Planning Board reviews new burger restaurant at Staples Center

Planning Board reviewed revised plan for proposed Burger Fi restaurant in former Emigrant Savings Bank space.

Planning Board
January 27, 2014

Meeting highlights. For more information, visit ciyinfo.org.
1. Fieldstone Manor
The Board will require the applicant to do a traffic study of the intersection of Strawberry Rd and Foothill. A future use for the fire tower was suggested.
2. BJs Propane facility
The Board anticipates approving the plan at its February meeting.
3 Burger Fi at Staples Center
The Board was pleased with a revised site plan for the former Emigrant Savings Bank space but asked the applicant to make one additional change prior to holding a public informational hearing on the application.
Note:  Notices for public hearings will now be advertised in the Yorktown News which has been designated as the town’s official newspaper.

This summary is being provided by Citizens for an Informed Yorktown (CIY).in an effort to increase the level of awareness of what’s happening in our community.

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Evan Bray January 28, 2014 at 08:58 PM
I think Fieldstone Manor is the lede here. The planning board is considering a variance to allow 21 homes where 16 are allowed as of right. Not sure why this isn't in the Zoning Board of Appeals' wheelhouse. It's a residential proposal and can't be denied in the residential zone it's in. However, the additional units require a variance. Anyhoo, they'll do a traffic study and conclude all is well. Variance granted. The end.
Susan Siegel January 29, 2014 at 10:34 AM
Clarification. The "additional" units were approved -- by the Town Board -- under the Flexibility Standards in the town code. The rational for granting the "additional" units was to preserve the existed stone mansion on the site. For more about the plan, including new town tennis courts, visit http://ciyinfo.org/mohegan-mansion.htm
Evan Bray January 29, 2014 at 10:42 AM
Thanks. It essentially amounted to a variance. In addition to saving that cool structure (even though that's not guaranteed it won't come out later and perhaps even more units added), I believe they argued that they couldn't turn a big enough profit, right? I love how in Yorktown you can just plead poverty without any material to back it up like the pro forma for the development and the town takes your word as a reasonable justification to bend the code for developers. See: State Land Corp. "But you guys, if I'm forced to do this all as of right, I won't make enough of the monies. Remember, the town, planning and zoning boards are all in place to insure that developers like me make the maximum return on investment, even if that means residents get stuck with a little extra traffic. It's already so bad, it really can't get THAT much worse. Eh?"
Susan Siegel January 29, 2014 at 12:23 PM
FYI: There's a big legal difference between variances, which are requested hen a property can't meet the bulk requirements, e.g., front, side or rear yard setbacks, of the zoning ordinance, and flexibility standards which is a creative planning tool for protecting/preserving something the town board determines is in the best interests of the town.
Evan Bray January 29, 2014 at 12:39 PM
I understand the flexibility requirements and how it's different from a variance. As of right they could 16 units. From your notes: "Supervisor Grace assured area resident Denis Horbatuk that no more than 16 units could be built on the site, although Al Capellini, attorney for the applicant, advised the Board that while the current plans calls for the preservation of the tower as a separate lot, if that plan proves not to be feasible, the applicant may come back to the Town to request that the tower lot be converted into a building lot." Lo and behold, a few weeks later, "it[ the 16 units] didn’t work because the units would still be too large to be economically viable." That's why I'm likening it to a variance. 16 as of right, yet we are now considering 21 units. Solely because it's not "economically viable" for the developer. If we should trust any one it's the developer [cough, cough, Trump Park] because they always have the public's best interest in mind and are always true to their word, right? I honestly don't know why we even make them jump through the traffic study hoop. If they don't get exactly what they want, I'll pick my nose in the mud. Why drag this dog and pony show out any longer?


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