JUNE 22, 2006

BOARD MEMBERS PRESENT: Roxanne Pecora, Chairperson
     Chuck Snyder
     Fred Zimmer
     Dennis Suraci
     John McMichael
     Russ Shultis
     Linda Smythe

ALSO PRESENT:   Dan Shuster, Shuster Associates
     Miles Putman, Shuster Associates

At 7:00 p.m., Chairperson Roxanne Pecora called the meeting of the Town of Esopus Planning Board to order beginning with the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag. Roxanne then advised the public of the building’s fire exits and roll call was taken.


Minutes from May 25, 2006 Meeting changes

Page 9 of 18 under Butterfield , paragraph 3, under curb cut change to curbing to be installed on previously approved subdivision.



Daily Freeman ………………………………………………………Total…....$     51.94
(consisting of: Dyno Nobel Public Hearing - $13.11; Aronson Public Hearing - $13.11; Butterfield Public Hearing - $12.61; DiMuccio Public Hearing - $13.11)
Shuster Associates………………………………………………………………$2,000.00
Clough Harbour & Associates LLP  (Bellaire Ridge)……………….…………..$   935.04
April Oneto (Secretarial Services)…………………………………………….42 ½ Hours



JOHNSON – Case 2006-05


Ed Hill, 218 River Road spoke in support of the application.  He feels that the property has deteriorated over the years and feels that it is well deserved of a favorable vote by the Board to allow Mr. Johnson to enhance his property.

No further comments.


Following discussion regarding the need to keep the Public Hearing open in reference to the County Planning Board’s comments it was felt that the Planning Board was not asking for any new information that would be considered relevant in its review of the application.  This information can be attached as a condition of approval.  Discussion also took place regarding the Waterfront Advisory Board’s review of this application.  Letter dated 6/20/06 stated that they have no additional comments to make at this time.  We can make approval conditional depending on what their comments are.




JOHNSON  - Case #2006-05 – 123 River Road, Esopus
  Accessory Apartment (Conditional Use Permit)

Discussion took place regarding letter received from Waterfront Advisory Board dated 6/20/06 stating that they reviewed the material submitted and have no further comments on this project at this time.  They may need to look at their meeting dates to assure that they take place prior to the Planning Board Meeting giving them time to review material and submit their recommendations.  John will take information back to the Waterfront Advisory Board.

Chuck feels they are replacing existing structures and we need to move forward.  Waterfront Advisory Board letter dated 4/25/06 requested that it be referred back to that Board after resolution of ZBA Referrals.  In the month of May, the Waterfront Advisory Board met before the Planning Board and in the month of June they meet after the Planning Board, this appears to be the problem.

Following discussion it was felt that if the Board approves this tonight with a note that the Building Inspector be notified and if Waterfront Advisory Board has a concern they can address it with the Building Inspector.  This is a Conditional Use Permit we can certainly put a condition in there.

• Building Inspector certify Flood Elevation
• Accessory apartment should not be rented or sold separately



• Construction of accessory apartment with height of 494 sq. ft. over the allowed 600 sq. ft.
• Construction of an accessory apartment in a new structure with stipulation that it can not be rented or sold separately
• Construction of an accessory structure to be 7’6” above the allowable height of 15’
• Grant variance to Section 123-21.C3 of Zoning Code dealing with kitchen and screened porch; specifically not including the pool, steps or deck to allow setback of at least 20’ on the property line on the river side.



LAMANNA – Case #2006-03

Applicant cancelled appearance. He will reschedule for next month.

SOMERSET (HUDSON POINT P.U.D.) – Case #2005-03 -597 Broadway; 122,123
 River Road; 35 Black Farm Court

Joe Eriole, Esq., Veneziano Associates, representing applicant.  They were before this Board last year to amend an existing P.U.D. and during that process they made a lot of progress and this progress culminated in a report from the Board dated in September, 2005 prepared by Shuster Associates.  PUD Zoning Code requires that we go to the Town Board in advance so the Town Board can consider the amendments that the proposed plan represents and he feels this report was positive. It had a couple of reservations; namely, sewer capacity and concerns about the visual impact from the Hudson River.  These comments are memorialized in the most recent memo from Shuster Associates as well.  In the time since they were last before this Board, they have addressed many of the issues that were raised during that review process and have also continued to address the issue of sewer capacity with the Supervisor’s office and ultimately that will have to be resolved with the Town Board.  Sewer is something that the Town Board and the Water District will have to pass on and we will have to resolve this with them.  He stated that there is capacity for this project in the Kingston Plant and they believe that they are entitled to that capacity.  A portion of this project is already within the Port Ewen Sewer District and they will make an application to include the entire project as was anticipated by the original Environmental Review Process and they believe they will come to a resolution of this.  He referred to a letter from Town Supervisor John Coutant which confirmed the capacity in the Kingston Plant anyway and they have to move more aggressively since they are before the Planning Board at this time to get that resolved.

They are excited about the changes to the plan which reflect the applicants desire to be responsive to the public, to this Board, to the community at large and primarily the ways in which they impact the view shed from the river.  The entire team that helped to redesign this plan is here tonight and they would like a few minutes to speak to the Board to tell about some of the things they have done that benefit the town in general (Geoffrey Mouen, Mouen Architects, Stuart Messinger, engineer). They are seeking a revised report and hope that the report will continue to be positive and that as far as the visual is concerned it can reflect satisfaction with impact.  They are preparing a Visual Impact Study according to the new plan and they hope to have that submitted in time for consideration in July and their hope is that by the August Planning Board will have prepared the revised report.  Mr. Veneziano introduced Mr. Geoffrey Mouen who spoke next.

Mr. Mouen gave a little information regarding his background.  He is an architect, a town planner and a town architect.  He was asked to look at the ridge issue and reconfigure the ridge and the buildings along the ridge and the town square in the center.  He relocated some of the high density away from the ridge and into the center of the community.  They think they have come up with a good plan.  He made an adjustment to the ridge line.  The master plan is pretty much the same as it was.  He did not fill in all of the houses and all of the buildings in the plans but the basic lot and configuration of roads is basically all of the same except for the piece along the ridge.  Along the ridge they have pulled the road in and gotten rid of the wall. They have softened the whole edge by curving it naturally with the contours and that has had a great impact in softening the ridge line so that it fits better with the contours and the existing topography that is up there.  They have included more trees to soften the view.  The trees work like shadow boxes so that you can look through the trees and the views from the inside but the trees help soften what you see from the other side.

They have taken the density out of the area.  The density is reduced quite a bit.  You still have the major public building in the back of the square and large house-like buildings. There would be an Inn and possibly a medium size condominium building, more like a house.  It does not feel or look like a big massive structure.  Lots along the edge have been increased in size creating more space between them so instead of having a wall of houses they are a series of larger houses along the ridge line and they are set back farther from the street.  That whole edge has changed quite a bit.  Everything else has pretty much stayed the same as it was.  The connection with 9W, the whole back edge, the low land is the same and the number of units has not changed.   The number is still 396.  They relocated the density more in the center which is much more internalized in the development itself.  There is potential for condominium or an apartment building that might be age targeted or have some relationship to elderly people using the building.

The section drawings show that the retaining wall has been removed and the road is up on the hill and is no longer projecting out.  It is completely integrated in the existing topography of the land.  They have also pulled the buildings back into the square itself. The square is a little more intimate and sort of tucked in with the land.

Essentially they have moved the whole road back, taken the wall out, moved the density into the center of the plan and it still works as well as it did before in the originally plans.  There is a civic type building that is still there but not shown on the plan.

Dan Shuster asked Mr. Mouen to explain the difference in the access road from River Road between this plan and the original plan.  Mr. Mouen stated that they have softened the edge of that and because the road is now lower and more integrated with the contours there is less impact on the detail regarding what has to happen.  They are trying to grade that road so that it is navigable plus have the least amount of impact on the existing contours.  Dan stated that it pretty much follows the existing road versus the old plan that departed from that.  Mr. Mouen stated that they do not want to impact the slopes at all if possible.  Roxanne questioned if this will continue to be an emergency road.  Mr. Mouen stated that it would be an emergency road.  She then asked where the two primary accesses will be.  Mr. Mouen stated that the emergency road is an access road for  emergency vehicles. Roxanne stated that we require two primary access roads.  Our Fire Department has made it very clear to us that they want two primary ingress/egress into developments.  The access on River Road is an emergency road.  Applicant was told that we will not bend on this.

Stuart Messinger stated that they have been working on the SEQR and environmental comparison aspects of this project.  He stated that the currently approved project has an approved EIS and a set of SEQR findings and their burden is to demonstrate that this project is not going to create any impacts from the currently approved project.  He submitted a table that compared the impacts from the currently approved project to the current project.  They have added another column that reflects the revision in the plans submitted this summer.  From an impact comparison point of view there are actually very few changes. Nothing with respect to the wetlands changes, nothing with respect to the buffers change, the open space area, etc. There is about ½ acre less site disturbance because they have pulled the site in.  The water and sewer demands are the same because they have not changed the number of bedrooms and the trip generation is virtually the same.

The one change worth talking about is by moving density off of the ridge we have lost some single family houses and picked up some apartments and townhouse units.  There is a reduction of about 32 single family houses and that is picked up in apartments, potentially senior apartments or townhouses. The effect this has is to generate fewer school children.   He stated that this project has significant positive fiscal benefits to the town and the school district.

The only impact he thinks they are left with is the visual issue and they are trying to show us that they have taken it seriously and they are trying to make revisions to the plan to respect that issue.  Their intent is to submit to the Board in time for the July meeting a visual analysis.

Dan stated that until the visual simulations are produced the Board really can’t make a judgment on how this revised plan reduces the impact.  Although, he feels it is a significant improvement particularly by eliminating the retaining wall on the hill overlooking the Hudson and the reduction of density but we really have to see it to understand it to draw any conclusions at this point or make any determinations.  As far as the second access road he would point out that the original PUD approval essentially had the same primary access from Rt. 9W and the secondary emergency access from River Road.  He knows it is a concern of the Board and the Fire Department and he thinks it would benefit the applicant to look at alternatives to address this.  Conceivably it is not a completely new road from someplace else but a way of treating the main entrance road so that it provides more assurance and safe and second access than just a standard driveway entrance.  He knows that the Board is going to be concerned about it and the applicant should take a close look at it.  From the Board’s point of view, he is reminding them that the original approval was essentially the same sort of access as proposed.  It has to be resolved one way or another.  The other concern is that the main access road has been relocated and, in part, utilizes an easement across adjacent land.  The legal status of this access must be determined.  He does not believe that there has ever been anything submitted that establishes that this is a perpetual, guaranteed access.  Mr. Eriole stated that he has followed up with Peter Graham on this during the last application process and submitted some documentation on it.  If anything, it looks like what it might impact on is whether that road is private or public but it does look like there is access.  He feels that we can put this issue to bed at some point.  Fred stated that he thinks they will have to show ownership.  Mr. Eriole stated that he thinks they have to show a right to use it. Mr. Messinger questioned an easement and if ownership was a town regulation.  Dan stated that the feeling of the Board is that the best way to guarantee perpetual forever ownership and use is if you own it. Anything less would have to be wrapped pretty tightly to provide the same assurance.

Linda questioned the commercial property and stated that the booklet designates 40,000 sq. ft. of commercial property.  At the time they discussed it, it was talked about that it would be on Rt. 9W. She does not see it on any of the maps and she thinks she read that it was going to be in the village square.  Mr. Messinger stated that it has not changed at all.  It is still there on Rt. 9W.  It is reduced from the original 100,000 sq. ft. they are proposing to 40,000 sq. ft.  Dan stated that the previous Town Board had an issue with the original approval and made a condition that the commercial be increased from what was 80,000 sq. ft. to 100,000 sq. ft.  They should be prepared to explain and address why.  Mr. Messinger stated that the wetlands along the southern part of Rt. 9W do not allow for it.  What changed was what used to be Army Corp wetlands did not have a buffer attached to it and so they could work with it with respect to commercial development.  Subsequently in 1995 the Army Corp and DEC Manuals became the same and those have become DEC wetlands and they now have 100 ft. buffer.

Dan stated that the previous Town Board’s original approval specified that there should be 36 units (approximately 10%) of affordable, workforce or starter housing incorporated in the plan.  Nick Graziano, Somerset Development, stated they are excited to be before the Board this evening.  He stated that over the past year or so they have had an opportunity to have dialogue with people in the community and municipal officials.  They do recognize the need to have affordable housing in the town and they do agree to provide 10% of the site to be affordable housing.  He further stated that some additional benefits that they are willing to do as part of the plan is that they will designate a portion of the site for a form of civic use, a community building, senior center.  They will provide the space for that within the plan and this has a chance to be a very positive space for the community and promotes an additional attraction for this site.  Additionally, they are willing to donate ½ acre parcel located directly on the Hudson River to the Town of Esopus that can be used as a park, recreational space or whatever the Town desires to accommodate the needs of the residents. Additionally, there had been some desire expressed to have a portion of the property on Rt. 9W (the current site of Lindy’s) to be donated to the municipality for whatever needs they may desire and we are willing to do that also.  These are additional items that we feel make this plan bigger and better than what they presented last year coupled with the modifications to the ridge line and the internal aspects of the plan.

Dan stated that procedurally there is no action for the Board to take tonight.  When the photo simulations are submitted of the revised plan other questions from the Board will be discussed.  The next step would be for the Board to consider an updating of the report submitted to the Town Board last year which would initiate the process whereby the Town Board will have to approve the project to proceed to revised Sketch Plan.  Both the Planning Board and the Town Board will have to issue updated Findings Statements.  Fifteen years ago both Boards issued finding statements under SEQR and they would have to issue revised statements.  Assuming all that happened then detailed site plans would be submitted.

Fred stated that right now they want to amend a PUD. They have an approved PUD in place which is basically unbuildable, therefore, they have nothing.  The regulations have changed by today’s standards.  They stated that portions of it would have to go get a permit but there are portions that don’t need a permit.  Fred feels that as it was presented and as it was approved it is basically unbuildable.  He does not feel that we dealt with the financials. He wants to know what the delay time on Rt. 9W for the commuters will be.  He would like to know the exact difference that they propose for zoning as opposed to what our present zoning is.  He would like to know the differences they propose in the standards for the highways, roadways, utilities as opposed to what our standards are.  He feels that they are asking us to buy into something that is an entirely new zoning and they have not told us what the zoning is.  His understanding was that they were all going to be private roads going in and now you are moving commercial inside the development.  There will be liability issues.  You are asking us to approve, re-approve or modify a PUD without actual ownership for the roads in it.  He has a lot of questions and he feels that visual is not on the top of his list.

Mr. Eriole stated that the existing zoning on that site is the prior PUD which defines the zone and for that matter any amended plan would then define that zone so the comparison as we have been doing is between that plan and this one.  He wants to make clear that the questions about the zoning we are comparing it to is the existing zoning (as per the previously approved PUD).

Ralph Zucker, President Somerset Development, stated that it is incorrect to state that if we could build what was originally approved we wouldn’t be here.  That is not true.  We can build most of what was there.  Some issues with the wetlands may have to be amended, although, in our conversations with DEC they did concede to us that if we would go with the original plan that was signed off on there is a good chance they would have to allow us to keep the original impact.  This is something that would have to be visited but this is not on the table tonight.  He stated that they are here not because we can not build the other plan but we sincerely, honestly and truly believe that what we are presenting is a better plan.  It is better for them, the township, the municipality and the area.  They hope to prove to the Board over a period of time that to strictly lock them into an old approval and to go ahead to make the point to prove to us that you can do it and that you are allowed to do it would be a shame.  He stated that they have a place with a heart and soul, a place that has less impact visually.  They do own the access road except for one little area.  They can easily go ahead and they have the plans to go ahead and develop the previously approved PUD.  The only reason they want to use the existing easement is strictly to save some of the old growth trees.  If somebody says they will not vote for this and this is the majority of the Board’s opinion, they will go ahead and curve it a little bit more.  We are talking about a small section.  He does not want anybody to think that they do not own the access down to River Road.  They own it and they would like to keep it the way it goes now because there are old growth trees.  If they have to go and move it in, they will and they will loose some of those trees.  He feels that they have demonstrated over and over again that they are receptive and responsive to the comments of the community, the comments of this Board, the comments of some of the river constituencies, etc. and this was their attitude when they came into this town.  They did not come in with an existing plan, they came in with a plan that was developed with the cooperation of a lot of the local people including some of the fire people, local police, etc. The fact is that they have the right to build what was the original and if the Board denies this application they will go back and they will build it and it would be a shame if this town and this community would loose what is shown here tonight, a much better plan than what was approved 15 years ago.  This is going back to some of the greatest traditions we find around here.  This is so much better than what we came here with originally but if challenged and if forced to we will have no choice but to go ahead.  We do have a right to develop over there and if we have to that is what we will have to do.  There is no landowner that he knows that is going to walk away from an approved PUD of this size.  This is a site that has been approved by the township and it should be developed.  We hope with your help and your cooperation to develop it to something that everybody can be proud of.

Chuck asked Dan to give a little bit of guidance in where we go with the SEQR process in the next 6 months to 1 year.  Dan stated that in the original report approved last September we looked at whether this revised plan creates different impacts which had not been addressed in the original SEQR determination 15 years ago.  Basically there are two that we discussed tonight.  The availability of sewage disposal capacity and the possibility of the visual impact and they have to demonstrate to you in both cases that those are resolved and not more significant than they were. That being the case the process of revising the approved PUD Plan would be triggered by this Board making its initial recommendations regarding the Sketch Plan to the Town Board.  The Town Board must hold a Public Hearing on the revised Sketch Plan.  Both Boards would have to revise the original findings statements that were prepared at the conclusion of the SEQR process to reflect the differences in the plan.  Assuming there are no new impacts uncovered it would essentially reaffirm the findings that there are no significant impacts that have not been or aren’t being mitigated. At that point the Town Board would approve an amended Sketch Plan which would bring us back to the present situation where there is an approved PUD Zone or an approved Sketch Plan.  Then the applicant can begin submitting detailed Site Plans to the Planning Board for review of sections (which have not been discussed at this point) of how they propose and what sequence they propose to build in and this Board would then be involved in the detailed Site Plan Review Process.

Fred is concerned about hitting a show stopper after we have gone through most of this.  Dan feels that it is certainly appropriate to raise issues that the Board feels are significant now.  He stated that this plan is a distinct statement of a type of development that is laid out according to some fine design principals and calls for development in a certain way certainly vastly different than the original one.  He feels that we have to be comfortable with the development concept of what is known as a compact neighborhood more in keeping of the kind of developments that grew more naturally and what is known as a much lower density, suburban type development.

Dan suggested that in other parts of the country this type of development has been happening in a quick pace.  There is a similar development in Warwick and Dan is willing to try to arrange a visit to this site.   He feels we should take a trip down there, talk to the developers, see what it looks like, talk to some of the local officials.  If the Board is interested, he would be happy to try to arrange a trip.

John questioned the water/sewer issue.  Roxanne stated that Town Board passed Local Law #2 in 1993.  She further stated that the Town Board passed a resolution on March 16, 2006 of this year reaffirming this law and the sewage capacity and John Coutant sent a letter on March 17, 2006 to Somerset stating the same thing.  Roxanne stated that the sewage is not an issue.  Don Kiernan, Superintendent of the Water/Sewer Department, present and asked if this was correct.  Don stated that the sewage is certainly an issue.  Roxanne asked him what the issue was.  He stated that the last letter they received from the Mayor of Kingston stated that they are holding off on any kind of decision pending what the Landing is going to be doing and other developments within the Kingston Water District.  Roxanne stated that the last letter this Board received was dated March 17th.

Don informed her that the letter from the Mayor was sent directly to the Town Supervisor, John Coutant.  Roxanne read March 17, 2006 letter referring Somerset to the Planning Board to proceed with the project in its various phases.   Don restated that the Mayor sent a letter to the Town Supervisor stating that they will be making a decision on any increase in capacity pending what is going on over there.   Mr. Eriole questioned Don as to when they talk about increased capacity he feels that the capacity exists.  Don stated that the capacity does not exist.  He stated that for this size project the capacity does not exist.  Mr. Eriole stated that they are questions that only the Town Board can resolve and the Sewer District and just as obviously you (Planning Board) will have to have them resolved.  We think we are entitled to it and we think we will resolve it.  When we come back from the Town Board for Site Plan approval the particulars, as Mr. Shuster mentioned, will still be before you.  You do not lose your grip on this just because it goes to the next step.  Mr Eriole feels that they are in fact making progress. Mr. Zucker stated that what they are asking for is the opportunity to resolve these issues.

Mr. Zucker stated that he may have come on a little too strong and that he appreciates Dan’s comments on Warwick.  It is the same planner that did their plans.  He stated that they are not cutting out the Site Plan Process. They have to come back for the Site Plan and go through all the issues and we have to address the sewer issue.  We are not asking tonight for you to vote on road access or on anything to do with sewer capacity. We are trying to move the process forward another step.  They feel that they are presenting a real opportunity.  It is Warwick or Lakeshore Villas.  These are the choices that everybody has to make together with them. They have to prove that it can work, that it is safe and that they do have the sewer capacity.  They will negotiate all these issues but they can not do that and get forced back into the other box that they do not want to go back into without action from this Board.  They are here to move to the next step not to resolve all of these issues.  He apologized for coming on a little strongly.  He stated that he has been working on this for a long time.  They felt that they have dealt with a lot of issues, a lot of the benefits and they feel confident about the opportunity to keep moving this forward.
Ultimately, if we don’t get your vote we tried and we failed. We want the opportunity to get your vote.  Roxanne stated that our Board has to go by what we were given by the Town Board at this point and that the Town Board did in fact pass a resolution on March 16, 2006 (read by Roxanne) which stated that there is and will be in the future adequate sewage capacity for this project.  Based on this resolution, Roxanne stated that there is no issue and unless we hear otherwise from the Town Board this is what we will have to go with at this point.  Probably when it gets to full build out that is when it becomes an issue and the Town and the City of Kingston will need to work to resolve it.

Don stated that he thinks that is what they (Town Board)  meant when they did that was that they met with the City of Kingston and today there is not sufficient capacity for the build out but the City over a long period of time say 5 or 6 years will open up negotiations to expand our sewer system.  Roxanne stated that there is a commitment. Don stated that there is a verbal commitment.  Roxanne stated that according to the Supervisor something is coming in writing.  Mr. Freer, Town Board Member, who was present in the audience, stated that they voted on the resolution and as far as he is concerned all they did is vote that it was passed once before by the Town Board.  They only affirmed the old legislation, they did not vote in favor of it.  Gloria VanVliet, Town Board Member, who was also present in the audience, stated that they really did not feel that they had any choice.  They had to reaffirm what was already decided by a previous Town Board.  They did not really make any decision they said that it stands as it is.

A number of the Board members would like to visit the Warwick site.  Dan Shuster will try to get the developer to give a tour and get a few municipal officials to speak with us.  Dan will get back to Roxanne on dates.

 Major (29 lot) subdivision – Cynthia, Eugene & Salem Streets; Park Lane

Miles Putman read Shuster Associates Report, copy given to applicant and copy placed in file.  Lead Agency Coordinated Review sent out and only one response received so far from the Ulster County Highway Department recommending the Town of Esopus act as Lead Agency.

Letter received from the Port Ewen Water/Sewer Superintendent, Don Kiernan, dated June 21, 2006, read by Chairperson, copy placed in file.  Fred agrees that Eugene Street should be extended. Fred stated that Don’s letter stated that he wants the water/sewer mains hooked up from there. Don Kiernan stated that all of the developments will sooner or later have to tie together,  meaning the Meadows and Mountainview will need to  connect  There is a study being done for the interconnection of streets he believes.  Miles stated that basically a lot of the elements in the study are writing themselves based on the applications before this Board and also a consideration of the current regulatory scheme which makes the Plantasie Kill Stream Corridor and its associated wetlands a major development constraint because of the regulations and the permitting.  Really that stream corridor puts a crimp on developing east west street connections and water/sewer connections and at this point Mountainview Developers need to be encouraged because they are the ones who are going to make this connection.  He also feels that probably the route across the Mountainview site into this site and maybe into Avon Park may end up being another major 10” or 12” water main that would have to be designed and considered.  The Mountainview people are the ones sticking their neck out to make this connection and the balance of the street study will focus on how to connect into the Town Hall site.  Verbally that is basically where the study is directed.  They hope to have the study completed within the next two weeks.

Chuck stated his opinion again regarding Lots 29, 26 and 27.  He would rather see them reconfigured so that they access the internal road system rather than some external road system and he feels that there is an opportunity to make that happen.  He questioned why Lot #26 driveway can’t go to the hammerhead and join with Lot #28.  Lot #29 he feels there is ample opportunity to get a 50’ stretch in the opposite direction.  Fred feels that the whole thing in that area will have to be looked at. Dennis has the same concerns with Lots 26, 27 and 29.  Lot #27 has a house, garage and two other houses coming out at the same location. He feels there has to be a better situation.

John stated that they have 3.10 acres of impervious surface and they have 3.35 acres of land disturbance.  He stated that normally they draw something like 25’disturbance envelopes around the house, 12’ disturbance around each driveway with 4’ buffers on each side for a total of 20’ how can you have that large of an impervious surface without having more disturbance area.

Russ mentioned his concerns about Don Kiernan’s letter of April 20, 2006 where it talks about the proposed DWSRF that involves the water tank and NYS DOH and the April 18, 2006 letter.  Mr. Kiernan stated that the April 18, 2006 letter does not have anything to do with this project.  He further stated that the Water Department was asked to come up with a list of projects that they felt would be viable projects within the water district and associated costs.  They did submit plans to the State for the first project for 2,100 ft main along Rt. 9W for $813,000.00.  The other projects were an attempt to show the Town Board what the replacement of water main on 9W would cost and replacement of the storage tank for future development would cost and how it reflects to the tax payers.  Russ then stated that he still has concerns about the Fire Department letter dated April 12, 2006.  Roxanne stated that this is not an issue.  Russ stated that he spoke to Jack Cleary last month and he has not received anything from him that states otherwise and he states that he stood by this letter.  Roxanne stated that as per her discussion with Supervisor Coutant this does not pertain to anything with this Board.  That letter deals with the Town Board and the Fire Department and it deals specifically with the new fire truck the Fire Department bought which only one fire hydrant in this town can service the gallon capacity per minute that that truck is equipped for.  The Fire Department wants every hydrant in the Town brought up to that capacity.

Don Kiernan stated that one of the things the Fire Department is concerned with of course is the ability to fight fires and having the water necessary to fight the fires.  However, when you start developments and planning like this these plans at some point in time will be submitted to the State Health Department or Ulster County Health Department.  They do not take into account fire issues.  They look at whether or not the water system can support this increase in housing.  That is the only number they base it on.  To give the Fire Department the flow they need certainly you would have to replace a great deal of water mains in Port Ewen.  Who can afford it?  You are looking at three relatively small projects with a total cost of 6.8 million dollars.  Roxanne stated again that this is not an issue for this Board it is an issue for the Town Board. She proceeded to rule Russ’ discussion on this item out of order.

Russ has concerns with Lots 26, 27, 28 and 29. Lots #26 and #27 specifically, according to Shuster Associates Review, there is 35’ road frontage and the code says a minimum of 100’. He has concerns with the hammerhead and feels that Al Larkin will have to review this.

Don Snyder, North Engineers, and Stanley Schutzman, Esq., with Hannigan & Handel, were present and representing applicant.

Mr. Snyder noted that this report is dated June 16, 2006 and Mr. Kiernan’s letter is dated June 21, 2006.  They would appreciate the courtesy of when such reports and letters come up if they could be faxed to their office so they can prepare a proper response.

Mr. Snyder had the following comments in regard to Shuster Associates Report.  He stated that the forest area to be removed will be .89 not 2.21.  Mr. Snyder had another meeting with the Port Ewen Fire Chief, Mr. Pitt.  They feel that the layout of the sanitary and other utilities are not part of the Sketch Plan process and would come after they have the general parameters and layout of the project defined and approved as far as Sketch Plan approval goes. The wetlands are delineated and they have the protection that is required by DEC which is the 100’ adjacent area and that is shown on the map and they have testified previously to their discussions with DEC. They had already applied to DEC for the Wetland Certification and they expect it is in process and that they should be out on site in the near future.  They had a Workshop Meeting with DEC to go over the wetland issues and the fact that the only known endangered species that transits the area is the Indiana bat and in his conversations at that meeting it was stated that there are no habitats for the bats that the bats transit this area and what they look for and feed upon is a shaggy bark tree which is not located on this property.  The habitat as far as they are concerned will refer only to the wetlands and the endangered species.  The only one they have been made aware of by DEC is the Indiana bat transit in the area.  There is no vegetation, trees that they feed upon on the property.  They have filled out the application and requested a determination from Parks and Recreation in regard to the archeological “sensitivity” area.  They sent back a request for additional photographs which they produced and sent back to them.  They feel that they have done their due diligence by doing the reviews and making their application and what they turned up so far should satisfy the Sketch Plan aspect of the Board’s review.

Miles stated that Don Snyder was right.  It was 2.21 acres of meadow and marsh land plus .89 acres of forest that adds to 3.1 acres of vegetation being removed which is not consistent with Item B4.  Miles further stated that their project description also says near the closing paragraph that open space is reserved in the 11.9 acres of undeveloped meadow/forest and DEC wetland and adjacent areas and a statement like that leads him to think that they are going to put in some sort of legal mechanism to reserve that open space and tonight they are saying that they don’t need to it’s DEC jurisdiction.  Mr. Snyder stated that they have no intention to make any intrusion in the wetlands.  He stated that it was his phraseology that was incorrect.

They had meetings with Port Ewen Fire Chief and Commissioners and they showed them this plan and they received a number of requests from them.  The properties that had long driveways they asked that they be wide enough to accommodate them (they made reference to the new fire truck). We have gone back and talked to Mr. North, Engineer, and he suggested that he would make all of the longer portions of the driveway 12’ and as they near the house he would increase the width to 14’.  They asked that we move one hydrant at the end of the hammer and move it back to the intersection and we agreed to do that.  For the houses down in the lower area there is a hydrant at the intersection of Salem Road and Millbrook.  They asked the situation on Park Lane and they indicated that there was a hydrant some distance away down in the development.  I suggested that the developer would put in a hydrant at the Park Lane intersection.  They mentioned the difficulty of running through wooded driveways and houses and asked for consideration be given regarding keeping limbs and trees away from driveways and roads which would greatly enhance their fire fighting abilities.  The developer will do what he can to keep a reasonable clearing and access to homes that have the long driveway.

In regard to the shared driveway, I again spoke to Kim DeFresne of the County Highway Department and safety was one of the main concerns of the Board the last time.  I asked Kim if the DOT specifically considered the safety issues in their decision to approve of a shared driveway.  We went in asking for three and he limited us to two and stated that safety was a consideration in part of their review and he is in the process of producing that letter stating this.  He will be sending a letter stating that he approves a shared driveway serving two single family residences and that safety consideration were part of the DOT review in arriving at that decision.  They took note of the Board’s opposition to a shared driveway and agree that they will eliminate Lot #26 access to Salem Road and have Lot #27 be a single driveway going down.  They will re-engineer the driveway involving some retaining walls and excavation and they will bring the driveway up to the flat side of the hammerhead.

Fred stated that we have some basic concerns over Lots 26, 27 and 28. They will have to see the Highway Superintendent regarding that. Fred stated that it may not be a shared driveway but there is a cross easement on Lot 26 and 28 to get into the road system and you need to address Eugene Street.

Mr. Snyder stated that he did go to the Highway Department and obtained their okay on the Park Lane single driveway.  He told Mr. Larkin that they were eliminating the shared driveway and did he have any objections to the single driveway and his answer was no.  He asked Mr. Larkin to look at the hammerhead and now that we have eliminated the stub end driveway accessing the hammerhead.  Fred stated that what they have done now is create another problem because now you have a cross easement on the adjoining property.  Mr. Snyder stated that as it is shown now it appears that way but it is wrong.  He further stated that they do not know of any prohibitions that people can not have right-of-ways in access.  Fred stated other than the approval of this Board.  Fred further stated that in his opinion this is certainly not ready for sketch plan approval.  He feels that they have some things that the Board needs to address. Roxanne stated that he also needs to get a letter from the Highway Superintendent.  Fred stated that the Board frowns upon shared driveways and cross easements.

Mr. Schutzman, attorney, stated that it was his impression that the issue of sketch plan approval is the opportunity for an applicant to confer with the Planning Board get its initial thoughts, its sense of direction, its thoughts on guidance and obtaining sketch plan approval before the applicant goes forward with rather significant engineering and other expenses some of which you are addressing with these comments.  Fred stated that you presented this to us as a sketch and what we are telling you is that we have problems with it and we would like to see them corrected.  Mr. Snyder stated that he did say that they are not coming here tonight not seeking sketch plan approval of this particular plan. This plan based upon other conversations was obviously going to get revised.  What they hope to accomplish this evening is to get a consensus of those issues that the Board will accept as reasonable modifications and also addressing other areas that we think satisfy the Board’s concerns and even coming to the point of finding what issues are hardened positions of the Board.  We would like to know when we leave here.  The intent was to go back, make a final revision of the sketch plan accommodating all of this input and returning to the Board at the next meeting.  He does not want them to think that he is here for sketch plan approval tonight and admittedly this plan even with its improvements is still going to be changed.

Regarding the walkway issues we do not know exactly which way we are coming in or the number of roads coming in and how but certainly this walkway was included within the 50’ right-of-way and whichever streets are utilized there is no reason why that can not be extended.  One of the other issues raised was a possible connection to the Town Hall across the Town owned property.  He met with Brinnier and Larios, meeting with the engineer on the project, there is 1,020’ between their property line and the edge of the development of the Town Hall parking area.  To the best of the engineers knowledge the Town has spoken informally at times of developing the property but they have received no direction or contract from the Town at this point to go ahead with any designs.  His opinion is that he doubts that it will be forthcoming in the immediate future.  So, at this point, there seems to be no engineering necessity why a road is ever going to be put through there.  Lacking any direction or contracts from the Town they can only plan on what is sitting in front of them and they do not believe that there should or will be any connecting road intruding onto any one of the homes.

Storm water and drainage plans they say with all due respect that the 5 acre threshold for the full storm water plan is not met in this development but they are very well aware that drainage is a serious concern and an analysis and drainage plan will be developed. They do not feel that there is nothing you can develop until you have your layout finalized.  It is something they are concerned with and will do but do not feel that any further details are required at this point in sketch plan approval.  The wetland delineation and certification as he mentioned is already in process waiting for the site visit.  Application has been sent into Parks and Recreation and they supplied photos requested and now they are waiting for a determination from them.

Mr. Schutzman stated that what they would like to know and would appreciate the Board’s comments is that when they return for the next meeting with the next submission that what they prepared would satisfy the Board sufficiently to make a determination whether or not sketch plan should be approved.  Mr. Snyder thanked Mr. Kiernan for his continued consideration and in regard to fulfilling his demand for a looped system and his statement that he will not accept any easements.  Mr. Kiernan did state that there are no sewer and water easements in the Town.  Mr. Kiernan stated that this is incorrect he stated that there were sewer easements and recently he found out that there was one water easement.  Mr. Snyder found out from Terri Hahn that there was an easement (he believes a water easement) going to the school.  They know of no other Town that has a prohibition against the usage of right-of-ways or easements and so they come to the Board asking the Board’s position.  Fred stated Cynthia Street and Eugene Street so they can loop it.  Roxanne stated that it is whatever the Superintendent wants.  If Don wants to eliminate Lot #24 to create the loop to create the pressure in the system for the fire hydrants and everything else then that is what they are going to need to do.  Fred further stated that they can not do anything if Mountainview isn’t done first unless they open up the other two streets.   Mr. Snyder stated that this was brought up by the Fire Department who said that they had no objection to opening up one street, not opening both, but the caveat was that only so as they had the connection down to Mountainview.  They have coordinated with Mountainview and this is an agreed upon location of the roadway connection and it is also the agreed location for connecting the two.

Don Kiernan, Port Ewen Water/Sewer Superintendent, stated that Port Ewen Housing needs Mountainview to get sewer off of their property.  This is the only way you can go with the sewer.  Chuck asked where Mountainview is at this point.  Roxanne stated that they are doing traffic studies and we have not heard from them. Roxanne questioned what would happen if the Mountainview project does not proceed.  Don stated that they can build the sewers, put a sewer pump station in and pump it up to Doris Street.  Mr. Snyder stated that if they did in fact open up Eugene Street and now he sees in the new letter that Mr. Kiernan is demanding that they also open up Cynthia Street.  Don stated that this would continue the loop.  Mr. Snyder stated that if Mountainview proceeds that connects in a loop the other way and the loop goes up the other way. There are areas that are served individually.  Don stated that he would concede Cynthia Street if he is assured that they will continue that water main into the Mountainview Subdivision.  Mr. Snyder stated that that was all they wanted was a way to go.

Mr. Schutzman stated that they would respectfully ask for the Board’s comments to allow them to revise the drawings and present the plan that the Board would at least make a determination on whether or not to approve sketch plan. Roxanne stated that Miles would certainly want them to follow through on item two of his conclusions and recommendations and hire a biologist or other qualified professional to evaluate the NYSDEC files. They stated that they will go back to the soils engineer and present his questions.  Miles would like to know how they tested for limestone.

Dennis stated that he appreciates what Brinnier and Larios said to the applicant and although it may not be on the table now for the Town but that site will eventually be developed and we will never be able to get a connecting road from this property.  He is requesting that they go to the Town Board and approach the Town and ask them if they want a connection and if they do that I think we are going to ask you to reorganize that so that in the future it can be built.  Even though it may not go in now someone could develop it later.  It may be the Town who builds the road.  He feels that they need to address this now.  Applicant was requested to start with the Town Supervisor and get on the Town Board Workshop Agenda.

Russ wanted to make sure that they had the comment about not having the correct frontage for Lot 27 per Town Code.  Mr. Snyder stated that they will check that.  Mr. Schutzman stated that even if the frontage is less than required it would still be permissive for the Board to approve sketch plan subject to Zoning Board granting a variance. Russ stated that if they wanted to proceed this way, yes, they would be subject to a variance.

RIFTON FIRE DISTRICT – Case #2006-11 – Minor subdivision
       1381 Old Post Road (Rifton)

Let the record reflect that Dennis is stepping down.

Miles read Shuster Associates Report, copy given to applicant, copy placed in file.  Applicant represented by Dennis Suraci.

A discussion took place among Board members regarding whether the Board will require  Health Department approval.  Dennis stated that they are trying to get the subdivision approved so they can purchase the lot and then go to the public with a proposal for a fire house.  If they pass it, they are going to come back here with a site plan and go to the Health Department and do all of the components that they need.  If you want them to go ahead of time, they will have to take that chance. They have a limited time with the owner.  He has given 6-7 months to do this with due diligence. If the Board wants to put a note on the plan stating that they can not build without Health Department approval, the Fire Department would accept that.  They simply want to subdivide the land, purchase it so they can build a fire house on it and then go to the public for a vote.  If they don’t vote on it, then they will keep it and wait until they have enough money to go to the public.  They want to buy the land and basically land bank their money since land is getting harder and harder to find.

John questioned that if they do not get the Health Department approval then can they back out of the deal?  Dennis stated that yes that is one of the contingencies to the purchase.  Russ stated that then we will have a non-buildable lot that we have created.
Russ stated that the Health Department said we should not act unless the property is proven to be buildable.   The situation with the Fire Department, if they do not get approval and we create this lot then we have a non-buildable lot.  Dennis stated that they have the whole site laid out.  He just felt that to design a system that will never be built just didn’t make sense.  He will do whatever the Board wants to do but he felt on 2 acres of land putting in a system should not be a problem.  Dennis stated that if they want to put a note on the plan that says that they have to go to the Health Department before building he is fine with that.  Chuck feels that it is a dangerous precedent.  Fred stated that they can go through the process and final approval would be contingent upon Health Department approval but without going to the Health Department and then the Fire Department has to decide if they are going to purchase it.  Roxanne suggested that he go to the Board of Health and see if he can get some kind of a letter out of them.  Dennis stated that if he does this they will say design the system and come back.  Roxanne stated that our final approval would be subject to Board of Health approval.

The fire department has an option until November to get subdivision approval, public approval and get all of the things they need to make them feel comfortable to buy the land.  Whether the public approved or not they would own the land.  They received one extension already.  Dennis has no problem with designing a system but the Health Department sits on everything.  Russ stated that if we start now and have a Public Hearing next month and table the Public Hearing so it does not start the clock and the following month would hopefully be the third month and we could act on the application and it would be September. So in theory you could have your subdivision approval and be ready to go to the public for fire department vote.

Section 107.18A gives an applicant 6 months with which to meet the conditions specified and in Section 107.19-C1A an applicant may seek an additional extension of up to another six (6) months within which to meet the conditions specified.  After that timeframe, an applicant would have to re-apply as a new application.   Conditional Plat approval is good for 6 months and then they can request one extension for another 6 months.
Following further discussion among Board members it was the consensus of the Board that they want Health Department approval for both lots before approving this subdivision.

Health Department wants to see everything.  Roxanne spoke to Health Department and they said they want to see everything that is 5 lots or more or 5 acres or less.  We have nothing in writing.  John requested that Roxanne get something in writing.




TUBBS – Case #2006-15 – Lot Line Adjustment
       80 & 90 Black Creek Road; 1170 Broadway, Esopus

Miles read Shuster Associates Report, copy given to applicants and copy placed in file.  Applicants, Chitharanjan and Joanne Tubbs present.  Board received a letter dated 6/7/06  requesting a waiver of the Public Hearing as per Section 107-16A.





KALMUS – Case #2006-16 – Conditional Use Permit
            64 Suominens Lane; Rifton

Miles read Shuster Associates Report, copy given to applicant, copy placed in file.  Applicants want to construct an amateur radio antenna tower that exceeds 50’ in height.  The tower is self-supporting structure anchored onto a 5’ by 5’ concrete pad.

Russ questioned if it was going to be in amongst the trees. Applicant stated that there would be a clearing for the tower in amongst the trees.  There is a mast on the tower which supports the antenna.  Height with the mast will probably be 105’ this is what is existing.  Total will be 125’.

Russ questioned if this was the only information that we have.  He believes the Conditional Use Permits talks about site plan.  He questioned if we were going to accept what is in front of us as site plan.  Russ questioned what we will have for somebody to look at if they come in to look at something to locate where the property is.  Applicant did not submit a full size site plan.  Russ stated that if the Board is comfortable with that then he has no problem.  Mr. Kalmus presented a full sheet that he had in his possession.  Mr. Kalmus was told to make a copy of that map after he marked on it where the tower is proposed.  He is to bring in two copies.



PATRICK – Case #2006-13 – Major 5 lot re-subdivision

                       92 Parker Avenue, Esopus

Miles read Shuster Associates Review, copy given to applicant, copy placed in file.  Applicant Barbara Patrick was present and Michael Moriello, Esq., as agent.

Mr. Moriello questioned what the Board wants to see as an Escrow Account.  He further stated that he noticed that the Board does not like a shared right-away theory.  They had done the shared right-away because they did not want to have a lot of access onto Parker Lane.  Barbara stated that she had Mr. Larkin go down and mark two places that are already opened.  She was informed that they have to have access onto a mapped street it is the Zoning Code.  Mr. Moriello stated that if they can make it fit they will do and if they can not then they will have to go for a variance.



Mr. Moriello stated that even though they are an unlisted action for SEQR they will probably do a coordinated review and follow the procedures for Type 1 anyway.

Russ questioned Lot #3 what is the little finger that sticks out? He asked that it be removed.  They are going to renumber.  Russ asked for the Highway Superintendent’s opinion on the increase in traffic and what effect it would have on Parker Lane.  Presently there are three houses on the lower road and two on the upper road.  This will be increased by four more houses.  You know that we want to see access on all lots.  Once we get sketch this needs to be referred to the Health Department.

Dennis questioned if we received comments from the Fire Department concerning the turning easement down there.  That was done in conjunction with the Town but they need to show this to the Fire Department.  They need to contact Mr. Cafaldo, Fire Chief, for Esopus.

Fred wants to see contours.  Chuck has less of a problem with shared driveways than he does road frontage.  He feels that we need to conform to Zoning Code.  Applicant stated that it is based on whether you can see 300’ each way.  Mr. Larkin came and marked two.

Roxanne stated that when you get to the point where it is acceptable then we need a letter from him.

Russ would like to see the area outside Flood Zone for Lots 3 and 4 calculated (outside and inside).


We have a ZBA Referral for a Michael LaBarbera at 1837-1839 Route 213, Rifton. He is looking for a Use Variance for a Used Car Lot Sale in an R-12 District.

Planning Board recommends this be denied because it is in the R-12 District, however, should the ZBA have difference of opinion and approve it we want to see site plan and have them come back before the Planning Board.  Variance should be conditioned on Site Plan approval from the Planning Board.


Nadine Shadlock, Esq., called Roxanne and stated that the Birches has hired another attorney, David Linefski, who called Peter Graham and Peter called Roxanne to see if there was an Escrow Account set up.  There was no Escrow set up so Peter called attorneys back and told them they needed to establish an Escrow Account.  Birchez (Birches) gave a $2,000.00 check to the Town Supervisor to open an Escrow Account and Roxanne was instructed to bring it to the Board this evening. They wanted to talk to Peter Graham about the average density section of Senior Citizens Zoning Code that they did.

Following a lengthy discussion the consensus of the Board was that this was not in accordance with Board practice and the account should not have been created.  It was felt that the applicant needs to be present before this Board to explain the need and the Board then makes a motion to establish an Escrow Account.



2007 Budget Request received from the Town Supervisor.  He wants our budget requests in by August 1st.    We are possibly looking at having a part time Planner sitting here in the Town Hall.  Diane can not handle what is coming into her office and she is dealing with a lot of Planning Board issues and we would eliminate the Pre-submission Meetings as a part time planner would be able to assist applicants and we will have our own office in the new Town Hall.  Roxanne has asked Dan Shuster to put together a proposal on that aspect.  Board members were asked to give this some thought and get back with concerns or suggestions.  We will talk about this again.

Dennis is doing a comparison of fees charged by other Towns and will come with a recommendation on what fees should possibly be increased at our July 27, 2006 meeting.




Next Monthly Meeting:  July 27, 2006 (Agenda Cutoff – July 13, 2006)

Respectfully submitted,

April Oneto,
Planning Board Secretary