Citizens for an Informed Yorktown



Planning Board

January 13, 2014


Attending: Richard Fon, John Flynn, John Savoca, John Kincart (regular session only), Darlene Rivera, Ann Kutter



Courtesy of the Floor


1. Teatown

An informal discussion about a plan to create additional parking in order to eliminate parking along Spring Valley Road. The applicant will submit a formal application.


Regular Session


2. BJ’s propane facility – Public hearing

Robert Aiello of John Meyer Consulting summarized the project which calls for two 1,000  sq ft tanks, although the second tank will only be built if demand warrants it.  The tank/s will be enclosed in a chain link fence surrounded by bollards. At the request of the Fire Advisory Board (FAB) that did not want the facility concealed, there will be no landscaping around the fence. The facility will be staffed by employees of BJ’s tire operation. The site will include three sensors capable of identifying any leaks and there will be annual ad bi monthly inspections and logs.


In response to a question from Mr. Flynn, it was noted that the FAB had reviewed whether the facility would impede truck access to the loading docks, the Board was told that the FAB had reviewed this and had no issue.


There were no comments from the public.


The hearing was closed with a 10 day comment period.  A decision statement is anticipated at the next meeting.


3. Gione subdivision

In a unanimous vote, the Board approved the revised subdivision plan.


4. Fieldstone Manor Public hearing

The focus of the adjourned public hearing was on traffic, especially existing conditions at the intersection of Strawberry and Foothill and Strawberry and Lexington.  It was acknowledged by both Phil Grealy, the applicant’s traffic engineer, as well as the Planning Board that the problems at both intersections existed now and that the addition of 21 more units would not materially change the situation and that “solving” the problems was beyond the scope of the applicant.


While Mr. Grealy noted that traffic counts at the Lexington Ave intersection already warranted a light, he explained that because of the grade coming from Red Mill Road, the intersection was a difficult – and expensive – one to address, which, he added, was probably one reason why nothing has been done about it.  The Planning Board noted that a subdivision across Lexington Ave in Cortlandt has been discussed and that the two towns need to work together on the issue. The long range solution would be the Route 6 bypass, but everyone agreed that this was not an idea likely to proceed in the near future.


Mr. Grealy said he didn’t think a light was needed at Foothill and Strawberry as the intersection was a problem primarily during peak hours. Whether the applicant would be asked to do a warrant study (a study to assess the need for a light at the intersection) was discussed but no decision was made.


Traffic data gathered by the applicant for the Strawberry/Route 6 intersection will be made available to the state DOT  with the expectation that the agency will make timing changes to the existing light once the new subdivision is built.


There were no public comments. The hearing was closed with a 10 day comment period left open.


Work Session


5. Faith Bible Church

The Board noted that an Article 78 had been filed challenging the ZBA’s granting of several variances and the issue before the Board was how or whether it could/should proceed with its approval of the site plan pending the outcome of the lawsuit.  After the Board’s attorney had a brief private discussion with Al Capellini, the church’s attorney, the church decided  to proceed with the Planning Board review, acknowledging that by doing so it was proceeding at its own risk.


There was no discussion of the Article 78 lawsuit.


The ZBA variances included new calculations of front and side yard distances from the center of the road, allowing  25 off site parking spaces 908 feet from the church where the zoning code limits such parking to 500 feet from the site, and also considering the church a residential use for the purpose of meeting parking requirements in front yards.  


Because so many months have elapsed since the May, 2013 public hearing was adjourned, the Planning Department will advertise a continuation of the hearing for the March 10 meeting (Mr. Capellini explained that he would not be available for the Board’s regular February meeting.)  The applicant will not be required to send notification letters to abutting property owners. (Mr. Capellini told the Board that the required four previous mailings had cost the church between $800-$900.)  However, the applicant will return to the Board for a February work session to clear up any open issues prior to the reconvened public hearing.


6. Shell Station Canopy (Kear Street)

The applicant advised the Board that she had met with Building Inspector John Winter at the site and that all outstanding issues have been addressed. The clothing bins have been removed and some monitoring equipment from an earlier oil spill that has been resolved will also be removed.


Mr. Fon noted that when an existing development came before the Board for site plan modifications, the Board saw an opportunity to make both safety and visual improvements to the site.


The Board again expressed a desire to see the curb cut closest to Kear Street closed off in order to improve safety conditions at the intersection. The applicant, however, felt that doing this would hurt the flow of traffic on the site. No decision was made on the issue.


The applicant explained that the canopy over the pumps closest to the street could not be reduced in size and still serve the purpose of protecting the public during inclement weather.


Mr. Tegeder asked the applicant to provide a lighting chart that measured the light emanating from the site and also suggested that two lights currently located on the sidewalk be relocated onto the site if they are still needed.


The Planning Department will draft a memo to the Town Board expressing its concerns.


7. Blumberg Subdivision (Baptist Church Road)

The owner wishes to subdivide a 43 acre lot into two lots: a 32.4 acre lot that will include the existing main house, and an 11.2 acre lot that includes a farm house and other farm related buildings and uses. The parcel is currently designated an “agricultural district” and as such, there are restrictions on the extent to which the town’s zoning ordinance is the controlling land use document.


The main issue appears to be the location of a manure composting facility that does not meet the existing zoning code’s bulk regulations, even though the facility was built with the guidance and approval of the NYC Watershed Advisory Council. The Planning Department will review the law regarding how local zoning restrictions can be applied to an agricultural district.


8. Staples Plaza – Burger Fi Restaurant

The Board reviewed a preliminary plan to convert the vacant space that once housed the Emigrant Savings Bank into a new restaurant. The Board was supportive of the plan and liked the proposed architectural rendering but asked Robert Aiello, the site engineer, to consider changes that would make handicapped access easier and also provide better access to the site. The restaurant would use approximately 2,500 sq. ft. of the existing building with space remaining for a second, as yet undetermined retail tenant.


Executive Session

The Board went into executive session for “advice of counsel” for an undisclosed item.