Planning Board

April 8, 2019


Attending: John Kincart,  John Savoca, William LaScala, Rich Fon, Aaron Bock, Robert Garrigan


1. Popeyes (Staples Plaza)

During the correspondence portion of the agenda, there was a discussion of a recent memo from the town engineer raising questions about the sewer connection to the Hunterbrook pump station.   The issue was whether, based on the engineer’s memo, the PB needed to reopen its review of the approved site plan; it was noted that the applicant is about ready to begin construction; it has all its needed permits except a sewer connection permit that is issued by the engineer. It was noted that the PB’s approval, which dated back to 2015, was based on an EAF that said sewage flows would be 270 gallons/day. This was based on standard retail figures before the applicant had a specific tenant. It now appears that the flow will be 2,000 gallons/day.  Current flows to the pump station were not known, nor was it known whether this additional flow would create a problem. It was noted, though, that this was an issue that could surface if and when new restaurants were approved for the Lowe’s pads.   The board decided to stand by its earlier approval and take no new action based on the engineer’s memo.


2. Unicorn Contracting, Kear St.

Dan Ciarcia explained that changes to the configuration of the building were made after the PB approved the site plan. While keeping one corner of the building constant (because of fire truck access requirements), the width and length of the building were changed, resulting in a total increase of 100 square feet, an increase that the planning director deemed not consequential enough to alter the parking requirements.  Mr. Kincart called the modification “less alarming” than what had been raised at the board’s previous meeting.  Mr. Ciarcia said that the change also did not affect the access lane and parking spaces between the “invisible” line separately the two abutting properties.


The applicant needs to return to the board with a revised site plan that shows landscaping, signage, the location of refuse containers and electrical equipment.


3. Clean Energy Collection – Proposed solar installations on Foothill St and Underhill Ave.

Although both applications were on the agenda for site plan review, Mr. Bock raised the issue of how the board was supposed to evaluate the plan in the absence of any enabling legislation.  In response, the applicant and Mr. Tegeder said that an informal review of the site plan would assist the board in its review of the draft law. (Note: a review of the law was not on the agenda.)  The applicant added that she was aware that without a law on the books, the company was proceeding at its own risk.


Reference was made to a memo from the Conservation Board regarding the two site plans that appeared to question citing commercial solar installations in resident zones, a concern Mr. Fon said that the Planning Board had expressed earlier. The Conservation Board memo, which was not read out at the meeting, appeared to support the concept of solar energy but was concerned about the need to cut down so many trees.


The applicant stated that solar farms are a light use and that people won’t even know that they’re there. Regarding the Underhill Ave location on the top of French Hill, she said it would not be visible.

ill, she said the instattion would be far removed from the road and wouldn’t be visible.   Both sites would be leased to the energy company.


Walt Daniels, speaking for ACOSm, note


Mr. LaScala said he had no problem with solar installations on houses but questioned the financial arrangements for commercial operations.


Walt Daniels, speaking for ACOS, noted that there had been an application for some houses on the Foothill location sometime around 2006/2007 and that ACOS considered the site, that includes a tributary that leads into Mohegan Lake, as a site worthy of the town acquiring. Mr. Tegeder expressed concern about the potential thermal impact on the stream when heat absorbing trees are cut down; the applicant said this issue would be addressed as the application proceeded.   Regarding the Underhill Ave site, the applicant said that the 25% slope would not be a problem.


The applicant added that if the town didn’t approve the solar farm applications, the property owners were likely to apply for some other development on their property; Mr. Bock said that other options for the land should be looked at in conjunction with the solar application. The appllicent also said that while the abutting Putnam Valley school has not been notified yet about the application, she felt that the installation would be a valuable learning experience for students.


At Mr. Fon’s suggestion, it was agreed that members of all boards involved with the application should do a joint site visit. One was schedled for Sunday, April 14. The applicant will also provide a list of its completed installations, most of which appeared to be in Massachusetts.


5. Crystal Court subdivision, Crystal Court

The applicant made some revisions to an earlier site plan. The board’s main concern appeared to be whether the applicant would pay the recreation fee for the 3-lot subdivision or give the wetland area on the parcel to the town in lieu of money. There was some discussion as to whether/how the wetland area could fit in with the existing trail system. The issue will be referred to the Town Board for its input.


6. 1285 Aspen Road – Town Board referral

(See Town Board 3-26-2019.)  The board had no issue with the stormwater permit but the issue was raised that according to the zoning code, the lot needs frontage on an improved town road and this portion of Aspen Rd was not an improved road.   The applicant will look into this and return to the board.


7. The Weyant, Crompond Road

The applicant presented a more detailed plan for the 23 unit townhouse development that followed its earlier conceptual submission.  Traffic consultant Phil Grealy advised the board that the road dedication process for the widening of Crompond Road has started but that it could take 1.5  to 2 years or more before the DOT accepts the land. Until that is done, Hamblyn Street will be the prime access point and Route 202 for emergency use; that will be reversed once the dedication is completed. When that happens, the trees and stone wall along Crompond Road will be removed; the applicant is working on a landscaping plan that will be presented to the board at a subsequent meeting. Mr. Tegeder asked that the plan show the impact from Route 202.  One of the key landscape issues is screening the rear of the townhouses from Crompond Road. 


Mr. Tegeder suggested that the proposed alignment at Hamblyn Street be changed back to a perpendicular intersection; he noted that the current configuration was based on the original 36 unit plan that has now been reduced. All appeared to agree that the perpendicular intersection was the preferred way to go.


It was noted that the plan with the access to Crompond Road can proceed independent of what happens with the adjoining Roma Buildng plan; the connection to the  Roma site is shown on the Weyant plan, but doesn’t have to be constructed until there is an approved Roma plan.


The applicant noted that while the original 36 unit plan would have kept a tree buffer to the Hamblyn Street houses, under the 23 unit plan, virtually all the trees on the site will be removed and replaced with new plantings and a fence at the rear of the site.


Also discussed was a last minute memo from the town engineer. Although the details of the memo were not made public, it appeared that the issue dealt with sewage flows from the development to the town’s Hallocks Mill treatment plant on Greenwood St.; it was estimated that the site would generate 6,000 gallons/day.


 8. Stormwater maintenance agreements (Also Fiore subdivision, Carr Court)

(See Planning Board, 3-25-2019, Fiore subdivision,) When the board reviewed sample maintenance agreements involinvg underground infiltration systems used in other approvals, there appeared to be agreement that some of the provisions in the samples did not apply, especially the provision for a review every 5 years. Mr. Savoca noted that there was no enforcement mechanism in the agreements, just language, and that homeowner would be clueless as to their  responsibility for maintaining  the system.  Mr. Tegeder suggested that maintenance requirements, e.g., quarterly, yearly inspections, as specified by the applicant’s engineer in the stormwater plan, should be noted on the subdivision/site plan as well as in the deed. Mr. Bock noted that the agreement had to allow the town to have access to the site if and when the property owner did not fulfill the maintenance requirements. He also suggested requiring a possible bond or other form of security in the event the town had to step in, do any necessary repairs and place on lien on the owner’s property..


No decisions were made.


Regarding the Fiore lot, Mr. Riina said that due to cost issues, it was not possible to separate the existing stormwater facility on the lot where the current house exists to the proposed new infiltration system on the lot to be developed if the subdivision is approved.