March 18, 2014

 INCORPORATED VILLAGE OF PIERMONT

BOARD OF TRUSTEES MEETING

March 18, 2014

 

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

 

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

 

Public Comment

 

Kevin Fagan, who owns a restaurant in Piermont, questioned the Board as to why he was not notified of recent filming in the Village because the disruption affected his business.  He requested residents and business owners be better notified of future filming.

 

Chief O’Shea commented he will take extra steps to notify residents and businesses.

 

 Suren Kilcyern provided a map to the board that outlined a channel that once existed from Coretta’s out to the middle of the Hudson River. He has started a Coalition for Safe Access from and to the Village of Piermont and has a Petition to The Tappan Zee Constructors to dredge the Original Piermont Channel.  He has an open dredging Permit, and will attend a NY Bridge Project Public Meeting on March 27, 2014

 

Mayor Sanders commented the silting has strangled the Marina businesses, and hopefully a board member can attend the Tappan Zee Bridge Public Meeting.

 

Trustee Silverberg suggested for anyone attending the Board Meeting to sign the petition. 

 

Approval of Minutes

 

Trustee Gallucci Jr., moved to approve the minutes from the March 4, 2014 meeting of the Board of Trustees.  Trustee Silverberg seconded the motion, which carried by a vote 5-0.

 

Department Reports

 

DPW

DPW Superintendent Tom Temple requested that the subject of surplusing the garbage truck be placed on the next Village Board Agenda.

 

Fire Dept.

Chief Cavanaugh – absent

 

Police Dept.

Chief O’Shea submitted a Memorandum of Understanding with the New York State Department of Transportation regarding truck inspections   for the Board and Village Attorney’s review.  Chief O’Shea asked that this be placed on the next Village Board Agenda

 

Building Dept.

Building Inspector, Charles Schaub, submitted his monthly report.   He is moving forward with digitizing the building department records

Continuation of Phil Griffin Site Plan Application for renovation/addition/alteration of a single family residence

Trustee Gallucci Jr. recused himself and left the boardroom.

 

Mayor Sanders commented the Public Hearing on this application has been reviewed at several board meetings, and, at the last meeting the Public Hearing was closed. Any additional written submissions regarding the voting issue were to be sent to the Village Attorney’s Office or the Clerk’s Office by 4:00p.m., March 12, 2014.

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Village Attorney Walter Sevastian explained that this is a site plan application before the board and the public hearing was closed at the last Village Board Meeting.  At the close of the Public Hearing, the board asked him to provide a legal opinion if the signatures submitted were sufficient for the required majority vote.

 

He prepared a memorandum to the Village Board which includes his findings as follows;

TO:                  Board of Trustees

FROM:            Walter R. Sevastian, Village Attorney

RE:                  Griffin/Kempton Site Plan Application – Voting Requirement

DATE:                        March 15, 2014

You have asked that I provide the Board with my legal opinion as to whether the five signatures obtained by Mr. Griffin and Ms. Kempton (the “Applicants”) approving their Site Plan Applications are sufficient to satisfy the requirement noted on an August 14, 1995 Subdivision Plat of the property, which states “Any exterior change to the building must be approved by a majority of the lot owners of this subdivision and the Village Board.”

In the first instance, it is clear that the note on the filed subdivision plat (hereinafter the “plat note”) imposing the voting restriction is enforceable against the current owners of the property in question. When the former owner of the property appeared before the Piermont Planning Board in 1995 requesting a subdivision, the Planning Board exercised its authority under the New York State Real Property and Village Law to impose as a condition of the approval a plat note mandating the approval of a majority of lot owners and of the Village Board for future changes to

the building.  As such, the plat note in question, being set forth on a subdivision plat duly recorded in the office of the Rockland County Clerk, put the public on notice of the restriction in the note and is binding on all future owners of the property.  O’Mara v. Town of Wappinger, 9 NY3d 303.

In my opinion, the inclusion of the restrictive note on the subdivision plat in 1995 reflected municipal authority to regulate land use within its borders.  To my knowledge, the validity of the plat note itself was never challenged.

The Applicant Mr. Griffin provided the Board with a Site Plan drawing (predating the subdivision) which appears to show that a single building was proposed to be constructed on the subdivided lots at the time that the subdivision was granted.  Mr. Griffin states that

the plat note should not apply to the current application because the single building was never built; he states that three separate buildings were constructed on the subdivided lots based on modified Site Development plans approved after the subdivision was granted.  Mr. Griffin also gave testimony at the public hearing on the application that the buildings have been modified several times over the intervening years without compliance to the voting requirements of the plat note. 

While it does appear that the structures that currently exist on the site may not have been what the Planning Board was considering when the plat note was generated; the fact remains that the 1995 subdivision plat was never amended or modified during or after later modifications to the site development of the subdivided lots.  If the Applicant felt that the plat note was no longer applicable, he should have applied to amend the plat to eliminate the note.  As to the Applicant’s claim that the buildings were modified several times without complying with the plat note requirements, the Building Inspector gave testimony at the public hearing that he was unaware of the plat note until the instant application; it is well settled that the Village is not estopped from enforcing the plat note at the present time.  Parkview Associates v. City of New York, 71 NY2d 274.

Therefore, in my opinion, for the reasons noted above, the plat note restrictions are still applicable to the instant application.

At issue, however, is what the language of the plat note actually means in the context of the current ownership of the buildings that were eventually constructed on the subdivided lots.

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While the original 1995 subdivision created eight lots, the Applicant’s building was constructed on two of those lots, and was subsequently converted into three (3) condominium units owned in fee, one on each of the floor of the Applicant’s building.  The Applicants Griffin and Kempton both argue that since they own separate “lots” within the original subdivision, they should each get a vote counting towards the majority required by the plat note, and that to deny each condominium owner a vote would essentially deny them the right to have a say in changes proposed to the building.  The Applicant Ms. Kempton notes that “I am a lot owner in this subdivision.  My property has been assigned a section, lot and block number.  I am solely responsible for full, not partial, State/County/Town, School and Village taxes.”

An objecting neighbor Mr. Roth argues, among other things, that to allow each condominium owner a vote would allow the condominium owners to “stuff the ballot box,” and dilute the voting rights of the other neighbors.

Frankly, all parties raise reasonable, although conflicting, arguments regarding the meaning of the plat note.

As stated above, notes on filed subdivision plats, as opposed to private property agreements between landowners (such as easements, road maintenance agreements and the like), are a reflection of a municipality conditioning its approval of subdivision

requests upon specific requirements to be observed by future lot owners.  Plat notes, unlike private property agreements between landowners, are in my opinion tantamount to

regulatory mandates which were required by the municipality, and should in fact be enforced by the municipality. O’Mara v. Town of Wappinger.

If the plat note in question was merely an easement, or a road maintenance agreement between individual property owners, it would be up to the respective parties to the private agreement to have a Court determine interpretation issues, and to present the Court’s determination to the municipal land use board (in this case the Village Board exercising its site plan review powers).  Indeed, in Article 15 of the NYS Real Property Actions and Proceedings Law (RPAPL), the New York State Legislature vested the exclusive authority and jurisdiction to determine and decide disputes relating to rights and interests in real property (except for evictions) to the NYS Supreme Court.  The deliberation of private property interests, such as determining the various rights and obligations relating to an easement or adjudicating a property boundary or lot line dispute, fall within the mandates of RPAPL Article 15, and a person who wishes to pursue a claim or judicially resolve an issue against a neighbor, relating to such questions or dispute, must seek his remedies in NYS Supreme Court Town of Southampton v. Buoninfante, 303 A.D.2d 579, 756 N.Y.S.2d 629.

However, in this case it is the plat note at issue, not a private agreement, and in my opinion it is evident that the restriction imposed by the plat note did not take into account the current state of ownership of the lots in the original subdivision.  Therefore, in my opinion the plat note is ambiguous as applied to the existing buildings, and as to the ownership of the buildings on the subdivided lots. Simply stated, in my opinion, the Planning Board that imposed the condition in the plat note did not anticipate or envision the current ownership scenario.

 

In my opinion the restrictions contained in the plat note are in derogation of the common law, and they must be strictly construed against the municipality which has required them and seeks to enforce them.  Any ambiguity in the language used in the plat note must be resolved in favor of the property owner.  New York’s highest court reiterated that “zoning restrictions, being in derogation of common-law property rights, should be strictly construed and any ambiguity resolved in favor of the property owner”.  Town of Southampton v. Buoninfante;  Hadix v. Schmelzer, 186 A.D.2d 239, 588 N.Y.S.2d 337 (2nd Dept. 1992).

Consequently, in my opinion New York State law mandates that the Village Board interpret the plat note strictly against the municipality, and find that the Applicant’s have satisfied the plat note requirement by securing the signatures of a majority of the lot owners, including each individual condominium owner, in the subdivision.

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I should note that various other arguments are raised by the parties who submitted written submissions addressing the issue before the Village Board.  For example Mr. Roth argues that the “lots” in the Applicant’s building are in fact owned by the condominium, while

the tax lots are owned by the individuals.  He goes on to raise numerous factual scenarios relating to the ownership of the lots in the subdivision which might affect the number of

votes assigned to that particular lot.  The Applicant Mr. Griffin raises an issue as to the ability of the plat note to override the rules set forth in the Condominium Declaration.  While some of these additional issues raised by the parties are interesting points of discussion, and beg the question as to the apparent disregard paid to the plat note in the intervening years; in my opinion they all support the conclusion that the plat note is not plainly and unambiguously stated given what was actually constructed on the lots and the current type ownership in the original subdivision. 

In summary, it is my opinion that when considering the plat note restrictions in a light most favorable to the Applicants, the votes secured by the Applicants in support of their Site Plan Application are sufficient to satisfy the requirements.

 

Village Attorney submitted the resolution for the board to adopt

 

Mayor Sanders thanked Village Attorney for providing his opinion regarding the voting issue

 

Trustee Silverberg commented he was originally concerned with the site application regarding the visual impact and creating a precedent, however the Village Attorney added additional language that had addressed his concerns in the resolution.

Trustee Blomquist agreed with Trustee Silverberg his concern was this site application would create a precedent; however the Village Attorney addressed this issue.  He also wanted written into the record that the approval of this site plan application should not be used to create a precedent for future requests, for additional modifications in other lots could be constructed.  

 

Trustee DeFeciani agreed with Trustee Blomquist, she added Mr. Griffin has followed the guideline according to Village Code and the Village Attorney addressed the issue regarding the signatures.

 

Trustee Blomquist moved to adopt issuing a “Negative Declaration” as set forth in the finding statement. TrusteeDeFeciani seconded the motion which carried by vote 4-0

 

Trustee DeFeciani moved to adopt this application is consistent with LWRP policy standards and conditions.  Trustee Blomquist seconded the motion which carried by vote 4-0

The following resolution was offered by Mayor Sanders, seconded by Trustee Blomquist, and carried based upon a review of the evidence presented at the public hearings held on December 3, 2013, January 28, 2014, and March 4, 2014.

BOARD OF TRUSTEES

VILLAGE OF PIERMONT, COUNTY OF ROCKLAND

————————————————————————-X

In the Matter of the application of Phil Griffin

for Site Plan Approval pursuant to Village Code

Section 210-79, for a renovation/alteration to an

existing single family residence located at 107 Shad Row,

Piermont, New York, identified on the Orangetown tax

Map as Section 75.55, Block 1, Lot 1.8/109, in the RD

Zoning District on the Zoning Map for the Village of Piermont

————————————————————————-X

WHEREAS, The Village Board held a public hearings on the application on the 3rd day of December, 2013, the 28th day of January, 2014, and the 4th day of March, 2014, and due deliberations having been made on those days;

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Now, upon said hearing and upon the evidence adduced thereat, it is hereby found and determined that:

FINDINGS OF FACT & CONCLUSIONS OF LAW

FIRST:           The Applicant seeks Site Plan Approval from the Village Board for a renovation/alteration to an existing single family residence located at 107 Shad Row, Piermont, NY.

SECOND:      The Village Board, in reaching its Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law has taken the following factual testimony and evidence under consideration:

1.                  The application and supporting documents submitted consisting of, inter alia, opinion from the Piermont Planning Board, PB#13-17, dated October 21, 2013; completed EAF and Coastal Assessment Form;  a 3-page blueprint document titled “Addition and Alterations to Griffin Residence, Piermont NY 10968”, dated 06-18-2013 by Robert Hoene, Architect A.I.A, unsigned (previous, similarly titled & dated documents were signed by Robert Hoene, AIA. The three pages were titled “A1.0, Existing Elevations”; “A2.0, Elevations and Sections”; and “A3.0, General Notes and Floor Plans”;  a copy of “Proposed Subdivision of Lots ‘D’ & ‘Y’”, prepared for Piermont Court Inc, by Loch surveyors & engineers P.C., dated August 14, 1995, and Elevation Drawings of Piermont Court, dated 7/10/95, by Nadler Philopena. ;

2.                  Testimony of  Robert  Hoene, A.I.A, on behalf of the Applicant;

3.                  Testimony of Burton I. Dorfman, Esq., on behalf of Applicant;

4.                  Village Board members’ knowledge of the site in question;

5.                  Site visits by all members of the Village Board and photograph taken by Trustee Silverberg;

6.                  Submission and testimony of Dennis Hardy (submission via email dated November 12, 2013), testimony and documentary evidence of  John Roth and Tatania Roth (109 Shad Row)(documentary evidence consisting of PowerPoint presentation prepared by Dominick Pilla Associates), testimony of resident Fred Devan, and testimony of the applicant.

THIRD:          The site in question is located in the RD West zoning district, with Site Plan Review authority vested in the Village Board pursuant to Village Code Articles XIA, XIV, and the standards set forth in Village Code sections 210-67.13 and 210-79 (b). The property owner acquired the property in 1996 pursuant to the local zoning regulations.

FOURTH:      The Applicants propose to construct a 812 square foot addition to the existing 1462 square foot dwelling, which would result in a total square footage of the dwelling being 2288 square feet.  The additional square footage is proposed to be located on the upper level of the building; as shown on the drawings essentially expanding the middle of the existing building by squaring off existing dormers to achieve more living space, extending out further towards the existing sides of the structure.   Mr. Hoene noted that the modifications will not extend out past the existing edges of the building, and that the ridge height of the roof would stay the same.

According to Mr. Hoene, given the existing architecture and location of the proposed modifications, there would be no visual impact from the Hudson River and Shad Row sides of the building.  A majority of the Village Board determined that there would be no significant change to the view shed resulting from the proposed addition.

The height of the window on the east/west sides of the addition are set above eye level (beginning at 5’8” ), and a privacy fence has been added to the west side of the addition to address the neighbors’

privacy concerns.  Furthermore, the Applicant stated that there is no access to the roof, and that the 2’9” railing added to that level is for aesthetics only.

 

FIFTH:           The Piermont Planning Board reviewed the application on a referral made from the Village Board, and rendered an “opinion” requesting that the Village Board consider the effect of higher development on abutting neighbors.  The Applicant’s stated purpose for requesting the addition is set forth in the Planning Board’s opinion, namely to repair roof damage caused during

Sandy, and to expand living space (the Applicant’s attorney testified before the Village Board that the proposal would result in the Applicant having “reasonable” living space) and applicant pointed out

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that his unit is a studio with no bedrooms requiring to sleep in an open room adjacent to the kitchen area. The proposed expansion is for the purpose of adding two bedrooms.

SIXTH:  The Building Inspector determined that the Applicant needed to secure written approval of his proposal from a majority of the owners of the lots shown on the August 14, 1995 subdivision plat referenced above.  The Village Attorney has provided the Board with his opinion that the signatures secured by the Applicant satisfy this requirement (see attached Memorandum of the Village Attorney dated March 15, 2014).

SEVENTH:   The Applicant’s abutting neighbors, John and Tatania Roth, presented evidence of what the addition would look like when completed; they testified that addition would impact their privacy.  They also stated that the Applicant misrepresented himself to the neighbors when seeking signatures from a majority of owners for his proposal.

EIGHTH:       A majority of the Village Board determined, upon carefully reviewing the drawings, the location of the proposed addition, and the modifications made to the plan designed to address the neighbors privacy concerns, that the Applicant had taken reasonable steps to address the neighbors privacy concerns.

NINTH:   A majority of the Village Board determined that the application itself is sufficiently unique such that its approval would not create a dangerous precedent for increases in height or bulk of the existing structures located near the subject property.  Specifically, the Village Board finds that (a) the relatively small post construction size of the dwelling (2288 sf), (b) the fact that the proposed addition does not increase the height of the building, (c) the fact that the proposed addition does not extend out past the footprint of the existing building and is set back from the front edge of the building by 12 feet, and the rear edge of the building by 15 feet on the east side and 12 feet on the west side, (d) the structure in which the applicant’s unit is located is currently the highest of the attached structures and the finished height will be slightly below the current ridge line of the roof, (e) none of the other attached structures contains more than one living unit making the applicant’s unit, which is part of a three unit structure, unique among the attached structures and (f) that there will be no obstruction of Hudson River Views resulting from the addition, render it unlikely that a similar application would come before the Board.

 

TENTH:         The Village Board applied the facts to the mandatory Site Plan Review Elements set forth in Section 210-79 of the Village Code and finds as follows:

  (1)   That the application will have no effect on traffic access points, roads, traffic signalization, signs, dividers and other safety controls, devices and facilities.

(2)   That the application will have no effect on pedestrian access and circulation within the site or on adjacent streets.

(3)  That the application will have no effect on off-street parking.

  (4)   That the addition will be adequately and the windows aligned so that the intrusion on neighbors will be minimized, and the location and size of the addition is keeping with the character of and serve to enhance the neighborhood.  This conclusion is based upon the application, the documents submitted in support of the application, the record created at the public hearing, the documents submitted to the Village Board relating to the application, and the factual findings designated FOURTH, SIXTH, EIGHTH and TENTH above.

(5)   That the application will have no effect on major stands of trees, outstanding natural topography, significant geological features and other areas of scenic, ecological and/or historic value , and no ecologically disruptive elements of site preparation, such as blasting, diversion of watercourses and the like, will be conducted.

(6)  That the application will have no effect on service areas, fire lanes, hydrants, equipment and material.

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(7)  That the application will have no effect on the stormwater drainage system as no additional impervious surface is proposed.  This conclusion is based upon the FOURTH finding of fact.

(8)  That the application will have no effect on the public and/or private disposal systems used on site.

(9)  That the application will have no effect on the public and/or private delivery systems for bringing potable water to the site.

(10)   That the nature of the addition to the existing residential dwelling as proposed is such that it will have no effect on adjacent and neighboring properties from the standpoint of noise, lighting glare, unsightliness or other objectionable features such as unsightly storage of garbage, refuse and recyclables.  This conclusion is based upon the factual findings designated FOURTH, SIXTH, EIGHTH and TENTH above.

(11)   That the application does not propose a use is a nonresidential use which would adjoin residential areas.

 

(12) That the application does not propose land disturbance, therefore Article XIX of the Piermont Code (entitled” Environmentally Sensitive Sites”) is not applicable.

(13)   That the application does not propose accessory structures and accessory buildings.

(14)   The application does not fall within the intent of § 7-704 of the Village Law of the State of New York (entitled “Purposes in View”).

(15)   That the application, to the maximum extent practicable, does not propose modifications to the existing building which would result in adverse impacts to neighboring properties’ existing lines of sight and viewscapes of the Hudson River, Sparkill Creek (n/a), Piermont Marsh (n/a) and/or Tallman Mountain (n/a).  This conclusion is based on the architectural drawings submitted by the Applicant’s architect, the location and size of the proposed addition, and the Village Board member’s familiarity with the site in question.

(16)   The appearance, design and style of the exterior of building will not be adversely effected by the proposed addition (based on the architectural drawings submitted by the Applicant’s architect and the Village Board member’s familiarity with the site); and the landscaping of the existing building is not affected by the proposed addition.

These Findings of Fact were moved and passed. (4-0).

 

CONCLUSIONS OF LAW:

FIRST:  that the Village Board of Trustees undertakes a SEQRA review of the proposed Site Plan and finds as follows:

(A)       That the Site Plan Application is an “Action” under NYCRR 617.5.

 

(B)       That the Village Board of Trustees, based upon the application, the documents submitted in support of the application, the record created at the public hearing, the documents submitted to the Village Board relating to the application, the Village Board’s review of the site plan elements contained in the Village Code, and the factual finding designated FOURTH, SIXTH, EIGHTH and

TENTH above, finds and determines that the proposed addition will have no adverse effect on the environment that have not been mitigated.

(C)       That the Village Board of Trustees therefore issues a “Negative Declaration” under SEQRA.

           

SECOND:      Although the Applicant’s dwelling is located in an area included in the approved Local Waterfront Revitalization Program, as noted in the CAF prepared by the Village Engineer

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reviewed by the Village Board, there are no significant effects on any coastal resource area as a result of the proposal (and the relatively minor construction proposed by the Applicant), nor any significant effects on delineated coastal resources identified on the Coastal Assessment Form as a result of the project. The Village Board reached this determination by considering the CAF Form prepared by the Village Engineer within the context of its factual findings set forth in the paragraph designated FOURTH above.

Furthermore, the Village Board has reviewed the LWRP policy standards and conditions, which are derived from and further explained and described in Section III of the Village of Piermont LWRP (a copy of which is on file in the Village Clerk’s office and available for inspection during normal business hours) with a view towards determining whether the application is consistent with such policies and standards.  Specifically, and based on the Village Board’s review of the site plan elements contained in the Village Code, and the factual finding designated FOURTH, SIXTH, EIGHTH and TENTH above, the Village Board determines that the addition proposed by the applicant is consistent with and does not conflict with the LWRP standards and conditions set forth in Village Code section 198-21(I)(1-19).

Therefore, the Village Board determines that the application does not conflict with the Local Waterfront Revitalization Plan, and the Village Board further determines that the application is consistent with LWRP policy standards and conditions.

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED  that the Board has reviewed the Site Plan Review Elements as required by the Village Code, considered and adopted the findings of fact and the conclusions of law, and finds in the interest of justice that the Site Plan Review Application should be APPROVED with the following conditions:

1.  An exterior Lighting Plan (if applicable) shall be submitted and approved by the Building Inspector.

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

3.  All necessary steps shall be taken to secure a C.O. for the residential use permitted at the premises.

4 All construction shall be consistent with the plans presented to the Village Board including but not limited to:(a) window openings shall be placed no lower than 5 feet 8 inches above floor level, (b) the structure shall be no higher and of no greater bulk than presented, (c) there shall be no roof access except as may be necessary to allow maintenance, (d) the proposed privacy fencing shall be constructed and (e) the structure shall be set back from the front and rear facade as presented.

5. No certificate of occupancy may be issued unless construction is completed in full conformity with the information representation submitted by the applicant and his representatives to the Village Board.

On a roll call, the vote was as follows:

Ayes:   Mayor Sanders, Trustee Blomquist, Trustee Silverberg, Trustee DeFeciani

Nays:  

Abstain: Trustee Gallucci recused himself and took no part in the discussion or vote.        

 

Continuation of Claudia Kempton Site Plan application for the renovation/addition/alteration of a single family residence

 

Village Attorney Walter Sevastian commented this is a site plan application before the board and the public hearing was closed at the last Village Board Meeting.  The board asked him to provide a legal opinion as to whether the signatures submitted were sufficient for the required majority vote.  He summarized and referred to his memorandum to the Village Board which includes his findings listed above the same as Mr. Griffin’s site plan application

 

 

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Trustee Blomquist commented that his only concern was the issue regarding the signatures obtained for the majority vote, which the Village Attorney addressed.

Mayor Sanders commented and repeated this should not create a dangerous precedent.  Trustee Blomquist moved to adopt the “Negative Declaration” as set forth in the finding statement. Trustee DeFeciani seconded the motion which carried by vote 4-0

 

Trustee DeFeciani moved to adopt this application as it is consistent with LWRP policy standards and conditions.  Trustee Blomquist seconded the motion which carried by vote 4-0

 

Thefollowingresolutionwas offeredbyMayor Sanders,secondedbyTrustee Blomquist,andcarriedbaseduponareviewoftheevidencepresentedatthepublichearingsheld on January 28, 2014, and March 4, 2014.

 

BOARD OF TRUSTEES

VILLAGE OF PIERMONT,COUNTYOF ROCKLAND

————————————————————————-X

IntheMatteroftheapplication ofClaudia Kempton

forSite Plan Approval pursuant to Village Code

Section 210-79, for a renovation/alteration to an

existing single family residence located at 105 Shad Row,

Piermont, New York, identified on the Orangetown tax

Map as Section 75.55, Block 1, Lot 1.8/107, in the RD

Zoning District on the Zoning Map for the Village of Piermont

————————————————————————-X

WHEREAS, The Village Board heldapublichearings on the application on the 28th day of January, 2014, and the 4th day of March,2014,andduedeliberations havingbeen madeon those days;

Now,uponsaidhearingandupontheevidenceadducedthereat,itis herebyfoundanddeterminedthat:

FINDINGSOF FACT &CONCLUSIONSOF LAW

FIRST:    TheApplicant seeks Site Plan Approval from the VillageBoardfor a renovation/alteration to an existing single family residence located at 105 Shad Row, Piermont, NY.

SECOND:    TheVillage Board,in reachingits Findings ofFactandConclusions ofLawhas takenthefollowingfactualtestimonyandevidenceunderconsideration:

1.                  Theapplication andsupportingdocuments submitted consisting of, inter alia, opinion from the Piermont Planning Board, PB#13-24, dated December 9, 2013; completed EAF and Coastal Assessment Form;  a 1-page blueprint document titled “Piermont Plaza Layout, Piermont NY 10968”, dated 05-13-2011, signed by Robert Hoene, AIA;

2.                  Testimonyof Robert  Hoene, A.I.A,onbehalfoftheApplicant;

3.                  Testimony of Burton I. Dorfman, Esq. as a member of the public;

4.                  Village Board members’knowledgeofthesiteinquestion;

5.                  Sitevisits byallmembers oftheVillage Board;

6.                  Testimony and documentary evidence of  John Roth and Tatania Roth (109 Shad Row)(documentary evidence consisting of photographs and depictions of post construction elevations of the building), and testimony of the Applicant.

THIRD:     Thesiteinquestion is locatedintheRD Westzoningdistrict, with Site Plan Review authority vested in the Village Board pursuant to Village Code Articles XIA, XIV, and the standards set forth in Village Code sections 210-67.13 and 210-79 (b).Theproperty

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owner acquiredthe propertyin2011pursuanttothelocalzoningregulations.

FOURTH:   TheApplicants propose toconstructan 86squarefoot exteriordeck on the north side of the Applicant’s dwelling, designed to connect the two existing decks on that side of the building.  The Applicant stated that the original plan for the construction of the existing decks generated when she bought the unit in 2011 showed one long deck running the length of her unit, but the construction plan was altered to reflect the currently existing two smaller decks.  The Applicant’s proposal would complete the original plan and connect the existing decks, which would conform to the other decks on the building that run the full length of the various units.

 

FIFTH:        ThePiermontPlanningBoard reviewed the application on a referral made from the Village Board, and rendered an opinion stating “that connecting the two decks does not change any views and is minor in nature”. 

SIXTH:  The Building Inspector determined that the Applicant needed to secure written approval of his proposal from a majority of the owners of the lots shown on the August 14, 1995 subdivision plat referenced above.  The Village Attorney has provided the Board with his opinion that the signatures secured by the Applicant satisfy this requirement (see attached Memorandum of the Village Attorney dated March 15, 2014).

 

SEVENTH:  TheApplicant’s abutting neighbors, John and Tatania Roth, presented photographic evidence of the northeasterly portion of one of the existing decks on the Applicant’s unit which is visible from the Roth’s unit.  John Roth testified that the Applicant had constructed the existing decks “under questionable circumstances”, and that the existing deck shown in the photograph impedes his view.  Mr. Roth testified that he was “willing to compromise” and that if the Applicant wanted to “complete” her existing deck he would be “willing to allow her to complete the project with some modifications” – modifying her existing northeasterly deck to remove it from impeding his view of the river.

 

EIGHTH:            A majority of the Village Board determined, upon carefully reviewing the drawings, the location of the proposed new deck (only connecting the two existing decks in an area not visible from the Roth’s unit), that the proposal would not alter any existing views.  This determination was also made by the Planning Board in its report to the Village Board.

 

NINTH:   A majority of the Village Board determined that the application itself is sufficiently unique such that its approval would not create a dangerous precedent for increases in bulk of the existing structures located near the subject property.  Specifically, the Village Board finds that (a) the relatively small size of the proposed deck (a maximum of 86 sf), (b) the fact that the proposed new deck merely connects two existing decks and does not increase the height of the building, and (3) that there will be no obstruction of Hudson River Views resulting from the new deck, render it unlikely that a similar application would come before the Board.

       

 

TENTH:  TheVillage Board applied the facts to the mandatory Site Plan Review Elements setforthinSection210-79 of the Village Code and finds as follows:

  (1)   That the application will have no effect on traffic access points, roads, traffic signalization, signs, dividers and other safety controls, devices and facilities.

 

(2)   That the application will have no effect on pedestrian access and circulation within the site or on adjacent streets.

 

(3)  That the application will have no effect on off-street parking.

 

  (4)   That the construction of the new deck is minor in nature, and is in keeping with the character of  the building and serves to enhance the neighborhood.  This conclusion is based upon the application,

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the documents submitted in support of the application, the record created at the public hearing, the documents submitted to the Village Board relating to the application, and the factual findings designated FOURTH, SIXTH, EIGHTH and NINTH above.

(5)   That the application will have no effect on major stands of trees, outstanding natural topography, significant geological features and other areas of scenic, ecological and/or historic value , and no ecologically disruptive elements of site preparation, such as blasting, diversion of watercourses and the like, will be conducted.

(6)  That the application will have no effect on service areas, fire lanes, hydrants, equipment and material.

(7)  That the application will have no effect on the stormwater drainage system as no additional impervious surface is proposed.  This conclusion is based upon the FOURTH finding of fact.

(8)  That the application will have no effect on the public and/or private disposal systems used on site.

(9)  That the application will have no effect on the public and/or private delivery systems for bringing potable water to the site.

(10)   That the addition of a small deck to connect the existing decks at the Applicant’s residence dwelling as proposed is such that it will have no effect on adjacent and neighboring properties from the standpoint of noise, lighting glare, unsightliness or other objectionable features such as unsightly storage of garbage, refuse and recyclables.  This conclusion is based upon the factual findings designated FOURTH, SIXTH, EIGHTH and NINTH above.

(11)   That the application does not propose a use is a nonresidential use which would adjoin residential areas.

(12) That the application does not propose land disturbance, therefore Article XIX of the Piermont Code (entitled” Environmentally Sensitive Sites”) is not applicable.

(13)   That the application does not propose accessory structures and accessory buildings.

(14)   The application does not fall within the intent of § 7-704 of the Village Law of the State of New York (entitled “Purposes in View”).

 (15)   That the application, to the maximum extent practicable, does not propose modifications to the existing building which would result in adverse impacts to neighboring properties’ existing lines of sight and viewscapes of the Hudson River, Sparkill Creek (n/a), Piermont Marsh (n/a) and/or Tallman Mountain (n/a).  This conclusion is based on the architectural drawings submitted by the Applicant’s architect, the location and size of the proposed new decking, and the Village Board member’s familiarity with the site in question.

(16)   The appearance, design and style of the exterior of building will not be adversely effected by the proposed new decking (based on the architectural drawings submitted by the Applicant’s architect and the Village Board member’s familiarity with the site); and the landscaping of the existing building is not affected by the proposed addition.

TheseFindings ofFactweremovedandpassed.(4-0).

 

CONCLUSIONSOF LAW:

 

FIRST:  that the Village Board of Trustees undertakes a SEQRA review of the proposed Site Plan and finds as follows:

(A)       That the Site Plan Application is an “Action” under NYCRR 617.5.

 

(B)       That the Village Board of Trustees, based upon the application, the documents submitted in support of the application, the record created at the public hearing, the documents submitted to the Village Board relating to the application, the Village Board’s review of the site plan elements contained in the Village Code, and the factual finding designated FOURTH, SIXTH, EIGHTH, NINTH and TENTH above, finds and determines that the proposed addition will have no adverse effect on the environment.

(C)       That the Village Board of Trustees therefore issues a “Negative Declaration” under SEQRA.

           

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SECOND:      Although the Applicant’s dwelling is located in an area included in the approved Local Waterfront Revitalization Program, as noted in the CAF prepared by the Village Engineer reviewed by the Village Board, there are no significant effects on any coastal resource area as a result of the proposal (and the relatively minor construction proposed by the Applicant), nor any significant effects on delineated coastal resources identified on the Coastal Assessment Form as a result of the project. The Village Board reached this determination by considering the CAF Form prepared by the Village Engineer within the context of its factual findings set forth in the paragraph designated FOURTH above.

Furthermore, the Village Board has reviewed the LWRP policy standards and conditions, which are derived from and further explained and described in Section III of the Village of Piermont LWRP (a copy of which is on file in the Village Clerk’s office and available for inspection during normal business hours) with a view towards determining whether the application is consistent with such policies and standards.  Specifically, and based on the Village Board’s review of the site plan elements contained in the Village Code, and the factual finding designated FOURTH, SIXTH, EIGHTH, NINTH and TENTH above, the Village Board determines that the addition proposed by the applicant is consistent with and does not conflict with the LWRP standards and conditions set forth in Village Code section 198-21(I)(1-19).

Therefore, the Village Board determines that the application does not conflict with the Local Waterfront Revitalization Plan, and the Village Board further determines that the application is consistent with LWRP policy standards and conditions.

 

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED  that theBoardhas reviewed the Site Plan Review Elements as required by the Village Code, considered and adoptedthefindings offactandtheconclusions oflaw, andfinds intheinterestofjusticethattheSite Plan Review Application should be APPROVEDwiththefollowingconditions:

 

1.  An exterior lighting Plan (if applicable) shall be submitted and approved by the Building Inspector.

 

2.  The Applicant shall paint all untreated wood within 6 months of installation.

 

3.  The Applicant shall install appropriate privacy screening on the easterly portion of the deck.

On a roll call, the vote was as follows:

Ayes:   Mayor Sanders, Trustee Blomquist, Trustee Silverberg, Trustee DeFeciani

Nays:  

Abstain: Trustee Gallucci recused himself and took no part in the discussion or vote.        

Trustee Gallucci reentered the meeting.

 

Request from Pier 701 to hold “Neil Berg’s Rock & Roll Decades” event

There were no representatives from Pier 701present.  The Mayor read from a brief description of the requested event as to be held on July 7 from 2 to 4 on the outside deck.   Village Attorney

Walter Sevastian advised the Board that the event during those hours was within the limits set by the Village Code and did not need board approval.

 

Village Clerk Delivers FYE 2015 Budget & confirms date of Public Hearing

Village Clerk Stephanie Tassello submitted projected budget for FYE 2015, and confirmed the Public Hearing on April 1, 2014 at 8:00pm for Budget Fiscal Year End 2015

Mayor Sanders thanked all departments, and reported the proposed budget has a tax levy increase of less than a 1%

Continuation of Public Hearing (7:45) Special Permit Application from Robert Gazetta to establish a restaurant use

Robert Gazetta submitted a request to withdraw his application

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Trustee Silverberg Gallucci Jr. moved to close the public hearing due to Mr. Gazetta withdrawing his application.  Trustee Gallucci Jr. seconded the motion which carried by vote 5-0

 

Request for Special Permit from Carolyn Doyle Winter to convert a single-family dwelling to a two family dwelling

 

Building Inspector Charles Schaub reported Carolyn Winter presently has a single family and would like to convert to a two family.

 

Carolyn Doyle Winters commented she is making this request due to financial issues.

Village Attorney Walter Sevastian advised the Board with reference to the 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, 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 Silverberg moved to refer this application to the above mentioned Boards for review and hold a public hearing on May 13, 2014 at 7:45pm for a Special Permit for Carolyn Doyle Winter to convert a single family dwelling to a two family dwelling.  Trustee Gallucci Jr. seconded the motion, and upon vote the motion carried by vote 5-0

 

Resolution to amend Road/Sidewalk Opening Permit Fee Schedule

 

Mayor Sanders reported the existing fees for Road/Sidewalk Opening does not cover the cost to repair it.  Once the road/sidewalk is opened it is never restored to pre-existing condition.  The present fee is based on half a roadway or a full roadway.   The Mayor suggested that the fee should be based on a linear foot.  Discussion was held regarding the proposed changes.  

 

Village Attorney Walter Sevastian said the board can adopt a resolution with a new fee schedule but would need to schedule a public hearing to amend Village Code.  He referred to the new fee schedule as follows;

ROAD/SIDEWALK PERMIT FEE SCHEDULE

(EFFECTIVE AS OF 3/18/14)

ROAD/STREET   OPENINGS:

$1,000.00 – SECURITY DEPOSIT

$10.00 –  PER LINEAR FOOT (MINIMUM OF $300.00)

$50.00   -INSPECTION FEE

SIDEWALK/DRIVEWAY APPROACH OPENINGS :

$250.00 -SECURITY DEPOSIT

$150.00 -APPLICATION FEE

* (INSPECTION FEES ARE INCLUDED)

Trustee Gallucci Jr. moved to adopt the Amended Road/Sidewalk fee schedule in accordance with the recommendations from the Department of Public Works, effective immediately.  Trustee Silverberg seconded the motion which carried by vote 5-0.      

 

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Schedule a Public Hearing Amending Section 172-5 of Village Code entitled “Street and Sidewalks opening and excavations” Local Law #3 of 2014

 

DPW Superintendent Tom Temple reported a change to the local law would restrict road/sidewalk openings from November 15 until April 1 unless due to an emergency.

 

Trustee Silverberg referred to Tom Temple comment regarding any work done from November 15 to April 1 and suggested adding a requirement for the applicant to have an escrow account.

DPW Superintendent Tom Temple replied there is currently a requirement for a security deposit

 

Trustee Gallucci Jr. suggested having the applicant increase their insurance liability than what is currently is required.

 

Trustee Blomquist made a motion to schedule a Public Hearing on Amending Section 172-5 of Village Code entitled “Street and Sidewalks opening and excavations” Local Law #3 of 2014 on April 29, 2014 at 7:45pm.  Trustee Gallucci Jr. seconded the motion which carried by vote 5-0

 

Review 2014 Proposal from Accountants JH Cohn/Reznick

Mayor Sanders commented he has been pleased with the reports and accounting procedures from JH Cohn/Reznick.

 

The board reviewed the proposal from JHCohn/Reznick Accountants & Consultants to provide accounting and yearend audit services in the amount of $12,750 for budget year 2014/2015.

 

Trustee Silverberg moved to approve JH Cohn/Reznick Accounting Services in the amount of $12,750 for budget year 2014/2015. Trustee Gallucci Jr. seconded the motion which carried by vote 5-0

 

Review and approve Grievance Application determinations and authorize the Mayor to sign the Notices of Determination

The Grievance Determinations by the Assessor/Consultant for 2014 were reviewed. 

Mayor Sanders commented the grievance applications were discussed in detail with the Assessor/Consultant and there were a number of reductions which he felt were overall fair.

 

Trustee Blomquist moved to approve the Grievance Determinations except Grievances listed in Harbor Cove.  Trustee Gallucci Jr. seconded the motion which carried by vote 5-0.

 

Trustee Gallucci Jr. moved to adopt the Grievance Determinations listed in Harbor Cove.  Trustee DeFeciani seconded the motion which carried by vote 4-0.

Trustee Silverberg abstained.

 

 Request from the Piermont Chamber of Commerce to hold their annual Bastille Day Event

Trustee Silverberg moved to approve the Chamber of Commerce Annual Bastille Day on Saturday July 12, 2014 from 12:00pm to 10:00pm.  Trustee DeFeciani seconded the motion which carried by vote 5-0

 

Approve and Award Bid for Tractor with Hydraulic platform

 

Trustee DeFeciani moved to award the Bid of the Tractor with Hydraulic Platform in the amount of $134,730 to Cyncon Equipment, Inc.  Trustee Gallucci Jr. seconded the motion, which was carried by a vote of 5-0.

 

Approval of Warrant

Trustee Blomquist moved to approve the Warrants in the amount of $ 379,655.85 attached to the Minutes.  Trustee Gallucci Jr. seconded the motion, which was carried by a vote of 5-0.

 

 

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Old/New Business

 

Trustee DeFeciani reported she received an email from Dan Sherman chairman of the Parks and recreation regarding cleaning up the parking lot medians. 

 

Trustee Silverberg commented he recently attended a Scenic Hudson Storm Task meeting which they are getting closer to scheduling a meeting which will be open for Public input.

 

Mayor Sanders commented received a letter from Stewart Kaiser regarding concerns of cyclists.

 

Chief O’Shea reported he has issued additional Police Officers specific to handling cyclists on the weekends.  He also commended Police Detective Brian Holihan on a recent DWI arrest which involved an accident. 

 

Mayor Sanders received a letter from River Keeper, notifying the Village of Piermont they will be releasing the results of their water quality testing to the public during the second week in March. 

 

Mayor Sanders contacted Betsy Blair to schedule a Public Forum regarding the DEC plans to restore the Piermont Marsh.  He has tentatively scheduled the meeting for Tuesday, April 22, 2014 at 7:00p.m. ß is awaiting confirmation from Betsy Blair.

 

Executive Session

 

Trustee DeFeciani moved to enter into Executive Session to discuss Pending Litigation, and discussion on personnel compensation.  The motion was seconded by Trustee Gallucci Jr. and upon vote the Board entered Executive Session.

 

During the Pending Litigation discussion, Trustee Silverberg recused himself and left the boardroom. He returned for the discussion on Personnel Compensation.

 

Trustee Gallucci Jr. moved to exit Executive Session, which was seconded by Trustee   Blomquist, and upon vote the Board adjourned Executive Session.

 

Trustee Silberberg made a motion to authorize Chief O’Shea to fund an employee physical examination by an Independent Medical Examiner, using funds from his Part-time Employee budget. Trustee Blomquist seconded the motion which carried by a vote of 5-0

 

Adjournment

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

 

                                                                                               

                                                                                                           

Respectfully submitted,

Stephanie Tassello

Clerk-Treasurer

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