June 11, 2012
Present: John Flynn, John Savoca, Darlene Rivera
1. Kiederer Minor Subdivision
The board granted a second 90 day extension. Representing the applicant, Dan Ciarcia advised the board that his client is still proceeding with the project and that some adjustments to the original plan are being made based on Health Department input.
2. Village Traditions
Mr. Mallon advised the board that because of lack of funds or a prospective tenant, he is not ready to proceed with either demolishing the old barn and replacing it with a new structure, or completing the second story of the building and, as a consequence, is requesting 2 one-year extensions of his approved site plan and the release of his performance bond.
Mr. Flynn advised Mr. Mallon that even though the demolition permit for the barn had expired, he still needed to request that the Building Department “close out” the permit before the Planning Department could consider the bond release. The Department will review what site work has been done and recommend either a reduction or total release of the bond. The delayed second story plans did not affect the bond. The board approved the requested extensions.
3. Gione Minor Subdivision
After opening a public hearing at which only the applicant’s attorney spoke and reviewed the subdivision plan, the board adjourned the hearing to allow time for additional SEQRA comments as required by law.
4. Lake Osceola Realty Corp. (Hill Blvd.)
Mr. Riina reviewed the latest plan that incorporates concerns from town staff and the DEC and the seven proposed mitigation measures as discussed at the previous meeting. After informing the board that a formal application has been submitted, the board agreed to schedule a Public Informational Meeting in July in order to give the public an opportunity to view the plan.
Most of the discussion focused on how best to provide public access to the lake, whose “ownership,” it was noted, is currently unknown. Mr. Flynn asked if the proposed walkway and boardwalk could be extended closer to the shore and at the shoreline grade, in part to avoid people having to walk along the lake’s shoreline which might damage the existing plantings. While Mr. Riina explained that the DEC wasn’t in favor of the boardwalk idea, Planning Director Tegeder saw public access to the lake as a positive and hoped that the applicant could come up with some ideas as to how the boardwalk/pier concept could be redesigned so that its size and grade would make it attractive and useable to the public while still complying with ADA accessibility requirements. In addition to fishing, it was noted that the lake was ideal for kayaking. There is no other public access to the lake. Mr. Riina noted that other than discussions with the Planning Department and Planning Board, he hasn’t heard anything from the Town about the proposed public use of the rear of the property.
In response to Mr. Riina’s comments that, as one of the project’s mitigation measures, the application would clear the debris from the Lake Osceola outlet that’s on the southern portion of the site, Babette Ballinger wanted to know who would be responsible for keeping the outlet clear of debris once it was cleaned out. Mr. Riina’s response was that it was the Town’s responsibility.
The applicant wants permission to erect a 3,100 sq ft temporary structure, with a 16 space parking lot, at the entrance to the site to serve as a sales office. (The approved site plan did not include a sales office as the original plan was to have an off-site sales office. On reflection, the applicant determined that an on-site sales office was preferable. )
The temporary sales office would be a modular structure and the parking area would be paved. Once the structure was no longer needed, the area would revert back to the site plan’s original landscape plan. Temporary drainage controls would be installed. The structure would include a presentation area and small offices where potential buyers could have private discussions. The number of sales staff was not known.
Mr. Capellini indicated that the applicant needed to get the sales office issue resolved as quickly as possible as the Fieldhome needs to get a certain percentage of units sold in order to get the financing to start construction. In response to the suggestion from Babette Ballinger that the existing old building be used as a sales office, both Mr. Capellini and members of the Planning Board noted that it wouldn’t be cost effective for the Fieldhome to put money into refurbishing the building when a part of it was scheduled to be demolished. Also, the existing building is used for offices.
After the board determined that the approved site plan would have to be amended in order to permit the structure, it agreed to set a public hearing for later this month on the amended plan. It was also noted that the Town Board needs to okay a temporary structure and that ABACA may want to review the plan for the modular building, especially as Yorktown has learned that some “temporary” sales offices last a longer period of time than originally contemplated.
Soccer field: Prior to the discussion of the sales office, Mr. Flynn asked Mr. Capellini if the Fieldhome might consider entering into some sort of arrangement with the Yorktown School District for the use of the soccer field at the French Hill School in lieu of the Catherine Street site. He noted that the school field had adequate parking and was a standard field. Mr. Capellini said he would speak to representatives of the Fieldhome who weren’t present for this discussion.
6. Recycling Zoning Amendment
Using as a guide, zoning text from Riverside, California, the board continued its discussion of an appropriate amendment to the Zoning Code regulating the establishment of a recycling facility in a light industrial zone with Mr. Flynn pointing out that a stronger ordinance was in the best interests of the applicant as it would give him specific rights.
One issue to be resolved involves the distinction between “collecting” and the more intense use of “processing” recyclables. While the draft amendment proposed by the applicant includes both operations in the definition of a recycling facility, the California law made a distinction between the two and Mr. D’Amico has indicated that he intends to carry out both functions at the site. Also, the California law requires that processing that utilizes power driven equipment be permitted by special permit, a provision the Planning Board appeared to like and which Mr. D’Amico said would not present a problem for his planned operation.
A second issue was the limitations on outdoor storage and what constituted outdoor storage. The current zoning ordinance limits outdoor storage in the light industrial zone to 25% of the site and Mr. D’Amico’s attorney, Al Capellini, noted that storage containers, even if enclosed, would be considered outdoor storage. Mr. Flynn noted that the existing 25% limitation was not always enforced. Mr. D’Amico explained that while recyclable products such as paper that would degrade if left on the ground were kept indoors, other products such as concrete would be stored on the ground and not in containers until he had sufficient quantity to move them off-site. Tire storage is required by law to be in containers.
There was also some discussion, but no consensus, on the distance the recycling facility should be from abutting residentially zoned property.
The Planning Department will work on a revised draft of the zoning amendment for a follow up board discussion.
7. State Land Corporation
On a referral from the Town Board, this was the first time the Planning Board saw the rezoning application and the conceptual site plan. Joe Riina of Site Design Consultants re viewed the basic plan and Phil Grealy, the applicant’s traffic consultant, discussed the traffic impact.
Because only three Planning Board members were in attendance, the board decided not to take any action on a recommendation to the Town Board and instead continue the discussion at a future meeting when a full board was in attendance.
The following issues were discussed:
Drainage: Mr. Rrina explained that based on a preliminary review, he has determined that there would be a 30% reduction in peak runoff from the site if two detention areas were created to the north of the site on the adjacent town-owned Sylvan Glen preserve and that this would help alleviate flooding south of Route 202. He added that there were also other potential sites that could be factored in to a regional stormwater plan.
Traffic: Mr. Grealy said that the proposed development would generate approximately 800 trips per hour during peak afternoon hours, with 400 trips in each direction. However, he noted that only about 600 of those trips would be “new” trips and that the remaining 200 trips would be those who currently use the road. He also explained that the applicant would extend the scheduled DOT widening of Route 202 to four lanes further to the west and also construct a fifth turning lane. With the addition of the new lanes, he said, the wider roadway would be under capacity even with the new traffic. A traffic light is proposed at the entrance to the shopping center which will be across from Parkside Corners.
Sidewalks: In response to Mr. Flynn’s questions as to how the project could be made more pedestrian friendly, Mr. Grealy explained that the DOT plan calls for sidewalks on the south side of Route 202 beginning at the Chase bank but that he did not know exactly how far west the sidewalks would go. He added that his client was willing to construct a pedestrian crosswalk across from Parkside Corners.
Mr. Flynn also commented on the fact that the plan calls for retail buildings on both sides of the stream and that this would generate traffic going from one side to the other.
Residential development: In response to Mr. Flynn’s questions as to why the property owner wasn’t considering a residential use for the property, Mr. Grealy pointed out that a residential development would not generate sufficient money to pay for the traffic and drainage infrastructure improvements being proposed. Mr. Savoca also noted that a residential development would “eat into” the proposed dedication of half the site as permanent open space. He agreed that the residential use of the site was not practical and that the site was suitable only for commercial use. It’s that or nothing, he said. Planning Director Tegeder noted that an earlier plan to develop the site for 26 single family homes utilized most of the site.
Rezoning designation: Mr. Tegeder made two points. First, he noted that it was not in the town’s interest to rezone the entire 100 acres; he suggested that there was no need to rezone the roughly 50 acres that were to remain open space. On a more contentious issue, he suggested that a rezoning to a C-1 rather than C-3 as requested by the applicant was more appropriate based on what the applicant was proposing. He pointed out that the C-3 zone permitted some potentially undesirable uses such as gas stations and warehouses that were not part of the strictly retail plan that was currently being proposed. While Mr. Tedger explained why C-1 was more appropriate than C-3, Mr. Capellini said his client wanted the C-3 designation because it permitted outdoor storage, as in a garden center attached to a Loewes type use. In response, Mr. Tegeder said that the while the current C-1 regulations did not prohibit an outdoor use, the town could amend the C-1 regulations to specifically permit it. He added that he didn’t want to see the town disappointed in the future is an undesirable C-3 use was proposed for the site, such a butler building type warehouse with tractor trailer usage.
Appearance of Route 202 corridor: In response to Mr. Flynn’s comments that the town had “lucked out” in that the northern side of Route 202 had not been developed and had retained its open space look, Mr. Riina noted that because of the site’s grade, some of the natural vegetation along Route 202 would remain and that the buildings and parking lot would be about 15 feet above the road.
Other issues. The applicant, Charles Monaco, stated that the project would generate $1 million a year in taxes, plus increased sales tax revenue. Mr. Capellini referred to the proposed project as Yorktown’s “second crown jewel” noting that it will help with the overall redevelopment of the south side of Route 202. It’s the highest and best use of the property, he said. Mr. Capellini reiterated comments made before the Town Board that the property owner needed the commercial rezoning in order to attract a prospective tenant. In response to comments from Babette Ballinger about market share, he said that if Yorktown didn’t okay the shopping center, the market share would simply go elsewhere.
Several members of Yorktown Smart Growth expressed concern about the increased traffic that the project would generate and its impact on the quality of life of residents. Noting that the extension of the Bear Mountain Parkway was not likely to happen in our lifetime, he said that the board should be looking at the long term future of the town and not think of immediate concerns. In response to Jonathan Nettlefield’s comments as to whether the parking lot would utilize pervious pavement, Mr. Riina said that stormwater runoff from the parking lot would be stored beneath the lot.