May 6, 2019
Attending: Robert Garrigan, William LaScala, Aaron Bock
1. Ricciardella Estates, Saw Mill River Road, Adjourned public hearing
(See Planning Board 4/22/2019.) The board opened and closed the hearing. Mr. Bock wanted to make sure that the approving resolution, expected to be voted on at the next meeting, limited the use of the rear storage building. Mr. Tegeder said that the Board of Health only approved a septic system for three units which in effect prohibited a possible fourth living unit on the site.
2. CVS, Route 202
The applicant returned with a slightly revised plan that reflected the board’s previous concerns. The board would like to see the entrance on Old Crompond Road line up with the existing entrance to Crompond Crossing but the applicant explained that that would require the cooperation of the abutting property owner (Adrian Autobody). The board also asked the applicant to look into revising the location of the loading docks. The revised plan calls for adding a third lane on Old Crompond Road and a third lane on the end of Stony St where it intersects with Route 202; the additional lane would relieve some of the existing stacking problems.
Supervisor Gilbert, in attendance at the meeting, advised the board that the Hunterbrook pump station was “under stress” and that the applicant might be asked to do some mitigation measures. The Conservation Board expressed concern about the temperature of the water leaving the site and entering the near by Hunterbrook stream.
3. McDonalds, Route 202
The applicant wants to make changes to the site’s circulation pattern, including creating a second drive thru lane. No changes are planned for the company owned building. Mr. Bock called the board’s attention to the site’s original 1995 approval, noting that a portion of the site was in the wetland buffer, something that was not shown on the current site plan. In response, Mr. Tegeder said that if the construction of the new access lanes involved the buffer, the applicant would have to get a wetlands permit.
4. Fiore Subdivsion, Carr Court
(See Planning Board 4-22-2019.) The only issue discussed was a draft of the maintenance agreement and how it would be enforced. The draft includes language that would allow the town to do the necessary inspections and charge the property owner if the property owner did not have the inspection done. Separate maintenance agreements would be needed for each lot.
5. The Weyant, Crompond Road
Mr. Riina showed the latest site plan that includes modifications requested by the board, e.g., signage, use of an existing stone pillar on the site, and landscaping. When a resident of Hamblyn Street asked when homeowners would be able to voice their opinion about the proposed change in the alignment at Hamblyn Street, it was explained that the Town Board would make all final decisions about the plan and that the Planning Board would be sending a memo to the Town Board with its recommendations.
Mr. Tegeder explained that the Town Board will have to vote on both the rezoning to a transitional zone and also to approve the site plan. It will be up to the Town Board to decide whether the two votes are taken at the same time.
6. Anderson Subdivision, Croton Lake Road
(See Planning Board, 4-22-2019.) In response to comments at the previous meeting, the applicant showed the board a revised plan that incorporated tree mitigation measures (new plantings and invasive removal) with its stormwater plan. The applicant’s SWPPP will be ready by the next meeting at which time the draft approval resolution will be reviewed.
7. Unicorn Contracting, Kear Street
Mr. Ciarcia advised the board that the applicant would be demolishing the now vacant 2-story wood frame building on the site that previously housed a hair salon and the Sports Attic; both tenants were on month to month leases. The applicant explained that after a leak had occurred in the building and some electrical issues were discovered, it was decided that it was not worthwhile to repair the building. The site will be used for additional parking. Mr. Tegeder asked the applicant to provide more screening of the generator that is close to the site’s retaining wall. The board is expected to approve an amended site plan at its next meeting.
8. Nantucket Sound/ Kear Street
Mr. Riina gave the board a first look at a plan for a 3-story 10,500 sf building at the corner of Kear and Route 118, abutting the new Unicorn Building. The lot is 0.36 acre. The first floor would be for a counter-type food service establishment with a drive thru and the second two floors would be rental apartments. The plan shows 13 parking spaces where the code would require 34. The applicant acknowledged the parking problem. The Planning Board can, under certain circumstances reduce the parking requirements. Also, the applicant could rely on shared parking with the abutting Unicorn building and/or seek a variance from the Zoning Board. Explaining that the residential and commercial parking needs vary, Mr. Tegeder cited the mixed use development on Kear Street, adding that he has never seen a parking problem at that site.
When Supervisor Gilbert, who was attending the meeting, raised the issue of whether by coming in now, the applicant was segmenting the SEQRA process, Mr. Tegeder said that the board had dealt with this issue when the Unicorn proposal was initially before the board and the site was proposed for a bank. Unicorn subsequently deleted the idea of a bank on the parcel and its site plan did not include the 0.36 acre parcel.
Mr. Gilbert also brought up the issue of capacity at the town’s sewage treatment plant and said that as part of any approval, the town may want the applicant to fund a possible infiltration and inflow study.
9. Solar Law Discussion
Mr. LaScala and Mr. Bock both expressed reservations about allowing large scale installations on residentially zoned parcels; Mr. Tegeder repeated his view that the installations would result in less disturbance than if residential parcels were developed for single family houses. Mr. Bock was concerned that the law gave blanket authority for any residential area; instead, he suggested, as a possible alternative, that only potential specific sites be identified.
At Mr. LaScala’s request, Paul Moskowitz addressed the board and voiced his opposition, and the opposition of the Huntersville Homeowners Association of which he is president, to large scale installations, which he called an industrial use, in residential zones. He suggested that they be allowed in commercial zones, on roofs or in parking lots. In response, Mr. Tegeder said that they would be permitted in commercial zones as an accessory use.
Representatives of Clean Energy challenged the use of the term industrial, saying that the term implied a use that would generate traffic, noise and other impacts that would not be present with a solar installation. They also argued that while a PILOT (Payment in Lieu of Taxes) would be less than the combined town and school taxes on the property, the installation would not require school or town services.
Addressing the issue of alternative uses for the Underhill Avenue site (given the slopes, it was said that very few houses could be built on the parcel), the applicant said that the owner had plans for a horse farm with rinks and that that proposed use would have more impact than a solar installation.
The applicant and Mr. Tegeder disagreed about the visual impact of the Underhill Avenue site, with the applicant saying that the installation would only be visible from the power lines on Turkey Mountain and Mr. Tegeder saying it would be visible from more locations. By way of contrast, he said he did not anticipate visual problems from the Foothill site.
Because the board did not want to make a recommendation with only three members present, those present asked the supervisor to extend the time for receiving comments so that the Planning Board could take up the issue again in two weeks. In the meantime, Mr. Tegeder will send a memo to Planning Board members highlighting some of the key issues they may want to consider at the next meeting.
The applicant is pressing for the Town Board to schedule a public hearing on the law and the issue may be on the board’s May 14 agenda.