June 24, 2019
Attending: John Kincart, William LaScala, Aaron Bock.
NOTE SUMMER MEETING SCHEDULE:
One meeting only in July and August: July 15 and August 12.
1. Solar Law
In an item not on the agenda, a representative of Clean Energy Collective, the company that wants to construct two solar farms, appealed to the board to reconsider the decision it made at its last meeting opposing siting solar farms in residential districts. He advised the board that if the prohibition remained, his projects were “dead on arrival.”
The representative proceeded to outline a series of benefits his proposed projects would provide including $1 million in revenue, plus contributions to the town’s Tree Bank Fund and other environmental, cultural and aesthetic benefits. He said his project would not damage the viewshed. He added that if the law prohibited his use, but allowed solar farms in commercial zones, it would open the door to much larger projects from other companies, e.g., on the State Land parcel on Route 202 that the community would likely oppose. He added that if a spurned developer went to court, chances are the court would side with the developer on the grounds that the town had been working on the law for 18 months.
The board’s responses were limited. Mr. LaScala said the representative’s comments were his assumptions, not facts and Mr. Kincart stated that solar farms were commercial not residential uses.
At the end of the meeting and after a heated discussion about the proposed Tree Law, the board agreed to postpone any decision on the Tree Law until a full board was present. The board tentatively set July 8 for a special meeting if all five board members could be present, at which time, it would also take a second look at its earlier recommendations on the Solar Law. As of 6-27, the meeting had not been confirmed.
2. Village Traditions
The board approved the first 1 year extension.
3. Gallinelli Minor subdivision, Quinlan Street
(See Planning Board, 9-17-2018.) The board approved the first and second 90 days extension. Mr. Riina explained that the applicant was waiting for financing issues to be finalized.
4. Prestige Renovations, Buckhorn Street
(See Planning Board, 9-17-2018.) The board approved the first and second 90 day extension. Mr. Riina explained that the applicant is waiting for the town to approve an easement agreement.
5. Colanego subdivision, Jacob Road
The board approved the first 90 day extension. The applicant is still working with DEP and the county Department of Health.
6. Faith Bible Church, Mohegan & Sagamore Avenues
The board tabled a request for a second 1 year extension until a full board was present. The board alluded to correspondence from Evan Bray, the resident who has a history of opposing the project. The brief discussion appeared to deal with a provision in a 1992 law that dealt with limitations on reapprovals although this was not explicity explained.
7. Envirogreen Associates, East Main Street, Mohegan Lake
On the suggestion of Mr. Bock, Mr. Tegeder will “beef up” a draft negative declaration statement that includes more of the board’s findings for the board to review at its next meeting.
8. Hearthstone minor subdivision, Hearthstone Street
The board amended the earlier approval adding the condition that a building permit for the second lot cannot be issued until the applicant receives a variance for the lot from the ZBA.
9. Lowe’s Home Center
The board renewed the special permit for temporary outdoor storage for another two years.
10. Southern NY Beagle Club, Hunterbrook Road
(See Planning Board, 6-10-2019.) The board amended the existing special permit to allow for the construction of the new garage.
11. Pied Piper Preschool Addition, Crompond Road
The applicant submitted a new plan for a 3,019 sf addition to the rear of its existing 3,730 sf building. The additional will be one story. Given the reduction in size, the applicant will no longer offer certain services and the proposed new building would accommodate only an additional 38 children and five extra staff. Other than a change in the site’s stormwater plan, the basic traffic layout remains unchanged. The applicant advised the board that an easement with the church has been signed and is currently awaiting approval by the Attorney General’s office. The applicant will also need an amended day care special permit from the ZBA. Mr. Kincart noted that the new plan fits the site much better and that he was comfortable with it. The Planning Department will review the new plan and a public hearing will likely be scheduled for August.
13. Roberta Property, Front Street
(Click here for background on the rezoning for this parcel and the approved conceptual plan.)
Mr. Riina explained that since the rezoning was approved in December, 2017 with a conceptual plan for a 5,400 sf 2-story building with retail on the first floor and five 2-bedroom units on the second floor and a second 1-story, 2,100 sf retail/office building, he has been working on a more detailed site plan and with DEP on stormwater issues. The SWPPP has now been completed. He advised the board that the new site plan follows the conceptual plan with some minor tweaking. One of the board’s major concerns was the shared loading area for the two buildings; Mr. Riina explained that he could create two separate loading areas by eliminating two parking spaces and still meet parking requirements.
The proposed landscape plan has some plantings in the limited 5.5’ area to the rear property line although Mr. Riina explained that two of the abutting residential properties have agreed to have the applicant add more plantings on their property.
The board went over the town engineer’s memo on some specific points, including whether the width of the interior driveway could be reduced to 16’ from 17’.
The Planning Department will review the site plan, as well as the lighting and landscape plan.
14. Crystal Court subdivision, Crystal Court
(See Planning Board, 4-8-2019.) The main unresolved issue remains how to deal with the fourth lot. Supervisor Gilbert who was at the meeting advised the board that the town did not want to accept it as a donation in lieu of paying the recreation fee. Susan Siegel advised the board that the Yorktown Trail Town Committee did not think the land had value for a trail around the lake considering the proximity of the trail around Sparkle lake. The remaining option was to extend each of the three lots and place conservation easements on the rear portions. Robyn Steinberg of the Planning Department explained that making the 4th lot a separate conservation easdement by itself wasn’t feasible as that would not designate an “owner.” Mr. Kincart suggested that the land might be linked to the open space already owned by a nearby homeowner’s association.
The applicant will return to the board in July to get direction on how to handle the fourth lot and a public hearing will likely be held in august.
15. 1961 Commerce Street (former bank building next to Wallauer’s)
An architect showed the board a rendering of plans to completely redo the outside “skin” of the building and add parapets to hide the roof top HVAC equipment. The owner does not have any commitments from prospective tenancies. Mr. Tegeder advised the applicant that there were some drainage and streetscape issues that had to be looked at. Mr. Kincart asked the architect to explore with the owner the possibility of adding a second story that could be used for affordable market rate apartments. The architect liked the idea and said he would bring it before the owner.
16. McDonalds, Crompond Road
(See Planning Board, 5-6-2019.) The applicant returned with a revised plan that showed the wetland buffer. The board went over some site issues and advised the applicant that it would like a softer look on the fence at the rear of the property and also to add shields to the light fixtures in order to decrease their output. An August hearing is planned.
17. Landmarks Preservation Commission
Citing a lack of communication between town advisory groups, Landmarks Preservation Commission members Lynn Briggs and Marie Naumann asked the hoard to refer applications that involved historic structure and sites to the Commission as part of the board’s review process. The board was receptive to the request.
The board would like the Commission to prepare a priority list of structure and sites so that the board can be more proactive.
18. Tree Law
Referring to issues on their own property, both Mr. Kincart and Mr. LaScala had issues with some of the provisions of the law. Mr. Kincart called the law a “taking” and said that the town should not interfere with how a property owner wants to maintain his property. He also had issues with the provisions regarding woodlands. Mr. Bock asked the board to consider how the law would impact the board, but got little response. Implying that the town already has sufficient open space and woodlands, Mr. Kincart said he has a map that delineates undeveloped land. Mr.Tegeder said that the Planning Board has also saved open space through its review process. Mr. Tegeder disputed Mr. Kincart’s comment that more trees are being cut now than in previous years in advance of the adoption of the new law.
With no agreement in sight and only three members present, the board decided to schedule a special meeting on July 8, the day before the Town Board public hearing on the law, if all five board members could be present, to try to come up with recommendations for the Town Board.
As of 6/27, the meeting date has not been finalized.