December 21, 2015
Attending: John Kincart, Richard Fon, Darlene Rivera
1. Creative Living (Navajo Fields)
Board members were given an “extensive” memo outlining staff concerns after a site visit that included Mr. Diven. Because the applicant had not had a chance to review the memo, there was no discussion of its contents. Mr. Capellini indicated that the applicant would get back to the board after the memo had been reviewed.
It was noted that the applicant has bought an adjoining parcel but it was not clear how the parcel was being used and Mr. Kincart asked for an as built survey for both parcels.
The board said it had no objection to the Building Department issuing the CO for the greenhouses, although Mr. Winter indicated that the applicant first had address a fire access issue.
Mr. Diven indicated that at the Town Board’s request, he has been cleaning up the town owned detention pond at the end of Navajo Road. The Planning Board said it had no involvement in this issue.
2. Adrian Auto Body, 3330 Old Crompond Road
The applicant showed the board a plan for a 3,100 SF addition to the existing building that is smaller than one previously approved by the board. (Note: the square footage of the earlier plan was not stated.) Mr. Tegeder will provide the board with a comparison of the original versus the new plan and also get feedback from the town engineer on the revised plan. After some discussion, it was determined that since the original site plan was never actually signed, it wasn’t clear, from a procedural perspective, whether the new submission was for an amended site plan or a new submission.
(Note: See Planning Board, 6/10/2013 for a discussion on the original site plan.)
3. Colangelo subdivision, Jacob Road
The applicant advised the board that he is dropping his plans for a farm use for a portion of the site due to what he called the onerous requirements of the Tree Ordinance that requires an inventory of all the trees that would have to be removed. The plan will continue to include 6 houses and a solar array. (Note: it was not clear if the plan continued to include a trail and/or a dog park.)
The proposed plan will need Town Board approval for the use flexibility standards to address lot size and frontage issues. The board supports the use of flexibility.
Tree Ordinance issue: The applicant indicated that based on a preliminary survey of the portion of the site that would be disturbed by the 6 residential units, he estimated 1,100 trees would have to be tagged as to location, type, size and condition, and that this number could reach 1,500. He said the Ordinance made no allowance for dead or diseased trees. It was noted that while the Land Development Regulations require all trees 8“ DBH or greater to be inventoried, the Tree Ordinance, which takes precedence, has a 6” requirement. In response to a question from the applicant whether the 8” provision was ever required for a large parcel, Mr. Tegeder said yes, for the 100 acre Stateland property. Mr. Fon noted that the cost of the tree survey could cost most than the cost of one of the houses.
It was the applicant’s opinion that the tree inventory requirement should be related to the use the property would be put to, e.g., that if the land was to be used for crops, the inventory should not be required. It was pointed that the Tree Ordinance does include a provision exempting agricultural uses from the inventory requirement. It was also pointed out that if the property owner had a Forest Management Plan, the property would be exempt from the requirements of the Ordinance for 10 or 15 years (it was not clear what the time limit was.)
Bruce Barber suggested that the wording of the ordinance could be looked at more carefully, e.g., whether the survey requirement included invasive species, and whether the requirement could be scaled back to possibly include only the limits of disturbance as opposed to the entire site.
The board will send a memo to the Town Board indicating its support for flexibility. The applicant was advised to take up the Tree Ordinance requirements with the Town Board.
East Coast Auto Sales & Storage, Front Street
The discussion on this amended site plan is a result of code violations: in addition to some interior violations of the Building Code, a portion of the parking area on the original site plan is being used for storage of vehicles. The Building Department is working with the applicant to bring the interior of the building, originally used for “storage” into compliance with its current use as a “garage,” although the applicant, who rents the space, indicated that the building owner has not been responsive. Still to be determined is whether a special permit from the ZBA is needed to legalize the outdoor storage of cars. The Planning Department will review the parking requirements to see if the amended plan provides sufficient parking. The general sense of the board was that the code provision requiring outdoor screening would not apply in this instance because the outdoor storage area abutted vacant town owned land at the end of Front Street.
5. Envirogreen Associates, East Main Street, Mohegan Lake
Based on meetings the staff, the applicant showed the board a revised site plan that reconfigured one of the buildings and moved both buildings back from the road while maintaining a streetscape; doing this reduced the incursion into the wetland buffer. The applicant also informed the board that the old house on the property has been demolished. Any discussion about access issues with the abutting property owner will be put on hold pending the start of construction. The current plan shows two access points to Route 6. The board asked the applicant to tweak the plan further in an effort to avoid making the rear of the site a thoroughfare.
Bruce Barber raised the issue of whether, as part of the application’s wetland mitigation plan, the applicant would consider some off site mitigation on the Arridzone property on the south side of Route 6. The applicant said he would think about this.
6. Faith Bible Church
As the project’s site plan has not yet been signed, the Building Department wanted the board’s approval before issuing a demolition permit for the “original” church building that is nested in the larger building. The applicant said he was a few weeks away from getting the plan signed and is currently reviewing a punch list of items prepared by the Planning Department. The demolition permit will prohibit any earth moving or disturbance to any other portion o the site.
7. Bonsiognore subdivision, Old Crompond Road
(See Planning Board, 11-9-2015.)In what he called a “trade off,” Bruce Barber suggested some modifications in the subdivision plan that would increase the incursion into the wetland buffer, which he said was not a highly functioning wetland, in exchange for less grading and tree removal. The applicant is still waiting for DEP review of the plan.
8. Marathon Development, Kear Street
The board was pleased with a new illustration that showed the mass of the building from a different perspective. Mr. Kincart repeated his concern that while he liked the building, he thought it was “too tight” for the site. Mr. Tegeder noted that while the building does overwhelm the site, he felt that the building was attractive.
After a discussion, it was agreed that the applicant would need a variance from the ZBA on the building alignment issue. (See meeting notes from 11/9/15 below.)
Still unresolved is the issue of how many parking spaces will be needed. Mr. Tegeder advised the board that while the parking survey for the Underhill Apartments was helpful, it was not necessarily on point with the proposed development.
9. RPG Properties, Lexington Avenue
The board reviewed two alternative site plans and indicated a preference for Plan A that would require ZBA variances; the plan calls for 74’ between the two rows of units where the code requires 90’. Building Inspector Winter advised the board that Plan B would have building code issues.
Mr. Kincart said he supported the variety of housing units that the plan would provide and supported the zoning change as the site was a good location for multi-family housing. However, he was concerned that the plan would increase the density for the site and that the plan would require the applicant to get a variance to increase the density.
In response to the issue of whether the rezoning request constituted spot zoning, the board again raised the possibility that the rezoning for multi-family use be extended to the end of the street.
The board also expressed concern that for a second time it was being asked to comment on a rezoning that was linked to a concept plan but not an actual site plan. It was agreed that its comments to the Town Board will be limited to just the zoning issue.