Citizens for an Informed Yorktown


Planning Board
February 13, 2012

Planning Board Members Present: Richard Fon, chair, John Flynn, John Savoca, Darlene Rivera,  John Kincart


Planning Department Staff Present: John A. Tegeder,  Robyn A. Steinberg, Lorraine DeSisto, Karen Wagner, attorney


Regular Session

1.  Sierra Bella fka Samsel Minor
According to the applicant, the delay stems from changes in DEP regulations which have to be accommodated.  The Planning Board granted the extension, but the applicant will have to redo SEQR if the project is not started within this 90 day time frame.

2. Crompond Crossing Subdivision
The applicant is waiting for DEP to sign off on the design for a green roof.  The Planning Board approved a 90 day extension.

3.  Route 6 Office Development
SBL: 15.16-1-21
Request for One-Year Time Extension
Location: 3571 Mohegan Avenue
Contact: John Meyer Consulting
Description: Site Plan approved by Planning Board Res #08-05 dated February 11, 2008.

The applicant is having trouble getting a tenant for the third building included in the approved site plan.  The Planning Board approved the one year time extension.

4. Augie's Prime Cut
The applicant reported an agreement to lease parking spaces from the neighboring hair salon and showed pictures of  the redesigned garbage enclosure and fencing.  This met with the Planning Board’s approval.  There were no additional comments from the Planning Board or from the public, but the public hearing could not be closed because the applicant did not have adequate proof he had notified one adjoining property of the public hearing.  The matter was tabled until the 2/27/12 work session.  The applicant asked about the possibility of a temporary CO and was told to see the Town Board about that.

Work Session

5.  Bhatt, Vaman
The application is for a massage therapy business in the existing finished basement of a single family residence.  This type of use requires four parking spaces for the business and one for the residence, which the site already has.  The two car garage provides parking for the residence, and there is already enough pavement to accommodate four more cars.  There will be no employees, and the applicant says she expect never more than two clients at any one time.  The Planning Board was assured there would be no change to the character of the neighborhood.  The Planning Board approved the parking plan and has no objection to the special use permit.

6. Gione Minor Subdivision

This is a two lot subdivision where one lot will contain the existing house and the other will have new construction.  The lots are 1.25 and 1.75 ac.  The wetlands on the site, which have been delineated, will be in the new construction lot after subdivision.  Both lots have driveways onto Loder Rd, and an effort will be made to align the new driveway with the one on the opposite side of the road.  The project meets zoning requirements, has Department of Health approval for the new septic and 100% expansion areas for both lots and the Conservation Board has walked the site.  Conservation Board representative Patrick Francois asked if a conservation easement could be put in place to protect the wetland.  The applicant said this was a possibility, but the easement line would be drawn so as to allow the homeowner access to part of the wetland buffer with a wetland permit.  Rain gardens will be installed to treat run off from impervious surfaces.  The Planning Board scheduled a site visit.

7. Winery

Having received a 90 day temporary CO with regard to the interior of the building, the owner Tom DeChiaro and construction manager Chris Sciarra are before the Planning Board to discuss amending the site plan for the outside of the building.  Specifically, Mr. DeChiaro will be applying to rezone the site to either C2 or to a transitional zone and is looking for the Planning Board’s opinion of a property exchange with the Town. 


Mr. DeChiaro proposes exchanging the junk-strewn, degraded, town-owned area to the east of the building for a piece of the wetland he owns behind the building.  Mr. DeChiaro would clean-up the eastern parcel and convert it to parking, although the winery already has sufficient parking.  It could also be an access point for the educational and recreational use of the large town-owned wetlands behind the winery building.  The Planning Board is generally receptive to the proposed exchange.  Mr. Fon strongly recommends that the applicant meet with the Planning Department, Building Inspector, Town Engineer and a representative of the Planning Board, altogether in the same room, in order to save time and insure that all relevant parties are familiar with all the issues. 


With respect to the proposed rezoning,  Mr. Tegeder, director of planning, recommends the transitional zone which will better protect the historical building in the event ownership and usage changes in the future.  Mr. DeChiaro says the building already protected by a  National Historic Landmark designation which is less restrictive to the owner.  The Planning Board decides not to write a memo going on record as approving the granting of a 90 day temporary CO and chooses not to discuss whether the Board would approve an extension of the TCO if no site improvements are done in the 90 days, preferring to assess the situation at that time.  The Planning Board will get a referral from the Town Board on the rezoning proposal and then the Planning Board will look at the technical aspects of the site plan for the proposed zoning.  John Schroeder of the Open Space Committee asked if the rezoning could be referred to that committee and was told that was up to the Town Board. 

8. Sanctuary Golf Course

The Planning Board is generally in favor of this project, but has not been given the material it needs for its review.  The site has been developed in violation of the original site plan so the Planning Board needs a professionally signed “as built” plan.  At this meeting, the applicant showed a comparison between the original plan and the purported existing situation, but not an official “as built” document.  Both the Planning Board and John Schroeder of the Yorktown Land Trust questioned the accuracy of this comparison.  A major concern is the structural integrity and safety of a wall built on the site.  To date the Town Engineer has not evaluated it.  The applicant is encouraged to get together all the necessary material and professional input so the project can move forward through the approval process.       

9. Fieldhome Expansion
The applicant needs a setback variance on the north side for the site for garages and a building.  The Planning Board has no objection to this and will indicate so in a letter to the Zoning Board.  With respect to the SEQR classification, the Board determined the project is unlisted.


Non-agenda Items


10. Mohegan Lake Motors

The applicant has applied to the Zoning Board for a special use permit and needs a variance for a 15 ft buffer with an adjacent property.  The Planning Board approves the variance.  A public hearing will be held in March.


11. Yorktown Farms

The owner of lot 9 is asking for a change in the subdivision plan, i.e. extending the limits of disturbance all the way to the property line.  According to a certified arborist, the affected trees are either weak or small and spindly and not worth saving.  The Planning Board went into special session in order to approve the requested plan change expanding the limits of disturbance.


12. Self Storage on Front St

Mr. Flynn suggests the Planning Board reopen its review of this project because it appears a trailer is being used as a permanent office which violated the original site plan.


13. Costco

Mr. Flynn would like to add to the EIS scoping a consideration of the health impacts of suburban sprawl.  He alludes to studies suggesting suburban dwellers are less healthy than urban dwellers because of the car-dependent culture of suburbia and points to the Costco project as an example of a land use that encourages people to drive to a shopping venue rather than walk.  The comment period for the scoping document is closed, but Mr. Tegeder will ask the applicant to include Mr. Flynn’s suggestion in the DEIS.





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