A meeting of the Comprehensive Committee of the Village of Croton-on-Hudson was held on Thursday, March 28, 2001, at the Municipal Building, One Van Wyck Street, Croton on Hudson, NY 10520.
The following members were present:
Chairperson Ann Gallelli
Trustee Liaison Georgianna Grant
Also present: Village Attorney Seymour Waldman
Frank Fish of Buckhurst Fish & Jacquemart
Call to Order
The meeting was called to order at 7:30 pm.
Chairperson Gallelli asked for a motion to go into executive session for the purpose of a privileged and confidential communication with Mr. Waldman, Village Counsel. Mr. Solymosy made the motion, seconded by Mr. Doyle, and all voted aye. The executive session ended at 8:10.
Review of proposed C-1, C-2 recommendations
Chairman Gallelli reminded the committee that the moratorium will end in June. This meeting should finalize the C-1 and C-2 issues that relate to the moratorium in order to get these recommendations to the Village Board. Additional recommendations changes on the commercial districts can still be made as part of the final plan after the moratorium ends.
Mr. Fish said that the recommended revisions to the C-1 and C-2 districts are to keep the upper village C-1 and to change North Riverside to C-1. All the rest of the commercial zoning districts would be C-2. The FAR for the C-2 districts would be reduced from 2.0 to 0.5. The C-1 zone FAR would remain at 2.0.
Mr. Fish said that there is an automobile repair shop on North Riverside. These zoning changes would make it a nonconforming use. The owner may not like these changes because he would not be allowed to expand, but on the other hand, he would then have a monopoly in that area. He would be able to remain because he would have a prior nonconforming use.
Mr. Solymosy suggested putting into the code that if that business were to be sold, it could no longer be used for an automobile repair shop.
Mr. Fish disagreed because he said zoning should run with the land and not the owner. A prior nonconforming use would continue forever regardless of who the owner was. However, the business could not expand, and if it burnt down could not be rebuilt.
Mr. Solymosy said that he believed the Dept of State Court of Appeals has a different view.
Mr. Doyle suggested that in C-2 the zoning should not allow for any more gas stations than those that already exist.
Chairman Gallelli said she didn’t think that was necessary because gas stations can only exist a certain number of feet away from an existing one.
Mr. Doyle asked if we could limit the gas stations that exist in C-2 currently without making them all nonconforming uses.
Mr. Solymosy asked if they could cap the number of gas stations that are allowed in a certain zone
Mr. Fish replied that you could have specifications to limit them – such as not having one within 500 feet of another – which would effectively limit the number.
Mr. Carlson asked if they could create an overlay zone in the gateway areas which would limit the gas stations.
Mr. Fish said that the Comprehensive Plan would identify gateway areas and it would be possible to have an overlay in these areas.
Chairman Gallelli replied this meant these changes should come out of the plan but would not be in time for the end of the moratorium.
The committee agreed to revisit the idea of overlays as part of the Comprehensive Plan but not consider them for the changes needed to be made before the end of the moratorium.
Chairman Gallelli asked if the committee had now reached consensus on their C-1 and C-2 recommendations.
Mr. Solymosy asked about housing.
Mr. Carlson said he would have a concern with allowing all residential housing in a commercial zone.
Chairman Gallelli said that at the last workshop the positives of mixed uses were discussed, and she would rather leave the zoning as is – with mixed uses permitted with special permits.
Mr. Solymosy asked about storage garages – do they want to keep it as a permitted use – and do they want to keep light manufacturing as a permitted use.
Chairman Gallelli said the Village had a history of having craft industries.
Mr. Solymosy replied that he believed that then the use should be specific so that other uses that might also be considered light manufacturing would not be allowed.
Mr. Doyle said he believed the draft of the zoning code does give specific definitions.
Mr. Solymosy asked why does it need a special permit.
Chairman Gallelli replied that the Village Board would still want to add appropriate conditions.
Mr. Casson asked why day -are uses also required a special permit.
Mr. Fish said it is done to give Trustees a chance to ask about licenses, social services, etc.
Trustee Grant if the code protected the Village from another Club Graffiti.
Mr. Fish said that he could move clubs to a special permit use.
Mr. Doyle asked what was a storage garage.
Mr. Fish replied that it was in the existing code and not defined. He said he could eliminate it as a permitted use.
Mr. Carlson said he would not want to disallow it if there could in future be some need for it.
Mr. Fish said it is allowed in C-2. If repair garages are allowed, they have to have some place to store the cars.
It was agreed that storage garages would be eliminated as a use in C-1 but would be allowed in C-2. Clubs would be separated and required to have a special permit.
Mr. Doyle said he would like to make item 10 – Automobile sales – a nonconforming use.
Chairman Gallelli replied that if they were made nonconforming – the owners would have no incentive to improve their business in order to comply with the new standards.
Mr. Solymosy asked why can’t the code have a section which describes required conditions for nonconforming uses.
Mr. Fish replied that he had never seen a list of regulations for nonconforming uses in a zoning code.
Chairman Gallelli said that the Planning Board added enough new conditions so that no new similar business would be able to come in to the Village.
Mr. Carlson asked if an auto dealership could go into the grand union space.
Chairman Gallelli said they could add that no auto dealerships could be within 500 feet of another.
Mr. Doyle asked if there was a way of enforcing the new standards on Croton Dodge and the way they park their cars.
Chairman Gallelli replied that now that storage lots are prohibited perhaps Croton Dodge would no longer be able to park their cars between Oil City and Exxon.
Mr. Fish said he did not know if you could require a business that pre-exists the code to apply for a special permit.
Chairman Gallelli said that perhaps Mr. Fish could discuss this with Village Attorney Waldman. If it turns out to be possible it should be added to the changes.
It was agreed that Mr. Fish would rewrite the recommendations based on tonight’s meeting.
Mr. Fish said that the landscaping standards for parking lots should also go to the Village Board.
Mr. Carlson said that he believed the standards needed examples and pictures.
Mr. Fish replied that he could add another section allowing the Planning Board to change the specifics if another site plan comes in with a preferred alternative.
New Meeting Dates
The next meeting was set for April 26, 2001 at 7:30 pm.
Approval of Minutes
The minutes of February 22, 2001 were approved as corrected
The meeting was adjourned 11:00 pm.
Janine King, Secretary