Planning & Zoning updates for Rhinebeck, Red Hook, Milan & Clinton

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Town of Rhinebeck Planning Board

Red Wing mining hearing draws concerned residents
About 30 residents attended the board’s March 3 meeting to express their concern over the special use permit application submitted by Red Wing Properties. The board continued its public hearing after Paul Griggs, consulting geologist for the application, described the application and the mining operations planned for the property, formerly known as the Vincent Kinlan mine, at 234-286 White Schoolhouse Rd. Planning board chair Michael Trimble read several letters from residents into the record and heard the comments of nine more. Many referred to Red Wing as a large corporation and said that, while previous owners and mine operators respected the they were concerned Red Wing would not, especially with expanded operations. Several questioned how the mine fits within the town comprehensive plan and one said that when the mine was first proposed it was supposed to be a limited time only proposition.

Some residents were concerned that they had not gotten answers to their questions about recent clear-cutting and burning on the property, which they said sent smoke to their houses. Many were frustrated that the state’s Department of Environmental Conservation, which handles mine permits, had not, to their knowledge, conducted a public comment period before granting the mine permit last year. Theresa Villardi seemed to sum up residents’ feelings, “We wish them well, but we don’t want them here on this road.” In addition, a petition generated by those opposed had gained 336 signatures at moveon.org by March 9.

The public hearing was continued to the board’s April 7 meeting. The mine owners now have to come up with an alternate route for access because a local resident has withdrawn his agreement to let the mine traffic use his road. The board said the town’s highway superintendent must review any alternative access.

Rhinecliff estate renovations, tennis court hearing continued
A public hearing was conducted on the special use permit, subdivision plat, and site plan approval for 524 Mill Road and Morton Road, an estate known as “Wildercliff,” which abuts the Wilderstein property. The existing residence is being renovated, the swimming pool and septic system are being replaced, and the applicant proposes installing a tennis court, which is the reason for the lot consolidation request and special use permit (required for a fourth accessory structure). Two people spoke at the public hearing to express concern about the Wilderstein greenhouse, which currently straddles the two property lines because of a possible surveying error years ago. The executive director of Wilderstein, Greg Sokaris, said he is also concerned about the view of the proposed tennis court from the Wilderstein property. The board decided the public hearing will remain open until March 17.

Grinnell St. site plan approved

Richard Kopyscianski’s application for a subdivision plat, special use permit and site plan approval for his property on Grinnell St in Rhinecliff was approved. Kopyscianski wants to merge two lots of 1 acre and .41 acre together to make 1.41 acres and then build a single-family dwelling under 2,300 sq. ft., planned to be secluded. No variances are required, the town historian reviewed the plans and had no issues, and no comments were received from the public. The board approved a SEQR finding that took into account the special reviews required by a historical property and then unanimously granted site plan approval.

Mensch-Grasmere public hearing set
The board adopted the finding statement on environmental impacts for the Grasmere hotel project proposed by Jonathan Mensch for his property between Route 9 and Mill Rd. The statement is available for public review on the town’s website and in the planning office. A public hearing on the project’s special use permit will be held April 7.

Historic home renovation planned on Morton Rd.
Peter and Katherine Charapko of 383 Morton Road came before the board for a recommendation to the ZBA for their plan to renovate their historic home, built circa 1891. A public hearing on the site plan before the planning board was set for April 7.

Route 308 subdivision public hearing set
Edward Giuliano of 215 and 235 Route 308 applied for a subdivision that would give two of his neighbors over 2 acres each to create their own 5-acre lots and create a new 5.7 acre flag lot, all from his existing 71.6 acre lot. The rest of the land is leased out to a local farmer. The board could see no environmental issues with the plan, which also meets all zoning requirements. A public hearing was scheduled for April 7.

River Rd. estate public hearing set

Robert Duffy’s application for special use permits and site plan approval for work he is proposing at his property at 195 River Rd. and 31 Carmel Dr. was reviewed by the board. The board agreed that the application will require a full environmental assessment form part 1, coastal assessment form, and coordinated review by waterfront advisory committee, planning board, town historian, CAB. The proposed renovations include: landscape improvements, three detached accessory dwellings for guest houses, one storage barn, one barn renovation, a pool and pavilion, a new septic system to serve the three guest houses, and entry gates on the entry roads. Three variances will be required for the project but cannot be pursued until the environmental review is complete. The board declared itself the lead agency for the environmental review process and set a public hearing on the project for April 7.

Town of Rhinebeck Zoning Board of Appeals
Board welcomes newest member

The board welcomed new member David Souers for his first meeting, March 5. The board had not met in January and February because they needed a new member appointed in order to have a quorum.

New credit union requests sign variance
Paul Beichert of Timely Signs of Kingston represented Mid Hudson Medical Group which owns the Route 9 property on which the new Hudson Valley Federal Credit Union is being built. The credit union is seeking a 12.5 sq. ft. area variance for a sign on their building measuring a total of 25 sq. ft., where 12.5 sq. ft. is allowed based on the building’s 75 foot-road frontage.

The board asked whether there would be a free-standing sign in addition to this one. Beichert said that was still under negotiation, but the credit union wants to make sure that it can get the wall-mounted sign for its opening, which is scheduled for late April or May. The board voted unanimously to accept the application. A public hearing was set for March 19 at 7:35pm.

Change in special use permit sought for former restaurant on 308

Sofia Papakonstantis, of 1094 Route 308, is requesting a renewed special use permit for the site, which formerly housed a Japanese restaurant, after the original permit expired in August 2013. Papakonstantis wishes to continue to use the property for a restaurant-type business but said she has had trouble attracting interested renters without the special use permit in place.

The board told Papakonstantis to bring back paperwork showing the hardship the family has undergone in trying to renew the permit and the financial hardship of having a property that does not have an official special use permit. The documents are required in order to meet a hardship provision of the zoning code before a change in use is granted. The board planned to accept the application at the March 19, pending submission of such paperwork.

Church requests variance for new baseball field
The application by Grace Bible Church of 6959 Route 9 to install a regulation size field was accepted March 5. The field requires an area variance because 100 ft setbacks are required from every property line for a field of this type, but in order to avoid wetlands and other features, the field must be sited in a way that does not allow for the full setback. The applicants said they had tried to stay out of the viewshed for the Old Stone Church, among other considerations. A public hearing was set for March 19.

Public hearing set for three-parcel Rhinecliff project
Carolyn Blackwood, of 64 Grinnell St., represented by Steve Mensch, has presented an application for a major home renovation and garage replacement project to take place on two out of the three parcels she owns in Rhinecliff. Mensch explained that the northernmost parcel is park-like with a beautiful view of the river so Blackwood wants to leave it alone. A second parcel now has a garage that would be knocked down and replaced by a two-story building: a garage with an apartment above. On the last parcel, the existing house would be renovated by removing an existing addition and replacing it for a total of 3,280 sq. ft.. The project exceeds the 2,300 sq. ft. maximum per lot for Rhinecliff, so variances are required. A hedge will be installed to screen the house from the street and no trees are being removed. The board classified the application as a type 1 action under SEQR and set a public hearing for March 19. The application will also be the subject of an April 7 public hearing in front of the planning board.

Public hearing on garage addition continued
The board held a public hearing on the application by Sally Culpeck and Kathryn Clark for an area variance to build a 952 sq. ft. addition for a two-car garage with studio/storage space at 60 Lemon Lane. The addition will bring the building to 2,100 sq. ft, where 1,500 sq. ft. is allowed, so an area variance is required. No members of the public showed up, but two letters opposed to the proposal were read into the record. The board was unsure whether it could consider the letters because both writers requested anonymity. At issue were neighbors’ concerns that the upper floor of the garage could one day be turned into an apartment, and the letters claimed traffic is already heavy on their road. However the garage plans do not call for the upstairs walls to be finished or for plumbing or heat and the applicants said they planned to use it for storage. No copies of the plans were available for the board to review so the board continued the public hearing until March 19.

Variances granted for accessory structure on 9G
After months of cancelled meetings, the board approved a variance request by John Philips that had been languishing since its public hearing Dec. 18. The two variance will allow Philips to build an accessory structure on his property that exceeds the maximum allowed (900 sq. ft.) at 1,352 sq. ft. and also exceed the maximum square footage allowed for his 18-acre property at 2867 Route 9G. Since December, the zoning board in discussion with the interim zoning enforcement officer learned that they had referenced the wrong section of the code when determining their findings, so the approval is conditional upon Philips submitting paperwork showing that the lack of a variance would be a hardship. The site plan still requires planning board approval.

Village of Rhinebeck Planning Board

S. Parsonage St. setback variance recommended to ZBA

Sharon Collins and James Strong of 60 South Parsonage St were before the board again with a revised request, this time proposing a 5 ft. rear yard setback, where 25 ft. is required. Their plan is now compliant with the 10 ft. side yard setback they originally requested. Strong plans to place a prefab 23 ft. by 24 ft. garage toward the rear of his property for the purpose of storing antique cars. The board unanimously agreed to make a positive recommendation to the zoning board of appeals after discussing how the garage is placed in a similar way to other garages on the street. There will be a public hearing on the project at the next ZBA meeting March 20.

Six-month extension granted on Wynkoop Ln. site plan

Markart Development Corporation was granted a six-month extension on its preliminary site plan approval for a four-lot minor subdivision on Wynkoop Lane. The applicant is still waiting for Board of Health approval.

Town of Red Hook Planning Board

Hearing set on Anderson Commons development

The Anderson Commons proposal is back before the board with an updated site plan that will be the subject of a public hearing March 17. The plan calls for 52 housing units on 56.3 acres in the area of Baxter Rd., Fisk St. and Glen Ridge Rd. and will be located partially in the town and partially in the village. The development will include seven 4-acre “executive” lots, 20 single-family detached homes, 18 duplex units in 9 buildings, and 6 multi-family units in two buildings. The remaining 21.07 acres in the parcel are being held in a conservation easement.

Feller-Newmark development hearing continued

The public hearing and review of the Lakes Kill development on Feller-Newmark Rd. was continued to the board’s next meeting March 17 at the applicant’s request.

Village of Red Hook Planning Board

Enchanted Cafe gets new sign approval
Kevin Mowry, of Hudson Valley Mobile Graphics, represented the Enchanted Café at the board’s Feb. 25 meeting for its application to hang a new sign at the cafe at 7484 S. Broadway. The plans are for a ¾ inch thick, 4 ft. by 4 ft. sign made of marine-grade plywood on a 10-12 ft. painted wood post. The board suggested the minimum height for the bottom edge of the sign should be 7 ft. so people wouldn’t bang their heads on it, and the applicant agreed. Since the sign meets all other requirements, the board approved the application conditioned on the height adjustment.

Bulletin board approved near Four Corners
Mowry also represented the local business group, “What to Do in Red Hook,” which applied for permission to place a promotional bulletin board just off the corner of Market St. and S. Broadway (in front of the painted mural). It will be made of a composite, weatherproof material and stand on two 4 ft. high, 4 in. wide posts. The applicant explained the sign will hold business-related materials whose purpose is to increase foot traffic in the village. Use will be limited to the 15 businesses in the group, which includes Taste Budd’s, Flatiron, and Bread and Bottle. The board said the sign must adhere to relevant building codes and suggested the posts be anchored at least 30 in. below the sidewalk for stability. The board approved the application unanimously.

Maizeland Road 4-lot subdivision reviewed

Planners reviewed an application by Mark Graminski on behalf of property owner Judy Carr of 15 Maizeland Rd to subdivide a 3.711 acre lot, located within the loop created by Maizeland Rd and Linden Ave, into four lots.

Graminski showed the board how the lots, which according to county records are co-owned by Barbara Rabin, could be delineated, allowing for compliant building area, onsite sewage treatment, and other regulations if each lot held a 4-bedroom house. The county’s board of health has to also review the plans.

The board declared lead agency on the project, began the required environmental assessment form for SEQR and said the village engineer would review the plans. The revised application will return to the board’s agenda at the April 10 meeting.

Milan Planning Board

2 hearings postponed
Public hearings on two applications were again postponed at the board’s March 5 meeting: Lauren Munsch’s two-lot subdivision at 212 Round Lake Rd. and the Verizon Wireless site plan and special use permit application for a tower on Academy Hill Rd. The board will hear them at its April 2 meeting.

Barrett Lane subdivision approved
A proposed two-lot subdivision at 6-15 Barrett Lane, off Fitzsimmons Rd, owned by Patrick Barrett, was granted conditional approval. Two lot width variances were granted by the Zoning Board of Appeals and no one spoke during the public hearing so after further discussion the board granted the approval.

Sawmill Road deer fence approved
After a public hearing at which only one person spoke in opposition, Craig Leavitt’s application for a .79 acre lot line adjustment with his neighbor, Francisco Pujol, was approved. The adjustment is being made in order to obtain enough land on Leavitt’s eastern border to meet setback requirements for a deer fence he wishes to put up around the perimeter of his 54.9 acre property. The deer fence application received conditional approval pending approval by the Zoning Board of Appeals of a final variance request of 50 ft. instead of the required 85 ft. on his front yard setback.

South Road subdivision approved
A subdivision proposed by South Road Farms, LLC, of 148 South Road was approved by the board after a public hearing with no comments. The county approved the common driveway plan, so the board granted final approval conditional on fire department review and approval of the plan. The subdivision divides 10 acres from a 91.215 acre parcel to create a second lot.

Milan Zoning Board of Appeals

Variance granted for Woody Row
A public hearing was held Feb. 26 on an application by Sean Hynes to build a house on Lot #16 on Woody Row Rd. A variance is required for the front yard setback, which the applicant requested be 60 ft. where 85 ft. is required. No other changes were made to the plans, which had been presented to the board in January, and no one spoke at the hearing. The board voted to close the hearing and granted the variance unanimously.

Area variance for Hammock Hill shed requested
An attorney representing Robin Smith of 60 Hammock Hill requested an area variance for his client who wants to install a 20 ft. by 30ft. storage shed in front of the main structure on the property. The code requires that all accessory structures be placed behind main structures, but in this case the house is on a flag lot with a long driveway and there is no other place to put the shed without encroaching on the required setbacks. A public hearing was set for the ZBA’s March 26 meeting.

Town of Clinton Planning Board

Stissing View Dr. area variance gets recommendation
The board on March 4 approved a positive recommendation to the Zoning Board of Appeals for a variance request by Nancy Packes for her proposed two-lot subdivision at 27–37 Stissing View Drive. One lot of 10.02 acres includes the current primary dwelling and a pre-existing, non-conforming accessory dwelling. The zoning code requires that an accessory dwelling be no more than 35 percent of the habitable floor space of the primary dwelling, or 1,000 sq. ft., whichever is more restrictive. In this case, the accessory dwelling is 752 sq. ft. where the maximum allowed is 612 sq. ft., so Packes is applying for an area variance for an additional 150 sq. ft. The application should be before the ZBA at its March 27 meeting, after which the planning board can consider the subdivision approval.

Lot line adjustment proposed for Rymph Rd
Jim and Lori Brands of 110 Rymph Rd, who own 45.15 acres according to county records, were before the planning board to discuss a lot line alteration March 4. The Brands wish to sell 17 acres to Jennifer Malcarne, who currently owns 5.8 acres at 89 Rymph Rd. The exchange was planned 10 years ago but fell through for tax reasons. The additional acreage would be added to Malcarne’s current parcel and is not intended for another residence but only for added privacy. However, the board found that Malcarne has not filed the necessary application to combine the two lots, so further action was put on hold. The application will return to the board’s agenda March 18.

Town of Clinton Zoning Board of Appeals

Sodom Road side yard setback approved
Kevin and Nancy McDonald of 110 Sodom Rd presented their application for a side yard setback variance for 32 ft. 8 in., where 50 ft. is required. The variance was granted Oct. 2012 but the McDonald’s discovered it had expired by the time they applied for a building permit. Nothing has changed about the project which involves construction of a 24 by 30 ft. storage shed. One neighbor spoke at the public hearing but had no issue with the plans. The board closed the hearing and voted unanimously to grant the variance on the condition that nothing be stored in the setbacks in the future. The board also agreed to add an expiration date to every variance resolution in order to prevent future confusion.

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