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Montrose Enhancement Plan (MEP) Minutes

Release Date: May 12, 2010
April 14, 2010

Montrose Enhancement Plan
MEP Minutes
April 14, 2010
Opening remarks: Linda Puglisi – Supervisor
            The Hamlet of Montrose has 4,000 residents covering 2.5 square miles. This meeting will be a review of the short-term items that were completed following the February 2010 meeting. The objective is to identify the assets and the challenges in Montrose. Sub-committees will be formed to address the specific concerns of the residents.
The PowerPoint presentation was reviewed:
A few points of discussion, from the PowerPoint:
·        Chris Kehoe, Deputy Director of Planning, spoke about the Brookfield Plant. He stated that the Planning Board meets the first Tuesday of every month. There has not been a Public Hearing, as of yet. The Planning Board has done a site inspection, to get a first hand look at the clean up. This case is an “As of Right”, meaning they have the right to submit an application but the Planning Board does carefully review the plans to minimize the impact. It is zoned industrial and the junkyard was a permitted use. Linda Puglisi wants the public to be aware of the meetings and to be involved in the process and to make comments. Contact Chris Kehoe to get on an e-mail list. (
·        The contractors yard and commercial composting moratorium have been extended to June 30,2010 by the Town Board for further review. 
·        There was a suggestion that at the exit of the Cortlandt Volunteer Ambulance Corps. yellow lines be painted so that cars do not block the exit for the emergency vehicles. This will be addressed by the Town.
·        No new information was available on the abandoned Gas Stations. Both parcels are in arrears and will be addressed by the legal department. The house next to the ambulance corp. is in foreclosure and has many judgments against it. It will take time to resolve these issues by the banks and the legal process.
·        Unfortunately, Metro North will not offer special rates to Montrose residents for parking.  A resident asked that some parking spots be designated for Montrose residents using the new section of parking. It would be more convenient for Montrose residents to park there. 
·        Montrose Station Road Bridge has been red-flagged by the NYS DOT in October 2009. The Town does not own the bridge but is responsible for some repair of the bridge, along with the State DOT and Metro North. It is owned primarily by Metro North. It now has some weight restrictions. Metro-North has hired a special engineer to evaluate the bridge and it is mostly their responsibility to pay for the repairs. Metro-North will give the town a report, shortly. The cost could be two million dollars. The decking needs to be replaced along with the structural framework.
·        Restore New York handouts were made available. It mandates the removal of the buildings and the cooperative efforts. It is complicated but a good funding source if funded by the State. The Town will pursue. 
·        Earth Day kick-off ceremony took place at the Montrose Gazebo on April 17th. All residents were invited to attend to clean up their neighborhood. The community center was an e-mail waste drop off site and there were several other destinations to pick up clean-up materials by the Town. 
The next MEP meeting will be held on June 8th at 7 P.M. at the Hendrick Hudson
Free Library.
Sub-Committee Concerns:
Aesthetics/Beautification/Parks/Fundraising – Notes
John Palmiotto – Director of Recreation
Frank Farrell - Councilman
Montrose Residents
  1. Roundtree Lane – The residents of Roundtree Lane discussed several issues of concern. The first was cleaning up the area at the beginning of Roundtree Lane where there had previously been a playground. John Palmiotto explained that the area is not large enough for a new playground to be installed and the residents agreed that it was not an appropriate site. They asked that the old fencing and picnic table be removed and possibly some trees be planted there instead. This would help the Town Highway crew maintain the area and help beautify that location. 
Secondly, the residents could donate plantings (seasonal flowers) at the entrance to Roundtree Lane. They need assistance and suggestions on watering these plants from the Town. It was suggested they use plants that do not need that much water, if possible.
It was also mentioned that along 9A, across from Roundtree Lane there are wires, which needs to be removed.
  1. Route 9A Improvements – The committee would like to see more attention to beautifying Rte. 9A. It was suggested to use new banners and welcome signs, plant flowers, perhaps design a banner with a “Montrose Flower”. 
Also, needed is to clean up the sidewalks from the Montrose V.A. to Hendrick Hudson High School. The litter needs to be picked-up, the sidewalks need to be swept of gravel, and the trees and bushes need to be trimmed so that the sidewalk is accessible. 
Is there a way to make the businesses look better, perhaps with the use of the banners or flags? 
  1. Kalkstein Building – The area along the sidewalk needs weeding and trimming. (Mr. Kalkstein has asked for the Town to assist).
  1. Dutch Street – The Veterans monument needs regular maintenance. There are too many signs. If there could be one sign used to direct what is located down Dutch Street it would help clean up the area. 
  1. The Old Driving Range – This business needs better maintenance, it is an eyesore and is unattractive in its present state.  
  1. Fundraising- it was suggested to possibly use Hilltop Farms as a central location for fundraising. It was agreed that the Hilltop Farms is a welcomed addition to our area and to ask the owner for suggestions with the Montrose plantings and to have him involved with some fundraising efforts.   Also having some fundraising efforts at Family Fun Day. Cheryl Anderson volunteered her time to these efforts.
  1. Planning Board – Two owners of the dance studio discussed the issues they had with the Planning Board in opening their business two years ago. They brought up the issue of wanting to place a nice sign outside of their business, but felt over-whelmed by the process. They asked for the process to become less intimidating and then perhaps business owners would be more willing to make improvements.
  1. Summary - The Beautification Committee agreed they want the Montrose Area to look better and hope some of their suggestions will help achieve this goal. 
Infrastructure Group – Notes 
Ed Vergano – Director of Technical Services and Town Engineer
Rosemary Boyle-Lasher – Assistant DOTS Director
Montrose residents
1Route 9A & Kalkstein's building - dance school - Real concerns about safety of   children going from adjacent parking lot to entrance to building - consider barriers to Route 9A, along sidewalk.   Need to cut back plantings (these might be Kalkstein's buildings’ plantings?) and allow more visual access to site.
2. Harper Avenue - Request consideration for speed humps.  Idea of one way was also briefly discussed but with the Hunt Avenue/KFR intersection already restricted - some were not sure this would work.  Real concern of speeding as people cut through from KFR to FGL School. Discussed speed hump criteria and other areas of Town.
3. Kings Ferry Rd & Route 9A intersection - Especially during AM Peak - needs a right turn lane. Also needs cutting back on sidewalk, landscaped island and possibly losing a few of the public parking spaces near Ambulance Corps but many felt it might be worth it to alleviate the major backups on KFR.   Short-term fix for Ambulance corp. is below.
4. KFR & Ambulance Corp Entrance - Short term Fix - Have the Town adequately paint out a box on the pavement and add signage - do not block the box RE; Ambulance Corp.
5. Public Parking Lot near Ambulance Corp:  High School kids parking in the public lot at Ambulance Corps and leave cars all day even though it says 2 hour parking.   Rosemary to follow up with Code Enforcement and ask that Parking enforcement visit the site. If we can alleviate the "all day parkers" we can have more access for area businesses.
6.Using Montrose FD Parking Lot in cooperation with HHHS for kids to park in as an alternative.  Some felt this would be troublesome and others felt the school should be pressed upon to completely prevent students from bringing cars to school. Insurance concerns, etc.
7. VA Hospital - Move Security Check in further into property:  This was discussed at length. Currently when AM peak and employees are entering site - the line for check in backs up onto Route 9A causing further backups along the road. Seek help from VA to move check in further in to alleviate back up on Route 9A.
8. NYSDOT Diamond Interchange or Clover Leaf Interchange: Maybe we should try again to push the NYSDOT on this.  Concerns about Level of Service decreasing on Route 9A with VA, New additional Train Station, Brookfield and Dakota, etc.
9. BrookfieldGeneral discussion and concerns about noise and traffic. We reviewed the plans.  Chris participated in this discussion.  Discuss future opportunities at the June 2010 meeting and make sure that the public participates (which is before the Planning Board) in review of the proposed Brookfield site plan.
10. Dutch Street Redesign & Monument movement to VA property. Discussion included both concerns about moving the monument – apparently there is some connection to a family who lives on Dutch Street. Also, Ed tried to bring awareness to the fact that moving the monument would only modestly increase the sight distance safety issue of Dutch/Route9A. Suggestion to evaluate this area was discussed. 
Business & Economic Enhancement – Notes
Chris Kehoe - Director of Planning/DOTS
 Ken Hoch –Assistant Code Enforcement/DOTS
Montrose residents
  1. Brookfield – traffic concerns. What will the new business be doing? Will they bring scrap metal? Will abandoned cars be left there? There are concerns re: the environment and the possibility of the business expanding. (This application is currently before the Town’s Planning Board). Planning Board agendas are placed on the Town’s website in advance of the meetings.
  1. New Businesses – The group wanted to see some more new businesses coming to the Montrose area. 
Safety and Security Group Issues
Sgt. Tim Joyce and Sgt. Sean Faccilonga - Westchester County Police
Montrose residents:
  1. Issue of buses entering George’s Island on Saturdays and Sundays during the picnic season. Sgt. Faccilonga contacted the Cortlandt Patrol and the parks patrol to advise them on Westchester County Deputy Commissioner Kathleen O’Connor’s change in policy. The new policy is to not allow the entry of buses into Georges Island. No more bus traffic. The Town called the County and they agreed. 
  1. Montrose Deli area – The issue of students loitering in the area at the Montrose Deli. Multiple residents raised the issue. The Sgts. have advised the Cortlandt Patrol of the issue and have directed inspections to be made during those hours whenever possible.
  1. 911 – A resident was not sure if he should call NYState Police, Westchester County Police, for 911.   The resident was given the WCP non-emergency number for quality of life issues and it was explained that 911 was always available for emergencies. 911 would dispatch NYSP and/or WCP depending on the proximity of the units and call type. New York State Police is the primary dispatcher.
Minutes submitted by Judi Peterson and by the Group Town Advisors
May 6, 2010