October 7, 2019
Attending: John Kincart, John Savoca, William LaScala, Rich Fon, Robert Garrigan
1. CVS, Route 202
The board opened the adjourned public informational hearing. There were no comments. The hearing was closed.
2. Lowe’s, Building Pad B
The board approved the site plan. Some changes have been made to the landscaping plan and the applicant was advised that some of the previously planted trees have died and needed to be replaced. The applicant is waiting for approval for a front yard setback variance from the ZBA.
3. Roberta Property, Front Street
The landscape plan was revised to provide more spacing between the trees as recommended by the Tree Commission, but an ABACA memo recommended more dense planting. The applicant will need to clarify the differences between the two advisory boards. The board went through a list of items in the town engineer’s memo; the applicant disagreed with the recommendation that he be required to do a downstream analysis of the capacity of the stormwater system. He argued that such an analysis was costly and wasn’t necessary as there would be no increase in post construction runoff from the site. He did, however, agree to the recommendation that the drainage pipe be videoed to determine its condition.
The applicant has submitted a draft maintenance agreement for the landscaping on the town’s property.
4. Nantucket Sound, Kear Street
Withdrawn from agenda by applicant.
5. McDonalds, Route 202
Withdrawn from agenda by applicant.
Staples Plaza, Battery Storage facility
The board’s main concern continues to be the safety of this new type of facility. A representative of NYSERDA advised the board that the state has adopted the 2020 International Fire Code that includes regulations for these types of facilities. The NYSERDA representative also explained that the state agency is providing training for local first responders. The board asked questions about the likelihood of an explosiion and also if there was a fire, how it would be dealt with; the applicant said the best procedure was to let it burn itself out and not use water. However, the applicant stated that the track record for the Tesla batteries it will be using indicated that explosions or fire were not likely to happen.
The board was also concerned about the distance needed to block off the batteries from the parking area and how storm water would be dealt with in the event there was any leakage from the facility and/or water use to fight a fire.
Stewart Glass, assistant to Supervisor Gilbert, advised the board that the Town Board would be reviewing the model NYSEDA law at an upcoming meeting. And Mr. Tegeder suggested that the applicant meet with him and the fire inspector to go over site issues.
The proposed facility would store up to four hours of electricity that could be returned to the grid if and when needed.
The board is generally supportive of the concept of battery storage facilities but wants assurance on safety issues.
7. 1961 Commerce Street
(See Planning Board 6-24-2019.) The applicant’s engineer addressed the drainage issues highlighted at the previous meeting and explained how the problems on both Commerce St an Veterans Road would be remediated. While the latter involves reconstructing the pitch of a portion of the sidewalk, the board asked the applicant to consider replacing the entire sidewalk. In general the board was pleased with the plan to improve the outside skin of the building which will also include changes to the roof line.
The application needs to submit a formal application along with the supporting documents.
8. CVS, Commerce Street
The applicant will be replacing existing light poles; where there are currently 8 lights on 7 poles, the plan calls for 9 lights on 7 poles. The new poles will be lower than the existing ones. The board agreed that the new lighting plan was an improvement over current conditions; a resolution approving the amended site plan will be prepared for adoption at the next meeting.
9. 3717 Crompond Road (former Windmill Restaurant), Route 202/ZBA referral
At issue is whether the parking of cars can be allowed as an accessory use without there being a main use on the site (the restaurant has been closed for many years) or whether the property owner needs a special permit allowing outdoor storage of vehicles. The site has been used to store cars for over two years and a violation notice has been issued.
Representing the applicant, Michael Grace argued that while he thought the accessory use was allowed, his client had no problem seeking a special permit that might include some conditions, including a sunset clause requiring the permit to be renewed after a fixed number of years. He said that his client had determined that the economics of the Route 202 corridor did not justify demolishing the existing building and constructing a new commercial building.
Mr. Fon and other board members were more concerned about the longer, broader implications of the interpretation , including site plan issues, especially if the ZBA rules that the applicant needed a special permit instead of allowing the accessory use without a functioning main use. Mr. Tegeder will draw up a memo indicating the board’s concern that the ZBA first decide on the interpretation issue and then come back to the Planning Board.
10. Unicorn Contracting, Kear St.
In an item not on the agenda, Mr. Kincart read a memo from ABACA that noted that while the installed landscape plan differed from the plan that had been approved, the end result was positive.