Local planning and zoning actions


Whiskey Pub seeks bike rack
Gerard Hurley, owner of Traghaven Whiskey Pub & Co. at 66 Broadway, has applied for site plan approval for a new bicycle rack he wishes to install. The planning board reviewed the application Sept. 8, and Hurley explained that he would like to remove the fencing around a small square space that often collected debris in front of his restaurant and instead place a bicycle rack there, which would be available to the public (not just patrons). He has asked local artists-fabricators the Verrilli brothers of Prandoni Fabrication and Design in Kingston to create a bike rack, possibly from reclaimed materials, and he said the idea is for the spot to become a community space. The board welcomed his proposal, and Hurley was scheduled to return to the Sept. 22 planning board meeting with sketches from the artists.


Greig proposes inn on Pitcher Lane
Norman Greig presented an application at the Sept. 15 planning board meeting for a site plan and special permit to establish a 14-room inn and public restaurant in a 1850s-era barn at 160 Pitcher Lane. The barn, on approximately 93 acres, is behind the Grandiflora nursery. The board suggested Greig go to the Zoning Board of Appeals for a variance on ingress and egress because an inn can only be sited on a state road. The board also asked for a property map showing the parcel location, adjacent properties and a directional scale as well as county Department of Health approval of water and sewer information. The application will be discussed further at the board’s Oct. 20 meeting.

Feller-Newmark Rd. subdivision talks continue
Landmark Properties attorney John Wagner and engineer Michael Bosendorf returned for ongoing discussions about the 11-lot subdivision on 100.45 acres proposed for Feller-Newmark Rd. The board said they had received details on sight distance profiles, tree removal, retaining wall and guide rails from Bosendorf, but did not know whether the guide rail facing would be metal or wood and how it would be constructed. Wagner showed renderings of a steel retaining wall topped by a split-rail fence, which was followed by detailed discussion about facing materials and the board’s dislike of a steel wall, suggesting stone on concrete to better blend with the site. The board discussed outstanding issues, including the private road widths, the radius of the proposed cul-de-sac and a construction management plan. Bodendorf said construction of the retaining wall, shoulders and drainage would last 3 weeks with flaggers and roadwork signs every 500 feet and though there would be road closures, one lane would be open at all times. Planning board chair Christine Kane asked that final decisions on all outstanding items be submitted by the Oct. 20 planning board meeting, to give the board time for final review of the project.

Lasher Rd. daycare approved
Katherine Gagin’s plan to operate a daycare center in her home at 388 Lasher Road in Tivoli was approved Sept. 15. The center got conditional special permit approval based on a maximum of 6 children and can have parking for 5 cars: 2 for staff and 3 for parents. During the required public hearing, one neighbor welcomed the project. The board asked about exterior lighting and Gagin said they exceed all requirements for shielding from neighbors. The board granted site plan approval on condition that all state and county requirements are met.

Hoffmann subdivision at Old Farm Rd. discussed
Richard Rang of Kirchhoff properties and project engineer Scott Ouimet were present Sept. 15 for continued discussion on their revised plan for preliminary subdivision plat and site plan approval to create 102 residential units on 52.05 acres in the Traditional Neighborhood residential zoning district at 19, 25 and 45 Old Farm Rd. Planning board chair Christine Kane noted that recent plan changes are more detailed but not substantially different than before and the required sketch plan has not been submitted. Rang said water will be supplied by a new well dug by the village and they will have more data on that in December. Scale drawings, more detail on infrastructure for the project, such as wastewater systems, and environmental impact information was requested by the town planning consultant, town engineer, and town attorney.

Spring Lake Rd. new home gets hearing
At the Sept. 15 public hearing for Chelsea Streifeneder’s application to tear down an existing cottage at 49 Spring Lake Rd. and build a new 25 ft.- by-50 ft. home on a .42 acre lot in the hamlet of Upper Red Hook, the board discussed questions from the Hamlet Committee. The questions mainly concerned the tearing down of an existing 100-year old structure that is part of a row of similar cottages in the neighborhood. The applicant said that the roof was collapsing, the foundation was crumbling and the shale rock and dirt basement was unusable. The board suggested alternatives such as use of the building as a secondary home or accessory apartment. On the plans for the new home, the board asked that window trim, siding and other materials be included in the plans before further review. The public hearing was closed and the application was scheduled again at the board’s Oct. 6 meeting.

Maizeland Rd. commercial storage structure discussed
Owner and applicant Marty Willms continued discussion Sept. 15 on his application to construct a 30 ft.-by-80 ft. commercial storage building on a 4.45-acre parcel on Rt. 9 at 19 Maizeland Rd. Town planning consultant Michele Greig said the hours of operation must be specified on the site plan, and the applicant agreed to 9 am to 9 pm. Other missing site plan items missing included a project name and plans for grading, drainage and equipment storage as well as type of security lighting. Willms said no new grading or drainage will be done and presented an example of the low-wattage lighting to be used. A public hearing was scheduled for Oct. 6.

Other Business
The board approved a 90-day extension for conditional site plan approval to Plimpton and Hills Corp. for further construction at their 7311 South Broadway site…The board scheduled a site visit on Sept. 21 to the riverfront property of Daniel Shapiro and Bonnie Loopesko in Tivoli at 143 Woods Rd. A tree crashed into their home during a July storm and they have an application to cut down several trees, all of which have been tagged… After review and discussion, the board voted to recommend approval of proposed amendments to the Town of Red Hook Highway Specifications, specifically a proposed reduction in road widths from 26 ft. to 22 ft., except for the use of Belgian block for curbing.


Metzger Rd driveway width variance approved
On Sept. 10, the ZBA board considered Martin Willms’s application for a reduction of driveway width to 25 ft. from the 95 ft. normally required for a commercial property in his zoning district. The proposed driveway would be deeded to Willms’s neighbor, Rosemarie Zengen, allowing her to access a lot she owns behind her current residence which is accessed from Route 9. Zengen’s plan to construct a single family dwelling there is currently before the planning board.

During the public hearing on the driveway width variance, four neighbors expressed concern that the driveway, which will open onto Metzger Rd, might allow vehicles to cut across the front lot to Route 9. Some expressed concern that items on the front property, which is operated as an estate sale business, create a fire hazard, while one neighbor worried that cars using the driveway would shine their lights directly into his house. The board voted 5-2 to approve the width variance, on the condition that a barrier is established to prevent access to Route 9.

Rokeby Rd. fence height variance approved
An application by John and Constance Holzmann to build a 6 ft. high stockade fence on the west side of their property at 238 Rokeby Rd, where 4 ft. is the maximum within 60 ft. of the front yard line, won ZBA approval. A neighbor noted that there is sharp turn on the road nearby, and said he thinks a fence would create a hazard by further impeding drivers’ line of sight. After discussion, by a 7-0 vote, the board approved the variance, but stipulated that the first 8-ft.-long fence panel be no higher than 4 ft. to avoid sight issues.

Metzger Rd. setback variance approved
Also, the ZBA considered a request by Faruque Litan of 39 Metzger Rd to move a portable garage 2 ft. from his side property line. The structure is currently 15 ft. from the line but Litan said its proximity to another structure makes its use difficult. The board voted 5-2 to approve the setback variance.


Maizeland Rd. subdivision approved
A 4-lot subdivision for the east side of Maizeland Rd was approved Sept. 15 at the village planning board by a unanimous vote. Engineer Mark Graminski presented the application for a public hearing and described the plans, which would subdivide a 3.71-acre lot owned by Judy Walsh and Barbara Rabin into residential lots: 3 1-acre lots and one .71 acre lot. Graminski said the plans entail joining two ends of the village’s existing water mains to the north and south of the development area and described detailed stormwater plans that would keep runoff on the properties using swales, rain gardens and other techniques. One neighbor questioned whether the village would have to dig up part of her property in order to work on the water main; Graminski confirmed that they would and told her it’s the applicants’ responsibility to fix her property after the work is completed. The board questioned whether the plans could ensure that mature trees were protected but Graminski and the property owners said they would rather leave tree decisions up to the future property owners, but that the plans did show how to place a house and driveway on each lot without disturbing too many mature trees. The approval is conditional on county Department of Health review and approval of septic systems and wells.

Yard sale permit rejected
Karen Jerro presented a request Sept. 15 for a permit to hold a yard sale six times a year from the lawn of Red Hook Self Storage at 7396-7398 South Broadway. Jerro leases two units there and has obtained permission from the owner, Marty Willms, to run sales from that location for items she sells for clients. Village code specifies that private yard sales are limited to two per year. The board told Jerro they did not think such a permit was allowed in the village code because the site is not a commercial retail location and she would have to discuss her request with the village zoning enforcement officer.

Other business
Craig Rothstein, representing Little Pickles, a toy and sweet shop and play house business at 7509 North Broadway, discussed an amended sign application. Rothstein proposed three hanging signs, to use existing hooks on the front porch of the building but the board said only one hanging sign per business is allowed. After much discussion, the board agreed that it could consider the playhouse and the toy/sweet shop as two separate businesses and approved two hanging signs, not to exceed 12 sq. ft. combined….Jim Gibbons of River Chronicle newspaper presented an amended sign application for his company’s location at 7508 North Broadway that included specifications for two lighting units with 100 watt bulbs to shine on a 22.7 sq. ft. sign, which had been approved at the August board meeting. Gibbons confirmed that the lights will shine all night and will point downward toward the sign. The board approved the amended application.


Health food store sign approved
An amended signage application by Sunflower Flower Natural Foods at 24 Garden St. was approved by the planning board Sept. 16. A new 2 ft. by 3 ft. sign would be added to the previously approved signs to be mounted on the roof. The board noted that several old signs need to be removed from the windows and an illegal sandwich board sign must be removed from the sidewalk. Several other issues, such a parking lot improvements, must be completed before the shop receives its certificate of occupancy.

History kiosk approved
A new kiosk designed by the Consortium for Rhinebeck History was approved Sept. 16, but official dimensions for the display were not available at the meeting. The kiosk will be at the corner of the municipal parking lot nearest to Route 308 with a display featuring historic sites around Rhinebeck. The project was approved on condition that it be similar in size and materials to the kiosk at Burger Hill Park. The consortium representatives plan to paint the wood frame white and have a copper roof.

Beech St. addition approved
An addition for Lauren Belvin’s house at 29 Beech Street in the historic district was approved Sept. 16 on condition that a generator is removed from the required side yard setback. The addition meets all regulations and is not believed to cause a privacy issue for neighbors.


Special meeting set on mining zoning changes
The planning board at its Sept. 15 meeting set a special meeting for Sept. 29 at 6:30pm to discuss the zoning amendment, now being considered by the town board, that would limit mining in the town to only the existing ones that have state permits; no expansions or new mines would be permitted. The board must make a decision on whether the amendment is in line with the town’s comprehensive plan and must vote on endorsing the amendment by its Oct. 10 meeting.

Rec park site plan reapproved
The site plan approval for the Thomas Thompson-Sally Mazzarella recreation park was approved again, because the December 2013 approval had expired. No changes had been made to the plans, and park committee chairman Bob Ellsworth told the board that the necessary permits for the project have been obtained. The new approval will expire in March 2015.

Other business
The planning board voted to allow the Robert Duffy estate to remove a Norway Maple on River Rd. in order to rebuild a stone wall along the property that predates the tree, which is considered an invasive species…An extension was granted for the special permit for the Grasmere country inn 2 project on Mill Rd… The area variance application by Rosemary Bakker of 8 Upper Hook Rd. was recommended to the Zoning Board of Appeals for approval… The area variance application by Sarah Bowen of 219 Slate Quarry Rd. was also recommended to the ZBA for approval, conditional on attention by the town Zoning Enforcement Officer to the 7% lot coverage maximum, which may be an issue. At its Sept. 17 meeting, the ZBA closed the public hearing on this application… The site plan, special use and wetland permits for the accessory apartment proposed for 262 Route 308, represented by Darren Davidowich, was also approved after the public hearing was closed and the board noted that all four required variances had been approved by the ZBA.


Beacham Rd. setbacks set for hearing
A public hearing was set for an application by Mike Freer of 4 Beacham Rd for a side yard setback variance of 8 ft., where 50 ft. is required, a side yard setback of 25 ft., where 100 ft. is required, a rear yard setback of 15 ft., where 50 ft. is required, and a variance permitting a proposed garage addition to exceed the size of the primary residence for a combined total of 1,636 sq. ft.

Ackert Hook Rd. accessory apartment variances OK’d
The four variances required for the 900 sq. ft. accessory apartment proposed by Brennan Kearney of 211 Ackert Hook Rd. were approved Sept. 17 despite a negative recommendation on the variances submitted by the planning board on Sept. 15. Many of the variances were necessary because the lot is a non-conforming size because it is 2 acres in a 5-acre zone.


Archer Acres subdivision approved
The planning board unanimously voted Sept. 3 to approve the proposed 6-lot subdivision called Archer Acres on Odak Farm Rd. The approval is conditional on county Department of Health approval of proposed wells and septic systems. The public hearing that preceded the approval drew no comments. The subdivision would consist of six lots created from a 133-acre parcel: four 3-acre lots, one 20.8-acre lot and one 100-acre lot to remain undeveloped for now. A 50 ft. wide strip between two of the 3-acre lots will maintain access to the undeveloped parcel, which the state considers ecologically sensitive.

Other Business
A public hearing to reconsider the application by Carlo and Charles Nicolich of 345 Fitzsimmons Rd and their neighbors Timothy and Helen Welch of 379 Fitzsimmons Road for a lot line adjustment is set for Oct. 1. The application had been approved, but the applicant missed the filing deadline, requiring a new public hearing….A public hearing on the Herbert and Maria Unmann subdivision at 315 Pond Rd. will also be held Oct. 1. The applicants are seeking to create a 13-acre lot surrounding their house, leaving a 77.8-acre lot that could be sold separately.


Long Pond Rd. lot variance not recommended
William Boyer of 31 Long Pond Rd. is seeking an area variance to transfer 0.92 acres of a 5.32-acre lot onto an adjacent 3.9 acre lot, creating two lots that would be less than the required 5-acre minimum. Boyer wants to create a buffer between where he lives and the adjacent lot in case he decides to sell it. At their Sept. 2 meeting, the planning board informed Boyer that it would be hard to sell a 4.4-acre lot because building on it would not be allowed without another variance. The board issued a unanimous negative recommendation to the Zoning Board of Appeals, which will address the application at its Sept. 25 meeting.

Browning Rd. special use permit approved
The planning board voted Sept. 16 to approve a special use permit and demolition permit for Richard and Kathleen Levin of 127-143 Browning Rd., who are seeking to demolish an existing accessory structure and replace it with a similar one. The required public hearing drew no comments and the board then agreed that the accessory structure does not have significant historical value, and approved the demolition permit, with one abstention. The special use permit was also approved with one abstention and on condition that all required variances are granted by the ZBA. The Levins have also requested a front yard setback variance for the new building to be 82.3 ft. from the line, rather than the 100-ft. required, because of an existing septic system and well. At their Sept. 2 meeting the planning board unanimously approved a positive recommendation on the variance which will now go to the ZBA.

Stissing Ave subdivision reapproved
The planning board unanimously voted to reapprove the subdivision application by John Andrews, representing Nancy Packes of 27-37 Stissing Ave, which had been previously approved Feb. 18. The application had expired before the lot could be subdivided from a 26.1 acre lot into two lots of 16.08 and 10.02 acres. A public hearing on the new application was held Sept. 16 as required, even though the application did not differ materially from the original; there were no comments.


Plans for Stewart’s on Rte. 9 approved, 9G postponed
Chris Potter of Stewart’s Shops was present Sept. 17 for the town planning board’s continued public hearing ona site plan amendment to the Stewart’s located at 3648 Albany Post Rd. The updates to the plan include tank and sidewalk replacements, new landscaping and signage, and a new canopy, which will change from 24 ft. by 24 ft. to 51 ft. x 51 ft. Planning board engineering consultant Liz Axelson, commenting on the application, requested that the canopy lighting brightness be lowered. The hearing was closed with no public comments and a SEQR determination of non-significance was unanimously approved, as was a resolution for application approval.

Board chair Michael Dupree also noted that they could not move forward with a separate application for the Stewart’s at 1115 Rte. 9G, because a sign that needed Zoning Board of Appeals approval had already been installed. Dupree said the town Zoning Administrator may issue a violation notice; if so, a public hearing could not be set for the application. Potter responded that it was a company error and they would remove the sign promptly.

Other Business
A new public hearing for River Ridge, also known as Maple Ridge, at the intersection ofRte. 9 and Hudson View Terrace, was opened Sept. 17 for a site plan amendment application which would change the facades of future buildings in the development. The hearing was continued to Oct. 1… A public hearing was also opened Sept. 17 for a site plan extention for Lands of Cire, at 4185 Albany Post Rd and was also continued to Oct. 1… John Lease of LFC, the owner of Haviland Plaza at 870 Violet Ave., was present Sept. 17 to discuss a site plan modification application. The updates include a new roof with 4 new dormers, new hardie board siding, and the replacement of the brick knee wall with a stone knee wall. The board and consultants noted that a crosswalk and re-striping of the parking lot would be necessary and referred the application to the county’s Department of Planning. A public hearing is set for Oct. 1.

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