Planning Board

January 8, 2018


Attending: Robert Garrigan, John Savoca, William LaScala, Richard Fon, Anthony Tripodi




1. Stahmer Minor subdivision, Birdsall Drive

Withdrawn from agenda.  Hearing rescheduled for February 12, 2018.


2. Sandvoss minor subdivision, Hanover Street/Public hearing

After the applicant’s team made a presentation, a series of residents, mostly from the immediate area, raised a series of concerns about the application, including but not limited to:  missing documents (a SWPPP), inconsistent information in the habitat study and EAF, dubious claims about the likely minimal environmental impacts, especially to the stream corridor that traverses the site, and other deficiencies and discrepancies in the application and supporting documents. They asked the board not to take any action on the application until these issues were addressed.  In his memo to the board that had only been received that afternoon, the town engineer asked for an additional 30 days to review the application.


Rather than ask the applicant’s representatives to respond to the public comments during the hearing, the board voted to adjourn the hearing and give the applicant time to review written copies of the various public comments. No date was set for the hearing to resume.


3. 2040 Greenwood Street, Public Informational Hearing

Joe Riina of Site Design Consultants and Steve Marino, the environmental consultant for Tim Miller Associates, explained the plan. Mr. Riina indicated that based on discussions with advisory boards (note: although he didn’t name the boards, the assumption was that he was referring to the Conservation Board), the applicant is considering rotating the building so that less of it would be in the buffer and/or it would be less visible from Greenwood Street, as well as designating a portion of the gravel parking lot for future parking if needed, again to reduce the disturbance to the buffer.


Mr. Marino suggested that a clogged culvert might be responsible for the wetland conditions on the site. In response, a resident indicated that the stream is flowing. The Planning Board suggested that the Highway Department look into the condition of the culvert.


Several residents from Greenwood Street expressed concern about the project, primarily because of the uncertain nature of how the building could be used and the potential for additional noise, traffic and air polllutionb depending on the use. The owner of the abutting Hartel property, who also has a residence across the street from the site, told the board of how the Hartel site has been negatively impacted by the redevelopment of the abutting commercial property (the “red barn”).


The hearing was closed.


4. Gallinelli minor subdivision, Quinlan Street/Public Informational Hearing

(See Planning Board 9/25/2017 and 11/20/2017Mr. Riina advised the board that the applicant is now planning to extend the existing sewer line from the intersection of Ogden and Quinlan up to the site in a possible public/private partnership; the line would also serve existing houses across the street. However, the applicant is still researching whether he can connect to the sewer easement the abutting property on Quinlan has to connect to the Ogden sewer line through the rear of his property. 


Susan Siegel, the person writing this summary, advised the board that there was no issue if the applicant funds the sewer line extension by himself but that there were several legal and financial issues  associated with any potential public/private partnership that would pay for the line.




5. Colangelo subdivision/Jacob Street

Mr. Colangelo expressed concern that the trail component not be included in any preliminary approval because the board had not yet received any feedback on the plan from the farmer who would be developing the agricultural portion of the site or the Westchester Land Trust that would hold a future conservation easement. He was also uncomfortable with the possibility of the board “double dipping” for the recreation fee when he came in for Phase 2 of his development plan. In response, Mr. Tegeder  (and Mr. Fon) assured him that the board had no intention of double dipping on the rec fee.


Mr. Tegeder also explained that the location of the proposed land donation for the future trail connection needed to be shown on the preliminary plan although it could be changed at a later date, adding that additional Phase 2 features, including accessory buildings, a barn, and a trail connection to Jacob Road, needed to be shown on the preliminary plan but could be changed at a future date.


The board’s attorney also explained that the proposed conservation easement or land donation adjacent to the stream was an issue between the board and the applicant and did not involve that Westchester Land Trust, even though the Trust might be the eventual holder of the easement. Mark Michaels, speaking for the Advisory Committee on Open Space, also made it clear that no one was asking the applicant to build the trail; just set aside land for its eventual construction by volunteers.


Mr. Riina advised the board that he needs preliminary approval before proceeding with the next steps in the application that involved outside agencies.


Mr. Fon suggested that Mr. Colangelo meet with the Planning Department to work out the details that are needed on the preliminary plan prior to the board’s approval.  He reiterated the board’s decision that it wanted the land donation in lieu of money. 


6. Clean Energy Collective

Representatives of the company explained that they asked to be on the Planning Board agenda in order to “jump start” their application. Mr. Tegeder advised the board that before the board could consider any site plan, the Town Board had to adopt a local law allowing solar farms. He added that a second company was also interested in constructing a similar facility and that he had met that day with the town attorney to begin work on a draft law.  In the interim, he advised the Planning Board to identify parameters that it would be concerned about, such as setbacks and landscaping, that could be incorporated into any draft legislation.


Commenting on the plan’s concept map, Mr. Fon expressed concern about what he considered a huge “sea of glass” that he believed would be unacceptable.   The solar panels would cover 16 of the site’s 34 acres.


A resident attending the meeting advised the board that solar panels have a 10 year life span and asked what would become of the site once the trees were removed and the panels were no longer viable.


7. Alampur Professional Office/Syska Road

On a referral from the ZBA for a special permit to construct a professional office in a residence, the homeowner’s architect explained that the appearance before the Planning Board concerned the parking plan. The office would be in the existing basement and would be used to see patients two days a week.  The board asked Mr. Tegeder to visit the site and see if it was possible to construct a turn around in the driveway so that cars would not have to back into the road. It also wanted input on potential landscaping.


8. Goddard School at Triangle Shopping Center

In a referral from the ZBA on a renewal of the special permit, the board had no comments. Mr. Tegeder advised the board that he was not aware of any problems with the existing use.