January 10, 2017
Absent: Councilman Patel
To discuss personnel and contract negotiations
1. Community sign
Eric DiBartolo, president of the Chamber of Commerce, asked the board for permission to erect a 4’ x 12’ LED sign on top of the brick wall at the intersection of Routes 118/35 and Commerce Street. The Chamber would pay for and maintain the sign. Like the relatively new sign at the Yorktown High School, the sign would be programmed to have changing messages and could be used to alert residents to emergences. The sign would also promote the businesses of Chamber members.
As the brick wall is actually on property owned by the Triangle Shopping Center and used by the town under a license agreement, the town attorney was directed to review the lease agreement with the shopping center owner. Councilman Bernard noted that the owner may be in the process of developing plans to use that space.
While agreeing with the general sentiment that there were too many signs in the area, Supervisor Grace expressed concern about the aesthetics of the proposed sign. At the supervisor’s suggestion, Mr. DiBartolo will prepare a cardboard mock up of the sign and board members will visit to site to see what the proposed sign would look like. Mr. DiBartolo said the sign could be installed within a week of the board’s giving its permission.
2. 714 Saw Mill River Road
Located on Route 129, roughly opposite Jennifer’s Restaurant, the existing parcel was rezoned several years ago to a transitional zone that allows some apartments. The owner is requesting a modification of the existing zone to allow a building in the rear of the parcel to be converted into a one bedroom apartment. If the board approves the modification, it could be done either by resolution or amending the site plan. Either way, the supervisor said the action would require a public hearing. At first blush, the board had no objection to the change, but action was postponed until the board could review a copy of the existing site plan to see if there were any restrictions or conditions attached to the original rezoning.
3. Front Street Development
Property owner George Roberta presented a sketch for a single story commercial building and a two story building with commercial on the first floor and apartments above. (The sketch was prepared for Mr. Roberta by the town’s Planning Department.) Mr. McDermott advised the board that as he has been unable to locate any documentation about the ownership of the paper road, his suggestion was to condemn the land.
The applicant was advised to file a formal application for a rezoning to a transitional zone and also to contact the abutting property owners on Summit Street in order to get their input as early in the process as possible.
4. Boniello Property, Crompond Road
In a very brief discussion, the board approved a resolution granting the town engineer the ability to issue a stormwater permit for this planned two family house with access from Fountaingate Road.
5. Industrial and Commercial Incentive Board
Town Attorney McDermott presented the board’s draft report. Six members of the board were present. The report suggested that the 485b program be applied to all types of commercial development in all parts of Yorktown. Recognizing that, with the exception of very large companies, the incentive alone was not sufficient to bring more commercial development to Yorktown, the report also included recommendations for additional economic development initiatives, the most significant of which was the need to aggressively market the town and create a “wow” factor that would draw companies into Yorktown. Supervisor Grace noted that while the economy was picking up, other towns were also competing for additional commercial development.
Noting that the 2010 Comprehensive Plan included many economic development suggestions, one incentive board member asked if the Town Board ever reviewed the Plan. And, although initially critical of the plan, saying that it “absolutely stunk,” Supervisor Grace later agreed that a committee might be formed to review the plan in addition to developing other economic development recommendations.
Without any changes, the Town Board accepted the draft report as a Final Report and voted to refer out a proposed local law that would implement the 485b incentive. A public hearing on the law was set for February 21.
6. Stone Rose Restaurant (Jefferson Valley Mall)
Without much discussion, the board approved a resolution to allow the restaurant to have an outdoor seating area for up to 20 seats. The location of the restaurant was not identified.
7. Master Fee Schedule
(See Town Board, 9/27/2016 and 11/22/2016.) There were two aspects to this continuing discussion. First, making changes to several existing laws so that, going forward, the fees would be set by resolution and included in the Master fee Schedule as opposed to requiring changes in the local law if and when the board wanted to change the fee. (Mr. McDermott explained that the Master Fee Schedule was the preferred way to go.) The board had no problem with this and referred out the proposed local law for comment. The law would also delete the “escrow fee” provision in the current Master Fee Law (Chapter 168) and substitute in its place a “professional review fee.”
The second part of the discussion went through a laundry list of existing fees, from false alarm fees, to land use application fees, permit fees for electrical and mechanical work and building permit fees. The supervisor asked Mr. Tegeder to look into land use fees in other municipalities to see what any increase the board decided on was fair and not too onerous. Once again, the board discussed the fee for special bulk permits and the fact that the fee is the same $50 regardless of the quantity to be picked up. Councilman Bernard said that many homeowners use the service when they’re moving out and that it was often difficult for them to estimate in advance how many cubic yards they would be disposing of. Supervisor Grace said that the board could experiment with some changes. Councilman Diana who operates a heating oil company made some suggestions on what he felt was a more equitable fee for permits for installing new boilers.
The board is also considering a $25 surcharge on all paper applications as a way to incentivize the public to submit digital applications.
No final decisions were made on any fee changes.
8. Use of Town Board Room
Expressing concern and an “uncomfortableness” about the town’s liability if anything happens when the board meeting room is used evenings and weekends by members of the public for non town business, Town Attorney McDermott suggested that the board set a $25 per meeting room fee and require the person or group to have its own insurance policy. The groups, he said, should “have some skin in the game.” Other town buildings require insurance. He also suggested other changes to the existing policy governing use of the room including adding a no smoking and no food provision. Town Clerk Quast whose office schedules the use of the room said that there have been problems in the past but she did not elaborate.
Mr. McDermott said he had made a list of the room’s frequent users but did not have a copy for the board. He mentioned some homeowners groups that meet once a year and also the performer Jessica Lynn who uses the room for rehearsals. When Councilman Lachterman expressed concern about the cost of insurance for the groups, Mr. McDermott said he thought homeowner groups and Ms. Lynn would have the insurance. Councilman Diana said that if the new rules presented a hardship for community groups,, there were other locations where they could meet such as the Elks Club, the VFW or the schools.. He said that while the town could waive the $25 fee, the insurance requirement was important.
Mary Capoccia, the supervisor’s assistant suggested that the new regulations could create problems for some groups. She cited the Garden Club that uses the room the prepare wreaths during the holidays. All agreed that the room could not be used for political purposes.
In a 3-0 vote with Supervisor Grace abstaining, the board voted to adopt the new policy. The supervisor explained that he was recusing himself because he is a member of Yorktown Organizations Untied which meets in the board room.
Mr. McDermott said that if the new policy doesn’t work, the board can always change it.
9. Selected Resolutions
Without any discussion, the board adopted the following resolutions:
Worker’s Compensation: For 2016, transferred a total of $376,104 from various budget funds to the towns’ self insured Worker’s Compensation Fund.
Fluoridation: Authorized the supervisor to sign a contract with Arcadis of NY to design a fluoridation system for the town’s Catskill water supply.
Broadcasting services: Extended the services of Cary Vigilante for 2017 at a rate of $550/month for scheduling the programs on Channel 20/33.