A Regular Meeting of the Board of Trustees of the Village of Croton-on-Hudson, NY was held on Monday, December 5, 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 8:10 p.m. Everyone joined in the Pledge of Allegiance.
2. APPROVAL OF VOUCHERS:
Trustee Steinberg made a motion to approve the vouchers as follows, subject to review by the Audit Committee. The motion was seconded by Trustee Kane and approved unanimously.
3. PUBLIC HEARING :
Village Manager Herbek read Local Law Introductory #3 of 2205, prohibiting parking on sidewalks and curbs. Mr. Herbek explained that this is not a new law, but an amendment to bring local laws in sync with Section 197 and the Village policy of not allowing vehicles to park on sidewalks. Mayor Schmidt opened the Public Hearing.
Dave Tuttle, 94 Grand St., stated that his residence is an apartment building of approximately 33 units and only 10 parking spaces; almost every resident has at least one vehicle; Section 3 of this amendment says no one can ride or park a bicycle on any sidewalk in the village and Mr. Tuttle asked the Board to strike the word “bicycle”. Mayor Schmidt stated that this section is not a change; it is in the existing law. Dave Tuttle questioned the reference to the Village right-of-way area directly in front of the car owners’ residence and asked to strike that also. Mr. Tuttle added that these laws are enacted to allow the DPW to clear streets, but then issue hardship permits that put obstacles in the middle of the streets and it is making the DPW job harder; some hardship permits are valid. He suggested the solution as alternate side of street parking during snow emergencies; this understandably could not be done everywhere, but would allow the DPW to do their job; this could be done also for street cleaning; there is no need to put up a lot of signs. He offered his assistance to notify some residents and suggested a pilot program to do alternate side of street regulations on Grand St., between Old Post Rd. as a pilot program. Mr. Tuttle added that the Village says they want residents to remove cars from the street and it has been an unwritten law to allow vehicles to park in other lots during snow emergency, but he has been told that this compounds the problem of clearing these lots; he believes that parking is prohibited or limited in some lots. Mr. Tuttle stated that Van Wyck Apts. have done a good job getting cars off the streets during snow events, but residents need to be made aware of where the cars can be moved to; the Village web site has a ‘parking’ area, but it talks just about the railroad parking; he asked if the Village can put more information about street parking on this web site. Mr. Tuttle stated that ticketing was very aggressive last snow season but residents should be given some consideration; perhaps give a warning the first snow fall, not a ticket. Mayor Schmidt added that the hardship permit process has been changed recently also; the goal of this right now is to clarify the laws; he intends to follow up on alternate side of street parking and would welcome Mr. Tuttle’s offer of polling residents for their opinion on this issue. Mr. Tuttle replied that he will poll not only people in his apartment building but also residents on the street.
Ann Gallelli, 20 Briggs Lane, stated that this proposal will eliminate what is now an allowable exception for parking on bad weather days; the purpose is good; however, she feels this will promote more hardship permits and will allow more cars to be on the street. She added that the occasional times that a car can be pulled up on a sidewalk really will not damage the curbs; however, people will now have the alternative to get a hardship permit; overall this still will be a problem for the DPW and asked how does a code enforcement office know a car is parked in front of a residence is the owner’s. Ms. Gallelli added that not passing this law would not have dire consequences and in fact would have the positive effect of reducing the number of cars on the street.
Trustee Brennan stated that this law does have ambiguities in it as many do; allowing parking 2 wheels off the road did not help at all as cars still got plowed in; alternate side of street parking may help out a lot; in some areas of the Village it will not work; a pilot program is a good idea; they need to find the right mix, however, this starts to define what the laws are right now; he feels that it is silly to tell young kids they cannot park bicycles on the sidewalks, but it is a start. Village Manager Herbek stated that the law covering not riding bicycles on a sidewalk was passed by the Board of Trustees in 1927; sidewalks are for pedestrians. Mr. Herbek added that there had been problems near certain businesses when bicycles were left right in front of the entrance and created a tripping hazard; a bike rack allows for parking bikes off the sidewalk area; they have had a number staff meetings on alternate side of street parking however, because of narrow streets there are areas where it will not work as there isn’t enough space. He added that on Grand St., it would work because of the width of the road; the DPW recommendation is that alternate side of road parking should be done year-round; however, taking action takes some time and it is not realistic to get this accomplished this winter; this particular law brings the laws into sync, the Village has been issuing appearance tickets for parking on sidewalks for several years. He concurred that information from a poll would be good information to have for further action.
Mayor Schmidt closed the Public Hearing.
Trustee Wiegman asked if in a two family residence, does each unit qualify as a residence? Village Manager Herbek replied that a two family house is considered two residences. Trustee Wiegman added that he views proposed changes as well intended, but misguided; it creates the potential of more cars on Village streets with the issuance of hardship permits, the law also seems to be going after bicyclists and suggested the Board revisit the law and look at the ban of bicycles on sidewalks. He stated that he also sees enforcement issues such as how to know if a car parked in front of a residence belongs to the owner; the law is ambiguous where a car can be parked; the Village tends to have more curbs and sidewalks in more congested parts of the Village; and also, how does an apartment resident prove they need a free permit when the landlord does not allow them to park in a driveway where there is sufficient space.
Trustee Kane stated that there is no data supporting the need for a change; there has been no study or supporting comments for the Board to see how many residents will be affected; there is no recommendation nor designation from the DPW or Village Manager as to which streets will be designated for hardship permit parking; there is no supporting documentation from the Police Dept. as to how this law will be enforced or how to determine if a sidewalk exists under a parked car unless he gets out and shovels. He added that he did a small survey on September 21st of 25 streets: 178 vehicles had two wheels on the Village’s right of way and two wheels on the street; the cars that had two wheels parked on the street would be ticketed. Mayor Schmidt replied that they did get an analysis from the Code Enforcement Officer who looked at those residents who applied for the permits; this law ensures that if you have available off street parking, you use that first and allows the Police Dept. to ticket vehicles that do not comply.
On motion of Trustee Brennan, seconded by Trustee Steinberg, the following resolution was
adopted by the Board of Trustees of the Village of Croton-on-Hudson, New York with the
following vote: Trustees Brennan, Steinberg and Mayor Schmidt, aye; Trustees Wiegman and
Kane, nay. The law, upon adoption, becomes Local Law No. 4 of 2005.
Village of Croton-on-Hudson
Local Law Introductory No. 3 of the year 2005
A local law prohibiting the parking of vehicles on village sidewalks and curbs
Be it enacted by the Board of Trustees of the Village of Croton-on-Hudson as follows:
Section 1. Section 215-29 Seasonal Parking, Letters A and B are amended to read as follows:
A. Vehicles shall be allowed to remain standing on any street or public highway within the corporate limits of the Village of Croton-on-Hudson except when otherwise prohibited by this Chapter or any other Chapter of the Croton-on-Hudson Code and except when snow accumulates to two or more inches.
B. Upon an accumulation of two or more inches of snow, no vehicle of any kind shall be allowed to remain standing on any street or public highway until the snow has ended and the road cleared of snow. Vehicles must be relocated to off-street locations and may be parked on the Village right-of-way area directly in front of the vehicle owner’s residence except that vehicles may not be parked on any part of a street, sidewalk, or curb. All vehicles in violation of this section are subject to towing.
Section 2. The title of Section 197-1 is renamed to read Riding, Driving, and Parking on
Section 3. Section 197-1 the first sentence in letter A is amended to read as follows:
No person shall ride or drive any bicycle, motorcycle, automobile, trailer, or other vehicle upon any sidewalk or curb in the Village of Croton-on-Hudson, New York, except in necessarily crossing the same.
Section 4. Section 197-1 a new letter B is added to read as follows:
C. No person shall park any part of any bicycle, motorcycle, automobile, trailer or other vehicle upon any sidewalk or curb in the Village of Croton-on-Hudson, New York.
Section 5. This Local law shall be effective upon filing in the office of the Secretary of State.
Village Manager Herbek read the following correspondence (full text available at the Village Office):
A letter from Kathleen Carlisle, Bari Manor regarding a potential driving situation when making a left turn out of the Bari Manor driveway. This will be referred to the DPW and Police Dept. for their recommendation.
A letter from Emilie Spaulding, Director, Cablevision regarding rate changes effective 1/1/06; customers will all be notified in their December bills; there will be an average increase of 2.3%.
a) A letter from Karen Jescavage-Bernard, Arboretum, regarding an interest in protecting the Mann property which abuts the Arboretum. Mayor Schmidt asked to put this on a work session and invite them in. A copy of the lease agreement was passed on to Village Attorney Stecich for review; the CAC will also be asked for their input.
CITIZEN PARTICIPATION-Agenda Items
Village Engineer Dan O’Connor gave a Harmon Water Project update: the contractor has continued testing of installed water lines; two have not passed the pressure test which they believe is being caused by a leaky gasket; the contractor is responsible to correct the situation; bacteria is being tested in segments; they will be connecting services very soon; 10 additional homeowner sewer lines have been installed; Harmon has some sinkage which has been marked and the contractor will fill in the pavement. Mr. O’Connor can be reached at 271-4783 and asked that residents call him if there are other areas to be done.
a) On 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, Local Law No. 4 of 2004 established gateway overlay districts within the Village; and
WHEREAS, one of the prohibited uses in the gateway overlay districts is drive-through windows for commercial establishments; and
WHEREAS, the owner of the property of 379 S Riverside Avenue is considering the construction of a new free standing building on this property to be occupied by Washington Mutual as a bank; and
WHEREAS, the question has been raised as to whether a drive-through ATM should be considered a drive-through window as specified in the Gateway Law; and
WHEREAS, Local Law Introductory No. 4 of 2005 has been drafted amending Chapter 230, Zoning, Section 230-4, Terms defined, to include a definition of drive-through Windows; and
WHEREAS, this matter was referred to the Planning Board and the Village Board has received a recommendation from the Planning Board regarding this matter,
NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED: that the Village Board of Trustees hereby calls for a Public Hearing at 8pm in the meeting room of the Stanley H. Kellerhouse Municipal Building on December 19, 2005 to consider Local Law Introductory No. 4 of 2005 to amend the Croton-on-Hudson zoning code by adding a definition of drive-through windows.
~b) On motion of Trustee Brennan 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 Treasurer wishes to open both sides of the General Fund budget to cover the cost of operating expenses, amending the 2004-2005 General Fund budget as detailed in the schedule below;
NOW THEREFORE be it resolved that the Village Treasurer amend the 2004 -2005 General Fund budget to reflect these changes.
VILLAGE OF CROTON ON HUDSON
FISCAL YEAR ENDING 5-31-05
CITIZEN PARTICIPATION – NON-AGENDA ITEMS:
9. APPROVAL OF MINUTES:
Trustee Kane made a motion to approve the minutes of the Special Board Meeting held on October 11, 2005 as corrected. Trustee Brennan seconded the motion. The Board voted unanimous approval.
Village Manager Herbek reported that various vehicle amendments being worked out along Old Post Rd.; the signs for all are on order and are expected some time this month. Trustee Brennan asked that information be put on the Village’s web site that these signs are going up. Village Manager Herbek questioned if they want to establish a precedent of putting information on the web each time a new sign is put up. Village Manager Herbek stated that the DPW will continue to pick up both bagged leaves and loose leaves; the schedule is on the web site and for those who have signed up, email notification will be sent. He added that they are wrapping things up on the Kaplan’s Pond spillway structure which should be finished shortly. Village Manager Herbek reported that Winterfest was very successful; 75 to100 people participated and a new Douglas fir tree was planted at Vassallo Park which will be used at future Winterfests. He added that the Upper Village has been decorated; it takes approximately 15 work days to do and is just about finished. Mr. Herbek reported that they are finishing up the remaining sidewalk and curb work for the season; they will rebid that contract in February. He reminded everyone that the application for property tax exemptions are due January3rd.
Treasurer Zambrano reported that he attended a seminar last Tuesday for Hudson Valley Clean Communities Coalition; the purpose is to get anyone who has a fleet of vehicles to use clean fuels; their recommendation is to reduce the amount of time vehicles run idle; they are asking for interested people to get involved. He reported that he also attended the NYS Controllers’ System Office focus group asking municipalities to give ideas on how to streamline processes. Mr. Zambrano stated that next week water bills will be billed; some will have a billing period of more than 6 months for this period only; residents may contact him at 271-4781 with questions; everyone will be billed in December and June from now on.
Trustee Wiegman stated that he questions that in the new seasonal parking law how will renters prove to the Village that they have the right to a free permit.
Trustee Kane stated that a report concerning amortization should be revisited to include amortization of non-conforming light industrial permits.
Trustee Steinberg reported that he coordinated a meeting with the school board liaison in advance of the joint board meeting. Mr. Steinberg added that he sits as counsel on boards and thanked them for their work; he does not believe it is right to question the quality of work being brought before the boards; everyone does a very good job.
Trustee Brennan gave congratulations to the DPW and the supporting staff on how nice the lights look in the Village; it is very festive. He reported that there will be a community center meeting on Thursday night.
Attorney Stecich gave an update on the submission they hope to make before the Solid Waste Commission next week; she has learned of enforcement issues with Regus in Ohio at Sunny Farms; she has received a huge box from the Ohio environmental agency last week; what she saw was rather appalling enforcement issues particularly since Regus took it over; she is preparing a report and it will be put on the Village’s web site; she will make as good a case as she can. The hearing is next Thursday at 3:30 pm and she expects they will not allow public participation, but are expecting something from her on Sunny Farms.
Mayor Schmidt reported that Holiday trees have been placed in barrels and a resident has volunteered to coordinate those who wish to decorate them; call 271-7921 to help. Mayor Schmidt stated that Wednesday, December 7th commemorates Pearl Harbor day; there will be a ceremony at 11 am in the community room. He stated that the Board will be meeting with the Village attorney for advice of council.
Trustee Steinberg made a motion to adjourn. Trustee Brennan seconded the motion; approved unanimously. The meeting was adjourned at 9:45 p.m.
Phyllis A. Bradbury
Phyllis A. Bradbury, Secretary