Hudson Valley Islamic Community Center
Location: 3680 Lexington Avenue
Contact: Al Capellini
Description: Amended site plan approved by Res #10-09 dated May 10, 2010.
Planning Board, 7-14-2014
Both Mr. Tegeder and Mr. Fon indicated that they had visited the site and found no “spill over” problems with the existing lighting that consists of seven fixtures on two existing poles. When it was suggested that the applicant might need a variance because of the height of the poles, the Mr. Tegeder offer an alternative suggestion: because the existing lighting ordinance that regulates the height of the poles does not include an appeal process, he suggested that the ordinance be amended.
Mr. Fon asked for additional plantings along the front of the site and that the existing stone wall be fixed. In response, the applicant said that both issues would be attended to.
Planning Board, 6-23-2014
As a follow up to the May meeting, members of the Center explained that the soccer field was used only on Friday evenings and some Saturdays and, showing a series of photographs, disputed the validity of the lighting complaint by a neighboring homeowner. Adding that the same homeowner has, over time, complained about other uses in the area, the representative told the board that the house in question is 600 feet from the road – too far for it to be impacted by the lights. With the cooperation of the Center, Mr. Tegeder said he would visit the site at night and several board members also indicated that they would drive by in the evenings. Mr. Tegeder said he wanted to assess how the lighting affected the surrounding area, not just the complaining neighbor. Ultimately, the board would like to see something in writing stating the hours and days the lights will be used. It was not clear whether the existing 25’ lighting poles would remain or be replaced with 16’ foot poles. New lighting fixtures have been installed on the poles.
Planning Board, 5-19-2014
The applicant returned to the board in response to complaints the Planning Department received from a Strawberry Road resident about the outdoor lights that were “spilling over” to Strawberry Road and which were also on beyond the time agreed to. The problem involves the center’s soccer field.
In response to the complaints, Mr. Riina presented a new lighting plan which would lower some lights along Strawberry and the eastern portion of the property from their current 25 feet height to 16 feet, the maximum height allowed in the town code. When neither he, nor Al Capellini could answer questions regarding who was using the soccer field and when, both said that they would have a representative of the center attend the board’s next meeting to answer those questions. (Note: There are time restrictions on outdoor lighting in the town’s lighting code.)
The board was also concerned that the area being used for the soccer field was shown on the site plan as “overflow parking,” not a recreational use. While the board appeared to have no problem with the recreation use, it felt that the site plan should more accurately reflect its actual use, and that if necessary, there might be a need for additional requirements, e.g., fencing, that would address neighborhood concerns.
Planning Board, 4-22-2013
The applicant was before the Board to review “as built” changes to the site plan that were not reflected in the amended site plan that was approved in 2011. The changes included minor adjustments in the layout of the recreation field, changes that the Board did not seem to have a problem with, as well as the installation of outdoor lighting that was not included in the 2011 approval, an issue the Board did have problems with. The lighting issue may have come to the Board’s attention in response to a complaint from a neighbor on Strawberry Road.
According to Mr. Riina, the applicant’s engineer, some of the lighting does not conform to the Town’s code. The applicant’s attorney explained that the lights for the recreation field that borders Strawberry Road were only used on Friday nights and that the teams were advised to leave between 10:30 and 10:45 pm. He also reviewed the history of seven complaint calls to the police department and explained that all but one resulted in the police not finding any issue. The seventh call dealt with lights being on a few minutes after 11pm.
The applicant was asked to return to the Board with more details regarding the lighting.
Planning Board, 5/7/2012
The board okayed a 2nd one-year extension of the site plan to allow the applicant more time to complete certain items.According to Al Capellini, the attorney for the project, most everything is complete.