November 24, 2014
Attending: John Kincart, John Savoca, Rich Fon, John Flynn
PEG Realty (Hill Boulevard)
The issue: Because the applicant’s contractor doesn’t have a track record, he can’t get the performance bond that was a condition of site plan approval several years ago. (The bond is designed to guarantee that infrastructure work in completed and completed satisfactorily and is a requirement in the town code.) Without the bond, the applicant can’t get a building permit to begin construction on the commercial building that he says is 60% leased with the plan for summer occupancy.
Possible solutions: Mr. Tegeder outlined several possible solutions that would allow the applicant to proceed with the infrastructure work that has already been started and, at the same time, allow him to begin work on the building, including eliminating the bond requirement or substituting a letter of credit for the bond (the applicant said he has the $230,000 in cash needed to complete the work). While trying to help the applicant, the board was concerned about setting a precedent that could leave the town with an unfinished bulding. After some back and forth and with the assurance that it was dealing with very special circumstances that would not set a precedent, the board decided in a 3-1 vote, with Mr. Savoca voting no, to allow the applicant to get a more limited “foundation permit” as opposed to a full building permit so that the foundation could be put in before the weather turned and at the same time, the applicant was given 30 days to obtain a letter of credit.
Mr. Ciarcia showed a modified plan that included some additional tree plantings based on a meeting he had had with town staff. The board was still concerned, however, about the removal of so many trees (an actual count was not provided; just an aerial photograph) and asked that Mr. Ciarcia meet with Bruce Barber to see if more adjustments could be made. Ms. Kutter, who was co-author of the Tree Ordinance and who was speaking as a private citizen as she had recently resigned from the board, said that the Tree Ordinance didn’t require a 1-1 tree replacement but rather was concerned that the required mitigation plan address the lost “function” that the trees provided.
The board approved the combination tree and stormwater permit with the condition that Mr. Barber is satisfied with the final plan.
Grandma’s (3525 Crompond Road)
Planning Board 11-10-2014.) Based on a site visit, Mr. Fon said he was concerned about the need to improve the appearance of Old Crompond Road for the residential properties on the street and said
he wanted to see some shrub planting in front of a replaced fence along the right of way. Mr. Flynn agreed with him that this application gave the town the opportunity to fix an existing problem.
Mr. Fon also said he wanted more information about the number of cars that would parked on the site and an indication of what the parking layout would be.
Mr. Kincart and Mr. Savoca felt that replacing the fence was sufficient. On behalf of his client Mr. Capellini argued that the applicant would have to spend between $7,000-$8,000 to replace the existing fence and that the struggling business could not afford any additional expense.
The board will send a split recommendation to the Zoning Board.
3721 Gomer Street wetland permit
On a referral from the Town Board, the board reviewed a plan for what Mr. Barber described as a limited disturbance into the wetland buffer. The board had no issue with the plan which is scheduled for a December 2 public hearing before the Town Board.
The continued discussion on the Findings Statement was postponed
until the board’s December 8 meeting as additional comments have been received dealing with traffic and from the DEC and DEP on stormwater issues.
More comments are still expected from the DEP.
As the comments come in they need to be reviewed by town staff and the applicant also given an opportunity to respond to them. Some of the new comments address design changes that were made to the site plan between the DEIS and FEIS.
According to attorney Lisa Hochman, other than the pending DEP comments, no additional comments are anticipated.
On the traffic issue, Mr. Flynn noted that there is a wide gap between the projected traffic counts supplied by Costco and the traffic consultant hired by those opposed to the project. (The numbers 400 and 1,200 were heard.) There was no discussion about the stormwater issues raised by DEC and DEP.
Both Mr. Capellini and board members appeared in agreement that much of the problem was with the outside agencies such as DEC and DEP. Mr. Tegeder noted that as an involved agency, the DEP could even come up with its own Findings Statement.
Gas station special permit: On a referral from the Town Board which has set a December 18 public hearing on the permit request, the board discussed how to respond to the Town Board given the fact that it has not yet adopted its Finding Statement or reviewed the revised site plan.
The board’s options ranged from not providing any recommendation until it has completed its Findings Statement to making a recommendation based on what it has already reviewed. The board could also recommend that the Town Board grant the special permit subject to any conditions the Planning Board sets.
When asked whether requesting the special permit before the Planning Board completed its review was “out of sequence” Mr. Capellini said the timing of the request was designed to move the project ahead, adding that planning and SEQRA issues could be separated.
Note: Lake Osceola Square was withdrawn from the agenda.