August 8, 2017
“Contract negotiations and personnel interview.”
(The CIY observer noted that two of the people leaving the closed door meeting had discussed a proposal to review the town’s insurance policies during an open discussion on June 13, 2017.)
1. Sultana Ridge Pool
(This brief discussion took place between Jay Kopstein, a homeowner whose property abuts the pool, and the supervisor and while people were taking their seats. Because the CIY observer thought it was a private conversation having nothing to do with the agenda item, she did not attempt to listen to it. It was only after Mr. Kopstein left the dais that she learned the conversation dealt with the pool.)
2. Jefferson Valley Mall
Following up on their previous meeting with the board, representatives of Washington Prime reviewed their plan for the new entrance road from Route 6 and the proposed new 8,000 SF retail building in the unused blacktopped area in the northeast corner of the sit
Road. The state DOT will wait until the town has agreed to take possession of the ring road around the entire site before giving the applicant the okay for the new entrance from Route 6. To construct the new entrance, the existing berm along Route 6 will have to be lowered between 4-6 feet. Landscaping on the berm will continue the design currently in place. Mr. Tegeder asked the applicant for visuals that would show the impact of lowering the berm from Route 6.
The Mall will be responsible for the maintenance of the road and a Maintenance Agreement will need to be worked out. Councilman Bernard noted that there are some portions of the ring road in need of an upgrade. Also to be decided is the legal framework that will separate out the road from the Mall parcel as a separate taxable entity.
Parking: Mall representatives requested that the board change the parking requirements for the site from 4.25 spaces/gross leased area to 4 spaces, the same as required in other commercial zones. Supervisor Grace said he thought this change had already been made but the representatives said it hadn’t. A public hearing on a text change to the zoning code that reduces the parking requirement to 4 spaces/gross leased area was scheduled for September 5.
New building. Although tenants have been signed up yet, the applicant anticipated that two of the three storefronts would be for “quick serve” food, with at least one with a drive-thru and an outdoor eating area, and a third retail space. A 3-6 foot retaining wall will need to be built along one side of the site. Much of the discussion centered around the location for the dumpsters and the need to balance the needs of the tenants with the physical constraints of the site and safety. The board was also concerned about adding more landscaping to the parking area but the applicant stated that adding more landscaping would require eliminating parking spaces and that there was a need to balance tenant needs and aesthetics.
In response to Councilman Bernard’s comment about the need for some pedestrian access from the site to the main mall, the applicant raised safety concerns and it did not appear that such an access would be likely.
Signage: The applicant is proposing three new signs; two monument signs listing the major stores and one 30 foot plyon sign, along the ring road roughly opposite Dicks. Supervisor Grace expressed concern about the sign’s height saying it would be the largest sign in Yorktown. (The town attorney noted that the flag pole in front of town hall was 35 feet.) For the applicant, the issue was one of visibility for drivers along Route 6.
The board voted to refer out the plan with a September 12 return date for comments and set a September 19 hearing on the amended plan. The board encouraged the applicant to work through the issues that had been discussed with the advisory boards and off line with the Town Board if necessary prior to the hearing with the hope that on the 19th, the board would be able to approve the amended site plan.
(Note: The Sears portion of the mall building and the parking area surrounding it is a separate parcel owned by Seritage, the company that owners Sears properties.)
The applicant showed plans for the renovated building with proposed architectural façade treatments and signage for 24 Hour Fitness, the name of the national fitness center company that will occupy slightly more than half of the first floor. Supervisor Grace and some other board members had concerns about the sign, including the italic lettering, the use of a red band along a corner of the building and what Supervisor Grace called a “prison like” look on the façade of the addition. The applicant said he would look at how all these issues could be addressed.
In the parking area, 17 existing trees will be removed but replaced with 17 new trees in other locations of the parking lot.
In response to Supervisor Grace’s concern at the previous meeting about whether a new fitness center could be competitive with the nearby Club Fit and other fitness centers in Somers, a representative of 24 Hour Fitness said that the company had done a comprehensive market study and felt that its main competition would be the New York Sports Authority in Somers, not Club Fit which was described as more like a country club atmosphere. He said his company plans to charge $44.99, a rate that will be lower than the Somers facility which is planning a rate increase.
Although hours of operation were not discussed, a representative of 24 Hour fitness said that in some towns, the facility was not allowed to operate 24 hours per day.
The board voted to refer out the plans and hold a hearing on September 19 together with the hearing for the JV Mall. Although there will end up being one amended site plan, each application likely to be considered in separate approving resolutions.
The hearing on the 19th will also include an amendment to the zoning code to allow a fitness center use in the regional shopping center zone.
4. Celestial Capital 2 Rezoning request, East Main Street, Mohegan Lake
In a very brief discussion Attorney Al Capellini asked the board to consider rezoning the vacant parcel at the corner of East Main Street and Mohegan Avenue to either C-2 or C-3 from its current office designation. He said the property owner will not submit a formal rezoning application until he gets feedback as to which commercial zone is more appropriate. The board voted to refer out the issue.
5. 2353 Granville Court/Wetlands Permit
A homeowner is requesting a wetlands permit to construct a swimming pool. A public hearing is schedule for September 5.
6. Professional Services RFPs
Environmental Services: Citing the need for an environmental professional to provide services previously provided by Bruce Barber, Planning Director Tegeder asked, and received, the board’s permission to advertise a Request for Proposals. As envisioned, the services would be provided on an “on call” basis.
Site design and landscaping services: Mr. Tegeder also advised the board that he needed the services of outside professionals to review landscape plans on selected projects to assist him move forward more efficiently with grading and stormwater aspects on town projects while he focused on the conceptual aspects of the projects. He said he has already received proposals from Site Design Consultants and a landscape architect for their hourly services. Supervisor Grace ticked off a list of proposed projects: upgrade of parking lot adjoining town hall, the downtown streetscape, and Depot Square.
In response to Councilman Bernard’s question of where the money to pay for these services would come from, Supervisor Grace said money saved by the delay in filling the building inspector positon (although the town engineer had been receiving a stipend as an interim head of the department). Mr. Tegeder added that he had an “outside professional services” line in the Planning budget. The board okayed his use of this line and the hiring of the two people he mentioned, for up to $2,500; for anything above that amount, he will have to return to the board for approval.
7. Zino’s Barn
(See Town Board 5/9/2017) In an item not on the agenda, Mr. Tegeder reported that after a review of all possible town owned sites, it was decided that the best place to relocate the barn was at Railroad Park, between the existing station building and the basketball court. The plan calls for the shell of the barn to be erected on the site with interior space used for both a visitor center and a single bathroom. The building would not have heat and would be useable for three seasons; adding heat would increase cost and cover up some of the historical aspects of the construction. The town would pay one third of the cost, but the full cost was not mentioned. The board said that it would discuss a contract in a closed session later in the evening.
The exact siting of the barn will have to be coordinated with the relocation of certain monuments in front of town hall. (See Handicapped Parking issue below.)
Supervisor Grace said he wanted the project completed by October in time for the San Genaro festival.
8. Handicapped Parking
The board passed three resolutions to begin to implement a legal settlement reached earlier this year to create more handicapped parking in the landscaped area in front of Town Hall. The resolutions seek proposals to remove the flagpole, monuments and cherry trees.
9. Business Consortium
At the suggestion of Councilman Lachterman, the board agreed to schedule a business symposium, possibly on September 22, to discuss ideas of how to market the town and attract new businesses to vacant parcels as well as fill existing vacant buildings. The councilman read off a list of people and organizations he plans to invite. The idea is to follow up on the report released last year by the Commercial and Industrial Advisory Board.
10. Recycling grant
The board authorized submitting a grant application for the Food Waste Recovery & Digester Improvement Project. No details of the application or program were discussed.
Samantha L. Guilbert was appointed Police Officer at a salary of $53,641.