April 22, 2009


Chairman Ian Murray called the meeting to order at 7:30 p.m.


Planning Clerk Linda McCabe called the roll:  Chairman Ian Murray – present, Robert Park –     present, Paul Griffen – present, Laurie Griffen – absent, Patrick Hanehan – present, Robert McConnell – present, Jennifer Koval – present, and Alternate Joseph Lewandowski – present.


Also attending: Town Engineer Ken Martin, Dan Schweigard, Mark Sweeney, Dave Brennan, Sara Colman, Maresa Coppola, Stephanie Ferradino, Jim Sullivan and Clarence Fosdick.


sheet is on file in the Planning Clerk’s office.


Due to the absence of Board Member Laurie Griffen, Chairman Ian Murray elevated Alternate Joseph Lewandowski to full voting status.


Prior to approving the minutes, Jennifer Koval stated there was an error under old business from the March minutes, she was absent so couldn’t have moved on a motion.  After looking at the minute notes, Planning Clerk Linda McCabe noted it was Laurie Griffen who seconded that motion and the correction has been made.


Approval of Minutes: A motion was made by Robert Park, and seconded by Patrick Hanehan, to accept the minutes of the March 25, 2009 meeting as written with the correction.  Chairman Ian Murray – aye, Robert Park – aye, Laurie Griffen – absent, Patrick Hanehan – aye, Paul Griffen – aye, Robert McConnell – aye, Jennifer Koval – aye, Alt. Joseph Lewandowski - aye.

Carried 7-0



Special Use Permit Pre-Submission Conference


Dennis J. Brida # 09-05

2160 Rowley Rd.

Ballston Spa, NY  12020

S/B/L 156-1-10 Rural Residential


Applicant proposes to convert the vacant Roadhouse 29 supper club, located on Rte. 29, into a delicatessen.


Attorney Maresa Coppola, of Jones Ferrandino, appeared before the Board for the Applicant.  She reminded the board that this Applicant was before them last May seeking a Special Use Permit for a delicatessen, and due to certain circumstances at that time, they had to abort the project.  She stated she believes this will be more compatible with the surrounding area than the supper club was and that it will not have a negative impact on the adjacent land uses.  She stated the driveway and vehicular pattern will be similar to what currently exists with plenty of parking on site and the signage will remain as is.  There is adequate water and sewer for the property; in fact its capacity is greater than its use.  There will be significant changes to the exterior; she handed out color drawings depicting the new exterior to the Board.  They will be constructing

the entrance to the building in a bungalow style; it will have stone pedestals with columns and an extended peaked rooftop overhead.  The exterior color will change to a subdued shade of green; the privacy fence will come down.  Chairman Ian Murray questioned if, as depicted in the pictures, the privacy fence will be replaced with a picket fence to soften up the appearance, and was told yes. There will be a handicap accessible ramp to the front entrance, a handicap accessible bathroom and there will also be a new staircase inside.  The septic system was new in 2005 and they have the septic plans for Board review.  The Applicant does not plan to be preparing any greasy food so there will be no grease going into the septic system.

The deli will offer traditional sandwiches and a hot menu, specializing in homemade salads, soups and desserts, utilizing locally grown produce whenever possible.  In the past, the Applicants have owned and operated a delicatessen.  There are no plans for inside dining, but they will place a couple of picnic tables outdoors to the east of the building.  They are offering off premise catering and are hoping to open June first. 

This project will have two phases; first is getting the building ready for occupancy; interior plans have been submitted with this application and the second phase will be working on the exterior and grounds; the parking lot will be paved at a later date. Chairman Ian Murray stated he is not comfortable with the parking ingress/egress.  He’d like an ‘in and out’ design for more control there, and Town Engineer Ken Martin agreed.  Chairman Ian Murray then questioned if the Applicants intend to fill in the area outside, where the loading dock by the basement walkout area is; same location of the proposed cooler, and Maresa Coppola said they will not be using that area and yes, she thinks they are filling it in due to it being an unsafe area with drainage problems.  Chairman Ian Murray questioned the exterior and parking lot lighting and Maresa Coppola responded she hasn’t discussed that with the Applicant yet and will bring it to their attention.  She then asked what the Board is looking for concerning that.  Chairman Ian Murray told her that he didn’t know what they were proposing for lighting and wanted to be sure they stay within regulations.  Chairman Ian Murray stated he was surprised they don’t plan on inside dining, and Robert McConnell added he felt the same way.  Robert Park questioned if the screened porch then is for staff only and was told that is correct.  Chairman Ian Murray stated Town Engineer Ken Martin will review the septic plans and upon completion he will return them to the Applicant.  Town Engineer Ken Martin stated he’d like to know, for the septic system, what the food preparation plan is; it doesn’t sound as if a grease trap will be put in.  He was told there will be a grease trap put in but they will not have any frialators, and that they can get more information for him.  Chairman Ian Murray then stated we will schedule a Public Hearing for our May meeting and go through SEQR short form at that time.  Maresa Coppola thanked the Board.


Special Use Permit


Independent Towers LLC #09-03                                       Owner: Town of Saratoga

11 Herbert Dr.                                                                                      12 Spring St.

Latham, NY  12110                                                                              Schuylerville, NY 12871

S/B/l 169-1-64 Rural


Returning Applicant is seeking a Special Use Permit to erect a telecommunications tower within a 60’x 80’ fenced compound on the Town of Saratoga land fill located on Hayes Rd. 


Mark Sweeney of Whiteman, Osterman & Hanna LLP, along with Dan Schweigard of Infinigy Engineering, appeared before the Board on behalf of the Applicant. Mark Sweeney handed out an extra packet to Board members with more defined answers to their pre-submission questions of the last meeting; this is in addition to their original packet previously provided.   Mark Sweeney stated the Applicants are proposing a 150’ monopole tower located on the Town of Saratoga Landfill on Hayes Rd.  It doesn’t require any clearing to accommodate the 60’ x 80’ compound around the tower; they will be using the existing access there, and there is suitable access for emergency and maintenance purposes if and when needed.  They feel this is a good use for that type of industrial property and beneficial for the area.  There are no problems with lot size, setbacks, no residences or structures within 450’ of the proposed structure, and the closest setback is 453’.  They have gone through site plan requirements that are set forth for telecommunications towers and had that information translated into the plans and have made references where appropriate.  This application has a narrative describing the project, site plans by Infinigy, tower accommodation for co-location of four additional carriers, a long form EAF prepared and provided for Board review by Infinigy, a completed Ag Data statement, a report from Wireless Applications analyzing air space requirements and finding the tower will not create a hazard to navigation nor will painting or lighting be required.  Mark Sweeney also received today, the FAA determination for the tower stating that it will not be a hazard to navigation nor will painting or lighting be required.  A copy of this report will be provided to the Board as well.

Mark Sweeney then stated the Town ordinance goes to demonstrating a need; looking at structures in the area and determine if any may be used as an alternative to building a new site and to analyze all those prior to proposing a new site.  They did that.  In the binder under exhibit 4A there is a map showing a 5 mile radius, which was the area specified by the Board, showing several structures within and without that area.  These were analyzed and none were found to provide coverage to the area that they are seeking to address.  To show that, they have provided as tab B, some RF plots that were prepared for them showing coverage from surrounding locations.  That leaves a clear gap, in the middle along Rt. 29, of coverage from existing sites.  They’ve then gone through to add in coverage that would be from this proposed facility that shows how that gap would be narrowed and covered in that area.  Basically they have tried to show that they’ve looked at existing structures in that area and found none suitable for their needs.  They know Verizon has an application in also and they have been talking to them and will continue to do so.

They then tried to show how they would be covering that area, which dovetails with section F of Town Code, and requires them to demonstrate this to the Board.  Infinigy floated a balloon to get some indication of what you would see; preliminary visual was done in anticipation of the balloon float for the Board.  Mark Sweeney handed the Board copies of their site determination showing areas where you could view, even the tiniest bit, the balloon.  He stated they floated the balloon at 2-2½ miles and superimposed a tower on the photos (where the balloon was) indicating what they saw.  They have done some sight-line analysis relative to the Battlefield and areas nearby to determine whether or not those areas would have a line-of-sight. He stated they received a letter from Mr. Martin of the Park Service requesting consulting party status on this project and they have no problem with that at all.  They’ll provide copies of any materials he may require, have a direct line of communication, and copy him as they go forward on all materials provided to the Board.   They hope their in-put will help avoid any issues and Independent Towers can demonstrate to them that there is no impact on the resources they are protecting.

The Applicant has redesigned the tower; it will be galvanized steel which weathers to gray so you barely notice it, which minimizes its appearance and it has a slender silhouette.  It doesn’t require lighting or signs aside from a small placard on the fencing at the base of the tower.  Vegetation will remain as is and they will try to tuck the tower up near the tree line so they can use that for screening.  There is no view of ‘passers by’ since the site is so far back. As far as access goes they will be using the existing access.  It will be an unmanned site, remotely operated with periodic monthly maintenance visits.  Parking only needs to accommodate 1-2 vehicles and they will make sure there is enough area around the tower for emergency vehicles and since this will be on the town landfill there is plenty of land there. The fencing will be a chain link fence; no barbed wire proposed, with a 12’ wide, double swing gate.  They provided a letter stating in accordance with Town code, that they will notify the Board when they are finished with the tower and will remove it in a timely manner; they are committed to do that.  Mark Sweeney stated they have notified surrounding municipalities, National Park Services, Director of Emergency Services, Saratoga County Planning Board and the County and are asking for Board referral to the County.  They will send out neighbor notifications prior to a public hearing.

Chairman Ian Murray thanked Mark Sweeney for a complete and thorough application.  He noted there was no footing detail for the monopole and Dan Schweigard responded if they are allowed to proceed to construction, the geo-tech borings will be taken at the site and the footing design will be based on the existing soil conditions there.

Board member Paul Griffen questioned exactly where the tower will be built at the site, and Mark Sweeney stated on undisturbed land next to the dump, not on top of the dump. 

Chairman Ian Murray stated that the Board requires a 5 mile view shed analysis not 2½ and Dan Schweigard responded they will be doing the 5 as required.  Chairman Ian Murray then asked if they have a license for the tower and Mark Sweeney stated they are in conversation with Verizon and their hope is they can come to an understanding on which site will be used and have them co-locate on their tower and they can utilize their license to proceed further. 

Chairman Ian Murray stated lead agency status for SEQR is needed.


Chairman Ian Murray made a motion, seconded by Robert McConnell to declare the Town of Saratoga Planning Board as lead agency for SEQR review.  Chairman Ian Murray – aye, Robert Park – aye, Laurie Griffen – absent, Patrick Hanehan – aye, Paul Griffen – aye, Robert McConnell – aye, Jennifer Koval – aye, Alt. Joseph Lewandowski - aye.

Carried 7-0


Robert Park stated the balloon float will be a true worst-case view since there are so few leaves on the trees yet, and secondly, the equipment shed is remote and if a fire or something were to happen, are there any safeguards in there.  Mark Sweeney responded the shelters come equipped with fire suppression systems; there is a detector in there and if there is a fire, those systems kick in and will put it out.  We get into detail on this in the design and construction drawings when we submit for building permits.  Robert Park then questioned if they will need to go higher in order to get enough carriers on the tower.  Mark Sweeney responded they anticipate with the height they have that they can accommodate most anyone.  He added if someone comes in with a less developed network and needs it to be higher, then they would come before this Board and ask for a modification and approval, as would Verizon if in the same situation, but he does not anticipate this happening.   He stated he knows that in the Verizon application they ran their analysis at 190’ to accommodate the elevation differential between the two towers and they have provided Verizon with some more accurate coordinates of their site so they will be able to get a better elevation reading so they can run their tests there and make a determination of what it is.  They’d like to get a full set of information for their application to the Board, and he’s sure Verizon feels the same way, particularly with the visual impact information so the sites can be analyzed side by side and see what the relevant impacts would be; then an educated decision can be made from there.

Robert McConnell questioned their time frame and was told they’d like to build in 2009. They believe it will be June or July before any Board approval will be made which still leaves time to build.  The Board questioned the road obligation and was told that whatever the Town maintenance obligation is now, will continue, but if Independent Towers create any changes or problems they will repair it.  Chairman Ian Murray asked if there were any other questions, and since there were none, stated the Board will set a Public Hearing for our May meeting.  The Balloon Float will take place on Sat., May 2, 2009 at 8:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. with a rain date of Mon., May 4, 2009 at the same set time.  The Board will place an ad in the paper and the Applicant needs to send out neighbor notifications, certified return receipt and bring those to the next Board meeting.

Mark Sweeney thanked the Board for their time.



Verizon Wireless/ Cellco Partnership #09-02         Owner:  Mr. & Mrs. Raymond DeRidder

David C. Brennan, Young, Sommer LLC                              180 Walsh Rd.

Executive Woods, 5 Palisades Dr.                                            Saratoga Springs, NY  12866

Albany, NY  12205

S/B/L 169-1-62.1 Rural


Returning Applicant is seeking a Special Use Permit to construct a telecommunications tower on the lands of Mr. and Mrs. Raymond DeRidder, 180 Walsh Rd.  The proposed tower will be a monopole of 105’ in height, including the lightning rod; 12 panel antennas mounted to the top of the tower, 1 GPS unit, microwave antennas as required for utility services, a 12’ x  30’ unmanned equipment shelter and all related ground equipment and utility services. 


Attorney David Brennan, of Young Sommer LLC, along with Sarah Coleman of Arrow Smith Engineering, appeared before the Board on behalf of the Applicant.  He stated the Board will be hearing a lot of the same things as Independent Towers, so he wanted to highlight some relevant sections of his application. They too, are working with Independent Towers, and going through the same process, and he would like to continue the process and evaluation and see where it takes them.  He’d like to point out that he believes the Independent Towers site will serve as a good backup for them and if the Board chooses that site, they will go with that.  The Applicant proposes a 105’ monopole, including a lightening rod, located on the DeRidder property at 180 Walsh Rd.  Access of the site will be with the existing driveway, curling behind the existing home, back about 400’ and down a bit of a grade there.  Tree coverage there is about 60’- 65’ so it’ll be above the trees, but screened pretty heavily by the trees.  Utilities will go under ground from an existing pole line which will follow the driveway in.  The site will be enclosed with a 6’ chain link fence with 2’ of barbed wire on top, a standard equipment shelter contained within the fenced area; you already heard about the shelters so no need to re-emphasize.  David Brennan added he has provided an Ag Data statement and will notify those folks with agriculture operations.  They have notified adjoining municipalities, County level departments and National Park Services and are providing an affidavit on those mailings.

David Brennan provided a separate letter responding to the Board’s questions of the pre-submission conference.  He stated it starts with their Statement of Intent and their responses and compliance with Board requirements.  They are awaiting FAA response, but are expecting to get a letter back within a week or two.  Tab 1 is the full EAF, complete for your Board review; they will have a complete visual EAF addendum with their view shed report.  Tab 2 is a copy of the lease agreement, Tabs 3 and 4 are background material on the telecommunications act, in case they need to go before the ZBA for variances.  Tab 5 is copy of our licenses for the Saratoga County area: they are licensed in the cellular band; the 850 megahertz, and they also have PCS license; the 1900 megahertz.  They have two new licenses; one at 700 and one at 2100.  Tab 6 is their site selection analysis and they came to the same conclusion as did the Applicant before; there are no existing tall structures within our search area that will fill the gap in this area of the Town.  There is no site upon which an existing tower is that we could put a taller tower up and fill this gap.  They have gone through and looked at other parcels and provided a detailed explanation as to why they feel their proposed parcel is the best one from a variety of considerations.  Tab 7 is their design letter from their professional engineer, indicating that they are proposing a tower that will be sufficient for their loading plus 3 additional co-locaters, which is a requirement of Town code.  Tab 8 is the FAA analysis, Tab 9 is a letter from Verizon which has a couple of required statements: the co-location commitment if this tower is approved and built, they will adhere to the requirements of  the Town zoning law which requires co-location, and Verizon to deal with co-locaters in an appropriate manner. Also if the Town requires/needs reimbursement for review fees, they are willing to do that so long as they are reasonable.  They will also make a commitment that if the tower is built and they no longer need it, they will notify the Town and after the appropriate amount of time they will remove the tower.  The tower will be unmanned, visited 1-3 times a month for routine maintenance and diagnostics.  There will be no bathroom, no septic, no well and very little traffic.   Tab 10 is an engineering report that if we were to build the tower and operate at full strength, at any distance from the tower at ground level, it would be significantly below 1% of the allowance by FCC for radio frequency emissions.  Tab 11 is the view shed map and it will be supplemented once we float the balloon.  That is about all for now.

Chairman Ian Murray thanked David Brennan for a complete and thorough application.

He questioned, both David Brennan and Mark Sweeney, on past projects such as this, did any towns require they put up a bond for tower removal and David Brennan responded it does come up as a condition of approval; maybe 30-50% require it.  Normally $25,000-$35,000 bond is required and the Board has the power to ask this and if so, they will comply.  Board member Patrick Hanehan questioned what happens if they sell to another company, does the contract Verizon have with the land owner transfer to the other company and David Brennan responded yes, there is an assignment clause in their lease and whoever takes the assignment of the lease are bound by all the terms and conditions.  The special use permit binds with the land also.  Chairman Ian Murray then stated, as in the prior Application, there are no footing details for the monopole and David Brennan responded only after approval the geo-tech borings will be taken at the site and the footing design will then be based on the existing soil conditions.  Board member Patrick Hanehan questioned the difference in fencing; Independent Towers without barbed wire and Verizon with barbed wire.  David Brennan responded it goes by different things, some codes require it, some don’t.  Verizon does have a setup that calls for a 6’ fence with 2’ of barbed wire.  If the Board finds this offensive, they can probably do away with it and go with an 8’ fence, Verizon just does not want anyone getting in there.  Mark Sweeney, Independent Towers, added that basically some Towns require it and they leave it up to the attorneys.  Board member Paul Griffen stated there is going to be only one tower, correct, and Chairman Ian Murray responded yes.  David Brennan added that the Independent Towers area covers more toward the Battlefield and Verizon’s more toward Saratoga Springs area. David Brennan also added that, as he stated before, the Independent Towers site will work for them if that is the Board’s decision.  Chairman Ian Murray reiterated that the Board is not looking for two towers, but the Board will do due diligence with both applications.  They’ll run in parallel and if need be, the Board will get a consultant to help them with that decision.  Paul Griffen stated he is against the Board making the decision on which site is best for the tower. Chairman Ian Murray stated it is the Board’s duty to choose which tower site is best for the Town, and professional input will help the Board with that decision.  Robert McConnell and Patrick Hanehan agreed.

Chairman Ian Murray stated lead agency status for SEQR is needed.


Chairman Ian Murray made a motion, seconded by Paul Griffen to declare the Town of Saratoga Planning Board as lead agency for SEQR review.  Chairman Ian Murray – aye, Robert Park – aye, Laurie Griffen – absent, Patrick Hanehan – aye, Paul Griffen – aye, Robert McConnell – aye, Jennifer Koval – aye, Alt. Joseph Lewandowski - aye.

Carried 7-0


Chairman Ian Murray asked if there were any other questions, and since there were none, stated the Board will set a Public Hearing for our May meeting.  He added the Balloon Float will take place on Sat., May 2, 2009 at 8:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. with a rain date of Mon., May 4, 2009 at the same set time.  The Board will place an ad in the paper and the Applicant needs to send out neighbor notifications, certified return receipt and bring those to the next Board meeting.



Robert McConnell questioned the color of the balloons.  Sarah Coleman responded Verizon will use a red balloon with a tether at the bottom and it was decided by Dan Schweigard that Independent Towers will float a red balloon with a blue stripe.  Verizon will float at 105’ and Independent will float at 150’; they will figure out the details and let the Board know.

Both Verizon and Independent Towers thanked the Board. 


Old Business:   Grotto Special Use Permit compliance: Zoning Officer Gil Albert did an inspection and would like Chairman Ian Murray to go take a look and see if he feels they have accomplished what the Board is looking for.


New Business: Mr. Zene Garnsey came to the Board for information on options for the family property.  Board discussion ensued on the private road, the trailer there, frontage, subdividing possibilities and consolidating possibilities.  Mr. Garnsey has a lot of frontage on Rt. 4. Suggestions were putting in a road to town standards, speaking with an attorney and putting it into an LLC, talking to a surveyor and perhaps checking with Zoning Officer Gil Albert or the Zoning Board Chairman Stephen Bodnar on the fire lanes there and if there is something that can be done.  Zene Garnsey thanked the Board for their time and help.


Next meeting will be held May 27, 2009


Robert McConnell made a motion, seconded by Paul Griffen, to adjourn the meeting at 9:54 p.m.  Chairman Ian Murray – aye, Robert Park –  aye, Laurie Griffen – absent, Patrick Hanehan –aye, Paul Griffen – aye, Robert McConnell –aye, Jennifer Koval – aye, Alternate Joseph Lewandowski – aye.  Carried 7 - 0.

Meeting Adjourned


Respectfully submitted,


Linda McCabe

Planning Clerk


Return to 2009 Planning Board Files