Posted by: Dawn Powell | March 22, 2010

Putnam Valley Planning Board 3/8/10

Planning Board, March 8, 2010

There were 3 public hearings, Quincy Road & PHR, 2 houses on OLR, and the cemetery.

Quincy Road – undersized property and wetlands – approved.

 2 houses on OLR, north of the ambulance corps, one with steep slopes and wetlands – approved.  The applicant doesn’t want to pay the rec fee.  Each new house has to pay a contribution to the recreation budget.  Emerald Ridge didn’t have to pay because of the land donated.

And the cemetery.  The PB says that they consider gravel to be the same as paved roads, with regard to stormwater.  And the project engineer differentiated between permeable surfaces and open area….

 A member of the public reminded me that the zoning board computed gravel as permeable in a project on Oscawana Lake.  One of the consultants told that applicant that permeable pavers are only 50% permeable, and that gravel is 100%, and that board required that the applicant change his plan accordingly.

 There are two consultants who do both planning and zoning. When I raised the issue, this discrepancy should have been addressed.

Someone from the public complained to me that the building is visible from the road, ugly, and very brightly lit, that it does not fit into the peace and serenity theme, and that the lights are annoying to drivers. I haven’t seen it.

There was a sketch (an early part of the process) for a commercial building at 4 Secor where there is an old house and an old tree that would have to be removed.  In a dramatic set-up, Dan Ricci entered late, and Tom Carano said, “The Town Historian just walked in.  Maybe he can comment.”

I am glad they let Dan speak.  Notice should go to the public sooner on these projects, and members of the public should be able to speak sooner.  His comments were important and relevant.

Board member Annette Lindbergh remarked that there was no open space on the plan, and Bill Z. said that’s not a requirement of our code.  It’s a deficiency that I have long disliked in the code.

What I did like was that the building was closer to the front as envisioned by the Comprehensive Plan.  No one talks about the CP anymore.  And the parking is behind.  There would be fewer parking spaces than the code permits. The engineer said that the new code wouldn’t require that many spaces.  Is that the new code that the public isn’t allowed to know about?

Putnam Cafe…. Sisyphus – I guess Mema is long gone.  The sidewalk is on county right of way, and the county hasn’t said yes.

It already looks too hard to get in and out to me.  I won’t try it. 

 The erosion, the stream, the conservation area…..

This was approved back when the approvals were given for Big Blue.  But now, they are asking for a short EAF (environmental assessment form).  Why not a long one?  Why not a real environmental review if there is environmental reviewing going on?

 Maple Leaf Associates

on OLR at the entrance to Lake Peekskill. 

There were a lot of complaints, the Jose landscaping trucks parked there, Fowler Fuel, and whatever was before it.  Every time I went to planning or assessing, it was a residential parcel.

They are saying that it is CC2 – community commercial 2.  That means businesses that are compatible with residential, and serve the residents.     

Landscaping doesn’t fit into that category.

For some peculiar reason, the Town Board put a litle piece into the code that allowed the zoning board to decide new uses.  State law does not give that right to zoning boards.  Sam Davis’ board rescinded that little piece of the code.  While it was in effect, the zoning board decided that Tompkins Landscaping was a use that they would like to see.  Drive by, see if you think it is compatible with residential use.

The law was wrong, so it would seem that the decision was wrong.  It should have been challenged, but, unfortunately, it would have required an Article 78 from a citizen with standing*, someone that courts felt had an interest in the decision or law, as well as money for the suit.  It is an onerous process to challenge wrong-doing by boards.

Be clear, as you travel down Morrissey Drive.  McKinney’s Landscaping has nothing to do with this decision.  That is not a permitted use.

Anyway, because of the Tompkins decision by the ZBA, this applicant wants to put a landscaping storage operation on this site.  That’s questionable in and of itself, but it certainly will make for an interesting lawsuit.

The TB is considering taking landscaping out of the code, where it doesn’t actually exist, because it never was actually legislated in.  Kind of like a pookah.

PB meeting tomorrow night, Monday, March 22.  There is a public hearing about the colorful plans for the post office.  Boy, did that get to a public hearing fast!.  They will talk about Emerald Ridge, and grant extensions.  The firehouse/ambulance corps is on.   A house on 2 acres in 3 acre zoning.  And the soccer camp, where they want another soccer field, and more parking, and to put the stream in a culvert, and divert it.

 5:30 in the backroom.


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