APRIL 16, 2009

1. Town supervisor Jeff Burns has made arrangements for the firm that installed the solar panels
on the town garage to install a flat screen TV in the town library to allow residents to track the
generation of electricity over various periods of time.

2. Vernal pools were a primary topic of discussion. Several members of the CAC had attended
recent workshops or hikes featuring vernal pools. Hyde Park CAC members are working to map
vernal pools. With this mapping project and activities in the Town of Washington, which is
working with the Cary Center for Ecosystem Studies and Cornell Cooperative Extension, Clinton
may be able to use similar methods to map our vernal pools. Dutchess County is very similar in
many ways to Westchester County and mapping methods developed there may be transferred.

3. The CAC has been asked to find support in Clinton for the work of the Fallkill Creek Committee,
which would like to have all involved towns attend an intermunicipal council. The Town Board will
hear a presentation from Jenn Rubbo, coordinator of the committee, on May 12th about a
municipal agreement. Priorities in the municipal agreement have been based on a survey. Clinton is
particularly important because it is the headwaters of the creek and has the best water quality.
The water quality degrades through Hyde Park, with crowded housing nearby, and Poughkeepsie,
where it is channelized. The Clinton portion of the watershed is important because it is largely
forested and has rare species. In the natural resource chapter of the Comprehensive Plan, it
will be important to indicate the crucial nature of Clinton's land use for the water quality of the
Fallkill Creek.

4. The Comprehensive Plan Committee continued to review the natural resource chapter, which
is organized around watersheds and the protection of water resources and wildlife habitats. It has
been written by consultants Mary Ann Johnson and Karen Schneller-McDonald.


5. The CAC voted to authorize the purchase of a set of infrared aerial photographs. These
photographs will enable the completion of the biodiversity mapping project, which will result in a
biodiversity map that will be included in the Town's Comprehensive Plan.

6. The group discussed the farm tour and community lunch to be held on September 12th. Don
Lewis of Wild Hive Bakery will provide a meal of local foods for town residents; we await a quote
on the cost of the lunch. Vivian Malloy of Edition Farm has committed to be part of the tour, and
other farm owners are being approached.

7. The CAC discussed the upcoming Green Fair, sponsored by Advanced Recovery at the Dutchess
County Fairgrounds on April 25-26. Collection of electronic equipment from homeowners for
recycling will be featured. The cost will be $10 per carload.

submitted by Laura Austrian

MARCH 19, 2009

1. The CAC has listed its goals for 2009. They include:
a) continuing to work with the town's Comprehensive Plan Committee and Open Space and Farmland Protection Committees in developing open space and comprehensive plans;
b) continuing to hold educational programs for children with the library focusing on wildlife and water resources;
c) creating a brochure and map of the town's Nature Garden and marking of key trees; d) arranging a tour of Clinton farms with a meal featuring local foods;
e) creating an educational display demonstrating the operation of the solar panels on the town garage.
The CAC has also upgraded its website to include announcements of upcoming events and other information of interest to town residents.

2. The CAC will continue to review the draft natural resources chapter of the revised comprehensive plan. When adopted, the chapter, written by Greenplan (consultants to the Comprehensive Plan committee), will become the Natural Resource Inventory for the Town and will be used in connection with the planning and zoning process.

3. CAC members participated in the Great Backyard Bird Count in February. Bird walks in the Nature Garden will be held in the spring. The CAC has purchased a bird feeder and supplies for the Nature Garden.

4. The CAC expressed its support for the New York State Bigger, Better Bottle Bill. In addition, the CAC hopes to sponsor a program on backyard composting.

5. The CAC endorsed the nomination of town resident Betty Davis for the Emil Schoch Conservation and Preservation Award, which is presented by the Clinton Historical Society to an individual or family showing dedication to conservation of the natural environment and historic resources.

submitted by Paul Thomas


DECEMBER 18, 2008

In the spirit of the holidays, THE CAC December meeting was brief and lighthearted.

1. The CAC honored Norene Coller for serving as the Clinton Conservation Advisory Council (CAC) chairperson for many years. Norene was presented with a "Certificate of Appreciation," which was signed by Town Supervisor Jeff Burns. Norene will continue to serve on the CAC; Sarah Love will succeed her as chairperson.

2. Norene asked the Council to consider its projects and priorities for 2009. These will be discussed at the January 2009 meeting.

submitted by Laura Austrian

DECEMBER 9, 2008

The new director of the Clinton Community Library, Terry Sennett, spoke for a few minutes encouraging town residents to take advantage of all the library has to offer. She invited the public to attend the monthly meetings of the Library Board of Trustees (second Monday evening at 6:30, every month). The director can also be contact by e.mail at

Planning Board: The subdivision into 2 lots of the Putterman property on Hollow Road was approved.
Highway Department: The night shift crew will begin working on December 15th. Call the night crew, for emergencies only, at 266-3204.

Jeff Burns explained why there was a special Town Board Meeting held on December 4th to adopt an amended 2009 Town budget. The vote on the Library Proposition was exceedingly close and could not be finally determined until every single ballot was counted. This process was delayed by the Thanksgiving holiday. The outcome of the vote (the Proposition was voted down) determined how much and from where in the budget the funding for the library would come. Hence the budget was not finalized and could not be formally adopted until the week following Thanksgiving.

All 7 items under New Business were quickly approved.

It was announced that Paul Trusz has resigned from the Zoning Board of Appeals. His long years of dedication and service to the Town, in many varied capacities, was noted with sincere appreciation.

submitted by Blanche Rubin

FEBRUARY 23, 2009

An informational and interactive meeting of Clinton farmers and landowners, sponsored by the Clinton Open Space/Farmland Protection Committee, was attended by approximately 50 people this past Monday night at Town Hall. The meeting was one in a series of activities supported by a grant from the NY State Department of Agriculture and Markets. The Town of Clinton is in the process of developing a Farmland Protection Plan and is seeking input from those who are actively involved in farming.

Town residents who responded to the 2007 Town survey, conducted by the Comprehensive Plan Review Committee, overwhelmingly indicated that farming and the open, farm landscape in town were of great value to them and influenced their choice to live in Clinton. However, a 43.8% increase in population for Dutchess County is projected between 2005 and 2030. Protecting our Town's farmland and unique character will continue to be a major challenge.

Six primary reasons were presented for preserving our farms and open spaces:
1. economics: the cost of town services and school budgets paid by taxes
2. local food supply
3. environmental quality
4. wildlife habitat
5. community character
6. land is a nonrenewable resource

The large group broke up into 3 discussion groups for the majority of the meeting time and focused on the following questions: What plans to you have for the future? What challenges do you face in your farming operations? What does farmland protection mean to you?

Most of the discussions we heard focused on the challenges that were faced. A sampling of responses: There are few incentives to attract young people to farming. It is hard to make a living just farming. Farmers need discounts on farm supplies and equipment. It is hard to find farm help. The farm workers cannot afford local housing. Taxes, health insurance, and liability insurance are all high. Speed limits on the local roads are too high to safely drive farm vehicles on them. The cost of fuel is high.

A few suggestions that surfaced: Create zoning regulations that are more friendly to farmers, offer farmers the opportunity to bid first at auctions on used state equipment (e.g., tractors), be permitted to purchase "off-road" vs. "on-road" diesel for farm vehicles, place farmland in a conservation easement to save on taxes, and adjust speed limits.

At the end of the meeting, surveys were distributed to all participants to help gather more detailed information and a fuller portrayal of the agricultural economy in Clinton. The surveys should be returned to Town Hall by March 9th.

submitted by Blanche Rubin


1. The CAC received a referral from the Planning Board on a proposed subdivision at 1215 Centre Road. Chairperson Norene Coller noted that the map submitted with the proposal lacked environmental information. However, an examination of town maps indicated that the site is sloped and forested and has hydric soils, features that necessitate careful consideration in the planning of the subdivision. Ms. Coller said she would inquire if the proposed subdivision was discussed at the Planning Board meeting on November 18th and, if so, she would ascertain the outcome of the discussion.

2. Ms. Coller expressed her desire to step down as chairperson of the CAC at the end of 2008. She offered to assist the new chairperson in the capacity of secretary and treasurer. Sarah Love said that she would be willing to serve as the new CAC chairperson. Town Board member and CAC liaison Frank Venezia advised Ms. Love to submit an application to the Town Board and said he would confirm the length of the chairperson's term, which he believed to be one year.

3. Members discussed a proposed light bulb swap, in which town residents would be invited to exchange old incandescent bulbs for new compact fluorescent bulbs. Mr. Venezia raised questions about whether such a giveaway was legal because the compact fluorescent bulbs were to be purchased with town funds allocated to the CAC. Ms. Coller said she would call the town's attorney to discuss the matter.

4. Grants from New York State's Department of Environmental Conservation for its Estuary Program are being delayed because of the state's budget issues. The CAC's application is pending.

5. A build-out analysis of Clinton Corners is being undertaken by a consultant to the town to determine how the loss of farmland to development would affect the town. This analysis is related to the open space and farmland protection plan.

submitted by Laura Austrian

NOVEMBER 11, 2008

Mary Ann Johnson, the program director of Northern Dutchess Alliance, gave a short presentation on the history, purpose, and projects of Northern Dutchess Alliance -- a consortium of 7 local towns and villages as well as a multitude of community and business organizations, schools, and school districts in northern Dutchess County. The original impetus for formation of NDA came when Metro North first announced the possibility of expanding their service north of Poughkeepsie. The significant issues identified and focused upon by the group include: transportation, tourism, economy, open space, land use, affordable housing, and property taxes. Their current efforts focus on a Blueprint for Economic Development, a Buy Local Campaign, and a farm to chef program named Dutchess County Bounty. For more information go to

-- East Halstead Road will no longer be maintained by the Town.
-- The deadline for applications to the various Town committees is November 19th.

1. The vote on adoption of the 2009 Town Budget was postponed to a special Town Board meeting on November 19th at 8:30 AM. Because absentee ballots are still being counted, the outcome on the Clinton Community Library referendum remains unknown, which in turn will affect the Town Budget. Hence the delay in the vote.
2. A discussion was held prior to the vote on Local Law #2 -- the Water Amendment to the Zoning Law. Dan Budd voiced concerns about the administration of the law, the permit process, and the Planning Board taking on another load of responsibilities. He proposed the need for a "wetlands coordinator." Dean Michael voiced similar concerns, stating there needs to be more flexibility in the permit process and waivers. Frank Venezia countered that many aspects of the Amendment are already components of the existing Zoning Law, and not additional burdens. Jeff Burns responded that the Town will most likely hire a coordinator sometime in the future, but emphasized that we need to start protecting our water now -- this is a start. The Amendment was passed, 5-0.

-- Approved: Boy Scout Troop #228 will be selling wreaths at the Saturday Recycling Station on November 29th and December 6th.
-- Approved: The Clinton Business Association will hold their annual tree burning at Friends Park on January 16th.

-- Norene Coller, Chair of the Clinton CAC and instrumental in designing and writing the Water Amendment Law, gave a deep felt thank you to the Town Board. She also expressed some concerns about administration of the law and stated the belief that education will be a key element in the Amendment's success.
-- Joel Tyner, local County Legislator, also thanked the Board for passing the Water Amendment. He then talked briefly about the meeting on November 18th about the proposed Local Bucks program. And he stated the belief that there are ways to save money in the County budget other than cutting the Human Rights Commission.

submitted by Blanche Rubin

OCTOBER 16, 2008

1. The CAC considered two referrals from the Planning Board including a site plan submitted by the Clinton Alliance Church on Centre Road, which includes a new office structure and a proposed recreation pavilion near the existing parking lot across the road from the church. The site plan has already been approved by the Planning Board, so the CAC's input was limited to a suggestion that the recreational facilities be made available to Clinton residents. The other referral was a subdivision proposed for 72 Bowman's Glen Lane. The CAC will submit comments to the Planning Board concerning this project.

2. The CAC has funds remaining in its annual budget and is considering ways to use these funds. It will explore the feasibility of installing recycling containers in town buildings and at town parks. In addition, the CAC may sponsor a lightbulb exchange where residents can receive one or more free fluorescent bulbs if they turn in a conventional bulb. Finally, it will purchase a sign to be placed at Town Hall during garbage pickup notifying residents how and where to dispose of hazardous and toxic waste.

3. The CAC has upgraded its webpage, which is located on the town website under the heading of "Environmental - CAC." The webpage contains the CAC meeting minutes, announcements and articles concerning environmental and conservation topics, and updates concerning planning and zoning issues of interest to town residents.

4. The CAC discussed the proposed relocation of the Ruskey Lane Schoolhouse and the Schultzville Mason Hall to the Town Hall site for use as town facilities. The discussion included plans to landscape the site and NYSERDA's involvement with the project.

5. The wetlands/watercourses protection zoning amendment will be brought up for final vote by the Town Board at its November meeting.

submitted by Paul Thomas

OCTOBER 14, 2008

-- Town Fire Department budgets are not developed by the Town Board, but their taxes are included in the Town's tax bills. If there are any concerns, they should be discussed with the Fire Commissioner in your district. The East Clinton Fire District will hold its Budget Hearing at the Fire House in Clinton Corners on October 21st at 7 PM. The West Clinton Fire District will hold a Public Hearing on its budget at the West Clinton Station #1 on Hollow Road, October 21st at 7 PM.
-- The following dates were announced:
October 23 -- Town Board 2009 Budget Workshop, Town Hall at 7 PM
November 6 -- Public Hearing on proposed budget, Town Hall at 7 PM
November 8 -- Household Hazardous Waste Collection in Poughkeepsie
November 11 -- Town Board will adopt the 2009 budget at the regular Town Board meeting

-- Planning Board: the church pavilion on Centre Road, just south of Town Hall, has received final approval.
-- Zoning Board: issues surrounding the property of Ernest Klopping, on Ruskey Lane, will again be on the agenda Thursday, October 23. This will be a Public Hearing.

-- The Board's vote on the proposed water amendment was postponed to the November meeting because of the absence of Boardmember Frank Venezia.
-- The Request for Bids for the Highway Department's garage foam insulation was canceled in order to allow more time for research.

-- All of the following items were approved: the CSEA contract; bond reduction for the Crimson Hill Road development; opening of Request for Bids for highway materials for 2009.

-- There was no public discussion.

submitted by Blanche Rubin



Neumann/Heist (Special Permit)
256 E. Meadowbrook Lane
SBL: 6367-00-944370
The applicants were seeking site plan approval and a special permit to convert an existing garage into a guest house. The required area variances were previously granted by the ZBA with the conditions that the septic system be upgraded to conform with current codes and that a buffer of shrubs be maintained between the building and the road. After the public hearing, the Board issued a negative declaration under SEQRA, approved the applicants' site plan, and granted their request for a special permit.


Kondor/Wild (Lot Line Adjustment)
87 and 102 Allen Road
SBL: 6466-00-650210
The applicants were seeking a lot line adjustment to create one five acre lot and one six acre lot out of two parcels totaling about 60 acres. The adjustment was intended to effectuate the terms of the will of the parcels' late owner, who made bequests of property to her three children. The applicants' representative stated that the property had barns and outbuildings, but was not a working farm. He was not aware of future plans to subdivide the larger parcels. One of the new parcels will be non-conforming, in that it will exceed the maximum number of permitted accessory buildings. Thus the Board discussed whether variances would be needed. The Board concluded that the new parcel will be non-conforming to the same extent as the existing parcel, so variances are not needed. The Board granted conditional approval of the lot line adjustment which will be finalized upon the submission of certain information by the applicants.

Omega Institute
150 Lake Drive

Omega presented a list of engineering changes to its plan for a new wastewater treatment facility, which is pending final approval by the Board. These will be reviewed by the Town engineer. Omega is waiting for final DEC approval before it can proceed with construction of the facility. However, Omega also proposed to begin building the foundation so that this work can be completed before winter. The Board discussed this request, and noted that the Town engineer recommended that it be granted. Accordingly, the Board amended its November 2007 resolution granting conditional approval to the project to allow the construction of the foundation (but not the remainder of the structure) to proceed.

submitted by Paul Thomas

AUGUST 21, 2008

1. The communications portion of the meeting included a discussion of the Public Hearing on the proposed water protection zoning amendment that occurred on August 12. Several CAC members attended the Hearing. Public response to the proposed amendment seemed to be generally favorable. An additional Hearing and meeting with Town boards on the amendment will be held on September 4 at 7:00 PM.

2. CAC members’ terms will change from one year to two years beginning in 2009.

3. A CAC member has been working on a new Web page that will be linked to the town's Web Site. The CAC Web page will contain meeting minutes, members’ names, event listings, conservation information, and other items.

4. An education/outreach program for children entitled “Birds and Bugs – Oh My” is being proposed for Fall at the Clinton Community Library. The tentative date is October 4. The event will be similar to one held last year.

5. Members discussed additional outreach activities in conjunction with the Town, such as organizing a battery recycling program. A few members are exploring different possibilities for outreach.

6. Chairperson Norene Coller presented the rough draft of a chapter on natural resources that will become part of Clinton's new Comprehensive Plan. She requested that all members review the chapter and give comments to her.

7. The second of three events celebrating Clinton's farms and open space will be held on September 20. The final event will be held on October 11.

submitted by Laura Austrian

AUGUST 12th, 2008

This special meeting of the Town Board was for a Public Hearing on proposed Local Law No. 2 of 2008, amending the Town's Zoning Law concerning Freshwater Wetlands, Watercourses, Lakes, Ponds, and Floodplains. Attendance at the Hearing was high, with 60-75 people filling the room.

Thirteen Clinton community members spoke during the meeting. Seven spoke in support of the measure, two spoke against it, and four raised technical questions. Those that spoke against it questioned the validity of the scientific claims underpinning the measure, were concerned with the cost of enacting and enforcing it, and were concerned that the map that documented wetlands had only become publicly available that day. A suggestion was made that the law be reviewed by "outside" third-party experts.

Those who spoke in favor of the measure noted that the measure is not a ban, but rather a permit system, which will allow for flexibility where needed. They noted that water is Clinton's most precious resource, and that Clinton's water has the highest quality in Dutchess County. They noted that what each community member did or didn't do with respect to protecting water resources affects all of us. Two scientists who are also Clinton community members stated that there is a vast body of scientific literature, from peer reviewed journals, that supports the science underpinning the measure. Technical questions pertained to whether the law would retroactively affect recent building and zoning permits and variances, and a concern about the lack of specificity and definition in the measure. Questions were also raised about the impact on watercourses from sanding and salting roads and driveways, as well as the clearing and spraying that is normally conducted along power line rights-of-way.

The Planning Board has requested a special meeting with the Town Board and Town attorney to discuss their concerns regarding the law, which are mostly administrative in nature. Their request will be honored.

submitted by Blanche Rubin and Bronwyn Bevan

AUGUST 12TH, 2008

-- All new AED equipment has been installed and at least one member of every Town board and committee has been trained in its use.
-- Town employees brought to the Supervisor's attention an error in the ways in which full-time employees' retirement calculations were being made. This has been corrected.
-- The Primary Election is scheduled for Tuesday, September 9th. Since the Town Board meeting is also scheduled for that night, and the usual meeting space will be in use for the election, the meeting will be held in the Town courtroom.

-- A request has been made for commuters to use the Town Hall parking lot as a commuter parking lot to facilitate car pooling. The Board thinks this might be a good idea and is investigating any
liability issues, which might require posting a sign about parking at your own risk, or some other measure.
-- All property values are scheduled to be reviewed in 2009, the first review since 2002.
-- Solar panels had been installed on the town garage.

1. Discussion and approval of the new Water Law will be postponed until after the special meeting to be held with the Planning Board in September. Frank Venezia recommended that a representative from the CAC be invited to attend the meeting.
2. The Town Board has recommended that the developers of the Talleur Lane subdivision explore other alternatives to a water treatment facility.

1. The creation of a position for an AED Coordinator was approved, with Carol-Jean Mackin approved as the new Coordinator.
2. The CAC requested an increase in members' terms of service to two year staggered terms, which is in keeping with the term lengths in other towns. This was approved.
3-12. All other items under New Business were approved.

Several supporters and opponents of the new proposed electrician licensing law spoke.
An update on the tree grinding operation on Horseshoe Lane was discussed. Although the ZBA has issued a stop work order and a fine was issued against the Ferrandi property, the grinding has continued nevertheless. It was noted that Ag and Markets said that tree stump grinding is not agricultural business, which would imply that it might be industrial business, for which no permit has been issued.

submitted by Blanche Rubin and Bronwyn Bevan

AUGUST 5, 2008

Randy and Christine Prentice (Variance Recommendation)
1563 Centre Road
The applicants are seeking an area variance allowing them to install a 15' by 25' above ground pool within a side yard setback on their property. The Board discussed whether the pool could be moved to another location on the property in order to avoid the need for a variance. The applicants stated that for aesthetic reasons, they did not want to change the proposed site. The Board noted that while a variance in this case would not result in a detriment to the surrounding area, there did exist a feasible alternative to a variance. Accordingly, they forwarded the application to the ZBA with a neutral recommendation.

Neumann/Heist (Special Permit)
256 E. Meadowbrook Lane
SBL: 6367-00-944370
The applicants are seeking to convert an existing garage into a guest house and need a special permit. The Board considered the application and determined that a long-form EAF will be required because the property is in the ridgeline district. There may be a building code issue regarding whether the second floor of the existing building can be used for a bedroom -- the applicants will need to address this with the Building Department. In addition, the applicants will need to consult their engineer concerning whether their existing septic system has sufficient capacity. If not, they will have to indicate the layout of a new or expanded septic system on their plan. The Board set a public hearing for September 2 on this application.

Novak Subdivision (Preliminary Approval)
312 Browning Road
SBL: 6366-00-871602 and 6366-00-808600
The applicant is seeking to subdivide an 18 acre parcel into four lots. A Public Hearing was held in July. The Board considered additional written comments from the Town Engineer and Planning Consultant, both of whom stated that preliminary approval could be granted with certain conditions. The Board noted that the applicant will need Preliminary Approval to obtain Board of Health approval for the wells and septic systems. Proposed Lot 4 of the subdivision contains wetlands and the septic system will be in close proximity to them. The Planning Board will need to consider the BOH's findings with respect to whether a septic system can be safely installed on the lot. The subdivision will include a 50 foot non-disturbance area around its perimeter which will be maintained by restrictive covenants. The Board considered and issued a negative declaration under SEQRA and granted Preliminary Approval with conditions, which included addressing the Town Engineer's comments on the plan, approval by the Town's consultants of the restrictive covenants creating the non-disturbance area, and BOH approval of the septic and well sites.

McKenna/Mid-Hudson Renovations (Lot Line Adjustment)
533 and 543 Browning Road
The applicants are seeking a lot line adjustment. The Board concluded that because the parcels are in a Critical Environmental Area (CEA), a long form Environmental Assessment Form is needed. The applicants will need to resubmit their plan, but the Board voted to waive a Public Hearing on this application. When the necessary submissions have been made, the Board will consider the application for final approval.

submitted by Paul Thomas

JULY 17, 2008

1. The public comment portion of the meeting was devoted to a presentation by Jen Rubbo, a director of the Fallkill Watershed Group. Ms. Rubbo’s role is to educate the public about the Fallkill Creek, which is a major tributary of the Hudson River. Part of the Creek's watershed is located in Clinton. Fallkill Watershed Creek Week will run from Monday, August 4 to Sunday, August 10 and will feature a variety of educational and outreach events. The following link contains more information about the events that are planned:

2. Newcomer packets have been assembled by a CAC member for distribution to new residents. Flyers advertising the packets, including their contents and pickup locations, will be posted at prominent spots in the area (e.g., Schultzville General Store, Stewart's, etc.).

3. Solar panels have been installed at Town Hall. An educational component to accompany them is being developed.
4. CAC Chairperson Norene Coller submitted a grant to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation's Hudson River Estuary Program to conduct a biodiversity study within the Town. Such a study would complement the Town's efforts to preserve open space and protect farmland.

5. A celebration of Clinton's farms was held on June 28th. Norene Coller reported that the event attracted scores of interested residents. Additional farm tours will be offered on September 20th and October 11th.

6. Norene Coller and Town Councilman Frank Venezia reported on the sewage treatment plant workshop on June 25th. Town Board members will vote in an upcoming meeting on whether to approve the creation of a central wastewater treatment facility, which would be managed by Dutchess County, at a proposed 14-house development on Talleur Lane in Clinton Corners.

7. There will be a Public Hearing on the proposed water protection zoning amendment on August 12th at 6:15 PM, just prior to the regular Town Board meeting. CAC member Paul Thomas has prepared a document with frequently asked questions pertaining to the proposed amendment; this document has been circulated to Town Board members.

Submitted by Laura Austrian

JULY 15, 2008


Novak Subdivision Public Hearing
312 Browning Road
SBL: 6366-00-871602
About 8 town residents attended the Hearing. The applicant's engineer presented the basic plan for the four lot subdivision along with some background information. The overall acreage is 18.5 acres and the four lots will range from about 3 to about 5 acres. The public was invited to make comments or ask questions. One resident asked if the flag lot (where the Novak's residence is currently located, behind the proposed subdivision) would be subdivided in the future. The answer was no. There were several questions about the proposed 50 foot "undisturbed" border on 3 sides of the subdivision: would it be a conservation easement, who would determine the restrictions, could they be enforced? It was explained this border would not be a traditional conservation easement but rather a voluntary agreement entered into between the landowners and the Town. It therefore would not be easily enforceable. A member of the CAC questioned if the Planning Board had received the CAC's letter of June 24th with a list of recommendations for the applicant. The answer was affirmative and the recommendations were being incorporated into the plans. A long discussion followed on whether the applicant should be "required" or "encouraged" to abide by the proposed wetlands law, which will necessitate a 50' buffer around all wetland areas of a certain size. The Town Planner maintained that the Board could not require this. The applicant's engineer conceded that if the law is approved one lot would have to be completely eliminated, because the extent of wetland area would not allow sufficient space for a house, driveway, and septic system. He stated that will be dealt with down the road if need be. The Public Hearing was closed.

The next step for this application is review of the SEQRA application and a Planning Board vote on Preliminary Approval. Both of these steps will be on the agenda of the next Planning Board meeting, August 5th. There is still opportunity for public comment, through written form, at any time as this application moves forward.


Neumann/Heist (Special Permit)
256 East meadowbrook Lane
SBL: 6367-00-944370
The applicants wish to convert an existing structure into a guest cottage. They have already received a variance from the ZBA. There were many missing parts and pieces in their application and the Board therefore postponed consideration. The applicants will try to have a completed application in order to get on the agenda for the next meeting, August 5th.

submitted by Blanche Rubin



Clinton Alliance Church
1192 Centre Road
SBL: 6468-00-360605
The applicants appeared for a discussion of their revised plans for a 1200 square foot building and a 4200 square foot open-air pavilion, to be built across the road from the existing church. The applicant's engineer explained the current plans and stated that they had satisfied all of the Board's requirements and stipulations, reducing the size of the building in proportion to the lot size and allowing for more open space.

Board members questioned the Church's future plans for expansion and questioned if the buildings might one day be enlarged. They are currently requesting a variance for more square footage than zoning permits and one Board member encouraged the Board to provide that flexibility.

A positive variance recommendation was approved.


Novak Subdivision
312 Browning Road
SBL: 6366-00-808600
The applicant's engineer stated they were looking for Preliminary Approval of the application for a 4-lot subdivision so that a Public Hearing date could be set. Several changes had been made in the plans based on statements by the Board and the CAC: the driveway on Lot 2 will be shortened, the location of the house on Lot 4 was improved so there would be less disturbance to the wetland area and the need for a pump to the septic system was eliminated. The soil tests for septic systems on all 4 lots were satisfactory.

The Board raised concerns about erosion control and the engineer responded they have started planning for that, both during construction and after. A Board member questioned whether the wetland areas should be included in the required conservation easement. There was also discussion of whether a future DEC regulation re: 50 ft. buffers around wetland areas should be required of the developer now. Tentative approval of the driveways has been received from the Highway Department. The sight distances will be included on the final plans.

The Board set the Public Hearing date for July 15th. All residents within 200 feet of the development lots will be notified by mail of the Hearing.

submitted by Blanche Rubin

THURSDAY, JUNE 26th, 2008

There were two items on the agenda:

(1) Daniel Suter, 1577 Centre Road
Applicant was requesting a variance to allow installation of a shed along his driveway and within the 50' buffer with the adjoining property. Because the back of the yard has a steep drop-off and difficult soil, the variance was granted to allow the shed to be installed in what the board agreed was the one viable location. The variance was granted with the provisos that the applicant (a) build the shed to match the design of the house, (b) install no rear windows on the shed, (c) build a fence within next 3 months that will be painted to blend in with the area and will be well maintained, (d) install external lighting only facing north (towards their own house), and (e) allow no storage on exterior of shed.

(2) Neumann/Heist, 256 East Meadowbrook Lane
Applicants were requesting variance to permit installation of a bathroom and kitchen in their pre-existing garage/studio. The Board felt that the conversion of the existing garage/studio into a guest house/studio would complement the density and purpose of the hamlet, which the property directly abuts. They also noted that there was no other suitable site on the property to build such a comparable new structure. They noted that under current subdivision regulations, the owners or future owners would only be able to subdivide the property once, and therefore they were not concerned about allowing the beginning of a process that would lead to multiple houses on the 15 acre plot. The variance was granted with the following provisos: (a) the existing hedge will not be removed, and (b) the applicant will provide a B.O.H. approved design for the proposed sewage system.

Submitted by Bronwyn Bevan

JUNE 25th, 2008

The purpose of this meeting, organized and run by the Clinton Town Board, was to provide a forum for a public presentation by the developers of 14 home sites on Talleur Lane in Clinton Corners. Rolling Acres Developers and Ultimate Builders are proposing to build 14 homes on one-acre lots in the hamlet of Clinton Corners and to create a County Sewer District to maintain a central wastewater treatment facility there.

The developers, represented by their lawyer and engineering firm (Berger Engineering of Poughkeepsie), provided an extensive presentation of their site plan and the operation of central wastewater systems. They displayed 2 visual representations of the site: one showing all 14 homes with septic systems and the other all 14 homes with a central sewer system. The visuals depicted how much land would be disturbed in each scenario, to support their thesis that less land is disturbed with a central system. They emphasized repeatedly that a central system, particularly a state-of-the-art system such as they plan to build, has extensive built-in redundancy to help prevent complete breakdown. Most of the system is underground, with the exception of a 30' x 50' "non-obtrusive" shed. They maintained that there is no odor and minimal sound. They likened the sound from the plant to the sound of a running shower.

The system must meet state standards, would be monitored daily by a state-licensed operator, and would be monitored monthly via reports submitted to the DEC. The developers strongly recommended public vs. private ownership of the system. They are seeking the support of our County Legislator in obtaining the involvement of the Dutchess County Wastewater Authority. While the system would be operated and maintained by the County, the costs would be borne by the development's homeowners. The 14 homes would be priced in the area of $400,000.

A second scheduled speaker during the evening was Simon Gruber, an expert on the relationship between wastewater treatment and land use planning. Mr. Gruber stated up front that he is generally more partial to soil-based discharge of effluents vs. stream-discharge. Discharge into the soil allows for much greater filtration. The developers' plans are for discharge into a wetlands area that eventually feeds into Wappingers Creek.

While agreeing that the planned system is one of the better ones currently available, Mr. Gruber raised the following concerns:

  • What are the long term costs of these systems, in relation to energy use, maintenance, and administration?
  • What if there is an extended power outage?
  • Will there be a "reserve" fund to deal with unexpected breakdowns or disasters? (He strongly encouraged that a fund be created.)
  • Expert management of the system and involvement of the County are crucial to the success of the developers' plans.

He also lauded the developers for recognizing that the use of a central system can minimize the "footprint" of a development, which he strongly supports.

Both Town Board members and audience members had the opportunity to question the developers further. Many of the answers that were provided are included in the information above. A few other points:

  • The operator of the system is employed by the County. The County issues the paychecks, but the costs are passed on to the homeowners.
  • Liability is covered by individuals' homeowners insurance.
  • Alternative systems, such as constructed wetlands and soil-based discharge, should be explored.

There seems to be no question that individual septic systems require no power to run, need less maintenance and administration, and are unlikely to fail simultaneously -- leaving all 14 homes without sewage disposal. The impression is that the developers know that the soil in the Talleur Lane development cannot support 14 septic systems, hence in order to maximize their investment they must build a central system. The question remains: Do the residents of Clinton want this type of dense development in the center of one of their hamlets? Does the Town Board believe this is the best direction to pursue and will they vote to offer their support?

submitted by Blanche Rubin


1. CAC Chairperson Norene Coller shared communications with the group, including the following: a new referral from the Planning Board (Novak subdivision on Browning Road); information on a discussion with Planning Board Chairperson Mike McCormack about involving the CAC in meetings with applicants; a report on the May 21st meeting for all town boards and the CAC to discuss the management of conservation easements within subdivisions; a letter of support for the Winnakee Land Trust in its grant application to obtain funds to become a manager of conservation easements.

2. Solar panels will be installed at the town hall during the week of June 23, 2008. The CAC is working on developing an educational component to accompany the panels.

3. There will be a Public Hearing on the proposed water protection zoning amendment on August 12, 2008, at 6:15 PM. CAC member Paul Thomas has prepared a document with frequently asked questions pertaining to the proposed amendment; this document is being distributed to Town Board members for their review.

4. The CAC will be applying for a New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Estuary Program grant to conduct a biodiversity study within the town. Application deadline is June 27, 2008.

5. As part of its Open Space and Farmland Protection Plan outreach, a celebration of Clinton farms will be held on Saturday, June 28 at 10:00 AM. The event is free. Residents should have received a mailing about the event.

6. A workshop on sewage treatment plants was held on June 25 at 7:00 PM.

submitted by Laura Austrian

JUNE 9, 2008

This meeting focused primarily on "Housing," Chapter Five of the Master Plan. The following pertinent points were discussed:

1. The MPRC will post an update on the Town's website, addressing the chapters that have a completed first draft.

2. The Evangelical Church, located next to the Upton Lake School, was added to the section on religious groups.

3. The Housing section was particularly difficult for the Committee to address because of the scrambled data regarding housing and alternative housing, such as RVs, boats, etc.

4. Trends are difficult to follow because in each recent decade the definitions of “home,” “family,” and “other” have changed.

5. The Committee decided to use the term “non-traditional housing" for those people whose housing arrangements differ from that of a typical family.

6. The Committee decided to include data on current growth in housing so that future committees and boards, like themselves, can reflect on those numbers and utilize them as benchmarks for further analysis and observation of trends.

7. From the data, it was clear that rural towns such as Clinton have more vacancies than do more urban towns, and more than the Dutchess County average. The trend could be attributed to seasonal residences and inconsistencies in definitions of “home” over the past two decades

submitted by Eric Buechele


The Committee reviewed Chapter Six "Community Facilities", at this meeting, resulting in a few phrase changes and summary changes.

1. Educational facilities will now seek "approval" as opposed to "permission."

2. The Master Plan now calls for an elected Highway Superintendent, with eight full-time positions.

3. Regarding solid waste disposal, the Committee decided to outline a fee schedule for waste materials other than cardboard, metals, or appliances.

Jack Cleary brought to the attention of the Committee a comparison of survey results, taking the 1988 survey and 2007 survey and noting the percent changes in each category and suggesting the data be used to supplement the Master Plan. It was decided that survey data should be included in the document. The new surveys note an increase in all response times by fire and rescue services except for ambulance response time. Mr. Cleary then made the Committee aware of the falling numbers of volunteers for emergency services, emphasizing that the Master Plan should guide the Town's administration to carefully plan for the Town's future needs.

The emphasis on future planning was considered by the Committee in wording a phrase on consistent facility evaluation. The current conditions of the Town Hall were used as an example to stress the importance of constant facility awareness. Fire Department equipment needs and recreational needs have to be considered in tandem with Town facilities, with attention drawn to
review and evaluations of those services.

The Committee considered adopting guidelines to ensure the Highway Department's compliance with State environmental regulations. As Noreen Coller noted, recognition of environmental awareness is an improvement from the policies of the previous decades. She highlighted the Town's improved water quality.

For consideration next time, the Committee will review Chapter Seven, "Transportation", dealing with road usage, busing, airports, and railroads. Chapter Five, "Housing", will also be considered.

submitted by Eric Buechele


1. The CAC reviewed two referrals from the Planning Board. The first was an application for a special permit relating to the Stephen Austin Bed and Breakfast on Camp Drive. The CAC agreed to submit a comment letter noting that the B&B will be next to a working farm and that there should be no interference with farm activities by guests or their pets. The CAC also reviewed the proposed Calabi-Sacks four lot subdivision on Browns Pond Road. The CAC will submit a comment letter to the Planning Board for its next meeting.

2. With respect to education and outreach activities, the CAC is still considering ways to distribute its "Newcomer Folders" to new Clinton residents. In addition, several CAC members will be working to enhance the offerings on the CAC portion of the town website, including event announcements and educational materials and publications. A bird walk will be held on June 14th at 8:00 AM in the town's nature garden next to Town Hall.

3. The CAC is working with the Town Board on the installation of solar panels at Town Hall. The planned installation will include a monitor in the library showing the electrical output of the panels.

4. CAC members assisted in the planting of some 80 trees as part of a riparian buffer at Frances Mark Memorial Park and Friends Park. The CAC continues to monitor the progress of the wetlands and watercourses zoning amendment through the legislative process.
5. The newly formed Clinton Open Space and Farmland Protection Committee will organize a series of farm tours and presentations starting this summer, designed to show residents the farms, forests, wildlife, and water resources of the town. The complete schedule of these events has not yet been finalized, but they will include visits to local farms and related demonstrations and presentations. The first such event is scheduled for June 28th, commencing at the Creek Meeting House and will include speakers from the American Farmland Trust and Greenplan.

submitted by Paul Thomas


The Town Board meetings now begin at 7:00 PM.
During the Public Discussion session a town resident reported that there has been activity taking place again on the property on Horseshoe Trail where the illegal stump grinding business had been operating. Town Supervisor Jeff Burns stated it was his understanding that they were in the process of removing all machinery and materials.

During the council members' Reports session, it was stated that the CAC has requested that their members be able to serve 2 year, rather than 1 year terms, and that their terms be staggered.

A Town Law Codification project has been in development since 1995 with very little progress. Jeff Burns recommended that the Town Attorney be asked to review all Town laws for language, weaknesses, inconsistencies, and need for revision. The motion was passed.

1. There was discussion of the purchase of 4 new AEDs for various Town departments. The motion was approved. The need for training in their use was noted.
2. It was proposed that Morris Associates conduct a feasibility study to enlarge and improve Town Hall in order to create new office space. The possibility of moving the old one-room schoolhouse from Ruskey Lane to land adjacent to Town Hall would also be included in the study. The motion was approved.
3. There was discussion on the Town's role in bringing new cell phone towers into the area. There was agreement that there is a need for more towers to improve reception in town. Should the Town hire a company to investigate and recommend possible tower locations? Board members expressed the following thoughts: The Town would have more control over the location and visual appearance of the towers; more than one company could be required to share a location; there is always the likelihood that the towers will become obsolete (quickly). No action was taken.

1. Norene Coller expressed support for using the old schoolhouse for office space.
2. Ron Brand reminded the Board that according to the Town survey conducted last summer, a majority of people in town want better cell phone coverage.
3. Harvey Podolsky questioned if a date had been selected for an Information Forum on wastewater treatment plants -- the response was no. Harvey recommended that the Town Board work with other organizations, which he listed, that have expertise in this area. He also expressed concern about possible discharge of effluent into Little Wappingers Creek.
4. Joel Tyner, County Legislator, requested approval to hold a public meeting at Town Hall on June 2nd regarding the licensing of electrical contractors. He also mentioned 2 pieces of legislation he has been working on: a countywide ban on the use of trans fats in public restaurants, and a pesticide use notification law.

submitted by Blanche Rubin

MAY 6, 2008

Thomas Stalker (lot line adjustment)
719 Pumpkin Lane
SBL: 6468-00-752738 and 682712

This applicant first appeared before the Planning Board on November 13, 2007. His representative confirmed that all previous problems have been corrected and variances regarding reduced setbacks, which were required, have been obtained from the ZBA. The Board held a short discussion confirming that no public hearing was needed on this application, that both lots being created by the adjustment are 5+ acres, that there are wetlands on both lots, and that the neighboring land is not a working farm. The application was approved.

Calabi-Sacks Subdivision (Preliminary discussion)
at the intersection of Browns Pond Road and
Schultz Hill Road
SBL: 6268-00-961540 and 911623

The applicants first appeared before the Board in June 2007 with a sketch plan. They own a very steep and rocky piece of land which they are trying to subdivide into 3 lots. They have now filed an Environmental Assessment Form (EAF) and a number of people were present to respond to their preliminary plans.

The Town Engineer expressed great concern about drainage onto a neighboring adjacent property. He also questioned the location of the septic system on one lot. The Chair of the CAC expressed concern about endangered, rare species on the land and stated that a biodiversity survey is needed. She also expressed hydrological concerns and questioned if there is a very high water table on the land.

One Board member expressed concerns about the plan for a shared driveway. The Town Engineer stated that the Highway Department has to approve the driveway plans and the Board of Health has to approve the wells and septic systems.

The applicant, in apparent frustration at all the concerns that were expressed, wondered if it made sense for them to site a house on their preexisting lot. They stated that they did not want to subdivide their land into small lots, but if they are unable to build there then the land is "worthless" to them. No action was taken by the Board.

Novak Subdivision (sketch approval)
312 Browning Road
SBL: 6366-00-808600 and 6366-00-871602

This applicant, who has appeared before the Planning Board many times regarding this project, is seeking approval of a 4 lot subdivision ranging in size from 3+ to 5+ acres. The Town Engineer asked for a change in location of the driveway in Lot 4 and stated that the septic line should not cross a wetlands area. One Board member asked if a conservation easement could be placed on the properties all along Browning Road, to protect the scenic beauty of the road. She expressed concern that a lot of the trees along the road has already been cleared. The applicant responded that at least 50 feet in depth along the road will not be disturbed. "I will leave as much as I can." The same Board member expressed appreciation that the driveways were curved, which makes the development look less suburban.

The Board Chair stated that a long form EAF will be required, with the Planning Board as lead agency. He also stated that septic and well tests should be performed before the public hearing is held. The Board gave its approval to the sketch plan.

Rubin, Dhar, Neumann/Heist (lot line adjustment)
Schoolhouse Road
SBL: 6367-00-998548

The applicants purchased 42+ acres from developers 2 years ago and placed them in a very restricted conservation easement in order to keep the land "forever green". They now are seeking to divide the land into their 3 individual shares and to annex it to their existing adjacent properties. The surveyor discovered a very small error in the amount of acreage that had been previously recorded and which will now have to be corrected in the conservation easement. A Board member requested that "before" and "after" surveys be included in the final application. There was some further discussion pertaining to small details and the lot line adjustment was approved.

submitted by Blanche Rubin


Diesing (application for area variance/Public Hearing)
42 Bowman's Glen
SBL: 6568-00-148673

The applicant sought an area variance for an accessory dwelling on a 10 acre lot. The 1260 square foot carriage house in question had been constructed on the lot before a planned 3300 square foot principal dwelling. It was determined, however, that the accessory dwelling exceeded the size limitations for such a structure imposed by the Zoning Law. The Zoning Law states that the accessory dwelling structure must not exceed either 33% of the size of the main dwelling or 1000 square feet of floor space, whichever is more restrictive. The owner contended that he had misunderstood the zoning provisions imposing the limitations when building the carriage house. A letter from a neighbor, which was read, expressed no opposition to the variance. There were no other public comments at the hearing.

The Board discussed whether granting a variance would create an undesirable precedent. The purpose of the zoning provision is to limit density on individual lots and the requested variance entailed a 25% increase over the permitted structure size. The Board also considered the alternatives available to the applicant that would not require a variance, including making the existing house the principal structure or reducing its size to comply with the legal requirements. The applicant stated that further subdivision of the lot was not possible because of limitations imposed by the Planning Board on the original subdivision and the configuration of the common driveway, which may not serve more than four lots. The applicant contended that none of the other alternatives was acceptable to him. He stated that the error was inadvertent and that density was not an issue, in that the parcel has ten acres and is located in the AR5 zoning district.

A prior application involving similar facts was discussed, and several Board members noted that the prior case had involved a 150 year old barn, not a non-conforming structure built by the applicant himself. They felt the problem had been created by the applicant in this instance. Several other Board members observed that the error was not intentional and that modifications to the structure would entail hardship on the applicant. In addition, the large size of the lot and the minimal impact of the requested variance on the surrounding neighborhood were viewed as mitigating factors. The board voted 4-2 to grant the variance.

Submitted by Paul Thomas

APRIL 17, 2008

1. CAC Chairperson Norene Coller gave a summary of a recent meeting at the Dutchess Land Conservancy in which biologist Russell Urban-Mead spoke about water–related issues. Among the most compelling were: changes in drinking water standards; how to deal with caffeine, personal care products, and pharmaceuticals in water; and requiring well pump tests for all projects.

2. The CAC has been asked to review a Planning Board application for a bed & breakfast on Camp Drive. The application was referred to the CAC because the B & B is in an environmentally sensitive area. The septic system has been expanded to accommodate guests; the applicant is now seeking a B & B permit. Norene Coller offered to draft a letter to the Planning Board asking that the B & B guests be respectful of the fragile site and adjacent agricultural parcel.

3. The need for a driveway law was discussed because there is a gap that occurs between the granting of a driveway permit and the granting of a building permit.

4. Efforts continue to improve the CAC webpage. Town Board member and CAC liaison Frank Venezia has offered to work with the CAC to make information such as minutes, reports, news, events, programs, and other pertinent information available on–line.

5. The distribution of “Welcome to Clinton” folders, which have been prepared by the CAC, will occur when STAR forms are sent to property owners -- if the Town Board agrees and offers to pay postage. Frank Venezia will raise the subject at the next Town Board meeting.

6. The CAC will participate in the Clinton Spring Festival on April 26th. They will be providing educational materials to those who are interested.

7. The planting of riparian buffers will be undertaken by volunteers, along with members of the Department of Environmental Conservation, on Sunday, May 4th, at Frances Mark Park at 10 AM and Friends Park at 2 PM.

8. A “Frequently Asked Questions” document related to the proposed water protection law was presented by CAC member Paul Thomas. This document summarizes the salient points of the proposed law. Frank Venezia suggested one change and offered to present the document to the Town Board. A public education forum on the proposed law will likely be scheduled this summer.

9. In order to complete biodiversity maps of Clinton, the CAC needs to seek funding. A representative of Hudsonia, a not-for-profit institute for research, education, and technical assistance in the environmental sciences that will likely work with the CAC on the completion of these maps, has recommended applying for a Hudson River Estuary Grant. CAC member Laura Austrian will investigate; the application deadline is June 27th.

10. In order to protect Clinton’s open space and farmland, the newly formed Open Space and Farmland Protection Committee has planned several events to show town residents its farms, forests, wildlife, and resources. Norene Coller is working on a schedule of events. Funding from two recent state grants awarded to Clinton will be used for these activities.

11. The Comprehensive Plan Review Committee is seeking more public involvement. Two members of the CAC are also members of the Comprehensive Plan Review Committee.

Submitted by Laura Austrian

APRIL 8, 2008

1. Local Law #1 of 2008 entitled "A Local Law Creating an Exemption for Persons with Disabilities and Limited Incomes" was approved by the Town Board.

2. The name Crimson Hill Road was approved for a road to lead into the new subdivision at the intersection of Centre Road and Bulls Head Road.

3. Burger Engineering is seeking approval from the Town Board to proceed with the siting of a sewer district within the Town of Clinton (on Talleur Lane in Clinton Corners) so that they can proceed with their application process. The Town Board was not ready to provide such approval, stating that additional time was needed for Board Members and town residents to become educated on the benefits of a packaged sewage treatment plant as compared with individual septic systems. The Burger Engineering representative stated that the reason for using this approach was one of economics and that this type of system was more reliable than individual septic systems.

3. The flyer for the Clinton Spring Festival was approved.

4. Water quality of the drinking water at Fran Mark Memorial Park did not meet Board of Health standards and a water treatment system to remove bacteria and H2.S was approved at a cost of $4097.00.
COMMENT: The source of contaminants was not discussed.

5. The purchase of a trailer for the road tiller was approved.

6. Frank Venezia was appointed as Town Board representative to the Master Plan Review Committee.

7. Carl Mullenberg's resignation from the ZBA was accepted

Public Discussion:
Harvey Podolsky commented that there are different views among those in the wastewater treatment field and that there is a history of problems with packaged sewer systems. An educational presentation on this subject was needed so that the decision-makers would be informed as to the pros and cons before making a decision. Clinton United with the cooperation of Joel Tyner is working on organizing an educational session. A Town Board member suggested that such a presentation should be a Town of Clinton event and the Town Board would schedule one.

Harvey Podolsky inquired why heavy equipment was on the Crimson Hill jobsite when a stop work order was in place. He inquired when a Public Hearing will be scheduled for residents to comment on the new site plan and the method of remediation for replacement of trees according to the conservation easement. The Board responded that the contractor was stabilizing the ground due to removal of the existing trees and they would check into the Public Hearing question.

Joel Tyner agreed that packaged sewage treatment plants may not be in keeping with the rural setting of the Town and would like to have an educational forum scheduled. He stated that he has not made his mind up on this question and will be seeking input from those in the field.

APRIL 1, 2008

Casale Subdivision (sketch approval)
193 Schultzville Road
SBL 6467-00-730949
Three lots are involved. Each lot is to have driveways. Some lots are below the grade of the road and have to be raised. The project will require a steep slopes permit. An engineering review by the Town Engineer is required as well as notification to various agencies. Escrow was set at $500.00.

Omega Institute (special permit application)
150 Lake Drive
SBL 6368-00-938723
The applicant's representative did not need to appear. The permit application was approved by the Planning Board.

Stephen Austin Bed & Breakfast
53 Camp Dr.
SBL 6468-00-130743
The applicant has a non-conforming site that has been renovated as a home and plans to convert it to a B&B. The applicant is a corporation and has a second rental dwelling in the area. Adjacent neighbors are concerned and wrote letters and emails. They expressed concerns about late night noise and activities. A Public Hearing will be scheduled. And Town Attorney review is required. The initial escrow requested is $1300.00 (800.00+500.00), which includes attorney escrow.

Comment: The Planning Board is to advise the public re: scheduling of a Public Hearing for the Crimson Hill subdivision. Work has started up on that site to stabilize the ground. A Public Hearing is required because the first approved plans were violated by the applicant and the replacement plan will be presented to the public for their input. The type and size of replacement trees will need to be agreed upon.

submitted by Harvey Podolsky

MARCH 25th, 2008

Present: Roger Hof (chairperson), Tony Calvahlo, Norene Coller, Ron Brand, Bill Martin, Arthur Weiland, Jack McCleary, Donna Shelhammer, Denise Beneway (clerk), Frank Venezia (Town Board liaison).

Norene Coller described to the Committee members two new grants the CAC has received that are funding activities in Clinton which parallel the efforts of the Master Plan Review Committee (MPRC): the Open Space subcommittee and the Farmland Protection subcommittee. She expressed the belief that their work should dovetail with the MPRC. The CAC is making plans for public information forums this Spring which could involve all three groups.

Ms. Coller also encouraged the group to make efforts to speed the review process along, not needing to deal with every word in the document. The approach the Committee is taking is to utilize the old Master Plan, changing it as little as possible. The Plan will be updated based on the most recent data and survey results, but any suggested changes must be staunchly defended. There appears to be some tension in the group due to the decision to approach the material this way.

The Committee then undertook work on Chapter 4 of the Plan, which involves a lot of detail, facts, and figures. They returned to working with all the minute details. There were extended discussions on how to word population fluctuations over the last century, and how to describe the impact of the downsizing of IBM. Only a little progress was made that night.

FOR YOUR INFORMATION: The results of the Master Plan surveys are now posted on the Town of Clinton website. These are in easy-to-read chart form. Go to the Planning & Zoning page at

submitted by Blanche Rubin


Stewart's Shop Corporation (discussion only)
2300 Salt Point Turnpike
Stewart's requested an informal discussion with the Board concerning a proposed amendment to their site plan to add a second pump island with canopy to the store in Clinton Corners. The new pumps would be installed between the existing pumps and the road, in what is now a landscaped island along the street. The Board noted that Stewart's will need an area variance because the front setback requirement of 45 feet will not be met. In addition, the Board requested a more detailed landscaping plan and discussed the material for the canopy surface. Stewart's proposed a synthetic foam and aluminum structure for the canopy, but the Board noted that the store is in a rural area and at the gateway to the hamlet of Clinton Corners. They suggested that wood would better match the existing canopy and conform to the rural character of the area. One Board member expressed concern that the canopy lights are currently left on at night after business hours, which is in violation of the original site plan approval. In addition, the Board noted that they will have to evaluate the parking plan for the building and the effect of the proposed changes on traffic flow and vehicle access as part of their consideration of the application.The Board directed Stewart's to seek an area variance from the ZBA to address the setback issue before submitting a formal application to the Planning Board.

Clinton Alliance Church (discussion only)
1192 Centre Road
SBL # 6468-00-360605
Clinton Alliance Church requested an informal discussion with the Board regarding a possible three phase project relating to the property across the road from the main church building (where a recently completed parking lot currently exists). In the first phase, the Church would erect a house, which is now disassembled and in storage, behind the parking lot to serve as a facility for Sunday school classes and offices. The second phase entails constructing a picnic and recreational pavilion elsewhere on the site. The third phase contemplates construction of a gymnasium as an adjunct to the pavilion. A fixed schedule for the individual phases has not been set and the timing will depend on available funding and assistance from volunteers.

The Board expressed regret that the proposed projects were not discussed during the recent approval process for the parking lot. The Chairman noted the legal limitations on segmentation (serial applications concerning the same site or parcel) in the planning process. The Church's representative stated that its Board had not contemplated these projects when the parking lot was being discussed. The Planning Board expressed reservations concerning the placement of the house (phase one) behind the parking lot and suggested that it be erected closer to the road and in front of the lot. The Chairman noted that this change would be more consistent with Greenway design guidelines and the hamlet concept and also relate better to the existing church building. The representative expressed some reservations that moving the house would require modifications to the parking lot. A Board member noted that completion of the parking lot required three years and that each phase of the proposed project should include a projected time duration for completion. Another member commented that there are low cost methods to conform the appearance of the new building with the existing building and the Church should explore that approach. The Board noted that the proposal also appears to entail a change in the use of the site/parcel and the applicable zoning provisions will need to be consulted.

The Board asked that the Church submit an updated map of the property with topography details and consult with the Town's engineer and planning consultant. The Board again suggested that the Church explore ways to move the phase one structure to the front of the parking lot. The Chairman requested that a proposed site plan be submitted depicting all phases of the project (and any other contemplated improvements) along with applications for site plan approval and a special permit, the required fees, a long form EAF and an escrow of $1000 to pay for consultant review.

Farm View Estates (amendment to subdivision plat)
105 Field Road
SBL # 6570-00-039059
The applicant is seeking to modify an approved subdivision plan to consolidate several individual driveways into common driveways. The developer apparently encountered potential construction issues with some of the original driveways. The Town engineer was present at the meeting and noted that the applicant must provide language for easements and maintenance agreements and obtain approval from the fire department for the driveway plan. The Board discussed whether to require the applicant to rough grade the common driveways and install the required drainage areas. This is normally a requirement the Board imposes to ensure that the common driveways are built to required specifications and to avoid requiring an initial buyer to bear the entire cost of the installation. Here, the Town engineer noted that a exception might be made because the site does not contain steep slopes or wetlands or other factors complicating the installation. The Board concluded that the applicant could submit a letter to the Town's building department noting that the construction of the common portions of the driveways must conform to the submitted plans and specifications. The Board discussed approving the amended plan, noting that the reduction in the number of driveways would reduce disruption to the site. Accordingly, the applicant received conditional approval for the amendment.

Casale Subdivision (sketch plan)
193 Schultzville Road
SBL 646700-730949
The applicant did not attend the meeting and no action was taken by the Board.

submitted by Paul Thomas


A projected presentation of additional findings from the Town's Master (Comprehensive) Plan surveys, conducted last summer, was presented by Norma Dolan. It was reported that 486 surveys were returned (14% of the total mailed). Results from the surveys will be posted on the Town website. Most respondents were full time residents living in the hamlets.

-- A NYS Agriculture Department grant for $25,000 was received by the Town. The CAC (Conservation Advisory Council) will hold meetings with local farmers to look into how they can best use funds to assist farmers and retain open space.
-- Supervisor Jeff Burns reported that Clinton will lose some tax revenues (mortgage, sales, etc.) and will have to tighten its belt on spending this fiscal year.
-- The ZBA (Zoning Board of Appeals) meeting could not be held in February due to the lack of a quorum. Issues on the agenda will have to be moved to the next meeting. The ZEO (Zoning Enforcement Officer) reported that Clinton receives 5 zoning violation complaints per day, which is far more than adjacent towns.
-- The Scenic and Historic Roads Committee reported that only three people attended its last meeting. They are requesting more participation from Town residents.
-- Roger Huff has been appointed Chairman of the Comprehensive Plan Review Committee. Jeff Burns, Town Supervisor and former Chair, will remain as a member of the Committee.

The Water Law (Proposed Local Law No. 2 of 2008, Sec 5.5.1 wetlands and groundwater) was put on the Town Board schedule for a Public Hearing on April 8, 2008 at 6:30PM.

-- The Novak appeal to the NYS Department of Agriculture re: a domestic plumbing restriction in a barn was upheld with the ruling that prohibiting such plumbing would interfere with farming operations.
-- Board member Michael Appolonia reported that the case of O’Mara v Wappingers was ruled on and that restrictions noted on approved Planning Board maps do carry through to future owners of a property. No CO will be issued for the house that was built.

This reporter raised the matter of a recent sewage treatment plant approval in Stanford in relation to one being proposed for Talleur Lane in Clinton. Joel Tyner, our County Legislator, had advised that the developer in Stanford wanted to utilize the latest technology, such as the "living machine" approved for the Omega Institute property or the constructed wetland/reed project in Lloyd, to filter wastewater for their new development. He was told, however, it would take from one to two years to obtain a permit from NYS DEC due to understaffing, and the County Board of Health was not willing to be the reviewing agency.

COMMENT: I suggest that no sewage treatment facility be sited until the question is fully understood and the latest technology examined. Isn't it better to wait one to two years for the proper treatment of these toxic substances than to turn our streams and rivers into sewers?

submitted by Harvey Podolsky

FEBRUARY 19, 2008

Variance Recommendations:
Charles & Judith Canham
144 Longview Road
SBL # 6368-00-052948
The applicant wants to build a two car 25'x25' garage, which the Planning Board approved.

Russell and Lynn Tompkins (lot line adjustment)
1132 Centre Road
SBL # 6468-00-418403
SBL # 6469-00-405449
There are 6 acres that the applicant wants to be split into two lots. The property is on steep slopes and it lies on a scenic ridge line (above 500 ft). There are plans, which were originally approved in the 1970s, but nothing was ever built. These plans would not comply with current zoning. The applicants' consultant claimed that the project was "grandfathered" and there was no expiration of the original approval, therefore the lots are not subject to current zoning. The Planning Board requested additional information. The submitted plan does not show the house, or a footprint of a house, the septic field, nor the trees to be cleared (the lot is in a significant wooded area).

COMMENT: I believe the zoning and/or other local laws need to be amended so that building lots and other projects that were approved in the past, prior to zoning and other environmental laws, would have to comply to the laws and regulations in effect at the time of construction. Currently all knowledge gained in the ensuing years need not be complied with.

Elizabeth Davis (lot line adjustment--discussion only)
Hollow Road
Mrs. Davis was represented by Kurt Schwager. Two lots of 91 acres and 81 acres were discussed as well as the 10 acres originally used for Rondout Kennels.

Casale Subdivision (sketch plan)
193 Schultzville Road
The applicant wants to subdivide this property into three lots (for his children). There are issues with a lack of frontage for driveways, insufficient sight distances (200 ft. each way), the need for a steep slopes permit (>25% grade), and that the lot is on a scenic and historic road. The most significant question: Is there enough frontage to build a second driveway?

McNaulty Subdivision (non-agenda item)
308 Clinton Avenue
The Planning Board accommodated the applicant and ZEO and scheduled a presentation. New maps were presented showing the house relocated to provide 39 feet from the corner of the house to the road. The applicant was applying for a three lot subdivision. The Planning Board recommended approval of this application. A $2000 escrow was requested, which the consultant vigorously opposed. She claimed it was too much and compared her project to other projects that were required to provide lower amounts. Chairman McCormick pointed out the amount of escrow needed was not the consultant's field of expertise and ended the discussion.

submitted by Harvey Podolsky


This meeting proceeded with four Board members present, no Town Clerk, and just two people in the audience, due to very inclement weather. The four Board members were Jeff Burns, Town Supervisor; Mike Appolonia; Frank Venezia; and Dean Michael. Don Cappillino, Clinton Town Attorney, made a presentation discussing the proposed change in the Town's Water Law which will require a Zoning Amendment. He emphasized the need to inform the public of the new law and discussed ways that prospective buyers of property in Clinton could be made aware of the new legal requirement (to maintain a 50 ft. buffer of vegetation around any wetlands sited on less than 12.4 acres).

During the reports by Board members it was announced that the Town recycling program will now accept ALL paper for recycling, including phone books. The only caveat is for business envelopes: the cellophane covering the address window must be removed. On February 27th there will be a Public Meeting at Town Hall to learn about the merits of Magic Salt vs. regular salt for melting ice on the town roads.

Discussions were held on 12 separate matters on the agenda and all resolutions pertaining to them were passed. There were a few significant issues that were raised:
-- The Town of Clinton does not support petitioning the State Legislator to introduce a bill to add a penalty assessment to each disposition to pay for Court security (e.g., metal detectors).
-- The meeting time for all Town Board meetings will be changed to 7 PM.
-- There will be a Public Hearing on March 11th at 6:45 PM (just prior to the next Board meeting) to discuss a proposed local law creating a tax exemption for "persons with disabilities and limited incomes."
-- The Town Supervisor was given the authority to evaluate Town employees on behalf of the Town Board, with the exception of Highway Department employees (because they are union members), the Town Clerk's deputies and the Town Justice's appointees (because the Town Clerk and the Town Justice are elected officials and are empowered to hire their own assistants).

There was no Public Discussion at the end of the Board meeting.

submitted by Blanche Rubin

FEBRUARY 11, 2008

The Master Plan Review Committee meets twice a month at Town Hall and welcomes all Clinton residents to come and listen to their discussions. They are currently involved in writing the first draft of the first chapter of Clinton's Master Plan. The first chapter is a narrative summary of the town-wide survey conducted this past summer. The sections discussed at this meeting were the responses pertaining to the areas of Growth and Development, Desired Businesses, and Community Facilities and Services.

The Committee members considered whether they should compare the responses between the last town-wide survey (1991) and the current one. They agreed that a trend is apparent in residents' desires to keep Clinton "as is." Jeff Burns, chair of the MPRC, underscored two areas that need to be addressed: 1) developing a satisfactory approach to affordable housing in Clinton given the strong opposition that was expressed to apartment buildings, townhouses, and mobile homes; and 2) exploring whether the favorable support that was given to the promotion of farming as a desired business would truly be the most satisfactory means for maintaining open space in Clinton.

A presentation will be made at the next Town Board meeting, March 11th, summarizing the findings for the second half of the survey.

submitted by Blanche Rubin

JANUARY 15, 2008

1. Gerald Thorpe (lot line adjustment)
121 N. Creek Road
SBL: 6267-00-287825
The applicant did not appear.

2. Stephen Austin Bed & Breakfast (site plan/special permit)
53 Camp Drive
SBL: 6468-00-130743
The applicant will have to apply for variances to the ZBA. There are issues related to the size of the lot (2.6 acres), the size and type of signage, and the size of the mailbox. The applicant will consult with Tracy Ruzicka "off line" to complete his application properly.

3. Ernest Klopping (SEQRA process)
377 Ruskey Lane
SBL: 6366-00-256522
The applicant's attorney made a lengthy presentation, describing the benefits of locating the dismantling and restoring of cars inside a 40' x 80' building with a concrete floor. The Planning Board agreed to be lead agency for the SEQRA review and now the process should begin.

COMMENT: The applicant has been in operation a very long time and cannot produce any records of how many vehicles were reconditioned or serviced over the years. No records are available for the disposal of special waste (motor oil) and flammable waste (gasoline). Further, if the restoration process requires acetylene torch metal cutting and welding, a potential explosive hazard could exist in the proposed building without proper ventilation, containment, and storage of these materials. It might be that the applicant is currently operating an unlicensed, improper auto service and repair facility. It is also possible that the applicant exceeded the small generator exemption for hazardous waste (depending upon the number of vehicles serviced). Adjacent neighbors Mildred and Ed Jacomy are very concerned about this facility. The applicant was asked to provide a $3500.00 escrow for an engineering review and other professional services, which this application will require.
4. McCulloch Subdivision
316-320 Clinton Hollow Road
SBL: 6466-00-198482
The applicant was unhappy that he was not grandfathered for the non-conforming use of his property. The lot size is too small for 5 acre zoning. The applicant is going to appeal to the ZBA.
5. Craige Subdivision (review and comment)
SBL: 6266-00-864210 and SBL: 6266-04-902046
The Town of Pleasant Valley provided a one page submission with no site map or details. The Planning Board will request additional information before conducting a review.

NON-AGENDA ITEM: Update on Crimson Hill Subdivision
Bulls Head and Centre Roads
SBL: 6469-00-506400
An arborist's review of the proposed remediation of the site was requested by Neil Wilson, Town Planner. The arborist's document was very informative concerning the procedures and regulations that should be enacted by the Town Board regarding all future subdivision applications and post-plan approval procedures. What is not defined in the review is the size of the replacement trees for this project.

submitted by Harvey Podolsky

DECEMBER 18, 2007

Crimson Hill Estates Subdivision
Bulls Head and Centre Roads
SBL: 6469-00-506400
This site was previously approved for development with a conservation easement/buffer zone of trees and brush between the eight home sites and Bull's Head Road. Several weeks ago, during the construction of the road leading to the houses, the conservation easement between the house sites and the road was cleared, including the destruction of many old trees. The Town required the owners cease work until the site was stabilized, and required the replacement of trees and shrubs that had been cleared.

The applicant's attorney and engineer stated that the stabilization plan had been put into effect, and access to the site had been blocked. Wood chips had been spread around the bare soil to stabilize it. The representatives stated they had contacted a recommended arborist abut the replanting of trees, but that person was not immediately available. Hence, they spoke to another professional who recommended planting three rows of trees (alternating red maple and eastern cedar) in the spring. The representatives requested Board permission to resume work on the site, contingent on a set of safeguards that the applicant proposed: they proposed to stake the site with orange plastic fencing to ensure that construction would be appropriately contained. They proposed the Board not approve building permits until all other work had been done correctly. They also said they would notify the Town each time work was to take place on the site. Furthermore, they would require the contractors to sign a contractual rider regarding liability for any damage done to the site.

Planning Board members objected to the fact that the proposed replacement trees were only 7 feet high, when some of the trees taken down had been many decades old, and the land was essentially “devastated”. They suggested that 30-foot trees would be more appropriate restitution of the land and the incursion onto the conservation easement.

The applicant's representatives, supported by the Town engineer, stated that the plan was not to repair the damage, but only to stabilize the site. Furthermore, they did not want to delay the project by waiting until spring to plant the trees but wanted approval to proceed now. Planning Board members stated that because this was the third time there had been a problem on the site, they were concerned about green-lighting the project again. [Comment: The Town should consider retaining a consultant to determine what is needed to repair the site and restore it to its prior condition. This consultant should be paid from the applicant's escrow account.]

The Town lawyer stated that there were no actions that could be taken. The applicant's lawyer told the Board that Clinton's regulations have “no teeth” and the Town needs to revisit its subdivision regulations. The applicant's engineer agreed there should have been a pre-construction meeting before any work began and there was not. He also stated that he and his firm would not be able to monitor construction on a daily basis. However, he said, 85% of what needs to be cleared had already been cleared. The Board asked who was responsible for the construction, but they did not receive a definite response. The Board stipulated they would need to know who was the responsible manager before any decision could be made.

A Planning Board member noted that because of the violation of the earlier approvals a Public Hearing was required before approval could be reissued. [This had been stated at the last meeting where Crimson Hill was discussed.] The approved plan had been designed to protect the rural character of Clinton, and the work to date on the site had done the opposite.

Gerald Thorpe
121 N. Creek Road
The applicant did not appear.

Contarino Subdivision
90 Fiddlers Bridge Road and Browns Pond Road
SBL: 6267-00-906504
The owners of the lot are proposing to subdivide their land, leaving the existing house on 1.51 acres of land, and converting a newly constructed barn to a new home on the remaining 6.36 acres. The construction of the barn had been approved, but had earlier been halted when its size exceeded the approved plans.

The Planning Board asked whether significant habitat would be affected by the subdivision. The response was that no further exterior construction would be undertaken, with the exception of a septic system and well. The Scenic Roads committee had noted the absence of a driveway on the plan. The owners stated that they would use the existing driveway.

The subdivision received preliminary and final approval.

submitted by Bronwyn Bevan

All members of the Town Board were present for this meeting: Ray Oberly (Supervisor), Mike Appolonia, Dan Budd, Jeff Burns, and Frank Venezia. The first matter on the agenda was a presentation by the Comprehensive Plan Review Committee on a portion of the information gathered from the Town survey conducted earlier this year. This was just a presentation without time scheduled for response or interaction. 486 surveys were returned to the Committee. Below is a brief listing of some of the information that was presented:

98% of respondents agreed Clinton's natural beauty is one of its greatest assets.
97% of respondents agreed Clinton's rural character is one of its greatest assets.
89% of respondents agreed that Clinton's roads are well maintained.
35% of respondents agreed that a bypass road should be built around Pleasant Plains and Frost Mills.
29% of respondents agreed that a bypass road should be built around Clinton Corners.
56% vs. 37% of respondents agreed that development is not sufficiently controlled in Clinton.
52% vs. 41.5% of respondents agreed that enforcement of Town regulations is not sufficient.
93% of respondents agreed that developers should be required to help maintain the Town's rural character.
84% of respondents agreed that there should be an architectural review process.
61% of respondents agreed that the Town government is responsive to its citizens.
77% of respondents agreed that there are adequate outdoor recreation facilities in town.
77% of respondents agreed that the Town should help finance conservation easements.
A significant majority believe there is no need to expand Town Hall.

During the Public Comment period Norene Coller announced that the CAC was awarded a $10,000 Greenway Grant for Open Space Planning. They are now applying for a Farmland Protection Grant of $25,000. The Town will provide $8,333 in funds and/or in-kind services if the Grant is awarded. Harvey Podolsky expressed the need for zoning regulations concerning the clear cutting of trees and fencing of property. He also stated the Town regulations need more "teeth" to support the enforcement of existing rules. Joel Tyner expressed support for protecting the rural character, natural beauty, and farmland of the Town.

Before the discussion of Old and New Business several board members and Town residents spoke to express their appreciation and thanks to Ray Oberly, presiding over his last Town Board meeting, for his many years of dedication, hard work, and service to Clinton.

submitted by Blanche Rubin

MINUTES FROM THE PLANNING BOARD MEETING, DECEMBER 4, 2007 does not have a member-generated report on this Planning Board meeting, but the good news is that after a 6-7 month hiatus the Town of Clinton website is again posting minutes for the Planning Board and Zoning Board of Appeals. Congratulations to Arlene Campbell, Planning and Zoning Board Clerk, for accomplishing this gargantuan task.

The following is a short summary of the meeting. For all of the details click here

1. John Robertshaw
43 Field Road
SBL #6569-00-19810
This is a 183 acre lot on the corner of Field Road and Bulls Head Road, which has recently received a great deal of attention for the length and height of a wooden fence that has been constructed along both road frontages. An area variance was sought because the owner intends to change the current barn to the primary residence and a cottage to an accessory structure. The Board made a positive recommendation.

1. Gail Decker
8 Orchard Street and 7 Lake View Road
SBL #6469-00-334631 and # 6469-10-336641
The applicant plans to combine the two parcels.

2. Farmview Estates
105 Field Road
SBL # 6570-00-039059
This is a subdivision that has been in the planning stages for the past year. The applicant was applying for approval to relocate some of the driveways.

NOVEMBER 20, 2007
Variance Recommendations

Marcie Goldstein
25 Seelbach Lane
A variance has been requested by Calypso Farms to build an addition (for new stalls) to an existing barn. The applicant stated that the new stalls will house existing horses and will not lead to an increase in horses on the farm. Because the existing barn is a nonconforming structure (it is within 60 feet of the lot line) a variance is needed for the new construction; the new construction itself will be about 160 feet away from the lot line. Usually a 200 foot setback is required for animal buildings. The applicant had not been informed by the ZEO that the existing structure might also need to receive a variance.

The issue of whether or not the facility is a stable or a riding academy emerged. The answer to this question might mean that the construction and the variance issues would fall under different sets of rules. The issue needs to be clarified, according to the Planning Board. The thinking was that if the barn provides classes to people who do not board or lease a horse from the Calypso, then the facility is a riding academy. A riding academy needs a special use permit. This may or may not affect the variance request, depending on whether or not there are any violations with respect to being a riding academy.

The applicant was requested to provide a new site plan because there had been a significant lapse of time between the initial application and this meeting. The Planning Board made a positive recommendation for a side yard setback from 200 to 60 feet to build an addition to the existing structure, with a note that the existing building is not in conformity (too close to the lot line) and also that there is a question about the use and categorization of the facility.

1. Michael Peterson/Michael Sacks
457 Browns Pond Road
A lot line adjustment was requested, so that Peterson could purchase 3.5 acres from Sacks, adding it to an existing contiguous 2 acres already owned by Peterson. This district is zoned for 5 acres. The intention is to build one house on the new 5.5 acre plot of land. The 5 acre strip of land will be about 260 feet deep, running along the roadside. Zoning requires a setback of 100 feet in the front, and 75 in the rear, so a house will just fit into this plot. The house will be placed on the newly purchased 3.5 acre part of the land. The 2 acres already has BOHA.

A question about whether or not Browns Pond Road is a user road or a town road emerged, and the applicant was asked to get the answer to the question. The applicant was asked to put both owners' names on the map, and to create a map showing both before and after the lot line adjustment. The applicant was asked to show where the house and other structures would be placed so that it was clear whether or not setback requirements would be met. The Planning Board said that it did not want to unknowingly approve a plan that would necessitate later requests for variance.
The applicant was asked if there were any wetlands and replied no. The lot is wooded and trees will have to be removed for the house construction. The engineer representing the applicants asked if a public hearing was required and the response was that it was not required for a lot line adjustment.

2. Omega Institute
150 Lake Drive
The applicant is seeking site plan approval to create a new water treatment plant with subsurface disposal. The old water treatment plan will serve as a backup facility. No new roads will be required and the plan should have minimal to no viewshed or traffic impacts. See previous reports on this application from the September 4 and October 2 Planning Board meetings.
The Planning Board approved the site plan contingent on the project being developed in accordance with the plan, any modifications receiving additional approval, and the applicant receiving DEC approval for wetlands. It was suggested that the Board schedule another public hearing for this project.

3. Baker Subdivision
127-143 Browning Road
The applicants did not appear and this item was removed from the agenda.

Submitted by Bronwyn Bevan

There were only three Board members present at this meeting: Ray Oberly, Jeff Burns, and Frank Venezia. There was very little discussion of any of the items on the agenda and the meeting was over in 45 minutes -- unusual for our Town Board! Some of the more pertinent matters that arose were:

-- The presentation of an update on the Comprehensive Plan Survey information was postponed to next month's meeting.
-- Ray Oberly in presenting the Building Inspector's report commented, "Construction is booming in Clinton."
-- The Town's 2008 Budget was adopted, without additional discussion.
-- The Board approved the addition of 5 more members to the Comprehensive Plan Review Committee, a move that was needed to broaden the base of support and representation of the community. The new members are Donna Shellhammer, Roger Hof, Ronald Brand, William Dickett, and Anthony Carvalho. That brings the total number on the Committee to 11.
-- During the Public Discussion period a community member emphasized the need for enforcement of speed limits in town. Another community member presented a proposal for requiring developers and others to post larger escrow amounts than currently required when submitting applications to the Planning Board and/or Zoning Board of Appeals. These additional fees would be used to cover the costs of additional site inspections, lawyers and consultants when needed by the Town to enforce building and zoning codes.

submitted by Blanche Rubin

Variance Recommendations

1. Thomas Stalker
719 Pumpkin Lane
SBL: 6468-00-752738
The applicant is seeking area variances on two existing lots. The applicant intends to turn the rear lot, which does not have road frontage, into a flag lot. Variances will be required to facilitate the lot line alteration that will create the flag lot. The variances relate to front and side setbacks and lot width -- one variance sought will allow a lot width of 200 feet where the applicable zoning provision requires 400 feet. The Board determined that the surrounding lots were predominantly non-conforming with respect to width and that the requested relief would therefore not have a significant impact on the neighborhood. The Board voted to issue a positive recommendation with respect to the variance applications.

2. Marybeth Meyer
35 Oak Grove Road
SBL: 6466-00-579876
The applicant is seeking an area variance to place a pole barn near the back edge of the property. The Board noted that there were two open building permits relating to the applicant's property for a pool and a storage building. The applicant stated that he was not aware of any open permits. In addition, the Board determined that the applicant needed to obtain a special permit for an accessory apartment on the property before the variance request can be considered. The applicant was asked to rectify the building permit issue and to apply for a special permit for the apartment. The Board did not take action on the variance recommendation.

Public Hearing
Contarino Subdivision
90 Fiddlers Bridge Road
SBL: 6267-00-906504
Applicant wants to create a two-lot subdivision comprised of a 6.36 acre lot and a 1.15 acre lot. The applicant stated that he will live on the premises and does not presently intend to sell either lot. There are two existing structures on the property, one of which will be renovated to make it habitable. As a result of the subdivision, the structures will be on separate lots. Per the applicant, no further building or subdivision is contemplated. A neighbor submitted a comment expressing concern over any encroachment into the existing wetland. The applicant stated that a DEC wetland on the property will not be disturbed. The hearing was thereafter closed, but the Board can not take further action until a long form EAF is submitted.

Ultimate Builders
Talleur Lane
Applicant owns about 16 pre-existing lots which he is seeking to develop. The lots are non-conforming, but per the town ZEO are grandfathered and therefore legal. However, they are not buildable in their current state because they lack road access. (There are also about six lots in the subdivision which already have houses on them.) The town has indicated that it does not wish to accept dedication of a town road serving the development. Accordingly, the developer will seek to have the property designated an open development area by the Town Board which will allow it to be served by a private road. The developer will draft a road maintenance agreement and create a Homeowners Association to provide for maintenance of the road. The existing houses, as well as the new lots, will be served by the proposed road. In connection with the request to create an open development area, the Town Board will seek comments from the Planning Board. (Comment: This process is governed by Section 280 of the New York Town Law. According to the Board chair, it has never been done in Clinton before.)In addition, the developer will build a wastewater treatment facility to serve the development. The structure will consist of a 10' by 30' building with an evergreen buffer. The developer contemplates that the Homeowners Association will contract with an outside operator to maintain the facility; the property owners will pay rates set by the Town Board. There was some discussion concerning the proposed site plan for the wastewater facility and comments from the Town Engineer. The Board expressed some concern regarding the construction and maintenance of the facility. The Board will not take further action on the application until the applicant has obtained the open development area designation from the Town Board.

Non-Agenda Item
Crimson Hills Subdivision
Bulls Head and Centre Roads
Please see the notes of the October 2 and October 16 Planning Board meetings for additional background on this project. The applicant previously received conditional final approval for an eight-lot cluster subdivision with a buffer area around the subdivision, which was to have been placed in a conservation easement. Pending final approval, the applicant requested and obtained a waiver from the Planning Board authorizing limited clearing and preliminary work on an access road. The excavator working on the site cut down trees and cleared areas that encroached into the buffer and easement areas. The applicants' representatives presented to the Board a proposed remediation plan, designed to stabilize the site and restore the buffer with evergreen trees. The Town Engineer and a Board member who had visited the site confirmed that there was substantial disturbance of the buffer zone and that the site had not been staked to ensure compliance with the approved plan. Neighbors who attended the meeting expressed concern and others have apparently communicated with the Planning Board chair. The Town Planner has advised that no further activity on the site should be authorized until the issue of remediation has been addressed.
Individual Board members expressed concern and dismay regarding the situation and noted that the Board has been unusually accommodating to the applicant. The chair noted that the priority now should be to stabilize the site before winter. The Board directed the Town Engineer to meet with the applicant's engineer to review an erosion control plan before work begins to stabilize the site. The Board will collect additional escrow funds from the applicant for this purpose. In addition, the Board discussed having a landscape professional or arborist consult on the remediation plan and will seek written comments from their Planning Consultant regarding this matter. The Board stressed the importance of staking the site to ensure future compliance with the approved plan. (Comments at the meeting suggested this was the second violation on the site, but specifics were not provided regarding the prior incident.) There was also discussion about supervision of the site going forward.
The Board drafted and passed a resolution suspending all work on the site except that necessary for site stabilization, erosion control, and staking of the buffer and other boundaries. A Public Hearing will be held regarding the remediation plan after it has been resubmitted and reviewed by the Board's consultants.
submitted by Paul Thomas


There were two items on the meeting agenda for the ZBA on October 25th relating to a lot line adjustment at 531/543 Browning Road. Both parcels need setback variances to proceed with the lot line change. The Board began the review of the application for these parcels during the September ZBA meeting. The application was open for public comment and remains open for public comment. Neither applicant appeared for the October meeting. The Board then moved on to the approval of minutes from previous meetings.
submitted by Bronwyn Bevan


1. Crimson Hill Subdivision
Bulls Head and Center Roads
SBL: 6469-00-506400
There was a “special” Planning Board meeting on Wednesday 10/10/2007, when this project was reviewed. The subdivision consists of 8 lots that will include a cul-de-sac and road construction. The project will have to obtain approval from the Town Board. However, the current plans seem to be in compliance with what was agreed to 10/10/2007. There remains the issue of steep slope development. The project was granted conditional final subdivision approval.

2. Omega Institute Waste Water Treatment Plant (site plan approval)
150 Lake Drive
SBL: 6368-00-938723
The site plan is being finalized for approval at the next Planning Board meeting. The applicant will be required to comply with all NYS DEC recommendations as listed in the Rebecca Christ memo. This includes protecting Blandings turtles and crickets on the site. The total area of the site is 4.5 acres, with a developed area of 1 acre.

3. Fiddlers Bridge LLC Subdivision
54 High View Lane
SBL: 6367-00-383962
A driveway permit and 4 waivers were resubmitted for approval. Lot #2 still has issues with Federal wetlands and will require buffers. The site plat did not show rock outcroppings or significant trees. It was decided that trees 18” or more in diameter will be considered “significant trees”.

The attorney for the applicant made a presentation and was under the impression that a consensus was needed between his client and the Planning Board. The issue of Blandings turtles and the NYS DEC letter of recommendations continued, with the attorney claiming that the NYS DEC made recommendations not requirements. Planning Board Chairman McCormack pointed out that the NYS DEC letter instructed any approving agency to incorporate the recommendations listed in the letter as conditions of any approval. That while no turtles were found in one study, it did not mean they were not present or the habitat not suitable.
The issue of clear cutting of trees was discussed. It became clear to me that while a conservation easement was agreed to, which will make the area appear to be wooded, the future owners of the lots might still clear the trees to have expansive lawns, tennis courts, pools, etc. Final subdivision approval was granted subject to 10 conditions. [Comment: Strict zoning regulations that ban clear cutting of trees, scheduled site visits by the Town Engineer during construction, and review by NYS DEC Dept. of Forestry should be adopted by the Town with costs borne by the applicants/developers.]

4. Cookingham Subdivision
Schultz Hill Road
SBL: 6368-00-420610
This subdivision consists of 38 acres divided into three lots of 5.92 acres, 7.52 acres, and 26.82 acres. The subdivision is family owned and is to be occupied by family members. Escrow of $599.00 was requested.

submitted by Harvey Podolsky

Variance Recommendations


Public Hearings

1. Omega Institute (site plan approval)
150 Lake Drive
SBL: 6368-00-938723
Omega is seeking site plan approval for a waste water treatment plant to serve its campus. (See report on September 4, 2007 Planning Board meeting for additional details on this application.) The Board noted it had received comments on the proposal from its planning consultant and the town engineer, and was waiting for responses to the comments from the applicant's engineer. The applicant will have those responses submitted before its next appearance before the Board.
Omega's representative presented some additional information concerning the proposed facility. The building will not be visible from the public road or the adjoining lake. Omega does not propose to add any new landscaping or signage and the building will utilize down lighting where necessary. The structure will be contemporary in style, with a metal roof and a renewable wood facade. The building will have solar panels and is intended to be carbon neutral (i.e., self-sufficient with respect to energy consumption). It will have geothermal heat and air conditioning. Wetlands created by the associated leaching fields will support natural vegetation around the site. A turtle barrier will be maintained around the site and native species in the area have been inventoried. Construction and disposal of construction waste will be monitored. Building materials will be renewable and locally obtained.
The Board tentatively placed the applicant on the October 16th agenda for a discussion of the engineering comments and possible conditional approval of the application. The Board took no formal action on this application.

2. Meadowbrook Subdivision (preliminary plat approval)
Meadowbrook Lane
SBL: 6366-00-766326
Applicant is seeking preliminary plat approval for a two-lot subdivision. The applicant received a report from the National Heritage Program indicating that Blandings turtle habitats are located within .6 miles of the site. The applicant stated that these findings did not necessitate any material changes in the proposed plan and that the report's recommendations have been incorporated in the plat. The Board confirmed that the findings should be submitted to the NYS DEC for comment. The Board has also received comments from its planning consultant which must be addressed by the applicant, in consultation with the planning consultant and the town engineer. There was a brief discussion concerning the pond on the property and whether it would be the subject of an easement or jointly maintained by the property owners. The matter will be placed on a future agenda when the open items will be addressed. The Board took no formal action on this application.

3. Federation Fish and Game Clubs (site plan approval)
Fifth Avenue
SBL: 6469-00-301623
Applicant is seeking site plan approval for a recreation area and associated parking lot near Silver Lake. The matter was previously before the ZBA and there was a discussion concerning the ZBA's findings. It was decided that the ZBA had determined that the lot was pre-existing and non-conforming, but made no findings concerning the prior use of the property. The property was purchased about five years ago and is vacant. In the C zoning district, use as a recreation area is permitted with site plan approval. However, the Board noted that since the parcel did not meet the minimum acreage requirements for the district, an area variance (and possibly other variances) will be required. The applicant evidently submitted an informal sketch of the proposed site plan. The Board noted that the plan itself will need to be prepared by a licensed surveyor or engineer.
The chairman directed the applicant to meet with the Board's planning consultant, the town engineer, and the ZEO to determine what submissions will be necessary and what variances will be required. The Board set an escrow of $1500 to cover these initial consultations. The applicant will need to obtain any necessary variances before the site plan application can be considered by the Board. [Comment: The Silver Lake Property Owners Association has already submitted a letter to the Planning Board raising significant concerns about parking and traffic, use of the lot for a boat launch, the potential for increased noise and pollution, town liability, and the invasion of privacy, among many other issues.]

4. Novak Subdivision (sketch plan approval)
312 Browning Road
SBL: 6366-00-808600
SBL: 6366-00-871602
Applicant is seeking sketch plan approval for a four-lot subdivision. The applicant submitted a new plat and a report from the National Heritage Program regarding Blandings turtle habitats on or near the property. The applicant has mapped and flagged the Federal wetlands on the property. The Board discussed whether the proposed well sites will need to be relocated to avoid the wetlands. There is no current restriction on building adjacent to Federal wetlands. [Comment: proposed amendments to the town zoning code will impose such restrictions.]
Easements to allow the proposed driveways will need to be reviewed by the town attorney. The Board will obtain comments on the new plat from its planning consultant and the town engineer and will review comments from the DEC on the Blandings turtle study when they are received. The Board took no formal action on this application.

5. Crimson Hills Subdivision (non-agenda item)
Bulls Head and Centre Roads
The applicants previously received conditional final approval for an eight-lot cluster subdivision on about 44 acres. One of the conditions for final approval was obtaining a conservation easement on the reserved open space in the subdivision. As required by the applicable zoning provisions, the conditional approval required that the easement be held by a third party (i.e., a land conservancy). The applicants requested a meeting with the Board because of difficulties they have had obtaining the easement. They informed the Board that Dutchess Land Conservancy had refused the easement outright and that Winnakee Land Trust had imposed numerous conditions for taking it, including a $20,000 fee, architectural review of the houses to be built, no paved driveways allowed in the subdivision and siting of houses so that they cannot be seen from the road. Applicants are unwilling to agree to these conditions and are seeking guidance from the Board as to how to proceed.
The Board noted that the cluster provisions in the zoning code require that a third party hold the easement and that this was the first project in town where this requirement has been imposed. Several members questioned the applicants' unwillingness to accede to Winnakee's conditions for holding an easement. The applicants stated that they would not agree to architectural review, particularly because Winnakee would not provide a time limitation on such review, and that the other conditions were also unacceptable. There was discussion concerning whether the town could hold the easement and the applicants stated that their understanding was that it could not. [Comment: The CAC chair noted at the meeting that several other towns have begun to accept such easements and that the Northern Dutchess Alliance will have a program soon to address this issue.] The Board discussed restrictive covenants and how they are enforced. Such an option would leave enforcement to individual property owners. Some Board members felt this option offered less protection from potential violations than a third party easement.
The town attorney's office has reviewed the matter and has offered three possible alternative options: formation of a Homeowners' Association, dedication to the town, and private ownership of the parcel (presumably with interlocking restrictive covenants in the respective deeds). The chairman indicated that the Board will need to consult with its planning consultant and the town attorney regarding the suggested alternatives. Such alternatives would entail the Board waiving the requirements in the zoning code and altering the terms of the original approval. Despite arguments from the applicants that time was of the essence, the Board determined that it needed more information and guidance before making its decision. Accordingly, the Board discussed scheduling a special meeting on October 9th with its planning consultant and the town attorney to discuss the applicants' request. If the consultants are available, the meeting will be held then.

Submitted by Paul Thomas


1. Nancy Packes, 37 Stissing View Drive
SBL: 6469-00-070585
The applicant was seeking approval for the extension of an existing barn to build a master bedroom. At issue was which structure was to be considered the primary residence. There were also questions about the size of accessory residence buildings. The property, 26 acres, is of non-conforming use. The septic system is in a "C" district protected aquifer and will need BOH approval and a Building Permit. The Planning Board granted a Positive Recommendation.

1. Fiddlers Bridge (Continuation of preliminary plat), 54 High View Lane
SBL: 6367-00-383-962
This is a 3-lot subdivision that has been before the Planning Board a number of times recently. Concerning the issue of Blandings Turtles, the applicant's attorney continued his presentation and glossed over this matter and the response from the DEC (letter dated 8/28/2007, addressed to Richard Hamback, L.S.). The applicant's consultant did not find any Blandings Turtles on the property and the attorney stated that the DEC did not criticize his report. However, the DEC letter did contain a paragraph that stated, "The fact that an individual survey did not find turtles is not proof they are not utilizing the site." The letter went on to require the Town to include mitigation measures as well as Individual Water Quality Certification. The letter contained an attachment of Recommendations To Be Followed. The Public Hearing was closed. Additional issues remain to be resolved: steep slopes on lots #1 and #3, "C" district protected aquifer, erosion control for driveway, dryland crossing of pond, culvert crossing, long form EAF (Environmental Assessment Form) to be filed. Sarah Love of the Conservation Advisory Committee (CAC) made comments regarding numerous environmental issues.

2. Jonathan Walsh (Lot Line Adjustment), 504 Browning Road
SBL: 6366-00-870942
The applicant is seeking to merge 1.8 acres with 2.7 acres of adjacent property being sold by the current owner. The application was approved.

1. Nextel of NY - Wireless Communications Tower, Germond Road near the Taconic Parkway
SBL: 6567-00-209058
The Planning Board reduced the tower to a height of 80 feet. There was discussion of fencing and creating the appearance of a barn type structure. The application was approved.
2. E.L.F Custom Builders, Inc. (Sketch discussion for a 4 lot subdivision), Hollow Road
SBL: 6467-00-349158
The land is totally wooded and not accessible to be surveyed by the Planning Board. One significant issue is a scenic ridgeline. Discussions seemed to lead to the conclusion that the site has many problems and may not be able to support more than one lot on its 43 acres. Another major issue is access to the lots. Either a new Town road or common driveways would need to be built. The Planning Board suggested the applicant reconsider their plans.

submitted by Harvey Podolsky


Five Board members were present: Ray Oberly, Jeff Burns, Mike Appolonia, Dan Budd, and Frank Venezia.
During the period for public discussion of agenda topics, town residents spoke about the following matters:

-- A short history of the Town Assessor office holders since the 1990s was presented and support for reappointing Garth Slocum as Town Assessor was offered.
--Support was recommended for linking to the CAC (Conservation Advisory Council) from the Town website.
-- Support was expressed for the Town to formally accept all conservation easements.
-- Concerns were detailed regarding the Town abandoning Willow Road, which has now become a dead end, near the Taconic Parkway. One of the current residents on that road asked: whose responsibility will it be to maintain the road, to plow it, and so forth?
During the Board members' reports on the activities the following points seemed pertinent to Clinton United's concerns:
-- The CAC is developing an Open Space Plan through one of its subcommittees.
-- The Zoning Administrator has the right to fine people for zoning violations. But it would seem to this observer that the fines are not sufficiently high enough to discourage violations.
-- The Comprehensive Plan Review Committee meets on the first Monday and the fourth Thursday of the month at 7:30 in Town Hall. Their next meeting will be Monday, October 8th. They would like to encourage more community involvement and input at their meetings. They also hope to present the results of the community-wide survey at a Town Board meeting, perhaps at the November meeting (11/13).

1. The abandonment of portions of Town User roads was discussed. The following actions were taken: Old Bulls Head Road - passed; East Halsted Road - passed; Willow Road - delayed action; Lakeview Drive - passed.
2. Purchase of a new work utility vehicle (a Bobcat T5600) for $16,750 was discussed and passed.

1. The well water (drinking water) at Frances J. Mark Memorial Park is contaminated with a coli form of bacteria, probably from surface water entering the well. Following discussion of possible remediations it was decided that Dan Budd would follow up and recommend action.
2. Inclusion of a link to CAC material on the Town website was discussed. Some thoughts that were expressed: the Town should not provide links to unknown websites, the CAC material would have to be reviewed, most information would be valuable to share. No action was taken.
3. There was a short discussion of conservation easements that would apply to buffer zones around subdivisions and common "open space" zones owned by Homeowners Associations. It was agreed that a plan for this purpose should be fully developed and considered at the November meeting.

Town resident Pat Riley spoke about a petition to halt construction of a 10-15 foot high stockade fence on Field Road, which was submitted to the Town Board on August 14th. She asked if any action was forthcoming. The response was that the Zoning Administrator had just completed his report and it has yet to be reviewed. Ms. Riley expressed the concern: "If this can happen on one road, it can happen all over town." Another resident spoke to the same point.

submitted by Blanche Rubin


1. Richard & Patricia Brown, 407 Fiddlers Bridge Road
SBL: 63368-00-452107
The applicants were applying for a side yard variance to allow them to build a garage. This was their second appearance before the Planning Board. The Board issued a Positive Declaration subject to some updating to the submitted site plan. The variance will allow the owners to have a 21' side yard from the new garage structure.

2. Jonathan Walsh, 504 Browning Road
SBL: 6366-00-870934
The applicant wants to create a 2-lot subdivision. Part of the application involves a swap of two equally sized parcels between Betty Davis and the applicant. The applicant's final lot will consist of approximately 7.15 acres. Mr. Walsh did not have all of the needed documentation completed but the Board very graciously walked the applicant through the process to be followed. They issued a Sketch Plan approval subject to the correct documentation being received by the next Board meeting.

Omega Institute (application for Site Plan approval), 150 Lake Drive
SBL: 6368-00-938723
The Public Hearing was to allow for public feedback and questions, and to gain Site Plan approval for an “environmentally friendly” water treatment plant to service the Omega property. The applicant reported the following: (1) The plant is designed to process approximately 50,000 gallons of waste water per day; Omega now produces approximately 26,000 gallons per day. (2) The plant will cost approximately $2,600,000. (3) It will, additionally, be used as a learning center for an extended program on environmentally sustainable living, which will be a new program at Omega. (4) The new system and combined old system will be able to operate as three separate independent systems. These independent systems will include: a) the new plant with a new wetland leaching field, b) the new leaching field without the new processing plant, and c) the old [pre-construction] leaching field. The applicant explained that if the plant were to fail that either the new leaching field or the pre-construction existing leaching field could handle the waste water and that both “backups” would be in compliance with county, state, and federal regulations.

The Town engineer was present at the Public Hearing and said he had not received a complete set of plans prior to the meeting and therefore did not have extensive comments to make. The Planning Board members and members of the public asked a good number of questions, all of which the applicant answered to the apparent satisfaction of the Board and public. This reporter believes, however, that two discussed issues were not fully resolved with the best outcomes for the Town.

It was suggested by this reporter that the Planning Board should include in its Site Plan approval a recommended inspection plan whereby the Town of Clinton would be supplied with reports by a 3rd party consultant on a regular basis, including an analysis of the effluent released by the processing plant. This would provide a safeguard for the Town considering that Omega will be depositing daily, at minimum, an estimated 25,000 gallons of waste water into a leaching field that will eventually drain into the aquifer that supplies many homes in Clinton with their drinking water. The Planning Board responded that inspections made by the Health Department would be sufficient and, furthermore, that reviewing inspection reports was not within their realm of responsibility. It was argued by this reporter that if the Town is satisfied in the future with the inspections by the Health Department, it can always suspend the inspection requirements of the 3rd party consultant.

In the second issue, the applicant stated there would be two backup systems to the water treatment plant. If there were a system failure, the two leaching fields (backups) would be used by making adjustments to a system of directional valves. Considering the importance of these backup systems, this reporter recommended that the Town should be supplied with a letter from the treatment plant's engineering firm certifying that the backup systems are operational at the completion of construction. The Town should also request that the Health Department review the plans for the backup systems and report back to the Town if these systems will indeed comply with all Health Department requirements in the event of a plant failure.
It appeared these two issues were not perceived to be highly significant to the Planning Board. It seems they have faith that everything will be properly handled by the Health Department and/or DEC. If however any of these points are missed by the Health Department or DEC and the Town misses its opportunity to have these safeguards built into the project, this could be tragic for the Town in the event of an environmental calamity in the future. There would seem to be no logical reason for the Town not to require these safeguards. Furthermore, if the Town requires the inspection reports and requires the applicants to obtain certification of the operation of the backup system, all of these costs would be borne by the applicants.

1. Blanche Rubin (Sketch Discussion), Schoolhouse Road
SBL: 6267-00-906504
The applicant appeared before the Board to clarify the procedures to be followed in dividing one parcel into three and merging them with existing tax lots. The joining of parcels is for the most part standard and no issues appeared that would be in conflict with Town regulations.

2. Contarino Subdivision (Sketch Approval), 90 Fiddlers Bridge Road
SBL: 627-00-906504
The applicant wishes to create a 2-lot subdivision on 7.15 acres in a RH Zoned area. Details need to be worked out with the Planning Board and no objections were made to this application.

3. Greatstone Subdivision (Sketch Approval) (property was incorrectly presented on agenda as Whitestone), Ruskey Lane
SBL: 1324-00-300690
The applicant had presented plans to the Planning Board at a previous time. The new plan was to create a 9 lot subdivision on some 53 acres of land. The submission was not viewed positively by the Board because it did not answer the questions previously raised. Many questions still remain unanswered, including: the proper use of common driveways, steep slope issues, storm water mitigation, site distance for road access, the need to review a cluster plan, etc. The Board asked for these and other issues to be clarified in order to determine if they were in compliance with Town of Clinton zoning and master plan regulations.

4. Sinnott Subdivision (Final Approval), 564 Schultzville Road
SBL: 6567-00-274252
This was a Final Approval of a subdivision for 3 lots containing 27, 17, and 5 acres. The Board required some minor additions to the plan. It was approved, subject to being updated.

Submitted by David Goldin


Vansteenburg Subdivision, 354 Ruskey Lane
(variance recommendation)
The applicant is contemplating a 3-lot subdivision and may require two side line variances before the subdivision plans can proceed. There is an existing house and an apartment on the site. The Planning Board discussed the minimum acreage requirements given that there is an accessory apartment. There was also discussion of the minimum lot widths if the subdivision proceeds and whether one of the proposed lots has sufficient area, not covered by water, to meet the town's zoning requirements. The board referred the applicant to the Town ZEO for a discussion of the zoning issues presented and took no formal action.

Joe Kelly/Mid Hudson Renovation, 543 Browning Road
(variance recommendation)
The applicants are seeking side line and front line variances preliminary to seeking a lot line adjustment. The adjustment is being sought because a patio and retaining wall on one lot encroaches onto the neighboring lot. The proposed adjustment involves small fractions of an acre, although the exact figures were not determined because the applicant did not have a final survey at the meeting. Variances are required because existing structures on the lots do not meet required minimum setback requirements and there is also apparently a non-conforming shed or garage on one of the lots. The adjusted lots will conform to the one acre zoning in the area. The Board discussed whether there is an existing violation involving a steep slope permit. The matter is going before the ZBA, but the town ZEO has ruled that there is no existing violation. The Board voted to forward a positive recommendation to the ZBA, but recommended that the approvals be conditional upon the applicants obtaining the lot line adjustment within one year.

Fiddlers Bridge LLC, 54 High View Lane
(public hearing/preliminary plat)
[See July 24, 2007 Planning Board meeting report for more background information on this project.]
The applicant is seeking a 3-lot subdivision with 8, 9 and 14 acre lots. Two of the lots are flag lots and all lots derive access through a common driveway. There are significant wetlands and steep slopes on the property. The driveway will cross a federal wetland at one point and accordingly a permit from the Army Corps of Engineers is required. The applicant has submitted a Blandings turtle study which is under review by the NYS DEC. The Town engineer has submitted comments which need to be addressed by the applicant. The applicant's surveyor stated that Board of Health approval for wells and septics will be sought before final approval of the subdivision. The town CAC submitted a letter recommending that the Planning Board review the DEC comments on the application before taking further action, asking the Board to take into account the areas of water/wetlands on the property to determine if sufficient dry area exists for all lots and recommending that steep slope permits be obtained as needed for the project. The applicant's attorney complained that he had not seen the CAC letter in advance. He also submitted a letter alleging undue interference by the CAC chairperson in connection with the DEC review of the application. The hearing was sparsely attended. A neighbor asked if the developer contemplated building spec houses and received a non-committal answer from the attorney. In response to other comments, the applicant's surveyor and attorney explained that the final plat will have a legend restricting clearcutting of trees and the attorney stated that the individual lots will have "easements" containing similar restrictions. (Comment: The attorney appeared to be referring to deeds containing restrictive covenants, not conservation easements held by an independent entity.) The attorney stated that he has drafted similar restrictions for other projects and they have been approved by other towns' planning boards and town attorneys. The Board decided to continue the public hearing to allow the various comments and open issues to be addressed. The matter will come back before the Board at the second meeting in September or later, depending on when the applicant is prepared to return.

Jonathan Walsh, 431 Browning Road
(sketch plan/lot line adjustment)
The applicant is seeking a lot line adjustment to add a small amount of property to his existing lot. The existing lot is non-conforming (the side setback does not meet the required minimum) and the effect of the adjustment will be to add to the setback, thus reducing the non-conforming condition. The application did not appear to present any significant issues.

submitted by Paul Thomas


Sinnot Subdivision, 564 Shultzville Road
Plans are not yet finalized. There was a discussion relative to the location of the house and size and style of the house. The building lot corner will sit directly on the buffer line. There was a discussion by the potential buyer of one lot as to where to locate the driveway. His intention is different from the plan submitted. Language was changed to be more general regarding location of the house. The Town Engineer has not seen the most recent plans and the plans have not been provided yet to the Fire Dept. Conditional final approval of the sketch plan was granted with a Public Hearing scheduled for 9/4/2007 (day after Labor Day).
Comment: Who inspects construction, besides the Building Dept., once plans are approved by the Planning Board? And how frequently? Because this was not a Public Hearing the public will not have an opportunity to see revised plans or hear input from the Town Engineer and Fire Dept. before the Public Hearing in early September.

Anastasia Subdivision, 205 Shadblow Lane
Conditional Final Approval was granted for this 10.57 acre site with a two lot subdivision. The project has been three years in development. The Town Engineer had several items still open in his letter of 8/7/2007.

Omega Institute , 150 Lake Drive
Site Plan Approval was given for a Waste Water Treatment Plant, known as an Eco-Machine. The project has the Planning Board as lead agency (other agencies declined). The project is an unlisted, coordinated type. A Public Hearing is scheduled for 9/4/2007.

Comment: With the Public Hearing right after the Labor Day holiday it may be difficult for many people to attend. The Town Engineer may not have specialized expertise to review this project. It would appear to require an engineering firm familiar with considerations of this type of plant. What insurance or environment impairment bonding will be provided to ensure that, should problems occur, there would be funding to correct them? Otherwise the Town could be left with the cost and/or a big problem.
How was this particular system selected? What are the alternatives?
What are the downside risks if there is severe drought or flooding?
What is the status of their current wastewater system?
How will the public be able to adequately understand what is being proposed with these questions remaining unanswered and the Town Engineer not being familiar with the proposed system?

Comments– General
A. Unannounced random inspections of ongoing construction should be made by a third party engineering/construction consultant, at the expense of the applicant, after plans have been approved.
B. A check list of steps and procedures should be developed and provided to applicants to ensure they are prepared for meetings.
C. Public Hearings should not be scheduled before final plans are available
Submitted by Harvey Podolsky

There were 4 board members present at this meeting: Frank Venezia, Mike Appolonia, Jeff Burns, and Ray Oberly (Town Supervisor)
The following pertinent information was provided by board members as they presented their reports on the various town committee meetings:
-- The public hearing on the Nextel cell phone tower on Germond Road was held open by the Planning Board.
-- The matter in front of the ZBA concerning a public parking lot on Silver Lake Road remains open.
-- The CAC is dealing with the following issues: small wetlands maintenance, water testing, and matters surrounding the Novak subdivision on Browning Road.
-- The Recreation director has requested air conditioning for the space where the Senior Exercise Class meets and has expressed other maintenance concerns.
-- The Zoning Administrator has reported that until zoning violations on the Novak property are corrected, approval for a subdivision plan will not be given.
-- The Highway Department submitted a report on work that had been completed.
-- The Comprehensive Plan Review committee has hired a firm to do a natural resources survey in Clinton and, since the firm is also working with local developers, there are questions concerning a conflict of interest.

The primary matter on the agenda was a discussion of the revised proposed wetlands regulations (water amendment law). Frank Venezia stated that the town has had strong laws in this area in the past and these have served us well. The new amendment applies to any area with 100 feet of a wetland area (pond or waterway) that is between .5 and 12.4 acres. Existing DEC regulations already cover larger wetland areas. Norene Coller (head of the CAC) made a presentation of pertinent points in the revised proposal. This is the first new water amendment document since 2003, but 95% of the proposed regulations already exist in current zoning laws. The major changes being proposed are: 1) the new document covers smaller wetlands, 2) the town will be responsible for permits and administration, 3) certified (by the DEC) wetland inspectors will need to be hired, and 4) language in the document has been brought up to date.

The discussion that ensued concerned: 1) who will be responsible for inspections and enforcing the new regulations, some town "official" or town "board"? 2) the existence of private individual rights vs. community and long-term impact. In the course of the discussion Norene Coller stated that the Hudson Valley is documented as the only area in the state that is losing wetlands.
Frank Venezia moved to submit the proposed law to the town attorney for review.

1. The heating and cooling systems in Town Hall need to be improved. There was a discussion of various options. It was decided that board members will meet with the town engineer on July 19th at 7:30 to review the best options.
2. All other items under New Business (#1-#11 on the agenda) were quickly discussed and passed or agreed upon.

1. A town resident raised concerns over a 16-20 foot high stockade fence that is being built, on private property, along Field, Bulls Head, and Old Bulls Head Roads. Her request about what could be done was answered that a complaint needs to be submitted to the Zoning Administrator.

2. Two town residents questioned the absence of recent minutes from various town meetings on the town's website and requested that this be corrected. The need for access to current information and town committee decisions/actions was stressed.

submitted by Blanche Rubin


The most important application addressed at this meeting was for the Willow Glen Subdivision on Willow Lane in Clinton Corners. The property contains some 61 acres and one residential unit. The land contains a number of steep slope areas and some wetlands. The requested subdivision is for four separate “building” lots: one for the existing home and 3 additional lots for development. The proposed lot sizes would run from 5.18 acres to 20.44 acres. This is the second application that has been submitted to the Planning Board by this individual. The first application was not continued on a timely basis and therefore the application process had to be started anew. The developer was present for the meeting and in addition brought his attorney and his land planner.
The first submission which was originally reviewed by the Planning Board had generated a substantial number of questions and apparent interest from the public. This interest brought about a Public Hearing that was extended to the current meeting and to 'at least' the next Planning Board meeting when this NEW application is on the agenda. One of the neighbors to the property and his wife, Mr. and Mrs. Paul Thomas, also attended the meeting and Paul provided some background on the public opposition to the subdivision, including a reminder that he had retained legal counsel and that he is on record as submitting a detailed letter stating some 15 objections. Paul went on to state that most, if not all, of the objections have not yet been properly addressed. All of the members of the Planning Board apparently have a copy of this letter.

Understanding the legal ramifications of this proposed subdivision is somewhat tricky. Allow me to give it a try -- the Planning Board, who is referring this issue to the Town Attorney, is trying to determine if the requested common private driveway for all four parcels would be compliant with Town of Clinton zoning. The road frontage on Willow Lane is not sufficient for the developer to obtain four separate legal curb cuts. Without being able to obtain legal access to a town road, the property (under the current interpretation of the zoning law) could not be subdivided into four buildable 'building lots.' The developer is attempting to say that this is not really the issue or the intent of the present zoning laws. He is saying that the private driveway would trump the town's zoning and let him develop the property as he has requested / or as he sees fit. It became apparent to some members of the Planning Board and town residents that if the developer were successful with his plan, it would, in essence, make the Town of Clinton rules and regulations a 'joke.' This would allow other developers to do as they pleased, with no sense that they would be bound to follow town zoning regulations. This is somewhat a simplification of the issues that were discussed, but hopefully it will provide the gist of the matter to the reader.

It was apparent during the meeting that the various Planning Board members had done their homework. They articulated their understanding of the history of the subdivision applications and the importance of getting an opinion from the Town Attorney as to “what constitutes a building lot” before any further action can be taken on this application.

Other information concerning this application and meeting follows:

-- Harvey Podolsky and myself attended this meeting and each of us presented questions to the Board on both zoning issues and procedural manners.
-- June Sanderson and Paul Thomas each shared their concerns about the future use of the land and compliance with Town of Clinton zoning regulations.
-- The public comments, for the most part, encouraged the Planning Board to view the present application as a new application and to make certain that all relevant issues would be reviewed or re-reviewed. The applicant wanted to have the Planning Board approve parts of the old application as part of the new application. The public participants pointed out that the new application is a substantial change from the expired application and that the applicant should have to start from the beginning.
-- The applicant requested that their new submission to the Planning Board should also be sent to the ZBA and the Town Board. Members of the public did not understand why this request was agreed to by the Planning Board. We hope that this will not allow the applicant to circumvent the standard procedures for processing an application.
-- It was apparent to the public attendees that the applicant was trying to threaten the town when his land planner said that if the town doesn't approve this application they could request permission to build 10 houses with the installation of a public road. A member of the public retorted that if the developer thought that 10 lots were feasible he would have applied for it, that this was an empty threat to scare the Planning Board.
-- Various members of the public, including myself, commented that the public is not well served when the Planning Board minutes are months and months behind. There is no way for the public to keep up with Planning Board activities if the minutes are not published on a timely basis. This is also true for the Zoning Board minutes.
-- The public participants urged the Planning Board to keep the Public Hearing open to make certain that the developer would not have the opportunity of slipping quick changes into his application without the public having an opportunity to make its comments known to the Planning Board.

submitted by David Goldin


1. The request for a variance by Elaine Ruccio was a simple one and was granted. It concerned adding a second floor to an existing structure.

2. The major topic of discussion was the Planning Board's request to have the ZBA interpret the Zoning Enforcement Officer's approval for the Dutchess County Fish and Game Federation Inc. to build a parking lot that would ease access to Silver Lake (a private lake) for the public. The approval by ZEO Bob Fennell was in the form of a letter.
Karl Muggenburg stated that the ZBA should not be in the business of interpreting letters and suggested that the ZBA should return the Planning Board's letter requesting clarification. Bob Fennell, who attended the meeting, stated that if the Planning Board did not agree with his letter they should appeal and show him where he is wrong. The ZBA would not hear from Eliot Werner, a member of the Planning Board who was at the ZBA meeting to explain their request. The grounds were that this was not a public hearing.

The main issue, as I see it, is if a property owner on Silver Lake can open their access to a private lake to the public?
Neither the Planning Board, the ZBA, nor the ZEO has requested to review the deed that the Dutchess County Fish and Game Federation holds, to see if such a restriction is included. I suggested this approach be taken by the Planning Board.

submitted by Harvey Podolsky


1) The Masonic Warren Lodge on Centre Road in Schultzville, built in 1807, has been added to the Registry of Historic Buildings.

2) Qualified applicants are invited to apply for the position of Town Assessor.

1) Jeff Burns: There will be a Public Hearing before the Planning Board for the DD subdivision on July 3rd at 7:30 PM.

2) Frank Venezia: Two important questions were raised at the last ZBA meeting: How can the Town keep track of variances, agreements, etc. 10 years or more down the road? Also, there was an extended discussion about the definition and interpretation of "steep slopes." The ZBA voted finally for a stricter interpretation of the term.

3) Mike Appolonia: The CAC has now completed a revision of the plan to protect Town waterways, which will soon be sent to the Town Board clerk. There were extended discussions concerning the Community Preservation Act (CPA) and the local preservation of open space. The CAC questioned whether a bond could pass in Clinton to create a Community Preservation Fund (as recently was done in Red Hook). There was a mixed response in the group. There was some discussion of the use of compact fluorescent bulbs (CFLs). It was announced that these bulbs can now be recycled through the County's recycling centers.

4) Ray Oberly: The Building Inspector reports there are some very big houses currently under construction in town. One he mentioned is over 12,000 square feet.

5) Barbara Joyce: The Town Clerk reported on the use of a SARA grant to scan all Town Board, Planning Board, and ZBA minutes to a laser-fiche document storage system. Over 4000 documents have been scanned. Town funds have been promised to keep these records up to date in the future.

6) Mike Appolonia: Report on local government cable access matters: Ideally we would have a local weather channel and a senior discount for Cablevision access.

1) The Town will make some improvements to Silver Lake Road, using a bond that has been approved. It was stressed that the road will not be widened and will not be paved, in response to one citizen who expressed concerns about this at the outset of the meeting.

2) A wage increase for Raymond Joyce was approved so that he can continue working on the scanning of Town records.

The following matters were most pertinent:
1) Submission of a Greenway grant application was approved. This would be used for developing an Open Space Inventory and Open Space Plan for the Town.
2) Approval was given to submitting a request to the Army Corps of Engineers to review the Town's stream corridors and to provide approaches for flood mitigation.
3) Approval was given to advertising the availability of services, on the Town's website, by the Northeast Dutchess Corps to provide social services and assistance to low income families. The Clinton Alliance Church on Centre Road, just south of Town Hall, will provide space for meetings of Corps personnel and community members.

submitted by Blanche Rubin

1) Public Hearing on the East Meadowbrook Lane Subdivision
There may be an endangered species (Blanding turtles) on the property. The applicant will hire a biologist to study the site and the potential impact of building another house upon the endangered species. The applicant wanted to apply human common sense to turtle behavior, but was told to hire the biologist.

There is a sizable wetlands area on the site. A Pollution Prevention Plan was delivered to the Planning Board just one day before the hearing. Betty Davis commented that the wetlands lead to a swamp that empties into Little Wappingers Creek.
Changes were requested by the Planning Board to two answers on the EAF.

There were quite a number of people from the Meadowbrook Lane neighborhood who attended the Public Hearing. They were pleased when the hearing was adjourned to await more information on the Blandings Turtle issue and no conclusion was reached.

2) Robert & Josephine Robinson, 47 Cobblestone Ridge
The applicant wants to split their property so that their son can build a home. They will need a building permit for two houses on one parcel. The property is located in a 5 acre zoning area and their lot contains less than 10 acres. There is also not enough road frontage. Furthermore part of the property is in Hyde Park, whose Planning Board will also have to approve the plan. The Board referred these matters to the Town Attorney and suggested that the applicant retain a lawyer as well.
3) DD Subdivision, on Hollow Road in Pleasant Plains

This was formerly called the Double D Subdivision. In the future it is to be known as the Richard Simpson Subdivision. The applicant was represented by an architect, Tim. The applicant wants to subdivide the property into four lots, with a non-conforming multifamily house and antique store (lot#4) in the hamlet of Pleasant Plains. The Planning Board saw no problem with three of the lots, but emphasized there is no dual usage of buildings permitted in a hamlet. The Building Department would have to confirm that the plumbing and electrical service are removed from the multifamily house to ensure the building is for one family only. The project will have to go to the Town consultant, then to the ZEO, and then to the ZBA. A Public Hearing is scheduled for 7/3/2007.

4) McNaulty Middlestar subdivision, 308 Clinton Avenue, sketch plan discussion
The total acreage is 18 acres. Much of the land is in a wetland area. A neighbor wants to purchase a portion of the land: a 5 acre lot. A new application and lot line revision would be needed for that.
Steep slopes and hydrologic soils exist in the acreage to be developed. A new application and sketch will be provided.

5) Calabri (not owner) Sachs Subdivision, Browns Pond Road, sketch plan
This is a 3 lot subdivision. The applicant was asked to stake out the location of the houses. The site is hard to access and walk by the Planning Board members. There are steep slopes involved (lot #1 is on a slope) and the existing plan is not a true cluster plan. There are a lot of rocks and septic capacity will be a limiting factor. The applicant received preliminary sketch approval.

submitted by Harvey Podolsky

REMINDER: If you have an opinion, a suggestion, or strong feelings about the three proposed designs for the reconstruction of the Hollow Road bridge and roadway, this is the time to write or call the County Department of Public Works. The Project Director for the bridge work is Robert Balkind. Call him over the next few weeks at 845-486-2925, or e-mail him at You may also send written comments on the project to:

Gregory V. Bentley
Director of Engineering, Dutchess County DPW
626 Dutchess Turnpike
Poughkeepsie, New York 12603
Mr. Bentley can be e-mailed at:
Written comments on the project should include reference to Project Identification Number (PIN) 8755.91.

the 3 proposed designs may still be viewed at Town Hall during the Town Clerk's office hours.


1. 354 Ruskey Lane – Joseph VanSteenburgh – sketch discussion
The Zoning Enforcement Officer referred the applicant to the Planning Board. The Board had no problem with a plan for the 10+ acres, where 5 acre zoning exists. Variances will be required and the applicant will be required to go to the Zoning Board of Appeals after Planning Board approval.

2. Novak Subdivision – 312 Browning Rd – 5 lot subdivision
Discussions between the Town attorney and the applicant’s attorney were not reported to the Planning Board. Town regulation 410 prevents granting an easement that is needed by the applicant for a driveway through private property. The Planning Board is still seeking guidance from the Town Attorney before proceeding with its review. Apparently there is an existing structure on lot #5, which predates current zoning regulations, that would not have been given a building permit if zoning regulations were in effect at that time. Neil Wilson, Town Planner, mentioned additional requirements not as yet satisfied. There are concerns regarding the depth of bedrock and ground water, and about endangered species. The consensus of the Planning Board was that this is a legal matter and possibly a ZBA ruling is still required. There are also issues re: significant trees, stone walls, steep slopes, and maintaining the rural character of the area (located on a scenic and historical road).
Comment: This is the project that if approved could feasibly open large tracts of land to development that are currently unbuildable due to current zoning (landlocked acreage).

3. Fairview Estates
Previous approval is due to expire 5/21/07. The Planning Board approved a 90-day extension.

4. Fiddlers Bridge Subdivision
The Planning Board voted that the application had expired. The applicant will have to reapply.

5. Talleur Lane – (Preliminary discussion)
This property is owned by Ultimate Builders. They are proposing 14-16 lots of 1/4 acre each. Their plan to build on the lots, however, has problems. The land was found unsuitable for in-ground septic systems. The applicant wants to create a Homeowners Association to create a wastewater district and to site a sewerage treatment plant that would discharge its effluent into a wetland area. The project would also require changing lot lines, a steep slopes permit, and each individual owner would have to apply for all permits needed. The New York State DEC and the county BOH would have to approve.The Town Board would have to approve creation of a new wastewater district. The Planning Board cannot walk the property as it requires crossing privately owned lands. The Planning Board did not take any action. It referred the applicant to the Town Board, Town Attorney, ZEO, and the Highway Department.

submitted by Harvey Podolsky

APRIL 24, 2007

The gathering was informal and was provided by the Department of Public Works (DPW) to give the community a general idea of the process that the County is going through to review this project. The bridge, we were told, has been reviewed twice before by the County in the hopes of upgrading or replacing the facility. It was explained that the County will receive between 85-95% of the cost of replacing the bridge from federal funds. Purely from a tax perspective, this would be a very good deal for the community.
The County DPW stated that the bridge is in the process of deteriorating and that it is beyond its economic useful life. They also stated that the bridge is "Functionally Obsolete" and no longer can safely handle the traffic flow that presently exists. This flow includes both the local community and others that use the bridge on a less frequent basis.

The DPW presented 3 design plans and reviewed each in detail. The plan that was favored (plan 3) would slightly offset the bridge and straighten out a small section of road. This would keep the road generally (almost 100%) within the existing road bed and would require the smallest shoulders and bridge width. The DPW stated that a stone veneer could be used to maintain the look and character of the existing bridge. The new speed limit of the bridge would be 25 miles per hour.

The DPW is moving ahead with design plans and will come back to the Clinton community with new, more detailed plans after they have been developed. Construction would most likely start in 2008 or 2009 and would last for approximately one year, during which the bridge would be closed. Detours on alternate routes would be established over county roads.
I believe that most people at the meeting felt that the County DPW made a very good presentation and that if the bridge could be replaced with a new one similar to plan 3 it would be good for the community. The next meeting hosted by the DPW will be a formal meeting. It will be advertised in our local papers and will be posted on both the Town of Clinton and Clinton United websites.

submitted by David Goldin

For more information about the Public Information Meeting as it was communicated by the Department of Public Works look here (pdf file)

There were two items on the agenda for the May 1st meeting:

The first was an application for Greystone estates, a 12 lot subdivision spread over two lots (one is 53 acres and the second is 5.99 acres) on Ruskey Lane. The applicant proposed a 1500 foot cul de sac with individual septics and wells. Both the property and the plan are fraught with problems:
1) The initial problem discussed is that lot 6 is illegal. It is a satellite lot (part of the 5.99 acre parcel) which would require access through a property owned by Niagara Mohawk. The Planning Board said that this would “create access through a non-conforming lot––and would require an easement because it is landlocked and not a legal lot.” This seemed to be a major concern.
2) A number of the wells and septics are uphill and too close to adjacent wells so there are Health Department issues.
3) The Planning Board and its engineer said that “the actual construction feasibility of some of the lots is questionable” because of wetlands.
4) There are grading and steep slopes issues. Grading as proposed isn't possible.
5) The road does not intersect the current road at 90 degrees. This does not meet regulations. There is some deviation between the grading plan and subdivision regulations. Also there are problems with the driveway entrances.
6) Storm water issues – there is not enough room for treatment of storm water.
7) General construction disturbance area is too large – therefore a comprehensive storm water and erosion plan is necessary. Too much excavation is necessary and would disturb the buffer.
8) The plan doesn't save some open space for a park, playground, etc., and therefore does not meet subdivision regulations.
9) The Planning Board asked applicant to review the driveway permit. They questioned whether it was approved for a single home driveway rather than a 12 house subdivision (a town road).
10) The Planning Board spent a lot of time discussing the fact that the plan doesn't conform to open space requirements. The Planning Board said that if you add up all the steep slopes over 15%, the 11 acres of wetlands, the 3-4 acres of roads, 1 acre pond and 11 acres of lawn, this equals 41 acres, out of a total of 61 acres, and does not come close to meeting open space requirements.
11) There was concern with where all the water and runoff will go. The Planning Board said that emergency services would not approve the proposal the way it is.
12) The Planning Board said that at this point asking for a cluster plan is useless as a cluster plan would not address all the issues. The applicant said a cluster plan won't work because they already identified and eliminated all the possible locations for wells and septics.

The Planning Board ended by requesting a revised plan for sketch approval and $10,000 for an escrow account.
I overheard one of the Planning Board members refer to this proposal as an “uphill battle”. I believe we all need to get behind this one and fight it. This may be one subdivision that we can either prevent or greatly reduce. It can't be just a few of us who show up for the open hearings, everyone needs to make an effort.

The second item on the agenda was Crimson Hill Estates, an 8 acre cluster development on 43.8 acres on Bulls Head Road. The applicant was seeking final approval. They already have Board of Health approval.

The only questions/issues that the Planning Board had concerned maintenance of a storm water retaining pond on the property. The applicant proposed a plan whereby the homeowners would be responsible (written into their deeds) for maintenance. If the homeowners failed to do it, then the Town could step in and charge them back on their taxes. The Town would also have to maintain the pond until houses are built and homeowners take over.

The Planning Board granted conditional approval with the following conditions:
1) Applicant has to get some drainage easements
2) Planning Board required a “no further subdivision of lots” written into the deeds
This subdivision is basically a fait accompli. There is no possibility of recommending changes now. But I urge all of you living locally and in NYC to start making a greater effort to come to the public hearings. If we don't take a stronger stand, many will be leaving Clinton because it will quickly become an undesirable place to live.

submitted by Ann Stettner Charles

The April 17th Planning Board agenda consisted of two variance recommendations, one public hearing and two applications. The variance recommendations were for small matters. The public hearing was for a proposed two house subdivision on East Meadowbrook Lane. There were approximately 10 people from the public in attendance. All were concerned about the impact of another two homes going up on a short stretch of Meadowbrook Lane, which has already seen multiple new houses go up in the past couple of years.

One house is planned for close to the road and will be completely visible from the road. The second house is proposed for up on the hill. The recently built new homes have already caused substantial damage to neighbors' properties from soil erosion and runoff. The houses were built on slopes (the applicant in the new subdivision must also apply for a steep slopes permit) and the developers immediately cut down all the trees upon purchasing their property (which is exactly what the applicant in this subdivision has done). One of the neighbors brought pictures of the runoff to share with the Planning Board.

The public expressed tremendous concern about the environmental impact as well as the visual impact on this historic and scenic road. The Planning Board responded to the public's concerns and requested that the applicant submit additional plans to address:
1) runoff (the applicant is suggesting dry wells to absorb runoff),
2) a landscaping plan,
3) identification of all remaining trees in the area of disturbance to insure that no additional cutting of trees occurs.
The applicant was angry about point 3, but the Planning Board insisted due to pressure from the public. The Planning Board also spoke to the applicant about retaining old stone walls. One member of the Planning Board additionally suggested that the applicant consider moving the front house back from the road in an attempt to “make it look less suburban and better retain the rural character.” This train of thought was not particularly well received by the applicant as he already has some permits for the first house.

The Planning Board decided that because of the public outcry, the hearing would be kept open. The next public hearing is currently scheduled for May 15. This will be a critical hearing and we will all need to attend and speak our mind. Public involvement is the only way that we can influence what is happening in our town. The Planning Board really listened last night.
If you cannot make it to the next public hearing, we urge you to write a letter in advance (with your name and address on it) and e.mail it to In your letter, make reference to erosion problems, protecting the rural character of the town, and environmental issues such as endangered species known to live near the proposed development.

The last item on the meeting agenda was another proposed subdivision of 4-5 houses on Browning Road (referred to as the Novak Subdivision). The Planning Board expressed a lot of concern over preserving the rural character of the scenic road and asked the applicant to consider shared driveways in order to reduce the number of cuts into the main road. The applicant was hesitant since his own house is behind the proposed subdivision and he didn't want to “share a driveway and forfeit his own privacy.” One member of the Board responded that they (the Planning Board) were not concerned with the applicant's privacy but rather were concerned with protecting the privacy of the larger community and not destroying the rural character of the town. In addition the Planning Board requested the applicant to provide an area disturbance map outlining all of the tress over 8 inches in diameter, so that the Planning Board could make sure that minimal cutting is done. The Planning Board also spoke about preserving the many stone walls on the property along the road, another thing the applicant doesn't want to do. Last, the Planning Board advised the applicant that he would have to submit a landscaping plan if the public was as vocal as they were with the Meadowbrook subdivision earlier in the evening. That is our cue to make sure we show up in force for all subdivision public hearings. Only we can influence what happens and protect our town.

submitted by Ann Stettner Charles


A bit of history on this issue: One of the original groups joining up with other Clinton citizens to form CLINTON UNITED was the Clinton Hollow Action Association (CHAA). CHAA was initiated by a group of local residents who were strongly opposed to the 10-home Woodland Hollow subdivision proposed for Schoolhouse Road. That battle was successfully fought and the 42 acres are now permanently protected from development by a conservation easement donated to the Winnakee Land Trust. Among the primary leaders in that effort were Ann Stettner and Neil Charles, whose land is now threatened by a small subdivision proposed for East Meadowbrook Lane. CLINTON UNITED urges all those concerned about our community to attend the upcoming Public Hearing and offer your support to Ann and Neil. For more information about this matter please read the following post.

This seemingly small proposal has been a source of great concern and expense to the property's neighbors. As one person wrote: "a 2 house subdivision is being proposed on a steep slope just a few hundred feet from where a house went in this past year. The developer immediately chainsawed most of the trees along the whole side of the hill facing East Meadowbrook. When the first house was built there were immediate problems with run-off and erosion. Every time it rains the top one-third of our driveway gets washed away. Given what is already going on with run-off and erosion, along the same stretch of road, we need to make sure that this is all addressed."

The most important issue discussed at this meeting was the Novak Subdivision on Browning Road.
The applicant produced a letter from Zoning Enforcement Officer, Bob Fennell, and the Town Attorney offering an opinion that the development, as proposed, is proper and legal. The majority of Planning Board members disagreed because one of the lots would be landlocked with no frontage or access to the road. The Planning Board requested a formal review by the ZBA.

Initially Chairman McCormack took the position that the Planning Board does not have the authority to request such a review. He believed only a private resident could make a request for a review by the ZBA. A prolonged and spirited discussion followed. The Town rules and laws were reviewed and it was discovered that the Board did have the authority to request such a review by ZBA. Member Jerry Dolan made a motion for the ZBA to provide a formal review of this matter and it was passed. The issue is scheduled to be discussed at the next ZBA meeting, March 22nd. The regulation at issue is #4.3.b -- zoning related to two parcels under a single deed. If the property has two tax ID numbers is it to be treated as two different parcels even if it was purchased under one deed?

If approved, a very dangerous precedent will be set. Land that is currently not suitable for development within the Town of Clinton will become available. This precedent would increase development dramatically, a likelihood confirmed by Chairman McCormack.

Under current practices the residents of Clinton would not be aware of what is being requested because the Planning Board minutes will not be published before the ZBA meeting (and ruling) takes place. It is VERY IMPORTANT THAT CLINTON UNITED members and all other interested residents attend the next ZBA meeting 3/22/2007 to support the position of the Planning Board.
It is also important that Clinton United and others attend the Town Board meeting and comment on why the opinions offered seem to work against the interests of the local residents as well as circumvent the spirit if not the letter of Town regulations.

Submitted by Harvey Podolsky

The agenda of the Planning Board meeting contained three items related to subdivisions. Each one raised many of the same concerns that have been heard before: issues centering on water protection, endangered species, building on steep slopes, erosion, maintenance of open space and protection of the town's rural character. Read the full report here.

Ten members of the Clinton United Steering Committee attended the monthly meeting on January 21, 2007. The following topics were the major areas of focus: matters arising at the various town board/committee meetings; the work of Clinton United's Architectural Review Committee; and initial planning for a community-wide spring event.

In the first area we discussed, again, the problems of enforcement of town regulations. This is a thorny issue compounded by town residents often not knowing the laws and regulations, violations not reported or laws not enforced, inspections not done properly, and follow-up matters not pursued. Apparently the zoning enforcement officer and the building inspector are not receiving clear directives regarding their roles from their superiors. As particulars of these types of problems continue to be learned they will be reported on this web site. A policy question in this area was asked: should Clinton United become involved in individual matters (as opposed to just widescale development issues)? The consensus was yes, if there are issues of a broader community nature embedded in an individual situation.

The Architectural Review Committee has been developing guidelines for individual homes, hamlets, and larger developments aimed at providing a historical as well as a best practices contemporary viewpoint on community development. They are planning to have a finished Architectural Guidelines Handbook by early spring, after receiving and incorporating additional feedback and suggestions from Clinton United members. The Steering Committee was advised that there will be several questions on the Town-wide survey being developed by the Comprehensive Plan Committee concerning attitudes toward architectural guidelines.
The Steering Committee members then held a brainstorming session to produce new ideas for a large community-wide event. The idea that generated the most interest and enthusiasm was sponsoring an Energy/Environmental Fair. The concept would be to attract local environmental groups, vendors, and others who would set up individual display booths focusing on their multitudinal concerns. Our plans will be developed further at the next meeting and additional volunteers to work on the event are being sought. Please contact Clinton United if you are interested.

All residents of Clinton were invited to participate in a Public Workshop on the evening of January 23rd, to share with the Town Board their current concerns and suggestions for town improvements. The Town Board members who were present included: Ray Oberly (Supervisor), Mike Appolonia, Dan Budd, and Frank Venezia. There were approximately 30 residents in attendance. The format of the meeting did not allow for extended discussion of any matters, simply their presentation to the Board; our notes are equally abbreviated. The following issues and concerns were raised:

-- Personnel matters: policies, hiring procedures, training, evaluation of performance
-- Recommendation from a resident: joint meetings of the various town boards should be held to improve communication
-- Protection of groundwater; well testing
-- Expand options of the town's recycling program
-- Property/school taxes, especially for those in the Hyde Park District
-- More information should be provided on town services
-- Response: Town Welcome Packets are now available to all new residents
-- Zoning enforcement: the Zoning Enforcement Officer needs to have more power and needs to be more effective
-- The town needs to do more about open space protection and needs to promote the tax benefits of conservation easements
-- Response: the CAC is working on an Open Space plan and a Wetlands Protection Plan
-- Response: there are regulations concerning wetlands protection already in the Master Plan and the town's zoning code
-- The Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) has to adhere to the Master Plan more carefully and the guidelines provided in the Master Plan need to be embedded in the zoning code
-- There are ongoing violations committed by the ZBA and the Planning Board
-- It is important to keep sprawl off the main roads in town
-- Consider using natural and local resources for the Town Hall renovation
-- What is the Town Board's vision for Clinton's future? Do you desire a town of one acre lots?! The community's residents would like you to be forthcoming about your intentions
-- Preserve the historical nature of the stone bridge on Hollow Road; monitor the county's intentions for the bridge
-- The town needs to fight sprawl but at the same time encourage the creation of affordable housing
-- There is a need for a public outdoor recreational site on the west side of town
-- There needs to be better communication with residents concerning roadside tree cutting

MEETING NOTES from December 12th Town Board meeting here

Planning Board agenda for Tuesday December 5 here


On May 3rd, at the Hyde Park Planning Board workshop session, the developers of the Serenity Hills subdivision discussed their Environmental Assessment Form (EAF), which they must present at a scoping session with the Board. At the scoping session, scheduled for June 21st, the developers will present a draft EAF. The Board and the public will then have an opportunity to respond.

After the scoping is completed to everyone's satisfaction, the applicant completes the first draft EAF. That document is reviewed by the Board and at public hearings until all critics are satisfied. As changes are made through public review, the applicant then prepares the final EAF. All of these procedures are part of SEQRA (the State Environmental Quality Review Act), which requires an assessment of environmental impact for all large developments.

The scoping session on June 21st will be a public hearing. It will be the first opportunity for Clinton United members and other concerned individuals to speak out about this subdivision.

One Planning Board member commented, as the session was beginning last night, about how many responses and how much paperwork she has already received on this project. In a private conversation, another Planning Board member said he believed the review of Serenity Hills would take years to complete. It will be a long and detailed process, he said. He indicated he was very pleased to see the involvement of Clinton United and Clinton residents.

Why are we so concerned about a development in Hyde Park?? Here are just some of the reasons:
This is a 77 lot subdivision just south of the intersection of Hollow Road and Quaker Lane, right on the town line.
There will be a significant impact on traffic all along Hollow Road, from route 9G through Frost Mills, Pleasant Plains, and Clinton Hollow, to Salt Point Turnpike. This will be the primary route for traffic to the Taconic Parkway.

In addition to Serenity Hills, there are two other proposed subdivisions in Hyde Park, which are adjacent to it. Both of these will exit onto Route 9G, also impacting traffic. More significantly, they will all draw from the same aquifer, which very likely will have a significant impact on homeowner’s wells in Clinton.

The proposed area is, environmentally, very sensitive. There are rare and endangered animal species. There are wetlands, heavily forested hillsides, steep slopes, and shallow upland soils that are not suitable for development.
There is a small private airport on the same ridge, immediately to the south of the proposed development.
The West Clinton Fire District will be responsible for providing service to a Hyde Park subdivision.

The impact on Hyde Park school taxes, and the Clinton residents who pay these taxes, would be considerable.
We will keep you informed as this project wends its way through the Hyde Park System. We urge you to petition the Clinton Town Board to study this proposed development with great scrutiny and to appear at all of the Hyde Park Planning Board meetings and hearings that concern Serenity Hills. Right now put June 21st on your calendar and plan to attend the first Public Hearing.

Submitted by Blanche Rubin

The Clinton Planning Board was recently advised by the Hyde Park Planning Board of a proposed subdivision on North Quaker Lane, just south of Hollow Road. All actions in another town that take place adjoining the Clinton town line are sent to the Clinton Planning Board for their knowledge and discussion, as required by state law. Clinton’s Planning Board has no direct jurisdiction or final decision-making power. But the Town of Clinton Planning Board was requested to submit their comments to the Hyde Park Planning Board. Following completion of the evening’s planned agenda on April 18th, the Planning Board discussed the Hyde Park subdivision.

The land for the subdivision, to be called Serenity Hills, consists of 230 acres on which 77 single-family homes are being planned in a cluster development. The lots range from very small (an acre or so) to fairly large. Because of the cluster approach the developer is permitted to average the lot sizes. They average about 2.7 acres. This proposal would have a major effect on our quality of life in the southern section of Clinton, with certain impacts on groundwater supply and quality, major impact on traffic in the three historic hamlets along Hollow Road, and increased demand on the West Clinton Fire District. For those of us in the Hyde Park Central School District, this development would certainly increase taxes. We will also be faced with the destruction of a forested environment and the creation of visual blight, matters that are important to us all.

Norene Coller, Chairperson of the Clinton Conservation Advisory Council, submitted a letter of concerns to the Clinton Planning Board, outlining 10 major issues ranging from the development’s impact on Clinton’s aquifer and wells to its effects on rare animal species in the area, as well as covering all of the matters listed above.
A copy of this document is included below.

Michael McCormack, Chairperson of the Planning Board, made it clear that they were not aware of the subdivision’s status in the approval process; nor were they familiar with Hyde Park’s regulations and procedures. He requested that a letter of interest be sent to the Hyde Park Planning Board, requesting that Clinton Planning Board be kept apprised of the development’s progress. He also requested Norene Coller to send a copy of her letter to the Hyde Park Planning Board.
Art dePasqual, Planning Board member, agreed that we will be greatly impacted by this development. Addressing the Clinton United members who were in the audience, he advised, “Get some people down there [to the Hyde Park Planning Board meetings]. Numbers will make a difference, as we know!”

The discussion then turned to which governmental body, in Clinton’s town government, should be the one to address this issue. The Planning Board, the CAC, and the Town Board were all considered. Michael McCormack maintained that the Town Board, because of its clout and broader range of jurisdiction, was the appropriate group. He said, “This is not just a Planning Board issue. There are more concerns [beyond those the Planning Board would have the jurisdiction to consider] that are pertinent to the whole Town.” He added, “If we were to end up with a lawsuit, it’s the Town Board that has to initiate it.”
Audience members were permitted to offer just a few comments since this was not a public hearing. One emphasized that the way Clinton responds to this proposed development will set a precedent for all future large developments that encroach upon our town. Another made the point that there are two other sizable subdivisions adjacent or almost adjacent to Serenity Hills.
As more is learned about this development and its progress we will post updates here. Check back with the Clinton United web site often!

To: Clinton Town Board
Cc: Clinton Planning Board
From: Clinton CAC
Date: April 19, 2006
Regarding: Proposed Serenity Hills subdivision, Hyde Park

The CAC has examined the maps and made a road survey of the proposed Serenity Hills subdivision in Hyde Park, adjoining the Clinton town boundary. We have the following concerns:

1. The aquifer in the region of the well field will be drawn down to fill the needs of 77 homes. This may impact the wells of nearby Clinton residents. A hydrologic study should be requested by the Clinton Planning Board and Town Board to assess the impact.

2. It is difficult to determine which watershed the well field will draw from. The location appears to be on the boundary of the Crum Elbow and Fallkill watershed. If the well field is indeed in the Crum Elbow watershed, the water would be withdrawn from that watershed and discharged into the Fallkill watershed through the waste treatment plant. This action would have major impact on the water table in both watersheds. This impact must be assessed.

3. The subdivision is in the an area shown by the New York State Natural Heritage Program map as the “Crum Elbow Creek Wetlands Important Area” indicating that this area contains rare animal species. A study by Erik Kiviat located a Blanding’s turtle population in this area. Effects on the habitat required by this rare species should be documented in a biodiversity study by Hudsonia, including required mitigation measures before the application is approved.

4. The effect of the waste treatment plant on the small wetlands and small tributaries of the Fallkill Creek should be required since the water quality of the Fallkill Creek is already imperiled by development.

5. The soils on the proposed subdivision are either hydric (saturated with water) or shallow upland soils (Nassau-Cardigan complex). The upland soils are not suitable for development since the depth to bedrock is not great and, in some cases, the slopes are steep.

6. The cutting of the existing forest would have a negative impact on the ability of the soils to absorb precipitation, and would, therefore, increase runoff.

7. The majority of the proposed homes are slated to be placed on a ridge, which in some cases will be greater than 500 feet in elevation. These homes will be clearly visible from North Quaker Lane, impacting the visual quality of all who drive by.

8. The impact on traffic passing through the hamlets of Pleasant Plains and Frost Mills would be great. The historic roads are at capacity at present. We would strongly suggest a by-pass road, as recommended by the Clinton Master Plan Committee of 1991, be constructed, connecting this subdivision with Route 9G and bypassing the historic hamlets. This recommendation was considered by Dutchess County Department of Public Works in the past. At the minimum, a traffic impact study should be required.

9. The plan is in error in stating that the fire district involved is Staatsburg. The West Clinton Fire District would be required to service this subdivision. They should evaluate the plan.

10. Finally, the impact to Clinton taxpayers in the Hyde Park Central School District would be considerable. The school district should be asked to evaluate the impact on the over crowded schools, and taxpayers in Clinton should have a chance to express their concerns about the inevitable increase in school taxes.

Respectfully submitted,
Norene Coller, CAC Chair

Submitted by Blanche Rubin

Report of the Town Board meeting here (March 14)