Teviot tree removal up for review, plus other local planning and zoning board updates

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TOWN OF RED HOOK PLANNING BOARD

Teviot tree removal to be reviewed by mitigation firm
At its April 7 meeting, the planning board heard an update on tree planting at the Teviot estate at 245 Woods Road in Tivoli. The property has been the subject of environmental review for over a year, since a significant number of trees were cut down without the required approval. Board chair Christine Kane said the board received a memo from Hudson Pacific Design, the company hired by the board to review the tree planting that was required to mitigate the previous cutting. The company would like to plan a site visit to determine the number and extent of specimen tree removal. Kane also reported that Teviot owners Jann Wenner and Matt Nye want to take down trees on a 62.9 acre conservation easement property they own on Davis Lane just north of Teviot. Winnakee Land Trust received a memo saying the owners want to cut down dead trees on that property and remove others infested with Emerald Ash Borer.

TOWN OF RED HOOK ZONING BOARD OF APPEALS

Variance for more kids sought in daycare purchase
At its April 9 meeting, the board discussed a variance appeal filed by Don Triebel, who is in the process of purchasing a daycare center at 208 Rockefeller Lane that was called Half Pint Daycare and owned by Darlene Pedatella. Triebel said he is purchasing the property with his family, who own Funshine Nursery School in Red Hook, with the goal of moving Funshine to the Rockefeller Lane site.

Pedatella told the board she currently has a variance on the property to care for 60 kids, where 40 are allowed by town zoning code. Triebel would like a variance for 120 kids due to a discrepancy between the state and town that determines how many children can safely be cared for in one center. According to Triebel and Pedatella, the state Office of Child and Family Services regulates the number of kids allowed per sq. ft. and the number of employees required per child, and daycares must follow those rules in order to be licensed.

The state’s numbers are based on how many kids are onsite at any one time. But the town’s zoning rules limit the number of “enrolled” kids, which could be higher than the number of kids onsite at any time, since some kids attend only morning or afternoon sessions or are there before and after school. This way, Triebel said Funshine could easily “enroll” many more kids than they are allowed since many would not overlap. The board noted that parking spaces and outdoor play areas have to be considered when deciding how many kids and staff could be accommodated. They asked the applicants to return with numbers on these factors: existing indoor and outdoor sq. footage, number of kids allowed by the state for that sq. footage and number of parking spots. The board discussed changing the zoning code to indicate onsite kids instead of enrolled, but felt that process would probably take longer than the applicants would like since they are hoping to get the variance before the sale of the property goes through.

VILLAGE OF RED HOOK PLANNING BOARD

Village Farmers’ Market gains permit
Jessica Stingo and Tom Greene came before the board April 10 to renew their permit to run the Red Hook Farmers’ Market in the village parking lot. Stingo asked the board for a multi-year renewal so they wouldn’t have to return every year but the board declined that request. Instead, it renewed the permit for another year, from May 24 to Nov. 1.

The board questioned the applicants about insurance coverage, musical performances, outdoor cooking permits, signage and a waiver from Key Bank to use its parking lot. The applicants said all vendors were covered by insurance and they were in the process of getting coverage for the market itself. Musical acts will be mostly acoustic and will run from 11am to 1pm.

Dental office approved for 7452 S. Broadway
Representatives of Premiere Dental of Amenia, Alexandra Cernasov, D.D.S. and architect Liana Cernasov, returned April 10 for approval of a site plan and signage application for a 550 sq. foot addition to the existing 1,169 sq. ft. building at 7452 S. Broadway (formerly Griffin Insurance). A previous request for a 32-by-56 inch. sign was denied because the board said it exceeded the 12 sq. ft. prescribed in the code. However, the architect said the code specifies a 15 sq. ft. maximum and after review, the board agreed. A septic system review was completed with good results and parking on the site will stay as it is but will be screened with bushes. The board voted to approve the application conditional on county Department of Health approval for the septic system.

Change of use, new signage discussed for 33 W. Market St.
An application by Lauren Grady to change two apartments from residential to commercial use at 33 W. Market St. was discussed at the April 10 meeting. Grady wants to turn one apartment into a dance studio and the other into a space for art classes. The board said that because the change in use would include after-school classes for 12 to 24 students, the site plan must include parking. One spot is required for every 300 sq. ft. of commercial building, so 10 spaces would be required for the 3,890 sq. ft. space; the board suggested the gravel lot behind the building. Grady also wants to add to the signage she had approved Jan. 9; the board told her she needs a new application.

Also on the agenda was Vivian Mandala’s application to change the use for the first floor of 33 W. Market Street from a commercial to an office space. The board had more questions about parking and asked both applicants to return to the board’s May 8 meeting with more information.

TOWN OF RHINEBECK PLANNING BOARD

Addition to historic house on Morton Rd. approved
A public hearing was held at the April 7 planning board meeting for a site plan review application on proposed renovations at 383 Morton Road. The owner, Peter Charapko, wants to add a dining room or living room to the home, which was originally constructed as a schoolhouse in 1891 and transformed into a residential structure in the 1950s. Robert Donaldson from the town Conservation Advisory Board expressed concern about soil removal and potential disturbance of artifacts or stones associated with the old schoolhouse, which Charapko addressed by saying he intended to reuse any stones for a seating area. The board agreed that the renovations would be a nice complement to the historic home, closed the public hearing and approved the application.

Access issue delays Red Wing mining application
Frank Doherty, President of Red Wing Properties, came before the board to discuss an application for a special use permit and site plan concerning the mine he owns at 234-286 White Schoolhouse Road. Doherty provided background about his company before explaining how access to this job site has become a problem because the resident who owns the private road has rescinded permission to use the road. The board voted to continue the public hearing until the access issue has been resolved.

Church ball field hearing continued
The public hearing for Grace Bible Fellowship Church’s application for a special use permit to create a baseball field was continued at the board’s April 7 meeting. The board is waiting on the engineer’s report before voting on the project, at 6959 Route 9. Town Conservation Advisory Board representative Robert Donaldson expressed concerns about lighting, flooding, daily maintenance, and excavation. Donaldson noted that any digging within a certain proximity of the nearby cemetery could potentially disturb the remains. Town Historian Nancy Kelly stated that the field would be a nice addition. Planning board chair Michael Trimble then went to the April 16 Zoning Board of Appeals meeting to suggest an amendment to their resolution, saying that the area variance should be Type 2 rather than Type 1 under SEQR. The public hearing was to continue at the planning board’s April 22 meeting.

Rt. 308 subdivision approved
Edward Giuliano’s application for a subdivision to create a 5.7 acre flag lot at 215 and 235 Route 308 East was approved April 7. Robert Donaldson, a town Conservation Advisory Board representative, told the board that no trees will be cut, and that there are no environmental concerns in the proposed conversion of plots. No one else spoke at the public hearing, so the board closed it. Board chair Michael Trimble said that after conducting a site visit, he saw no issues with the project.

Public hearing continues for Rhinecliff estate renovations
Architect Steve Mensch appeared on behalf of Carolyn Marks Blackwood of 64 Grinnell Street and presented plans to combine two of the three parcels that Blackwood owns on Grinnell Street, leaving the northernmost lot vacant to preserve the view of the Hudson River.Under the plans, the existing home will be renovated and increased to 3,280 sq. ft. and the garage will be torn down and replaced by a two-story structure that includes guest quarters. The home now sits on one lot and the garage on another; by combining the two lots, the applicants hope to get a variance from the zoning board of appeals to exceed the maximum sq. footage of 2,300 allowed per lot in Rhinecliff.

Several residents spoke at the public hearing to voice concern about the high hedges proposed to hide the house (hedges can only be 4 feet high in Rhinecliff) and the possibility that the renovated house and garage will block their views of the Hudson River. However, others came out in support of the renovations and stated that the renovations would be an improvement.

The planning board agreed to a site visit now that Mensch has erected a height marker pole on the property at the request of the ZBA. A public discussion and workshop was to be held on Blackwood’s proposed renovations on April 22, and the public hearing will continue on May 5.

Mensch Grasmere special permit approved
Jonathan Mensch was present at the planning board meeting to see that the Mensch Grasmere application for a special use permit regarding his proposed Grasmere Farm Hotel, termed a “country inn 2” in the zoning code, passed unanimously. The board approved the permit after closing a public hearing at which three neighbors of the inn, to be located between Route 9 and Mill Road, raised concerns about traffic impacts. Final site plan approval for the project is still pending.

Hearing on River Rd. estate renovations continued
Architect Christopher Courtney appeared before the planning board representing Robert Duffy who has applied for special use permits and site plan approval for several planned renovations and additions to his adjoining properties at 195 River Road and 31 Carmel Drive. A pool, shed removal, new accessory buildings, storage unit conversion, and a new septic system are among the items proposed in Duffy’s application, which would exceed the allowed sq. footage on the property. Board member Melodye Moore, who conducted a site visit, told Courtney to look closely at material and landscape choices, and expressed concern about the lack of a mitigation plan after the removal of some trees on the property. The board agreed to continue the public hearing on May 5.

Site plan, demolition approved for Jones St.
Architect Warren Smith appeared before the planning board April 7 for a public hearing on his application for special use permits, site plan, and demolition at 5 Jones Street, home of Peter Rosenblum and Ashwini Sukthankar. The proposed renovations include rebuilding bathroom and kitchen, reinforcing the home’s overall structure, and constructing a new deck. The board closed the public hearing and voted unanimously to approve the application.

Other action
A public hearing was set for May 5 for John Phillips’ application for a special use permit and site plan to build an accessory structure on his property at 2867 Route 9G.. A public hearing was also set for May 5 for an application by John Nathan to add a 56 sq. ft. mudroom at his property at 32-34 Kelly Street. …The public hearing on Paul Matthies’ application for a subdivision on 114 Old Post Road will remain open until May 5 because survey information was incomplete.

TOWN OF RHINEBECK ZONING BOARD OF APPEALS

Cedar Heights area variance granted
The town ZBA unanimously granted Paul Beichert’s request for an area variance at their April 16 meeting. Beichert wants to increase the square footage of a two-car garage from 1,500 sq. ft. to 2,536 s. ft. on his property at 33 Cedar Heights Rd.

Ann Dr. setback reductions approved
Claire Beaumont’s application for an area variance was approved unanimously by the ZBA. Beaumont will use the variance for a rear setback reduction from 50 ft. to 12 ft. and a side setback reduction from 50 ft. to 10 ft. for her property at 5 Ann Drive.

Route 9 commercial property gets use variance
Randy Soden appeared before the ZBA to discuss his use variance application for his property located at 5897 Route 9. Soden presented the board with documentation illustrating financial hardship to emphasize his need to sell the property. The board voted to approve Soden’s application unanimously, and amended its resolution to include “personal service use not listed elsewhere” as a potential use for the property, which should aid him in the sale of the property.

Route 308 restaurant special use permit granted
The ZBA unanimously approved a renewed special use permit for a property owned by Sophia Papakonstantis at 1094 Route 308. The parcel formerly housed a sushi restaurant, but the family did not file the permit renewal paperwork in time and the permit lapsed. Papakonstantis will use the special use permit to continue use of the property for a restaurant-type business in an effort to attract interested renters.

TOWN OF CLINTON PLANNING BOARD

Hearing set for accessory apartment on Oak Grove Rd.
At the April 15 planning board meeting, Chris Meyer presented an application by his wife, Marybeth Meyer, to build an accessory apartment on the second floor of their pool house at 35 Oak Grove Road. Several years ago, the Meyers obtained a lot line adjustment and a building permit for this project, but they only recently discovered that they would also need a special use permit to move forward with construction. County Department Board of Health approval has been obtained for the pool house, which has a separate septic system from the main residence. However, the pool permit is still open; according to town building inspector, a couple of changes are required, including the installation of locks on the doors. The planning board noted a couple of minor items to be added to the Meyers’ map before voting to declare itself lead agency on the application and scheduling a public hearing for the board’s May 6 meeting.

Sign approved for Clinton Cheese & Provisions
Also on April 15, the planning board approved a sign permit application for Clinton Cheese & Provisions at 2411 Salt Point Turnpike. Business owner Erin Caferelli would like to install a freestanding sign on a preexisting sign pole in front of the building. Town zoning code allows for 30 square feet of signage, and the new sign and existing signs combined will not exceed that limit. After determining that no further review or public hearing was necessary for a Type II action and that the application met all necessary requirements, the planning board granted sign permit approval. Caferelli will now need to obtain the permit to install the sign from Zoning Enforcement Officer Bob Fennell.

This story was updated to correct an error in the name of the applicant and his business for the Town of Red Hook Zoning Board of Appeals entry.

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