Sanctuary Golf Course
Town Board Referral
Location: Route 118
Contact: Evans Associates Environmental Consulting
Description: Request amended site plan for additional tennis courts.
Town Board, 9-3-2013
Approved the amended special permit subject to the conditions in the August 28 Planning Board memo.
Town Board, 8-6-2013
Although the applicant had nothing new to say, John Schroeder said that there were still many open issues involving this 15-20 year old project. Noting that the tennis court area, the subject of the most recent site plan, was only Phase I of a 4-phase project, he asked: “What is the project?” He suggested that the Board should visit the site and get answers to many questions.
Paul Moskowitz said he had visited the site as a member of the Advisory Committee on Open Space and also wondered if there was a plan.
Howard Frank said that as a past member of the Conservation Board he remembered constant discussions about problems with the site.
In response to Councilman Bianco’s question about the status of the project, Planning Director Tegeder said that all the applicant’s technical requirements have been met but that some review work still needs to be done, such as certification of the retaining wall.
In response to Mr. Schroeder’s criticism about the unmowed and unsuitable grass on the renovated 9 hole course, Mr. Capellini said that the only work that needed to be done was to mow the grass. He said that no work has been done on the site recently because for 1 ˝ years the site has been under a stop work order.
The Board closed the public hearing but left a comment period open. A September decision is anticipated.
Town Board, 7-16-2013
Alan Pilch, the applicant’s engineer, updated the Board on changes that have been made to the stormwater plan. Supervisor Grace noted that the Board had received a memo (it was not clear whether from the fire inspector or the Fire Advisory Board) expressing several concerns, as well as a memo from the building inspector about the retaining wall. Planning Director Tegeder asked the Board not to take any action until it received an updated memo from the Planning Board and town staff had an opportunity to make a new site visit to review changes that had been made to the site.
The applicant’s attorney, Al Capellini, stated this is client would address all outstanding issues, but the Board rejected his request for a SEQRA determination so that the applicant could proceed with the DEP review.
In response to Jane Daniel’s question why, with over 30 existing golf courses in the county, another one was needed, Mr. Capellini responded: would you rather have houses.
Given the applicant’s history of making changes to the site in violation of its approved site plan, Susan Siegel, the person writing this summary, asked the Board not to approve the amended site plan until all the previously mentioned concerns were satisfactorily addressed.
The hearing was adjourned with the expectation that it might be reconvened on August 6.
Planning Board, 6-10-2013
Alan Pilch, the environmental consultant and engineer for the project, again reviewed the changes between the approved 1999 site plan and the site plan changes that have already been done without approval plus site plan modifications still to be made. The major work still to be completed is a revised stormwater plan for the site.
Regarding the already constructed retaining wall in the area of the new tennis courts, the applicant has submitted a plan that is signed by an engineer attesting to its structural soundness. However, the building inspector has informed the Board that he is not prepared to accept the plan as he saw some “blemishes” in the wall and feels that additional inspections in selected locations along the wall need to be made. Mr. Capellini said he would take this new information “under advisement.”
The Board also advised the applicant that he has to address the concerns of an abutting property who is claiming that half of the stone wall demarcating the two properties was taken down by the applicant when one of the golf course holes was regraded.
In response to concerns raised by other neighbors at an earlier meeting, the applicant showed a series of aerial maps indicating that the applicant had not encroached on other abutting parcels
Reviewing a prior list of six items of concern, Mr. Fon said the remaining outstanding items were a lighting plan that had been submitted to the Planning Department but not yet reviewed, and a landscape plan. Regarding the later, John Schroder asked that the plan be referred to the town’s naturalist to make sure the proposed plantings are consistent with the character of the adjoining Turkey Mountain nature preserve. The landscape plan will also be referred to the Tree Preservation Advisory Commission.
Mr. Schroder also asked for documentation about the condition of the dam, noting that this issue was raised back in 1999 but nothing has ever been submitted to the town.
Mr. Fon asked the applicant to return to the Planning Board after the unresolved issues have been addressed.
Town Board, 6-4-2013
An item not on the agenda, the Board voted to refer out for review the amended site plan that had been submitted that afternoon.
Town Board, 10-16-2012
The applicant’s consultant explained how the site plan had been modified from the original 1999 plan, that the renovation of the lower 9 holes had been completed and that a revised stormwater pollution plan still had to be prepared. (There were no plans to do work on the upper 9 holes.)
Speaking for many of her neighbors, Locke Lane resident Karen Pevichter (sp?) expressed concern over the extended length of the project, as well as the noise and dust from the project that she said had made it difficult for Locke Lane residents to enjoy their property in the spring and summer months. She asked that if the new permit was approved, that it include a time limit, prohibit construction on Sundays, possibly limit Saturday construction hours, replant a line of buffering trees between the bottom 9 holes and their property, and, most of all, to “please respect us.”
John Schroeder, speaking on behalf of the Yorktown Land Trust, said that his group had supported the initial special permit but that the group had not been kept informed about the changes in the project which he characterized has “catching a ghost.”
He asked the Board to review whether the applicant has been complying with conditions in the original special permit, about the condition of the dam located on the site, the appropriateness of some of the plantingsproposed for theportion of the town-owned Turkey Mountain Preserve that the applicant had disturbed, the condition of the septic system servicing the clubhouse, which he said historically had problems, the proposed parking on top of the retaining wall and lighting plans which he said were not on earlier submissions.
Councilman Bianco, who said he was on the Board in 1999 when the special permit was issued, asked if the work was ever going to get done. Adding that the delays were the applicant’s fault, and not the Town’s, he asked the applicant if she had sufficient money to finish the project. In response, the applicant said that she anticipated that the work could be completed on the tennis court area next spring over three months and that in the fall work would be completed on the clubhouse and pro shop. She also said she would work with the neighbors.
Supervisor Grace said that the real issues were the applicant’s timetable for completing the project as well as monitoring.He said that while the Town could and should control the construction schedule, it was limited in what it could force the applicant to do. It was also noted that the Town’s noise ordinance was flexible and difficult to enforce.
Town Clerk Roker said she would email the involved parties so that they could get together to review what remained to be done (the application will also need a town stormwater permit and possibly a wetlands permit) , what additional information was needed, and how the parties could work together.
The public hearing was adjourned.
Town Board, 9-26-2012
In a short discussion of why they were appearing before the Board, the applicant explained the need for the Town Board to amend an earlier special permit after a Stop Work Order had been imposed that halted construction work on the site.The applicant explained the changes that were being made and that all advisory boards had reviewed the latest plan.A public hearing will be scheduled for October 16.
Planning Board, 8-13-2012
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.
Planning Board, 2/13/2012
The Planning Board is generally in favor of this project, but has not been given the material it needs for its review.The site has been developed in violation of the original site plan so the Planning Board needs a professionally signed “as built” plan.At this meeting, the applicant showed a comparison between the original plan and the purported existing situation, but not an official “as built” document.Both the Planning Board and John Schroeder of the Yorktown Land Trust questioned the accuracy of this comparison.A major concern is the structural integrity and safety of a wall built on the site.To date the Town Engineer has not evaluated it.The applicant is encouraged to get together all the necessary material and professional input so the project can move forward through the approval process.