June 13, 2017
Personnel and litigation
1. Sears/Jefferson Valley Mall
Washington Prime, the owners of the mall announced the following proposed changes:
New entrance from Route 6: The DOT has given the company conceptual approval for an entrance road into the site from Route 6. The new road will link up to the existing ring road around the mall which will then be dedicated to the town. Planning Director Tegeder questioned how the berm along Route 6 that has already been lowered might be modified even more to accommodate the new entrance from Route 6. The applicant said that some changes will be needed to assure proper site distance but no specifics were available. Mr. Tegeder noted that the view from Route 6 should be of the buildings, not the parking lot.
2. New retail pad: The unused portion of the parking lot in the northeast corner will be developed into a pad for more retail stores. No details or site plan was available.
3. The Sears building, now owned by Seritage, will be reconfigured. Sears will relocate its operation to the second floor, and the first floor, with a 5,000 SF addition in the area of the merchandise pick up will be split into 3 separate spaces, each with its own entrance. The largest space will be for a 24 hour fitness center that is close to having a lease. (The name Planet Fitness was heard, but the CI^Y observer isn’t confirming that this is the possible tenant.) No other tenants were not identified for the other two spaces; the Seritage representative said that a lease needed to be signed for the fitness space in order to attract the other two users. The Sears auto center on the second floor will be converted into a restaurant.
While supporting the repurposing of the Sears site and in general supportive of the overall plan, Supervisor Grace expressed concern that the proposed fitness center, that would include a pool, sauna, basketball and cardio facilities, would compete with Club Fit on the northern side of Route 6. He noted that Club Fit was a family owned business with strong ties to the community. (It was not clear if Seritage was aware of Club Fit’s proximity.) Councilman Bernard disagreed with the supervisor , noting that the two facilities served very different clientele.
The company agreed to have a representative of the fitness center make a presentation to the board at a future meeting.
Signage: There was a brief discussion about some of the entrance signs to the site on Lee and Hill Blvds.
2. Harwood Place rezoning
(See Town Board, 5/9/2017.) Without any discussion, a public hearing on the rezoning was set for July 18.
3. 702 Saw Mil River Road (Route 129) rezoning request
(See Town Board, 2/7/2017 and Planning Board review.) The owner of the adjacent 714 Saw Mill River Rd property wants to buy 702 but wants it rezoned from country commercial to residential so that he can develop the site only for residential use. Mr. Tegeder explained that the country commercial was created several years ago to accommodate pre-existing sites such as Jennifer’s restaurant, Tompkins Garage and the Corner Deli where the commercial uses existed in otherwise residential zones. After some discussion, he suggested that instead of rezoning the property to residential, the town amend the zoning code for county commercial allowing a special permit for just residential use. In that way, the property owner retains the flexibility to switch between a mixed use or all residential use in the future. The board agreed with the concept and directed the town attorney to draw up the required legislation. Once the board amends the zoning code, an actual application for the special permit can be filed.
4. 712 Kitchawan Road (Route 134) Rezoning request
The applicant advised the board that the county okayed the maintenance for the easement to the Kitchawan Preserve and waived its right of first refusal. The applicant will amend his request to reflect the consensus that a transitional zone, as opposed to a straight out office zone, is preferred. As the rezoning will reflect the proposed site plan, Supervisor Grace advised the applicant to consider future needs before finalizing the site plan. A public hearing is scheduled for July 18.
5. 1821 East Main Street, Mohegan Lake, rezoning request
Pursuant to discussions at the Planning Board, the board scheduled a public hearing on July 18 for rezoning the property from the “O” office zone to country commercial to accommodate the mixed use. While the applicant advised the board that the neighbors were supportive of his project, Councilman Bernard anticipated opposition to the rezoning from the neighbors who opposed the RPG rezoning on Lexington Ave.
As a side issue, the board was advised that the Cipriano property next door that has been in discussion with the DEC will be on the next Planning Board agenda.
6. FOA & Son Insurance Agency
A presentation was made by insurance broker R. J. Impastato to serve as a consultant to the town on how it purchases its onsurances polices and the selection of companies. He explained that if the town did an RFP process, the competition would likely result in lower premiums; he said he had been in contact with some insurance companies who said they would like to quote but have never been asked. He said his fee would be based on a percentage of the savings the town realized; if no savings, then he wouldn’t get paid. Supervisor Grace advised Mr. Impastato to submit a written proposal that will be reviewed by the attorney.
7. Amazon Park Community Building
The board okayed the expenditure of $30,580 from the special park district fund to update its existing 1,400 Sf building.
8. Granite Knolls Sports Complex
Joe Riina of Site Design Consultants explained that Bruce Barber will be working with him to prepare the SEQRA documents and mitigation plans for the project. They discussed the general parameters of the mitigation plan (7 small wetland areas totaling 8/10 of an acre will be disturbed, plus tree removal) that will include removing invasives and general “cleaning up” of the area abutting Stoney Street. Supervisor Grace said he wanted the mitigation plan to show what could be done under the tree law and that the town should serve as an example.
The bid deadline for the project have been extended to June 26. The supervisor explained that the bid specs included two options for access to the site: a new road from Stoney Street and shared use of the driveway with the autistic school; based on information he has received so far he said the savings from the shared road option was only 10% so he’s opted to go with the town’s own new access road.
When Mr. Riina explained that that a public hearing was needed for a DEP submission, the board voted to schedule the hearing on the SEQ$RA portion of the application at the July 11 work session because there will not be a board meeting on Tuesday, July 4 and waiting until July 18 would be too late.
9. Open Space acquisition
Supervisor Grace reported that the owners of the 18 acre Boniello property want $230,000; the owner of the 22 acre Sullivan property abutting Turkey Mountain wants $200,000. The town has forwarded this information to the Westchester Land Trust for further negotiations for a possible package deal. Speaking for the Advisory Committee on Open Space, Walt Daniels said that both parcels had value; Supervisor Grace said he was more interested in the Boniello property because of its location as the “hole in the donut” between Granite Knolls and Sylvan Glen.
10. Hallocks Mill Sewers
The town authorized the submission of a grant application for the two Hallocks Mill pump stations under the NYS Water Infrastructure Improvement Act.
11. Parkland alienation, Illington Road
(See Town Board 4/11/2016.) The board voted to move the process forward on the parkland alienation documents needed to sell this cemetery parcel to the Saunders family. When Town Clerk Quast advised the board that a public hearing was necessary, Supervisor Grace said one had already been held.
12. Sober House, Underhill Avenue
The board set a July 18 hearing to revoke the special permit for the sober house.