September 23, 2019
Attending; John Kincart, John Savoca, William LaScala, Rich Fon, Aaron Bock, Robert Garrigan
Mohegan Court (RPG), Lexington Avenue
The board voted a one year extention for the 8 unit townhouse development. The applicant said he was working on getting financing and busy with other projects but said he anticipated beginning construction in March, 2020.
2. Envirogreen, East Main Street, Mohegan Lake
As a relatively new member of the board, Mr. Bock was not familiar with the earlier discussions relating to the benefits of the proposed site plan that connected the rear parking lots and asked questions regarding traffic mitigation. Mr. Tegeder explained the benefits of the linked parking lots, adding that this has been a long standing policy of the board and that it has worked in other locations. He noted that while abutting properties owners always retained the right to erect barriers preventing cross over traffic, the town’s experience has been that property owners have cooperated and that formal easements were not needed.
The board voted to accept the negative declaration which the applicant needs to pursue an appeal with the DEC.
3. CVS, Route 202/Public Informational Hearing
The applicant explained the project and its traffic consultant reported that the new traffic count was actually less than what had previously been estimated. The owner of the Hudson Valley Steakhouse on Old Crompond Road spoke about his concerns that during construction, his restaurant might not be visible and asked if the proposed building could be shifted to the east. He was also concerned about the height of proposed new trees between Stony Street and the building. The applicant explained why the building could not be shifted and agreed to work with the restaurant owner in order to address his concerns, both during construction and in the proposed landscaping.
In response to a comment about problems with the timing of the traffic light, Phil Grealy, the applicant’s traffic consultant, said that this would be adjusted and that the revised traffic plan for the intersection took into consideration the possible future development in the area.
The hearing was left open because of a notice issue.
4.VR Studios/ Mall/Referral from Town Board
(See Town Board. 9-10-2019.) The board had no issues with the application and will send a memo to the Town Board.
5. Staples Shopping Center/Battery Storage
While the applicant was anxious to proceed with the application, Mr. Fon explained that the issue of battery storage facilities had changed over the past several months and that the issue was more complex than originally presented, including a new NYSERDA model law regulating battery storage facilities that needed to be addressed by the Town Board.
The applicant explained that the application for the battery storage was a stand alone facility and separate from the solar installation that was already completed. He explained that the former was not part of the original solar application because the solar application was made before there was a NYSERDA incentive program for battery storage.
Another issue revolved around whether or not this application was an accessory use for the existing site as during the discussion it became apparent that when stored electricty was transferred to the grid, it would be available for off site use and not just for the stores in the shopping center.
The consensus of the board was that while it was supportive of the concept of battery storage facilities, the board should not act on the application until the Town Board dealt with the issue of whether these facilities would be regulated by a new local law.
(See related discussion about the Yorktown Energy Storage Facility application for a larger battery storage facility.)
6. Yorktown Energy Storage Facility/Gomer Court/ZBA referral
The applicant advised the board that it met all the requirements in the proposed NYSERDA model law and that it had made changes to the site plan in accord with the Planning Board’s earlier concerns. The ZBA is scheduled to hold a public hearing on the application for a special permit on Thursday.
Although the site is currently in a flood plain, the applicant explained that the FEMA map is incorrect (the board agreed that there are problems with the current FEMA maps) and is working to have the map amended to eliminate the site. If the ZBA approves granting the special permit, he said he would accept the condition that the permit not go into effect until after the map was amended.
Mr. Bock raised questions about the potential negative impact on the stream from spills or ruptures and asked if the application has been referred to the Conservation Board; the applicant did not know. The applicant’s engineer explained all the safety features.
Although the applicant reminded the board that the building inspector had determined that the application fell within the bounds of the Zoning Code’s special permit requirements for a “public utility substation,” the board was mindful of the new NYSERDA model law and decided that in its memo to the Zoning Board it would include the following points:
--The need for a referral to the Conservation Board
--The need for mitigation for disturbance to a wetland buffer
--The unresolved flood plain issue
--The fact that the ZBA might want to slow down its process while the Town Board decided how to address the possible need for a local law regulating battery storage facilities.