Town Board

July 28, 2020


1. Yorktown for Justice Task Force

(See Town Board 7-7-2020.) Police Chief Noble and members of the task force discussed the town’s policing procedures and asked to be able to work with the department and the town to foster more racial diversity in the wake of the governor’s executive order that requites  police departments to review their policies. While the task force asked the town to begin a collaborative project now, Supervisor Slater advised members that it made more sense to wait until the state issues guidelines for the review. Chief Noble advised the group that Yorktown’s police department is one of only 30% of the states’ police departments that are certified.  The department, along with the town, are planning diversity training programs for staff.


2. Wetlands permit/public hearing/1215 Audra Court

The board opened and closed the hearing and voted to approve the permit subject to the conditions recommended by the Conservation Board dealing with replanting in the wetland buffer.  There were no public comments


3. Solar law/reconvened public hearing

Mr.Tegeder reviewed proposed changes to the law based on input from the public hearing.  Changes included requiring screening for ground installations, referring applications to the Tree Commission, provisions regarding carbon sequestration and requiring the minimum lot size in non residential zones to be the same as in the current zoning code.


The only person to speak at the hearing was Susan Siegel, the person writing this summary. In a series of comments, Ms. Siegel said she was correcting a series of misstatements made at the previous hearing.  There was no response to her request that each board member explain why they would not discuss the rezoning option she had proposed (Mr. Tegeder gave his reasons for rejecting that option) or considering an energy overlay zone similar to the economic development overlay zone the board was planning to discuss later in the evening. In response to the town attorney’s comment that SEQRA would allow the Planning Board to require the applicant to consider alternate sites, Ms. Siegel advised the board that the Planning Board very seldom requires a full Environmental Impact Statement type of review from applicants.  She also reminded the board that a change not included in Mr. Tegeder’s list dealt with the questionable repeal section of the law and she questioned how the public was supposed to prepare comments at hearing on changed provisions in the law when the changes were only announced once the hearing started.


The board closed the hearing in a 4-1 vote, with Mr. Patel voting no.


4. Planned Design District Overlay Zone

Mr. Tegeder walked the board through a proposed new overlay zone that would, for the present, cover the Bear Mountain Triangle area, Lake Osceola and the eastern end of the Shrub Oak hamlet. The district would not change the current zoning in these areas but would grant the Planning Board greater flexibility in reviewing site plans, like changes in density, setback requirements, lot coverage, etc. The overlay zone would also give the Planning Board the ability to offer incentives to developers for these parcels.  Mr. Tegeder explained that the overlay concept was based on recommendations in the Comprehensive Plan.  Most of the board’s questions were about the Lake Osceola district.


The board voted to refer out the proposed law for review.


5. Toys R Us, Bank Street

John DeVito, the owner of the property, advised the board that he has a contract with a self storage company for the reuse of the 45,000 square foot building that has been vacant for two years.  Access to the building would be from the interior of the building.  While the site’s current zoning allows for self storage, Mr. Tegeder explained that there are one or two sentences in the existing Zoning Code that might be problematical. The board was supportive of the new use and suggested that Mr. Tegeder work with Mr. DeVito to see if those two sentences need to be modified.  In the meantime, in response to Mr. DeVito’s request, the board agreed that the application could proceed to the Planning Board for review while the Zoning Code language issue was worked out.


6. Master Fee Schedule

Mr. Paganelli advised the board that he had increased certain road openings fees to reflect the current cost of the town repairing roads when the contractor who opened the road did not do an adequate repair job but that the fees in the Master Fee Schedule needed to be updated to reflect what he was charging.


(See Town Board 2-22-2020.) Building Inspector Landi also talked about the need to revise building permit fees, noting that the current fee schedule that was based on square forage was unfair to homeowners who, he said, shouldn’t be charged the same way commercial construction was.


Some board members also expressed concent that some fees, e.g., in the engineering department, were too high.  The board directed the town attorney to contact all department heads for a review of all their fees.


7. Municity software

Mr. Landi explained that it is very difficult to get technical support for the outdated version 1 of the software the department is using; he said the current version was  # 5.  Other town departments also use the software. He said the new version would cost about $89,000 although he was negotiating with the vendor to lower the price.


The board asked Mr. Landi to discuss the software needs with the other deparments before making any decision on whether to purchase the newer version.


8.  Constituent Relationship Management Program

A representative of the company walked the board through its Click Fix software program that enables residents to submit online complaints to the town which would automatically be routed to the appropriate department for follow up.  The software would also keep track of how and when the complaint was addressed. The cost is $7,500 for one year andthe company is currently waiving any training or implementation fees.    No decision was made.


9. Shrub Oak International School Student Internship Project 

Lynn Briggs, Chair of the Heritage Preservation Commission and staff from the school walked the board through the project that has cleaned 53 gravestones at the Yorktown Community Church.  The sponsors anticipate working on additional gravestones at a future date.  As part of the project, the students are developing a database of graves at the church.


10. Landmarks Marker Replacement Program

Lynn Briggs, Chair, Heritage Preservation Commission, advised the board that the Commission has been able to raise funds to refresh four older historic markers, some of which have deteriorated over the years. The markers will be at the ACCCC, Railroad Park, Shipman House and Presbyterian Church. Each sign will cost about $1,900.


11. Zino Barn

(See Town Board 7-23-2019.) In an item not on the agenda, the board discussed how to deal with the stored timbers and other materials from the demolished barn that are currently stored on the town’s Greenwood Street site.  At the request of the Heritage Commission, the  person involved in the restoration of the railroad station reviewed the condition of the items and reported that the tarps used to cover the timbers was deteriorating endangering the continued usability of the timbers for eventual use in a restored barn.  Other materials are being stored on two rented trailers; the owner of one has advised the Commission that he wants the trailer returned. This led to a discussion of whether  the trailer should be purchased and stored in a pre-fabbed quonset hut or stored in a box container until decisions were made about proceeding with a proposed plan to rebuild the barn at Railroad Park.


Before making any decisions, the board said it needed more information from Mr. Paganelli about whether a quonset hut could be located on the site and also the cost of constructing one or alternately a container.  There was also an outstanding issue about the fact that the person who has drawings of what the reconstructed barn would look like has not turned them over to the town or the Heritage Commission.


12. Selected Resolutions

Road paving: The board awarded two bids associated with repaving. One was to mill the roads scheduled to be repaved and a second for the actual repaving.  Mr. Paganelli explained that 30% of the roads to be paved this season would be milled.