March 10, 2014
Attending: John Flynn, John Kincart, John Savoca, Richard Fon, Darlene Rivera, Ann Kutter
COURTESY OF THE FLOOR
George Brink repeated comments he made at last week’s Town Board meeting and wanted to know what, if any, enforcement authority the Planning Board had to force compliance with site plan and easement conditions. Mr. Fon responded that the building inspector was the board’s enforcement arm and that the matter had previously been referred to that official.
Yorktown Auto Body
Mr. Riina explained the provisions of the revised site plan that would “square off” the existing building by adding 1,700 sq. ft., adding that he planned to submit a revised stormwater plan to DEP next week. (There was no explanation of how the current plan differed from the earlier one.)
In response to a question from the brother of an adjoining property owner whether the addition would encroach into residentially zoned property, it was explained that the zoning for the parcel to the rear of the building that had been purchased by the applicant was split between residential and commercial zones and that the building addition and retaining wall would only be constructed in the commercially zoned portion.
The public hearing was closed and the record left open for written comments. The board will vote on a resolution once the DEP completes its review.
The board approved a one year extension of the site plan approval while the applicant awaits DEP approval of its revised stormwater plan which, based on the latest submission, it hopes will be forthcoming shortly. Mr. Riina noted that the revised plan has been before the DEP for over a year.
3. Faith Bible Church public hearing
Members of the church’s development team reviewed various aspects of the plan emphasizing how the plan would provide both traffic and environmental benefits and how, as required under the special permit conditions of the zoning code, the plan is compatible with a residential neighborhood. (Prior to 2006, houses of worship were permitted “as of right” in residential neighborhoods. In response to a question from the board as to why the change was made, Mr. Capellini speculated that the change may have been a result of the contentious discussions surrounding a proposed temple on Mohansic Ave.)
Evan Bray raised two legal issues: he questioned the accuracy of the language used in the public notice advertising for the adjourned hearing and, of more significance, whether the zoning code required the owners of the properties abutting the Hudson Valley Bank constituted “interested parties’ to the application and also be notified of the hearing. It was his contention that the bank’s lease agreement with the church to allow parking on its site on Sundays made the bank’s property an integral part of the application and therefore properties abutting the bank also had to be notified of the hearing.
In response to the first issue, it was explained that the notice had used the language from the original hearing and might have to be changed to reflect changes in the plan that had been made since the original 2009 application. A resolution of the second issue about which property owners had to be notified was less clear and the board’s attorney said she was not prepared to render an opinion during the meeting. (Mr. Capellini argued that the lease arrangement did not alter who had to be notified.) Mr. Fon said it was important that this issue be addressed and that the board proceed properly.
Mr. Bray then proceeded to question various aspects of the plan, advising the board that he had about three hours worth of comments which he said hadn’t been addressed before. He questioned whether the traffic study had included the impact of the shuttle bus from the bank’s parking lot and also noted that the plan’s site coverage slightly exceeded the 25% limit because retaining walls should be included in the calculation. When his subsequent comments began to touch on other site plan issues, the board asked him to limit his comments to “anything new” and reminded him that the hearing was not an appropriate venue to rehash what had already been decided by the Zoning Board. Messrs. Fon and Flynn advised him that the Zoning Board’s actions granting the latest round of variances created a “new norm” for the site that the Planning Board was obligated, by law, to accept.
(Mr. Bray’s Article 78 lawsuit challenging the ZBA’s decision is pending.)
When it became clear that the board would be adjourning the hearing to allow the attorney time to review the notice requirement issue, Mr. Bray decided to postpone the remainder of his comments.
The only other speaker was the church’s pastor who expressed frustration at the process as well as what he said were the lies and misinformation about the project.
The applicant is still working with ABACA and the Conservation Board on architectural issues, and a lighting and landscape plan.
The board went into a closed executive session, and when it returned, it voted to adjourn the hearing.
4. Hilltop Hanover Farm
The board reviewed plans to relocate the proposed house on lot 23 of the subdivision in order to accommodate the owner’s plans. The original subdivision plan was filed in 2006. The new location will have access from White Horse Lane.