Visual Environment Board Minutes 08-18-04
Advisory Board on the Visual Environment
Village of Croton-on-Hudson

Minutes:        VEB Meeting of Wednesday, August 18, 2004

Present:        Doug Wehrle, chair; Kevin McManus and Ross Weale.

Absent:         Marianne Bosshart, Valerie Leis, Trustee Liaison Leo Wiegman, Building Dept. Liaison Joe Sperber, and Planning Board Liaison Ted Brumleve.

There were no sign applications at the August meeting.  The VEB considered a minor plan review that had been referred by the Planning Board and discussed several other items of business.

1. Plan Review, Mt. Airy Woods
At the request of the Planning Board, the VEB reviewed a site plan application for the extension of a concrete walk and construction of a 120 square foot patio at apartment 2A of the Mount Airy Woods development.  The purpose of the alterations, as outlined in materials prepared by architect Stuart Markowitz of SMA Architecture Planning Interiors PC, is to accommodate a resident of the apartment who must rely on a wheelchair or scooter for mobility.
VEB Discussion:
On reviewing the proposal and illustration, the Board had no negative comments about the work, which will located to the rear of the building.
VEB Recommendations
VEB Chair Doug Wehrle agreed to notify Joe Sperber via email that the Board has no objections to the proposal, as confirmed by publication of these minutes.

2.  Logo Project
Members discussed plans to hold a first meeting with logo designer Elton Robinson in early September to discuss preliminary sketches.  Joe Sperber reported that the Village has received no additional comments regarding the logo via the web site.

3.  Proposed Zoning Code Changes
In a brief discussion of proposed changes to the Village Code, Doug Wehrle expressed strong reservations about the size of houses to be permitted under the proposed floor-to-area (FAR) ratios, stating they were excessively large.  Board member Kevin McManus agreed that the ratios were askew and cited a more general concern that the FAR regulations were being proposed to solve a problem that does not exist in Croton.

In addition, he noted his concerns—previously expressed in an email exchange among VEB members—about the wisdom of instituting an architectural review process as part of the Planning Board.  One possibility is to assign the architectural review process to a more robust VEB or to some successor board with greater authority than has been assigned to the VEB—including more substantial duties and responsibilities in conducting the sign review process and in evaluating other aspects of the Village, including quality-of-life issues that are directly tied to the visual environment.

4.  Proposed Planning Board/VEB Meetings
In a series of email exchanges with Doug Wehrle, Planning Board Chair Ann Gallelli and Planning Board Liaison to the VEB Ted Brumleve suggested holding annual catch-up meetings between the two boards.