Citizens for an Informed Yorktown


Town Board

May 24, 2016




To discuss personnel





Environmental Consultant Bruce Barber reviewed the highlights of the town’s annual stormwater report.  A copy of the report will be posted on the town’s web site,


Commenting on the report, Ken Belfer, head of the Mohegan Lake Improvement District, asked about efforts to control geese. In response, Mr. Barber noted that they are a protected species and that do date, no effective means of control have been found. When it was suggested that fake coyote signs be posted, Mr. Belfer said that the geese at the lake had knocked them down. He said MLID is exploring a strategy that has helped reduce the geese population on Lake Waccabuc: when nests are found, the eggs are covered with oil to prevent them from hatching. When they fail to hatch, the adult geese move on to other locations.


2. Front Street Properties (Rezoning)

The discussion involved the future development of six contiguous small residentially zoned parcels along Front Street: 2 owned by Paul Labriola and 4 by Mr. Roberta. It was explained that Mr. Roberta reached out to Mr. Labriola so that any development plan involving both owners could be coordinated.  A key part of the discussion and the development of any future site plans involves the ownership and disposition of a paper road, the extension of Edgewood Street.  The town has hired a title company to research the ownership of the paper road; it is assumed that the road was laid out in the 1920s as part of a subdivision.


Mr. Labriola advised the board that his general plan was to construct a butler building style 3-car garage, but that he cannot do a site plan until the ownership and disposition of the paper road is resolved.  (If the town can acquire ownership, it could make the land available to Mr. Labriola – Supervisor Grace used the word “swap” but did not elaborate – which would enable Mr. Labriola to move any future building to the front of the parcel, creating a larger buffer for the residential properties to the rear along Summit St. Mr. Grace also advised him that the town would likely want something more aesthetic than a metal butler building.


No new plans were presented for the four Roberta parcels. However, in a brief discussion, the supervisor again supported having the parcels rezoned for a transitional zone (instead of a commercial or industrial zoning designation) which would give the Town Board approval authority and where all the site plan issues and uses would be custom designed.  Mr. Roberta indicated that his rezoning application was complete and ready to be submitted.


3. Proposed Zoning Code change /amending definition of home occupations

Mr. McDermott explained that the only change in the definition would add the word “federal” to the sentence that says that any use requiring a town, county or state license or permit is not considered a home occupation. He explained that the genesis for the change was an inquiry to the town whether a homeowner could sell firearms from his house. Mr. McDermott explained that this was regulated by the federal government.


The board referred out the draft law and set a public hearing for June 21.


4. Proposed Zoning Code change/private and parochial schools and helistops

Where the current code refers to “elementary schools and high schools,” the amendment would add, “and any combination thereof.” Mr. McDermott explained that the change provides greater flexibility as to how schools are organized these days. A second change shifts approval authority for special permits to the Planning Board from the ZBA.


The helistop amendment would allow helistops, currently only permitted in OB zones (IBM) to be allowed as an accessory use by special permit in two large lot residential zones if the property consists of at least 25 or more contiguous acres.  Approval would also be transferred to the Planning Board.


The board referred out the draft law and set a public hearing for June 21.


5. Proposed Local Law/Blasting Chapter

The amendment would increase the amount of insurance required as a condition of being issued a permit. The board referred out the draft law and set a public hearing for June 21.


6. Proposed Local Law/Littering

Already scheduled for a public hearing for June 21, the amendment deals with the definitions of owner and lessee. As explained by Mr. McDermott, if car is leased, then notice would go to the company that owns the vehicle who would in turn let the town know who the car was leased to.  Mr. McDermott also explained that based on how the cameras were used in other municipalities, in the event the camera did not get a clear picture of the license plate – but did get a picture of the person dumping – the photo could be posted on the town’s web site  with text asking viewers if they could identify the person.   He also suggested that in addition to the “real” cameras, fake ones to installed in order to deter would be dumpsters.


7. Proposed Dumpster Law

In an item not on the agenda, Councilman Bernard suggested that based on initial feedback regarding procedural issues in the proposed law, the board might want to have another work session discussion before proceeding to a public hearing. In response, Supervisor Grace said that these issues could be dealt with as comments during the hearing and Town Clerk Quast reminded the board that the public hearing has already been scheduled for June 7 – and that there would not be a work session before that.


8. Proposed Local Law/Quality of Life Committee

In an item not on the agenda, Mr. McDermott presented a draft local law that would create a new “Quality of Life Committee.” He explained that the Committee would be a vehicle where residents could bring concerns and complaints and that the Committee could shepherd the issues through the town, adding that the Committee would bring government “closer to the people” and get them more engaged.  


The Committee would be composed of a councilman (who would be the chairman), and one representative each from the police department and a public service organization,  e.g., Lions or Chamber,  the town’s code enforcement officer and one member of the public.


Responding to the proposal, Councilman Diana said the Committee would give residents a vehicle to do more than just complain and Councilman Bernard commented: “Does that mean we can do away with Courtesy of the Floor?” Which prompted the response from Supervisor Grace: “You struck gold.”


It was explained that the Committee could be established either by resolution or a local law. Supervisor Grace asked Mr. McDermott to set out the pros and cons of both approaches, but added that a resolution gave the board more flexibility to make changes.  However, as Mr. McDermott has already drafted a local law, the board set a public hearing for July 5.


9. Miscellaneous resolutions

The board waived the YCCC rental fee for the Teen Center ($80.33) and Relay for Life ($612.35).


NOTE: For copies of all the above referenced local laws, check with the town web site,, under the heading “pending legislation.”


NOTE:  Due to the federal primary election, there will be no Town Board meeting on June 28.