Planning Board

May 8, 2017


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




1. Shrub Oak International School/ Public hearing

Presentations on various aspects of the plan were made by the applicant’s attorney, David Steinmetz, and other consultants. The only changes from the earlier plan include

a. relocating the helistop on the property so the flight path will not go over the soccer fields and in order to conform to the Zoning Code.

b. an addition onto the building for a swimming pool

c. modifications to the southern driveway that will include left and right turn lanes for entering and exiting. The attorney said that an easement agreement with the town allowing access to the Granite Knolls athletic fields needed to be worked out.


In general, while many residents raised issues, mostly about the helistop, no one opposed the project. Tony Grasso, speaking for the Chamber of Commerce, said the group supported the project. He attributed the comments raised by his fellow residents as political and related to this year’s election. One other person spoke in support of the project citing the jobs it would generate and the increase in home values.


The hearing was closed but a 14 day written comment period was left open.


Mr. Tegeder explained that the next steps would be the applicant responding to the questions raised during the hearing and working with town staff and the DEP on final details. The process, he said, could takes a month or longer.


Helistop: This was the major issue during the hearing with several residents questioning the school’s need for the facility, as opposed to potential use by first responders. Jay Kopstein said that first responders don’t need a permit to land and that they can land any place that’s safe. It was also noted that emergency helicopters would land where they were needed, e.g., on the Taconic.  Mr. Steinmetz said that the helistop was not essential for the application but that it was valuable, particularly for parents visiting their children.  He said it was not a deal breaker and that the town may have a greater need for the helistop than the school. In response to a question from the public, he said the owners did not use helicopters, except once on vacation.  The applicant’s helicopter expert said that the noise level from medium sized helicopters would not create problems for homeowners on Amelia Drive, the closest street. Other residents questioned the noise impact on the school’s residents as well as the animals. They also noted that the consultant’s noise level comparisons were not relevant to Yorktown’s suburban setting.  In response to questions about frequency of use and time of use, the applicant said the school anticipated 1-3 trips a month and that helicopters would not land at night. Also, in response to comments, the applicant said he would provide more details on the flight paths/s for the revised location.


Traffic: The consultant stated that other than the Stoney Street/East Main Street intersection, the school would not affect any other intersections. Regarding the possible traffic light at Stoney and East Main, he said that the traffic count had met one requirement for the light and that once the school opened, it would meet a second requirement. In general, he said the traffic light issue needed more study.


Stormwater: The plan for the site is still in its conceptual state. Only a portion of the site is in the Croton watershed and subject to DEP review.


Finance: The school is applying to the county Industrial Development Authority for financial assistance that could include breaks on mortgage and sales taxes as well as financing.  The applicant did not respond to a question from the public about the details of the recently approved PILOT (payment in lieu of taxes) Agreement between the town and school.


Staffing and certification: In response to a question from the public on staffing qualifications, Mr. Steinmetz said that they would be qualified, but he didn’t go into any details.  He did not answer a second question about what certification the school has/would have.


Animals: There will be 6 horses and 30 sheep and two barns.  In response to a question from the public about how manure would be handled, the applicant said it would be removed on a daily basis and tht more details would be forthcoming.  Another person raised the issue of whether the noise from helicopters would disturb the animals.


Institutional vs community based care. In response to a question from a retired social worker about the trend towards community care as opposed to large institutional like facilities, the applicant said that the school would provide services to autistic youth in areas where community based services were not available.


2. RPG Properties, Lexington Avenue/Public hearing

Paul Moskowitz and Mark Lieberman spoke at the hearing in opposition to the multi family plan saying that the site should have been developed for single family housing more in line with the Comprehensive Plan. Mr. Capellini responded that the neighborhood was eclectic and Mr. Fon noted that the board had looked at the neighborhood. Dan Strauss said that the concern about the zoning was “after the fact” as the Town Board had already rezoned the property for multi family use and that the site plan conformed to the planned use.  Marcia Stone wanted to know how many trees would be cut.


The developer said the town house units would rent for under $2,000 a month.


The hearing was closed and a written comment was left open for 10 days.


3. Fieldstone Manor, Strawberry Road

Mr. Capellini said that the plan had all the necessary approvals and was ready to be signed. However, the applicant needed more time to arrange for the “substantial fees” that were needed once the plan was signed. To give the applicant the needed time, the board agreed to a second 90-day time extension.


4. Hilltop Subdivision, Hilltop Road

During the “regular” session the board voted to grant a first 90-day time extension, with Mr. Capellini advising the board that there were other issues he wanted to talk about in the work session.  During the work session, he advised the board that the applicant was still trying to get an easement to the existing sewer system from either Yorkhill Rd or Sultana Drive so that the third lot could be developed. He said there was some interest from one homeowner but that the cost was substantial and the developer had to decide if it was worthwhile.  Mr. Kincart said he would like to see the third lot developed. The board gave the applicant more time to work out the possible easement.




5. Unicorn Contracting Corp., Kear Street

The applicant showed the board an architectural rendering of the proposed building that would house 6-7 retail spaces on the first floor and office space on the second floor. The front of the building would face Route 118. The board appeared pleased with the design. (Note: because members of the public were not permitted to stand on the dais, the CIY observer was not able to view the rendering.) The applicant said he hoped to work with the DOT to be able to preserve much of the existing green area along the state’s right of way.


The main reason why the applicant was before the board was to start the SEQRA process. The board voted to declare its intention to be lead agency for the project which starts the referral process.


6. Village Traditions, East Main Street, Mohegan  Lake

Mr. Mallon presented a revised plan that addressed the board’s previous concerns. Now that there is general agreement on the concept plan, Mr. Mallon has to go before the Town Board and request permission for a Zone change to C2R.


7. Hearthstone Minor subdivision, Hearthstone Street

(See Planning Board 11/7/2016.) For the proposed 2 lots, the applicant is proposing two separate water lines along the road (what he said the Water Department wanted), plus a private sewer line. The sewer line would pass by two existing houses on septic and would be a private line; the property is in the Peekskill Sanitary Sewer District.  The applicant explained that one of the two existing houses did not want to hook up to the sewers even though he was paying a sewer tax. Mr. Fon explained that while more than 2 connections would require a public sewer, he advised the applicant to speak to the county as he did not think the county would be supportive of the “private” line. He said that in the event the homeowner’s septic system failed he would be required to hook up. Mr. Tegeder suggested that the town make a formal referral to the county regarding the proposed private sewer line. In the meantime, it was suggested that the applicant speak to the town engineer who used to work in the county’s Environmental Facilities department. The applicant also stated that as the existing property owners on the street weren’t interested in signing a maintenance agreement but that by deed they would require the two new houses to maintain the entire length of the road. 


There was also some concern that that the proposed 12’ private road was not consistent with what the board had requested on another minor subdivision on a private road, although it was said that the circumstances of the two road was different.


8. Piped Piper  Preschool Addition

The item was pulled  as the applicant was not prepared


9. Rezoning referral, 712 Kitchawan Road

In a brief discussion, the board had no issue with the proposed rezoning although members did want an opportunity to look at the site plan. (Note: there was no indication during the discussion whether the board was considering a rezoning to office use or a transitional zone, although the reference to wanting to see the site plan implied that it would be a request for a transitional zone.)