Oct 4, 2018 | Town of Copake Planning Board Public Hearing Meeting Minutes [Save Craryville submits corrections Oct 21]
2017-38 SITE PLAN REVIEW – GRJH INC. – State Route 23 [Craryville]
(Open since November 2, 2017)
o Letter from Steve and Barbara Smith dated August 24, 2018
o E-mail from James Chambers dated September 30, 2018
o E-mail from Daphne Joslin dated October 3, 2018
o E-mail from Matthew Hardine dated October 3, 2018
o E-mail from Kevin Davis dated October 3, 2018
o E-mail from David Davenport dated October 3, 2018
o E-mail from Vanessa Howe-Jones & Sam Johnson Dated October 3, 2018
o E-mail from Nancy Wiese & Aram Fox dated October 3, 2018
o E-mail from Patrica Ackerman dated October 3, 2018
o E-mail from Ilyne Rabinowitz dated October 3, 2018
o E-mail from Cara Boyle & Craig Mende dated October 3, 2018
o E-mail from David Gurin dated October 3, 2018
o E-mail from Maura Pittelli dated October 3, 2018
o E-mail from John Penny dated October 3, 2018
o E-mail from Megan Piro dated October 3, 2018
o E-mail from Jennifer Racioppi dated October 3, 2018
o E-mail from Barbara Levine dated October 4, 2018
o E-mail from Enid Futterman dated October 4, 2018
o E-mail fromDouglas Bandes dated October 4, 2018
o E-mail from Kate Feighery dated October 4, 2018
o E-mail from Beata Baird dated October 4, 2018
o E-mail from Gerry Melody dated October 4, 2018
o E-mail from Deborah McDowell dated October 4, 2018
o E-mail from Dan Latinsky dated October 4, 2018
o Letter from Attorney David Gordon dated October 4, 2018
There were no new submissions from the applicant so this application was held over until next month’s meeting. However, inasmuch as there were a number of area residents present to speak on this application Mr. Haight proceeded with the Public Hearing. Mr. Haight advised all present that the Board deadline is ten (10) days prior to our meetings so all comments should be sent in by that deadline.
Mr. Haight advised everyone that inasmuch as new Town Zoning laws were recently adopted this project is subject to the new Code. Ms. Becker brought up the fact that parking standards have changed which would affect the number of parking spaces required.
Mr. Haight opened the Public Hearing for the evening and advised the residents that they will be give two (2) minutes to make their comments. He asked that they not repeat comments from past meetings. Mr. Haight made note of the fact that the applicant has already been granted a Special Use Permit by the Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) allowing a gas station and the Planning Board is here to conduct a Site Plan Review. He went on to explain that anyone commenting on the fact that they are against a gas station will have no impact on the Planning Board process and should have been done during the ZBA Public Hearings.
Craryville Resident DOMINIC SINISI... Mr. Sinisi expressed support for the project and felt it would revitalize Craryville. He felt it would be nice to see that corner developed.
Hillsdale Resident PETER COHEN... Mr. Cohen wondered how the new Zoning Code will affect the design, scope and scale of the project.
Hillsdale Resident DAMON CLIFT... Mr. Clift and his wife own a small organic farm and they have concerns of how fuel fumes from a ‘Truck Stop’ will affect their farm and the environment. He also had concerns that this could lead to a string of strip malls affecting the Rural Charm of the area. Mr. Haight set the record straight and advised the members that this application is NOT a Truck Stop and then acknowledged that there isn’t even one parking space on the plans for a truck. He was questioned as to why a Tractor Trailer is shown on the plans. Mr. Haight explained that he requested this to show the entry and exit points the fuel delivery trucks would take.
‘Save Craryville’ Attorney DAVID GORDON... Mr. Gordon presented a Site Plan superimposed with the new Town Zoning Codes showing how the new Codes will affect the project. He feels that this project does not comply with the Hamlet Business Zoning of the new Code. Mr. Gordon feels the project does not comply with the new set-back requirements and noted that sidewalks are required in Hamlet zoning. He claims that the
stormwater run-off is inconsistent with DEC requirements as he believes a portion of it will go into the adjacent land and not the stormwater treatment system. He also had concerns that hydro-carbons could run-off into DEC Wetlands. He also felt the scale of the project did not fit the Hamlet Zoning.
Copake Lake Resident DOUGLAS LYON... Mr. Lyon had concerns about environmental issues.
Resident LILLY SKUGEVIG ... Ms. Skugevig recently purchased the old Train Station and had concerns about noise and the environment.
Hillsdale Resident DAN ... Had issue with the size of the project and feels it doesn’t fit in the hamlet.
Hillsdale Resident JOAN SCHMIDT... Ms. Schmidt was against the size of the project as well as environmental issues.
Craryville Resident PAULA ... Paula feels that the present site is an eyesore and feels there are not enough jobs in the area and it would be nice to have a business at this site instead of what is there now. Paula would like to see a car wash at the site!
Chatham Resident CARA ... Cara had concerns about whether there was an Environmental Impact Study (SEQRA) done.
Craryville Resident ZITA KOBOS... Ms. Kobos is on the Conservation Advisory
Committee in the Town of Taghkanic and would like to report issues and concerns back to her committee. She also requested a copy of the SEQRA. She also had concerns of the size of the project.
Chair BOB HAIGHT... Mr. Haight clarified for the record that the number of jobs this project creates has nothing to do with the Board’s decisions and no one on the Board is trying to ‘push’ this project. He also noted that he is trying to clarify some of the misinformation that is being commented on. He made note of the fact that the Board has been hearing comments regarding this project for almost a year even though some people have just heard about it.
Resident MOISHA GLECHMAN... Ms. Glechman is also on the Taghkanic Advisory Committee and she feels the project should visually fit the area.
Former ZBA Member HILARY THOMAS... Ms. Thomas addressed some of the inconsistencies and misconceptions she has seen and heard. She noted that this project was first brought before the ZBA in the latter part of 2016 and one of the big problems in a town the size of Copake is that it is hard to get people to invest money in it. She made note of the fact that many people blame the Boards for projects not being able to move forward however a lot of the times it comes down to other agencies that slow the process down such as the DEC, the NYS Department of Transportation or the Columbia County Planning Board, etc.
Ms. Thomas advised everyone that a Special Use Permit was granted by the ZBA, she believes, in December of 2016. She explained that the process is such that once approved by the ZBA the project then moves to the Planning Board for Site Plan Review. Ms.
Thomas pointed out that GRJH has already met its approval process for a Special Use Permit and has moved to the Planning Board, not for approval of a Gas Station but for approval for various things such as downward lighting, stormwater treatment, road cuts from the Department of Transportation, a traffic study, etc.
Ms. Thomas acknowledged that the ZBA completed a SEQRA and an Environmental Impact Study was completed and a Negative Declaration was made based upon the information that the ZBA reviewed which was significant. Ms. Thomas brought up the fact that the site in question has sat vacant and dilapidated for twenty-five (25) years and has been for sale for ten (10) years and someone finally purchased it, put up some money and came to this Town for approval to open a gas station.
Ms. Thomas also referenced the fact that it has been mentioned that everyone should be notified when something like this is being proposed. Ms. Thomas explained that it is not in the Town’s budget or even an applicant’s budget to send a notice to everyone within the Town let alone adjacent Towns. She also pointed out that all that this should be affecting is the Town of Copake and its residents. Ms. Thomas then acknowledged the fact that this application has been noticed for a Special Use Permit in the official newspaper and on the Town’s website under Public Notice and was held open for several meetings. Ms. Thomas noted that this process has been going on for over two (2) years and this is the final stage of the process. She made note of the fact that the many comments about this application not being noticed is untrue. Ms. Thomas also questioned what standing the many people from Hillsdale have to raise any issues in the Town of Copake.
Hillsdale Resident DAVID SANDBANK... Mr. Sandbank is also against the scale of the
project and the fact that it is not within the character of the town. He also had concerns that this would put other businesses in the area out of business.
Hillsdale Residents Steve and Barbara Smith’s Attorney BRIAN HENCHY... Mr. Henchy brought up the fact that it was previously noted that Random Harvest should have had a Traffic Study and had concerns that the traffic study done for GRJH did not take this into consideration. Mr. Henchy believed it was within the Town’s Code to request another traffic study from the applicant to account for this. Mr. Haight advised Mr. Henchy that the DOT is aware of the opening of Random Harvest in conjunction with this traffic study.
Hillsdale Resident BARBARA SMITH... Ms. Smith expressed her concerns regarding the safety of the intersection and made note of the fact that this does not only concern Copake Residents and affects anyone using that intersection. Ms. Smith referred to the recently revised Town Code which stated that a special use permit shall expire and become void one (1) year after approval unless the applicant shall have commenced and substantially proceeded with the use. Mr. Haight explained that the full approval has not been granted as yet.
Copake Resident LINDSAY LeBRECHT... Ms. LeBrecht also had concerns about the increase in traffic and felt the traffic study was not done at the right time of year.
Resident MATT ROGERS... Mr. Rogers also had concerns about the increase in traffic and feels that this will only make a dangerous intersection more dangerous.
Mr. Haight closed the Public Hearing for the evening but made note of the fact that it remained open for the next meeting.