Planning Board

May 23, 2016


Attending: John Kincart, John Savoca, John Flynn, Rich Fon, Anthony Tripodi, William LaScala




1. Marathon Development, Kear Street

Without any discussion, it was noted that the town engineer and the applicant were “on the same page” regarding the former’s issues.  The applicant will be meeting with ABACA tomorrow to go over some remaining items, including the fencing between the site and the gas station and supermarket to the rear.  The applicant showed the board a photo of the proposed wooden fence.  The EAF has been completed.


On the parking issue Mr. Flynn noted that the record should state that the applicant has provided evidence that the shared commercial/residential parking works and that no evidence to the contrary has been provided.


Because there were only three members who could vote on a resolution (Mr. Savoca again recused himself and the two newest members were not yet up to speed on the issue) the applicant agreed to postpone a vote until there was a full board. However, the board did approve a SEQRA negative declaration with 3 votes in favor and one abstention from Mr. Tripodi.


2, JCPC Holdings, Front Street

(Notes:  Supervisor Grace and Councilmen Bernard and Diana were present for the discussion.  The proposed off site mitigation is on town owned land. Also, Mr. Tripodi did not participate in the discussion because he only recently joined the board, but Mr. LaScala, the newest member, did participate, noting that he was familiar with the plan in his previous capacity as a member of the Conservation Board.)


The discussion focused on the draft approval resolution. In general, the applicant, and his engineer, Dan Ciarcia, objected to what they viewed as the board continually bringing up new issues. “When will it end?” Ciarcia asked.

When Mr. Kincart asked the applicant to identify specific conditions that he had an issue with, the discussion focused on two conditions that had been suggested by the town engineer:  the landscape requirements for the newly created wetlands and a requirement that a drainage pipe be videoed.    (Note: As the CIY observer did not have a copy of the draft resolution, it was not always clear what language the participants were referring to, e.g.,  whether the bond issue discussed below was just for plantings or also included other maintenance issues, Similarly, language relating to the videoing requirement was not always clear.)


Landscaping. The draft resolution had a requirement that the applicant post a bond to insure that the new plantings were viable for five years.  The applicant said this was excessive. Mr. Tegeder explained that while one year was typical for a site plan, a five year requirement was typical when wetlands were involved.  Speaking against the five year requirement, Supervisor Grace noted that the landscaping may be modified in the future when the regional stormwater project is constructed.  Board members Savoca, Kincart and LaScala indicated that they had no problem with the one year bond.


Stormwater pipe maintenance. (This may refer to the pipe from the applicant’s site to the forebay.)The condition in the draft resolution related to a requirement that the pipe be videoed to insure that it was functioning properly.  The applicant objected to the requirement on the grounds that no other applicant has been required to do this and that there was no evidence that the pipe was not functioning properly. Supervisor Grace noted that as it was a town pipe, the town would be responsible in the event there was a problem. He also explained that the engineer was new and being thorough.   Ms. Georgiou, the board’s counsel noted that since there was nothing in the engineer’s memo to indicate that a problem existed, it was highly unusual to include such a condition in the resolution.


Other issues: The board also reviewed ABACA’s memo relating to landscaping issues on the applicant’s site and how it would screen the Summit Street homeowners.


After making modifications in the resolution, the board voted unanimously to approve the resolution.




3. Shaiken parcel, Wooded Hill Court off Hog Hill Road

(Note: Town Attorney Michael McDermott substituted for Ms. Georgiou for this discussion.)


Background:  The parcel, located in southern Yorktown off Hog Hill Road, is on the Yorktown/New Castle border. And, although in the Yorktown School District, the parcel is across the street from the Chappaqua School District and the Seven Bridges School.  Mr. Shaiken wants to purchase a small sliver of the school’s land, which is in the Town of New Castle, from the school district. Under state Education Law, that will give him the option to send his children to either Yorktown  or Chappaqua schools; his tax dollars would follow his children. While there was general agreement that the value of Shaiken property would increase with the Chappaqua school option, Mr. Shaiken insisted that the reason for the land purchase was to reduce the bus time it takes his children to reach Yorktown schools; he said he was very pleased with Yorktown schools.


Legal issues: Noting that there were four other parcels that could avail themselves of the same dual school district issue, Mr. McDermott expressed concern that any resolution of the Shaiken issue not become a precedent for the other parcels. He will work with Mr. Tegeder and Mr. Shaiken’s attorney to review legal options that are agreeable to both towns and the county Department of Health but do not set precedents.


4. Hearthstone Minor subdivision, off Homestead Road

(See Planning Board, April 25, 2016.) The overriding issue appears to be whether the board will consider approving two new lots on a substandard road on which some houses already exist. The applicant explained that the existing right of way easement (or deed language) was for 16’ which the board indicated would not be adequate to safely accommodate two new houses. At the board’s suggestion, and to avoid the applicant “spinning his wheels,” the applicant will contact the existing homeowners on the road and gauge their interest in 1) making more land available for a wider road, and 2) their interest in paying to upgrade the “new’ road.  The applicant was also advised to check with the Fire Inspector regarding its access requirements and what would be the minimum necessary road upgrade, and its cost.


5. Orchard View Subdivision, Sherry Drive

The board reviewed a series of comments in a memo from the Planning Department.


Stormwater: the applicant will be meeting shortly with the DEP to dig test percolation holes; the results will be used to prepare a stormwater plan.


Alternative layout: The board wants to see more details for an alternate road layout in order to justify why the present plan being considered is the preferred plan. While the applicant insisted that doing any more work on an alternate plan was a waste of time because it was obvious that the alternate layout would create more impervious surface and result in more land disturbance and more intrusion to the wetlands, the board insisted that it needed more details, not just the applicant’s statement, to substantiate that the current plan was the preferred plan.


Recreation fee. The Planning Department said that a formal referral should be made to the Recreation Commission asking what the Commission wants as a recreation fee. Patrick Cumisky, the Commission’s liaison to the board, advised the board that the Commission prefers the fee to be met by having the developer provide “in kind” services on other town recreation projects. He said the Commission has three possible projects. He added that the Commission will not be meeting again until September.


Affordable Housing. Pending a Town Board decision on the possible repeal of the Affordable Housing Law, the applicant will have to set aside one of the nine units for sale at an affordable price. (Councilman Bernard, the Town Board’s liaison to the Planning Board, suggested the development might be able to pay a per lot fee instead of setting aside a house, but after checking the Town Code, it was clear that the current law did not include a fee as a substitute for a house.)  Mr. LaScala suggested that the developer reduce the number of houses to 7 in order to avoid the Law’s 8 unit trigger, but the developer said he wanted to proceed with 9 lots, adding that when he built an affordable unit in another town (either Somers or Carmel) he was given a density bonus in return. It was noted that Yorktown’s law contained no such bonus.  Noting that the houses might sell for $750,000-$1,000,000, the developer asked for guidance on how he could build an affordable home.  (Note: as part of the discussion, Mr. Bernard advised the board the a representative of HUD had met with Supervisor Grace to discuss the pending repeal of the Affordable Housing Law.)


6. Ianuzzi Subdivision, Baptist Church Road

Mr. Capellini has drafted some of the required easement agreements; they need to be reviewed by the board’s attorney. A June 13 vote is anticipated.


7. Taconic  Veterinary/Canine Kindergarten

Mr. Piccirillo reviewed the required site plan changes needed to accommodate the Vet Clinic’s equipment. He explained why the equipment cannot be located on the building’s roof.


The board agreed that the amendments to the site plan could be done by resolution and that a public hearing was not needed.  The resolution will be voted on at the next meeting.


8. Sparks Steakhouse, Old Crompond Road

Mr. Piccirilo reviewed the proposed changes. An engineer will have to submit a plan regarding the relocation of a catch basin that was incorrectly designed on the original plan and incorrectly built. A Public Informational Hearing will be scheduled in June


9. Countryside ZBA referral, 3787 Crompond Road

The ZBA action was to renew the existing special permit for the landscape business. The board had no issue with the special permit request but will advise the ZBA that the ingress/egress for the use will be subject to Planning Board review of the overall site plan.  As the use is an existing one, the board has no problem with the ZBA  renewing the permit while it works out the site plan issues.


Mr. Kincart noted that more information was needed on the number of dwelling units in the existing residential structure as this could impact parking requirements. Ms. Georgiou, who also serves as counsel to the ZBA, said that the ZBA could keep the hearing open pending the receipt of additional information.


10.Saccente ZBA referral, Rocky Place

At issue was a change in the rear yard setback that would vary the conditions of a variance that had been granted in 2001. As the original variance was related to a drainage issue involving the parcel and abutting parcels, the board wanted more information about how the new variance request would impact the drainage issue before making a recommendation.


11. Dumpster Law, Town Board referral

William LaScala, the board’s new member and the owner the strip of stores in Jefferson Valley that includes the post office, explained the dumpster situation for his stores and why and how the new law would create problems, especially parking. In response, Mr. Fon noted that this was exactly the issue the board was concerned about at its last meeting and why each location would have to be reviewed on a case by case basis.


The board agreed that in its memo to the Town Board, it would recommend that masonry be the material of choice for dumpsters, with the ability to waive that requirement when appropriate.


There was a brief discussion of how property owners would be notified of the new law and how the law would be enforced. In response, Councilman Bernard said that although enforcement would be up to the Building Department, two options were to enforce the law region by region, or focus on the most serious problems first.