Local planning and zoning actions

VILLAGE OF TIVOLI PLANNING BOARD

Skate ramp to be relocated in park
The hotly debated skate ramp proposed for Memorial Park will likely have to find a new location. At their meeting July 21, the planning board discussed the proposed site and appeared to agree with neighbors’ concerns. Instead of the original location near the ball field, the board said it will likely recommend to the village board that the skate ramp be placed near the bus stop, on the other side of the water tower, suggesting that, with the ramp nearer to the street, it will be easier for the Sheriff’s Department to monitor, and it will be farther from residences. The board planned to formally adopt this resolution at its next meeting, July 28. If the village board agrees to the alternate site for the ramp, it may require a new public hearing.

Hotel Tivoli renovations discussed
At its July 21 planning workshop, the Tivoli Planning Board continued its site plan review of the Hotel Tivoli renovations occurring at 53 Broadway. The board agreed that there was no problem with the posts and railings proposed for the porch by general contractor John Molinaro. But they did decide the proposed neon restaurant sign would be against code. The board has also requested that some sidewalk-obscuring bushes be removed from the hotel’s exterior and planned to vote on the site plan approval at their next meeting, July 28.

VILLAGE OF RED HOOK ZONING BOARD OF APPEALS

Eldridge Ln. area variance approved
Surveyor Marie Welch returned to the ZBA July 21 to represent Marion Cole Abraham in her request for an area variance for her property at 10 Eldridge Ln. The variance would provide relief from the required minimum lot size of 20,000 sq. ft. The existing lot at 10 Eldridge Ln. would be reduced from 18,483 sq. ft. to 13,736 sq. ft. and the 4,747 sq. ft. will be added to 8 Eldridge Lane to increase the size of that substandard lot from 4,999 sq. ft. to 9,746 sq. ft. to allow more room for the existing septic system, which may be too close to the lot line. The board approved the variance with the condition that when the applicant appears before the village planning board, that board will take into consideration the ZBA’s recommendation that the applicant rearrange the lot lines within the granted area variance to eliminate encroachment of the cellar way onto the adjacent parcel.

Longtime ZBA board member resigns
The ZBA also announced July 21 that Paul Duntz, who has served on the board for 13 years, has resigned. The ZBA thanked Duntz for all his years of service and dedication to the village. The Village Board appointed Patricia Grassi of Garden St. as the new ZBA member at their July 14 meeting.

TOWN OF RHINEBECK

River Rd.-Carmel Dr. estate plan discussed
Robert Duffy’s plan to combine his properties at 195 River Road and 31 Carmel Drive into an estate with added buildings came under close scrutiny by the town planning board and zoning board of appeals.

On July 14, the town planning board held a special meeting to discuss Duffy’s application for site plan review and special permits, and after discussion, closed the public hearing on the application. On July 16, the Zoning Board of Appeals also closed their public hearing on the variances associated with Duffy’s plan to consolidate the two parcels, which total of 44.1 acres.

At the planning board meeting, correspondence from Astor Courts, Duffy’s neighbor to the south, was read into the record indicating that after a June 26 site visit and discussion, the residents there are now comfortable with the Duffy plan, which calls for two new guest houses, a pool, a new barn and security gates. “Four season” landscaping has been added to shield Astor Courts residents from any visual impacts, and issues about lighting, fire hydrants and other safety concerns were also resolved. Fencing has been added to the site plan to prevent trespassers on the property; the new “Barn 2” has been reduced in size, and the kitchens have been removed from both guest houses.

Duffy’s attorney Jennifer Van Tuyl emphasized that the total square footage of the proposed additional structures, 5,500 sq. ft., will be less than 1/10 of a 1% of the total lot area. She also noted that since the applicant removed the 10,896 sq. ft. former Carmelite Sisters Convent on Carmel Drive, there has been a net reduction in impervious surface area.

Concerns from the town Conservation Advisory Board about the pool’s drainage system were also addressed; Van Tuyl said the system is carefully designed to prevent overflow and future drainage will be done with the aid of tanker trucks. Van Tuyl also read a letter from Hudson River Heritage in support of the plans.

The planning board found there were no significant issues of environmental concern, then approved a negative declaration of environmental impacts and closed the public hearing. The board also approved a recommendation to the ZBA, which is considering four variances for the property.

Then, on July 16 the town Zoning Board of Appeals held a continued public hearing on the four variances in question: the first would allow three accessory structures totaling 2,144 sq. ft. to be built in front (closer to the road) of rather than behind the principal structure as required; another seeks an aggregate square footage of roofed structures of 3,086 sq. ft. where 1,500 sq. ft is permitted; the third would permit a second guest cottage where only one is allowed; and the fourth would waive the requirement that parking be set back 10 ft. behind the primary residence and instead allow a parking space next to Barn 1, in front of the primary residence.

The three new proposed structures include a pool pavilion with a 1-bedroom guest house; another 1-bedroom guest house, and the new Barn 2 for storage, which will replace an existing barn. Another existing barn, “Barn 1,” already has a certificate of occupancy as a 1-bedroom accessory dwelling unit with a kitchen.

Attorney Jennifer Van Tuyl, who represented Duffy and presented the application, noted that because of the shape of the lot, almost all the developable land is “in front” of the principal house, which is near the Hudson River. The area near the river, behind the house, is protected by local and state laws that restrict disturbance of any kind.

Planning Board chair Michael Trimble was there to relay his board’s positive recommendation in favor of the variances. No other members of the public spoke. The ZBA voted to close the public hearing and arranged a site visit. They will make a decision within 60 days. At the July 21 planning board meeting, the board agreed to address the application again Aug. 18 after the ZBA meets again Aug. 6.

PLANNING BOARD

Hearing closed on Pitcher Ln. additions
Coregroup Properties LLC went before the planning board July 21 seeking re-approval of their site plan application for two “modest” additions to an existing structure at Greenhouse at Rhinebeck, a special event venue located at 35-44 Pitcher Lane. The additions include a deck and a handicapped accessible restroom. Residents of the nearby Forest Park neighborhood spoke at the meeting to express concern over potential noise pollution from events at the property. The board approved a SEQR negative declaration, finding that the project has no significant environmental impacts, and voted to close the public hearing.

Hearing continued on Blackwood application
Discussion continued at the planning board meeting July 21 on the requests for subdivision, site plan and special use permit by Carolyn Marks Blackwood of 64 Grinnell St. in Rhinecliff, which entail the consolidation of three parcels into a single parcel and expansion of an existing dwelling to 4,096 sq. ft. The application includes an area variance that has been brought to the zoning board of appeals, which may be addressed at the ZBA’s Aug. 6 meeting. One Rhinecliff resident spoke at length, expressing concern over the aesthetic and cultural impact of the project. Others spoke in support of the project and the applicant. The board discussed whether the applicant will be required to apply for a use variance since some uses in the proposed plan have changed. The public hearing will be continued at the Sept. 15 planning board meeting.

Ackert Hook Rd. subdivision hearing set
Engineer Mark Graminski spoke for John McGuire, Jr. on his application for a subdivision and special use permit for 42 Ackert Hook Road, which seeks to create four residential building lots in addition to an existing house lot on a 6.2 acre parcel. Approval for a similar application had been sought in 2009 but was halted after the property was rezoned into the RC5 District, which requires a five-acre minimum for lots. The recent creation of a Neighborhood Infill Overlay District for the area opened the way for the applicant to resubmit his plans. The plans will also be submitted to the county Department of Health for review of water supply and sanitary sewage arrangements; review of proposed driveway access locations by the town Highway Department is also required. The board voted to begin sketch plan review and classified the project as a major 5-lot conventional subdivision and an unlisted action under SEQR. The project was also referred to the town Conservation Advisory Board. A public hearing was set for Aug. 18.

ZONING BOARD OF APPEALS

Upper Hook Rd, walkway hearing set
Rosemary Bakker of 8 Upper Hook Rd appeared before the zoning board of appeals July 16 to apply for a front yard setback variance to extend her porch 7 ft. in order to create a sloping walkway for a family member who needs wheelchair access. The walkway would be 30 ft. long and 42 in. wide and be landscaped to appear residential. Bakker’s parcel is 17.5 acres, mostly wetland and a 150 ft. setback is required, but her home is already non-compliant with an existing 48 ft. setback; she is now applying for a variance of 109 ft., or 41 ft. from the front line. The ZBA accepted the application and set a public hearing for Aug. 6.

Ackert Hook Rd. accessory dwelling hearing set
ZBA secretary Brennan Kearney is buying a house at 211 Ackert Hook Rd. and applied July 16 for a variance to construct a 900 sq. ft. apartment within an existing barn on the property. The house is on a 2-acre parcel in a 5-acre zone. Zoning Enforcement Officer Ron Evangelista advised that only one variance is needed if the size is restricted to 900 sq. ft. and the board accepted the application on the condition a more detailed rendering of the plans be provided before the next meeting and that Evangelista provide his opinion in writing. The public hearing was set for Aug. 6.

Route 308 accessory dwelling hearing set
Darren Davidowich, represented Irene Disch of 262 Route 308, applied July 16 to use the first floor of a 2,900 sq. ft. barn (1,450 sq. ft. per floor) as an accessory dwelling. The property is a 4.1 acre parcel in a 5 acre zone. The ZBA was concerned that the proposed apartment was too large and the applicant said he would limit the size to 2,100 sq. ft. The board said that it needs more detailed plans but agreed to accept the application and also research size limitations on accessory dwellings. ZBA member Ellen O’Brien-Silverstein noted that the current zoning encourages accessory dwellings instead of larger homes. The public hearing was set for Aug. 6. A site plan and special use permit application were then presented to the planning board July 21 and the board set a public hearing date for Aug. 18.

Route 9G storage building variance hearing closed
A public hearing was held July 16 on the application of John Martin, of 2735-2737 Route 9G, who wants to replace two existing storage containers with one storage building, a total increase in square footage from 1,500 sq. ft. to 4,000 sq. ft. for his 15.5-acre property. No one spoke at the hearing, so the ZBA voted to close it and arranged a site visit; they will vote on the application within 60 days.

Other business
The public hearing for an area variance that would grant a square footage increase of 980 sq. ft. on a second floor residence at 6052 Route 9 was recessed to Aug. 6 at the request of the applicant, by Robert Monahan, Jr.

VILLAGE OF RHINEBECK ZONING BOARD OF APPEALS

Livingston St. barn setbacks approved
A public hearing on Michael and Mary Bird’s variance application for a new barn at 62 Livingston St. continued July 17 at the zoning board of appeals. The applicants had revised their plans and requested two variances: a rear (west) yard setback of 8ft. 2in., where 10 ft. is required, and a southern side yard setback of 3 ft. 11 in., where 25 ft. is required. Both variances received a letter of support from the village zoning enforcement officer. The Birds plan to build a new, smaller barn after the existing barn is demolished. After much discussion, Dennis and Valerie Bakoledis, neighbors to the south, told the board they would prefer at least one more foot of setback at their property line, but would settle for 6 inches to add to the 3 ft. 11 in. the applicant had proposed. Since the June 19 ZBA meeting, the two sets of neighbors had agreed on a new property line, which puts the existing barn 1 ft. 3 in. over the new line. The Birds contended that giving up that space at the west side, combined with the 8 ft. 2 in., meant the required 10 ft. setback was almost met and that their proposed setbacks would leave adequate space to keep the barn on their property. After further discussion, the ZBA and Bird agreed that 6 more inches would be possible, so the board closed the public hearing and approved a southern side yard setback variance of 4 ft. 5 in. and a west rear yard variance of 8 ft. 2 in.

MILAN ZONING BOARD OF APPEALS

Fitzsimmons Rd. horse variance approved
On July 23, the Milan ZBA held a public hearing for Elizabeth Throckmorton, who applied for a variance at 522 Fitzsimmons Road to house two horses on three acres, where town code requires 10 acres. Throckmorton’s proposal includes a two-stall stable with a small tack room and fencing well within the required setbacks. The board asked about water and waste, and Throckmorton told them water would be bucketed over from across the street, and manure storage would not be within 200 ft. of any residence, in compliance with the code. The hearing was opened and closed with no public comment, and the board unanimously granted the variance on the condition that no more than two horses would be housed on the property at any given time.

Fowler Ln. barn setback variance granted
A public hearing was held on Byron and Sharon Fowler’s application for an area variance for the setbacks for a new pole barn on their property at 57 Fowler Lane. The Fowlers requested a 25 ft. front yard setback, where 85 ft. are required and a 25 ft. side yard setback, where 50 ft. are required. The barn will store landscaping equipment in a location chosen to avoid the septic system, DEC wetlands, and rocky areas on the property. The barn will be 25 ft. high from ground to peak and will be open, with walls on the two gable ends. During the public hearing, the sister of neighbor Thomas Darby, representing Darby, expressed concerns about the height of the barn and potential future uses such as housing livestock, given its close proximity to Darby’s property. The hearing was then closed and the board unanimously granted the variance, with the conditions that there would be no electricity or floodlights and no livestock.

Willowbrook Rd. generator variance hearing set
Jeremy Lang of 1110 Willowbrook Road appeared before the ZBA with an application for an area variance to install a 5KW generator in front of his house, next to his utility pole, with a 20 ft. front yard setback from the road, where 85 ft. are required. Lang owns the property on both sides of the road; the north portion contains his house, and the south side includes his driveway and garage. A new generator must be installed on the northern parcel to minimize the distance to the house but it cannot be placed behind the house due to the absence of a driveway on the north side for propane deliveries. The board accepted the application and requested that Lang add the dimensions of the generator and its distance from the road to his site map and set a public hearing for Aug. 27.

Other Business
The continuation of a public hearing for Verizon Wireless’s height variance application for a proposed cell tower on Academy Hill Rd. was adjourned until the Aug. 27 ZBA meeting at the request of the applicant. Also adjourned until Aug. 27 was Mary Hunt’s application for area variances and a special use permit to construct a single-family dwelling with an attached accessory dwelling unit at 162 Becker Hill Rd.

CLINTON ZONING BOARD OF APPEALS

Ruskey Ln. variance extension OK’d
Ernest Klopping of 371-377 Ruskey Lane appeared before the Clinton ZBA July 24 to request an extension on several area variances originally granted in 2010. These variances, which were approved again last August, allow for more than one principal structure and more than one principal use on the lot, allow for a front yard setback of 40 ft., where 100 ft. are required, and permit the existing accessory structure, which is closer to the road than the primary dwelling. Klopping plans to construct a new building to consolidate his repair shop and junkyard, which were grandfathered in because they predate town zoning code. Klopping explained that he plans to go before the planning board Aug. 19 to address modifications to the site plan and lot line changes. The ZBA unanimously granted a six-month extension.

HYDE PARK ZONING BOARD OF APPEALS

Crum Elbow Rd. animal housing denied
A public hearing was held at the July 23 Zoning Board of Appeals meeting on an application for animal housing variance for Linda Burns of 64 Crum Elbow Rd. Linda and Jack Burns were present to request the variance for pre-existing housing for 6 pigs and 2 goats that their granddaughters raise for 4-H events. The zoning code allows for animals to be housed a minimum of 350 ft. from other residences; the requested variance sought allowance for animal housing 48 ft. from the closest of the 15 houses that are within 350 ft. and would change the animal units allowed at their house from 1,000 lbs. per 1.5 acres of land to 1,240 lbs. per 750 sq. ft. One of the Burns’ neighbors, Nancy Martinez of 66 Crum Elbow Rd., sent a letter complaining about the noise and odor of the animals. Neighbors Deborah and Sherman Lockard, of 1 Frances Ct, Richard Kwet, of 83 Crum Elbow Rd., and Dorothy Hanlon, of 70 Crum Elbow Rd., all commented about the animals’ odor. The application was unanimously denied.

Hearing set for Holt Rd. homing pigeon loft
Curtis Williams of 47 Holt Rd. appeared before the ZBA to apply for a variance for an existing structure housing approximately 30 homing pigeons he owns. The variance requests animal husbandry be allowed within 77 ft. of the closest of six houses within the required 250 ft. setback. A public hearing was set for Aug. 27.

TEG FCU sign variance approved
After a positive referral from the planning board, Nancy Forrest of Gloede Signs, Inc. returned to the ZBA July 23 for a public hearing on a graphic symbol size variance requested by TEG Federal Credit Union, at 4282 Albany Post Rd. Forrest had already changed the original application to comply with the requirement of 10 in. letter height and now requested to change the graphic symbol from the 10 in. limit to 19 in. The planning board had agreed on a positive recommendation for the application at their meeting July 16. Barbara Hogan of 209 Cardinal Rd., who is also on the TEG Board of Directors, suggested that the request was not unreasonable. After some discussion, the application passed with 3 yeses and 1 no vote.

Variance approved for Cobey Ter porch
Julius Verven appeared before the ZBA for a public hearing on his request for a front yard setback variance of 35 ft. where 50 ft. is required for a pre-existing porch on the irregularly shaped lot at 30 Cobey Ter. The public hearing was closed with no comments and the application was unanimously approved.

Hearing set for Stewart’s signage
Chuck Marshall, a real estate representative for Stewart’s Shops, Inc., attended the ZBA meeting to present his application for several sign variances for the store at 3648 Albany Post Rd. The application would change the graphic size on a free-standing sign from 10 in. to 4 ft. 10 in. wide and 10 in. to 2 ft. 10 in. high; change the numeric symbol on a free-standing sign for gasoline pricing from 10 in. to 12 in.; and change the wall sign graphic from 10 in. to 2 ft. 3 in. high and 3 ft. 9 ½ in. wide. Marshall explained that this is due to a sign replacement program the company is undertaking. A public hearing was set for Aug. 27 and the application will be sent to county planning, the town planning board, and the Town of Poughkeepsie for comment.

Aug. 5 meeting set for East Elm Ave. variance
A special ZBA meeting is set for Aug. 5 at 7pm at Town Hall to discuss a new application for a rear yard variance for Barbara and Arthur Gross, Sr. of 3 East Elm Ave. The application would allow a rear yard setback of 10 ft. where 15 ft. are required for an existing pool and it would allow the required distance to an undisturbed stream corridor to be 64 ft. where 100 ft. are required.

HYDE PARK PLANNING BOARD

Dollar General hearing continues
Todd Hamula of Zaremba Group LLC and project engineer Christian Longo of Ingalls & Associates were back before the Hyde Park Planning Board July 16 to review the proposed site plan for a Dollar General store at 1049 Violet Ave. The planning board is still awaiting comment from the county Department of Health before they can proceed with SEQR review, but the state Department of Transportation has approved the site’s proposed entrance. The board members agreed that the proposed artificial windows should be included on the southern facade for aesthetic purposes. During public comment, Kirk Rasco of 1029 Violet Avenue expressed concern about noise pollution during deliveries. Board chair Michael Dupree responded that with the traffic on Route 9G, noise should not be an issue, but the board will be working with Hamula to possibly add landscaping for noise cancellation. Dupree said SEQR can be determined and the board could vote on site plan approval if the county DOH approval comes through in time. The public hearing will continue at the Aug. 6 meeting.

Hearing set for Al’s Yard site plan modification
Engineer Tom Cummings represented Al’s Yard at the planning board meeting for a site plan modification. Cummings said that the owner, who lives on the scrapyard site located on 11 Beck Road, would like to sell cars from the property. The modification would change 10 junkyard slots to 5 display slots and 5 customer parking spaces. A public hearing was set for Aug 6.

Hyde Park Town Center hearing set
Eric Neiler of Tinkleman Architecture represented the Hyde Park Town Center July 16 for a site plan modification. The revised plan for the Town Center, located on 4240-4260 Albany Post Road, is mostly aesthetic in nature. The proposed plan includes re-roofing and repainting the columns for a unified look, and changing the tenant signs to the same color and font style. The plan also requests blanket authorization for up to 22 in. size lettering for tenant signs. A public hearing for the project was set for Aug. 6.

Cedar Lane lot line alteration hearing set
Richard Buotte returned to the planning board with a lot line alteration application for 525 Cedar Ln. Buotte went to the board in November 2013 after purchasing 2 acres from his neighbors, the Russos, of 28 Cedar Ln. At the time, he proposed a lot line alteration incorporating the 2 acres into his existing lot but the required survey was cost prohibitive. Since that time, the town changed open space law requiring the survey and since his plan will not create a new lot, Buotte returned with the same application. A public hearing was set for August 6.

Other Business
Site plan waivers were unanimously approved July 16 for the relocation of an oil tank at Eric and Kristin Littlefield’s property on 25 Coll Hollow Rd. and for a deck expansion on Judith and Stanley Weiss’s 16 Cove Rd. property. …A positive recommendation for a sign permit for the Hyde Park United Methodist Church, at 1 Church St., was also approved.

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