Citizens for an Informed Yorktown



Planning Board

November 4, 2013


Attending: John Kincart, John Savoca, Richard Fon, Darlene Rivera, Ann Kutter


Regular Session


1. Stormwater Retrofit Project at Police Department site

The Board reconvened the public hearing on the proposed stormwater retrofit project.  Mr. Verma explained the project again and in response to questions from the Board addressed the issues that Mr. Frank had brought up at the previous meeting. He clarified why the project was being done, the fact that he had discussed the project at four prior public meetings,  hat it was being paid for by the EOH corporation, and that the corporation was in discussions with the supervisor over a contract that would make the corporation responsible for maintenance of the Sparkle Lake project.  He also said that the corporation would bid out the job.  In response to a suggestion from Mr. Tegeder that a sign be posted on the project site identifying the purpose of the work, Mr. Verma said that since the project was being funded by DEP, there were strict requirements covering the use of funds but that he would look into the matter for future projects.


The hearing was closed.


Work Session


2. Nelson Conservation Easement adjustment

(See Planning Board meetings of August 12, 2013 and September 9, 2013.) Based on a site during which time they found the stream corridor degraded, Board members indicated that they would view an adjustment to the existing conservation easement boundaries, combined with suitable mitigation measures, a positive step as it would  be an improvement over what currently exists. Still undecided, however, was the exact delineation of the modified easement.  After the Board conducts a second site visit and stakes out the area for the new easement, it will be the homeowner ‘s responsibility to have the property surveyed and draw up a landscaping plan that indicates the area to be used as lawn, the trees that will be saved and/or removed, the removal of invasive species and any new plantings.  The plan is to be reviewed by the Conservation Board.


Although the homeowners appeared frustrated by the delay in getting this approval , Mr. Fon explained that while the Board wanted to work with the homeowners,  there was a process that had to be followed before the filed easements could be modified.


3. Yorktown Farms

The Board reviewed plans to regrade the site for three houses  or potential buyers  who want a walk out basement.  The Board will do a site visit.


4. Competition Carting

In what he described as an “update,” Dan Ciarcia advised the Board that the applicant was in the process of “regrouping” and would be filing an application with the DEC for a Multi Sector SPEDES permit and that based on the application, the DEC would determine if a stormwater plan (SWPP) and a wetlands permit were also required.   He also said that the applicant was now considering just a small “guardhouse” like structure, in lieu of a smaller trailer, that would be used to house the employee time clocks and storage of some items. Also, that a portosan would provide toilet facilities, and that the applicant was in the process of addressing the issues raised in the memos submitted to the ZBA.


A memo from the Building Department clarified that the application was for a special permit based on section 300-44 of the zoning code governing outdoor storage.  (Without the trailer, the application would not involve a structure that would require a site plan.)  


In response to questions raised by Bruce Barber regarding the possible need for a town wetlands permit, Mr. Ciarcia continued to refer to the earlier 1999 wetlands permit adding that his client was not planning any changes to the site so a new permit should not be required. However, Mr. Barber expressed concern that the new use involved new pollutants.  Regarding the presence of the fuel tanks, Mr. Ciarcia said that they were a convenience for his client.  It was noted that copies of the old wetlands permit could not be located.


Commenting on the photos shown at the ZBA meeting of garbage being transferred, Mr. Ciarcia said it was just a transfer from a dumpster to a truck, and Mr. Fon indicated that it was not unusual for the garbage in a small truck that did not have a compacter to be transferred to a larger compacting truck.  He had no problem with such a transfer.


In response to Mr. Tegeder’s  questions about the need for screening, Mr. Ciarcia said that the tops of the trucks were just about visible from the skate park and he didn’t see the need for additional screening. 


5. Creative Living/Navajo Fields

The discussion involved two issues:  the mitigation plan associated with the original wetlands permit and the location of the “ring road” around the proposed dome.    The DEC’s position continues to be that it will not consider the dome application until the wetlands permit issues have been satisfactorily resolved, although complicating the issue is the fact that the mitigation plan for the original wetlands permit has had to be changed in order to reflect the proposed dome.


Mitigation plan

In response to the Board’s earlier request, Mr. Riina showed a color coded plan indicating what landscaping had  already been done, what remains to be done and changes from the previous mitigation plan in order to accommodate the dome plan.  Ms. Kutter  noted that the plan did not show the landscaping the Board requested to screen the house at the far end of the site and that the Conservation Board had some concerns about the plantings that had been done.  Although not technically a part of the mitigation plan, Mr. Riina said he would add this information to the plan.  Mr. Barber will do a site visit to see if the new plan is acceptable.


Ring Road

In response to DEC concerns, the greenhouse in the vicinity of the stream are to be relocated and two alternatives for a ring road around the dome were prepared.  (The existing greenhouse must be removed by May 14.) Mr. Riina explained that the Fire Advisory Board favored one of the two alternatives and the Planning Board had no problem accepting the Fire Board’s recommendation.  Mr. Riina also explained that at a meeting earlier that evening, the Fire Board had also requested a change in the access to the fire emergency road that crosses the second field in order to access the second greenhouse.  The Planning Board agreed that the revised access made sense and Mr. Riina will revise the plan accordingly. Because the new road will enter the field at a different point, it was agreed that the plan will have to provide sufficient details to show that the field can accommodate the weight of the fire trucks.


As part of the dome plan, the two greenhouses will become permanent structures.


Toilet facilities will be provided by portosans, some located inside the dome, and others outside near the second field.


The applicant is currently before the ZBA seeking a variance from the fire sprinkler requirements for the greenhouses.


Mr. Capellini said he hoped the applicant would have DEC approval on the wetlands issue by the Planning Board’s next meeting.


6. State Land rezoning

After all agenda items had been discussed, the Board had an impromptu discussion about its memo to the Town Board regarding its recommendations on the State Land rezoning request.  The Board continued to support the rezoning for the front part of the parcel but was concerned about how best to “protect” the rear 70 acres in the event that a future site plan application is submitted  that proposes development on any portion of the 70 acres. The concern was based on the fact that once the entire 100 acres was rezoned for commercial use, a future applicant might be able to develop a portion of the 70 acres for commercial development  “as of right”  and that it would be more difficult to reject such an application.


Mr. Tegeder added, however, that because the EAF prepared for the rezoning did not include any development on the rear 70 areas, any future site plan that wanted to use a portion of the 70 acres would require a new EAF. And Mr. Kincart said that concerns about the rear 70 acres were best addressed when a site plan was submitted. He didn’t see any reason why the property owners should donate the land to the town now in the absence of any approved site plan.


Mr. Tegeder also suggested that part of the applicant’s motivation for wanting the entire 100 acres rezoned commercial now might be that once the 70 acres was zoned commercial, its value as a donation would increase.


Mr. Fon suggested the town consider the concept of “form based zoning” that he said had been successfully used in Yonkers. Under the concept, the parameters of future development are established ahead of time in the zoning classification.


Ultimately, the Board agreed that the best approach to protecting the 70 acres would be to draw a line north of the proposed Bear Mountain Parkway extension and that the land north of the line should be left residential. An amended memo will be sent to the Town Board reflecting this consensus.


As part of the discussion, Mr. Tegeder said that if the town was serious about wanting the future extension of the Bear Mountain Parkway, it was important for the town to continually make that point with the state; in the absence of any pressure and support from the town, he said the state was not likely to move ahead on the extension. To date, he said, he didn’t feel that the town had been aggressive in supporting the extension.