Citizens for an Informed Yorktown


Town Board

November 27, 2012



1. Unsafe structure, 1481 Maiden Lane

The issue remains whether the Town should spend the money to take down the structure and then put a lien on the property to recoup its costs. Supervisor Grace appeared concerned that the Town might not be able to get repaid from the bank or could force the bank to take down the structure. (There appears to be a reverse mortgage on the property.)  Town Clerk Roker raised the issue of whether, given the site’s proximity to the reservoir, a new house could be built on the property once the remains were removed. Town Attorney Koster said that all appropriate people/agencies had been notified about the Town’s intent to remove the structure.  At the Supervisor’s request, she retrieved the file from her office, and after reviewing the papers, the Supervisor said he would visit the site with the building inspector. No decision on how to proceed was made.


2. Knapp House

(See Town Board, 11/13/2012)

Although not on the agenda, the Board discussed emails it has received from Mr. deLaperouse requesting more time to record the historic nature of the structure.  Councilman Paganelli noted that there has been a lot of rhetoric about saving the structure but little action. Other Board members felt that the developer had been more than cooperative but that at this stage, “the horse was out of the barn.”


Planning Director Tegeder said that the effort to save the structure should have started long ago and that no one raised the issue about the possible historic value of the house during the early stages of the site plan review process. He advised the Board that the Town already has a database of historic properties and that what was needed was for the Landmarks Commission to come up with a policy and goals so that when an application to develop or change one of the properties is made, the historic nature of the structure can be part of the application’s initial review.


3. Boniello Subdivision (Route 202)

The property was rezoned in 1991 from R1-20 (half acre) to R2 (two family) to permit 12 units to be built. The parcel is located off Route 202. (The number of acres was not discussed.) As a condition of the rezoning, the property owner received a density bonus under the then existing affordable housing law that required a certain number of units to be sold at affordable prices. A second condition required the development to tie into the town’s sewer system. 


Because the moratorium on new hook ups to the sewage treatment plant is still in effect, and the density bonus law is no longer in force, the property  owner now wants to build one two family house on the property.


The legal issue was whether a 1991 rezoning was still valid if the property owner did not comply with some of the conditions in the rezoning application. 


It was the opinion of the town attorney that the rezoning to R2 was not valid because the conditions were not met. She recommended that the Board hold a new public hearing to clarify what the current zoning for the site should be.  Supervisor Grace thought that the R2 zone was in effect even if there is no current density bonus law and that the property owner could develop the site under the R2 zone.


Without reaching a decision, the Board decided to have the property owner attend a work session to discuss his plans for the site.


4. Bright Beginnings (YCCC rent)

For the third time, the Board discussed the request from the day care facility for a lower rent for 2013. (See October 23 and November 13 meeting notes.)


Councilman Bianco noted that “the rent is the rent” and both Councilman Murphy and Supervisor Grace felt that the $22.29/sq. ft. rent was less than existing commercial rental rates which were in the $25-$30/sq ft range – with the tenant paying utilities.  Supervisor Grace said that it was possible to negotiate different rents for different tenants and that he would meet with the owners of Bright Beginnings to discuss their 2013 rent.


As part of the discussion, it would noted that the Yorktown School District is leasing space in the French Hill School at below existing commercial rates  in direct competition with taxpayers who own commercial space.  Building Inspector Winter advised the Board that the courts have upheld the use of vacant school properties that are in transition and are being mothballed for commercial purposes.  He said that while the State Education Department is in charge of reviewing the renovation plans to accommodate the new tenants, his department is also looking into the plans.


5. Advertise for bids

The Board voted to advertise for bids for:

a. tree removal for large trees downed by Hurricane Sandy

b. copier machine maintenance

c. an ultraviolet lamps at the sewage treatment plant


6. Additional Board meeting set/ advertise public hearing

The Board voted to hold a regular board meeting on Tuesday, December 18 and also to hold a public hearing that day on proposed revisions to the zoning ordinance regarding parking requirements in commercial zones, including the JV Mall.  The meeting will include a “thank you” to members of the Town’s advisory boards.


7. Miscellaneous resolutions

a. Renewed the contract for outside labor council at a cost of $30,000 per year.

b. Approved a $6,000 budget transfer. (After some confusion as to what this was for, it was determined that it was for one of the Mohegan Lake park districts.)


Closed Session

Discussion of vacation benefits for department heads