December 21, 2020
Attending: John Kincart, Robert Garrigan, William LaScala, Aaron Bock. Mr. Fon attended only the work session.
Board procedures: The board acknowledged a letter from Susan Siegel, the person writing this summary, regarding board procedures but deferred discussing them in Chairman Fon’s absence.
Par 3 golf course: The board acknowledged receiving an email from Susan Siegel in which she said work on the site appeared to be continuing without any stormwater, wetland or tree permits. In response, Mr. Tegeder said that the applicant’s stormwater plan had been vetted by the DEC and that at this time, it wasn’t a board issue.
2. Broccoli subdivision, Crow Hill Road
(See Planning Board, November 9, 2020.) Without any discussion, the board approved the subdivision, noting that this was a simple transfer of property an would not create another building lot.
2. Lowe’s, Pad A
The board approved the site plan for the new building that would house a “specialty grocer.” It also amended the site plan for the entire development to reflect a change in the striping of the part of the Lowe’s parking lot near the contractor side of the building. The restriping eliminated some spaces for cars but facilitated better parking for trucks.
3. IBM solar carport/Public Informational Hearing
(See Town Board 3-10-2020.) The applicant made a presentation. Construction will take about 12 months. The energy will be used primarily for IBM and some of its employees. A resident from Barnes Street which abuts the parking lot asked questions about noise from the site and also whether the installation had any dangerous features. The applicant said that the panels would not generate any noise, that the installation will adhere to all safety codes and that the panels would not create problems for birds. The resident asked IBM to consider planting more trees in addition to the 120 new trees that are being proposed.
The hearing was closed.
4. Hemlock Hills Farm Solar Farm, Croton Avenue/Public Informational Hearing
Prior to the board’s site visit, the applicant placed balloons on the site so that the visual impact of the solar panels could be judged from the abutting Hunterbrook Preserve. The general consensus was that only one balloon was very slightly visible and did not constitute a signficant impact.
A representative of the Westchester Land Trust that holds an easement to the Preserve expressed concern that stormwater runoff from the farm would exacerbate an existing problem that was causing erosion and pollution to the stream. Some clarification will be needed about the status of a dry ditch and also plans to upgrade an existing stream.
The DEP raised questions as to whether the application should consider impacts to the Cortlandt side of the farm, including impact to the wetlands on the Cortlandt side. Neither the applicant of the board thought this was needed. The board also will need clarification from the county on the identification of the correct part of the conservation easement that will be used for the solar panels.
The hearing was closed.
5. Yorktown Energy Storage, Gomer Court/Public Hearing
The applicant reviewd the plans. Mr. Bock thanked the applicant for providing additional information regarding his concerns about the possible need for any secondary containment. While the applicant called attention to the additional planting proposed along Route 6, after Assistant Planner Steinberg noted that the storage facilities would be visible from East Main Street, the board asked the applicant to see what additional planting could be added to the plan and still stay within the required clearance from the actual storage units.
Susan Siegel, the person writing this summary, asked the board not to approve the application until the Town Board reached a decision on the tax abatement that the project would be eligible for. (See Town Board 12/15/2020.) In response, the applicant said that he was negotiating a PILOT agreement (payment in lieu of taxes) with the town and Mr. Tegeder said that there would be a meeting about the PILOT next week. The applicant added that his intention to enter into the PILOT agreement was despite the fact that the town had missed a deadline to opt out of the abatement program and by default the applicant did to have to enter into one.
Jay Kopstein asked a series of technical questions about the equipment and safety markings and a resident asked about the frequently of inspections. In response to the latter, the applicant responded that while there is a formal maintenance agreement the equipment would be inspected, by the applicant, more than one a year.
The board closed the hearing and at the request of the applicant, proceeded to adopt the approval resolution, adding the condition that the landscape plan be subject to the board’s approval. The approval resolution also noted that any existing exterior storage on the site that did not have a permit had to be removed.
6. NY Self Storage, Bank Road/Public Hearing
The applicant reviewed some minor changes to the plan. For safety reasons, the board would like to see the striped pedestrian area along the front of the building changed to a sidewalk.
In response to a county memo that asked what “green” features were included in the plan, the applicant responded that LED lighting would replace existing fixtures. The applicant said he would look into the county’s suggestion to add solar panels to the roof.
In response to a comment at the previous meeting regarding the potential number of parking spaces if the building’s use ever changed, the applicant advised the board that its initial submission showed the potential for additional parking spaces. The applicant explained that the final site plan was a balance between providing adequate parking for the intended use and the desire to minimize the amount of impervious surface.
The board closed the hearing and approved the site plan.
7. Underhill Farm (formerly Soundview), Underhill Avenue/Pre-Preliminary Application
The applicant walked the board through the conceptual plan, which he called a “visionary concept” for the town and one which would tie into the Comprehensive Plan and work seamlessly what that already exists in the neighborhood. He said the presentation was the start of a process and that there was a long way to go.
The 13.8 acre site is currently zoned for one acre development; the plan, which is based on an underlying R-3, multi-family zone, includes 50 town house units in 11 separate buildings, 30 cono units in a single building, 85 rental apartments and 12,500 sf of retail space in the apartment building and converting the existing main building on the site for some type of historic use in a private/public partnership. The plan calls also calls for a clubhouse and pool, underground parking in the condo and apartment building, a walking trail around the existing pond and access to the proposed senior center on the abutting Beaveridge site.
Steve Marino, the applicant’s environmental planner, explained that 800-900 trees would need to be cleared but noted that some of the tree species were “less desirable” and dated back to the mid 1960’s. He also explained a plan to create a swamp/marsh area to the west of the existing pond.
The plan also includes a plaza area at the corner of Route 118 and Underhill Avenue where the existing gate is. The stone wall would be retained.
The applicant, Unicorn Contracting, the developer of the Caremount Building on Route 118, said that the project would generate over $1 million in tax revenue.
Mr. Kincart, noting that traffic already backs up on Underhill Avenue, said a traffic analysis would be needed.
8. Wells Fargo, Shurb Oak and Yorktown Heights
(See Planning Board 10-5-2020.) The applicant presented revised plans that lowered the new poles as much as possible. No action was taken pending the Planning Department’s review of the new plans.
9. Drag racing legislation/Town Board referral
The board said there were no planning issues involved in the legislation. In response to Mr. LaScala’s comment that the forfeiture law was a governmental overreach, Councilman Lachterman said that the law had adequate safeguards but was needed as a tool for the police in extreme cases.