Citizens for an Informed Yorktown


Planning Board

July 13, 2015


Attending:  John Kincart, John Savoca, John Flynn, Richard Fon, Darlene Rivera



1. Hilltop Associates

The board approved a 90 day time extension


2. Village Traditions

(See Envirogreen Associates.) On the agenda for a one year extension, the board voted 3-2 to table any action until its August meeting and clarification on the proposed connection to the abutting Envirogreen proposal.


Due to economic conditions, the property owner has not demolished the barn and constructed a new building in its place. Also, some curb cuts, required as part of the original site plan approval, have not been done.  The major outstanding issue is the owner’s willingness to work with Envirogreen on the shared ingress/egress even though the plan for the abutting property is much different (and larger) than the original plan he agreed to. The owner’s concerns include the wear and tear and maintenance of the shared ingress/egress, issues that need to be worked out in an easement agreement. According to Mr. Tegeder, while the owner appeared opposed to the shared arrangement at a June discussion on the Envirogreen application, in a subsequent discussion, he appeared more willing to work with the neighboring property.   The board strongly favors the joint ingress/egress plan for safety reasons.  A second issue is whether the applicant’s original DOT permit is still valid.


3. Triglia & Rezi  Subdivision (Christine Road)

Public informational Hearing.The proposal is to subdivide a 1.145 acre parcel with an existing house to create one additional lot for a second single family dwelling. The lot is on the corner of Christine and Baker Highway, although the entrance to the second lot will be from Baker Hwy. Both are private roads. The current zoning requires 20,000 sq. ft.  The property owner previously received a variance from the ZBA. (Note: it was not clear what the variance was for.)   Several residents spoke in opposition to the plan citing existing stormwater issues. They also said that many area residents were not aware of the ZBA hearings .


In response to the comments, board members asked the applicant to look into several potential stormwater measures that would control runoff from the site.  The board also explained that the purpose of the informational hearing was to give residents an early opportunity to view and comment on the plan so that the applicant could “fine tune” the plan and return to the planning board for a subsequent second public hearing. The hearing was closed.


4. Taconic Vet Clinic & Canine Kindergarten (Route 202) Public Informational Hearing

The architect reviewed the changes that had been made to the plan, including fencing and evergreens in the rear of the property to screen out noise. He advised the board that the DOT didn’t want any landscaping along Route 202. The applicant is requesting a five year special permit and has agreed to install all the required landscaping and other site plan changes within 12 months if he gets the five year permit. In response to Mr. Flynn’s question about how many dogs would be dropped off at any given time and whether there were enough parking spaces the applicant explained that based on experience at other locations  arrivals and departures are spread throughout the day and do not create a need for additional parking. He estimated that the facility might have up to 60 dogs at one time.  There were no comments from the public.  The board will hold a public hearing on the application at its August 10 meeting.




5. BJ’s Wholesale Club

The board reviewed a request to renew the special permit for outdoor storage for the display of plants and other general merchandise.


6. 3211 Lakeshore Drive wetlands permit

(See Planning Board, 10/20/2014) On a referral from the Town Board, the board reviewed the permit that encroaches into the wetland buffer abutting Mohegan Lake. The applicant has modified the plan based on earlier comments from the Planning Board and Bruce Barber, and also based on the 1988 variance that took precedence over a later variance and which did not put any restrictions of the size of the proposed house.  The applicant agreed not to cut down a 12’  tree and limit tree removal to smaller trees. The trees will be removed by hand and the stumps left in the ground. There will be a 75’ easement  in the rear yard to the lake shore. As the latest plan appeared to meet all the board’s earlier concerns, Mr. Tegeder had no problem with the board endorsing the permit application.


7. Bonsigore  subdivison (Hunterrook Road)

(See Planning Board,  4-6-2015.)  Calling the site a “tough site, the board decided to schedule a public informational hearing for August 10 with the possibility that members of the public might have  useful suggestions on how the site could be developed.  As currently designed, the subdivision meets all applicable zoning code requirements.


8. Sandvoss subdivision (Hanover Street)

Several residents continued to raise issues about the proposed subdivision, primarily about stormwater runoff. Although the public hearing on the application was closed several years ago, the board’s attorney said it was okay for the Planning Department to accept a report from the residents that corrected and updated an earlier wildlife report. It was also their contention that since the wetlands permit was issued in 2009, and the EAF submitted in 2006, there have been significant changes to the site that should be taken into account.   Mr. Savoca noted that the board should be concerned about what existed now as opposed to what was approved years ago and Mr. Fon noted that half of the current board members were not on the board when the application was first reviewed. The board advised the applicant to consult with town staff and said that wetlands boundaries may need to be re-verified and possibly re-delineated.


9. Staples Plaza master sign plan

The board reviewed a series of drawings detailing the square footage of existing signs and proposed new signs. In a discussion that often became difficult to follow it appeared that many of the existing signs already had variances allowing for larger signs. Those signs will remain and can be repaired if necessary. However, if a new store  leased the space, a new variance would be needed for the new sign.


10. Community Care Facility special permit

On a referral from the Town Board, the board reviewed draft text  for this new special permit.  


11. Costco

After a lengthy review of site plan issues (see below), a representative of Costco indicated the company was looking at the following timetable:

·         Demolition to begin in Fall, 2015. (Demolition can begin, at the applicant’s risk, prior to site plan approval)

·         Construction – during 2016

·         Anticipated opening: November, 2016


The county is still reviewing the application to connect to the Peekskill Sanitary Sewer District, a process expected to take 6-7 months. (The application was made in May.) A back up plan for an on site septic system has been prepared.


As an aside, the representative from Costco said that the  project has cost, to date, $6 million in soft costs, and the Costco’s  engineering consultant added that whle initially he had told his client that off site improvements would could $2 million, that figure is now over $3 million.


The board continued its site plan review with members of the applicant’s development team. Beth Miller explained the changes to the landscape plan that included additional plantings along the northern boundary to screen the view from the southbound Taconic, additional islands in the parking lot and additional landscaping along Route 202.  Together, the revised plan adds 100 trees; there will be 22 locust trees in the parking lots.


Considerable discussion focused on the second access road and several possible options to control and redirect traffic were discussed to address the concerns raised at the previous meeting by Mr. Flynn. No final decisions were made. While Mr. Tegeder said he didn’t like the second entrance/exit, the Costco team said that for the company, the second entrance/exit was a basic requirement.


On lighting, the board agreed that 25 foot poles were preferred and will send a memo to the Town Board requesting that the existing Lighting Code be amended to allow the 16 foot height limit to be waived.  


Phil Grealy, the traffic consultant reviewed the pedestrian sidewalk network and the second bus stop (the first being at Strang Blvd) at the Costco site.


There was considerable discussion about the shared bike/sidewalk lanes under the Taconic Parkway where the engineers are constrained by the existing width.  They will be meeting with the DOT in hopes of getting approval to narrow the 5’ space designed for  a snow shelf in the hope that the extra foot can be added to the bike/sidewalk lane for a total of 6’. While not perfect, they said 6’ was better than the nothing that existing now.


When Mr. Flynn suggested that Costco provide funds to the trail system for cyclists as a way to mitigate the project’s traffic impact,  Costco representatives noted this  request was beyond the reasonable scope of  mitigation measures.  


There was a brief discussion of whether a barn on the site should be preserved, on the grounds that it was “old” but not necessarily of any historic significance. Mr. Tegeder said that the structure had not been looked at during an earlier historic structures survey.  Mr. Kinart added that at the time of its demolition, the applicant could make salvaging available.


The board also dismissed the need for any mitigation measures along at Taconic at FDR park as being directly related the any project impacts.