Planning Board Meeting
May 7, 2012
Planning Board members: Richard Fon, John Savoca, John Flynn, John Kincart, Ann Kutter
1. Crompond Crossing
The board okayed a 2nd 90-day extension, pending final DEP approval which Al Capellini, the project’s attorney, said was “almost there.” One of the final issues was DEP’s concern over the stormwater runoff from the sidewalk that will connect the development to the existing sidewalk around the Chase bank. He explained that the Chase stormwater calculations took into account the eventual extension of the sidewalk to Crompond Crossing.
2. Sierra Bella
The board okayed a 2nd 90-day extension to allow DEP to finish its review of a new SWPP ( Stormwater Prevention Plan.) According to Al Capellini, the attorney for the project, the applicant has gotten an oral okay for the new plan but is still waiting for written comments from DEP.
3. Hudson Valley Islamic Community Center
The board okayed a first one-year extension of the site plan to allow the applicant more time to complete certain items. According to Al Capellini, the attorney for the project, most everything is complete.
4. Bartosch Subdivision
The board okayed a modification to the original approving resolution that will permit the applicant to delay posting approximately $25,000 for a performance bond and erosion control bond until he either applies for a building permit or wants to begin any site work. Mr. Bartosch explained that because he doesn’t plan to start construction in the near future and he was reluctant to tie up $25,000 in a non- interest bearing account. Based on the amended resolution, Mr. Bartosch will have to return to the board once he is ready to begin construction or site work.
5. Fieldstone Manor
The board held a public informational meeting for the purpose of giving residents an opportunity to comment on the proposed development early in the planning process. Attorney Al Capellini and site designer Joe Riina explained existing site conditions and showed both a conventional subdivision plan and the clustered approach preferred by the Planning Board. The latter plan, which Mr. Riina called an “open space development” preserves the mansion, tower, ballfields and potential ROW for a Route 6 bypass, and also involves less incursion into the wetland buffer area. Because the houses will be smaller and closer together there will be less land disturbance and less impervious surface.
In response to a question from a Strawberry Road resident who lives across the street from the proposed development about the existing access to Lexington Ave, Mr. Riina said that that access would be discontinued.
The resident was also concerned about the access and parking for the ballfield, noting that parking was a problem when the fields were used by the school. Mr. Riina responded that access would most likely come from the abutting George Washington School as the road serving the homes would be a private road. As for the parking, he said that that would have to be worked out with the town if the town wanted to take over the fields. In response, the resident said that the access and parking issues should be worked out beforehand and not left to be dealt with at some future date.
In response to a question about the traffic impact from the 16 homes, Mr. Riina said that no studies had been done to date but more information will be made available as the application proceeds through the planning process.
In response to a question about the future bypass, Mr. Riina said that there would still be enough room for at least one field if the bypass project were to move forward.
The public hearing was closed. The next step will be for the applicant to make a formal request to the Town Board for authorization to use the Town’s flexibility standards. The Planning Board will attach a memo to that request stating that it supports the use of flexibility.
6. Lake Osceola Realty Corp.
Mr. Riina advised the board that based on a new delineation of the site’s wetlands, as well as preliminary discussions with the DEC, several changes have been made to the original plan, including:
the building has been moved further away from the wetlands
the building has been reduced by 27,000 square feet
the number of proposed parking spaces has been reduced to 119 from 161
the green roof concept has been eliminated
The revised plan also includes several new mitigation measures, including:
Capturing and treating stormwater runoff from the Ceola Manor site where no system currently exists
Constructing a pier/boardwalk at the rear of the site to provide public access to the lake (there have been no discussions to date with the town whether the town would be interested in such a facility)
Restoring the existing lawn on the site to a wetland
Cleaning out the lake outlet (still be be determind is who owns the property the outlet is on and who would do the work)
Provide more shared parking with Ceola Manor
Repair the existing pump station along Hill Blvd.
Mr. Riina said that the applicant had also suggested enhancing the existing wetland area but that the DEC was not interested in such a plan.
While the current plan that provides 119 parking spaces does not meet the 135 required spaces, the Planning Board can reduce the parking requirement by up to 25%. The parking area is proposed to be porous pavement. One of the key elements of the parking plan was the need to allow sufficient turning radius for delivery trucks.
The proposed three story building will have one story buried and will be two feet above the flood level.
Planning Director Tegeder advised Mr. Riina that before the applicant went back to the DEC with the latest revised plan, he should meet with town staff to work out details for several aspects of the plan so that when he returns to DEC, he has a better idea of what the town wants. He repeated a concern expressed at the previous meeting about the architectural appearance of the building and the need to address design standards in the CR (Commercial Recreation) zone.
To start the process moving, Mr. Tegeder advised the applicant to file a formal application which will then en able the Planning Board to refer the plan to the advisory boards for review and comment. Once that is done, a public informational hearing can be set to get additional feedback from the community.
7. Yorktown Smart Growth
Four members of Yorktown Smart Growth, Jonathan Nettlefield, Paul Moskowitz, Olivia Buehl and Babette Ballinger, had an informal discussion with the board about the group’s goals and how they could work with the Planning Board. Chairman Fon reminded them that the board wasn’t pro or anti development but was only concerned about “responsible development.”
Mr. Nettlefield explained that the group was concerned about long term decisions and wanted the town to follow the principals of smart growth and to encourage residents to become more involved in the planning process. We’re not a preservationist group, he told the board. He said the groups supports the Comprehensive Plan and wants to see it followed.
Planning Board members welcomed the group’s interest , indicating that they encouraged the group to provide the board with any information they might have. Mr. Kincart noted that board members were required to take continuing education classes and that some of these might involve smart growth. He said he considered the group a special interest group, like groups supporting open space or athletic fields, and that it could play an important role in educating people about the planning process.
Ms. Kutter suggested that members of the group attend Planning Board meetings and participate in the process. We’d like to hear from the public, she said, on issues like screening and whether parking lots should be in front of or in the rear of buildings. While some aspects of a development are done “as of right, she noted, there was still opportunity for the public to provide feedback.
Mr. Flynn added that it was also important for members of the group to follow Town Board meetings as it was the Town Board that controlled rezoning. In response, Mr. Nettlefield noted that despite the fact that several people had spoken out against the Croton Overlook rezoning and the only person who spoke in favor of it was the developer’s attorney, the Town Board voted to rezone the property.
Mr. Moskowitz said he was pleased that more attention has been paid over the past year to take a development’s carbon footprint into account. The next step, he added, was that more attention had to be paid to the issue.