Meeting Minutes

August 5, 2014



August 5, 2014


Present:  Mayor Christopher Sanders, Deputy Mayor Mark Blomquist, Trustee Lisa DeFeciani, Trustee John Gallucci Jr.,  Trustee Steven Silverberg, Stephanie Tassello- Clerk- Treasurer


Absent: Walter Sevastian, Esq.-Village Attorney,


Mayor Sanders called the meeting to order, and led the Pledge of Allegiance.


Public Comment

Grant Scully expressed concern regarding the influx of cyclists on the weekends.


Mayor Sanders explained the roads thru Piermont are public roadways and the Police Department has special details to insure that the cyclists obey the traffic laws.


Margaret Grace, a member of the Sparkill Watershed Alliance, requested to set up tables at the end of the Pier to provide information regarding the Watershed Alliance while the Clearwater will be docking on Saturday October 4th, 2014 from 12pm to 2pm.


Trustee Silverberg moved to allow the Sparkill Creek Watershed Alliance to set up tables at the end of the Pier on Saturday October 4th, 2014.  Trustee DeFeciani seconded the motion which carried by vote 5 ayes and 0 nays.


Anne Putko explained on May 29th she contacted the Piermont Police Department regarding hundreds of pounds of cut wood that was placed on top of her retaining wall, which could cause her retaining wall to collapse.  She also contacted the Building Department.  She is requesting the Village board to take action.   She feels this is a crime and it’s not being investigated.  She should not have to pay someone to remove it.


Trustee DeFeciani asked who placed the cut wood on her property. Anne Putko explained she thinks it is a neighbor but does not have cameras to prove who placed the logs on her retaining wall and the neighbors have denied putting the wood on the wall.


Mayor Sanders commented he would like additional information from Chief O’Shea who is not present.


Mayor Sanders explained the Board cannot do much as it is on private property; however, if Ms. Putko moves the material to the curb, the Highway Department can remove it from the curb.  He will also follow up with the investigation with Chief O’Shea.


Patricia Lukes, Piermont resident explained she has noticed overgrown shrubs on the seawall side of the fence beginning from Parelli Park along the northshore walkway path, and if there was anyone who is responsible to trim it.


Mayor Sanders commented it’s the Village’s responsibility to maintain the fence along the northshore walkway, it’s the responsibility of the Homeowners Association to maintain and trim the brush on the north side of the fence.


Approval of Minutes


Trustee DeFeciani moved to approve the minutes from the July 15, 2014 meeting of the Board of Trustees.  Trustee Blomquist seconded the motion, which carried by a vote 5 ayes -0 nays.



Department Reports



DPW Superintendent Tom Temple reported submitted his monthly report  and nothing additional to add.


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Building Dept.

Building Inspector Charles Schaub submitted his written report and nothing additional to add



Chief O’Shea was absent but has submitted his monthly report.


Trustee Blomquist reported he received a request from Chief O’Shea to close the pier to vehicular traffic on Monday, September 1st, 2014 for the annual PAL concert.


Trustee Blomquist moved to close the pier to vehicular traffic on Monday, September 1, 2014.  Trustee Silverberg seconded the motion which carried by vote 5 ayes and 0 nays


Fire Dept.

Chief Cavanaugh – absent

Presentation of Certificates from the Rockland Municipal Planning Federation

Mayor Sanders thanked and commended the following members of the Planning Board & Zoning Board of Appeals for receiving Certificates of Completion from the Rockland Municipal Planning Federation.  He noted the following members were absent:

Nathan Mitchell an Alternate member of the Planning Board for completing the Planning/Zoning Certification Course.

Maureen O’Connell a member of the Zoning Board of Appeals for completing the Planning/Zoning Certification Course.

Daniel Spitzer a member of the Planning Board, in addition to being the Chairperson of the Planning Board for completing the Planning/Zoning Course.


He presented Mr. Ponisseril Somasundaran,  a member of the Zoning Board of Appeals, for completing the Planning/Zoning Certification Course.


Request from Piermont Pizza to amend special permit to allow outdoor seating and music


Building Inspector, Charles Schaub explained Piermont Pizza is under new management and is requesting to have outdoor seating and music.


Scott Morrissey, the new owner, is requesting to add 20 outdoor seats and add acoustic music.  He has obtained 8 parking spaces in the lot across the street from Village Hall.  Eventually he will be changing the front windows to open and he would put the music inside.  While he goes thru the approval process he requested to remove indoor seats and put them outside.  He stated his seating capacity would remain the same at 30, which would be 15 outside and 15 inside.


Trustee DeFeciani asked what parking lot he is referring to.


Scott Morrissey identified the lot across from the Turning Point, that is currently for sale.


Trustee Silverberg repeated Mr. Morrissey’s request that he is proposing to keep the same number of seats – just move them from inside to outside until his public hearing., He also advised Mr. Morrissey that the previous owner had issues for putting seats on the road which was a safety hazard.


Mayor Sanders explained, pursuant to Village Code Section 210-76, the Village Code governs the issuance of Special Permits, and provides that the Village Board can issue a Special Permit after a public hearing (210-76 (A)) and that the Village Clerk shall transmit the application to the Planning Board for an advisory opinion at least 14 days prior to the scheduling of the public hearing.



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Trustee Silverberg moved to refer this application to the Planning Board for review, and hold a public hearing on September 23, 2014 at 7:45pm for a Special Permit to allow outdoor seating and modified music. Trustee Silverberg also added to temporarily allow outdoor seating as long as the total seating capacity does not exceed 30 seats.  Trustee Gallucci Jr. seconded the motion which carried by vote 5 ayes and 0nays.


Request for Special Permit from Kathleen Puder to convert a single-family dwelling to a two family dwelling


Kathleen Puder requested to convert her single family dwelling into a two family dwelling.  She explained previously she had Certificates of Occupancy that listed her home as residential multi-family.  She has a separate studio detached from her home, which is why she had the certificate of occupancy as residential multi-family.  She thinks the certificate of occupancy as a single family was issued sometime after she renovated her main home, however she continues to pay taxes as a multi-family.


Building Inspector Charles Schaub reported her file contains several Certificate of Occupancies listed as a two family, however the most recent dated Certificate of Occupancy is for a single family.

Mayor Sanders questioned Mrs. Puder for clarification her multi family dwelling and on her request.

Kathleen Puder explained the Town of Orangetown has her home listed as multiple residents.  She would like to make the pre-existing studio into a residential rental.

Trustee Gallucci Jr. asked if the main building would remain single family and only the studio would convert into a rental.  Kathleen Puder responded yes.  He thinks the certificate of occupancy for the single family was for the main building renovation and does not include the studio.  There appears to be two uses for the property.  He does not see the single family C-O as encompassing the entire property.  He thinks the studio is a separate existing use and since no renovation was made to it the last C-O was issued only for the Building a Permit was issued for.


Charlie Schaub explained there is only one Section, Lot and Block for the main building and the studio.

Mayor Sanders referred to Village Code § 149-4 2 B – A public hearing shall be held on all applications as herein provided.  All Applications shall be referred to the Building Inspector, the Fire Inspector, Village Engineer, the Zoning Board of Appeals, the Planning Board and the Architectural Review Commission. The aforesaid persons and Boards shall review all applications and report their recommendations to the Village Board of Trustees, in writing, prior to the public hearing, except that the Building Inspector, Fire Inspector and Village Engineer may report orally to the Village Board at the public hearing.


Trustee Gallucci Jr. commented he does not think she needs the Public Hearing; she should bring this application before the zoning board for an interpretation clarifying the Certificate of Occupancy.


Trustee Silverberg explained the Village Board is not authorized to review and make a determination on the Certificate of Occupancy in question.  He suggested scheduling a Public Hearing and refer the application out to the boards.


Trustee Silverberg moved to refer this application to the afore-mentioned personnel and Boards for review and hold a public hearing on September 23, 2014 at 8:00pm for a Special Permit to convert a single family dwelling to a two family dwelling.  Trustee Silverberg seconded the motion, and upon vote the motion carried by vote 5 ayes 0 nays.





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Public Hearing (7:45) for amend Special Permit for Pier 701 for an extension to allow additional seating

Trustee DeFeciani made a motion to open the Public Hearing to amend special permit for an extension to allow additional seating.  Trustee Blomquist seconded the motion and was carried with a vote of 5 ayes and 0 nays.  The Public Hearing was opened.


Building Inspector Charles Schaub reported he met with the owners of Tappan Zee Marina who signed a lease agreement with Pier 701 giving them an additional 148 parking spaces.  The Marina also holds 100 parking spaces for boat slip owners.


Dennis Whitton explained he signed an agreement with Audrey Schneider, owner of Tappan Zee Marina, to rent an additional 148 parking spaces, which now exceeds his requirements.  The parking spaces for boat owners will be used during the day and his restaurant will be using the spaces in the evening.  He submitted a drawing of his proposal, and had also met with Chief O’Shea who suggested to install additional lighting, and signage. He has installed a fence, additional signs, and solar lights on top of fence posts.


Mayor Sanders identified the documents the Board received: a memo from Chief O’Shea, and advisory opinions form the Planning Board and Zoning Board of Appeals.


Mayor Sanders read the advisory opinion from the Zoning Board, which recommend approval contingent upon the applicant obtaining sufficient parking.  The Planning Board had expressed concern regarding a request to add a child play area.


Dennis Whitton explained he has removed the child play area, and also removed the proposed fire pit.


Trustee Gallucci Jr. requested clarifications regarding the available parking for the boat slips and his restaurant.


Charles Schaub explained there is 1 parking space per boat slip, there is a total of 100 boat slips but only 55 are occupied.  There are some parking spots being used by the boat owners during the day and the restaurant at night.


Trustee Gallucci Jr. commented he would like a detail of what spaces are dedicated for boat slips and which are dedicated for the restaurant. This needs to be clarified prior to the approval.


Charlie Schaub explained Audrey Schneider, the owner of Tappan Zee Marina, only wants valet parking which would create additional parking spaces.  He explained the additional parking spaces would allow 321 seats in the restaurant 235 outdoor, and would allow 86 indoor seats.  However the bulk of his restaurant in the summer is outdoor seating.


Trustee Gallucci Jr. again explained he would like the parking spaces detailed.


Dennis Whitton explained he is willing to close the interior seating while the tables are outside he would just keep a few inside for air conditioning.  His peak business is from 7pm to 10pm, the boats are not going out on the water.


Trustee DeFeciani also requested clarification on the parking spaces


Charlie Schaub explained if the 107 parking spaces are used for the boat slips, Pier 701 would still meet the required parking for 321 seats.


Trustee Silverberg agreed with Trustee Gallucci Jr.  – the parking would need to be addressed, and this use is contingent upon having the required parking.


Trustee Blomquist agreed with Trustee Silverberg, and Trustee Gallucci Jr.


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Mayor Sanders questioned the parking spaces – if there are 207 parking spaces, if the marina needs 100 that leave 107 parking spaces for the restaurant. If the 107 parking spaces are parked via valet service they could fit addition cars, he just doesn’t know what that number is.


Trustee Silverberg moved to close the public hearing.  Trustee Gallucci Jr. seconded the motion and upon vote of 5 ayes and 0 nays the Public Hearing was closed.


Trustee Gallucci Jr. suggested mapping out which parking spaces are for the boat slips, and which are for the restaurant, also to include where the valet parking spaces are.  Any resolution would also be contingent upon the availability of the Tappan Zee marina agreement.


Mayor Sanders tabled this to the Village Board meeting on September 2, 2014 for Village Attorney to Draft a resolution contingent upon Dennis Whitton submitting a parking plan. In the interim, he may utilize his outdoor seating based upon the amount a parking he has available.


Request from Phil Griffin to amend Site plan for the renovation/ addition/alteration of a single family residence


Trustee Gallucci Jr. recused himself


Lino Sciarretta, Attorney representing Phil Griffin explained this is an amendment to a Site Plan application. He referred to the previous board meeting in March 2014 that approved the Site Plan.  Recently,  a stop work order was issued.  The approved Site Plan was slightly modified – the bulk and layout stayed the same, the modifications were primarily aesthetic.  Mr. Griffin submitted an as-built to the Building Inspector earlier this afternoon.


Trustee Silverberg asked if the Board has received a copy of the as-built drawing.


Building Inspector Charles Schaub explained he issued a stop work order because there were discrepancies in the original drawing Mr. Griffin submitted to him and the Planning Board, and drawing he submitted to the Village Attorney.  The last set of drawings that were submitted also had discrepancies from what was actually built.


Lino Sciarretta explained the windows that were added on the north face of the front were not part of the original drawing.  They used the sandstone siding which matched existing siding, and he did not install the crown molding because Mr Griffin installed leaders and gutters instead.


Trustee Silverberg read the conditions of the approved resolution, dated March 18, 2014 and outlined the discrepancies as follows;

– The addition shall be painted or finished to match the existing exterior of the building.

– The proposed privacy fence shall be constructed.


Charles Schaub reiterated the two issues are: the exterior color does not match the rest of the building, and the privacy fence has not been installed.  He also explained the windows that were installed do not match the plans that were submitted.


Mayor Sanders questioned if there is an issue with the windows


Lino Sciarretta explained the resolution states the window opening shall be placed no lower than 5 feet 8 inches above floor level which was referring to the east side of the building.


The Board reviewed the original drawings that were approved


Mr. Phil Griffin explained the patio doors  they removed were 9ft. They don’t make it that size any more, which is why he changed it.



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Trustee Silverberg questioned Phil Griffin if he notified the Building Inspector when he made changes to approved plans.


Phil Griffin replied that he did not


Lino Sciarretta reviewed the resolution and the minutes from the previous board meetings and found there was no mention of color.


Charles Schaub explained that the color and the siding that on all the sets of plans prior to today that the reference to color and siding was to match existing.


Mayor Sanders asked about the gables


Charles Schaub replied the gables are dummies.


Trustee DeFeciani asked for clarification


Charles Schaub explained the discrepancies are the siding, the windows, and the privacy fence, which was not installed.


Lino Sciarretta explained the issues are aesthetic the integrity of the site plan footprint has not changed.


Trustee Silverberg explained the privacy fence should be a priority, and he should change the color of the siding to match existing as stated in the plans.  He also suggested putting a time limit on Mr. Griffin for making these changes.


Trustee Silverberg moved to approve the modifications contingent upon Mr. Griffin installing a privacy fence to be completed within 10 days and to change the siding to match what was on the original plans: gray cedar siding that was approved by the Board of Trustees to be completed within 30 days.  If work is not completed in the time allotted the Building Inspector is directed to issue violations and will also be issued a summons to vacate the premises due to no certificate of occupancy.  Trustee DeFeciani seconded the motion which carried by vote of 4 Ayes and 0 nays.


Trustee Gallucci Jr. re-entered


Request from the Piermont Historical Society to amend their caretaker agreement regarding the Train Station


Rich Esnard, Chair of the Piermont Historical Society, explained the Piermont Historical Society (PHS) is requesting a lease agreement for the railroad station.  He explained the railroad station was purchasd in 2006, restored in 2007, and received recognition in 2008 as a historic landmark.  Since October of 2013, the PHS has held events to raise money and now opens the train station on Sundays.  The PHS is looking to run a pilot program to take people on a historic walk thru Piermont, and run programs for education.  He believes this building will be a permanent source of history in Piermont.  They are interested in partnering with the Village to make the museum work.


Mayor Sanders referred to the previous board meeting in October 2013, explaining the board was initially discussing renovating the station and turning it into a single family rentable residential unit to help defray the maintenance costs.  The PHS opposed this plan and requested to maintain the station as a public asset and was willing to \ raise money to offset some of the maintance costs.  Under the original agreement, the PHS was responsible to maintain the upkeep on railroad station.

Trustee Silverberg commented he has attended several meetings held by the PHS, and noted that over the past several months they have re-energized and have increased attendance at the train station.  He believes it is important to recognize the railroad station as an asset for the Village of Piermont, but would need to review and discuss the costs for maintaining it.

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Trustee Gallucci Jr. agreed with Trustee Silverberg to review the information that has been provided and the station should be maintained in a matter that is historically correct, but the board should review what was being considered  in October 2013.


Trustee Blomquist thinks the PHS has done a great job re- energizing the public and suggested to share the burden if entered into a partnership.


Trustee DeFeciani explained the board would need to review the costs to maintain the building and the PHS would need to continue fundraising to share the costs.


Mayor Sanders thanked the PHS for all their effort; the building has galvanized the community to get more involved.  He suggested reviewing the costs to maintain the building, and to discuss possible options with the Village Attorney.


Mayors Sanders tabled this to review costs to maintain the building to the Village Board Meeting on October 7, 2014


Continue Discussion and Proposal from Stewart & Lennon families to donate a memorial lighthouse in memory of Lindsey Stewart and Mark Lennon


Jay Lennon explained he previous came before the Board with a proposal to erect a lighthouse at the end of the Pier, he asked Dan Sherman to talk on his behalf.


Dan Sherman submitted a rendering and explained he would like to express his opinion but wanted to make it clear he does not represent the Stewart/Lennon families.  He explained 18 years ago he was approached by the Piermont Civic Association to develop beautification plan/improvements to the end of the Pier, within his plans he proposed a lighthouse.  He likes the idea of the lighthouse, which the Village would not have to pay for any improvements.  There are currently 9 lighthouses along the Hudson River.  Lastly he stated the treasure is not a treasure until it becomes part of the community.


Mayor Sanders noted the Lighthouse presentation was submitted at the last meeting and asked the board for comments


Trustee DeFeciani noted that since the last meeting, she and some board members received numerous emails opposing the location of the lighthouse.  She personally likes the idea of the lighthouse but would need to take into consideration the concerns of the residents.


Trustee Blomquist explained he also received numerous emails from residents, opposing the location, however he also received suggestions to place it in an alternate location, which would address residents’ concerns.  He also expressed concern regarding the proposed location of the lighthouse.


Trustee Gallucci Jr. reported he has also received concern from residents and has not received any support for this proposal.  He explained residents are finding it difficult to speak out due to the sensitivity of the tragedy.  He also questioned the maintenance of the lighthouse in the future.  This is going to require maintenance, and is concerned how this will be funded., He remarked the state is cutting funding to its parks.


Trustee Silverberg commented he has been impressed by the Stewart/Lennon families for their patience; he has also received numerous concerns from residents opposing this proposal.  He explained the location is problematic – if there is another area to erect the lighthouse the board may re-consider.


Mayor Sanders expressed compassion for the Stewart/Lennon families, understanding their need for a touchstone, a memory of Lindsay and Mark.  He explained that while their proposal would beautify the end of the pier, it is a sacred place for those who lost their lives embarking from the end of the Pier to fight for our Country.  He has received many emails from residents opposing the project.  He cannot support their proposal but he does recognize Lindsay was a

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resident of Piermont, and her fiancé is still a resident.   He suggested reconsidering a different way to honor Lindsay and Mark – an endowment or setting up a scholarship fund to keep their memory alive.


Jay Lennon remarked they have raised $100,000 dollars. They have considered setting up a scholarship fund and organizing boating safety classes at the marina. He is open to changing the location of the lighthouse, if there is room to discuss alternate sites.  He would like direction from the board to other possible alternate areas.


Mrs. Stewart asked the board if they are open to an alternate location.


Trustee Silverberg thanked Mr. Lennon and Mrs. Stewart and he would agree to review an alternate location.


Trustee Gallucci Jr. agreed with Silverberg and would agree to review an alternate location.


Trustee Blomquist explained the opposition was for the proposed location, he volunteered to meet with the Stewart/Lennon families to discuss an alternate location.


Mayor Sanders reiterated his objection to the proposal, and tabled this to a Village Board Meeting in September to review possible alternate locations of the proposed lighthouse memorial.


Request to hold MS New York City Bike Ride on Sunday October 5, 2014


Trustee Gallucci Jr. moved to approve the Bike MS New York City Bike Ride on Sunday October 5, 2014.  Trustee DeFeciani seconded the motion which carried by vote 5-0


Request to hold Annual Rockland Road Runners 10-Mile Run


Trustee Gallucci Jr. DeFeciani moved to approve the annual Rockland Road Runners 10-mile run on Sunday September 7, 2014.  Trustee Silverberg seconded the motion which carried by vote 5-0


Request from the Piermont Fire Department to hold a Wet Down on the Pier on September 27, 2014


Santina Peralta explained the Fire Department would like to hold a Wet-Down at the end of the Pier on September 27, 2014 with a rain date of October 4th, 2014.  This would be scheduled from 2pm to 8pm, requiring closing the end of the Pier to vehicular traffic from 12pm to 9pm. She explained the Pier would be closed to vehicular traffic from the boat house to the end of the pier, open only to pedestrian traffic.  This event is for the new pumper and the new ambulance.  They are requesting to have amplified music from 2pm to 8pm, will be serving food and alcohol and have hired a security company.


Mayor Sanders expressed concern for the safety of pedestrians around moving fire trucks.


Trustee Silverberg moved to approve the wet down and allow amplified music on Saturday September 27, 2014, and to have Chief O’Shea review the plan and modify as necessary.  Trustee Gallucci Jr. seconded the motion which carried by vote 5 ayes 0 nays.


Approval of Warrant

Trustee Blomquist moved to approve the Warrants in the amount of $ 93,519.67 as presented by the Village Clerk.  Trustee Gallucci Jr.  seconded the motion, which was carried with a vote of 5ayes -0 nays.


Old/New Business

Trustee DeFeciani would like to begin using the tablets in September, she asked if the board if they received comments regarding the marsh resolution

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Mayor Sanders reported he has had communication with NYSDEC representative Betsy Blair and would like to schedule a round table discussion regarding developing the plan for the marsh.


Trustee Blomquist reported the Fire Department has been working on a capital budget for FYE 2015-2016 and informed the board there will not be a major capital purchase of apparatus until 2019.


Mayor Sanders reported the marine navigation lights on the Hudson River are installed, but not sure it they have been positioned according to the original plans.  He also informed the board that Roberta Ebert, member of the Zoning Board of Appeals has resigned and he will make a recommendation for a replacement.


Mayor Sanders also noted the board has received a request from Officer Marren for his retirement payout


Trustee Gallucci Jr.   expressed concern that interest rates are changing and the board should consider bonding  some of the outstanding debt.


Trustee Silverberg reported the Scenic Hudson grant is coming due on September 4th, 2014 and they have scheduled their final public meeting September 11th, 2014.  There is going to be a presentation of a series of recommendations – part of what they would like to do is continue working with the Village.


Executive Session


Trustee Blomquist moved to enter into Executive Session to discuss Pending Litigation and discussion on personnel compensation.  The motion was seconded by DeFeciani and the motion was carried with a vote of 5ayes-0nays.


Trustee Silverberg moved to exit Executive Session, which was seconded by Trustee Silverberg and upon vote the Board adjourned Executive Session.  Village Clerk noted no action was taken during executive session.




Trustee Gallucci Jr. moved to adjourn the meeting at 10:20pm. Trustee Bomquist seconded the motion, which was carried with a vote of 5 ayes-0 nays.


Respectfully submitted,

Stephanie Tassello