Citizens for an Informed Yorktown


Planning Board

Monday, June 22, 2015


Planning Board Members Present:   Richard Fon, Chairman; John Flynn ; John Savoca;  John Kincart


1. Tonndorf
This project was originally introduced to the Planning Board in 2006, had a public hearing in 2011, but was put on hold for financial reasons.  Now it is being reintroduced to the Planning Board.  Two of the proposed lots will have access directly off Route 6, while the others’ will be off internal driveways.  The wetland has been reflagged, and the applicant is currently in discussions with Town Environmental Consultant Bruce Barber about the regulatory status of the site’s three wetlands, including a stream channel.  The stream channel has been heavily eroded by run off from the adjacent Santucci property, but storm water run off collection on that site has stopped the damage.  The applicant has submitted a short form Environmental Assessment Form and applications for tree, wetland and storm water permits.  The plans include the required number of parking spaces.  Mr. Tegeder summarized the Board’s previous concerns about the site, i.e. water and the wetlands and the long interest in developing the adjacent Creative Living site.  The Planning Board would be interested in seeing a traffic connection between the two sites, which might require another Route 6 access, given the large amount of traffic sporadically generated by  Creative Living.  The Planning Board will schedule a site visit.

2. East Coast Auto Sales and Storage
SBL: 48.07-1-56 & 48.11-1-52
Discussion Site Plan

Location: 1401 Front Street
Contact: Lou Russo
Description: Site Plan for a proposed large vehicle outdoor storage and parking facility on the property.

The applicant doesn’t want to change the site’s front parking situation, only to seasonally store recreation vehicles in the back of the building.  The vehicles won’t be repeatedly moving in and out, and there will be no maintenance work or vehicles sales on the site.  The site is not visible from any residences.  Car parking in the front of the building seems more than adequate, but the Planning Board suggested the applicant survey his building’s upstairs tenants to find out about their future parking needs.  The Planning Board suggested the applicant consult with the Building Inspector about other requirements and restrictions of this use, when the Building Inspector John Winter conveniently entered the meeting.  He said the proposed use would be considered outdoor storage rather than a garage with outdoor parking.  Outdoor storage is a permitted use in this building zone, not requiring a variance, fencing, screening or setbacks.  The applicant will meet with the Building Inspector to find out what is allowed and required.  The Planning Board is generally in favor of this type of storage facility as a way to keep parked rvs out of residential neighborhoods.   

3. Triglia & Rezi Subdivision (Christine Road)
Al Capellini, lawyer for the applicant, explained that the area including the site was upzoned in 1970, but kept the R1-10 setbacks, apparently because so many lots in the area already had houses which would end up non-conforming.  The proposed lots (about 24,000 sq ft and 25,000 sq ft) are surrounded on all sides by private, unpaved, paper roads.  The proposed lots are conforming in all respects, except for lacking frontage on a Town road.  One house already has a ZBA variance for the lack of frontage and the applicant is in the process of getting the second variance.  The lots will be sewered and get town water via a service connection down Baker St.  Mr. Kincart questioned whether it would be better for the Town to provide a consolidated water line down the road for all the residences in the area, rather than have “a spaghetti of individual service lines running down the paper road”.  Mr. Flynn asked at what point the paper roads should be taken over by the Town and brought up to standards.  Mr. Capellini suggested that the already-approved house could actually be built, while awaiting the variance for the second and without Planning Board site plan approval for the subdivision.  Mr. Tegeder said this piecemeal approach was not advisable, because it’s important for the Planning Board to consider the cumulative impact of both houses.  A Public Information Hearing was scheduled for July 13, 2015.  

4. North Westchester Restorative Care
(See Planning Board, 6-8-2015) Based on a Planning Board site visit, Mr. Fon expressed the opinion that the front of the building is quite attractive, but “there’s some strange stuff in the back”, including dumping, an abandoned car, staff smoking in an old bus shelter and a dumpster located in a Town right-of-way.  The applicant assured the site would be cleaned up and dumpster screening installed.  The Board suggested the applicant consult with the garbage hauler to devise the most efficient arrangement for the dumpsters.  The Board also requires a more up to date survey and plans showing everything on the site.   The Planning Board wants to review this project again.

5. Hanover Corner (Commerce Street)
(For history of the site dating back to 2008, click here.)

On a recent site visit, traffic congestion on this site was obvious to the Planning Board.  The plan proposes an entrance-only on the north side of the building and an entrance/exit on the south side.  There was discussion of the sight distance at the entrance/exit, and Mr. Tegeder asked for a sight distance analysis with pictures.  Mr. Riina of Site Design Consultants said visibility at that location ranges from the intersection of Commerce and Kear Sts. in one direction and to the farm market in the other, provided the lower branches of some trees are trimmed back.  There was discussion of, at least potentially, extending the sidewalk, but since it ends at a rock outcropping, this didn’t go anywhere.  Mr. Flynn was interested in connecting this parking lot with the neighboring property, but according to Mr. Riina, the steep grade of the next site would make this unfeasible.  Since the proposal allows for two extra parking spaces, Mr. Flynn suggested they be converted to green space, but the applicant wanted to keep them as parking for future growth.   

6. Ianuzzi Subdivision
Houses on each of the  existing three lots date back 25 years, but now the applicant wants another house and lot under flexibility standards.  Mr. Fon commented that the main house blends seamlessly with its environment.  The Planning Board’s main concern is the site’s access road.  The main lot has several accessory buildings, which the applicant says are just for storage, however  Mr. Tegeder pointed out that the uses of these building be specifically defined because their use determines the requirements of the access road.  In order to accommodate emergency vehicles, Town code requires long access roads be wider and have turnarounds and pull over areas.   Mr. Tegeder suggested the applicant consult with the Building Inspector about how these code requirements apply to his project.  The applicant maintained that in the past 25 years the three houses have experienced a variety of emergency situations and the access road has been perfectly safe and functional for emergency vehicles.  He vigorously insisted that the houses were built entirely compliant with Town code.  Mr. Fon assured the applicant that the Board was not questioning his integrity and pointed out that each new application triggered a review under the current code, which might have different and/or more rigorous requirements.

7. Bonsignore Subdivision
(See Planning Board, 5/4/2015) There was a lengthy discussion about the site’s driveways and the sight distances onto Hunterbrook Road.  As previously requested by the Planning Board, Mr. Riina of Site Design Consultants presented two driveway alternative driveway locations.  Neither of these alternatives nor the original proposal is acceptable to the Planning Board.  All are too steep and require extensive excavation and site disturbance.  The applicant was asked to confer with the owner of the existing house to work out some way the new common driveway could parallel his driveway.  The Planning Board emphasized that the safety of the residents was its main concern.

8. Envirogreen Associates
Having previously given its approval for the demolition of a building on the site, the Planning Board was going to discuss the project’s parking plan and the desirability of traffic entering and exiting from Lakeland St. as well as Route 6.  Then Mr. Tim Mallon, the owner of the building at the corner of Route 6 and Lakeland St, entered the discussion and adamantly insisted that he never agreed to allow the traffic connection between his property and the site under discussion.  He vigorously argued that all the extra cars crossing his property would hurt his property value.  Mr. Fon and other Planning members assured him that the Board would only discuss the plan before it, as it stands without his participation in the traffic plan and that the Planning Board couldn’t force Mr. Mallon to allow access across his property.  Mr. Mallon was invited to stay to hear the Planning Board discussion, but he left, saying that the rest of the project had nothing to do with him.  The Planning Board did discuss the traffic patterns entering and leaving the site from Route 6 only and instructed the applicant to develop an entrance on the east end of the site, leading to parking both in front and in the rear and then an exit onto Route 6 on the west end.  However, it also instructed the applicant to include a traffic connection to Mr. Mallon’s property and Lakeland St on the site plan, although this access wouldn’t be activated at this time.  Ms. Steinberg pointed out that a connection to neighboring properties was in fact a condition of Mr. Mallon’s own site plan approval, but in fairness, when he had agreed to it, the connection was only between his property and the adjacent one, not three commercial sites strung along Route 6.

Mr. Kincart brought up the issue of how much the public should be allowed to participate in work session discussions.  Ms. Georgiou, counsel to the Planning Board, advised it was essential to be consistent in policy regarding public participation.