Citizens for an Informed Yorktown


Planning Board

August 13, 2012


In attendance: John Flynn, John Savoca, Ann Kutter, Darlene Rivera


Regular Session

1. Costco

The major issue under discussion was whether the Planning Board was ready to make an official determination that the long awaited DEIS (in the works for 18 months) was “complete,” i.e., that it was responsive to all the issues identified in the scoping document.   Speaking on behalf of Costco, attorney Al Capellini said that the Costco team had been working closely with town staff on the document and that the Planning Board should accept the staff’s determination that the document was “complete.” Mr. Flynn, however, disagreed, and said that Board members had only received the 2,200 page document on August 10 and members had not had time to read it. He also noted that two members of the Board were not in attendance at the meeting.  While he acknowledged that he might not read all 2,200 pages of the DEIS, he said he didn’t want to take any short cuts. He also noted that the Planning Department had prepared a memo indicating that the applicant still have to address some issues before a public hearing on the DEIS could be scheduled.   


In an effort to “move the process along,” Mr. Capellini requested that the Board hold a special meeting to declare the DEIS complete. In response, Mr. Flynn said that the Board adopted a yearly calendar of meetings at the beginning of each year that served as a guide to applicants and he did not accept  Mr. Capellini’s comment that in the past boards have made exceptions.


The Board will take up the DEIS issue at its next meeting. Once th Board formally accepts the DEIS as complete, a public hearing on the DEIS will be scheduled.


The Costco team also did a repeat presentation of the site plan change that relocates the gas pumps to the easterly side of the site. While the overall size of the pump area will be the same as in the earlier plan, the dimensions of the area will be slightly different. Between one to four gasoline delivery trucks are expected per day.  Efforts will be made to screen the pumps from the Taconic Parkway that will soften but not obliterate the view. Costco’s traffic consultant  stated that the relocation will not change any of the traffic impact numbers in the DEIS; the change will only affect the interior flow of traffic and improve the pedestrian crossing to the site.


2. Kitchawan Fire & Rescue Station

The Board approved a one year extension on the previously approved site. Representing the applicant, Mr. Capellini explained that the bids on the project  had come in higher than expected and that the applicant was now working on interior changes that it hoped would bring costs down.  No changes were planned for the overall site plan.


3. Aspen & Mill Street Subdivision

The Board approved a second 90 day extension. The applicant is awaiting county approval for changes to the site’s water supply system and also an issue involving a stream.


4. Crompond Crossing

The Board approved a one year extension while the applicant awaits DEP approval which Mr. Capellini said was “imminent.”  The applicant has closed with the county which will be providing funds for the project through the affordable housing fund program.


5. Arrowhead subdivision

The Board approved a one year extension while the applicant awaits DEP approval which Mr. Capellini said was “imminent.”The applicant has closed with the county which will be providing funds for the project through the affordable housing fund program.


6. Sierra Bella

The Board held off granting the requested reapproval pending the receipt of information as to whether any changes were needed in the applicant’s earlier SEQRA filing.  The applicant is awaiting DEP approval of a maintenance agreement involving a private road that will provide access to the two lot subdivision.


7. Gione Subdivision

The Board declared itself lead agency, approved a negative declaration and approved the two lot subdivision and associated permits.


8. IBM Helistop

The Board convened a public hearing on the requested special permit application. Representatives from IBM gave a presentation of the company’s plan, repeating comments made at earlier meetings.  They said they expected one landing/takeoff per month but wanted approval for up to two landings/takeoffs per month. They anticipated the activity would take place between  7am-9pm, but mostly during normal business hours and mostly between Monday-Friday.


In response to comments from two residents about noise from helicopters that currently fly over the area, the IBM pilot explained that the company practices “good neighbor flying” practices which involve a combination of technical measures, such as reducing power during certain parts of the flight, and culture, including trying not to fly over houses when possible. He explained that the helicopters the residents heard over their homes were not IBM helicopters and were likely cruising by on their way to other destinations.  The pilot also explained that IBM helicopters flew at between 1,500 t0 2,000 feet but could descend to 1,300 feet if needed due to cloud issues.

The helicopters do not have instrument capability to fly when visibility is limited.


Mr. Flynn explained that the special permit will be renewable so that if problems arise in the future, they can be addressed at renewal time.


The hearing was closed but a comment period left open for 10 days.


Work Session

9. Dimeglio Residence

The Board went into a special session to approve the request for an addition to a home on Hitching Post Road in the Bridle Ridge subdivision. Under the terms of the original subdivision approval which was based on the Town’s flexibility standards, any modification to the units needs Planning Board approval. The requested change is similar to one that had previously been grant3d.


10. IBM Parking Expansion

As part of the previously approved plan, IBM requested that its SWPP (stormwater) permit be amended so that soil excavated from the parking lot area could be stockpiled on the proposed location for the helipad. Once the helipad application is approved, the soil will be graded as per the plan prior to the installation of the subsurface grasspave system that will be used for the helipad.  The Board had no problem with the request and the Planning Department will draft an appropriate memo.


11. Faith Bible Church

Traffic consultant Philip Grealy showed the Board a revised site plan that “tightens” the intersection of Mohegan and Sagamore Avenues, converting it more to a safer “T” intersection. He also recommended that “all way” stop signs to installed on both roads.


The revised plan also added  86 stacked (valet) parking spaces so that the plan meets the Town Code requirement of 252 spaces for the anticipated 344 seat capacity.  He said that additional off street parking would be available for heavily attended events but did not explain where that would be. The church’s pastor explained that attendance varied, even at holiday times, and that typically, not all 344 seats were used as families liked to sit together and people in general didn’t want to sit on top of one another.


Because the church is located in the area covered by the 2004 Sustainable Development Study, the traffic report will be referred to the Town’s traffic consultant, Jacobs Engineering for review. The applicant will pay the $4200 cost of the review.


12. Lake Osceola Realty Corp.

The applicant has formally submitted an application, SWPP (stormwater), preliminary architectural drawings and a revised mitigation plan based on feedback from the Board and more discussions with the DEC.


The latest plan eliminates the proposed public access dock on the northern end of the property and replaces it with a wood chip path leading from the parking lot down to the lake shore where an as yet to be determined informal  beach or dock could be constructed where the public could launch canoes or kayaks. The path would be approximately 300 feet and have a modest grade down to the lake.


The Board agreed with the suggestion of Bruce Barber, the Town’s environmental consultant, that the applicant prepare a quantitative functional analysis of the site’s current wetlands and wetlands buffer and how that would change in the post construction phase based on the current plan.  The analysis would help identify the pluses and minuses of different proposed mitigation measures and help prioritize them.  The applicant agreed to prepare the analysis which he hoped could be ready in time for one of the Board’s two meetings in September.


One of the earlier mitigation measures proposed by the applicant was a one time cleaning out of the lake outlet. However, the applicant advised the Board that upon further examination, they could not locate a single point to be cleaned up. 


Planning Director Tegeder asked that, at the request of Supervisor Grace,  the functional analysis include the possibility of some off site mitigation that might help alleviate flooding problems at Condo 9 at Jefferson Village.  


13. Sanctuary Golf Course

The applicant presented a revised site plan for a special permit that addressed concerns raised by the various advisory boards. The plan showed a retaining wall adjacent to the tennis courts that was 12 feet high in some places, planting plans for several areas, a lighting plan, and an alternate access to the site in the vicinity of the tennis courts from Locke Lane .


The applicant also showed a comparison of the original plan and the current plan, saying that the only changes were the addition of one tennis court and one paddle tennis court. He said that all work on the golf course had been completed and that the tennis court/retaining wall wasthe final phases of the project. John Schroeder, however, asked if the current work was only phase 1 of a four phase plan and what other work remained to be done.


In response to questions from  Mr. Schroeder, Planning Director Tegeder said that his office had received a stamped site plan from an engineer certifying the wall structure. He added, however, that the wall did need a building permit.


Mr. Schroeder also questioned whether the dam on the site had been properly repaired and certified by an engineer. When the applicant said that he wasn’t sure if the dam was within the DEC threshold level, Mr. Flynn read from Board minute s dating back to 1998 that said that the dam was regulated by the DEC.  The applicant said he would look into the matter.


Mr. Schroeder and Ms. Kutter raised questions about the appropriateness of some of the trees in the planting plan and on Ms. Kutter’s suggestion, the plan will be referred to the Tree Advisory Commission. Both were concerned about the plan’s compatibility with the plantings in the abutting Turkey Mountain Nature Preserve and the Turkiey Mountain Forest Management Plan.


Because granting the special permit is a Town Board action, (although the site’s lighting plan will be a Planning Board action) the application will now be returned to the Town Board.  The Planning Board’s comments will include written comments made by its attorney which were not discussed during the meeting.


14. Mohegan Lake Improvement District

On referral from the Town Board for a wetlands permit, the Board said there were no planning issues involved in the application.


15. Tonndorf Concession Trailer

On a Town Board referral, Planning Director Tegeder noted that food uses were not a permitted use in the light industrial zone and that if the proposed trailer was located in the Town’s right-of-way, then the applicant should be requesting a peddler permit.


The Board agreed with Mr. Flynn’s suggestion that this was more a zoning issue than a planning issue and said that the applicant should  ask the building inspector for an interpretation of the Zoning Code and then possibly apply to the ZBA for a use variance. If the ZBA wanted to consider issuing one, then according to procedure, the ZBA would refer the application to the Planning Board for site plan review.