Planning Board

February 13, 2017


Attending: John Kincart, John Savoca, William La Scala, Rich Fon, Anthony Tripodi, Bob Garrigan




1. Fieldstone Manor, Strawberry Road

The board approved the first 90 day extension. Mr. Riina advised the board that the applicant was waiting for the Planning Department to review the baseline environmental report and clear up some minor items. He anticipated that he would be ready to seek final approval soon.  Mr. Kincart recused himself from the vote.


2. Shrub Oak International School, Stony Street/Public Informational Hearing

Representatives of the applicant made a presentation of the plan, providing some additional details to earlier presentations. (See below.)   The applicant is requesting two separate special permits: one to operate the private school and one for the helistop. 


Most of the changes to the building will be for energy efficiency, code compliance, HVAC issues, and reconfigured bathrooms. The number of parking spaces, currently 90, will be increased to 344.  Animal therapy areas will be used for horses and sheep.  The applicant explained that he had been working with the supervisor on the southern driveway that is currently being used to access the Granite Knolls fields. Based on those discussions, the applicant indicated that the plan was to widen the current driveway to provide left and right turns out and a left turn in from Stony St.  The southern access would be used for school staff and deliveries. Traffic studies will be done for several intersections, in addition to a traffic light warrant study for the intersection of East Main Street and Stony St.


Three potential helicopter approaches were outlined; two come over either the eastern or western portions of Granite Knolls parkland. The applicant’s helicopter expert explained that the FAA, DOT and a national fire review agency will review safety issues and flight plans.  The helistop pad will be 46 x 46.  The expert talked about the benefits of the helistop for the town’s first responders; he did not talk about the school’s use.


The applicant has been in touch with the Lakeland School District about programming for its students; a similar discussion will be held with Yorktown School District officials.


Comments from the public touched on the following issues:


Helistop: Jay Kopstein stated that first responders didn’t need a special permit to land a helicopter, that helicopters flying over the Taconic Parkway or Route 202 would be a distraction, and that games at Granite Knolls fields would have to be suspended when helicopters were flying overhead. He also asked how many trips were anticipated.   In response, David Steinmetz, the applicant’s attorney stated that the helistop would be useful but wasn’t essential and that although town code allowed for the helistop, the applicant would abide by the town’s wishes. He stressed the benefits for first responders but did not discuss the use of the helistop by the school. In response to the comment that  first responders didn’t need a special permit to land,  the applicant’s helicopter expert said that an approved helistop site like the one being proposed, was safer because it had been reviewed by state and national agencies. A resident from Amelia Drive to the rear of the school told the board that when a helicopter brought Nancy Reagan to Phoenix House several years ago for a visit, things shook in his house. Mr. Kincart stated that in the event a special permit was granted, it could always be revoked if it created a nuisance.


Animals: two residents questioned the presence of animals saying that when they bought their houses, they didn’t expect to be living next to a farm.   In response, Mr. Steinmetz said the applicant would review the animal issue.


Southern Access road: Susan Siegel, the person writing this summary asked if the widening of the existing driveway was being considered as a permanent or temporary access for the town fields. In response, Mr. Steinmetz said that based on current discussions with the supervisor, it appears that the driveway would become a municipal road and would be the permanent entrance to the park as well as for the school. He said that discussions with the supervisor were still ongoing and that the applicant waned to work with the town.


The board closed the informational hearing and voted to declare itself lead agency for SEQRA purposes so that the environmental re view process could begin.




3. Pied Piper Preschool Addition, Crompond Road

Board members expressed their concern about the mass of the proposed addition as well as concerns about traffic and the need for a traffic management plan. There was also a memo from the Fire Advisory Board that appeared to raise some safety issues.  When Michael Piccarillo, the project’s architect, complained that this was the first time the board had expressed concern about the size of the proposed addition, Mr. Tegeder challenged that statement saying that the proposed mass has been an issue since the initial presentation last year.  Mr. Kincart said that while he supported the use, he felt that the proposed addition to was too much for the site, adding that the existing use even needs to rely on the adjoining church for parking and traffic management. In response, the applicant said that the present site was the only one available to them,


The applicant was asked to provide more information about traffic created at different times of the day by the day care and afterschool  uses, employee parking needs, and plans to possibly increase the programming for the afterschool program.


The board agreed with Mr. Quinn’s suggestion that before dealing with the building mass issue, that he arrange a meeting to go over the traffic issue with the fire inspector prior to the next board meeting.  Planning Board members will also do a site visit.


4. Weyant parcel rezoning (2040 Crompond Road)

On a referral from the Town Board, the board discussed the requested rezoning of the parcel to a transitional zone.  Mr. Riina explained that the applicant had looked at, but rejected, rezoning the parcel, currently zoned R1-10, for half acre single family homes, to either C2R, a mixed commercial/residential zone (like the Kear Street parcel) or R-3, multi family. He said the mixed use zone was rejected because it was too dense and also the applicant didn’t see a market for more retail space. The R-3 multi family zone was rejected because it would have resulted in fewer allowed units and smaller size units. (He didn’t specify the number of units.)  Mr. DeVito explained that the proposed number of units were dictated by the economics of the project and that he was not trying to “be a pig” by squeezing in as many units as possible.


Mr. Tegeder defended the use of the transitional zone saying that it conformed to the Comprehensive Plan and was appropriate for the parcel.   He supported the plan that turned one of the buildings.  When some residents compared the mass of the proposed two buildings to the Pied Piper “mass” discussion earlier in the evening, Mr. Tegeder noted that the two parcels were very different in size.


While several residents from Hamblyn Street were at the meeting and asked to speak, Mr. Fon advised them that anything they said at a work session would not be in the record.  However, he did allow some comments, most of which were focused on traffic, especially cars entering the site from Ridge/Hallocks Mill Road through their neighborhood.  This led to a discussion of whether the proposed emergency access to Route 202 could become the main access point and Hamblyn the emergency access. Mr. Riina said that planning guidelines suggest that access should be the closest major intersection. The applicant ruled out using the existing driveway access to Route 202.  The access issue was left to future discussions as Mr. Fon reminded the residents that the only issue currently before the board was the appropriate zoning designation.  The consensus of the board was in favor of the transitional zone and a recommendation will be sent to the Town Board.


5. Colangelo subdivision, Jacob Road

On a referral from the Town Board, the board said it had no issue with the request for the property to be included in the Peekskill Sanitary Sewer District.


The applicant advised the board that since it could take up to a year to get the sewer district approval from the county, in the meantime, he wanted to create a “flower farm” on approximately 2 acres in the general area where the houses would eventually be built and which the applicant had previously cleared without a permit. Although not too many details about the farm were discussed, the applicant said it would be operated by a university and that student interns would do the farming. He wants the operation to begin this spring.  A plan showing the trees that would have to be removed to make way for the farm was shown but the number of trees to be removed was not disclosed.


For the flower farm, the applicant would need a stormwater permit and a tree permit. Mr. Barber advised that if some of the work was phased, the applicant might be able to come in under the disturbed land threshold that would require a DEP stormwater permit.


Also briefly discussed was whether the parcel would come into the county’s agricultural district program. Mr. Barber explained that applications to become an agricultural district are reviewed and approved by the county every seven years and he didn’t know what year of the cycle the program was in.


6. Quick Stop Gas Station, 3451 Crompond Road

On a referral from the Town Board, the board was unable to review the application to amend an existing special use permit for the gas station because not enough information was available about the size of the convenience store, available parking, the proposed canopy, the lighting and landscaping. The application also did not include a site plan drawn to scale.  Also, there was no evidence of an existing special permit for a gas station.  The Planning Department’s memo highlighting the missing information will be sent to the Town Board.


7. Heyward Street Cell Tower

On a referral from the Town Board, the board considered the request to replace an antenna on the monopole. The board asked for more information about the existing tower, including whether it was in compliance with its existing site plan, before proceeding.  The board will do a site visit.