Village of Dering Harbor
Trustees Meeting Minutes
August 13, 2022
- The meeting was called to order at 9:01am
- Attendance- Karen Kelsey (mayor), Brad Goldfarb, Brandon Rose, Sam Ashner, absent- Ari Benacerraf; Vicki Shields (village clerk), Wayne Bruyn (village attorney), Donna Ritzmann (Tim Hogie’s stenographer), Brian and Melinda Carroll, Mike Schiano (Interscience), John Colby, Stephanie Deutsh, James Goldman
- A motion to accept the minutes from the July 9th, 2022 meeting was made by Brad and seconded by Sam. All Board members present voted in favor.
- A motion to accept the minutes from the Special Meeting of July 20th, 2022 was made by Brad and seconded by Sam. All Board members present voted in favor.
- Treasurer Report- The Trustees reviewed the outstanding bills abstract. A motion for a resolution to authorize payment of the bills was made by Brad and seconded by Sam. All Board members present voted in favor.
- The Village Cocktail Party will be held on Saturday, August 20th from 6-8pm and will be outside if the weather permits.
- Karen and Brad gave an update on historic structures analysis/guidelines. Patrick Ahearh has submitted a draft of what could happen in the village. Brad explained that the trustees are in the process of evaluating what Patrick has submitted. It will be sent to the ARB for additional comments. All of the board comments, along with the draft, will be made available to the community for review.There will be ample time for residents to give their feedback as well, in the form of a letter to the village clerk, all of which will be passed on to Patrick Ahearn. After that, an open dialogue will happen, hopefully with Patrick Ahearn present to field any questions people may have. Right now, they are just at the starting point of the review process.
- A motion to open the Public Hearing- Local Law to extend moratorium on demolition was made by Brad and seconded by Sam. Wayne provided some background on the need for this extension. The SCPC still needs to review it at their monthly meeting, which will happen in September.
- Brandon stated that he is not in favor of extending the moratorium and thinks it’s duplicative considering the new law that they passed giving the ARB the authority to review any applications for demolition. He proposed that they move the (9) points that are in the moratorium into the code. He wants to see the village find an efficient way to move forward and clean up the code a bit. Brad asked Wayne to respond to Brandon’s suggestion. Wayne explained that they can amend the code but the purpose of hiring Patrick Ahearn was to give the village professional guidance as to what might be the standards the village would want to apply.
- Sam commented that he partially echoes what Brandon said but he is also in favor of extending the moratorium, but not more than one more time. He doesn’t want the village to become the village of “no.”
- Karen recounted how this whole process started. It was a combination of a desire for there to be more specific standards for the ARB to use when reviewing applications and the response to the demolition of an historic home in the village. The Trustees chose to take it as an opportunity to get some professional guidance on what is currently in the village and the outcome may or may not be more specific guidelines.
- Brad commented that he could see the village ending up with the (9) points Brandon mentioned or, based on feedback from Patrick Ahearn and residents, expanding them or simplifying them. He said the village is in the middle of a process that is productive and really important.
- James Goldman commented that the ARB has tremendous power to dictate what happens in this village. He said it’s not easy to judge, based on how many different styles of homes are in the village, what should come down or go up. Giving the ARB the power to judge what comes down is dangerous because the village does not have a good set of rules for what can go up, because it is so arbitrary. He thinks extending the moratorium would be a waste of another 6 months and will just kick the problem down the road.
- John Colby commented that there are (5) former or current ARB chairs that still live in the village and thinks it would be valuable to ask them what they think of the aesthetic quality of the current architecture and what is currently in the code regarding the role of the ARB. He thinks they’re a resource that should be considered. He then had a question for Wayne about the basis for an exemption to the moratorium. Wayne encouraged John to read the legislation and gave a brief synopsis of the relief valve that is in the legislation, which is required by law.
- Melinda Carroll commented that she’s concerned about how the process has been slowed down by the moratorium and that despite their desire to restore their home to be in keeping with the character and heritage of the village, that they find themselves in sort of a penalty box because of the moratorium.
- Brian Carroll asked if there will still be a relief valve built into the extension of the moratorium and the Trustees said yes. Brad added that the trustees are sensitive to the unfortunate situation the Carrol’s are in but feels that the moratorium is part of a necessary process that the village needs to go through to ensure that, moving forward, decision making in the village is not arbitrary.
- Stephanie Desutsch commented that there is a delicate balance between protection and penalization. She added that the Carrol’s pre submission was extremely well-received by the members of the ARB and the neighbors that were present at the meeting and hopes the Trustees grant them their exemption. She added that the standards that the ARB has to work with on demolition and new construction are vague. She thinks the ARB could use some training and that the outcome of a vote on an application should not be based solely on the opinion of who sits on the board. ARB members need to be able to set their own opinions aside and follow the guidelines and the code and feedback from residents. She thinks the village will be better protected by clearer guidelines.
- George Birman commented that he thinks the moratorium needs to be extended in order to protect the village, even though he thinks it is problematic in some ways. He thinks the village is still weak in the ways the ARB functions and is concerned that people will come in and take advantage of that. In the meantime, he thinks the ARB needs to be strengthened while the village works towards something that is easier for applicants in the future.
A motion to adjourn the public hearing for all purposes until September 10th, 2022 was made by Brad and seconded by Sam. All Board members present voted in favor.
- A motion to open the Public Hearing- Request for Exemption from Moratorium, Local Law 1 of 2022: Carroll Residence, 16 Harbor Lane was made by Brad and seconded by Sam. All Board members present voted in favor.
Mike Schiano, from Interscience, gave the presentation on behalf of the applicants and his clients, Brian and Melinda Carroll. For the record, he submitted the proof and affidavit of mailing to the village clerk. He went on to explain specifically what the proposed plans are. He mentioned that some of the work proposed will require variances from the ZBA. He explained that the footprint of the house will increase in size and will be more in keeping with the surrounding properties. He went on to explain what important architectural elements they are seeking to replicate in the addition. The Carrols do hope to lift and move the existing garage. He pointed out that his letter thoroughly covers all (9) points identified in the moratorium for an exemption and he highlighted some of them in his presentation. He noted that the Carrolls purchased the property in November 2021, before the moratorium went into effect, and it has placed a hardship on them for work that they were in the process of beginning to undertake.
Karen thanked Michael for such a thorough submission.
Melinda Carroll commented that the house is in serious disrepair, worse than they expected. Also, they recently found out that the garage will not be able to be lifted and moved. But it still shows their intention, which is to make sure the look of the garage will be kept.
- Stephanie Deutch commented that there was full support of the Carrol’s plans when they had their presubmission with the ARB. She added that there were neighbors of the Carrol’s there, who also supported the plans, and who asked that their plans be approved so that they can get started as soon as possible, so as to try and avoid construction next summer.
- John Colby commented that he thinks the Trustees should grant the exemption.
- John Barber, a neighbor of the applicant, commented that he had a conversation with the applicant about their plans to relocate the garage. He is concerned that it will block their waterview. Karen explained that the BOT does not have purview over that and that it would be under the purview of the ZBA and ARB.
A motion to close the public hearing was moved by Brad and seconded by Sam. All Board members present voted in favor.
A motion to approve the following resolution, granting the exemption, was moved by Brad and seconded by Sam. All Board members present voted in favor.
WHEREAS, the Board of Trustees of the Village of Dering Harbor by Local Law No. 1 of 2022, established a six (6) month moratorium on the processing of applications that involve the demolition of buildings and structures; and
WHEREAS, section 4 of the Local Law No. 1 of 2022 permits the Board of Trustees to grant an exemption to the moratorium after a public hearing; and
WHEREAS, an application for an exemption from the moratorium was submitted by Brian Carroll and Melinda Carroll in order to permit the processing and review of applications to the Zoning Board of Appeals, Architectural Review Board and Building Inspector for applicable permits and approvals for the renovation and expansion of an existing dwelling and construction of new accessory buildings and structures at premises situate at 16 Harbor Lane, designated as SCTM# 0701-001.00-02.00-010.001; and
WHEREAS, it was determined that the existing dwelling was built circa 1927 and is a dwelling identified in the “Village of Dering Harbor Design Principles” as one of the “pre-war” buildings that contributes to the historic heritage and identity of the Village; and
WHEREAS, a public hearing was held on August 13, 2022; and
WHEREAS, the Board of Trustees reviewed the survey, plans, elevations and documents prepared by Inter-Science Research Associates, Inc.; and
WHEREAS, the Board of Trustees considered the draft minutes of the meeting of the Architectural Review Board on July 9, 2022, wherein a presubmission conference on the application was undertaken; and
WHEREAS, the Board of Trustees considered the factors set forth in Section 4A of the Local Law and find that the proposed demolition and renovation of the portion of the dwelling, the addition to the dwelling, and the demolition of the detached garage and construction of a new detached garage, swimming pool and pool house are compatible with and will support, advance and be consistent with the historic heritage and identity of the Village; and
WHEREAS, the Board of Trustees further find that based upon the submissions of the applicants and the testimony heard at the public hearing, the grant of an exemption to the applicants will be in harmony with and will not unduly disrupt the goals and objectives of the study being undertaken by the Village consultant.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that pursuant to Section 4 of Local Law No. 1 of 2022, the Board of Trustees of the Village of Dering Harbor hereby grant an exemption to Brian Carroll and Melinda Carroll in order to permit the processing and review of applications to the Zoning Board of Appeals, Architectural Review Board and Building Inspector for applicable permits and approvals for the proposed demolition and renovation of the portion of the dwelling, the addition to the dwelling, and the demolition of the detached garage and construction of a new detached garage, swimming pool and pool house at premises situate at 16 Harbor Lane, designated as SCTM# 0701-001.00-02.00-010.001, with the understanding that the grant of this exemption shall not be construed to be an approval or endorsement of the applications, which are to be independently reviewed by said boards and the Building Inspector.
- New Business
- Special Event Parking requests Sec 230-8:
- Tropin Residence 8/17 6pm-10pm. Motion to approve was made by Brad and seconded by Sam. All Board members present voted in favor.
- Colby Residence 9/4 6pm-9pm. Motion to approve was made by Brad and seconded by Sam. All Board members present voted in favor.
- A motion to schedule Public Hearing on a local law amending 230-67 to clarify the time for ARB review, time limit and extension of approval was made by Brad and seconded by Sam.
- Old Business
- Ethics Training Update- Wayne said he’s waiting on Mr. Leventhal to get back to him about his availability.
- A motion to appoint Rob Ferris to the ARB was made by Brad and seconded by Sam. 3 votes in favor, 1 recusal (Karen)
- Legal/Litigation Update- no new litigation.
- A motion to go into Executive Session to discuss Litigation at 10:08am was made by Brad and seconded by Sam.
- A motion to reconvene the regular meeting at 11:12am.
- Date for next regular Trustee’s meeting- September 10th, 2022
- Motion to Adjourn at 11:12am was made by Brandon and seconded by Brad.