CARMEL, N.Y. - The Carmel Fire Department is currently before the Planning Board seeking site plan approval for an expansion and renovation project for its firehouse at 94 Gleneida Ave. in the Carmel hamlet.

 The property is also under review for a lot line adjustment by the Planning Board, as some of the proposed addition would be built on property currently owned by neighboring TD Bank, which is donating that parcel to the fire department.

 Carmel Fire Department is a volunteer fire department with approximately 65 active members. The firehouse, which sits on 2.2 acres of land, was originally a Grand Union supermarket before being converted to its current use. It was last updated in 1996.

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Insite Engineering, which is overseeing the project, said that the proposed plan includes an addition that consists of a new apparatus bay space, support spaces for equipment, storage and training, as well as the addition of a new driveway, relocation of utilities and site amenities.

Mike Carnazza, the town’s code enforcement officer and building inspector, said the proposed addition would be approximately 8,000 square feet in size.

The existing building will be repurposed to include office, meeting and display spaces. It is anticipated that the Board of Fire Commissioners for the Carmel Fire District will occupy the new office space.

Insite Engineering said in a letter to the Planning Board that today’s fire apparatuses are now wider and taller than the trucks from the 1990s creating a space and clearance conflict. In addition, guidelines of the National Fire Protection Association require a separate decontamination area for firefighters to remove and clean their gear and themselves after they return from a call. The present apparatus bays do not provide adequate space for that.

Insite’s letter said that due to the difficulty and expense of converting the existing structure to meet current requirements, a new addition is the best strategy to create safe and code-compliant spaces.

While the parking spaces in the rear of the building—where the proposed addition would be constructed—would be eliminated, Insite said more parking spaces would be created in the front.

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