Notes from the Saugerties Planning Board

Bryanne Hamill and Carlton Bell.

Carlton Bell will be permitted to build a house and attached garage on his Turkey Point Drive property. He will not be permitted to build a very large second garage for storing vehicles, a boat and other materials he said were for his enjoyment and not business-related, as neighbors have asserted.

The Saugerties town planning board agreed on April 17 to approve Bell’s plan for his house and two-car garage, but to require significant changes in the plan for the secondary garage. The building must be smaller, and must be finished in materials consistent with the surrounding neighborhood.

Neighbors had complained that the proposed free-standing garage, 48 feet square and 25 feet high, was out of character with the residential neighborhood and violated environmental restrictions. Bryanne Hamill, whose property is close to Bell’s, said Bell had initially stated that the building was intended to store several trucks he used in his business. Bell has denied saying that during the series of town planning board meetings at which his plan was discussed.

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Hamill, a retired judge, presented a six-page brief, citing case law as well as recommendations by the county planning board and the town’s planning consultant, Dan Shuster, that critiqued Bell’s detailed plans for the proposed secondary garage.

The board’s approval also included a requirement that machinery not related to the construction of the garage be removed from the site, and that debris related to site clearing and the construction of a driveway for the proposed storage building be removed from drainage ditches and a nearby stream. The construction has caused flooding, according to Hamill’s brief.

“I’m really happy with the board’s decision,” Hamill said. “They considered the questions I had raised, and they responded. They clearly put a lot of thought and time into this proposal.”

Bell was not at the meeting, and said he couldn’t comment until he had spoken to his architect, Paul Jankovitz, and gone through the board’s decision.

Flea market denied

Stefan Sanzi’s proposal for a weekend flea market on Glasco Turnpike drew more than 30 residents to a public hearing in March. At its meeting Tuesday, the planning board voted to turn down the request for a special-use permit for the market.

Board chairman Howard Post said the increased traffic at the site, which contains storage lockers and a car-rental business, would place too great a burden on the neighbors. The existing businesses at the site are already generating enough traffic to upset at least some of the neighbors.

At the March board meeting, 20 to 30 neighbors told the board that traffic could be dangerously heavy on the narrow, winding road. The existing businesses on the site – the lockers and car rental – are already too heavy for the road. Adding the weekend flea market would make the situation far worse, they said.

Post noted that the flea market would violate the current zoning, and could only operate with a special permit. The board’s vote was to deny that permit, meaning the flea market could not operate. The board’s decision will not affect the existing lockers and vehicle-rental business, Post said.

Paul and Harriet Tomasko, who live on Glasco Turnpike in High Woods, said they were impressed with the work the planning board had done. A dozen neighbors attended the meeting, and the discussion showed the board did not decide lightly. Dan Ellsworth came out three times, and Carole Furman also came to see the site.

Harriet Tomasko reported that Dan Ellsworth had said he was surprised that the owners had not cleaned up the site at all. Ellsworth proposed a number of changes at the site. When the board was polled, the decision to not grant the permit was unanimous, Harriet Tomasko said.

The residents have formed a neighborhood association, and there was a large turnout for the Earth Day cleanup in High Woods.

Mobile home park full up

The board approved Kim Matthews’s application for an additional four mobile home units in mobile home park, Pine Hollow Estates. The additional four units will bring the total to 35 units, which engineer Jeff Hogan said would be the maximum Matthews could fit on the site. Chairman Howard Post said the filling out of the mobile home park has been gradual over the past few years. He recalled at least four previous additions during his time on the board.

Hearing for car-repair shop

The planning board will hold a public hearing on a proposal to open a repair shop for classic cars on Malden Turnpike. Anthony Tampone’s Specialty Car Company will work out of a property owned by Wendy Dedrick. The hearing will be on the site plan and on a special-use permit for the business.

Metal recycling operation

The planning board will hold a public hearing on a proposed metal recycling operation to be operated by Canos Recycling LLC in the former candle factory building on Kings Highway owned by Arthur Green. 

Board secretary retires

After more than 30 years on the job, planning board secretary Juanita Wilsey will retire. Her last meeting was on April 17. Wilsey has served as the board’s institutional memory Her background knowledge has been evident at many board meetings;

Wilsey said family responsibilities have made it difficult to put in the time necessary for the job. In addition to attending meetings, the secretary must write up the minutes and file the mountains of paperwork and maps that go into planning applications and hearings.

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Board chairman Howard Post said Wilsey was “the heart and soul of the board,” and one of the most knowledgeable people. She knew as much as any member of the board, he said. Post said he had told Wilsey that she would be a great addition to the board if she chose to join it as a member. 

Becky Bertorelli will be taking on the job of secretary of the planning board, starting next meeting.The job pays $16,000 per year, according to the town budget.