ZBA July 9, 2003

MEMBERS PRESENT:        Donald Sapir, Chairman
                                               Rhoda Stephens
                                Ruth Waitkins
                                    Witt Barlow

ALSO PRESENT:           Daniel O’Connor, Village Engineer


ALO ABSENT:              Joseph Sperber, Code Enforcement Officer       

The meeting came to order at 8:00 P.M.

Sapir - Announcement of fire exits to all in attendance of the meeting.


Steve and Ayelese Moskowitz, 14 Cook Lane, Section 67.19 Block 2 Lot 31.  Located in a RA-5 District.  Request for a side yard and total side yard variance with respect to a proposed addition.

Neil Carnow, Architect for Moskowitz – I am here to represent my clients Steve and Ayelese Moskowitz.  They are not here tonight due to vacation plans that they were unable to change.  We are proposing to construct a small addition to the front of the house.  We will be re-configuring the existing portion and adding a small portion to the front vestibule and expanding the living room.  The existing house was built in approximately  l950 and was originally part of a subdivision.  One side yard and the total side yard is less than what is required by today’s standards, We will need a variance of .40 ft. for the side yard and 4.25 ft. for the total side yard

Sapir -  This house was not in compliance at the time it was originally constructed?

Carnow - I spoke with the Village Engineer.  He could not find any records,  so we do not know if it conformed or received any variances.  

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Sapir – Was a Certificate of Occupancy issued?

Carnow – No at that time a Certificate of Occupancy was not necessary.

Sapir – Have there been any other additions to the house?

Carnow – Yes,  but it was prior to my client  purchasing the house.  It was an addition to the front of the house..  It has no affect on this issue.   The re-configuring of the interior spaces moves the living room to the front and enlarges the vestibule.

Sapir – Is this being done for esthetics or to increase the living space?

Carnow - One reason is to increase the size of the kitchen and that will move the dining room over and we need to increase the dimensions of the entry vestibule. They need more space.

Sapir – How many people live there?

Carnow – Four, two adults and two children.

Sapir – What would the hardship be if the variance were not granted.?

Carnow - It would reduce the use of house.  The children are growing and there is increased family needs, business purpose needs, entertaining in the dining room, and they need a more appropriate entranceway.  The existing entranceway cannot accommodate more than two people at one time. In sizing this addition, we made an effort to keep the addition in the front no closer than the existing addition to the main house, so the addition is the same size as the current house.

Discussion followed over plans.

Sapir – Any members of the public that are interested in this hearing are welcome to review these plans.

Discussion over plans pertained to the front elevation and rooflines.

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Carnow - The basic lines are the pitch of the roof.  In the area of the addition we are looking to use the same existing roof pitch, so that architecturally they will compliment each other.  This will be over the entryway with a bay window facing the front. We tried to keep everything in the same context and to match it with the existing vinyl siding or we may replace it with clapboard or cedar shakes.  The entire structure will be done the same no matter what they decide to use.
Barlow  – Is the floor plan the entire living space?  Is there  any floor area in the basement?

Carnow - There is a playroom behind the garage on the other side of  the house.

Discussion followed over plans.

Stephens – The extension will  not come out any further than the garage.

Sapir – The siding will be the same as the rest of the house?

Carnow – They now  have vinyl siding but they may change it.  No matter what they decide, it will all be the same.

Joe Farante – 12 Cook Lane – I live right next to the “Moskowitz’s on the north, north east side. I would have thought it would have been customary for neighbors to speak to each other before a Legal Notice is sent.   The distance between the expansion of the house and cul-de-sac is not more than a dozen feet at the closest point.  Will the new extension be closer to the side property line?

Carnow -  No.  It is not expanding closer to the side property line.  It is only closer to the front property line.

Farante – The plans looked like they were expanding towards the sidelines.

Discussion followed over plans.

Carnow -  It is closer to the front by 12 ft. 8 in.
Farante - I would like to look at it in contrast to the size of our house..

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Carnow – From your perspective you will see no increase from the building.  We are not going beyond the face of the house.  Your visibility will remain the same.

Stephens – If they were going to sell their house with the laws the way they are now, they would have to come for a variance anyway, because the house is nonconforming.

Farante– I am concerned about esthetics and would like to discuss this with my wife.

Sapir – I don’t understand.  Do you want us to give you time to call your wife and ask her?  Because, we are having the hearing now.

Farante – No, you are going to make your decision anyway.

Sapir – Anyone else like to be heard?

Hearing closed.


The variance sought was not substantial.  The proposed addition is in keeping with the character of the neighborhood and not detrimental to the neighbors. If the application is granted it will increase the enjoyment of the property.

Waitkins – Made Motion to Grant the application as submitted

Stephens – Second the Motion

Vote – 4-0 – All in Favor – Waitkins, Stephens, Sapir, Barlow.

Amy Cotton, 111 Grand Street, Section 67.20 Block 3 Lot 26.  Request for a Determination/variance with respect to a proposed awning.

Cotton  – I own 111 Grand Street.   I applied to the Planning Board to allow me to put an awning in front of my shop.  Joseph Sperber said I needed a variance.   I am not sure exactly what kind of awning I want.   The Planning Board is giving me time to figure what kind of awning I want
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Sapir – Are you here before the Zoning Board for a determination as to whether or not you need a variance?  

Cotton – I originally spoke to Janice, the ZBA Secretary and was told I may need a variance.  She then went into Joseph Sperber’s office to speak to him and then I was told I would need a determination.  I was under a deadline to submit plans for this evenings meeting.   I was treated for skin cancer and I need an awning.  I tried to get estimates for the awning so I could have it in time for the hearing.  It was difficult to do all this in such a short time. I was given high figures.  I had no time to research and I went away on vacation.

Sapir – If you are here for us to make a determination we can make a determination but if we decide you need a variance, we cannot determine what is required of you, if we do not have the proper plans.

Cotton -  Originally I was told to go out five feet (5 ft.), but I want six feet.  I also need elevation drawings that would cost $3,000.00.  I do not want anything fancy, just simple.

Sapir – Being that it is so late in the season, how about waiting until next season?  Have you been in touch with the Visual Environment Board?

Stephens – They have had experience and they may be able to help you.

Cotton -  I need direction and I don’t know who to go to.

Sapir – You would only use the awning when the shop is open?

Cotton – Yes, it will be retractable.  It is very hot in that area and by mid afternoon when the sun goes down, I can retract it.

Sapir - Any other questions?

There were none.

Sapir – I suggest that since there seems to be no immediacy, that we not treat this as a request for a variance and when you get your additional information in to us by September, we can then decide if you need a variance or not.  Do you need an answer

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from us tonight?  You can ask for a special meeting, but I do not know if that will happen.

Waitkins - We need to know the size of the awning.

Cotton – The plans I sent you are an approximate size.

Sapir – If we were to give you a variance and determination tonight, it would be based on the current plans that you have submitted and you are saying that these are not the plans that you want.

Cotton – That is why I think it  is better for me to wait.

Sapir - Some people in the past have requested cantilevers and that does not require a variance, so that leads me to believe that you do not need a variance, but I am not sure.

The Board and the applicant agreed to adjourn the hearing until September.

Hearing adjourned.

Walter Schmidt, 23 Sunset Drive, Section 79.09 Block 3 Lot 14.  Located in a RA-9 District.  Request for a Determination/Fill Permit with respect to a new one-family dwelling under construction.

Mr. Schmidt – I am requesting a fill permit.  I understand that I am over the amount for a minor fill permit and need to appear before you (ZBA) for a proper fill permit.  I would like to state who I am and where I come from.  It seems that  my character has been attacked maliciously and unfairly.  My family and I have lived in Croton over thirty years.  A few years ago I built a home on Rte. 134 in Ossining and we moved.   I recently found property that was available in Croton and my wife and I decided to move back to Croton.  We have a Certificate of Occupancy on my house.  Currently my garage is being held as hostage.  I understand why.  Daniel O’Connor, the Village Engineer and I have

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discussed the fill issue many times.   He believes we went over the required amount that is allowed and I agree I went over, it is just a matter of how much and if it is necessary for the Zoning Board to get involved.  Dan says “yes” so I am honoring his wishes.

I have photos and documents to submit for the record.

I have been in Croton for thirty years.  Letters were sent by my neighbors to the Building Dept. and the Zoning Board stating that I build houses for profit.  These statements are negative although, I do hope to see a profit in years to come.  A couple of years ago I built my own house in Ossining and it was successful, so I decided to do it again and I was wrong.  I work for the Croton Caring Committee.  My wife is a member of the Booster Club.  I was President. of  the Booster Club.   My primary business is media and advertising, which has gone into a down turn too.   I find it amazing, that human nature and the entitlement that people have regarding their neighbor’s property.  I purchased my property for $240,000.00.   Some people would say that the house is too big.  I think it is fair  to look at what it will be like down the line.   In the building process we did not need to go before the Planning Board.  There was a house that was torn down.  We had to submit a survey with the location of the building, including the garage and we lined up contractors and  again I am not a master builder,  I rely on other contractors,  Frank and Sal Vasta, are contractors who have been in the village many years.   We made plans to have proper sewer lines installed to the street.  Now we want a garage.  Do you have a garage down in a hole or the same level as the house?  That is what we decided.   There is stone rock and three cases where we brought in fill.  One when the foundation was done, we had approved footings and foundation slab and it was approved by the village.  Now we have the foundations for the house and garage all approved.  Now  we have the slab at one height and a dip.  We had to bring in fill for the driveway. We have discussed the interpretation of the Code.  We needed to bring fill in for the driveway  and we were told that is exempt.  After further reading of the Code we find it is not exempt.   I agree I went over the limit.  We did what we thought was right based on what the house and garage called for.  We have addressed drainage.  We have an eight-foot by eight foot by eight-foot ( 8’ x 8’ x 8’) drywell that is shown on page 10 of the booklet I submitted tonight.  Was it good fill?  “Anfitiatro” states it was rock fill from his property.  With respect to Section 120-1 of the Code, we are looking for ways to prevent water from going down the slope to the Kelly’s property and the Levey’s property and on page two you will see there are so many back yards abutting at the back corner.  However, we have kept an eye on this. We have had the rainiest June in the history of New York.  This is documented and as far as I know I have done my part from keeping that water from going anywhere.   But, there are many parcels of property and I cannot be held responsible for everyone’s drainage problems just because I am the new kid on the block and they say I am responsible.  How many of these folks have a drywell in their yard that is eight by eight by eight?  We filled our driveway to grade.  It was in the winter and it was very cold.  We had building debris that was freezing and we had to wait to get it off the lot.  I agree it is

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not a nice sight when a lot is under construction.   I purchased the property and now it is time for me to do something with  it.   I have neighbors who will speak out against this tonight.  One neighbors’ wife said the house was gorgeous.   Questions have come up about trees.  I will be planting more trees and landscaping  is the last thing to do when constructing.   I am not building for profit I am going to live there. I have a Certificate of Occupancy for the house.  I am not going anywhere.  I know other issues are going to come up and I will let the Zoning Board handle that.  I am here for a fill permit. If you look at the house and the driveway, it is level and you have a level driveway to the garage.  It is a single story garage, it is not a two-story garage.  It is a single story that has a roof with a pitch.  We had planned to come before the Board for a two-story garage, so I could have an office.  Many people complained, so I honored that complaint and I withdrew my decision to apply for the variance.   But, now I am in a position where I have a driveway that is now somewhat level and I have done some framing  My mistake was after talking to the Village Engineer, I misunderstood what I was to do and I did so in error.   There were a number of people after that complaining that I was building the garage.   I was installing supports for a tarp to keep my tools dry.  I had the Certificate of Occupancy for the house and it is being considered separately and I need to have the building permit approved for the garage..  Dan has suggested, that the fair way to do it, is to hold off on the building permit until I appear before the Zoning Board of Appeals and have you evaluate the fill.

Sapir – What if the fill permit is denied?

Schmidt – All I am going to do is take the dirt and rocks out of the back yard, which was already on the property.   If they think this is going to help the drainage situation they are wrong.  This will cause more sloping.  The fill helped drain it away from their property.    Personally,  I am broke now.  It may take months for me to do this..   

Sapir – How will you know how much to take out.? Will you take it from the driveway or the backyard?

Schmidt - According to my discussion in the engineer’s office,  Dan did a formula and figured the areas where the fill came in.   It is the driveway area.  Taking out the fill will not solve anything.  If anything the potential is for it to be worse.   Once the bushes are in the back of the garage it will be nice.

Sapir – What kind of screening do you have planned for the back of the garage?

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Schmidt - Something tall such as arborvitaes or something else. In conclusion I had no idea that I was doing something out of Code.  I was just doing what I was advised to do to get a decent septic run and sewer run.  I think it looks nice esthetically and once the garage is done it will be nice too.   The boulders are not wood it is firewood on one level.   I can take it out but you will  not achieve one ounce of improvement for the neighbor in terms of esthetics or drainage.

Sapir –  When did the fill come in and what is the grading?

Schmidt - December or January.

Stephens -  All of the fill was delivered in the winter and prior to the Certificate of Occupancy for the house?

Schmidt - Yes.  The Village Engineer figured there was about 200 cubic yards.

Sapir – “Fiorito” states that you got 120 cubic yards, did you get fill from anyone other than Fiorito?

Schmidt - No

Barlow – The Village Engineer thinks there was 250 cubic yards of excess fill imported to the project.

Sapir - If this is denied you are saying you will take 250 cubic yards out from behind the garage?

Stephens -  If he is allowed 100 cubic yards then he is only 150 cubic yards over. Correct?

Schmidt – Yes.

Barlow -  The Village Engineer’s memo says that it appears to be approximately 250 cubic yards of fill.  We would deduct the 100 cubic yards that is allowed, so we are talking about 150 cubic yards in excess.  Your solution would be to take it from behind the garage?

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Schmidt – We would have to take a section of the fence down, but that would be no big deal.

Sapir -  Are there any other questions?

Schmidt – In terms of the photos and documents, there is some issue about water and run-off.  One of the things that has disturbed me recently, I refer to pictures #5 and #6, we have next door a swimming pool and a filter, a propane tank, an oil tank, and a propane fire heater for a pool, but what you see in illustration #6 is a drainage hose that goes to the retaining wall that we put on our property and it goes within six inches of our property line.  That is chlorine water that is draining.   I would like you to refer to Section 120-1 of the Village Code.

Sapir -  Anyone else like to be heard?

Helen Lauro- 6 Park Ave.

Sapir -  Where is your property located?

Lauro – The rear of my garden is one of the hot points where all the properties go together .  The front of my property is Park Ave.  My husband and I  purchase our property over forty years ago and we were one of the first pioneers to come to this area.  My husband and I had a professional landscaper come in to make a beautiful model for the community.  My property has escalated in value.  Mr. Schmidt’s construction has been a financial and ecological nightmare for me and others.  I am referring to the garage.  The garage is a two-story garage with an outside staircase that goes up to the second story.  This is a plan for the first floor and the second floor of the garage.  It describes a first floor plan and a second floor plan.

Sapir – Do you know that those plans for the second story on the garage have been omitted?

Lauro – No.  This is the same plan, it slipped through the cracks.  This garage has been built without a permit.  It sits on a railroad tie that is four feet higher than the surrounding properties.  It’s holding more landfill than is allowed.  If this is allowed in addition to the six feet it will sit ten feet higher than the other properties.  Esthetics is very important.  If you have a million dollar house and someone builds something like this and your property devaluates because of this kind of esthetic abuse, it affects the whole community.

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Sapir -  What if trees are planted so the garage is not visible?

Lauro -  It would not be enough to conceal that.

Sapir -  What if we said it had to conceal it.  

Lauro – No.

Sapir - What else would you like us to do?

Lauro – Mr. Schmidt should have the total financial burden for the removal of the fill because it was illegally installed.  He made mistakes and four mistakes do not make a right.  He should remove this two-story garage.  We are prepared for a fight and we will fight this.  To put a ditch on clay soil that cannot absorb the water, he must absorb all the economical burden.  It will kill my trees.  My attorney would like to say something to you.

Sapir -  What changes have you noticed since this construction?

Lauro – I use to notice dark topsoil, it is now like clay on my property.  It has happened already.  My property is beautifully landscaped.

Sapir -  What has happened to your garden since this construction?

Lauro – All the grass is gone.

Sapir -  All of the grass?

Lauro -  All of the topsoil is gone.  The back is eroded of  topsoil and there is no grass now.  It starts at the corner and goes back to Park Ave.  It is scary, it is clay and little tuffs of grass, like a desert.

Sapir – Have you re-seeded the area?

Lauro – No, I have not.  What for?  I have my attorney with me who would like to speak to you.

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Jerry Reich, Esq. 75 South Riverside Ave. -   I would like to add briefly that there is no question that the topography of this property  has been significantly altered and there are no circumstances that could justify this.  Mr. Schmidt said in his application that the garage would be in a hole.  But, there are others who do not have their garage the same level as their house.  That is contrary to the needs and use of his property.  My neighbors only got notices on June 28, 2003.  We have not had time to reply to this application and what has existed for 45 years or so.

Michael and Kathleen Kelly, 4 Park Ave.  We are located on Park Ave. and there is an upper level behind us, which is Sunset Dr.  I applaud Mr. Schmidt for coming into the neighborhood and building a nice house.  But, I object to the severe change to the topography.  The garage is now upwards of four feet.  It has changed the feel of the property.  We are very concerned about water drainage.  We had a preliminary consultation with Mr. Tully, P.E., who was the previous Village Engineer.  He has agreed to come out to decide steps to mitigate any drainage that may come onto our property.  Mr. Tully did not have time to prepare an engineer’s report.  We request to adjourn the hearing in order to give us time to address these issues and have Mr. Tully do an engineering study for us.  We request you put this matter over for us.

Sapir – Have you noticed any water draining to your property or flooding?

Mr. Kelly -  No we have not.  We have not had a five-year storm and we also have not had another rainy season like we did in June.  Now it is dry, but once the driveway is paved, it will be worse.  In creating a driveway for himself, he has created a drainage problem.  I am not as concerned about the esthetics as I am about the run-off.  Mr. Schmidt needs to take drainage measurements for adequate drainage.  I would like to have someone in who has knowledge.  I think Mr. Schmidt made the changes for esthetic reasons, but in doing so he has changed the garage severely.

Sapir – So, you are afraid of what might happen?

Kelly -  We have been told that this might create a problem.

Sapir -  How long have you lived there?  Have you had run-off problems before?

Mrs. Kelly -  Yes.  We had basement water and over the years we have had suggestions from landscapers and contractors.  We still have an area on our property where water has a tendency to collect during a storm.  I have a level patio on a level slope and that patio has a tendency to accumulate water.  We went to great expense to plant to try to eliminate this problem.
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Sapir -  One concern is that the driveway, when paved, will generate more water for you and another concern is that when the garage is finished, it will make a difference?

Kelly -  The Village Engineer said that water would come from the roof.

O’Connor, Village Engineer – I said when the driveway is paved, there will be more run-off, that is standard.  When the garage is built, there will be a roof, when the rain hits, it will create run-off.  Run-off is a concern.

Sapir -  Is there any way to mitigate this potential problem?

O’Connor -  There are different materials that can be used for the driveway.  Pavement cracks and then it is paved over, so it needs to be dealt with as something that will be permanent.

Sapir – What about gravel?

O’Connor – I have concerns about gravel with respect to street mains and hazards.  I am not in favor of gravel driveways.

Kelly -  We have the same rights as Mr. Schmidt does to enjoy our property.  We request to retain Mr. Tully, P.E. to give us an engineering report and we will report back in September.

James Levey – 10 Park Ave. – My property is adjacent to Mr. Schmidt’s in the rear where all the properties come together.  I met Mr. Schmidt in the fall.  I think he is an honest and credible person.  The way the property was originally designed is sort of like a circle with slices to a pie.  Mr. Schmidt’s construction caused four feet high elevations.  Erosion takes place over many years.  My issue is that it is an issue beyond just the people in this room.  I agree to hire Mr. Tully to give us a report of the detrimental affects of this change to the property, also so we can meet a compromise that is sensitive to Mr. Schmidt’s investment and sincerity to add to the collective value of the properties in this area.  I do not want to see Mr. Schmidt have to spend more money, but the long term affects of the alterations are a concern of mine.  We need to come to a decision of what needs to be done after the report is done.

Jan Johnson – Observatory Drive – I am not an adjacent  neighbor of the Schmidt’s.  I am not here to talk about the effect on my property.  I have an undergraduate’s degree and a
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graduate’ degree in architecture and run a design and construction company in Westchester County.  I shoot all the existing elevations and spot elevations with a transit.  I do this for residential terraces, tennis courts, etc.  I do not work on citing houses.  I show how many steps there are, the landscaping, drainage, drywells, pitch of the slopes.  Most towns require engineered plans for walls and drainage.  This is the type of work I do.  I also locate trees that are larger than eight inches in diameter; and we cannot take larger trees down.  I ask why this was not done on Mr. Schmidt’s property.  I would also be concerned with how the walls were engineered and if they have the proper footings.  I would also worry about buckling or the wall falling over.

Hendrickson-  31 Sunset Drive– I share a border with Mr. Schmidt.   I would like to submit photos for the record.  I will refer to them as “A” and “B”.

My impression of the situation is that Mr. Schmidt made a decision to build a driveway two to four feet above grade and finish it at the end of the property at the highest point.  This was his decision.  He mentioned that he did not want his garage in a hole.  But, what he was really saying was that he did not want his garage on grade, because he would have to deal with the drainage issue that we are now dealing with.

Sapir -  Have you had any drainage changes in your property since construction?

Hendrickson -  Everyday I have to look at a four-foot high wall and fence, so that is the main change to my property.  My concern is not run-off it is esthetic.  It is completely out of character with the neighborhood.  You will not find another driveway four feet off grade.  Mr. Schmidt took five months to supply this information and we have been waiting five months that is significant.

Sapir – What is the significance?

Hendrickson -  What was the delay?  There was nothing but a foundation for the garage.  Someone may say there is a tremendous hardship, but there is no hardship.  He put this hardship on himself.  In conclusion, I do not believe it fits esthetically with the rest of the neighborhood.  I also have safety concerns.  There is a two-ton truck parked in the driveway. God forbid if someone swerves in the middle of the winter that truck will go into my family room it is guarded by a vinyl fence, that I can put my hand through.

Sapir -  The fence that is on your property, was that fence put up since the wall was built?

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Hendrickson -  What fence?  Oh…you are talking about the fence around the deck?  That pool and deck have been up three years and it was applied for and approved.

Sapir -  When you are using your yard and pool, your orientation is on the other side of the house; correct?

Hendrickson – Correct.  The retaining wall is right on the property line.  We had it surveyed and it is right on the property line.  So, there was no area for me to build screening or anything at all.  When you have a four-foot wall and then a six-foot high fence.  It would be difficult for me to do screening.

Sapir -  You already have a wall that screens your back yard.

Hendrickson -  I am talking about the front yard.  You can see the truck in the pictures and you can see how raised it is from the front yard.

Discussion followed over pictures.

Hendrickson -  I feel one solution to the problem would be to have the owner absorb the cost of providing screening.

Sapir -  But, it looks like it is less than the ten feet your are requesting.

Discussion followed over pictures

Hendrickson -  I am requesting screening to the height of the retaining wall and I am also requesting some protection from the truck coming down on my property.  I would like Mr. Schmidt to put screening along the balance of my wall past the fence.  The retaining wall is buckling and I spoke to a professional and according to them, it was not done properly. It is not a significant size and that wall is actually bulging out.  It is shown on the pictures that I submitted to you.  The dead-men are bulging out and it is already collapsing.  We also have issues with the fence.  I do not have serious drainage issues.  The only issue is esthetics.

Sapir -  Anyone else like to be heard?

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Helen Kokinchak, 100 Cleveland Drive – The Zoning Board has a copy of my letter on record, so I would just like to add photos (Photos submitted for the record).  I think it is fair to say that esthetics has been changed for the neighbors in the rear.  We also share the other neighbors concerns about drainage.  I have seen a difference.  This week I have noticed that our paneling in the corner of the area that is near the rear wall has green mold and seepage.  We have never had this before.  But, we have previously gotten water in at least once per year during severe storms.

Sapir -  What about during a spring thaw?

Kokinchak – Not much.  We wanted to install new flooring, but we decided not to.  We now have a green wall.

Sapir -  Do you know what is causing that?  

Kokinchak – Moisture.  I see seepage below where the paneling is.

Schmidt – With respect to the question about the professional engineer, I believe the Village of Croton-on-Hudson has a professional engineer and I believe that request is a total insult to the Village Engineer.  Regarding Mr. Hendrickson, the retaining wall was put in January or February.  The reason the retaining wall was installed was because Mr. Hendrickson demanded that retaining wall.  I wanted to put in a uni-block wall.  At the time Mr. Hendrickson wanted it, I did not have the were-with-all to put in uni-block.  This is a low retaining wall by Croton’s standards.  As far as the engineering being un-based, I also have a privacy fence that is all according to Code.  Mr. Hendrickson has also stated to my son that he is concerned about the truck going into his oil tanks in his back yard.  Mr. Hendrickson has asked me for two feet of my property to put in his shrubs.  Mr. Hendrickson and I do not really speak.   We have been communicating through the Bldg. Dept. repeatedly and we are speaking through the Bldg. Dept. at this moment.  

Hendrickson - I did not ask for a retaining wall and yes he did say that he was going to put in a structurally sound wall and he never did.

Kelly – I request to speak to my own engineer, Mr. Tully.  I would like the opportunity to consult with my own engineer.

Sapir -  When were you told to cease construction on the garage?

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Schmidt – What happened was my mistake.  The Village Engineer came out to visit the site and said I was OK in terms of the house, underpinnings, etc.  We looked at the yard and talked about the drywell and I misunderstood him as saying I was OK for a Certificate of Occupancy.  I thought that meant he was going to give me the OK for the garage.  It was just a misunderstanding.  As soon as the Building Inspector showed up and saw what I was doing, he told me to immediately stop and then I spoke to the Village Engineer he said that I absolutely should stop until we resolve the fill issue.

Sapir -  The only thing being held up is the completion of the garage. Can  you wait until September to do this?

Schmidt -  I have thousands of dollars of tools and materials, my house is complete and I am living in it.  I have approved footings, foundation and slab on that garage.  That slab is going nowhere.  If I have to, I will put a temporary structure and use that.  It seems to me there is no reason why we can’t make a decision tonight.  I will go by the Village Engineer’s decision he is an engineer.

Sapir -  Anyone else like to be heard?

Lauro -  This …..

Sapir – We have already heard you, is there anyone else that would like to speak?
There was no reply.

Sapir – Asked the Board if they were prepared to make a decision this evening?

The Board agreed that they were ready to make a decision this evening.

Hearing Closed  

Barlow – Made Motion to approve the application pursuant to 120-11, 12, 13 of the Village Code for a Fill Permit and to approve a Fill Permit for fill in excess of 100 cubic yards after having been estimated that approximately 150 yards in excess of the permitted amount was brought onto the property

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Motion is further made that pursuant to Section 230-75 of the Village Code the permit shall be granted as follows and with the following conditions:

The applicant shall comply with the planting of any screening the Village Engineer deems reasonable and necessary to screen the garage and to assist in the drainage of the property.

The Village Engineer shall consider all reports of professional consultants and all such reports on behalf of the public must be submitted by July 23, 2003, to the Village Engineer.  The Village Engineer shall consider and request any curb protection he thinks may be necessary to provide protection on the side of the house that borders the 31 Sunset Drive property.  If the Village Engineer deems it necessary, he shall request any measures necessary for mitigation of drainage in order to protect neighboring properties.  Screening shall be required to screen the garage and assist in the drainage of the property.

Stephens – Second the Motion

Vote – 4-0 – In Favor – Barlow, Stephens, Sapir, Waitkins

Respectfully submitted

Janice Fuentes
ZBA Secretary


_Steve and Ayelese Moskowitz , has applied to the Zoning Board of Appeals of the Village of Croton-on-Hudson, request for a side yard and total side yard variance with respect to a proposed addition.

The property, at 14 Cook Lane, is located in a RA-5, District and is designated on the Tax Maps of the Village as Section 67.19 Block 2 Lot 31.

A public hearing having been held after due notice, this Board from the application and after viewing the premises and neighborhood concerned, finds:

The variance sought is not substantial.

The proposed addition is in keeping with the character of the neighborhood and not detrimental to the environment or neighbors.

The granting of the variance will increase the enjoyment of the property.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the application is hereby GRANTED as follows:

Waitkins – Made Motion to Grant the application as submitted

Stephens – Second the Motion

Vote – 4-0 – all in Favor – Waitkins, Stephens, Sapir, Barlow.

According to Section 230-76 (D), “Unless work is commenced and diligently prosecuted within one (1) year of the date of the granting of a variance or special permit, such variance or special permit shall become null and void.”



Walter Schmidt has applied to the Zoning Board of Appeals of the Village of Croton-on-Hudson, request for determination/Fill Permit with respect to a new one-family dwelling under construction.

The property, at 23 Sunset Drive, is located in a RA-9, District and is designated on the Tax Maps of the Village as Section 79.09 Block 3 Lot 14.

A public hearing having been held after due notice, this Board from the application and after viewing the premises and neighborhood concerned, finds:

The Board received an application pursuant to Section 120-11, 12, & 13, of the Village Code, for a Fill Permit to approve fill in excess of 100 cubic yards.   It is estimated that approximately 150 cubic yards in excess of the permitted amount was brought onto the property.  Applicant seeks a building permit to complete construction of a detached garage on grade with the house on the property.  Having heard the applicant and the members of the public, the Board finds; that a drainage condition caused by the topography of the applicant’s property and surrounding properties existed prior to the fill being brought to applicant’s property.  Pursuant to Section 230.75 of the Village Code in consideration of the health, safety, and welfare of the public and neighboring property owners, the Board imposes conditions to permit the Village Engineer to require applicant to mitigate exacerbation, if any, of pre-existing drainage issues caused by applicant’s importing fill  in excess of 100 cubic yards to his property, and to address other issues raised by members of the public.  

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the application is hereby GRANTED as follows:

Barlow – Made Motion to Grant a Fill Permit subject to the following conditions being met:

The Village Engineer shall review all reports submitted to him by professional consultants on behalf of members of the public, concerning the fill, if submitted on or before July 23, 2003.
Applicant shall provide any curb protection the Village Engineer deems reasonable and necessary on the side of the property that borders 31 Sunset Drive.

The applicant shall comply with any measures the Village Engineer deems reasonable and necessary for mitigation of any exacerbation of drainage to neighboring properties, caused by the fill in excess of 100 cubic yards.

The applicant shall comply with the planting of any screening the Village Engineer deems reasonable and necessary to screen the garage and to assist in the drainage of the property.

Stephens – Second the Motion

Vote -  4-0  - In Favor – Barlow, Stephens, Sapir, Waitkins

According to Section 230-76 (D), “Unless work is commenced and diligently prosecuted within one (1) year of the date of the granting of a variance or special permit, such variance or special permit shall become null and void.”