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Board of Trustees Minutes 09 02 2003
A Regular Meeting of the Board of Trustees of the Village of Croton-on-Hudson, NY was held on Tuesday, September 2, 2003 at the Municipal Building, Van Wyck Street, Croton-on-Hudson, NY 10520.

The following officials were present:

        Mayor Elliott                           Trustee Grant
Village Manager Herbek          Trustee McCarthy
        Treasurer Reardon                       Trustee Wiegman
        Village Attorney Waldman                Trustee Schmidt

Mayor Elliott called the meeting to order at 8:00 p.m.  Everyone joined in the Pledge of Allegiance.


Trustee Grant made a motion to approve the vouchers as follows, subject to review by the Audit Committee.  The motion was seconded by Trustee Schmidt and approved unanimously.

                General Fund                    $ 40,389.96
                Water Fund      6,934.67                                        
                Capital Accounts        24,766.55
        Trust & Agency          829.00          
                        $ 72,920.18


a)      To consider Local Law Introductory #1 of 2003, amending the Special Hardship Permit Provisions of the Steep Slopes Law.  Mayor Elliott closed the Public Hearing with no comments offered.  

        On motion of TRUSTEE Wiegman, seconded by TRUSTEE Schmidt, the following resolution was adopted unanimously by the Board of Trustees of the Village of Croton-on-Hudson, New York:

WHEREAS, the Village Board of Trustees is considering amending the Steep Slopes Law; and
WHEREAS, this Village Attorney has drafted Local Law Introductory No. 1 of 2003, a local law to Amend the Special Hardship Permit Provisions of the Steep Slopes Law; and
WHEREAS, this matter has been referred to the Village Planning Board and the Westchester County Planning Board; and
WHEREAS, this matter was discussed at a Public Hearing held on August 20, 2003 an again at a work session held on August 28, 2003;
WHEREAS, based on these discussions, further revisions to the law have been made which will require a new public hearing,

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED: that the Village Board of Trustees hereby calls for a Public Hearing on October 7, 2003 at 8 pm at the Stanley H. Kellerhouse Municipal Building to consider Local Law Introductory No. 1 of 2003.

Notes:  Trustee McCarthy requested that on page 1, sub paragraph 2, in the law, the word “significant” be changed to “material” as a much better word.  Village Attorney Waldman replied that he would prefer significant; the consensus was to wait until the Public Hearing is opened and revisit the wording.

Mayor Elliott reopened the Public Hearing to consider Local Law Introductory #2 of 2003, establishing an interim development moratorium in the proposed gateway districts within the Village.

1)      Maria Cudequest, 84 Grand St., asked Village Attorney Waldman to explain why now for this moratorium?  Attorney Waldman replied that there is a significant new piece of legislation pending now, the Gateway Law and the relevant sections of the Zoning Code do not have any of the provisions that the Gateway Law contemplates; it would be possible for someone to apply now and seek to have an application processed that would be impacted by the Gateway Law, this preserves the status quo for now.

 Mayor Elliot closed the Public Hearing.  Trustee Wiegman made a motion to enact this Local Law- seconded by Trustee Schmidt.  Vote was taken with Trustees Wiegman, Schmidt, Grant and Mayor Elliott voting “aye”; Trustee McCarthy, “abstain”.
Local Law Filing                         41 STATE STREET, ALBANY, NY 12231

        Village of Croton-on-Hudson

        Local Law No. 1  of the year 2003

A local law  Law known and cited as the Interim Development Moratorium in the Proposed Gateway Districts within the Village of Croton-on-Hudson.

Be it enacted by the Board of Trustees of the

Village of Croton-on-Hudson as follows:

SECTION 1.  Purpose and Intent.

A.      Background. The Village of Croton-on-Hudson recently adopted a Comprehensive Plan. The Plan recommended the creation of Gateway Overlay Districts in certain key areas of the village. The Village Board has determined to amend the existing zoning ordinance, with a proposed Gateway Overlay District (dated July 21, 2003) that is consistent with the Comprehensive Plan and to create Gateway Overlay Districts in three areas of the village.

B.      Legislative Intent.  Pursuant to authority duly vested in it, to preserve its intended objectives and insure future possible implementation of new regulations it may deem necessary, the Village Board hereby adopts reasonable protective interim regulations during prospective changes in the zoning ordinance. The Village Board intends to protect the public interest and welfare and prevent premature land development which could prejudice the integrity and objectives of the 2003 Comprehensive Plan and which could result in the establishment of land use patterns inconsistent with and in violation of the intent of said possible changes in the zoning ordinance. The Village Board has provided a relief procedure herein to avoid or minimize any inequities or hardships which may derive from the strict applications of these regulations. During the moratorium, the Village shall be actively engaged in the development of the new regulations to better guide Croton-on-Hudson’s growth and development.

C.      Legislative Findings. The Village of Croton-on-Hudson does hereby find, pending the completion of the necessary studies, meetings, hearings, other actions, and State Environmental Quality Review (SEQR) incident to proper consideration and decisions upon possible amendments and revisions of the Village zoning ordinance and to reflect such planning as has been indicated above, that appropriate measures must be taken to secure a reasonable interim period to protect the public interest. The Village Board of Trustees finds that it is necessary and appropriate to place a moratorium on the issuance of permits and approvals within the areas that are proposed to be rezoned to Gateway Districts. Without a moratorium, the Village could be faced with further activities in the proposed Gateway District. This would prevent the Village from exercising its responsibility to fully address all issues related to the proposed rezoning and its impacts.

D.      Description of Parcels to be Rezoned to Gateway Overlay District and Supporting Maps.  This Local Law has the following attachments:
a.      Zoning Overlays. This is a list of the parcels, with tax parcel identification numbers, that comprise the three Gateway Overlay Districts. The three districts are known as 1) South Riverside/Harmon Zoning District, 2) Municipal Place Zoning District, and 3) North End Zoning District.
b.       Supporting Maps. This is a set of ten maps that show: 1) all three Gateway Districts, 2) South Riverside/Harmon Tax Blocks and Lots, 3) South Riverside Gateway District Land Uses, 4) South Riverside Gateway District Zoning Map, 5) Municipal Place Tax Blocks and Lots, 6) Municipal Place Gateway District Land Uses, 7) Municipal Place Gateway District Zoning Map, 8) North End Gateway District Tax Blocks and Lots, 9) North End Gateway District Land Uses, and 10) North End Gateway District Zoning Map.

SECTION 2.  Applicability.  This Local Law shall apply for an interim period to all properties located within the Village of Croton-on-Hudson, which are located in the areas proposed to be rezoned to Gateway District.

SECTION 3.  Scope of Controls.  During the effective period of this Local Law:

A.      With the exemptions noted below, no board shall grant preliminary or final approval to a subdivision plat, or grant preliminary or final approval of a site plan, or grant any special permit, or consider formally any application on any parcel of property regardless of the fact that such plat or plan has been submitted prior to the effective date of this Local Law in the affected area shown in Figures 2 and 3. However, nothing in this Local Law shall preclude an applicant from having a maximum of two informal conferences with an appropriate board or agency while this Local Law is in effect.

B.      The following applications shall be exempted from this local law:
a.      Applications for additions or alterations of existing structures, provided the same do not violate existing zoning requirements and provided that such addition adds no more than 20% to the structure’s gross square footage.
b.      Renovations, whether interior or exterior.
c.      Change of use.

SECTION 4.  Term.  
A.      This Local Law shall be in effect for a consecutive period of six (6) months from its effective date, or if the proposed Gateway District law is adopted sooner than the completion of the six-month term, then this Local Law shall no longer be in force.   
B.      This Local Law shall be subject to review and renewal by resolution of the Board of Trustees for an additional period of time, effectively immediately.

SECTION 5.  Penalties.  Any person, firm or corporation that shall construct, erect, enlarge or alter any building or structures in violation of the provisions of this Local Law or shall otherwise violate any of the provisions of this Local Law shall be subject to:

A.      Such penalties as may otherwise be provided by the laws, rules and regulations of the Village of Croton-on-Hudson for violations; and

B.      Injunctive relief in favor of the Village of Croton-on-Hudson to cease any and all such actions which conflict with this Local Law and, if necessary, to remove any construction which may have taken place in violation of this Local Law.

SECTION 6.  Validity.  The invalidity of any provision of this Local Law shall not affect the validity of any other portion of this Local Law which can be given effect without such invalid provision.

SECTION 7.  Superseding Other Laws.

A.      All laws, ordinances, rules and regulations or parts thereof of the Village of Croton-on-Hudson in conflict with the provisions of this Local Law are hereby repealed to the extent necessary to give this Local Law full force and effect during the effective period.

B.      During the duration of time that this law is in effect, this Local Law shall modify and supersede, with respect to the properties covered by this Local Law and, for the term of this Local Law, inconsistent provisions of the Village Zoning Code and provisions of N.Y. Village Law, Article 7, including but not limited to sections 7-712 (variances), 7-725-a (site plan review); 7-725-b (approval of special use permits); 7-728 (subdivision review; approval of plats; development of filed plats); 7-730 (subdivision review; approval of plats; additional requisites); 7-736 (construction of municipal utility in streets; permits for erection of buildings; appeal; review by court); and 7-738 (subdivision review; approval of cluster development).

SECTION 8. No Default Approval. Notwithstanding any provision of Village Law to the contrary, and based upon the superseding of Village Law § 7-728, during the period that this local law, or any extension thereof, is in effect, the failure of the Planning Board to take action upon any application for approval of a preliminary or final subdivision plat application shall not be deemed an approval of such application and the Village Clerk shall not issue a certificate of approval thereof.

SECTION 9.  Hardship and Relief.

A.      Availability of Relief. Should any owner of property located in the areas that are proposed to be rezoned to Gateway District (see Figures 2 and 3) affected by this Local Law suffer an unnecessary hardship in the way of carrying out the strict letter of this Local Law, then the owner of said property may apply to the Village Board of Trustees, in writing, for a variation from strict compliance with this Local Law upon submission of proof of such unnecessary hardship.  For the purposes of this Local Law, unnecessary hardship shall not be the mere delay in being permitted to make an application for a variance, special permit, site plan or subdivision during the term of this Local Law.

B.      Procedure.  Upon submission of a written application to the Village Clerk by the property owner seeking a variation of this Local Law, the Village Board of Trustees shall, within thirty (30) days of receipt of said application, schedule a public hearing on said application upon five (5) days written notice in the official newspaper of the Village.  At said public hearing, the property owner and any other parties wishing to present evidence with regard to the application shall have an opportunity to be heard, and the Village Board of Trustees shall, within thirty (30) days of the close of said public hearing, render its decision either granting or denying the application for a variation from the strict requirements of this Local Law.  If the Village Board of Trustees determines that a property owner will suffer an unnecessary hardship if this Local Law is strictly applied to a particular property, then the Village Board of Trustees shall vary the application of this Local Law to the minimum extent necessary to provide the property owner relief from strict compliance with this Local Law.

C.      Any party aggrieved by the determination of the Village Board of Trustees on an application for a variation from the strict compliance with this Local Law may appeal said decision to the Supreme Court, State of New York, Westchester County, pursuant to Article 78 of the Civil Practice Law and Rules within thirty (30) days of the filing of said decision in the Office of the Village Clerk.

SECTION 10.  Effective Date.  This Local Law shall take effect immediately, as provided by law and upon filing in the office of the Secretary of State,



A.      South Riverside/Harmon Zoning District. The following parcels having the following Village tax map designations hereby comprise the South Riverside/Harmon Zoning District.


B.      Municipal Place. The following parcels having the following Village tax map designations hereby comprise the Municipal Place Zoning District.


C.      North End. The following parcels having the following Village tax map designations hereby comprise the North End Zoning District.


Following this page is a set of ten maps that show:

1) All three Gateway Districts,
2) South Riverside/Harmon Tax Blocks and Lots,
3) South Riverside Gateway District Land Uses,
4) South Riverside Gateway District Zoning Map,
5) Municipal Place Tax Blocks and Lots,
6) Municipal Place Gateway District Land Uses,
7) Municipal Place Gateway District Zoning Map,
8) North End Gateway District Tax Blocks and Lots,
9) North End Gateway District Land Uses, and
10) North End Gateway District Zoning Map.


Village Manager Herbek read the following correspondence (full text available at the Village Office):
a)      A letter from Walter S. Gillis, Director, Harry Chapin Memorial Run Against Hunger requesting permission to hold their 23rd Annual event.  Trustee Schmidt made a motion to approve, with the usual caveats; Trustee McCarthy seconded the motion; approved unanimously.
b)      A letter from Jon Goplerud, Chair, Conservation Advisory Council, asking for Board approval to do a second beautification project this fall, continuing the daffodil planting started last year in remembrance of 9/11, on Saturday, October 18th between 9 am and noon.  All members of the Board approved the project.
c)      A report from Hudsonia, regarding the Croton Bay Railroad Tie Removal: Waterbird Surveys 2000-2002.   Village Manager Herbek stated that this is the updated Croton Bay railroad tie removal project; a $50,000 grant was received several years ago; this is 3 years worth of survey work; they would like to undertake one additional year with the completion of the survey next year; this study is on file in the Village office and a copy can be made available.  Trustee Grant added that it is interesting to note the number of different birds identified in the survey.

a)      Maria Cudequest, 84 Grand St., asked that the Hudsonia Study be put on the web site.  Ms. Cudequest stated that the Village cannot use the content of the 2nd Mack report on the appeal; must go with what we have & hope it is enough; briefs are due 9/16.  She asked if once the briefs are filed, will a copy be placed on Village web site.  Mayor Elliott replied that he would ask counsel.   Ms. Cudequest stated that she reviewed the Deal Acquisition Profile and quoted from the document; she shared additional information regarding funds given to Mr. Hickey & Mr. Appalonio.  Ms. Cudequest asked the Board 2 questions: separate and apart from any meeting with Mr. Mack as a Board and as one body, has any member of the Board or the administration been deposed or interviewed by Mr. Mack or any member of his staff at any time? The reply was that no one was.  She also asked: separate and apart from any meeting with Mr. Mack as a Board and as one body, has any member of the Board or Administration met with Mr. Mack or any member of his staff? Village Attorney Waldman replied that he has had numerous telephone conversations with Mr. Mack and has reported them.  Village Manager Herbek stated that he met with Mr. Mack early on several years ago and supplied Village records requested; he also met with Mr. Mack and his investigator to go through the files they had.  Mayor Elliott replied that no one else has had a meeting.

Bob Wintermeir, 43 Radner, commented on the new steep slopes legislation; he thanked the Board for additional time to study the proposed legislation; he added that the Village has a problem with steep slopes, especially mud, erosion, streams and property decay; the steep slopes law should be strict & strictly enforced to avoid these types of problems; the costs & bond requirements are good, but they are missing a time frame for holding that bond; there should also be minimum and maximum amounts specified; this is open to capricious interpretation; wider interpretation of hardship;  who on this Board is pushing for this new open legislation and what problems are they trying to repair or fix.   He questioned if the Village will be exposed to lawsuits because of the capricious nature of the legislation.  Village Attorney Waldman replied that he thinks there is nothing capricious in this legislation; there are remedies in the court; all lots are unique and there is an infinite variety of construction that can be placed on land; the amount of the bond must be reasonable in each case.  Mr. Wintermeir stated that there should be guidelines for bond amounts.   Trustee McCarthy stated that performance bonds have a standard with multiples of the cost of construction.   Trustee Wiegman read from the portion of the legislation explaining bond requirements and there was discussion about interpretation of the law.   Mayor Elliott added that they have just posted this legislation, it is the first time the Board has seen it and this can be discussed further at the Public Hearing.  Trustee McCarthy stated that there should be a full scale evaluation of this law; the Village should pass a moratorium and then decide what this law should reflect; this is far more serious than the gateway district; she feels that the Board is taking a serious misstep here by amending this legislation; why open the door to more applicants; she asked for certain parameters in this legislation; expert guidance is needed on this; there doesn’t seem to be a feeling among the majority to follow that path.  Trustee Grant stated that when dealing with absolutes, there will always be exceptions that will be unique; all things needs to be factored in when dealing with absolutes that Trustee McCarthy is asking for.  Trustee McCarthy stated that this is about setting thresholds; don’t know what the parameters are.  Trustee Wiegman stated that the law has parameters; there are pieces of legislation that the Village has committed to; get through the Comprehensive Plan and the Gateway then address this issue; in the meantime, remove the anomaly in the current law; it does not take it off the table by revisiting the Steep Slopes Law in near future.  Trustee McCarthy replied that she doesn’t know why they should ease the restrictions in the law and then acknowledge that there is more work to be done on the law.   Trustee Grant stated that they should be cognizant that the single homeowner will be affected and should be allowed to come before the Board with an application and should be heard.  Trustee Schmidt stated that the basic tenant is that everyone has the right to be heard and has the right to come before board-if even to be denied; he is in agreement to ease that restriction, but not in agreement to ease the general part of the law; it has to be strengthened and have restrictions on it.  

Don Daubney, 45 Bungalow Rd., stated that the deck is never clear from his experience; he feels the Village should get an arborist to look at existing steep slopes; he has a fear of a large tree falling on the playground; should take the time to go through the Village with an expert to determine if there are dangerous situations and have these trees removed; if on private property, owners would have to be notified.  Mr. Daubney as how much the railroad tie study cost the Village.  Village Manager Herbek replied that the total cost was to be $100,000 and the Village put up $30,000 plus $20,000 of in-kind services; he doesn’t believe they have fully expended the 30,000 which is in the budget.  Village Treasurer Reardon stated that they are not over budget; there are additional funds left.  Mr. Daubney added that regarding the Lions Club trailer, it housed Health & Welfare equipment; they have had approx 180 clients borrow equipment since the 1st of this year; it provides an important service to the Village and it assists health insurance costs; the new trailer was re-painted; he and his wife plant and maintain the plantings, making it attractive to skateboard park users; there is just construction debris on other side; this site was an eyesore 10 years ago; storing there saves the Village money.  He added that the skateboard park does not get heavy use any more; he goes there several times a week and there are generally fewer than 6 kids there; he would like to see what the annual report is.  Mr. Daubney stated that the 2nd Mack report makes it evident that the Village dealt with people who involved themselves in criminal activity; they now have to deal with Mr. Steinmetz who had to know the real situation; the Village should use a lot of caution in dealing with him & his kind in the future. Mayor Elliott stated that the playgrounds are regularly inspected for any types of risk.  

Maria Cudequest stated that in respect to bonds and her experience with a builder putting in sidewalks which fell apart, the performance bond had been released; more diligence should be given to bonds being held for a longer time.  Ms. Cudequest asked if there are any steep slopes in Gateway areas.  Trustee Schmidt replied that there are.  Ms. Cudequest stated that she is concerned that they would be amending the law when some of the plots are in steep slopes.  
Ann Gallelli stated that steep slopes apply differently for commercial zoning.  Village Attorney Waldman stated that the amendments deal with residential only.

Kurt Carlson 231 Hessian Hill Rd., suggested that the Village issue stickers for residents who need to get in and out of their houses without driving up the wrong side of the road; something needs to be formalized.  Mayor Elliott replied that the Temple has recognized the situation and is trying to be a good neighbor; Village Manager Herbek, the Police Dept. and the Temple should get together for a solution.  Mr. Carlson replied that this needs to be addressed so residents can get home; who is liable if an emergency vehicle cannot get up the road?  Village Manager Herbek replied that the Temple is busing people in and out, but this is not addressing this specific problem.   Trustee Schmidt suggested allowing just a certain number of cars to back up and when they get to the intersection, they must be told to drive on and cannot be allowed to idle.


Trustee Grant made a motion to approve the minutes of the Regular Board Meeting held on August 20, 2003 as corrected.  Trustee McCarthy seconded the motion.  The Board voted approval with one abstention.


Village Manager Herbek reported there will be a work session on September 7th at 7 pm in the Village office and read the items on the agenda.  

Trustee Wiegman reminded that school starts tomorrow, please drive carefully.  Trustee Wiegman reported that there will be an energy expo. September 12 and 13th at Bear Mt.; the topic is “recharge” and is sponsored by the Pace Energy Project & NYSERTA; more information is available at .  Trustee Wiegman noted that the last Saturday of September is National Estuary Day; more information can be viewed at 

Trustee McCarthy issued a reminder to drive carefully and pay special attention to students who are walking-school opens tomorrow.

Trustee Schmidt reported that the school is asking everyone to cooperate; construction is taking place on school property; please be careful around schools because of these problems which will be ongoing for a while.

Trustee Grant added that the school year is all important.  She reported that at the Planning Board meeting, Zeytuna came in with plans which are very exciting; they are hoping to be in by the holiday.

Mayor Elliott reported that he has introduced Zeytuna management to local dairies & growers and they will be carrying local produce also.  He added that he will not be at the 9/15 meeting.  Mayor Elliott announced that Andy Zelman has resigned from the Planning Board and thanked Andy for his thoughtful and fruitful service.  Anne Gallelli added that Andy has given the community a lot of years of service and brought a lot of knowledge to the position; he was thoroughly familiar with each application; had useful, insightful questions and suggestions; he was particularly helpful to applicants and will be missed; however, Mr. Zelman will continue as chair of Greenway committee.  Ms. Gallelli thanked Andy on behalf of the Board and the community for all the years of service he has provided to the Planning Board. Trustee Grant stated that the Zelman family have been a big part of the community for many years and are firmly committed to Croton.

Mayor Elliott, with the Board’s approval, appointed Tom Burniston to step in to replace Andy Zelman on the Planning Board.

Trustee Grant made a motion to adjourn.  Trustee Wiegman seconded the motion; approved unanimously.  The meeting was adjourned at 9:30 P.M.

Respectfully submitted,

Phyllis A. Bradbury

Phyllis A. Bradbury, Secretary

Village Clerk/Deputy Clerk