Grotto Holding (former Salerno Dodge)
Taconic Vet Clinic & Canine Kindergarten
3655 Crompond Roard (Route 202)
Planning Board, 6-13-2016
The board approved the amended site plan. The town engineer’s memo to the Building Department noted some items that remain to be completed before a CO can be issued.
Planning Board, 5-23-2016
Mr. Piccirillo reviewed the required site plan changes needed to accommodate the Vet Clinic’s equipment. He explained why the equipment cannot be located on the building’s roof.
The board agreed that the amendments to the site plan could be done by resolution and that a public hearing was not needed. The resolution will be voted on at the next meeting.
Planning Board, 4-25-2016
In an item not on the agenda, the project architect, Michael Piccirillo, advised the board that there had been three changes to the previously approved site plan during construction; two involved the relocation of exterior HVAC equipment and presented no problem for the board. The third modification involved a change to an island to allow for better truck access. This may require an amended site plan. The board agreed that the applicant could get a CO pending the approval of the amended site plan.
Planning Board, 10-19-2015
Minor changes in the height and materials of fences were approved by the Planning Board.
Planning Board, 9/21/2015
In its review of the landscaping for this project, ABACA noticed a note on the plans indicating that the project included more parking spaces than actually required for the size of the building. Therefore ABACA directed the applicant to include more landscaping in place of the excess parking. This was a misunderstanding on ABACA’s part because the applicant really does need the parking shown for its particular building use. Nevertheless, the applicant worked to meet the ABACA requirements without eliminating any parking spaces. This compromise included large planters along Route 202 instead of in ground plantings, which would be ruined by the canine clients, and a
4 ft vinyl fence with planter boxes for screening with the neighbor to the east, rather than in ground plantings in a 1 ft wide strip. The Planning Board approved these changes and will sign off on them.
Planning Board, 8-24-2015
Issues raised at a previous meeting have all been addressed. The building has been connected to the natural gas line so the propane tanks will be removed. The site has been connected to the sewer and an inspection made. Noise issues have been addressed by a combination of fencing, landscaping, use of the site’s topography and behavioral management of the dogs in outside pens. The Planning Board has been familiarized with the operation of the facility and is satisfied that dog barking will not be a problem. The applicant has addressed five of the seven landscaping requirements from ABACA. The two remaining ABACA requirements would reduce the number of parking spaces, so the applicant will discuss these with ABACA at its meeting the next day. The gates accessing the rear of the building have been widened to 12 ft, which will allow emergency vehicles to reach all sides of the building, but not drive all the way around. The Planning Board went into a special session in order to declare itself the lead agency for SEQR, make a negative declaration of significant environmental impact and to approve the amended site plan, pending final approval of the landscape plan by ABACA. The Planning Board also approved the special use permit for outside services for five years. The five year permit was requested by the applicant in exchange for completing all the landscaping at this time, rather than phasing it in.
Planning Board, 8-10-2015
The hearing was opened and closed, leaving open a 10 day written comment period.
In response to earlier board concerns, as well as concerns from the fire district about access to the rear of the site, the plan now includes two 12’ gates closing off the rear play areas. When opened, the gates will allow for circulation around the building in the event that becomes needed.
The applicant will need to clear up the following issues:
1. closing out the sewer permit, which will likely entail an inspection of the sewer connection
2. a landscape plan. The applicant has agreed to install all the landscaping at once in exchange for getting a five year permit.
3. whether the propane tank, shown on the site plan was “temporary” and will be removed or will become a permanent structure
4. a clarification on the use of the kindergarten area and the extent to which dogs may be kept overnight. Based on earlier comments, it was explained that the facility would not be a kennel but that occasionally, dogs might be kept there overnight.
In response to a comment from the public about the noise, Mr. Fon said that noise had been the board’s primary concern since the first discussion, but that based on a site visit to a similar facility operated by the applicant, they felt that noise would not be an issue.
Planning Board, 7-13-2015
The architect reviewed the changes that had been made to the plan, including fencing and evergreens in the rear of the property to screen out noise. He advised the board that the DOT didn’t want any landscaping along Route 202. The applicant is requesting a five year special permit and has agreed to install all the required landscaping and other site plan changes within 12 months if he gets the five year permit. In response to Mr. Flynn’s question about how many dogs would be dropped off at any given time and whether there were enough parking spaces the applicant explained that based on experience at other locations arrivals and departures are spread throughout the day and do not create a need for additional parking. He estimated that the facility might have up to 60 dogs at one time. There were no comments from the public. The board will hold a public hearing on the application at its August 10 meeting.
Planning Board, 6-8-2015
Mr. Piccirillo requested that the Public Informational Hearing be rescheduled because he was unable to make the required notifications. The Planning Board rescheduled this PIH for July 13, 2015.
Planning Board, 5-4-2015
The board reviewed a revised site plan that had been developed in consultation with the Planning Department. In response to board comments about adding landscaping in the front of the site, the applicant explained that based on the experience with dogs at her Mt. Kisco facility, shrubs close to the building were not likely to survive and she suggested using decorative rocks as an alternative. However, the architect will prepare a landscaping plan for an area closer to Route 202 and also in front of the dumpster in the front of the property. In deference to the applicant’s limited budget, the board agreed that the plan would not have to be implemented until the third year of operation. The board also agreed that the special permit allowing the outdoor storage (for the dog play area) would be for a five year period.
The applicant reported to the board that she had contacted two of the three homeowners along Old Crompond Road that abut her property. Both had no objections to the proposed use; the third homeowner didn’t get back to the applicant.
A public informational meeting was set for June 8, to be followed by a regular public hearing.
Planning Board, 4-6-2015
Since relocating his plumbing business to the site in 2014, the owner now plans to sell the building and the owners of Canine Kindergarten are in discussions to purchase the building a;pmg woth another co-owner. However, before they do, and before their architect, Michael Piccirillo, proceeds with any plans, they wanted guidance from the board as to what site plan changes will be required. As explained by Mr. Piccirillo, many of the site plan changes incorporated into the approved Grotto plan, e.g., parking requirementsw, may be unnecessary and/or too expensive for the new owners.
The new concept plan includes an outdoor play area for the dogs. While the current zoning code has no provision for this use in order to calculate parking needs, the board felt it could exercise its judgement in deciding parking needs which would obviously be different from the original site plan.
Mr. Piccirillo asked the board if his client could proceed with interior changes to the building before the board approved an amended site plan and that changes be made in phases. In response, Mr. Tegeder said that was “hard to answer” and the issue was left open and undecided.
The applicant will contact the three houses on Old Crompond Rd behind the site to discuss potential noise issues. The applicant also has to work out an emergency access plan.
Planning Board, 10-20-2014
The owners of Canine Kindergarten, who operate two facilities in Mt. Kisco and Verplanck, plan to rent the first floor retail space. Because their plan includes an outdoor play area, the site plan will need to be amended. The discussion was a preliminary one to get the sense of the board’s willingness to consider the change. As feedback from the board was positive, the applicant will return with a sketch plan that will show more details.
Planning Board, 9-8-2014
The board approved the site plan. The applicant’s architect said that the new owner still has not signed any tenants for the new retail space.
Planning Board, 8-11-2014
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.
Planning Board, 7-14-2014
The board opened a Public Informational Hearing on the application. In his presentation, architect David Barbuti indicated that no leases have been signed yet for the retail space and that the dog day care did not appear to be a possibility. With the exception of a modification in an existing stairway, the plan was the same as previously presented. The building will hook up to the sewer system. As the number of required parking spaces is dictated by the nature of the retail use, Mr. Barbuti was confident that he could make modifications to the site plan if additional parking were needed. At the request of the board, the architect will attempt to locate photometric information about the existing outdoor lighting fixtures.
As there were no public comments, the informational hearing was closed. A public hearing will be held in August.
Planning Board, 6-9-2014
Architect David Barbuti explained that the building’s new owner, a Yorktown resident who owns a plumbing contracting business in Yonkers, plans to convert the vacant auto dealership building to house a retail flooring store on the first floor, and his plumbing business on the second floor. The rear of the first floor would be used for the flooring company’s storage, as well as storage for the plumbing business. In the process, the new owner will “clean up” some outstanding issues that stem from work the town did on the site in the 1990s that weren’t shown on the approved site plan. The current plan shows 40 parking spaces where 27 are needed.
As a lease for the retail space has not been signed yet, the architect advised the board that the owner has also had discussions with an alternate tenant: a doggie day care facility. This tenant would use the same first floor area but would also need to install on outdoor run. The doggie day care would require a special permit as a personal services establishment but it was not clear which board would have to approve such a permit. Mr. Flynn noted that the residents along Old Crompond Road might be concerned about noise issues from this proposed use.
A public informational hearing will be advertised for July 14.