Citizens for an Informed Yorktown


Planning Board

November 18, 2013


Attending; John Flynn, John Kincart, John Savoca, Rich Fon, Darlene Rivera, Ann Kutter


Special Session

1. PEG Realty

The board approved a one year extension on the approval of an 11,600 SF commercial building


2. Yorktown Farms

The board approved the locations for five lots


Work Session

3. Creative Living

Withdrawn from the evening's agenda


4. Savannah’s Restaurant

The applicant was not present, but there was a very brief discussion about the request to revise the site’s lighting plan.


5. Nelson Conservation Easement

(See Planning Board, 11/4/2013.) Based on the site visit, also attended by members of the Conservation Board, the Planning Board and the Nelsons agreed to the general boundary lines and fencing for the revised conservation easement. The applicant will now follow through on the necessary process, including arranging for a formal survey and meeting with the Conservation Board regarding the details of a mitigation plan.


The board expressed concern that when it eventually approves the easement modification, the resolution should be worded so as not to set a precedent that could be used to modify other conservation easements.


6. BJ’s Wholesale Propane Facility

Since their last meeting with the Board, representatives of BJs have met with the Fire Advisory Board and made some modifications in their plans to address the Fire Board’s concerns.  According to the applicant, at one of those meetings there was a full discussion about above vs underground tanks, and it was the applicant’s contention that the Fire Board had no problem with above ground tanks.  The Planning Board, however, wanted to contact the Fire Board directly, as well as the building inspector who is a member of that board, for a first hand opinion.


Based on the Fire Board’s concerns, as well as past experience with propane installations in other states, the revised plan eliminates screening around the facility citing the reason that it is safer if the public knows that the facility is there (i.e., not throw a match) than hide it behind shrubs.   The applicant also said that above ground tanks were safer because they were easier to inspect. The applicant did say that BJs was open to discussing alternatives to its planned chain link fence.


Mr. Flynn expressed concern over consistency of the town’s policy and why the Board should approve above ground tanks for BJs when it required another town business to undergo the expense of  putting the tanks underground. 


 7. Sandvoss subdivision (Hanover St.)

According to Al Capellini, the applicant’s attorney, the property owner wants to resume the approval process after a five year hiatus due to personal reasons. Despite the time lapse, Mr. Tegeder explained that the application is not time barred and there was no need to submit a new application. During the intervening years, Mr. Capellini said the applicant has had contact with DEP and DEC. (Note:  CIY page includes the 2008-2009 meeting summaries.) 


Consulting engineer Dan Ciarcia showed the Board alternate plans showing access from a public road and also a shared driveway off a private road. 


Because the public hearing on the application was closed in 2009, several area residents wanted to know when and how they could comment on any revised plan. Chairman Fon assured them that they would be able to address the Board during its informal work sessions and advised them to monitor the Board’s agendas so they knew when the application would be discussed again. (Only public hearings have to be legally noticed to abutting property owners.)


8. Fieldstone Manor

Mr. Riina advised the Board that the Recreation Commission was interested in having the applicant meet its recreational fee requirement by constructing three “pick a ball” courts and a basketball court on the land set aside for recreational purpose, along with a gravel parking lot with 15 spaces. Additional land abutting the active recreation area would also be deeded to the town, and the right of way for a possible future Route 6 by pass would remain undisturbed.


Mr. Riina advised the Board that after a meeting with the Historical Society, the group said it did not have the funds to maintain the tower. However, based on his own discussions earlier that day with members of the Society, Mr. Tegeder said he was under the impression that the Society had not made a determination.


The applicant said that he was willing to retain ownership of the tower and the lot and have the subdivision plan not that it was not a building lot, despite the presence of a house on it.  He said it would be expensive to repair the existing house. The legal mechanism for accomplishing this would have to be worked out.


A public hearing on the plan will be held on December 9.


9. State Land Rezoning

Ms. Kutter suggested that the paragraphs in a draft Board memo to the Town Board supporting the rezoning of the southern portion of the site be rearranged so that the Board’s concern about the preservation of the rear 70 acres get more emphasis. She said she was concerned that if that part of memo remained towards the end,  Board members would not read that far into the memo.


The fundamental question was:  would the Planning Board support the rezoning if the northern part of the parcel was not protected.  The consensus was no.


However, after some discussion, the Board agreed only to put a bullet point at the beginning of the memo expressing its concern about the 70 acres and leave the rest of the memo as originally drafted.


10. Form based zoning

In a follow up to the previous discussion about State Land and future development along Route 202, Jonathan Nettlefield of Yorktown Smart Growth gave the Board a brief overview of how the use of form based zoning along Route 9W in the Town of Lloyd (Highland area) is being used to create a more pedestrian oriented commercial corridor.  Ms. Kutter said that the 9W experience was more akin to Yorktown’s Route 202 than the other examples of form based zoning she had researched.  Mr. Nettlefield  agreed to forward more information to Board members.


As part of the discussion, Mr. Tegeder said that there has been no progress on Supervisor Grace’s earlier plan for a boulevard along Route 202 and that the state DOT was making improvements along the 1˝ mile corridor in increments.