Personnel: Highway and Town Clerk’s office
Engineering: pump station upgrade project and professional services agreement for plant flow increase
Litigation and negotiation: Town Attorney
1. Pan Bar Realty, Aspen Road
(See Planning Board 4/8/2019.) The building inspector has concurred with the Planning Department and town attorney that the applicant needs a variance from the ZBA before the Town Board can act on excavation and tree permits because that portion of Aspen Rd is only a paper road. Councilwoman Roker suggested that the board make a site visit. The applicant was asked to mark the trees that would be cut and to stack out the corner of the proposed house, i.e., the area where the grading will have to take place. Holding a public hearing for both permits is discretionaory.
2. Proposed solar law
(Click here for copy of proposed law.)
The town attorney explained some of the provisions of the proposed law that would affect homeowners adding solar installations to their roofs or yards as well as large scale installations. He said the proposed law does not include a requirement for a bond because it would be difficult to hold a bond forever, although he would amend the law to require a decommissioning bond to assure that all equipment on the site was removed when a facility is decommissioned. . Explaining that state law makes large scale solar installations tax exempt, he said he would prepare a supplemental local law, modeled after a state template, that would allow the town to enter into a maximum 15 year PILOT (payment in lieu of taxes) agreement for any such facilities.
Noting that since the planning director had been working on both the solar law and tree law, Supervisor Gilbert said he assumed that the two laws would not be in conflict and he asked Linda Miller, a member of the Tree Committee that has been preparing a revised draft of the tree law, to respond whether that statement was accurate. In response, Ms. Miller advised the board that the two laws were in conflict as the laws had different goals and intents; she explained that the goal of the tree law was to preserve trees while the solar law needed trees to be cut down in order to utilize the sun.
Mr. Abbate said there were some objections to solar farms in residential neighborhoods, but he agreed with Supervisor Gilbert who said that these concerns could be addressed by the Planning Board that would be the approval authority for the special permit.
3. Proposed new Tree law
Although not on the agenda, during the discussion of the solar law, Councilwoman Roker acknowledged that the board had received a revised draft of the law prepared by the Tree Committee and that it was being sent to the town attorney to put in local law format. Linda Miller, a member of the Committee, explained that the law was in a final form and that since the chairmen of the key advisory boards participated in drafting the law along with the Planning and Engineering Departments, she anticipated minimal comments on the final draft from those boards. She also reminded the board that simultaneous with the tree law, the board had to adopt amendments to the stormwater and wetlands laws.
4. Meeting cancellation
The board agreed to cancel its scheduled June 4 meeting as several members had conflicts for that date.
5. Future public hearings
After some discussion, the board decided that it will advertise (at a future meeting) public hearings for the following:
June 11: wetland permit hearings originally scheduled for the June 4 meeting that was cancelled
June 18: Con Ed wetlands permit, and 2 stormwater permits
July 2: Tree, Stormwater, Wetland, and Solar Laws
July 16: Landmarks Preservation Law and Energize New York Law
6. Code enforcement issues
In an item not on the agenda, Councilman Diana asked the board to have the code inspector and building inspector come to a work session to discuss ongoing code enforcement issues in Shrub Oak, including the boarded up building at the Acme shopping center, the Getty station at Route 132 which had a spill and for which a violation notice has been issued, Mohegan Auto & Tire and another building on East Main Street (Adbush ??) that has been a long standing problem.
The Mohegan Auto & Tire issue involved compliance with the conditions of an earlier site plan approval. Councilman Diana said that the owner was having issues with town advisory boards and the Gulf Corporation over the sign issues. In response to the unresolved Mohegan Auto & Tire issues, Councilwoman Roker suggested that there should be an online system for tracking applications before existing advisory boards and also that when site plan approvals include specific conditions, there should be a timetable specifying when the conditions must be met.
Councilwoman Roker also commented that as the code inspector works for the town, he should have been communicating with the entire board and not just Councilman Diana.
The board also briefly discussed two other options for dealing with blighted properties: an idea from Greenburgh Supervisor Finer to have the state pass an “eyesore” tax and state law that would not permit tax certiorari reductions on the grounds that a building is blighted.
Councilman Diana also wanted to owner of lease for the Shallow Creek Golf Course to return to the board for an update. Supervisor Gilbert advised the board the leasee has worked out issues with the building department about the need for inspections as various stages of the construction work and Town Clerk Quast, who is also the chairperson of the Recreation Commission advised the board that the leasee is working with the Tree Commission on mitigation (Note: trees were cut down without a permit or plan.)
7. Selected resolutions
Bridge & culvert consultant. Authorized the supervisor to sign an agreement with WSP to provide on-call inspection services for the town’s bridges and culverts at the firm’s normal hourly rate but not to exceed $10,000. The money will come from the contingency line of the general fund.
Councilwoman Roker said she wanted a report on exactly what work the consultant had done last year and what may be needed this year. It was noted that the DEC recently issued a “red flag” condition for a culvert on Old Kitchawan Road. Supervisor Gilbert sad the town was aware of the problem.
Cemetery at The Community Church. The board approved an agreement between the Shrub Oak International School and the Community Church of Yorktown to have a student intern map and clean the cemetery. The $350 cost will be paid from the Landmark Preservation Trust Account.