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TOWN OF TUXEDO
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Special Planning Board Meeting/Public Hearing December 11, 2014

The Town Planning Board held a special meeting on Thursday, December 11, 2014 at 7pm.

Chairman Michael Reardon called the meeting to order at 7:02. The Board immediately went into executive session to meet with the town attorney and returned at 7:15.

The first speaker Dominic Radisko, a Genting employee, pointed out that the purpose of the meeting was to review technical details of the casino’s development plan not environmental concerns, which are being covered by the Town Board. He then introduced Kevin Van Hise, who reviewed the resorts plan with a PowerPoint presentation. He noted where the Hotel and parking garage will be located, where current wetlands are located and where they will be relocated when the development is completed. Reclaimed water will be used in toilets and for irrigation. A culvert with a diameter that is “too small” hinders current drainage from the site. Larger culverts that will more effectively drain the property will replace this culvert.

The next speaker, Roger Friedman, co chairman of the Sterling Forest Partnership, expressed two concerns. First he is baffled by what appears to be drastic reductions in disturbed land (occupied by structures) between the EAF of July 2014 showing 211 acres disturbed while the 90% plan, in the DEIS, shows 45.6 acres disturbed.  Between the two documents the Casino’s garage footprint is reduced from 48.9 acres to 14.83 acres. Mr. Friedman questioned how such drastic reductions could be possible. His second concern was the estimated safe yield available from the Indian Kill reservoir. The DEIS puts the safe yield at 1.3 million gallons/per day. He pointed out that the data used to calculate this number came from as far back as the late 50’s and early 60’s and the methods used to calculate safe yields have changed considerably since then.

Chairman Reardon then asked Mr. Van Hise if he would comment on the safe yield number and Mr. Van Hise responded that the 1.3 million gallon/day figure is permitted.

Yolanda Jansen, a Sterling Forest Partnership consultant, focused again on the larger culverts proposed for the Indian Kill stream. She pointed out that the developer’s modeling study does not estimate the increased flooding downstream resulting from the culvert change. Also the floor of the casino’s basement garage is at an elevation of 731 feet, the first floor elevation 746 feet, both are well above the 100-year flood level of 722 feet. There is therefore no need to lower the 100-year flood level upstream of the culvert and expose downstream areas to greater flooding risk.

Kathy Beinkafner, a consultant for the Sterling Forest Partnership, 1) returned to the question of the Indian Kill Reservoir’s safe yield, calculated in the 50’s, and argued that subsequent silt accumulation on the reservoir’s floor may have reduced its capacity. The volume of the reservoir should be recalculated.

2) Because the Ramapo River supplies water to the sole source aquifer for millions of residents of southern New York and New Jersey, a spill of hazardous material on the site could be disastrous. A hazardous spill plan needs to be developed and included in the DEIS.

3) She pointed out that water in the saturated soils in the area of the casino/hotel has a vertical upward motion. This means that the casino must deal with springs under the hotel and parking garage.

4) The developer is planning to increase soil permeability around the casino to aid drainage but the soils are already saturated (the area is a former wetland) so increasing permeability will not aid drainage.

5) She made a plea that tallus (boulder strewn) slopes be left undisturbed as they are excellent habitat for reptiles.

Sue Scher, co–chair of the Sterling Forest Partnership, noted that the Town Board is currently conducting a environmental review of the project. She then brought up possible deed restrictions on the proposed casino property limiting commercial development to 140,000 square feet. This was later also discussed Steve Gross, consultant to the New York New Jersey Trail conference, who had previously made the same point at a Town Board Public hearing on December 4. Because of their importance we have obtained the documents relevant to these restrictions from Mr. Gross and provide links to them here and here.

The first document dated 2/4/1998 states the restrictions placed on Sterling Forest LLC lands remaining at that time (approximately 2200 acres, most of which were destined to be conveyed to PIPC) was limited to 2.8 million square feet of new commercial space and 3000 residential units. The document goes on to state that these restrictions are "imposed on the lands and shall run with the land forever and be binding upon Sterling Forest as the Declarant, successors and assigns and shall run with the land and be binding upon each successive owner of all or part of the lands."  The document subsequently asserts "These restrictions may only be enforced as follows: by PIPC, and by Sterling Forest and its subsidiaries and such other entity or person to whom Sterling Forest expressly conveys in writing the right to enforce these restrictions." 

The second document, dated April 2, 2002, allocates development rights specifically to the land on which the casino is to be built that is owned by Faire Partners LLC of Texas. The document transfers the right “….. to build or erect and apply for governmental land use, subdivisions, zoning or environmental permits, licenses, consents , waivers or the like, to build ( or to transfer all or a portion of the Faire partners Premises to third-parties for the construction of) up to 140,000 square feet of commercial space and 180 residential units on the Faire Partners Premises.

This document in addition gives Faire Partners the right to develop municipally required improvements (including but not limited to, sites for public buildings, including public schools), roads and recreational facilities etc.

The document goes on to state in paragraph 4 that “This agreement and the terms and conditions contained therein shall run with the land forever and shall be binding on Sterling Forest, Faire Partners and any other owner of any portion of the Remaining Restricted Land owned by Sterling Forest as of the date hereof and any successor and/or assign of the foregoing.

Steve Gross stated that Genting’s claim in the DEIS that their enormous parking garage is required by the town and therefore should not be counted as commercial space, stretches one’s credulity.

Both Sue Scher and Steve Gross concluded from the above facts that because the legality of the project is in question the public hearing should be postponed until Genting’s rights to build a project of this size on this land is determined.

The public hearing continued.

Peter Bush pointed out that many resident’s concerns, expressed in the Scoping document, are not adequately addressed in the DEIS.

Mrs. Kim Kilgore next read former Governor Pataki’s statement against the development of a casino in Sterling Forest State Park; a park he had helped create.

Steve Gross now expressed concerns about the treatment of wetlands. The developer seems to have difficulty understanding what a wetland is for he noted that sometimes they are shown as open water, (lakes), at other times as streams and at other times as vegetated meadows. Wetland destruction is not appropriately balanced by wetland creation. He also expressed concern that Koi (an Asian fish) might be introduced into the waters on the property posing a threat to other water bodies in the park.

He returned to the issue of culverts, raised by Mr. Van Hise, noting that increasing the diameter of culverts in Indian Kill will increase the flow through them during storm events exacerbating flooding down stream.

Jake Lindsay observed that the floor of the basement garage is at an elevation of 730 ft. He calculated that the removal of unsuitable soil and its replacement with sufficient fill to raise the basement floor 15 feet above current grade will require the transportation of  2.2 million cubic yards of dirt. The moving of this much dirt will require 220,000 truck trips. At 602 truck trips a day, it will take about a year to complete this task.

Kiki  Nelson, a resident of Sterling Forest, observed that the DEIS does not include plans for proposed Thruway exit 15B. This exit will include a hairpin turn that 18 wheel tractor trailers will be excluded from using. Such trucks supplying the casino will need to use Route 17 or other town roads. Their effect on traffic congestion has not been adequately treated in the DEIS.

This concluded the statements by those who had signed-up to speak.

At this point Steve Gross pulled a brown object from his pocket and waved it in the air noting that he had found it in the parking lot of the ski center and identified it as pig iron from 19th century smelters. He noted that the parking lot was littered with such fragments. Although fill on the property may now be chemically stable its disturbance could release harmful substances.

Chairman Reardon asked if Mr. Gross is in the habit of carrying a pig iron slab in his pocket. I missed the response.

Planning Board member Darren Maynard next sought to better understand the changes to the ponds and wetlands that are being proposed. Mr Van Hise responded with a site plan showing in different colors the existing ponds, streams and wetlands and the proposed changes. After he finished Steve Gross rose and pointed out how misleading the site plan is. Mr. Van Hise did not respond.

Planning Board member John Ruel returned to the culvert issue and asked if the flow through the new culverts would be larger, smaller or the same as the flow through the present culvert. Jolanda Jansen again claimed that the modeling by the applicant of the down stream consequences of these culvert changes is inadequate.

Town Board member Kristian Mathews next expressed his strong concern about the consequences of these culvert changes on flooding in the East Village. A Planning Board consultant tried to reassure Mr. Mathews that he was on top of the issue and would be sure that it came to a satisfactory conclusion.

At this point Chairman Reardon brought the meeting to a close and stated that the next regular Planning Board meeting will be held on January.

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Town Planning Board Meeting December 9, 2014

The Tuxedo Planning Board held a Public Hearing on the changes proposed by Tuxedo Farms on Tuesday, December 9 at 7:00 PM. Andrew Dance, representative for the developer, Related Companies,  outlined the changes in the new proposed plan from the previously approved 2010 plan.

  • Age-restricted housing, which had been approved as the first development in Northridge, will be relocated and will not be part of the first phase of Phase 1, although it will be built before Phase 2 can begin.
  • Rental housing, 112 apartments and 68 townhouses, will replace the age-restricted housing in Northridge.
  • The Greeting Center will be relocated from the North Entrance (at the former Applewood Kennels) to the “Downtown” Commons area.
  • Approved condominiums will be converted to townhomes.
  • In the West Terrace area, the approved housing mix of cottage, village, manor and estate homes will now include only village homes.
  • The Uplands neighborhood will include cottage style homes with 2500 -3000 square feet.
  • Dead-end roads were linked to create through streets and some intersections were eliminated.
  • Phase 1 will include the infrastructure developed by Related and 4 neighborhoods developed by 4 different builders, and the rental housing to be built by Mill Creek Builders. Related will negotiate with the homebuilders and Mill Creek.
  • The larger manor and estate homes will not be included in Phase 1.

Chair Mike Reardon opened the Public Hearing. As there were no questions or comments from the Board, the Public was given the opportunity to make comments.

Jim Hays, resident of Tuxedo Park, stated that the first date that the new plan was available for review at the library was December 1. More time is needed to review the changes and he asked for an extension of the Public Hearing. Mr. Hays questioned why the process was being rushed during the short holiday period, especially given that Public Hearings are being held every night, Monday – Thursday this week. What are the next steps and what is the schedule for approvals? He noted that the extent of changes - to the roads requiring a new stormwater management plan; to the changes in grading of roads; to changes in the shape of Mountain Lake lots; to a complete change in the Commons area, among other changes  –  require another SEQRA review. Mr. Hays noted that Related continues to make changes that require serious review.

George Maninski asked where the entrances would be located as he wants to understand the project.  Andrew Dance showed the entrances on the map.

JoAnn Hanson, resident of Tuxedo Park and Chair of the Village’s Planning Board, called attention to the requirement in the Special Permit for establishment of a conservation easement for the Fox Hill and Northern tracts and for a buffer zone of 100 feet that would surround most of Tuxedo Park. Twenty-nine acres adjacent to Brook Road in Tuxedo Park will be transferred to the Village. These transfers and conservation easements must be completed within 30 days of issuance of site plan approvals.  Ms. Hanson raised questions about the age-restricted housing which was intended to be built in Phase 1 to lessen the impact on the school system.

Michele Lindsay, resident of Tuxedo Park, inquired whether a supplemental SEQRA review is required given the extent of the proposed changes, in particular for a review of water supply from the addition of the YMCA – with pools and lockers room showers. Water supply was an issue when the commercial space in the Commons was increased tenfold from 3000 to 30,000 square feet. Was a supplemental review conducted when the YMCA was added? Ms. Lindsay asked for a breakdown in anticipated prices for each type of housing.  She also noted that the school site on the plan was steep and she questioned whether an alternative site was considered.

In response to Public Comments, Andrew Dance replied that:

  • A Supplemental Review “was not going to happen”. Related believes that the Special Permit allowed for flexibility.
  • He further discussed the project plan, progressing from cut to fill, from the south to the north. The Commons area is a big fill section, with fill being brought from the West Terrace and Upland areas. He explained that all four neighborhoods would be built simultaneously to make the project successful. West Terrace will have water wells and a water tank; Upland will have water wells. The Commons will have the amenities. The sewer plant will be in the Northridge area. 
  • Mr. Dance said that the YMCA replaces the Clubhouse that had been originally planned and the fields will be synthetic turf.
  • The school site is 42 acres with 16 usable acres. The Tuxedo School Board decided to receive $2.5 million in cash instead of the property. Half will be paid when the first permit is issued and the balance will be paid in one year.
  • Starting prices for the Townhomes will be around $450,000; for Cottage homes, $650,000; for Village homes, $900,000.

Nancy Hays, resident of Tuxedo Park, asked what happened to Robert Stern’s designs? Mr. Dance replied that the focus now is on engineering and that the goal is to marry design with those iterations.

Mr. Dance relayed Related’s wish to move forward with getting approvals from the Orange County Department of Health and the DEC. Alyse McCathern, attorney for the Planning Board, replied that Related can refer to the Dept of Health and the DEC as long as they understand that this would not bind the Planning Board to granting site approvals. Bonnie Franson, the Planning Board’s consultant from H2M, said they will draft a letter so Related can move forward. She reported that H2M conducted balloon tests.

Chair Mike Reardon closed the Public Hearing and extended the Public Comment period to January 13, the date of their next meeting.

Mr. Dance introduced the representative from Mill Creek Builders, luxury apartment specialists, which was spun off from Trammel Crow in 2010. Mill Creek targets markets that demonstrate population growth, employment opportunities and sizable institutional demand. The Northridge apartment complex will offer an amenities package that will include a clubhouse and a fitness center. The number of bedrooms will meet the approved cap. The 3-story walkup apartments will be clustered and there will be rental townhouses on the hamlet side of the approach road.  The luxury package will include stainless steel appliances, granite or quartz counters and vinyl plank flooring.

Bonnie Franson noted that the minimum amount of open space was not indicated on the plan.

Dena Steele, resident of Tuxedo Park, asked about rental prices, parking and security.  The developer replied that there will be only outdoor parking and that an apartment complex of this size does not warrant its own security force. The apartments will range in size from 720 square feet for the 1 bedroom to 1500 square feet for the 3 bedroom. Rents would range from approximately $1900 for 1 bedroom and $2400 for 2 bedrooms. He didn’t have a price for 3 bedrooms as he didn’t anticipate a high demand for those units. He also pointed out that there will be a walking path connecting Northridge to the hamlet.

Alyse McCathern inquired how long the developer plans to maintain ownership to which he replied that they will have joint partners.

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Town Planning Board To Hold Public Hearing on Site Plan For Casino December 11

TOWN OF TUXEDO PLANNING BOARD NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING FOR APPLICATION OF RESORT WORLD ORANGE COUNTY, LLCSITE PLAN APPROVAL

PUBLIC NOTICE is hereby given that the Town of Tuxedo Planning Board will conduct a public hearing at the Town Hall of the Town of Tuxedo, Temple Drive and Hospital Road, on December 11, 2014 at 7:00 P.M. to receive public comment on the application of Resort World Orange County, LLC for site plan approval. A copy of the application and plan is on file in the Town of Tuxedo Building Department.

The project is located on several parcels of land within the Town of Tuxedo, Orange County, New York on land designated on the Town of Tuxedo Tax Map as Section 1, Block 1, Lots 36.32, 37.2, 52.25, 52.26, and 59.2.

NOW, THEREFORE, the Town of Tuxedo Planning Board will hold a public hearing on the aforesaid application at the Town Hall of the Town of Tuxedo, Temple Drive and Hospital Road, on December 11, 2014 at 7:00 P.M., at which time all persons interested therein shall be heard.

The Town of Tuxedo will make every effort to assure that the hearing is accessible to persons with disabilities. Anyone requiring special assistance and/or reasonable accommodations should contact the Town Clerk.

Dated: November 25, 2014
BY ORDER OF THE TOWN OF
TUXEDO PLANNING BOARD
MICHAEL REARDON, CHAIRMAN

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Agenda for Town Planning Board Meeting December 9, 2014

  1. Call to Order of the Regular Meeting
  2. Approval of the November 12, 2014 Minutes
  3. Tuxedo Farms – Major Subdivision Application Review
    Section 14 Block 14 Lots 34-39, 14, 13.11 and 42; File #Various
  4. Adjournment

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Town Planning Board Meeting November 12, 2014

The Town Planning Board met on Wednesday November 12 at 7pm.  Board Member Raymond Ferri was absent, as was Town Planner Bonnie Franson.

Duck Cedar Plaza – Calvary Church:
An amended site plan was submitted and Engineer for the applicant, Mike Sandour, informed that Board that as per the previous meeting a fire protection tank had been installed and the SPDES permit received.  The applicant has been attempting to move forward with merging the lots, however he has not been able to successfully get in touch with the Town Assessor who has not responded to phone calls or e-mail. 

Board Attorney Alyse Terhune advised the applicant that a formal request needed to be filed with the Assessor as soon as possible.

The draft resolution, as prepared by Bonnie Franson, was then discussed at some length, specifically the suggestion that 6 parking spaces located at the south end of the building be removed.  Following this discussion, it was determined that the spots would be removed and replaced with one ABA/Handicapped spot.

The Board then voted unanimously in favor of giving the application a Negative Declaration under SEQRA.

Following some further discussion, they also voted unanimously in favor of approving the application conditional upon the removal of the parking spaces as discussed as well as the receipt of a letter from the Assessor verifying that the merger process was officially underway.

Iazzatti Trucking – Referral to ZBA:
The Board agreed to refer the application to the ZBA for the necessary variance.  Ms. Terhune also informed the applicant that a new/updated Environmental Assessment Form would need to be completed and submitted as per agency regulations.  Once this has been received, the application can move forward.

Tuxedo Farms – North Ridge Preliminary Subdivision Approval 6-Month Extension Request:

The Board voted unanimously in favor of granting Tuxedo Farms a 6-month extension on their preliminary subdivision approval for the neighborhood within the development known as North Ridge.

Tuxedo Farms – Major Subdivision Application Review:
On behalf of Tuxedo Farms, Andrew Dance appeared before the Board to request that they set a Public Hearing for the three subdivision plans that currently sit before them.(West Terrace, Upland Park and The Commons)  The plans were submitted roughly 6 weeks ago and since that time have been discussed at various TAC and technical meetings.  Town Engineers have provided comments and these are being addressed.  Copies of the plans are available for public review at the Town Hall, Village Office and the Tuxedo Park Library.  Mr. Dance suggested that December 9 (the next regularly scheduled meeting) would be a good time for this hearing.  Additionally, the applicant would like to make a presentation to the public on that date, which will clearly outline the amendment to the North Ridge subdivision.  These include a change in the housing mix, the addition of 1.5 acres and the relocation of the Greeting Center.  They are hopeful that they will have finalized their choice of builder by the end of the week and that there will be representatives present at the meeting who will be able to provide samples of the actual product. (building materials?  How do you have a sample of a subdivision?) Following that presentation, the applicant hopes to receive the necessary referral to the Town Board for approval.

Mr. Dance also reported that they would be conducting a visual impact assessment by way of a weather balloon test whereby they would fly the balloons from certain key locations for a set amount of time (probably not to exceed 48 hours) and take photographs from specific locations around town where the visual impact might possibly be the greatest.  Currently, they are planning to take pictures from the Take A Break parking lot as well as points both north and south on the NYS Thruway. 

Board member John Ruel suggested that they might add Circle Field to this list and Mr. Dance was agreeable to the suggestion.  The applicant is hoping to conduct the balloon test before the week is out.

Board Attorney Terhune suggested that the Board might want to hold off on setting the public hearing as requested by the applicant as they had only just received the engineers comments that evening.  She further pointed out that once the Public Hearing had been opened, and subsequently closed, the Board would be bound to a clock that marches toward a mandatory approval.  She suggested that the Board ask the applicant to be very specific with regard to how the amended plan differs from the Preliminary Plan that was approved back in 2010 and that they provide an outline of what the differences are.  She further suggested that in addition to the items previously listed by Mr. Dance, an amendment to the Special Permit might be required as the preliminary plan was being altered.

Mr. Dance strongly disagreed with this last suggestion, asserting that they should be able to move through the process without amending the Special Permit.

Ms. Terhune responded that this may be, but she pointed out that the Board did not have a definitive list outlining the differences between the approved and amended plan and that the Special Permit calls for a detailed preliminary plan. 

Mr. Dance responded that Ms, Terhune was wrong and that to suggest that a Special Permit amendment would be required was “unacceptable.”  He further commented that she clearly did not understand the underlying documents and that he found it extremely frustrating that were being forced to continually appear before the Board. He went on to say that Ms, Terhune was lacking a specific, acute understanding of the regulating documents.

Ms. Terhune reminded Mr. Dance that there were two different things on the table; the three new subdivisions and the amendment to the North Ridge Plan.  She further stated that there was no question in her mind but that they would need to request an amendment to the Preliminary Plan from the Town Board, as per Article 1 of the Special Use Permit currently in place.

Mr. Dance countered that a project of this size and nature demanded that a lot of the engineering would be on-going as it was developed.  This need for on-going flexibility was clearly acknowledged in the 2010 amendment.  Specific negotiations were made to allow for it. He went on to explain that encompassed within the 2010 amendment was a Regulating Plan that specifically allows the applicant to alter the housing mix within the subdivisions as per an agreed upon map, which was shaded with color to show which housing types would be acceptable in which areas.  Mr. Dance did not have a copy of this map with him. 

Ms. Terhune reiterated that the current amendment as requested would necessitate an amendment to the Preliminary Plan, which in turn required Town Board approval.  Commenting that she did not understand why Mr. Dance was giving such “push back” on this, she suggested that perhaps a meeting with Town Planner Bonnie Franson would be a wise move so that everyone could get themselves on the same page.

Again, Mr. Dance stated that he did not feel that the Preliminary Plan needed to be amended and again Ms, Terhune disagreed with him.

There followed and lengthy, somewhat heated debate.

Ms. Terhune stated that while minor modifications could be made without Town Boards approval, larger more general changes were required to go first through the Planning Board and then the Town Board via referral for final approval.

Mr. Dance disagreed, attesting that the Planning Board was authorized to approve certain changes to which Ms. Terhune countered that said changes had to be minor in nature and not ones that would alter the Preliminary Plan.

Again, a sit down was proposed and Ms. Terhune stated that she would like to have members of the Planning Board present at the meeting as well.

Board Chair Mike Reardon commented that he did not want to set the Public Hearing for the other three subdivisions before he had a chance to see what was going on with North Ridge.

Mr. Dance inquired as to why he felt this way.

Chair Reardon responded by asking what major changes had been made to the three subdivisions and Mr. Dance outlined several (relocation of Greeting center to Village Green, relocation of a maintenance shed, housing mix changes as allowed by the Regulating Plan) which he defined as minor.

Board Engineer Jeff Marsden interjected that a lot of the roadways were being shifted and moved as well and this was for both sound engineering and marketing reasons.  He briefly outlined some obstacles that had been encountered in the field that necessitated these changes, but went on to say that regardless of the solid reasoning behind them, defining the changes as major or minor was, in his view, up to the attorney.

John Ruel acknowledged that when developing the Preliminary Plan it would have been very difficult to be “hyper-specific” because the nature of the project suggests that no matter how much planning is done, things will morph in the field and as a result, the plan needs to be altered to lessen the impacts. 

The difference between major and minor changes was then debated.

Again, Ms, Terhune suggested that the Board hold off on setting a public hearing until they had time to review H2M’s comments on the three subdivisions.

Mr. Dance stated that there were no changes and Mr. Marsden corrected him stating there were “almost no changes.”

Chair Reardon responded that regardless, the Board had not had a chance to review them.
Mr. Dance agreed that this was a fair point, however he argued that they would have plenty of time to review them prior to the proposed December 9 Public Hearing date.

Again, he stated that he did not understand why the Town Board would need to approve it since all the fundamentals were the same and what was being built was within the approved envelope.  He further commented that this project had been through the longest environmental review process in the history of New York State and he reiterated that the flexibility to make changes such as these had been bargained for and approved.  He then angrily stated “Going back to the Town Board ain’t going to happen” stressing that the proposed changes were planning issues and not Town Board issues.  Commenting “We need to move forward,” Mr. Dance again stated that they would not be returning to the Town Board for this issue. 

Ms. Terhune responded that they were in fact returning to the Town Board, as per their earlier request and Mr. Dance agreed, but added that they would not be returning for this.
Following some further debate, Chair Reardon asked the Board for their thoughts.

John Ruel stated that he felt they should set the Public Hearing.  The process has been dragging on for an incredibly long time and he could feel the applicant’s frustration.  He commented “If they think they’re ready, then we need to be ready” and further pledged that he would do his due diligence and be ready to work with them at the next meeting. He acknowledged that this could ultimately backfire, and wondered what the worse case scenario might be.

Board Member Darren Maynard commented that he would like to see an outline of the changes in order to ascertain whether or not what Ms. Terhune was suggesting had any relevance.  While he doesn’t want to stand in the way of the project, he wants to do the right thing.  That is what he pledged to do when joining the Board.  He feels that he needs more clarity in order to make the right decision.

In response to Mr. Ruels’s question Ms. Terhune reiterated her earlier point that once the Public Hearing had been closed, there was a limited amount of time before the Board had to approve or deny the plan.  The worst-case scenario for the applicant is that the plan is ultimately denied.  The worst-case scenario for the Board is that the Public Hearing will remain open for months and that the process will drag on.

Mr. Ruel responded that it seemed to him that the applicant had more to lose than they did.

Mr. Dance stressed the importance of keeping the ball rolling as they would like to start building as soon as possible.  They need to receive preliminary approval from the Planning Board so that they can put the plan out to the other involved agencies (DEC etc).  Hearing back from these agencies often takes quite a bit of time.

Ms. Terhune stated that she would feel a lot better if the Board had a statement from H2M saying that what was being proposed was not significantly different from what was approved in 2010.

Mr. Dance retorted that he had not gone through “years of hell” taking tomatoes at public hearings, forging negotiations and dealing with lawsuits to have it all stripped away now.  He then asked Mr. Marsden if he would be willing to draft a letter stating that the proposed amendments were consistent with the Preliminary Plan.

Mr. Marsden responded that he would not and that the issue at hand has to do with interpretation of the Special Permit and not with engineering.

Mr. Dance agreed with this point.

Chair Reardon wondered if their existed a list of the proposed changes.

Mr. Dance responded that such a list did exist.

Chair Reardon then stated that he would like to set the public hearing date as requested, but he would also like to plan a meeting with the applicant, Ms. Terhune and H2M and that whether or not the Public Hearing actually moved forward would be based on the outcome of that meeting.

Following some further discussion, the Board voted unanimously in favor of setting the Public Hearing for December 9, as requested by the applicant.

Sterling Forest Resort – Site Plan Review:
On behalf of Sterling Forest Resort, Attorney Dominic Cordisco appeared before the Board to request their comments/feedback on the 60% plans as previously submitted and also to request a public hearing for the plan. 

Ms. Terhune pointed out that the Town Board would be holding a public hearing on the DEIS on December 4, and Mr. Cordisco confirmed this, but further commented that that the Town Board had also referred it to the Planning Board for any SEQRA comments.  He pointed out that as per the new Gaming Overlay zoning regulations that had been adopted by the Town, the Planning Board has their own jurisdiction and timeline for making comments, however because of the expedited timeline as set forth by the state, it would be prudent for the applicant to receive as much public feedback at one time as possible so that they could in turn respond to/address the questions and issues in a timely fashion.  While the Town Board has issued a deadline of December 19 for Public Comment, technically the Planning Board’s comments are not due until mid-January.
Chair Reardon suggested that until H2M had declared the plan as complete, he did not feel they could set a public hearing.

Ms. Terhune interjected that 90% plans had been submitted the day before.
Mr. Cordisco commented that it was regrettable that the plans had been referred to as 60% plans, which implies that 40% of the work still needs to be done.  The 60% plans as submitted included detailed grading and storm water plans as well as a full site design.  These plans are much further along than many of the plans the Board holds hearings for.  The chosen nomenclature is based on the plans readiness for construction.  They believe that the 60% plans are extremely detailed and ready for public review and comment.
There followed a discussion as to when a hearing could be set, with everyone agreeing that scheduling it for the same night as the Tuxedo Farms hearings would not be a good idea.  After a somewhat lengthy review of schedules etc, the Board agreed to schedule a special meeting for the purpose of conducting the public hearing on Thursday, December 11 at 7pm.

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Agenda for Town Planning Board Meeting November 12, 2014

  1. Call to Order of the Regular Meeting
  2. Approval of the October 14, 2014 Minutes
  3. Duck Cedar Plaza - Calvary Church
    Section 9 Block 1 Lot 7; File #P8607-015
  4. Iazzetti Trucking - Referral to ZBA
    Section 9 Block 1 Lot 13; File #P8704-007
  5. Tuxedo Farms - North Ridge Preliminary Subdivision Approval 6 Month Extension Request Section 9 Block 1 Lot 11.22; File #P8909-053
  6. Tuxedo Farms - Major Subdivision Application Review
    Section 14 Block 14 Lots 34-39, 14, 13.11 and 42; File #Various
  7. Sterling Forest Resort - Site Plan Review - Route 17a
    Section 1 Block 1 Lot 52.25
  8. Adjournment

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Town Planning Board Meeting October 14, 2014

The Town Planning Board met on Tuesday, October 14 2014.  Board member Raymond Ferri was absent.

Public Hearing – Duck Cedar Plaza – Calvary Church:
Engineer Mike Sandour began by providing a brief overview of the proposed project.  The Calvary Church is looking to occupy the rear section of the Duck Cedar Plaza, specifically the area previously zoned for light industrial use.  There will be no changes to the exterior of the building.  A floor plan was distributed to the Board members and briefly reviewed.  Mr. Sandour noted that the parking is compliant with regulations, but indicated that should additional spaces be necessary down the line, there is a grassy area to the side of the building that can easily be paved over and converted into viable parking.  The necessary paperwork has been submitted to the County and they have ultimately determined that the approval will be a local determination, although the official letter stating this has not yet been received. 

Board member Linda Phelps inquired as to whether or not the Church would be tax-exempt.

The answer was no.  The church will be renting the space and will only occupy a portion of the building.  The property will not come off the tax-roll. 

Board Chair Mike Reardon wondered how many parking spaces had been delegated for the church.

The answer was 28.

Given the number of people who will be occupying the building, Janet Galuska wondered whether or not the property needed to have a proper review and inspection of the septic system in order to ensure that there would not be an issue with overflow
Board member Joe Gartiser responded that the permits currently in place called for up to 6,000 gallons per day, which was much more than would be needed.

John Ruel further explained that ultimately, should the building fill up with tenants, the use will be staggered, with the Church and the businesses operating at different times for the most part.

Board Attorney Alyse Tehrune pointed out that any additional uses of the space would need to come before the Board for approval and that and additional septic needs could be revisited at that time.

As there were no further comments from the public, the hearing was then closed.

Other Business:
Board Chair Mike Reardon reminded Mr. Sandour that the Board was in need of an extension letter from Mr. Ribando (another applicant currently before the Board)  He stated that Mr. Ribando had 7 days to submit said letter, after which the Board will make a determination regarding that application. 

Duck Cedar Plaza – Calvary Church:
The Calvary Church application was then discussed in the confines of the regular meeting.  Parking was discussed at some length.  Town Planner Bonnie Franson asked the applicant for confirmation that they would like to maintain the previously approved site plan but amend it to reflect the changes involved with the church. Mr. Sandour confirmed this.  It was agreed that the applicant will add a map note, showing the approved, planned uses for the site.

Additionally, a table for the Church will need to be added to the Bulk requirements.  There was some discussion about the installation of a  fire protection tank, as per the old plans.  The applicant will provide the Board with a copy of the updated permit.  The Building Inspector confirmed that the lighting and landscaping plans are complete.  He will provide an updated letter for the file. 

Board Attorney Alysse Tehrune advised the Board that even though the county has indicated to the applicant that the approval will be granted on a local level, they should not approve the application without first receiving the official 239 referral letter.  It was agreed that Bonnie Franson would draft a resolution of approval so that the Board could take action at their meeting next month. 

Orange & Rockland – Sterling Forest Substation Upgrade:
The applicant has received the necessary variances from the Board of Zoning Appeals and the Planning Board has no apparent issues with the plan as proposed.  Bonnie Franson read aloud a list of standard approval conditions.  It was agreed that the applicant would revise the map and update the bulk table to show the variances.  The building Inspector made it clear that a building permit would not be issued until the applicant had obtained all the necessary permits from various State Agencies.  Following this discussion, the Board voted unanimously in favor of granting the project conditional approval, based on those conditions previously laid out by Ms. Franson.

Patricia Iazzetti – 442 Route 17 –Filling and Grading:
The Board is in receipt of the necessary letters from the DEC and State Historic Preservation Office.  Additionally, all engineering comments have been addressed.  There was a brief discussion with regard to bonding and whether or not this would be necessary.  Ultimately, it was agreed that it would not.  Stock piling will not be permitted on the site, and this was discussed at some length.  The Board made a motion to award the project a Negative Declaration under SEQRA and this was adopted unanimously.  They then voted unanimously in favor of approving the application subject to the following conditions:

  1. Timely inspections by the Building Inspector
  2. No stock piling on site
  3. The property will be for recreational use only (large back yard)
  4. Notes will be added to the map as previously outlined by the Town Planner
  5. Applicant will adhere to letter from the Town Engineer dated 5/12/14.

Iazzetti Trucking – Referral to ZBA:
The Iazzetti’s are seeking permission to use this property as a contractor’s yard and as such would like the ability to store material (gravel, boulders, Belgian block, compost etc) there. Plans were presented and reviewed.  As per zoning regulations instated in 1975, the code does not allow for contractor’s yards in this area of Town.  Therefore, the applicant will require a Special Use Permit from the ZBA.

A motion was made for the Planning Board to request Lead Agency status (SEQRA) and this was unanimously adopted.

As the Board only received the project plans late that afternoon, it was agreed that the application would be deferred until the next meeting in order to provide them the necessary time to review it.

Specialized Realty Services, LLC – Site Plan Review:
In response to Planning Board comments, the Applicant has submitted supplemental paperwork, including a detailed narrative of the property and it’s current condition.  In brief, he is looking to make repairs to this long-abandoned office complex with the hopes of renting it out for use.  Historically, approved uses for the property included office/administrative, warehouse & distribution, laboratory (product testing and research) and professional business.  The property has been badly vandalized over the years and is in need of repairs.  Although the applicant does not plan to make any changes to the foot print of the complex, nor does he intend to alter the landscaping or parking in anway, before the space can be rented, site plan approval is required.  There was a lengthy debate with regard to the site plan.  The applicant does not feel that he should be required to produce a new plan, as the original site plan was approved in the late 60s.  This plan however, seems to have been lost and there is nothing on file. The applicant made reference to the original Certificate of Occupancy, which references said site plan, and claimed that this should serve as proof of its existence.  He pointed out repeatedly that was in the Board’s jurisdiction to waive the site plan requirement, and asked that they consider this request. The Board does not feel comfortable moving forward without a proper site plan.  The Applicant did submit a drawing of the site, but the Board found it to be confusing and was unwilling to accept it as a site plan.  There was a somewhat lengthy debate over this issue, after which Board Chair Mike Reardon suggested that the proper thing to do at this point was to move forward rather than focusing on the past and that the first step in this regard would be the submittal of a proper plan as requested.

John Ruel pointed out that a great number of things have changed since the 1960s when the plan in question was approved.  The Board needs a new, legitimate plan so that they can properly review things like the septic system, parking, lighting and landscaping and make sure that they comply with current standards. 

The applicant expressed frustration in having invested both time in money in the narrative and drawing as presented.  He stated that all he wants to do is to fix the building so that he can attract some tenants. 

Following some further debate, it was agreed that the applicant would procure a proper site plan.  At his request, the Board provided him with the name and contact information for the Engineers representing both the Iazzetti and Duck Cedar Plaza applications, however they clearly noted for the record that providing him with this information was in no way an endorsement for either engineer.

Genting Group – Site Plan Review:
Representatives for Genting presented the Board with 60% plans for the project, which were reviewed.  Project revisions are on-going and while there have been no major changes to the overall plan, a few updates have been made.  The applicant has received commented from the Army Corps of Engineers and is working to respond to those.

Engineers were on site to examine the existing culverts and it was determined that ultimately one will need to be extended in order to provide for a turning lane into the resort.

The Dam was examined and appears to be in good shape. One minor repair will be necessary.

The Applicant met with the Fire District to discuss protection and access at the resort.  A variance will be needed in order to provide for proper access on the west side.  Plans for this were presented to the Fire District and they are comfortable with it.  Additional hydrants were requested on the west side and the applicant has no problem with installing these.

In the event of a large fire, water will be supplied via a dedicated underground fire suppression tank, which is designed to hold 750,000 gallons of water and is powered by natural gas.  The tank will use reclaimed water.  Additionally there will be a dry hydrant, which connects to an existing nearby pond. 

There has been a reduction in the overall amount of trees that will need to be removed, with a 10% increase in “tree-save” between the 30 and 60% plans.

With regard to renovations at the ski center, the applicant is planning to widen some of the existing trails and also add an additional slope.

In response to concerns expressed at the previous meeting, the applicant presented a large scale lobby level floor plan, which clearly showed the “family corridor” and the manner in which the casino itself will be separated from the hotel lobby as well as a large portion of the retail and restaurants located on that floor.

Board member Darren Maynard inquired about the “hiccup” that had been encountered when PIPC denied the applicant access to its land for the purpose of constructing an exit off the NYS Thruway.

He was informed that the applicant had a plan B in the form of a diamond interchange that would not require the use of any park land and that arrangements for this were underway.

Chair Reardon inquired as to whether the applicant had an idea as to when the siting committee might make their choices, and specifically whether or not they believed this would occur in mid-November as originally anticipated

The Applicant responded that they actually believed the committee might issue a decision on all 4 locations by the end of the month.

Chair Reardon then wondered how far out the applicant was from presenting their 100% plan.

He was told that by next week they expected to have a 70% plan and that revisions were progressing at a solid weekly rate.

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Agenda for Town Planning Board Meeting October 14, 2014

  1. Call to Order of the Regular Meeting
  2. Approval of the September 9, 2014 and September 16,2014 Minutes
  3. Duck Cedar Plaza- Calvary Church
    Section 9 Block 1 Lot 7; File #P8607-015
  4. Orange & Rockland- Sterling Forest Substation Upgrade
    Section 8 Block 1 Lot 7; File #P6404-001
  5. Patricia Iazzetti- 442 Route 17- Filling and Grading
    Section 10 Block 2 Lot 1; File #P8811-053
  6. Iazzetti Trucking- Referral to ZBA
    Section 9 Block 1 Lot 13; File #P8704-007
  7. Specialized Realty Services, LLC- Site Plan Review
    Section 1 Block 1 Lot 29; File #P6610-002
  8. Genting Group- Site Plan Review- Route 17a
    Section 1 Block 1 Lot 52.25
  9. Adjournment

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Special Town Planning Board Meeting September 16, 2014

The Town Planning Board held a special meeting on Tuesday, September 16, 2014.  Board members Joe Gartiser and Ray Ferri were absent.

Genting Group - Site Plan Review:
On behalf of Genting Group and Resorts World, Attorney Dominic Cordisco presented the Board with two short videos shown by the applicant at a presentation to the Casino Siting Board in Albany the week prior, which he said both outlined the applicant’s overall vision for the project and their attention to environmental concerns.

The videos, both about 5 minutes in duration, suggested that despite all the “doom and gloom” in the press regarding the long term stability of casinos in the region, Sterling Forest Casino/Resort would be the most sustainable of the all applicants because of its close proximity to both New York City and Woodbury Commons and also because Asian tourists will make up a large portion of the market. Genting feels that having a more global market will create long term stability for their project.

Following the videos, Mr. Cordisco called on an associate to outline some of the changes that have been made to the overall plan in direct response to environmental concerns since the application was submitted on June 30.  Some of the changes listed were:

-       Reduced wetlands impact (from 4.16 acres to 2.89)
-       A change in the main driveway configuration
-       A shift in the footprint of the main building
-       Removal of a storm water management pond
-       Removal of “the east parking lot” to be replaces with a retention pond
-       Relocation of a fountain
-       Changes to impervious surfaces
-       Reduced capacity of outdoor amphitheater (from 10,000 to 2,500)
-       Elimination of Mountain Biking and Trail Riding as recreational activities
-       Addition of a traffic circle at the main entrance to ease the traffic burden on 17A
-       Reconfiguration of parking

Board Attorney Alyse Terhune inquired about the amphitheater, pointing out that according to the plans, it appeared as though there were two theaters on the property, but only one was being discussed.

The applicant responded that there was only one theater planned and that the area that Ms. Terune was identifying as a second theater was a pre-existing jousting area used by the Renaissance Faire.

Board Chair Mike Reardon inquired about the second traffic circle and specifically where it was located. 

He was told that the circle was located near the front of the hotel and while it was new to the plan since June 30, it was not new to the Board as it had been on more recent plans and had also been openly discussed at a prior meeting.

Ms. Terhune inquired about the gaming area within the resort, which will be located on the main floor.  There appear to be two entrances at the front of the Building; one which leads to the resort lobby and the other which leads to the gaming area, and she is concerned that the larger, more prominently located entrance might lead directly to the gaming.  She noted that the applicant had previously indicated that the casino itself would be tucked away and not accessible from the main lobby.

The applicant responded that there were, in fact, two “grand entrances” and that both were located in the front of the building and were of equal size.  One entrance leads directly to the hotel lobby while the other leads to a lobby that will have access to the casino.  This second lobby will be part of what is called the “family corridor” and will be partitioned off from the gaming floor.

Chair Reardon inquired as to what the partitions would be made of and the applicant responded that they did not have an answer to that as of yet.

Board member John Ruel commented that at earlier meetings the applicant had suggested that the casino would be located on another floor entirely….separate from the lobby altogether.  It appears as if this has now been changed, which is fine so long as patrons will still be entering into a lobby and not directly onto the gaming floor.

Mr. Cordisco suggested that the applicant provide a more detailed rendering of this area at their next meeting.

Town Planner Bonnie Franson requested that moving forward that applicant clearly indicate all 5 tax parcels involved on their plans.  This will be important in terms of bulk requirements, etc.

Additionally, she noted that as per the Special Permit there was to be an area of roughly 10 acres to be dedicated as Open Space.  She requested that the area be disclosed and shown on the plans.

John Ruel inquired as to the determining factors in eliminating mountain biking as a recreational activity, suggesting it would be a viable source of income for the resort and pointing out that Mountain Creek has a very popular Mountain Biking area.

It was explained that the various agencies and groups who were responsible for both the formation and maintenance of the Park believed that it should be for “passive recreation” only and that neither mountain biking nor trail riding qualified as passive.

Mr. Ruel argued that this was silly and that mountain biking was not environmentally destructive.

It was suggested that Mr. Ruel bring this issue up at the next public hearing, and he noted that he intended to do so.

Kenneth English stated that he would like to hear more about why the gaming facility had been moved the ground floor of the facility.

This was briefly discussed with the applicant stressing that the casino would not be visible from the family corridor and pictures of the area were briefly introduced.

Mr. English then inquired about the amphitheater, noting the seating had been reduced and wondering specifically what had been done to mitigate the sound containment issue.

Mr. Cordisco commented that sound would be evaluated as a part of the Environmental Impact Statement, which would be presented to the Board in draft form in the near future.

Mr. Ruel suggested that the applicant take a look at Bethel Woods as a model of successful sound mitigation, noting that it was not necessarily the size of the venue that concerned him but the associated sound issues.

Andy Berish inquired about a phone call he had received earlier in the day inviting him to attend the Renaissance Faire on the evening of Saturday, September 20 as a guest of the applicant.  He wondered what this was all about.

It was explained that the applicant would be holding a general information session for residents on the Renaissance Faire grounds on Saturday evening and that the Faire would remain open past their normal closing time of 7pm for the event.  In addition to providing general information to the residents of Tuxedo, inviting them to the Faire is the applicants way of saying Thank You to the people of Tuxedo.

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Town Planning Board Meeting September 9, 2014

The Town Planning Board met on Tuesday, September 9 at 7pm.  Board member Linda Phelps was absent.

Public Hearing – Tuxedo Farms – Lot Line Change:
An Engineer for the Applicant presented the Board with drawings which showed a minor lot line change for the lot which will be donated to the school within the development.

Essentially, the configuration of the roadway which runs alongside the lot has been changed slightly and therefore, the boundaries of the lot have been adjusted accordingly.  The acreage of the lot remains the same.

Board member John Ruel noted that the lot, in general, was comprised of very rugged terrain and wondered if the developer had any idea what the school’s intended use for the property was.

The Engineer responded that the terrain was consistently rugged throughout the entire project site and that he had no idea how the school planned to use the property.

As there were no questions from the public, the hearing was then closed.

Tuxedo Farms – Lot Line Change:
Town Planner Bonnie Franson suggested some minor house-keeping type of edits to the plans as presented, following which the Board voted unanimously in favor of giving the project a negative declaration under SEQRA.  As there were no additional comments, the Board then voted unanimously in favor of approving the proposed change, subject the minor changes suggested by Ms. Franson.

Orange & Rockland – Sterling Forest Substation Upgrade:
Town Planner Bonnie Franson reviewed a project narrative, outlining the process and what has been accomplished to date in terms of project requirements and environmental review, with the Board.  Once this had been completed, the Board voted unanimously in favor of a negative declaration under SEQRA.  The Applicant will now go before the ZBA for necessary variances before coming back before the Planning Board for site plan approval.

Board member John Ruel inquired as to when the applicant hopes to begin work on the project, if approved.  The answer was early next year.

Duck Cedar Plaza – Calvary Church:
Along with his engineer Mike Sandour, Applicant and owner of the Duck Cedar Plaza, John Drastal appeared before the Planning Board to discuss plans to lease a portion of the building to the Calvary Church.  Mr. Sandour provided a brief history of the property and outlined the Applicant’s plans.  There will be no changes made to the exterior of the building or the overall layout.  2/3 of the rear portion of the building, formerly zoned for light industrial use, will be used by the church.  The congregation is expected to hold two nightly meetings during the week as well as one service on Sunday. Outside of that, the church’s business office will be occupied by a handful of employees during the week when the church is not in session. Parking was discussed at some length.  Current regulations requires for 1 space per 4 people, which should work well with the layout as is.  The applicant has designated the upper, southern most parking area for the church as well as a row of spaces near the rear of the building. 

Mr. Drastal informed the Board that he currently has several viable leases before him for the vacant spacces in the front and on the side of the building as well.  Some of these include a deli, an insurance office and a sports shop.  Some basic, preliminary renovations have been made to the building and now the focus will be on getting the individual stalls ready for lease.

There was also some discussion with regard to the northern end of the lot, which is currently undeveloped.  While there are no plans to develop this portion of the lot at this time, Mr. Drastal noted that if necessary, it could be gaveled over or paved to provide for extra parking.

Andy Berish inquired as to whether or not the property would be coming off the tax rolls if the church moved in there, commenting that this would be entirely unfair to the Town of Tuxedo.

Board Attorney Alyse Terhune responded that since the church would only be leasing the space, their presence would have no affect on the tax roll.

Following some further discussion, the Board voted unanimously in favor of an unlisted action under SEQRA.  They then set a public hearing for October 14.

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Town Planning Board to Hold Special Meeting on Casino Site Plan September 16

  1. Call to Order
  2. Genting Group - Site Plan Review- Route 17a
    Section 1 Block 1 Lot 52.25
  3. Adjournment

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Agenda for Town Planning Board Meeting September 9, 2014

  1. Call to Order of the Regular Meeting
  2. Approval of the August 12, 2014 Minutes
  3. Tuxedo Farms (formerly known as Tuxedo Reserve) - Lot Line Change
    Section 14 Block 1 Lot 34.2; File #P8909-053
  4. Orange & Rockland - Sterling Forest Substation Upgrade
    Section 8 Block 1 Lot 7; File #P6404-001
  5. Duck Cedar Plaza - Calvary Church
    Section 9 Block 1 Lot 7; File #P8607-015
  6. Adjournment

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Agenda for Town Planning Board Meeting August 12, 2014

The Town Planning Board met on Tuesday, August 12 2014.  Board members Linda Phelps and Darren Maynard were absent.

Public Hearing – Watchtower – Site Plan Review – Filing and Grading:
Board Chair Michael Reardon announced that Watchtower had withdrawn their application.  The Public hearing was then closed.

Howard Schaub – Site Plan Review:
Mr. Schaub read aloud plans for his property located on Woods Road. Essentially, what he would like to do is to fix up the existing 3 buildings and the surrounding property in the hopes of attracting new tenants.  No changes to the existing site plan have been proposed.  The property was zoned for 4 commercial uses; professional business, executive offices, testing/research laboratories and distribution from 1964 to 1998 and Mr. Schaub would like to retain/reinstate these same uses moving forward.  Renovation for this site, which has been vacant and in disrepair for many years, will allow for a diversified mix of housing, employment and commerce opportunities in Tuxedo and will, in Mr. Schaub’s view, promote economic growth.  Further details with regard to the history of the site and construction of the buildings were provided and Mr. Schaub stressed several times that he was not proposing changes to either the building or the landscaping and that there would be no disturbance to the surrounding area.

As drawings were not presented, Chair Reardon asked for confirmation as to whether or not the applicant was hoping to have the existing site plan re-approved. 

Mr. Schaub explained that he had submitted both the existing and updated plans and he reiterated that all he was looking to do was to refurbish what was pre-existing.

Chair Reardon then asked the applicant what, if anything, would be tested in the laboratories.
Mr. Schaub responded that the uses as proposed ran with the property and as he has not yet begun to attempt to attract leasers, he could not answer that question.

Town Planner Bonnie Franson reiterated that the applicant was asking for uses that were previously approved for this property.  She further commented that an Environmental Quality Review would be necessary and cautioned that in anticipation of use; a site plan, signed by a licensed individual must be submitted. She further outlined the required process by explaining that additional information would be necessary with regard to the proposed uses, even if hypothetical, in order to determine what the parameters for each particular use would be.  For example, the parking requirements could be different for each use and they will need a rough estimate as to the number of potential employees in order to determine this.  Additionally, the Board will require more information on said uses before they can comment on the SEQRA review, such as hours of operation, number of employees etc.
Engineer Jeff Marsden commented that the current survey, which dates back to 1985, would need to be updated and a new topographic survey will also be necessary.  The map is also missing some key information.

Ms. Franson pointed out that all of these things are requirements of the approval process and are listed as regulations in the code.  While waivers can be requested for certain requirements, the applicant must provide specific reasons when requesting these waivers.
Mr. Schaub expressed frustration with this commenting that he did not believe all of these things would be possible for him.  He stressed that all he wanted to do was to clean up the property so that he could bring some tenants in, but that all of these requirements would make that impossible, which was in his view “probably the Board’s intent.”

It was pointed out to Mr. Schaub that the Board was sympathetic to his situation but that there was a process in place and he would have to abide by it.  Mr. Schaub then collected his things and left the meeting.

Mike Santoianni, Mr. Schaub’s realtor, then addressed the Board on Mr. Schaub’s behalf explaining that Mr. Schaub’s frustrations stemmed from the fact that he had long been trying to pull the property together but had faced opposition after opposition with the property having been vandalized multiple times.  Additionally, a utility pole at the site fell down and subsequently power was turned off. To date, they have not been granted permission to restore service.  Nobody knows what kinds of tenants might come, but the property needs to be cleaned up in order for them to find out.  He feels that the Town needs to be more lenient in working with the people to allow them to maintain their properties with relative ease.  The original site plan was lost, so Mr. Schaub drew up a new one and now he is attempting to go through the process.  Nothing at the site has changed.  He just wants to maintain the property and get it back up and running.  It seems to Mr. Santoianni that more money is being spent on preventing this from happening than what it would cost to do the work.  The Board has the power to grant variances and Mr. Santoianni feels they should exercise that power.

Chair Reardon responded that it was his understanding that it was the applicant’s job to request a variance, not the Board’s job to offer one.  It seems to him as though Mr. Schaub is asking the Board to grant him a blanket approval based on a bunch of unknowns.

Board member Joe Gartiser stated that he had been on the Board for 30 years and that no applicant had ever come before them in this manner.  He suggested that Mr. Schaub should create a proper site plan and present it.

Mr. Santoianni  countered that Mr. Schaub had in fact had an architect create the site plan.
Both John Ruel and Raymond Ferri pointed out that the plan that was submitted by the applicant had not been stamped by a licensed architect.

Mr. Santoianni responded that the list of requirements was “insurmountable” and that the Board’s M.O. seemed to be, in his view, “to blame the victim.”

Bonnie Franson suggested that calling the applicant a victim was setting an inappropriate tone.
John Ruel commented that in business, one needs to spend money to make money.  That is how it works. This is the process.  Nobody has said no to anything, rather they are simply requiring the applicant to follow the correct procedure.  He pointed out that Genting has spent a ton of money making their application for a casino to the Town and if, in the long run, they do not get their permit, they will not get that money back.  If Mr. Schaub is only planning to make minor repairs to the property he might not even need a site plan.  It is possible that much of this work can be covered with a permit.  He reiterated that the Board was sympathetic to the applicant’s situation but that Mr. Schaub needed to handle himself professionally and follow the correct process.  He further suggested that the applicant should set up a meeting with the Building Inspector to determine more specifically what needed to be done and whether that work could be handled with a permit or would require a variance.

Orange & Rockland – Sterling Forest Substation Upgrade:
The Board voted unanimously in favor of a Negative Declaration for the project under SEQRA.  The applicant will now go to the Zoning Board of Appeals for a Special Use Permit before returning the Planning Board with a site plan for the project.

Tuxedo Farms – Lot Line Change:
Andrew Dance of Related Companies explained that an agreement had been reached with the school district in regard to a plot of land, which the Developer is required to donate to the district as part of their obligation under the Special Permit.  As the project has progressed, the shape of the lot, originally created back in 2007, has changed slightly and now they would like to move the northerly border several feet in order to bring the lot into alignment with the road.  There is no development associated with this minor lot line change.

Bonnie Franson advised the applicant that a survey would be required and that topography needed to be added to the map.  Additionally, bulk requirements must be noted on the plans.  A public hearing will be required as per subdivision regulations.

Following some minor discussion the Board voted unanimously in favor of setting a public hearing date of September 7 at 7pm.  It was also agreed that Ms. Franson would prepare a Negative Declaration (SEQRA) to be voted on at the next meeting.

Genting Group – Site Plan Review:
On behalf of Genting Attorney Dominic Cordisco introduced engineers Kevin Van Hise and Erica Carter, who presented the Board with some updates to the applicant’s site plan and utilities.  What was presented represents a 30% plan, meaning that 70% of the work remains unfinished at this time.  The applicant hopes to present a 60% plan at the Board’s next meeting in early September.  Presented changes include:

1.       Change to wetlands impact – Initially, the plan called for 9 acres of wetland disturbance associated with the development, but this has been reduced to less than 3 acres.  The applicant has achieved this by removing a man-made lake from the plan.  This was done after meetings with the DEC and Army Corps during which it became clear that neither entity was in favor of the lake.

2.       The main building will be moved back/north 50 feet – The applicant was originally planning to cantilever the building over the Indian Kill Stream, however this has been advised against and therefore they are moving the entire structure in order to keep clear of the Indian Kill Channel.

3.       Relocation of the Water Reclamation Facility – Preliminary plans called for the water reclamation facility to be located where the existing water treatment plant is, however as part of the mitigation process they have elected to move the building.

4.       Upgrades to the Water Reclamation Facility – Another step has been added to the polishing process (having to do with membrane treatment) and the result will be enhanced Class A water which, while technically good enough for drinking, will be used for “reclaimed” purposes such as irrigation, snow making, toilet flushing and at the cooling towers.  The water used for toilet flushing will be treated with chlorine, while the rest of the water will remain untreated.

Diagrams and schematics outlining all of these changes were presented to and circulated amongst the Board.

Board Attorney Alyse Terune wondered if moving the building 50 feet to the north would result in any additional changes to the building or the number of parking spaces.
The answer was no.

oe Gartiser inquired as to how many gallons of water per day they anticipated that the Resort would use.

Ms. Carter explained that on the average weekday, they anticipate 157,000 gallons while 314,000 will be used on weekends.  These numbers represent maximum figures.

Somebody inquired as to where the water would discharged and Ms. Cater responded that water discharges just upstream of the Indian Kill Reservoir.  Currently, Class C water is discharged, but once the new facility is online, the discharged water will be Class A.

Bonnie Franson asked whether or not the applicant had spoken with either the DEC or the Health Department with regard to the intended reclaimed uses.
Ms. Carter stated that these conversations are on going.

The differences between water use at the Casino and the Renaissance Faire site were briefly discussed.  The casino represents a more urban type of design and therefore the water treatment plan will be on a much larger scale while the Renn Faire will have less of an impact and therefore can rely on the use of rain gardens and swales as part of the plan.
Bonnie Franson wondered whether the applicant was still planning to construct the funicular railway as part of their upgrades to the Ski Center. 

The answer was yes.  The plans are still a work-in-progress.

Ms. Franson suggested that the Board will need to see detailed demolition plans for the current structures at the ski center as they have no idea what might be there (asbestos etc) She further suggested that they would need to see more details with regard to the pedestrian bridge.

An audience member inquired about the impact of the casino’s water plan on existing wells and ground water.

This was very briefly discussed and it was ultimately determined that this would be evaluated as part of the EAF.

Joan Alleman inquired as to where the effluent would end up.

She was informed that it would go into the Ramapo River.

She then wondered if there was any potential danger to the Wee Wah Lake. 

She was told that the Wee Wah Lake is another watershed and that “unless water can flow up hill” there was no potential threat there.

Ms. Carter was asked how much water the resort would be pulling from the Indian Kill Reservoir in total each day.

The answer was 290,000 gallons.

Board member John Ruel commented that normally when people of waste water they think of sewage, but in this water will actually be Class A water, an improvement over the Class C water currently being discharged.

Claudia B wondered how the projected withdrawal amounts compared with the current withdrawal amounts.

It was explained that the reservoir has the capacity to provide 600,000 gallons per day.  The resort will be taking less than half of that amount.

Mrs. Baktiary wondered if that water would all be replenished as part of the natural cycle and also whether there would be any direct effect on water intake for those residents living in the area.

The answers to these questions were yes the water would be replenished and no, resident intake will not be affected.  

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Agenda for Town Planning Board Meeting August 12, 2014

  1. Call to Order of the Regular Meeting
  2. Approval of the June 10, 2014 and June 18, 2014 Minutes
  3. Watchtower – Site Plan Review -Filling and GradingSection
    1 Block 1 Lot 60; File No. P8607-006
  4. Orange & Rockland – Sterling Forest Substation Upgrade
    Section 8 Block 1 Lot 7; File #P6404-001
  5. Howard Schaub – Site Plan Review
    Section 1 Block 1 Lot 29; File #P6610-002
  6. Tuxedo Farms (formerly known as Tuxedo Reserve) –Phase 1A Land
    Development Plan Review
    Section 9 Block 1 Lot 11.22; File #P8909-053
  7. Genting Group – Site Plan Review - Route 17a
    Section 1 Block 1 Lot 52.25
  8. Adjournment

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Special Town Planning Board Workshop July 22, 2014

Present: Chairman Michael Reardon,
Absent: Linda Phelps

Mrs. Terhune updated the Board on the status of the Genting special use permit application. They have submitted the draft scoping document and a public scoping session will take place on July 31. The planning board needs to review the scoping document and make suggestion about items that need to be addressed in the review. These comments should be sent to the Town Board. Ms. Terhune suggested each Planning Board member write his or her comments to Deborah Villanova and Bonnie Franson (Town Planner) and Ms. Terhune will draft these comments into the form of a memo and submit that to the Town Board.

They also received a site plan application on July 18. The documents are available for the Planning Board to review and should be picked up. They have not presented anything to the Planning Board formally, but Ms. Terhune was expecting special meetings with the Planning Board to discuss the site plan documents will be taking place soon. The Planning Board will be allowed at least 10 days to review the materials to see if items are missing. Ms. Franson noted that some items will be missing since they are allowed to submit certain items as a part of the EIS. Getting also made an informal presentation to the ARB on July 17. Ms. Terhune was there only to present the notice of intent to declare the Town Board as Lead Agency for the SEQR review and then had to leave. However, it is her understanding that the presentation was made with a lot of back and forth discussion. There will be a (tentative) meeting with the ARB on the 29th and it is expected at this meeting Genting will submit new designs based on the discussion at the July 17 meeting. They discussed the importance of having legal council sit in on the July 29th meeting with the ARB.

Ms. Terhune also notified the Planning Board that the Town Board has made a positive declaration for the special use permit in regards to the casino proposal and this means a full EIS must be initiated. Ms. Terhune mentioned that Ms. Franson collected all the comments solicited by the public in various ways (public statements, written questions, etc.) and prepared these comments for review by the consultants and into the draft scoping document. Ms. Franson noted many of the comments were around the development’s effect on air and water quality, noise, and community character. Once the draft scoping document is finalized, the applicant (Genting) will prepare the Draft EIS.

Ms. Terhune mentioned the Town Board heard back from all the involved agencies listed on the SEQR document and none objected to their designation as lead agency. However, the Palisades Interstate Park Commission objected mostly regarding the Thruway exit 15B. They are only an interested agency in the SEQR for the special use permit. It was mentioned that there is a separate SEQR submitted for the Exit 15B interchange and it is possible that the Thruway Authority is intending to be the lead agency. Ms. Terhune mentioned this might be a problem, since PICP is likely an involved agency in this review and without Exit 15B the project will not move forward. The Town Board is still responsible for reviewing traffic in relationship to how this will change with the Exit 15B interchange. Chairman Reardon asked if there was one lane each way on Rt 17A still continuing past the casino to Benjamin Meadow and Greenwood Lake and that this might have to be looked at more closely as to how it will affect traffic. Ms. Franson noted that the Town can evaluate this and can require mitigations if it seems it will cause traffic problems. Ms. Franson with the others in attendance went on to discuss that traffic patterns and change in use should be looked at as well because with the Exit 15B that might change where people decide to drive. Also, it is worth considering what happens when improvements are made to a road (i.e. straightening it), since if they are easier to drive along it might encourage more traffic.

Ms. Terhune then discussed that they changed the award process so that the Gaming Location Board can now earmark which project they want to grant the license to, but it won’t be given until the SEQRA process is complete. Mr. Rigoli asked if there is a restriction by the Gaming Commission in regards to the maximum time period the SEQR process can take. Ms. Terhune said that although there weren’t any restrictions to the length of time it takes to conduct a SEQR, the Gaming Commission considers speed to market in their decision making. They would look more favorably upon an applicant who noted that they could reasonable complete the SEQR process in a shorter time period. There is a schedule attached to the application where Genting notes the timeline for when they are expecting the relevant permits and it seems they are moving quickly. It is the speed that seems to be driving the number of consultants involved in these studies and the significant amount of money Genting is putting towards the effort.

Chairman Reardon asked the board if there were any preferences from the Planning Board in regards to the nights they would like the special meetings held. It was suggested Wednesdays are better. Chairman Reardon also requested a list of all the relevant agencies phone numbers and email addresses so they can best coordinate these efforts and make sure they communicate well in regards to the proposal. Specially, he asked for the contact information for all the Planning Board members, the Town Board members and the Architectural Review Board members. Ms. Terhune cautioned against what should be included in interagency emails and suggested that they include in the subject line that they are confidential.

The Planning Board then moved to talking about the Tuxedo Farms development. They are opening up the special use permit again, since they are now requesting moving 40 acres slated for apartments/multifamily housing/townhouses to an area that is more flat and will be less noisy. They are suggesting swapping a part of the school site (currently slated to house fields) with these multifamily housing areas. There was a request for a lot line change related to this request to move the location of the multi-family housing. The Board then discussed the deal currently in discussion with the school board, exchanging either land or money for the land in question. They were unsure what the discussion was actually about and would follow up with the school board to learn more. The Board discussed how it seemed the developer wanted to put this type of housing (i.e. higher density and nosier) further away from the high-end buildings, and have therefore proposed sticking in close to the existing communities. They also discussed how this would change the use of Mountain Rd., which is currently only available only for emergency use. Ms. Franson stated that this area in question is 180 units of multifamily housing that will be developed by another company and they are planning a deal sometime in August. Related wants to sell this one spot for apartments to another developer. The Board also discussed what the visual impact from Rt 17 and the surrounding, existing community would be and decided to request a visual “walk through” of the site lines to determine what the proposal would actually look like.  Specifically they are asking the developer to submit two different plans for each of the proposed spots; each proposed spot would show the site lines (i.e. a virtual walk-by) for the ball fields vs. the multifamily housing.

The Board also discussed the proposed location of the sewer line, which seemed to cut right through the multifamily development and would further degrade the view shed, exposing the backs of the multifamily housing to Rt 17. The Board again reiterated the need to have a view shed study so they could see how the different proposals would really look. It was also stated that the approval was for 1195 units and if the changes don’t fit, the Board can not approve it and the developer can’t do it.  They scheduled a conference call with 3 Planning Board members to discuss the issue with the Tuxedo Farms representative to take place at 5:30pm on July 23.

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Agenda for Town Board & Planning Board Special Workshop Session July 23, 2014

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Town Planning Board Meeting July 8, 2014

The Town Planning Board met on Tuesday, July 8 at 7pm.  Board member Joe Gartiser was absent.

Chair Mike Reardon began the meeting by welcoming new Board members Rich Rigoli and Raymond Ferri.

Public Hearing – Watchtower – Site Plan Review – Filing and Grading:
The applicant was not present and therefore, the hearing was continued to the August meeting.

Public Hearing – Patricia Iazzetti – 442 ROUTE 17 – Filling and Grading:
The applicant’s engineer presented the Board with revised plans for the filing and grading project on their property located at 442 Route 17 and provided the public with a brief overview of both the project and the revisions. 

Addressing previous concerns, he explained that both stumps and topsoil would be removed and brought to off site locations simultaneous (truck for truck) to the importation of fill.

Mike Squilini inquired as to whether or not it was truly necessary to dump that much dirt next to the river.  Commenting that he lived downstream from the project, he pointed out that the Ramapo has already been encroached upon and expressed his concern that this might make the situation worse.

Board Chair Mike Reardon informed him that the applicant did not own the property directly adjacent to the river, so there would be a buffer zone between the project and the water.

Mr. Squilini responded that with heavy rain, the water would come up the bank and the fill could easily wash down into the river.

Board member John Ruel stated the necessary analysis/studies had been completed by the applicant.

Town Engineer Jeff Marsden concurred and further stated that there would be no fill within the 100-year flood plain and therefore, no water would be displaced there.

Mr. Squilini wondered whether or not there was an “original plan” for the property detailing what was supposed to be done there.

Town Planner Bonnie Franson suggested that Mr. Squilini might be thinking of the applicant’s other, adjacent property, for which there was a site plan in existence.  She explained that this had already been discussed at previous meetings and that there would be no stockpiling allowed on this second site due to restrictions that were currently in place there.

She then commented that the Board was still awaiting responses to the application from two agencies: the DEC and the Historic Preservation Office.  She advised the Board that the delay in response was probably due to “other large applications” that had been due on June 30 and suggested that it would be prudent to wait for these responses before voting on the Iazzetti application.

There followed a discussion with regard to the quality of fill being imported.  Jeff Marsden reminded the applicant that said fill must entirely clean (containing no construction debris of any kind) and certified as such.

Kristian Matthews wondered who would be in charge of project oversight and was informed that typically this was handled by the Town Building Inspector, Dave Maikisch. 

Mr. Matthews then inquired as to whether the Board felt confident that they could “sign off” on the plan and that it would not have negative effects on the East Village Bridge or the East Village at large.

Board Attorney Alyse Terhune explained that The Board could not really “sign off” on something like that, but rather they could certify that all of the approvals granted were specific to the flood plain and that only work specific to those approvals would be permitted.

Mr. Matthews wondered if there were any containment devices in place as part of the plan to protect the river.

Engineer Jeff Marsden responded that there would be a silt fence installed.  Additionally, the project schedule calls for the fill to be installed incrementally and the applicant will vegetate as they go.  Because the slope is fairly flat, Mr. Marsden believes that it should stabilize with relative ease.

Mr. Matthews asked for some clarification as to the length of the project. Would it be finished in 3 months?  3 years?

This question was not answered.  Rather, there was further discussion with regard to staking out the floor plane.

Mr. Squlini wanted to know the name of the company that would be used to test the fill as it was imported to the site.

The applicant’s engineer responded “What am I building the Hoover Dam here?”  He further commented that they would bring in a testing company at the end of the project if deemed necessary.

Mr. Squilini suggested that there were companies that over saw projects such as this and that each individual load should be monitored and signed off on.

Board Engineer Jeff Marsden replied that he was familiar with this practice, however the slope in question was considered mild at 3 to 1 and typically in cases such as these, this type of testing was not required for non-structural fill.  That being said, the Board can require it if they feel it necessary.

Ms. Terhune concurred commenting that Mr. Marsden and the Board had the authority to recommend an inspection plan to ensure the safety of the river and those inspections could take place as often as they deemed necessary.

The applicant’s engineer stated that he had never seen extensive testing like this done for basic grading and grass laying.

Mr. Marsden commented that he didn’t feel they needed to test every single load; however he stressed the importance of making sure that the fill was properly compacted and stabilized due to its close proximity to the River.

Board member John Ruel wondered whether or not the applicant intended to use pre-seeded mats to help stabilize the project.

There was a somewhat lengthy discussion of various types of stabilization mats and it was determined that Mr. Marsden believes they should be used in order to properly stabilize the project and protect the river.

Board member Rich Rigoli stated that he was in favor of regular inspections.

Board Chair Mike Reardon suggested that the applicant should be required to submit a project schedule and that subsequently, an inspection schedule could be developed.

Mike Squilini commented that he really believed that they should consider hiring a professional company to monitor the situation so that the Town would have something to fall back on.

Chair Reardon responded that the Town employs Jeff Marsden and Dave Maikisch to do that job and that he did not feel comfortable asking the applicant to hire an outside firm.  If Mr. Squilini did not have faith in Jeff and Dave, this would be a different subject to be discussed at another time, but property owners have rights and these need to be respected.

Mr. Squilini replied that if the Board felt comfortable with Jeff and Dave then it was “all good.”  He reiterated his concern that the Town should have something to fall back on as well as his overall concern for the health of the river.

On another note entirely, Jake Matthews wondered if there might be a way that applicants coming before the Board could display their plans so that members of the Board and the public alike could view them.  He noted that this would surely make the conversations more constructive, especially during a public hearing.

The idea of requiring applicants to bring an easel and/or other cheaper methods of display was briefly discussed.  Ms. Terhune reminded the public that plans were technically public documents and as such were always accessible via the Town Hall.  She also suggested that the Board might consider requiring applicants to submit digital copies of their plans, which could in turn be posted on the Town’s website.

Speaking to Chair Reardon’s earlier point, Kristian Matthews commented that he agreed that property owners had rights that should be respected, however he cautioned that because of its proximity to the Ramapo, this application should be treated as “sensitive.” “The river is silted in already,” he stated “and needs to be dredged.”  The addition of even a minimal amount of silt could be very detrimental.  He implored them to put the proper measures in place to make sure that everything was installed properly for the sake of both the river and the people living downstream.

Board member Darren Maynard stated that when reviewing an application he looks at three major things.  He listed them, making sure to note that they were in no particular order.
1. The people who live near the project and how they will be affected
2. How will the project effect the Town overall
3. The Applicant

Speaking for himself personally, he assured Mr. Matthews that he had paid careful attention to all three in this case.

Patricia Iazzetti noted that she also has family living in the East Village and does not want to see anything happen there.

Commenting that he realized this might not be the appropriate time to raise this point, Chair Reardon stated that another major concern with regard to the health of the Ramapo River was the fact that Ramapo will not allow Tuxedo Farms to utilize their sewage plant and therefore, the developer must construct a new one.

Town Councilman Gary Phelps responded that he agreed and that Chair Reardon was “preaching to the choir” with regard to this particular issue.

As there were no more comments from the public, the hearing was then closed.

There followed some brief discussion during which Mr. Marsden suggested that regular inspections be a condition of project approval.  Ms. Terhune advised the Board that they need to wait for a response from the DEC before voting on the application and also that there would be a requirement to post a performance bond.

The discussion will be continued at the August meeting, by which time a response from the DEC should have been received.

Orange & Rockland – Sterling Forest Substation Upgrade:
As all of the appropriate agencies save the State Historical Preservation Association have responded favorably, the Board voted unanimously in favor of declaring themselves Lead Agency for the project under SEQRA.  Bonnie Franson of H2M asked the applicant for an update on environmental issues, siting a letter from the DEC in which a couple of species (2 types of bats and the timber rattlesnake) were listed as possible areas of concern.  The applicant responded that further analysis/studies had been completed and that there did not appear to be any cause for concern in this area.  Additionally, they have submitted an updated wetlands map to the DEC and are awaiting their response. 

Tuxedo Farms – Phase 1A Land Development Plan Review:
On behalf of Tuxedo Farms, Andrew Dance updated the Board with regard to changes to the Tuxedo Farms development and advised them that things were moving forward at full speed.  The order in which the development will be constructed has been changed.  Originally, the plan called for the Northrige section to be built first, however due to some unforeseen circumstances on the site, the Upland Park, Commons and West Terrace areas of the development will now be first.  The housing mix in the Northridge area has been changed and will now be comprised of less townhouses and more apartments, single-family/attached single-family homes.  Related Companies is currently interviewing builders for this area as well as the others.  According to Mr. Dance, “The best builders and all builders are interested in building in Tuxedo.”   Other changes include the relocation of the greeting center from the side of Route 17 to the Commons Area and the relocation of the Town offices/Meeting Space (developer is required to give the Town Board a new municipal building after 10 years to include meeting space for up to 200 people) Additionally, the YMCA Board has officially approved the Tuxedo Farms YMCA, which will no doubt be a valuable addition to the entire Tuxedo community.  There remain a few items that need to be addressed with the Town Board, namely technical in nature, and the applicant hopes to get these things sorted out during the month of August so that they can return to the Planning Board in early September or October with a full set of amended plans.

Board member Darren Maynard wondered how the developer had been able to downsize the housing mix in Northridge and yet still retain the same unit count.

Mr. Dance explained that the units would now be more single-family oriented apartments as opposed to townhouses.  Once they have hired a builder for this neighborhood, they will be able to present a clearer picture of how it will look.

Ms. Terhune asked Mr. Dance whether or not they had been able to make any headway with Rockland County with regard to possible sewer hookup.  Unfortunately, the answer was no.  Everyone agreed that it seemed crazy that the development is being denied access to the underused Rockland County plant and must therefore construct a new facility.  Surely, multiple facilities along the Ramapo River will not be a good thing in the long run.

Genting Group – Updated on Site Plan – Route 17A:
On behalf of Genting, Attorney Dominic Cordisco introduced Civil Engineer Kevin Van Hise, who provided a somewhat brief overview of ongoing engineering efforts.  With regard to storm water management, he reported that the casino and Renaissance Faire sites will be handled separately.  The developer will be constructing a water treatment facility and all water coming from the casino will be cleaned prior to its discharge, the proposed location of which is just below the Indian Kill Reservoir, where United Water already has a discharge site.  Existing waterways contain Class C water however, after treatment the water that will be coming from the casino will be Class A.  Therefore, the resort will be effectively putting back better water than what is currently there.  Additionally, they have proposed a water reclamation plant, which will allow them to recycle some of the water for re-use in the hotel (irrigation, toilet flushing, etc) The applicant is in receipt of a letter from Untied Water assuring them that there are no anticipated issues with their daily demands, estimated to be roughly 285,000 gallons with a maximum of 370,000.

Traffic was also discussed.  The applicant is planning to construct a traffic circle where Route 17 meets Route 17A, which will enable them to keep the existing alignment of route 17 and therefore avoid any wetland disturbance.  There will also be an alternate route/exit for those cars traveling East on 17A who are not getting on the Thruway and do not want to use the traffic circle.

The Board then discussed at length whether or not to support the Town Board’s request for Lead Agency Status under SEQRA for the project. 

Board member Linda Phelps wondered if a decision had to be rendered that evening. 

She was told that the decision had to be made by July 14.

Darren Maynard wondered if it would be possible for the Board to discuss the issue during an executive session, but was informed that this would be inappropriate.

Chair Reardon wondered how the Town Board would feel/react if the Planning Board wanted to be the Lead Agency.

Town Councilman Gary Phelps responded that he did not know why the Planning Board would want the designation and that he believed that the Town Board had done an excellent job negotiating thus far.  That being said, he recognized that the Planning Board is an independent Board and as such has the right to make their own determination.

Chair Reardon responded that he had some concern over the fact that the Town Board was not in full support of the project and the Councilman Phelps replied that he did not believe that this was a concern that Chair Reardon should have.

Ms. Terhune reminded the Board that the as an Involved Agency they would still be heavily involved in the process and would be issuing their own Environmental Findings.  They will also be reviewing the site plan for the project concurrently.  As an Involved Agency, they will be expected to inform the Town Board with their findings and any concerns that might arise. 

Mr. Cordisco explained that the reason the Town Board had been selected as Lead Agency was because this title usually went to the Board with the most authority, which for this project, has clearly been the Town Board up to this point.  The Town Board will also issue the Special Permit.  The Planning Board really has two options.  They can say nothing and this will be interpreted as acceptance of the Town Board’s request.  They can also indicate consent, which is preferred and will make their overall intent clear to everyone.

Chair Reardon wondered if the Town Board would have the authority to approve a site plan that the Planning Board did not approve.

The answer was no.  Ms. Terhune commented that the site plan could not be approved without the Special Permit and reiterated that the Boards will be working concurrently on different aspects of the project.

Chair Reardon then stated that the Planning Board had only just been given this information that evening and that he did not believe that had had a proper amount of time to review and discuss it.  He further commented that as Chairman he felt he deserved the benefit of time to inform his Board.

Darren Maynard commented that this issue had fractured the community and the Boards alike, but it had passed and now it was time to unify and get everybody on the same page.  Personally speaking, he stated that he was not entirely comfortable with the idea of the Planning Board becoming the Lead Agency.

Linda Phelps stated that she did not want to make a commitment that evening and wondered if they might be able to schedule a Special Meeting in the near future.

Raymond Ferri concurred with this thought process and suggestion.

Mr. Cordisco cautioned the Board that if they chose to challenge the Town Board for Lead Agency Status, that this would unleash a several month long process whereby the decision is turned over to the a DEC Judge to render a decision.

Chair Reardon commented that in his view it was unfair that the Board had only just been given the information that evening and was now expected to make a decision.  That being said, he further commented that he had no desire to initiate any sort of argument with the Town Board and therefore he made a motion of support for their request.  This was adopted 5 to 1 with Raymond Ferri voting against.

Councilman Phelps advised the Board that in the long run they would be “more involved than they ever wanted to be with the project and Linda Phelps responded that her concern was not involvement, but rather the Town Board’s ability to work as a whole.

Councilman Phelps replied “We’ll be fine.”

Bonnie Franson wondered whether there would be two seperate SEQRA processes for the Thruway Interchange and the Hotel.

The answer was yes.  The Thruway Authority will evaluate the interchange as the overall effects of it are far greater than just traffic to and from the resort.

She then wondered where the Thruway Authority’s purview stopped and the Town’s began.

She was informed that the two would “co-mingle.”

This prompted some concern from Ms. Terhune who inquired as to whether there was a mechanism in place to provide the Town’s traffic consultants with any and all analysis completed by the Thruway Authority.

Chair Reardon requested that the Town Board provide the Planning Board with information on everything they were doing and Councilman Phelps assured him that they would.

From the Audience, Jake Matthews noted that in several public meetings Genting had stated that without interchange 15B, the project would not move forward.  He wondered if the SEQRA review for the Thruway would therefore be completed first or if the two reviews would be done concurrently. 

He was informed that the reviews would be concurrent.

He then wondered how the project would proceed should the Thruway Authority find the interchange not feasible.

He was told that if that were to happen, the project would not proceed.

Referencing information provided earlier by the applicant’s engineer that the resort was expected to use 275-370,000 gallons of water per day, Mr. Matthews wondered how these numbers compared to what was currently being discharged into the Indian Kill Reservoir.

The answer was that currently, the rate is roughly 65-70,000 gallons per day.

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Agenda for Town Planning Board Meeting July 8, 2014

  1. Call to Order of the Regular Meeting
  2. Approval of the June 10, 2014 Minutes
  3. Watchtower – Site Plan Review - Filling and Grading
    Section 1 Block 1 Lot 60; File No. P8607-006
  4. Patricia Iazzetti – 442 Route 17 – Filling and Grading
    Section 10 Block 2 Lot 1; File #P8811-053
  5. Orange & Rockland –Sterling Forest Substation Upgrade
    Section 8 Block 1 Lot 7; File #6404-001
  6. Tuxedo Farms (formerly known as Tuxedo Reserve) – Phase 1A Land
    Development Plan Review
    Section 9 Block 1 Lot 11.22; File #P8909-053
  7. Genting Group –Update on Site Plan – Route 17a
    Section 1 Block 1 Lot 52.25
  8. Adjournment

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Town Planning Board Meeting June 10, 2014

The Town Planning Board met on Tuesday, June 10 at 7pm. All members were present.

Public Hearing – Watchtower – Site Plan Review – Filling and Grading:
One behalf of Watchtower, Enrique Ford gave a brief overview of the proposed plan, which entails using left over material from their Warwick site to fill a portion of the Tuxedo site and stabilize a slope there in an effort to prevent possible erosion. The plan was initially presented to the Planning Board back in April and since that time all necessary action items have been followed up on and the plans have been updated accordingly. They are still awaiting a response from the DEC.

Town Engineer Jeff Marsden stated that there remained a few outstanding engineering issues. Specifically, they will need to know the amount of fill to be moved per day and the number of trucks that will be used. Additionally, they will need to know the size of said trucks. Mr. Marsden further commented that he had not noticed any erosion when visiting the site and suggested that in his view, there might be a better way to stabilize the slope in question, however ultimately this decision would be up to the Board.

Mr. Ford responded that it was their opinion that in the long-term, stabilizing the slop in this manner was the easiest and safest way to slow down erosion because they would be significantly reducing (if not stopping altogether) the water flow by flattening the slope.
Board Chair Michael Reardon inquired as to how much fill would be removed from the Warwck site in total and how much would be used at the Tuxedo site.

He was informed that 206,000 cubic yards would be removed in total with 56,000 to be moved to Tuxedo.

Town Councilman Kristian Matthews inquired as to whether or not they would need a mining permit to remove such a substantial amount of fill.

The answer was no.

Board member Joe Gartiser stated that he was in favor of the application and he liked what was being proposed.

Board Attorney Alyse Terhune wondered whether or not there was a structure being planned.

Watchtower responded that there would be a temporary structure, constructed of removable blocks, for the purpose of housing construction vehicles and that this would be removed once the construction phase had been completed. It will be for storage only and will not have a foundation.

Board Member Darren Maynard recalled that at the April meeting he had asked the applicant the underlying reason for the project and more specifically whether or not they were intending to build on the graded land in the future and their answer had been no. He wondered whether anything had changed since that time.

Mr. Ford responded that nothing had changed and that there were currently no plans to build there.

Board member John Ruel commented that it was only logical to assume that somewhere down the line, the land would be used for a facility, which was surely why they were shoring it up now.

Mr. Ford denied this stating that their mandate was to maintain the facility and that preventing erosion is, in their view, doing exactly that. If they want to build there down the line, they will come back to the Board for the appropriate approvals.

Mr. Ruel commented that when he had visited the site he had noticed several boulders and a silt fence, both of which looked fairly new to the site/landscape and he wondered whether or not Watchtower had put them there.

Mr. Maynard concurred and commented that he had not seen soil/sedement run off or evidence there of and again questioned the overall reason for the project stating “if it is simply to keep costs down and make use of material from the other site, that’s good.” Mr. Ford stated that the aforementioned boulders had been there when they took ownership of the property.

Engineer Jeff Marsden again stated that he had not seen any evidence of erosion on or near the slope in question when he had visited the property.

Mr. Ruel commented “Regardless, the plan is to level out the slope. I suppose it is not for me to understand why.”

Town Planner Bonnie Franson commented that further information would be needed with regard to trees, specifically the number and types to be removed and then planted.

Additionally, she requested that the applicant provide a partial wetlands analysis so that they could determine whether or not the proposed project would encroach on the nearby wetlands.

It was then unanimously agreed that the Public Hearing would remain open for another month while the Board awaits a response from the DEC.

Patricia Iazzetti – 442 Route 17 – Filling and Grading:
Both Tommy and AJ Iazzetti were present to discuss the application. As per concerns raised at the last meeting, Tommy confirmed that there will be no stock piling of material on the adjacent property. All other comments have been adequately addressed.

Board Engineer Jeff Marsden commented that he had only just received the updated plans and would need to review them.

Bonnie Franson confirmed that the plans will be sent to both the County and the DEC for review and that a Public Hearing should be set contingent on Mr. Marsdens comments.

The Board concurred and a Public Hearing was tentatively scheduled for July 8.

Orange and Rockland – Sterling Forest Substation Upgrade:
An attorney for Orange and Rockland addressed the Board, stating that all of the comments from the previous meeting had been addressed.

Bonnie Franson reported that she had reviewed the applicants responses to the comments as well as the EAF and everything looked fine. A Notice of Intent has been drafted and the applicant should circulate this to the necessary agencies after which there will be a 30-day time period for them to respond. Because the application will require variances as well as a Public Use Permit from the ZBA, that Board will hold a Public Hearing and the Planning Board will not have to if they do not think it necessary.

It was unanimously agreed that the Planning Board would not require a Public Hearing.
Engineer Jeff Marsden commented that all of his concerns had been addressed.

The Board will now wait while the letter of intent is circulated and the comments from various agencies come in before voting on the application.

Tuxedo Farms – Amendment Review:
On behalf of Tuxedo Farms, Dominic Cordisco stated that he did not have anything to present but wondered if the Board had any additional comments or concerns.

Bonnie Franson commented that she had been on a site visit and had given a number of comments to Andrew Dance verbally, but would put these into writing and submit them.
Jeff Marsden commented that testing in and around the Commons area where 2 large water basins are to be located is ongoing.

Genting Group – Informal Presentation:
Representatives from the Genting Group presented the Board with an “informal presentation” outlineing some of the project plans in further detail. Several of the Town’s consultants for the project were also in attendance and were introduced accordingly. Prior to the beginning of the presentation, Board Chair Mike Reardon commented that he might allow the public to ask some questions at the conclusion of the presentation, but he reminded eveyone that they must behave as “neighbors and friends” and that misbehavior would be greeted by a Police Escort out of the meeting.

Prior to the presentation, the application process was briefly reviewed by Genting. It was explained that while the Town of Tuxedo’s 2011 Comprehensive Plan does call for rezoning of the property in question for Tourism/Business, this change has not yet been made law and therefore, the Applicant will need to procure a Special Permit (similar to the one issued to Tuxedo Reserve several years back) from the Town Board. The Town Board will hold a Public Hearing before issuing said Permit. The role of the Planning Board is that of an enforcement agency. They will review the plans and make sure that they fit within the Town Code before issuing comments/recommendations to the Town Board, which will be the only entity voting on the application. The Planning Board will also conduct a Public Hearing. The Architectural Review Board will also review the application.

A slide show was then presented. Included were renderings of the hotel along with overhead maps detailing how the proposed Exit 15B will fit into the plan. There have been several changes to the plan since it was initially presented to the public back in May. Most notably, the building itself has changed dramatically. Instead of two main buildings with a total of 500 rooms, Genting is now proposing one large building, 6 stories tall, which will house 1000 rooms. There will be a giant parking structure located behind the hotel, with solar panels on the roof. Two pedestrian bridges will be constructed to allow guests to cross from the resort to both the Ski Center and Ren Faire sites and this should help ease the flow of traffic through the area. Genting has already purchased the Ski Center and plans to renovate the facility are underway. New chairlifts and snow making equipment are the first orders of business. Plans for renovating the Ren Faire site, to include a “Grand Entry”/gateway to the Park with trailheads, rejuvenated gardens and a 2000 seat amphitheater were also briefly touched upon. Genting hopes to extend the Ren Faire itself so that it will be open during the week (as opposed to only on weekends as it does now) which they feel will dramatically reduce the amount of traffic.

Two different potential layouts for Exit 15B (one a diamond and one a loop) were presented and reviewed. The first, and more preferred layout, makes use of ½ acre of Park Land, while the second (less desirable to the applicant) does not utilize any parkland. The applicant has met with the New York State Parks Department, but nothing has been approved to date. They have offered to exchange 10 acres of property abutting the Ski Center for the ½ acre needed to create the exit. Meetings with the New York State Thruway Authority are also ongoing. Two traffic circles will be added to Route 17 A (one at its intersection with Route 17 and another further up where Long Meadow Road comes in) and the road will be expanded to 4-lanes all the way to the base of Greenwood Lake Mountain.

Genting is planning to install catch basins wherever there are impervious surfaces in order to collect run off. This water will then be treated at their own treatment facility and recycled for use in the gardens and with making snow. The resort will be LEED certified and will take up only 14% of the entire property.

Rough floor plans depicting the location of various amenities as well as guestrooms were shown. Floor plans for what was described as a “typical room” and a “typical suite” were also briefly shown.

On behalf of Genting, Colin Au stated that good marketing would be key, but that he believed the site would be very attractive to tourists both American and International because of it’s location within a “pristine forest” within such close proximity to New York City.
Following the presentation, the Board addressed the applicant with some questions.

Board Chair Mike Reardon inquired about the increase in both the size of the main building and the number of rooms.

Mr. Au explained that most of the other casino hopefuls in Orange and Sullivan counties are proposing 500-700 room facilities and therefore, Genting felt that they needed to increase their numbers in order to stay relevant in the competition for a gaming license.

With regard to the Ren Faire, Chair Reardon wondered if anyone had contacted them directly about expanding to 5 days a week.

The applicant responded that they were currently in negotiations with the Ren Faire.

Chair Reardon then wanted to know if both Jim and Rob would be kept on at the Ski Center.

He was informed that Rob had already accepted employment with Genting and that Jim had expressed a desire to move on and had readily sold his contract.

When asked if more ski trails would be added, Mr. Au explained that safety at the facility was their first priority, which was why the chair lifts would be the first thing to be addressed, followed by upgraded snow and ice makers.

Finally, Chair Reardon wondered about the location of the casino within the resort and specifically whether or not it would be visible from the main lobby.

He was informed that the casino would be “tucked away” on another floor and guests looking to gamble would have to seek it out, as the Casino is not the prime focus of the resort.
John Ruel inquired about the traffic circle to be installed at the top of the ramp leading from Route 17 to Route 17A, and specifically whether or not there would be traffic lights there. He noted that the way things stand currently, traffic can become backed up in that area and he expressed some concern that merging in with two lanes of traffic coming off the thruway could exasperate this issue without the use of lights.

Genting responded that they were not planning to install lights. Police Chief Patrick Welsh had recommended that they take a look at the Bear Mountain Traffic Circle, which is a large rotary without lights that functions sufficiently well and maintains good traffic flow, and they have done this.

Mr. Ruel responded that he was glad to hear this and cautioned that they would need to be mindful of this approach when finalizing their plans, as it could potentially be a very dangerous intersection.

Referencing the increase in rooms, Darren Maynard commented that the initial plan had called for 400-500 rooms and wondered how the increase would impact the overall look of the hotel. Will there be more, smaller rooms?

Mr. Au explained that Genting has eliminated plans for a second building and elongated the hotel into the site, which will allow for the increase in rooms. The overall footprint remains unchanged.

Mr. Maynard responded that he was glad to hear that they had chosen to make the resort longer rather than taller. He feels it is crucial that they maintain a classy façade.

Mr. Ruel suggested that it might be helpful to have some photo renderings of the “areas of concern.”

Mr. Au then briefly opined on methods of transportation to the facility, commenting that they were hoping to be able to ferry people up the Hudson and then bus them to resort and also to make use of seaplanes on Greenwood Lake.

With regard to the proposed exit 15B, Town Councilman Kristian Matthews commented that noise from the New York State Thruway was already an issue for residents living in the East Village section of Town and that the increase in traffic on the thruway would only exasperate this issue. He pointed out that sound abatement/mitigation (i.e. a sound wall) had been approved, however never funded. He wondered if Genting would be willing to fund the construction of a sound wall.

The applicant responded that they would certainly be willing to take a look at the situation and explore/discuss it further.

Mike Squillini inquired about light pollution from the resort, especially in the wintertime.
He was told that as a LEED CERTIFIED resort, only LED lights would be used. There will be no big signs. The resort will be “subdued.”

Mary Yrizarry noted that Genting has stated that the hotel will be “tucked into the mountains” however she feels that the drawings as presented are totally incompatible with the low-lying mountains and the entire vibe of both Sterling Forest and Tuxedo Park. Stating that she believes no structure should be taller than the tree line, she bluntly stated that the proposed building “does not fit” with the area.

Mr. Au responded that the decision was that of the community representatives and that they had voted in favor of the project. He quoted Town Supervisor Mike Rost saying “you either change or you don’t” and reminded Mrs. Yrizarry that if Genting didn’t buy the property, there were several religious organizations who were interested in buying it and quite possibly taking it off the tax roll.

Mrs. Yrizarry reiterated that she felt the proposed architecture was “insensitive to the surrounding area” and she implored them to take a closer look at it.

Suzanne Williams stated that within the slide show, the actual casino floor and main façade of the hotel had only been shown for a few seconds. She feels that this is how Genting chooses to present “bad news” to their opposition. She pointed out that at a public meeting on April 30, Christian Goode had stated that the square footage of the project would be 1 million, but now Genting says it will be 1.5 million square feet. She inquired as to how many floors there would be in total.

The answer was six.

Christian Goode then denied having ever stated that the resort would be 1 million square feet, commenting that he may have given a rough estimate but did not believe he had ever provided an exact number.

Ms. Williams echoed Mrs. Yrizarry stating that she did not believe that the building as presented fit in with the character of Tuxedo Park.

Board Member Linda Phelps pointed out that the resort would not be in Tuxedo Park and that most people visiting the resort will not have access to the Village and therefore will not be able to compare the two.

Ms. Williams then commented that in the Village, Ridgeline concerns were very important and before she could finish this thought, Mr. Goode interrupted and assured her that these concerns were important to Genting as well. He believes the resort will fit right in. They are hoping to have a full-scale model of the project to present to the public by June 30.

Yanni Maris of Clinton Woods wondered whether Genting would continue to operate the ski center if they did not get a gaming license.

The answer was yes.

Mr. Maris then commented that many of the residents who live in the northern part of town feel that they are more the “stepchildren” of the town as they send their kids to a different school district and utilize United Water instead of the municipal system. He wondered if it would be possible for Genting to treat them “like and Indian reservation” by giving them something back.

Mr. Au explained that the Monroe school district would be receiving 13.5 million dollars, which should have a direct result on taxes. Additionally, they anticipated that water upgrades would be necessary in order for them to build the resort and that residents in this area should notice an improvement in water quality as a result. Residents will also maintain the same price for ski passes and not experience any upgrade as a result of the facility renovation.

Mr. Maris wondered if his kids might be allowed to swim in the resort pools, noting that residents in the north end of town are not eligible for Wee Wah Beach Club membership.
This question was chuckled at and glossed over without an answer.

Councilman Matthews noted that he felt the façade as presented did not fit in with the area, noting not only the number of straight lines but also the use of limestone. He suggested they take a look at the Bear Mountain Lodge, Mohunk Mountain House and also Yosemite as examples of mountain resorts that fit into the landscape, noting that use of rounded indigenous stone would go a long way to improving the overall look.

Christian Goode responded that local stone would be used.

Ms. Williams interjected that in her opinion the design as presented looks like Franklin Lakes, NJ and not Tuxedo Park NY.

John Ruel again pointed out that the general populace does not have access to Tuxedo Park and suggested that Mohunk and Bear Mountain were better examples.

Meg Vaught noted that Mr. Au had stated that 13.5 million dollars would go to the Monroe Woodbury School District, but that Genting had promised to negotiate with Monroe in an effort to assure that ½ of this amount went to the Tuxedo School District. She inquired as to the status of these negotiations.

Mr. Au responded that Tuxedo would receive 6.5 million and that this would be written into the Host Agreement.

Mr. Maris then asked about the number of parking spaces within the proposed structure and it’s proximity to the hotel.

He was informed that the structure would have at least 4,000 spaces (probably more) and that it would be located ¼-1/2 mile behind the hotel, which Genting believes will help pull the majority of traffic successfully away from Route 17A.

Finally, the Town Consultants were asked if they had any comments on the presentation.
The response was no, however the consultants assured both the Board and the Public that they were doing their due diligence and carefully reviewing all of the potential impacts of the project as well as mitigation and that in the end it would be their job to provide the Town with independent advice which they would in turn use to make their own decision.

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Agenda for Town Planning Board Meeting June 10, 2014

  1. Call to Order of the Regular Meeting
  2. Approval of the May 13, 2014 Minutes
  3. Watchtower – Site Plan Review - Filling and Grading
    Section 1 Block 1 Lot 60; File No. P8607-006
  4. Patricia Iazzetti – 442 Route 17 – Filling and Grading
    Section 10 Block 2 Lot 1; File #P8811-053
  5. Orange & Rockland – Sterling Forest Substation Upgrade
    Section 8 Block 1 Lot 7; File #6404-001
  6. Tuxedo Farms (formerly known as Tuxedo Reserve) – Amendment Review
    Section 9 Block 1 Lot 11.22; File #P8909-053
  7. Genting Group – Informal Presentation – Route 17a
    Section 1 Block 1 Lot 52.25
  8. Adjournment

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Town Planning Board Meeting May 13, 2014

The Town Planning Board met on Tuesday, May 13 at 7pm.  All members were present.

Mortimner-Arden Homestead – Lot Line Change – Continuation of Public Hearing:
On behalf of the applicant, Attorney Jim Sweeny gave a brief over view of the project, which entails shifting a property line on one of three parcels of land so that the applicant can restore/enhance the original homestead parcel of 72 acres. The remaining parcels will then be donated to OSI. (The Open Space Institute) A map was presented, depicting the proposed change, which Mr. Sweeny described as running more fluidly with the tree line and general topography.  A memo prepared by town consultants H2M was discussed.  Town Planner Bonnie Franson noted that there had been some concern as to whether or not the application would require a more extensive review under SEQRA due to its proximity to landmarks which are listed on the National Register of Historic Places, however it was determined that this would not be necessary.  There was some discussion with regard to whether or not the applicant would be required to submit a topography map as required by the code, however it was ultimately decided that because there will be no building permit involved and no land disturbance, the applicant can be granted a “hardship” and the requirement waived. 

Board member John Ruel inquired as to why the applicant wanted to make the change.

Mr. Sweeny responded that applicant felt it would look and feel better and that the new parcel would reflect more accurately the original homestead property.
Andy Berish wanted to know where on the property the dam that burst during Hurricane Irene was located.

He was informed that the dam was nowhere near the proposed change.

As there were no more questions from the public, the hearing was then closed.

Public Hearing - Joseph & Nancy Ribando – 3 Lot Subdivision – Septic System Review:
Town Planner Bonnie Franson began by providing a brief timeline review of the project as follows:

In 2008 the applicant first came before the Board with an application for a 3-lot subdivision for their property located on Nursery Road.  Municipal Connections to water and sewer were proposed at that time.  As the planning process continued through that year, the applicant began investigating the possibility of a septic system in the event that municipal hookups were not available.  In May of 2009 a public hearing was held and a plethora of neighbors expressed their concerns with regard to both drainage and septic issues.  The hearing remained open for several months.  In December of that year it was determined that municipal sewer hookups would not be permitted in Tuxedo until necessary improvements have been made to the Sewage Treatment Plant.  Over the next several months, the issue of drainage was closely examined and a detailed drainage proposal was presented and scrutinized at length.  The possibility of septic was also discussed.  In April the public Hearing was closed and in June the Board voted in favor of granting the applicant conditional preliminary approval, contingent upon their ability to hookup to the municipal sewer system.  The applicant in turn filed an article 78 lawsuit against the town however, that suit was later dropped in December of 2010 and it was agreed that an independent, third party engineer would carefully review the application and render a report.  This report was issued in October of 2013 and is favorable for the applicant.  As a result, the applicant is now back before the Board and would like to pursue a septic system for subdivision. 

Janet Galuska presented the Board with various historic documents including old subdivision agreements and property deeds, which she believes clearly show that the lots in question were deemed unbuildable and therefore should not be built upon.  Commenting that over time the water problems in this neighborhood have only gotten worse, she inquired as to what had changed that the Board was now considering allowing this plan to proceed.  She also expressed concern with regard to the proposed Eljen septic system, stating that the shallow trenches would be problematic and that she feared contamination of both ground and surface water.

Chris Schuct, who’s property abuts the Ribando’s, commented that he had requested that somebody notify him so that he could be present during the percolation tests, but nobody ever had.  He believes some of the tests conducted by the third party engineer were done on his property rather than the Ribando’s.  His deed and property survey differ from the one presented by the applicant.

Thelma Smith stated that she was the sister in law of late Bob Laburt, who worked for the TPA and she confirmed that he had told her that the lot in question was unbuildable, which was the reason that it was sold to the Ribando’s for a great deal less money than the other residents in that neighborhood paid for their lots.

Kathy Von stated that she was the previous owner of 76 Nursery Road and that she was speaking on behalf of the current owners.  When she originally bought her home, she was told that the TPA owned the property in question and that it was unbuildable.

Rich Rattazzi, who lives directly below the Ribando’s property at 1 Nursery Road, inquired about property markers, noting that he had not seen any.

He was informed that temporary markers had been used and removed.

He then inquired as to what was the actual amount of land that would be used to build the two houses with the proposed septic system.

He was informed that the homes with septic would take up roughly 20,000 square feet.

Mr. Ratazzi then expressed his concerns with regard to runoff, commenting that construction of the foundations, not to mention possible blasting, would surely cause a great deal of water to flow onto his property as well as the one next door.  He wondered if the applicant was planning to divert the underground springs that are located there.

He was told that the applicant’s engineer would be providing more information about the proposed septic system later in the evening and as he was the one who designed the system, it would be better to wait for him to explain.  Should Mr. Ratazzi have further questions following that explanation, he was told he would be able to ask them at that time.

Mike Santoianni stated that he was a former employee of the TPA.  With regard to the historic documents presented earlier by Mrs. Galuska he commented that the Board should understand that engineering in today’s world was not what it was back in 1955.  In today’s world there are more effective way of mitigating issues.  Just because the lot might have been labeled unbuildable back in 1955, this should not negate the property owners right to build there in 2014.  He believes that the Ribandos have the right to subdivide their land.  He further commented that in his view, the process of getting anything approved and done in Tuxedo is extremely onerous.  Tuxedo needs more houses!  He encouraged the Planning Board to approve the project, as he believes the Ribandos will construct nice homes.  He further encouraged the residents to look past their emotions and let go of their “not in my back yard” attitudes.

Andy Berish then called Mr. Santoianni an asshole and was immediately asked to tone it down.

Janet Galuska stated that she had been in the TPA office with Chris Sonne collecting information and that Mr. Santoianni had come in and told her that she needed to work with the Ribandos and not against them.  She feels this was inappropriate.  She then inquired as to whether there had been one or two sets of percolation tests completed, stating that there need to be two.

She was informed that there had been two.

She then stated that she would like to know exactly where the septic was going to be located relative to the homes, and once again expressed her concern with the proposed Eljen system.

As there were no more comments from the public, the hearing was then closed.

Mortimer-Arden Homestead – Lot Line Change:
On behalf of the applicant, Jim Sweeny formally requested that the Board waive the requirement that topography be shown on the property map.
Town Planner Bonnie Franson again advised the Board that given the fact that there was to be no building, she felt the request was reasonable and did not anticipate any issues with the waiver.

The Board then voted unanimously in favor of waiving the requirement.
Some general housekeeping issues were then reviewed and briefly discussed and some minor administrative changes suggested. 

After reviewing the required checklist, the Board determined that the project as proposed will not result in any significant adverse environmental effects and therefore voted unanimously in favor of awarding a negative declaration under SEQRA.  They then voted unanimously in favor granting conditional final approval for the project, subject to the minor changes previously laid out by Bonnie Franson. 

Joseph & Nancy Ribando – 3 Lot Subdivision – Septic System Review:
On behalf of the applicant, Engineer Mike Sandour stated that he had taken detailed notes during the public hearing and was prepared to address questions.  The design of the Eljen Septic System proposed by the applicant has been approved by the New York Health Department. 

Board Chair Mike Reardon wondered if Mr. Sandour knew of any Eljen systems that were up and running that the Board might be able to take a look at.

Mr. Sandour responded that typically, after the systems had been installed and certified he did not keep track of them, but he could probably provide the Board with an address where one was in operation.

With regard to the historic data, Mr. Sandour commented that he had been unable to find any documentation to support or negate the “unbuildable lot” classification, however he stated that it should be noted that requirements in the 50s and 60s were a lot different then they are now and that in all probability a total of 6, or some such small number, percolation tests had been done for all 16 original lots.

The public loudly objected to this assessment.

With regard to the issue of drainage, Mr. Sandour pointed out that the Ribanos would be installing a complex drainage system, part of which will run below the lots.  Overall, the system should reduce and mitigate drainage issues up to 70% both along the street and below the project.

Board member Darren Maynard wondered whether the septic system would purge if it were to be deluged with a large amount of water.

Mr. Sandour explained that it would not because the drainage systems in place would prevent this from happening.

Regarding concerns over the construction of the systems, Mr. Sandour stated that when they go to construction, they would need to be examined and then certified by a licensed professional.  He reminded the Board that an independent, third party engineer had reviewed and approved of the plans.  Additionally, he stated that Mr. Ribando has agreed to hook into the municipal system, should hook-ups become available to him.  In the meantime, should the applicant fail to maintain the systems after they are installed, the Town will do so.

Mr. Ratazzi commented that he did not have a problem with the houses being built but he would like for the applicant to sign a document stating that when problems do occur, they will be responsible for them.  Neither the neighborhood residents nor the town should be liable for these issues, in his view. 

Board Chair Mike Reardon responded that he could not agree with this.  He explained that the Planning Board is mainly an enforcement agency and that their job is to enforce the code.

Board Attorney Alyse Terhune asserted that the Town would not take any responsibility for the project or the property.  The only way they could legally do so would be if there was a dangerous/hazardous situation. 

Mr. Ratazzi pointed out that Mr. Sandour had just said that should the applicant fail to maintain the systems, the Town would do so.

Ms. Terhune responded that this was absolutely not the case.

Mr. Ratazzi expressed dismay over the fact that ever since the Town had paved Nursery Road and changed its’ pitch, there has been a major increase in the amount of flooding.

Town Engineer Jeff Marsden stated that the system was designed to withstand a 25-year storm and provided that was all it was asked to endure, it would hold up just fine.

Mr. Ratazzi pointed out that this area has experienced  a 100 year storm every year for the last 5 years.   He wondered if the proposed system would definitely overflow should another 100-year storm hit.

Mr. Marsden responded that it could.

Board member Joe Gartiser commented that he wanted to state for the record that there would be two different systems, one for sewage and one for drainage, and that storm water and sewer water would not mix.

There followed a somewhat lengthy discussion about the percolation tests and whether or not they had been performed on the correct property.  The applicant and his neighbor have different maps.  It will be up to Mr. Ribando’s neighbor to prove that his map is the correct one if he wants to. 

Board Chair Mike Reardon suggested that he would like a little more information regarding the Eljen system and that he would like to request that Jeff Marsden do some research for them.

Ms. Tehrune advised The Board that they had 62 days from the time that the public hearing was closed to settle any disputes.  She reminded them that, a third party engineer had reviewed the application and approved it with some very minor conditions. 

Mr. Ribando expressed his frustration commenting that he had been trying to move forward with this project for seven years and this was the first time the property line had been questioned.  He complained that he had been put through more rigamarole than any other applicant and that each time he complied and altered his plan.  He protested vehemently the elongation of the process.  He pointed out that nobody had appealed to the Town to fix its’ own road, rather he was mitigating the situation.  The decision of the third party engineer is binding.  He appealed to the Board to adhere to the code and pass his application.  He further commented that he believed his neighbors had “another agenda” but he did not want to go into specifics and embarrass anybody.

Chair Reardon responded that he would like to postpone the vote until June so that Mr. Marsden could collect more information on the Eljen system and hopefully visit and observe one that is up and running.  He feels that is important for the Town’s engineer to be comfortable with the system before approving it.

Again. Ms. Tehrune reminded that Board that the third party engineer had reviewed and approved the proposal.

Mr. Ribando further complained that by extending the process to yet another meeting, he would be incurring additional, unnecessary expenses.

Following some further discussion, the vote was tabled until June 10.

Patricia Iazzetti – 442 Route 17 – Filing and Grading:
The applicants engineer presented the Board with revised plans, commenting that he had received comments from H2M and that the applicant was agreeable to all of them. 

Board member John Ruel inquired as to why the applicant wants to grade the property, commenting that he has become skeptical of large land flattening projects with no apparent purpose.  He further wondered if perhaps 5 or 10 years down the line, the applicant would seek to subdivide and build on the newly flattened land.

The Engineer responded that this was not the case and that the applicant merely wanted to create a large lawn.  He assured Mr. Ruel that it would remain a lawn forever.

The next step in the process is an EAF (Environmental Assessment Form) and then a Public Heating will be required.

There followed a somewhat lengthy discussion with regard to temporary storage of topsoil The applicant is proposing to store the topsoil on his adjacent property while the filing and grading takes place, however there are restrictions that prevent stockpiling on this other property that date back several years.  Ms. Tehrune stated that she would have to investigate whether or not it would be permissible for the applicant to temporarily store the topsoil there, but this might be an issue as she is not sure that the restrictions can be waived.  It might be that the applicant will have to come back before the Board separately for the other property and have the restrictions lifted before proceeding with the current application.  It was agreed that she would look into this and that in the meantime, the Board would prepare an EAF to be circulated to the necessary agencies. 

Orange & Rockland – Sterling Forest Substation Upgrade:
Representatives for Orange & Rockland presented the Board with plans for a serious upgrade to the substation located on Long Meadow Road in Sterling Forest.  Proposed are two new structures, two monopoles and two towers. The utility company has already begun working with the DEC to mitigate any possible threat to the surrounding wetlands.  They appealed to the Board to please take the role of Lead Agency, which would alleviate the need for a coordinated review and simplify the SEQRA process.

Ms. Tehrune explained that the project would qualify as an unlisted action and therefore, a coordinated review would not be required.  There followed a review of the process after which the Board voted unanimously in favor of taking the role of Lead Agency.  Next, an engineer from O & R presented the Board with a diagram of the system, showing how power travels in a loop between three local substations (Hilburn, Sterling Forest and Sugar Loaf) and how the upgrade will dramatically improve the system’s performance and reliability. 

Tuxedo Reserve – 6-Month Extension and Amendment Review:
On behalf of the Related Companies, Andrew Dance presented the Board with updated plans as well as a copy of the smart code.  The revised plan is largely the same as the last.  Housing types have been swapped within two areas in the development with cottages now being built where apartments were once planned and visa versa.  Additionally, the recreational facility located in the Town Center will now be a YMCA and will have a turf field, 2 tennis courts, a playground, indoor pool, fitness center and daycare facility.  Additionally, there have been some minor changes in the roadways.  The neighborhood known as Northridge will no longer be built first as previously planned.  The developer is ready to move forward with the project and expects to break ground on Phase 1 this fall.  The first phase of the development will consist of three neighborhoods Upland Park, which will contain small houses (cottages), The Commons, where the YMCA will be located along with some town houses as and West Terr, which will be active adult housing.(apartments) Related has been talking extensively with the home building community over the last year and there is a lot of interest in the project.  They believe there is a strong market for houses in Tuxedo. “The Market is ready and we’re ready,” said Mr. Dance.

Ms, Tehrune inquired about the situation with Rockland County and the water treatment plant.  Mr. Dance responded that Related had met with government officials in Rockland country a couple of nights prior, however the meeting had been more focused on the politics of with whom they should be meeting and not the issue itself.  The developer is moving ahead with their project regardless.

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Agenda for Town Planning Board Meeting May 13, 2014

  1. Call to Order of the Regular Meeting
  2. Approval of the April 8, 2014 Minutes
  3. Mortimer–Arden Homestead - Lot Line Change
    Section 6 Block 1 Lots 10.223 and 22; File #s P9308-027 and P0510-010
  4. Joseph & Nancy Ribando – 3 Lot Subdivision – Septic System Review
    Section 11 Block 2 Lot 1.46; File #P8608-010
  5. Patricia Iazzetti – 442 Route 17 – Filling and Grading
    Section 10 Block 2 Lot 1; File #P8811-053
  6. Orange & Rockland – Sterling Forest Substation Upgrade
    Section 8 Block 1 Lot 7; File #6404-001
  7. Tuxedo Reserve – 6 Month Extension and Amendment Review
    Section 9 Block 1 Lot 11.22; File #P8909-053
  8. Adjournment

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Town Planning Board Meeting April 8 2014

The Town Planning Board met on Tuesday, April 8, 2014 at 7pm
Board Chair Mike Reardon opened the meeting welcoming new Board members Darren Maynard and John Ruel, both of whom were appointed on Monday, April 7.

Sterling Forrest LLC – Sterling Place – 6-Month Extension:
On behalf of Sterling Forrest LLC, Lou Heimbach appeared before the Board to request a 6-month extension for Sterling Place.  The property is in the process of being sold, however the closing is not yet done, which necessitates the extension.

After minimal discussion, the Board voted unanimously in favor of a 6-month extension, which will expire on October 14., 2014.

Joseph and Nancy Ribando – 3 Lot Subdivision – Set Public Hearining:
Board Attorney Alyse Terhune explained to the Board that there had been a somewhat significant change to the Ribando application in that they are now looking to install septic rather than hooking up to municipal water and sewer as previously planned.  There is currently a moratorium on sewer hook-ups and Ms. Terhune confirmed that she had doubled checked this and was told that the municipal system would not be able to handle the additional traffic.  Mr. Ribando has agreed that should it become possible to hook into the municipal system within one calendar year, he will gladly do so.  Following some further discussion, a public hearing was set for May 13.

Watchtower – 1422 Long Meadow Road – Site Plan Review:
On behalf of Watchtower, engineer Harvey Castro provided the Board with a brief over view of amendments to site plan for their property at 1422 Long Meadow Road (the old International Paper Building) Initially, the applicant had short term views for the property, which is currently serving as a home base for construction crews who are working on their World Headquarters, to be located just down the road in Warwick. Things have since changed however,and they are now looking at maintaining the property for the long term.  Therefore they are looking to make some basic improvements to the property before the construction crew leaves and the new inhabitants arrive. 

Board member Linda Phelps inquired as to whether or not they were planning to construct new buildings on the property and Mr. Castro responded that they might be at some point down the line.  However, that is not a part of this application.  Essentially, they are looking to stabilize an existing slope by bringing in 56,000 cubic yards of fill, which will be coming from the World Headquarters site.

Mrs.. Phelps wondered if the slope was currently eroding and they responded that it was.

Board member John Ruel pointed out that the slope had existed in its current condition for years. He questioned why the applicant would want to invest both the time and money to grade the slope when natural erosion would grade it for them over time.  He wondered if they were actually looking to grade the slope now so that they might develop upon it down the line.

He was told this was not the case and that Watchtower was only attempting to do maintenance on the property and was planning to re-vegetate the area.
Mr. Ruel expressed confusion with this plan, again wondering why the group would want to invest in a project of this nature when natural erosion would do the same thing for them over time.

Board member Darren Maynard agreed and inquired as to whether or not there was a brook located near there on the property.

The answer was yes.

A representative of Watchtower reiterated that the group may be looking to expand the property down the line but assured the Board that they have no yet reached any conclusions in this regard.

Mr. Ruel responded that it seemed to him that they were getting ready for development and that with this in mind, the plan made more sense.  He expressed a desire to tour the site and Mr. Maynard seconded this request.
Mr. Castro commented that he would welcome a site visit and pointed out that the terrain in question is not entirely natural as it has been excavated.

The application has already been before the TAC and as a result of this meeting, Town Planners and Engineer Jeff Marsden have put together a memo addressing specific issues.  The memo was not reviewed, however it was agreed that Watchtower would review the comments and respond as soon as possible.

Engineer Jeff Marsden pointed out that the proposed project represented a good opportunity to loose some of the excess fill from the World Headquarters project in Warwick.

There followed a brief discussion with regard to the basic layout of the Warwick site and it was agreed that the Board would make a site visit to both properties in the near future. 

Orange County Municipal Review as well as review by the DEC will be required.  A public hearing date was set for June 10.

Mortimer-Arden Homestead – Lot Line Change – Continuation of Public Hearing:
The Board voted unanimously in favor of continuing the public hearing on the proposed Mortimer/Arden Homestead lot line change until May 13.

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Agenda for Town Planning Board Meeting April 8, 2014

Mortimer–Arden Homestead-Lot Line Change – Continuation of Public Hearing
Section 6 Block 1 Lots 10.223 and 22; File #’s P9308-027 and P0510-010

  1. Call to Order of the Regular Meeting
  2. Approval of the January 14, 2014 Minutes
  3. Sterling Forest LLC – Sterling Place – 6 Month Extension -
    Section 9 Block 1 Lot 5.4; File #P9010-053
  4. Joseph & Nancy Ribando – 3 Lot Subdivision – Set Public Hearing
    Section 11 Block 2 Lot 1.46
  5. Watchtower – 1422 Long Meadow Road – Site Plan Review
    Section 1 Block 1 Lot 60; File #P8607-006
  6. Adjournment

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Town Planning Board Meeting January 14, 2014

The Town Planning Board met on Tuesday, January 14 2014.  Board Chair Joe Gartiser was absent, as was Board Member Jim Jospe, Board Attorney Alyse Terhune, Town Engineer Jeff Marsden and Town Planner Bonnie Franson.

Public Hearing: Mortimer – Arden Homestead - Lot Line Change:
The Public Hearing was opened, but as the applicant has not yet filed all of the necessary paperwork, it was immediately continued until February 11, 2014.

Mortimer – Arden Homestead - Lot Line Change:
As the Applicant has not yet filed all of the paperwork, and was not present at the meeting, the application was deferred until February 11, 2014.

Tuxedo Reserve – North Ridge Preliminary Approval - 6 Month Extension:
The Applicant was not present.  Therefore, this request was also deferred until February 11.

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Agenda for Town Planning Board Meeting January 14, 2014

  1. Call to Order of the Regular Meeting
  2. Approval of the December 10, 2013 Minutes
  3. Mortimer – Arden Homestead - Lot Line Change
    Section 6 Block 1 Lots 10.223 and 22; File #’s P9308-027 and P0510-010
  4. Tuxedo Reserve – North Ridge Preliminary Approval - 6 Month Extension
    Section 14 Block 1 Lot 34; File #P0506-002
  5. Adjournment

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Town Planning Board Meeting December 10, 2013

The Town Planning Board met on Tuesday, December 10 at 7pm.  Board member Jim Jospe was absent.

Sterling Forest LLC – Sterling Place – 6 Month Extension:
The Board voted unanimously in favor of approving a 6-month extension for Sterling Forest LLC through March 11, 2014.

Tuxedo Reserve – 6 Month Extension – North Ridge Preliminary Approval:
The Board voted unanimously in favor of approving a 6-month extension for the Preliminary Approval of North Ridge (phase one of Tuxedo Reserve) through May 13, 2013.
A brief presentation outlining some modifications to the plan was given and Planning Board Engineer Jeff Marsden provided some feedback, but informed them that he was still in the process of reviewing the plans.    The applicant will attend the January TAC meeting before returning to the Planning Board in February.

Mortimer/Arden – Lot Line Change:
 A brief presentation outlining a proposed  lot line change for the Mortimer – Arden Homestead parcels was given.  There is a vacant 72.7 acre northerly parcel that is jointly owned by the 3 grandsons of Harriman and the applicant would like to transfer the land to the Arden Homestead LLC, which is wholly owned by Averell Mortimer.  The remainder of the northerly property will be gifted to the Open Space Institute.  A public hearing was set for January 14. 

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Agenda for Town Planning Board Meeting December 10, 2013

  1. Sterling Forest LLC – Sterling Place – 6 Month Extension
    Section 9 Block 1 Lot 5.4; File #P9010-053
  2. Tuxedo Reserve – 6 Month Extension – North Ridge Preliminary Approval
    Section 14 Block 1 Lot 34; File #P0506-002
  3. Adjournment

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Town Planning Board Meeting August 13, 2013

The Town Planning Board met on Tuesday August 13, 2013 at 7pm.  Board Chair Joe Gartiser was absent.  Deputy Chair Mike Reardon led the meeting.

SOS FUELS – Site Plan Approval – Fuel Tank Replacement:
The Zoning Board has completed the Special Permit review process and has granted the Special Permit as requested.  Town Engineer Jeff Marsden has been in contact with a structural engineer regarding a wall on the property as previously discussed.  There were a couple of questions with regard to run-off calculations and these were briefly addressed. Town Planner Bonnie Franson presented a draft site plan approval resolution and this was reviewed and discussed at length.  The approval as presented contains a somewhat lengthy list of conditions, all standard in nature.  Some of these include:

  • Final site plan must be updated to reflect the special use permit
  • Any changes in the type of fuel being stored at the facility moving forward will require an application and approval from the Planning Board.
  • Orange and Rockland must submit their final letter of approval
  • Prior to construction, fences must be installed 50 feet from the Ramapo as a protective measure and the property line must be clearly staked.
  • DEC and DOT permits must be filed

Following some further discussion with regard to plantings around the facility and tank color (Green), the Board voted unanimously in favor of approving the application.

PATRICIA IAZZETTI- Filling and Grading:
The Applicant’s Engineer presented the Board with a site plan for the proposed filling and grading project at 442 Route 17.  Essentially, the applicant would like to flatten out a large slope behind the home in order to create an 8000 square foot back yard area.  There were a number of issues with the plans as presented and these were discussed in detail. Town Engineer Jeff Marsden pointed out that the contours on the two topographic surveys as presented (1 from 2008 and 1 from 2011) do not match and this will need to be reconciled before the project can proceed.  The property line and grading must match up.  Drainage swales and pipes must also be shown on the plans.  Tree removal was briefly discussed, as was traffic.  The application will require a SEQRA review and the Board voted unanimously in favor of moving forward with the more detailed form as recommended by both Bonnie Franson and their Attorney.  A public hearing will be required as part of the approval process.

Noting that it contrary to normal procedure, Deputy Chair Mike Reardon allowed audience member Mike Squillini the opportunity to express himself.  Mr. Squilini subsequently inquired about work currently in progress on the Iazzetti’s adjoining property and specifically whether or not a permit had been issued for that work and who, if anyone was monitoring it. 

He was informed that a permit had been issued in April of 2012.

Mr. Squilini then inquired as to where the fill was coming from and whether or not it had been tested.

Board member Jim Jospe responded that the answers to these questions depending on the terms of the permit that was issued.

Board Clerk Deborah Villanueva commented that the Code Enforcement officer was planning to visit the site within the next week or so to make sure that everything was being done properly and that the project was up to code.

Mr. Squilini requested that the Planning Board please take into consideration how much fill they were going to allow the Iazzetti’s to bring in.  He further commented that the fill retains a lot of water and that the more that goes in, the less space there is for the river.  He suggested that this played a major role in East Village flooding.  Their followed a very brief, civil disagreement between Mr. Squilini and the Iazzetti brothers regarding whether or not the increase in fill had anything to do with East Village flooding, after which it was determined that the Public Hearing would be the more appropriate place for this discussion.

Board Attorney Alyse Terhune cautioned the applicant to be very specific about the property use when submitting their revised plans, suggesting that an 8000 square foot back yard was rather large for a small residence and that the neighbors would surely raise concerns at the Public Hearing.

It was agreed that the applicant would revise their plans to reflect what was discussed and return to the next TAC meeting. 

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Agenda for Town Planning Board Meeting August 13, 2013

  1. Call to Order
  2. Approval of the June 11, 2013 Minutes
  3. SOS Fuels – Site Plan Approval - Fuel Tank Replacement
    Section 11 Block 11 Lot 5.1; File #P8609-001
  4. Patricia Iazzetti – 442 Route 17 - Filling and Grading
    Section 10 Block 2 Lot 1; File #P8811-053
  5. Adjournment

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Town Planning Board Meeting June 11, 2013

The Town Planning Board met on Tuesday June 11, 2013.  Board member Jim Jospe was absent.

Tuxedo Reserve – North Ridge Preliminary Subdivision Approval Extension:
The Board voted unanimously in favor of granting Tuxedo Reserve a 6-month extension on the North Ridge Preliminary Subdivision approval, effective through November 2013.

SOS Fuels – Fuel Tank Replacement:
On behalf of SOS Engineer Mike Sandor began by addressing several issues brought forward at the most recent TAC meeting.  The first of these was balancing of the fuel tanks which, he explained, is not a required practice, although it is cited in the guidelines.  The applicant believes that the height of the tanks and the fact that they will be strapped down will prevent them from moving should the water rise.  Additionally, a wall will be installed on the flood side.

Next Mr. Sandor addressed the issue of disturbance within 50 feet behind the main building.  The applicant had this area surveyed and has agreed to pull the parking area back.

Finally, Mr. Sandor brought up the issue of landscaping as raised by the public during the Public Hearing in April.  Photographs of the current landscaping were presented and briefly.  Board Chair Joe Gartiser commented that as he understood it, the public was hoping to see some additional screening in front of the building along East Village Road.

Ideas were discussed and it was agreed that Linda Phelps would serve as a Board Consultant and work with the applicant to develop a plan.

There followed a lengthy discussion/debate about two existing berms on the SOS property. Board member David McMillan pointed out that the berm running along the riverbed was not shown in any of the historical aerial shots he had seen of the property.

Audience member Mike Squilini alleged that this was because historically, the berm did not exist.  He referenced the 1984 construction of a wall behind the property now owned by the Curries and stated that he knew for a fact that the berm had not existed at that time.

Mr. Sandor suggested that the berm had always been there but had not been visible until Orange and Rockland had cleared trees in that area.

Mr. Squilini disagreed with this and stated that he felt it had been filled in over time and that he had seen bulldozers in the area, although he didn’t know whose they were.

Board Chair Joe Gartiser asked Town Engineer Jeff Marsden for his opinion as to what could be done and Mr. Mardsen responded that he did not feel that he could make a judgment.

Mr. Squilini stated that his intent was not to “point fingers” but that ultimately the berm was pushing water back and causing the area to flood, which was a serious problem that did not used to exist.

The origin of both berms was then debated, after which it was determined that this issue had no bearing on the application at hand. 

Chair Gartiser suggested that the Planning Board make a recommendation to the Town Board asking them to open discussions with both O &R and the DEC for the purpose of further investigating this issue.  He wondered if there was anything that anyone on their Board could do to help the residents of the East Village. 

It was agreed that the berms fell out of the Planning Board’s jurisdiction and that therefore they would speak with the Town Board and recommend that they open the aforementioned dialogues with O & R and the DEC.

Board Attorney Alyse Terhune expressed some skepticism given the DEC’s lack of attention to the Demartino property, but concurred that the issue was out of the Planning Board’s hands.

Town Consultant Bonnie Franson commented that more funding for hazard abatement and remediation has recently been made available, so it would be worth a shot. 

Following some further discussion regarding calculations for the recently added wall, the Board voted unanimously in giving the project a Negative Declaration under SEQRA. 

The applicant will now proceed to the BZA, where they will be seeking a Special Use Permit.

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Agenda for Town Planning Board Meeting June 11 2013

  1. Call to Order
  2. Approval of the April 9, 2013 Minutes
  3. SOS Fuels – Fuel Tank Replacement
    Section 11 Block 11 Lot 5.1; File #P8609-001
  4. Tuxedo Reserve – North Ridge Preliminary Subdivision Approval Extension
    Section 14 Block 1 Lot 34; File #P0506-002
  5. Adjournment

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Agenda For Town Planning Board Meeting May 14, 2013

  1. Call to Order
  2. Approval of the April 9, 2013 Minutes
  3. SOS Fuels – Fuel Tank Replacement
    Section 11 Block 11 Lot 5.1; File #P8609-001
  4. Tuxedo Reserve – North Ridge Preliminary Subdivision Approval Extension
    Section 14 Block 1 Lot 34; File #P0506-002
  5. Hickory Hollow – Site Plan Approval – Sign located in Flood Plain
    Section 9 Block 1 Lot 4; File #P0203-004.
  6. Adjournment

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Town Planning Board Meeting April 9, 2013

The Town Planning Board met on Tuesday, April 9 at 7:00pm.  All members were present.

Public Hearing – SOS Fuels – Fuel Tank Replacement:
Representing the applicant, Engineer Mike Sandor of MJS Engineering began the Public Hearing with a brief overview of the application.

The SOS facility was essentially destroyed during hurricane Irene when floodwaters caused the fuel tanks to shift off of their foundations and there was a “release of product” into the Ramapo River.  The DEC subsequently became involved and oversaw cleanup efforts.  The site has since been officially closed by that agency. (declared clean)

The applicant is proposing to replace the tanks that were damaged with new tanks and an upgraded design that will encompass better safety and containment systems.  Specifically, they would like to remove both the 250,000 and the 30,000-gallon tanks and replace them with three smaller tanks.  The new tanks will be horizontal and therefore shorter in elevation.  They will sit on “saddles” within a containment basin.  The location of the tanks will be shifted slightly on the SOS property so that they will sit closer to the railroad tracks. They will also be elevated above the 30-year storm mark, as required by the DEC. 

Mr. Sandor then introduced Brian Savage of Savage Associates who briefly reviewed the myriad of safety regulations involved in the removal of the old tanks as well as the installation and operation of the new ones.  Describing the old system as “archaic” Mr. Savage explained how the new system would have to be “light years ahead” of the old one in order to comply with current regulations. 

The floor was then opened to the Public for questions.

John Petriello commented that he lived directly adjacent to the facility and that while new system sounded very safe, he was concerned about the flood plain.  He wondered where the water would go once the tanks and the flood plain had been raised.

Mr. Savage explained that the proposed containment system would actually provide for more water than the current one does. 

Jim Farquharson suggested that they were referring to miniscule amounts of water and that  “when the river does what it wants what will run off is what will run down.”

Kristian Matthews commented that the proposed plans certainly seemed to take safety into account.  He pointed out that the DEC code mandates that fuel tanks within the flood plain must be balanced in the face of certain types of storms (a process by which fuel is removed replaced with water for safety purposes) and SOS had not done this prior to Hurricane Irene.  He wondered whether this would be taken into account with the new system.  He further commented that he believed that much of damage SOS had sustained following the Hurricane had been self-inflicted, due to the lack of proper preparation on their part.  Additionally, he inquired about the possibility of landscaping the property near the facility’s entrance along East Village Road.  He acknowledged that the applicant had agreed to paint the new tanks dark green in a effort to help them blend in, but he feels that more could be done so that residents of the East Village didn’t have to see what was going on there at all times as they were coming and going from their neighborhood.  He has done some preliminary research and does not believe the cost of planting some trees would be terribly high relative to the cost of the project.  He suggested that such landscaping might serve as an “olive branch” to the community.
Board member Jim Jospe asked Mr. Matthews if he could cite which section of the DEC code required the balancing of tanks. 

Mr. Matthews responded that he could not cite it off hand, but that it would not be difficult for Mr. Jospe to find.

Mike Oslacky expressed concern about the trucks parked at the facility and specifically the area in which they have been parking, stating that he believed this area of the property actually belonged to Orange County. He claimed that former Planning Board Chair Nils Gerling had told him this when he had complained about it a year prior.

The applicant denied this, stating that the entire property belonged to them.
Mike Squillini referenced a recent article in the Times Herald Record, which focused on the increasing number of local dams that are “in trouble” and he expressed concern about this in light of what had happened with Hurricane Irene.  He stated that while the DEC may have declared the SOS site “closed,” they had never even bothered to come and look at, much less address, the large pools of oil that ended up between his home and that of Mr. Farquharson after the storm, and therefore the fuel had simply soaked into the ground.

Mr. Farquharson concurred and stated that he had completed all storm related cleanup on his property himself, without the aid of any agencies.
Mr. Oslacky commented that in his view, putting an oil facility right next to the Ramapo River had been a bad idea to begin with.

Board Chair Joe Gartiser interjected and stated that although he empathized with these gentlemen, the DEC had been the controlling agency in charge of storm clean up and the Planning Board has no jurisdiction over the DEC.  Furthermore none of these issues had any bearing on the reason for the present Public Hearing, the purpose of which was to hear from the Public regarding their thoughts on the design of tank upgrade.

Jim Farquharson responded that he understood this but that the history of the situation was important because it had left a bad taste in everyone’s mouth. 
Again, Chair Gartiser expressed his sympathy and understanding but firmly stated that the history had nothing to do with the present application.

There followed an intense discussion with regard to propane trucks parked at the facility and specifically whether or not SOS had been allowing these trucks to remain parked there over night, a charge, which the applicant denied.
Former Fire Chief and East Village resident Dave Stevens commented that he had a lot of experience and knowledge when it came to propane and although SOS had historically been willing to comply with safety regulations, he was concerned that trucks parked there over night represented a literal ticking time bomb.

Board member Jim Jospe suggested that if residents noticed that trucks were parked at the facility over night, they should call the police and report it.  The Applicant has publicly stated that they maintain a strict protocol and that trucks are not allowed to park there over night.  Without any direct proof to the contrary, the Planning Board has no reason not to believe the applicant.
Board Member Michael Reardon added that the propane tanks themselves pose the same level of risk as the trucks do.  He echoed Mr. Jospe in stating that the Applicant has gone on the record stating that trucks are not parked at the facility over night, however if the Planning Board should discover that this is not true, they would certainly report their findings directly to the Building Inspector.

Mr. Stevens responded that he believed that the facility would be safe with the new tanks and that in his mind, the main issue at hand was simply making sure that what needed to be done in terms of safety precautions was done and done properly.

A concerned resident inquired about whether or not there was a contingency plan in place in case of an emergency a.k.a. a spill or leak.  He pointed out that where SOS is located along East Village road is the only ingress and egress for residents living in that area of town.

At this time, Board member Jim Jospe stated that he felt it was necessary to review with the public exactly what the Planning Board could and could not do.  In this case, the job of the Planning Board is to vote yes or no on the proposed design for the new tanks. They have no control whatsoever over whether or not the tanks should be there and even if they hated the idea of them or they didn’t like the Spegiels themselves, which was not necessarily the case, there would be nothing they could do about it.  The bottom line is that there are going to be tanks there and the public was welcome to weigh in as to which ones they wanted.

There followed another brief discussion with regard to additional landscaping after which Chair Gartiser stated that he felt the Board had a good understanding of what the public was looking for and that they would take this into consideration as they moved forward with the application process.
Town Planner Bonnie Franson then gave a brief overview of the SEQRA process, pointing out that the Board would need to complete an Environmental Impact Statement as part of that process.  She suggested that the Public weigh in if they felt that the project might have any adverse environmental effects and specifically what those effects might be.

Mike Squilini wondered if there had been an Environmental Impact Statement done on the berms that had been fairly recently constructed on the site.

There followed a heated discussion regarding the history of the berms, with the East Village residents suggesting that the applicant had recently created them and the Town Engineer Jeff Marsden asserting that he had been to the site and determined that there was no direct evidence to suggest that they had not been there all along.

This was followed by yet another discussion about trucks on the site and where they would be parked, after which Chair Gartiser stated that the Planning Board would require the Applicant to clearly show the parking area on their plans.

Dave Stevens commented that he did not want anybody to misunderstand what was happening and think that the discussion was heading some place that it was not.  While it might seem as though the people were all riled up, the Board needed to understand that East Village residents were simply concerned about their neighborhood and wanted to make sure that it got its’ ‘due, which is something they feel it has not been given in the past.  He pointed out that the residents living in that neighborhood were not rich people and that they were simply looking out for their best interests and attempting to secure the future of their homes as this was all they had.

Board member Jim Jospe responded that he understood perfectly and that his job as a member of the Board was to do the best that he could for the Town of Tuxedo and its’ residents.

Board member Mike Reardon stated that he could relate to the concerns of the residents but that he honestly believed that the plan as proposed was an effort to improve the facility and make things better.  He understood why the people were both concerned and upset about trucks parking at the site overnight and the Planning Board stands ready to help with that in whatever way they can.

Chair Gartiser concurred and promised that the Board would address all of the Public’s concerns with the applicant.

With regard to potential run off, Engineer Mike Sandor pointed out that the new tanks and their containment area would have a smaller footprint than what is currently there.  The containment area was then briefly discussed with Mr. Sandor asserting that any runoff would be diminuous.

Kristian Matthews commented that all of this sounded well and good, however the newly constructed berms had altered the flood plain.

EJ Matthews suggested that perhaps the applicant would be willing to conduct a walk through of the site with members of the Public and the Planning Board in order to address these concerns directly.

Board Attorney Alyse Terhune interjected that as the berm was not a part of the site plan and the applicant was not proposing to alter it, there was really not much point in debating it further.

EJ Matthews inquired as to whether or not the residents would be informed prior to the removal and installation of the tanks and he was assured that they would be. 

A concerned resident wondered whether or not the Town of Tuxedo would be held liable should there be a leak resulting in water pollution down stream. 

The answer was no.

Following some further discussion, the Public Hearing was closed.

SOS Fuels – Fuel Tank Replacement:
Board Chair Joe Gartiser informed the applicant that the Board would like to see plans for additional landscaping as discussed as well as a clearly designated parking area and a protocol for employees coming and going from the site.

Jim Jospe commented that he would like more information with regard to the issue of balancing the tanks.

Mike Reardon stated that he would like some more information on the history of the berm.

This was followed by a brief discussion during which the Town Engineer reiterated that he had visited the site and could not find any proof that the area had been recently changed.

Linda Phelps suggested that Orange and Rockland may have altered the area when hey were there doing some work and it was agreed that the Board would check with them in order to ascertain exactly what had been done.
Kristian Matthews commented that Orange and Rockland has gone on the record stating that they did not create the berms in question.

There was then a brief discussion about the history of that area, specifically the ways in which the Ramapo has been altered over time, with Board member Linda Phelps and Mike Squilini both having grown up there and therefore able to point out the notable changes.

Finally, Chair Gartiser stated that they needed to move the meeting along and the discussion was ended.

Tuxedo Reserve – Review of North Ridge Amendments:
On Behalf of The Related Companies, Andrew Dance briefly reviewed recent amendments to the North Ridge site plan, which basically entail including an additional acre of land into the PID and the slight redirection of a roadway.
Town Planner Bonnie Franson expressed some concern with the changes as they posed a potential impact on vernal pools and this was briefly discussed.
Board Attorney Terhune advised the Board that because the amendment included changes to the overall PID, the application was really before the Town Board and not the Planning Board, however the normal course of action would be for the Town Board to refer to the Planning Board for their recommendation before making a final decision.  Although this referral has not formally taken place, Mr. Dance suggested that he had been informally told to bring the plans before the Planning Board in an effort to speed up the process.  That being said, the final decision will be the Town Boards’ to make.

There was some discussion regarding the amendments and it was generally agreed that they represented improvements to the overall plan, as they would increase both open space and visibility while decreasing the slope of the roadway.  Bonnie Franson pointed out that the revised plans showed several “Hillside” Homes in the North Ridge area, where the applicant had previously agreed to curtail these to another section of the development.

The Applicant acknowledged this error and stated that it would be rectified on the next set of plans, which would contain much more detail.

Town Engineer Jeff Mardsen inquired of Mr. Dance as to when the applicant might be ready to break ground on the project.

Mr. Dance responded that the overall climate for building and housing market was improving and that they were hoping to have an opportunity to break ground by the end of the summer

Jim Jospe inquired as to whether or not Related would be building the homes or if they would sell the project to various builders instead.

Mr. Dance explained that the Related Companies would be responsible for all the “horizontal” building, including the roads and major infrastructure and some limited vertical structures, such as the greeting center, but the construction of the homes would be sold off to individual builders.

Linda Phelps wondered if this would result in a “mish mash” of housing and was informed that it would not because the development had its own set of zoning and design guidelines know as the Smart Code, which regulated the size of the lots and the styles of the homes. 

Attorney Terhune added that the builders would also be required to appear before the Town Architectural Review Board.

Jim Jospe wondered about quality control in terms of picking the builders and specifically whether local tradesmen would be given the first opportunity to work on the site.

Mr. Dance responded that Related would not have complete control over the hiring process but they would, of course, like to see the work go to local people.

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Agenda for Town Planning Board Meeting April 9, 2013

  1. Call to Order
  2. Approval of the March 12, 2013 Minutes
  3. SOS Fuels - Fuel Tank Replacement
    Section 11 Block 11 Lot 5.1; File #P8609-001
  4. Tuxedo Reserve - Review of North Ridge Amendments
    Section 14 Block 1 Lot 34; File #P0506-002
  5. Adjournment

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Town Planning Board Meeting March 12, 2013

The Town Planning Board met on Tuesday, March 12 at 7pm.  Board member Linda Phelps was absent.

Roman Uszynski – Site Plan Approval:
Mr. Unszynski appeared before the Board seeking final site plan approval for his retail/specialty shop to be located in Southfields behind the old Verizon Building. Following a brief discussion, during which it was determined that the Architectural Review Board has granted approval and that all the application-associated fees have been paid, the Board voted unanimously in favor of approving the application. 

Watchtower – Site Plan Review:
Town Planning Consultant Bonnie Franson lead the Board through a detailed draft resolution for a Negative Declaration under SEQRA.  There was a brief discussion regarding a letter from Orange County General Municipal Law Review requesting that the applicant remediate /clean-up the site in order to prepare for residential use due to a previous contamination.  The applicant presented the Board with copies of phase one of the E.A.F. (Environmental Assessment Form) which clearly state that there were no outstanding environmental violations (namely fuel spills or leaks) on the property.  The Board reviewed these and it was agreed that the County had probably made an in error in confusing the application in question with the applicants other on-going project, the construction of their World Headquarters, which is taking place just down the road, but technically in the town of Warwick.
The Board then voted unanimously in favor of giving the application a negative declaration under SEQRA.

The site plan was reviewed.  The Fire Commissioner has expressed concern with regard to a specific gate and it’s relation to emergency services.  This was discussed, as was the general alarm system and emergency response process for the fuel containment area.  After some further discussion, the Board voted unanimously in favor of approving the site plan conditional upon their receipt of the revised, finalized plans incorporating the minor amendments and additions discussed earlier. 

SOS FUELS – Fuel Tank Replacement:
On behalf of SOS Fuels, engineer Mike Sandor reported that he was in receipt of the necessary letters from the County DPW and The Country Planning Department. This was followed by a detailed review of the process, the next step of which is Environmental Assessment.  Potential project impacts in terms of the facilities proximity to the Ramapo River and subsequent safety measures to guard against spills and leaks were then discussed in detail.  The Applicant briefly outlined the system under which the facility is monitored and how this is managed.  Visibility of the storage tanks and general aesthetics were also discussed.  Concerned residents who live in the vicinity of the facility expressed their desire for open communication regarding the construction phase of the project and exactly what could be expected to occur.  Former assistant fire chief Dave Stevens expressed concern with the proposed changes as they will relate to fire prevention and emergency response. 

The Board then voted unanimously in favor of declaring themselves Lead Agency for the application and also set a public hearing date for April 9 at 7pm.

Before closing the meeting, Board Chair Joe Gartiser made a motion to appoint Board member Mike Reardon to serve as alternate Chair in his absence and this was unanimously approved. 

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Agenda for Town Planning Board Meeting March 12, 2013

  1. Call to Order
  2. Approval of the December 11, 2012 and February 12, 2013 Minutes
  3. Roman Uszynski – Site Plan Approval – Office Building Shop
    Section 5 Block 3 Lot 15; File #P9306-022
  4. Mike Yeager – Hickory Hollow Landscape – Sign Approval/Floodplain
    Section 9 Block 1 Lot 4; File #P0203-004
  5. Watchtower – 1422 Long Meadow Road – Site Plan Review
    Section 1 Block 1 Lot 60; File #P8607-006
  6. SOS Fuels – Fuel Tank Replacement
    Section 11 Block 11 Lot 5.1; File #P8609-001.
  7. Adjournment

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Town Planning Board Meeting February 12, 2013

The Town Planning Board met on Tuesday, February 12 at 7:00pm.  All members were present.

Sterling Forest LLC – Sterling Place – 6 Month Extension:
On behalf of Sterling Forest LLC, Lou Heimbach appeared before the Board to request a 6-month extension on the conditional final approval for the Sterling Place project.  Following some brief discussion, the Board voted unanimously in favor of granting the extension, which will expire in September.

Watchtower – 1422 Long Meadow Road- Site Plan Review:
The Applicant was present to review and discuss revised plans for their project at the old International Paper site on Long Meadow Road.  As the previously requested modular housing has been eliminated from the new plan, thus drastically reducing the scope of work and level of disturbance at the site, the Planning Board was able to declare themselves Lead Agency and initiate the SEQRA process, which they did.  There was some discussion with regard to traffic, parking and lighting after which it was determined that both the Orange County Planning Department and the Department of Transportation must review the plans and submit their comments before the Board can move forward with a vote.  The applicant will return to the next meeting, at which time the Board expects to vote on the application.

Roman Uszynski – Site Plan Approval – Office Building Shop:
Noting that all of the proper documentation had been completed and filed, Mr. Uszynski requested that the Board vote on his application for a retail/specialty shop to be located in Southfields behind the old Verizon Building.  It was quickly determined, however, that before the Planning Board can approve the application, Mr. Uszynski must receive approval from the Architectural Review Board.  Therefore, it was agreed that he would return to the March meeting, at which point he should have received his ARB approval and the Planning Board can move forward with a vote.

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Agenda for Town Planning Board Meeting February 12, 2013

  1. Call to Order
  2. Approval of the December 11, 2012 Minutes
  3. Sterling Forest LLC – Sterling Place – 6 Month Extension
    Section 9 Block 1 Lot 5.4; File #P9010-053
  4. Roman Uszynski – Site Plan Approval – Office Building Shop
    Section 5 Block 3 Lot 15; File #P9306-022
  5. Watchtower – 1422 Long Meadow Road – Site Plan Review
    Section 1 Block 1 Lot 60; File #P8607-006
  6. Resolution to set the 2013 Planning Board meetings to the 2nd Tuesday of the month at 7:00PM.
  7. Adjournment

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Agenda for Town Planning Board Meeting January 8, 2013

  1. Call to Order
  2. Approval of the December 11, 2012 Minutes
  3. Roman Uszynski - Site Plan Approva l - Office Building Shop
    Section 5 Block 3 Lot 15; File #P9306-022
  4. Watchtower-1422 Long Meadow Road – Site Plan Review
    Section 1 Block 1 Lot 60;  File #P8607-006
  5. Adjournment

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Town Planning Board Meeting December 11, 2012

The Town Planning Board met on Tuesday December 11 at 7pm.  Board member Linda Phelps was absent.

SOS Fuels – Fuel Tank Replacement:
The applicant and their engineer appeared before the Board to further discuss plans for the replacement of several fuel tanks.  In addition to replacing several large tanks, the applicant is looking to increase the number tanks on site at their facility.  As per the Planning Boards’ recommendation, the applicant appeared before the Zoning Board of Appeals, however that Board was ultimately uncomfortable making a decision and therefore the applicant was referred back to the Planning Board along with a copy of a previously issued Special Use Permit for upgrades at the facility.  After a somewhat lengthy discussion regarding interpretation of the old permit, it was agreed that because a long period of time has elapsed since the permit was granted, the Planning Board would consider the application in terms of what currently exists on site as opposed to the conditions as outlined in the permit, which have become outdated.  Safety, containment and tank installation and removal were briefly discussed.  Although it was not a Public Hearing, Board Chair Joe Gartiser invited Dave Stevens, an East Village Resident and former Chief of the Tuxedo Fire Department to ask a question.  Mr. Stevens expressed concern regarding fire suppression and inquired as to what the specific standards were and whether or not the Tuxedo Fire Department would be able to adequately service the facility in case of emergency.  Chair Gartiser thanked Mr. Stevens for raising this concern and advised him that this question, along with many others would be raised and answered throughout the approval process.  As part of this process, a public hearing will be conducted and at that time, residents will have the opportunity to ask additional questions and express any concerns they might have with the application.

The Board then voted unanimously in favor of declaring themselves Lead Agency for the project.  Notice of the project along with detailed plans and a copy of the EAF (Environmental Assessment) will now be circulated to all pertinent agencies and they will have 30 days to make comments.

Sal Lucrezia/Ed Miele – Site Plan Review:
As the applicant was not present, the application was only briefly discussed.  Town Planner Bonnie Franson advised the Board that the applicant is looking to construct apartments in Southfields on a piece of property located across from Miele’s Contruction, however current zoning regulations will not allow for what is being proposed and therefore a Use Variance would be necessary.  Once the zoning code has been amended however, the variance will not be necessary.  It was suggested that it might make more sense for the applicant to wait until these changes have been adopted before proceeding with the application.

Roman Uszynski – Site Plan Approval:
The GML review for this application has been completed, however the County has requested some additional information, which was sent out on November 30.  They have 30 days to review the information and respond. The Board is unable to take any action until they have heard back.  It was agreed that the applicant would return to the January meeting, and in the meantime he will appear before the Architectural Review Board next week.

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Agenda for Town Planning Board Meeting December 11, 2012

  1. Call to Order
  2. Approval of the November 13, 2012 Minutes
  3. SOS Fuels - Fuel Tank Replacement
    Section 11 Block 11 Lot 5.1; File P8609-001
  4. Sal Lucrezia/Ed Miele - Site Plan Review
    Section 5 Block 2 Lot 1; File #P7210-002
  5. Roman Uszynski - Site Plan Approva l - Office Building Shop
    Section 5 Block 3 Lot 15; File #P9306-022
  6. Adjournment

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Town Planning Board Meeting November 13, 2012

The Town Planning Board met on Tuesday November 13 at 7:00pm. 
Board Chair Joe Gartiser was absent. 

STERLING FOREST VOLUNTEER FIRE DEPT. – SITE PLAN APPROVAL:
Following a brief discussion, during which it was determined that all variances and permits were in order, the Board voted unanimously in favor of awarding the application a negative declaration under SEQRA, followed by another unanimous vote of approval.

TUXEDO RESERVE –AMENDMENTS – NORTH RIDGE PRELIMINARY SUBDIVISION:
The Board voted unanimously in favor of granting Tuxedo Reserve a 6-month Extension to the Preliminary Approval for Phase One of their project, North Ridge, until May of 2013.  An attorney for the Related Companies informed the Board that the applicant is in receipt of comments from their consultants regarding their proposed amendments and that final revisions should be finished by January, at which time they will be presented to the Town Board for approval.

WATCHTOWER – SITE PLAN REVIEW:
Town Engineer Jeff Marsden presented the applicant with comments in response to their most recent site plan submission.  Included in the applicants’ submission packet were various studies including water and waste projections, traffic studies, noise maps and wildlife studies pertaining to timber rattlesnakes and bats.

There was a great deal of discussion with regard to water retention, specifically the idea of installing underground retention chambers as opposed to above ground ponds.  Ultimately, the applicant must decide what their storm water retention methodology will be before any of the details can be hammered out. The lack of landscaping and lighting plans, tree removal and the possible need for blasting was also discussed.  A Declaration of Intent to name the Planning Board as Lead Agency for the project will be submitted and it will take up to 30 days for the determination to be made.  In the mean time, the Board advised the applicant that they were free to attend TAC meetings and to initiate the ARB process.

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Agenda For Town Planning Board Meeting November 13, 2012

  1. Call to Order
  2. Approval of the October 9, 2012 Minutes
  3. Sterling Forest Volunteer Fire Dept. – Site Plan Approval
    Section 1 Block 1 Lot 30.1; File #P8610-001
  4. Tuxedo Reserve – Amendments - North Ridge Preliminary Subdivision
    Section 9 Block 1 Lot 11.22; File #P8909-053
  5. Watchtower – Site Plan Review
    Section 1 Block 1 Lot 60; File #P8607-006
  6. Roman Uszynski – Site Plan Approval – Office Building Shop
    Section 5 Block 3 Lot 15; File #P9306-022
  7. Adjournment

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Town Planning Board Meeting October 9, 2012

The Town Planning Board met on Tuesday October 9 2012 at 7pm.  All members were present.

As none of the applicants were present, the Board approved minutes for the months of July and September and the meeting was adjourned at 7:30pm.

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Agenda for Town Planning Board Meeting October 9, 2012

  1. Call to Order
  2. Approval of the September 11, 2012 Minutes
  3. Sterling Forest Volunteer Fire Dept. – Site Plan Approval
    Section 1 Block 1 Lot 30.1; File #P8610-001
  4. Tuxedo Reserve – Amendments - North Ridge Preliminary Subdivision
    Section 9 Block 1 Lot 11.22; File #P8909-053
  5. Roman Uszynski – Site Plan Approval – Office Building Shop
    Section 5 Block 3 Lot 15; File #P9306-022
  6. Adjournment

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Town Planning Board Meeting September 11, 2012

The Town Planning Board met on September 11, 2012 at 7pm.  Board Chair Joe Gartiser was absent.  Newly appointed Board members Linda Phelps and Jim Jospe were present along with Acting Chair Michael Reardon.

The meeting began with the Pledge of Allegiance followed by a moment of silence in recognition of 9/11.

STERLING FOREST LLC – 6 Month Conditional Final Approval:
Following a brief review of the project for the benefit of the Board (all of whom have been appointed in the last 6 months) they voted unanimously in favor of granting the applicant a 6-month extension on their conditional final approval.

STERLING FOREST VOLUNTEER FIRE DEPT – Site Plan Approval:
On behalf of the Sterling Forest Volunteer Fire Department, Ken Magar appeared before the Board with the hope of obtaining Site Plan Approval for a proposed addition at the Sterling Forest Fire Department.  Mr. Magar also appeared before the Board back in April for a lot line change/minor subdivision on the property and this has been granted, although the documentation still requires the signature of Planning Board Chair Joe Gartiser.  Mr. Magar commented that the Board had been in possession of the paperwork for 6 weeks and Board Secretary Deborah Vilanova acknowledged this, commenting that Mr. Gartiser was currently out of town but when he returned she would “see if he could stop in” to sign-off on the paperwork.

The plans for the project, which include the addition of a single truck bay as well as a 14 ft Kitchen expansion, were originally approved in 1987.  Board Attorney Alyse Terhune advised Mr. Magar that because so much time has elapsed (and a lot has changed during that time) an amendment to the Special Use Permit would be necessary.  The Applicant must appear before the Zoning Board of Appeals in order to obtain this amendment.  Additionally, the Applicant is seeking relief from the town sprinkler code, which must be granted by the Zoning Board as well.

There was a brief review of the plan, following which the Board voted unanimously in favor of declaring the project an “unlisted action” which will allow the SEQRA process to begin.
It was agreed that the applicant would return to the Planning Board once they had appeared before the Zoning Board and acquired the necessary amendments.

WATCHTOWER – Site Plan Approval:
Representing Watchtower, Mark Coles informed that Board that the group was still in the process of digesting the comments submitted by Town consultants H2M.  He inquired as to whether or not the Board had taken a stance on the proposed use for the property as per the Town Code Enforcement Officer, which had been their intent at the last meeting.

Board Attorney Alyse Terhune reminded everyone that the Planning Board is not authorized under the law to interpret the code.  They can only administer it.  Therefore, it is up to either the Building Inspector or the Board of Zoning Appeals to offer an interpretation.  To this end, the Town Building Inspector has determined that the proposed temporary housing should be permissible under the proposed religious use, so long as that housing is restricted to Jehovah’s Witnesses only.  Additionally, the Assessor has granted the Applicant a religious tax exemption.   Ms. Terhune advised the Board that they were bound by this determination.

Board Member Jim Jospe expressed some concern over the definition of temporary, noting that the applicant had not provided a date by which the housing would be removed.  He noted that although the idea of 5 years had been bantered around, nothing had been put in writing. 

Mr. Coles responded that it was difficult to determine exactly when the housing would be removed because the removal would be based on the completion of the World Head Quarters in Warwick and while they certainly hoped to stay on schedule with this, they also had to anticipate that there could be some delays along the way.  He assured the Board that Watchtower would be cooperative in terms of determining a date for removal as the project in Warwick progressed.

There followed some discussion about the type of equipment that would be stored on the site and the number of busses Watchtower anticipated needing to transport the workers to and from the Warwick site on a daily basis.

Mr. Jospe wondered whether or not there would be anybody living at the Warwick site during the construction and phase and he was informed that aside from a caretaker, there would not.

Acting Chair Michael Reardon inquired as to the current status of the Warwick project.  Mr. Coles replied that it was still in the site plan review stage.

Ms. Terhune then asked Mr. Coles if he had a projected date by which he expected to receive final approval from Warwick and he informed her that he did not.  Once final approval has been granted, the applicant will still have to go through the permitting process, which could take some time.

Mr. Jospe wanted to know how soon the Jehovah Witnesses could be expected in Tuxedo and he was informed that it would be as soon as possible, as there is a lot of work to be done on that site to get it ready.

There was then a fairly brief discussion regarding the Building Inspectors assessment of the property use and subsequent letter to the Board.  Ms. Terhune repeatedly referenced 5 points aka conditions that were laid out in the letter, although only one of these was revealed and it stated that only Jehovah’s Witnesses would be permitted to reside onsite.

Following some further dialogue about a proposed retention basin and possible alternatives that would minimize site disturbance, the Board voted unanimously in favor of declaring themselves Lead Agency for the project and advised the applicant to come to the next TAC meeting where they will  discuss the plans further.

TUXEDO RESERVE – Amendments – North Ridge Preliminary Subdivision:
On behalf of Tuxedo Reserve, Andrew Dance introduced himself to the Board as the project manager and provided a brief history and overview of the project for the new Board members.  He stated that currently there was nothing stopping them from moving forward with construction as approved, however they are taking their time and working with the Town to determine how they will move forward with the construction of a new Sewage Treatment Plant, the construction of which is a condition of the Special Permit.  He then outlined the proposed amendment, which he described as “relatively minor in the scheme of the overall project.” Included in the amendment is the addition of an acre of land as well as a change to the housing mix within phase one of the development, known as North Ridge.  Specifically, the applicant is proposing to upgrade several of the homes from “cottage” style to “village” style, which will make them worth more and therefore should increase the overall financial benefit for the Town.  Additionally, they are proposing to put playing fields on a plot of land that has been designated for building a school and was previously slated to remain vacant until the need for the new school arises.

Mr. Dance acknowledged that before the Planning Board can act on the proposed amendment, the Town Board must officially accept the parcel of land they are proposing to add, however he commented that it was his hope that the Planning Board might begin their technical review of the amendment in advance of that decision in order to expedite the overall process.

There followed a discussion with regard to whether or not the Planning Board could give the application conditional final approval given that New York state has amended their laws to allow for applications with this status to receive unlimited extensions.

It was agreed that the Planning Board would begin an informal review of the amendment as proposed, the formal review pending a decision from the Town Board with regard to the addition of land.

SOS FUELS – Fuel Tank Replacement:
Representing SOS Fuels, Engineer Michael Sandour presented the Board with a site plan for the replacement of fuel tanks that were damaged last fall during Hurricane Irene.  The applicant is proposing new horizontal tanks to be installed on a concrete base and within containment area, which will be moved further back, away from the Ramapo River and elevated by roughly 3 feet, putting them above the requirements for a 100-year storm.
Following some further review of the plan and subsequent discussion, it was determined that the applicant would need to appear before the Zoning Board in order to obtain an amendment to their special permit before the could proceed.   As the Planning Board seemed to be in agreement that the plan as proposed was a good one, Board Attorney Alyse Terhune suggested that they send a letter to the Zoning Board recommending approval.  Town Planner Bonnie Franson also suggested that the applicant proactively send the plans to the DEC in order to initiate that approval process.  With regard to the SEQRA process, Ms. Franson recommended an uncoordinated review for the project and following some further discussion, the Board voted unanimously in favor of labeling it as an unlisted action. 

ROMAN USZYNSKI  - Site Plan Approval – Office Building Shop:
The Applicant presented the Board with plans for his retail/specialty shop to be located in Southfields behind the old Verizon Building.  Mr. Uszynski is in the business of acoustic fabric panels and stretched ceilings and is proposing to use the shop for material storage as well as showroom purposes.  Several aspects of the project including parking, curbing, fencing and septic were discussed.  Ms. Franson advised the applicant that both Orange County Planning Department review and Architectural Review Board approval would be necessary because it is a commercial building.  She recommended an uncoordinated review for SEQRA purposes and the Board then voted unanimously in favor of typing the application as an unlisted action.

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Agenda for Town Planning Board Meeting September 11, 2012

  1. Call to Order
  2. Approval of the July 10, 2012 Minutes
  3. Sterling Forest LLC – 6 Month Conditional Final Approval
    Section 9 Block 1 Lot 5.4; File #P9010-053
  4. Sterling Forest Volunteer Fire Dept. – Site Plan Approval
    Section 1 Block 1 Lot 30.1; File #P8610-001
  5. Watchtower – Site Plan Approval
    Section 1 Block 1 Lot 60; File #P8607-006
  6. Tuxedo Reserve – Amendments - North Ridge Preliminary Subdivision
    Section 9 Block 1 Lot 11.22; File #P8909-053
  7. SOS Fuels – Fuel Tank Replacement
    Section 11 Block 11 Lot 5.1; File #P8609-001
  8. Other Business
  9. Adjournment

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Letter Outlines Reasons Behind Planning Board Resignation

7 Stable Road
Tuxedo Park, NY 10987

 

Town of Tuxedo Supervisor and Town Board Members
One Temple Road
Tuxedo NY 10987

July 22, 2012

Dear Supervisor Dolan and Town Board members,

When ethics and principles give way to expediency, it is time to resign.

As your recent letter to the Planning Board says: “it is important for the Planning Board to be insulated from political pressure and influences so that it may deal fairly with property owners”. Fine words. The actions taken by the Town Board, however, are directly contrary to the sentiments expressed.

The Planning Board is supposed to function independently of the Town Board.  It is meant to exercise its independent judgment in identifying and resolving issues, free from undue influence. This principle is so important that NY State law specifically gives authority to the Planning Board to hire its own consultants,  (NYS Town Law Section 271). The Town Board does not have the legal authority to arbitrarily assign an attorney to the Planning Board.

This year, the Town Board appointed Jacobowitz and Gubits, the law firm that represents the Town, as the Planning Board attorneys without consulting with, let alone securing prior approval of the Planning Board. The Town Board did not even bother to notify the Planning Board of this arbitrary action. Thus ended a 30 year history of independent legal counsel for the Tuxedo Planning Board.

There are critically important matters already before the Planning Board and others likely coming that will have major impact on our Town. Planning Board members, the public and applicants should all feel that the Board functions independently in exercising its statutory powers, duties and discretion, with transparency, free of undue influence, real or perceived, from others who have not been assigned those powers, duties and discretion.

The dual representation arbitrarily created by the Town Board by hiring Jacobowitz and Gubits has already created real or perceived issues around undue influence and conflict.
For over thirty years, the Planning Board and community benefitted from advice from a law firm different from the Town’s. Now, the Planning Board officials’ ability to serve the needs of the residents has been compromised by the Town Board officials’ own political agendas.
The decision to inform the Planning Board that funds are available for Jacobowitz & Gubits only, thus denying funds for the Planning Board to hire independent Counsel, is a prime example of the exercise of undue “political pressure and influences” that fatally undermines the Planning Board’s ability to “deal fairly with property owners.” This arm-twisting via the purse strings is not only unethical, but also contrary to the intent of the law. Ending your letter with the offer of a choice between accepting your dictates or resign is another clear example of influence.

Since the action of replacing the Planning Board attorney with Jacobowitz and Gubits was first made, concerns about political agendas and perception of conflicts has grown over the past 6 months:

  • In mid February, the Planning Board advised you of concern that Jacobowitz and Gubits appeared to have a conflict. They were representing  “Science of the Soul” as clients before a Planning Board in another Town involving very similar land use matters as being presented before Tuxedo’s Planning Board.
  • Town Supervisor Dolan was quite explicit with Planning Board members about the political objectives re the Jehovahs Witnesses’ application. The outcome of this application may set a critical precedent for our community and the issues around it need clear, transparent, independent legal advice.
  • Directed by the Town attorney, an unasked for legal memo was prepared for the Planning Board by Ms. Terhune regarding the Jehovahs Witnesses’ application. The Town Board authorized payment of $5000 for that memo. I know of no instance where an attorney writes a memo that wasn’t asked for and then receives payment for it.
  • Ms. Terhune, the Associate of Jacobowitz and Gubits assigned to the Planning Board, was very actively involved for many years with Tuxedo Reserve’s original special permit when she was a member of the Town Board. Tuxedo Reserve is appearing before the Planning Board.

Over time, an acute sense of discomfort and concern about the lack of open and transparent decision making processes, free of actual or perceived conflicts and free of undue influence, have arisen. The Planning Board researched the law on its own and discovered the rights referenced earlier in this letter under New York State Town Law Section 271.

Unfortunately, the issues that gave rise to this situation never will be properly vetted, and it is the residents who will be made to suffer. The circumstances surrounding the rejection of the Planning Board’s decision to hire an independent counsel could not be more ham-handed and very puzzling.

In May, the Planning Board Chair, Joe Gartiser, informed the Town Board, via a phone call to Supervisor Dolan, of its unanimous decision to hire independent counsel.   Sometime after receipt of your response letter received on May 25th and the July 10th Planning Board meeting, the Planning Board Chair apparently changed his mind about the decision made by the group.  When the formal motion to hire independent counsel was made and seconded on July 10, the Chair called for an immediate vote and rejected discussion of the motion.  The deciding “no” vote was cast by the newly appointed alternate member, the wife of a Town Board member, who was attending a Planning Board meeting for the very first time. She had never before listened to or participated in any Planning Board discussion of this matter.

The voting process made it clear to me that I could not participate on this Board any longer without constant concern about outside influence from the Town Board, murky decision making processes, and no legal advice from attorneys hired by the Planning Board. I gave my verbal resignation and left the meeting.  This letter confirms my resignation.
Sincerely,

Susan P. R. Goodfellow

cc. Members of the Tuxedo Planning Board

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Town Planning Board Meeting July 10, 2012

The Town Planning Board met on Tuesday, July 10, 2012 at 7pm.

Following the approval of two sets of minutes, Board member Susan Goodfellow stated that there was an important issue she wanted to raise before moving forward with the agenda and requested permission to make a statement.  She went on to say that for over 30 years the Planning Board had been given the benefit of independent counsel, which was its right under the law.  However, in January of 2012, the Town Board approved a change and appointed the same firm the Town utilizes, Jacobowitz and Gubits as Planning Board attorneys.  The change was made without formal Planning Board approval, consult or notification and, in Mrs. Goodfellow’s view, sets the stage for the appearance of undue influence coming from the Town Board.  The Planning Board subsequently informed the Town Board that they wanted to pursue independent counsel, but Supervisor Dolan informed them that the Town would not permit this change and that funding would not be made available to them for any counsel other than Jacobowitz and Gubits.  Thus, the Planning Board would not be allowed to exercise their legal right.  (To read a copy of Supervisor Dolan’s letter to the Planning Board, click HERE) Mrs. Goodfellow commented that in her view this was an “egregious example of arm twisting.”  She pointed out that there are critically important matters already before the Planning Board and others likely coming that will surely have a major impact on the Town of Tuxedo.  She believes that Planning Board members, the public and the applicants should all feel that the Planning Board functions independently in exercising its statutory powers, duties and discretion, with transparency, free of undue influence, real or perceived, from others who have not been assigned those powers, duties and discretion.  In her view, the dual representation has already created real or perceived issues around undue influence and conflict and she stated that she felt that it was imperative that the Planning Board eliminate this problem by exercising their right to appoint their own counsel.  She then made a formal motion that the Board choose an independent attorney to provide counsel and that they issue a request for proposals for interested professionals to state their qualifications and proposed fees.

Board member Mary Hansen promptly seconded the motions.

Board Chair Joe Gartiser stated that he was not in favor of the motion.  He further commented that he felt that the Supervisors’ letter had been very clear and he believed that the Planning Board would only be “chasing their own tail” if they proceeded in this fashion.

Mrs. Goodfellow countered that Supervisor Dolan’s letter had indeed been clear, but that did not necessarily mean that it was right.  She wondered why, after 30 years, the Town Board was denying them their legal right.

Chair Gartiser pointed out that former Planning Board attorney Tom Egan had served the
Planning Board for the last 30 years and that this was the first time they had ever been in a position such as this.  He stated that he had been on the Planning Board for 20+ years and he could not recall a time when the Board had ever been given a choice with regard to their counsel.
Board member Mary Hansen stated that she was in favor of independent attorneys for the Planning Board and did not believe they should be forced into accepting the ones that the Town had appointed.

Chair Gartiser openly wondered how they should proceed commenting “what do we do now?  Pack up and go home?” He expressed his desire to move forward in a positive way and suggested that fighting the Town would not be a productive solution.

Mrs. Goodfellow retorted that she believed that the Town Board was inappropriately making decisions for the Planning Board under the law.  The idea that they either had to “take these attorneys or resign” was unacceptable.  She wondered what was so threatening about allowing them to have independent counsel.

Board member Michael Reardon suggested that the Board enter an executive session to discuss the matter further however the attorney advised him that there were no legitimate grounds for executive session.

Following some further tense discussion, The Board voted 2 in favor and 2 against Mrs. Goodfellow’s motion, with Mrs. Goodfellow and Mrs. Hansen voting in favor and chair Gartiser and Mr. Reardon voting against. Board Alternate Linda Phelps was then called upon to vote and she voted against the motion.

Chair Gartiser inquired as to how the Board should move forward from this point.
Mrs. Goodfellow announced that she was resigning and commented that in her opinion this was “no way to run a Board.”

Board Alternate Linda Phelps wondered why Mrs. Goodfellow believed the Town Board had acted inappropriately and asked for some history with regard to the situation.
Mrs. Hanson then provided a fairly brief summary of the situation, noting that the supervisor had in fact informally asked former Board Chair Nils Gerling as well as a few of the Board members for their opinion and then blatantly ignored their views.  She then announced that after 13 years of service on the Board, she would be resigning as well.
Mrs. Goodfellow and Mrs. Hansen then left the meeting.

Chair Gartser apologized to the audience and stated “what it is, it is.”  He further commented that the Board members were there trying to do the best they could for the Town.  He stated that as Planning Board Chair it was his duty to represent the Board and that when several members came to him and expressed their concerns about this issue he had presented these concerns to the Supervisor, although he wished to clarify now that he had never agreed with them.  He has no problem with the appointed attorney.

He then announced that Board member Bob Thompson had also resigned earlier that day, citing personal reasons.  He introduced newly appointed Alternate Linda Phelps, who was attending her first meeting and who, under the circumstances, he felt would probably be appointed as an official Board member in the near future.

Lee Brentnall – Review of 1994 Site Plan :
The Applicant presented the Board with a copy of the previously approved plans for a 24,000 sq foot office building to be located on the East side of Rt. 17 and requested that they re-approve the plans so that he might move forward with the project.

Board Attorney Alyse Terhune inquired about the both the subdivision and the setback pointing out that variances expire within one year if construction is not commenced.  She advised the Board that they could not re-approve the plans without variance renewal and suggested that the applicant would have to go before the ZBA and/or the ARB.  There followed a lengthy discussion regarding which process the applicant should follow after which it was determined that the Planning Board did not need to re-approve the project in order for it to move forward and  that following some research of the variances the next Applicant’s next step would be to appear before the ARB.

Watchtower – Determination of Use:
The Applicant provided a brief history of the project, the crux of which is the construction of temporary housing for members of the Watchtower organization while they assist in the construction of their World Headquarters, which is to be built just down the road from the property in the Town of Warwick. 250 units have been proposed.  Under the current plan, the existing International Paper building will be reconfigured to include roughly 100 of these and a 3-story modular building will be constructed to house the other 150.

The Town zoning code prohibits this type of dormitory style housing,  however Watchtower has asked the Board to classify the property as a place of worship, which would allow them to proceed with the housing as proposed.

The Board requested that the applicant submit a floor plan for the project, detailing the conceptual layout, (dwellings, work areas etc,) in order to help them to better visualize and understand what is being proposed before making a determination of use. The drawings were promptly submitted and reviewed by the Board at the May TAC meeting.

Board Chair Joe Gartiser stated that despite the review, the Board had still not been able to reach a determination of use.  They would like to refer the application to the Code Enforcement Officer so that he might make the determination.

Board Attorney Alyse Terhorne stated that the Board could certainly ask the Code Enforcement Officer for his interpretation of the code as it pertains to the application, however they could not hold up the application in the process.

Chair Gartiser responded that the Board’s intent was to move forward with their review of the plan, however they did not feel comfortable making the decision regarding the determination of use.  He further commented that he anticipated that the Code Enforcement Officer would be fairly prompt with his decision and that the applicant could probably expect an answer by week’s end.
The Applicant wondered what other steps they could take parallel to this process in order to move their application forward. 

Town Planner Bonnie Franson pointed out that a basic map, outlining the overall grading disturbance, among other things, would be necessary in order to proceed with the SEQRA process.

The applicants attorney commented that it would be challenging to move forward without a determination of use.  He wondered whether or not the Code Enforcement Officer was qualified to make the decision.  He pointed out that what needs to be determined is NOT whether the proposed use is religious but whether or not it falls within the definition of what the code allows.  He expressed some concern that these two issues might become confused. 

Attorney Terhorne asked the Applicant if they would like to have a hand in framing the question and commented that she would be willing to look at anything they wanted to submit.

Board member Michael Reardon commented that protocol was extremely important in this situation, especially since the Board had turned down a couple of similar applications in the fairly recent past.

Chair Gartiser agreed, and reiterated that the applicant could expect a speedy decision.  He further commented that he hoped they understood that the Board was sincere in their efforts and that they just wanted to “do the right thing.”

Tuxedo Reserve – Review of PID North Ridge Amendment:
On Behalf of the Related Companies, Engineer David Getz provided the Board with a summary of the changes that have been made to the layout of the North Ridge phase of the project.  The developer has acquired two new parcels of land, located on the Rockland County Boarder, which total roughly 1 acre.  Folding these parcels into the project has allowed them to adjust the alignment of the roadway and improve the overall layout by opening up the circulation in this area.  There will be no increase in project density.  Additionally, the Applicant is proposing a change in the housing mix, specifically replacing some Cottage Style homes with Village Style houses.(slightly larger) and swapping the location of some cottages with Townhouses.  There will be no change in the overall unit count.

Finally, the Applicant is proposing that an access road to the school site be moved.  The new location is on less of a slope and will provide more open space and better site distance.

There followed a fairly lengthy discussion regarding the process of approval and the responsibilities of the Planning Board vs. those of the Town Board.  The 2008 prelimary approval process as it pertained to the responsibilities of the two Boards was reviewed and discussed.  The changes to the Special Permit as proposed, including the addition of the two lots, will need to be approved by the Town Board   The Town Board will, however, refer to the Planning Board for their recommendation before making a final determination.  The Applicant suggested that perhaps the Planning Board could get a jump on the process by beginning their technical review at the next TAC meeting.
Town Planner Bonnie Franson acknowledged that two of the Board members would need to be brought up to speed on the project as they had not been a part of the 2008 preliminary approval.  She cautioned that given the current situation (recent resignations) there might not be a TAC meeting in the month of July.

The Applicant acknowledged this and responded that if there was a TAC meeting they would like to attend, but if not, they would plan to return in August.

Other Business:
Some time was spent bringing Board Alternate Linda Phelps up to speed with regard to the Watchtower application, specifically the proposed temporary status of the housing.  Various methods of ensuring that the modular structure be removed after 5-years were discussed.  Board member Michael Reardon expressed some concern over the precedent that approval might set and requested that the Attorney attempt to find an example of a similar approval in another small town like Tuxedo.  She agreed to do so.

There followed a brief discussion of TAC meetings and whether or not they should be continued.  Bonnie Franson suggested that the Board members review their schedules to determine whether these meetings should continue as they have in the past.

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Three Members of Town Planning Board Resign Amid Concerns About Independent Council

Town Planning Board members Susan Goodfellow and Mary Hansen resigned Tuesday night following a tense discussion amongst the Board regarding their legal right to independent council.

In January of 2012, the Town Board relieved long standing Planning Board Attorney Tom Egan of his duties and in his place appointed the firm of Jacobowitz and Gubits. No apparent reason was given for the change and the Planning Board was neither officially consulted nor notified.  Following the initial announcement, several of the Planning Board members expressed their concern, siting the fact that J & G also serves as attorney to the Town Board and that the Planning Board has a 30 year history of maintaining independent council.  In their view it is crucial that Planning Board members, the public and applicants alike should all feel that the Planning Board is functioning independently in exercising its statutory powers, duties and discretion, with transparency and free of undue influence (real or perceived).  Currently there are several critically important matters before the Planning Board that will have a major impact on the Town of Tuxedo and its future, (some of these include the proposed construction of a 3 story modular housing complex for Jehovah’s Witnesses on the International Paper site as well as the Tuxedo Reserve Development) and some of the Planning Board members feel that the dual representation has created real or perceived issues around undue influence and conflict. Plainly speaking, it threatens the system of checks and balances.

Based on these concerns, the Planning Board formally requested permission to exercise their legal right to choose independent council.  Town Supervisor Peter Dolan denied this request in a letter to the Board. 

Click here to read a copy of this letter.

At the onset of Tuesday evening’s Planning Board meeting, Mrs. Goodfellow expressed her dismay and concern over the Supervisor’s letter and what she referred to as “an egregious example of arm twisting.”   She stated that she believed that the Town Board was acting inappropriately by making these decisions for the Planning Board and she expressed anger at being told that she had to accept the appointment or could otherwise resign.  Commenting that retaining independent council was the Planning Board’s legal right, she stated that she truly did not understand why the idea of it seemed to be such  a threat to the Town Board.  She then made a formal motion that the Planning Board move forward and exercise their legal right to choose an independent council and this was seconded by Board member Mary Hansen.

Board Chair Joe Gartiser did not support the motion however and openly stated that he felt the Supervisors’ letter had been very clear.  He believe that the Planning Board would only be “chasing their own tail” if they proceeded in this fashion.  He commented that in all the 20 + years he had served on the Planning Board, he did not recall ever being given a choice when it came to choosing council.  Tom Egan had always been there.  He expressed his desire to move forward in a positive way and suggested that fighting the Town would not be a productive solution.

Following a fairly intense discussion, The Board voted 2 in favor and 2 against Mrs. Goodfellow’s motion.  Board Alternate Linda Phelps was then called upon to vote and she voted against the motion.

Mrs. Goodfellow then announced that she could not in good conscience sit on a Board that functioned in this manor and promptly gave her resignation. 

Mary Hansen agreed and also resigned (after 13 years of service) commenting “This is not the way to run a Board”

Board member Bob Thompson also resigned earlier in the day, siting personal reasons in his letter of resignation.

The Town Planning Board is left with two active members, Chair Joe Gartiser and member Michael Reardon, and one alternate, Linda Phelps.

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Agenda for Town Planning Board Meeting July 10, 2012

  1. 1. Call to Order
  2. Approval of the April 10, 2012 Minutes
  3. Lee Brentnall – Review of 1994 Site Plan
    Section 13 Block 6 Lot 2.3; File #P6801-001
  4. Watchtower - Determination of Use - 1422 Long Meadow Road
    Section 1 Block 1 Lot 60; File #P8607-006
  5. Tuxedo Reserve – Review of PID North Ridge Amendment
    Section 14 Block 1 Lot 34.14; File #P0506-005
  6. Other Business
  7. Adjournment

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Agenda for Town Planning Board Meeting June 12, 2012

  1. 1. Call to Order
  2. Approval of the April 10, 2012 Minutes
  3. Lee Brentnall – Review of 1994 Site Plan
    Section 13 Block 6 Lot 2.3; File #P6801-001
  4. Watchtower - Determination of Use - 1422 Long Meadow Road
    Section 1 Block 1 Lot 60; File #P8607-006
  5. Tuxedo Reserve – Review of PID North Ridge Amendment
    Section 14 Block 1 Lot 34.14; File #P0506-005
  6. Other Business
  7. Adjournment

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Town Planning Board Meeting May 8, 2012

The Town Planning Board met on May 8, 2012 at 7pm.  All members were present.

Public Hearing – Sterling Forest Volunteer Fire Company – Lot Line Change/Minor Subdivision:
The public hearing for Sterling Forest Volunteer Fire Company’s proposed lot line change was opened.  As there were no comments from the public, the hearing was closed.

Tuxedo Reserve – North Ridge Preliminary Subdivision Approval Extension:
The Board voted unanimously in favor of granting Tuxedo Reserve a 6-month Extension to Preliminary Approval for Phase One of their project, North Ridge, until November 13, 2012.  Additionally, they agreed to place the project on the agenda for their May 29 TAC meeting for the purpose of discussing recent amendments to North Ridge plan.

Sterling Forest Volunteer Fire Company – Lot Line Change/Minor Subdisivion:
The Planning Board is in receipt of the necessary paperwork from Orange County. As part of the SEQRA process, the Board voted in favor of a negative declaration before unanimously approving the application.

Watchtower – Determination of Use:
Mark Coles introduced himself as part of the design coordination team for Watchtower and offered to answer any questions the Board might have with regard to the proposed residences on their property located on Long Meadow Road.  The Watchtower organization is proposing to use the site to house members of their organization while the work on the construction of their World Headquarters, which is also to be located off of Long Meadow Road in the Town of Warwick.

Board member Mike Reardon asked for confirmation of the total number of residences being proposed.

Mr. Coles informed him that a total of 250 residences were being proposed, 150 of those would be part of a modular building to be constructed and the other 100 would be retrofit to the existing building on the site. (International Paper)  Watchtower estimates there will be 2 occupants per unit, for a total of 500 persons residing at the site.

Mr. Reardon inquired as to how many of the 500 individuals living on the property would be members of the Watchtower organization and was informed that that they would be members of Watchtower. 

Mr. Reardon commented that when he had asked the same question at the previous meeting, he had been told that “most but not all” of the inhabitants would be members of Watchtower.  He wondered which response was correct and why he had been given differing answers.

Mr. Coles replied that he was not sure why Mr. Reardon had been given 2 different answers, but that 100% of those living at the property (sleeping over night) would be Watchtower members.

Board Chair Joe Gartiser inquired as to the labor force and specifically whether or not all of the skilled workers (tradesmen) would be members of Watchtower.  He wondered whether or not the organization would be placing ads in local papers for laborers or working with Unions.

Richard Moake, General Council for the Watchtower Organization, replied that everyone living on the property from the chefs and cleaning people to the construction workers and the project oversight staff would be either a member of the religious order or a Jehovah’s Witness volunteer.  The labor force will be entirely in-house.

Mr. Coles added that some of the more specialized construction skills may require outside workers, however these individuals would not be residing at the property over night.  He reiterated that the proposed residences would be occupied only by Jehovah’s Witnesses and that the vast majority of the labor force would be Witnesses as well.

Chair Gartiser wondered if all the individuals residing in the proposed residences would be workers at the Warwick site.

He was informed that these people would either be working at the Warwick site or in direct support of it.

Board member Mary Hanson asked why the organization was not planning to house their workers on the Warwick property.

Mr. Coles replied that Watchtower did not want to construct housing at the Warwick site because it was surrounded by wetlands and they would prefer to stay clear of those areas.

Town Planner Bonnie Franson inquired as to the specific number of dwellings proposed, specifically the number of bathrooms and kitchenettes.  She commented that in the absence of floor plans, it was difficult to understand how the dwellings would be designed.

Mr. Coles again explained that they were proposing a total of 250 units to house roughly 500 people.  150 of the units would be in the proposed modular building and the other 100 would be retrofit to the IP Building.  Each unit would contain a kitchenette and bathroom.

Mr. Reardon inquired as to how many people would reside in each unit and was informed that some of the units would be designed to hold up to 4 people.

Ms. Franson inquired as to whether or not there would be other contractors coming to work at the Warwick site who might utilize the Tuxedo property to park their cars.  She wondered what the impact of this might be from a traffic prospective.

Mr.  Coles responded that although the Tuxedo property would be used as a staging facility for the Warwick project, he was not sure what the specifics would be in terms of parking.  He assured the Board that Watchtower would make every effort to minimize traffic.

Chair Gartiser asked about the initial phases of construction, specifically the clearing of the site and removal of debris, mixing of concrete and unloading of steel.  He wondered whether Watchtower intended to use all of their own equipment for these processes.

Mr. Coles replied that typically, Watchtower utilized their own equipment or equipment that they had leased privately.

Mr. Reardon wondered how many busses would be traveling back and forth between the two sites.  Mr. Coles did not know the answer to this question.

Mr. Reardon then wanted to know if there was a fuel tank on the site and if so, whether the organization would utilize it.  Again, Mr. Coles did not have an answer and commented that he was privy to logistics such as these.

Mr. Reardon inquired as to how long it would take to install the modular housing. 

Although Mr. Coles could not provide a specific time frame, he commented that construction of the foundation would take the longest amount of time and that the actual installation of the units would be fairly accelerated.

Mr. Reardon asked whether or not Watchtower had installed modular housing similar to what was being proposed in other locations.

He was informed that although they had previously installed modular housing, it had been in Haiti and was of a different variety.

Mr. Reardon asked Mr. Coles how many residents Watchtower maintained at their New York locations.

Mr. Moake informed him that there were roughly 1,400 at the Brooklyn location, 1,200 in Patterson and another 1,400 in Walkill. 

Chair Gartiser wondered if proposed modular units would be previously used or brand new and whether or not Watchtower intended to leave them there once the Warwick facility had been completed.

Mr. Coles replied that the units would be new and that Watchtower’s intent was to break them down and either move or sell them once the work in Warwick was finished.

Chair Gartiser asked if there was a proposed time frame for the project.

Mr. Coles replied that Watchtower hopes to complete the project in five years.

Board member Susan Goodfellow inquired about the dwellings that were to be retrofit to the IP building and whether or not these would be broken down as well.

Mr. Coles did not have answer.

Board Attorney Alyse Terhorne asked the Board if they wanted to consider making removal of the modular housing upon completion of the project a possible condition of their approval.
Mr. Reardon wondered how many residents would be living at the Warwick site once it had been completed and was informed that initial construction would accommodate for 850 with a potential maximum of 1000.

Mary Hanson asked for confirmation that there would be no children living on the premises and Mr. Moake confirmed that this was indeed the case.

Ms. Franson inquired about the relationship of the organization’s transition from Brooklyn and specifically whether or not the majority of the Witnesses there would be coming to work at Warwick.

Mr. Moake responded that while some of the Witnesses in Brooklyn would come to Warwick, some of them would also be relocated to other places.

Mary Hanson wondered about insurance on the site and specifically who would be providing workman’s compensation.

Mr. Moake replied that Religious organizations are not required to insure with workman’s compensation and that Watchtower is basically self insured in this area.  They consider themselves to be a family and they take care of their own in that capacity.  

Mrs. Hanson wondered what would happen if somebody was seriously hurt or mamed on the property and specifically whether or not the Town would have any liability in such a situation.

Attorney Terhorne informed her that the Town would not be liable for anything that occurred on Watchtower’s private property.

Chair Gartiser asked the Applicant how far along they were in the planning process with the Town of Warwick.

Mr. Coles replied that the process was almost complete, with only a few pieces of the application process remaining.

Mr. Moake stated that he would like to speak to the Board’s concern with the proposed housing, specifically the idea that the Town code did not allow for dormitory style housing.  According to the law, religious buildings or places of worship can include residential units.  The proposed dwellings are more like small apartments and not dormitory style rooms.  Watchtower believes that they fit into the residential zoning code appropriately.  

The Board then adjourned into a 30 minute executive session for the purpose of seeking advice from council. 

When they reconvened, Board Chair Gartiser explained that the Board remained concerned with the proposed housing.  He requested that the Applicant provide a floor plan for the project, detailing the conceptual layout, (dwellings, work areas etc,) which will help them to better visualize and understand what is being proposed.  It was agreed that the Applicant would bring this plan to May 29 TAC meeting.

Other Business:
The Board briefly discussed the proposed changes to the North Ridge phase of the Tuxedo Reserve project.  The applicant has purchased 2 additional lots and revised their overall plan in terms of the layout and housing mix.  The addition of the 2 lots will require a small change to the Special Permit.

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Agenda for Town Planning Board May 8, 2012

  1. Call to Order
  2. Approval of the April 10, 2012 Minutes
  3. Tuxedo Reserve – North Ridge Preliminary Subdivision Approval Extension Request
    Section 14 Block 1 Lot 34.14
    File #P0506-005
  4. Sterling Forest Volunteer Fire Co. Lot Line Change/Minor Subdivision
    Section 1 Block 1 Lot 30.1
    File #P8610-001
  5. Watchtower - Determination of Use
    1422 Long Meadow Road
    Section 1 Block 1 Lot 60
    File #P8607-006
  6. Adjournment

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Town Planning Board Meeting April 10, 2012

The Town Planning Board met on Tuesday, April 10 at 7pm.  Board member Robert Thompson was absent.

Sterling Forest Volunteer Fire Co. – Lot Line Change/Minor Subdivision:
On behalf of the Sterling Forest Volunteer Fire Co., Ken Magar presented the Board with plans detailing the requested lot line change.  The Department recently gained some property from Sterling Forest and is looking to change their property boundary lines to reflect the addition.  When presenting this request to the county, the Department was advised that this boundary line change would be classified by them as a “minor subdivision” rather than a lot line change.  Mr. Magar is unsure as to their reasoning for this classification.  Although the Town Code does not require a public hearing for lot line changes, such a hearing is required for subdivision approval, therefore, a hearing was scheduled for the Board’s next meeting, which is on May 8.

Watchtower – Temporary Residence/Parking:
On behalf of Watchtower, The Town Planning Board met on Tuesday, April 10 at 7pm.  Board member Robert Thompson was absent.

Sterling Forest Volunteer Fire Co. – Lot Line Change/Minor Subdivision:
On behalf of the Sterling Forest Volunteer Fire Co., Ken Magar presented the Board with plans detailing the requested lot line change.  The Department recently gained some property from Sterling Forest and is looking to change their property boundary lines to reflect the addition.  When presenting this request to the county, the Department was advised that this boundary line change would be classified by them as a “minor subdivision” rather than a lot line change.  Mr. Magar is unsure as to their reasoning for this classification.  Although the Town Code does not require a public hearing for lot line changes, such a hearing is required for subdivision approval, therefore, a hearing was scheduled for the Board’s next meeting, which is on May 8.

Watchtower – Temporary Residence/Parking:
On behalf of Watchtower, Robert Pollock and Ron Slater presented the Board with a brief review of their proposal for use of the property located at 1422 Long Meadow Road, otherwise known as the old International Paper site.  The group is hoping to use the site as a construction “back-office” while they pursue the construction of their world headquarters, which will be located down the road, but technically in the Town of Warwick.  In addition to creating various construction related “workshops”, and contractors yards on the site, the group is proposing the construction of a new building, containing roughly 200 units in which they plan to house workers.  The construction would entail disturbance of 2 acres of previously undeveloped land.  Additional modular housing is proposed for the front of the building.
Next Town Planner Bonnie Franson reviewed a memo, put together by H2M, detailing some questions and concerns about the plans as presented.  Some of these included:


·      Intended use of the property – The applicant has indicated that the site should be classified as “church or similar place of worship.”  This classification needs to be confirmed as the intended use will determine which path the Board takes in terms of the proposed temporary housing.
·      The number of proposed “residences” must be confirmed and more details are required (how many bedrooms?  Bathrooms?  Kitchens?)
·      More details are needed about the proposed parking, specifically, how did the applicant determine their needs.  Will there be construction vehicles parked there?  If so, how many and what kind?  Will the workers living there have cars?
·      Existing wetlands must be shown on the plans
·      Disturbance and grading plans must be provided
·      Drainage plans for the new proposed structure are needed
·      Utility plans are needed
·      SEQRA will most likely classify the project as a Type One action, and this makes an EIS more likely.  An EAF must be prepared and submitted.
·      Does the project fall within the Village of Tuxedo Park’s view shed?  If it does, the Village’s listing on the National Registry of Historic Places could have an impact.
·      Because Warwick Brook runs directly into the Wee Wah Lake, which is tied to the Village of Tuxedo Park’s water supply, water coming off the site must be closely monitored.  It is recommended that the applicant contact the DEC.
·      Will there be blasting?  Increased noise levels?  What is the nature of the construction activity that will take place on the site?
·      What is the storm water retention plan for the new structure?  Will it be improvised or will the applicant expand on something that is already in place?
·      What will the demand on community services be?
·      Additional traffic data is required
·      Will there be bussing between the facility and the headquarters construction site? 

Where will these busses be kept?

Board member Susan Goodfellow commented that issue of water was much bigger than it had been in the past, considering recent events (fish kill) which have had a direct effect on the applicants property.  Studies are on-going, however initial results have shown the presence of several fractures, one in particular between the Wee Wah Lake and the Tuxedo Lake.  It is not yet known in which direction the fracture flows (from Tuxedo Lake to the Wee Wah or visa versa) however, if it turns out that water is flowing from the Wee Wah into Tuxedo Lake, concerns will certainly be heightened with regard to exactly what is flowing into the ground as well as into the brook and streams which feed that lake.  At the very least, there will need to be filtration of some kind beneath the pavers.

Mary Hansen stated that she felt the Board was getting ahead of themselves even discussing issues such as pavers and busses. The proposed use for the property is one that is approved by the Town. Specifically, the Town Code prohibits the dormitory style housing the applicant has proposed.  In fact, the Board has turned down similar proposals within the last 3 years.  She commented that she felt they should stop discussing the project details at that time.

Mr. Slater responded that if classified as a church or similar place of worship (parish, convent or other religious building) the applicant would retain their right to use the property as proposed.  He explained that all those workers living on site would be Jehovah’s Witnesses and that they would conduct worship meetings every morning. Additionally, every Monday evening Watchtower study would be conducted and often times followed by a bible lecture. 

Board Chair Joe Gartiser asked for confirmation that all of the construction workers living on the site would in fact be practicing Jehovah’s Witnesses and Mr. Slater reiterated that they would be.  He went on to reference two court cases in the State of New York where it was determined that the classification of a place of worship” cannot be limited to a church, but must rather include places of “prayer and sacrifice,”

Mary Hansen stated that in her view, the site was either going to be a construction site or a church, but could not be both.

Board Member Michael Reardon inquired as to whether the morning worship meetings would be open to the public and was informed that they would not. 

Mr. Slater then suggested that one could not separate the proposed housing from the rest of the properties religious use.

Mr. Reardon replied that some people could make this delineation.

Mr. Slater retorted that they should not do so.

Mary Hansen again stated that dormitories were not allowed in Tuxedo.
Susan Goodfellow commented that under the circumstances, she felt the Board needed more time to consider the application and to receive council before determining whether or not they approved of the proposed use.

Board Chair Joe Gartiser agreed with this assessment.  Although it seemed to him as though the majority of the Board was not in favor of the proposed use, there remained a lot of uncertainty, which required some time to sort through.

After some further discussion it was agreed that the Board would further review the application in order to determine where they felt it should fall in terms of use and classification.  They expect to have a decision by their next meeting, which is on May 8.

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Agenda For Town Planning Board Meeting April 10, 2012

  1. Call to Order
  2. Approval of the February 14, 2012 Minutes
  3. Sterling Forest Volunteer Fire Co. Lot Line Change/Minor Subdivision
    Section 1 Block 1 Lot 30.1
    File #P8610-001
  4. Watchtower Temporary Residence/Parking
    1422 Long Meadow Road
    Section 1 Block 1 Lot 60
    File #P8607-006
  5. Other Business
  6. Adjournment

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Agenda For Town Planning Board Meeting March 13, 2012

  1. Call to Order
  2. Approval of the February 14, 2012 Minutes
  3. Watchtower Temporary Residence/Parking
    1422 Long Meadow Road
    Section 1 Block 1 Lot 60
    File #P8607-006
  4. Other Business
  5. Adjournment

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Agenda for Town Planning Board Meeting February 14, 2011

  1. Call to Order
  2. Approval of the January 10, 2012 Minutes
  3. Sterling Forest LLC – Sterling Place – Resolution – Conditional Final Approval
    Section 9 Block 1 Lot 5.4
    File #P9010-053
  4. Sterling Forest Volunteer Fire Co. Lot Line Change/Minor Subdivision
    Section 1 Block 1 Lot 30.1
    File #P8610-001
  5. Other Business
  6. Adjournment

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Town Planning Board Meeting January 10, 2012

The Town of Tuxedo Planning Board met on January 10, 2012 at 7pm. Board members Joe Gartiser and Susan Goodfellow were absent.

SOS Fuels – Cell Tower Equipment Addition Change -
The Planning Board granted the applicant approval for a cell tower equipment addition, to include expansion of the equipment compound as well as antennae replacement, back in July, 2011. When they began construction, however, water mains were discovered in the location where they had planned on installing the equipment at the side of the building. Therefore, an attorney for AT&T appeared before the Board to request permission to relocate the addition to the back of the building. The design will remain exactly the same.

There was a brief discussion with regard to some engineering details, following which the Board unanimously granted the applicant conditional final approval for the project.

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Agenda for Town Planning Board Meeting January 10, 2012

  1. Call to Order
  2. Approval of November 9, 2011 Minutes
  3. SOS Fuels – Cell Tower Equipment Addition Change
    Section 11 Block 11 Lot 5
    File #P8609-001
  4. Other Business
  5. Adjournment

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Town Planning Board Meeting November 7, 2011

The Town Planning Board met on November 9, 2011 at 7pm. Board member Joe Gartiser was absent.

Tuxedo Reserve - North Ridge Preliminary Subdivision Approval Extension Request – Representatives for the Applicant were not present when the application was called. Following a brief discussion the Board voted 3 to 1 in favor of extending the approval until May 2012, with Board Mary Hansen voting against.

Iazzetti Site – Removal of 1997 Site Plan Conditions –
On behalf of the Applicant, attorney Forrest G. Merrill requested of the Board an amendment or relaxation of conditions placed on the property as part of a previous site plan approval back in 1997. The Applicant appeared before the Zoning Board of Appeals with the same request, however that Board referred them back to the Planning Board because it was the Planning Board who originally imposed the conditions. Mr. Merrill introduced project engineer Raymond Ahmadi, who described the plans in detail. While the specific conditions that the applicant is seeking relief from were never verbally outlined, it was made clear that that they would like to open a stone crushing business on the property. Mr. Ahmadi spent a great deal of time focusing on noise levels, concluding that trucks passing by the thruway would generate just as much, if not more noise than the business itself because of a rock outcropping located on the property which forms a natural sound barrier. Further details of the project were then discussed including the types of machines that the applicant hopes to use, their size and storage of these machines, as well as the types and sizes of the rocks to be crushed and storage of those rocks both before and after crushing. Board member Susan Goodfellow inquired about levels of rock dust and was informed that the crusher sprays a constant mist, which helps to alleviate this issue. Board Engineer Jeff Marsden then reviewed with the Applicant a memo, written by Town Planner Bonnie Franson, which clearly outlined her concerns. It was agreed that the Applicant would address these concerns and amend the plans accordingly before returning to the next meeting. Before concluding their discussion, Board member Mary Hanson informed the Applicant and the public at large that once their project begins, Tuxedo Reserve intends to do all of their own rock crushing.

Nancy & joseph Ribano – Tuxedo Town Code section 85-31A –
While the Applicant was not present, it was announced that the Board is in receipt of a letter from Project Engineer Michael Sandor in which he names six engineers that he considers acceptable for reviewing the current situation. Town Engineer Tom Marsden must now review this list and decide who to interview. Once this has taken place the engineers will meet and make a decision. Resident Janet Galuska commented that in her view, the Ribandos should not be allowed to appear before the Board with their project as they have not paid property taxes and are in arrears to the Town for $5,721.50. Normally, applicants are not allowed to appear on an agenda when they are in arrears. Board member Mary Hanson agreed. Following a brief discussion of this matter, the Board unanimously agreed that Mr. Marsden would not move forward with interviewing engineers until the Ribandos had settled their debt. A motion outlining this decision was then made, seconded and adopted.

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Agenda For Town Planning Board Meeting November 9, 2011

  1. Call to Order
  2. Approval of October 11, 2011 Minutes
  3. Tuxedo Reserve – North Ridge Preliminary Subdivision Approval Extension Request
    Section 14 Block 1 Lot 34.14
    File #P0506-005
  4. Iazzetti Site – Removal of 1997 Site Plan Conditions
    Section 9 Block 1 Lot 13
    File #P8704-007
  5. Nancy & Joseph Ribando – Tuxedo Town Code Section 85-31A
    9 Nursery Road
    Section 11 Block 2 Lot 1.46
    File #P8608-010
  6. Other Business
  7. Adjournment

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Town Planning Board Meeting October 11, 2011

The Town Planning Board met on October 11, 2011 at 7pm. Board member Mary Hansen was absent.

Iazetti Site – Negative Declaration for Filling and Grading Permit:
The Board voted unanimously in favor of granting a negative declaration for the filling and grading permit at the Iazetti site.

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Agenda for Town Planning Board Meeting October 11, 2011

  1. Call to Order
  2. Approval of September 13, 2011 Minutes
  3. Iazzetti Site – Negative Declaration for Filling & Grading Permit
    Section 9 Block 1 Lot 13
    File #P8704-007
  4. Other Business
  5. Adjournment

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Town Planning Board Meeting September 13 2011

The Town Planning Board met on Tuesday September 13, 2011. Board member Mary Hasen was absent.

Public Hearing – Iazzetti Filling and Grading Permit:
On behalf of the applicant, attorney Forrest G. Merrill began the public hearing by introducing Raymond Ahmadi, the Project Engineer. Plans were distributed and Mr. Ahmad presented the Board with a brief overview of the project. Following this presentation, Town Engineer Jeff Marsdan stated that the plans had been properly modified to reflect all changes as previously discussed, with the exception of the required silt fence, which did not appear on the plans. It was agreed that the plans would be modified again to reflect this important addition.

Betty Eberling expressed her concern with the project. Referencing its zoning classification as a neighborhood business and citing the applicants original final conditional approval from 1997, she presented the Board with several print outs from GOOGLE EARTH which, in her view, clearly illustrated current violations on the property. Under the conditions of the original approval the applicant was not allowed to stockpile any materials on the property, maintain or repair any vehicles, store fuel of any kind or manufacture any material there. Mrs. Eberling suggested that despite these conditions, all of these things were happening on the site.

Mr. Merrill interjected and commented that property use had nothing to do with filing and grading permit that the applicant was currently seeking. Therefore it should not be a topic of discussion during the public hearing.

Mrs. Eberling responded by inquiring about the fill boundaries of the previous permit. She wondered how the applicant could be trusted to comply with the permit when he had, in her view, so openly violated the last one.

Mr. Merrill responded that the property had been inspected and that no violations were found.

Town Code Enforcement Officer Dave Maikisch concurred, explaining that the Iazzettis had not initially realized that their permit had expired when they began work at the site. Once the expiration was pointed out to them, work was immediately halted and although there had been some other violations, he had recently inspected the property and they had all been corrected.

Diana Petrosky expressed concern about trucks and the potential increase in large vehicle traffic to and from the site. She was assured that all traffic would access the site from the adjoining property in the rear and that there would not be a notable increase. She then inquired about the embankment, which serves as a buffer between the site and Route 17 and specifically whether it would remain as it was or be flattened out. She was informed that it would remain as it was. She then commented that although she realized that she was not permitted to inquire at this meeting, she really wanted to know what the Iazzettis were intending to do on the property and stated that she would like so see some sort of safety guarantee.

Mike Poznanski inquired as to why he had not been officially informed about the hearing, as his house is located in the same neighborhood as both Mrs. Petrosky and Mrs. Eberling. He openly wondered why the applicants seemed unwilling to discuss their plans for the property.

Patti Iazzetti commented that they didn’t know what they were intending to do with it yet.
Mr. Merrill reminded them that property use was not the subject of the hearing.
Mr. Pozanski formally requested to be added to the list of those be notified about the project moving forward, but was informed that if his property was outside of the legal bounds for such notices, he would not be officially informed.

Diana Petrosky inquired about a pipe, which was somewhat recently installed by the highway department on Stephens Lane and runs under Route 17. She wondered where the pipe emptied out and whether it would be affected by this project. She was informed that it would not.

Mrs. Eberling again tried to point out what she believed to be several current violations on the property including stockpiling and manufacturing of material and the illegal parking of multiple vehicles. She also expressed concern with potential drainage issues. A heated discussion ensued at the end of which Board Chair Nils Gerling reminded everyone once again that the purpose of the hearing was to discuss the filing and grading permit only and not the use of the property.

Town Planner Bonnie Franson also pointed out that despite the fact that there were property uses noted on the plans, that the Board would not be approving those uses when and if they granted the permit and that perhaps the fact that there were notes of this nature on the plans was misleading.

Mrs. Eberling expressed concern that the Board seemed ready to grant the filling and grading permit when in her view the applicant has a clear track record of not doing the right thing.

Mr. Merrill commented that these issues were not before the Board and he accused

Mrs. Eberling of making irrelevant comments, which were both insulting and offensive.

Mrs. Eberling inquired as to how they would ensure the use of clean fill.

She was informed that there would be regular inspections and that the DEC had approved it.

Jeff Marsdan commented that clean fill certification would be required and that the Town would also need to know where the fill was coming from. Additionally, all existing trees and timber will need to be properly removed.
The public hearing was then closed and the regular meeting commenced.

Iazzetti Site – Filling & Grading Permit:
The Board briefly discussed the application before taking a vote. Town Planner Bonnie Franson pointed out that the original approval allowed for an office with access and storage for trucks and other construction vehicles. She suggested that perhaps the current plan should be modified to reflect this and commented that what is written on the plan should reflect exactly what was approved back in 1997.

Attorney Tom Eagan suggested that somebody should extrapolate what the restrictions placed on the property had been, commenting that he was aware the applicant was only seeking a filling and grading permit at this time, but sooner or later they would be back before the Board with an intended use.

Following some further discussion, the Board voted unanimously in favor of granting the filing and grading permit based on the following four conditions:
Modification of the plans to reflect the previous approved use
Modification of the plans to include silt fence as discussed earlier
Certification of fill
Proper removal of timber from the property

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Agenda for Town Planning Board Meeting September 13, 2011

  1. Call to Order
  2. Approval of August 9, 2011 Minutes
  3. Iazzetti Site – Filling & Grading Permit – 462 Route 17
    Section 9 Block 1 Lot 13
    File #P8704-007
  4. Other Business
  5. Adjournment

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Town Planning Board Meeting August 9, 2011

The Town Planning Board met on August 9, 2011 at 7pm. Board member Joe Gartiser was absent.

Iazzetti Site – Filling & Grading Permit – Brothers Thomas and A.J. Iazzetti were present to discuss their application for a filling and grading permit. Town Engineer Jeff Marsdan expressed some confusion with the plans as presented and asked the applicant to clearly differentiate between what currently exists and what is being proposed. The applicant did so, however the plans will need to be updated with the differences clearly indicated.
Both the Town Engineer and the DEC have completed site visits and determined that the proposed fill is ok for use. There is some old wood/timber located on the property and the Board briefly discussed removal and possible follow-up inspection by the Town Engineer in order to make sure it is done properly. Mr. Iazzetti inquired as to whether or not the Building Inspector could perform this inspection as having the Engineer come entail further costs. The answer was yes. Board member Susan Goodfellow inquired about the silt fence, particularly whether or not it had been inspected to ensure proper installation. Mr. Marsdan responded that it had already been installed at the time of his first visit, but it appeared to have been done correctly. Mrs. Goodfellow then inquired about the process of inspection to ensure that it remains installed properly and she was informed that the Town’s Code Enforcement Officer would be responsible for this type of inspection. Board Chair Nils Gerling then read into the record an e-mail written and submitted by Betty Ann Eberling, in which she expressed concern with the project. In her letter, Mrs. Eberling pointed out that the applicant had been denied a filling and grading permit in 1997 and she wondered what had changed since that time. She expressed further concerns about the topsoil and storage of mulch as well as the possible construction of an apartment complex on the site. Mr. Iazzetti inquired as to the specific definition of “apartment complex” and Ms. Franson responded that although Ms. Eberling seemed to be alleging that the Iazzettis were intending to construct such a building, the Board would base its determination on the project plans and their site visit.
The Board then voted unanimously in favor of setting a tentative Public Hearing date for September 13.

The Presidents Network – Change of Use Request – Nungin Sunwon:
Representatives from The Presidents Network were present to discuss a change of use for their proposed educational facility located at 371 Route 17A. Revised plans were presented and discussed. Revisions included the removal of a caretakers apartment, to be replaced with three offices, which will be in operation 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year and utilized by Buildings & Grounds as well as Security employees. There was a great deal of discussion regarding the proposed bio-retention facility an its maintenance. The applicant presented an agreement to be signed by the Town Board, which would ensure proper maintenance of the facility. The Planning Board was uncertain as to whether or not such an agreement with the Town Board would be necessary as proper facility maintenance would already be required as a condition of their Planning Board approval as well as the DEC. Following a lengthy discussion, during which it was determined that the applicant’s proposed maintenance plan had been deemed as “solid” by the Town Engineer, it was agreed that Planning Board Attorney Tom Eagan would check with the Town Boards’ attorney to determine the necessity of this document. It was also determined that inspections of the facility would take place annually during the month of June. The Board then voted unanimously in favor of granting Conditional Final Approval based on the following 6 conditions:
Revision of the narrative to reflect changes as discussed pertaining to the elimination of references to the caretaker
Amendment of the site plan to reflect all changes as discussed
Addition of a “map note” detailing maintenance agreement as discussed
Review and approval of final agreement by the Town Engineer
Inspections to be completed annually in June with results submitted to the Town’s Code Enforcement Officer
The Planning Board Attorney will discuss the maintenance agreement as proposed with the Town Board to determine the necessity of the document.

Miscellaneous Business:
Board Member Mary Hanson inquired about the auto-body located in Southfields near Valero, specifically as to the number of cars that could be stored there. She commented that she remembered the Board having put restrictions on this, however it seemed that there were many cars currently stored on the property. She suggested that the Board should send the Code Enforcement Officer out in an effort to enforce these restrictions. It was determined that the property had changed hands fairly recently and that there exists the possibility that the new owner is unaware of the restrictions. It was agreed that a call should be made to inform the owners about the restrictions.
The Board then briefly discussed the Iazzatti application in terms of whether or not the site was in compliance with the code. Several Board members expressed concern about issuing the applicant a new permit if he is not in currently in compliance. It was agreed that there is a strong possibility that such issues might be brought up by members of the Public at the hearing and therefore the Board would like some clarification as to the status prior to that hearing.

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Agenda for Town Planning Board Meeting August 9, 2011

  1. Call to Order
  2. Approval of July 26, 2011 Minutes
  3. Iazzetti Site – Filling & Grading Permit
    Section 9 Block 1 Lot 13
    File #P8704-007
  4. The Presidents Network – Change of Use
    Nungin Sunwon
    Section 1 Block 1 Lot 34.1
    File #P8607-017
  5. Other Business
  6. Adjournment

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Agenda for Town Planning Board Special Meeting, July 26, 2011

  1. Call to Order
  2. Approval of the May 10, 2011 Minutes
  3. The Presidents Network – Change of Use Request
    Nungin Sunwon
    Section 1 Block 1 Lot 34.1
    File #P8607-017
  4. Any other business that may come before the Board
  5. Adjournment

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Agenda for Town Planning Board Workshop Meeting July 19, 2011

  1. Call to Order
  2. Approval of the November 16, 2010 Minutes
  3. Review and discussion of the Architectural Review Board Guidelines and the Town of Tuxedo Architectural Review Board Town Code
  4. Adjournment

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Special Town Planning Board Meeting - 8:30am - July 26, 2011

  1. Call to Order
  2. Approval of the May 10, 2011 Minutes
  3. The Presidents Network – Change of Use
    Nungin Sunwon
    Section 1 Block 1 Lot 34.1
    File #P8607-017
  4. Other Business
  5. Adjournment

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Town Planning Board Meeting May 10, 2011

The Town Planning Board met on May 10, 2011 at 7:00 pm. Board member Susan Goodfellow was absent.

Tuxedo Reserve – North Ridge Preliminary Subdivision Approval Extension Request

An attorney for Tuxedo Reserve appeared before the Board to request a 6-month extension phase one of the project, known as North Ridge. She informed the Board that RH Tuxedo is entirely up to date on their fees and that they are continuing to work on securing their permits. After minimal discussion, the Board voted unanimously in favor of approving the request. The applicant will next appear before the Board in November.

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Agenda for Town Planning Board May 10, 2011

  1. Call to Order
  2. Approval of February, 8 2011Minutes
  3. Tuxedo Reserve – North Ridge Preliminary Subdivision Approval Extension Request
    Section 14  Block 1  Lot 34.14
    File #P0506-005
  4. Other Business
  5. Adjournment

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Town Planning Board Meeting February 8, 2011

The Town Planning Board met on February 8, 2011 at 7pm All members were present.

Sterling Place- 6 Month Extension – Conditional Final Approval:

On behalf of Sterling Place, Lou Heimbach appeared before the Board to request a 6-month extension. The applicant is still working on the conditional of the conditional final approval and is currently awaiting responses from both the Town Engineer and the Town Attorney with regard to offering the roads within the development for dedication to the Town as is required.

The Board voted unanimously in favor of the extension. The project will come before the Board again on August 9, 2011.

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Agenda for Town Planning Board meeting February 8, 2010

  1. Call to Order
  2. Approval of November 9, 2010 Minutes
  3. Sterling Place – 6 Month Extension Conditional Final Approval
    Section 9  Block 1  Lot 5.4
    File #P9010-053
  4. Other Business
    Adjournment

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Town Planning Board Meeting November 9, 2010

The Town Planning Board met on November 9, 2010 at 7:00pm. All members were present.

Tuxedo Reserve – North Ridge Preliminary Subdivision – Approval Extension Request:

A representative for Tuxedo Reserve appeared before the Board to request a 6-month extension for phase one of the Tuxedo Reserve development, North Ridge. When asked why the extension was necessary, the representative responded that in addition to the tough economy, related is continuing to work on resolving issues with the Town Board. Following a brief discussion, during which the Board determined that the applicant is up-to-date with all fees, the Board voted unanimously in favor of granting a 6-month extension, which will expire on May 10, 2011.

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Agenda for Town Planning Board Meeting November 9, 2010

  1. Call to Order
  2. Approval of October 12, 2010 Minutes
  3. Tuxedo Reserve – North Ridge Preliminary Subdivision
    Approval Extension Request
    Section 14  Block 1  Lot 34.14
    File #P0506-005
  4. Other Business
    Adjournment

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Town Planning Board Meeting, October 12, 2010

The Town Planning Board met on October 12, 2010 at 7pm. Board member Mary Hanson was absent.

Approval of August 10 Meeting Minutes:

The minutes from the August 10 meeting were approved with no changes.

Nancy & Joseph Ribando – Tuxedo Town Code Section 85-31A:

Nancy and Joe Ribando’s application to subdivide their existing property on 9 Nursery Road, into two lots proceeded as follows. The Ribando’s were represented by their engineer, Michael Sandor. It should be noted that approximately 9 Ribando neighbors were in attendance. The applicant and Town engineer have reached an impasse as it relates to the type and location of the proposed subdivided properties sewer system. The Town Code provides for both engineers to identify a mutually acceptable third party engineer to be brought in at the applicant’s expense to resolve such impasses. Therefore the Board approved having the applicant submit a letter requesting that a third party engineer be brought in to resolve this issue.

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Agenda For Town Planning Board Meeting October 12, 2010

  1. Call to Order
  2. Approval of August 10, 2010 Minutes
  3. Nancy & Joseph Ribando – Tuxedo Town Code Section 85-31A
    9 Nursery Road
    Section 11  Block 2  Lot 1.46
    File #P8608-010
  4. Other Business
    Adjournment

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Town Planning Board Meeting August 10, 2010

The Town Planning Board met on Tuesday, August 10 at 7pm. Board member Susan Goodfellow was absent.

Sterling Forest LLC - Sterling Place - Resolution – Conditional Final Approval:

After a brief discussion the Board resolved to grant Sterling Forest LLC a 6-month extension on their conditional final approval.

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Town Planning Board Meeting June 8, 2010

The Town Planning Board met on Tuesday, June 8, 2010. All members were present.

Tuxedo Reserve – North Ridge Preliminary Subdivision Extension Request:
On behalf of Tuxedo Reserve, Attorney Dominic Cordisco appeared before the Board to request a 6-month extension to the preliminary approval for phase one of the Tuxedo Reserve project, North Ridge. Citing the ongoing quest for outside agency approvals as well as a desire to wait for the housing market to turn around, Mr. Cordisco stated that in his estimation, if granted, the extension would run until November of 2010. After minimal discussion, the Board voted unanimously in favor of granting the extension.

Nancy & Joseph Ribando – Preliminary Approval for Proposed 3 Lot Subdivision:
Engineer for the applicant Michael Sandour informed the Board that he had submitted a formal response to concerns expressed by the Town Engineer as requested. He commented that it was his sincere hope that this letter clarified all the issues as presented. Town Planner Bonnie Franson then outlined the conditions under which preliminary approval could be granted, commenting that the subdivision would be labeled a “major” subdivision due to the need for municipal sewer and water hook-ups and the subsequent construction that would be required. The conditions as outlined were:

  1. All lots must hook into municipal sewer and water with NO septic systems to be installed and all maps/plans must be readjusted to reflect this.
  2. Drainage issues must be adequately addressed as outlined in the plans
  3. A permanent curb constructed out of either concrete or Belgian block must be installed along Nursery Road.

Following the review of these conditions Board Chair Nils Gerling read the resolution of approval into the record. The Board then voted unanimously in favor of granting conditional preliminary approval.

William Friedlich – Susan Court – 1 Lot Subdivision:
The Applicant began by informing the Board that technical approval from The County Health Department had been granted contingent upon any changes that the Planning Board deemed necessary. This was followed by a discussion regarding the proposed shared driveway for which a formal letter of agreement is still necessary. Following this discussion, the Board granted the applicant conditional final approval, subject to the submission of a formal Agreement clearly reflecting the terms of the driveway easement as discussed.

Augusta Properties – Site Plan for Renovation of Building & New Diner:
Revised plans for the project were submitted and discussed. The BZA has granted the necessary variances and ADA approval has also been received. There was a brief discussion with regard to parking spaces. Sign plantings were also discussed. Plans for the building renovation include removing the loading dock area and garage doors and replacing these with a proper front entrance. Additionally, windows will be installed along the side of the building that faces route 17. The applicant hopes to return this building, currently used as warehouse space, to its original purpose of retail and office space. Drawings were presented and enthusiastically received by the Board. Following some further discussion the Board voted unanimously in favor of granting the applicant conditional final approval subject to some minor changes as outlined during the discussion.

New AT&T Wireless PCS, LLC:
A representative on behalf of AT&T appeared before the Board to request permission to install a wireless facility on an existing pole located at the Red Apple. Co-locating on this ýmonopoleţ will alleviate the need to build a new tower. Board member Mary Hansen inquired as to the possibility of wind damage and more specifically to what degree the poll could endure high winds. She was informed that the poles were constructed to handle 70MPH sustained winds. The Board then voted unanimously in favor of approving the project as proposed.

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Agenda for Town Planning Board Meeting June 8, 2010

1.     Call to Order
2.     Approval of April 13, 2010 Minutes
 
3.     Nancy & Joseph Ribando – Preliminary Approval for Proposed 3 Lot Subdivision
         9 Nursery Road
         Section 11  Block 2  Lot 1.46
         File #P8608-010
 
4.     Tuxedo Reserve – North Ridge Preliminary Subdivision Approval Extension
         Request
         Section 14  Block 1  Lot 34.14
         File #P0506-005
 
5.     William Friedlich – Susan Court – l Lot Subdivision
         Section 25  Block 1  Lot 15.2
         File #P0306-009
 
6.     Augusta Properties – Site Plan for Renovation of Building & New Diner
         194-210 Route 17
         Section 12 Block 4 Lots 2 and 3
         File #P7506-001
 
7.     New Cingular Wireless PCS, LLC – Red Apple Site
         982 Route 17
         Section 5 Block 3 Lot 14.1
         File #P8912-093
 
8.     Other Business
         Adjournment 

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Agenda for Town Planning Board Meeting May 11, 2010

1.     Call to Order
2.     Approval of April 13, 2010 Minutes
 
3.     Nancy & Joseph Ribando – Preliminary Approval for
         Proposed 3 Lot Subdivision
         9 Nursery Road
         Section 11  Block 2  Lot 1.46
         File #P8608-010
 
4.     Tuxedo Reserve – North Ridge Preliminary Subdivision
         Approval Extension Request
         Section 14  Block 1  Lot 34.14
         File #P0506-005
 
5.     William Friedlich – Susan Court – l Lot Subdivision
         Section 25  Block 1  Lot 15.2
         File #P0306-009
 
6.     Other Business
         Adjournment 

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Town Planning Board Meeting April 13, 2010

The Town Planning Board met on April 13, 2010 at 7pm. All members were present.

Public Hearing Continued: Joseph & Nancy Ribando – Proposed 3-Lot Subdivision:
On behalf of the applicant, engineer Michael Sandor acknowledged receipt of a letter dated January 6, 2010 from Town Engineer Don Sioss in which Mr. Sioss advises that the project as proposed could create effluent violations with storm water run-off and septic drainage and should not be pursued. Mr. Sandor commented that in his view this conclusion is both inconsistent with sound engineering principals and in contradiction to comments made by Mr. Sioss in previous public hearings. He then went through the letter, reading aloud pertinent sections and refuting the points made therein. In his letter, Mr. Sioss stated that he was doubtful that the proposed drainage systems would alleviate or mitigate the flooding to neighboring properties. He sited soil survey’s that were conducted and expressed particular concern with ground water flow, suggesting that there was a high probability for basement flooding in those homes located below the proposed subdivision and that nothing had been proposed to mitigate this situation. Mr. Sandor countered that he did not believe that Mr. Sioss had actually visited the basements of the homes in questions and that perhaps those homes had been poorly constructed. He asserted that the applicant was doing everything they possibly could to mitigate the situation and cited 4 different drainage systems, including curtain and footing drainage in addition to swales that had been proposed.
Commenting that he stands by his letter, Mr. Sioss reiterated his concern that the subdivision could have detrimental effects on neighboring, downhill properties in the form of increased basement flooding and potential septic leaks into those basements. He referenced soil surveys that were completed following a recent heavy rainfall and commented that not only were the holes devoid of water, but run off was found running down the side of Nursery Road. When the rapid evacuation of water gets into the ground, it either runs downward or sideways and it is his view that it will run and intercept the septic systems and swales, which will in turn cause basement flooding.
Thelma Smith of 15 Nursery commented that she had experienced serious basement flooding for the first time in 40 years during the recent storm. She expressed concern that the proposed project would make the problem worse.
Janet Galushka agreed, stating that Mrs. Smith’s flooding was the result of two trees having been removed from her property earlier that winter. If the removal of two trees had the ability to cause such damage, she questioned what the effects of leveling and landscaping the Ribando lots would be, cautioning that trees are necessary for holding back some of the water.
Board member Mary Hanson referenced a comment made by Mr. Sandor in which he claimed that Mr. Sioss’s January 6 letter was the first communication he had ever received from the Town Engineer and inquired as to why this was the case. Mr. Sioss responded that it is normal practice for him to address all comments directly to the Board, but that Mr. Sandor was normally copied on these communications.
Town Planner Bonnie Franson commented that often times engineering memos are circulated at TAC meetings and then incorporated into the minutes for those meetings, rather than being formally circulated.
Board Member Robert Thompson inquired of Mr. Sioss if, in his view, there was anything the applicant could do to mitigate the drainage situation. Mr. Sioss responded that he did not believe there was.
Following some brief discussion regarding the specifics of the drainage that had been proposed by the applicant, the public hearing was officially closed.
Board Chairman Nils Gerling then confirmed with Board Attorney Tom Eagan that by law, the Board has 62 days to reach a decision on the application. He advised the Board to prepare themselves to make a decision at their next meeting, which will take place on May 11.

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Agenda for Town Planning Board Meeting April 13, 2010

1.     Call to Order
2.     Approval of March 9, 2010 Minutes
 
3.     Nancy & Joseph Ribando – Preliminary Approval for
         Proposed 3 Lot Subdivision
         9 Nursery Road
         Section 11  Block 2  Lot 1.46
         File #P8608-010
 
4.     Other Business
         Adjournment 

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Town Planning Board Meeting March 9, 2010

The Town Planning Board met on March 9, 2010 at 7:00pm. All members were present.

Public Hearing Continued: Joseph & Nancy Ribando – Proposed 3-Lot Subdivision:
Due to the fact that Mr. Ribando was unable to attend the meeting, the public hearing was continued to April 13.

Sterling Forest LLC – Sterling Place – Resolution – Conditional Final Approval:
After briefly reviewing their resolution, the Board confirmed that all the changes as discussed were reflected within and therefore signed off on it, granting the applicant Conditional Final Approval.

Nungin Sunwon – 371 Route 17A – Negative Declaration – Approval of Site Plan:
After issuing a Negative Declaration under SEQRA for the application, the Board voted 4 to 1 in favor of approving the plan, with Mary Hanson voting against.

Jasmine Imports Proposed Revised Retail Space – Conditional Final Approval:
Town Planner Bonnie Franson confirmed that all consultant comments had been addressed by the applicant. The Board issued a negative declaration under SEQRA and then voted unanimously in favor of granting the applicant final approval for the project.

Metro PCS – Red Apple – Cell Tower Equipment Addition – Final Approval:
The Board issued a negative Declaration under SEQRA and then voted unanimously in favor of granting the applicant final approval.

Metro PCS – Iazetti Site – Cell Tower Equipment Addition – Final Approval:
The Board issued a negative Declaration under SEQRA and then voted unanimously in favor of granting the applicant final approval.

Augusta Properties – Site Plan for Renovation of Building & New Diner:
Board Chair Nils Gerling commented that although the Planning Board was in receipt of minutes from the BZA, which detailed the granting of necessary variances for this project, the actual variance documents have not yet been prepared and circulated.
Town Engineer Don Sioss commented that the plans as presented do not show sewer or water service and these must be added as soon as possible. Additionally, he requested that the applicant show proposed protection of inlets (catch basins) during the construction phase on the plans.
There was some brief discussion as to whether or not the Department of Transportation needed to sign off on the project, however it was determined that they did not as the new building will use the existing driveway, which is in full compliance with DOT standards.
Town Planner Bonnie Franson requested that the applicant reflect their plans for lighting as well as ingress and egress points on the site plan.
The applicant was then referred to the Architectural Review Board for further review.

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Agenda for Town Planning Board Meeting March 9, 2010

Public Hearing Continued: Joseph & Nancy Ribando – Proposed 3 Lot Subdivision
 
1.         Call to Order
2.         Approval of February 9, 2010 Minutes
 
3.         Sterling Forest LLC – Sterling Place – Resolution – Conditional Final Approval
            Section 9  Block 1  Lot 5.4        
            File #P9010-053
 
4.         Nungin Sunwon – 371 Route 17A – Negative Declaration –
            Approval of Site Plan w/conditions
            Section 1 Block 1  Lot 34.1       
            File #P8607-017
 
5.         Jasmine Imports Proposed revised retail space – Conditional Final Approval
            Section 5  Block 4  Lot 17.1
            File #P8801-001
 
6.         Metro PCS –  Red Apple - Cell Tower Equipment Addition – Final Approval
             Section 5 Block 3 Lot 14.1
             File #P8912-093
 
7          Metro PCS –   Iazzetti Site  - Cell Tower Equipment Addition – Final Approval
            Section  9 Block 1 Lot 13
            File  #P8704-007
 
8.         Augusta Properties –  Site Plan for Renovation of Building & New Diner
            194-210 Route 17
            Section 12  Block 4  Lots 2 and 3
            File #P7506-001
           
9.         Other Business
            Adjournment               

 

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Town Planning Board Meeting February 9, 2010

The Town Planning Board met on Tuesday, February 9 at 7pm.  All members were present.

Public Hearing Continued: Joseph & Nancy Ribando – Proposed 3 Lot Subdivision:

At the December 8 2009 meeting of the Board David McMillen of Nursery Road presented the Board with a comprehensive report, put together by the residents, detailing their base concerns, which they felt had not been adequately addressed by the applicant to date.  In the time since that meeting, the applicant has issued a response to that report and the Town Engineer has now made comments on that response, which have been submitted to both the Applicant and the Board.  Michael Sandor, engineer for the applicant, requested of the Board more time for the purpose of reviewing these comments and preparing responses to them.  The Board agreed to give the applicant until the next T.A.C. meeting to submit a response.  Town consultants will review the response with the Board at that meeting and, based on their recommendations, the Board will be ready to make a decision at their March 9 meeting. 

The Public Hearing was continued to March 9. 

Sterling Forest LLC – Sterling Place – Plan Approval:

On behalf of Sterling Forest LLC, Lou Heimbach appeared before the Board to request conditional final approval for the Sterling Place subdivision.  Town Planner Bonnie Franson reviewed with the Applicant and the Board a list of conditions that must be met before final approval can be given. These included United Water’s approval of the sewer system and landscaping responsibilities. 

Board member Mary Hanson inquired as to whether or not the plan should reflect recent changes to the flood plain as there has been an increase in the number of homes existing within it from 4 to 13.  This was discussed and it was decided that, while these changes had no direct impact on plan, the documents should be amended to reflect the change. 

The Board then voted 4 to1 in favor of approving the plan, conditional upon the changes as discussed.

Jasmine Imports – Proposed Revised Retail Space – Final Site Plan Approval:

Due to the late submission of documentation, The Board requested that the applicant return in March, which would provide them with enough time to properly review the plans.

Metro PCS – Cell Tower Equipment Additions:

Representatives from Metro PSC presented the Board with plans to install cell tower equipment at Red Apple and the “Iazzetti Site”.  Cell towers already exist in both locations.  Metro PCS will be the 4th carrier and the lowest on the Tower in both spots.  There will be minimal to no visual impacts.

As per law, the Orange County Planning Board must approve the project before the Town Planning Board can move forward. The Board asked the applicant to return to the March meeting, by which time they should be able to vote.

2010 Meeting Dates:

The Board decided by unanimous vote that regular monthly meetings of the Planning Board would take place on the second Tuesday of each month at 7:00pm.  Technical Advisory Committee (T.A.C.) meetings will take place on the last Tuesday of each month at 8:30am.

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Agenda for Town Planning Board Meeting February 9, 2010

Public Hearing Continued:  Joseph & Nancy Ribando – Proposed 3 Lot Subdivision

1.         Call to Order
2.         Approval of December 8, 2009 Minutes
 
3.         Nancy & Joseph Ribando – Preliminary Approval for Proposed 3
            Lot Subdivision
            9 Nursery Road
            Section 11  Block 2  Lot 1.46
            File #P8608-010
 
4.         Sterling Forest LLC – Sterling Place – Preliminary plan extension
            Section 9  Block 1  Lot 5.4        
            File #P9010-053
 
5.         Jasmine Imports Proposed revised retail space – Final site plan approval
            Section 5  Block 4  Lot 17.1
            File #P8801-001
 
6.         Metro PCS –  Red Apple - Cell Tower Equipment Addition
             Section 5 Block 3 Lot 14.1
             File #P8912-093
 
            Metro PCS – Iazzetti Site - Cell Tower Equipment Addition
            Section  9 Block 1 Lot 13
            File  #P8704-007
 
6.         Set meeting dates for Planning Board & TAC Meetings 2010
 
7.         Other Business
            Adjournment               

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Agenda for Town Planning Board Meeting January 12, 2010

Public Hearing Continued: Joseph & Nancy Ribando – Proposed 3 Lot Subdivision
 
1.         Call to Order
2.         Approval of December 8, 2009 Minutes
 
3.         Nancy & Joseph Ribando – Preliminary Approval for
            Proposed 3 Lot Subdivision
            9 Nursery Road
            Section 11  Block 2  Lot 1.46
            File #P8608-010
 
4.         Sterling Forest LLC – Sterling Place – Preliminary plan extension
            Section 9  Block 1  Lot 5.4        
            File #P9010-053
 
5.         Jasmine Imports Proposed revised retail space – Final site plan approval
            Section 5  Block 4  Lot 17.1
            File #P8801-001
 
6.         Set meeting dates for Planning Board & TAC Meetings 2010
 
7.         Other Business
            Adjournment   

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Town Planning Board Meeting December 8, 2009

The Town Planning Board met on Tuesday, December 8 at 7:00pm. All members were present.

Public Hearing Continued – Joseph and Nancy Ribando – Proposed 3 Lot Subdivision:
On behalf of the applicant, Engineer Michael Sandor presented the Board with a timeline outlining the process to date with emphasis on the Applicant’s willingness to address drainage concerns expressed by the public in each of the 6 public hearings that have taken place. He concluded by commenting that at this time, the Applicant is still waiting to hear from neighbor Chris Schucht and his wife as to which of the proposed plans for their driveway they would like to pursue.
On behalf of numerous residents who reside in the neighborhood in question, David McMillen of Nursery Road presented the Board with a comprehensive report, put together by the residents, detailing their base concerns, which they feel have not been adequately addressed to date. Referencing figures and calculations within the report, Mr. McMillen pointed out that the proposed catch basis above the Shuchts’ driveway is pointless.
Robert Harkin of 20 Augusta Place inquired of Mr. Sandor whether or not he truly believes that the proposed plan will not have any detrimental effects on the neighboring properties at lower elevations. Mr. Sandor responded that he believes in the plan and is confident that it will not have any detrimental effects.
Janet Galuska, who resides at 72 Nursery Road, pointed out that there are aquifers underneath the road and that no amount of proposed drainage on the part of the Applicant will solve the increase in drainage issues that will surely occur if the project moves forward. She made a plea for the Board members to visit the neighborhood on the following day when a great deal of rain was expected. This way, they would be able to see first hand the issues that already exist in the area and why it is not feasible to build there.
Board members Bob Thompson and Susan Goodfellow commented that they would like to hear Town Engineer Don Sioss’ response to the newly submitted report as well as some assurance from him that the proposed subdivision would not compound drainage issues in the neighborhood.
Board member Mary Hansen commented that she had reviewed the report and cannot fathom how the subdivision would not be detrimental to the properties below.
Board Attorney Tom Eagan advised the Board to continue the Public Hearing for 1 month, during which time Mr. Sioss can review the report and offer his comments.
The Public Hearing was continued to January 12, 2010.

Public Hearing – Deborah Olson – 2 Lot Subdivision:
On behalf of the Applicant, Larry Torro of Hudson Valley Engineering presented the Board with revised plans for the 2-lot subdivision to be located off of Susan Court. This particular project was previously brought before the Board by a different property owner and received preliminary approval at that time. The plan as currently proposed is basically the same, with minor changes to the driveway being proposed.
There were no comments from the public. After giving the application a negative declaration under SEQRA, the public hearing was closed. Town Planner Bonnie Franson reviewed a letter from the Orange County Planning Authority with the applicant. Following some discussion, the Board issued a preliminary approval subject to some minor housekeeping points as well as those issues raised in the letter from the Orange County Planning Authority.

Augusta Properties – Site Plan for Renovation of Building & New Diner:
On behalf of the applicant, an engineer from Lankin Tully Engineering presented the Board with an updated plan for the demolition and subsequent reconstruction of a diner on the property currently occupied by the Orange Top. The applicant had appeared before the TAC Committee in October of 2009, and therefore the plans presented reflected the comments and concerns that were made at that time. Because the proposed new building will be slightly larger than the existing one and located in a slightly different spot on the property, a number of zoning variances are required. After some discussion, the Board denied the plan as presented and referred the applicant to the Zoning Board of Appeals.

Nungin Sunwon – Proposed Educational Facility:
An attorney on behalf of the applicant, appealed to the Board for approval of the application, outlining all of the issues that have been addressed. Town Planner Bonnie Fanson lead the applicant through a detailed memo she had written, expressing concern over such issues as the number of monks who will reside on the property, whether or not students will be sleeping there, the level of education that will be provided and the possibility of additional parking. After a somewhat detailed discussion as to what co notates “higher education” it was decided that the applicant must note in their application that there will be no overnight occupation on the property and that nothing less than college level courses will be offered at the facility. The Board then voted 4 to 1 in favor of conditional approval, with Mary Hansen voting against the project.

Tuxedo Reserve – 6 Month Extension North Ridge Preliminary Approval:
An attorney for the Related Companies appeared before the Board to request a 6-month extension on the preliminary approval for Phase One of the Tuxedo Reserve project, North Ridge. Related is continuing to pursue approvals from outside agencies and has recently received some important feedback from the DEC, which they are currently addressing. After a brief discussion with regard to whether or not the applicant is still in arrears to the Town, the Board voted unanimously in favor of granting an extension until May 11, 2010.

Sterling Forest LLC – Sterling Place –Review of 63-Lot Subdivision:
On behalf of Sterling Forest LLC, Lou Heimbach presented the Board with a giant, colorized chart of the plan, noting that the overall layout of the subdivision has not changed since preliminary approval was granted, except for 3 lots, which will now be given to the Village of Tuxedo Park as per a court settlement. Mr. Heimbach acknowledged that Town Planner Bonnie Franson and Engineer Don Sioss have requested several documents, which will be provided to them with plenty of time to review and comment on prior to the January meeting of the Board. He expressed his desire to have the project receive final approval at that meeting.
After some discussion with regard to what the Village of Tuxedo Park plans to do with the aforementioned 3 lots as well as the effects of the proposed subdivision on the Wee Wah dam, The Board asked Mr. Heimbach to return in January after having submitted the documents in question.

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Agenda for Town Planning Board Meeting December 8, 2009

Public Hearing Continued:  Joseph & Nancy Ribando – Proposed 3 Lot Subdivision
Public Hearing:  Deborah Olsen – 2 Lot Subdivision
 
1.    Call to Order
2.    Approval of October 13, 2009 Minutes
 
3.    Nancy & Joseph Ribando – Preliminary Approval for Proposed 3 Lot
        Subdivision 9 Nursery Road
        Section 11  Block 2  Lot 1.46
        File #P8608-010
 
4.     William Friedlich – Susan Court – 2 Lot Subdivision 
        Proposed Section 25  Block 1  Lot 15.2
        File #P0306-009
 
5.    Augusta Properties –  Site Plan for Renovation of Building & New Diner
        Initial Presentation – Referral to ZBA
        194-210 Route 17
        Section 12  Block 4  Lots 2 and 3
        File #P7506-001
 
6.    Nungin Sunwon – 371 Route 17A – Proposed Educational Facility
        Section 1 Block 1  Lot 34.1 
         File #P8607-017
 
7.    Tuxedo Reserve – 6 Month Extension North Ridge Preliminary Approval
        Section 14  Block 1  Lot 34.14
        File #P0506-005
 
8.    Sterling Forest LLC – Sterling Place – Review of 63 lot Subdivision
        Section 9  Block 1  Lot 5.4 
        File #P9010-053
 
9.    Other Business
        Adjournment      

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Agenda for Town Planning Board Meeting November 10, 2009

Public Hearing Continued: Joseph & Nancy Ribando – Proposed 3 Lot Subdivision

Public Hearing:  Deborah Olsen – 2 Lot Subdivision

1.    Call to Order

2.    Approval of October 13, 2009 Minutes
 
3.    Nancy & Joseph Ribando – Preliminary Approval for Proposed 3 Lot Subdivision
        9 Nursery Road
        Section 11  Block 2  Lot 1.46
        File #P8608-010
 
4.    William Friedlich – Susan Court – 2 Lot Subdivision  Proposal
        Section 25  Block 1  Lot 15.2
        File #P0306-009
 
5.    Augusta Properties –  Site Plan for Renovation of Building & New Diner
        Initial Presentation – Referral to ZBA
        194-210 Route 17
        Section 12  Block 4  Lots 2 and 3
        File #P7506-001
 
6.    Nungin Sunwon – 371 Route 17A – Proposed Educational Facility
        Section 1 Block 1  Lot 34.1       
        File #P8607-017
 
7.    Tuxedo Reserve – 6 Month Extension North Ridge Preliminary Approval
        Section 14  Block 1  Lot 34.14
        File #P0506-005
 
8.    Other Business
        Adjournment    

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Town Planning Board Meeting October 13, 2009

The Town Planning Board met on October 13, 2009 at 7:00pm. All members were present.

Public Hearing: Joseph and Nancy Ribando – Proposed 3-Lot Subdivision:
Michael Sandor, Engineer for the applicant, presented the Board with revised plans for the project detailing the addition of storm drains along the property’s Nursery Road boarder as well as additional drainage along the back end of the property. Additionally, the revised plan addresses the potential relocation of neighbor Chris Schucht‘s driveway (previously recommended by Town Engineer Don Sioss) providing Mr. Schucht with two options: installation of a catch basis above his existing driveway or relocation of the driveway in addition to a new catch basin. The plan also proposes the installation of a new curb on Nursery Road above the Ribando property.
As per the Board’s request, Mr. Sandor also presented a brief drainage analysis in which he suggested that the addition of the proposed drains would decrease the amount of storm water flowing from the Ribando lots onto the properties below by 70%.
Mr. Sandor also informed the Board that the Applicant would be willing to sign a legal document ensuring that the new drainage would be sufficiently maintained. Board Attorney Tom Egan suggested that the Applicant dedicate applicable drainage areas to the Town and Mr. Sandor agreed to explore that option.
Neighbor Chris Schucht informed the Board that he and his wife have not yet decided which of the applicant’s proposed plans for their driveway they would like to pursue.
Janet Galuska of 72 Nursery Road expressed concern with the underlying issue of drainage, commenting that nobody has addressed the issue of spring water that flows freely from the center of the road. Board Chair Nils Gerling responded that the Applicant is not responsible for correcting drainage issues that are not on his property and the Town must address that such issues. Mrs. Galuska also expressed concern over the increase in traffic, commenting that more houses will bring more cars to the already narrow and windy roadway.
Robert Harkinof 20 Augusta Place asked for clarification regarding the number of bedrooms in each proposed house and was informed that they would be 3 bedroom homes.
Rich Rattazzi, of 1 Nursery Road asked the Board for a guarantee that should the project be approved his yard would not be further damaged than it already is.
Board Chair Nils Gerling responded that many of the flooding issues in this neighborhood are the result of work done by the Highway Department and that these issues need to be addressed by the Town Board.
Board Member Mary Hanson expressed her dismay that she had not been provided with a set of revised plans and therefore had not been able to review them. She further commented that the Board had not yet addressed a letter the received from the Orange County Department of Health dated October 12 2009. Finally, she commented that she is not convinced that the proposed drains will reduce the amount of water by 70%.
An attorney on behalf of the Applicant requested that the Public Hearing be closed, however, Board Chair Nils Gerling denied this request commenting that the application cannot move forward until Mr. Schucht makes a decision regarding his driveway.
The Public hearing was continued to November 10.

William Friedlich – Susan Court – 1 Lot Subdivision:
An architect for the Applicant presented the Board with updated plans for the project, which consists of a 1-Lot subdivision to their property on Susan Court. Mr. Friedlich intendeds to build a residence on one lot and sell the other. Each property will have it’s own well and septic system. A shared driveway is proposed for both lots. Board member Mary Hanson expressed concern with the shared driveway, commenting that back in 2003 the Planning Board had denied another applicant in the same neighborhood a shared driveway. After much discussion, it was decided that the Board will review the minutes from the 2003 meeting before making a final decision. In the meantime, they declared themselves Lead Agency for the project.

Nungin Sunwon – 371 Route 17A – Proposed Educational Facility
An Architect for the applicant outlined minor changes that have been made to the plan as per the Board’s request. However, since the majority of the Board had not received copies of the revised plan prior to the meeting, discussion of the application was delayed until the November 10 meeting.

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Agenda for Town Planning Board Meeting October 13, 2009

  1. Call to Order
  2. Approval of September 8, 2009 Minutes
  3. Nancy & Joseph Ribando – Preliminary Approval for Proposed 3 Lot
    Subdivision
    9 Nursery Road
    Section 11  Block 2  Lot 1.46
    File #P8608-010
  4. William Friedlich – Susan Court – 1 Lot Subdivision 
    Section 25  Block 1  Lot 15.2
    File #P0306-009
  5. Other Business
  6. Adjournment                

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Town Planning Board Meeting September 8, 2009

The Town Planning Board met on Tuesday, September 8, 2009. All members were present.

Public Hearing: Joseph Ribando – Proposed 3-Lot Subdivision:
On behalf of the applicant, an engineer briefly presented the Board and the Public with revised plans for the 3-lot subdivision located at Nursery Road and Augusta Place. Town Engineer Don Sioss expressed some concern with an area of the plan where the applicant proposes the addition of roadside curb and a catch basin in addition to the relocation of a neighboring driveway, commenting that these plans may not adequately address the potential flooding issue at hand. The engineer responded that it was his belief that the plans were adequate and that while the Applicant intends to make all necessary improvements, that these improvements would be taking place at or immediately around the property and not “a mile up the road.” Mr. Sioss respectively disagreed and suggested that the engineer take a second look at this section of the plan.
Board member Mary Hanson inquired as to whether the Ribandos would be responsible for financing all the proposed improvements or if that burden would fall on the shoulders of whoever buys the property. Mr. Sioss responded that a bond would be put in place to ensure that the improvements actually occur and that the Board could stipulate that the Ribandos be responsible for that bond if they choose to do so.
Thelma Smith, who resides at 15 Nursery Road, expressed her continued concern with regard to drainage. She stated that percolation tests are not always accurate and that her neighbor had passed similar tests 3 years ago and now his septic is in her yard.
Robert LaBurt expressed concern with the proposed swale commenting that the water collected in the catch basin would simply percolate down the hill onto other properties.
He then referenced a 1965 subdivision map on which the property in question was labeled un-buildable and inquired as to what specifically has changed about the land in the last 30 years to make it a buildable lot today. Board Chair Nils Gerling responded that there were never any impediments placed on the property.
Chris Schucht of 76 Nursery Road expressed concern with the proposed rerouting of his driveway, commenting that he is not certain this will solve the problem. He further commented that the addition of a curb, as proposed, would cause his wife’s car to “bottom out” when entering and exiting the driveway.
Bill Kordiak of 22 Augusta Place inquired as to where the proposed swale would run. He was informed that the water will run into a piper and out towards Nursery road. Although there were no further comments from the public at the time, the hearing was continued until October 13 at 7:00pm.

Public Hearing: Science of the Soul – Study Center:
The Applicant informed that Board that they had reviewed the Board’s negative declaration under SEQRA and were in agreement with everything put forward in the document. Board Chair Nils Gerling inquired as to the applicant’s standing with the highway department and was informed that paperwork still needs to be filed.
A representative of both the Torne Valley Preservation Society and the Ramapo Highland Coalition expressed overall support for the project, however, he questioned the Applicant’s intent to further develop the property down the line, stating that if they do plan to add on in the future, a negative declaration is not appropriate. He further commented that should the applicant decide to further develop the property, a full Environmental Impact Statement (E.I.S.) should be required.
The Applicant responded that they share both the environmental ethic and the stewardship of the land, which both the Torne Valley Preservation Society and the Ramapo Highland Coalition represent. They have no plans to further develop the property and do not foresee outgrowing what has been proposed.
Board member Susan Goodfellow asked the Applicant to comment on the possibility of establishing a conservation easement. The Applicant responded that they are not comfortable doing so because they cannot anticipate what their needs might be 25 or 30 years down the line.
The Public Hearing was then closed.
Board Chair Nils Gerling read into the record a resolution for the Board’s declaration of lead agency as well as the final negative declaration. Following this, the Board voted unanimously in favor of site plan approval. For the sake of the public, Board Attorney Tom Eagan noted that the Applicant would not be able to make any changes or additions without first appearing before the Board.

Tuxedo Plaza – Route 17 – Retail/Office Building
An engineer on behalf of the applicant presented the Board with more detailed plans for a proposed two-story retail complex with dual access to Rt. 17 and Spring Street in Southfields. Plans outlining storm water management, erosion control and grading, landscaping and lighting were presented and briefly discussed. The entrance plan for the project has received approval from the Department of Transportation and this was also presented. Additionally, the Applicant will appear before the Architectural Review Board on September 15. It was agreed that the next step would be for the applicant to attend a TAC meeting in order to further discuss the technical details of the project.

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Agenda for Town Planning Board Meeting September 8, 2009

Public Hearing: Joseph & Nancy Ribando – Proposed 3 Lot Subdivision
Public Hearing:  Science of the Soul - Study Center

1.         Call to Order

2.         Approval of August 11, 2009 Minutes

3.         Science of the Soul Study Center – Circulation for Lead Agency
            Sister Servants of Mary Immaculate Property
            Section 17  Block 1  Lot 17
            File #P9110-077

4.        Tuxedo Plaza – Route 17 – Retail/office building
            Section 5  Block 3  Lot 12.21
            File #P0907-020           

5.         Other Business
            Adjournment                

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Town Planning Board Meeting August 11, 2009

The Town Planning Board met on August 11, 2009 at 7:00pm. All members were present.

Public Hearing: Joseph and Nancy Ribando – Proposed 3 lot Subdivision
Michael Sandor, engineer for the applicant, presented the Board with a new, conceptual site plan, featuring additional methods of drainage control including septic fields, swales and french drains. As per the Board’s request, percolation tests were completed on the property and the results were presented and discussed. Neighbors expressed continued concern with drainage related issues. Janet Galuska of 72 Nursery Road commented that while the proposed plan may be great for surface water run-off from the property, greater drainage issues already exist. She expressed concern for residents on Augusta Place commenting that storm water flows not only from the top of the road but from underground springs beneath the road as well. Board member Mary Hanson raised the question of whether or not the proposed french drains would fill to capacity with the existing amount of water. Chris Schucht who resides at 76 Nursery Road expressed concern with drainage issues relative to his driveway and possible rerouting of the driveway was discussed. Margaret Rutherford of 93 Nursery Road commented that the Town exacerbated drainage issues in the neighborhood by removing several pipes while re-doing Nursery Road a while back. Rich Rattazzi, of 1 Nursery Road agreed with this assessment and further commented that the road had been pitched incorrectly causing a serious increase in flooding to his property. He expressed concern that run-off from the project would allude the proposed catch basins by flowing down the center of the road. Board member Mary Hanson inquired as to who would bear the expense of the proposed new pipes and was informed that the applicant would pay. She further inquired as to whether or not the applicant would pay for the resurfacing of the roadway or the rerouting of Mr. Schucht’s driveway as previously discussed. Mr. Sandor responded that these details would need to be worked out.
It was agreed that the applicant will attend the August 25 T.A.C. meeting to further discuss these issues. The public hearing was continued to September 8 at 7:30pm.

Public Hearing: Science of The Soul Study Center
A gentleman representing the Ramapo Highland Conservation Society appealed to the Board regarding the preservation of the land surrounding the Study Center following the completion of the project. He also expressed concern with regard to traffic, specifically at the intersection of Eagle Valley Road and County Road 72, which is already a busy and somewhat dangerous intersection especially during commuting hours. He commented that he hoped the plans for widening the road were serious because the increase in traffic from the proposed project could be a major issue if not.
Town Planner Bonnie Franson commented that because the project has not been submitted to the Orange County Planning Department for review, the Board would be unable to move forward with their declaration of Lead Agency, however they could draft a negative declaration. Issues relative to parking were discussed. The plan as presented shows only 545 parking spaces but the Town Code requires 750 spaces for a project of this size. The reason the actual number of spaces is low is because the applicant has an agreement with their neighbor, The Sister Servants, to share parking, however, unless the applicant shows the correct number of spaces on their plan, a variance will be required. It was agreed that the applicant will amend the plan to show the spaces, but will keep them in reserve rather than to construct them. The Board voted unanimously in favor of the negative declaration subject to these changes.

Mario Gorczyca – Tuxedo Pet Lodge
The formal resolution for this project was presented and approved.

Sterling Forest LLC – Sterling Place- 6 Month Extension
On behalf of Sterling Forest LLC, Lou Heimbach requested a 6-month extension on the preliminary approval for the project due to hold-ups, technical in nature, with the Orange County Department of Health.. The Board voted unanimously in favor of the extension, which runs until February 9, 2010.

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Agenda for Town Planning Board Meeting August 11, 2009

1.         Call to Order
2.         Approval of July 14, 2009 Minutes
 
3.         Nancy & Joseph Ribando – Preliminary Approval for Proposed 3
             Lot Subdivision
            9 Nursery Road
            Section 11  Block 2  Lot 1.46
            File #P8608-010
 
4.         Science of the Soul Study Center – Circulation for Lead Agency
            Sister Servants of Mary Immaculate Property
            Section 17  Block 1  Lot 17
            File #P9110-077
 
5.         Mario Gorczyca – Tuxedo Pet Lodge - Site Plan Changes
            Section 6  Block 1  Lot 4
            File #P6808-005
           
6          Sterling Forest LLC – Sterling Place – 6 Month Extension
            Section 9  Block 1  Lot 5.4        
            File #P9010-053
           
7.         Other Business
            Adjournment      

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Town Planning Board Meeting July 14, 2009

The Town Planning Board met on July 14, 2009 at 7pm.
Board Chair Nils Gerling and Board Member Joe Gartiser were absent.
Board member Mary Hanson ran the meeting in Mr. Gerling’s absence.

Public Hearing – Joseph & Nancy Ribando – Proposed 3 Lot Subdivision
The Applicant failed to conduct percolation tests as requested by the Board at the previous meeting. Additionally, the applicant has not provided the Board with the deed to the property as requested. On behalf of Chair Gerling board member Mary Hanson expressed concern over some maps submitted by the applicant, indicating that there were a few irregularities.
When asked for an update, Jeff Marsden, Engineer for town consultants H2M reported that percolation tests must be conducted before the project can proceed. He suggested that the consistent rain in the month of June is the reason the tests were not completed. Finally, he commented that due to the level of shallow rock on the property, finding a good spot to conduct the test might prove difficult.
Janet Galuska of 72 Nursery Road inquired about two apparent attempts to conduct percolation tests on the property, commenting that a bulldozer had been brought onto the lot. She further commented that surely these tests must have failed as the bulldozer was filled to the top with storm water.
Mr. Marsden responded that the Applicant can conduct multiple percolation tests. It is their responsibility to show percolation.
Referencing a 1963 subdivision map presented by Bob LaBurt at the previous meeting, Mrs. Galuska commented that percolation tests have already been completed and on the property and that they failed.
Engineer for the Applicant, Michael Sandor commented that the 1963 map presented by Mr. LaBurt at the previous meeting was lacking a stamp from the Health Department. He presented the Board with subdivision maps from both 1965 and 1971, the later reflecting minor mathematical corrections and pointed out that neither map labeled the property as “un-buildable”
Bill Clark inquired about the timing of the percolation tests and suggested that right now, after all the rain, would be the best time for the Applicant to conduct them.
Mr. Marsden agreed.
There was a brief discussion with regard to the percolation test process, following which the Board granted the applicant a 10 day time period within which to complete the percolation tests and submit the property dead as previously requested,
The Public Hearing was continued until August 11.

Public Hearing – Science of the Soul Study Center
The Applicant presented the public with a detailed review of the project including project history. Radha Soami Society Beas has acquired some land from the Sister Servants of Mary Immaculate, located adjacent to their property on Sterling Mine Road, on which they propose to build an education center. This center will be used for weekly meetings as well as group retreats. The project has been before the Board since 2007.
On behalf of the applicant engineer Robert Ziggler addressed several issues raised by town consultants H2M, mostly minimal in nature. Neighbors Dominick Paratore, Anthony Landgraff and AJ Iazetti expressed concerns regarding drainage, parking and noise as well as access to the property from Shepherd Pond Road, which is a private residential road. Sister Michele, president of the Sister Servants expressed her support for the project and commented that she hoped it would please the Board to issue an approval.
The Public Hearing will be continued until August 11, at which point the Board hopes to move forward by issuing a Negative Declaration (SEQRA) for the project.

Mario Gorczyca – Tuxedo Pet Lodge
On behalf of Marius Gorczyca, Sean T. Hoffman, P.E. from Riddick Associates, P.C. reported that the applicant appeared before the Zoning Board of Appeals and received approval for their revised, scaled down design of a kennel to be located at 20 &24 Nolan’s way in Arden. While the applicant had hoped to construct housing for up to 40 dogs, the ZBA determined that 27 dogs would be a more appropriate number. Revised plans reflecting these changes were presented. A letter from town consultants H2M was read aloud and discussed. Following this the Board voted unanimously in favor of approving the new site plan subject to the addition of a few map notes as outlined during the discussion.

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Agenda for Town Planning Board Meeting July 14, 2009

Public Hearing:  Joseph & Nancy Ribando – Proposed 3 Lot Subdivision
Public Hearing:  Science of the Soul -Study Center

1.    Call to Order
2.    Approval of June 9, 2009 Minutes
3.    Nancy & Joseph Ribando – Preliminary Approval for Proposed 3 Lot Subdivision
       9 Nursery Road
       Section 11  Block 2  Lot 1.46
        File #P8608-010
4.    Science of the Soul Study Center – Circulation for Lead Agency
        Sister Servants of Mary Immaculate Property
        Section 17  Block 1  Lot 17
        File #P9110-077
5.    Mario Gorczyca – Tuxedo Pet Lodge - Site Plan Changes
        Section 6  Block 1  Lot 4
        File #P6808-005
6.    Other Business
       Adjournment               
 

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Town Planning Board Meeting June 9, 2009

The Town of Tuxedo Planning Board med on June 9, 2009 at 7:00pm.
All members were present.

Public Hearing: Joseph and Nancy Ribando – Proposed 3 Lot Subdivision:
Numerous neighbors, including Chris Scheucht of 76 Nursery Road, Rich Rattazzi of 1 Augusta Place and Robert Harkin of 20 Augusta place each presented the Board with various photos taken earlier in the day depicting the poor drainage situation that already exists in the neighborhood and the resulting flooding that occurs on a regular basis. They expressed their collective concern with potential drainage issues that might occur should the project proceed.
Former TPA employee and Town Planning Board member Robert LaBurt provided the Board with some history regarding the neighborhood in question, known as the Nursery. When the subdivision was created in the early 60s, Mr. LaBurt was in charge of layout. He explained that the original design called for 19 lots, however 3 of the lots were viewed as un-buildable due to drainage issues resulting from the rock ledge that goes down towards Augusta Place. Rainwater runs down the ledge and into the basements of the homes below. The County Health Department was in agreement and only 16 of the 19 lots were deemed as buildable. Because of this, the value of the remaining 3 lots was substantially decreased they were combined into one parcel which was maintained by Tuxedo Park Associates and finally sold for a reduced cost. (roughly the price of 2 lots) Mr. LaBurt presented the Board with copies of the original subdivision site plan obtained from Goshen as well as an authentic TPA map, depicting the three lots in question as un-buildable.
Michael Sandor, Engineer for the Ribandos responded that he would investigate the maps further with the county.
The Public Hearing will be continued on July 14.

Science of the Soul Study Center: Circulation for Lead Agency
On behalf of the applicant, Robert Ziggler requested that the Board set a Public Hearing for the project. He commented that the applicant has attended several TAC meetings and has been very responsive in attending to the issues as outlined by Town Planner Bonnie Franson and Town Engineer Don Sioss. Following a brief discussion with regard to parking, the Board voted unanimously in favor of setting a Public Hearing., This hearing will take place on July 14.

Nugin Sunwon – 371 Route 17A – Proposed Educational Facility
An attorney for the applicant informed the Board that he is still working on obtaining a project narrative from the applicant as requested and hopes to have it within a months time. In the meantime, the applicant has addressed most of the other issues brought forward in the TAC meetings, specifically well testing and the addition of concrete bumpers and wood guardrails in the parking area. A letter from the Orange County Planning Department was briefly reviewed and discussed. Board member Mary Hansen inquired about the applicant’s business plan, and requested that an update be provided outlining which institutions the applicant was reaching out to in hopes of contracting the space. She commented that it is crucial to the project that the applicant comply with the intended use for the buildings as specified in the special use permit, which is for a higher education facility. There was a lengthy discussion with regard to the SEQRA process for the project as the Zoning Board of Appeals has already conducted a SEQRA review, giving the project a negative declaration. Therefore, the applicant’s attorney commented that it would be both unnecessary and redundant for the Planning Board to conduct an additional review. However, after much discussion, it was determined that the Zoning Board of Appeal’s review did not pertain to the planning aspects of the project and that the Planning Board will need to conduct an additional review.

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Agenda for Town Planning Board Meeting June 9, 2009

Public Hearing:  Joseph & Nancy Ribando – Proposed 3 Lot Subdivision 

1.    Call to Order
2.    Approval of May 12, 2009 Minutes
3.    Nancy & Joseph Ribando – Preliminary Approval for
        Proposed 3 Lot Subdivision
        9 Nursery Road
        Section 11  Block 2  Lot 1.46
        File #P8608-010
 4.    Science of the Soul Study Center – Circulation for Lead Agency
        Sister Servants of Mary Immaculate Property
        Section 17  Block 1  Lot 17
        File #P9110-077
 
5.    Nungin Sunwon – 371 Route 17A – Proposed Educational Facility
        Section 1 Block 1  Lot 34.1       
        File #P8607-017
           
6.    Other Business
        Adjournment               

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Town Planning Board Meeting May 12, 2009

The Town Planning Board met on Tuesday May 12, 2009.
Board member Susan Goodfellow was absent.

The meeting began with three public hearings:

1. Samina Butt – Filing and grading permit
Neighbor Gerard Gaines expressed his concern with regard to Mr. Butt’s application as it relates to issues that have been created on his property as a result of drainage, which he alleges are a direct result of work previously completed by Mr. Butt. Following Mr. Gaines comments, the Public Hearing was closed.

2. Michael McMahon – Filling & Grading Permit
As there were no comments from the public, the hearing was promptly closed.

3. Joseph and Nancy Ribando – Proposed 3 lot subdivision – 9 Nursery Road
Michael Sandor of MJS Engineering presented the public with a brief over-view of the project. The applicant is proposing to divide the lot on which their home currently exists into 3 lots. They plan to maintain their current residence on one lot and would like to build 2 new homes on the other lots, the details of which have been submitted to the Board.
Janet Galuska, who resides at 72 Nursery Road, commented that when she first moved to Tuxedo in 1971, she had planned to purchase the lot in question on which to build her home. However the TPA, who owned the property at that time, had told her builder that the lot was un-buildable due to the amount of solid rock and water that exists there and as a result she purchased a different lot. She inquired as to what specifically has changed about the land since 1971 in order to allow for building there now.
No answer was given.
David Mc Milllen inquired as to what kind of foundations the proposed homes will have and whether or not a percolation test has been completed.
Mr. Sandor responded that the proposed homes would be elevated so as to be level with Nursery Road. He further described them as “raised ranch homes with garages underneath”. He also commented that an initial percolation test has been completed.
Margaret Rutherford of 93 Nursery Road expressed concern regarding the sewer system. While the applicant is proposing to put in a septic system for the new homes, Mrs. Rutherford worries that they may eventually attempt to hook into the municipal system which could in turn force her to do the same. She fears that the costs associated with this would be a major burden to her and her husband,
Town Engineer Don Sioss responded that hooking into the municipal system would be far too costly and therefore the idea has been abandoned. For clarification purposes, he also stated that the Town has not yet completed a percolation test.
Andy Berish commented that the Town Board is currently pursuing a grant, which will bring the sewer system up the hill and into the neighborhood in question at a cost of $10,000 per resident living there.
Board Chairman Nils Gerling responded that the Town Board has not spoken to the Planning Board regarding any such plans, prompting Mr. Berish to snap “Why would they? You don’t talk to them either.”

Planning Board Attorney Tom Eagan commented that residents cannot be forced to hook into the sewer system, however, there would be costs associated with bringing the system up the hill and into the neighborhood.
Robert Harkin, who lives at 20 Augusta Place, stated that his home is located at the foothill of the proposed project. He commented that he has reviewed the engineering report along with the initial plans and he feels that Mr. Sandor is seriously underestimating potential drainage issues. He presented the Board with an enlarged photo of his back yard taken this past March, which clearly showed the degree of flooding that already takes place there.
On behalf of the Village of Tuxedo Park Planning Board, Bill Westby stated that while the Village has no underlying objections to the project they would like a see a stipulation added requiring the applicant to keep all of the large trees on lot 1. Additionally, they feel that the environmental review that has been completed for the project is incorrect in two specific areas relating to viewshed issues as well as the Village’s listing on the National Registry of Historic Places and would like it to be redone. There was a brief discussion with regard to the specifics of the review after which both Board member Mary Hansen and Mr. Sandor agreed that the review will need to be redone.
Chris Schucht who resides at 76 Nursery Road stated that his property backs up to the Ribandos’ property and inquired as to whether or not the proposed septic tanks would compromise the property line.
Mr. Sandor responded that they would not.
Bill Kordiak of 22 Augusta Place asked the Board if any research has been completed to discover why the property in question was initially sold as one lot. He believes the reason is that the property is part of one giant ledge, a portion of which makes up a wall in his back yard as well as his basement. Currently, Mr. Kordiak needs to run a sump pump each time it rains in order to control the flooding in his basement. Because the property in question slants directly into his back yard, he is concerned that the proposed project will have direct effect on his property in the form of serious flooding issues.
Rich Rattazzi, who lives at 1 Nursery Road, echoed Mr. Kordiaks’ concerns stating that his home has the same flooding issues whenever it rains.
Thelma Smith of 15 Nursery Road commented that the property in question was labeled as unbuildable by the TPA in the 1950s.
Bill Clark stated that due to the 250ft ledge on which the neighborhood is built, he does not see how the proposed project could pass a percolation test. He commented that when it rains all of the water runs down the mountain in a north eastwardly direction and ends up in Bill Kordiak’s back yard. He feels that any additional construction would have a direct negative effect on Mr. Kordiak in particular.
Andy Berish, who lives at 68 Nursery Road, stated that, like Mrs.Glishkin, he had attempted to purchase the lot in question for building his home and was told by the TPA that it was an unbuilable lot. He stated that in his opinion it is unfair that the Ribandos should be allowed to build there.
Chri Scheucht commented that when digging in his back yard he has encountered solid rock at no more than 3 feet down. He wondered what would happen if the Applicant should encounter rock at the same depth when building and specifically whether blasting would be permitted, which could in turn damage the foundation of his home.
Board member Mary Hansen suggested that the deed for the property be checked in order to establish whether or not the land has been officially labeled as unbuildable.
Board Attorney Tom Eagan suggested that as there are a lot of unanswered questions, the Board should keep the public hearing open at this time.
It was agreed that both Town Engineer Don Sioss and Mr. Sandor will research both the history of the property and the engineering of the proposed project in the interim.
The Public Hearing will be continued on June 9.

Tuxedo Reserve – 6-Month Extension to Northridge Preliminary Approval
The Board voted unanimously in favor of granting Tuxedo Reserve a 6-month Extension to Preliminary Approval for Phase One of their project, Northridge, until December 8, 2009.

Samina Butt – Filling and Grading Permit
Town Engineer Don Sioss stated that the highway department has built up the gutter along Mr. Butts’ property in an effort to control flooding. After further review of the property, he has concluded that there are 3 large trees that should probably be removed. Additionally, he stated that Mr. Butts’s must not collect water in order to avoid drainage issues and that he must properly maintain the existing berm.
After a brief discussion, the Board granted Mr. Butt final approval conditional upon the removal of the three trees as indicated by Mr. Sioss.

Michael McMahon – Filling and Grading Permit
After a brief review, the Board completed an Environmental Assessment for the project, giving it a negative declaration. An unidentified neighbor inquired as to how many trucks of fill would be brought into the neighborhood. Mr. McMahon responded that it would be roughly 150 truckloads. The neighbor responded that there are a lot of children in the neighborhood and inquired as to the hours of operation for the trucking. Board Chairman Nils Gerling replied that it would be up to the code enforcement officer to determine the hours of operation. The Board then granted Mr. McMahon unanimous approval for his project.

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Agenda for Town Planning Board Meeting May 12, 2009

Public Hearing:  Samina Butt - Filling & Grading Permit Approval Continued
                              Michael McMahon – Filling & Grading Permit Approval
                              Joseph & Nancy Ribando – Proposed 3 Lot Subdivision         

1.         Call to Order
2.         Approval of April 14, 2009 Minutes
 
3.         Tuxedo Reserve – 6 Month Extension North Ridge Preliminary Approval
           Section 14  Block 1  Lot 34.14
            File #P0506-005
 
4.         Samina Butt – Final Approval - Filling and Grading Permit               
            99 Fawn Hill Road
            Section 4  Block 3  Lot 19
            File #P8612-004
 
5.         Michael McMahon – Filling & Grading Permit Approval
            Section 17  Block 2  Lot 14
            File #P0103-004
 
6.         Nancy & Joseph Ribando – Preliminary Approval for Proposed 3 Lot Subdivision
            9 Nursery Road
            Section 11  Block 2  Lot 1.46
            File #P8608-010
 
7.         Other Business
            Adjournment               

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Town Planning Board Issues Positive Report for Tuxedo Reserve

On April 14, 2009 the Town Planning Board voted unanimously in favor of issuing a positive report to the Town Board on Tuxedo Reserves’ Special Permit Amendment. As part of this report, they are recommending that the Town require the applicant to complete a Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement as well as a Cut and Fill Analysis. The Town Board officially accepted the report at their April 27, 2009 meeting.
Bellow please find a copy of the Planning Board’s report along with a supplemental report submitted by Town consultants H2M.

Town Planning Board Report report to the Town Board on Tuxedo Reserves’ Special Permit Amendment

H2M Supplemental Report

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Town Planning Board Meeting April 14, 2009

The Town of Tuxedo Planning Board met on April 14, 2009 at 7pm.

Public Hearing – Samina Butt – Filling & Grading Permit Approval:
The Public Hearing for Samina Butt was postponed until May 12 due to the fact that the Applicant has not yet provided the Board with the information they requested back in December of 2008. (specifically a revised drainage plan) There was a brief discussion regarding the number of extensions Mr. Butt has been afforded and Mr. Butt’s neighbor, Gerard Gaines, expressed his extreme displeasure with the situation commenting that the longer they waited to take action the more damage was being caused to his property. Town Engineer Don Sioss reported that he had visited the property and spoken with Mr. Butt, who assured him that he was in the process of gathering the necessary information. Mr. Sioss recommended that Mr. Butt attend the next TAC meeting in order to assure that he had everything in order before coming before the Board in May.

Nancy & Joseph Ribando – Proposed 3 Lot Subdivision:
On behalf of Nancy and Joseph Ribando, Michael Sandor from MJS Engineering presented revised plans for their proposed 3-lot subdivision on Nursery Road where it intersects with Augusta Place. An EAF was completed with a negative declaration. There was discussion regarding the visual impact of the project and Mr. Sandor presented the Board with photos of the property taken from the wooded area near the border of the Village of Tuxedo Park. It was determined that the project would be visible from Tuxedo Road. A public hearing was set for May 12 at 7pm. Board member Susan Goodfellow inquired as to whether or not the Village will be officially notified of both the project and the hearing and was informed that they will.

Marius Gorczyca – Proposed Kennel:
On behalf of Marius Gorczyca, Sean T. Hoffman, P.E. from Riddick Associates, P.C. appeared before the Board to discuss revised plans for the previously approved kennel at 20 &24 Nolan’s way in Arden. This project was originally brought before the Board by another applicant, Daniel De La Rosa, and was granted a Special Permit. Since that time, the project has changed hands and it is not economically feasible for the new Applicant to move forward with the approved design. Therefore, the Applicant is requesting a referral to the Zoning Board of Appeals where he plans to present the new, more limited design. Changes to the plan include the elimination of a second building as well as dog runs, several cages and extensive parking. The Applicant is now proposing to construct the Kennel, which will have the ability to house up to 40 dogs, utilizing the existing structure. Following a brief discussion as to whether or not it is possible to house 40 dogs in the existing structure without the originally proposed dog runs and cages, the Board granted the applicant a referral to the Zoning Board of Appeals as requested.

Tuxedo Reserve – Special Permit Amendment
At the request of Board Chair Nils Gerling, Town Planner Bonnie Franson initiated the discussion by reading aloud a draft version of the Planning Board’s PID Report to the Town Board. This report, which encompasses the various comments and recommendations of the Planning Board, is broken down into 4 parts: Purpose of Report, Summary of Review Process, Evaluation of the Proposed Amendment and Summary Recommendation. Following is a summary of the report:
Purpose of Report – The Town of Tuxedo Zoning regulations require the Planning Board to review the plan, along with all related documents, and submit either a favorable report or unfavorable report to the Town Board.
Summary of Review Process – This section of the report outlines the Board’s 6-month review schedule, including two resubmissions from the Applicant due to inconsistencies and incomplete items found during the review as well as a review extension.
Evaluation of Proposed Amendment – This section of the report breaks the proposed amendment down into various sections based on the major revisions to the Special permit and outlines the Board’s comments and concerns with regard to each. Some of these include:

  • Changes in the residential program, specifically the breakdown of housing types in various stages of the development and the addition of Carriage Homes throughout the development. The Planning Board expressed some concern with the financial implications of these revisions in terms of tax revenue
  • The increase in commercial space from 3,000 square feet to 30,000 square feet -
    The Planning Board recommends that the Town Board review the proposed expansion for it’s economic and environmental impacts.
  • Changes to the overall layout - The Applicant has proposed new development in the southern tract of the development, contingent upon a Land Swap with the Palisades Interstate Park Commission. Additionally, they are proposing new development in the Mountain Lake area. While the Planning Board feels that the land swap would be an improvement to the southern tract of the development, they are cautioning the Town Board to thoroughly investigate the long-term financial implications of the swap. With the proposed land swap, the Town would lose valuable Light Industrial Office (LIO) zoned properties and related tax revenue. With regard to the proposed Mountain Lake development, The Planning Board has found that they have insufficient information and do not feel that they can render a recommendation. Specific concerns include potential impacts to water quality, habitat fragmentation and the lack of cut and fill analysis.
  • The Smart Code – The Applicant has proposed its own body of standards by which the development will be regulated called the Smart Code. While the Planning Board favors the concept of the Smart Code, they have found inconsistencies in the plan as presented and feelsstrongly that the Town Board should meet with councel and determine whether proposed standards that differ from the current zoning and subdivision regulations can be varied and can supercede those regulations.
  • Changes in Lotting/Bulk Standards – The Planning Board does not agree with the method by which the Applicant is calculating minimum lot area. Specifically, they feel that all of the interior space should be included in the overall calculation. They argue that if an area of space can be inhabited as per the New York State Building Code, it should be considered part of the overall building area. They are concerned that future applicants will either build additional dwellings within the “unfinished” interior space and that future bedrooms could be added to these dwellings. Additionally, the Applicant has proposed allowing Flag Lots as a lot type and as these are not allowed elsewhere in town, the Planning Board is not in favor of this proposed change.
  • The Applicant’s proposal to construct an artificial turf field with track, a parking lot and an emergency access road for the new high school rather than to grade three level pads as originally proposed. The Planning Board recognizes that this issue remains unresolved and will need to be worked out between the Town Board, the School District and the Applicant.
  • The Applicant’s proposal to either construct a new library within the development or gift the Tuxedo Park Library with the land on which to construct one. The Planning Board acknowledges that this issue is also unresolved and will need to be worked out among the Town Board, the Library Board and the Applicant.

Summary Recommendation – Recognizing the proposed amendment as a concept plan, the Planning Board issues a favorable report to the Town Board in this section of the report.
The last page of the report, titled Schedule A, identifies specific issues that the Planning Board feels will be better addressed by the Town Board but should be called to their attention as part of the report. Most notable of these issues is the Planning Boards strong recommendation that the Applicant be required to complete a new Environmental Impact Statement focusing specifically on the new areas of proposed development (Mountain Lake, the PIPC Land Swap area and the area in the Commons where business development has been significantly increased.) The Planning Board is also strongly recommending that the Town Board conduct a new fiscal analysis focusing on the impacts of the Land Swap.
Following Ms. Franson’s read-through of the report, the Planning Board discussed various aspects of it and made some minor changes. Board member Mary Hanson expressed concern that the newer members of the Town Board may not be familiar with the “triggers” that can stop building once the project gets started. She recommended that they be included in the Schedule A section of the report.
Next, Board Chair Nils Gerling asked Jeff Marsdan of H2M Consultants to read aloud their memorandum regarding unresolved water supply and wastewater management issues, to be attached to the Planning Boards’ final report.
Following the read-through, Chair Gerling asked the Board to consider whether or not the amended plan is better than the previously approved plan, keeping in mind that the proposed amendment is not a final plan.
An attorney for Tuxedo Reserve inquired of the Board why they have chosen to recommend an additional Environmental Impact Statement. He commented that the normal standard for such a request would be a recommendation from the Planning Boards’ consultants, and he had not heard such a recommendation. Tuxedo Reserve Project Manager Andrew Dance commented that in his view the consultants are the ones who are qualified to review the amendment in terms of SEQRA and not the Planning Board members. The Board found this last remark to be offensive and Mr. Dance apologized. Board member Mary Hanson asked Bonnie Franson to edit the report to show that both the consultants and the Planning Board favor the Environmental Impact Statement.
Board Chair Nils Gerling then made a motion that the Planning Board make a favorable recommendation to the Town Board as suggested in the report subject to the minor changes they had discussed. This motion was unanimously approved by the Board.

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Agenda for Town Planning Board Meeting April 14, 2009

1.         Call to Order
2.         Approval of March 12, 2009 Minutes
 
3.         Samina Butt – Filling and Grading Permit-Revised Plans                   
            99 Fawn Hill Road
            Section 4  Block 3  Lot 19
            File #P8612-004
 
4.         Nancy & Joseph Ribando – Proposed 3 Lot Subdivision
            9 Nursery Road
            Section 11  Block 2  Lot 1.46
            File #P8608-010
 
5.         Tuxedo Reserve – Special Permit Amendment
            Section 14  Block 1  Lot 34.14
            File #P0506-005
 
6.         Other Business
 
            Adjournment               

 

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Town Planning Board Meeting March 10, 2009

The Town Planning Board met on March 10, 2009 at 7pm.
Board member Joe Gartiser was absent.

Tuxedo Reserve
On behalf of Tuxedo Reserve, Andrew Dance requested permission to make an opening statement. Once permission had been granted, Mr. Dance stated that the Applicant’s position has changed since the last meeting at which time they had requested that the Planning Board make their official recommendation to the Town Board on March 10.
He then requested permission to submit a revised version of the amended special permit on or before March 16 which would directly address many of the comments and concerns expressed by the Board during their workshop sessions. Should the Board be amenable to this proposal, the Applicant would grant them a one-month extension in which to carefully review the revised document with their consultants so that they might move forward with a recommendation to the Town Board at their April 13 meeting. Mr. Dance commented that not only would this process bring about a better final product from the Applicant, it would also allow the Planning Board to address some of their outstanding concerns and in turn provide the Town Board with a more thorough report.
The Board unanimously agreed to Mr. Dance’s proposal.
Board Chair Nils Gerling then asked the Board whether they feel that the proposed new layout (complete with the two options which depend on the PIPSC land-swap) is superior to the original layout proposed by the Applicant. He also asked them whether they prefer the plan with or without the PIPC land-swap.
Board Member Susan Goodfellow responded that while it appears that the land-swap would reduce the environmental impact of the development in terms of blasting and wetlands disturbance, to date she has not seen any data which confirms this assessment and therefore it is hard to tell which design is better.
Board Member Mary Hansen agreed
Board member Bob Thompson stated that he prefers the plan with the land-swap as the development appears to be more spread out in this plan and further away from the wetlands.
Board Chair Nils Gerling agreed with Mr. Thompson, stating that he was not taking into consideration either the fiscal analysis or traffic study.
Following this discussion, Board Member Mary Hansen read aloud a letter she had written, which outlined several of her major concerns with the amended special permit as it stands. Some of these concerns include:

  • Building Heights – The plans call for 52 ft buildings in the Commons Area
  • Emergency Access to tall buildings – Specifically the ability of the Fire Dept. to service the 52 ft buildings from ally ways.
  • Habitable Attic Space – How will these be regulated?
  • The Smart Code – Why should one part of Town be governed by it’s own Zoning regulations?
  • The New Development in the Mountain Lake Area – In their previous plan, the developer referred to this area as “undevelopable.” Now they are proposing multiple homes there.
  • Building and Parking on Steep Slopes

This was followed by a lengthy discussion during which Mr. Dance attempted to address each of the issues. Most notably he commented that the term Smart Code was just a name that had been assigned to the Planning Standards required by the town’s PID law. He offered to change the name, suggesting that the word “code” could be perceived incorrectly. Board Chair Nils Gerling responded that a name change would not be necessary.
Town Planner Bonnie Franson confirmed that the developer is required to submit planning standards, however she questioned whether or not there are certain standards integrated into the Smart Code that go beyond the Town’s PID regulations. She commented that this is a legal question and needs to be addressed at the Town Board level.
There was a lengthy discussion regarding alley ways and the Board requested that Mr. Dance provide them with the exact number of proposed alley ways so that they could compare with the original plan.

The Cut and Fill analysis was discussed and Mr. Dance informed the Board that while the analysis has been completed, due to the fact that the engineering for the project is only roughly 75% complete at this time, he is uncomfortable submitting numbers to the Board. He went on to comment that he is confident that the cut and fill is balanced and inquired as to whether or not there are specific areas of the analysis they would like to review. The Board responded that they would like to see the analysis for the entire project.
Mr. Dance then informed the Board that one way the developer plans to ensure balance is by re-using onsite materials for the project. For example, boulders will be collected and used to construct walls, cut trees will be mulched and a rock processing center will be established to turn the blasted rock into gravel to be used for fill.
Town Planner Bonnie Franson then presented the Board with a spreadsheet in which she collated and put into order comments from the workshop meetings and indicated which items had been addressed (marked as closed) and which issues still need to be addressed (open). Some of the open issues include:

  • Building Heights – From what point does the measurement of a building begin? The standards must be clarified.
  • Floor Area Ratio – What is and what is not included?
  • Habitable Space vs. Conditioned Space
  • Table inconsistencies

Additionally, the Town Engineers expressed their concern with some remaining storm water issues, specifically water quality and water testing on the lakes.
Finally, Mary Hanson inquired about the proposed fitness club and whether or not it would be open to all members of the Town. Mr. Dance responded that currently the plan calls for both the Fitness Club (including tennis courts, swimming pool etc etc) and the Jitney service to be restricted to Tuxedo Reserve residents because they will be funded by the H.O.A.. However, moving forward it will be up to the Town Board as to whether or not they chose to expand the membership and open these services up to the general public.

The following meeting dates were then agreed upon for the purpose of reviewing the revised amended Special Permit once received:

  • Wednesday, March 18 – 8:30am
  • Tuesday, March 24 – 8:30am
  • Tuesday, March 31 – 11:00am
  • Tuesday. April 7 – 8:30am
  • Wed - 3/18 - Town Planning Board/Tuxedo Reserve Workshop - 8:30 am
  • Tues - 3/24 - Town Planning Board/Tuxedo Reserve Workshop - 8:30am
  • Tues - 3/31 - Town Planning Board/Tuxedo Reserve Workshop - 11am
  • Tues - 4/7 - Town Planning Board/Tuxedo Reserve Workshop - 8:30am

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Agenda for Town Planning Board Meeting March 10, 2009

Public Hearing:  Samina Butt  POSTPONED
Filling & Grading Permit Approval Continued

1.  Call to Order

2.  Approval of February 10, 2009 Minutes
 
3.  Samina Butt – Filling and Grading Permit-Revised Plans                   
      99 Fawn Hill Road
      Section 4  Block 3  Lot 19
      File #P8612-004
 
4.  Tuxedo Reserve – Special Permit Amendment
      Section 14  Block 1  Lot 34.14
      File #P0506-005
 
5.  Other Business
 
      Adjournment               

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Town Planning Board/Tuxedo Reserve Workshop February 24, 2009

On Tuesday, February 24 the Town of Tuxedo Planning Board, along with Town Planner Bonnie Franson of Tim Miller and Assoc. and Town Consultants H2M conducted a workshop meeting for the purpose of continuing to review the Related Companies’ amended Special Permit for the Tuxedo Reserve Development.

This meeting focused on the revised preliminary plan for the Tuxedo Reserve Development.

The review focused on two concerns:

  • Parking on streets and within driveways
  • The difficulty of understanding the final street and lot layout due to the fact that the Smart Code allows the developer choices of house type and lot layout within each transect.

Parking is a problem because the developer wants to retain narrow roads within neighborhoods on which there is no on-street parking but in some areas driveways are short restricting on-lot parking. The members of the Planning Board present decided that in areas where there is no on-street parking there should be room, including the garage, to park four cars on each lot. In neighborhoods where there is on-street parking there should be space to park two cars on each lot.

At the heart of the Smart Code is the provision of options for the ultimate builder of houses; in other words within each transect or neighborhood the ultimate developer has choices as to building type and lot layout consequently a preliminary plan can only illustrate one set of such options for each transect. In order to understand what is being permitted it is necessary to review all possible options for each transect.

There was also discussion of setbacks from alleyways where the front lot line is the centerline of the alleyway. The board decided that the set back should be from the near edge of the alleyway not the front lot line.

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Town Planning Board/Tuxedo Reserve Workshop February 17, 2009

On Tuesday, February 17 the Town of Tuxedo Planning Board, along with Town Planner Bonnie Franson of Tim Miller and Assoc. and Town Consultants H2M held a special workshop meeting for the purpose of continuing to review the Related Companies’ amended Special Permit for the Tuxedo Reserve Development. Board member Joe Gartiser was absent.

The following items were discussed:

  • Garage heights of 2.5 stories were discussed and concern expressed that the upper floors constituted livable space. Board recommended that garages be limited to 1.5 stories. There were questions about the maximum height of garages and the Board requested more information about FAR and habitable space, stating that if the space is habitable it should be included in FAR.
  • The proposal makes fundamental changes to the layout of the development, increasing density in some areas and larger lots in the Mountain Lake area. It was observed that the new design will require more blasting than the 2003 design.
  • Conditioned space needs to be defined.
  • Some driveways are very steep (14% slopes). Such driveways need a flat space at the bottom of the driveway so car can stop before reaching a collector road. The board wants to know how many such driveways are planned and where are they in the development.
  • Architectural guidelines are separate from the Smart Code.
  • A diagram is needed showing where public parking is planned throughout the development.

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Town Planning Board Meeting February 10, 2009

The Town of Tuxedo Planning Board met on February 10, 2009.
Member Joe Gartiser was absent.

Sterling Forest LLC – Sterling Place – 6-Month Extension
On behalf of Sterling Forest LLC, Lou Heimbach appeared before the Board to request a 6-month extension for the Sterling Place Project. Tuxedo Park engineers have approved the preliminary water/sewer plans and now the New York State Health Department must review and approve the plans as well. Mr. Heimbach anticipates that this process will take less than 6-months.
The Board voted unanimously in favor of granting Sterling Place a 6-month extension, which will expire in August of 2009.

Tuxedo Reserve
The Board continued their detailed review of Tuxedo Reserve’s proposed amendment to their Special Permit, with specific focus on the“Smart Code”. The discussion centered around a table of questions/issues prepared by Tim Miller and Assoc and presented by Town Planner Bonnie Franson. The following issues were discussed:
Performance Standards
Storm Water Run-Off
Building Heights
Floor Area Ratios
Board Chairman Nils Gerling requested that the applicant review their tables and graphs for accuracy and consistency. Additionally, the Board has requested clarification of standards, specifically whether State or Town standards will be applied in certain areas.

Additional Planning Board/Tuxedo Reserve workshops were scheduled for Tuesday February 17 at 8:30am and Tuesday February 24 at 8:30am.

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Agenda for Town Planning Board Meeting February 10, 2009

  1. Call to Order
  2. Approval of January 13, 2009 Minutes
     
  3. Samina Butt – Filling and Grading Permit-Revised Plans
    99 Fawn Hill Road
    Section 4  Block 3  Lot 19
    File #P8612-004
     
  4. Sterling Forest LLC – Sterling Place – 6 Month Extension
    Section 9  Block 1  Lot 5.4        
    File #P9010-053
     
  5. Other Business - Tuxedo Reserve

  6. Public Comments
    Adjournment               

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Town Planning Board/Tuxedo Reserve Workshop February 3, 2009

On Tuesday, February 3 the Town of Tuxedo Planning Board, along with Town Planner Bonnie Franson of Tim Miller and Assoc. and Town Consultants H2M held a special workshop meeting for the purpose of continuing to review the Related Companies’ amended Special Permit for the Tuxedo Reserve Development. Board member Joe Gartiser was absent.

The meeting focused on the Draft Technical Memorandum (DTM) of the Amendment document. Bonnie Franson lead the discussion following a multicolored spreadsheet of consultant comments. The following issues were discussed:

  • The Board inquired as to whether or not the Fitness and tennis club planned for The Commons area of the development will be open to all Tuxedo residents?
    The applicant replied that it will be for Tuxedo Reserve residents only.

  • There was a lengthy discussion regarding maximum building height as there are different maximum heights in various parts of the document. There were questions about how this height will be measured. The Board asked for clarification and comments from the Fire Commissioner regarding the ability of the fire dept. to protect the proposed buildings.

  • There are now more cul de sacs and hammer head dead ends than were indicated in the Special Permit. The Board asked for a map of these. Additionally, they requested a map showing all roads with grades exceeding 10%.

  • The Board questioned the applicants market analysis referred to in the DTM and asked when property values were determined, how sales demand was estimated and requested a copy of the original market analysis document. . The Board is uncertain how condos are evaluated in the market analysis. They asked that the Tax assessor review the applicant’s market analysis.

  • The Board asked that the School Board and the Library Board be brought into the discussion as there are many questions concerning both the school lot (how water is to be supplied to it and what Tuxedo Reserve is going to do to it) as well as the library lot and building.

  • There was extensive discussion of the new Mountain Lake development and the Board wanted to know if steep slopes were an important consideration when the earlier decision was made not to develop this area.

  • The Board was confused about the way the bedroom count is tallied and asked for a table showing numbers of bed rooms/building type and numbers of each building type. There were also questions about how “habitable attics” would be treated in the bedroom count tally.

  • The Board was also confused by the treatment of how recreational fees will be calculated relative to the donation of parkland and asked for clarification.

  • The Board requested that the traffic analysis include the consequences of loosing the light industrial space on the Northern Tract and the addition of 30000 sq ft. of commercial space in the Southern Tract.

  • The new proposed development in the Tuxedo Lake watershed was discussed and the Board inquired as to what steps will be taken to control pollution to both Tuxedo Lake and Mountain Lake when blasting occurs and after build out. They asked that water quality tests of both lakes be made now and that the lakes be monitored during and after development. They also asked for details regarding how close to either lake blasting will occur.

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Town Planning Board/Tuxedo Reserve Workshop January 20, 2009

On Tuesday, January 20 the Town of Tuxedo Planning Board, along with Town Planner Bonnie Franson of Tim Miller and Assoc. and Town Consultants H2M held a special workshop meeting for the purpose of continuing to review the Related Companies’ amended Special Permit for the Tuxedo Reserve Development. Board member Joe Gartiser was absent.

Before the meeting officially began, Board member Susan Goodfellow voiced concern to the Chairman that the Town Board would get the wrong impression about the progress of their review from reading Andrew Dance’s cover letter of December 9, 2008. She asked that a letter clarifying the situation be drafted and included.

Although Board Chairman Nils Gerling,was not present at the previous workshop when the letter was discussed, he has been provided with meeting minutes from Bonnie Franson via e-mail. He commented that he does not feel a letter to the Town Board is necessary. He also commented that he does feel it necessary to ask PIPC to provide a letter with regard to the proposed land swap as the Town Board will broach this subject later on.

The workshop officially began with a page-by-page analysis of Tuxedo Reserve’s Techincal Memorandum of December 9, 2008. This memo should have been corrected based on earlier workshops. Chairman Gerling continues to be unhappy with the confusion as well as the inconsistencies with the tables and the numbers.

The Town engineers inquired as to how they could proceed with deciding the road widths in the absence of a decision regarding the PIPC land swap.

Board member Mary Hanson voiced concern about the lack of response from the Fire Department regarding the adequacy of their equipment to service the tall buildings that are being proposed and whether the road widths would allow trucks to raise their ladders to access the high spaces.

Questions arose regarding the Smart Code and who is checking it against the prevailing New York State standards.

Town Planner Bonnie Franson stated that the Planning Boards needs to receive a proper breakdown of the number of live/work spaces within the development as this is currently unclear.

Regarding the issue of storm water management, the Town engineer feels that the Planning Board needs to require a baseline water quality analysis. He also said that the document should state that there would be no point-source discharge into either Tuxedo Lake or Mountain Lake. Susan Goodfellow concurred.

Bonnie Franson questioned the reason for the declared increase in the amount of impervious surfaces and would like the engineer to look at the details. She indicated that the sheet water flow from these surfaces would be towards the Rodzianko property in the Village of Tuxedo Park (a low point near the Tuxedo Lake)

Mary Hanson remarked that Town zoning does not allow flag lots, which are being proposed.

The meeting concluded with the Board and their consultants requesting additional comments prior to the next workshop.

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Town Planning Board Meeting January 13, 2009

The Town of Tuxedo Planning Board met on January 13, 2009 at 7pm.
All members were present.

Public Hearing:  Samina Butt  - Filling & Grading Permit Approval Continued
Mr. Butt began the public hearing by addressing the Board and requesting that they suggest an independent surveyer to review the situation on his property and advise him on how to move forward. He commented that he willing to work with the Town and that he just wants to get the job done. Mr. Butt does not believe that the work he has done on his property is the cause of damage on neighboring properties, however his neighbors feel strongly that it is. For this reason, Mr. Butt thinks a third party must be called in to fairly evaluate the issues at hand. He went on to say that the situation has created a lot of tension in his neighborhood and he would like to avoid a neighborhood war.
Board Chair Nils Gerling responded by commenting that the Board has not received any of documentation they requested from Mr. Butt’s engineer at the previous meeting. It had been their understanding that Mr. Butt’s engineer would contact Town engineer Don Sioss directly to ensure that they were on the same page with the work that needs to be done. However, no contact was made. The Board will need to see the requested documentation (specifically a detailed plan outlining various aspects of the drainage) before they can move forward with their review.
Building Inspector Dave Maikisch commented that he visited the property and while it is clear that Mr. Butt did remove many trees, most of those that he observed were either rotted or less than 8 inches in diameter at the base. This means that Mr. Butt would not have required a permit for removal of those trees. Mr. Maikisch also commented that he observed several properties in the neighborhood, including that of Mr. Butt’s neighbor Mr. Gaines, where trees have been removed without permits and while many of these removals may have been legit, it is clear that there has been some illegal tree removal across the board in the area.
Mr. Butt’s neighbor, Mr. Gaines, then gave a detailed reasoning for the recent removal of a tree on his property, commenting that the removal in no way effected the overall topography of the neighborhood.
Another neighbor, Roger Dyne commented that the grading on his property has been completely destroyed as a direct result of the work on Mr. Butt’s property. He went on to explain that historically he had experienced issues with water running through his property and that he had spent a great deal of time and money repairing these issues only to have them completely destroyed again. He inquired as to who was accountable for the work that he would now need to do in order to repair the damage.
Following these comments, the Public Hearing was extended until February 10, 2009.

Tuxedo Plaza – Route 17 - Lead Agency Determination SEQR
A representative for the applicant gave a brief review of the plan, which is to build a two-story retail complex with dual access to Rt. 17 and Spring Street in Southfields. A proposed septic system was presented. In addition, a storm water design has been completed. The applicant needs a technical review from the Department of Transportation for their entrance/exit onto Rt. 17 and requested the Boards assistance in beginning that process. There was some discussion with regard to a drainage easement on the south side of the property where it borders a cemetery. Town planner Bonnie Franson read a letter from Highway Superintendent Joe Tripolli in which he recommends that the Spring Street exit be a right-turn-only in order to avoid other traffic concerns. Ms. Franson also requested a copy of the deed to the property.
After some further discussion it was decided that the Board will make a site visit on January 27.

Tuxedo Reserve
On behalf of Tuxeod Reserve Andrew Danse appeared before the Board for the purpose of scheduling more special workshops in order to continue review of their proposed revised special permit. After some discussion, three additional workshops were scheduled for January 20, January 27 and February 3 at 8:30am.

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Town Planning Board To Hold More Tuxedo Reserve Workshops

TOWN OF TUXEDO
PUBLIC NOTICE
 
NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN, that the Planning Board of the Town of Tuxedo will hold Workshop Meetings on the following Tuesdays, January 20th, January 27th and February 3, 2009 at 8:30 am at the Tuxedo Town Hall, 1 Temple Drive, Tuxedo New York, for the review of the Special Permit and Preliminary Plan Requests for Tuxedo Reserve.
                                                                                Nils Gerling
                                                                                Planning Chair
                                                                                Tuxedo, New York
Dated:  January 14, 2009

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Agenda for Town Planning Board Meeting January 13, 2009

Public Hearing:  Samina Butt         
Filling & Grading Permit Approval Continued

  1. Call to Order
  2. Approval of December 9, 2008 Minutes
  3. Samina Butt – Filling and Grading Permit-Revised Plans
    99 Fawn Hill Road
    Section 4  Block 3  Lot 19
    File #P8612-004
  4. Tuxedo Plaza – Route 17 - Lead Agency Determination SEQR
    Section 5  Block 3  Lot 12.21
    File #P0907-020
  5. Other Business
  6. Public Comments
    Adjournment               

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Town Planning Board Meeting December 9, 2008

The Town of Tuxedo Planning Board met on Tuesday, December 9, 2008.
All members were present.

Public Hearing: Samina Butt – Filling and Grading Permit – Revised Plans
An engineer for the Applicant presented the Board with revised plans for the project, however the plans presented did not reflect the information the Board had requested at the previous meeting. Gerard Gaines, who owns the property directly below the Butts, reiterated his concerns with regard to drainage and water on his property. The applicant filled in a depression located near the property line without securing the proper permit and since this work was completed, Mr. Gaines has experienced a myriad of issues on his own property as a result. Specifically, Mr. Gaines is concerned about the increase in water flow and commented that his landscaping has already suffered some damage. He went on to express concern about the foundation of his home.
There was some discussion about what steps could be taken by the applicant to correct the problem. Board member Robert Thompson suggested restoring the property to it’s original state by recreating the depression. Planning Board Engineer Don Sioss commented that while this might be possible, there are still issues remaining with other sections of the plan.
Because the plans presented were not complete, the Board was unable to move forward, however, in an effort to assist Mr. Gaines, the Board suggested that Mr. Butt install hay bales along the property line where the water is escaping onto the Gaines property. In addition they requested that Mr. Butt provide Mr. Sioss with a more detailed plan, which not only shows the contours of neighboring properties as previously requested, but also clearly outlines how the drainage system will work so that water does not leave the Butt property.

Ski Side Villa – Bond Reduction
The Board voted unanimously in favor of reducing the bond on this project to $150,000.

Tuxedo Plaza – Lead Agency Determination SEQR
As the Applicant was not present, this application was not discussed.

Tuxedo Reserve – Special Permit Amendment
Referencing a letter written by Project Manager Andrew Dance to the Town Board, a representative for Tuxedo Reserve proposed that the Applicant resubmit a revised document, reflecting comments and concerns expressed by the Planning Board and their consultants during the recent workshop sessions. Consequently, he also proposed that Tuxedo Reserve grant the Planning Board a 45-day extension in which to complete their review.
Board member Susan Goodfellow expressed her concern that Mr. Dance’s letter inferred that the Planning Board had made formal comments, when in fact they have not. She continued on to comment that the Board had been waiting for a letter from their consultants before issuing any formal comments.
Town Planner Bonnie Franson responded that during the Workshops a great deal of focus had been placed on consistencies (or lack there of) between the old and new plans as well as the massive changes that were being proposed. Many of these issues were laid out in the form of memorandums from the Consultants to the Board. Assuming that the Applicant has clarified the majority of these issues in the revised document, the Board should be able to complete a smoother, more thorough review.
The Board then voted unanimously in favor of accepting the applicants’ proposal.

Other Business
Proposed meeting dates for 2009 were circulated and unanimously agreed upon by the Board.

Public Comments
On Behalf of TARGET TUXEDO, Steve Gross of Hudson Highlands Environmental Consulting announced that he has been retained by the group to examine the Tuxedo Reserve project and represent their concerns to the Board. He continued on to express his concern with the rugged terrain of the Tuxedo Reserve property and particularly the area surrounding Mountain Lake, where the Applicant is now proposing to build several homes. He pointed out that on previous plans, The developer had labeled this area as un-buildable, however now they are proposing that two roads with multiple homes on either side be built in one of the steepest areas. Finally, he urged the Board to request a cut and fill analysis from the Applicant, which he commented could reveal major previously undiscovered environmental impacts.

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Agenda for Town Planning Board Meeting December 9, 2008

Public Hearing: Samina Butt         
Filling & Grading Permit Approval Continued

  1. Call to Order
  2. Approval of November 12, 2008 Minutes
  3. Samina Butt – Filling and Grading Permit-Revised Plans
    99 Fawn Hill Road
    Section 4  Block 3  Lot 19
    File #P8612-004
  4. Ski Side Villa – Bond Reduction
    Section 1  Block 1  Lot 59
    File #P0408-022
  5. Tuxedo Plaza – Route 17 - Lead Agency Determination SEQR
    Section 5  Block 3  Lot 12.21
    File #P0907-020
  6. Tuxedo Reserve – Special Permit Amendment
    Section 14  Block 1  Lot 34.14
    File #P0506-005
  7. Other Business
  8. Public Comments
    Adjournment

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Town Planning Board/Tuxedo Reserve Workshop November 25, 2008

On November 25 the Town of Tuxedo Planning Board, along with Town Planner Bonnie Franson of Tim Miller and Assoc. and Town Consultants H2M held a special workshop meeting for the purpose of carefully reviewing the Related Companies’ amended Special Permit for the Tuxedo Reserve Development. Board member Joe Gartiser was absent. Board member Mary Hansen asked Andrew Dance of Tuxedo Reserve if the Town of Tuxedo has been reimbursed for the consultants’ fees. Mr. Dance replied that a check had been mailed the previous Friday. Ms. Hansen then reminded everyone that it is the Board’s policy no to hear applicants who are in arrears. Mr. Dance regretfully informed the Board that the Related Companies had to lay-off several employees who had been working on the Tuxedo Reserve project. He added that approval from the Board for the amended plan was “key” to Relateds’ ability to get their new financing. The Board had no comment. Board Chair Nils Gerling suggested that the Board go through the plans dated 8/19/08 sheet-by-sheet, hearing comments from Board members as well as Town Planner, Bonnie Franson. There were five representatives from Tuxedo Reserve, including Mr. Dance, present to answer questions and respond to comments. Before this process began, Board member Susan Goodfellow asked Mr. Dance about the PIPSI land swap. Mr. Dance stated that Town Supervisor Peter Dolan had spoken to the head of PIPSI, J. Hall. According to Mr. Dance, Mr. Hall indicated his interest but also stated that he did not want to create a conflict. Mrs. Goodfellow replied that hearsay was not adequate and that PIPSI should provide the Planning Board with a letter of intent. There was discussion as to how the Board should proceed in this apparent vacuum. Mr. Dance stated that there are 2 options to consider: one with the land swap and one without. Town Planner Bonnie Franson that as of the previous week she had remarked the discrepancies between various tables and surveys with the Town Zoning Code. For example, The Board had voiced concerns regarding “flag lots” as they are not allowed as per the Zoning Code. Mr. Dance replied that everything would be made consistent. Ms. Franson then made several suggestions, which, in her opinion, would make the development look better, such as mitigating the visual impact of the unbroken line of East Terrace cottages. She also questioned the rational for the mix of some of the housing stock. The Board was concerned about the adequacy of the proposed parking provisions, especially in light of the proposed expanded retail space. Mr. Dance replied that 40% of the residents would be able to walk to the retail center. When asked about the proposed Clubhouse, Mr. Dance said that it would be up to the Homeowners Assoc. to decide how it would function (public or private, fees etc.) The Homeowners Assoc. would also be responsible for all private roads such as the alleyways used to access certain types of housing. After some further discussion, the Town Board Attorney explained the “final” process. The Planning Board must make a recommendation (either favorable or non-favorable) to the Town Board. This recommendation will be in the form of a letter drafted by Ms. Franson, which will indicate the reluctant conclusions of the Planning Board. Mr. Dance pressed to have this document ready by December 9, which is the date of the next formal Planning Board meeting.

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Town Planning Board/Tuxedo Reserve Workshop November 13, 2008

On November 13 the Town of Tuxedo Planning Board, along with Town Planner Bonnie Franson of Tim Miller and Assoc. and Town Consultants H2M held a special workshop meeting for the purpose of carefully reviewing the Related Companies’ amended Special Permit for the Tuxedo Reserve Development.
Board member Mary Hanson was absent.
For over two hours the Board members reviewed the Smart Code document page-by-page, showing impressive attention to detail. Board Chairman Nils Gerling noted several discrepancies in the various tables and standards as well as zoning conflicts.
Andrew Dance of the Related Companies agreed that the document needs “cleaning up.”
Town Planner Bonnie Franson asked many detailed questions with regard to roadways, alleys and setbacks.
Board member Joe Gartiser commented that he would like to see further dialogue with the Town Highway Superintendent, particularly is the Town will eventually have to take responsibility for the roads within the development.
Bonnie Franson and Nils Gerling were in agreement that the Town Architectural Review Board should examine the proposed additions to the design guidelines.
There are several items that remain unresolved, some of which are:

  1. Aspects of the sewer system
  2. Traffic on Rt. 17, specifically at it’s intersection with Quail Road
  3. Agreements with the School District and the Library Board

The Board agreed to continue their review at the next regularly scheduled T.A.C. meeting on November 25, 2008 at 8:30am.

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Town Planning Board Meeting November 12, 2008

The Town of Tuxedo Planning Board met on November 12, 2008 at 7:00pm.
All members were present.

The meeting began with two Public Hearings.

Public Hearing – Samina Butt – Filling and Grading Permit
Prior to the Public Hearing, the Applicant presented the Board with revised plans for the project, reflecting some of the changes discussed at the October meeting.
Neighbors of the Applicant expressed their concerns with regard to drainage. The Applicant has filled in a depression below his property without approval and this has caused a dramatic increase in the amount of water flowing onto the neighboring properties below. Gerard Gaines, who owns the property directly below the Butts, stated that there has already been considerable damage to his property and that he is now concerned about the foundation of his home, which could be in peril as a direct result of the depression having been filled in combined with the Applicants’ proposed drainage plan. He also expressed concern regarding several dead and dying trees, which could potentially fall into the roof of his home. Neighbors Greg Cabibbo and Fernando Rangel echoed Mr. Gaines’ concerns regarding the flow of water across their properties , which are also located down slope from the Butts, and inquired as to where the flow of water would be directed.
Following these comments from the public, Planning Board engineer Don Sioss commented that the Applicant failed to submit a topography map as requested at the previous meeting. In addition to this map, Mr. Sioss requested that the Applicant also supply the Board with a map of the property as it was originally sited. He commented that such a map might help the Board to determine what the original flow of water from the property was (before the depression was filled in) He further commented that neighboring properties should be shown on the topography map.
The Public Hearing will be continued on December 9, 2008.

Public Hearing – Vlasois Lymberis – Filling and Grading Permit
Prior to the Public Hearing, the Applicant presented the Board with a revised landscaping plan as requested at the previous meeting. In direct response to some concerns from town planner Bonnie Franson, the applicant has reduced the size of several of trees to be planted. While Ms. Franson was not present, Mr. Sioss commented that he had been in contact with her and that she approves of the amended plan.
Neighbors of the Applicant asked for clarification of some of the project details and were informed that the Applicant intends to properly rebuild several existing retaining walls and then plant trees along them.
The Public Hearing was then closed.

Tuxedo Reserve – Northridge Preliminary Approval Request for 6 Month Extension
The first item on the agenda during the regular portion of the meeting was a request from Tuxedo Reserve for a 6-month extension on the Preliminary Approval for Phase One of the development, Northridge. The Board voted unanimously in favor of this extension, which will run until June 9, 2009.

Vlasois Lymberis – Filling and Grading Permit
The last item on the agenda was further discussion of the Lymberis application for a filing and grading permit as well as new landscaping plan on their property at 48 Alexander Drive. After some brief discussion, the Board granted conditional approval based on the receipt of a letter from a neighboring property owner granting approval for the rebuilding of a wall, which is partially on his property.

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Agenda for Town Planning Board Meeting November 12, 2008

  1. Call to Order
  2. Approval of October 14, 2008 Minutes
  3. Samina Butt – Filling and Grading Permit-Revised Plans-Set Public Hearing Date
    99 Fawn Hill Road
    Section 4  Block 3  Lot 19
    File #P8612-004
  4. Vlasois Lymberis – Filling & Grading Permit – Set Public Hearing Date
    48 Alexander Drive 
    Section 17  Block 2  Lot 45
    File #P0008-016
  5. Jasmine Imports – Potential Site Plan Approv
    979 Route 17
    Section 5  Block 4  Lot 17.1
    File #P8801-001
  6. Tuxedo Reserve – North Ridge Preliminary Approval Request of 6 month extension
    Other Business
    Public Comments
    Adjournment

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Town Planning Board conducts Workshops to review new Tuxedo Reserve Plan

On the evenings of October 28, 29 and 30 the Town of Tuxedo Planning Board, along with Town Planner Bonnie Franson of Tim Miller and Assoc. and Town Consultants H2M held special workshop meetings for the purpose of carefully reviewing the Related Companies’ amended Special Permit for the Tuxedo Reserve Development. P.I.D. regulations require that the Planning Board issue either a favorable or non-favorable report to the Town Board within 45 days of referral. While the project was referred back on September 8, due to the enormity of the amendment, an extension has been granted. The Planning Board is expected to issue their report no later than December 9.
Also in attendance were the Town Engineer and Planning Board Attorney Tom Eagan. Representatives from the Related Companies were present as well in order to answer any questions that might arise.
In an effort to manage time, each workshop was given its own area of focus as follows:

Tuesday October 28–Review of Environmental Memorandum
Wednesday October 29 – The Smart Code
Thursday October 30 – Review of Draft Technical Memorandum

What follows is a summary of what occurred at each workshop meeting.

Tuesday October 28
Board member Susan Goodfellow was absent.
Town Planner Bonnie Franson began the meeting by reviewing the list of concerns from Town Planners, Tim Miller and Assoc. She commented that both the Environmental and Technical memos require supplemental information in the form of data, charts, graphs and studies. As they stand now, the memos draw conclusions about the project without supplying background information as to how those conclusions were reached. The Applicant must present the Boards with the necessary information so that they can draw their own conclusions. Ms. Franson then read a memo composed by Tim Miller and Assoc., which outlined several areas of the amendment where either further clarification or more information is needed. Some of these included:
- Potential effects on community services
- Fiscal impacts on the school
-Various effects of the proposed land swap (evaluation should consider impacts both
with and without the swap)
- A clear breakdown of the active adult housing (multi-family vs single family homes)
- Effect of proposed new businesses on current businesses in the Hamlet
- Fiscal impacts in terms of taxes paid to the town
- Effects on non-regulated wetlands
- Storm water management
- Recreational demands
- Potential effects to Mountain Lake
- Any increase or decrease in the amount of blasting to be done
-Ease of access to certain areas for Emergency providers
-Traffic
Following Ms. Franson’s remarks, the Board began a page-by-page review of the document, during which many of these concerns were addressed.

Board Member Mary Hanson questioned the rationale for adding development to the Mountain Lake area. She inquired as to whether or not there was legal wording in the original document, which stated that the area should remain forever green.
She then asked about the status of the PIPC negotiations (land swap) commenting that the only information she had been given regarding the swap had come from the applicant. She was informed that while the Related Companies are pursuing the swap, whether or not it occurs depends on Town agreement. Related Companies will wait for plan approval before pursing the swap further with the Town. Board attorney Tom Egan suggested asking PIPC to provide written documentation confirming that the negotiations are actually taking place.
Next, Ms. Hanson inquired about the active adult housing, commenting that the new plan shows more condos and townhouses where the old plan called for carriage and cottage style homes. She further commented that the change in housing type would surely have a direct effect on taxes. She also wanted to know why the Applicant is now proposing 4 story buildings, when the Town is not equipped to handle buildings of that height.
Regarding this last concern, Town Planner Bonnie Franson responded that the request for 4 story buildings is one that needs to be further evaluated.

Board Chairman Nils Gerling commented that the amendment calls for a Dry Cleaners in the Commons and that the Town Code prevents this unless it is a pick up & drop off facility.

Mary Hanson inquired about the proposed fitness center/daycare/business center and commented that the plan allots additional space for a Private Club. She expressed confusion with regard to the purpose of the Club and who its members would be. She was informed that membership would be open to the entire Town.

The issue of the new school site was discussed. The applicant is no longer proposing to grade the 3 levels of land for the new school, but will instead construct a Recreation Facility. The high cost of grading the school site is of great concern to the district.

Town Engineer Jeffrey Marsden raised the issue of storm water runoff, commenting that the new plan eliminated several basins and instead proposes that the water discharge through the Village of Sloatsburg into the Ramapo River. He inquired about the potential down stream effects of this new plan, particularly with regard to flooding on Rt. 17.

Mary Hanson stated that she disagrees completely with the assessment that no additional Environmental Impact Study is needed.

Wednesday October 29
Board Member Joe Gartiser was absent.
The focus of Wednesday night’s workshop was a presentation of Tuxedo Reserve’s “‘Smart Code”.
Tuxedo Reserve is requesting the adoption of new zoning code standards to regulate their 1200-unit housing project, which will be known as the Smart Code. These standards, including zoning, architectural and landscaping components would be unique to each neighborhood within the project.
The presentation was made by Douglas Kallfelz AIA of Donald Powers Architects, Inc of Providence, Rhode Island.
Mr. Kallfelz stated his premise that historically zoning ordinances regulate by defining what a community doesn’t want and over time places become entirely homogeneous. Inadvertently, he maintained the desire to control what we don’t want has also eliminated many of the things we do want. Form-Based Codes recognize that building of the same use and scale need to behave differently in different neighborhoods. This he claims is the primary reason that the Smart Code is so important for Tuxedo Reserve.
Tuxedo Reserve’s plan is presented in a series of tables. Table 1, the Transect Zone and Neighborhood District Descriptions, goes from Natural Zone, to Sub-Urban Zone, to General Urban Zone, to Urban Center Zone. Table 2 has frontage type; Table 3 is building configuration; and Table 4 is building placement. The Smart Code Summary on Table 5 gives you information on lot regulations by type and transect along with front yard setback in each zone and Table 6 is for the building types. Table 7 gives you the building bulk standards. There are a total of 12 tables.
There were questions raised by the planning board members as to what, if any, experience the Consultants’ have had with other Smart Codes that have been put in place. The response was that there were none locally.
Planning Board members also questioned the conflicts in the setbacks, porches and buffers. There were additional questions about Estate Homes on 1/3 acre in Table 7.

Thursday October 30
Board Members Mary Hanson and Joe Gartiser were absent.

The third workshop focused on the Draft Technical Memorandum, which examines the potential environmental impacts associated with the proposed amendment. The purpose of the Technical Memorandum was to determine if the proposed modifications have the potential to generate any new significant adverse environmental impacts that were not previously identified in the Final Environmental Impact Statement, (FEIS), and also to determine whether a Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement, (SEIS), is needed. The Town Board, as lead Agency, will ultimately determine if a SEIS is required.

Questions were raised by members of the Board with regard to some inconsistencies and errors in certain statements and statistical tables. The Memorandum covered areas including but not limited to, Natural Resources, Storm Water Management, Land Use, Population and Housing Characteristics, Economic and Fiscal Analysis, Cultural Resources, Visual Quality and Community Character, Geology, and Traffic.

The Developer s consultant, AKRF Environmental and Planning Consultants (who prepared the Technical Memorandum) concluded in their report that the proposed changes do not have the potential to generate any new significant adverse environmental impacts and therefore, no supplemental environmental impact statement is needed.

At the conclusion of the final workshop, it was determined that more workshops will be needed before the Planning Board can issue their report. These workshops will take place on November 5 and 13 from 12pm-2pm.

What Does All This Mean?
Clearly, there are a multitude of issues and unanswered questions with the proposed amendment. Why is the Town of Tuxedo considering allowing the developer to propose a zoning code that regulates their own development? How is it possible that additional environmental studies are not needed, when the new plan includes development around the environmentally sensitive Mountain Lake (an area which was supposed to remain undeveloped according to the original plan), as well as the possible inclusion of additional land (PIPC land swap) that was not included in the original special permit? What would be the long-term impact on the tax base if the PIPC swap allows Tuxedo Reserve to give PIPC all land zoned light-industrial, forever taking away the possibility of such businesses bringing jobs and tax revenue to the Town? Why is there no apparent concern over the addition of 27,000 additional sq feet of retail space, which will create an entirely new downtown area, potentially making a ghost town out of the Hamlet? Given the enormity of the proposed amendment, not to mention the current economic climate, why is the Developer putting pressure on the Planning Board to render a speedy report? Why have supplemental workshops been scheduled in the middle of the afternoon, when some Board members are unable to attend and most of the public cannot be there? Questions such as these MUST be addressed if the Town hopes to ensure that a quality development is constructed in Tuxedo.

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Town Planning Board Meeting October 14, 2008

The Town of Tuxedo Planning Board met on October 14, 2008 at 7:00pm.
All members were present.

Samina Butt – Filling and Grading Permit-Revised Plans
The Applicant presented the Board with a new site plan showing some minor grading on the left side of the home as well as a relatively large section of fill in the back of the property. The purpose of the proposed plan is to improve the depression in the rear of the house by making it flatter and therefore usable for recreational purposes. Issues ranging from drainage and storm water run-off onto the neighbor’s property to erosion control were discussed. The Applicant will come to the next TAC meeting to iron out the Board’s concerns. A public hearing was scheduled for Wednesday, November 12, 2008 at 7pm.

Science of the Soul Study Center - Present Concept Plan
The applicant presented a revised site plan. The goal of their presentation was to make sure that the Planning Board approved of the changes before moving on with the new plan.
Due to grading issues with the original plan, the applicant has redesigned the primary structure, removing one of the building’s two wings and creating a basement level to be used as community space. The windows have also been altered to give the building a more vertical appearance. In addition, two new buildings have been added to the plan; one for storage and maintenance and the other a bi-level, with the top floor to be used for storage and the bottom floor as a playroom for children during inclement weather. Finally, the applicant has eliminated some of the previously planned parking spaces and created a loop connecting all parking areas surrounding the buildings.
In response to concerns expressed at a previous TAC meeting, the Applicant also presented the Board with several green color samples for their proposed metal roof along with concrete block veneer samples for the building’s face.
Board member Mary Hanson expressed her displeasure with the newly proposed buildings, stating that while the maintenance space is probably necessary, the indoor playroom is not. She suggested that the play area for children could be some how worked into the main structure.
The applicant responded that due to the elimination of one wing on the main structure, there was no longer adequate space to house a playroom there.
Town Consultant Bonnie Franson expressed concern with a large retention basin and suggested that several smaller basins might be worked into the plan in order to reduce the overall footprint.
Following a brief discussion with regard to water supply and septic, the Board expressed pleasure with the new design and gave the applicant the go-ahead to proceed with putting together the new plan.

Vlasois Lymberis – Landscaping
The Applicant presented landscaping plans for redesigned retaining walls on their property at 48 Alexander Drive.
Town Consultant Bonnie Franson expressed concern with regard to the types of trees selected by the Applicant, suggesting that many of them will be very large at maturity with complex root systems, which could impact the stability of the walls. She commented that perhaps the Applicant should consider smaller trees. In addition she suggested larger masses of shrubs be added in an effort to better conceal the wall.
A public hearing was set for Wednesday, November 12 2008 at 7:00 pm.

Jasmine Imports – Potential Site Plan Approval
The Applicant has addressed the majority of the Board’s concerns with this application. However, a letter from the Department Of Transportation suggests that the property line has been mislabeled on the plans. The Town Engineer, the Town Consultant and the Applicant all expressed confusion with this determination. The Applicant agreed to make contact with the DOT in an effort to understand this assessment before proceeding. In addition, some of the plan notes are in need of revision. After resolving these issues, the Applicant will return to the November 12 meeting for final approval on their plan.

Tuxedo Reserve – Workshop Schedule – Extension for Review
The Applicant presented the Board with alternative designs for homes slated to be built in the Mountain Lake area of the development. Based on negative reactions from both the Town Board and the TAC, the Applicant is now seeking to replace the previously planned tower houses with hillside homes. Photographs of several hillside homes similar to those the developer would like to build were presented.
Following this brief presentation, the Board scheduled a series of workshops with the Town Engineer, Town Consultant and Planning Board Attorney Tom Eagan at which they plan to go through the proposed amendment page by page in an effort to compile their report. Andrew Dance of the Related Companies had taken it upon himself to contact everyone prior to the meeting and coordinate availability. Three workshops were scheduled for the evenings October 28. 29 and 30. The Applicant reminded the Planning Board that they had been given 45 days from the date of Town Board referral (September 8, 2008) to issue their report. Planning Board Chairman Nils Gerling then requested and extension in order to allow time for more careful review. The Applicant granted a one month extension, with a report expected no later than the December 9 Planning Board meeting.
Following the departure of the Applicant, the Board discussed their concerns with regard to the time limit for issue their report. Board member Susan Goodfellow commented that she does not think that representatives for the Applicant (a.k.a. Andrew Danse) should be the party responsible for coordinating availability and workshop dates. Rather, she suggested, the Planning Board should be setting their own time schedule for review. She further commented that holding workshops on three consecutive nights , when not all Board members can be present at each meeting is not the most productive method for review.
Mary Hanson suggested that Board members go through the proposal and put together a list of questions and concerns to be circulated amongst the group before the workshops occur in order to make the sessions more productive. She indicated that she would circulate her own such list.
Attorney Tom Eagan commented that he sensed the Board was feeling pressured to render a quick decision. He also commented that the Applicant is clearly eager to move ahead and that in his opinion a compromise must be reached between both parties. With that said, he suggested that the Board compile agendas for each workshop. He continued on to comment that while the Applicant will be allowed to attend the workshops they should not be primary participants in them, although they may be called upon to answer questions. The Board was in agreement with this comment.
Audience member Jim Hays then inquired as to who would be addressing the broader issues for the project such formulating a new fiscal analysis and putting together a new traffic survey. He commented that the changes in the types of homes to built as well as the addition of more retail space will certainly change the fiscal impact that the development will have on the Town. He further commented that the addition of retail space may create a need for large trucks to travel up and down Quail Road in order to service the new businesses. As safety was a major concern with Quail Road during the process of preliminary approval, he inquired as to whether or not a new stuffy would be completed. Board Chairman Nils Gerling replied that the Town Board must make decisions such as these as they are the lead agency for the project.

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Agenda for Town Planning Board Meeting October 14, 2008

  1. Call to Order
  2. Approval of September 10, 2008 Minutes
  3. Samina Butt – Filling and Grading Permit-Revised Plans-Set Public Hearing Date
    1. 99 Fawn Hill Road
    2. Section 4  Block 3  Lot 19
    3. File #P8612-004
  4. Science of the Soul Study Center –SEQRA – Status of Environmental Review, Present Concept Plan
    1. Section 17  Block 1  Lot 17
    2. File #P9110-077
  5. Vlasois Lymberis – Filling & Grading Permit – Set Public Hearing Date
    1. 48 Alexander Drive 
    2. Section 17  Block 2  Lot 45
    3. File #P0008-016
  6. Jasmine Imports – Potential Site Plan Approv
    1. 979 Route 17
    2. Section 5  Block 4  Lot 17.1
    3. File #P8801-001
  7. Tuxedo Reserve – Workshop Schedule – Extension for Review
  8. Other Business
  9. Public Comments
  10. Adjournment

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Town Planning Board Meeting September 10, 2008

The Town of Tuxedo Planning Board met on Wednesday September 10, 2008. Board member Mary Hansen and Town Planner Bonnie Franson were absent.

The only applicant on the agenda was Jasmine Imports. An architect for the applicant presented amended site plans reflecting changes discussed at last month’s meeting. Although she was not present, Bonnie Franson had prepared a list of comments, which were discussed. The Town Engineer expressed some concern with the parking configuration. The applicant was advised to attend the TAC meeting on the last Tuesday of the month before returning to next month’s meeting for final approval.

The Board then discussed the Town Board’s recent meeting on September 8 and the forthcoming amendment to the Special Permit for Tuxedo Reserve, which will be formally presented to both Boards on September 22. Board Member Susan Goodfellow expressed concern the majority of members on the Town Board were not involved with the original Special Permit Process and have limited experience with the project. Board Chairman Nils Gerling agreed, however he pointed out that Town Board member Gary Phelps sat on the Planning Board for 17 years prior to his election to the Town Board and therefore has extensive knowledge of the project’s history. Mrs. Goodfellow then expressed concern over both the enormity and complexity of the proposal and inquired as to what the process for review would be. Mr. Gerling responded that once the Town Board officially refers the proposed amendment to the Planning Board, they will begin a line by line review of it. Mrs. Goodfellow suggested that a meeting schedule for review be established soon. Mr. Gerling commented that the Planning Board should set a schedule of public workshops, separate from the Town Board and agreed that this schedule should be established as soon as possible. Tom Eagan suggested that when reviewing the amendment, the Board assign certain sections of the amendment to each meeting and limit the meetings in length.

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Agenda for Town Board Meeting September 8, 2008

Call to Order
Pledge of Allegiance

Minutes
Monthly Reports
Public Comments on Agenda Items

  1. Town Supervisor/Town Board Update
  2. Resolution to Authorize Reduction of Sterling Mine Estates Subdivision Performance Bond
  3. Resolution to Amend Special Sign Permit for Pet Grooming Business on Nolans Way
  4. Resolution to Authorize Town Counsel to Defend Town in Certiorari Proceedings
  5. Resolution to Authorize Bid for Pavilion at Powerhouse
  6. Resolution to Authorize Bid for Amphitheater at Powerhouse
  7. Any other business as may come before the Board after this Agenda is posted

Public Comments
Budget Transfers
Vouchers

Public Hearing to Receive Public Comment on Draft Comprehensive Plan

Adjournment

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Agenda for Town Planning Board Meeting September 10, 2008

1.0       Call to Order

2.0       Approval of August 12, 2008 Minutes
 
3.0       Jasmine Imports – Proposed enclosed walkway
            979 Route 17
            Section 5  Block 4  Lot 17.1
            File #P8801-001
 
4.0       Other Business
 
5.0       Public Comments
            Adjournment

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Town Planning Board Meeting August 12, 2008

The Town of Tuxedo Planning Board met on August 12, 2008 at 7pm.
Board member Susan Goodfellow was absent.

The first item on the agenda was a proposed bond reduction for Sterling Mine Estates. The applicant has completed some of the required work and is requesting that the bond be reduced to $75,000. There was some discussion about the remaining work to be done, specifically the installation of fencing around a retaining pool and landscaping around multiple retaining walls.

The Board voted unanimously in favor of reducing the bond. This decision will be passed on to the Town Board in the form of a positive recommendation for reduction and that Board will make the final decision.

Representing Sterling Place, Lou Heimbach requested a 6-month extension for their proposed approval. Aspects of the project’s water system must be redesigned as the result of a recently settled law suit with the Village of Tuxedo Park over water supply, The he Applicant is working with Village Engineers to create the new design.
The Board voted unanimously in favor of a 6-month extension, which will expire on February 11, 2009.

A representative from Jasmine Imports presented the Board with plans for phase three of their project, which is exterior renovations to the building. There was brief discussion regarding a landscaping application for the same project, which is currently before the Architectural Review Board. Town consultants, H2M, presented the applicant with a letter outlining several potential concerns, namely septic issues and storm water run-off. The Applicant stated that while he was certain that most of these issues could be easily resolved, he was not prepared to discuss them at that time. The Board recommended that the Applicant attend the next Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) meeting before putting themselves on the agenda for next month’s meeting.

Finally, on behalf of K-9 Suites, Cathy Bauman re-presented the Board with site plans, which had been previously approved for the previous owner of the property. The former applicants, Daniel De La Rosa and Garry Accetta, abandoned the project when it was in its final stages of approval and Ms. Bauman would like to complete the renovations as originally planned. Because the plans that were presented had not been updated to reflect the change in ownership, the Board recommended that the Applicant attend the upcoming TAC meeting in an effort to get things in proper order before appearing before them again next month.

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Agenda for Town Planning Board Meeting August 12, 2008

1.0       Call to Order           
 
2.0       Approval of July 8, 2008 Minutes  

3.0      Sterling Mine Estates – Proposed Bond Reduction
            Section 17  Block 1  Lot 38.2
            File #P6709-001
 
4.0      Sterling Place – 6 Month Extension Proposal Approval
            Section 9  Block 1  Lot 5.4
            File #P9010-053
 
5.0      Jasmine Imports – Proposed enclosed walkway
            979 Route 17
            Section 5  Block 4  Lot 17.1
            File #P8801-001
                       
6.0      K. Hovnanian @ Tuxedo – Bond Release Phases II and IV
            Various Sections
            File #P7901-001

7.0       Other Business

8.0       Public Comments
 
            Adjournment

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Town Planning Board Meeting July 8, 2008

The Town Planning Board met on July 8, 2008 at 7pm.

The meeting began with a brief discussion of the release of bonds for phases 3, 4 & 5 of the Woodlands. As all requirements have been satisfied, the Board voted unanimously in favor of recommending that the Town Board release the bonds.

Representatives from SOS Fuels presented a clean copy of the amended site plan for their proposed removal and replacement of a shed on their property at 10 East Village Road. As all of the Board’s previous concerns had been addressed, they voted unanimously in favor of approval.

Town Planner, Bonnie Franson, informed the Board that a draft version of the Town’s NEW Comprehensive Plan is now available for public review. Copies can be found at the Town Hall with the Town Clerk, or on file at the Library or Village Office. In addition, a copy will be available for download on the Town of Tuxedo Website in the near future.

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Agenda for Town Planning Board July 8, 2008

1.0       Call to Order   
 
2.0       Approval of the June 10, 2008 Minutes
 
3.0      Jasmine Imports – Proposed enclosed walkway
            979 Route 17
            Section 5  Block 4  Lot 17.1
            File #P8801-001
 
4.0       K. Hovnanian @ Tuxedo – Bond Release Phases II and IV
            Various Sections
            File #P7901-001
 
5.0       SOS Fuels – Richard Spiegel – Remove/Replace Building
            11-11-5.1
            File #P8609-001
 
6.0       Other Business
 
Adjournment

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Town Planning Board Meeting June 10, 2008

The Town of Tuxedo Planning Board met on June 10, 2008 at 7:00pm.
Board members Mary Hansen and Joe Gartiser were not present.

The public hearing for Shaun Neal’s one-lot subdivision on Bradentown Road was closed and dismissed without prejudice as the Applicant is still in arrears.

Representatives from SOS Fuels presented an amended site plan for their proposed removal and replacement of a shed on their property, located at 10 East Village Road.
The amended plan, which was distributed on an 8 + 1/2 x 11 sheet of paper, calls for rotation of the replacement shed in order to provide better fire protection as well as access to storage tanks. In addition, the applicant is now proposing to remove only two sheds from the property as opposed to the three that were originally requested. The applicant inquired as to whether or not the new shed will be classified as an “accessory building” as such a classification will remove the need for a variance. Bonnie Franson, town planner, replied that in order to be classified as an accessory building, the roof of the structure must not exceed 15 feet. The Board requested a clean copy of the amended site plan and referred the applicant to the ARB.

On behalf of the Tuxedo Club, Jake Lindsay presented plans for a new Warming Hut to be installed at the Tuxedo Golf Course near the Paddle Tennis Courts. The proposed new building will replace the current Paddle Hut. Board member Susan Goodfellow expressed concern that her husband’s membership in the Tuxedo Club might cause a conflict of interest with the application and was informed by attorney Tom Eagan that it would not. Several issues including the installation of a well, the septic system and setback distances were discussed. The applicant was granted Conditional Final Approval subject to the receipt of a letter from the Orange County Board of Health regarding the hook up of the septic system.

The Board discussed the release of bonds for phases 3, 4 & 5 of the Woodlands. The Home Owners Association has agreed to take over full ownership and thus maintenance of the roads. The Board voted unanimously in favor of recommending that the Town Board release the bonds, subject to a letter from the Home Owners Association officially stating their position.

Finally, representatives for the Science of the Soul Study Center, to be located adjacent to the Sister Servants of Mary Immaculate property on Sterling Mine Road, presented an amended site plan. As a direct result of conversations with their new neighbors as well as the discovery of some wetland areas this past spring, the applicant is now proposing that the primary structure be turned around and shifted further away from the neighboring properties. The new plan calls for less site disturbance and will not impact the recently discovered wetlands. Board member Susan Goodfellow inquired about the new positioning of the building relevant to some power lines, as exposure to the lines had been an initial concern for the applicant. The applicant responded that the level of EMFs (electric and magnetic fields) coming from these lines has been tested and although the administration building, located behind the main structure, will be affected, the level of exposure will be very low and the benefits of moving the building outweigh this concern. All of the Board members agreed that the new plan is an improvement over the old and the applicant was advised to take it before the TAC for further review.

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Agenda for Town Planning Board Meeting June 10, 2008

1.0       Call to Order           
 
2.0       Approval of May 13, 2008 Minutes

3.0       Shaun Neal – Consideration of Preliminary Approval for 1 lot subdivision
             Section 25  Block 1  Lot 15.1        
             File #P0108-026
 
4.0       SOS Fuels – Richard Spiegel – Remove/Replace Building
            11-11-5.1
            File #P8609-001
 
5.0      Tuxedo Golf Course – Paddle Hut Building
            Section 16  Block 1  Lot 5.12
            File #P8605-006
                       
6.0      K. Hovnanian @ Tuxedo – Bond Release Phases II and IV
            Various Sections
            File #P7901-001

7.0       Other Business

8.0       Public Comments
 
            Adjournment     

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Town Planning Board Meeting May 13, 2008

The Town of Tuxedo Planning Board met on May 13 2008 at 7:00pm.

Representatives from the N.Y. International Center requested referral to the Zoning Board of Appeals for their project, which is located at 371 Route 17A. The applicant plans to redesign the current structure and create an educational facility, in which they hope to lease classroom space to schools.

Board member Hansen inquired as to how long it would take the applicant to establish themselves as an educational facility, stating that she had spoken with NYU, which has a facility on Long Meadow Road, and been informed that it can take years to get something of this nature up and running. The applicant responded that plans have been in the works for quite some time and as soon as they receive ZBA approval and can move forward with construction, they will also begin recruiting tenants for the space.
The Board voted unanimously in favor of the ZBA referral.

A representative from Tuxedo Reserve requested a 6-month extension for their conditional preliminary approval. The Board voted unanimously in favor of the extension.

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Agenda for Town Planning Board Meeting May 13, 2008

Public Hearing Continued
 
Shaun Neal – Planning Board Application for 1 lot subdivision on Susan Court
1.0       Call to Order           
 
2.0       Shaun Neal – Consideration of Preliminary Approval for 1 lot subdivision
             Section 25  Block 1  Lot 15.1        
             File #P0108-026
 
3.0       N.Y. International Center – 371 Route 17A – Referral to the ZBA
            Section 1 Block 1  Lot 34.1           
            File #P8607-017
 
4.0       Other Business
                       
5.0       Public Comments
 
            Adjournment                  

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Town Planning Board Meeting April 8, 2008

The Town of Tuxedo Planning Board met on Tuesday, April 8, 2008 at 7pm.

The first Applicant on the agenda was Orange and Rockland Utilities/Columbia Gas Transmission. Regulations require that odorization equipment be installed at various locations along the millennium pipeline throughout the County. This equipment is used to odorize gas that passes through the main so as to enable one to detect leaks in the event they should occur. In the past, this process was performed by the gas providers (in this case Columbia Gas) however, recently, it has been re-delegated to the local level and as a result, Orange and Rockland must ensure that it is done. The Applicant presented the Board with preliminary plans for a 6 x 10 foot shed to be constructed on their property at1583 Long Meadow Road in which to house this equipment. The Board granted the Applicant conditional final approval for the shed based on determination of color (the Board prefers silver to green) as well as the Zoning Board of Appeals’ decision with regard to some plantings on the property.

The next item on the agenda was the Science of the Soul Study Center.
Radha Soami Society Beas has acquired some land from the Sister Servants of Mary Immaculate, located adjacent to their property on Sterling Mine Road, on which they propose to build an education center. This center will be used for weekly meetings as well as group retreats. The Applicant first appeared before the Board in October 2007 with their initial plan. Since that time, the Board completed a site visit which was followed by a workshop with the Applicant. The Applicant informed the Board that improvements to the plan have been made as per suggestions made at the workshop. Wetlands have been discovered near the proposed building area and will be duly noted on the map, however the Applicant does not expect that the proposed project will cause any impact. In addition, a traffic study has been completed as requested and the necessary fire inspections have been completed. Parking issues were briefly discussed. Rough sketches of the Main Hall, showing basic architectural design as well as materials were presented. The Board was generally pleased with the design, although they suggested the applicant consider constructing the base of the building with stone rather than brick so as to match the buildings on the Sister’s property. Board Member Mary Hanson inquired as to whether or not the neighbors have been contacted by the Applicant and informed of the plans. The Applicant responded that they have not yet informed the neighbors as they were waiting for Board directive to do so. The Board agreed to issue a Notice of Intent to become a lead agency for the project, but requested that the Applicant meet with the neighbors to officially inform them about the project.

Item number three on the agenda was Tuxedo Ridge. The Applicant expressed their desire to introduce activities, which would allow them to keep the business operating year round. One such activity, which is allowed under their Special Use Permit, is Paint Ball. Because the proposed activity would not require any physical changes to the property, a site plan was not presented. Issues of safety, noise level, parking, lighting and wild life disturbance were discussed. The Applicant has agreed to a trial period beginning on May 3, 2008 and ending on November 30, 2008. The proposed hours of operation are 9am-10pm. The Applicant assured the Board that safety is their first priority and that they will follow strict insurance guidelines and make sure that all staff has the proper training. The Board granted the applicant conditional final approval for the project subject to the receipt of a letter of consent from the property owner.

Finally, representatives from Tuxedo Reserve presented plans for a Greeting Center, to be constructed adjacent to Rt. 17 off of Quail Road, which is part of phase one of the Tuxedo Reserve Development, Northridge. Andrew Danse of Tuxedo Reserve began the presentation by presenting the Board with a check for $32,000, a portion of the debt owed to the town by the Applicant. Board member Mary Hanson expressed her concern that the entire debt has not yet been paid and suggested that the Applicant should not be allowed to make their presentation. However, Board Chairman Nils Gerling insisted that the issue of payment was one for the Town Board rather than the Planning Board and that the Applicant would be allowed to proceed. He indicated that discussions between the Town and the Applicant regarding payment are ongoing and that the $32,000 was an acceptable amount.

The Applicant then presented preliminary sketches of the proposed Greeting Center, which will be a fairly large, two-story building with a stone base. A stone wall will run along the base of the property adjacent to Route 17. A tree-lined walkway will run between the parking lot and the entrance to the Greeting center. Between the walkway and the stone wall, the Applicant proposes to create a “rain garden”. As the current terrain consists of rocks and trees, the Applicant plans to excavate to a deeper depth in this area and because drainage is a major issue, they have enlisted the help of soil scientists to help them find a soil that will support plant life but allow maximum absorption. The Applicant expressed the importance of using neutral colors and natural materials, such as stone, in constructing the building so that it will remain in keeping with the architecture of the region and the character of the area.

In order to proceed with the proposed plan, the Applicant will need two variances from the Zoning Board of Appeals. The first of these relates to the proposed stone wall, which will reach a maximum height of 11.5 ft. Since this exceeds the height limitations as specified by the Town Code, a variance is required. The second requested variance is with regard to the size of proposed parking spaces. The Town Code requires these spaces to be 10 x 20 feet, however, Tuxedo Reserve is seeking spaces that are 9 x 10 feet. The Applicant requested a referral from the Planning Board to the Zoning Board of Appeals in order to acquire these variances.

There was some additional discussion with regard to drainage on the proposed site. Town Consultants H2M questioned the safety of a large swale located to the north east of Quail Road and across the street from the proposed Greeting Center. Large amounts of rain and run-off water will collect in this basin before flowing under Rt. 17 and into the Ramapo River. Concerns about people being washed away or trapped and pinned were expressed. Installation of a fence to keep people out of the area was suggested.
The Board voted 4-1 in favor of referring the Applicant to the Board of Zoning Appeals, with Mary Hanson voting against the referral.

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Agenda for Town Planning Board Meeting, Tuesday April 8, 2008

Call to Order
Approval of the March 11, 2008 Minutes
 
1.0   Shaun Neal – Consideration of Preliminary Approval for 1 lot subdivision
         Section 25  Block 1  Lot 15.1       File #P0108-026

2.0   Orange & Rockland Utilities-Columbia Gas Transmission – ZBA Decision
         Addition of Odorization Equipment – 1583 Long Meadow Road
         Section 1  Block 1  Lot 32
         File #P9006-037
 
3.0   Science of the Soul Study Center – Circulation for Lead Agency
         Sister Servants of Mary Immaculate Property
         Section 17  Block 1  Lot 17
         File #P9110-077           
 
4.0   Tuxedo Ridge (Ski Center) – ZBA Decision – Paint Ball
         Section  1  Block 1  Lot 52
         File #P7104-001
 
5.0   Tuxedo Reserve – Greeting Center
         Section 14  Block 1  Lot 34       
         File #P0506-002
 
Other Business
Adjournment

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Notes on the Town of Tuxedo Planning Board meeting of March 11, 2008

The following came before the board:

  1. Shaun Neal requested Preliminary Approval for a one-lot subdivision on Bradentown Road. The Site Plan as submitted was inaccurate and did not properly show the location of a well relative to the septic system. They were asked to correct the plan and return to the next TAC meeting.
  2. David Maikisch requested a filling and grading permit for 54 Woods Road in Clinton Woods. The permit application was granted.
  3. Sterling Forest LLC representative, Lou Heimbach, requested a six month extension of the Sterling Place permit. Sterling Place is a proposed 63 house development at the corner of Route 17 and Warwick Brook Road. The extension is necessary because a legal action is pending with the Village of Tuxedo Park. The appeal filed by the Village of Tuxedo Park was heard by the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court on Friday February 22 and Mr. Heimbach expects a decision this spring.
  4. Latini Management Corp. appeared seeking final approval for the conversion of the Duck Cedar Inn to a multi-use facility that will include retail and light manufacturing. Final approval was granted. The retail space will include a bagel store, a fine gift shop and a pizzaria.
  5. New York International Center at 371 Route 17A sought referral to the ZBA for a decision on whether or not the proposed dual use of their property is allowed. The property, renovated by a Korean religious organization, has received permission to create a religious center but, due to low attendance at services conducted in Korean, they wish to also use the facility as a University Extension. Because the application was incomplete the board asked that it be corrected and did not refer them to the ZBA.

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Agenda for Town Planning Board Meeting March 11, 2008

AGENDA
TOWN OF TUXEDO PLANNING BOARD
Tuxedo Town Hall
Tuesday March 11, 2008 – 7:00 pm

Public Hearing
David Maikisch – Filling & Grading Permit – 54 Woods Road
Public Hearing Continued
Shaun Neal – Planning Board Application for 1 lot subdivision on Susan Court     

Call to Order
Approval of the January 8, 2008 Minutes
 
1.0   Shaun Neal – Consideration of Preliminary Approval for 1 lot subdivision
         Section 25  Block 1  Lot 15.1       File #P0108-026
 
2.0   David Maikisch – Filling & Grading Permit Application for 54 Woods Road
         Section 3  Block 3  Lot 19    File #P6312-001
 
3.0   Sterling Forest LLC – Sterling Place – 6 Month Extension
         Section 9  Block 1  Lot 5.4  File #P9010-053
 
4.0   Latini Management Corp.  Final Approval – Change of Use
         Section 9  Block 1  Lot 7     File #P8607-015
 
5.0   N.Y. International Center – 371 Route 17A – Referral to the ZBA
         Section 1 Block 1  Lot 34.1  File #P8607-017
 
6.0   Tuxedo Reserve – Greeting Center
         Section 14  Block 1  Lot 34  File #P0506-002
 
Other Business
Adjournment

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