the fencing for the pool, to which Mr. McWilliams said that he is not certain where the fencing would go.  The Village Engineer said that a fence for a swimming pool is a New York State Building Code requirement. The Village Engineer added that a fence is not “a building” in the Village Code; so, a building permit is not required.  As long as the fence is no more than six feet in height and is situated on or within the property line, the homeowner can decide where to put the fence. Mr. McWilliams noted that, for a swimming pool, a four-foot high fence is all that is required in the New York State Building Code.

The Village Engineer said that for a swimming pool to be built in this location at the back of the property, the building envelope would have to be expanded. The Village Engineer said that when the Hudson View Subdivision was approved, no thought was given at that time to accessory structures such as swimming pools, tennis courts, etc. The Village Engineer said that, (also), it was a condition of the Planning Board’s approval that the building envelope and the limit of disturbance be the same line.

Ms. Allen referred to the Applicant’s plan and asked Mr. McWilliams about the existing trees being shown in the area between the two properties, to which Mr. McWilliams said that the existing trees are along the property line; the rest of the area is lawn.  Mr. McWilliams noted that the proposal for the six-foot high retaining wall was too costly, so they (the Applicant) revised the plan to put in a four-foot high “boulder wall.”  Mr. Luntz said that, as he understands the current proposal, the existing trees “are getting wiped out by the wall that they are talking about.”  Ms. Allen said that she would think that the Planning Board needs to see a plan showing the existing trees and what is going to be happening with these trees. Chairman Kehoe noted to Mr. McWilliams that the Applicant’s landscape designer did not go into detail about these trees; it would be helpful for the Planning Board to know the size and species, which trees are to be saved, which are to be removed, etc.  Chairman Kehoe said that the Applicant’s landscape designer should come back before the board with much more information. Mr. Luntz noted that with fill going in for the leveling of the back yard “things could happen,” so, the Planning Board needs to have this additional information.  Ms. Allen said that she would want to make sure that these trees are identified in the field by an arborist.

Mr. McWilliams said that he would let the Village Engineer’s office know when they are ready to come back before the board.

  •  RMA Enterprises, LLC (Property Owner MAF Realty Ltd.) – 326 South Riverside Avenue (Sec. 79.13 Blk. 1 Lot 87) – Referral from the Village Board for a Special Permit for a Retail Use
Robert & Maria Armanini, proprietors of the prospective retail store, were present.

Chairman Kehoe noted that a retail use, such as the one currently being proposed by the Armanini’s, needs a special permit from the Village Board.  The Village Engineer said that this was going to be changed as part of the Gateway Zoning Amendments, however, a lawsuit was brought to the Village and in their review of applications the Village boards have to go by the old law.  

Chairman Kehoe said that at this stage the Planning Board is (would be) making a recommendation to the Village Board on the issuance of a special permit.  If the Village Board were to grant the special permit, the Applicant would have to come back to the Planning Board for a site plan/change of use approval.  

The Village Engineer noted that the prior use at this location was a limousine service business.  The parking lot configuration in the back of the property was for limousines, buses, etc.  The Village Engineer suggested that, should the Planning Board decide to recommend this retail use, a condition would be to restripe the lot for cars.

The Village Engineer said that on a previous site plan of the property asphalt is shown right up against the tree at the corner of the back parking lot.  The Village Engineer suggested that another condition could be that the asphalt around the base of this tree be removed.

Mr. Armanini said that his wife and he are proposing to operate a specialty shop for the sale of wild bird-feeding/bird watching products and related gift items.  They have chosen Croton for a number of reasons. Mr. Armanini said that these reasons are enumerated in their letter to the Village dated September 9, 2010. Mr. Armanini noted that the Planning Board received in their packets a presentation booklet, which outlines in detail their proposal for a Backyard Birding retail store.  Mrs. Armanini said that her husband and she would be willing to go through the detailed narrative in their presentation booklet, if the Planning Board so chooses.   

The Village Engineer said that the subject building has an air conditioning unit, which is built into an old doorway.  He asked if this is going to be removed, to which Mr.  Armanini said that he would have to speak to the landlord about that.  Mr. Kauderer said that he would think that the board should not put obstacles in their (the Armanini’s) way for such a desirable retail business coming into the Village.  Chairman Kehoe suggested that, perhaps, painting this doorway in the front rather than re-bricking it to match the building facade would be an option.  

Mrs. Armanini said that their intent is to give their store a “homey, country look.”  

Chairman Kehoe said that there would seem to be plenty of parking at this site.  As discussed earlier, the Planning Board would recommend in their memorandum to the Village Board that the asphalt around the base of the tree in the back parking lot be cut back to ensure its survival.  

The Village Engineer noted that the walkway/sidewalk at the front of the building “has many different steps.”  He asked the Armanini’s if they had looked at that walkway in terms of the number of steps and had thought of a better way to create it.  Mrs. Armanini said that in opening their retail store her husband and she were not thinking of making exterior changes, such as the changes to the walkway just mentioned.  Mrs. Armanini said that their intent was to lease the space, move in and start their business. Mr. Luntz said he would think that the board should not put a number of restrictions on the opening of this business.  He thinks the board should be encouraging this type of business/retail store.  Mr. Luntz suggested that the Armanini’s should do whatever they can to help the “look and feel of the place,” but the Planning Board should leave it to their discretion.

Chairman Kehoe told the Armanini’s that they would have to go before the Advisory Board on the Visual Environment (VEB) for their signs.  

Chairman Kehoe said that it would seem from tonight’s discussion that the Planning Board would be willing to make a positive recommendation back to the Village Board.  Two of the conditions would be to (1) remove the asphalt around the tree in the back and (2) to restripe the parking lot for cars. Mrs. Armanini asked what materials they should bring to the Planning Board for their site plan/change of use application.  The Village Engineer said they would need to submit a survey of the property.  They should provide to the board a plan showing the parking reconfiguration.  The parking lot should have a handicap parking space. This space would have to be signed and striped handicapped. Mr. Armanini asked if they would have to restripe the entire lot, to which Mr. Kauderer suggested that they should bring this matter up with their landlord.  The Village Engineer noted that restriping the lot should not be that expensive. Lines would have to be painted to delineate the parking spaces including the aforementioned handicap space. Chairman Kehoe noted (again) to the Armanini’s that they would have to show on their site plan the restriped parking lot.

Chairman Kehoe reviewed for the Armanini’s the procedure for this application stating that the Planning Board would make a recommendation back to the Village Board on the granting of the special permit, after which the Village Board would call for a public hearing.  Once the special permit is granted, they (the Applicant) would come back to the Planning Board for a change of use approval.  

Trustee Gallelli told the Planning Board that the Village Board has already met with the Applicant, and the Village Board is “positive” about their proposal. If the Planning Board were to provide their recommendation to the Village Board no later than Thursday of this week, then, this application could be back on the Village Board agenda for their meeting of Monday, October 4th.  The public hearing could be scheduled for the following meeting to be held on Monday, October 18th.

Chairman Kehoe asked if there were any further comments, to which there were none.  Chairman Kehoe entertained a motion to make a positive recommendation to the Village Board with the conditions discussed tonight.  The motion was made by Mr. Aarons, seconded by Mr. Kauderer and carried by a vote of 5 to 0.  

  •  Referral from the Village Board for Comments on the Scope of a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for a Six-Lot Subdivision Proposal on Property Situated at Upland Lane in the Town of Cortlandt
Karen Jescavage-Bernard, president of the Jane E. Lytle Memorial Arboretum, was present.

Chairman Kehoe said that in his role as Deputy Planning Director for the Town of Cortlandt he must recuse himself from the review of this application. Mr. Luntz will act as chairperson.  Chairman Kehoe noted that the Village is not an Involved Agency; however, the proposed subdivision in the Town of Cortlandt borders very near the Village line and has impacts on the Arboretum property. Chairman Kehoe noted further that the Town has issued a Positive Declaration and is requiring the submission of a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS).  A Scoping Document has been prepared. Chairman Kehoe said that this subdivision application has been referred to the Village as an Interested Agency.  Chairman Kehoe said that the Village Board has referred this application to the Planning Board. The Village Board is asking the Planning Board to review the Scoping Document and provide comments.

Karen Jescavage-Bernard came forward and said that she is present tonight on behalf of the Jane E. Lytle Memorial Arboretum.  Ms. Jescavage-Bernard said that the subject property in the Town of Cortlandt is not immediately adjacent to the Village; however, the proposed subdivision has major impacts on the Arboretum property.  Ms. Jescavage-Bernard noted to the Planning Board that while the Village is not an Involved Agency, the Village’s comments can have a marked impact.  

Ms. Jescavage-Bernard noted to the board members that the Arboretum has been involved with the Upland Estates subdivision application since 2007.  She has prepared on behalf of the Arboretum a letter to the Planning Board dated September 28, 2010. Ms. Jescavage-Bernard said that she would like to read aloud tonight this letter.

Ms. Jescavage-Bernard read the Project Description, which states that the Upland Estates (UE) subdivision would consist of six lots for single-family homes.  The concern of the Arboretum is the impacts on the central wetland and the plants and animals that it supports.  The three issues of concern to the Arboretum are:

  • the lack of site-specific information in UE’s plan
  • impacts on water quantity due to removal of the existing forest cover
  • impacts on water quality, quantity and seasonal flows into the Arboretum wetland due to UE’s stormwater management system
Ms. Jescavage-Bernard read the detailed description/explanation of the Arboretum’s aforementioned three issues of concern.  

Ms. Jescavage-Bernard read aloud the Project status in which it is noted that the Scoping Session at the Town on this subdivision application is scheduled for Tuesday, October 5th.  

Ms. Jescavage-Bernard read aloud Croton’s response in which she notes that the Village, as opposed to the Arboretum, owns the Arboretum property; as a result, the response to the Town on this six-lot subdivision proposal “falls to the Village.” The letter goes on to say that the Arboretum would urge the Planning Board to “stress the importance of requiring site-specific studies, preconstruction measurement of water resources, guarantees of restoring the pre-construction water regimen, and adequate responses, in writing, to issues raised by the village’s engineer, by our organization, and by the credentialed professionals hired by UE’s neighbors and the Arboretum.”  Ms. Jescavage-Bernard said that she would hope that the Planning Board would prepare a response to the Town of Cortlandt Planning Board covering the above-mentioned issues.

Ms. Jescavage-Bernard said that it is the Arboretum’s hope that further reports by consultants on various aspects of the subdivision will be required.

Mr. Kauderer noted that there was mention in Ms. Jescavage-Bernard’s letter about a stream flowing through the Con Ed property. He asked where the stream is located, to which Ms. Allen said that this stream is underground.  

Mr. Kauderer asked where the six houses would be situated on the site, to which Ms. Jescavage-Bernard said that they would be “pretty much spread around.”  

Mr. Kauderer said that he had heard that a subdivision cannot be built on a private road, to which Chairman Kehoe answered that, “They have a right to use Upland Lane for access to the development.”

The Village Engineer said that what is before the Planning Board tonight is a request for comments on the Scoping Document for the DEIS.  Once the DEIS is prepared, then, comments can be made and incorporated into the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS).  Chairman Kehoe noted that the Village will receive a copy of both of these documents (DEIS and FEIS).  

Mr. Aarons noted that in her letter, Ms. Jescavage-Bernard mentioned keeping stormwater runoff on site.  Mr. Aarons asked how this would be accomplished, to which Ms. Jescavage-Bernard said that, according to the consultants that they have been talking to, there are a number of ways that this could be done. Mr. Luntz said that it sounds contradictory when you say that, “You want the water kept on site but you want water for the Arboretum.”  Ms. Jescavage-Bernard said that the Arboretum would want the Applicant to decrease the amount of the impervious surfaces and to maintain the historically documented stability of the water regimen.  Chairman Kehoe noted that the Town Planning Board has done 2 years of review on this subdivision application.  They were not going to issue a Positive Declaration but have now done so. Chairman Kehoe said that the Town Planning Board had reports done, including a hydrology report.  The neighbors disagreed with the findings and had additional studies done including site-specific studies.  Ms. Jescavage-Bernard said that the Arboretum wants to see the right studies done.  Mr. Kauderer said that the Planning Board could recommend to the Town that the aforementioned water flows be continued into the Arboretum property. The Village Engineer said that if the Planning Board thinks that an item is missing from any of the sections of the Scoping Document, the Planning Board could recommend to the Town Planning Board that the section be modified accordingly.  Chairman Kehoe noted that in her letter, Ms. Jescavage-Bernard said that site-specific soil testing should be done to identify soils rather than relying on generalized County mapping, to which Ms. Jescavage-Bernard said that the Applicant needs to do site-specific testing on each house site.

The Village Engineer suggested that the board members review the Scoping Document, and if the board members have any items that they want incorporated into the Scoping Document, they should let him know. The Planning Board might have a specific recommendation to make pertaining to the Arboretum.  They might want to request that the Scoping Document be modified to deal with issues related to the Arboretum.

Ms. Jescavage-Bernard said that she has attached to her letter a sheet, which contains a list of the consultants for the Applicant, the consultants for the Town and the consultants for the neighbors and Arboretum.  This sheet also contains a list of the consultants’ reports, which she thinks would be helpful in preparing the Village’s response to the Town.  The Village Engineer noted to the Planning Board that the Village is not involved with the decision-making process for this subdivision application.  At this point, the Scoping Document is being reviewed.  Chairman Kehoe noted that the Applicant has crossed out six pages of the scope already, to which Ms. Jescavage-Bernard said that, “We are planning to get the parts that are appropriate back in.”  Mr. Kauderer said that he would like to see the letter that is going to be sent out.  Chairman Kehoe said that the public hearing on the Scoping Document is being held on Friday, October 15th.  Mr. Kauderer said that he, personally, feels that he has not had enough time to think about this, and he has not seen the letter, to which Ms. Jescavage-Bernard suggested that the Planning Board could ask the Town Planning Board to adjourn the hearing until the Planning Board has had the time to review the scope.   
 
  • APPROVAL OF MINUTES:
Approval of the minutes of the Tuesday, September 14, 2010 Planning Board meeting was tabled until the next meeting to be held on Tuesday, October 12, 2010.
 
  • ADJOURNMENT:
There being no further business to come before the board, the meeting was duly adjourned at 12:05 A.M.

Sincerely,



Sylvia Mills
Secretary


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