Citizens for an Informed Yorktown


Planning Board

April 20, 2015


Attending:  John Flynn, Richard Fon, Darlene Rivera


1. Faith Bible Church

With DEC approval still pending, the board approved a one year extension of the site plan approval. Mr. Capellini said he hoped the approval would be forthcoming in a week or so.  A memo from the Conservation Board recommending some changes in the landscape plan will be forwarded to the applicant’s engineer.


2. Yorktown Auto Body Amended Site Plan

The board approved a one year extension of the approved site plan, approved on April 7, 2014, although as of today, the DEP had granted approval. The site plan will now be officially signed.


(Note: Commenting on the need for two time extensions, Mr. Capellini noted that the one year requirement was set by state law. The problem, he said, was that reviews are more involved today and take longer than they did in the past when the law was passed.)


3. Starbucks special permit for outdoor seating

(See Planning Board, 4-6-2015.) After being assured by the store’s new manager that the parking spaces would be striped, potholes in front of the store would be repaired, and a litter clean-up plan put in place, the board renewed the permit for three years with the condition that the agreed to changes will be made by July 1st.  (Potholes in the driveway are not the store’s responsibility.)


4.BJs/Staples amended site plan

In response to concerns by Mr. Flynn about whether the planned sand filter was sufficient to handle potential oil spills, the applicant will return to the board with more information. (When the filtering issue was raised by Councilman Patel at the previous public hearing,  the applicant said the information would be forthcoming, but to date, the board has not received the information.) Of particular concern to Mr. Flynn was the fact that Costco would be installing a higher level of protection than that proposed for the BJ’s site. In response, the applicant’s engineer explained that there were different requirements for each site: BJ’s was a “redeveloped” site while Costco was considered a new development.   He said that the current sand filter plan for BJ’s met all DEP requirements and was incorporated into the site plan after meetings with DEP.


Signage: Mr. Tegeder alerted the board to the fact that the Town Board resolution granting the special permit for the gas station contained an error in the allowed square footage of  canopy signs.  While the Town Board allowed 3 signs where two are permitted, the resolution incorrectly assumed that a total of 60 square feet was allowed (30 square feet per sign) where the total square footage – for all signs – should have been 30 square feet.


As the Planning Board is in the process of reviewing a master sign plan for the shopping center (the item was withdrawn from tonight’s agenda at the applicant’s request), Mr. Tegeder suggested that the Planning Board could approve the overall amended site plan but add a condition that the canopy sign has to conform to the master sign plan once that plan is approved. 


An approving resolution has been drafted but some editing will be needed.


Addressing the board, Ann Kutter thanked the owner of the shopping center for following up on his commitment to clean up the litter along Route 202. She advised the board that a crew had done a very good job.


5. Commerce Heights Foodsmart (Gulf station at Routes 202.118)

On a referral from the Town Board, the Planning Board reviewed the proposed new signs, including a memo from the Building Department and one from ABACA.  Prior to the meeting, Henry Steeneck, the site’s owner, had not seen either memo. At issue was Mr. Steeneck’s request for signs on the canopy and two price signs: one on a pole and one monument sign; ABACA  recommended only one sign, with a preference for the monument sign, and no sign on the canopy. In response, Mr. Steeneck reminded the board that while the previous station operator did not have signs on the canopy, the operator before that, Texaco, did.  In response, Mr. Fon explained that once a use was discontinued, e.g., the sign on the canopy,.it no longer had a preexisting right to resume.


Noting that times and tastes have changed and that limiting signs on canopies has become more of an issue in recent years, the board’s consensus was to support the ABACA recommendations.


In response to Mr. Steeneck’s comments that the operator of the Mobil station was in violation of the town’s code, Mr. Fon agreed that all stations should be treated equally.