January 8, 2013
1. Executive Session
Before convening the regular meeting, the Board voted to go into closed executive session to discuss “advice of counsel.” Prior to the vote, there was an informal discussion of whether the Board had to provide more information about what the general subject of what the “advice” was; it was decided that no further information was needed.
2. Supervisor Grace’s report
He indicated that while there were some beginning glitches with the new garbage collection contract, he expected these to be worked out within the coming weeks.
3. County Report
County Legislator Michael Kaplowitz reported that Yorktown’s county tax will decrease by 2.2% for 2013. Although the county’s tax rate was technically zero, the taxes are apportioned to each municipality based on its assessment roll.
4. Courtesy of the Floor
a. Sultana Ridge Pool Association:
On behalf of the association, Gordon Fine presented the Board with a check for $2,000 in partial payment of the back taxes the property owes. He said the payment was part of an agreement made with the Board last year when the Board took the property off the foreclosure list.
b. Senior Clubs: On behalf of the AARP senior club, Gil Kaufmann was about to ask a question about the proposed resolution authorizing the Supervisor to sign agreements with six senior clubs when Councilman Paganelli said that at his request the item was being pulled from the agenda. No explanation was given. During the second Courtesy of the Floor, when the Board was asked why the resolution was pulled, Councilman Paganelli said that some clubs had not provided all the required information and that he was following up regarding the missing information.
c. Insurance Losses/Litigation Costs: Susan Siegel (the person writing this summary) read a statement in which she corrected what she said were misstatements made during the January 2 Grace Notes tv program by Supervisor Grace and Councilman Murphy regarding insurance losses and litigation fees.
d. Town Board Minutes: During the second Courtesy, Susan Siegel (the person writing this summary) requested that the Town Clerk’s office update the Town Board minutes page on the Town’s web site. She noted that the last available minutes were October 19, 2010. In response, Town Clerk Roker said that her office was short staffed.
In a 5-0 vote, the Board appointed Patricia Caporale to the position of Comptroller.
6. Public hearings on changes to the parking requirements for the JV Mall and other commercial zones.
(See prior meeting summaries for background.)
The Board reconvened the hearing on the proposed local law that dealt with changes in the parking regulations for both the CRC zone (JV Mall) and other commercial zones, and opened two new hearings on separate laws for the CRC zone and other commercial districts.
After closing the three public hearings (see below), the Board ultimately voted unanimously to reject the original combined law and to adopt the two separate laws.
CRC zone (JV Mall)
Ray Arnold repeated comments made on December 18 that the changes were not necessary and Al Capellini, representing the mall, said that the new law gave “definition and direction” to the otherwise amorphous language in the existing code. He said, and Supervisor Grace agreed, that prospective tenants needed a clearer definition of the parking requirements.
Other commercial zones
Supervisor Grace repeated the reasons for the proposed reduction in the parking requirements. (See earlier meeting summaries.)
Although he basically agreed with the proposed reduction from 5 to 4 spaces, Ray Arnold cautioned the Board that it should not plunge into something that might not work. He said that there were other sections of the Town Code that regulated parking issues and that the Board should be looking at everything, not just the reduction from the 5 to 4 requirement.
Ann Kutter asked the Board to add specific language to the law that had she had drafted with the assistance of John Tegeder that would have required the approval authority to consider requiring sidewalks, where appropriate, during site plan review. In response, Supervisor Grace said he had no problem with the concept, but rather than amend the proposed parking provision, he suggested that the Town Board could, by a blanket resolution, direct the Planning Board to consider sidewalks. Councilman Bianco said that it might be better to include the sidewalk provision in the Land Development Regulations and that he would put the issue on next week’s work session agenda.
Width of parking spaces: Both Ms. Kutter and Paul Moskowitz questioned with width of parking spaces, although Supervisor Grace noted that the proposed law did not change the existing width requirements (7.5’ for compact cars and 8.5’ for other spaces). Ms. Kutter said that the current 8.5’ was not sufficient to allow the full opening of a car door to accommodate a handicapped person. Mr. Moskowitz was critical of the 7.5’ requirement for compact cars which he said was difficult.
Costco: Mr. Moskowitz said that if the proposed law included Costco (which is in a C-3 zone), then it would constitute a segmentation violation of the SEQRA law. He said that under the current zoning, Costco was required to provided 755 spaces for its planned 151,000 square foot building but that the current site plan called for 610 spaces, which was based on the applicant getting a variance to the parking requirements. He suggested that either the parking law be postponed until after the Planning Board completed its SEQRA review, or it eliminate the C-3 zone from the law.
Supervisor Grace said that the Costco plan had nothing to do with the provision reduction in the parking requirements. A discussion ensured on how to deal with the Costco issue and although the town attorney said that any change specifically dealing with the elimination of a zone, or the elimination of a specific application would constitute a ‘substantial” change in the law and would require a new law to be advertised, the Board went ahead and unanimously agreed to amend the proposed law to add language specifically eliminating Costco from its requirements.
7. Informational meeting on fluoridation
The Board voted to advertise a public information meeting for January 22, 2013 to get public input on whether the Town should continue adding fluoride to its water supply. During the second Courtesy of the Floor, a dentist spoke in favor of fluoride and the need for the Town to be guided by scientific information. Councilman Paganelli suggested that the public could get information from Google.
8. Selected resolutions
The Board passed a series of organizational resolutions. Copies of the resolutions are available on the Town’s web site.