TOWN OF ESOPUS WATERFRONT ADVISORY BOARD
Minutes of the October 24, 2006 Meeting
Present: Don Cole, Marion Zimmer, Frank O’Donnell, William Benson, John McMichael, Rosemarie Kristofy
Excused: Chet Allen, Kathy Weitze, Robert Santiago
Board Liaison: Deborah Silvestro
Chairman Zimmer called the meeting of the Waterfront Advisory Board to order at 7:00pm.
MOTION to approve the September minutes was made by Don Cole and seconded by Frank O’Donnell. All in favor
MOTION to approve payroll was made by Bill Benson and seconded by Frank O’Donnell. All in favor.
Chairman Zimmer said she received a phone call from a resident on River Road who had either a dock or retaining wall he was interested in having repaired. He had made several phone calls to other departments looking for qualified contractors.
Zimmer reported that the water chestnut harvesting program for maintenance was submitted to Al Larkin and Supervisor Coutant. This included replacing an old motor before it breaks. Zimmer recommended that the work be finished by June first so that the harvester is ready to start using. Thank you letters were sent to everyone involved in the maintenance and use of the harvester.
There was discussion on the Somerset Project. Silvestro said that the October 25th public hearing was an incorrect date, and the hearing was supposed to be re-scheduled for November 2nd but there was no majority vote at the last Town Board meeting. Zimmer said it was requested by the attorney that the WAB give a formal response to the Town Board on this project.
McMichael though that the proposed road for the project was “full fledge” and not just for emergency vehicles. Zimmer said there would be a lot of upgrading and ground disturbance. Cole said his concern was the water and sewer system which he addressed at the September meeting. Silvestro remarked that this was not the only project with access road objections and the “clock was ticking” on the process. Cole felt that a Town road could be built on River Road which could handle the traffic. Zimmer remarked that the River Road access was addressed as an emergency exit only. McMichael said it could be made a private road built to Town specs. He said that the Planning Board will require a two lane road. Silvestro said that the road would have a hairpin turn and have to follow the contour of the property. McMichael said there were too many proposed residences for an egress only one road.
Cole said that the problem with any of these projects is that the Town makes the plans too hard to get approved. O’Donnell recommended that the WAB stick to what was in the letter. Silvestro offered to convey any of the WAB’s concerns to the Town Board. There were no objections to the proposed project.
MOTION to send a copy of the September minutes with the letter was made by Don Cole and seconded by Frank O’Donnell. Cole, O’Donnell, Benson, Kristofy, Zimmer in favor. McMichael opposed.
Chairman Zimmer reported that the Town’s insurance company would not let the Town increase its insurance coverage unless a ten foot high fence was put up at Sleightsburg Park. She said there was no money to finish the project, and that of the $49,000 in funding, $48,000 had been spent. The issue is that the insurance company is afraid that someone will go on the outer islands and get hurt. Zimmer read a letter to be submitted to the Town Board regarding the return of the $49,000 in estuary funding and concerns about installing a chain link fence to limit public access. Whatever the Town is doing is going against the LWRP. O’Donnell said that the letter should be sent. Cole felt it was a touchy situation because of the insurance issue. He suggested that the Town investigate other insurance companies.
McMichael asked about the grant. Zimmer said that she was already contacted by Fran Donwell to find out why the grant isn’t closed. Zimmer said that the Town will not get reimbursed any money until funds have been spent and the project is finished. Kristofy said that Esopus is not the only Town that has walkways. She asked who the other towns used for insurance. McMichael thought that the letter should be sent. Silvestro agreed that it should be entered into public record.
MOTION to send the letter concerning public access to Sleightsburg Park was made by Jon McMichael and seconded by Bill Benson. All in favor.
ENVIRONMENTAL COMMITTEE – No report
PLANNING BOARD – John McMichael
John McMichael said that the Birches project was going ahead with a visual analysis with vegetative view. He circulated a map with plans for a three story, square bracket building with seven other designs. The plans were revised down to three buildings with the final approval being based on the outcome of the visual. Cole felt that the people going into the projects should have a say about what the view is. Silvestro said it is all about what Dutchess County wants and the people using the river. She suggested “green building” with exterior treatments that would blend with the land. She also said that Steve Aaron would be loosing major funding from further delays in getting the project approved by the Town.
McMichael said that Planning Board member Miles asked for a pictorial which Aaron said would be too expensive. Miles then asked for a visual impact which would include seventeen sites. Cole said he didn’t have a problem with Aaron doing the visuals; he was concerned that it was eight months into the approval process and the applicant was loosing grant money. Silvestro added that anything not approved by December will loose a second grant for Aaron.
Zimmer said that the view shed was part of the DEC requirements. McMichael said that the Planning Board is looking for visuals now because it will impact their decision on the heights of the buildings.
Zimmer said a MOTION should be made to send a response to the Planning Board that with respect to the visual the WAB has no comment at this time.
MOTION made by Marion Zimmer and seconded by Frank O’Donnell. Zimmer, O’Donnell, Kristofy, McMichael, Benson in favor. Cole opposed.
ZONING BOARD – Don Cole had nothing new to report.
There is no meeting currently scheduled for November or December unless something comes before the WAB.
MOTION to adjourn made by Frank O’Donnell and seconded by Rosemarie Kristofy. All in favor.
MOTION to adjourn the June 2006 WAB meeting was made by Kathy Weitze and seconded by Frank O’Donnell. All in favor. None opposed.
ADJOURNED 8:35 pm
Prepared by Laura Petit