A SPECIAL MEETING of the PLANNING BOARD of the Town of

Cortlandt was conducted at the Cortlandt Town Hall, 1 Heady Street, Cortlandt Manor, New York on Tuesday evening, June 17, 2003, at

7:00 p.m.

 

††††††††††††††††††††††† Mr. Steven Kessler, Chairman, presided and other members in attendance were as follows:

 

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Mr. John Bernard

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Mr. Thomas Bianchi

Mr. Robert Foley

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Mr. Kenneth Hoch

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Ms. Loretta Taylor

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Ms. Susan Todd

 

††††††††††††††††††††††† Also Present:

 

Mr. Edward Vergano, Director, Department of Technical

†† Services

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Mr. Kenneth Verschoor, Deputy Director for Planning

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Mr. Chris Kehoe, Planning Division

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Mr. Lew Leslie, Conservation Advisory Council

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Mr. John J. Klarl, Esq., Deputy Town Attorney

 

 

MISCELLANEOUS:

 

††††††††††††††††††††††† Mr. Kessler said before we get started, I just wanted to say a couple of words about a colleague of ours, Mr. Ken Hoch.It is a shame that it isnít a regular meeting where we are in the big room but it certainly will be preserved for posterity on video for us.As most of you know, Ken will be resigning from this Board because he has accepted a job with the Town.This Boardís loss is this Townís gain.In some respect, Ken together with myself and Loretta, I believe, have been together since 1989.Ken who has served here for 14 years and most ably has employed the man in waiting position has Vice Chairman, which he has done very, very well on those rare occasions that Iím not here.I appreciate that.I think most of all we are going to miss his sage advice and counsel.Certainly, as Vice Chairman, I certainly always respected his opinion and ability and most of all, his manner of treating the applicants with fairness and respect, which Iím hoping that this Board will continue to do.With that, Ken, we appreciate your work.(Applause)Now, Ken will not vote for anything tonight!I do want to mention that Ken will be joining the Planning Department so we will continue to avail ourselves of his services in a different capacity.Mr. Hoch said I would like to see an increase of referrals to D.O.T.S. for job security reasons!

Mr. Kessler said Ken, good luck to you!

 

 

RESOLUTIONS:

 

re:PB 16-99, Application of SB Acres, LLC, for Final Plat approval for a proposed golf course pursuant to a Special Permit and not more than 85 town homes and 6 single family homes on 252 acres located on the north side of Oregon Road, on the east side of Adams Rush Road, and at the end of Beverly Road and Casperian Road as shown on a 2-page set of drawings entitled ďSubdivision Plat of Hollow Brook Golf ClubĒ prepared by Glen Watson, P.L.S. latest revision dated May 20, 2003 and on an 8-page set of drawings entitled ďThe Townhouses, Hollow Brook Golf ClubĒ prepared by Ralph G. Mastromonaco, P.E. dated April 10, 2003 and a 31-page set of drawings entitled ďHollowbrook Golf Club at Cortlandt ManorĒ prepared by Ralph G. Mastromonaco, PE,

latest revision dated April 10, 2003.

 

††††††††††††††††††††††† Mr. Kessler asked Ken, do you have some news on this resolution for this evening?Mr. Vergano replied yes, the Town Board discussed this last night at the worksession.In light of the fact that the applicant is looking to change the membership arrangement notably how it affects the Cortlandt membership, i.e. the amount of rounds that are available to Cortlandt residents.We havenít come to an acceptable arrangement to date.There has been a meeting on this subject with the applicant as recently as this afternoon.But again, the Town Board members are not privy to the details of that discussion.We decided it would be appropriate to not proceed with the first agenda item.Weíll put that off until next month.Mr. Kessler asked is there any correspondence to add to this?Mr. Vergano replied yes, just pass this down.Ms. Todd asked is this a total explanation or should we ask Ann Lindau to explain a little bit more about what went on?Mr. Vergano replied you might just want to take a few minutes to read this.It is really the crux or the essence of the issue.Mr. Klarl said this is a February 15, 2003 letter from Bergstol Enterprises.Mr. Vergano said again, in that letter, it talks about limiting the amount of time and the number of rounds that the Cortlandt residents can use the facility.I know that the Town Board members have an issue with this.Mr. Kessler said so the operative part here is that the limitation for 1,000 rounds of golf per year for Town residents.Is that the discounted rate or is that in general?Mr. Vergano replied Bill, why donít you explain it?Mr. Balter said first of all, on the last page was the language that was used in the resolution to approve the golf course.Mr. Klarl said I was just saying to the Chairman we made that change; we had done it previously.Mr. Balter said basically, as we have explained over the course of the last 2 and a half years that the economics of the golf have changed dramatically in that daily fee courses are un-financeable and basically arenít working.What this basically tries to do is to put the Town in a similar place and a better place at the end of the day where it would be as a daily fee course and actually address what we are doing.The Town Board in their worksession last night, which I was not at, I had someone there and got a follow-up from the Town Attorney today was not satisfied with this for a number of reasons.The big picture, as it says in the FEIS, and we had statistics to demonstrate this, which are widely available, daily fee golf courses are going to do about 10,000 rounds or more than a private course.There are plenty of rounds for Cortlandt residents to play.The problem is that when you are selling memberships, you canít devalue the memberships by having letís say 5,000 rounds available to the general public, so to speak, because no one will buy a membership.What we explained to the Town Board when we met with them was that we were guaranteeing a minimum of 1,000 rounds.We actually expect it to be about 3,000 or 4,000 rounds but in terms of not devaluing the ability to sell memberships we had explained a guarantee of 1,000 rounds but it will probably be a lot more.Mr. Kessler asked is there an upper limit?Mr. Balter replied no.Basically, even with that, I believe it is the Town Boardís position that it is great that you are telling us that but you canít demonstrate it so we need to work out something better.Mr. Kessler said Iím unclear as to why there needs to be a minimum if there is no limitation.Mr. Balter said there is minimum that we are guaranteeing.We are guaranteeing at least 1,000 rounds.From our perspective, the only way to make incremental dollars is from Cortlandt residents because everyone else, they donít pay to play.They pay once per year and if they play 1 time or 50 times, they donít pay anymore.It is in our interests, to sell more rounds to Cortlandt residents.We guarantee a minimum of 1,000 rounds but if we sell 5,000 to Cortlandt residents, we would be happy.This letter and the resolution that is quoted in this letter, which I guess basically is off the table because the Town Board wants more security.Mr. Kessler asked is it a public course for the non-fee paying members?Mr. Balter replied that is a good question.Constructively, I think it needs to be from Cortlandtís perspective, again, we are not done; we havenít met with the Town Board.Weíre hoping to very soon.Where we will end up is from the Cortlandt residentís standpoint, it will be as if it were a daily fee course in terms of what it will cost to play a round.Thatís constructively what needs to happen where it doesnít devalue the ability to some members.Mr. Kessler asked and the rest of the public?Mr. Balter replied the general public outside of Cortlandt, this is something that we have to work on with the Town Board, unless you are being accompanied withÖWe are going to give the Recreation Department the ability to deal with rounds.Mr. Kessler said letís keep it simple.Are you saying that this is now a member only course except for Cortlandt members who pay their daily fee?Mr. Balter replied that is not what Iím saying.Mr. Kessler asked are you saying that this will be a member only course except for Cortlandt residents that pay a daily fee?Mr. Balter replied the answer generally, is probably yes.We are going to meet with the Town Board and discuss it.We have still not met with the Town Board to discuss it, which is why we asked to take this off the agenda.Mr. Kessler said up until now, the intent was a semi-private course with some annual memberships and fee-paying members as well with some preferential treatment to Cortlandt residents, correct?That was the premise throughout our 5 years.Mr. Balter said annual and perennial memberships are what it says.The question was asked at a couple of meetings where we were headed with memberships and we said 350.Mr. Kessler said 350 members but never with the other statement that beyond Town residents there was no other ability for people to play on that course on a fee basis.I think it is wise that we adjourn this.Mr. Vergano said briefly, the Town Board clearly needs a good level of comfort that the course will be available for Cortlandt residents when Cortlandt residents want to use the course.That is really the issue and the sticking point here.The way that the negotiations and the discussions on this topic have proceeded is clear that under the requested scenario there will be limitations to the availability of the course.That is something that the Town Board is having a problem with.Mr. Kessler said weíll talk about it at other meetings but I still donít understand the need for the floor.Mr. Vergano said I donít either.Mr. Kessler said it sounds like it is unlimited access to Town residents.Mr. Vergano said it is not unlimited access.Mr. Balter said we said it was unlimited but if there ended up being only 600 rounds available, that would not be acceptable.Mr. Kessler said if people donít want to play, they donít want to play.Mr. Balter said weíre not saying it has to be 1,000.We are saying that weíll guarantee that we make available at least 1,000.If it ends up being 5,000, great because we make more money if we do that.I donít think, frankly, it is going to end up in that direction.I think there is a better way to do it.We have not talked about it with the Town Board.Mr. Klarl asked do you also believe that you should have further discussions with the Town Board?Mr. Balter replied yes.Mr. Kessler said 1,000 rounds of golf over 8 months are 4 people a day.Mr. Balter said Iím not doing the math, but it sounds right.Again, we never believed when we explained to the TownÖMr. Kessler said that is one foursome a day.Mr. Balter said again, it is never believed for a second that it will only be 1,000 rounds.We are guaranteeing a minimum of 1,000 rounds.There is a better way to do it where we will guarantee some more rounds.

 

Mr. Foley asked on the accessibility of Cortlandt

residents, can they just call in the morning or just show up on any of those 2 days and 2 afternoons that are stated?Mr. Balter replied clearly, it is still being worked out with the Recreation Department.One of the questions that has arisen is how do we know what is going on if we arenít involved?Mr. Foley said the likelihood of just a Cortlandt resident showing up at 2:00 on a Tuesday afternoon, if that is one of the designated days, that doesnít mean that person will get a tee time.That has to be worked out.Mr. Balter said Iím sure it will be worked out so that people can reserve a time.The question is that Iím assuming that the Town will end up wanting to have a hand in that so that they can verify that ĎXí number of people got to play.Mr. Foley said also, it may be a simple answer that Panas is combined with 1 team, but you mention the Lakeland High School Golf Team.Does Panas have a team or are they combined with Lakeland?Mr. Balter replied the Lakeland Golf Team is something that has been discussed for years because of the pilot agreement, which refers to the Lakeland golf course.Mr. Foley asked is this a pilot agreement with Lakeland Schools or of the Town?Mr. Balter replied both with the Town and Lakeland Schools.I think that is something that has to be discussed.Hendrick Hudson has some interest.Mr. Foley said I mention Walter Panas since they are the only high school other than Hendrick Hudson that is located in Cortlandt.Mr. Balter said that is something that has to be discussed.Mr. Foley said I just wanted to get it out there.

 

††††††††††††††††††††††† Mr. Bianchi has there been a mechanism for identifying Cortlandt residents other than a driverís license?Has anything been put in place?Mr. Balter replied that has to be put in place.

 

††††††††††††††††††††††† Ms. Todd said my understanding was that it wasnít just for Cortlandt residents and that anyone could play golf there.It was a public course.You didnít have to be a Cortlandt resident.Mr. Balter said when we initially began the process, certainly, for the majority of the first 2 years, you are absolutely right.That is how we would have done it.Eric Bergstol has been here many times and has spoken to you.When he began, he had 6 golf courses of which 5 were daily fee courses.He is now converting every single daily fee course to a course basically like this because the economics of it just donít work.Ms. Todd said I have seen the ad up in Club Fit for the course opening in 2004 and letting people know that they can have memberships and not just in this club but in all the other clubs.I can see that he is trying to fold this into his empire but I really donít think that is fair to the process that we have gone through to determine everything about this course.It was supposed to be a public course that anyone could play at.I remember when the first idea of memberships came up.That was very late in the process.I remember asking questions about that, how much is it going to cost?And, there was a lot of hesitancy about giving specifics about that.For you to come now, at this point, after approval to change it into a private club where Cortlandt residents get preference at certain times sounds like Hudson National to me.Mr. Kessler said Bill, I have to tell you here is a letter of February 15th that went to the Town Board that did not go to this Board asking them to change a resolution that this Board developed and voted on.Mr. Balter said to this day, I donít think when we are done with this; I do not believe that this will be a significant difference to Cortlandt residents.In fact, I think it will be significantly better.For example, there will be access to Cortlandt residents on weekends easily now.Whereas in the past, that would have been tough.I have said this is different than what we proposed in terms of the general public.Outside of that, I think this will be significantly better for Cortlandt residents.During the process, lots of things changed.Basically, from a SEQRA standpoint, there are significantly less rounds played, which means less traffic, less impacts in every way.So from a SEQRA standpoint, and it is in the FEIS, the impacts are far less.The outside public, yes, it is changed.Other than that, it is our job, we know we can get Cortlandt residents to play.We understand that we need to do that.

 

Mr. Bernard asked what is it that you figure now that a

membership is going to cost?Mr. Balter replied if you are buying a membership?It is $25,000.Mr. Bernard said when this was first bought up, there were numbers discussed with Eric in front of us that were in the $4,000 to $6,000 range.That is a substantial difference from what we talked about.What if the market drives that value up to $50,000 or $100,000?Mr. Balter replied the memberships pay dues of $6,000 to $7,000 per year.Mr. Bernard asked what does $25,000 get you?Mr. Balter replied that is a one-time bond membership.Mr. Klarl said so it is one annual and one perennial.Mr. Balter said it is refundable.It is basically partially refundable.Mr. Vergano asked when is it refundable?Mr. Balter replied if you choose to leave.Mr. Foley asked does that give them membership in the other four courses?Mr. Balter replied no.It gives them the right to pay and play at the other courses.

 

Mr. Foley asked may I ask a question about the combination

of the other 4?Would that have a greater impact because golfers tend to, because 2 of these courses arenít that far away from the Hollowbrook, go from course to course?Would that impact have more usage of the course orÖ?Mr. Balter replied weíre going to provide the Town Board with statistics of the clubs in the different areas.Mr. Foley said the fact that we didnít know about that possible combination of all the courses when this was voted on.Mr. Balter said may I suggest that we are going to spend a lot of time on this, Iím sure.When we spend the time on it, professionals will talk about it, as well.Mr. Bernard asked shall we discuss it after you are finished building it?Mr. Balter replied no, I donít think that would make sense, obviously.Mr. Klarl asked are you having a meeting with the Town Board before July 1st?Mr. Balter replied I hope so.Ms. Lindau said there is no meeting scheduled.Mr. Balter said we have asked the Town to schedule a discussion of this.

 

Ms. Taylor said if we canít have it by July 1st, can we have

it afterwards?Is there any particular reason why it has to be by July 1st? Mr. Klarl replied that is our next Planning Board meeting.Ms. Taylor said even if it is, do we have to have it then?We could have it in August.I think we probably should get together as a Board and decide what issues we have with this, submit them to the Town Board so that when they have a discussion with you, Bill, they are all on the table.Maybe, a few people from here would like to go.I donít play golf so Iím not as up to some of the issuesÖMr. Kessler said that is a great idea.Ken, why donít we put this on the agenda under Old Business and weíll talk about it at our next meeting because maybe we want to go on record with the Board with certain thoughts.Since we have been doing this for so many years, I think we have certain thoughts and opinions on how the direction of this should take and maybe we want to put those to paper so that the Board has that when they have their deliberations with the applicant.Mr. Klarl said maybe have one or two Planning Board members attend that Town Board discussion.Mr. Kessler said that would be fine.Mr. Bernard said in the meantime, he is going to build his course and then come back and tell us it is not viable unless it is the way that he wants it.Mr. Kessler said that is certainly a possibility.Mr. Bernard asked Bill, how fast can you replant those trees, Bill?

 

††††††††††††††††††††††† Mr. Verschoor said there is also an issue about a clock running for the Board to take action on the application that has been submitted.I donít know, John, if you want to discuss that.Mr. Klarl said for final plat approval, as you know we can only have the Public Hearing on final plat approval if your final plat is not (?) to the preliminary plat.There is no time clock for the Public Hearing but the Town law says that if we donít have the Public Hearing that we still have those 60 days.There are 60 days from the submission of the final plat, I donít know when the final plat was submitted, I donít have my files here, but I assume it wasnít complete until weÖMr. Verschoor said it was submitted on May 23, 2003 at the last meeting of the Board, which was June 3, 2003 but we didnít have Health Department approval until June 13, 2003.That makes it complete as far as our code is concerned.It may be that the 62 days should start from June 13, 2003, which would bring us into August.Mr. Klarl said I donít know what the exact date is but obviously, we have our July 1st meeting and we are going to have an August 5th meeting before the 62 days.Mr. Verschoor said there can always be an extension if that is agreed to.Mr. Klarl said our time will go to at least the August meeting.Weíll note that on the file but the Town Board discussion will occur and this Board will discuss it under Old Business on July 1st.

 

††††††††††††††††††††††† Motion was made by Mr. Hoch to refer this back to staff, seconded by Mr. Bianchi, with all in favor ĎAYEí.

 

 

RE:PB 3-01, Application of SB Acres, LLC for Final Plat Approval for a 3 lot major subdivision of 5.192 acres located at the end of Michael John Amato Drive East and on the north SIDE OF Oregon Road, as shown on drawing entitled ďSubdivision Plat, Lot 1, ML Realty Investors, Inc.Ē prepared by Glen Watson, P.L.S., latest revision dated May 22, 2003 and on a 2 page set of drawings entitled ďProposed Subdivision at Oregon RoadĒ and ďDetails/Profiles/NotesĒ both prepared by Ralph G. Mastromonaco, PE, PC dated February 11, 2003.

 

††††††††††††††††††††††† Mr. Verschoor said we prepared Resolution #24-03.This has to be renumbered to #23-03.This is a 3-lot subdivision at the end of John Amato Drive that was granted preliminary approval by the Planning Board on June 4, 2002.The conditions basically are getting Edís signature on the drawings, a rec fee of $4,000.Condition #3 is a Declaration of Conveyance guaranteeing sanitation pickup, roadway maintenance, and snowplowing.Number 4 is a standard with the County Clerkís Office.Number 5 is to indicate on the subdivision improvement drawings proposed sewer and water main extensions and easements to the satisfaction of the Director of Technical Services.This is something that Ed has to review the plan and be satisfied with.Ms. Todd asked what does number 9 mean?Mr. Verschoor replied this is for the inspection fee.The inspection fee is based on the cost of site improvements.Ms. Todd asked inspection by?Mr. Verschoor replied by Town staff.Ms. Todd asked as it is being constructed?Mr. Verschoor replied yes.Mr. Vergano said this was passed by the Town Board about 3 years ago.We just recently got the 4% to 5% for construction costs.Mr. Verschoor said number 7 is the $5,000 for soil erosion control and maintenance security.It is based on the size of the project.Mr. Bianchi said $5,000 doesnít seem to be a hell of a lot for this size project.Mr. Verschoor said it is about a 200-foot extension of John Amato Drive from the cul-de-sac.Number 8 is a performance security to be determined by Engineering.We donít have that number now but that is stated in the Resolution to be determined by the Director of Technical Services.

 

††††††††††††††††††††††† Motion was made by Mr. Hoch to adopt Resolution #23-03 granting the 3-lot subdivision, seconded by Mr. Foley, with all in favor ĎAYE.í

 

 

RE:PB 13-03, Application of Hollow Brook Golf Club, LLC for amended Site Development Plan Approval for the relocation of the proposed Maintenance Building located at the Hollow Brook Golf Club on the north side of Oregon Road, east of Adams Rush Road as shown on a drawing entitled ďMaintenance Building Site PlanĒ prepared by Ralph G. Mastromonaco, P.E. latest revision dated May 22, 2003.

 

††††††††††††††††††††††† Mr. Verschoor said this is for the relocation and reduction in size of the maintenance building for the golf course.There was one question on this and it was mentioned at the last meeting about restricting some of the truck turns into and out of this site.I think we need to go over that so it is clear so what Condition #3 should require.Condition #3 reads:

 

ĎShow on the subject drawing the intersection of Casperian Road

and Oregon Road and the proposed driveways for the maintenance building with appropriate traffic controls to the satisfaction of the Director of Technical Services and Director of Environmental Services.í

 

At the last meeting, it was mentioned about restricting certain left turns in or out of the site.I think we need a clarification on that from the Board.Mr. Foley said right turns into the site from Casperian are for trucks.I bought it up.Mr. Balter said you also said a left turn coming out.Mr. Foley said also, a right going in and hopefully, your access going in will be the existing spur road or whatever it is called.Mr. Verschoor said so it will be restricting no right turns in.Mr. Foley asked how do you sign that?You have residents that have to make a right in; Iím just talking about trucks.That is up to Technical Services.Mr. Verschoor asked the restriction on left turns would be?Mr. Foley replied coming out of Casperian to make a left is very dangerous if you have a truck.It is bad enough to come out with a car.Mr. Verschoor said so youíll be able to use the other entrance for that purpose.Mr. Balter replied yes.

 

††††††††††††††††††††††† Mr. Foley asked can I ask a question on this?I agree with the change; it is for the better.How did this happen that the building was located basically on top of the sewer manhole?How did that get over looked?Mr. Balter replied it is barely on it.We could move it.The plan that Ed has seen has it located so it is not on top of it without us needing a variance.I was out there looking at it.The reason that we moved it a little bit was because of the sewer.Mr. Foley asked how did that get overlooked?Mr. Balter replied it shouldnít have.Mr. Klarl said so the building has been moved for the sewer line and for aesthetics.(Cross conversation.)

 

Ms. Todd said while I have no problems about moving the

building, it is a good move, I do have problems with passing this Resolution so that you can continue to construct the golf course that right now is not with the resolution that we have or the final plan.Mr. Balter said nothing has happened to not make us in compliance.It is just that this is an open issue.We heave heard everything that you have said.As we expressed tonight and at the last meeting, this is the first phase.The maintenance building is in the first phase.If it doesnít get moved at all, we are going to put it where it is without getting a variance.That is silly.Everyone including the Planning Board and myself and the public will drive down that building 10 years from now and say Ďwhy did they put it there?íTo tie this to what we were talking about when we havenít violated anythingÖWe will have an open dialogue with the Town Board and the Planning Board on that issue.

 

††††††††††††††††††††††† Mr. Foley said in other words, if we vote on this, we are just voting on the relocation of the maintenance building with the resolution.Right?Mr. Balter replied correct.Mr. Klarl said you are amending the site development plan and this special permit to relocate the 5,000 square foot maintenance building.Mr. Foley said so this pertains to the maintenance building only.Ms. Todd asked are there other projectsÖRight now, we are putting on hold for the resolution for the final plat.Are there other projects that go under construction before the final plat is approved?Mr. Vergano replied keep in mind that the way the resolution from February 4, 2003 is structured, the applicant was given approval to proceed with the golf course construction.This addresses the final for the entire site.I hope I answered your question.Obviously, the construction that is underway right now, the approval was given for that construction back on February 4th for the golf course.That did not involve the townhouse portion.Mr. Klarl said you might want to note for the Board on page 4, Ken put in the magical language about extensions and he put it in bold print.We had a staff meeting on Friday.The bold language before it states the conditions, it says:

†††††††††††

††††††††††† ĎUpon timely application by this applicant with a written

explanation of the reasons for the delay which require the granting of a time extension.í

 

That is new language that we are adding.Ms. Todd asked what do other people think about this?Am I off base on this?Does it make sense?Mr. Foley replied as long as I understand that this resolution that we are about to vote on is only pertaining to the maintenance building.Because I still have reservations about the golf course.I voted no back in February because I thought it was too soon.Mr. Kessler said they can still build the building exactly where they proposed it originally.It may not be the right place but by not voting on this, that will still happen.I think staff and everyone agrees that this is the wrong place.Mr. Vergano said it is the wrong place.Mr. Kessler said the resolution does not change the ability to continue the construction of the golf course.

 

††††††††††††††††††††††† Mr. Hoch said I have a question on the traffic flow.I donít understand the no right turn from Oregon Road onto Casperian Road.Mr. Klarl said no right into Casperian.Mr. Foley asked have you ever tried to make a right into Casperian?Mr. Balter said it is over 90 degrees.Mr. Hoch said I know; I didnít know if you are going to do any reconfiguring.Mr. Balter said weíll use the spur road.Mr. Foley said you canít reconfigure it because you will spoil the existing pristine typeÖYou have the drop-off; you have a stream coming through.It is like a ĎVí.You can make the turn in a car but in a truck, it would be difficult.

 

††††††††††††††††††††††† Motion was made by Mr. Hoch to approve Resolution #24-03 adding language to Condition #3 stating that trucks will not be able to make right turns into Casperian Road from Oregon entering the site and they will not be able to make a left turn out of Casperian, seconded by Mr. Bernard, with all in favor ĎAYE.í

 

††††††††††††††††††††††† Ms. Todd said I have one comment.I talked to Michael Clemens today and I think he is going to be here tonight.He has not gone out to inspect the wood turtle fence yet even thought that is one of our conditions.He said he has not been paid by the Town.He wanted to lodge to a formal complaint to the Planning Board about the fact that he feels he should have gone out there to inspect the fence but it is because of not being paid.Mr. Vergano said the turtle fence has been inspected.Ms. Todd said yes, but not by Clemens.Mr. Vergano said it has been inspected by Paul Jaehnig who is our Environmental Monitor.I have a problem with Dr. Clemens last bill.†† It was more than what we had approved by Town Board Resolution.We actually upped the allowable fee charged by consultants to accommodate him.The bill came in even higher than that increase.We have a problem with that.He knows about that problem.Frankly, I resent him approaching the Planning Board without him bringing this to my attention first.Ms. Todd said he said he has been trying to call you, 2 or 3 times, and he has left messages.Mr. Vergano said o.k.

 

 

OLD BUSINESS:

 

RE:PB 18-98, Application and Final Environmental Impact Statement dated March 2003 for RPA Associates for Preliminary Plat and Site Development Plan approvals and Steep Slope and Wetland Permits for a proposed cluster-open space subdivision of 229 dwelling units or in the alternative 204 dwelling units on 731 acres at Valeria located on the east and west side of Furnace Dock Road and on the south side of Sniffen Mountain Road as shown on a 15-page set of drawings entitled ďProposed Planned Residential Community Known as ValeriaĒ prepared by Joseph C. Riina, PE, latest revision dated January 2003.

††††††††††††††††††††††† Mr. Zutt, attorney for the applicant, introduced himself to the Board and said actually, it was not really clear to me why we were here tonight, specifically that is, but I gather it is to talk about the comments that we got from your Environmental Consultants, as well as comments that we received today from your staff and comments from the Board, as well.We are happy to do them in any order that you like.We also have Dr. Michael Clemens with us tonight.The opportunity presented it self and we said letís have him here just in case you all have questions for him.He is our biodiversity consultant originally hired by the Town but at some point prior to that had been retained by my client; therefore, there was a conflict.As a result, the Town employed Mr. Coleman.I think that was the sequence.Mr. Kessler asked do you want to bring us up to date?Mr. Zutt replied I defer to the Chair.Our goal obviously is to get an accepted FEIS.Mr. Kessler said on March 25, 2003, you gave us the FEIS.That FEIS has been reviewed by our consultants, AKRF.They have been reviewed by staff and I think the Board has reviewed that as well.You have given us, I believe, four different plans.I guess the operative one here is that there are now two 204-unit proposals.One of which accounts the findings of the biodiversity consultant, Mr. Coleman, in terms of protecting certain areas.What you have done is moved some of the development out of the areas that are being protected.I believe you have increased the number of units elsewhere so that the 204 number has been retained.I believe from my perspective that is probably the plan that we should be talking about understanding that we are not here on the final plat.We are here to talk about the FEIS and the mitigation.Certainly, the plan as you put forth is part and parcel and an important part of the mitigation that you are proposing.You have gone to great length in the EIS to discuss the reasons for the movement of the homes and the mitigation of the habitats of the turtles and the Fowler toads.How should we proceed?Anything from staff before we get started on this?Mr. Verschoor replied we handed out to the Planning Board tonight our comments with regard to our review of the FEIS.With regard to the responses to the traffic report that was done by Adler Consulting, staff is recommending that this be referred to Adler Consulting for review and to report back to the Planning Board.If the Planning Board is in agreement with that, the applicant would have to fund the escrow account for Adler to do the additional work for us.Mr. Zutt asked may I understand something?Didnít you have the Adler report last year?Mr. Verschoor replied yes, and then it was responded to in the FEIS submitted on behalf of Valeria.Mr. Zutt said Iím just wondering why it wasnít referred to Adler sooner if that was your intent.Mr. Verschoor said that is our recommendation to the Board at this time.Mr. Zutt said if you are going to refer to Adler, we would like to get it done as expeditiously as possible.Certainly, if they were going to be bought into the FEIS review loop, we would have liked to have seen it done sooner than this late in the game.Mr. Verschoor said the pages have been forwarded to Adler.We are waiting for his estimate so we can obtain the funding.Mr. Thomas Perna, RPA Associates, introduced himself to the Board and asked can we do this by telephone?Obviously, we are prepared to fund this but if memory serves me, these things could take another month.In due respect, I would like to get this response to the FEIS back to the Planning Board in a month.If you could telephone him and telephone Bill, I would appreciate it.Mr. Zutt said just let me know.We have done this in the past.Just let us know.Mr. Verschoor said sure.

 

††††††††††††††††††††††† Mr. Foley said we were just discussing the Adler report; I have the original one here with some changes.I have some pages marked in the document.The bottom line, the mitigation for the intersection improvements, are the levels of service the same or better in all cases?Iím talking from the furthest point north, which would be Croton/202, which is a part of this cumulative study and the one closest to your proposed development, which could be anything from Furnace Dock Road and Croton Avenue or Furnace Dock Road and Maple and there is another one in there someplace in his report.Are all of those intersections at better levels of service or what?Mr. Vergano replied it would be more appropriate for the professionals from the developer to answer that.Mr. Dan Simone, RPA Associates, introduced himself to the Board and said quoting from the document on page 57 under traffic, the first response touches on level of service at intersections along Furnace Dock Road in 1999 varied from A to E and at the 202/Croton Avenue intersection during peak P.M. hours.The roadway intersections from Furnace Dock Road in the immediate vicinity of the site, show levels of service of A, Sniffen Mountain Road, Dixon Road, and Giordano Drive, or B, Watch Hill Road eastbound.Based on the traffic study, therefore, the levels of service along Furnace Dock Road appear generally acceptable.Mr. Foley asked in the second paragraph of response F-1, the existing is from A to E.If this project is built as is and considering the other two projects of the cumulative study, what would the levels of service be?Mr. Zutt asked with the mitigation?Mr. Foley replied yes.It says a service of A at Sniffen Mountain Road, on the secondary perpendicular roads, Sniffen, Dixon, and Giordano, Sniffen being the more well traveled.Mr. Simone said the DEIS did actually spell out the levels of service under the build and no build conditions with the Emery Ridge and Abee Rose.They were taken into our original traffic study in the DEIS.I donít have those specific numbers here because this is really in response to certain questions.It is not a full summary of the improvements.So unless someone asked that specific question, I wouldnít have an answer.Mr. Foley said my concern is that the levels are improved.Mr. Vergano said it will be part of Adlerís evaluation.

 

††††††††††††††††††††††† Mr. Zutt said if I may, when the Adler study was initially recommended and pursued, there was a generalized statement of the extent to which the collective three developers would assist in mitigating the adverse affects of traffic.That was spelled out in a letter that I sent to Mr. Vergano at that time with the check.I believe that methodology, well itís not methodology, but I guess you could say it is an agreed upon level of service mitigation description for lack of a better term.Mr. Foley said that was the December 10, 2002 letter.Mr. Zutt said that sounds about right, Bob.It is spelled out, I believe, at the beginning of the bottom of the first page carrying over to the top of the second page.Mr. Foley said I know it is a cumulative thing; you are talking about three projects.Yours perhaps being the most units.Mr. Klarl said it says:

 

ĎApportioning the results among the 3 projects based upon the

respective percentages of the site traffic generated volumes and then apportioning.í

 

It then reads:

 

††††††††††† ĎBased upon the above understanding, my client is willing to

contribute toward reasonable and practical improvements as described as the developers' fair share, which will be arrived at by assigning a percentage of the improvement cost figures equal to the percentage increase in traffic over current traffic levels represented by the three projects.Then, apportioning the results among the three projects based upon those respective percentages of the site of generated traffic volumes the intersections.í

 

Mr. Zutt said I think that was sort of the equation that generally speaking was described and agreed to with Mr. Vergano.Mr. Vergano said just to clarify.There is no hard and fast formula.In general, yes, that applies.I have had meetings individually with all three developers or representatives from all three developments.They have in concept agreed to the scope of the improvements that are needed in these corridors that are clearly affected by these three projects.There are a number of road widenings.There are some intersection improvements involved in this mix.There are improvements to sight distance.There are some very sensitive areas.Again, in concept, there has been no problem.Mr. Klarl said the idea was to try to get the three developers to share in some equitable manner.Mr. Vergano said right, but we are already into that process.Now, with that as part of the mix, that is going back to our consultant really for their evaluations.What does that really mean to the level of service issues?Mr. Foley said my question was not so much on the monetary fair share but as to how you work out working with all three potential developments.How do you come up with the levels of service and are they improved or remain the same?That is my point.Mr. Vergano said again, I canít answer that ††††† question at this point.We need to have our consultant to an evaluation.It is clear what the needs of improvements are in these corridors.Again, to simplify this, if there are two dozen needed improvements or so, Iíll go to Valeria and say Ďtake care of the first 12í because they are clearly going to produce more traffic.Iíll go to the other two developments and take care of the next 12 and split them amongst yourselves.In concept, we have agreed to that.Mr. Perna said I think the bottom line question is the traffic after all are built, will it be equal to or better than what they are now.This is what we agreed to pay for our fair share.We are not going to bring them up to thruway standards but we are going to pay a pro-rated share to bring it up to equal or better than what they are now.Mr. Zutt said that was the goal.Mr. Perna said that is the essence of what I understand.Mr. Kessler asked when does that occur, after development?Mr. Vergano replied that occurs during development.Mr. Kessler said I guess Iím hung up on the allocation.Mr. Vergano said very simply, if you pull the Adler report, there were roads that were impacted significantly by these three proposals.We literally with the consultant conducted a series of site inspections with representatives from the developments and they agreed to take care of what we all interpret to be their fair share.Mr. Kessler said Iím trying to understand how you did the fair share portion of this.Mr. Vergano said again, if you have 24 improvements, they are going to take care of 12 and the other 2 developers are going to take care of 12.Mr. Zutt said let me see if I can go back.When Ed and I talked about this originally, one of his concerns was, and I donít mean to put words in your mouth so stop me if Iím wrong, there are present needs in various areas within the corridor before any new homes are built, Emery Ridge, Valeria, or Abee Rose.He wanted to see some of those conditions alleviated.There would be term funds needed to achieve that if none of these projects were built.Now, throw into the mix, the additional impacts generated by these projects and we have impacts on levels of service.His goal was to get a contribution from these projects, which when applied to and added to Town funds, would insure those levels of service are no worse and possibly are made better.Is that a fair statement?Mr. Vergano replied that is a fair statement but again, we say added toÖMr. Kessler said let me go to the FEIS.It says:

 

††††††††††† ĎThe developersí fair share will be arrived at by assigning a

percentage to the improvement cost figures equal to the percentage increase in traffic over the current traffic levels represented by the three projects.This is happening before the projects are built.í

 

I guess my question is everyone using the same traffic generation numbers to say that you are going to generate 200; Abee Rose is going to generate 32, and Emery Ridge is going to generate 57.The answer is yes.Mr. Vergano said absolutely.Mr. Kessler said Iím not really sure as we sit here that everyone is using the same traffic generation numbers to do their projects because we are always arguing over those numbers.Mr. Vergano said that is one thing that drove the cumulative impact traffic study for the 3 developments.We want to make sure that we are comparing apples with apples.When you look at the three different impact statements and the evaluation, all of those impact statements, it didnít seem like we were moving in 3 different directions.That is something we have to clarify it.We came up with a solution that should mitigate traffic impacts and actually improve existing conditions.Mr. Foley said in Adlerís conclusion on page 26 of his report back in August 2002, he is saying that appropriate measures be implemented to offset the cumulative impacts, etc., etc.And the specifics of these measures, as well as the assignments of responsibility, be addressed in detail in the respective FEIS for the subject projects.Getting back to my original, is it specifically addressed in the revised document or the FEIS?Mr. Simone replied the FEIS specifically addresses certain improvements that based upon our discussions with Ed going back a few months ago that we would generally pick up on our tab exclusively areas directly adjacent to the site, areas on Sniffen Mountain Road, across from our site.We had gone over these things.These are areas that we had chosen to pick up exclusively under our improvement costs.The other improvements that may be warranted such as signalization or turning lanes, which may be warranted at the future at 202 or 9A and Furnace Dock Road, those areas would have a contributing factor from us as developers.So that is an area where we would contribute funds based upon our share.At this point, we donít even know if those improvements are necessarily warranted or justified.We did discuss with Ed certain improvements that he deemed specifically warranted due to our project and the vicinity of our project.Those areas have been addressed in the FEIS.

 

††††††††††††††††††††††† Ms. Todd said I have a question about parking at the train station.I think the Adler study says that your stats are about four years old.Did you provide new ones in the FEIS?Mr. Robert Peake, John Myer Consulting, introduced himself to the Board and replied we talked with them about a shuttle bus.Ms. Todd said I know that but not everyone is going to take that shuttle bus.Mr. Peake said no, he was pleased that we were the only ones who gave that thought.So he did give us some credit for doing that.I did talk with the Metro North people and they say were in discussion and that they were aware that they would need to expand the parking area in the future not for our specific development but for an area wide issue.Ms. Todd said I think most people are not going to go to Cortlandt.They are going to go to the Croton Train Station where the trains are much more frequent, which is way overcrowded right now.I think you need to talk to them, as well.They are going to have to go two stories if they are going to get more cars for parking.There is just not enough parking at any of the train stations right now.

 

Ms. Todd continued and said the other thing about the

updated accident history.Mr. Peake said we did provide that.Ms. Todd said one of the things that I felt was interesting about that was that only 4 out of 126 accidents were a result of sight distance problems.It seems that we are thinking that all of our improvement efforts for traffic in this area have to do with sight improvement, adding shoulders, widening the roads, so that people can go the speed that they are normally going, which is 46 m.p.h. rather than 30 m.p.h.My feeling about these improvements are that these are things that are necessary now to deal with the current numbers of cars that we have on the road right now.When we have what the Adler report says that there will be a 300 vehicle per hour increase at peak traffic times that is frightening to me.That is on page 4 in the Adler report.From Valeria, there is going to be a 300 vehicle per hour increase in traffic.I donít know.We can talk about widening the shoulder and adding signs that say Ďwatch, sharp turn coming up.íBut I donít think that does anything to mitigate what is going to turn into a parking lot on Furnace Dock Road.That is a lot of cars.Mr. Peake asked was that during one peak hour?Ms. Todd replied it is on page 4.Mr. Perna said Iím not saying that 300 is not a lot of cars but it all has to be put into proper perspective with what if the (?) so that we are all looking at the same traffic books.What do the national standards say that the levels of service are going to be on these roads when there are 300 additional cars?Isnít there relativity?Ms. Todd replied Iím just thinking as a sense as a driver.Mr. Perna said Iím also a citizen of Westchester County and am also saying Ďbefore you build in my back yard, too.íIt is all relative.If another house is built, there is not going to be another car but there are still going to be accidents.I would like to ask what is a reasonable improvement without having a thru road and what do 300 cars do in the totality of the traffic condition in Cortlandt after all the improvements are done that are recommended by the professionals whom this Board has hired.Mr. Zutt said if the current level is 100 in that same hour and you introduce 300 more, it is pretty significant.But if the current level is 3,000 and you introduce 300 more, Iím just throwing out a number to make a point; therefore, it has to be looked at relatively speaking.You are talking about all three projects, I gather, with vehicles being generated during a particular time period over the road network in general not in one particular local or for one particular project.I think it has to be looked at in that respect.Mr. Foley said he does in his report say that from Maple to Crompond Road approximately 11.5% would be attributed to Valeria and only half of that 5.5% would be attributed to Emery Ridge and half of that 2% would be Abee Rose if Abee Rose happens.That is just for one spot; I could pick out others.

 

Ms. Taylor asked do we have any figures currently on what

the level of services for this particular project?Mr. Zutt replied it should be in Adlerís report.

 

Ms. Todd said on page 98 of the FEIS, can someone explain

table 3-F8.I did not understand that.What is manual turning traffic counts?Mr. Simone replied these counts were actually taken by having people out there.Mr. Peake said you actually have people out there that click with cars.Mr. Simone said when they say manual traffic counts that means it wasnít done by a sensor or anything like that.Ms. Todd asked what is turning mean?Mr. Peake replied you look at the right turns and left turns.You do a separate count for each one of those.Mr. Simone said turning movement is a right turn or a left turn.Ms. Todd said that refers to page 97 and these intersection operations.Mr. Peake said exactly and that gets you to your level of service.If you look at the conditions, it reads what they would be in 2005 without the development and in 2005 with the development.Ms. Todd asked background means without development?Mr. Peake replied yes, if something was built in 2005.Ms. Todd asked could that be changed to say without development instead of background?I had no idea what that meant.Mr. Peake said background usually takes into account maybe a 2% or 3% increase, just in general growth factor.Ms. Todd asked combined means with all of the projects?Mr. Peake replied combined is including the background plus the proposed, in this case Valeria.

 

††††††††††††††††††††††† Mr. Bianchi said sight distance on page 62, table 3, you indicate the sights distance for left and right.Iím just trying to reconcile the numbers.If you could explain to me page 77.You indicate that all existing and proposed driveways should have a minimum sight distance of (?) feet.Major driveways would have 265 feet.On the following page 78, you talk about the improvements that you are suggesting would provide at least 465 feet in sight distance.My question is that I donít see the numbers matching.Maybe, Iím reading it wrong.Mr. Peake said this was actually for the driveways going in and out of Valeria.The first figures that you were looking at were for each individual homeowner.Mr. Bianchi said right, I see the addresses on them.Mr. Peake said the Adler study recommended specifically the sight distance for the driveways coming into and out of Valeria.So it is really apples and oranges on this.Mr. Bianchi said so the comments on pages 77 and 78 are talking about the entrance to Valeria.Mr. Peake said correct, that is what the Adler study talks about.Mr. Bianchi said but it says all intersecting streets and major driveways.Is that within the complex; is that what you are saying?Mr. Simone replied within our development entering Furnace Dock Road and Sniffen Mountain Road because we have certain driveways off of Sniffen Mountain and road accesses off of Furnace Dock.When we originated the traffic study, we were asked by the Town, could we do a corridor study on what is existing on Furnace Dock Road as far as its sight distance.That is where the other table comes from.So we had prepared that just for informational purposes so that the Town kind of knew the general aspects of Furnace Dock Road and what existing driveways and existing roadways had.That was also a way for us to try to target areas for improvements, certain sight distance improvements, clearing improvements, and what have you, which have gone into our conceptual roadway improvement plans that are files with the FEIS.Mr. Bianchi said it just doesnít read that way.The response of F-14 (?), you need to talk about the entire area, not just Valeria.(Cross conversation).Mr. Simone said I think specifically, it is stated Valeria, the proposed entrance and exit.Mr. Bianchi said you need to say that.Mr. Simone said there are a lot of existing driveways on Furnace Dock Road that we wouldnít have control over.Mr. Bianchi said that is the way that I took it; it is a terminology issue.Mr. Vergano asked how did you determine the sight distance?Was it the intersection and 13 feet back from the traveled way?Mr. Simone replied it was taken from 12 feet back from the base of either if there was a white line present or in the case of the asphalt, that was measured left to right.The obstructions that were noted in that sight line were delineated on that table.Mr. Peake it was a standard.Mr. Vergano asked was this for an object 6 inches high or 4.5 inches?Mr. Simone replied this was for a driver placed at 3.5 feet, eye level, above grade, and an object 6 inches above for the obstruction.

 

††††††††††††††††††††††† Mr. Bianchi said on table 3, also, the obstructions that you indicated and the recommended improvements, the numbers that you show for sight distance without those improvements.Mr. Peake said those are current.Mr. Bianchi asked do you know how much you will be improving it by making the necessary improvements? Mr. Simone replied no, that was really justÖMr. Bianchi asked what are you trying to meet, I guess?Mr. Simone replied there wasnít one.The table and the sight distance survey that we performed were really to get an idea of critical areas along Furnace Dock Road that would possibly be improved.It was the Townís consultants and the Townís staff that recommended that we do this and try to pinpoint areas that could in say in one full swoop, maybe take care of 5 or 6 driveways.Areas that were of critical concern.That is why that whole table was prepared.There are areas subsequent that we saw months back where we noted this is an area of noted concern.Sight distance is an issue here, could you see picking up partial clearing here on the right-of-way to open up the sight distance, for example.These are things that we specifically discussed.So it wasnít a question of do we go back to every one of these driveways and open up the sight lines for these people.It was more of a question of letís see what the conditions of sight distances are along Furnace Dock Road for the area residents, and if there are areas of Furnace Dock Road that could be, within reason, improved and improved for a bulk of homes, then those are issues that we would discuss about funding improvements within the right-of-way rather than on private property.Mr. Bianchi said I understand.Where you recommended improvements, looking at the sight distance, one is only 50, clearly, that needs improvement.Some are 200; one is 100.There are others that are the same number of 100 with no recommended improvement.I just think that is somethingÖI donít know if it is a traffic issue or if it is something that looks like it is not subjective.Mr. Simone said it could be.Other factors, which went into it, obviously are whether our consultants were familiar with whether there was ample room within the right-of-way.Yes, it could be somewhat subjective in that respect because what we did do in trying to put this whole summary together is that we received the right-of-way maps from the Town and tried to pinpoint areas where these improvements would be either on private property or on a public road.And also, from the standpoint of Ed, he wanted to know where the danger spots really were on Furnace Dock Road and where the areas were that we should be looking into and whether it was going to be an issue of should we do these improvements.He wanted to know as the Town Engineer if this was an area of concern for the Town.So it was kind of like we did the study and we did every driveway there not with the anticipating of repairing every sight distance but with the understanding that we were providing the Town with some needed information on the conditions of Furnace Dock Road.Recommended improvements, those would be our consultants speaking to this if it is possible or this may be achievable.Mr. Bianchi asked are there any areas here, which you define as dangerous and not having any improvements made one way or the other because of physical conditions or location?It is hard for me to tell on here.Some of them are 100 feet.It doesnít sound like a lot.Mr. Simone said I donít know specifically from the addresses where they fall but our conceptual improvement plan shows areas between Oak Lane and Inwood Lane as areas that need tree removal.Areas between Lockwood and Furnace Brook, areas that need rock removed in the right-of-way and stuff like that.But I couldnít tell you exactly which of these specific driveways that would impact.

 

††††††††††††††††††††††† Mr. Foley asked do you know if any of these alternatives for sight distance, how does that affect the character of Furnace Dock Road.You have driven around.You just mentioned a specific area that Iím familiar with.Mr. Simone said those were specific things that we discussed when we drove around with Ed.My major concern is that I donít want to come in here and widen it to a super highway.If it is a matter of taking down a couple of trees that will give you thru vision and alleviate someÖ I donít want to go into blasting a right-of-way and taking out a chunk of rock.Mr. Vergano said we talked about leaving it in a very natural state and not just taking out a chunk of right-of-way to provide the sight distance.We are trying to make this as aesthetic as possible and not destroy the character.Mr. Foley asked so it wouldnít be drastically changing the character of that road?Mr. Vergano replied that is kind of a subjective issue but in my opinion, no.Ms. Todd asked why do you think that is going to make an improvement when the accidents that have been reported over the years, few of them have to do with sight distance problems?I went through them.Mr. Simone said you have to understand that a lot of these issues where they refer to an accident, it may be hitting a deer or something like that.Those are sight distance issues.They are not necessarily described that way in the accident report but when you come around a turn and you smack into a deer, that is because you didnít have ample time to see it.There are accidents in there that arenít specifically alluded to as being sight distance accidents.Mr. Peake said these are terms that are assigned by the Police Department.They may not say sight distance but reading into it, you can certainly see it.Mr. Klarl said they could be incorrectly departmentalized, a given accident.Ms. Todd said unsafe speed, unsafe passing, driver fell asleep, failure to yield right-of-way, unsafe speed, etc.Most of them were unsafe speed, slippery pavement, etc.Four times were obstructed views from foliage and road curvature.Most of the time it was unsafe speed.Iím just trying to evaluate in my own mind how much are these improvements really going to mitigate with that many more cars.Mr. Vergano said I think the consultantís report will help answer that.Ms. Todd said there was one other thing on page 16 of the Adler report, it says that school traffic was not a part of Valeriaís analysis.I think that is very important.That is when Croton Avenue to 202 just backs up for about Ĺ mile.Mr. Klarl asked during the school bus runs?Ms. Todd replied yes.Mr. Foley said it has been bought up in reference to another project.Has the Indian Point evacuation plan been taken into account, also? I donít know.It has been bought up in the other project by the school system.They know their routes.Mr. Simone replied we did address that in the DEIS.

 

Mr. Kessler asked are there any other completeness issues

on the FEIS, comments?Mr. Bianchi said there is a comment under burms; I was pleased to see that you are not taking any material off of the site.You said you were going to be using it to construct a burm.Did you talk about that?I donít recall.Mr. Perna said we are not in final site design.Mr. Bianchi asked when you say burms, where are they going to be conceptually?What are they going to be used for?How high are they going to be?Mr. Perna replied basically, they were used before to create privacy between lots.Not between every lot but maybe between the cul-de-sac lots.It gives some privacy between backyards.Not, for example, a linear (?) burm but maybe a spiral burm in the backyard before going into woodland or maybe to protect some turtle habitat or a wetland.Mr. Bianchi asked are these going to be in any of the buffer areas?Mr. Perna replied we really havenít gotten to that.Mr. Bianchi said because of the increase concentration of the homes in the southwestern area, there seems to be a lot of encroachment into the buffer in that area.Mr. Simone said the burms would be located within the limits of disturbance that we show on the plans, obviously.There will be landscape features.A lot of the excess material, which isnít specific, they talk about 31,000 in excess material, a lot of that is going to come out in the form of rock, which we would use for landscaping, stone walls, and stuff like that, also.Obviously, the material is going to be used in different fashions.So, burm may mean stonewall.It may mean earth burm, landscape burm, etc.But it is all within the confines of the disturbance that you find on the plan.We generally donít burm areas that donít need to be burmed.We use it in between buildings in areas that are disturbed anyway.It would be a landscape burm with some possibly some trees planted on top of the burm between buildings.Mr. Perna said if you raise an acre 1 foot, that is 1,500 cubic yards.30,000 cubic yards is a lot of earth but in the construction business, it is really not a heck of a lot.At the same time, we are not in final design.So, by raising a building, we are going to do a final cut and fill before we dig the first bucketful of dirt.We are going to try to balance it.The best engineering usually is going to have a shorter surplus.We will try to cut that down even more to eliminate the burms.Again, right now, we still have a surplus.When we dig into the nitty gritty of the design, it could be 31,000, 29,000, 25,000.Right now, it is a surplus.

 

Mr. Bianchi continued and said construction monitoring,

will that be implemented as usual with the Town hiring a monitor?Is there any other environmental monitoring that will need to be done?Mr. Vergano replied sure, just like Lakeland Acres.

 

††††††††††††††††††††††† Mr. Bernard said on page 41, there was a citizen comment from Mr. Kyle Cragnolin; he made several pages of comments.In those pages on page 41, the second paragraph, just as an example, he speaks about the types of plants that are slated to be planted as landscaping and that most of them are pretty desirous foods for the white tailed deer.The response to his multi-page comments doesnít speak to the plant-scape.In fact, the response doesnít speak to a lot of the issues that he brings up.So as a matter of completeness, with his comments specifically, I would like to see a more complete analysis and response to his comments.He seems to have made some well thought out comments.Page 41 is in the middle of his comments.That is where he speaks about the plant species.I agree with the comments made about the traffic improvements.I, too, would like to see traffic improvements but my idea of improvements is slower speeds.Rather than building highways, I would like to see things slow down a littler.Along with Bob and Susanís comments about the types of accidents, it seems like speed is the predominant cause of the accidents.I know that everyone wants to get there quicker, but I am positive that they would get there quicker driving 3 m.p.h. and not running into things.If we could do improvements to slow that down, I think that would be to everyoneís advantage especially with the other projects that are coming along possibly.Mr. Simone said we discussed at one of the Board meeting over the winter some possible traffic calming mitigation tactics.One of our areas of concern was the intersection of Mt. Airy and Furnace Dock and possibly the installation of a signal or a 3-way stop there.I believe Furnace Dock is thru in that movement and Mt. Airy stops.I think one of our recommendations was placing a 3-way stop at that location to kind of stop traffic and you couldnít speed through that intersection on Furnace Dock Road.This is a traffic calming technique.If you put enough of those along Furnace Dock Road, then people donít have the ability to get up to 60 m.p.h. where they have to slow down and stop at 300 and 400 foot intervals.These were areas that we had discussed.Ultimately, we are still open to those suggestions.Mr. Vergano said you have to be careful in using 3-way stops to slow traffic down.It is really not recommended by the State.It has to be used very carefully.Mr. Bernard asked what kind of traffic calming measures are recommended by the D.O.T.?Mr. Vergano replied there are a number of things.There are actually roundabouts at 3 and 4-way intersections where as you are approaching the intersection, you have to physically slow down to move around the intersection.Mr. Bernard asked is that a possibility here instead of a 3-way?Mr. Vergano replied there may be.Mr. Bernard asked what else?Mr. Vergano replied on appropriate roads, not on major roads, speed humps have been used.There is sometimes pavement grooving, rumble strips.In tight areas where you tend to veer off of the road, you are going to hit a rumble strip and tend to slow down.You will remember that so you will want to slow down.Ms. Todd said they have that now on Crow Hill Road.Mr. Perna said I think it scares the hell out of them.Mr. Vergano said it does work.Believe it or not, another traffic calming technique is actually reducing the pavement width, the traveled way, reducing it down to 10.5 feet or so.You are going to have more of a tendency to obey the speed limit.You have to be careful with intersections because that will create a queue and that sometimes will bring a car back to a point where there is a sight distance issue and then you have rear end collisions.Again, it has to be evaluated very careful.Mr. Foley said the principle of the 3-way stops is to slow traffic but it does work in different neighborhoods where it does remind people they are in a residential neighborhood.The case of the intersection that you mention about Furnace Dock and Mt. Airy, that is a tricky one.That one may be more suitable with rumble strips across the road because you donít have any real nearby houses there that may be disturbed by the sound.The 3-way stop there, I donít know the sight distance in the directions.The stop signs are cheaper and can be changed.Mr. Vergano said the problem with stop signs is that people tend to speed up to make up for lost time.Statistically, that is what happens.Mr. Bianchi asked what about flashing lights?Mr. Vergano replied they are worthless.Mr. Foley said people get annoyed because the light flashes in their window.

 

††††††††††††††††††††††† Mr. Bernard said on the tax surplus, all the charts tell us that this is a fabulous project in terms of taxes.It is going to generate surpluses of about $7,000 or $8,000 for the general tax fund.There is another $7,000 for school taxes per unit.These are fabulous figures but are so different from the other projects that we have reviewed this past year.I have gone through the charts and everything looks correct.Iím not sure how you do it.Mr. Simone said these are fee simple lots, too, where everyone will own the property.There are tax advantages versus a pure condominium development.They tend to lose money based on the tax structure.We did go over these numbers for the school district.The consultants have reviewed them.Specifically, with respect to the condominiums, pure condominiums are assessed based on a rental value under the Townís standards.When a project like Valeria, which is going to be offered as a fee simple ownership meaning that everyone will own their unit, the tax structure is based upon sales price.So, it is much higher than would be realized through condominiums or what have you.In addition, the impacts associated with larger homes that would generate 3 or 4 school children have been weighted to the factor of these homes, which will have 2 bedrooms.Our anticipated school generation figures are much lower than what would typically be forecasted for your single family home.That is a big nut of where the tax saving is.Our last estimates were somewhere around $12,000 to educate a child in the district.When you have 3 or 4 children in every home, you are burdening the school district by $40,000 and there is no tax realization in that respect.Here, I think we had an average 53 children over the 200 or some odd units.That brings it down to about ľ of that, about $2,500 impacted dollars spent for a child.The average tax on these units is somewhere around the $13,000 mark.The number of bedrooms is important.

 

††††††††††††††††††††††† Mr. Hoch said that was one of the point that I wanted to see, which we just did for Emery Ridge was an update on the cost side.The cost numbers have changed.We now have school budgets that have been adopted.I am not sure that your $8,920 surplus per pupil is accurate anymore.I understand that your generation rate seems logical.But I think that you need to take another look at the now adopted school budget at the cost per pupil, what you are going to generate tax wise, and show us that and verify that number.I think it may have changed.Mr. Perna said we noticed that one of the comments from your consultants wasÖWe also looked at the sales price, too, which has gone up.Weíll look at both.

 

Mr. Bernard said 3 other points.On this 204 unit modified

cluster, which is the plan that Iím looking at, seems to be the preferred for several reasons.In section 6, there are these 3 homes that are stretched out longer on this version than on any of the other versions of the plan.In fact, on some of the other ones, it was 2 units.Mr. Simone said no, there were always 4.Mr. Bernard said actually 4, and there are still 4 on this modified cluster.(Cross conversation.)Mr. Simone said that was one of the recommendations of the biodiversity study that closest lot to Sniffen Mountain Road be, and we discussed this in conversation.Mr. Bernard said I recommend pushing all of those units closer together limiting the length of that driveway.Mr. Simone said he additionally recommended that the next house on Sniffen Mountain also be pushed back.The only issue that we have with that is that we have the old Valeria landfill, which kind of circles that house.That area is slated for reclamation.We donít really have the room to move that house anymore.I think there is currently about 35 feet from the natural area.Mr. Bernard asked so with that you have about Ĺ acre?Mr. Simone replied no, the DEC has recommended that we place a 2-foot soil path over it and monitor it because we have tested it and we have been monitoring it.Their recommendation is that if we can limit the run-off perc-ing through the existing landfill, we would eliminate any (?) coming out of the landfill.Mr. Bernard asked and youíll do that by how, so it will drain off?Mr. Simone replied no, it is basically maintaining the same grades but putting a top soil cap on it, which limits the amount of water that will perc down through it.Mr. Bernard asked how does that limit the percolation?I donít understand.Mr. Simone replied because topsoil is a very dense material.Right now, there is about a 4 to 6 inch layer on top of it.A 2-foot layer will create more of an imperviable layer on top.

 

††††††††††††††††††††††† Ms. Todd asked where is that?Mr. Simone replied it is behind this residence (indicating).Ms. Todd asked where it the sewage treatment plant?Mr. Simone replied here (indicating).Mr. Peake said that would be done in accordance with the DEC requirements.They would have to monitor it.It is in the DEIS.Mr. Simone said those were the initial recommendations from the DEC.We still have to ultimately go back to them and get a permit to do it.Whether their recommendation are going to changeÖMr. Bernard said so the locations of these 4 houses are pretty well locked.Is that the best you can do, you think?Mr. Simone replied yes.Mr. Kessler said letís be clear, nothing is locked.The Public Hearing is still open on the subdivision.

 

††††††††††††††††††††††† Mr. Bernard asked how far is the applicant willing to go to follow the biodiversity study done by Mr. Coleman?In other words, in some places he talks about units that are near the box turtle protection area instead of having curbing using grass swales so that there is no impedance to the turtles.How far is the applicant willing to go to follow these recommendations because there are a lot of recommendations in this?Mr. Simone said specifically, those recommendations about the curbing and the swales have to do with the single-family homes on Sniffen Mountain Road.His recommendations for truncating portions of the development in section 3, we have already incorporated here.I think from that standpoint and if you have any specific questionsÖMr. Bernard said he also talks about the quality of storm water run-off having to be maintained at a very high level.And, to that end, perhaps some types of catch basins that would trap any sediment or oils.Then they would have to be built so that they wouldnít trap animals and other types of catch basins could evidently have a special drain so that animals donít fall in and drown.Mr. Simone said those are specific engineering issues, which would be detailed by the final site plan review.We are obviously notÖMr. Bernard said Iím just trying to get a feel for the applicant and how he will follow these recommendations.Mr. Perna said if they are rationale recommendations, we will do them.

 

††††††††††††††††††††††† Mr. Bernard said the last comment is really a question.I was wondering if Dr. Clemens could speak to the Fowler Toad habitat.What I see on all the modified drawings is that there are still houses in fairly close proximity right in between sections 4 and 5 as far as the Fowler Toad protection area.I was just wondering if that protection area has been delineated to the extent that they are protected.Dr. Michael Clemens, Metropolitan Conservation Alliance, introduced himself to the Board and said we are talking about the third plan.The Fowler Toads were found in the site.They were found in 2002 and 2001.We are not really sure where they are breeding now.We tend to think that they are probably breeding in the wetlands near the Peekskill Briarcliff Trailway.Fowler Toads are scarce in Westchester County, quite scarce, but the scarcity is more a function of long-term geologic impacts and presence of certain soils.Where Fowler Toads actually exist, they tend to exist much as other toads.They can exist within developed areas.If you go to Long Island, it is the only toad on the island.You find them in peopleís gardens.As you know, we are trying to protect the breeding areas.There is some discussion about where that will be, near the big slope above the tennis court, we could provide habitat.Certainly, it will be a change in the habitat.We arenít really sure where they are breeding.Ms. Todd asked do they breed in vernal pools?Dr. Clemens replied no, they donít breed in vernal pools.They may have actually been breeding in the flooded area.There are a lot of mudded flooded areas down there near the old equipment shed.It is interesting actually, I have been back there many, many times, and have never seen a Fowler Toad again except that one day that we saw them.Certainly, there is a population there.

 

Mr. Hoch said page 92 talks about the shuttle bus.I have

this great concern about homeownerís association and their ability to provide services that they are going to be burdened with.I assume that the applicant is going to donate a shuttle van to the homeownerís association who will then run it.My concern is how feasible is that?Are they able to afford the insurance?Hire a driver?Will it in affect work or is it a plan on paper mitigates traffic but in actuality after 6 months or so the finances disappear?Mr. Perna replied we have an agreement to retain current fees from the individual homeowners pay at a same level with the shuttle bus for 5 years.Just like the tennis courts, etc.Mr. Hoch said so at least, there is funding for 5 years.Mr. Perna said excuse me, we have contractual agreements with the H.O.A. that their fees will not go up with the shuttle bus, the golf, pools, etc.Stuff like that.It is a cost concept.Mr. Simone said also you have to understand, developing this project as an H.O.A., which we intend to do, the developer is responsible for maintaining the facilities in order regardless of the amount of income coming in from the H.O.A.It is based on a deficiency basis.If the facility is provided and it costs $3,000 a year to maintain and there are only 2 homeowners that pay $50 per month, under the Attorney Generalís guidelines, we are obligated to maintain that deficiency of operation.If we prescribe in the offering plan that their common charges and that their fees are going to be $50 per month, that is what it is for them whether it costs us $3,000 additional month to offset those things.The reason for that being is that ultimately when all the homes are occupied, that deficiency would be made up.But until that threshold is reached, the project sponsor is obligated to maintain that deficiency.Mr. Hoch said I understand that.Clarify for me how long is the guaranteeÖMr. Simone replied until we are sold and out of there.Mr. Zutt said essentially, the developer is the underwriter of unsold units until the units are fully sold out.Mr. Hoch said that still didnít answer my question.What is the timeframe that you are guaranteeing that this shuttle van will operate?Mr. Simone replied we can guarantee it up until we sell our last unit and we are no longer the project sponsor. Mr. Perna said we have a sunset clause for 5 years, as I said before.Right now, I think they are paying $200 a month per unit.We anticipate capitalization, deficiency of scale.We are putting in additional rec facilities and public facilities, a shuttle bus, new golf facilities where you can actually putt on the green.This is going to be additional costs.We have guaranteed contractually with the H.O.A. that we will pay the deficit to prevent their fee from going up above the $200 mark for 5 years.Mr. Kessler asked is it the later of 5 years or the sale of the last unit?Mr. Zutt replied I donít believe so, Steve.As I recall, and I would have to go back and re-read the agreement, it has been awhile, but Iím pretty sure that the guarantee was for 5 years regardless whether we sell out in year 1 or year 6 or year 10.Mr. Kessler said if you did sell out in year 5, then all of your obligations have been met and it is up to the remaining homeownersÖMr. Zutt replied no, not all of the obligations have been met because hypothetically, if only half of the units have been sold by year 5, we would still be on the hook for the remaining unsold units.The only difference is that the artificially supported ceiling that the current homeowners enjoy would disappear basically.Mr. Kessler said the subsidy ends at 5 and then you are free to raise it to whatever the cost of operation is.Mr. Zutt said we arenít free because what happens is that everyone participates in the budgetary process.At that point, we may be a minority.We may own only 40%.Mr. Kessler said so you would have to subsidize it.Mr. Zutt said exactly.Mr. Kessler said that would be part of the negotiation at that point.Mr. Perna said we would like to think that there is going to be some kind of scale.

 

Mr. Hoch said on page 108 and 109, it talks about the

recreation fee.The fact that you are putting a great deal of money into on-site recreation, which is only for Valeria residents.My question is that we still have a Town recreation requirement.How is that supposed to be met?Mr. Zutt replied that is a really hard question to answer diplomatically, but Iíll take a stab at it.The recreation impact fee is a State law.The theory of it is that a developer should provide for the additional population that he is introducing to a community.He should provide recreation amenities adequate to support the needs of that additional population.If he does that, than he is not obligated to pay the recreational impact fee.If he doesnít do that, than he is obligated to pay the recreational impact fee.Typically and traditionally, in most subdivisions in Cortlandt and elsewhere, the recreation fee is almost automatically assessed and no new amenities are bought in.That is not the case here.It is our position that the recreational amenities that are being introduced and have been committed to already with the homeownerís association satisfy that impact fee requirement.It is our position that this developer should not be obligated to make any cash impact fee payments on the townhouses.On the single-family homes, which donít participate in the H.O.A., they are fee-simple single-family, they would have to pay the recreation fee.That would be the homes west of Furnace Dock Road.Mr. Hoch said I donít think I agree with that but I wonít be here to vote on it.On page 140, it talks about an estimate for the sewage treatment plant.It is an estimate based on 253 homes, I would like to see the one based on 204 homes and that is going to affect them.Again, this goes back to affecting the homeownerís association.

 

††††††††††††††††††††††† Mr. Kessler said to add to that, on page 140, I think it would be helpful to see what the actual costs are for the 80 homes.If you are incremental costs for the 204 homes at this point, and letís say the total cost, which I imagine would be a little bit less than what you are showing here for a total of 333 homes.Mr. Simone said all of those were submitted under the DEIS.I will have them put back in there.Right now, the plan is working under a deficiency, which we are picking up the tab for.Mr. Zutt asked do we give the figures to the 240-unit option?Mr. Simone replied no, because that option was not in existence until the DEIS was prepared.Mr. Bianchi asked why is there (?)Mr. Perna replied there are only 80 homes.Mr. Simone said the existing homeowners have typically been paying $15 or $17 per month.When we came in, we agreed to hold their sewage treatment plant charges for the duration of the approval process.But there have been major repairs, which we have undertaken at our expense.Our general monthly operating expenses, which are for our operator, our lawn maintenance, and what have you, are in excess are of the 80 homes generated right now.Mr. Zutt said it was also the case that this project was originally conceived for upwards of 525 units back in the early 1980ís.The operation of the plant was based on that assumed population.

 

††††††††††††††††††††††† Mr. Hoch said the last comment that I have is regarding garbage on page 142.It says the new units would have private carters at curbside.Again, to me, that is another cost factor for the H.O.A. but it says that the disposal system for the existing homeowners is not under the proposed development.What exactly is going to happen with garbage?Mr. Perna replied as I understand it, they have a staff that picks up the garbage at each home and brings it to a central container.We have not done a development like that and donít plan to do a development like that. We will put the carting out to bid and we are not going to have full time people on site paid for by our H.O.A.I have already spoken to members of the H.O.A.There are some people that like the service that they have now.There are some people that will appreciate the reduction because the H.O.A. is paying the bill.It might not be a monthly garbage charge but they have staff and it is costly.We will be letting our garbage collection out to bid and I said that I would do the same for them.Iíll have bid A and bid B.If they want to use my carter, they can.I think weíll get a better price.Mr. Hoch said so the hope would be that there would be one system.Mr. Perna said taken off the site.I donít want a container.Mr. Hoch said yes, youíll have a carter come in and take it for disposal.I had a number of other comments but they have actually all been covered in staffís memo.

 

††††††††††††††††††††††† Mr. Kessler said going back to the sewage treatment plant.I guess this is a completeness issue.On page 27 and 28, you talk about the ownership and the ownership being transferred to the association.You then go on to say that if there is a problem, it reverts to the Town.I guess my question is to the Town, is that o.k. with you?It says if the developer of the homeowner association fails to maintain, operate, or otherwise abandon the systemÖI guess I should go back before that.It says the stock to be held in escrow if the developer fails to complete the structure or if the developer H.O.A. fails to maintain, operate, or otherwise abandon the system.The sewage treatment system is a critical component of this development.I want to be sure that since so much hinges upon this systemís affective operation that everyone on this side of the table is comfortable with the fact that it may defer to the Town and we are prepared to take on that responsibility.Mr. Vergano said again, I will defer to John for the legal issues and questions, the New York transportation law says that there is a vehicle set in a place that in the event of default on the part of the owner that it does revert to the municipality.Mr. Klarl said this still further points out that, talking about the sewage district, it should be noted that the sewage district with the power of taxation has been in place since December 1980.Obviously, there is a mechanism.We donít want to see it occur.I donít know if we ever had, Ken, a sewage treatment plant in the Town that has failed and we have taken it over.Mr. Zutt said I can probably add a little bit to that, Steve, because I had to look at this in the context for another project.The way that the New York State Transportation Corporation Law is written, it is a Transportation Corporation that owns and operates this sewage treatment plant.The Transportation Corporation is in turn owned by the H.O.A.That is the corporate layer.If the Transportation Corporation should fail in its responsibilities, the ownership of the stock in that corporation automatically falls to the Town without pertinences.The automatic transfer, if you will.The Town has legal authority to tax the participants in the community for benefiting from the plant without even having to utilize the existing taxation district.In this case, there is already a sewer district in place.It has been there for 23 years.So there are basically 2 fallbacks.One is the State law fallback that automatically gives you that power.Behind that, you already have a district in place.You sort of have a belt and suspenders in this one.Mr. Klarl said that is exactly what it detailed on the bottom of page 27 and top of page 28.It talks about the stock of the transportation corporation, which has shares.It says if the stock should so pass, the Town may then in the operation of the system cost assessed against the homeowners.It may, in addition, levy taxes for that purposes.This is section 119, subdivision 4.It also indicates, as Bill Zutt just said, that a sewer district with the power of taxation has been in place for Valeria since December 1980.There are both avenues.I havenít seen the Town have to pursue either one since I have been involved since 1991.It talks about taking the stock over from the Transportation Corporation.In addition, having the power of taxation in connection with the sewer district.Mr. Zutt said that sounded very familiar to me because I think I authored it.Mr. Simone said also, just for clarification, that issue exists currently.The Transportation Corporation is in affect for the existing Valeria 80 units.Obviously, the potential of that happening is less if there are more people funding it.Mr. Vergano said just for the record, the Town does not own and maintain a sewage treatment plant currently.In my opinion, I would like to stay out of the sewer business completely.Mr. Klarl said we have never acquired one by fault.

 

Mr. Kessler said I want to understand the relocation of the

turtle issue.If I understand what has been presented here is that there is an area where there is a habitat of turtles and what is being proposed is that it is o.k. to develop in that area as long as someone has a little red wagon and moves these turtles to another area, which I believe is the Sniffen Mountain Road area.Can I just understand that?It just seems like a lot of work.Dr. Clemens asked can we get a map out?Which area are we talking about?Mr. Kessler indicated.Dr. Clemens said not in a wagon.What I suggested and responsive to your own consultantís report, for the record, I think that the knowledge of this site began in the year 2001 when I did the bog turtle assessment for the applicant.Other things, which I turned over to you in a letter in the box turtles.Mr. Coleman built on that data in 2002.That is how we got to this point.So we both had our hands all over the site.Down in here (indicating), development is spread over the site.I really thought in terms of conservation I would rather go and try to conserve (?) to develop the site, which I think is the concept.We are not trying to buy the site to preserve anymore.I believe that time has passed.We presented the site with the basic fundamental biological questions and it made more sense to protect these all four of these nodes (?) a little bit to load the bulk of protection in the best areas of the site.If you do that, that basically means that we are going to have to make some decisions about which areas of the site are not going to sustain the turtles.We have made a recommendation, and I believe Mr. Coleman concurs also, that these two areas have the largest and most vibrant populations based on the well defined nesting areas up here (indicating).There are well-defined nesting areas here.The current plan does assume that what we are going to build in some areas where we have found some box turtles.We found 2 or 3 down in here in this wet area behind the big white, whatever that house is.It is a meadow where there is some debate as to how the big wetland is versus the meadow.There are some turtles in there.We did find some turtles in an area that had been previously roads and veins through it.The sense here is that this in terms of long-term bog turtle survivorship on the site as it is being developed is the preferable way to do things.They asked about moving the turtles and relocating them.Generally, Iím not much in favor of doing that.Basically, I think people have to take the hard truth.When you develop the site where the turtles are or any other way, generally location is pretty ineffectual.You basically have to face the fact that you are going to lose the animal habitat.Any development is like this if you are going to move animal habitat.But I thought here because we did have an area here of habitat that is largely out of use, it is the dump, it is not really a good habitat because of the way that it is, that we could try to experimentally remove some of these animals and put them in here.I have outlined the areas that we are going to do it.There is going to be fence exposed and replanted.It is going to stay enclosed for several years to give the turtles that have moved out of here a chance to positively imprint on here.Generally, if you take a bog turtle and you move it, they start to know it and understand it.It is all very experimental.I would say right from the get go, the real conservation areas are the ones that we are protecting.What we are doing here is that we are basically trying to save some of the individuals that would be normally lost in development to see if in fact we can get the imprint there.I donít want to get too hung up on that as a conservation strategy.The real conservation strategy is the protection of these two areas and the recreation of this lost habitat.Not the fact that we are going to try to collect some of the turtles in the construction area and try to move them.I want to be real clear on that.The gist of the conservation strategy are these two bog turtle conservation areas.Mr. Klarl said for the record, the areas that you are planning on protecting are labeled as Ďbox turtle protection areasí.The experimental area would be in the southern part in that section 4.Dr. Clemens replied correct.This is the receiving area.In general we talk about that we really canít move turtles for a couple of reasons.Firstly, turtles have a strong sense of home range.You have to remember some of these turtles live to be 60, 70, or 80 years old.So we are moving them out into something else.But one thing that it is has going for it in here is that this area is pretty full of carrying capacity.We are going to be adding significant more habitat.Potentially, we could have more carrying capacity.I donít want you all to get hung up on that particular part of it because it is really experimental in a sense.It may not work.Once you build on habitat, you lose the habitat.The real strength is the development of the really significant areas that are not being built on.Mr. Kessler said let me ask this question.Since you have discussed these two areas that are being built up for a formidable protection area, given that, are you indifferent those 4 homes being built off of Sniffen Mountain Road in terms of protecting that area?Are you indifferent to them being built or not being built?Dr. Clemens replied I certainly have no problem with this.I think that those homes are made to be bog turtle friendly.We talked about those designs with lot restriction and the correct curbs and catch basins.Certainly, Iím not concerned about these that are right along the road because that is basically a corridor.These here, I think can be made to work.Indifference is not the right word.Can these be engineered?The core of the bog turtle activity is out in here.Will bog turtles occasionally wonder up here?Yes.We never saw a bog turtle killed on the road.They seem to have a pretty good sense of where to stay by now.They understand the parameters of where they are.Mr. Foley asked can something be designed into that relocated area to prevent them from crossing Sniffen Mountain Road other than what you mentioned, fencing?Dr. Clemens replied right now, they donít appear to be crossing.Iím sure maybe if you have traveled or whatever, Iím sure maybe youíll say Ďyes, we saw a squashed bog turtle there.íThe times that we have all been working on that site, we have not seen a squashed bog turtle.Mr. Foley said there is a CAC memo dated June 12.(Tape 2/Side B ends.)Dr. Clemens said Iím not sure if it is.Ultimately, if a turtle is trying to get back there, there is not much we can do about it.Mr. Foley said the fact that it is a relocated area, they are not there now.Dr. Clemens said there are turtles all around.This is the heart, the greatest number of turtles around.You have the wetlands.You have this tremendous sort of savannah there, dry, high area that they nest on.This is the heart of the turtle area.In here, you have the best age and size class structure of turtles anywhere on the site.You have young ones and old ones.Here you have a nesting area again.But it is sort of in that very interesting habitat that sort of has varying types of sand up there.Right now, it is a go-cart track.What you have there is the population is almost primarily made of aged females there.Of course, the good thing about turtles is that they breed until they are 80 or 90 years old.They donít go through menopause.They keep on cranking out eggs until the very end.It is a pretty protective area.What has happened up here are two different areas.Here, there is no reproduction because those poor females nest every year and nest right in those ruts on that banked area where all the people with go-carts go.I have no use for those things.The bottom line is that the eggs are lost every year.They are just smashed.What you have here is one animal that maybe was young, maybe 25 or 30 years old, you have hardly any reproduction going on here because of the destruction of the habitat that is ongoing.Here you donít have this kind of problem.Here you have a much more robust class A size structure of turtles.We have them young to aged here.Mr. Foley said so back to this Sniffen Mountain Road area, the fact that the refuse area was in there, which was years ago, that doesnít affect them at all, does it?Dr. Clemens said the refuse area is not helping them; it is not hurting them.There are large parts of the refuse area that they are not using.It is unsuitable.The refuse area has sort of spread around a bunch of other things that they are using.But the whole area, the central core of eth refuse area, the actual area where all the stuff is dumped, they are not using that.It is not suitable.They avoid it.One of the goals here is to get all of that out and actually make more physical terrestrial habitat available to those turtles.At the same time, there are wetlands in there with a lot of debris.The idea is to try and make the area a more turtle friendly habitat and we have a desire to get in there and make it a grassland, plant bayberry, keep the woody stuff from growing up, the invasive species.To try to keep it sort of open and actually expand usable habitat.That is the only reason I would consider doing a relocation here because you are actually adding more habitat area.Otherwise, my concern would be that you would start to destruct the carrying capacity, which is pretty much in balance on that.You have a pretty healthy turtle population.If we didnít have more habitat available being created, I would not advocate moving them.Mr. Foley said it goes from trash to turtles.

 

Ms. Todd said this is open space.What is their

designation going to be?Is this open space forever?Mr. Perna replied yes.Ms. Todd asked is it going to be managed?Is there any kind of budget being given to this work?Mr. Simone replied we havenít placed a budget on that.That was the next discussion with Michael.For long-term maintenance, he has really only recommended a seasonal mowing.That is something that obviously, we would put into the budget, which would be an obligation of the H.O.A.The actual restoration and reclamation is our cost.Ms. Todd asked how big are these areas acreage wise?Do you know?Mr. Simone replied it is spread over probably about 2 to 3 acres of debris.Dr. Clemens asked are we talking about the reclamation?Mr. Klarl replied no, the 2 areas for the bog turtles.Mr. Simone said the lake is 53 acres.This parcel itself is about 55 acres.I think the development took about 10 of that.It may be 40 or so in here.This area looks roughly the same size (indicating).In this area, one of the issues as a critical link to the undeveloped portion, all of Condo I goes through to the back.Ms. Todd asked what is on the other side of those 3 houses?Mr. Simone replied some existing houses.Ms. Todd asked are they close to the road?Mr. Simone replied they go all the way back to here.This corridor really kind of travels this way.Watch Hill Road is over here.There is about 4 or 5 existing houses along this perimeter.The stream channel that comes through here turns.Ms. Todd said there is a little bridge for the Briarcliff Peekskill Trail.Mr. Simone said right over here.Ms. Todd asked what if you find more turtles in this area down here?Say, if you find 10 turtles in there.Do you feel like you would be overstocking theÖ?Dr. Clemens replied that is a good question.We have between 8 and 10 marked already.I donít think 8 or 10.I think if it was 20, it would start to be a concern.Ms. Todd said I had the same concerns about the Fowler Toad that John bought up.The other thing is AKRF is recommending that Steve Coleman have a chance to review this plan, that so much of your revision was based on his recommendations that he hasnít seen yet.Mr. Simone said as with the traffic study, as long as it could be expedited so that we can incorporate his comments.Ms. Todd said the one thing that I noted is that you have about 10 extra houses here above the little line that he drew on the B area that loop that goes up there really looks like it goes beyond what Steve recommended.Mr. Simone said yes, Steveís line, we actually did discuss that here in Town Hall.He had drawn an imaginary line per say with the area that he wanted to preserve.I had issues with that only because this area of road here is a steep grade getting up to this point.What we discussed it is that I have to dead-end it at a cul-de-sac.The only area suitable for a cul-de-sac is here at which point I could pick up a couple of more house sites here.Our discussions were in maintaining ultimately the drainage divide, which separates the vernal pool location from the Dickerson Pond side.We use that drainage divide to kind of draw our line of development here.It is in favor of the drainage divide here.Ms. Todd said but this is beyond what he recommended.So that is one of the reasons I think that he gets to review this.Mr. Simone said that is fine.It was also discussed with him though.Dr. Clemens said Susan, you bring up a point here that you shouldnít lose sight of.Also, at the same time we have created this, it also picks with the vernal pool where you have it now with pretty good habitat.Unfortunately, the vernal pools that you have here are of pretty low productivity.But you are putting enough open forest around these pools.That is important for the turtles because they are probably using them.We follow the drainage.This is definitely different than what Steve had in his report.Ms. Todd asked how important is the upland in the other area where the 3 houses snake down?It seems like most of what we have protected are wetland or wetland buffer.There isnít much upland.Dr. Clemens said I didnít see many turtles up there.Thatís not to say that they donít wander up there and I think there are ways to accommodate them.Bog turtles are basically wetland dependent.(Cross conversation.)They have a very strong affinity to wetlands.They hibernate in the edges of wetlands and they stay pretty close to them.They move out primarily out of the wetlands and the buffers to nest.They go up to the high, dry, open areas that are in the savannah and have the sandy soils.It is not to say that you wonít find turtles in the woods.But the real turtles of the bog turtles is the wetlands, the buffers, and of course, that island that is in the middle.Part of this is an island.They love the island.Weíre looking to basically try to maximize what you can do within the development.I feel from a conservation development scenario, this is probably as good as you can get.You can play around with this if you want but the bottom line are these 2.You do have to accept that you are going to lose something when you develop a site.Those are the trade-offs.Ms. Todd said I just want to commend everyone, you, Mr. Perna, to take this step and do this work.It certainly makes me feel a lot more confident about the plan that we are moving towards and the resources that we are protecting.I think it is great.I just want to thank you for your efforts.I also think we can do something in terms of slowing traffic by putting signs up that say Ďslow, bog turtlesí.

 

††††††††††††††††††††††† Mr. Kessler said 2 last comments.I just want to be sure that Dr. Clemensí report, which is Appendix B.It is 3 pages and it ends abruptly.I just want to be sure that it is 3 pages long.Mr. Verschoor asked is that the memo dated March 17?Mr. Simone replied yes.Mr. Verschoor said I have a question about that.It talks about habitat restoration starting in April.Has that been underway at all?Mr. Simone replied yes.Dr. Clemens said not restoration, turtle relocation.What we have done is put a silk fence up around the dump area called a turtle exclusion fence.This has been a bad year for turtles.They didnít become active until about 2 weeks later than usual.The first turtles were active about May 10th to the 15th.Everything was delayed for about 2 weeks because of rain, cold weather.Everything is depressing the turtles.I made one visit; I need to make another visit there.We are not going to be able to really certify that area to be turtle free.It is about a month behind what we had projected.We went into the area that had been a turtle excluded area.Inside of that, we found 3 turtles in there that had moved in.They possibly hibernated there.1 was a marked animal; 2 were unmarked.We also saw a lot of turtles trying to get in, which is because they are moving around.We need to put a few more times in here before we can really say Ďgo in and take your heavy equipment in and start digging the stuff up.íWe are trying to minimize the loss of turtles by sanitizing the area of turtles by actually trying to just put a lot of time in there and pulling them out.I was pleased to see that the bulk of the turtles were not in there.Ms. Todd asked what area are you talking about?Mr. Simone replied the debris dump.Dr. Clemens said it is all silk fenced and has been checked a couple of times.It is really excluding the turtles.The reason we put the silk fence in was to clean as much of the habitat as possible but not too much of the habitat to eliminate the nesting area.The silk fence is in.You should really go look at it.It is really quite a feat how they got it in because it would have been much easier to wrap the whole the dump around.Instead, it goes up and down and over hills.The idea being basically that we tried to capture as little as possible the habitat that they are using and yet to sort of have a very defined area for cleaning.There is one area of wetland that sits outside there because we didnít want to impose on it because it would take up too much of the turtle nesting area.The wetland is full of tar and other things.That is going to be removed very carefully.That is outside of the fence.We felt that to wrap the fence around that so much turtle habitat would be lost for 4 years if we did it.We really tried to think very carefully how to maximize the amount left outside because they are using it.Ms. Todd asked do you think there is any value to having a tunnel underneath the road where sort of where the tennis court is?Dr. Clemens replied none.We donít want to encourage them to move.In fact, tunnels under the road do not work very well.Turtles donít like to go into holes.Ms. Todd said like a big box culvert.Dr. Clemens said no, if you really want to do that, you need to have span that is about 3 to 4 feet high.They need to see the light.Ms. Todd said it could have a speed bump on the top.Dr. Clemens said I think a lot of people talk about them and I really think if you are putting dollars into where we need dollars, that is not a good thing.If we had a lot of turtles crossing the road, I would say fine.But there is no evidence that turtles are actively crossing the road.I think they have learned over time through the slow process of killing those turtles with the wandering genes, they are staying pretty well up.There are all kinds of problems with tunnels.I donít think the expense on this is warranted.Iíve not been shy to recommend very expensive bridges and tunnel systems in other habitats.In fact, I did one that cost $500,000.It was a triple cantilever with lights shining down through it.But I just donít think it is warranted on this particular application; otherwise, I would have suggested it.What you have here is land and land is what these turtles need.If you protect the key habitats, you will have populations of turtles here.Mr. Simone said our objective as soon as Michael gives us the indication that the silk fence is clean, we want to immediately move in and clean out all of the dump area and restore the area.Then, we want to discuss plantings with Michael and habitat restoration issues at that point.Hopefully, weíll get that accommodated by summerís end.

 

Dr. Clemens asked do you have a question on the Fowler Toad

area; I cut you off on that?Ms. Todd replied I noticed that the Fowler Toad area seems piece meal.I really donít see that we are setting aside a specific area for them.You kind of explained it by saying you donít really know where they are breeding.They are like American toads and how they can jump around.Dr. Clemens said I hate to hypothesis, but I think there is probably a wetland at the corner near the entrance to the property where it is fenced off and there is the Peekskill Briarcliff Trail.There is a small pond right there and I think that is more than likely where they are breeding.But, we donít know.We never really know and we never have seen them again, which is kind of strange.Iím sure they are kind of cyclical.They have survived other scarifying events.I really donít know how to answer that question beyond that I think they are trying to maintain the habitat near the sandy bank and the wetlands.My concern is how the storm water wetlands whether or not should be used or encouraged or excluded from them.I say this in my report, I believe, that the wetlands are really going to be quite dirty with a lot of heavy metals and salts and silt that I would rather create berms, toad excluders, around the tips of those basins.But I donít think we really know that yet exactly what the protected water quality is.You may want the toads in the very last one, filtration, but not in the first two.Those are the kinds of things that can be worked out in designing this.It is a very simple thing.You just put a curbing lip like this, maybe 1 foot high, 6 inches wide, vertical curbing.That will keep them out and a lot of things out of those storm water basins if you think they are going to act in an ecological sense.

 

††††††††††††††††††††††† Mr. Kessler said I just want to remind everyone that the preliminary plat Public Hearing is still open here.We are just discussing the FEIS.To that point, the discussion of the homes is still a discussion that we need to have.I will defer to Mr. Coleman on his knowledge and expertise in terms of the biodiversity, his comments in terms of making up for lost homes in other homes is something that I think is the purview of this home and not Mr. Colemanís.Again, with all due respect.Those discussions still need to occur whether the number is 204, 253, or some other number.They will occur at a future date.Again, letís keep on track with the FEIS with completeness issues and make sure that all of the environmental concerns have been addressed and to the extent they can be mitigated, the FEIS has shown in some manner that they can be mitigated.That is the point that we are at.Are there any other comments on the completeness issues?Ms. Todd replied yes, one more comment.It is from AKRF on page 5 about the basins.They are pointing out that a lot of the basins are actually wetlands that are going to be regraded to serve as storm water basins.That is something that is not smart to do.If you have functioning wetlands already and they have deemed that in the FEIS as a completeness comment.I donít know whether we have a full storm water plan or not.

 

Mr. Verschoor said on page 123 of the FEIS, it mentions

providing a 3-dimensional model.The Planning Board should decide if this is something that they want.Could the applicant just describe what they have in mind?Mr. Zutt asked the 3-dimensional model?Mr. Simone replied the model making is a good business for the people who make models.It is nothing I care to venture on without some indication from the Board as toÖIt is quite a substantial investment.If the Board alluded to which one of these was the way the Board would leaning, I would fashion a model based upon one alternative and one alternative only.I think that would probably be only fair.It is not cheap.Mr. Kessler said I would call the 204 unit modified planÖMr. Simone said it is also not a quick process.I donít know when this model would be available.Hopefully, not before we have a Findings Statement.Mr. Kessler said what is important about the 204 modified cluster is though the number of homes are important that is about a 20% reduction from the original proposal.What is important there is that the areas have been delineated in terms of protected area.That is critical here.Whether the homes are 100 feet tall or there are fewer of them, I think the imprint of what we are talking about is what is important here in terms of developed area.Mr. Simone asked so it is the Boardís desire to see a model generated from this 204 plan?Mr. Kessler replied the 204 modified cluster because there is another 204 plan.Mr. Zutt asked is that something that could be incorporated as a condition of preliminary or something along that line as opposed to having generated the model beforehand?Because I donít know what the timeframe is for the creation of such a model.Mr. Simone said that is why I said that. Mr. Kessler asked can you give us an answer back at the next meeting just so that we can figure out how to proceed?Mr. Simone replied it is really a question of timing obviously.Depending on the model figures that I use, it could be 3 months or 4 months before a model like this could be complete.It is very detail oriented especially the 3-dimensional.We are talking topographical variations as opposed to a sales model, which is 2-dimensional with just houses plopped around it.Mr. Zutt said if that was something that could be made a condition of preliminary approval, then we would at least move to that stage in the process and get the model underway.Mr. Simone said it is not something I would want to hold up the process.Mr. Vergano asked what about a computer simulation?Mr. Simone replied that doesnít take that much less time.We are in the process of doing that currently for other projects we have in the Hudson Valley.Our consultants are telling us it is usually a 2-month process just to do the computer simulation.I donít have any objection to doing it.It is nothing I want to obviously slow the process.Mr. Vergano said what is interesting about the computer simulation is that you can show the virgin property, once superimposed, how it is going to look.Iíve seen presentations and they are pretty remarkable.Mr. Klarl said Iíve seen them, too, where they actually showed the elevations of buildings from down the road.Mr. Vergano said you can take a look at a vista before and after construction.It is very informative.I think in many ways that is more helpful than a model.Mr. Simone said from the standpoint of timing that would obviously, be the one that would be available sooner than a physical model.Again, it is also something that can be updated from time to time as the plan progresses.It is not something that I feel should necessarily halt the process.Mr. Vergano said I question whether it should take 2 months though.Mr. Simone said trust me.We just did this on another project.

 

††††††††††††††††††††††† Mr. Kessler said there are some discussions that need to occur with the FEIS.Mr. Vergano said we have to get our consultants, Coleman and Adler, on board to review their responses in the FEIS.Mr. Zutt said we will have that funding for you in a matter of a day or two if you just give us the figures.There shouldnít be any slowdowns as far as that concerned.

 

Mr. Foley said I guess I was the one who bought it up in

2001, I would like to see a model.Ms. Todd said the purpose of this is to help the public at the Public Hearings to visualize this and the Board.Mr. Foley said if the computer one is a possibility, is that almost like a virtual reality?Mr. Simone replied they can do it in many different fashions.They can add vegetation, color schemes, what have you.But, also, you are going to see these buildings as more lot configuration than what you could actually see in the architectural features on them right now.It is the same as what you would see on a 2-dimensional physical model where you have typical houses.Mr. Kessler asked is it any different if you were to choose some area just to give us some sense of what that would be like?Mr. Simone replied a drastic difference, if you isolate it to certain areas.Mr. Kessler said it would give us a sense of the utility of it once we see it.Mr. Simone said what we have done on other projects is that we have taken positions on if they wanted a computer generated model showing viewscape A or viewscape B.To generate a view model that encompasses the whole site enables you to seeÖMr. Vergano asked can you show us a sample of what you have already done?Mr. Simone replied on projects that we are developing right now on the Hudson River, we are doing views with 3-dimensional computer modeling from the Hudson River to land.Mr. Klarl asked what town or village?Mr. Simone replied Fishkill and Kingston.Mr. Klarl asked Waterside Landing?Mr. Simone replied yes.These are areas where we are studying specifically what is the view from the Hudson River to the project.In areas like this, if one asked to model how would this area appear from Furnace Dock Road, those are very, not simple, but easier to model.They are defined because you are defining a specific view.Those areas can be generated relatively quickly.Understanding Mr. Foleyís comments on how this initiated, obviously, people like to see how it fits into the land.More specifically, does the Board have a concern as to what part of this is going to be visible from say Furnace Dock Road?If anything would be visible from 5 miles away?These are questions that are generally asked on these things.We are in a valley.Mr. Vergano said the question is do you want to see a concept from Furnace Dock Road.Do you care about how it is going to look internally?Mr. Kessler said or do you want to see what the development is going to look like if you are driving through it or if you drive on Sniffen Mountain looking at the place?Mr. Vergano replied I think it is the later.Mr. Klarl said from the outside in.Mr. Foley said from the publicís standpoint, Furnace Dock Road and Sniffen, and what they are going to see.Mr. Simone said we can pick a couple of vantage points and model them.Mr. Foley said I donít know how the current residents feel.But start with that from the outside publicís view, so to speak.Mr. Zutt asked are we talking about a model or computer generation.Mr. Vergano replied a computer generation.Mr. Kessler said I think the upper portion is more important because the rest of it is pretty well off-site.Mr. Simone asked what would be the concern with the residents, Mr. Foley?Mr. Foley replied I donít know how you people feel or how you would like to see it internally from where you currently live in the existing area.Mr. Klarl said the Board is talking about looking at the development from the outside roads.Mr. Simone said weíll model a couple of portions from where the development opens up to the outside road.Ms. Todd said how about on the end here, section 4, you have the 3-family units.I have a pretty good idea of what that is going to look at.But the ones behind that, are they on a steep hill.Is that one of the steep hills that we walked up?Mr. Simone replied no, the steep one is across the ravine.This is prior to the ravine.That is what we discussed in the alternative.Ms. Todd said maybe, something in that area.Mr. Verschoor said I remember on our site visit that there were some condominium owners that were concerned about what they would be looking at across the lake.Mr. Foley said yes, he was worried about the new development.Mr. Verschoor said yes, it might be good to see that portion, too.Mr. Simone said weíll fashion one from this point, one from here, and one from here (indicating).Mr. Zutt asked Steve, this isnít going to stand in the way of a completeness finding is it?Mr. Kessler replied no, you are going to get back to us with the information.Mr. Zutt said o.k.

 

††††††††††††††††††††††† Mr. Foley said there was a memo from the CAC dated June 12, 2003.

 

††††††††††††††††††††††† Motion was made by Mr. Hoch to adjourn, seconded by Ms. Todd, with all in favor ďAYE.Ē

 

 

ADJOURNMENT:

 

††††††††††††††††††††††† Motion was made by Mr. Hoch to adjourn the meeting at 9:52 p.m., seconded by Mr. Foley, with all in favor ďAYE.Ē

 

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††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Respectfully submitted,

 

†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††

 

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††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Donna A. DíAgostino†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††