TOWN OF SARATOGA
MINUTES - DRAFT
December 14, 2005 - 7:30 PM
Chairman Ian Murray called the meeting to order at 7:30 p.m.
Clerk Catherine Cicero called the roll. Chairman Ian Murray – present, Susan Cummings – present, Ralph Pascucci – present, Albert Baker – present, Paul Griffen – present, Robert Park – present, Laurie Griffen – present, and alternate Patrick Hanehan – present.
Approval of Minutes: All board members present had read the minutes of the November 30, 2005 meeting. Laurie Griffen made a clarification on page one of those minutes, changing the word “discourage” in the last paragraph to “encourage”; and Paul Griffen made a clarification on page 7 that local laws must be enforced. A motion was made by Laurie Griffen, seconded by Paul Griffen, to accept the minutes of November 30, 2005 as corrected. Chairman Ian Murray – aye, Susan Cummings – aye, Paul Griffen – aye, Laurie Griffen – aye, Ralph Pascucci –aye, Albert Baker – aye, Robert Park – aye. Carried 7– 0.
Order of Business:
Saratoga Builders, LLC Peter & Sue Grassi, Owners
8 Campion Lane 394 Burgoyne Rd.
Saratoga Springs, NY 12866 Saratoga Springs, NY 12866
S/B/L 168.-2- 24 & 25 Rural District
Sam Palazzole, Dan Barber, and Mike Brooks appeared before the Board on behalf of the Applicant regarding a conventional subdivision of 38 +/- acres consisting of 12 building lots on a new road off of Burgoyne Road.
Sam Palazzole updated the Board on progress since the last meeting, stating that he is still waiting for a final report from DOH, which has changed the final reviewer from Jim Meecham to Mike Shaw. All DOH requirements have been completed. He is also waiting for a final report from the Army Corps of Engineers. John Connell of that agency has returned from his assignment in New Orleans and is expected to render final approval before the January Planning Board meeting.
Mr. Palazzole stated that Saratoga Builders has a verbal agreement with Frank Naret and Mary Fields to sell them, for $1, a triangular piece of property from lot 9 of about 5000 square feet, which includes the easement that they had over that property. Mr. Palazzole noted that the property would include a portion of the no-cut buffer that the Planning Board had requested.
Mr. Palazzole gave Planning Clerk Catherine Cicero a copy of the notice of public hearing letter sent to 31 people who own property within 500’ of the Burgoyne Estates property, along with thirty-one certified mail receipts, 20 signed proofs of delivery, and 1 returned undeliverable letter. Mr. Palazzole also asked that a petition in support of the proposed development, signed by 43 people living or owning property within the Town, be made a part of the permanent file in this application.
Chairman Ian Murray asked that the maps be updated to reflect the conveyance of property by the January meeting, and that the deed language be forwarded to Town Attorney William Reynolds for review.
Chairman Ian Murray asked the Board members if they had any further questions regarding the application. There were none. He summarized that the Applicant still needs final sign-offs from DOH, the ACOE, and DEC on the SWPP. The Applicant also must prepare an estimate for the letter of credit necessary for the infrastructure before the Board can grant final approval. Chairman Ian Murray suggested that the Applicant send the information to Town Engineer Kenneth Martin as soon as it becomes available in order to set bonding for the project.
Chairman Ian Murray noted that a public hearing was held on July 27, 2005 for this application and the Applicant was granted preliminary approval. A second hearing is being held before final approval can be granted.
Proof of notice having been provided by newspaper on December 3, 2005, Chairman Ian Murray opened the Public Hearing at 7:37 p.m., asking that anyone having comments provide their name, address, and state whether they were for or against the proposal. He also requested that all comments be limited to three minutes, at least for the first round, so everyone would have an opportunity to speak.
Cynthia Hrubenak, 352 Burgoyne—Opposed.
Steven Crain, 302 Burgoyne—Opposed. Mr. Crain’s main concern was the issue of increased traffic.
Mary Field, 366 Burgoyne—Opposed.
Mariana Jenson, 370 Burgoyne—Opposed. Ms. Jenson pointed out that her property would be surrounded on three sides by roadways if the development is approved.
Marilyn Zaborek, 387 Burgoyne—Opposed. Ms. Zaborek asked the Board to look into the possibility that she has an easement over the proposed development property.
Kimberly Kennedy, 349 Burgoyne—Opposed. Ms. Kennedy submitted a letter in opposition, which has been made a part of the permanent file of this application.
Robert McConnell, Wagmans Ridge—For.
Paul Dion, 349 Burgoyne—Neither for or against.
Chuck Carlstrom, 344 Burgoyne—Opposed. Mr. Carlstrom is concerned that the pond on his property will be affected, and believes it is fed by wetlands on the proposed development property.
Frank Naret, 366 Burgoyne—Comments. Mr. Naret observed that the subdivision process could be improved by dialogue between the developers and the affected neighbors.
Timothy Gregoire, 358 Burgoyne—Opposed.
All those wishing to speak having done so, the Public Hearing was closed at 8:09 p.m.
There were no further questions from the Board. Chairman Ian Murray recapped that the Board was still waiting for final approval from the ACOE, DOH, and a sign-off on the SWPPP from DEC. Chairman Ian Murray stated that he would look into the issue of a possible easement owned by Marilyn Zaborek over the proposed development property. RETURNING
Saratoga Farms, Inc., Applicant
173 Co. Rd. 69
Schuylerville, NY 12871
S/B/L 182.-2-15.11 Rural
Returning Applicant proposes to begin Phase II of a planned development: a 36 unit subdivision of single family homes on 121.82+/- acres. No new information has been made available for this application. The application was pulled from the agenda at the request of the Applicant. TABLED
Willard F. Chamberlin Trust, Applicant
143 Circular Street
Saratoga Springs, NY 12866
S/B/L 155.-1-46.11,-46.2, and 46.3 Rural Residential
Returning Applicant proposes a 32-lot conservation subdivision on 89.7 +/- acres on the north side of Route 29, across from Bryants Bridge Road. Peter David, of the LA Group, addressed the Board on behalf of the Applicant, stating that the Applicant would like to receive preliminary approval of the project before moving forward with engineering tests. Mr. David reported that the Army Corps of Engineers has verified the flagged wetlands on the property, and that DOT has approved the proposed entrance and exit off of Rt 29.
Ralph Pascucci commented that he had envisioned the driveway for the parcel on Rt 29 “coming in closer to the highway” so that a minimum disturbance would be made to the land. He asked for a no-cut buffer along Rt 29, stating that he wants to preserve the large trees on the property, particularly any situated behind the existing trailer. He said he would like to preserve as many trees as possible, and would also like to push any construction further back into the hill.
Chairman Ian Murray stated that the building envelope on that parcel could be condensed even further, and that the driveway did not have to access Rt 29.
Chairman Ian Murray reported that he had spoken with the Fire Commissioner, who asked whether the Applicant would consider setting aside part of the property for a possible future substation. Mr. David said that he would ask the owners.
There followed a discussion of the no-cut buffers around the property: the 75’ buffer to the north has been enhanced to 125’. When the property was previously approved for a subdivision several years ago that buffer had been set at 100’. The east and west borders of the property have a 75’ no-cut buffer, and the open space will be a no-cut area. The Board noted that there was an active farm to the north and west of the proposed development. It was also noted that the shaded parts on the map, in particular the lower west part, were wetlands. Eventually, there will be mitigation for wetland disturbances.
Paul Griffen remarked that the property is quite steep and that the grading on the property was a concern to him. He wanted to know how the slopes would be stabilized. He stated that the soil was mostly clay and that the project would be “straining” with all the proposed cuts and fills.
Mr. David said that there were ways to deal with the problems, possibly by changing the grading somewhat, and that the Applicant would try to minimize the wetland disturbance as much as possible. Paul Griffen also asked for landscaping around the entrance.
There followed a discussion on the steepness of the slopes and the allowed grade. It was determined that the steepest grade would be 6.87%, under the maximum 7% grade allowed by Town Law. Ralph Pascucci asked whether the cuts and fills could be minimized by eliminating a lot.
Proof of notice having been provided by newspaper on December 3, 2005, Chairman Ian Murray opened the Public Hearing at 8:26 p.m., asking that anyone having comments provide their name, address, and state whether they were for or against the proposal. He also requested that all comments be limited to three minutes, at least for the first round, so everyone would have an opportunity to speak.
Bill Reynolds, 800 Rt 29—Comments. Mr. Reynolds stated that he owns property directly across from the proposed development and is concerned about the additional traffic on Rt 29.
Steven Crain, 302 Burgoyne—Opposed. Mr. Crain also raised traffic concerns.
Cynthia Rubinak, 352 Burgoyne—Opposed.
Mariana Jenson, 370 Burgoyne—Opposed. Ms. Jenson recalled that the last time this property was before the Planning Board, there was a discussion regarding egress to the development from Louden Rd.
Mary Field, 366 Burgoyne—Opposed. Ms. Field noted that the Town has no standards regarding lighting or noise.
Marilyn Zaborek, 387 Burgoyne—Opposed. Ms. Zaborek stated that 80% of the property was located on steep slopes, she noted the continued erosion along Fish Creek, and added that the SEQR form contained errors.
Pat Eustis, 140 Bryants Bridge Rd—Opposed. Mr. Eustis raised concerns about additional traffic.
Dave Hanehan, 14 Arnold Lane—Opposed. Mr. Hanehan has agricultural fields adjacent to the property. He explained that, on days such as holidays when he avoids working close to residences, he works on this property. He would no longer be able to do so if the development is approved. He noted the steep topography of the parcel and questioned whether the slopes could be maintained, as well as the impact on wetlands by the proposed development road. He asked that any residences be situated as far from his property as possible, and that septic systems be placed between his property and any wells so that future residents could not blame his farm operations for contaminating their wells.
Clifford Hanehan, 207 County Rd 67—Opposed. Clifford Hanehan stated that he is brother to David Hanehan and a partner in the dairy operations. He reiterated the concerns of his brother and questioned the magnitude of the proposed development, stating that there were too many houses given the topography and wetlands on the property.
Frank Naret, 366 Burgoyne—Opposed. Mr. Naret asked if there was a health issue for such things as West Nile virus, when houses are located so close to wetlands, which are notorious breeding grounds for mosquitos.
Cynthia Hrubenak, 352 Burgoyne—Opposed. Ms. Hrubenak was concerned that farm operations in the Town would be driven out by complaints from neighbors once they move into rural areas.
John Eustis 798 Rt 29—Opposed. Mr. Eustis was concerned with water run-off from the development into Fish Creek. He said that Firelane 8 is already a waterway for rainwater to the creek.
Chairman Ian Murray read a letter from the County Planning Board, approving the proposed development.
All those wishing to speak having done so, the Public Hearing was closed at 8:51 p.m.
Paul Griffen stated that he was not comfortable with all the setbacks on the slopes.
Ralph Pascucci said the cuts and fills for the road raise questions, and added that the Board needs to look at ways to minimize that situation. He said that if the project needs to eliminate lots, “so be it.”
Robert Park asked what the consequence would be if the State forbids a road cut onto Rt 29.
Mr. David said that the DOT is “okay” with the entrance placement, although he has received nothing in writing as yet.
Ralph Pascucci noted that there is no access to Louden Road; there is no easement to the other development located on Chelsea.
There was a brief discussion on the purpose of a preliminary approval, and on the grading and steep slopes of the property.
Mr. David said that some lots could be eliminated, if necessary, but the engineering tests need to be done before that can be determined.
Paul Griffen said that he saw difficulties with half the lots in the development.
Ralph Pascucci stated that, ultimately, the Town may not be able to approve the development.
Chairman Ian Murray said that this would be determined at the engineering stage.
Town Engineer Kenneth Martin asked to see the grading plans for the individual lots. There followed a brief discussion on the types of soil found on the property: some of the front is sand, the rest is clay. Clifford Hanehan advised the Board that the tops of the ridges were a light soil, while the bottoms and wetlands were heavy soil.
Robert Park remarked that this project was last approved about 10 years ago; any engineering data dating from that time is old.
Laurie Griffen clarified that granting preliminary approval is necessary to gain more information, but does not approve the project.
Paul Griffen again raised concerns with the steep slopes and said that the Board will review the plans lot by lot. He listed several problems with this project, stating that it is a difficult property.
Robert Park made a motion to grant preliminary approval, seconded by Susan Cummings. Chairman Ian Murray – aye, Susan Cummings – aye, Paul Griffen – aye, Laurie Griffen – aye, Ralph Pascucci –aye, Albert Baker – aye, Robert Park – aye. Carried 7– 0.
Special Use Permit
General Schuyler Emergency Squad, Inc., Applicant
P.O. Box 111 Ferry St.
Schuylerville, NY 12871
SW/B/L 155-1-74 Rural Residential
Returning Applicant is seeking a special use permit to construct a professional office building; the new home of General Schuyler Emergency Squad.
Chairman Ian Murray recused himself from the discussion of this application, because he is involved with this project, and excused himself from the Board panel to sit in the audience. Vice-chair Susan Cummings led the proceedings.
Frank Yakubek, architect for the project, spoke on behalf of the Applicant. Susan Cummings stated that there were two issues to discuss: the lighting and the parking.
Mr. Yakubek explained the type of lighting that was proposed, calling it state of the art technology. The Luminosity Table and Photometric Plan are on the site plans. The lighting under the soffits will stay on because they are the type of lights that need time to come up. The parking lighting can be switched off when not in use.
There followed a brief discussion on whether the building plans could be flipped if fire support was situated on adjacent property. It was determined that this would not be possible. It was also noted that the fire and emergency crews do not share the same air wave frequencies, so economies of scale are not present for a shared tower or other resources.
It was further determined that the parking spaces in the front need to remain for call responders who need to park and move to emergency vehicles in as short a time as possible.
Mr. Yakubek explained the rationale behind the number of proposed parking spaces, which are necessary for a full build-out of the property in the future, and for training programs.
It was explained that stormwater and septic functions also prevented parking from being moved to the back of the building.
Ralph Pascucci asked whether crushed gravel could be used for the spaces as opposed to asphalt paving. Mr. Yakubek said he would look into that possibility.
There followed a brief discussion on the lighting used for signage for the building, and whether lot lighting could be situated to shine back towards the building. Sherry Doubleday said that there would be a warning sign near Farmer’s Daughter: Watch for Emergency Vehicles. Town Engineer Kenneth Martin stated that any lights on the warning sign would have to be approved by DOT.
There followed a discussion of the fire and ambulance service in the Town. The project plan calls for three ambulances at present, and provisions for a fourth in the future.
Ralph Pascucci made a motion, seconded by Paul Griffen, to declare the Town the lead agency in the SEQR review of this application. Susan Cummings – aye, Paul Griffen – aye, Laurie Griffen – aye, Ralph Pascucci –aye, Albert Baker – aye, Robert Park – aye. Carried 6– 0.
[At this time, Chairman Ian Murray rejoined the Board.]
Old Business: Chairman Ian Murray reminded the Board members that the County Planning Day would be held on January 25, 2006.
Paul Griffen stated that the zoning revisions are complete for the time being until people have a chance to look at them and comment. The first meeting regarding the changes will be held February 10, 2006, and a second meeting would be held sometime in March. He added that one chart is not included in the amendments, and that no procedures were included.
New Business: It was noted that this meeting would be Albert Baker’s last meeting as a member of the Planning Board. The Board presented him with his name plate.
It was noted that a copy of the deed will now be submitted with applications.
Ralph Pascucci had a question concerning project bonds. Chairman Ian Murray stated that only the project is bonded; not neighboring properties. There followed a brief discussion on bonds.
The next meeting is scheduled January 25, 2006, at 7:30 p.m.
A motion to adjourn was made at 9:58 p.m. by Laurie Griffen and seconded by Ralph Pascucci. Chairman Ian Murray – aye, Susan Cummings – aye, Paul Griffen – aye, Laurie Griffen – aye, Albert Baker – aye, Ralph Pascucci –aye, Robert Park – aye. Carried 7– 0.
Catherine E. Cicero