August 11, 2013
Attending: John Kincart, John Savoca, John Flynn (acting chairman), Darlene Rivera, Ann Kutter.
(Note: Ms. Kutter recused herself during the Crompond Terraces and Costco discussions.)
1. Dubovsky site plan
The board approved the first one-year extension. The application is still pending at DOH and DEP.
2. Kitchawan Fire & Rescue Station
The board reapproved the site plan, tree permit and stormwater plan (SWPP). According to Al Capellini, the applicant’s attorney, the fire company is modifying the interior of the building, including changes to the second floor so that it will no longer be used for habitation, in order to lower the cost of the project. When asked about the failed bond vote, Mr. Capellini explained that the vote included funds for both the new station and renovations to the Locksley Road station but that fire company has $1.1 million in its treasury which should be sufficient to construct the new station. Because there have been no exterior changes to the site plan, the existing SEQRA negative declaration is still valid and does not have to be reviewed again.
3. Sierra Bella Subdivision
The board okayed a reapproval as the applicant said he needs about two more weeks before the plat can be signed.
4. Hilltop subdivision
Two extensions were granted. Mr. Capellini said he expected a revised plan showing the two lots, plus the third lot that will not be developed, will be ready for submission in September.
5. Kiederer subdivision
The board reapproved the subdivision which is still waiting for DOH approval.
6. Murphy’s Restaurant
The board approved the outdoor seating permit or 48 seats for five years, through August 10, 2019.
7. Empire Hunan
(See Planning Board 5/5/2014 & 5/19/2014).A public hearing was opened and closed, leaving open a two week comment period. (Note: Because Mr. Piccirillo did not bring the required public notice mailing receipts to the meeting, the board adjourned the hearing to give him an opportunity to get them and return to the meeting, which he did. The board then reopened the hearing. The observer was not present for the second portion of the hearing.)
9. Grotto Holding
The board opened and closed the public hearing, leaving open a two week comment period. There were no questions or comments from the board or the public. The building department and fire advisory board had no problems with the site plan. A decision is expected at the September meeting.
10. Teatown Auxiliary Parking Lot/Public Hearing
(See Planning Board 6/9/2014 & 7/14/2014).Area resident Dr. Charles Silverstein spoke in opposition to the plan, calling it a foolhardy idea that was an environmental hazard to the community. He suggested that sufficient overflow parking existed around the corner on Blinn Road. Jim Benson, whose property abuts the proposed lot, spoke in support of the plan and said that Teatown’s engineers had worked with him to resolve all issues, including landscaping and grading issues. The hearing was closed, leaving open a two week written comment period. The plan calls for the removal of six trees.
11. PEG Realty Corporation
The board approved a modification in the grade in a portion of the site plan that became necessary during the preparation of the plan’s final drawings.
12. Crompond Terraces (Old Crompond Road)
This is a referral from the Town Board for a request to rezone property in the Bear Mountain Triangle area off Route 202 from R1-20 (half acre residential) to a combination of C-2 ( commercial) for 47,500 sf of office and retail space and RSP-1 (55+ age oriented) for 96 residential units. The plan also includes a senior center and pool. The plan involves five separate existing parcels, with the possibility that some additional abutting parcels may be added to the plan. The commercial units would front on Old Crompond Road (to the east of the new Best Plumbing building) with the residential units spread out over the rear portion of the site.
Residential: In order to maximize the taxes from the residential units, they will be sold as fee simple as opposed to condos which have lower assessed values. There would be three different types of units; one type would be two attached two-family houses with a total of four units. The applicant stated that there would be a demand for the type of units being proposed but did not give any price range figures.
In response to Mr. Tegeder’s comments that the RSP-1 zone requires a certain percentage of the site to have community amenities, Mr. Capellini, the project’s attorney, said that more thought would have to be given to the ownership/operation of the center and pool. (Note: although there was very little discussion about the center, in an earlier presentation to the Town Board, the center was described as being a building that would be given to the town.) Mr. Tegeder suggested that the RSP-2 zone, which permits straight age restricted housing, might be more appropriate.
Mr. Kincart said that in general he liked the idea of providing housing opportunities to the 55+ age group, a group, he noted, the town is losing. He added that given the grades on the site, the number of permitted units might need to be cut back.
The board said it would also consider existing zoning for senior housing as part of its review. (Note: a second rezoning request that includes some age oriented condos and rental units, along with other senior uses, was presented to the Town Board recently.)
Commercial: The applicant explained that the space would be destination oriented and as such would not generate much foot traffic. No potential tenants were identified. Mr. Kincart wanted more information about the potential tenants as he was concerned about the proximity of the senior units. Mr. Tegeder questioned the economic viability of the commercial units given the fact that he layout was not responsive to the street, that a new commercial building (see CVS plan below) was being proposed in front of the proposed buildings that would block the visibility from Route 202, and also that 96 residential units were not enough to sustain the retail space.
The applicant said he had been in discussions with Costco about the proposal and that the latter was very supportive of the plan.
No further action beyond this initial presentation was taken.
13. Arrowhead subdivision
(The following is based on a summary provided by another person.) The applicant presented a revised map showing what has actually been built and Mr. Tegeder said he would review the map.
14. CVS/Pharmacy (Crompond Road)
The applicant presented a concept plan as part of a pre-preliminary application for two new buildings between Route 202 opposite BJs and Old Crompond Road opposite the new Best Plumbing building and across the street from Chase bank. The plan calls for a 12,900 sf CVS building and a standalone 2,500 sf bank building (which might be enlarged) with 74 spaces between the two buildings. Ingress and egress would be from Route 202 and also Old Crompond Road. Both buildings would have drive-thrus. A sidewalk would surround a portion of the site, although it was not clear if the sidewalk would run along Route 202.
In a series of renderings, the architect explained that the traditional CVS red brick template has been modified to create more of a village look and to capture some of the architectural details in the nearby Chase and Best Plumbing buildings. Because the building will be oriented to face Route 202, several Planning Board members expressed concern that the back of the building would face Best Plumbing and the still-to-be-completed building that the owner is trying to lease for a restaurant. They asked the architect to consider changes to the rear of the building to enhance its look, or alternately, rotate the building 90 degrees so that the entrance would face Old Crompond Road. Given the constraints of the site, the architect wasn’t sure if the building could be repositioned.
The board also asked that pedestrian crosswalks be marked in several locations and members wanted more details about truck delivery times and truck access into and out of the site.
The board also requested that in a follow up submission, the applicant provide more detailed information about the auto body shop that abuts the property.
15. Costco FEIS
Acting chairman John Flynn began the discussion by explaining that given the requirements of the open meetings law, this was the first time that board members have met to discuss to what the procedures would be for reviewing the FEIS . He explained that once the FEIS is reviewed, it will become the Planning Board’s document and will become the basis for the board’s Findings Statement, which will contain the “meat” of the board’s conclusions relating to the application. He anticipated that the multi volume document would be reviewed, chapter by chapter, at a series of work sessions that could stretch out over a period of months. He indicated that during these discussions, the board may ask staff for input, but that unlike work sessions for other projects where the board allows the public to ask questions or make comments, during the FEIS discussion, neither the applicant or the public would be allowed to participate.
By the conclusion of the meeting shortly after 11pm, the board had reviewed up to page 36 of the FEIS and agreed that at its next work session, scheduled for September 8, it would review pages through the end of section 3F. In an effort to move the process along, Mr. Flynn held out the possibility of devoting a greater portion of future work sessions to the FEIS review and/or scheduling a special meeting, possibly on a Saturday, devoted exclusively to the FEIS review.
Mr. Capellini indicated that the applicant hoped to demolish some of the buildings on the site and begin a general clean-up sometime in the fall.
During its page by page review of the FEIS Executive Summary and a part of the Site Plan chapter, and cognizant that the document will eventually become the board’s document, members questioned the meaning of some words (e.g., the difference between landscaping that “shielded” or “screened’ the building), noted some typos, and had substantive comments in other areas, such as the need for an additional sidewalk into the site for customers coming from the east, and the traffic plan for vans and large trucks in the area of the gas pumps. When members questioned certain conclusions made by Costco, they agreed that in the final document, the board had the option of either rejecting the comment altogether and eliminating it, or asking Costco to provide additional information in order to substantiate its conclusion. The board also felt that given the fact that the gas pumping operation would create problems with the parking lot, Costco would have to balance the positives and negatives by providing more information about the benefits of the pumps. \
It was also explained that if in the course of reviewing the FEIS if there were site plan changes or newly discovered information, the board could require Costco to do a supplemental EIS.
15. Fieldhome/soccer field
Item was withdrawn from the agenda. No explanation was given.