July 18, 2017
Absent: Councilman Lachterman
1. Road Paving
Highway Superintendent Paganelli made a presentation explaining how roads were selected for paving this year and why different paving systems will be used for different roads. Criteria included, length, condition, speed, safety and areas of town. He said that this year, because they had been neglected in the past, many streets in the southern and northern part of town in Jefferson Valley would be paved.
He explained that the town has 203 miles of roads (or 406 miles when both lanes are taken into account) and that the life span of paving is between 12-15 years. How often a road will be paved depends on the amount of money made available. Paving funds come mostly from the town with some from the state. He explained that he also has arranged with Con Ed that when they have to dig up a portion of a road, they will either repave large swaths of the road or give the town an equivalent sum of money and the town will do it. He anticipated that this would happen on Gomer Street and Granite Springs Road. Also, streets that might be sewered in the near future would not be paved now, even though the list of streets to be sewered is still not definite.
This year, the Town Board has allocated $1.650 M for paving, with $1.4M coming from the fund balance. If the Board continues to use fund balance to pay for paving while not depleting the fund balance, he said, the number of years between paving jobs could be shortened.
The board voted to appoint a new building inspector and a deputy superintendent for Parks & Recreation.
Three residents were appointed to the Senior Advisory Committee.
3. Granite Knolls Sports Complex
After declaring itself lead agency, the board voted 3-1, with Councilman Patel voting no, on 4 resolutions relating to the project. (Councilcman Lachterman was not at the meeting.)
1.For SEQRA, a negative declaration and the approval of the project’s plan, wetlands and stormwater permits.
2. A construction agreement with Algonquin. The company will give the town $3,850M to allow the company to replace the existing pipeline that runs through several town owned parcels, including Legacy Fields and Willow Park.
3. A side agreement to allow Algonquin. The company will give the town $250,000 in exchange for permission to use certain land as temporary work space.
4. Authorizing the supervisor to file an Order of Taking in the amount of $500,000 in what the supervisor described as a settlement for the “friendly” eminent domain lawsuit.
Supervisor Grace said he anticipates awarding the $3.8M bid for phase I of the project (the earthwork part) next week. In addition to the $4.6 M he said would be available from Spectra, about $800,000 would be left for the town to pay, adding that the $1.5M from Spectra’s 2015 payment would also be available to pay for phase 2 expenses that the town would have to pay for.
At the beginning of the meeting, Councilman Patel read a statement explaining his support for the project but that he would not vote for the resolutions on the agenda until he had more information about what the project would cost, the extent of the Enbridge (aka Spectra) contribution and how the lawsuit that had been filed against the town the previous week impacted the project and its financing. He also said that the board had never reviewed the site plan for the project.
During Courtesy of the Floor, Walt Daniels, speaking for the Advisory Committee on Open Space, stated that if the $500,000 lawsuit settlement involved alienation of parkland, then the $500,000 should be used to acquire additional parkland. In response, Supervisor Grace initially said that the agreement didn’t include any loss of parkland, but then said that a “small” amount of parkland would be lost.
Also during Courtesy, Ilan Gilbert expressed concern that the public was not being told the full cost of the project, noting that the $3.8 M bid was only for “dirt fields.” In response Supervisor Grace repeated that the town is to receive an additional $800,000 from Spectra that will be used for the expenses not covered by the bid.
4. Tompkins Garage/special use permit
(See Town Board, 6-20-2017.) The board approved the permit.
5. Local law on public notification/public hearing
(See Town Board 5-23-2017 and 3-28-2017.) The board opened the hearing and Town Attorney McDermott explained that the reason for the change from certified mail to first class mail with proof of purchase was to reduce the cost to applicants. In response to questions from former Town Clerk Alice Roker about how proof of the mailing was to be provided, Mr. McDermott explained that USPS can provide proof that the letters were sent for a $1.00 fee.
The hearing was closed and the change adopted.
6. Front Street Rezoning/Public hearing
Joe Riina of Site Design Consultants explained the plan. Wade Hoyt, a resident from Summit Street to the rear of the property raised questions about the size of the buffer zone at the rear of the property that had been reduced to 2-3 feet from an earlier plan that had a 10 foot buffer. He was also concerned that the trash receptacles were too close to the residential properties, and that the driveway loop to the second floor apartments was too steep. He also said that the property owner had cleared trees on the site two years and then did nothing, creating an eyesore. Mel Tanzman advised the board that while he supported the concept of the apartments above the stores, the slope of the loop driveway would not meet ADA requirements. Susan Siegel, the person writing this summary, asked the board, or the planning director to explain why the site could not have been rezoned to the existing commercial zone that allowed for apartments above stores and would have been approved by the Planning Board, instead of the proposed transitional zone that allowed the Town Board, as the approval authority, to approve a project without any preset standards.
With Supervisor Grace and Councilman Bernard noting that many details of the site plan still to be worked out, the board adjourned the hearing pending additional review by the Planning Board which acts only in an advisory capacity to the Town Board on transitional zone rezoning and site plan applications.
7. Harwood Place Rezoning/public hearing
(See Town Board, 5-9-2017.) The hearing was opened and closed. There were no comments from the public. A decision is expected at a future meeting.
8. 712 Kitchawan Road Rezoning/public hearing
Mr. Lee Pollack, the homeowner who lives across Route 134, stated he opposed the rezoning that would have a negative impact on the residential neighborhood. While he acknowledged that the transitional zone was more appropriate/acceptable than the office zone, he stated that the parcel does not meet the requirements for the transitional zone and that the property can be developed based on its existing residential zone. He said that approving the transitional zone would create a “slippery slope” that was not appropriate for the area’s bucolic setting. However, in the event that the board did proceed with the transitional zone, he urged the board to impose conditions.
Other residents noted that the commercial use of the site was not in keeping with the Comprehensive Plan and the history of how much of the land along Route 134 had been donated and developed.
The hearing was adjourned and Supervisor Grace indicated that he would invite the neighboring property owners to a future work session discussion at which time it might be possible to address both the concerns of the neighbors and the applicant. He added that previous prospective buyers had looked at purchasing the site for houses but that they wanted a density that reflected the previous commercial use and that the requested density was unacceptable.
9. Village Traditions, East Main Street, Mohegan Lake/Rezoning Public Hearing
Supervisor Grace opened the hearings. There were no comments from the public. Mr. Tegeder explained the reason for the rezoning and the proposed connection to the adjoining property. After stating that he had some concerns over the application, the board voted to adjourn the hearing.
10. Sober Living Residence/Public hearing on revoking the special use permit
Town Attorney McDermott explained that the issue that was the subject of the public hearing was whether the owners had met the condition in the 2015 permit that said that the town had to be notified when there was a change in ownership and that the new owner had to apply for a new permit within 30 days. Noting that the property changed ownership in May, 2017 and that the condition had not been met, he said that there were grounds to revoke the permit.
The attorney for the sober house argued that since the original owners, Mr. McCrossan and Mr. McGoldrick, were going to be operators of the facility and that the new owners were experienced operators of similar facilities, the condition had been met. He argued that the board was proposing to revoke the permit because of neighborhood opposition in an election year, adding that revoking the permit would violate the Fair Housing Law an the American With Disabilities Act.
While Supervisor Grace commented on the differences between operating the facility as a family and the apparent shift to a commercial operation and called the issue a “land use issue,” the town attorney brought the issue back to whether the condition of the permit had been followed. The attorney added that adding the names of the original owners to the deed would not correct the situation.
A resident who is also a lawyer and who had been involved in the drafting and review of the original conditions supported the legal basis for the town’s actions. The parents of the young man who resided at the facility and died from a drug overdose spoke about the problems associated with sober houses that did not have to comply with any standards or regulations.
The hearing was closed and there was a unanimous vote to revoke the permit.
11. Miscellaneous Resolutions
The board modified a 2009 policy that banned the use of pesticides and herbicides on town owned property to allow them to be used on sidewalks and curbs.
(See Town Board 7-11-2017.) The board voted to issue a Request for Proposals for the mobile stage. Councilman Diana aid the Chamber of Commerce has said it would donate $5,000 towards the cost and Supervisor Grace said that others were interested in contributing funds towards the purchase.
Approved an agreement with WSP USA for $36,900 to study and design culverts on on Old Crompond Road and Old Kitchawan Road in order to have shovel ready projects for the next round of state grant funding.