SBL: 48.07-2-2 & 48.11-1-49
Description: Proposed to construct a 5,000 sf building for an engine building shop, and to store and repair cars in an I-2 zone.
Planning Board, 5-22-2017
In an item not on the agenda, Town Engineer Quinn suggested that instead of JCPC constructing the forebay as part of its required off mitigation, the applicant put $15,000 (what the construction would have cost) into an escrow fund that could be used as part of the cost for the larger planned East of Hudson stormwater project; if that project doesn’t materialize, Mr. Quinn said the money could be used for other drainage projects in the area.
This led to a discussion of whether the stormwater measures the DEP is requiring the applicant to do on site was sufficient and obviated the need for the off site mitigation. While some board members felt the two requirements overlapped, Mr. Quinn believed that the off site mitigation was needed to comply with the town’s existing Wetlands Law and was separate from the DEP requirements. Developing the site will involve the loss of about 11,000 SF of wetlands. Mr. Quinn classified the wetlands as “low functioning” but added that the existing law did not address the functional value of the wetlands when requiring mitigation. The board’s attorney said he would review the issue; if he concludes that the off site mitigation is not required, the approved site plan would have to be amended as it includes the construction of the forebay.
In the meantime, and prior to getting a building permit, the applicant wants to proceed with some site preparation work and needs a tree permit. The applicant was advised to come to the next meeting when the issue might be resolved.
Planning Board, 4-3-2017
Mr. Ciarcia reported that some changes are being made to the landscaping plan and paving based on DEP input.
Explaining that the forebay off site mitigation plan was “moving forward” as an East of Hudson Corporation funded project, Mr. Ciarcia requested that the language in the approving resolution that required a one year maintenance bond for the forebay and insurance to work on town property be changed from”before the building permit is issued” to “before a permanent certificate of occupancy is issued.”
The board approved the revised site plan and the changes in the approval resolution.
In response to Mr. Tegeder’s concerns about the retaining wall in the rear of the site, Mr. Ciarcia said the details of how the wall will be constructed will be determined once site conditions are known.
Planning Board, 5-23-2016
(Notes: Supervisor Grace and Councilmen Bernard and Diana were present for the discussion. The proposed off site mitigation is on town owned land. Also, Mr. Tripodi did not participate in the discussion because he only recently joined the board, but Mr. LaScala, the newest member, did participate, noting that he was familiar with the plan in his previous capacity as a member of the Conservation Board.)
The discussion focused on the draft approval resolution. In general, the applicant, and his engineer, Dan Ciarcia, objected to what they viewed as the board continually bringing up new issues. “When will it end?” Ciarcia asked.
When Mr. Kincart asked the applicant to identify specific conditions that he had an issue with, the discussion focused on two conditions that had been suggested by the town engineer: the landscape requirements for the newly created wetlands and a requirement that a drainage pipe be videoed. (Note: As the CIY observer did not have a copy of the draft resolution, it was not always clear what language the participants were referring to, e.g., whether the bond issue discussed below was just for plantings or also included other maintenance issues, Similarly, language relating to the videoing requirement was not always clear.)
Landscaping. The draft resolution had a requirement that the applicant post a bond to insure that the new plantings were viable for five years. The applicant said this was excessive. Mr. Tegeder explained that while one year was typical for a site plan, a five year requirement was typical when wetlands were involved. Speaking against the five year requirement, Supervisor Grace noted that the landscaping may be modified in the future when the regional stormwater project is constructed. Board members Savoca, Kincart and LaScala indicated that they had no problem with the one year bond.
Stormwater pipe maintenance. (This may refer to the pipe from the applicant’s site to the forebay.)The condition in the draft resolution related to a requirement that the pipe be videoed to insure that it was functioning properly. The applicant objected to the requirement on the grounds that no other applicant has been required to do this and that there was no evidence that the pipe was not functioning properly. Supervisor Grace noted that as it was a town pipe, the town would be responsible in the event there was a problem. He also explained that the engineer was new and being thorough. Ms. Georgiou, the board’s counsel noted that since there was nothing in the engineer’s memo to indicate that a problem existed, it was highly unusual to include such a condition in the resolution.
Other issues: The board also reviewed ABACA’s memo relating to landscaping issues on the applicant’s site and how it would screen the Summit Street homeowners.
After making modifications in the resolution, the board voted unanimously to approve the resolution.
Planning Board, 5-9-2016
Although shown on the agenda for a “decision statement,” no vote was taken on a resolution as some of the required final plans had either not been submitted or had not yet been reviewed by town staff and advisory boards.
Joe Riina of Site Design Consultants was filling in for Dan Ciarcia, the applicant’s initial engineer. He advised the board that some changes had been made to the plan in response to the town engineer’s comments but that the stormwater plan was still being worked out in addition to a final landscape plan and lighting plan. The applicant expects to appear before ABACA on May 10 to discuss the landscape plan which will impact the residence to the rear of the site.
Steve Marino of Tim Miller Associates presented the latest plan for the off site mitigation, adding that the town engineer and Bruce Barber had not yet seen the plan. Mr. Quinn advised the board that his review of the plan was important because it could result in changes to the site plan. The EAF also needs to be completed.
After Mr. Flynn indicated that given the missing details he was not ready to vote on a resolution, and it became clear that there were not three votes in favor of a resolution (As this was Mr. Tripodi’s first meeting, he was not in a position to vote on the application), Mr. Capellini asked that the decision be put off two weeks until the next board meeting. He repeated his position that the board should consider following past practice and approve applications subject to conditions, adding that, “time often kills a project” and that process was taking precedence over the substance of the project. When Mr. Riina said he wasn’t sure if he would be able to complete the stormwater plan by the next meeting, Mr. Capellini noted that the site plan could always be amended if changes were needed after the board approved the plan.
Town Board, 4-26-2016
(The following discussion dealt with planning issues in general and specifically with JCPC. The entire summary is reproduced below.)
In an item not on the agenda, Councilman Bernard who, as the Town Board’s liaison to the Planning Board had attended the previous night’s Planning Board meeting, brought up the issue of the Planning Board’s delay in approving several applications. He was especially concerned about the delay with the JCPC Holdings application. This led to a lengthy discussion with Mr. Tegeder and Mr. Barber about how development applications should be processed. The discussion was both general and specific when dealing with the JCPC Holdings application that involves an innovative major off site wetlands mitigation plan on town owned property. At times, the two issues were intermingled.
At the heart of the issue was the Planning Board’s unwillingness to approve applications before all the necessary information and plans had been submitted and reviewed by town staff and the board. (At times, the Planning Board has approved applications “with conditions,” e.g., the submission of a satisfactory landscaping plan, easement document, or lighting plan.)
Repeating comments he had made at the previous Planning Board meeting, Town Engineer Michael Quinn advised the board that approving applications with conditions before all the plans had been reviewed by town staff actually did not help the applicant because site plan changes might be needed after the missing information had been reviewed.
In an effort to let developers know in advance what the town wants, and avoid what he considers a “moving target,” Supervisor Grace suggested that the town develop master plans in several areas, such the off site tree mitigation plan for a tree bank discussed as part of the Tree Ordinance discussion (see above) or the regional stormwater plan involving the JCPC application (see below.)
And, in a repetition of what had been discussed at the Planning Board meeting, the Town Board briefly discussed whether the Planning Board should require complete applications before the applicant comes to the Planning Board and also whether all the necessary documents must be submitted by a firm deadline before an application is put on the Planning Board agenda. In this regard, Mr. Tegeder asked to Town Board to be more specific about what aspects of the planning approval process the board thinks is not working; sometimes, he added, the problem is simply one of perception. Mr. Tegeder also noted that sometimes, consultants delay preparing certain plans in an effort to save their clients money. He also explained that during the initial stages of reviewing a development application, a concept plan is usually sufficient and that more detailed plans are usually worked on after the board and the applicant have come to agreement on the basic plan.
Mr. Barber explained that the town’s E-Panel review process was designed mostly for homeowners as a way to give them guidance on how the planning approval process works. Mr. Tegeder noted that most of the consultants who appear before the Planning Board are very well versed in what the Planning Board requires.
JCPC Holding issue
At issue was the “master plan” for the overall plan for a major regional stormwater retrofit project and whose responsibility it was to prepare that plan. Supervisor Grace stated that because the project was on town property the town should design it and have a plan ready when new Front Street developers want to incorporate their projects into the plan. He said that JCPC should not have to wait until the town did the master plan. Town Engineer Quinn seemed a bit surprised at the notion that his office would be responsible for developing such a plan.
In an effort to clarify the situation, Mr. Tegeder said that the applicant has submitted a concept plan for his mitigation as part of an overall plan 2 ½ months back and that the Planning Board had been waiting for the applicant to submit more information.
It was pointed out that the applicant was appearing before ABACA that evening for a review of the landscaping and lighting plan. But, when the supervisor suggested that the Planning Board approve the site plan before the stormwater plan was submitted so that JCPC could start the DEP approval process, Mr. Barber explained that the stormwater plan was for the building site (about which the Planning Board had no issues) and which had nothing to do with the off site wetlands mitigation. He said he could work with the JCPC environmental consultant to flesh out the mitigation plan but that the applicant’s engineer had to do the stormwater plan which was a major component of the DEP review.
Supervisor Grace considers this project of “symbolic” importance and one that should be “moved along.” He said he wants the Planning Board to do whatever has to be done to get the project to the DEP.
Planning Board, 4-25-2016
Although all parties appeared to be in agreement that the best option was for the applicant to construct the forebay and seed the surrounding area, the board said that before voting on an approval resolution, it needed more than a concept plan of where the forebay would be; the board wanted to see a master plan or more detailed plan for the site and how what JCPC was planning to do would fit into the eventual overall regional plan for the site.
Mr. Quinn advised the applicant that additional information was also needed for the building portion of the plan, including lighting, landscaping and stormwater. The applicant said he would get these to Mr. Quinn by the end of the week and Mr. Quinn and Mr. Barber will work with Steve Marino on the mitigation issue..
Mr. Quinn said he didn’t advise the board to grant an approval that included numerous conditions based on plans that he had not yet had a chance to review.
Councilman Bernard, Town Board liaison to the Planning Board, expressed frustration that the application had not moved forward and that he had heard the same discussion about the three options several times before.
Planning Board, 4-11-2016
Dan Ciarcia gave an overview of the project and Bruce Barber explained the forebay off-site mitigation plan. A SWPP still needs to be prepared and the “nuts and bolts” of the mitigation plan worked out. Mr. Ciarcia said the applicant prefers the option of his doing the work now instead of bonding it pending a decision by the EOH collation. Mr. Barber said it could take several years before the EOH project could be implemented. There were no public comments. The hearing was closed. Staff will now work on the details of the approving resolution.
Town Board, 4-5-2016
As the town is the owner of the land on which JCPC will construct off-site wetland mitigation, the board authorized the applicant to submit a wetlands permit to the Planning Board to be reviewed as part of the applicant’s site plan review. Supervisor Grace explained the off site mitigation plan that had been worked out at the Planning Board level.
Planning Board, 3-28-2016
Three options for addressing the off-site mitigation were set out. A final decision was deferred, however, pending the submission of more information on the potential cost of constructing the new wetlands. Mr. Barber estimated that it could cost about $60,000 to construct one acre of wetlands, which would work out to about $15,000 for the portion that JCPC might be obligated to construct or finance.
The three options are:
1. A “complete” solution that includes creating the forebay and creating an abutting wetland by grading and seeding the area. Mr. Barber advised the board that the Conservation Board favored this option.
2. A “partial” solution that would create the forebay but hold off for two years, pending an EOH decision on the anticipated larger stormwater project, any work to create the wetlands. The applicant would contribute a collar amount towards the eventual creation of the wetlands. If the EOH project did not proceed, then the money would be used to create the wetlands. Mr. Barber said he favored Option #2 on the theory that if and when the EOH project proceeds, the plan might call for tearing up the wetland area that would be created under option #1.
3. Do nothing now, wait for the EOH decision, and hold a dollar amount from the applicant pending the EOH decision.
The applicant said he had no problem with any of the three options.
The board will hold a public hearing on April 11. All three options, with the cost figures, will be available at the time.
Planning Board, 3-14-2016
With the applicant, Town Board and Planning Board in general agreement on the off-site mitigation plan (see below), a Public Informational Hearing will be held in April.
As explained by Bruce Barber, all that remains to be decided is the amount of “new” wetlands to be created surrounding the forebay and what portion of the wetlands creation will be the responsibility of the applicant, either by creating the wetlands now or putting a sum of money into a fund to be used at a future date when the forebay may be integrated into a larger EOH stormwater retrofit project. It was roughly estimated that a 12,000 sf wetlands could be created at a cost of approximiately $60,000, or $1.00 to $1.50/sf.
Town Board, 3-8-2016
In order to meet the off site mitigation requirement for the plan, Dan Ciarcia and Bruce Barber explained the plan to create a forebay on town owned land in the vicinity of the UPS building to capture sediment in the stormwater flowing from the applicant’s site. The water would then flow into the adjoining state wetlands and stream. The forebay could function as one part of a larger regional stormwater retention project that is currently under consideration as an East of Hudson (EOH)stormwater retrofit project.
Until such time as the EOH project materialized, the town would be responsible for clearing out the sentiment from the forebay.
(It was not clear from the discussion exactly what the applicant’s contribution towards either the construction or ongoing operation and maintenance of the facility would be. The Town Board left it up to the Planning Board to work out the details. It was noted that the Planning Board has no problems with the overall JCPC site plan; the only outstanding issue was how to address the off sits wetlands mitigation.)
Supervisor Grace called the proposed JCPC project a symbolic one that would reaffirm the Town Board’s plans for additional commercial development. The applicant was one of the first property owners to get a sewer permit once the DEP connection moratorium was lifted last spring.
Planning Board, 2-8-2016
Dan Ciarccia, engineer for the project, gave an overall description of the project. Noting that there was no stormwater treatment for the watershed area from Hanover Street down to Front Street, he talked about the possibility of an area stormwater facility to the rear of the UPS property.
James Morgan, a Summit Street resident whose property backs up the site, said he had no objection to the plan but wanted to see some new trees planted along the property line to replace whatever had to be removed.
Central Street resident J. Patrick Francoise talked about the stream that traverses the watershed and suggested that all interested parties and boards try to work out a stormwater solution for the whole area, and not do piecemeal planning.
In response to Mr. .Flynn’s question of whether the applicant would consider any solar energy equipment, the applicant said he was looking into solar and wind, but that these would be long term projects.
Planning Board, 1-25-2016
Mr. Ciarcia explained that based on some excavation, he determined that the drainage pipe from the site had been severed, apparently when some electrical wiring was installed.
As a follow up to the previous meeting, Mr. Ciarcia, Steve Marino, the applicant’s environmental consultant, and Bruce Barber reviewed the possibility of off site mitigation behind the UPS building. Mr. Barber advised the board that it was a good project for the East of Hudson Coalition to undertake but since the project would require review by DEC, it could take 2-3 years before any plans were improved. Instead, he suggested that the applicant consider other possible off site mitigation locations. He suggested a much smaller project to the rear of the town hall parking lot and Mr. Ciarcia suggested a project on DOT land in the vicinity of Patriot Garden.
While the environmental experts will continue to review potential off site mitigation sites, Mr. Tedger and Mr. Barber asked Mr. Ciarcia to consider tweaking the site plan to move the building and parking area so that a smaller portion of the wetland would have to be disturbed. Mr. Marino will also be asked to do an analysis of the wetland’s functionality; Mr. Barber described its current function as mostly to retain stormwater and without any habitat issues. However, the present town code requires no net loss of wetlands when considering mitigation, regardless of functionality. Mr. Ciarcia suggested that the no net loss provision was more suited to residential developments than commercial ones.
While the applicant considers tweaking the site plan, a public information hearing will be scheduled.
Planning Board, 1-11-2016
Based on a site visit, Mr. Barber confirmed that the wetlands delineation has not changed and that the site does meet the town’s definition of a wetland. Most of the site is either wetlands or wetlands buffer. Since the town’s wetlands ordinance requires no net loss of wetlands, the discussion focused on the feasibility of doing some off site mitigation on a town owned parcel (designated parkland) behind the UPS building that is in a DEC regulated wetland. It was thought that mitigation on this site could work for the JCPC site as well as other locations along Front Street where there are no appropriate stormwater controls.
Dan Ciarcia, the applicant’s engineer, along with Steve Marino, the applicant’s environmental consultant will work with Mr. Barber to flesh out possible offsite mitigation strategies and return to the board in two weeks. One option Mr. Barber suggested was that the site could possibly become a regional stormwater project for the East of Hudson Corporation; in that event, JCPC could contribute a portion of the cost.
In the meantime, the applicant will excavate the 10” drainage pipe on his site that empties into a manhole on the Front Street sidewalk. It is assumed that the pipe in blocked due to sediment and that the blockage may be the cause of the ponding on Front St. It was agreed that the applicant will apply for an administrative wetlands permit for the excavation work and that this permit will be separate and distinct from any future wetlands permit the applicant applies for as part of the overall site plan.
Acting on Mr. Flynn’s suggestion, the applicant said he would contact the Summit Street homeowners to the rear of his site to let them know about his plans in advance of a public informational hearing. Although the rear of the new building will be at least 80’ from the residential zone, because the houses look down on Front Street, the homeowners will be impacted by the loss of some wooded area.
Planning Board, 12-7-2015
The applicant has made an adjustment to the lot line that would separate his parcel from the abutting Crown Delta parcel. In response to Mr. Flynn’s concern about wetlands on the site, it was agreed that the wetlands will have to be delineated and reviewed by Bruce Barber. Mr. Barber will also look into the wetlands functional value.; he noted that other properties along Front Street also have pockets of water. In response to Mr. Tegeder’s question about the feasibility of underground stormwater retention, the applicant indicated that the DEP has ruled out this option. Mr. Barber asked if the applicant could consider other “green” initiatives to replace the proposed above ground retention pond on the site.
The applicant will tweak the plan and return to the board.
Planning Board, 11-9-2015
A lot line change is being proposed between the existing parcel that houses Crown Delta and the adjoining parcel to be sold to JCPC Holdings.
Two issues were discussed.
1. Whether the existing Crown Delta building would conform to the existing coverage requirements once the lot was reduced in size. This did not appear to be an issue.
2. Whether any conditions attached to the 2005 Crown Delta site plan approval could not be met if the adjoining parcel is sold. This will need to be researched further.
Planning Board, 8-24-2015
Wetlands on the site are a more significant problem. Project engineer Dan Ciarcia said there is standing water and some wetland plants mixed with upland species, but no wetland soil. He maintained the wetland was created through neglect when
Ms. Steinberg, Town Planner, told the Planning Board that when it was reviewing the site plan of Crown Dental on the adjacent property, it required Crown Denta to move its driveway out of the wetland. So the Planning Board would have to figure out a rationale to contradict its previous evaluation in its “way forward around the wetland issue” with JCPC Holdings. Mr. Flynn added that the site was “really wet”.
From the audience, Councilman Greg Bernard told the Planning Board that the Town Board was considering amending the Town Wetland Law to allow consideration of wetland quality and functioning in wetland permitting, but said it unlikely the changes would be made soon enough to affect this project. However, he suggested forthcoming changes in the law might inform the Planning Board’s decision on this proposal.
The Planning Board directed that the wetland be reflagged and its history and origin be researched.
Mr. Flynn asked about noise and code required distances to residences. The building will be far enough away from the nearest houses. The applicant said his business is moving from