SPECIAL MEETING OF THE TOWN BOARD
OF THE TOWN OF SARATOGA, 30 FERRY ST.,
February 3, 2005
Supervisor Thomas Wood opened the meeting with the Pledge of Allegiance
at 7:00 p.m.
Roll call: Ruth Drumm, Town Clerk, called the roll. Supervisor Thomas Wood- present, Councilman Bruce Cornell - present, Councilman Michael McLoughlin – present, Councilman Fred Drumm- present and Councilman Charles Hanehan- present.
Also present: Town Attorney William Reynolds, Deputy Town Clerk Linda McCabe and many local residents (sign-in sheet is on file in the minutes appendix notebook).
Supervisor Thomas Wood explained that the State Environmental Quality Review Negative Declaration Notice of Determination of Non-Significance only pertains to the proposed amendment to the Zoning Ordinance and a full State Environmental Quality Review (SEQR) will be completed on the Saratoga Country Inn PUD project should it go forward.
Councilman Fred Drumm introduced Resolution # 05-30 and Supervisor Thomas Wood seconded it: now therefore be it resolved by the town board of the town of Saratoga, Saratoga county, New York as follows:
1. Based on an examination of the EAF and based further upon the Town's knowledge of the area and such further investigation of the proposed zoning amendments and their environmental effects as the Town has deemed appropriate, the Town makes the following findings:
(a) The zoning amendment is described in the EAF (creation of new Planned Unit Development District/Saratoga Country Inn PUD);
(b) The Action constitutes a "Type 1 Action" (as defined in the Regulations);
(c) No potentially significant effect on the environment is noted in the EAF for this Action, and none are known to the Town;
(d) This Action will not have a significant effect on the environment; and the Town will not require the preparation of an environmental impact statement with respect to the Action; and
(e) As a result of the foregoing, the Town has prepared a negative declaration with respect to the Action.
2. The Town Clerk is hereby directed to file a negative declaration with respect to the Action (said negative declaration attached hereto); and a copy of the negative declaration shall be maintained in the office of the Town Clerk in a file that will be readily accessible to the public.
3. This resolution shall take effect immediately.
Supervisor Thomas Wood – aye, Councilman Fred Drumm – aye, Councilman Michael McLoughlin – aye, Councilman Bruce Cornell – aye, and Councilman Charles Hanehan - aye. Carried 5 – 0. (The full text of this resolution and Negative Declaration are on file in the Resolution Book in the Town Clerk’s Office).
Supervisor Thomas Wood explained that the public hearing is on Local Law # 1 of 2005, an amendment to the Zoning Ordinance creating a Planned Unit Development District know as the Saratoga Country Inn.
Supervisor Thomas Wood then read the Rules of the Board adopted at the January meeting. He asked that persons addressing the board state their name, address, and if they are for or against the proposed project.
He explained the main points of the Planned Unit Development District known as the Saratoga Country Inn. He stated that Area A is approximately 47 +/- acres and will be developed into a horse barn, storage barn with staff apartments on the second level, manager’s office and apartment, paddocks, fields, and one single family residence. Area B will consist of approximately 47.92 +/- acres and will contain no buildings or improvements. Area C will contain approximately 25 +/- acres and be improved by a country inn having a combination of timeshare and hotel units, and may include amenities such as an indoor pool, spa, restaurant with bar and conference room. The final construction plans for Area C are subject to review and approval by the Saratoga Town Planning Board.
Proof of Notice having been furnished Supervisor Thomas Wood opened the public hearing at 7:17 pm.
The following persons spoke against the project:
1) Lloyd Van Arnum, 164 Southard Rd., voiced site distance concerns at Co. Rt. 68 and Wagmans Ridge Rd. and concerns about disturbance of the watershed to Hemlock Creek.
2) Dan Craine, 148 Burke Rd., spoke on three of the top goals of the Comprehensive Plan. One is to preserve the rural character of the town, second is to preserve the existing agriculture use of the land and the third is to shape future development to match the existing character of the town. He stated that the adoption of this proposal in no way can serve any of the three mentioned goals and added that the passage of this law would destroy the protections of our zoning laws. He urged the board to reject the legislation.
3) Phyllis Aldrich, 173 Burke Rd., agreed with all points that Dan Craine made.
4) Penelope Benson-Wright, 175 Burke Rd., agreed with the comments of Dan Craine and Phyllis Aldrich. She added that the concept of a PUD is a misguided concept in our town and urges its defeat. She asked that the board look into the unanswered concerns with the water and impact on the surrounding lands. She also asked that an Economic Impact Statement be done.
5) Gay Gamage, 226 Co. Rt. 67, asked that the statement under Section 4 – C - the final construction plans for this area are subject to review and approval of the Saratoga Town Planning Board pursuant to Section 5 of this local law, also be included in Section 4 – A.
6) Robert McConnell, 128 Wagmans Ridge Rd., spoke for the proposal. He commented that a housing development would be much worse than the horse farm that is proposed and would use more water. He noted that the closest neighbors to this project are not here tonight because they have worked on this for almost 18 months with the Planning Board and the developers and have come to the conclusion that with the compromises that have been reached and with the controls that the Planning Board has on the project, the country inn and horse farm is the preferable alternative to a housing development. He felt that there are quite a few people that are in support of this project and that they would rather see horses than houses.
7) Marilyn Zaborek, 387 Burgoyne Rd., voiced concerns that a small town will be at the end of her road, the project is near a wetlands area, it goes against the Comprehensive Land Use Plan, sewerage system and traffic concerns, lighting concerns, and the impacts on endangered species and wildlife. She requested a moratorium on development in the town.
8) Doris Hulka, 232 Southard Rd., agreed with what Marilyn Zaborek had said.
9) William Corrigan, 207 Walsh Rd., asked to have a question answered after the public hearing.
10) Debbie Peck Kelleher, 501 Rt. 32, questioned if the Agriculture Disclosure Statement is required on all future subdivision of this land and does it apply to the condos and timeshares.
11) Gregory Loan, 144 Co. Rt. 67, concerned that development is not limited to non-agriculture land.
12) Lloyd Van Arnum, 164 Southard Rd., concerned that the watershed is drying up.
13) Marilyn Zaborek, 387 Burgoyne Rd., voiced concerns on how the whole project will look once completed, school district overcrowding, and truck traffic.
14) Pat Peck, 178 Wagmans Ridge Rd., concerned that there are only 10 recommendations included in the law from the Planning Board when they had submitted 16 items.
15) Dan Craine, 148 Burke Rd., questions why Mr. McKibbin states that it is not feasible to operate just a horse farm when there are horse farms in the area, an example being the McMahon Farm, that is successfully operating without a hotel.
16) Pat Peck, 178 Wagmans Ridge Rd., hopes that the SEQR for the site plan will address Indian Artifacts.
17) Penelope Benson-Wright, 175 Burke Rd., spoke about the development issues facing the town and urges a moratorium on all development to enable the board to look at and revamp our zoning laws and building standards to support the spirit of the master plan.
18) Lloyd Van Arnum, 164 Southard Rd., concerned about water.
All persons wishing to speak, having spoken, the public hearing was closed at 7:50 p.m. by Supervisor Thomas Wood.
Supervisor Thomas Wood responded to a couple of the questions posed during the public hearing. He assured Pat Peck a full SEQR would be completed on the project and that the 16 points recommended by the Planning Board were combined into 10. None were eliminated. He also assured William Corrigan that this law is only for the 124 +/- acre parcel at Wagmans Ridge Road and County Rt. 68. He stated in reply to Penelope Benson-Wright’s concerns that the change in acreage of the parcel from 119 +/- acres to 124 +/- acres was due to a recent survey of the land. Any changes to the PUD law will be available for the public to view before passage and would not be a significant change.
Supervisor Thomas Wood informed the board that the Cornell Cooperative Extension would be holding workshops on the Purchase of Development Rights. One will be held at the Cornell Cooperative Extension Office at 50 West High Street, Ballston Spa on Wednesday, February 16th from 1:00 – 3:00 p.m.
Supervisor Thomas Wood reported that a Building Committee Meeting would be held from 6:00 to 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, February 10th, immediately preceding the agenda meeting. He added that Dr. Leon Reed would speak on the proposed land acquisition by the Schuylerville Central School District.
It was reported that the next Planning Board Meeting would be held on Wednesday, March 9, 2005 at 7:30 p.m.
Supervisor Thomas Wood discussed the need for a credit card for the town. It would enable the town to take advantage of sales when purchasing needed items for the town as not all vendors accept town vouchers.
A motion to adjourn at 8:02 p.m. was made by Councilman Charles Hanehan and seconded by Councilman Fred Drumm. Supervisor Thomas Wood – aye, Councilman Fred Drumm – aye, Councilman Michael McLoughlin – aye, Councilman Bruce Cornell – aye, and Councilman Charles Hanehan - aye. Carried 5 – 0.