Town Board, 4-24-2018
At the request of Mr. Tegeder and without any discussion, the board voted to approve a series of documents for the subdivision instead of waiting until next week’s regular meeting so that the developer could proceed.
Planning Board, 12-18-2017
(Mr. Savoca recused himself.) The applicant raised concerns about several technical conditions in the draft approval resolution. One issue was whether the applicant would have to come back to the board for approval on the actual location of three lots that are in the wetland buffer, a condition the board has required for other subdivisions. (The subdivision map shows the approximate location for the house; this could be changed once the developer has a buyer for the lot and applies for a building permit.)
With modifications in the resolution, the board approved the wetlands, tree, stormwater and final subdivision plan.
Withdrawn from agenda at applicant’s request. Mr. Kincart recused himself from the application, noting that the real estate form he works for will be marketing the houses.
The applicant explained that there were no changes from the previous plan. He is still waiting for DEP approval and comments from the town engineer. Several residents from Pine Grove Court expressed concern about run off from the site. In response, the applicant explained a three prong approach to addressing runoff: 1) a swale behind 5 houses on the west side on the property that will empty into an underground storage container and released slowly to a storm drain on Pine Grove Court; 2) dry wells for the houses on the west side of the parcel that will capture roof runoff and be released into the ground and; 3) an underground container on the east side of the parcel that will capture runoff from the driveways and slowly release the water. There will also be two rain gardens elsewhere on the site. The homeowners association will be responsible for maintaining these facilities, e.g., seeing that the swales are not filled in; in the event that they don’t, the town would be able to use a $5,000 bond that the developer will put in escrow to do any work on the facilities.
The board closed the hearing and after some discussion decided to postpone voting on an approval resolution until after the DEP reviews the final stormwater plans and gives its consent. The board noted that in the past, after the board has approved a subdivision or site plan, the DEP required changes in the stormwater plan that necessitated changes in the subdivision/site plan.
After going over some plan revisions and easement issues, the applicant pressed the board to waive the law’s requirement for a public hearing prior to a vote for final subdivision approval. It was not clear to the observer whether there were still some technical details that had to be finalized. When the board said that the public hearing was required, the applicant asked that it be on September 25th, the board’s next meeting. When it was explained that that did not give the planning department sufficient time to advertise the hearing in its normal venue, the applicant said he would pay for the public notice in a different paper. The board accepted his offer
Stating the nothing has changed since the board granted the applicant preliminary approval, Mr. Zappi said he was ready to proceed to final subdivision approval. However, Mr. Tegeder said there were still some issues that needed to be ironed out, including easement notations on the plat, the inspection of drainage pipes to the abutting Pine Grove Court cul d’sac, the preparation of a maintenance agreement for the on site drainage basin between the developer and the town, and the extinguishing of a temporary easement for the turn around at the end of the existing road.
With the applicant not present, the board approved a first 90 day extension while the applicant continues to work with DEP.
The board went through a memo from the town engineer listing about 30 items and had no issue with any of them. Among the items were:
- the town engineer will work with the building department on the siting of each house when an application for a building permit is made (Mr. Tegeder added that when the subdivision comes back to the board for final approval, the board can revisit the issue of whether the board wants to review the siting issue.)
- the homeowners’ association will be responsible for the maintenance of all the stormwater facilities, and the applicant will set up a $5,000 escrow account in the event the homeowners fail to adequately maintain the facilities.
- the homeowners’ association will own the three acre parcel with the retention pond but the town will be responsible for maintaining it; the applicant will provide a gravel road to the pond.
- conservation easements will be used for the lots that are in the wetland buffer. A split rail fence will be erected at the 50 feet line (It was not clear if this was 50 feet from the house or 50 feet from the outer edge of the buffer. Mr. Tegeder said that stone walls were more typical than split rail fences.)
The board went into Special Session and voted to approve the preliminary plan. Mr. Tegeder noted that the details of many of the items in the engineer’s memo will be worked out by the time the applicant returns to the board for final approval.
Planning Board, 12-19-2016
Town Engineer Quinn advised the board that based on a meeting he had with the applicant, there had been progress resolving 30 items he had identified in a memo. One of the key issue was the need for a Stormwater Management Agreement that will detail the responsibilities of the homeowner’s association , including the need for a possible escrow account to protect the town in the event the town has to step to resolve any problems. The applicant said he had no problem with such an agreement.
A second issue involved how to protect the wetland buffer area that would be in the backyard of some houses and whether this should be done by means of a conservation easement, or a fence or some barrier. If the lot is within the 100 ft buffer area, it was suggested that the restrictions on the homeowner might be limited to less than 100 feet, e.g., 50 feet, so homeowner could install a shed, but possibly not a swimming pool. This issue needs further thought. The proposed swale behind some of the houses and how this might affect future decks also needs to be clarified.
It was noted that at the preliminary stage, the exact location of the houses on each lot has not been set and that the board might want to see the final plans before the applicant gets a building permit.
Another issue that needs to be resolved is the need to inspect the stormwater connecting pipe to Pine Grove Court to make sure it is in acceptable condition to accept the additional flow.
The responsibility for the existing detention pond on the site also needs to be cleared up. While it was stated that old records indicate that it was/is the town’s responsibility to maintain the pond (it was designed as a regional basin for several developments in the area), the consensus was that a fair compromise needed to be worked out with the applicant, e.g., the applicant might clean and re-establish the basin while future maintenance would be the town’s responsibility. The future ownership of this this 3+ acre site also needs to be decided in the event the homeowner’s association stops paying taxes on this land.
With the applicant pushing for a SEQRA negative declaration and preliminary approval, the board advised the applicant to meet with staff to work out the remaining issues and come back to the board on January 9th with the possibility that a draft approval resolution might be on the agenda.
In a continuation of the public hearing, the applicant reviewed the stormwater plan that includes something akin to placing a dry well on each lot to retain stormwater, plus a storage facility under the cul d’sac and a swale along the western side of the property. All these stormwater facilities, plus the existing detention pond, will be maintained by the homeowners association (HOA). However, several area residents expressed concern about what would happen if the HOA failed to maintain the facilities. (The HOA will also be responsible for the maintenance of the private road.) The applicant explained that if a homeowner failed to pay the required HOA dues, the HOA could foreclose on the property. Before the applicant receives final approval, the board will have to approve the proposed HOA agreement. The town will be responsible for the water and sewer lines.
It was explained that the amount of stormwater leaving the site after development will be no greater than the pre development runoff.
When a Pine Grove Court resident expressed concern about potential sewer back up, she was reassured that the size of the pipe was adequate for the additional flows from the nine houses.
The applicant said that he would let the town pick which of the 9 houses would meet the affordable housing requirement . Regarding the recreation fee, he said he would either pay the fee or do work on town property, but he preferred the former approach.
Mr. Tegeder explained that while the hearing was on the preliminary plan (plat) that dealt with the general layout of the subdivision, at a later stage there would be a hearing on a final plat that will provide more details about the stormwater plan and how each of the houses will be sited.
The hearing was closed, leaving open a 10 day written comment period.
The applicant made a presentation explaining that the road and all the stormwater infrastructure, including the existing detention pond, would be owned and maintained by a homeowners association (HOA). A hammerhead would be constructed at the end of the current Sherry Drive.
Several residents from abutting Pine Grove Court expressed concern about flooding given the topography of the site that slopes downhill to their property. They also asked who would responsible for maintaining the stormwater facilities if and when the HOA failed to do so.
Planning Director Tegeder said he still had some issues to go through with the applicant and Town Engineer Quinn advised the board that he was still reviewing the plan, especially the history of the detention pond which he said had not been maintained for years. He also said that the HOA issue needed further thought and that possibly an escrow fund would need to be established in the event the HOA ceased to maintain the drainage infrastructure.
The detention pond was built several years ago as a regional stormwater facility. Mr. Tegeder said that it has capacity to take on additional flows.
Susan Siegel, the person writing this summary, asked how the recreation requirement for the 9 lots would be assessed and also reminded the board that the development was subject to one affordable housing unit.
Because the applicant had emailed the response cards from the required notice of the hearing instead of physically bringing them to the meeting, the hearing had to be adjourned so the cards could be produced.
As requested, the applicant prepared an alternative layout but stated that it was not his preferred option. The board did not review the plan but Mr. Tegeder stated that a future approving resolution would make note of why the board rejected the alternate layout.
The stormwater plan for the preferred layout has been revised and is currently being reviewed by the DEP. It includes a swale behind the houses that discharges into an easement to Pine Grove Court. An additional stormwater feature will be a detention pond under the cul d’ sac with a homeowners’ association responsible for its maintenance as well as the internal road, although the ownership of the road was left undecided. Mr. Tegeder asked the applicant to consider reducing the size of the cul d’ sac in order to reduce impervious surfaces. The applicant will also review constructing a “T” hammerhead turn around on Sherry Drive if the road into the subdivision becomes a private road.
Mr. Tegeder noted that more discussion was needed about the existing surface detention pond and whether its maintenance would be the responsibility of the homeowners’ association.
A public hearing will be held on September 26.
The board reviewed a series of comments in a memo from the Planning Department.
Stormwater: the applicant will be meeting shortly with the DEP to dig test percolation holes; the results will be used to prepare a stormwater plan.
Alternative layout: The board wants to see more details for an alternate road layout in order to justify why the present plan being considered is the preferred plan. While the applicant insisted that doing any more work on an alternate plan was a waste of time because it was obvious that the alternate layout would create more impervious surface and result in more land disturbance and more intrusion to the wetlands, the board insisted that it needed more details, not just the applicant’s statement, to substantiate that the current plan was the preferred plan.
Recreation fee. The Planning Department said that a formal referral should be made to the Recreation Commission asking what the Commission wants as a recreation fee. Patrick Cumisky, the Commission’s liaison to the board, advised the board that the Commission prefers the fee to be met by having the developer provide “in kind” services on other town recreation projects. He said the Commission has three possible projects. He added that the Commission will not be meeting again until September.
Affordable Housing. Pending a Town Board decision on the possible repeal of the Affordable Housing Law, the applicant will have to set aside one of the nine units for sale at an affordable price. (Councilman Bernard, the Town Board’s liaison to the Planning Board, suggested the development might be able to pay a per lot fee instead of setting aside a house, but after checking the Town Code, it was clear that the current law did not include a fee as a substitute for a house.) Mr. LaScala suggested that the developer reduce the number of houses to 7 in order to avoid the Law’s 8 unit trigger, but the developer said he wanted to proceed with 9 lots, adding that when he built an affordable unit in another town (either Somers or Carmel) he was given a density bonus in return. It was noted that Yorktown’s law contained no such bonus. Noting that the houses might sell for $750,000-$1,000,000, the developer asked for guidance on how he could build an affordable home. (Note: as part of the discussion, Mr. Bernard advised the board the a representative of HUD had met with Supervisor Grace to discuss the pending repeal of the Affordable Housing Law.)
Town Board, 5-3-2016
Public hearing on creation of Hunterbrook Sewer District Extension
Two residents from the abutting Pine Grove Court neighborhood had questions and concerns about the extension. When it became clear that their concerns dealt with stormwater, not sewage, they were advised to monitor the Planning Board meetings that would deal with stormwater issues.
The board approved the request for the sewer district extension into the Peekskill Sanitary Sewer District. (Supervisor Grace abstained, explaining that he knew the applicant.) The request will now go to the county for approval.
How to handle stormwater remains one of the key unresolved issues. The applicant has submitted the details for the underground retention system in the cul d’sac; the plans and calculations will be reviewed by the new town engineer who will start work April 11. The board asked the applicant for the locations of developments where the system is in place.
Mr. Barber had several questions about the desirability of using the existing detention pond in lieu of the cul d’sac option. He said that he still had questions about how the pond was dedicated to the town. The applicant indicated that because the cul d’sac was lower than the pond, running the stormwater to the pond was not a viable way to treat the runoff.
As part of the stormwater issue, there was a brief discussion on the ownership and maintenance of detention ponds. Mr. Barber explained that existing ponds have become the town’s responsibility, but Councilman Bernard said the current Town Board was not interested in assuming ownership and responsibility for new ponds. Mr. Barber said the town did not have much experience with a homeowner’s association owning such ponds.
Mr. Barber suggested that the applicant look into additional green infrastructure options on the proposed lots as a way to reduce the site’s overall stormwater needs.
The applicant said he would explore other stormwater options.
Still be fleshed out is how the applicant will satisfy the recreation fee requirement. The applicant said he was willing to work with the town if the town wanted him to develop an off-site location; the proposed second field at Hunterbrook was raised as one possibility.
The board advised several area homeowners who attended the meeting to continue monitoring the progress of the meetings.
Members of the board indicated that they had walked the site with the applicant.
The applicant gave a brief explanation of the project that includes locating the stormwater facility under the cul d’sac. Based on a review of existing documents, the applicant noted that it was the town’s responsibility to maintain the onsite detention pond; the plan provides access to the pond from Sherry Drive. While there will be on site grading, the applicant said that no fill will be removed from the site; the fill will all be used elsewhere on the site. Additional landscaping will be added to screen abutting properties on the west side of the site.
In response to previous comments, the applicant showed two alternate plans, each with 10 lots, but explained that the proposed 9-lot plan was a better use of the site.
A 26 year resident from Sherry Drive opposed the project on the grounds that it would dramatically change the character of the street which is currently a dead end. He also cited ground water issues. He was advised to continue monitoring the project as it progressed through the approval process.
The board agreed to begin the SEQRA process and refer out the project for comment to various town advisory boards.
The board has no problem passing along a resolution to the county that would enable the subdivision to become part of the Peekskill Sanitary Sewer District. A resolution will be drafted.
Noting that the proposed stormwater treatment under the cul d’sac would be expensive for the town to maintain, the Board asked the applicant to consider revising his stormwater plan, possibly utilizing the existing detention pond on the site or creating a new one. The Board noted that it was not clear who was responsible for maintaining the pond that was constructed in 2000 to accommodate regional stormwater.
In response to the Board’s request that the applicant consider some alternate road configurations, the applicant said he had already done this and that what was being presented to the Board was the best of all the possible options. In response, the board asked to see the earlier sketches. The ultimate “best” plan may be a tradeoff between the extent of an incursion into the wetland buffer and the most appropriate stormwater plan that takes into account long term maintenance costs and responsibility.
Board members will arrange for individual site visits with the applicant to review topographic issues.
The applicant also needs to verify the FEMA flood plain line.
The applicant, Zappico Construction, presented preliminary plans for a 9 lot subdivision off a cul d’sac on a 9.24 acre site. The lots would be an extension of Sherry Drive that is currently a dead end. One house, currently rented, has already been built. There was some discussion about the desirability of shifting a portion of the road in order to minimize the incursion of some of the rear yards into the wetlands buffer. However, because the driveway into the subdivision has already been built for the first house, the applicant said it was not possible to shift the road.
The subdivision will have town water and the applilcant will seek approval to become part of the Peekskill Sanitary Sewer District; access to the sewer line will be via an easement the applicant has obtained from a property owner on Pine Grove Court.
The eastern half the property contains a detention pond constructed in the 1990s as part of the subdivisions off Mohansic Ave. Noting that the pond has not been maintained over the years, and that responsibility for the pond was unclear, Mr. Barber said that any approval plan would have to include long term maintenance plans, either by the developer or the town. Stormwater from the subdivision will be captured and treated under the cul d’sac.
In response to a comment that there were several outstanding liens on the property, the applicant said they would be paid; the board added that all the liens would have to be paid before any maps were filed.
While the site’s wetlands were delineated when the first house was constructed, the applicant will have to clarify the FEMA flood plain line. The applicant will also have to provide details whether the existing driveway access for the first house meets the specs for a road that will eventually be deeded to the town.