Town Board Work Session
April 23, 2013
“To discuss litigation and advice of counsel”
1. Signage issues
a. Tea Temptations
The Board granted the business permission for a 90 day temporary sign so that passing motorists along Route 6 would become aware of the existence of the business. Supervisor Grace advised the owner to “do whatever you have to do” and “we’ll keep the sign police off your back.”
b. Underhill Plaza
The Board reviewed plans for a 12’ high by 8’ wide directory sign that would list the Plaza’s 18 tenants. The sign would be located on town owned land near the intersection of Commerce Street and Downing Drive. As presently designed, the sign does not meet Code requirements.
While Board members agreed that the existing recessed signs on the building were difficult for passing motorists to see, Supervisor Grace suggested as an alternative a lower, wider sign on a stone base, similar to the Mobil sign. Representatives of the sign company will consider a new design and return to the Board.
At the beginning of the discussion, Councilman Murphy stated that he owns one of the businesses in the Plaza.
c. Amendments to sign law
As part of both discussions, Supervisor Grace talked about the need to for a committee to review the Town’s current sign law. It was not clear whether members of the committee have been or will be appointed.
2. SCORE presentation
Three members of the Putnam/Northern Westchester chapter of SCORE, a nonprofit association whose retired (or still working) business owners and/or executives provide free counseling services to small businesses as well as people trying to open new business, explained their services to the Board and also asked if the Town could provide the organization with free space to meet clients for a few hours once a week. Supervisor Grace said he would check on room availability. He also talked about the formation of Yorktown Organizations United, the planned clearning house for all community groups.
3. Local law on Street Opening Permit Fee
Without any explanation, the Board said it would advertise this proposed local law up for a public hearing.
4. Mandalay Rezoning Request (Old Crompond Road)
Dan Ciarcia, the engineer for the proposed project, presented a new plan for a 20 acre mixed use development that involves 10 separate parcels off Old Crompond Road, just south of the proposed Costco . The site is currently zoned commercial and half acre residential. The plan includes what sounded like four retail buildings, each 8,000 sq. ft., 11 buildings each with six attached two family structures for a total of 132 units, and a 9,200 sq ft, 104 bed nursing home.
Given its location, Mr. Ciarcia said that the site, often referred to as the Bear Mountain Triangle, had always been considered for some type of mixed use. Also, given the fact the site was surrounded by commercial use, its current half acre residential zoning made no sense. While the Board agreed that some rezoning was appropriate, Councilman Bianco took strong exception to the proposed 132 residential units. (Each two family unit would consist of a 1,200 sq. ft one bedroom rental unit, and a two story, 2,400 sq. ft, two bedroom unit for the owner.) His concern was the likely increase in the number of children for the Yorktown School District and the impact this would have on school taxes. Councilman Paganelli calculated that the units could generate 237.6 children and that this potential impact had to be part of the Board’s consideration. Supervisor Grace said he had no problem with the additional children and suggested that the Town “not go down that kid thing” or consider multi family housing only if the occupants agreed to be sterilized.
When the subject of affordable housing come up, it was noted that this would not be an affordable project, although the current affordable housing law would require a certain number of the proposed 132 units be affordable. Supervisor Grace said he would repeal the law before that happened.
Councilman Paganelli said he liked the mixed use concept but wasn’t sure if it was viable. Councilman Bianco also questioned the viability of the mixed use concept but said he had no problem rezoning the area for commercial development. The applicant, however, said he didn’t think the site was marketable for any type of single tenant office use or a big box type of store; the contemplated retail use would be primarily to service the residential units. When Councilman Bianco suggested that the rezoning request be put on hold until the Town could assess the impact of Costco and Crompond Crossing, the applicant said that six parcels would become worthless if the owners waited and that they would lose money. Planning Director Tegeder noted that the plan was not truly a mixed use plan as the three proposed uses were in three distinct portions of the overall site.
When Supervisor Grace suggested that the Board vote to refer out the proposal, Ms. Roker advised the Board that the request could not be referred out until after a formal application had been filed and a fee paid. Councilman Paganellii wanted to be assured that once the application was referred out that its acceptance was not a foregone conclusion. Supervisor Grace responded that the application would have to undergo a SEQRA review that would include alternate uses for the site but that once the Town Board rezoned the site, the actual site plan would be approved by the Planning Board. Mr. Tegeder noted that there would have to be a “long and hard look” at the rezoning request to make sure the Board knew what it was getting once it approved the rezoning request so that there would be no big differences in the site plan after the rezoning was approved.
5. Selected resolutions
a. Fieldhome. The Board voted 4-0 with Supervisor Grace abstaining, for a resolution that involved aa payment of approximately $191.000 from the Fieldhome. The purpose of the payment was not disclosed.
(Note: CIY obtained a copy of the resolution after the meeting. The resolution states: "...it is in the Town’s best interest to receive and accept, and that the Town hereby accepts, $191,305 from Catharine Field Home as payment in full satisfaction of arrearages associated with the properties owned by Catharine Field Home or Field Home-Holy Comforter under the Agreement dated October 31, 2000 as amended on May 15, 2006 (the “PILOT”) from 2003 through the date hereof, provided that the Town receives such payment within 30 days, or no later than May 23, 2013.")
The following resolutions were passed unanimously.
b. to advertise a RFP for tax certiorari counsel
c. To approve a payment for benefits for an employee who resigned
d. For 2012 budget transfers to the Worker’s Compensation reserves
e. Reappoint Ingrid O’Sullivan as town prosecutor and increase her hourly rate to $110 from $100.
For interviews for the Zoning Board