January 23, 2018
Personnel: Planning and Legal Departments
1. The Weyant, Route 202
After making a presentation on the transitional zone plan for 36 units in two buildings that had been presented last year, Mr. Riina advised the board that in response to last year’s comments about a possible plan under the R-3 multi-family zone, he had prepared two alternative site plans for attached townhouses with a total of 20-22 units. The units would be rental and more expensive than the proposed apartments (he said in the $2,000/month range), adding that no decision has been made on the mix of the size of the units.
Explaining that he had a time frame, Mr. DeVito asked the board to give him a sense as to which direction it wanted him to go: apartments or town houses.
Both Supervisor Gilbert and Councilwoman Roker spoke about the need for public input on the alternative plans, especially from the abutting neighborhood. Ms. Roker said that since an application to rezone the parcel has been submitted, the site was going to be developed; the only question was for what. Councilman Diana said he thought the townhouse plan was more appealing to the existing neighborhood than the two “big boxes.” Councilman Lachterman noted that 10 townhouses would generate more tax rateables than a single house and would benefit all taxpayers.
Supervisor Gilbert explained that any decision on The Weyant plan would have to consider the impact of the plan to redevelop the abutting Roma Building site, suggesting that a mini plan needed to be developed to deal with both sites. (See below.)
2. Roma Building, rezoning request
Architect Michael Piccirillo and engineer Joe Riina of Site Design Consultants presented plans for the demolition of the existing building and the construction of a new mixed use building that would feature 7-8 retail stores on the first level facing Saw Mill River Road, and 40 residential units, plus an underground parking garage. The parcel would have to be rezoned from C-3 Commercial to C2-R, mixed use, and changes in the text of the C21-R zone might be needed. It was stated that 40 units was not a “magic number” and that the number of units was subject to negotiation. Given the site’s topography, the building would be four stories facing Saw Mill River Road and three stories in the rear. Access to the retail stores and the parking garage would be from the exiting driveway on the east side of the site; the residential units would be accessed from the existing curb cut onto Route 202. There would be no driveway between the two access points. The plan shows 112 parking spaces.
The board was advised that pending action on the rezoning request, the building’s owner has been keeping units vacant as leases expired, despite demand for the space.
With a consensus that the board needed a mini study that looked at both The Weyant and the Roma Building plans together, the issue then became who would do the study, how long it would take, and what the study would look at. Ultimately it was decided that as Site Design Consultants was the engineer for both projects, Mr. Riina would work with Mr. Tegeder to do the study. Mr. Tegeder will put together a resolution for the next board meeting that will include the details of what will be included in the study.
3. Clean Energy Collections, Solar Farm, Foothill Street
Representatives explained their plan to the new board. In response to questions from Councilwoman Roker who wanted to visit one of the firm’s existing locations, it was explained that the only completed projects were in Massachusetts and that the company’s New York projects were still in the planning or permitted stages.
Mr. McDermott explained that while he had some sample laws regulating solar farms, they were from upstate New York where zoning issues were different. The company’s representative said they would make other legislation available to the town. Ms. Roker asked for a video of the Massachusetts facility.
4. Community Video Program
Town Planner Robyn Steinberg asked the board to renew the contract with CGI Communications, the company that has produced videos about the town that are on the town’s web site. There is no cost to the town. The videos include a welcome message from the supervisor plus videos showing different aspects of the town, some of which may need to be updated. It was suggested that a new video be added that explained the different hamlets that make up Yorktown, e.g., Shrub Oak, Mohegan Lake , etc. The board will pass a resolution at its next meeting renewing the contract.
5. Jefferson Village Owner’s Corp. (JOC)/Renewal of General wetlands permit
The applicant wants to renew a General Permit, issued in 2009, that allows the JOC to undertake routine maintenance of its drainage system, including removing silt from the waterways and culverts. In addition to the ongoing maintenance, the JOC wants to dredge two ponds in 2018. (In 2017, after consultation with the town engineer, the JOC dredged two ponds that were not included in the 2009 General Permit.)
After a brief discussion of whether the existing permit should be renewed or a new permit issued, the board agreed on the latter option withSupervisor Gilbert noting that he didn’t think a General Permit could be issued for work on two separate sites.
The application was referred out and a public hearing will be scheduled at a later date.
6. Mobil Gas Station, 2035 Saw Mill River Road
(See Town Board, 6/27/2017.) The applicant wants to demolish the existing 1,000 Sf convenience store and replace it with a new 3,000 SF store more to the rear of the site. Although the code would require 15 parking spaces, the plan only shows 8 spaces because the new building’s location abutting an existing sewer easement imposes design constraints. Mr. Tegeder advised the board that he had not seen the revised plan and Mr. Quinn expressed concern about any potential disturbance to the existing sewer line. The new plan was referred out.
7. Gas station, 3451 Crompond Road
(See Town Board 11/14/2017.) The applicant returned with a rendering of the proposed changes to the site, including the expanded convenience store, a canopy where none currently exists, a new monument sign, fencing in the rear and landscaping. The plan was referred out.
8. Proposed local law amending Section 168-1, “Master Fee Schedule”
(See Town Board, 6-6-2017.) Mr. McDermott explained that at the request of Supervisor Gilbert and Councilwoman Roker, he has prepared legislation that would amend the existing law so that changes in any fee would be done by board resolution rather than local law. A resolution setting a public hearing will have to follow.
9. Unpaid taxes
The board decided not to adopt a policy, suggested by Supervisor Gilbert, that would have required the Receiver of Taxes to issue a certificate stating that all taxes have been paid before a property owner would get approvals from any board or town official. Mr. Tegeder said that prior to the Planning Board approving any plan, the board checked to see that the applicant’s taxes had been paid. Councilmen Roker and Lachterman expressed concern that some homeowners who owe back taxes may need building permits to get their house ready for sale and that they might not have the money to pay their back taxes until their house was sold.
On the request of Councilman Lachterman, the board went into executive session to discuss litigation.