Plandome Heights Planning Board continues subdivision hearing with new members

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Plandome Heights planning board members, from left, Chairman James Madison, Roxanne Fitzig and new member Eric Carlson review the plans for a two-lot subdivision at 109 Summit Drive. (Photo by Amelia Camurati)

Plandome Heights Planning Board members met for the first time with two new members and a new alternate member on April 24 to discuss but not decide on the proposed residential subdivision on Summit Drive.

A map of the proposed subdivision shows how the 109 Summit Drive property would be divided into two lots. (Photo by Amelia Camurati)

New members Marijan Bernic and Eric Carlson were appointed by Mayor Ken Riscica at the village’s annual reorganizational meeting in April, replacing Mary Oleske, whose term expired in March.

Riscica also appointed Alex Linsky as an alternate member at the time, growing the board from its previous four-member board plus one alternate member to a five-member board with two alternates.

The lot is currently owned by Evan Psyllos and JMP Investments LLC of Flower Hill.

The proposed subdivision would divide the 35,217-square-foot lot into two lots of 18,870 square feet and 16,347 square feet, and each would potentially hold a two-story, 5,000-square-foot home near the front of the property to avoid the backyard down slope.

The Planning Board is only deciding whether to divide the lot, not what the specifics of any future homes on the lot would be.

During the third public hearing for the proposed subdivision at 109 Summit Drive, which would create two residential lots, project engineer Chuck Panetta of Bladykas and Panetta Land Planning, Land Surveying and Civil Engineering said if approved, the roadway in front of the subdivision would be widened to 18 feet from the current 17.5 feet in front of the existing property to accommodate both homeowner and commuter traffic as well as possible emergency service vehicles.

Panetta said a traffic study of the area, performed by VHB engineer Robert Eschbacher, showed the proposed subdivision would have little impact on the neighborhood during construction and once a new home was built.

“[Eschbacher] has indicated that he has analyzed this map as well as the area, and he has indicated during the peak one-hour morning period and the peak one-hour afternoon period, our project would generate one additional vehicular trip, and these minor levels would pose no adverse impact to traffic on the roads,” Panetta said. “We have taken a close look at the traffic issue, and we feel we’ve mitigated it substantially by widening the pavement along Summit Drive as well as taking a close look at what our impact would be.”

Residents, however, still had concerns about the potential runoff from the site during construction and after a second home is built on the lot.

Plandome Heights resident Sav Sultana said his property on Bay Driveway is constantly flooded and he is concerned that a planned retaining wall in the backyard of the two proposed lots where the land begins to slope downward would not stop the problem.

“My biggest concern is we’re flooding Bay Driveway from this mountain,” Sultana said. “Everything that comes off these two houses and the Gentiles’ house ends up in my backyard: trees, runoff, plants, everything comes into my backyard. How are they going to stop this? I put a trench, and everything runs off. This wall is not going to stop it.”

Panetta said the runoff will be collected “before it reaches the ground” with dry wells. Panetta also said the existing conditions do not meet the village’s or Nassau County’s current code for runoff, which is about 2 inches per hour for the village and 5 inches per hour for the county.

The board previously met in January and February about the proposed subdivision, and the meeting will be continued at 7:30 p.m. May 22 at Village Hall.

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