May 4, 2015
Attending: John Kincart, John Savoca, John Flynn, Richard Fon
The board approved a second 90 day extension. Mr. Tegeder advised the board that there were still some outstanding engineering concerns. Mr. O’Keefe was confident that everything could be cleared up within the next 90 days.
2. BJs/Staples site plan
As a follow up to the discussion at the last meeting about the filtration system for potential gasoline leaks, Mr. Aiello explained that the proposed stormwater plan met all DEC and DEP requirements and that the applicant had installed an additional filter system. Potential leaks are captured/treated in a 3-part system: leaks would initially be captured in a trench system along the perimeter of the site; a sock filter has been added to the trench that will filter out hydrocarbons; the trench empties into a sand filter where any remaining hydrocarbons can be filtered out. After the sand filter, the stormwater goes into a retention system that captures other “clean” stormwater from the site. Mr. Aiello explained that the filtering system is similar to what has been proposed for the Costco gas station; the only difference being that the BJ’s stormwater is piped to a filter while the Costco system captures the stormwater directly into the filter.
The site plan was approved with the added condition that the sock filter be inspected yearly and a report submitted to the Planning Department.
The discussion of the gas station signs will be included in the discussion of the master sign plan for the entire shopping center. (See agenda item below.)
The board went into a brief closed session to discuss the newly filed lawsuit challenging the Town Board’s approval of the BJs and Costco gas station permits.
3. Staples Plaza Master Sign Plan
The applicant has prepared a master sign plan for the shopping center that includes the four buildings in the center owned by Urstadt Biddle. At the suggestion of Mr. Tegeder, the plan will be revised to include BJs; although the latter building is a separate parcel and in separate ownership, the inclusion will result in a more holistic approach for the entire site. The goal of the plan, which Mr. Tegeder said is a new concept for Yorktown, would be to provide guidelines and criteria for size, placement, lighting and the overall aesthetics of signs. Although the specifics of the plan, which has been reviewed by ABACA, were not discussed, it was clear that overall, the plan will require many variances to allow for more square footage of signage than provided for in the zoning code. In general, similar type signs will be placed over the center of each store.
Because the applicant expects a new tenant in by the fall for the space vacated by Emigant Bank (an emergency medical care facility), the board was agreeable to some type of temporary signage for the building in the event the master sign plan is not completed by the time the new facility opens. The board also decided that the master plan should include some general guidelines for the still to be constructed and leased new building so that once the building is leased, the applicant doesn’t have to come back to the Planning Board for approval but can go straight to the Building Department and ABACA for sign approval.
4. Taconic Vet Clinic & Canine Kindergarten (Formally Grotto Plumbing)
The board reviewed a revised site plan that had been developed in consultation with the Planning Department. In response to board comments about adding landscaping in the front of the site, the applicant explained that based on the experience with dogs at her Mt. Kisco facility, shrubs close to the building were not likely to survive and she suggested using decorative rocks as an alternative. However, the architect will prepare a landscaping plan for an area closer to Route 202 and also in front of the dumpster in the front of the property. In deference to the applicant’s limited budget, the board agreed that the plan would not have to be implemented until the third year of operation. The board also agreed that the special permit allowing the outdoor storage (for the dog play area) would be for a five year period.
The applicant reported to the board that she had contacted two of the three homeowners along Old Crompond Road that abut her property. Both had no objections to the proposed use; the third homeowner didn’t get back to the applicant.
A public informational meeting was set for June 8, to be followed by a regular public hearing.
5. Blumberg subdivision (Baptist Church Rd)
On a referral from the Zoning Board, the board reviewed a proposed two lot subdivision involving Faraway Alpaca Farm . The plan would separate the main house on a 32.4 acre lot from the 11.2 acre farm site. No new buildings are planned. The board had no planning issues with the variance request.
6. Chestnut Petroleum Distributors (Mobil Station/Saw Mill River Road)
On a referral from the Town Board, the board reviewed a request for a new sign permit displaying prices. According to the applicant, the new sign is the same size as the old one and the only changes were a new face that uses LED lighting and the addition of a fourth price line instead of the previous three lines. The new sign was actually installed before obtaining the new permit.
In a reference to the discussion at the previous meeting when it was alleged that the Mobil size violated the town code, the board agreed that as long as the Building Department and ABACA have no problems with the new sign, and that it was legal, the board had no planning objections to it and it did not have to do a site visit.
7. Faith Bible Church
The board reviewed a supplemental landscaping plan. The two changes were:
1. landscaping along the southern boundary of the site, abutting the adjacent property owner
2. planting 11 red maples as an alternative to the originally proposed use of herbicides to remove phragmities. Mr. Riina explained that when the phragmities plan was reviewed by the DEC, the agency asked the applicant to consider an alternative invasive removal plan as the herbicide plan had a low success rate. Because phragmities do not like shade, the red maples, once grown, will crowd out the invasives. In the interim, the plants will be manually removed. Seven trees will be planted on the lake side of Mohegan Avenue and four along the perimeter of the parking lot.
8. Envirogreen Associates (East Main Street, Mohegan Lake)
The applicant returned with a revised plan that now includes the addition of the building to the immediate west of Village Traditions (once the proposed home of Dana Cole hair salon). With the addition of the new property that was purchased recently and rezoned in April (See Town Board, 4/7/2015), the applicant anticipates that he can do more onsite wetlands mitigation as virtually all the area along Route 6 is in a wetland or a wetland buffer. The site includes 19,000 square feet of wetlands and 54,000 square feet of wetlands buffer.
Mr. Kincart said that while he wasn’t happy with the original plan, he liked the new plan which made more on site mitigation possible. In general, the board seemed pleased with the new plan as it could help improve drainage issues for surrounding properties. The board will consider a site visit. The wetlands were flagged last summer.
Mr. Capellini explained the history of the Ardizone property acquisition that was designed to create a wetlands bank that would allow for the development of other wetland sites along Route 6 and which could make possible the concept of “no net loss” of wetlands.
Mr. Riina explained that the applicant prefers not to discuss the project with the DEC until the applicant has a better sense of what the Planning Board wants for the site.
The board asked the applicant to consider working with the owner of Village Traditions to see if a common entrance to Route 6 could be agreed to that would eliminate the parking in front of the Village Traditions site.
9. Bonsignore subdivision (Old Crompond Road)
(See Planning Board 4/6/15.) The board reviewed a revised subdivision plan but still has concerns about the wetlands and steep slopes. The applicant was asked to explore other plans, including one which could involve an easement over the property with an existing house.