Posted by: Dawn Powell | April 23, 2017

Two Vital Issues Right Now

The first is your right to vote.  The Town Board is working hard to suppress your rights.  Sign the petition for a vote on their $3.8 million bond.

The 2nd is this zoning code.  My comment at the public hearing, and my comments back in 2010:

Zoning Code comment



post from 10/01/10 (everything old is new again. and again.):

Landscaping and other Planning Board issues, September 2010

Maple Leaf Associates – landscaping application on Oscawana Lake Road, adjacent to Hewitt Street.

“I feel that we are in order as far as the Tompkins decision and I think that’s what we’re here tonight to prove.” – Mike Raimondi, Chair of the Putnam Valley Planning Board. Huh???? He was talking about the Maple Leaf Associates application for the Perosky/Tompkins property on Oscawana Lake Road, next to Morrissey Drive. The Planning Board Chair thinks that they are meeting to prove the applicant’s case? Maple Leaf wants a landscaping business there, although everyone knows that this is not a use in our Town Code, and everyone has acknowledged it publicly. From what was said, they are already operating from that location.

Planning Boards and Zoning Boards are not permitted to legislate zoning uses. That’s what State Law says. That is what Judge DiBella said three times regarding Elite Tank Testing at 14 Morrissey. I would just love to hear what he has to say about this September Planning Board meeting.

Tax map number 83.75-1-41 – 1.9 acres in a CC2 district, the Lake Peekskill commercial district, which is supposed to be stricter than Oregon Corners, and conducive to the surrounding residences. They will convert the existing residence to an office, put in 4 storage bins for materials storage, build a 43′ x 48′ building, and install a gravel pad to park trucks, which will be dispatched from that location.

The attorney for the applicant stated that the “code does not provide for landscaping use.” He says that the business will have pick-up trucks, very small dump trucks, little backhoes, and will store sand and gravel. The company builds drainage, grading, and retaining walls. He feels that the use is identical to the Tompkins use, but as described, it does not sound even similar to the Tompkins’ Lake Peekskill use.

We have heard the equipment argument before. We use the same equipment, so it is the same use. Mr. Steinmetz used it to defend Elite Environmental as a landscaping use. The Planning Board and the Zoning Board bought it. The Judge did not. He did not buy it three times. And here we go again!

Since landscaping is not a permitted use, it is not defined in our code. There is really no reason why it should be. It is not a permitted use. So the Planning Board is doing back flips to legitimize this application. They are using the Tompkins application and Decision and Order from the Zoning Board of Appeals to define the use. They are calling it “the Tompkins use.”

So I requested that D&O, and the application. Both clerks were very helpful. The D&O and the application were not. The application says nothing about the use, except that the ZBA had already “denyed (sic)” it.

The D&O is pretty peculiar. It acknowledges that landscaping is not a permitted use. It decides that since it wasn’t listed, it wasn’t exactly prohibited, “….there is nothing inherently objectionable about the use so as to infer that its exclusion from the Ordinance was deliberate.” That’s preposterous, even in a Town government that is pretty absurd. The use that it cares about is construction material sales. That has just about nothing to do with Tompkins Landscaping, Elite Tank Removal or Maple Leaf Associates. Mr. Tumolo has been clear that his intention is to store equipment and dispatch trucks, a clear industrial use that is not compatible with CC2, and is completely unrelated to what Tompkins is currently doing with their business. It will generate lots more traffic than Tompkins, at a site that is already traffic impaired.

Nowhere in the D&O or the application is there a definition of a landscaping business.

Of course, using a D&O and application in place of Town Code is a very peculiar action, in and of itself.

These shenanigans are costing you extra money because the Town must have outside counsel, for some reason times two, that is, two outside attorneys.

Someone said that the Town Board has taken the position that the Tompkins use is still “effectively on the books.” I don’t remember that vote. When did they decide that? Who was it that decided it? One of the problems with frequent, continuous, unexplained backroom meetings is that the line between public and backroom gets continually blurred.

This applicant will be on Monday’s Planning Board agenda for review, discussion, or whatever, and they will presumably set a public hearing. It is only at this point that they will notify the neighbors that they plan to move ahead with this project that is not in accordance with the Town’s zoning code.

For the life of me, I don’t understand why the Planning Board is so stubborn about Judge DiBella’s rulings, and why they continue to bludgeon their way forward into areas that are not within their purview. Everyone seems to want more and more power regardless of the law, or the costs to the taxpayers.

The issue here is not whether Mr. Tumolo is a nice guy, or whether Mr. Perosky/Tompkins get to sell their land, or whether or not this should be an approved use. The issue here is zoning, plain and simple. We’ve got it. We should follow it.

The Tompkins D&O didn’t even establish a new use, but rather tried to approve Tompkins Landscaping on the basis that it was just like construction materials sales (it is not), and the framers didn’t mean to leave it out. Huh????


Posted by: Dawn Powell | April 22, 2017

The Recent Lie

The last excuse for not following the law, and putting the Town Board’s $3.8 million bond up for a vote is the cost of a referendum.  I understand that the truth will not work for them, and that they would have to acknowledge their lying, and just put the bond up for a vote.

But this lie doesn’t work either.  You remember how the library board wanted a ballot referendum, and got it.  That didn’t cost the taxpayers anything.  The Town Board could have put their bond up for a vote, last November, or this one.

They chose not to, despite the law.

For the public, the petition route is timed according to the Town Board’s resolution, again under the Town Board’s control.  So if the referendum will cost money, that is completely on the Town Board.

One wonders why they are so desperate to suppress a vote.

Posted by: Dawn Powell | April 15, 2017

Petition drive for vote on $3.8 million bond!

Taxes are consistently the number one issue in Putnam Valley, yet the Town Board has unanimously approved a $3.8 million bond for a recreation center.  They will charge the public for classes there, and somehow, believe they will make money with this.

This petition is merely to allow the public to vote on the bond.  The Town Board is obliged to allow a vote, but they have chosen not to, and they are choosing not to have public hearings.  So we are doing petitions to allow a vote.

Please help the people vote.

If you would like to sign to allow a vote on this bond, please contact Patty Villanova, 845-528-9447.

You must be registered to vote in Putnam Valley.

Posted by: Dawn Powell | April 14, 2017

Zoning Code Public Hearing

I wrote out my comments because it was so traumatic.  I’m sorry that LP didn’t come out.  Clearly residents have been talking to SamO, but this code change will damage the community.  I know that zoning is a little tough, but it is basic to the way the town can do things.  They do things anyway, but at least if the zoning doesn’t support it, there is hope.

It was nice to see Patty V. there.  I haven’t seen her in a very long time, and it was nice not to be the only one there.  She had good comment.

I don’t think it will matter.

There will be no environmental review.  Maple Leaf apparently has no environmental impact.

SamO was talking about screening for Maple Leaf, which really doesn’t address the problem.  When the application was approved, Mike Raimondi said that they would have to plant giant sequoias to screen it.

It seems to me that there was a time when the public cared about this sort of thing.


Posted by: Dawn Powell | April 10, 2017

More fun!

I know it’s a holiday week, and this stuff is hard to understand and there was no public information meeting, but the public hearing on the proposed changes to the zoning code is Wednesday night at 6PM.

There seems to be some confusion about public meetings and public hearings.  Perhaps this will help:

Posted by: Dawn Powell | April 8, 2017

$3.8 million bond

Did Frank DiMarco say that adults would have to rent this place if they wanted to use it?

On June 8, 2016, Mr. DiMarco said that the architectural fees of $98,000 were 8% of the total cost of the project. The other 92% doesn’t sound like $3.8 million to me, although I know I do math differently than the Town Board. $1,225,000 was a figure that some people had heard.  301 days later, the cost was 310% higher?

And I am wondering how you authorize going out to bid on March 15, and approve a bond for the cost on April 5?




Presented by Councilwoman Whetsel


RESOLVED that Town Board authorize the Parks and Recreation Department to go out to bid for the construction of the Municipal Recreation Center in the Leonard Wagner Memorial Park, located at 156 Oscawana Lake Road, Putnam Valley, New York.

Seconded by Councilman Mackay, unanimously carried.

You can view the discussion at 57:57 – 58:14

One approval for engineering:

From the Town Clerk’s minutes:




Presented by Councilwoman Whetsel


RESOLVED that Town Board authorize the Parks and Recreation Department to authorize Nucor, Pre-Engineered Steel Company to proceed with engineering for the proposed Recreation Center for a fee of $12,500.00. The scope of this work does lie outside the parameters of our existing contract with Architectural Vision due to the specificity of the building itself.

Seconded by Councilman Mackay, unanimously carried

And other approvals that make it sound like the townsfolk have already paid for the design and engineering.  Yet the bond documents say:

I think we are not supposed to read any of it.

Some of the other approvals:

On June 8, 2016, the Town Board authorized $98,600 for the architectural firm for the project.  And Frank said that number represent 8% of the total projected cost of the project.  (go to 32:10 for that discussion

The architect’s fees were being paid out of Parkland funds.

Then on September 14, 2016 at 8:57 here we have the authorization of $64,000 of Parkland funds to Insite Engineering.

Posted by: Dawn Powell | April 6, 2017

Call 911 – a voter is speaking at a public meeting.

They are so out of control.

Thank you Patty for going to the ridiculous meeting.  It is really hard to take their abuse.

How much was Bob-O going to spend on his Leibell wing legacy?  I don’t think it was $3.8 million.

There are petitions.  If you think that the voters should decide, sign. Signers must be registered to vote in the Town of Putnam Valley.

Posted by: Dawn Powell | April 4, 2017

Public Notice????

This constitutes public notice for a $3.8 million bond?  Who would know from this that the Town Board is going to pass a $3.8 million bond tomorrow night? And no agenda documents?


PLEASE TAKE NOTICE, the Putnam Valley Town Board will conduct Special Meeting on Wednesday, April 5th at 6:00 pm. to put forward the Bond Resolution for the new Parks and Recreation Center to be built in the Leonard Wagner Memorial Park.

IMMEDIATELY FOLLOWING the Putnam Valley Town Board will hold a public pre-work session meeting.


Sherry Howard
Town Clerk
Dated: 03-16-17

Date: Wednesday, April 5, 2017
Time: 6:00pm EDT
Priority: 5-Medium
Access: Public
Category: Town Hall Calendar*
Created by: Web Master
Updated: Saturday, March 18, 2017 5:30am GMT


Posted by: Dawn Powell | April 4, 2017

SamO is going to force us to do petitions.


Posted by: Dawn Powell | April 4, 2017

$$$$3.8 MILLION!!!

Patty reports from the Town Finance Director that the bond is for $3.8 million.  No hearing, no referendum.

That is not right.


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