Citizens for an Informed Yorktown


Planning Board

January 9, 2012

Present: Planning Board members Richard Fon, Darlene Rivera, John Flynn, John Kincart and John Savoca; Planning Director John Tegeder and Assistant Planner Robyn Steinberg; Attorney Karen Wagner representing the town (for all except the Costo application.)


Courtesy of the Floor

Village Traditions. The property owner, Mr. Mallon (sp?) asked the board to consider a modification of his approved site plan relating to the materials used to construct the required garbage enclosure. He wants to substitute  “barn-like” material for the approved stucco finish in order to “make it look better” and be more functional.  Mr. Tegeder said that while the original requirement called for  stronger materials that could withstand being “beaten up,” he saw no problem with the change. Instead of approving the change via resolution which would have postponed a decision, the board agreed to approve the change by having the Planning Department do a memo which would require the owner to maintain the enclosure in good order and which would be binding on future owners of the site.


Regular  Session

1. RCB Development

Representing the applicant, Mr. Mastromonaco requested a time extension on the subdivision approved in 2008. He said that his client had started work recently but that the Building Department had advised the client to stop work as his prior approval had expired. The applicant is trying to get site work done on the common areas prior to filing the plat so that he will not have to post a performance bond for the site work (he has put up bonds for other work on the site.).The board unanimously approved the extension with the condition that the applicant submit a letter stating that there have been no environmental changes to the plan or site since the earlier SEQRA review.


2. Trail Side Café

The applicant plans to combine two adjoining buildings, one at 1807 Commerce St (the former Lena’s) and a second, garage-like building on Kear Street (behind a nail salon), into an ice cream parlor/café. The plans involve two separate applications as each involve separate planning/zoning issues. Satisfied with the parking plan submitted by the applicant for the 620 sq ft. Commerce Street property, the board unanimously approved the change from the existing retail use to the ice cream parlor.  The board will possibly take up the Kear Street building at its next meeting after visiting the site. The use of this building, used over the years as a garage, for storage and retail use, needs to be legalized.


Work Session



3. Yorktown Jewish Center

Acting on a referral from the ZBA, the board reviewed the parking plan for a special permit for the Yorktown Jewish Center to permit a day care center on the site to be run by the Jewish Community Center which currently operates a similar facility at Parkside Corner on Route 202. The day care center will utilize four existing classrooms that have been used in the past for school use, and will have a maximum enrollment of 36 children and 5-7 staff people. The applicant had submitted a traffic study showing no impact from the proposed new modest use.


The proposed plan utilizes the existing traffic pattern into the site from which is from Loretta and James Street. Parents are expected to park and walk their children to and from the ramp into the building. At the board’s request, the center’s staff will be directed to park in a certain location.


An approving resolution will likely be voted at the January 23rd meeting so that the applicant can return to the ZBA on January 26th for final approval and a desired February start at the new location.


4. Bhatt, Vaman

The applicant did not appear at the meeting and no documentation regarding parking was provided. The request is to legalize a use that already exists. The Planning Department will send a letter to the applicant requesting the necessary documentation.


5. Augie’s Prime Cut

The board reviewed an amended site plan that was required in order to legalize the conversion of the building’s existing second floor, previously used as an apartment, into dinning space. The actual renovation of the second floor was completed about a year ago without a building permit. The additional dining space triggered the need for additional parking. The current office use on the building’s third floor is being returned to storage use.  In order to meeting state building code requirements, adjustments also had to be/are being made to the building’s interior and exterior stairs.


The new parking plan, which calls for a total of 47 spaces, is based on the restaurant continuing to use a portion of the parking lot of the adjoining hair salon for 18 spaces. In response to questions raised by the board’s attorney, the board was informed that the current lease to use the hair salon site has no set term and can be canceled by either party without notice. The board was not comfortable with this arrangement, which it noted could create a future parking problem if and when the owner of the hair salon site canceled the lease. The board requested that the applicant seek a five to ten year lease that would be binding on any future owner of the hair salon site.  The applicant also told the board that as a long term solution to his parking needs he was trying to purchase one of two adjoining buildings. 


The board also discussed the relocation of the garbage enclosure from its present position on the side/front of the property to the rear of the property. While Mr. Tegeder noted that the Planning Department had suggested the relocation in response to a complaint from the adjacent homeowner about the odors from the enclosure, it was noted that the proposed new location would be close to two houses. It was explained that given the requirements for truck access and turning movements, there were no other possible locations for the trash enclosure. The applicant advised the board that he is now having garbage removal five times a week instead of three, and also asked the board to reconsider the requirement for a stucco finish on the enclosure, saying that he preferred to match the existing fence which would be easier to keep clean and maintain.


The board will conduct a site visit and likely schedule a public hearing on the application for February 13th.


6. Mohegan Lake Motors Volkswagen

Representing the applicant, Joe Riina of Site Design Consultants advised the board that the applicant has addressed most of the comments made by the town’s staff, environmental consultant and advisory boards at the prior Public Informational Hearing. He characterized the comments as nothing onerous.”


Traffic issues: In response to the town engineer’s comments about internal truck traffic, he explained that the only trucks to use the site will be delivery vehicles like Fed  Ex and UPS and that the current plan meets DOT standards for those size trucks. However, if more space was required, he indicated that there could possibly be some shifting of the some porous pavement at the left side of the site. The two overhead doors shown on the plan will not be used for vehicle access but are shown on the plan because they are required by Volkswagen. 


The applicant has submitted a traffic study but it has not been reviewed yet by staff. 


Calling the proposed plan a “great plan,” Mr. Mallon (sp?) the owner of the nearby Village Traditions store asked the board where the cars would be serviced. In response, Mr. Kincart explained that all service work would be done in the existing Audi building.  Mr.Mallon then went on to express his concern, which he said was shared by other area residents, about traffic problems created by the existing Audi building, specifically trucks unloading from Route 6 and also using his driveway. He said the police had to be called to the site 20 or so times and that he had pictures of the illegal use of his property.


Flood plain issues: Mr. Riina advised the board that he met with the Building Inspector regarding the application for a flood plain permit and that everything was in order.  Mr. Tegeder noted that the DEC was concerned about the retaining wall in the floodway and Mr. Riina said that this issue was being addressed.


SWPP (Stormwater Prevention Plan): Mr. Riina explained that the town engineer will review the SWPP once the site plan has been approved. The applicant is also waiting for comments from the DEC on the wetlands application before making revisions to the plan.


Environmental issues: Bruce Barber, the town’s environmental consultant, has requested more information about the vegetative plan, including plans for dealing with invasive species, and a plan to deal with fluids leaking from the trash enclosure. Patrick Francois, the Conservation Board’s liaison to the Planning Board, wanted more details about the maintenance plan for the porous pavement.


Fire truck access: Mr. Riina advised the board the that fire inspector had said that the site did not need fire truck access to the rear as fires would be fought from the front of the sprinkled building. Mr. Tegeder asked that he get those comments in writing.


Lighting: Mr. Riina advised the board that some changes have been made in the lighting plan based on ABACA’s comments.


Al Capellini, attorney for the applicant, alerted the board to the fact that a buffer variance might be needed from the ZBA to address some screening issues with the abutting property to the east.


The board will conduct a site visit and anticipates that a public hearing on the application will be scheduled for March 11th.


7. Fieldhome expansion

Mr. Riina of Site Design Consultants reviewed a few changes that have been made in the site plan since the applicant’s previous appearance before the board. An amended EAF (Environmental Assessment Form) will be submitted to reflect the changes.


Location of garages: In response to earlier comments from ABACA, the applicant prepared a plan that repositioned the garages. However, the applicant has rejected that plan because it created more site disturbance and has returned to the original plan that has the garages parallel to the buildings. The current plan also includes modifications to the exterior of the buildings.


Tree removal: Mr. Riina advised the board that the current site plan meets the requirements of the Tree Ordinance and calls for less than 30% of the site’s trees to be removed.  Patrick Francois, the Conservation Board’s liaison to the Planning Board, expressed concern about the number of trees to be cut and asked for additional information. The tree plan will be submitted to the Tree Conservation Advisory Committee for review.  The Conservation Board also expressed concern over the possibility of erosion from grading a slope and wanted more information about what plantings would be used to stabilize the slope, as well as more information about buffer plantings between the site and the abutting soccer field.


Skilled nursing building: The building will now include a basement level to be used for utility purposes. While the square footage of the building will increase, the footprint will remain the same and the basement will be buried “for the most part.”


Conformance with earlier use of site. Resident Babette Ballinger asked if the changes in the site were consistent with the intent of the original donation of the property dating back to the 1880s which was to provide a home for aged women.  Field Home CEO John Ahearn responded that the intended use is in concert with the original donation and Al Capellini, attorney for the applicant, said that he would review the deed.


The Planning Department will prepare a memo on the latest plan changes, including comments made by the board’s attorney dealing with the EAF that were not discussed at the meeting.


The application will be reviewed again at the board’s January 23rd meeting.


8. Costco

This was the board’s first meeting on the application since the three volume DEIS was submitted. Mr. Tegeder said that he has been meeting with the town engineer and environmental consultant to go over the document. He advised the board that he expected the review to be completed within the next two weeks when the application can added to the Jan 23rd agenda. Based on the initial review, he said that there would be some comments, although nothing “earth shattering.”  One of the likely comments included the need for larger pictures and labeling on the pictures to indicate where they were taken from.


Sewer issue: It was noted that the Town Board had opened and then adjourned the public hearing on the applicant’s request to create a new sewer district (Hunterbrook extention #20) to tie into the Peekskill Sanitary Sewer District.  Al Capellini, the applicant’s attorney, explained that the parts of the site that included the motel and Kings Gate parcel were already included in the Hunterbrook #17 extension that had been created by the Town Board several years ago as part of an earlier site plan for the parcel but that the extension request had not yet received approval from the Westchester  County Board of Legislators. District #17 did not include the 11 homes along Old Crompond Road that are part of the current District #20 plan. Mr. Capellini advised the board that the applicant would wait with the #20 request until after the Planning Board finished its findings and that in a few weeks the applicant may be able to provide additional information about their sewering plans.


Wetlands: In response to comments from the Conservation Board, the applicant acknowledged that additional work needed to be done to delineate the western wetlands, adding that the work was being held up pending a final determination on the exact location of the building.