Tom Conrad takes — and holds — the stage at Saugerties Planning Board meeting

Surveyor Tom Conrad of Praetorius and Conrad describes Jaysen and Loren Beth Abrahamsen’s plans. (photo by David Gordon)

Surveyor Tom Conrad of Praetorius and Conrad describes Jaysen and Loren Beth Abrahamsen’s plans. (photo by David Gordon)

The August meeting of the town planning board in Saugerties was practically a one-man show, with surveyor Tom Conrad in the lead role. Conrad presented seven of the nine items on the August 16 agenda. He explained that other engineers and surveyors in the Praetorius and Conrad business involved with the individual projects were on vacation, leaving him to present them all.

The next meeting of the town planning board meeting is scheduled for September 20 at 7:30 in the Senior Citizens’ Center.



All power to Total Tennis

Edward Fondiller, the owner of Total Tennis, estimated that he now produces about a third of the electricity used at the facility through a solar array. He’s planning to increase the available solar power to cover all the electricity needs at the facility, he told the planning board. Fondiller will add 720 solar panels to his existing array of 468 panels.

“The property is set back more than 80 feet from the road,” he said. “I read in a report that that is the requirement.” There are three rows of panels in place, and Fondiller said he would be adding six more rows.

He blamed planning board member Carole Furman. “It’s all Carole’s fault,” he said. “She’s with Solarize Saugerties, which has a number of programs going on.”

The panels will be surrounded by a six-foot chain link fence, Fondiller said.

The project will still need approvals from Central Hudson, his bank and New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA). Fondiller is hoping to have the approvals in place in September and have the panels installed before winter.

The board unanimously approved the plan.


Additional building approved

The planning board took only a few minutes to approve an amended site plan for John Hommel’s additional workshop building at his site on Route 32. The 60-foot-by-50-foot addition will contain two bays for working on trucks. A number of other changes will also be made on the 2.4-acre site on Route 32.

The property consists of three lots, which Hommel plans to consolidate in the future. The consolidation plan will not hold up construction of the workshop, board members said.

The plan was unanimously approved.


Two-lot subdivision

A two-lot subdivision proposed by Jaysen and Loren Beth Abrahamsen showed a 3.05-acre lot subdivided into 1.77 acre and 1.28 acre lots. Board member Mike Tiano asked whether the fire company had been notified of the subdivision. Surveyor Conrad said he was not sure. “We’re not changing anything, this is how it [the property] has been for over 30 years,” he said.

The plan shows each of the lots now has a house and a septic system. The board unanimously approved the subdivision.


More detail on warehouse

Conrad provided more detail on a plan the board has been considering for several meetings for use of a warehouse on Kings Highway owned by Salvatore Mancuso. Mancuso wants to set up areas where goods could be stored, with owners coming in to show them by appointment. The building would not be open to the general public.

The current plan shows a turnaround area for trucks making deliveries to the building. The plan also shows the lighting, which had not been shown on the map, trees that were requested by the board, and detailed indications of the gravel versus the paved areas on the lot.

Board chairman Howard Post questioned the work being done on the site, including a new curb cut and driveway improvements. This is illegal while the project is still before the board.

The board’s planning consultant, Dan Shuster, said that the plans don’t show what type of light fixtures, wattage, and so on are illuminating the site. He also asked that some vegetation be added to mitigate the site’s stark appearance.

Board member Dan Ellsworth criticized the arrangement for pulling trucks into the property. “They stop on Kings Highway,” he said, “then back off Kings Highway to get into the loading docks.” With a background in construction, he thought, Mancuso should be able to work out a better way to unload trucks.

Board member Paul Andreassen asked that the lighting be arranged to avoid shining onto the New York State Thruway, which borders the building.

The planners voted to send the plans to the county planning board, which will review them because the project is on a county road.


Self-storage plan approved

The planning board has already granted conditional final approval to additions to the storage lockers near the intersection of Routes 32 and 9W owned by Derek Winnie recently. However, Conrad said, the site plan has now been amended. Winnie is seeking approval of the revised plan.

Winnie has begun installing a row of lockers on the portion of the site unchanged from the earlier approved plan. “We have eliminated a small building near the entrance and added a five-foot paved access to the existing sidewalk,” he said. The plan moves an extension to an existing building into a small separate building. “It just looks better, works better, and it is better,” Winnie said.

The board voted unanimously to approve the revised plan.


No worse than before

In order to bring two lots closer to conformity, Quarryville LLC is reconfiguring the boundaries of two adjacent lots to bring them into closer conformity with the zoning regulations, Conrad said. Prior to the revision, one lot contained the Bluestone Restaurant and a mobile home. The new plan puts the two structures on different lots. The formerly vacant second lot is now divided between the newly drawn lots to create a lot of one acre, which contains the mobile home, and the remainder a 0.85-acre lot which contains the restaurant. The mobile home lot now conforms to the zoning. While the restaurant lot is undersized, it is no worse than it was before the proposed change, Conrad explained.

The board approved the lot-line change.


Two lots or six?

Segmentation on Saugerties can mean presenting a large subdivision in smaller segments to avoid requirements that apply only to major subdivisions. The question before the planning board was whether a two-lot subdivision proposed by Joseph Hartrum is, in fact, an addition to a five-lot subdivision approved in August 2005. Minutes of that meeting list the applicants as Linda and Gilbert Hartrum. The subdivision map proposed at the meeting on August 16 lists the owner as Linda Hartrum.

Conrad argued that the original subdivision was approved more than eleven years ago, and thus the subdivision of one of the approved lots is a new two-lot subdivision.


The proposal led to considerable discussion of whether the plans should include provision for future lots on the 45-acre parcel and road improvements that would have been required had all the lots been shown initially.

Conrad stoutly maintained that as of now this is only a two-lot subdivision.

The board agreed to hold off a decision until the next meeting while the history of the property and the intent of the relevant laws can be researched.


Quick lot-line revision

The board took just minutes to approve a lot-line change that ceded a quarter-acre triangle on the High Falls Road belonging to Frank Torok to his neighbor, Toni Berzal. The transfer places Berzal’s driveway, which crosses Torok’s property, entirely on Berzal’s land.