May 26, 2020
1. Water safety
The owner of Goldfish Swim Schools discussed the need for safety at home pools.
2. Battery Storage Facilities
Mr. Tegeder advised the board that after discussions with the Climate Smart Communities Task Force over the issue of allowing the facilities in residential zones, he has drafted changes to the proposed law that would set maximum sizes for the facilities depending on the size of the residential parcel. Size would be limited to 15% of the parcel or 33,000 square feet, whichever was less. And size would include the actual storage batteries and the required amount of cleared land surrounding the batteries. The restrictions would limit a facility on one acre to 6,5000 sf, the size, Mr. Tegeder explained was what was being proposed for Gomer Court. The 33,000 sf limit would kick in on parcels over five acres.
In response to a question from Councilwoman Roker, Swarnov Pjuari, chairman of the CSC, explained why it was important to permit the facilities in residentially zoned properties. He said they were needed for quality of life and environmental reasons and also to prevent brownouts.
The board will hold a public hearing on the proposed law on June 16.
3. Solar permitting
In brief comments, Mr. Tegeder said he expected to send a revised solar law to the board in the coming weeks. Without going into any detail, he said that the next submission would include some technical modifications to the previous draft law.
4. IBM Solar Project
(See Town Board, 3-10-2020.) In order to help IBM meet certain NYSERDA deadlines for its incentive program, the board adopted a resolution exempting the project from the SEQRA process as a Type II project.
5. Sunrise Solar Solutions
The company is proposing to lease the air space above the parking lot at Granite Knolls to construct a solar facility. The company would initially pay the town $60,000 a year; under the terms of a proposed contract, the air rights would be leased for 25 years, with the possibility of two five year extensions and a 1.25% yearly payment increase. The developer met with the Recreation Commission last September but Supervisor Slater said that he only heard about the proposal five days prior to the meeting. As part of the project, the company would pave the existing parking lot.
The facility would be a community type system and Yorktown residents in the Con Ed district would be able to subscribe and receive a 10% discount on their Con Ed bills. The discount would also apply to the town’s Con Ed bill.
Because the site is designated parkland, the town would have to get permission from the state legislature to alienate the property. Given the legislature’s schedule and the deadlines for submitting bills, this could become a timing issue, but Supervisor Slater said he has been in touch with our state representatives. The company explained that it is facing time constraints but it was not clear what would happen if the alienation bill had to wait until next year.
The company said it was interested into entering an option agreement with the town while it worked out details of an agreement with Con Ed and did further site planning for the project.
Matt Talbert of the Rec Commission advised the board that the Commission had some questions, including whether the solar panels could be installed in the winter so as not to disturb the park once the season opens; how the eventual decommissioning would be funded; and whether the plan included any battery storage. The company said that it currently had no plans to add a battery storage component to the solar system.
The board had no problem with the concept and it was not clear how soon the board would be able to vote on an alienation home rule resolution. The Rec Commission is meeting on June 4 and may be discussing the plan.
Parks Superintendent Martorano wanted to know if the lease revenue would go towards the turf replacement fund; Supervisor Slater said no decisions had been made about this.
6. Weyant Development
As a follow up to the board’s January, 2020 discussion about making the units available either for rent or for sale, the applicant wanted some type of affirmation that it supported the for sale option before it started the costly paperwork involved in gong to the state attorney general’s office. The board voted 4-1 expressing its support. Councilman Patel voted no, explaining that he needed more information.
In a separate issue, Mr. Riina advised the board that the application is still before the DEP and that one sticky issue is the agency’s requirement for water quality treatment for runoff on a portion of the sidewalk along Route 202; he said the developer has no place to direct the water. Mr. Riina asked the town to talk to the DEP about this issue as the requirement would impact another pending project.
Mr. Riina also advised the board that the DEP was also reviewing stormwater issues involved in other aspects of the mini master plan but he thought that they might “give in” on that issue.
7. Featherbed subdivision/low pressure sewer system
Based on meetings with the county Department of Health, Mr. Quinn will work with the town attorney to prepare amendments to the town’s sewer code dealing with low pressure systems. There are still some unresolved issues.
As part of the discussion, it was understood that the amendments would also involve any future low pressure systems installed as part of the planned Hallocks Mill sewer extension project.
8. Madison Court stormwater & tree permits
(See Town Board, 5-19-2020.) Mr. Paganelli confirmed that a total of 19 trees had been cut down on the site: 8 by the owner prior to the current application and 11 by the applicant who said he thought he could cut them down once he sent the mitigation money to the town’s Tree Fund. He said he was willing to post a $1,000 bond to cover the cost of replanting trees if the project did not go forward within one year. Mr. Tegeder said there were some housekeeping details to work out that would be incorporated into an approval resolution to be voted on at a future meeting.
9. Nestle Water/Route 202
(See Planning Board, 5-18-2020.) The applicant explained that he has to vacate his current warehouse by the end of the month and requested a temporary CO. In a letter to the town, he outlined a series of outside issues that still needed to be addressed; some could be completed by the end of the week while others could take 45 days or longer for the condition that requires DOT approval. The building inspector will make a site visit on Wednesday to go over the checklist for the interior of the building.
The board voted to authorize the building inspector to issue the temporary CO if he was satisfied with what he saw on Wednesday. The TCO is good for 180 days and can be renewed for an additional 90 days.
10. Landmarks Preservation Commission
The board is supportive of the Commission’s request to change its name to the Heritage Commission, which it believes better represents the Commission’s scope of work. A local law changing the name will be referred out.
11. Historic Marker
In conjunction with the Landmarks Preservation Committee and a graduate of Yorktown High School who is currently a history teacher, the town will submit a grant to a foundation to fund a marker at the approximate location of the Andres Miller House on Old Crompond Road roughly behind the Town Line Motel. If awarded the grant, the foundation will pay the full cost of the plaque. The board voted to submit the application
12. Advisory Boards and Commission membership
(See Town Board 2-18-2020.) As a follow up to earlier discussion, at the board’s direction, the town attorney will prepare a draft law that would prohibit elected officials from serving as members of advisory boards or commissions. As explained by Councilman Lachterman who proposed the action, elected officials are a resource to the boards but the seats should be left open for other residents who can contribute other expertise and experience.
Councilwoman Roker did not agree with the proposed change but said he would have more to say on the issue at the public hearing.
In a related move, Highway Superintendent Paganelli said he will resign as a member of the Rec Commission, not because he can’t do two jobs, but because he didn’t want to be part of the bureaucracy. When asked by Councilman Lachterman whether he was willing to serve as liaison to the Commission, he said yes.
13. Selected resolutions
The board approved a tax certiorari settlement for 1450 Eat Main Street, Shrub Oak.