Planning Board addresses multiple issues
AMENIA — During a short Planning Board meeting held on Thursday, July 28, the board members discussed several recent ongoing projects in Amenia.
Roxbury Sand & Gravel/ Gro Max
Roxbury Sand & Gravel and Gro Max have two projects they are seeking approval for. Formal applications have not yet been submitted for either project because the companies have been waiting to hear opinions from the Planning Board and the Town Board regarding how likely it is that the projects will be approved.
The companies do not want to complete the applications if it is unlikely that the projects will be approved.
The Planning Board discussed both projects with the companies’ representatives, Roxbury Sand & Gravel CEO Kippy Weigelt and Gro Max CEO Nathan Potts.
The companies want to create a stockpile area on their property on Route 22. If allowed, the companies will store pre-bagged soil on wrapped pallets during the off-season (fall and winter), then remove the stored pallets during the high season (spring and summer).
The pallets and bags of soil will not be opened on the site. They will only be stored. The companies wish to do this to save money on transporting the product to other stockpile sites.
The Planning Board discussed the project, but decided that they cannot make further decisions until it is decided what type of land use the project will fall under.
Attorney to the Town Michael Hayes said he believes that the project could potentially fall under a number of land uses described by law, each of which will have different requirements and regulations regarding how to proceed.
Since the Planning Board does not decide which land use is most applicable, Roxbury Sand & Gravel will need to speak with Nancy Brusie, zoning code officer, who deals with the zoning code.
Once the land use is decided, the Planning Board will be able to make further decisions on the project.
The second project will, if approved, allow the companies to create a composting site in the Route 22 property.
A previous owner of the land also tried to build a composting site on the property. The project was stopped before it was completed, but that previous owner already built a “composting pad” on the site, which is currently not in use.
For this project to be approved, the Amenia town law will have to be changed. As the law currently reads, composting and solid waste management (which is like composting, but involves importing material to compost from off-site) are forbidden on land that sits above the town aquifers, which includes the land in question.
The purpose of that ban is to protect the town’s drinking water from contamination.
Weigelt explained to the board that the composting method that the companies would use would not release any chemicals or dirty water into the ground and so would not contaminate the ground water.
The board members said that they want a tour of the property before they make any further decisions.
Old DeLavergne Restaurant
The building on Route 44 that once housed the DeLavergne Restaurant may reopen as a new restaurant, but the establishment no longer has the required special use permit needed to do so.
The DeLavergne Restaurant did not require a special use permit because it had been grandfathered in since the building had been used as a restaurant before.
When a building that has been grandfathered in sits for more than a year without being used for the grandfathered in purpose, the building loses its status as being grandfathered in.
Since the DeLavergne Restaurant closed in March 2009, the building no longer has the grandfathered in status and now requires a special use permit.
There was discussion amongst the board members about how the new restaurant might be able to get around needing a special use permit, but the board members decided to have further discussion with the parties that wish to open the new restaurant.
Maplebrook School dining hall
Kenneth Hale, the business manager of Maplebrook School, was present at the meeting to discuss the school’s plans to build a new dining hall on its campus.
The Planning Board had previously sent him a letter detailing a few minor elements of the plans that needed to be changed. He assured the board that several of the points, which included things like submitting architectural plans with official architect seals to the Planning Board, had been taken care of and the rest would be completed shortly.
The board noted that the project is moving forward.
Hale said that the school is still unsure about the future use of the current dining hall.