TOWN OF ESOPUS
WATERFRONT ADVISORY BOARD
Minutes of the May 27, 2008 Meeting
PRESENT: Chairman, Marion Zimmer, Cathy Quick, Kathy Weitze, Eli Schloss, Bill Benson, Don Cole, Laura Petit , Michelle Higgins, David Higgins, Ujjala Schwartz
ABSENT: Michael Richardson, Michael Minor, Rosemary Kristofy
TOWN LIAISON: Debbie Silvestro
Chairman Zimmer called the May meeting to order at 7:00PM
MOTION to accept minutes from March 2008 made by Don Cole and seconded by Michelle Higgins. All present in favor.
Chairman Zimmer discussed copying the LWRP. She said in the discussions with the Town Supervisors about the LWRP, he wrote to NYSDEC about holding the water chestnut pull. They responded with a notice of no jurisdiction but did recommend the pull be done prior to the July seeding, and that the pulled water chemental Board has offered to help with PR. Quick and Petit offered to contact media. Cole reminded the Board to contact the Bruderhoff. Silvestro had a contact at Park and Rec to make sure the bathrooms and water were accessible. Chairman Zimmer sand tool would be needed to move the water chestnuts such as pitchforks, heavy duty gloves, and rafts. After the water chestnuts were dewatered, the highway department would pick them up and take to Slattery’s for composting. Weitze said she didn’t remember how the water chestnuts were moved on shore last time they hand pulled. She thought they used an old row boat.
Chairman Zimmer asked resident, Ujjala Schwartz, to gather up all interested kayakers to participate. Schwartz, said she was at the meeting to voice her concern about the piece of property in front of Riverview. She explained that some of the residents noticed a lot of cutting had been done for kayak access, and it appeared more was cleared recently using a mower. She said this would disturb egg nests because it was breeding season in the marsh. Cole asked who the rightfully deeded owner was to the property. Schwartz didn’t know, but felt the property should remain as is. She was also concerned that now herbicides would be able to run off from lawn applications into the river. Chairman Zimmer recommended the concerned residents contact the landowner. She also suggested the HOA contact them.
Chairman Zimmer explained to the Board that two homeowners from Riverview were interested in opening a kayaking business and had used a catamaran to cut a 20’ wide spot. She said some trees and bricks had also been removed which could cause erosions issues over time.
PLANNING BOARD – Michael Minor (absent)
Chairman Zimmer informed the Board that John Smith had notified the Town that he would be putting in a dock with a bulk head using 2,000 square feet of fill. The dock would be 100’ X 12” feet wide. Mr. Smith was supposed to appear before the WAB tonight. He had plans submitted to the Planning Board. Chairman Zimmer had spoken to Mr. Sheeley at NYSDEC who was questioning the amount of fill. She was also concerned about blocking the waterway. Weitze felt he was probably building the dock for speculative reasons and felt a letter from the NYSDEC was needed to address these questions. Benson noted there was 300 feet of bulk head with 300 feet of riprap. Weitze said it looked like the dock was going out into the creek between 100’ and 150’.
Chairman Zimmer read the letter from the NYSDEC expressing their concern about site disturbance. Cole was concerned about the adverse impacts to the unique ecosystems of the creek as outlined in the presentation by Chris Bowers. Silvestro said that the builder doesn’t have to go to the Town to build a dock. Benson said the builder only has to go to the NYSDEC and Army Corp of Engineers. Cole thought if the project cost more than $200 then the builder had to go to the Building Department too.
Benson noted that the bulk head would be placed on the existing foundation. He felt that he needed more details on construction of the bulk head wall. He also noted that there is a chain of command in the “dock building” process : the Town, DEC, Building Department, Department of State, Army Corp of Engineers, etc.
Esopus Lake Project – Chairman Zimmer suggested that the Board come up with a list of questions to ask including information on the view shed and drainage. Coles said that the Planning Board and Building Inspector reviewed it and nothing would be done until the changes were made. Silvestro said Scenic Hudson was not pleased with the newest design. Weitze said computer generated visuals simulated where the new building would be. Benson asked about the storm water issues. Silvestro said it was a big issue that hadn’t been address yet. She said Larios felt the drainage and retention ponds would benefit storm water runoff and the Planning Board would have to make a decision on drainage recommendations. Since Iron Mountain built the storage record units, there have been more flooding problems from diverted water. Schloss felt that drainage may be improved with proper engineering but also thought that it was larger than just the Esopus Lake project.
Chairman Zimmer said a copy of the permit request was forwarded to the County Planning Board and it came back as unfavorable. She suggested a general comment on storm waster, visibility, and other water issues be outlined in a response letter to the Town Planning Board. Cole asked where else the storm water could go besides the river. Silvestro said the WAB members should talk to the developer’s engineers. Chairman Zimmer said she had invited them to the meeting tonight.
Schloss asked if there were references of density levels and traffic impact. Chairman Zimmer said that was up to the Planning Board to ask. Cole reminded the WAB Board that a performance bond on this project had been requested to upgrade the water and sewer lines. Benson said they may want to recommend that the project not be started in the spring when flooding typically occurred. The Board agreed that the following concerns be forwarded to the Planning Board: visual impact, storm water run-off plans during construction and addressing ongoing storm water issues, further information on access to River Road . Cole didn’t think the marina was an issue. Schloss said he would like to know the status of the development of the marina.
ENVIRONMENTAL BOARD – Cathy Quick
Quick updated the WAB on the Environmental Board activities. She said that a blog had been created to promote local events. The Environmental Board was also concerned about the harvester and getting it operational. They had discussed increasing recycling rates, reducing energy consumption, and reducing costs. Chairman Zimmer thanked them for participating gin the Clean Sweep and for offering to help with the hand pulling in June. Higgins offered to contact the schools. Chairman Zimmer was concerned about the liability of younger children participating. Weitze said that there were high school students that may be interested. She would contact the Global Club and see if Mrs. Franklin was interested.
ZBA – Don Cole
Chairman Zimmer informed the Board that she is working on two grants. One is the estuary grant, and the other is the conservation and protection fund. These grants revolved around the LWRP and public access. Supervisor Coutant had suggested that she contact the water chestnut harvester sales people, and they told her that the prices had increased 15% from the original quote. Cole asked if the water chestnuts were detrimental to public access, and a public hazard. He suggested that the Town contact Nori Point in that case to use the State harvester.
MOTION to adjourn the May 2008 meeting was made by Don Cole and seconded by Bill Benson. All present in favor.
ADJOURNED: 8:45pm(Chairman Zimmer noted she would be in class on June 24th, and that Cathy Quick would be available to chair the WAB meeting.)