Planning Board

May 22, 2017


Attending: John Kincart, John Savoca, William LaScala, Richard Fon, Anthony Tripodi


1. JCPC, Front Street

In an item not on the agenda, Town Engineer Quinn suggested that instead of JCPC constructing the forebay as part of its required off mitigation, the applicant put $15,000 (what the construction would have cost) into an escrow fund that could be used as part of the cost for the larger planned East of Hudson stormwater project; if that project doesn’t materialize, Mr. Quinn said the money could be used for other drainage projects in the area.


This led to a discussion of whether the stormwater measures the DEP is requiring the applicant to do on site was sufficient and obviated the need for the off site mitigation. While some board members felt the two requirements overlapped, Mr. Quinn believed that the off site mitigation was needed to comply with the town’s existing Wetlands Law and was separate from the DEP requirements. Developing the site will involve the loss of about 11,000 SF of wetlands. Mr. Quinn classified the wetlands as “low functioning” but added that the existing law did not address the functional value of the wetlands when requiring mitigation. The board’s attorney said he would review the issue; if he concludes that the off site mitigation is not required, the approved site plan would have to be amended as it includes the construction of the forebay.


In the meantime, and prior to getting a building permit, the applicant wants to proceed with some site preparation work and needs a tree permit. The applicant was advised to come to the next meeting when the issue might be resolved.


2. Ianuzzi subdivision, Baptist Church Road

The project has been delayed due to the death of the applicant’s surveyor and the need to hire a new one. In light of the delay, the board reapproved the subdivision.


3. Hearthstone subdivision, Hearthstone Street

(See Planning Board, 5/8/2017.) After only a brief discussion, it was agreed that that a Public Informal Hearing will be held (no date was set) and that prior to the hearing, staff  will work with the applicant to iron out details of water and sewer issues.


4. Community Housing Innovations, 670 East Main Street

(See Planning Board minutes for 4/17/2017 for a discussion of the applicant’s experience building affordable housing and its ownership plans for the proposed units.)  In response to the board’s density concerns at the previous meeting, the applicant returned with a plan for six single family houses, noting that given the configuration of the 30,000 SF parcel, anything that is to be built on the site will need variances. The sense of the board was that even six units was too dense for the site but the applicant said she wasn’t sure if the project was economically feasible with 4 units.  The grade on Old Jefferson Valley Road that is proposed for access was also a concern. The applicant was advised to consider its options for 4 units with either two or three bedroom units.


5. Lowe’s

The discussion was the parameters of a master sign plan for the development that showed renderings of both the location and size of the proposed signs.  The overall number of square footage of signs was within the town’s code. Details on the signs can’t be pinned down until the still unknown tenants for the satellite buildings are identified. So far, no tenants are known. Lowe’s is anxious to get approval as soon as possible for a proposed 12’ high monument sign. Mr. Tegeder had no inherent problem with the 12’ (town code allows up to 16’) but asked the applicant to show elevations of why 12’ was needed for visibility and whether a lower sign might be accept able.


The renderings were referred to ABACA for review and the applicant will return to the Planning Board on June 12.


6. Shrub Oak International School, Stoney Street

The applicant’s engineer showed the board plans for the southern driveway that would provide access to the Granite  Knolls fields and include a turn off for the school’s staff.  The applicant noted that the new road would save the town approximately $400,000 by eliminating the need for the town to build an entirely new access road into the site.   The road could include a gate to block off access to the fields when not in use (as per Legacy Fields); the applicant’s engineer advised against a gate on the turnoff road for staff.  The engineer advised the board that the only possible conflict between staff and park users would be in the afternoons between 3-5pm when there is a shift change. Additional work needs to be done on the access road.


The applicant is also working on the details of its stormwater plan and consultants are working with the fire commissioners on access and safety issues.


Regarding the possible traffic light at East Main Street, the applicant’s engineer gave the board a breakout of the percentage impact that different proposed new developments would have on the intersections, e.g., Lowe’s, so that the cost of any light installation could be apportioned among the different developers.  He added that in addition to the cost of the light, other changes to the intersection might be needed.


On the helistop issue, chairman Fon noted that he had reached out to some first responders and was advised that in emergencies they could land anywhere. He asked the applicant if they could arrange a test flight so that the board could assess the noise impact that was a concern to neighbors. Mr. Steinmetz said he would reach out to Phoenix House which still owns the site to see if that was possible. He said the applicant has no problem with the board setting conditions on the use of the helistop such as number of flights or hours of operation or that the special permit be for a limited time so that the town could assess its impact.


Mr. Steinmetz indicated that he would be responding to all the questions that were raised during the hearing and subsequent written comments.  He noted that some of the comments came from people who didn’t live in the immediate area surrounding the school.


Prior to the next meeting, Mr. Tegeder will draw up a list of possible conditions for an eventual approving resolution.


7. Unicorn Contracting, Kear Street

Engineer Dan Ciarcia displayed a site plan that showed an internal sidewalk network that was in response to earlier comments about the need for pedestrian connectivity.  The plan includes one sidewalk that would link to the stairs leading to Kear Street as well as one to the existing sidewalk along Route 118. Mr. Kincart questioned whether the one that was parallel to the Route 118 sidewalk was needed, but other board members felt that the public might feel safer with an internal sidewalk.  Mr. Ciarcia also discussed plans for additional screening of the parking lot from Route 118. He will refine the plan that is ready for a Public Informational Hearing. No date was set.  The stormwater plan is still being worked on. (Mr. Savoca recused himself from the discussion.)


8. The Weyant, Route 202

On a referral from the Town Board, the Planning Board did a brief review of both plans, although Mr. Riina indicated that the DOT prefers the plan with access from Hamblyn.  There was some discussion about how the use of heightened curb cuts and road widening could control (and limit) the use of Hamblyn Street.


Although the Town Board will be the approval authority for the site plan and rezoning and the Planning Board’s role will only be advisory, the Planning Board will send a memo to the Town Board noting that it wants more time to work on site plan issues before the application returns to the Town Board.


9. Tompkins Garage, Route 129

(See Town Board 5/9/2017.) On a referral from the Town Board, the board reviewed the site plan. Mr Riina explained the problem associated with the installation of the new gas pumps. He further explained that the applicant will need a variance from NY State and is hoping that the presence of either a foundation or piping associated with the old pumps will convince the state that the use is an existing one and therefore eligible for the variance.  Recognizing that the state’s determination will be the deciding factor, the board will send a memo to the Town Board indicating that it has no issue with the plan.


10. Harwood Place rezoning

(See Town Board, 5/9/2017) On a referral from the Town Board, the board reviewed the plan. In response to a question from Mr. LaScala, Mr. Capellini and the applicant indicated that the 2 illegal basement apartments have been made code compliant. Mr. Kincart noted that the building provided needed diversity of housing.  The board will send a memo to the Town Board indicating that it has no issue with the rezoning.


11. Front Street rezoning

On a referral from the Town Board, the board reviewed the plan. One outstanding issue that needs more work is the ownership and treatment of the proposed plaza in front of one of the buildings along Front Street that is located on the extension of the paper portion of Edgewood St. The town attorney is in the process of checking out the title issue. Another issue that might need attention is the proposed loop road around the back of the two story building that would provide the access to the apartment; the issue is the grade of the road.


Although the Town Board will be the approval authority for the site plan and rezoning and the Planning Board’s role will only be advisory, the Planning Board will send a memo to the Town Board noting that it wants more time to work on site plan issues before the application returns to the Town Board.