Planning Board

June 26, 2017



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




1. Community Housing Innovations, East Main Street

(See Planning Board 5/22/2017.) Explaining that it didn’t want to prepare a more detailed plan without some feedback from the board, the applicant showed the board a revised plan with four attached, 3-bedroom, single family units, ranging in size from 1,300-1,4000 SF, and eight parking spaces, where 6 are required.  The goal is to sell the units at a cost of between $280,000-$300,000.  Although Mr. Savoca thought that the units were on the small side for 3 bedrooms, there was a general consensus that there was enough support of the four unit plan for the applicant to proceed with a formal application,


2. Creative Living, Route 6

Mr. Tegeder briefly advised the board of a memo summarizing some questions and concerns staff had during a recent site visit.  No details were available.




3. Shrub Oak International School, Stoney Street

After making some modifications to a draft of an approving resolution, the board voted unanimously to approve the SEQRA negative declaration, stormwater plan, tree permit and site plan for the school’s special permit.  The resolution included a provision for the applicant to contribute $30,000 as its share for a traffic study of the East Main Street corridor.  The actual study will be undertaken by the town. (Note: as the text of the approving resolution was not read out loud, it was not clear if the applicant would also have to pay a portion of any future infrastructure improvements, such as the proposed traffic light.)


When the issue of the second resolution – the special permit for the helistop – was raised, Mr. Fon said that based on the discussion at the previous meeting, he wanted the postpone a vote on the helistop until the school took possession of the property and could arrange for the helicopter text.  Mr. LaScala disagreed and said that if the school wanted the helistop it should get it.  He saw no problem with the helistop.  A discussion followed with different board members and Mr. Steinmetz recalling their sense of the previous meeting’s discussion.  Councilman Diana advised the board that after Mr. Steinmetz had clarified the extent of the helistop’s use at the last meeting and he had conveyed the information to area residents, they no longer objected to the helistop.  Mr. Tegeder, however, noted that those comments were not part of the official record.  It was also pointed out that the negative declaration that the board had already adopted included the helistop.  In a 4-1 vote with Mr. Fon voting no, the board approved the special permit for the helistop. Mr. Fon stated he was not necessarily opposed to the helistop; he just wanted to wait for the test.


4. Faith Bible Church, Mohegan Ave.

With the project still on hold due to ongoing litigation, the applicant advised the board that the church wanted to begin work on site improvements even before a building permit was issued.  It can’t, however, because one of the conditions of the wetlands permit bars any site work until a building permit is issued.  The church wants to begin making improvements to the intersection, add parking and install the sewer connection and other drainage improvements. 

On the legal situation, it was not clear to the observer whether the Appellate Division had ruled on the lawsuit, and if so, whether the losing side was appealing the decision to the Court of Appeals.  However, independent of the lawsuit, the board’s attorney explained to the applicant that a lawsuit could be filed against the commencement of the infrastructure work while the initial lawsuit was still before the court. The applicant said he was aware of the risk but was prepared to “roll the dice.”


With that understanding, the board voted to amend the site plan approval to remove the building permit condition.




3. Unicorn Contracting, Route 118

Dan Ciarcia reviewed the plan. He explained that a bank was no longer being considered for the vacant parcel at the corner of Route 118 and Kear Street; he indicated that it would be developed for a retail use but no specific plans were identified.   Mr. Ciarcia explained that the main reason for being at the meeting was to get input from the board on the issues it wanted covered in the EAF.  In response, Mr. Tegeder said that traffic was the major issue; he advised that traffic impact analysis at the intersections of Kear & 118, Underhill and 118, and Kear and Commerce were the critical locations.   The board also wants renderings of the proposed building from different vantage points.


Mr. Ciarcia advised the board that the applicant is now the owner of the Coldwell Banker property and also has a lease for a portion of the Grace property.  Eventually, the three parcels: Murphy’s Restaurant, Coldwell site and a portion of the Grace property will be combined into one lot; the combination could be achieved by a lot line adjustment or a formal subdivision.  Cross esements will also be needed.


4. Envirogreen, East Main Street, Mohegan Lake

Steve Marino, the applicant’s environmental consultant, explained that while the Army Corps of Engineers was on board with the applicant’s original plan for the 6,000 SF and 10,000 SF buildings, the DEC balked at the plan which involved disturbing roughly 17,000 SF of wetlands and called for about 20,000 SFof off site mitigation. The DEC wanted to see alternate plans that had less disturbance.


Before going back to the DEC, the applicant prepared two alternate plans and wanted to know which one the board preferred before going back to DEC. One plan called for a single building that would disturb 15,000 SF of wetlands, while a second plan which maintained the two building concept but moved the buildings closer to Route 6 would only disturb about 12,800  SF of wetlands, allow for on site mitigation on a abutting parcel owned by the applicant, and also address the Conservation Board’s recommendation for a 1:1 mitigation ratio.


The board preferred the second option and advised the applicant to work with the Planning Department to flesh out the details, especially how the buildings would relate to the Route 6 streetscape.


5. The Weyant, Route 202

Traffic consultant Phil Grealy reported that based on discussions with the DOT, the state prefers the access point for the project to be from Hamblyn Street.   Based on that discussion, and a desire to minimize the traffic impact on the existing neighborhood, Mr. Grealy showed the board two possible plans, using geometrics, curb cuts, islands and signae, that would control left and right turns into and out of the project onto Hamblyn Street. The intersection at Route 202 would be widened in both plans. In terms of overall numbers, he estimated possibly 15 vehicles per hour during peak hours.  After reviewing the pros and cons of the different approaches, plus other suggestions,  Mr. Grealy said that what might result is a hybrid plan that contained elements of both plans; more work needed to be done before a more detailed plan was available.


Mr. Fon raised the issue of whether 36 units was too many for the site and alsoabout the scale of the buildings.  In response, the applicant said he had “done the math” and that any fewer units would not provide any benefits to anyone.  Mr. LaScala noted the project’s commercial next door neighbor and asked “how could it be too much?” The applicant said that preliminary tax figures indicated the development would pay $240,000 in taxes, with $140,000 going to the school district; he did not anticipate any or many children.


The board will do a site visit.


6. JCPC, Front Street

As a follow up to the board’s last discussion, the site plan was amended to reflect the fact that the applicant’s on site mitigation work, estimated at between $13,000-$15,000 would be sufficient to meet his total mitigation requirements. Going into a special session, the board amended the site plan to eliminate the off site mitigation requirement.