Planning Board Work Session
February 27, 2012
Planning Board Members Present: Richard Fon, chair, John Flynn, John Savoca, John Kincart
Planning Department Staff Present: John A. Tegeder, Robyn A. Steinberg, Lorraine DeSisto, Karen Wagner, attorney
1. Augie’s Prime Cut
After reconvening the public hearing and listening to additional comments from the public, the board closed the public hearing and unanimously approved the site plan.
Comments from two homeowners from Wiley Road focused on flooding they were experiencing caused, they said, by changes that had been made to a portion of the lot adjoining the restaurant owned by Jack Ward that the restaurant leased for parking. Given the layout of the two lots, Mr. Kincart noted that restaurant patrons were not likely to know whose property they were parking on. It was also pointed out that the Town had issued stop work orders when the improvements were being made to the Ward parcel. Acknowledging that Augie’s was not responsible for site conditions on the Ward lot, the board asked Augie’s owner, Sal Barrone, to work with the Wiley Road residents to see if some barriers could be placed on the Augie’s site that would control runoff to their property. The Planning Department will also contact the town engineer’s office asking them to review whether the improvements on the Ward property met Code requirements. Finally, Mr. Barrone will look into blocking off access to the Ward lot.
2. Arrowhead Subdivision
In order to obtain a building permit, the property owner needs a resolution from the Planning Board stating that his current plan for the sale of the first lot for this 5-lot subdivision conforms to the approved 2007 plan. The board’s discussion focused on two areas of concern.
a) The applicant has not responded to the November, 2011 letter from the town engineer requesting documentation that the applicant has corrected deficiencies on the site. According to a memo from the engineer, the applicant has not returned phone calls or emails requesting the documentation. The applicant said that with the exception of lining a pond, no earth disturbance was being done over the winter on the site and that he wasn’t aware of any deficiencies but that he would have his engineer do a site visit and provide the necessary documentation.
b) While the applicant said that the plan for the first lot conformed to the original subdivision approval, Planning Director Tegeder said that there were some differences that needed to be reviewed, including a change in the roadway configuration and grading. As the item was a last minute addition to the board’s agenda, neither Mr. Tegeder or members of the board had had a chance to review the new plan.
While initially Mr. Kincart suggested that the board approve the plan subject to the applicant satisfying the engineer’s concerns, other board members said that they wanted Mr. Tegeder’s opinion on the changes to the plan and did not see any need to rush the approval. Mr. Fon noted that in October, 2011, the board had approved requested changes to the plan and that any delays were not due to the Town. The applicant explained that since October he had been working with other agencies to obtain other required approvals.
3. Staples Plaza
As part of the NYS DOT’s Pine Grove/Route 202 improvement plan, the state wants to take two pieces of land from the shopping center to widen right turns coming into and leaving the site. The proposed widening coming into the site would eliminate approximately 25 existing parking spaces. The other widening would have no impact on existing parking.
While all members of the board acknowledged that the spaces to be eliminated were not generally used, because they are part of the original parking space requirements of the approved site plan, if they were removed, the shopping center would not be in compliance with its approved plan. This would only be an issue if the center came in for any future improvements to the site, such as the construction of an additional building. According to the center’s owner, an additional 4,500 sq ft would require 25 spaces.
Ms. Steinberg explained that the DOT has suggested that as a “trade off” the center add spaces behind the Dunkin Donuts building that are shown on the original site plan but which were never built. Everyone agreed, however, that given the active drive-in window, this would not be an acceptable location for additional parking.
Mr. Kincart noted that as the state’s proposed action constituted a “taking,” the shopping center would be entitled to compensation. He suggested to Mr. Biddle that he decide what would be in his best interests and then negotiate with the state. As there were no representatives of the DOT at the meeting, Ms. Steinberg will get back to the agency and advise them that their initial “trade off” was not acceptable to either the shopping center or the town.
4. Yorktown Smart Growth. The board has received a letter from Yorktown Smart Growth requesting an opportunity to appear before the board. While the board felt that any comments the group would want to make regarding Costco should be made during the Costco public hearing process, Mr. Flynn favored encouraging the group to participate in the general planning process. Accordingly, the group will be invited to make a brief presentation at a future work session to discuss it general mission, but not to comment on any specific applications before the board.