The Town Board met on Monday, February 9, 2009 at 7:30 pm. All members were present.
The meeting opened with two public hearings. The first hearing was on Local Law #2 entitled “Amendment to the Town’s Ethics Code.” Under the present Town Code, should any ethics related issues arise, the Town Board would appoint a local Board of Ethics. The amendment proposes that these matters would instead be referred to the Orange County Board of Ethics. As t here were no comments from the public, the hearing was closed.
The second hearing was a continuation of the public hearing on the Draft Comprehensive Plan Update. The first speaker was John Kwasnicki of Sloatsburg who submitted a lengthy written statement. Included in the statement were several old maps, which Mr. Kwasnicki feels should be a part of the plan.
Next, Supervisor Peter Dolan read aloud a statement from Tuxedo Park resident Ulrich Pendl. Mr. Pendl expressed his dismay at the cost of the plan and re quested an exact accounting by the next Town Board meeting. In response, Supervisor Dolan explained that the proposed plan has been entirely funded by an Orange County Planning grant.
Tuxedo Park resident and Tuxedo Club Governor Jake Lindsay expressed his concern with the Plan’s stated goal of making the Tuxedo Reserve emergency access road which connects with South Gate Road into a permanent road. Mr. Lindsay feels the resulting increase in traffic will be detrimental to the Tuxedo Club Golf Course. He inquired as to which members of the Town Board are in support of the idea. Councilman Castricone offered to poll the Board and all five members were unanimous in their support of the permanent road. Mr. Lindsay pointed out that keeping the road strictly for emergency access is a provision of the Special Permit granted to Tuxedo Reserve. Mr. Castricone responded by saying that in his opinion the stated purpose of the Comprehensive Plan is to bring the Town together and wherever possible to connect the different neighborhoods that make up our Town. He commented that in his opinion the part of the Special Permit, which restricts this road to emergency access, is “bad public policy which is not good for the Town.”
Andrew Rogers of Maplebrook commented that a majority of people living in Eagle Valley do not want the permanent access road because they are opposed to anything which might bring more traffic to South Gate Road.
Michael Reardon of Hamilton Estates also stated his opposition to the permanent access road. He suggested that the very reason many of the newer residents living in that part of Town moved there was to enjoy the isolation.
Jim Hays of Tuxedo Park suggested that the Town ask Tuxedo Reserve to do a traffic study in order to help them in making an informed decision. Rob Zgonena of Tuxedo Park inquired as to whether or not the speed limit can be lowered on South Gate Road. He was told that because South Gate Road is a feeder road for the County, it would be difficult to change the speed limit which is already at the lowest County limit.
Finally, Hamlet resident Andrew Berish commented that he has lived in Town for a long time and he things it’s “about time that the Town Board did something to connect the neighborhoods.”
Supervisor Dolan stated that “a lot of other things have to happen” before the access road can be made permanent. He explained that the Board hopes to rezone the Town and that the Comprehensive Plan was a necessary step in that process. Under the current zoning regulations, most applicants looking to build or add-on require a variance. The Board would like to change the zoning so that these variances are no longer necessary. The Comprehensive Plan must be in place before they can move ahead with any changes to the zoning. The public hearing was then closed. Written comments will be accepted by the Board for ten days. The Board will then consider all the comments they have heard before assembling the Final Draft of the Comprehensive Plan.
During the Supervisor’s Update, Supervisor Dolan reported that he has been investigating the possibility of the Town hooking up to the new Hillburn sewer plant. Since this plan is short about a million gallons of capacity, they have approached Tuxedo Reserve as well as the Town of Tuxedo about the possibility of pumping our sewage to the plant.
The following resolutions were passed:
- Local Law #2, sending all ethics inquiries to the Orange County Board of Ethics was passed unanimously.
- Joseph Gartiser was reappointed to the Planning Board with a term expiring on December 31, 2013.
- George Langberg was appointed to the Zoning Board of Appeals with a term expiring on December 31,2013.
- A Special Sign Permit for Tuxedo Place was extended.
- The Town Clerk was authorized to attend the NYS Town Clerks Association Training Conference in Rochester, NY, April 25 through April 29, 2009.
Additionally, the Board gave notice that a full-Volume Test of the Indian Point Siren System will take place on February 11 between the hours of 10-11 am.