Hyde Park Town Hall. Photo by Kristen Thornton-De Stafeno/The Observer
Hyde Park Town Hall. Photo by Kristen Thornton-De Stafeno/The Observer

Local planning and zoning actions

Public hearing dates and other actions taken by your local planning and zoning boards

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TOWN OF RED HOOK ZONING BOARD OF APPEALS

Daycare variance approved in special meeting
In a special meeting June 19, the Red Hook Zoning Board of Appeals passed a variance for increasing the number of children at 208 Rockefeller Lane at the former site of Half Pint Daycare. Donald W. Triebel, who represents Funshine Nursery School, had applied to increase to 120 the maximum number of children enrolled on a regular basis at a nursery school or day care center at the site. At its regular meeting on June 11, the board had narrowly voted down a motion that would grant an area variance to allow an increase in the number of students present at one time from 60 to 80. The variance was narrowly voted down, 3 yes to 2 no, with 4 yes votes required to pass. Two members of the seven member board were absent from that meeting.

According to ZBA chair Nick Annas, the board has 62 days to vote again on the same motion or vote on an amended motion. In this case, he said that he felt it was more fair to hold another vote with more board members present. On June 19, with six board members present, the motion was amended to grant an area variance to allow an increase in the number of regularly enrolled students from 60 to 93. This time the amended motion passed, granting the variance, with a vote of 4 yeses and 2 nos.

VILLAGE OF RED HOOK ZONING BOARD OF APPEALS

Eldridge Lane lot line adjustment hearing set
Marie Welch of Welch Surveying appeared for Marion Cole Abrahams at the ZBA meeting June 26 for a pre-application conference seeking an area variance to add a 4,747 sq. ft. lot to an existing 5,000 sq. ft. lot, both owned by Abrahams at 10 Eldridge Lane. Welch explained that the septic tank on the property is in between the property lines so the applicant wants to make one lot out of the two to accommodate the septic. ZBA Chair George Beekman said the application is a lot line adjustment and the board set a public hearing for July 21 at 7pm.

VILLAGE OF TIVOLI PLANNING BOARD

Hotel Tivoli refines details of renovation
General Manager Chris Murphy and contractor John Molinaro appeared before the planning board at its June 23 meeting with further details about signage, porch posts and railings for Hotel Tivoli, the former Madalin Hotel on Broadway. The hotel sign will be stainless steel letters (no background) lit from above and will be mounted on the porch roof. Lighting designers have incorporated current village light trespass and foot candle requirements into the plans. A separate restaurant sign will be similar in design and mounted vertically on the building’s second story wall on the Broadway side. Molinaro also said the new porch railings will be square and will match the look of the building. The board expressed concern about plans to place a third neon sign in the window of the restaurant. Molinaro will provide more information before the board makes its decision at their next meeting July 28.

Apartment planned at Village Books site
Patricia Tieger, owner of Village Books of Tivoli, appeared before the planning board at its June 23 meeting to discuss her intention to turn the second-floor office of the building into an apartment. The building, at 48 Broadway on a 40′ x 130′ parcel of land, will not require a zoning change for the apartment, because it is currently zoned as multipurpose. Tieger will put a kitchen sink and a bathroom in the apartment. After a brief discussion about parking, which is available behind the building, the board decided they had no issues with the proposal.

TOWN OF RHINEBECK ZONING BOARD OF APPEALS

Marquet Drive setbacks approved
Builder Patrick Kelly’s application for an area variance for 2 Marquet Drive, owned by Jeanne and James Crossett, was unanimously approved at the June 18 ZBA meeting after a public hearing at which no one spoke. The application proposed one front yard setback reduction from 100 ft. to 62 ft. and another front yard setback reduction from 100 ft. to 53 ft. A new home will be built in the place of a house that has been removed at the site, which is a corner lot with frontage on two roads.

Old Post Road variance approved
David Freeman’s area variance application for 36 Old Post Road was approved unanimously at the ZBA meeting after the public hearing was closed with no public comment. Freeman sought a front yard setback reduction from 150 ft. to 128 ft. and a drastic side yard setback reduction from 100 ft. to 9 ft., requested because his home is on a particularly long and narrow .45 acre lot that predates zoning law.

Mill Road area variance hearing set
Architect Warren Temple Smith represented Martin and Kathryn Beiser’s application for an area variance at the June 18 ZBA meeting. The application, concerning an addition to their cottage at 24 Mill Road, is for an east side setback reduction from 100 ft. to 73 ft. A public hearing is set for July 2.

TOWN OF RHINEBECK PLANNING BOARD

River Road estate hearing continued
Attorney Jennifer VanTuyle and Architect Christopher Courtney were at the June 25 planning board meeting representing Robert Duffy for the continuation of the public hearing on his application for a subdivision, special use permits, a wetlands permit, and a site plan for his 32.4 acre property at 195 River Road. Courtney delivered a brief presentation summarizing the plan at the meeting, as he has at previous meetings, and Jim Bates, a consultant hired at the town’s request who has performed an ecological analysis of the site’s habitat, also spoke to say that he and the DEC agree that the proposed renovation will cause minimal habitat interference.

Jeff Romano voiced his concerns over the plan as a member of the public, stating that he would like a habitat assessment performed by environmental research firm Hudsonia. However, Planning Board Chair Michael Trimble said that the DEC’s habitat study was enough. A neighbor, Cathy Hammer of Astor Courts, expressed concern about an alleged lack of communication between the applicant, the board, and the estate’s surrounding neighbors, and requested another site visit with the applicant’s representatives. Trimble volunteered to facilitate such a visit. The board voted to continue the public hearing July 14.

Equestrian arena site plan approved
Michael DeCola was present at the June 25 planning board meeting representing Goomer Hollow, LLC, for a public hearing on their application for site plan approval. The equestrian operation will be renovating and reusing two existing buildings and creating a stall barn and riding arena at 243 Morton Road and Ellerslie Road. Robert Donaldson, a member of the Conservation Advisory Board, spoke as a resident to note that the location of the property is confusing. DeCola explained that Ellerslie Road, formerly Holy Cross Way, was renamed when Goomer Hollow purchased the property. The board reminded DeCola that the property is subject to zoning law and that a public stable and riding academy are permitted, but larger horse shows and events are not. The board voted unanimously to close the public hearing and approve the application.

Wurtemburg Rd subdivision approved
Engineer Mark Graminski represented Eric Wallach at the June 25 public hearing on his application for site plan approval and subdivision for his property at 293 Wurtemburg Road. Graminski intends to construct two single-family residences sharing a common driveway on the 57.08 acre parcel. The only public comment was from one neighbor who inquired about a possible third residence on the property, but Graminski said that there would only be two. The board voted unanimously to close the public hearing and approve Graminski’s application.

Modified Pitcher Rd site plan to get hearing
Architect Warren Temple Smith was present June 25 to discuss the Coregroup Properties, LLC, modified site plan application for 35-44 Pitcher Rd. The company wants to add a restroom and deck to a previously approved site plan. The company had applied last year to redistrict the 7-acre parcel of land, which includes a florist barn called The Greenhouse, for use as an events venue. The board set a public hearing for July 21 and will conduct a site visit before that.

VILLAGE OF RHINEBECK PLANNING BOARD

Knollwood Rd. accessory apartment approved
After a June 17 public hearing, Susan Edwards received planning board approval for an accessory dwelling above the garage of her residence at 32 Knollwood Rd. The board noted that accessory dwelling permits are granted on the condition that the primary residence be owner-occupied and cannot be listed as a two-family unit.

Mill St. Citgo propane cage approved
The planning board approved a proposal June 17 for propane tank sales and exchange at the Citgo gas station at 6365 Mill St. Permission was conditioned upon the owners removing several illegal signs and completing a canopy according to previously approved specifications. The original site plan called for a border design, but after construction, the canopy was left plain white. The board noted that if the owners would like to change the design, it must go through the official review process.

Attorney seeks to renovate W. Market St. building
John Marvin sought planning board approval June 17 for renovations to 44 W. Market St., where he intends to move his law practice. The building footprint will remain the same, but windows and siding will be replaced and the inside will be gutted and renovated. The board unanimously approved the site plan but stipulated several conditions, including: the windows must have exterior and interior divided lights; the fiber cement siding cannot be textured and must match the width of any original siding found; and the sidewalk in front of the building must be repaired if that is not done as part of the neighboring Rhinebeck Village Place development.

VILLAGE OF RHINEBECK ZONING BOARD OF APPEALS

Property line dispute holds up new barn in historic district
Michael Bird was before the ZBA June 20 for a setback variance to rebuild a nonconforming barn on his property at 62 Livingston St. in the historic district, replacing an existing structure set for demolition. Bird had requested zero-ft. side and rear setback variances, but following a June 3 review, the planning board recommended a zero-ft. side setback and a 3-ft. rear setback. Standard setbacks are 10 ft. for the side and 25 ft. for the rear. The ZBA expressed concern over granting a substantial setback variance given the size of the two-story, 3,000 sq. ft. structure, which they thought could require an additional variance for intensification of use. A variance might also be required for a planned home office on the barn’s second floor, which, at 1,500 sq. ft., would exceed the limit of 25 percent of the habitable area of the property, in this case the primary residence. In the end, the board was unable to decide on the setback variance because of a disputed property line with neighbors to the south, Dennis and Valerie Bakoledis. Bird was instructed to resolve the property line dispute, consult with the planning board on possible additional variances, and provide more detailed documentation of the project.

Platt Ave. pergola setback variance OK’d
Steve Rosenberg and Deborah Duke of 25 Platt Ave. received a setback variance June 20 to construct a pergola within 7.5 feet of their side property line, versus the standard 10-ft. setback. The planning board had given the project a positive recommendation and neighbors expressed support. The ZBA found that the structure would have a low impact on the property and that the requested variance was not substantial.

TOWN OF HYDE PARK PLANNING BOARD

Dollar General hearing continued
Todd Hamula of Zaremba Group LLC and Christian Longo of Ingalls & Associates represented Dollar General at the June 18 meeting of the Hyde Park Planning Board for a continuation of a public hearing on the proposed project’s site plan for 1049 Violet Avenue. Hamula presented updates on the plan and answered questions from the board and its consultants on issues such as drainage. The board’s engineering consultant, Pete Setaro, noted that more info is needed from the county Department of Health and the state Department of Transportation before SEQR can be completed. Setaro also mentioned that he has discussed the issue of drainage, such as an 8-inch pipe that was found, with Jim Rajczi, who owns the property to the north. Setaro noted that the pipe would not affect Rajczi’s property, but additional survey information will be necessary as the pipe empties into a swale on the property to the south, owned by Carl Lawson. No decision can be made until the board has made SEQR findings. The public hearing was scheduled to continue at the July 16 meeting.

Several applications approved
Several site plan waiver applications were unanimously approved at the June 18 planning board meeting, including: a waiver for a pool at the Ambrose property on 7 Mansion Dr., a waiver for a repair and rear deck extension at the Ghandi property on 4695 Albany Post Rd., and a waiver for a sunroom at the Prichard property on 40 Mansion Dr.

HYDE PARK ZONING BOARD OF APPEALS

Chestnut Mobil sign height application withdrawn
The ZBA announced at its June 25 meeting that the Chestnut Mobil Mart, at 1110 Violet Ave., had withdrawn its application for an area variance to change the maximum sign height from 7ft. to 15 ft. At the May 28 public hearing on the application, Scott Parker, a representative for Mobil, was present and had asked for the public hearing to be closed after board member Stanley Frangk told Parker that he had not provided the necessary information in order for the board to approve the variance.

Creek Rd. fence height variance application withdrawn
The ZBA also announced that Robert J. Lee of 541 Creek Rd. sent a letter requesting that his application for a variance to change the height of a fence from 6ft. to 7.5 ft. be withdrawn. At the May 28 public hearing on the application, Lee agreed to return on June 25 to provide a plan for a new fence in order for his neighbors to comment and decide whether they would support the new fence. There was no reference made to submission of a new application.

Public hearing on TEG sign reopened
Nancy Forrest of Gloede Signs Inc. was present at the board meeting for a resolution and vote on an application for a variance to change the maximum letter height from 10 in. to 14 in. and to change the graphic symbol from 10 in. to 19 in. for a sign at the TEG Federal Credit Union at 4282 Albany Post Road. Board chair Mary Donohue told Forrest that she would be voting against the application and because two members were absent, the lack of votes would jeopardize the variance. She said Forrest could choose to postpone the vote until more board members were present. But Forrest said she would change the application to only a variance for the logo. Board attorney Victoria Polidoro said the application could be amended, but the public hearing would need to be re-opened and Forrest would need to submit her modifications for the board’s consideration. The public hearing on the amended application will be re-opened July 23.

Increased symbol size for United Methodist church approved
Kevin Julius Jones represented the United Methodist Church of Hyde Park, at 1 Church St., at a public hearing for the church’s application for a variance to allow a symbol on a new sign to exceed the 10 in. limit at 24 in. Jones told the board that the sign has now been changed to 8 ft. by 3 ft. and that the letters are 4-5 inches. During the hearing, Kate Hinz-Shaffer, a member of the church, said she had “mixed emotions” on the sign as the new proposed design was improved, but she still found it to be unnecessarily large, and she believed it could obstruct the view of traffic. The church’s pastor, Kregg Gabor, said he approves of the sign and that he believed many local business owners did not know where the church was located, making the increased size necessary. Jones addressed Hinz-Shaffer’s comment, saying that he took pictures from inside his car and believed the sign would not obstruct anyone’s view. The public hearing was closed and the variance was approved unanimously.

South Cross Rd. side yard setback approved
Vincent Curcio of 66 South Cross Rd. was present for a public hearing on his variance application. Curcio had requested to change a side yard setback from 25 ft. to 17 ft. in order to enlarge the kitchen at the back of the house. Curcio provided a survey for the board as requested, the public hearing was closed with no public comments, and the variance was approved unanimously.

Coll Hollow Rd. setbacks approved
Eric and Kristin Littlefield of 25 Coll Hollow Rd. were present for a public hearing on their variance application. The Littlefields were looking to change a side yard setback from 10 ft. to 8.5 ft. and a front yard setback from 50 ft. to 36 ft. in order to replace an underground fuel oil tank with an above-ground one. Littlefield said he believed the new tank would be 138 gallons; however, board member Stanley Frangk suggested the resolution be amended to allow for up to a 275-gallon tank. The public hearing was closed with no public comment, and the application was approved unanimously.

Mansion Dr. fence height increase approved
Timothy and Monica Doyle of 27 Mansion Dr. were present at the ZBA meeting for a public hearing on their variance application to increase the height of a pre-existing fence from 6 ft. to 8 ft. Board member Herbert Sweet asked what the extra 2 ft. would provide, and the Doyles said that it is mostly aesthetics, in order to block the view into their neighbor’s yard when they are sitting on their deck. Board member Stanley Frangk then suggested that they have an 8 ft. section in front of their deck, which gradually transitions into a 6 ft. fence around the rest of the property. The applicants agreed, so the resolution was amended accordingly and the public hearing was closed with no public comment. The application was approved unanimously.

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