Citizens for an Informed Yorktown


Planning Board

October 7, 2013


Attending:  John Flynn, John Savoca, John Kincart, Richard Fon, Ann Kutter


Regular Session


1. Spirelli Electric

(See September 9 and September 23 meetings.) Given the amount of excavation that will be needed, the Board approved an amended resolution that includes the requirement that the applicant submit a basic stormwater  plan (SWPPP).


2. Aspen & Mill Street subdivision

The Board reapproved the subdivision plan while the applicant awaits the resolution of a school tax issue that is holding back the sale.


3. Mongero Properties (Route 118 and Downing Drive)

Due to delays in moving the fiber optic cable (the DOT must issue a permit before AT&T can do the actual work), the Board granted a one year extension of the site plan.  In the meantime, the applicant has lost a prospective bank tenant.


4. Police Department site stormwater project/Public informational hearing

The Board opened the hearing but adjourned it as the representative of the East of Hudson Corp. (EOH) was not present. (He arrived after the hearing had been adjourned.)  Howard Frank raised questions about the need for the project, why the public had not been properly noticed about the project, and a related stormwater retrofit project  currently underway at Sparkle Lake. In the absence of the EOH representative, Susan Siegel, the person writing this summary, addressed some of Mr. Frank’s issues, noting that the retrofit project had been discussed at several previous Town Board meetings.


5. Yorktown Auto Body

Chairman Fon noted that the application has been withdrawn and some modifications to the original plan are being made.


6. Yorktown Farms

The Board approved the location for lot 11.


7.Staples Plaza – Self Storage

The Board approved an amendment to the earlier resolution needed to clarify that both low hazard and medium hazard storage is allowed, as per the town code.  (The word “medium” had inadvertently been left out of the earlier approval resolution.) It was noted that medium hazard items included flammable items such as clothing and furniture.  The town code prohibits storage of high hazard items such as flammable chemicals.


Work Session


8. Staples Plaza

The Board reviewed and approved an amended site plan that consolidates the number of dumpsters and relocated one dumpster further from the abutting residences. Also, the applicant will replace an existing retaining wall at the rear of the site with a “strong stone” wall which the Board felt would be aesthetically more desirable than simply repairing the existing wall.  The changes will be recorded in a memo.


9. Competition Carting

On a referral from the ZBA, the Board reviewed a site plan for the proposed outdoor storage of garbage trucks and a temporary trailer used as office space. The applicant needs a special permit to permit the outdoor storage.  (The applicant is currently addressing a code violation enforcement issue in town court.) In response to several of the issues raised by Board members, the applicant will return on October 21 so that the Planning Board may be in a position to send a memo to the ZBA in time for the latter’s October 24 public hearing on the special permit application that address site plan planning issues.   Prior to the meeting, several Board members indicated their intention to visit the site.


Dan Ciarcia, the applicant’s engineer, stated that there would be about 12 trucks parked on the site, along with employee parking and the storage of rolloff containers. The applicant is proposing to install a security gate across the extension of Richard Place which is town owned land. (The street is part paved and part dirt into the site.) He said the gate would impair the town’s ownership rights.


In response to Mr. Flynn’s comments that on a visit to the site, he had observed an “oiler truck,” it was explained that garbage trucks need to have their fluids refilled; this led to a discussion over possible leaks during this refueling process and/or from the trucks and the fact that the ground was pervious gravel and that there were wells downstream of the site.  Mr. Ciarcia stated that major maintenance work on the trucks was done off site. Also the trucks were washed off site.  He also said that as no site work, i.e., changes or improvements, were proposed, there was no wetlands issue.


Commenting on the presence of the trailer, Mr. Fon (who deals with garage issues on a daily basis in his job at the Greenburgh DPW) raised the issue of what the primary use of the site was:  a place of business, or a place for outdoor storage.  He also wanted to know if the trucks being parked there serviced other communities besides Yorktown.


Other issues raised by Planning Board members was the adequacy of screening on the Trailway that abuts the site, odor issues for abutting property owners, the possibility of rodents in the event the trucks can’t dispose of their load by the end of the day and are parked overnight with the garbage, and whether the town should permit the storage of garbage trucks so close to the highway garage site that is proposed for redevelopment.


Prior to its next meeting, the Board asked for input from the building inspector and town engineer.  Speaking for the Board, Mr. Fon said that while garbage collection was a necessity, the town should do it right.


10. Fieldstone Manor

Prior to scheduling a public hearing on the subdivision plan, the Board asked for clarification on two issues:  the future of both the existing ballfield and the tower.  Mr. Tegeder also noted that the town’s traffic consultant will have to review the traffic impact; this will require the Town Board to contract with the town’s traffic consultant, with the applicant paying the cost. The applicant had no problem with this request.


The development will have two homeowner associations: one for the fee simple town houses and one for the condo units in the existing manor house.



At previous meetings, the applicant said that the existing ballfield could be given to the town as part of the “recreation fee” requirement; if the town didn’t want the field, it would belong to the homeowners’ association. (The pond, used in the past for ice skating, could also be given to the town or kept for the association.) If the town  accepted the field, the hope was that the adjoining George Washington School parking lot could be used.  While the subdivision plan has been forwarded to the Recreation Commission, no formal response has been received. However, Assistant Planner Steinberg said that in an informal conversation with Diana Quast, chairman of the Commission, the latter said that the group preferred a per lot cash payment in lieu of land to satisfy the recreation fee requirement. 



While the Historical Society had earlier expressed interest in doing something with the tower, there have been no subsequent discussions or plans. Some Board members expressed concern over what the town would do with the tower if it took title to it, as well as maintenance issues.  As the location of the tower is shown on the plan as a separate building lot, the suggestion was made about the possibility of relocating the tower  and switching it with one of the building lots closest to the wetlands buffer; it remained unclear whether it was feasible or practical to relocate the tower.  If the tower was to be demolished and used for another building lot, then the flexibilty resolution allowing 21 units would have to be modified to permit an additional unit.


11. Lake Osceola Square

The applicant is before the ZBA for three variances: erecting a free standing sign where none is permitted in the CC zone; the width of the building, and parking closer to the street. Because the ZBA is concerned about the substantial size of the variance request dealing with the width of the building, the applicant asked the Planning Board, which likes the proposed plan, to send a memo to the ZBA explaining why the variances were desirable.


Width of building. The plan, which angles the building on both sides, was done deliberately to break up the massive look of a single linear building. Earlier, the Planning Board indicated its preference for the angled building as opposed to two separate building.


Parking closer to the street.  This provided a viewshed to the lake from the street and also enlarged the beach area which the applicant proposes to give to the town.


Sign. The Board has no problem with a free standing sign; the actual wording and other details would be determined much later.


12. Winery

On a referral from the Town Board, the Planning Board reviewed a revised site plan that eliminates parking on town owned land. The new plan closely follows the site plan that was approved in 2012 as part of the applicant’s special use permit. The applicant cannot get a CO until the Town Board approves the amended site plan.


Jeff Econom, the applicant’s engineer, advised the Board that that his client is still trying to finalize the purchase of the DOT parcel; the parties have agreed to a price.  It was anticipated that as part of the sale, the DOT would put conditions on the future use of the site; the DOT already told the applicant that it will not allow boulders at the edge of the parcel abutting Route 6 and it was anticipated that the DOT would not permit a drainage swale.  Also the viability of plantings abutting Route 6 was questioned.


The applicant will confer again with Con Edison about the possibility of relocating a utility pole that makes for a narrower access to Route 6.  Also, the applicant will remove from the plan a sliver of town owned land that might be accessed.   There was also some discussion of the traffic flow on the site and whether the two access points to Route 6 should be designated “in” and “out.”


13. Andre Place land donation

On a referral from the Town Board, the Planning Board reviewed a proposed donation of a 5,000 sq ft, parcel at the corner of Andre Place and Underhill Ave. The Board agreed with the Conservation Board and the Advisory Committee on Open Space that there was no town interest in accepting the parcel.