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Waterfront Advisory Committee Minutes 11/29/07

A meeting of the Waterfront Advisory Committee of the Village of Croton-on-Hudson, New York was held on Thursday, November 29, 2007 in the Municipal Building.

                  MEMBERS PRESENT:      Chairperson Fran Allen
                                                Stuart Greenbaum
Charles Kane
Susan Konig
                                                Robert Luntz
                     ALSO PRESENT:              Ann Gallelli, Member of the Board of Trustees
Daniel O’Connor, P.E., Village Engineer
1.  Call to Order:

The meeting was called to order at 7:30 P.M. by Chairperson Fran Allen.


Ian Scott, P.E., of Lockwood, Kessler & Bartlett, Inc., project manager for the County bulkhead project, was present.  

Mr. Scott stated that his firm was hired by Westchester County to do a study of what would have to be done to repair the bulkheads at Croton Point Park and stabilize the eroded slopes on Enoch’s Neck promontory.  Mr. Scott noted that he had been before the WAC in 2004 to give a presentation on the bulkhead project. The required permit applications were prepared; however, the project never came to fruition due to a lack of funding.  Mr. Scott stated that the funding is now available.  He has resubmitted the required applications on behalf of the County.        

Mr. Scott stated that the project is basically the same as that which was presented in 2004. There are two existing bulkheads in need of repair, one in the Hudson River and one in Haverstraw Bay. The proposal is (would be) to take off the top of both of these bulkheads and drive new steel sheetings in front of them.  A small amount of dredging would be required.  

Mr. Scott noted that the County would limit the area at Croton Point Park that the contractor would have access to.  A 100-foot area behind the bulkheads would be fenced off.  The public would not have access to this fenced-off area.  Mr. Scott stated that, due to concerns about wildlife and due to the fact that the park is used by the public during warm weather, the contractor is (would be) limited to the period between September and April to complete the project.    

Mr. Scott stated that, in addition to the bulkhead replacement, this project would involve the restoration and stabilization of the park’s promontory known as Enoch’s Neck. Plantings would be installed on the finished slope area to further reduce erosion and create a more natural-looking setting.  

Mr. Kane noted that, to date, he has not seen on the plan(s) the species of trees being proposed for the Enoch’s Neck restoration/stabilization.  He would be concerned about the impact of the tree roots on the shell middens at Enoch’s Neck. This area consists of one to two feet of solid shell and a thin layer of topsoil.  He would be concerned about the tree roots spreading over the top and disturbing the layer(s) of shells.  Mr. Scott said that the County is hiring an archeologist to be available when the contractor is doing the excavation work.  As far as the restoration of the slope area at Enoch’s Neck is concerned, the slope would be built up and anchored with a geo-fabric material filled with topsoil to promote the growth of plants and trees.  The tree root system would be within the new fill.  Nevertheless, he (Mr. Scott) would bring this matter up to the County’s archeologist.     

Chairperson Allen asked Mr. Scott if there had been any changes to the site since the original drawings were produced.  Has there been any significant erosion over what had existed?  Mr. Scott said that the Enoch’s Neck promontory looks much the same as it had, but the areas behind the bulkheads show signs of more erosion.  Mr. Kane asked how the turbidity curtain would be anchored to the riverbed.  How would it be secured so as to prevent it from being taken out by the tide and/or ice?  Mr. Scott said that there are ways to anchor the “skirt” that spreads out into the water area(s).  If the “skirt” were to get torn or ripped, it would be the responsibility of the contractor to replace it.  

Mr. Luntz noted that eagles inhabit the park during the timeframe that the construction project is scheduled to take place.  February is an important month for eagle sightings.  Mr. Scott said that, as far as the impact to the wildlife is concerned, the contractor would be required to employ ways to cut down on the noise levels. It was thought that, all in all, there would be less of a disturbance to the wildlife in the wintertime; hence, the County decided to schedule the construction for the winter months.  The project is supposed to be finished in April.     

Mr. Scott told the board that the County has hired his firm to prepare the final (construction) drawings.  The County would like to go out to bid in early winter. The project would begin in September of 2008 and extend to 2009.  Mr. Scott said that he does not see any problem providing the WAC with the final drawings, if the WAC would like to see them. These drawings would include all of the proposed plantings.  Chairperson Allen asked about the dredging involved.  Mr. Scott said that there might be some dredging required because the contractor has to drive sheeting in front of the bulkheads.  In doing so, there might be stones that would need to be removed.  Mr. Kane pointed out that a turbidity curtain would be installed to control any erosion/siltation.

Chairperson Allen noted that, in so far as the disturbance to wildlife is concerned, it is her understanding that vibratory hammers would be used instead of drop hammers.

Mr. Kane asked if the County’s archeologist would have the authority to stop work on this project should it be deemed necessary, to which Mr. Scott said, yes.

Mr. Kane asked if the Village would be supplied with a report from the County’s archeologist.  He would think that such a report would be helpful to the Historical Society.  Ms. Konig said that she would think that, as the County has retained an archeologist to oversee this project, the archeologist would probably be preparing a report. Mr. Kane wanted it in the record that he is requesting that a report from the County’s archeologist be supplied to the Village.

Mr. Greenbaum noted to those present that, in the wintertime, Village residents utilize this area of Croton Point Park to play football and soccer.  Once the bulkhead project is underway, these Village residents would not have access to this area for recreational use.  Mr. Greenbaum noted that there are other fields, owned by the County, which could be used, however, there are fees involved. Mr. Greenbaum suggested that a solution might be to ask the County if, during the construction of the bulkheads, the County would consider waiving the fee for the recreational use of another field. Mr. Greenbaum noted that the timeframe would only be a few months (up to April). Mr. Scott said that he could discuss this matter with the County Parks Department.  Chairperson Allen suggested that, in the WAC’s recommendation to the Village Board, the WAC could (also) ask the Village Board to follow up on this matter.  

Mr. Scott said that, with respect to the planting plan, native plants of the area would be used.

The Village Engineer asked what the budget for the project is, to which Mr. Scott said $6 million.

Chairperson Allen explained to the two new members that the WAC needs to make a determination tonight as to whether or not this (the bulkhead) project is in compliance (consistent) with the Village’s Local Waterfront Revitalization Program (LWRP). As part of the procedure, the Applicant fills out the Village’s Coastal Assessment Form (CAF), after which the WAC reviews the answers provided to the questions in the CAF.  Chairperson Allen said that the WAC met in November 2004 to review this project.  The WAC found the project to be consistent with the LWRP.  At the November 2004 meeting the Applicant submitted a CAF which, it was discovered later, was not the Village’s form. The Applicant has submitted the proper Village form for the meeting tonight. Chairperson Allen said that the normal procedure would be to go through the CAF to be certain that the form is appropriately filled out and/or that all the issues that are identified as “significant” have been addressed/mitigated.  In this instance, she did not think it would be necessary due to the fact that, after a thorough review, the WAC found this project to be consistent. Furthermore, Mr. Scott has confirmed tonight that the proposal to replace the bulkheads has not changed.  Mr. Scott noted to the WAC that Attachment 2 of the current application identifies the LWRP policy numbers and then describes how the proposed project would address that particular policy.

Chairperson Allen gave an overview to the new members of the Coastal Zone Management Program (CZMP), stating that the federal program started in 1976.  The individual states could take advantage of the program, and New York State did so in the 1980’s making the program more specific to the waters of New York State.  The next step was for local municipalities to take advantage of this program. The Village of Croton-on-Hudson developed its own LWRP in the 1990’s.  The Village’s LWRP has 43 policies, which must be examined and/or addressed when a project is being proposed.  Chairperson Allen noted that the Village is unique in that the entire Village is covered by the CZMP.  

Mr. Kane asked Mr. Scott if all of the appropriate forms have been filed at this point.  Mr. Scott said that he believes they all have been.  They have sent the required forms to the state, and the state has acknowledged receipt of them.  

Chairperson Allen suggested that she could write a memorandum to the Village Board stating that the WAC finds this project to be consistent with the policies of the Village’s LWRP.  The memorandum would include the WAC’s comments/recommendations discussed tonight.  Chairperson Allen said that she would circulate the memorandum to the WAC members for their review and comment via email. Mr. Scott noted to the WAC that he (usually) prepares a memorandum for the County of what took place at the meeting.  He suggested that he could provide a copy of this memorandum to the WAC.  Mr. Greenbaum asked if Mr. Scott’s memorandum would include the WAC’s discussion on the alternative recreation site, to which Mr. Scott replied that his memorandum would say that the Village has requested that an alternative recreation site be provided. Chairperson Allen noted that she would (also) bring up this matter in the WAC’s memorandum to the Village Board.

Chairperson Allen entertained a motion to find this project consistent with the LWRP with the recommendations discussed tonight.  The motion was made by Mr. Kane, seconded by Mr. Luntz and carried by a vote of 5 to 0.     


The minutes of the Wednesday, February 7, 2007 WAC meeting were approved on a motion by Chairperson Allen, seconded by Mr. Kane and carried by a vote of 3 to 0. Susan Konig and Robert Luntz abstained.   

4.          ADJOURNMENT:

There being no further business to come before the Committee, the meeting duly adjourned at 8:30 P.M.

Respectfully submitted,

Sylvia Mills, Secretary