November 9, 2015
Attending: John Kincart, John Savoca, John Flynn (regular session only), Richard Fon, Darlene Rivera
1. Mongero Properties (Route 118 & Downing Drive)
(See Planning Board summaries, 2008-2009, Commerce Bank, aka Mongero Properties, fka Webster Bank. )The board approved a second 1-year extension. The AT&T cable work has been completed. The applicant does not currently have a tenant for the proposed new building.
2. Fieldstone Manor, Strawberry Road
The board approved a second 90-day extension. The applicant has received DEC and Board of Health approval and needs some additional time to complete the documents needed for final approval.
3. Bonsignore subdivision, Hunterbrook Road. Public hearing
(See Planning Board, October 5, 2015.) The latest revised plan shows a 300’ driveway off Hunterbrook Rd for one lot that is in the wetlands buffer and a second driveway off Old Crompond Rd. While the latter driveway will not be accessible for fire vehicles, the fire department finds the plan acceptable for fire fighting purposes. The wetlands mitigation plan, which still needs to be reviewed by the town, includes eliminating invasive species, including swabbing the stumps with a herbicide, and planning new trees and shrubs, including some along Hunterbrook Road. The wetlands boundary also still needs to be confirmed.
The Hunterbrook Rd property owner across the street from the proposed new lot expressed concern about runoff from the site and was assured that stormwater measures for the proposed subdivision, in addition to stormwater measures on the development west of the Bonsignore site that is currently being developed would not create a problem. It was also noted that a culvert under Hunterbrook Rd was partially buried and needed to be cleaned out by the Highway Department.
The public hearing was left open so that the board could receive additional information.
Hanover Corner, Commerce Street, Public Hearing
There were no public comments. Chairman Fon called the improvements to the site, which will include two entrances (one for 2 way access and the second only for entering the site), 13 parking spaces, and grading for a future extension of the sidewalk, a “no brainer.” The plan will accommodate two apartments on the second floor and two offices on the first floor. The hearing was closed. The applicant will need DEP approval.
5. Ryder Subdivision, Underhill Avenue, Public Informational Meeting
(See Planning Board, September 21, 2015.) Two residents spoke at the hearing. One was assured that the site would not be visible from his property on Darby Street; the second person expressed concern about runoff onto his property across the street on Underhill Ave. The hearing was closed.
6. Stonegate Town Houses, Stonegate Road
The original site plan approval, dating back to the 1970s, included a zero rear yard setback that precluded decks. The board agreed to pass a resolution amending the original approval that would allow for a 3 ft setback that would permit decks to be added to the units.
In a unanimous vote, the board approved the Costco site plan.
The vote followed a lengthy discussion of the provisions of the approving resolution with the result that numerous revisions were made. At issue was the timing of when Costco could begin demolition of existing structures on the site and when a building permit could be issued. The board’s concern was that work not begin until the other county, NYC and state agencies had signed off on the plan; once the other agencies signed off on the plan, the Planning Board would, in turn, sign the site plan (referred to in the resolution as “endorsement”) and Costco could proceed.
Mr. Tegeder explained that the reason for the timing language was so that the other agencies couldn’t change the plan that had been approved by the town. He cited two examples of why this was important.
- The landscaping plan along the Taconic Parkway requires a Use and Occupancy permit from the NYSDOT. If the agency doesn’t approve the plan, or requires modifications to the plan, then the Planning Board would have to approve the revised plan.
- After the Planning Board signed off on the Fieldhome site plan, the NYSCDEP required substantial changes to the applicant’s stormwater plan which then required changes to the plan that had been approved by the Planning Board.
The resolution will allow Costco to obtain a demolition permit to remove existing structures prior to the signing of the site plan, subject to the submission of a demolition plan. The demolition will be allowed only to the slab and cannot involve an area greater than 5,000 sf.
The final resolution also included a provision that the final site plan drawings incorporate ABACA’s concerns regarding the type of lighting fixtures.
Mr.. Flynn again brought up the issue of solar panels, challenging the accuracy of Costco’s latest memo indicating its lack of interest in using solar panels. He said he was puzzled why a company that was a leading seller of solar panels to consumers did not find it cost effective to use solar panels in their own buildings. He kept asking for what he called a “straight answer.” (It was noted that 2 out of the 89 Coscto facilities in the northeast used solar; the two were in New Jersey and used a state incentive program that was no longer available. Mr. Tegeder indicated that based on his research, New York still has a solar incentive program through NYSERDA.) Mr. Capellini repeated that the use of solar panels was never considered by Costco and Mr. Fon added that the way the building is designed it could accommodate solar panels at a later date. It was also pointed out that the plan included several other “green” features.
8. PEG Realty Corporation, Hill Boulevard
The original site plan called for concrete curbs along Hill Blvd. and on site. However, when the town paved Hill Blvd. it constructed asphalt curbing. The Planning Department will prepare a memo indicating that asphalt paving will now be acceptable along the street but concrete curbing will continue to be required on site.
9. Marathon Development Group, Kear Street
The applicant presented two alternative plans. Both move the building closer to the street, allowing for double stacked parking in rear. The board preferred the plan that centered the building on the site, allowing for separate ingress and egress driveways. The preferred plan shows 28 parking spaces. It was noted that while street parking in front of the site is permitted, it would be advisable to shift the double yellow line along Kear Street so that the lane with the parking could be wider.
Whether the applicant will need a variance for the reduced frontage remained an open question; there’s a provision in the zoning code that allows the board to modify the setback if it is conformity with existing structures along the street and creates a uniform alignment. The two existing buildings would be the dentist’s office and Mavis Tire. If the plan meets this requirement, the applicant would be able to avoid the delay of having to get a ZBA variance. The applicant is anxious to move the project along by the end of the year in order to facilitate an application to the county’s affordable housing program and also a state housing program.
In response to the concerns of several members over the mass of the building (described as a “wall” by Mr. Kincart), Mr. Tegeder asked the applicant to prepare a photograph of the street that would show the existing structures and the proposed new building. The board also asked the applicant to work with his architect to see if the mass of the 3-story building could be reduced.
Asked if the number of apartment units could be reduced, the applicant said No; the economics of the project needed all 12 units (six 1-bedroomm and six 2-bedroom). Mr. Kincart said that 12 units were too many and he felt that the 28 spaces were not sufficient, a point the applicant rejected.
10. Crown Delta, Front Street (JCPC Holdings)
A lot line change is being proposed between the existing parcel that houses Crown Delta and the adjoining parcel to be sold to JCPC Holdings.
Two issues were discussed.
1. Whether the existing Crown Delta building would conform to the existing coverage requirements once the lot was reduced in size. This did not appear to be an issue.
2. Whether any conditions attached to the 2005 Crown Delta site plan approval could not be met if the adjoining parcel is sold. This will need to be researched further.
11. Brookside Village subdivision
(See Planning Board, August 10, 2015.) The board went into special session to pass a resolution amending the original wetlands permit to allow for the removal of fill and debris in the existing wetlands buffer.
12. Crompond Terraces
On a referral from the Town Board, the applicant made a presentation of its plan and EAF findings. Members of the Planning Board had, to date, only received a CD of the EAF, and in response to requests from members, the applicant said she would send them hard copies. Only one member had had an opportunity to begin review of the EAF.
Anna Georgiou, the board’s attorney, asked the applicant to explain why doing an EAF on the rezoning application and than postponing a fuller SEQRA review to the site plan stage did not constitute segmentation. In response, Ann Cutignola, the applicant’s lead planner, said that the issue had been discussed before at the Town Board level. (The Town Board is lead agency for the rezoning application.) Ms. Georgiou suggested that the segmentation be addressed in any future rezoning resolution.
In discussing the traffic impact of the proposed development and the proposed improvements to the Route 202/Stoney Street intersection that had been discussed between BJs, Crompond Terraces and the proposed CVS development for the parcel between Route 202 and Old Crompond Rd, it was noted that the CVS application appears to have stalled. In the event the CVS project does not materialize, the applicant said Crompond Terraces would complete the needed intersection improvements. Dan Ciarcia, the applicant’s engineer noted that traffic along the Route 202 has improved based on the improvements that have already been made and the applicant’s traffic consultant noted that the development would allow its residents to walk to shopping and work.
The applicant is looking for a memo from the Planning Board that says that the rezoning request meets the goal iin the Comprehensive Plan of creating a hamlet in Crompond. Ms. Cutignola added that assuming the rezoning was approved, while there might eventually be some sight changes to the site plan, the basic site plan was what the Town Board wanted and was pretty much locked in. Mr. Savoca said that while he had no problem with a generic statement of support for a mixed use development for the site, he did not know enough about the specifics of the Crompond Terraces proposal to support the rezoning. Mr. Kincart, while also supporting the mixed use concept, said the opposed the proposed density of the project which he considered “overwhelming”; he described it as trying to put a 10 pound item into a 5 pound bag. Mr. Fon noted that the site was larger than the Costco site and that the proposed plan would change the entire site.
Mr. Tegeder said he would email board members with some suggestions on what could be included in a memo to the Town Board that expressed support for the concept of a mixed use development without attacking the specifics of the Crompond Terraces plan. He said that at the November 17th public hearing, the Town Board would have the option of leaving the hearing open for additional input from the Planning Board or close the hearing and leave open a written comment period.