Notes from the Saugerties Planning Board

A proposed 7360-square-foot AutoZone store on Railroad and Ulster Avenues in the village of Saugerties requires the transfer of two small portions of property to neighbors who have been using them for a long period. Because the neighbors live in the town, the matter came up at the July town planning board meeting. The land transfers were approved.

In one case, a neighbor’s garage was actually on the AutoZone property, according to the lot-line drawings. Owner John Joseph said he did not need the property for the AutoZone, so it made sense to give it to neighbors who have been using it. 

Planning board consultant Dan Shuster suggested that the plans need clarification. Which lot lines would be deleted and where would the new lot lines be? While the board approved the lot line changes, members told Joseph the maps, which must be filed with Ulster County, should be altered to clarify the lot-line changes. 


Joseph also asked the planners for advice on his unrelated problems with the state Department of Transportation, which will not allow the placement of flashing warning lights for the nearby railroad crossing, a suggestion of the village planning board. Joseph said his analysis of past accidents at the crossings found that many of them occur when the gates are up and no trains are approaching. Rear-end crashes have been caused by cars slowing up as the gates come down, he said.

In other matters, the town planning board discussed a dog-grooming facility planned for Route 212, a two-lot subdivision of a large parcel off Malden Turnpike, a Kings Highway recycling center, and the restoration of a two-lot subdivision on Stoll Road at its July meeting..

What the Fluff dog grooming

Jessica Benjamin (photos by David Gordon)

Jessica Benjamin’s plan to convert half her garage on Route 212 to a dog-grooming business will be the subject of a public hearing at the Saugerties town planning board meeting on August 20 at 7 p.m. The plan calls for removal of the garage door and addition of a regular house-type door, plus additional parking spaces along the driveway, with a pulloff so customers can turn around. “You’ve already fenced the property with a very big dog fence,” noted planning board member Dan Ellsworth.

Benjamin plans to board no more than two dogs at a time, and would only have two at a time on the premises for grooming. She would board only dogs that belong to her grooming clients “so I know the dogs,” she said. She does not plan to advertise widely for clients.

The board voted to hold a public hearing on the plan, which requires a special permit, at its next meeting on August 20.

Malden Turnpike subdivision

Surveyor Michael Vetere III presented a plan by Michael Carpenter wants to subdivide his 51.26 acres off Malden Turnpike into two lots measuring 41 acres and 10.26 acres off Malden Turnpike, according to surveyor Michael Vetere III. The smaller lot contains a mobile home, a well and septic system. The 41 acre parcel will remain undeveloped but a 20-foot right-of-way will provide access to it.

Board members expressed concern that such large lots could be further subdivided in the future, and the 20-foot right-of-way would not be sufficient. Vetere said the owners want to protect the land from development, not to subdivide it.

 The board voted to hold a public hearing on the plan at its next meeting at 7:30 p.m. on August 20

Hector and Yesenia Cano

Kings Highway recycling center

Canos Recycling, a family business to be run by two related families, would reprocess metals in a building on Kings Highway. According to spokesperson Charles Wesley, the facility would buy metals, process them inside the building, and stored them in containers on the site.

“No materials would be stored on site for more than 120 days,” Wesley said, and they would be out of sight of the neighbors. Materials that would not be acceptable include tires, motor vehicles, plastics, asbestos or televisions. 

Materials would be delivered in trailers no greater than 16 feet in length. About three trailer loads per month would be shipped from the site, Wesley said. The facility would operate 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, and Saturday from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The operation would have three employees, one of whom would be on the road most of the time. The other two will be working in the facility.

Planning board member Mike Tiano asked whether the applicant would be willing to provide a stone and chip driveway into the property, rather than gravel, which he said would soon be scattered across Kings Highway. “I know it’s expensive, but it’s not that expensive when you consider what’s going to happen to Kings Highway,” he said. He also wanted a copy of the plan sent to the Mount Marion Fire Department.

A public hearing will not be necessary, as this use of the building is similar to its uses in the past, The family is already running the kind of business they hope to move into the new building, said Yesinia Cano, but they are renting that space. The Kings Highway building would offer them their own space as well as the freedom to make changes.

Planning board member Dan Ellsworth moved approval, with a proviso that the driveway be tar and chips and that the proposed security fence be far enough from the road to allow a tractor trailer to be completely off the roadway.

Deleted subdivision restored

Years ago, the former owner of property at 100 Stoll Road combined two lots to create one 8.5-acre lot. On Tuesday, July 16, the town planning board voted to restore the original subdivision consisting of a 5.7-acre lot and a 2.7-acre lot, as requested by current property owner Salvatore Cataldi. Surveyor Tom Conrad explained that the proposed subdivision was exactly what had existed before the consolidation of the properties.

The property abuts a 60-acre parcel, planning consultant Dan Shuster said. Given the possibility of further development of that parcel, which is not part of Cataldi’s property, it might be necessary to provide for a future 50-foot right-of-way.

Conrad said attorney Michael Moriello had advised him that the board did not have the authority to force a landowner to provide a right-of-way to property he does not own without compensation. While the board is within its rights to ask a landowner to adjust his plans for a neighbor, it cannot make that a condition of its approval of his proposal. “That’s a violation of his civil rights,” Conrad said. 

In any event, that question was theoretical, because the neighboring property has access to another road. Board member Dan Ellsworth pointed out that the property could be further subdivided. If it were, the 50-foot right of way might be required. The board voted to approve the proposed Stoll Road subdivision.