Planning Board

October 17, 2016

 

Attending: John Kincart, John Savoca, John Flynn, Rich Fon, Anthony Tripodi

 

REGULAR SESSION

 

1. Blumberg subdivision, Baptist Church Road

(See Planning Board, 5/9/2016) The applicant is waiting for Health Department approval. The board granted the first 90 day time extension.

 

2. Mongero  Properties, Saw Mill River Road

(See Planning Board, 11-9-2015) The board approved the first 1-year time extension.  According to attorney Al Capellini, the applicant doesn’t have a tenant for the building that was originally approved for a bank.

 

3. Dubovsky site plan, Saw Mill River Road

The board voted for a re-approval. The applicant is still before the Health Department and the DEP regarding the septic system. It was stated that there have been no changes to the original SEQRA review.

 

4. Orchard View Subdivision, Sherry Drive/Public Hearing

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.  

 

5. RPG Properties, Lexington Avenue/Public Informational Hearing

The applicant did a brief presentation of the plan, noting that, as per the board’s earlier request, he had relocated the water and sewer lines under the parking lot in order to provide more landscaping in the two side yards.

 

Two residents who had spoken in opposition to the rezoning at the Town Board addressed the board. The resident who backs up to the site asked that the applicant be required to present a plan that did not require any variances; the current plan will require two side yard variances and possibly a third variance relating to the separation between the two buildings.  He also expressed concern about the loss of privacy for his property and the noise; he suggested a possible wall separating the parcel from his property.  He also took issue with the applicant’s comment that residents would be able to walk to the hamlet, noting that there were no sidewalks along Lexington Ave. A resident from Clover Rd expressed concern that residents would use Clover to take a short cut into the hamlet.

 

In response to the residents’ comments that the plan would change the character of their single family neighborhood, Mr. Kincart responded that the board would review the plan based on its current multi family zoning.

 

The hearing was closed.

 

WORK SESSION

 

6. Lowes Home Center

After a discussion of any potential adverse environmental impacts not previously reviewed in the Costco plan, and based on a memo prepared by the Planning Department, the board adopted a resolution stating that there were no significant adverse environmental impacts associated with the Lowes plan and that the board could proceed to review the site plan.

 

After doing a site visit of the additional parcel to be used for stormwater, Bruce Barber reported that 297 trees will be removed based on the town’s new tree law that  increased the size of a “protected tree” from 6” dbh to 8”dbh. Lowes plans to plant 334  new trees throughout the site.  The applicant will present a mitigation plan for the tree removal at the November 7 meeting that will include a mix of onsite and offsite mitigation at Sylvan Glen, as per the latter’s previously prepared Forest Management Plan. The plan will be based on the functional needs of the site  and will attempt to meet the same absorption benefits that the removed trees provided.

 

A representative of Lowes reviewed the company’s “green” measures and how they differ from the Costco plan.

 

As part of the site plan review, Mr. Flynn asked the applicant to consider more sidewalks in the front of the site linking the restaurant buildings and bank to the bus stop as well as the Lowes building. The applicant said he would accommodate this concern.

 

The lighting plan will follow that of Costco and include a mix of 16’ poles along the perimeter, 25’ polies in the parking lot (fewer than in the Costco plan) and 20’ along the building.  The  fixtures will all be “dark sky.”  The lighting for the bank ATM will have to be considered once there is a firm tenant.

 

A public hearing on the site plan will be held November 21.

 

7. Crompond Terraces, Old Crompond Road

Speaking for the applicant, planner Ann Cutingola said that given pressures from the developer’s investors, the applicant was looking for some type of  assurance\ from the board that the applicant was on the right track in terms of unit count and general layout.  Ann Kutter, one of the property owners involved in the project, added that there was also some pressure from the other property owners who would be selling to the developer.

 

Noting that the current plan for 110 units differed from what was in the original EAF, Ms. Cutingola presented the board with a new fiscal impact analysis showing that the net gain to the town would be $138.000 and $350,000 to the school district. (As originally proposed, the project was to have 80 units.)

 

The applicant showed the board a rendering of the controversial “C” units to be built into the hillside and which will involve considerable grading.  While board members liked the rendering that they felt was an improvement over previous plans, there was a general concern about the extent of grading that the current layout would require.  When Mr. Flynn suggested that the 3-story “C” units  be moved elsewhere on the site, Ms. Cutingola  said the proposed mix of A, B, and C units was designed to create a diverse housing mix. In response, Mr. Flynn said that while he supported the concept of diversity, he was prepared to give up some diversity for a more friendly use of the site.

 

The board asked the applicant to provide an actual grading plan so that it could get a more comprehensive understanding of the extent of the proposed grading.

 

When the developer, Roy Biaitta, expressed some impatience at the more delay and noted that Costco had “walked away” because of the delay in getting approval, members of the board reminded him that there were other reasons why Costco changed its mind and that the delays were not necessarily due to the town.  Mr. Fon said it was not fair to place any blame on the town and that the Planning Board just didn’t have enough information to move ahead with the plan.

 

8. Village Traditions, East Main Street

Mr. Mallon showed the board a concept plan for a revised site plan for a 3,000 sq. ft. office building that would include a single apartment on the top floor. He said the design would be more compatible with the single family homes along Lakeland Street thyan his earlier plan and that in conversations with the homeowners, they all supported his new plan.  As part of the plan, he will consider a driveway connection to the abutting property.  The Planning Board was supportive of the concept and gave Mr. Mallon the okay to proceed to develop more detailed plans. If he pursues the apartment idea, he might need approval from the Town Board.

 

9. Stahmer Minor Subdivision, Birdsall Dirve

A 5-lot subdivision approval lapsed many years ago.  In 2006, a 4-lot subdivision was approved. The new plan calls for a 3-lot subdivision, with one lot off Birdsall, one off Jerome, and one off State Street, a paper road.   The site is 10 acres in a 2 acre zone. The last two lots have variances regarding frontage on town roads; a determination will have to be made by the Building Department whether the variances are still valid. A Public Informational Hearing will be held on November 21.

 

10. Mohegan Auto & Tire (Hilltop Service Station), East Main Street, Shrub Oak

On a referral from the Town Board, the Planning Board reviewed the application  for a new transitional zone. The applicant was not present and Mr. Tegeder made the presentation to the board.  There was a general consensus that the board did not support the transitional zone that would permit the selling of used cars, offer less screening along Route 6, include more signage, and expand a non conforming use by allowing a canopy over the existing gas pumps. The board also had an issue with  the fact that the owner had been operating the used car sales business illegally and that the town had done nothing to stop the operation. Mr. Flynn noted that while some businesses play by the rules, others break the rules and get rewarded.

 

Mr. Tegeder noted that the proposed screening along Route 6 that included a combination of fencing and shrubs would  leave the used car business visible, adding that the fence would be see through. Mr. Barber added that the proposed barberry shrubs were slow growing and had a tendency to accumulate trash.

 

Mr. Fon noted that the area is already prone to traffic problems.   Not happy with the current illegal use and calling the property owner a “rogue property owner,” Mr. Savoca wanted to know what options the board had besides telling the owner to cease his current operations. He said he might support the rezoning if there was more aggressive screening.

 

Mr. Kincart raised the issue of whether the property owner had the required license to sell used cars.

 

The board will send a preliminary memo to the Town Board expressing its concerns and will do a site visit on November 5 if the Town Board adjourns the November 1 public hearing.

 

11. Affordable Housing Law

The board reviewed a set of proposed affordable housing laws set for a public hearing on November 1. Mr. Tegeder advised the board that the town attorney had reviewed other density bonus laws before drawing up the present proposed law and that HUD had offered some language.  In general, the board had no problem with the density bonus provisions and Mr. Tegeder said he thought the “added bonus” sections might generate more affordable units than the more basic 10% density bonus.

Mr. Kincart had an issue with some of the language in the new Chapter 102 regarding rental rates for new leases. In response to his comment about preferring to offer affordable units to local residents, he was advised that the Fair Housng Law required the affirmative marketing outside the area. Mr. Tegeder added that based on experience, people far away were generally not interested in moving to Yorktown.

 

The board will send a memo to the Town Board  in support of the proposals.

 

12. Brennan Wetlands Permit, Saw Mill River Road

After a brief discussion, the board concluded that there were no planning issues involved in the application.

 

NOTE:   The Triglia subdivision was taken off the agenda at the applicant’s request.