By Caitlin Croft

The January meeting of the Village Planning Board continued discussion of a new restaurant on 32 Washington St. after an adjacent parcel owner challenged issuing the needed permits.

Concerns regarding building encroachment were the primary concern in addition to no special permit being required for bringing in Rafi’s Platters to the former Tips Up space.

It was determined last month no Special Use Permit was required “because it is continuing to operate as a restaurant and there is no change in use. A zoning permit is required, but that is completed by the Code Enforcement Officer.”

The adjacent owners cited zoning requirements that because Tips Up had been closed for more than a year, the new owners needed a Special Use Permit (SUP). This zoning requirement was discussed last month, but because Tips Up never had an SUP, it was not necessary if the use was staying the same.

The planning board consulted the village attorney, after receiving a letter from the adjacent owners’ legal representation, and the board was advised to bring the applicant back in and apply for an SUP.

From the application there will be no exterior changes to the building, there will be an addition of a dumpster enclosure to be designed in-kind with village requirements. This is a Type 1 Action under the State Environment Quality Review and a determination of significance will be declared after a public hearing.

There is a less than 10 percent change in the footprint of the building, therefore there is no referral to the County Planning Board. Architectural Design Review and Historical Review are not applicable because there are no exterior changes. All current building code violations will be corrected and upheld per the Code Enforcement Officer.

There is a question in regard to the lot lines as the survey from 1977 shows that approximately 1 ½ feet are encroaching the adjacent owners on the side of the building and less than ½ foot encroachment in the rear. At one point there was an encroachment issue with a different adjacent owner and the issue was resolved with 6 square feet being added to encompass the exhaust fan that hung over the zero lot line with the EVL Winery.

The board inquired as to why these encroachment issues were not addressed back then in roughly 2017. There was a concern as to why there was a clean title of ownership not stating the encroachments for all these years and the applicants’ engineer advised this happens a lot with buildings as old as 32 Washington St.

The application was deemed complete and there was a motion for a special public hearing for Jan. 28 at 5:30 p.m.

IN OTHER BUSINESS, last month there were concerns raised as to the handling of trash at the West Rose restaurant. There was going to be a tote enclosure designed and therefore a site plan amendment was deemed necessary.

There was an email received that all totes had been removed and the trash will be handled inside per the original site plan. Therefore no site plan amendment is now needed. 

There has also been an ongoing inquiry if a driveway was allowed through part of 17 & 19 McKinley Drive that per the platt was zoned to be reserved from future development. The owners may go through the process to look at the platt and apply for an amendment but this does not mean it would be granted. No application has been submitted at this time.

The next regular meeting of the Village Planning Board is Feb. 11 at 5:30 p.m.