Rhinebeck Planning Board actions

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The Village of Rhinebeck Planning Board had a packed agenda on Oct. 1; here are some highlights:

Hearing set for proposed artist’s studio at 86 E. Market St.

A public hearing has been scheduled on a proposal by Lisa McMillan to build a new artist’s studio at 86 E. Market St., as an accessory building in the Historic District Overlay. The 12’x20’, 240 sq. ft. studio would be one story with a high ceiling, 25 feet high at the peak of the roof. There is also an existing garden shed that is to be renovated, which caused the board concern since it is right on the property line. The board set the public hearing for its next meeting on Oct. 15 at 7:15pm.

Fence variance at 86 Montgomery St. rejected

Cate Long of 86 Montgomery St. got turned down on her request for an area variance for a stockade fence she installed in her front yard that exceeds the maximum allowable height (4 feet) by 11 inches. Long said she put up the fence in September to shield her property from Route 9 traffic and from the planned expansion project at Northern Dutchess Hospital, across the street. She noted that she built the fence as high as the hedges on neighbors’ properties. And she said she plans to plant hedges in front of the fence to provide a double sound barrier from the street and to screen the fence from the road.

The board’s negative findings were three-fold: that the fence height sets a precedent for other properties in the village; that the stockade style is incompatible with the historic character of the neighborhood; and that the fence is awkwardly placed on the site.

The variance now goes to the Zoning Board of Appeal, where it could still be approved or denied.

Credit Union tree removal request tabled

The owner of the Mid-Hudson Valley Federal Credit Union plaza at 6567 Springbrook Ave., William Clark, requested permission to remove five trees from the front of the property next to the road because they are blocking the sign and the plaza from would-be customers. Clark said the trees would be planted elsewhere on the property and would be replaced by evergreen shrubs. He also requested permission to change the existing sign to make the MHV-FCU logo more visible without changing the overall amount of signage.

The planning board agreed that the sign’s visibility is affected but suggested removing two trees at this time to see if that would increase visibility. Board members pointed out that street trees are intended to screen parking lots from the road, so removing them as they mature would defeat that purpose. A judgment was tabled until the Oct. 15 meeting so that planners could make a site visit before making a final decision.

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