Village of Dering Harbor
March 12, 2022, 9:00 AM (via Zoom)
- The meeting was called to order at 9:04am
- Attendance: Patrick Parcells (mayor), Karen Kelsey, Ari Benacerraf, Brad Goldfarb, Brandon Rose, Wayne Bruyn (village attorney), Vicki Shields (village clerk), Donna Ritzmann (Tim Hogue’s stenographer), Susan Dempsey (SI Reporter), Stephanie Deutsch, Marian Brownlie, John Colby, Dennis Corocoran
- A motion to accept the minutes from the December 30th Special Meeting was moved by Ari and seconded by Brad. 3 votes in favor, 2 votes abstained. Motion passed.
- A motion to accept the minutes from the January 15th meeting was made by Ari and seconded by Karen. All Board members voted in favor.
- A motion to accept the minutes from the February 12th Special Meeting was made by Karen and seconded by Ari. All Board members voted in favor.
- A motion for a resolution authorizing payment of the outstanding bills on the abstract was made by Karen and seconded by Brad. All Board members voted in favor.
- Brad gave an update on the Historical Architectural Study. The BOT has engaged Patrick Ahearn to help guide the village through the process of exploring the possibility of establishing a preservation law. Patrick has offered to come to the village and do a walking tour with all who are interested. Brad hopes that will include several members from the ARB. This walking tour is slated to take place on Saturday, May 7th. Following the walk, he will give a talk at village hall detailing his background. It will also be an opportunity for the community to voice their concerns and desires as the village navigates this process. Patrick said he would like to approve the engagement letter for Patrick Ahearn at the next trustees meeting.
- Patrick asked if there are any other questions or comments from the public regarding the demolition that occurred at 4 Sylvester Rd. demolition. There were no comments.
- Water Update- Patrick asked the SCWA for an accounting of where the village stands with expenditures for infrastructure improvements. The village is at about $1.3 million, which is above the $1.14 million threshold that was set in the agreement. About $200,000 is being absorbed by the SCWA, with an additional $300,000 (approx) when they install the hydropneumatic tank at the highway barn. This will allow the entire water system to be pressurized. Patrick also explained that he gave an easement across his property to install a water main and some electrical wiring. He did so to save the village money, since it is the most direct route from the new wells to the highway barn, and it did not create any tax benefit to him. This created tax savings of between 4 and 8% to all residents. Lastly, he said SCWA said the village currently has some of the best water in Suffolk County.
- Paving – Locust Point and Manhanset Roads are planned to be paved in the beginning of May . Corazzini is double checking their pricing and will be submitting a proposal for doing the work. The hope is that the cost of the project will be covered by the CHIPS money. If not, the amount of road to be paved may have to be amended.
- New Business
- The Audit Review by Cullen and Danowski is finished and the documents are available for review at village hall. The only comment the auditors had was the village should engage an appraiser to appraise village assets. An appraisal was done two years ago and Vicki confirmed that she had sent it to the auditors. It’s possible they think an appraisal should be done on a more regular basis.
- A motion to approve the Modica Tree Removal Application was made by Karen and seconded by Brad. All Board members voted in favor.
- 22 Locust Point Road curb cut. Before the discussion, Patrick mentioned that the draft law that is currently proposed regarding driveways, if approved, will impact where this proposed curb cut is located and would require approval from the ZBA. Patrick also stated that the Trustees cannot approve a curb cut without a traffic study. Dennis Corcoran gave a presentation with documents showing the proposed location of where he wants the curb cut to be and where it is in relation to the neighboring properties. He stated that in any good design, the property dictates how the house lays out. He stated that his proposed curb cut is the best point of entry onto the property and is the safest for sightlines. He said that in his experience in other municipalities, people get to choose where they want their curb cuts to go and there is never an issue.
- Preliminary 22/23 FY Budget has been presented to the trustees and will go on the website. It will be discussed at the next meeting and it will be voted on on April 23rd. Patrick said that it reduces taxes by 3.4%, which is the 4th year that taxes have been reduced, though he thinks next year will be different. Currently the village is in very good financial shape.
- Old Business
- Leak Forgiveness Policy, Patrick referred to the proposed policy he had drafted in January, which he encouraged everyone to read. He’d like to see the trustees adopt a policy at the next meeting. He said that in developing the draft policy, his research showed that very few water districts have leak forgiveness policies.
Karen commented that she is concerned that if they adopted a leak forgiveness policy, the trustees would be taking on yet another role that the village does not have expertise in. She wonders if the village could adopt SCWA’s policy, with the addition of PVC as an eligible pipe material, and let SCWA handle it. Patrick said he’s not sure SCWA would agree to that.
Brandon asked for clarification on the rates and whether the village or SCWA gets paid when excess water is consumed. Patrick explained that the village owes SCWA for whatever water is consumed. If a resident doesn’t pay their water bill, the village is obligated to pay it, which then becomes a tax lien on the property that didn’t pay. In terms of the money that SCWA collects, payments that are in excess of the SCWA rates get returned to the village. The tiered rate structure is in line with SCWA until you get to the “conservation rate,” which is supposed to deter residents from using village water for irrigation.
- A motion to reopen the Public Hearing/Adoption – Proposed Local Law establishing a six (6) month moratorium on the demolition of buildings and structures was moved by Brad and seconded by Brandon. Patrick asked Wayne to summarize how it went with the SCPC. All moratoriums are considered a matter the SCPC needs to review and are not considered a matter of local determination. The staff at the SCPC looked at the draft of the law and they were prepared to deny the proposed law. The village had an opportunity to speak to people at the SCPC and explain the special circumstances that the village has. Wayne and Patrick were invited to attend the public hearing and the proposed local law was approved by the SCPC.
There were no public comments.
A motion to close the public hearing was moved by Karen and seconded by Brad. All Board members voted in favor.
A motion to pass the following resolution and adopt the following local law was made by Brad and seconded by Ari. All Board members voted in favor.
WHEREAS, Board of Trustees of the Village of Dering Harbor have proposed a Local Law establishing a six (6) month moratorium on the demolition of buildings and structures; and
WHEREAS, a public hearing was held on February 12, 2022 and March 12, 2022; and
WHEREAS, by resolution dated March 2, 2022, the Suffolk County Planning Commission approved the proposed local law with three comments for consideration, and
WHEREAS, the adoption of said local law is considered to be a Type II action under 6 NYCRR §617.5(c)(36), SEQRA and will not have a significant adverse impact upon the environment;
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that Local Law No. ___ of 2022 is hereby adopted as follows:
LOCAL LAW NO. 1 OF 2022
A LOCAL LAW establishing a six (6) month moratorium on the demolition of buildings and structures.
BE IT ENACTED by the Board of Trustees of the Village of Dering Harbor as follows:
SECTION 1. LEGISLATIVE INTENT. Section 230-42 requires a building permit for erection, construction, structural alteration or repair of a building. Section 230-43B provides that “no construction shall be undertaken until the building permit application is approved by the Building Inspector, and the Architectural Review Board.” Section 230-49 of the Zoning Code requires that a demolition permit be obtained from the Building Inspector with notice to the Board of Trustees and property owners within 250 feet. Section 230-64B requires that an application for a building permit for the construction, reconstruction or alteration of any building or structure shall be transmitted by the Building Inspector to the Architectural Review Board (“ARB”). Section 230-65 provides standards for the ARB action that provide, among other things, that the ARB shall maintain the desirable character of the Village and disapprove the construction, reconstruction, alteration and development of buildings that are designed without consideration of the harmonious relation of the new or altered building to such buildings as already exist and make up the identity of the community. Moreover, the ARB shall maintain the identity and heritage of the Village in its review and decision-making process and that the identity of the Village is founded on its past; and the historic, architectural, cultural and natural resources of the community of the Village of Dering Harbor constitute its heritage.
In furtherance of these stated objectives, the ARB recently adopted the “Village of Dering Harbor Design Principles” which recognize that “pre-war” buildings and structures constructed prior to 1945 contribute to the historic heritage and identity of the Village. The Village Board understands that there may be some confusion as to the application of the code and the Design Principles particularly as they may apply to the ARB’s role in reviewing applications for building permits and demolition permits involving the demolition or alteration of existing buildings and structures. The Board of Trustees need time to complete a formal inventory of the existing conditions and undertake a comparative analysis of the alternatives related to the demolition or alteration of existing buildings or structures that contribute to the historic heritage and identity of the Village. Therefore, to assure that the demolition or alteration of existing buildings or structures does not change the status quo during the pendency of this study, and to further assure that the Village Board has an opportunity to hear all resident’s concerns and recommendations, it is the intent of this local law to impose a six (6) month (i.e. 180 days) moratorium on the demolition or alteration of existing buildings or structures and the issuance of a building permit or demolition permit and related review by the ZBA or ARB .
SECTION 2. SCOPE OF STUDY AREA AND APPLICABILITY. The provisions of this local law apply to all lands within the boundaries of the Incorporated Village of Dering Harbor as herein provided:
- Except as may be provided herein, no owner of real property shall permit or cause the demolition or alteration any building or structure as the terms are defined herein during this moratorium.
- Except as may be provided herein, the Building Inspector, Architectural Review Board and Board of Appeals shall not accept or process any application under the provisions of Chapter 230 (Zoning) of the Village Code for the review and approval of a building permit or demolition permit involving the demolition or alteration of any building or structure as the terms are defined herein during this moratorium.
- For the purposes of this local law, demolition or alteration is considered to be any work on a building or structure for which a building permit or demolition permit is required and, as determined by the Building Inspector, any material change to the exterior appearance of a structure, includes the refacing or resurfacing of the roof or the exterior facade of a building or structure in any manner which would substantially and significantly affect its character and appearance, as well as an act or process which substantially and significantly changes one or more of the exterior architectural features of a building or structure, but excluding ordinary maintenance, cleaning, repainting and minor repairs. If the Building Inspector has any doubt whether the work may not be exempt under this provision, the applicant shall be referred to the Board of Trustees under Section 4 herein.
- For purposes of this local law, a building or structure shall be defined as any building or structure constructed prior to 1945 as recognized in the “Village of Dering Harbor Design Principles” filed at the Village Clerk’s office as same may be amended from time to time.
- For the purposes of this local law, the Building Inspector shall have substantial evidence demonstrating that the building or structure was constructed or materially altered after 1945 to process a building permit or demolition permit. If the Building Inspector does not have such evidence or has any doubt as to the sufficiency of the evidence, the applicant shall be referred to the Board of Trustees under Section 4 herein.
SECTION 3. TIME PERIOD. This moratorium shall apply for a period of one-hundred eighty (180) days from the effective date hereof. This moratorium shall automatically expire at the end of the term stated herein, unless extended by the adoption of a local law by the Village Board amending this term.
SECTION 4. EXEMPTIONS. The demolition or alteration any building or structure and the issuance of a demolition or building permit by the Building Inspector may be exempted from the provisions of this moratorium by the Board of Trustees, following a public hearing on notice before the Board of Trustees. Notice of the public hearing shall be published in the official newspaper and by mailings to all abutting owners and those within 250 feet of the property to be delivered by the applicant in writing by registered mail, return receipt requested, at least ten (10) calendar days prior to the hearing. Proof of such notice must be provided to the Board of Trustees to permit the public hearing to be opened. The applicant seeking such exemption from this moratorium shall make such application in writing accompanied by a survey or plot plan and detailed plans and elevations indicating the proposed demolition or alteration of the building or structure. The application shall address the factors listed below.
- Upon such application, the Board of Trustees shall consider:
(1) Whether the building or structure contributes to the historic heritage and identity of the Village.
(2) Whether the demolition or alteration of the building or structure is compatible with the goals and objectives of this local law and the Village’s planning study when published.
(3) Whether the demolition or alteration of an existing feature or property is compatible with its historic character as well as with the character of nearby properties containing a building or structure contributing to the historic heritage and identity of the Village.
(4) Whether the alteration of the building or structure will permit the property to be used as it was historically or shall be given a new use that maximizes the retention of distinctive materials, features, spaces and spatial relationships.
(5) Whether the alteration of the building or structure will cause the replacement of intact or repairable historic materials or alteration of features, spaces and spatial relationships that characterize a property and the necessity of such replacement if it diminishes the historic character.
(6). The existing condition of historic features shall be evaluated to determine the appropriate level of intervention needed including whether the severity of deterioration requires repair or limited replacement of a distinctive feature and whether the new material to the extent reasonably available matches the old in composition, design, color and texture.
(7) Whether the alteration of the building or structure involve new additions, exterior alterations, or related new construction that would destroy the historic materials, features and any spatial relationship that characterizes the property. The new work shall not be differentiated from the old and shall be compatible with the historic materials, features, size, scale and proportion and massing to protect the integrity of the property and its environment.
(8) The unnecessary hardship and unique circumstances, which do not apply throughout the Village, of the applicant in complying with this moratorium. In considering the applicant’s hardship, the Board of Trustees may consider (i) whether the property is incapable of earning a reasonable return, regardless of whether that return represents the most profitable return possible; (ii) the building or structure to be demolished or altered cannot be adapted for any other use, whether by the current owner or by a purchaser, which would result in a reasonable return; (iii) efforts to find a purchaser interested in acquiring the property and preserving it have failed; (iv) there is an absence of responsibility for any neglect of maintenance that may have contributed to the hardship; and (v) any difficulty asserted by the applicant is in no manner self-created.
(9) Approval of any permit for the demolition or alteration of a building or structure shall require an affirmative finding that any demolition or alterations shall support, advance and be consistent with the historic heritage and identity of the Village and each of the applicable criteria as set forth herein.
- In making its determination under this section, the Board of Trustees may obtain and consider written reports from the Architectural Review Board, and such other sources as required in the judgment of the Village Board and consistent with the purpose of this local law. A grant of exemption to an applicant’s premises shall include a determination of unnecessary hardship and unique circumstances and a finding that the grant of the exemption shall be in harmony with and will not be unduly disruptive to the goals and objectives of the study referred to in this law.
- Any person aggrieved by a decision of the Board of Trustees in approving or disapproving an application for an exemption under this local law may bring a proceeding to review in the manner provided by Article 78 of the Civil Practice Law and Rules in a court of record. Such proceeding must be commenced within thirty (30) days after the filing in the office of the Village Clerk of the decision of the Board of Trustees.
SECTION 5. PENALTIES. In addition to any penalties or remedies permitted under Chapter 230, the owner of any structure or structures, or the person or entity who performs the demolition, modification, or alteration on any structure, contrary to the prohibitions contained herein shall be subject to an action for both injunction and for damages in the amount of the replacement value, in kind, of the structure or structures as of the date of its demolition, modification, or alteration. In addition to any civil action that may be taken to recover damages, the violation of this local law shall be and hereby is deemed to be a misdemeanor and shall punishable by fine in the amount of $10,000.00 for each violation hereof, or by imprisonment not exceeding one year, or both.
SECTION 6. AUTHORITY. The proposed local law is enacted pursuant to Village Law §7-712, Municipal Home Rule Law §§10(1)(i), 10(1)(ii)(a)(11), 10(1)(ii)(a)(12), and 10(1)(ii)(e)(3), and expressly supersedes all applicable provisions of Chapter 230 (Zoning) of the Code of the Village of Dering Harbor to review and approve applications for building permits and/or demolition permits under Article VII, review by the Board of Appeals under §230-9B or Article VIII, or review by the Architectural Review Board under Article X.
SECTION 7. SEVERABILITY. If any section or subsection, paragraph, clause, phrase, or provision of this law shall be adjudged invalid or held unconstitutional by any court of competent jurisdiction, any judgment made thereby shall not affect the validity of this law as a whole or any part thereof other than the part or provision so adjudged to be invalid or unconstitutional.
SECTION 8. EFFECTIVE DATE. This local law shall take effect upon filing with the Secretary of State pursuant to Municipal Home Rule Law.
AND BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Village Clerk is hereby authorized and directed to publish the following Notice of Adoption:
NOTICE OF ADOPTION
PLEASE TAKE NOTICE that after public hearing was held on February 12, 2022 and March 12, 2022, the Board of Trustees of the Village of Dering Harbor at their meeting of March 12, 2022 adopted LOCAL LAW NO. __ OF 2022 as follows: “A Local Law establishing a six (6) month moratorium on the demolition of buildings and structures.”
A copy of the proposed law, sponsored by the entire Board of Trustees, is on file in the Village Hall, Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon, or by appointment, and on the Village’s website.
BY ORDER OF THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES
VILLAGE OF DERING HARBOR, NEW YORK
- A motion to reopen the Public Hearing/Adoption – A Local Law amending §§230-7, 230-8, 230-9 and 230-21 of the Zoning Code related to permitted/prohibited uses, interpretations and accessory driveways and off-street parking areas was made by Karen and seconded by Brad.
Patrick asked Ari to clarify some of the changes that have been made to the law. He said mostly the proposed law was cleaned up and the definition sharpened to avoid confusion. He said the biggest change is the addition of a 25’ setback for the curb cut.
Wayne read the language that is in the draft for clarification.
Karen asked what kind of substantive changes have been made since the last meeting that would prevent the Board from voting on this from today. Wayne explained that several versions have been circulated over the last couple of months and the most recent version includes comments from Patrick, Ari, and Brad. The most substantive change is the 25’ setback for curb cuts.
Stephanie had questions about the newest version of the proposed law, which Wayne and Ari clarified. A discussion ensued regarding the intent of the law and the 25’ setback for driveways and how they meet the building envelope.
John Colby commented that he thinks that any structure and driveway should be subject to ARB review. Any code that is written should be subject to ARB review, to keep the green space at a maximum, to keep the setbacks at a maximum, and to keep cars out of neighbors lines. He thinks a lot of the language in the proposed law is convoluted and can be written more clearly.
Stephanie added that the ARB is struggling right now with “as of right” and thinks putting driveways to the ARB without standards could be a problem. She thinks the way the law is currently written works.
Marian Brownlie had a specific question on page 5, B-2: accessory off-street parking. She asked for clarification about parking on the grass, who will monitor it, and what the fines would be. Wayne answered her questions. She requested that the time allowed for temporary parking on the grass be extended from 24 hours to 72 hours.
Stephanie had additional questions regarding responsibilities given to the building inspector in the law. Wayne clarified.
A motion to keep the meeting open for all purposes and adjourn until the April 23rd meeting was made by Ari and seconded by Karen. All Board members voted in favor.
- A motion to go into Executive Session at 10:42am to discuss the current status of litigation was made by Ari and seconded by Karen. All Board members voted in favor.
- The meeting was called back into session at 11:07am.
- Date for next regular Trustees meeting – April 23rd at 9:00 am. The date for an earlier Special Meeting is TBD.
- A motion to adjourn at 11:12am was made byKaren and seconded by Brad. All Board members voted in favor.