Story by Lourice Angie
The Village of Warwick Planning Board met on Thurs., Sept. 21 to address two items on their agenda. First on the agenda was the Warwick Commons site plan subdivision 90 day extension request from Sterling Bank.
The Board pointed out that a representative from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) sent an email to the project engineer inquiring about the status of the project and a reminder that the DEC permit was only valid through the end of year. Chairman George Aulen and the Board approved the 90 day extension, ending on Fri., Dec. 22.
The second item on the agenda was the review of the site plan approval for the property located at 16 Elm St. in the Village. The Board reviewed the comments of the engineer for the applicant, John Christison. Some traffic improvements were recommended by the Nazar traffic study in the Elm St. and West St. area. Christison proposed the use of striping on Elm St, a stop bar (a pavement line indicating where to stop for a stop sign), a stop sign, and sidewalk improvements near the restaurant entrance.
Site plans showed that the proposed location of the HVAC and generator have been changed. Engineer Ross Winglovitz presented revised site plans and explained that originally HVAC units and the generator would be located behind the building. After a discussion with consultant Phil Grilley, the engineer was advised to relocate these units to the side of the building, away from the rear property line. Winglovitz noted that there are some traffic improvements that the Village would be responsible for as a result of the major traffic study. These include striping on Elm St, a stop bar on the intersection of West St. and traffic signs to limit parking and improve vehicle turns and site distance. Mike Moser, the Village DPW Supervisor, has agreed to make these improvements with or without the project.
The revised landscaping plans were presented to the Board and showed the change to the location of the HVAC and generator. There is a proposal for a six foot solid privacy fence around these units to provide privacy and noise reduction. In addition, the landscape plans show there will also be a row of evergreen trees along the open areas to provide privacy and coverage.
Many concerns have been raised in writing regarding noise and these were discussed. The applicant has made several changes in response to these concerns. Winglovitz says that the patio was removed and moved forward towards the parking lot to provide additional separation from the property line. The rear end of the porch will be enclosed, the dumpsters have been relocated, and the HVAC and generators have been relocated.
Christison’s attorney, John Cappello, said the decision has been made to close the patio area after 11 p.m. The Board asked about the type and size of the speakers that are planned. Christison indicated that instead of installing one speaker to travel across the patio, he plans to place several smaller speakers close to each table.
Cappello said that he was advised that until the background noise can be accurately measured in decibels after certain times, it is impossible to calculate if the noise is coming from the facility. If the speakers are measured and they do not meet the Village criteria, they are willing to make necessary changes or remove them. These are the conditions for approval.
Chairman Aulen said the conditions on which the approval is based are contingent on the applicant meeting the Village standards. These speakers will be used seasonally and not during the winter. Cappello agreed that they will conduct a noise decibel measurement once they actually have something to measure and he hopes they receive the same treatment from the Planning Board as the historic tavern that has already been approved in the Village. The tavern is located about 200 feet from a residential district and he wants the proposed Yesterdays to be measured the same way.
Floodplain Permit Application
The Board reviewed the Environmental Assessment Form (EAF) with Christison and his attorney. The EAF is a requirement of the DEC and is part of the process that is necessary before a floodplain permit application can be reviewed. The floodplain permit is required before construction or development begins at any special flood hazard area. If FEMA has not defined the Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA) within a community, the community shall require permits for all proposed construction or development so that it may determine whether such construction or development is proposed within flood-prone areas. Permits are required for proposed development projects to meet the requirements of the NFIP (National Flood Insurance Program) and the community’s floodplain management ordinance.
The Planning Board must also review all proposed developments to assure that all necessary permits have been received from those governmental agencies from which approval is required by Federal or State Law. The floodplain permit application paperwork was reviewed by the Board and the attorney and was completed.
Public Hearing to be Held in Town Hall
The Village Planning Board will hold a public hearing on Thurs., Oct. 19 at 7:30 in the Warwick Town Hall, located at 132 Kings Hwy. in Warwick.