TOWN OF ESOPUS WATERFRONT ADVISORY BOARD
Minutes of the February 28, 2007 Meeting
Present: Marion Zimmer, Don Cole, Rosemarie Kristofy, John McMichael, Kathy Quick
Excused: Frank O’Donnell, William Benson, Kathy Weitze, Chet Allen,
Board Liaison: Deborah Sylvestro
Chairman Zimmer called the meeting to order at 7:00pm.
The minutes of the July 2006 minutes were reviewed by the Board.
MOTION to accept the January 2007 minutes was made by Don Cole and seconded by Rosemary Kristofy. All present in favor. None opposed.
MOTION to accept the payroll voucher for WAB secretary was made by Don Cole and seconded by John McMichael. All present in favor. None opposed.
Chairman Zimmer introduced Lois Ingellis. Ingellis explained the Main Street Grant (Broadway) project had started over a year ago for grant monies from the NYS Government fund. This grant was to improve the façade along main streets in communities. She had discovered in previous Town Board minutes that people had asked the Town to look into this grant, but the project has to be done by a not-for-profit. Ingellis though it was a good projects for the Friends of the Esopus Library. Guy Kemp from Rupco started to work with the group to write the grant and the plan for the main corridor included distributing applications to property owners for support. A matching grant of up to $10,000 or $50,000 apartments is available.
Cole didn’t think the property owners would be interested because every time an improvement is made the taxes go up. Ingellis thought this would be a good way to bring the Town together, and main street property owners were already submitting applications. Silvestro said the Library was used as a focal point because it was an FOL project. The application was sent to all property owners along Broadway. Ingellis said the Bank of America was looking to do community improvement.
Quick said the Town is looking to improve the visual impact of passerby’s.
Zimmer reported that the vacant seat on the Board needs to be filled. She suggested that Will Thomas or Vince Fisher be asked if they were interested.
MOTION was made by Don Cole to approach Vince Fisher about the vacant WAB seat. Kristofy made the second. All present in favor. None opposed.
GREAT RIVER SWEEP
Zimmer reported that the Great River Sweep should be scheduled for Saturday, April 21 for low tide which starts at 10:00am and peaks at 12:00noon. She said the other low tides in the month of April are either at 5am or 5pm.
MOTION was made by Don Cole and seconded by Kathy Quick to hold the River Sweep on April 21st. All present in favor. None opposed.
At the next meeting of the WAB on March 27th, Zimmer will have more information on whether Park and Recreation is interested in helping. Silvestro recommended asking the Environmental Committee too. Zimmer will write a letter to Al Larkin about getting small containers. The WAB has some funding in the budget for garbage bags, and she hoped the Bruderhof would be interested in bringing food again.
2009 Quadracentennial River Celebration
Silvestro said a group has already gotten together to discuss events for the celebration in Highland/Poughkeepsie about a walkway over the Hudson. She said the meeting in Esopus would be held on March 8th at 6:30pm
A letter to Coutant with Larkin copied had gone out to request repairs and overhaul of the harvest machine for the chestnut cleanup.
Zimmer said that there were requests that the gate at Sleightsburg Park be opened by the Town for pedestrians and cars by April 1st. She also said that many people still use the park in the winter. Silvestro said the Town agreed that access should be more restrictive, but eligible users such as hunters can ask for a key. There would be a deposit of $5. Zimmer asked if keeping the gate unlocked from April 1st through December 1st was acceptable to the Town. Cole felt that the problem of restricting access was that state funding was used and Scenic Hudson sold the property (or gave it) to the Town with the stipulation that it be open to the public. Kristofy felt that the Town should invest in cameras and didn’t think handing out a key would deter illegal activities. Silvestro said that a camera would need light. She added that the hunters were satisfied with limited access as long as they could get a key. Kristofy asked if the police could patrol the area more. Zimmer commented that she had seen a patrol car in the area.
Zimmer said a letter regarding signage was send to Coutant from the Hudson River Greenway. The signs should be installed in such a way that they are visible from the water and the parking lot. McMichael asked about other water front parks. Zimmer said they were excluded.
Quick reported that the Environmental Committee had an event scheduled for April 22. Zimmer said that library is planting an Esopus apple tree but hasn’t picked a day. It could be April 15 or Arbor Day on April 28th. Cole asked if the Environmental Committee was addressing the disappearance of honey bees
ZONING BOARD OF APPEALS
Cole said Birchez has asked to build five units and a main building. Silvestro said the footprint of the building had not changed but the building had been rotated.
McMichael asked if a variance had been granted since there were further changes to the layout of the building to limit ground disturbance and allow access for emergency vehicles. Cole said a variance had not been approved yet.
McMichael said to expect a large turnout at the public hearing since many neighboring property owners were against the project.
Zimmer asked about run-off at the end of the retention pond. McMichael said swales and ditches would be construction in addition to the retention pond. Quick said she can’t get internet service; perhaps this project would bring cable into the area.
McMichael said that 10.437 acres will be disturbed and 14.165 acres will be developed with houses and roads. This project needs very extensive stormwater control including a check dam which will catch silt and mud that runs along the contour of the property.
Silvestro remarked that this property already has stormwater issues and it should be addressed by the Planning Board. Silvestro said that by rotating the building to allow for access by emergency vehicles, the visual impact has also been reduced for neighboring properties.
Zimmer recommended a letter be sent to the Planning Board that adequate storm water control measures are taken.
MOTION by John McMichael to send the WAB recommendation to the Planning Board. Second was made by Kathy Quick. All present in favor. None opposed.
PLANNING BOARD – Mackey Project
McMichael said a property located by the proposed Birchez project is seeking Planning Board approval. Silvestro thought the discussion should be held off because of other possibilities for the project. McMichael said the alternate SDA might be considered and property under ½ acre doesn’t required any action.
Cole said the ZBA will be hearing the case. Zimmer asked if there was access to the property. Quick said there is an access road where the Dollar Store is going. McMichael said there were already drainage issues from BOCES and the cabins were putting in sewer lines. Zimmer said no comment was due on this project yet.
McMichael mentioned that Sacred Heart is putting on a small addition. The church is not in the revitalization district and there are no particular issues with small amounts of ground disturbance.
Rondout Hills above Connelly Road will be building up the access road to improve visibility. McMichael said if the road is greater than 120 feet long it needs a waiver. Cole said it can be graded no more than 12% and since the road had a loop it was considered a dead end. Cole said that the state gave $50,000 for this project to improve visibility.
MOTION to adjourn the February 2007 WAB meeting was made by Don Cole and seconded by Marion Zimmer. All present in favor. None opposed.ADJOURNED 8:15pm