Public hearing on Rhinebeck zoning amendment Feb. 24, plus local planning and zoning board updates

The Rhinebeck town board will conduct a public hearing Feb. 24 at 7pm on a new zoning amendment that would create a “Neighborhood Infill Overlay” affecting 39 parcels on 45 acres in the vicinity of Ackert Hook Rd and Route 9. The proposed NIO would bring the parcels, which are now in the RC5 Rural Countryside zoning district, into closer compliance with current zoning bulk regulations. It does not change existing zoning code; instead it modifies which codes apply to these properties. The amendment petition was brought to the board by John Mc Guire, a resident of the neighborhood. A similar NIO already exists in Sepascot Village. A copy of the amendment is available for review at the town clerk’s office.

Village of Rhinebeck Planning Board

Beekman Arms owner challenges new hotel spa permit
The owner of the Beekman Arms Inn is appealing a recent determination by the village Zoning Enforcement Officer on a spa planned for a new hotel that will be adjacent to the inn. The Beekman owners believe the spa, to be located in “Rhinebeck Village Place,” should require a special use permit even though the ZEO had determined it wasn’t needed. The new hotel, to be located at 46 West Market St., received final site plan approval at the planning board’s Jan. 21 meeting. In a 20-page written statement, attorney Richard Cantor, representing Beekman Delamater Properties, argued that the current ZEO determination is one used for professional offices, but he believes it should be classified instead as a specially permitted use because of the services to be offered in the spa. At its Feb. 4 meeting the planning board reviewed the documentation and referred the matter to the ZBA, stating that they stand by the original determination. The ZBA will now review the challenge at its next meeting Feb. 20.

Variance for home rejected, garage renovation approved
Robert and Ellena Weinstein of 25 Livingston St. were before the planning board at its Feb. 4 meeting to request a recommendation to the Zoning Board of Appeals for two area variances they need for renovations they plan to their recently purchased house and garage. The house renovations require a variance for a 3 ft. side yard setback where 10 ft. is required and the garage expansion requires a 7 ft. rear yard setback where 25 ft. is required. The board reviewed the plans and gave a negative recommendation to the ZBA for the variance for the house plans, saying they thought such an addition was inappropriate. However, the variance for the garage expansion received a positive recommendation; both votes were unanimous with one absent member, John Clarke. The property is within the Historic District Overlay and so comes under special zoning provisions and extra scrutiny. The application will now be reviewed by the ZBA at their next meeting Feb. 20.

Town of Rhinebeck Planning Board

Mining permit public hearing stirs neighbors
Paul Griggs, the consulting geologist for Red Wing Properties presented an application for a renewed mining permit and a special use permit to the board for the former Vincent Kinlan mine at 234-286 White Schoolhouse Rd. Planning board noted that this is actually a new permit application since the old one expired in September. 14 members of the public spoke, many of them to express concern about the noise and traffic on White Schoolhouse Rd caused by the mining operation. The board decided to discuss the application further at its Feb. 18 meeting at 6:30pm. The meeting is open to the public but no comments will be received at this meeting. The public hearing will be continued to the board’s March 3 meeting at 6:30pm.

B&B granted site plan approval
Jonna Paolella’s application for site plan review for the Olde Rhinebeck Inn at 340 Wurtemburg Road got a public hearing with no speakers at the town planners’ meeting Feb. 3. The board approved a negative declaration on the application and voted to approve the site plan, which now retroactively makes the four bedroom B&B legal. In 2004, Paolella had applied for a variance for the fourth bedroom but site plan review by the planning board was not conducted which then voided the certificate of occupancy she received at the time.

Trust’s lands to be subdivided, purchased by neighbors
Surveyor Marie Welch , represented the Quentin Johnson Irrevocable Trust’s application for a lot line alteration for its properties on 12-14 Primrose Hill Rd at the Feb. 3 meeting. The 9.342 acres will be purchased by two neighbors, Carl Meyer and Patrick and Mary Kelly, and incorporated into each of their properties. No one spoke at the public hearing. The board approved a draft SEQR determination, including a negative declaration of environmental impacts, and approved the application unanimously, with one absent member.

Subdivision public hearing continued
A public hearing was continued on Paul Matthie’s application to subdivide 3.4 acres of his 13.66 acre property at 114 Old Post Road. No one spoke at the public hearing, which was then continued to the board’s March 3 meeting because the applicant is waiting on a surveyor’s report.

Grasmere project focus of Town Hall meeting Feb. 18
The board discussed the Grasmere application and asked the applicants to send them an official boundary of where the 250 acres for the Grasmere project will be carved out of the larger Mensch family holdings in that area (about 525 acres). The board approved a draft SEQR determination, agreeing that the action is a type 1 action and requires coordinated review. The board will discuss the application at a special meeting Feb. 18 at 6:30pm in Town Hall; the meeting is open to the public but no public comments will be accepted.

Baseball field planned by local church
Grace Bible Church came before the board for a sketch plan conference Feb. 3 that included plans for a new baseball field and new landscaping. The plan takes special care around flood plains and wetland buffers. However, a provision in the zoning code requiring 100 ft. setbacks for the proposed ballfield, which means the applicant must go to the ZBA for a variance in order to move forward. The planning board declared lead agency on the application, which is a type 1 action under SEQR.

Single family resident proposed for Grinnell St. in Rhinecliff
At its Feb. 3 meeting, the board also declared lead agency for SEQR on an application by Richard Kopyscianski of Grinnell St. in Rhinecliff to consolidate two lots, a .41 acre lot and a 1 acre lot, in order to build a single-family residence of under 2,300 sq. ft. The board scheduled a public hearing on the plans for its March 3 meeting at 7:05pm.

Parcel consolidation planned for Rhinecliff property
Also at its Feb. 3 meeting, the board heard another application to consolidate parcels presented by Dawn McKenzie of Insite Engineering on behalf of the owners of 524 Mill Rd and Morton Rd in Rhinecliff. The property is in the historic preservation district and within 1,000 feet of the Hudson River, so it will be subject to review by several town parties. The project involves renovating a house, barn, and pool and adding a tennis court. The tennis court will be the fourth accessory structure (there is also an historic child’s playhouse) and will require a special permit. The board accepted the application and declared lead agency under SEQR, classified the application as a type 1 action and scheduled a public hearing for March 3 at 7:10pm.

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