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Board of Trustees Minutes 03-01-04

A Regular Meeting of the Board of Trustees of the Village of Croton-on-Hudson, NY was held on Monday, March 1,2004 at the Municipal Building, Van Wyck Street, Croton-on-Hudson, NY 10520.

The following officials were present:
Mayor Elliott                   Trustee Grant
Trustee Schmidt         Trustee Wiegman
Attorney Waldman                Trustee McCarthy
Manager Herbek          Treasurer Reardon


Mayor Elliott called the meeting to order at 8:03-pm.  Everyone joined in the Pledge of Allegiance.
On a motion by Trustee Grant, seconded by Trustee Schmidt the vouchers  were approved unanimously as follows, subject to review by the Audit Committee

General Fund            $ 34,490.21
Water Fund                   1,535.72
Capital Fund                  15,723.03
Trust & Agency       4,317.50
Total                           $  56,066.46

a. Local Law Introductory No. 1 of 2004, extending the Year 2003 Interim Development Moratorium Law for the Proposed Gateway Districts.

Discussion: Manager Herbek described the purpose of the law and gave its background.  The Gateway Overlay Districts were recommended as part of the 2003 Comprehensive Plan. The existing temporary moratorium was put in place to enable the Gateway Law to be processed without development occurring that would compromise it before it is in place.  A DGEIS and FGEIS have been developed and adopted, but there a few steps left – SEQRA Findings and final approval.  This extension of the 2003 moratorium is for another 3 months in the proposed Gateway Districts. He covered the law’s applicability and its scope of controls and duration.  Mayor Elliott opened the Public Hearing.  As nobody wished to speak, he closed the hearing. On a motion be Trustee Wiegman, seconded by Trustee Schmidt, the following Local Law was approved on a vote of 4-0-1 with Trustee McCarthy not voting.  Upon approval, the law became Local Law No. 2 of 2004.

Local Law Filing                                                                     41 STATE STREET, ALBANY, NY 12231

        Village of Croton-on-Hudson

        Local Law  No. 2  of the year 2004

A local law extending the Year 2003 Interim Development Moratorium Law for 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 adopted a Comprehensive Plan in January 2003.  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 that is consistent with the Comprehensive Plan and to create Gateway Overlay Districts in three areas of the Village.

B.      Legislative Intent.  Local Law No. 1 of 2003, adopted on September 2, 2003, established a temporary moratorium on certain building and development in the proposed gateway districts of the Village of Croton on Hudson.  The purpose of this moratorium law was to “protect the public interest and welfare and prevent premature land development which could prejudice the integrity and objectives of land use patterns inconsistent with and in violation of the intent of said possible changes in the zoning ordinance.  This law, in effect six months from its adoption date, will terminate on March 2, 2004.  Over the past six months, the Village Board has adopted a draft generic impact statement (DGEIS), and has held a public hearing on the DGEIS and the proposed Gateway Overlay District law.  The Village Board intends to approve a Final Generic Environmental Impact Statement and adopt a Statement of Findings before adopting the Gateway Overlay District Law.

C.      Legislative Findings.  The Village of Croton-on-Hudson does hereby find, pending the completion of the State Environmental Quality Review (SEQR) incident to proper consideration of the Village Gateway Overlay District Law, 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 extend the existing moratorium on the issuance of permits and approvals within the areas that are proposed to be rezoned to Gateway Districts for another three months.  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 three (3) months from its effective date, or if the proposed Gateway District law is adopted sooner than the completion of the three-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.

a-1. Gerald Klein, representing Croton-Colonial Diner, request for rezoning premises from RA-5 to C-1.  The proposed rezoning would allow for the expansion of the diner and its parking area.

Discussion:   Manager Herbek read the letter from Mr. Klein requesting the rezoning which enclosed a petition signed by 522 people.  Recognizing that there were many in the audience from Hudson Street, Mayor Elliott allowed comment at this point in the evening.  Mr. Klein stated that this application is for the purpose of permitting accommodations for handicapped accessibility – bathrooms, ramp, etc. There is no plan to include additional tables and there would be about 5 additional parking spaces.  Car access is not decided upon at this time. They are asking to rezone one of the 2 lots Mr. Tsagarakis owns.  They are willing to make improvements and add screening to benefit neighbors. The entrance to the diner would be on the Duck Pond side of the diner and eliminate the existing vestibule. This would improve the sight distance along 129/9A. He sent over 500 names on a petition and he has more than 500 additional signatures which he will provide.

a-2. Residents of Hudson Street, re: Croton-Colonial Diner request for rezoning. Residents cite safety, existing dilapidated house, and history in their argument against this proposal.

Discussion: Suzanne Lewis, 9 Hudson St.   Ms. Lewis brought pictures of what her neighborhood looks like from different viewpoints which she provided to the Trustees.  This proposal is against the recent Comprehensive Plan which was adopted only a year ago; it was asked for by the Village Board.  A similar recommendation was   also in the 1977 Master Plan.  There was much public input on these recommendations.  Mr. Tsagarakis could have provided input at any one of these sessions.  The Plan that was adopted by the Village recommended against further rezoning of properties to Commercial.  If the Village Board believed in what they were adopting, why waste Mr. Tsagarakis’s time in further consideration of this proposal.  In researching this application, she found that at one point the Diner was in the Gateway but no longer is – why?  Regarding the petition, how many of the 522 petition signers  are Croton residents?  Only 3 Hudson/Elm St neighbors received letters from Mr. Tsagarakis, not the outreach that Mr. Klein referred to. There are other ways to achieve handicapped accessibility than a ramp – a lift, for instance.  Regarding the condition of the houses he owns – neither are being kept up; aren’t there laws that require this?

Cassandra Hooper – 7 Hudson St.  She is trying to protect the investment in her new home; she doesn’t have a lawyer. She is looking the Village Board to protect her home and her children’s safety and her investment.  This owner (Mr. Tsagarakis) does not have a history of keeping up a beautiful area – i.e. the back of the diner; the bathrooms in the diner; this owner does not care about keeping up looks. It could be done for the sake of the handicapped as stated but she doesn’t think so.  Please tell her how to protect her street; should she get a lawyer?  Mayor Elliott referred the application to the Planning Board for a recommendation.  
Trustee McCarthy clarified that the Gateway Districts never included the Diner parcel in the Gateway for Municipal Place. Ann Gallelli further clarified that there had been an early draft that had mistakenly shown the Diner parcel as being included but it was corrected in subsequent versions. It was never intended to be part of the Municipal Place Gateway district.

b.      Michael McCormack, NYS Office for Technology, re: Statewide Wireless Network.  The state is considering a state-of-the-art digital trunked land mobile radio system to enable public safety and public service entities to better respond and protect citizens.  

Discussion: Manager Herbek explained the proposal as described in the letter.  The letter itself is for the purpose of saying the NYS Office of Technology is proposing to act as Lead Agency for this project.  Manager Herbek said it may eventually require some connections with the police department.

c.      Bradford Saunders, Sasaki Associates, re: Special Permit Application for Hudson National For a proposed golf practice range.

Discussion: Manager Herbek explained the application that is being made – an amendment to the Hudson National Golf Course special permit for the addition/expansion of a practice hole on recently acquired land.  The letter was accompanied by copies of the proposal.  Trustee McCarthy commented that water use is a real issue for her in this application; she hopes the Village Board will take a hard line on water use.  The golf course should not be allowed one drop of water in excess of their current use and find a way to get them off the Village water supply.  Mayor Elliott referred the matter to the Planning Board for a recommendation.

d.      Virginia Bacon, Brook Street, re: garbage on Brook Street.  Ms. Bacon requests that the Village require home owners on the street to clean up garbage that is strewn around.


Susan Konig  37 Elmore. Ms. Konig brought in a wooden palette she said was from 9A.  She said this was very dangerous and that is all she has to say.


a.      Calling for Public Hearing to consider Local Law Introductory No. 3 of 2004, amending the provisions of the Noise Law.

Discussion: The proposal to call a Public Hearing was moved by Trustee McCarthy and seconded by Trustee Schmidt. Trustee McCarthy  said others did not embrace this proposed change but she feels this goes to a quality of life issue.  She is proposing a measured step.  A resident she spoke to – not Joanne Minett- said she did not go far enough in this proposal. There is no reason for these commercial properties to move snow around at 2 o’clock in the morning. The motion failed on a 2-3-0 vote with Trustees Wiegman, Grant and Mayor Elliott voting no.

b.      Authorizing Village Manager to sign retainer agreement with Bond, Schoeneck & King, assuming the terms of the previous agreement with Rains & Pogrebin.

        On motion of TRUSTEE McCarthy, 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 of Croton on Hudson presently retains the law firm of Rains & Pogrebin, P.C. (“R&P”) as special labor counsel pursuant to the terms of a written retainer; and

WHEREAS, the Village of Croton on Hudson has been notified that effective February 29, 2004, R&P will dissolve and will cease to perform legal services,

NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED: that the rights and obligations of R&P under the retainer agreement presently in effect shall be assigned to and assumed by the law firm of Bond, Schoeneck & King, PLLC (BS&K) effective March 1, 2004 through its expiration.  All of the Village’s files presently in the possession of R&P shall be transferred to BS&K at that time.
AND BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED:  that the Village of Croton on Hudson authorizes the Village Manager to execute those documents necessary to effectuate the transfer of the terms of the retainer with R&P and their files to the firm of BS&K.

Discussion: Manager Herbek explained that the Village’s relationship with Rains & Pogrebin is really with two people; it goes back over 24 years.  Rains & Pogrebin is breaking up and these two people are joining Bond, Schoeneck and King (BSK) and this would keep the relationship going into the future.  This is important in terms of on-going labor negotiations and several grievances that are currently under discussion. Attorney Waldman explained that Rains & Pogrebin split and about half are going to BSK. Trustee McCarthy said BSK is an excellent firm and she thinks this is good news for the Village.  

c.      Authorizing Village Manager to accept proposal from Chazen Environmental Services for a hydrogeologic assessment of the Village’s well field.

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

WHEREAS, in a letter dated September 5, 2003, the Westchester County Health Department informed the Village that it must undertake a Hydrogeologic Assessment in order to determine if our water supply is under the influence of surface water; and

WHEREAS, on January 6, 2004 the Village sent request for proposals to 12 engineering firms for a hydrogeologic assessment of the well field; and

WHEREAS, four proposals were received of which Chazen Environmental Services submitted the proposal with the lowest cost; and

WHEREAS, The Village Engineer and the Water Foreman recommend that the Village accept Chazen Environmental Services proposal,

NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED:  that the Village Manager is hereby authorized to accept the proposal from Chazen Environmental Services at a cost of $19,100,
AND BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED:  that this amount be charged to the Water Fund account # 8320-400.

Discussion:  The cost is $19,100  Trustee Grant noted that this study is only being undertaken because Westchester County is requesting this from all municipalities in certain situations and we are not being singled out.

On a motion by Trustee Grant, seconded by Trustee Schmidt, the minutes of the Meeting of February 17,2004 were  approved as amended by a unanimous vote

Manager Herbek:  He and Treasurer Reardon are actively working on the Village Budget which will be filed on March 20 or the day before, in accordance with NYS Village Law.  The following Monday, the 22nd, will be a work session with an overview of the budget.  Also that night there will be a presentation by Lou Munz, who has been working on the parking lot landscaping project. It will be paid for by grant money that was previously granted and has now been now received.  There will be a presentation on the extension of the trail through Croton Landing – a project that is fully funded by the County. The Village Election is on March 16th.  Peggy Keesler is coordinating it and it always a lot of work; she does an excellent job every year.  This year at 9 pm on Election Day, they will start broadcasting on the government access channel at 9 pm.  Kathleen Riedy will help with interviewing candidates and others for television viewers. The election generally ends about 9:30 or 9:45 with the announcement of the results.

Trustee Wiegman:  Governor Pataki is proposing to reduce welfare benefits which will affect many families.  Trustee Wiegman wants to ask that the minimum wage be raised upwards so that people who do leave welfare can earn more than in the low two hundreds/ week as it is now.  He would like it to be raised by $2/hour.  He is writing to Senator Liebell to urge this increase and urges others to do so.  Trustee McCarthy asked if the minimum wage is set by federal law. Attorney Waldman stated that some kinds of jobs are not subject to the federal law (intrastate commerce).. States are allowed to set their own internal minimum wage.  Those jobs subject to interstate commerce would not fall under this.

Trustee Schmidt:  The League of Women Voters debate is this Thursday at 7:30 and will be videotaped and broadcast live.

Trustee Grant: She has not gotten a report on the decibels at the railroad station. On the condition of the bus stop on Maple St. and 129, the Board got a letter from the County saying they must approve any construction at the site.  The monthly police report the Trustees receive shows 68 vehicle stoppings; she will try to find out if they were speeding tickets or not. This is a high number, in her opinion, for the month of January.  Trustee Schmidt said there is better police enforcement in the village. He recommends using unmarked cars. Trustee Grant said she got an email from a pen pal in England saying he had found our pictures on our website and thought Croton looked like it was great place to live.

Mayor Elliott:  He asked for a motion to go into Executive Session for a matter of litigation. It was moved by Trustee Wiegman, seconded by Trustee Schmidt and passes unanimously.   The Village Board moved into Manager Herbek’s office for the Executive Session at 8:57PM

The Executive Session focused on the Millennium Pipeline appeal of the Dept. of Commerce ruling and what the Village’s participation in supporting the USDOC decision should be.   A motion was made by Trustee Wiegman, seconded by Trustee Schmidt, and passed unanimously as follows:

To authorize the Village Manager to notify the Village of Briarcliff Manor and the Town of Cortlandt that the Village of Croton-on-Hudson is going ahead with Kirkland & Ellis to prepare and file an intervenors’ brief on the assumption that these two municipalities would stay with their decision of the previous week to join in. The Village of Croton reserves the right to abrogate this commitment if the other communities back out of their prior agreement.  A maximum expenditure of $35,000 is allocated as the Village’s part in the preparation of this brief.

The Executive Session ended at 9:20 p.m.

Respectfully submitted
Ann H. Gallelli, Secretary

Village Clerk