Meeting Minutes

February 5, 2013




February 5, 2013


Present:  Mayor Christopher Sanders, Deputy Mayor Mark Blomquist, Trustees Lisa DeFeciani, Trustee John Gallucci  Jr., Trustee Steven Silverberg,  Walter Sevastian, Esq.-Village Attorney, Stephanie Tassello-Village Clerk-Treasurer


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



Public Comment

Kathleen Puder from the Piermont Civic Association requested to hold their annual Easter Egg Hunt Saturday March 30, 2013 in Pirelli Park.

Mayor Sanders commented he thinks it’s a wonderful event.

Kathleen Puder also requested to hold Movies in the Park at the Goswick Pavilion the evenings of third Saturdays of summer months; June, July and August.  They will hire a professional to set up the movie screen and amplifiers.  She will provide details after she checks on the availability of the Goswick Pavilion


Board Comments;

Trustee Silverberg commented sounds like fun

Trustee Gallucci Jr. commented he likes the idea

Trustee Blomquist also liked the idea

Trustee DeFeciani also liked the idea


Mayor Sanders referred her to the Village Clerk’s office to check on the availability of the Goswick Pavilion for the dates she requested, and to provide details at a Village Board Meeting at a later date.


Kathleen Puder had one more request to hold a Village-Wide Yard Sale in Flywheel Park in May 2013, provided she receives approval from the property owner.


Mayor Sanders thanked the Piermont Civic Association for their hard work in planning all these events.


Maureen O’Connell from the River front Community Council is soliciting new projects to be funded by the Greenway Community grants, which she thinks would help in repairing some of the damages sustained after Hurricane Sandy.


Mayor Sanders thanked Maureen O’Connell and referred her to Piermont grant writer Sylvia Welch who has a list of projects all from damages sustained during Hurricane Sandy.


Request from Margaret Grace 400th Anniversary of the Two Row Wapum Treaty


Margaret Grace commented she attended the last Village Board Meeting on January 22, 2013 she is requesting the Village of Piermont to participate in the 400th anniversary of the Two Row Wampum treaty. The Two Row Wampum Rowers will arrive in Piermont between 3:00pm – 5:00pm on August 7, 2013, and request to camp overnight at the Goswick Pavilion Field., She anticipates between 150 to 300 participants including rowers, and volunteers providing security, food, and health checks.

Mayor Sanders noted the Neighbors of Onondaga Nation have filed an application agreeing to pay for the rental of the Goswick Pavilion.   There are details that would need to be worked out and would need to discuss this with the Village Attorney.

Trustee Silverberg commented the organization will need proof of insurance.

Margaret Grace commented the organization will provide a certificate of insurance listing the Village as additionally insured

Trustee Gallucci Jr. commented he thinks the event has been well organized and addressed all of his concerns.  He likes the idea and would support it.

Trustee DeFeciani commented she thinks it’s a great idea and questioned if they would like assistance from the Piermont Rowing Club.

Trustee Blomquist commented he thinks it’s a good idea

Mayor Sanders commented the board would need more details and tabled final approval of this request to a Village Board meeting at a later date

Laurie Seeman with the Sparkill Watershed Alliance commented she thinks this is a great opportunity for the Village of Piermont.

Request from Doug Stone to hold Piermont Bike Festival 2013

Rachel Mack commented there are a few changes and new details from her previous presentation at the last Village Board Meeting.  The bike exposition will be held in Flywheel park, the bicycle challenge course will be staged in Tallman State Park for which she has received tentative approval from NYS Parks. The event will be held Sunday October 13, 2013 from 12:00pm to 9:00pm.

Doug Stone commented he and the Piermont Chamber of Commerce have discussed the event and have agreed that revenue from the event will be shared with the Piermont Chamber of Commerce.  He mentioned he has also discussed the event with Chief O’Shea.

Village Attorney Walter Sevastian entered the meeting at 7:55pm

Steve Lopatkin from the Bicycle Connection commented he believes the Village of Piermont will benefit from this event and Flywheel Park is a perfect place to hold the exposition.

Lisa Dente from M & T bank, and a member of the Piermont Chamber of Commerce, commented she is excited about this event and would like to see the event approved by the board

Doug Stone reassured the event will reimburse the Village for all fees and expenses.

Mark Blomquist questioned if the owner of Flywheel park approved this event

Daoud Celstin of the Sidewalk Bistro commented that he believesPhil Griffin has approved the event.

Mayor Sanders commented he is concerned about the sporting event portion of the event, which will create a higher risk of injury

Village Attorney Walter Sevastian commented they would need to provide an insurance listing the Village as additionally insured.

Rachel Mack commented all bicyclists will be required to wear helmets and sign waivers.

Mayor Sanders commented another concern of his which was previously discussed was closing the park for a for-profit event but now that the event has included many charitable aspects, he does not think the board would have objection.

There were no further Board Comments

Trustee Blomquist Moved to approve The Piermont Bike Festival Sunday October 13, 2013 from 12:00pm to 9:00pm contingent upon providing the Village with Insurance.  Trustee DeFeciani seconded the motion, which carried by vote 5-0


Authorize Mayor to sign and accept reimbursement from Rockland County S.T.O.P. DWI.

Trustee Gallucci Jr., moved to approve Mayor Sander to sign and accept reimbursement from Rockland County S.T.O.P. DWI in the amount of $3,517.60.  Trustee Silverberg seconded the motion, which carried by vote 5-0


Review of Robert Geneslaw Zoning Amendment Report

Mayor Sanders commented after Hurricane Sandy there was a joint meeting between the Planning/ Zoning and the Village boards to review current zoning restrictions.  In anticipation of residents looking to rebuild and elevate their homes, there is a need to review and amend the current zoning code. Robert Geneslaw, professional planner, was asked to review and provide recommendations to help expedite amending the current zoning code

Robert Geneslaw commented he prepared two memos with his recommendations.  He first reviewed the current zoning code and reviewed height restrictions which typically are measured from ground level but is proposing should it be measured from flood elevation.  The main issue that arise from increasing the height of the building is the impact it would have on the surrounding neighbors.  Secondly he reviewed the provisions in the code indentifying time limits residents face in acquiring approval from outside agencies.  He does not think the current time limitations in the code provide enough time to allow the resident to obtain all required permits.  He recommends allowing the planning / zoning boards the opportunity to extend the approval time in the event the property owner has not received approvals from the outside agencies contingent upon the owner providing the documentation they have submitted the application to obtain a permit.  He also reviewed a map of the residences that obtained extensive damage during Hurricane Sandy and recommends including a costal storm overlay zone to include properties that may not be included due to them partially having a higher elevation on a knoll.

Mayor Sanders commented there could be a parcel of property that would be included in the costal storm overlay zone but questioned if the building is on a knoll would the overlay zone be based on the parcel of property or the structure.

Robert Geneslaw commented the properties that are flat in front but are built on an incline the raised part of the structure is not included in the flood elevation.  The question is should the boundary be in the flood elevation to include part of the lot or include the entire lot.  It would become an issue when a resident is looking to put on an addition behind the building outside the flood elevation would they be eligible or not eligible under the amended zoning code


Trustee Silverberg commented he has reviewed Robert Geneslaws proposal and agrees with the majority of the recommendations.  His concern is regarding the height which can potentially impact adjoining properties if someone raises their home above the flood elevations. Although no one has a legal right to a view, he acknowledged residents came to Piermont for a view and the board will need to take this into consideration.  He suggested giving authority to the planning board to review the impact on the views on a particular property if the building will be elevated above the permitted 32 feet.  The planning board will have authority to some mitigation of the impact of those views either by reducing the height of the roof, or lowering the second floor.  He suggested it written in general rather than trying to resolve every issue.


Robert Geneslaw suggested if someone wants to increase the height of the building 4 feet above the maximum and they are not obstructing any views than the building department

could issue a permit.  If an application potentially affects surrounding properties it would be referred to the planning board and they would carry out a view-shed analysis to demonstrating the change in views on the surrounding properties.


Building Inspector Charles Schaub commented anything constructed over 200 sq. ft. automatically goes before the planning board.


Mayor Sanders suggested once the base flood height is established, the “number” of the height of the base flood elevation should be drafted in the definition.


Village Attorney Walter Sevastian questioned if the board has the desire to look at the storm overlay to review and locate where the principal structures are situated on each of the lots and see which are above the base flood elevation.  It becomes an issue when the lot is located in the storm overlay zone but the structure is on a knoll as long it is located above the base flood elevation it would not fit within the definition of a property eligible for the relief.


Robert Geneslaw provided maps documenting the overly district and its boundaries.  He questioned the Board how they wanted to handle wetland boundaries, flood plain boundaries along river typically they don’t follow lot lines.  There are potentially four zoning districts and questioned if the Board wants to include the condominiums along the pier in the storm overlay zone.


Mayor Sanders commented only a few of the unit’s sustained damage with little water.


Trustee Silverberg commented it would be hard to raise the condominiums out on the pier they are attached and have extensive restrictions and easements.  Due to the minor damage they sustained it should not be considered for the storm overlay zone


Mayor Sanders questioned would this include accessory garages or would it be just for primary structures.


Robert Geneslaw commented the principal structure is more important and the question would be what is the primary use for the garage it depends if they want to put up a structure for a boat on the riverside or for a car on the land side each case would be different.  Providing a broad permutation is not a great idea.


Trustee Silverberg suggested not to include accessory structures he thinks there are too many permutations to review to include this into the overlay zone.

Trustee Gallucci Jr. commented he believes from prior discussions the amendment to the zoning code was to expedite permits, for residents that sustained damage in existing homes.  The permutations of this discussion are expansive and he does not see it being resolved, and passed quickly.  There are two issues: one is existing homes and the other is new construction, and additions.  The main purpose was to amend the zoning code the current discussion is raising the height of every property within the costal overlay zone.  He does think it is imperative to review all areas in every zone, however in order to expedite this process it should only apply to existing homes that sustained damage.


Building Inspector Charles Schaub suggested it state only existing floor area – this would eliminate additions and new construction.


Mayor Sanders requested Robert Geneslaw to modify the amended zoning code to include the suggested recommendations, and referred the revised document to the planning board meeting on March 11, 2013 for review


Request from the American Cancer Society to the 26th Annual GWB Challenge


Trustee Silverberg moved to approve the 26th Annual George Washington Bridge Challenge held on June 9th, 2013.  Trustee Gallucci Jr. seconded the motion, which carried by a vote 5-0


Approval of Minutes

Trustee Gallucci Jr.  moved to approve minutes from the January 22, 2013 meeting of the Board of Trustees.  Trustee Blomquist seconded the motion, which carried by a vote 5-0


Approval of Warrant

Trustee Blomquist moved to approve the Warrant in the amount of $ 57,871.68 attached to the Minutes.  Trustee Gallucci jr. seconded the motion, which was carried by a vote of 5-0.


Old/New Business


Village Attorney Walter Sevastian commented he is still reviewing documents from the County pertaining to the Railroad Station.


Mayor Sanders commented he received a letter from Bunyan & Baumgartner LLP regarding Cyril Kerr grievance enclosed with copies of his medical benefits for the year 2011 his reimbursement will be $360.40, and for 2012 his reimbursement will be $ $1,171.30 a total of $1,531.70.  Mr. Bunyan requested to have Cyril Kerr submit for his medical reimbursement quarterly.  The funds will be paid out of the Health Insurance Budget Line.


Mayor Sanders requested to move the Highway Department workshop form Wednesday March 6th to Thursday March 7th, 2013 due to a conflict with Village Court.


All board members were ok with the new proposed schedule.


Mayor Sanders commented he received a new agreement from Brooker Engineering which he would need to review and discuss with Brian Brooker prior to him signing the agreement.


Department Reports



DPW Superintendent Temple absent


Police Dept.

Chief O’Shea absent


Building Dept.

Building Inspector Charles Schaub commented he will be attending a FEMA seminar on February 7th, 2013 at the training center.  He would also like the Board to review the waiver of Building Permit fees for residents that applied for permits to repair damages sustained from Hurricane Sandy


Mayor Sanders tabled this for further review and discussion to the Village Board Meeting February 19th, 2013.


Executive Session

Trustee Gallucci Jr. moved to enter into Executive Session to discuss FYE 2013 Compensation Review and pending litigation.  The motion was seconded by Trustee DeFeciani and upon vote the Board entered Executive Session.


Trustee Blomquist moved to exit Executive Session, Trustee DeFeciani seconded.  Upon the vote, the motion passed and the board returned to regular session.



Trustee Gallucci Jr. moved to adjourn the meeting at 9:30pm.  Trustee Blomquist seconded the motion, which was carried by a vote of 5-0.