Town Board

May 9, 2017


Closed Executive Session

Volunteer board discussion and contract negotitions


Open Session


1. Hyatt Burial Grounds, Route  132

Ed Pell and a decedent of the Travis family want the town to buy the 0.7 acre site across from Strang Blvd that includes the grave of John Hyatt, the founder of Yorktown, and eight other persons, one of which is a Travis. The property is currently owned by the Bernstein estate that is handled by a local attorney. Mr. Pell is willing to pay $1 for the property.  Supervisor Grace was very supportive of the idea and asked Mr. Pell to provide information about other historic cemeteries, including one on Hanover St.  (Later in the meeting, he asked the Superintendent of Parks and Recreation to check out both sites and see what type of clean up work needed to be done.) The supervisor directed the town attorney to contact the local attorney about title issues. Also a clean up and restoration budget needs to be developed.   While he said that the restoration of the old grave stones is not a public responsibility, the supervisor said something needs to be done to restore them.  Councilman Diana said that once the land belonged to the town, the boy scouts could do some of the clean up work.


2. Tompkins Garage, Route 129

(See Town Board 3/28/2017.)  Joe Riina from Site Design Consultants went over the proposed site plan, including the location and size of the new canopy. Supervisor Grace asked for some elevation drawings.  The application was referred out and a public hearing set for June 20.


3. The Weyant, Route 202

In a brief discussion, the applicant asked that the rezoning application be referred out.  The referral will include both plans. A public hearing was set for June 20 and the board declared its intent to be lead agency.   Supervisor Grace explained that while the alternative plan with access directly onto Route 202 was prepared in response to concerns from residents of Hamblyn Street, the original plan also needed to be considered in the event the DOT did not grant the Route 202 access. In response to comments from two Hamblyn Street residents, the supervisor defended the proposed plan stating that some properties are destined not to stay the same and that the proposed plan made for a smooth transition between existing different uses. He added that a lot of the neighbors’ concerns were hyperbole but that they’ll have an opportunity to bring them up at a series of meetings that will tweak the plan.


4.Harwood Place rezoning request

The existing building houses six apartments although it only has a legal Certificate of Occupancy for four units. The new owners are requesting a zone change from a two family zone to multi family so that the building can be made legal.  Even with the multi family zoning, the property will needs variances.  Attorney Al Capellini said that the zoning change would not change the character of the neighborhood and Councilman Lachterman added that the new owners have already done some work to fix up the property.  The application was referred out.


5. Yorktown Trail Town/Mohansic Trailway

(See Town Board, 11/22/2016.) Jane Daniels advised the board that the Yorktown Trail Town Committee (YTTC) was ready to begin work on the Trailway and was hoping that the board could approve everything in time for a joint Town/Friends of FDR/Yorktown Trail Town Committee event on June 3rd, National Trails Day. Ms. Daniels said the YTTC needed a resolution from the board authorizing $7,750 to supplement the two Hudson Valley Greenway grants. Most of the work will be done by volunteers; the highway department will also provide some assistance.  


While the engineer has reviewed the group’s application for a wetlands permit, Supervisor Grace said that the board needed to hold a hearing on the permit request as the Trailway is on town owned land and that neighbors had to be notified.  And although the town attorney said that there was no issue with the town having title to the old railroad right of way, the supervisor said he had to take a look at how the property was designated and whether it needed to be officially designated parkland. (In order for the trail to be maintained by the New York/New Jersey Trail Conference under the terms of the town’s existing Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Trail Conference, the Trailway will need to be designated parkland and added to the MOU.

Supervisor Grace said that the board supported the project but advised Ms. Daniels to return to the board on May 23 to make sure everything was in order before the June 6 public hearing. The wetlands permit application was referred out.


6. Zino’s Barn

Dale Saltzman explained that the existing barn on the site of the future Lowe’s consists of three sections with the middle section being of historic value and worth saving.  The estimated cost for dismantling and reassembling it at a new location is estimated at $54,000 and there are rumors that Breslin Realty and Lowe’s might each contribute $18,000 towards the cost.  Money aside, the major stumbling block appeared to be where the reassembled barn should be; possible locations included Downing Park, Railroad Station Park, Patriot Gardens, in front of the highway garage, and the DOT land at the intersection of Routes 118 and 100. All agreed that it didn’t make sense to dismantle the barn without having a firm decision to reassemble it someplace. Supervisor Grace rejected Downing Park because he said there were plans to build a senior center in the park and added that the old railroad station building would be rehabilitated by the summer. The highway garage site was ruled out because the board has other plans for the site. The board passed a resolution in support of the concept with future action, including a public hearing, settling on a location, and an allocation of funds remaining to be worked out.  


7. Front Street rezoning

Mr. Roberta and Joe Riina of Site Design Consultants presented a more formal plan based on Mr. Tegeder’s earlier drawing that calls for a 5,400 SF 2-story building with retail on the first floor and five 2-bedroom units on the second floor and a second 1-story, 2,100 SF retail/office building.   Supervisor Grace called the apartments market rate but affordable. He also called for the project to include streetscape features such as street lamps and street furniture in line with what has been done on Commerce Street.  Renderings on proposed buildings will be available at a public hearing set for July 18th.


In an aside, when the Supervisor asked Mr. Roberta about the status of his plans for his Lake Osceola property, Mr. Roberta responded; one project at a time.   Councilman Bernard commented on the “shoddy” appearance of the area and the supervisor indicated that the redevelopment of the beach site would be an incentive for the other property owners to upgrade their sites.  Mr. Tegeder said he still supported a mixed use concept for the site.


8. Sparkle Lake Dam

Mr. Quinn advised the board that as part of the DEC requirements related to the dam that is classified as a “Class C high hazard” dam,  he has prepared a required emergency action plan in the event there is a dam failure.  As part of the plan the town will be conducting a training session and a drill. The details of the emergency action plan will be posted on the town’s web site. 


9. Tree Ordinance

A public hearing has been set for July 13 on an amendment to the current law that would eliminate the exemption of town owned land from the law.


10. Master Fee Schedule

(See Town Board 3/28/2017.) The board set June 6 for a public hearing and referred out the proposed law. Mr. McDermott indicated that there are pros and cons for making any future fee changes either by resolution or local law.


11. Open Space acquisitions

(See Town Board 4/25/2017.) The board discussed two possible acquisitions: The Route 118 property as well as the Boniello property that lies between Sylvan Glen and Granite Knolls. Jane Daniels, speaking on behalf of the New York/New Jersey Trail Conference that maintains the town’s trails, said that both parcels were valuable and the top two priorities of the town’s Advisory Committee on Open Space (ACOS). Mr. Tegeder said that he had not had any recent contact with the Boniello family as to its interest in selling the property. Regarding the Route 118 property he said that while parts of the property would be difficult to develop, there were other parts that something could be done with.  Supervisor Grace held out the possibility that something could be worked out with the Westchester Land Trust for the possible acquisition of both parcels.  He said he would seek feedback from ACOS.


12. Hallocks Mill Sewer Extensions

Supervisor Grace said the next step was to hire an engineering consultant to begin developing the actual design plans to sewer the three priority areas.  He said the town could solicit design proposals but the job would like go to GHD, the firm that has done work on the sewer district in the past.   In response to a question, the supervisor said the board didn’t need to approval of 51% of the property owners slated to be sewered because they were already part of an established district. He added, though, that he’d walk the neighborhoods.


The supervisor also said he was looking into whether Birch Street (or some of the streets in the Birch Street neighborhood; it wasn’t clear) could be switched to the Peekskill sewer district and tied into the Chelsea pump station. He said this would provide additional capacity for other Hallocks Mill unsewered streets.  A resolution to seek engineering proposals may be on the board’s next meeting agenda.


13. Refund resolution/Mohegan Auto & Tire

The board voted to refund $1,500 to Mohegan Auto & Tire (formerly Hilltop Service Station) because when the town reviewed the applicant’s wetlands permit application it did not use the services of the town’s outside wetlands consultant; the review was done in house. It was not clear whether the town retained a $500 bond on the application.


14. Video Surveillance Cameras

The board voted to advertise a Request for Proposals (RFP) for surveillance cameras associated with the Litter Law it passed last year.


15. DARE program

The board approved an Intermunicipal Agreement (IMA) with Cortlandt to have a police officer handle the DARE program at Cooper Beach Middle School. On the suggestion of the police chief, the program will now be offered for 8th grade students instead of 5th graders, although there may be some materials made available for the latter grade.