Advisory Boards

See Landmarks Preservation Commission/Historic Preservation


Town Board, 10-16-2012

The following appointments were made.

 

a. Diane Dreirer and Walt Daniels were reappointed to the Conservation Board.

b. Diana Quast was reappointed to the Recreation Commission

c. The following appointments were made to a newly constituted Landmarks Preservation Commission; Jean Francois De Laperouse, Tom DeChiaro, Edwin Pell, Constance Fox, Dr. Michael Gordon, and as alternate members, William Primavera and John Eagelson

 


Town Board, 10-2-2012

 Without any discussion, Roxanne Visconti was appointed to ABAQCA (Advisory Board of Architecture and Community Appearance for a three year term.


Town Board, 9-18-2012

 

Conservation Board

The Board unanimously appointed William LaScala to the Conservation Board.

 

Advisory Committee on Open Space (ACOS)

Chairman Walt Daniels announced that there are four vacancies on the committee. Residents interested in learning more about the committee and possibly joining are invited to attend the group’s meetings the second Thursday of every month, 7:30 pm in the small conference room in Town Hall.

 

Citizen's Budget Committee

(Se 5/8/2012 below)

During Courtesy of the Floor, Don Roberts asked for an update on the status of the proposed Citizens Budget Committee. Supervisor Grace said that he hoped to appoint people to the committee once the Board hired a new comptroller.

 

 


Town Board, 8-7-2012

Reappointed David Tetro to ABACA.

Appointed Peter Alduino to the Conservation Board

 


ABACA

Town Board, 6/19/2012

 Reappointed Mark Connelly, William Primavera and Heike Schneider, each for a three year term.

b. Ethics Board;

c. Housing Board: Ken Belfer, chairman of the Housing Board, announced that there are two openings on the Board.

 


Town Board, 5/8/2012

The Board decided that it would like to meet the current ABACA members whose terms are expiring before automatically renewing their appointments. Supervisor Grace assured Bill Primavera, the sole ABACA member at the meeting, that they can continue to serve after their terms have expired and until they are either reappointed or someone else is appointed. He asked Mr. Primavera to assure the group’s members that they were appreciated. The board intends to present a proclamation in June to outgoing chairman Anthony Romano who has been on ABACA for 15 years.


Ethics Board

Town Board, 6/19/2012

Aviah Cohen-Pierson was appointed for a three year term.


Housing Board

Town Board 6/19/2012

Ken Befer announced that there are two openings on the board.


Citizens Board for Budget Oversight/Capital Projects & General Ledger

Town Board, 5/8/2012

Explaining that an existing town law provides for the creation of a citizen’s budget/capital projects committee, and that the Town’s outside auditor had recommended that one be established, Supervisor Grace indicated his intention to create a Citizens Board for Budget Oversight/Capital Projects & General Ledger. Because there were only three board members present, he postponed any discussion until a future meeting. He said the auditor had agreed to be present at a work session to discuss the concept.


Planning Board

Town Board, 4/3/2012

The board initially voted 2-2 on a motion by Deputy Supervisor Murphy to delay a vote on the reappointment John Flynn to a new five year term on the Planning Board. Mr. Flynn has been on the board for 10 years. Deputy Supervisor Murphy and Councilman Patel voted yes and Councilmen Bianco and Paganelli against the motion.In response to Deputy Supervisor Murphy’s argument that the vote should be postponed until Supervisor Grace was present, Councilman Bianco stated that there had been enough discussion of the appointment and that the board was ready to vote on it.

 

Following the failure of Deputy Supervisor Murphy’s motion, Councilman Bianco made a motion to reappointment Mr. Flynn. The resolution passed 3-0 with Deputy Supervisor Murphy abstaining.


Recreation Commission

Town Board, 1/10/2012

The board delayed voting approval for the reappointment of Patricia Caporale until the January 17th meeting when Ms. Caporale could be present.

1/17/2012:   The board voted unanimously to appoint Ms. Caporale.


Cable Committee

Town Board, 1/10/2012

Supervisor Gracer announced two vacanies on the committee.

 

Town Board, 1/24/2012

The board expects to appoint Ray Arnold to the committee at the February 4th meeting.  (update: the appointment was made on the 4th.)

 


Landmarks Preservation Commission

 

Town Board, 3-7-2017

(See earlier meeting summary for an explanation of the change.)  The board opened the hearing. Town Attorney McDermott explained the reason for the change.  There was no public comment. The hearing was closed and the board voted to adopt the amendment. After the vote was taken, Supervisor Grace reiterated the comments he made at a February meeting.

 


Town Board, 2-14-2017

Acting on a request from the Landmarks Preservation Commission, the board agreed to amend the current Landmarks Preservation Law to permit a property to be landmarked without the consent of the owner.  The change is needed for the town to qualify as a “certified local government” which makes the town eligible to apply for historic preservation grants.

 

Supervisor Grace explained that in 2012 he adamantly opposed the absence of a consent provision in the law which led the board to amend the law to require owner consent. However, because he is pleased with the work that has been done by the current landmarks group, he said he was willing to change his mind and now support the change,

 

The town attorney will draft the required amendment and a public hearing will be scheduled.


Town Board, 2-25-2014

Representatives of the Commission again repeated their request for funds to do an historic survey of the Heights area. In response to questions from Councilmen Bianco and Patel, they said that while the Comprehensive Plan included some information about the town’s historic resources, that information was based on a drive by survey and did not contain sufficient depth.  In response to a question about what information might be available in the town museum, Mr. Primavera suggested that the group check out that resource first before hiring someone to do the survey. Maybe, he suggested, the town could save time and money. 

 

One of the goals of the survey would be to identify historic elements that could be incorporated into any new development plans in the Heights. As an example, Supervisor Grace mentioned the proposed Depot Square project.

 


Town Board, 2-11-2014

Three members of the Landmarks Preservation Commission asked the Board for $3,500 to conduct a historic survey of the Heights area to identify buildings of historic interest and also the location of buildings that have been lost with the goal of possibly designating some neighborhoods as being historic.  The Commission’s overall goal is to make more people aware of Yorktown’s history and to create excitement about it.

 

Commission member Bill Primavera said he was prepared to donate $1,800 for the survey from his public relations firm if the town would match his donation.  Supervisor Grace suggested that as there was no urgency to the issue, it would be revisited in two weeks.

 

On a related issue, Commission member  deLaparouse called the Board’s attention to the existing barn on the New Road property the town took in rem last year. He said that the barn might have historic value and thought that perhaps instead of the barn being demolished  it could be preserved and used elsewhere as an interpretative center. Supervisor Grace inidicated that the former owner of the property may be redeeming the property and that there may have been problems with the foreclosure proceeding.

 

That discussion then led to comments about the old railroad station building and Ms. Roker explained that because the building was on the federal register there were restrictions  regarding possible uses as well as  how and who could paint the building.  She said that the Planning Department was looking for money for the property.   Supervisor Grace said he had received inquiries from people interested in the building.

 


Town Board, 7-9-2013

The Board agreed to advertise a public hearing on landmarking the Galbraith House on August 6.

 


Town Board, 6-25-2013

At the suggestion of Commission chair, Mr. de Lapérouse, the Board agreed to increase the Commission’s membership to seven from five by making two alternate members, Bridget Krowe and William Primavera full members. The Board rescinded the first resolution making the appointments when it realized that it had to figure out the staggered terms for each appointment.  

 

On a second issue, Mr. de Lapérouse advised that Board that the town attorney had still not written the letter needed for implementing the landmark status for the  Route 132 house (See Town Board, 5/28/2013.)


Town Board, 5-28-2013

J.F. DeLaperouse of the Landmarks Preservation Commission advised the Board that the owner of 3438 Old Yorktown Road  (roughly opposite Copper Beech Middle School) is interested in having her house designated an historic landmark. He said the house dates back to roughly the 1830’s. The Board advised him to get a notarized letter from the owner indicating proof of ownership and to work with the town attorney to work through other legal issues, including the suggestion that the historic designation be recorded at the county level.

 

Mr. DeLaperous said that once the designation has been approved, an historic designation sign should be erected on the property. In response to the question of who should pay for the sign, Town Clerk Roker said that if the Town was landmarking the property then it should pay for the sign.

 


Town Board, 7-17-2012

The Board opened and closed a public hearing on two changes to the existing law. One would eliminate the requirement that the Landmarks Preservation Commission include an architect and a person with knowledge of historic preservation. The second amendment deleted the requirement that the property could be landmarked without the owner’s consent.

 

Speaking on the first issue, Supervisor Grace said that he didn’t want the Commission to be unable to function in the absence of people with those skills and that interested residents with life experience should be able to participate in the Commission.

 

Bill Primavera, a resident and owner of a historic property who has asked to be appointed to the Commission, suggested that owners of historic properties be given a 10 year tax incentive to offset some of the cost involved in maintaining an historic property. Supervisor Grace suggested that that discussion be deferred to a future date and that in the meantime the Commission concentrate on activities related to preserving our historic heritage, such as the historic cemeteries in town.

 

Public comments during the hearing did not focus on the amendments but rather the future of the Bernstein House.

 

Ed Ciffone ad Nick DiTomaso raised questions about the Bernstein property and where the proceeds from the anticipated sale of the property would go: to town coffers or to the Museum Board. Both argued in favor of the latter. Mr. DiTomaso said that the property had once been valued by the Museum Board at $4 million and he was distressed to learn that the town would be selling it for $150,000.

 

Supervisor Grace explained that by the terms of the deed to the Town, after the museum used the property for 10 years, there were no restrictions on what the Town did with the property.

The Board approved the amendments.


Town Board, 6/12/2012

As the board was ready to advertise proposed amendments to the Landmarks Preservation Law, Town Attorney Koster presented the board with a revised draft that members had not seen, explaining that she was recommending the additional changes in order to simplify the landmarking process.

 

The two major proposed amendments are:

1) owner consent will now be required before the board considers landmarking a property

2) the requirement that the Commission have an architect as a member will be dropped

 

It was not immediately clear what other changes in the law in the attorney’s revised version would be included in the final version advertised for a public hearing.

 

Supervisor Grace said that there were many tasks that could be undertaken by the Commission that did not involve landmarking such as restoring some of the Town’s old cemeteries. The board did not announce the public hearing date for the amendments.


Town Boad, 5/1/2012

During the Board’s pre-session meeting, Supervisor Grace advised Board members that he has drafted two amendments to the current law. The first one would delete the provision that states that a property could be landmarked without the owner’s consent. The second change would remove the requirement that the Commission include an architect and historian.He said that the proposed changes would be discussed at a future work session.

 


Town Board, 4/17/2012

During Courtesy of the Floor, Mark Michaels objected to the fact that the proposed appointments to the Landmarks Preservation Commission weren’t on the Board’s tentative agenda released on last Friday but appeared on the final agenda at about 5pm today. He said that if other former members of the Commission had known about the pending appointments, they might have attended tonight’s meeting. While Councilman Bianco agreed with him that items shouldn’t be added to the agenda at the last minute, Supervisor Grace defended the practice explaining that sometimes things come up at the last minute.

 

Explaining that he was one of the former members of the Commission who resigned in 2007 over the proposed landmarking of the Old Stone Church, Mr. Michaels said he thought it inappropriate for Tom DeChiaro, the church’s owner, to become a member of the Commission as it was Mr. DeChiaro who “scuttled” the Commission’s recommendation to the Town Board that the church building be landmarked when he objected to the landmark status.

 

Bill Primiavera, one of the proposed new members of the Commission, supported Mr. DeChiaro’s appointment and didn’t understand why Mr. Michaels was opposed to it.

 

Responding to earlier comments, Mr. DeChiaro explained that the church has already received state landmark status and that it was close to getting national landmark status. Unlike the Town’s law, he said that the state and national programs were not excessively restrictive on the owner.

 

Supervisor Grace and Councilmen Murphy and Paganelli said that they disagree with a provision in the Town’s current Landmark Preservation Law that permits the Town Board to designate a structure a landmark without the owner’s consent. Supervisor Grace said that private owners are the best custodians of their property. When it was pointed out that without that provision, the Town would not be eligible for grant funds, Councilman Paganelli said that he was willing to forego the funds.

 

Later in the meeting, after it was pointed out that some of the proposed new members might not want to serve on the Commission if the “owner consent” issue was deleted from the law and the Commission became “toothless,”the Board decided to table the appointments until it resolved how it wanted to proceed on amending the law. Councilman Bianco, however, said he would have had no problem appointing the members that night.


Town Board, 4/10/2012

The board indicated its intent to reconstitute the Landmarks Preservation Commission. According to Nancy Milanese, one of the potential new members, the Town had a Commission from the 1960s through 1980s but somehow not in the 1990s. The Commission was revived in 2002 but its members resigned in 2007 over a dispute to declare the Old St. Georges Church a landmark.

 

When Ms. Milanese reminded the board that the current Landmark Preservation law permitted the board to designate a structure an historic landmark without the owner’s consent, both Supervisor Grace and Councilman Paganelli said they opposed this provision as an infringement on the rights of the property owner.Mr. Paganelli said he felt strongly that the Town shouldn’t be telling people what they could do with their homes. Supervisor Grace said he would look into the legal issues, while in the meantime, the board would move to make the appointments of the four people whowere present plus some additional residents who had previously expressed interest in joining the Commission.

 

The supervisor’s assistant, Mary Cappocia, reminded the board that the existing Landmarks Preservation Law required that some of the Commission members have specific backgrounds and/or expertise, including the requirement that one of its members be an architect. None of the four potential members present were architects and the group said it would try to recruit one.

 

Much of the discussion with the future members focused on what could be done to save the Knapp House across from the BJs Shopping Center that is slated for demolition as part of the Crompond Crossing project that has been approved by the Planning Board. Supervisor Grace asked if the house could be moved to the State Land site and Councilman Paganelli suggested Downing Park in the event that the department’s maintenance facility is relocated to the Hill, a possibility that had been discussed earlier in the evening. Councilman Murphy suggested that signs be posted on the property of historic houses in order to call the public’s attention to the houses.


Town Board, 1-17.2012

Bill Primervera asked the board to reinstate the Commission which has been inactive since the previous members resigned over a landmark designation dispute with a former town board over the St. George’s Church. Supervisor Grace and Councilman Bianco agreed that the Commission should be revived.

 

Town Board, 1-24-2012

Six residents interested in serving on a revived Landmark Preservation Commission came before the board. In introducing the people, Bill Primavera noted that, including himself, four of the six people lived in historic houses. A seventh person, Tom DeChiaro, indicated that he wanted to serve on the Commission but couldn’t attend the meeting.

 

Mr. Primavera explained the benefits to the town of having a Commission, including the fact that it enabled the town to qualify as a Certified Local Government which meant that the town was eligible for state funding.

 

Supervisor Grace expressed his support for preserving the town’s history, noting that historic geographic sites should also be identified in addition to historic houses. (Nancy Milanese, one of the residents interested in being appointed to the Commission said that the geographic inventory had already been done in 2006 with state funding.) While Mr. Grace said he supported preservation, he added that he was also a strong proponent of people’s property rights. He suggested that short of a historic designation for a property, the town could have annual ceremonies commemorating historic houses, and honoring the owner by possibly giving the owner a plaque.

 

Mr. Primavera said the next step would be for the Town Board to interview the seven interested people but it was unclear whether the board would interview the people first before simply appointing them at a future board meeting.