November 29, 2013
“Advice of counsel and personnel”
1. Cording Road/paving town easement
(See October 8, 2013). The Board heard from both homeowners; the one who wants to pave the 250 foot easement and the other who objects to it. After urging the homeowners to work out their differences, the Board agreed to a compromise that will allow only half the easement to be paved and will require that the paving meet certain town specifications and that the work be inspected by town staff. Supervisor Grace expressed concern that the paving estimate the homeowner has received will not be adequate to do a proper job and explained that because the easement is on town property, the town would be liable if and when the paving fell into disrepair. He cautioned the homeowners not to do the job “on the cheap.”
2. North County Trailway
In a discussion that was not clear to those in the audience, the Board appeared to be discussing the renewal of a permit the town has from the state DOT for a parcel of land between Patriot Garden and the Skate Park. It appeared that the Board said that nothing should be done and that the Town wanted to continue to have access to the land.
3. State Land rezoning request
The discussion focused on the future disposition of the rear 70 acres and how that future use should be treated in both the rezoning resolution and the companion SEQRA Findings Statement. The applicant was not willing to voluntarily agree to donate the 70 acres to the town as a condition of rezoning and legally the town could not mandate the donation.
During the discussion Councilman Bianco stated that he supported the rezoning of the lower portion of the property but expressed concern about how best to protect the upper portion, especially if the property was sold after it was rezoned and the new owner wasn’t bound by any previous understandings. He pointed out that the SEQRA Environmental Assessment Form (EAF) clearly stated that the rear 70 acres of the site was to be left as open space. If we’re going to rezone the site, he said, let’s do it the right way.
After Mr. Capellini stated that his client was willing to modify the rezoning application to apply only to the lower portion of the 100 acre parcel, the Board reviewed two alternative scenarios for where the rezoning line would be. Ultimately, the applicant and Board agreed to a line that will rezone approximately 50 acres and will include the proposed right of way for a future Bear Mountain Parkway extension. (According to the EAF, the commercial development would disturb approximately 28 acres.)
Bruce Barber explained that while the rezoning resolution could not include certain conditions, because the accompanying Findings Statement will be based on the hypothetical site plan that was studied in the Environmental Assessment Form (EAF), there will be certain constraints on any future “real” site plan submission and that if a future site plan did not conform to the EAF, then the SEQA findings could be rescinded and a new EAF would have to be done. One such constraint would be that a maximum of 240,000 sq ft could be built on the site.
Supervisor Grace stated that while he did not want to see any development on the environmentally sensitive rear portion of the site, he wasn’t sure if the town should eventually acquire the land or have an easement placed on the land. He also said he hoped the applicant would change his mind and voluntarily agree to have the site included in the Sylvan Glen Forest Management Study and also that as part of any future site plan approval process, it was his hope that the applicant would do some mitigation on the rear portion of the site. Mr. Capellini indicated that the applicant would now participate in the study.
Staff will work on the wording of the rezoning resolution and Findings Statement and the Board anticipates a vote at the December 17 meeting.
4. Capital projects
Supervisor Grace said he has “tightened up” the wish list of potential projects and wants the Board to agree to a list of the projects with the highest priority. With the last payment on the pool bond scheduled for 2015, he said the town should start planning now for new projects that could be bonded in either 2015 (with a one year overlap of payments) or 2016. Councilman Murphy said the Board should figure out how much it wants to bond (the expense of debt service) and then see what projects fit into that amount.
The Supervisor said he would like to resolve the issue by the end of the year and it was suggested that the Board set aside a special work session in December, possibly in the afternoon, devoted exclusively to capital projects.
(Observer’s note: a list of projects suggested by the Supervisor can be found on page 174 of the Supervisor’s Tentative 2014 Budget that’s online at www.yorktownny.org.)
5. YCCC Rents
The brief discussion was not heard by the audience. However, after the meeting, the observer was told that the gist of the discussion was that the Board needs a policy on the rents it charges.
6. Foreclosure auction
Town Attorney Koster advised the Board that there was a bidding war over one parcel, that she has had interest in two other parcels and that she is in the process of getting clear title on two other parcels.
7. Selected resolutions
Without any discussion the Board unanimously passed the following resolutions
a. Allowing ribbons on trees in May, 2014 in support of National Alliance on Mental Illness
b. Reappoitned Frank McVetty to the Cable Committee
c. Authorized a traffic study for Fieldstone Manor subdivision (the applicant pays the cost).
d. Authorized taking an additional $2,000 from the Parks and Recreation Trust and Agency Fund. (observer’s note: the funds will be for the fencing at the dog park as the fencing bid came in higher than anticipated in an earlier resolution.)
Note: The agenda also included a discussion with the building inspector and the town attorney about amending the zoning code. It was not clear if this discussin took place during the closed session. The observer did not hear any discussion during the open portion of the meeting.