A Regular Meeting of the Board of Trustees of the Village of Croton on Hudson, NY was held on Monday, June 20, 2005 at the Municipal Building, Van Wyck Street, Croton on Hudson, NY 10520
The following officials were present:
1.~~~~~~CALL TO ORDER: Mayor Schmidt called the meeting to order at 8:05 pm. Everyone joined in the Pledge of Allegiance.
2.~~~~~~APPROVAL OF VOUCHERS:
Trustee Wiegman made a motion to approve the vouchers, as follows, subject to review by the Audit Committee. The motion was seconded by Trustee Steinberg and approved unanimously.
A Public Hearing to consider the issuance of an amendment to the Special Use Permit of Skyview Rehabilitation and Health Care Center.
Village Manager Herbek provided an update. The village received a letter dated May 2, 2005 from John Cohen, Architect for Skyview Rehabilitation and Health Care Center, requesting that the Village board grant Skyview an Amended Special Use Permit for the purpose of adding 3 small structures to the existing building; an outdoor, unroofed terrace 10’ x 40’, an entrance canopy (permanent) 10’ x 12’ and an enclosed smoking room 8’ x 17’, replacing a larger temporary enclosure. These additions are deemed helpful and necessary for the convenience and comfort of the residents. The Planning Board reviewed the proposed expansion on May 31, 2005 and determined that the addition would benefit the residents of the facility and will not result in any adverse effects on the building or the sewer and water connections. The Planning Board recommends a favorable decision on the application for an amended special permit. In accordance with the provisions of the Village Zoning Law pertaining to procedures for special permits, a legal notice has been published in our official newspapers. We have also referred this to Westchester County Planning board and they have determined that this is a matter for local determination. We have also sent copies to all of the surrounding neighbors and we received a check for $250 for the processing of a special permit application.
A representative from Skyview discussed the plans.
Mayor Schmidt opened the Public Hearing.
Julia Ciobuca – 8 Crest Street - Worked at Skyview as a physical therapist and thinks the plan is going to improve an already beautiful building with a sensational view. Unfortunately, for the elderly that are disable or limited in their movement, that is the only view they have and is all for the improvements.
Mayor Schmidt closed the public hearing with no further comments forthcoming.
Trustee Wiegman asked what we are amending. Village Manager Herbek explained that when we looked at the provisions of the code relating to special permits it appeared that this met the conditions for requiring special permit approval before the Board of Trustees. Trustee Wiegman asked Engineer O’Connor why this was necessary. Engineer O’Connor discussed this with Attorney Waldman and he determined that the terrace and the new smoking room would be considered a very minor expansion of the use that’s there and under the requirements of the zoning code any expansion of a use would have to come before the board.
On the motion of Trustee Brennan, seconded by Trustee Steinberg, the following resolution was adopted unanimously by the Board of Trustees of the Village of Croton-on-Hudson, New York:
WHEREAS, Skyview Health Care and Rehabilitation Center is interested in building a new outdoor patio and relocating its smoking room; and
WHEREAS, according to the Village Code any expansion requires an amended special permit before an amended site plan can be obtained; and
WHEREAS, John Cohen Architect applied for an amended special permit on behalf of Skyview Health Care and Rehabilitation Center; and
WHEREAS, at the May 16, 2005 Regular Village Board Meeting this matter was referred to the Planning Board for comments; and
WHEREAS, in a memo dated June 1, 2005, the Planning Board recommended approving the application for an amended special permit; and
WHEREAS, a Public Hearing was held on June 20, 2005 to consider this matter,
NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED: that the Village Board of Trustees hereby issues an amended special permit to Skyview Rehabilitation and Health Care Center for the changes outlined by John Cohen in his letter dated May 2, 2005..
Village Manager Herbek read the following correspondence (full text available at the Village Office):
a.~~~~~~Ann Gallelli, Chair, Planning Board, re: Symphony Knoll Lot Lines. Village Manager Herbek stated that since the village currently owns the property the village should be the lead agency. A full Environmental Assessment Form should be filed with the board and a coordinated review with the Planning Board and any other involved or interested agencies should take place prior to the determination of either a positive or negative declaration and that should precede the changing of the lot line. The network has requested an opportunity to meet with the village board at a work session that has been tentatively scheduled for August 8, 2005. Mayor Schmidt asked if the CHN Environmental Assessment Form would be ready by that time. Village Manager Herbek replied that he thought so. Mayor Schmidt also wanted to clarify that the acquisition of the property by the Village is actually a transfer of a $1.
b.~~~~~~Karalyn Lamb, Young Avenue, re: Preservation of River Views. Mayor Schmidt recommended that the Trustees go out and look at it and talk about it further at a work session to see what the issue is.
5.~~~~~~CITIZEN PARTICIPATION – AGENDA ITEMS
Julia Ciobuca & Radu Ilioiu - 8 Crest Street at the corner of Young Avenue – Homeowners of the house that has planted the tree commented that when they purchased the property there were four other trees in the vicinity and, within the years, they were cut down because of old age or illness and nothing was replaced. They requested, instead of four, only one tree to be considerate of their next-door neighbor who has a porch close to theirs and thought it might impede their view. Mrs. Lamb lives in the middle of the block and she doesn’t see how it impedes her view. She did not check with all the neighbors down the street when she requested the tree and put this matter in the hands of the DPW to choose where they would plant this tree. All the residents that they have talked to have not complained with the exception of this one person and would like the board to come and see. Mayor Schmidt said that we are not making any decision tonight and we are going to have to go out and look at and review the code to see what the proper procedures are. They planted the two poplar trees 3-4 years before Ms. Lamb moved in. Mayor Schmidt said that we need to be sensitive to the fact that a lot of people buy their houses in Croton because they have river views and we need to preserve that as best as we can for residents since that is an important part of living in this area. Julia said that Ms. Lamb has a few steps to get in and only if you turn your head 90 degrees can you see a glimpse. Julia asked at whose expense we would have these trees removed to preserve the views. She once had an entire view and could see into Rockland and now there are some trees down the valley that have grown and never thought to inquire to whose property they are on but she is just grateful that those trees are growing. Mayor Schmidt said that they would take a look at it.
Randall Swan – One Crest Street - He lives across the street from Julia and Radu. The view that has been discussed is not a public view. It’s a view of his property and he has always enjoyed that view. They have a neighbor that is writing letters and antagonizing people on the block. It is not her view by right or anybody else’s. He could put up a fence and, therefore, eliminate her view all together. One of her claims was that it reduces her property value which is a false claim. He has worked with the village to remove a few trees from that corner area. Five years ago there was much more obstruction. The village should know that she doesn’t have a right to it but is glad that everyone enjoys it and he cares to leave it open and accessible so that we can take advantage of it. He is not sure what the village code is but the tree that was placed is a mere sapling. In view of those that have been removed on their side, which is the inside of the street property line vs. the three that he has taken on the river side of the property line, the view has been substantially widened over the last five years. Ms. Lamb should know that as public record.
Radu wanted to point out that Mrs. Lamb had made various statements to the police. They don’t want to live in a place where you have to worry. Mayor Schmidt said that they will do their best to quiet this down.
a.~~~~~~Authorizing the Village Manager to dispose of surplus property at his discretion with a report prepared for the Board of Trustees after the vehicles and equipment are disposed of.
On motion of Trustee Wiegman, seconded by Trustee Kane, the following resolution was adopted unanimously by the Board of Trustees of the Village of Croton-on-Hudson, New York:
WHEREAS, the Village from time to time disposes of surplus property such as vehicles and certain types of equipment; and
WHEREAS, in the past each specified item has been declared surplus by action of the Board of Trustees; and
WHEREAS, the Superintendent of Public Works, Lead Automotive Mechanic, and Village Manager have discussed having surplus property designated in a more expeditious manner in order to take advantage of certain auctions and other disposal options in a more timely manner than at Village Board meetings; and
NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED: that the Village Manager is hereby authorized and directed to dispose of surplus property at his discretion with a report prepared for the Board of Trustees after the vehicles and equipment are disposed of.
b. Authorizing Village Board of Trustees to sign the 2004 Sponsor Approval Form for the Volunteer Fire Department Service Award Program.
On motion of Trustee Steinberg, seconded by Trustee Kane, the following resolution was adopted unanimously by the Board of Trustees of the Village of Croton-on-Hudson, New York:
WHEREAS, the Volunteer Fire Department Service Award Program was approved by referendum in 2003; and
WHEREAS, Article 11-A of the New York State General Municipal Law requires that the list of members of the Fire Department indicating those who earned a year of service credit during the calendar year, those that did not earn a year of credit, and those who waived participation must be certified under oath by the Fire Department; ~and
WHEREAS, once certified, this list must be approved by the Village Board,
NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED: that the Village Board of Trustees is hereby authorized to sign the 2004 Sponsor Approval Form
Discussion: Treasurer Zambrano reported that based on the hours reported by the fire department, the actuaries have given an estimate of approximately $60,000 for the contribution for the year ended December 31, 2004. We have budgeted $130,000 so we will have $70,000 out of that money that we can set up in a separate account and then can decide how to proceed. Mayor Schmidt announced that we will discuss how we are going to set aside the excess money. The service award program is a small token gesture to help the firefighters.
b. Authorizing the Mayor to sign the 2004 Sponsor Authorization Form for the Volunteer Fire Department Service Award Program
Discussion: Mayor Schmidt withdrew the resolution from the agenda since the previous resolution has to be posted for 30 days.
7. CITIZEN PARTICIPATION – NON-AGENDA ITEMS
Maria Cudequest – 84 Grand Street – Welcomed the new attorney. Thanked everyone who attended the Metro Enviro oral arguments on June 8 and also thanked the board for arranging to obtain the videotape of these proceedings, which will be available in 2-3 weeks. May 2005 marked the 7th anniversary of the issuance of the permit. Reviewed what the fight has cost the loyal opposition in addition to the legal bills. Croton residents have spent, over $9,000, which is a conservative estimate, for FOIL requests, copies, flyers, supplies and newspaper ads since 1998. We’ve held garage sales, given up dinners out, and traded favors for everything from envelopes to stamps. We took thousands of dollars in lost income. Thanked some of the local businesses that helped anonymously and the hundreds of people who signed their petition, former Trustee McCarthy who spent many a late night poring over documents and helping us all to understand the legalese, Legislators Tom Abinanti and George Oros and the board. Mr. Abinanti and Mr. Oros always listened to our concerns and some of their observations and suggestions were recently incorporated as amendments to the county’s licensing law. All that is left is to await the court’s decision. The Croton Police Blotter shows that at 4:12 on a weekday that a “concerned citizen” telephoned the police department to suggest that the facility was operating past it permitted hours and a car was dispatched. The police department should know that the hours are 9:00-5:00 on weekdays. Is grateful that the police department dispatched a car down to the site but would prefer that they know what the hours are for Metro Enviro. Suggested that they receive a written notice of what the hours are so they don’t waste their time. Weekend hours are 9:00-5:00 and weekends are 8:00-1:00.
8.~~~~~ APPROVAL OF MINUTES: ~June 6, 2005
Trustee Kane made a motion to approve the Regular Board Meeting held on June 17, 2005 as corrected. Trustee Steinberg seconded the motion. The Board voted unanimous approval.
Village Manager Herbek – Updated the board and public on the public service ruling on cable TV franchising. On June 15, 2005 the NY State Public Service Commission (PSC) ruled that Verizon has the authority to deploy its new fiber optic cable in local communities prior to obtaining a cable franchise. The ruling objects Cablevision claim that a franchise must first be obtained before the network can be built. Verizon can now resume construction of its fiber optic cable network but must enter into franchise agreements with individual municipalities before offering cable TV services within their borders. In the few municipalities, Croton on Hudson being one of them, that delayed deployment until the PSC issued its ruling, going forward there is no basis for issuing a stop work order simply because Verizon has not obtained a cable franchise prior to building the network which may at some time have video capability. Verizon will continue to reach out to local officials before deploying its fiber optic network to resolve any community concerns such as the placement of the hub boxes. Contacts will be made in the coming weeks. Village Manager Herbek said that our main issue is the placement of those boxes. Mayor Schmidt commented that Engineer O’Connor would stay on top of it. Village Manager Herbek also announced that Eleanor has submitted her retirement papers today after 20 years. Her retirement date will be on Thursday, August 4, 2005. The good news is that Eleanor would like to continue doing the videotaping for the Village Board of Trustee meetings twice a month. Congratulations were offered.
Treasurer Zambrano – Reported that Carmen is also retiring on August 4th after 28 years. We are loosing two valuable people.
Trustee Brennan – Congratulations Eleanor and Carmen for the many years of service. The NYCOM conference that Mayor Schmidt, Trustee Kane, Village Manager Herbek and Engineer O’Connor went to he personally felt it very fulfilling as a Trustee to go for the first time and learn a lot of things that will be helpful moving the village forward in the future. We took seminars on such things as cable TV franchising, zoning & planning, fraud & government and dos and don’ts on public hearings. Over the three days, it was a very good experience and was beneficial to the village as a whole.
Trustee Steinberg – Wanted to remind people that this Saturday, June 25th, the Croton Housing Network is holding a public informational meeting for the second phase of Symphony Knoll development at the library. Also, this Friday is the last day of school for children. People should drive safely since kids will be out playing on the streets and sidewalks. The skateboard park held a session on Saturday, June 18th; there were 34 individuals who skated, 5 were season permit holder, 3 were village residents and 26 were non-residents. It was a very productive day.
Trustee Kane – Reported that the Waterfront Advisory Committee produced a document that was sent to the DEC and read the following: Croton is proud of its accomplishments and keenly aware of the effort and foresight required to achieve them. Enforceable protections, strong environmental policies and interagency cooperation have served us well but much more must be done. For all these reasons, as well as others, the Village of Croton on Hudson strongly endorses every component of New York’s agenda to protect the Hudson River Estuary. This was the draft of the Hudson River Estuary action agenda that this is a state DEC program.
Trustee Wiegman – Reported that the Recreation Department is coming into the busy season and wanted to thank them for the skateboard demonstration. The skateboard pass is going to be free for a period of time after the close of school. People should go the to the recreation department program on the village’s website for the details. If you don’t have a season pass for any recreation department events, you have one more Saturday morning, June 25th from 9:00-12:00, to come in with a check and a photo ID to get your ID passes. The new Silver Lake steps look terrific and wanted to thank the staff for that. Also, the Senasqua bath house looks terrific. Lastly, relative to the police blotter that was mentioned earlier, at 4:12 there is often a police office down there at that time putting out the traffic cones for the daily commuter rush so the police department might not have dispatched a police officer from the other end of the village to run down there.
Mayor Schmidt – Reported that Clearwater had an incredible weekend. Croton participates in Clearwater to a certain degree in the sense that people attend but wants to see what we can do to participate more since it is in our backyard. Wanted to remind everyone to pay attention to the noise ordinance and asked that the hours get posted on the website and the cable channel. The next meeting is July 11th.
Trustee Kane made a motion to adjourn. Trustee Brennan seconded the motion; approved unanimously. The meeting was adjourned at 9:07 p.m.
Marla Pardee, Secretary