TOWN OF SARATOGA
MINUTES - DRAFT
June 28, 2006 - 7:30 PM
Chairman Ian Murray called the meeting to order at 7:30 p.m.
Planning Clerk Catherine Cicero called the roll. Chairman Ian Murray – present, Susan Cummings – present, Ralph Pascucci – present, Paul Griffen – present, Robert Park – present, Laurie Griffen – present, Patrick Hanehan – present, and Alternate Robert McConnell – absent.
Approval of Minutes: All board members present had read the minutes of the May 24, 2006 meeting. A motion was made by Robert Park, seconded by Susan Cummings, to accept the minutes of May 24, 2006 as written. Chairman Ian Murray – aye, Susan Cummings – aye, Laurie Griffen – aye, Robert Park – aye, Ralph Pascucci – aye, Paul Griffen – aye, and Patrick Hanehan – aye. Carried 7 – 0.
Order of Business:
Barney & Shirley Drumm, Applicants
139 Coveville Rd.
Schuylerville, NY 12871
S/B/L 182.-1-68 Rural
Returning Applicants propose to add a 14.25+/- acre parcel to their current property; then subdivide and sell off a 165’x400’ piece, which includes a residence. The remainder of the property, which has a trailer situated on it, would be combined on one deed.
Proof of notice having been furnished by newspaper on June 22, 2006, Chairman Ian Murray opened the Public Hearing at 7:34 p.m., asking that anyone having comments provide their name, address, and state whether they were for or against the proposal.
Stephen Bodnar—For. Mr. Bodnar stated that the Applicants have done a good job cleaning up the property and that the Town would benefit because no further development of the parcel is planned.
Barney Drumm pointed out that the road frontage, after the survey, was actually 142’; not the 165’ that had been presented to the Zoning Board of Appeals. Stephen Bodnar, Chairman of the Zoning Board of Appeals, stated that he didn’t think that would present a problem for the ZBA since the lot is still in character with the rest of the neighborhood.
Chairman Ian Murray read a letter from the County Planning Board, which raised concerns about the creation of a non-conforming lot and recommended that the application be denied. Chairman Ian Murray explained that the Planning Board would need a supermajority of votes to supersede the recommendation by the County Planning Board.
All those wishing to speak having done so, the Public Hearing was closed at 7.38 p.m.
Paul Griffen read the short form EAF, which was completed by the Board. Chairman Ian Murray made a motion, seconded by Patrick Hanehan, to accept the documents as presented, declare the SEQR review complete, and to make a negative declaration. Chairman Ian Murray – aye, Susan Cummings – aye, Laurie Griffen – aye, Robert Park – aye, Ralph Pascucci – aye, Paul Griffen – aye, and Patrick Hanehan – aye. Carried 7 – 0.
Town Engineer Kenneth Martin stated that he had no contingencies that he wished to apply to the proposal.
Susan Cummings made a motion to accept the application as presented. The motion was seconded by Paul Griffen. Chairman Ian Murray – aye, Susan Cummings – aye, Laurie Griffen – aye, Robert Park – aye, Ralph Pascucci – aye, Paul Griffen – aye, and Patrick Hanehan – aye. Carried 7 – 0. GRANTED
Donald & Margaret Ormsby, Applicants
331 Rte 32
Schuylerville, NY 12871
S/B/L 182-1-53, 54, & 55 Rural
Returning Applicants propose the creation of one new lot on the above named property. A lot-line adjustment was granted at the May Planning Board meeting.
James Vianna addressed the Board on behalf of the Ormsbys, reporting that the Zoning Board of Appeals had granted a variance of 100’ of road frontage on proposed Lot 4 on Monday, June 26, 2006.
Chairman Ian Murray noted that, because there are four existing residences and septic systems on the parcels, no soil engineering is necessary.
There followed a brief discussion regarding the issue of “moderate density.” Chairman Ian Murray read from the Town Zoning Regulations regarding required setbacks.
Proof of notice having been furnished by newspaper on June 22, 2006, Chairman Ian Murray opened the Public Hearing at 7:49 p.m., asking that anyone having comments provide their name, address, and state whether they were for or against the proposal.
No one appeared to speak regarding the proposal; the Public Hearing was closed at 7:50 p.m.
Chairman Ian Murray asked the Board if they had any further questions. There were none.
Robert Park read the short form EAF, which was completed by the Board. Chairman Ian Murray made a motion, seconded by Robert Park, to accept the documents as presented, declare the SEQR review complete, and to make a negative declaration. Chairman Ian Murray – aye, Susan Cummings – aye, Laurie Griffen – aye, Robert Park – aye, Ralph Pascucci – aye, Paul Griffen – aye, and Patrick Hanehan – aye. Carried 7 – 0.
Paul Griffen made a motion to accept the application as presented. The motion was seconded by Ralph Pascucci. Chairman Ian Murray – aye, Susan Cummings – aye, Laurie Griffen – aye, Robert Park – aye, Ralph Pascucci – aye, Paul Griffen – aye, and Patrick Hanehan – aye. Carried 7 – 0. GRANTED
Saratoga Builders, LLC, Applicant Valente Realty Partners, Owner
8 Campion Lane 315 Partition St.
Saratoga Springs, NY 12866 Rensselaer, NY 12144
Returning Applicant proposes a conservation subdivision consisting of 39 building lots on 80.41+/- acres. 39.11+/- acres of open space has been set aside, which will include 27.14+/-acres for a park, 1.05+/- acres for the Quaker Springs Fire District, and 10.92 +/- acres of greenspace. The proposed subdivision would be located at the intersection of NYS Rte 29 and Louden Road.
Sam Palazzole, Dan Barber, and Mike Brooks addressed the Board. Mr. Palazzole stated that the lots were reconfigured based on a total site area of 80.41+/- acres less constrained land (including slopes) of 2.28+/- acres, which left 78.13 acres of buildable land. Of the buildable property, 39.11+/- acres was set aside for open space, including 27.14 set aside for a Town park, 1.05+/- acres to be donated to the Quaker Springs Fire District, and 10.92+/- acres of greenspace.
After deducting the set aside area from the rest of the parcel, Mr. Palazzole explained that the remaining buildable land would accommodate 39 residential lots in a conservation subdivision with a minimum of 40,000 square feet per lot, 140’ of road frontage, and all required setbacks.
Chairman Ian Murray asked if the Board had any questions. Town Engineer Kenneth Martin stated that he had calculated the number of buildable lots as well, in a few different ways, depending on the land necessary for internal roads. He said that he calculated 39 lots one way, and 33 another. All driveways will access internal roads because the Board has requested that no driveways access by Louden Road.
There is no calculated buffer along Louden Road, although Mr. Palazzole said there are no plans to take down any trees along the road. There will be a 50’-70’ buffer along the road anyway, resulting from Town zoning setbacks.
Mr. Palazzole explained that all shaded areas on the maps, designated as greenspace, will be owned by the lot owner but will be deed restricted against clearing (except for brush and ground cover) or development. The size of the trees protected from clear cutting will be set at 4”-6” in diameter.
Mike Brooks stated that current Town road standards were used in the proposal. Ralph Pascucci said that he would like to use the proposed new Town standards if they are available. Chairman Ian Murray said that he would provide that information to Mike Brooks to be incorporated in the next set of plans. There followed a brief discussion on road standards to be required in conservation subdivisions.
Susan Cummings suggested that Mr. Palazzole should discuss the use of greenspace in the cul-de-sac with Town Highway Superintendent David Hall. There followed a brief discussion on the best use of that space, including the necessity of having a place to pile plowed snow in the winter.
Chairman Ian Murray made a motion, seconded by Laurie Griffen for preliminary approval of the proposal. Chairman Ian Murray – aye, Susan Cummings – aye, Laurie Griffen – aye, Robert Park – aye, Ralph Pascucci – aye, Paul Griffen – aye, and Patrick Hanehan – aye.
Carried 7 – 0. GRANTED
Louise VanTassel, Applicant
163 Southard Road
Saratoga Springs, NY 12866
S/B/L 181-1-9 Rural
Applicant is seeking to subdivide a 106+/- acre parcel on Southard Road into one 95+/- acre agricultural lot, one 7+/- acre lot for a new residence, and one 4+/- acre lot with an existing residence.
Bernie Buff spoke to the Board on behalf of his grandmother, the landowner, and explained the map dividing the parcel into 3 lots. He said that he would retain the largest parcel for himself and intends to build a residence near the center of that property.
Chairman Ian Murray stated that the Town zoning regulations will soon reinstate a requirement for 300’ of road frontage for parcels over 5 acres in size. He directed Mr. Buff to have a survey done of the property and to conduct deep hole and perc tests. He said that the soil might present a problem for septic design. There followed a brief discussion on the topography and types of soil found on the property, and the location of some wetlands.
In response to a question from Chairman Ian Murray, Mr. Buff said that he planned to use a field access road for his driveway, which has been in use for years. Town Engineer Kenneth Martin requested that the access be moved slightly further down the hill to afford maximum sight distances. Mr. Buff said that would not be a problem. RETURNING
The BH Group, Inc., Applicant
173 Co. Rd. 69
Schuylerville, NY 12871
S/B/L 182.-2-15.11 Rural
Applicant proposes a 36 unit subdivision of single family homes on 121.82+/- acres to be called Arlington Ridge. This parcel was last before the Board at the April 2006 meeting where the Planning Board voted unanimously to disapprove the application.
Gavin Villaume, of Environmental Design Partnership, stated that the current Applicant is working with Mr. Taras on a proposed development. The parcel has been re-vegetated. He presented a new plan for the parcel, which includes a loop road, cul-de-sac, and two lots less than the previous plan. The new lots are approximately the same size as before, but some are slightly narrower to minimize the impact of the road. The new map reflects the current tree-line on the property. 200’ of trees would be preserved in the new lay-out. The fifty acres of greenspace from the previous plan are also reflected. Mr. Villaume said that the new plan is an attempt to move the development further away from the 100’ DEC buffer around the wetlands.
Chairman Ian Murray suggested that the berms could be moved back further with additional vegetation.
There followed a brief discussion on use of the greenspace for recreation. Mr. Villaume said that it would be possible to create a corner park. There is a small storm water basin located there, but it could be reshaped. A few of the lots could be moved to accommodate a park.
Laurie Griffen stated that she would like to see creativity in the plan.
Chairman Ian Murray said that once a base map is set, the Board could ask for specific vegetation to connect the trees to the park.
Robert Park said that he would like to see the existing homes highlighted on the map in order to see the character of the neighborhood. Mr. Villaume said that he could create an aerial map.
Special Use Permits
SBA Network Services, Inc., Applicant
5900 Broken Sound Parkway, NW
Boca Raton, FL 33487-2797
S/B/L 169-1-64 Rural
Returning Applicant is seeking a special use permit to construct an unmanned telecommunications facility on Hayes Road consisting of a 195’ monopole tower with provisions for up to five future wireless telecommunications providers on the tower and at the tower base for antennas and equipment. The proposed tower site property is owned by the Town of Saratoga.
Shane Newell represented the Applicant before the Board. Chairman Ian Murray stated that the two applications would be considered for the time being, but would be separated at a later date.
Mr. Newell presented an analysis of public need and explained the visual effect of the towers, including photo simulations. The view shed area covered 2.5 miles.
In response to a question from Chairman Ian Murray, Mr. Newell explained that his company does not have an FCC license, but uses the license of the carriers who lease space on the tower before acquiring a building permit.
Chairman Ian Murray explained that Town zoning requirements necessitate an FCC license and the Applicant has not indicated that it has any carriers lined up as yet.
Ralph Pascucci questioned the feasibility of a company investing time and money into setting up a tower before any tenants have been lined up. He wanted to know how Mr. Newell had arrived at the proposed height of the towers.
There followed a brief discussion on how SBA operates. Mr. Newell stated that approval of the cell towers could be contingent upon presenting a valid FCC license before obtaining a building permit. He reported that the company has already built 27 towers in the State and approximates what it deems to be requirements of any interested carriers.
Chairman Ian Murray questioned the validity of the Applicant’s analysis for site selection for the towers. He said that the Applicant’s presentation contains only a few locations for photos, which don’t include several of the historically significant sites in the Town. Chairman Ian Murray also noted that the company has already conducted a balloon float without notifying the Board, contrary to the specific request of the Board at the April meeting. Mr. Newell said that he was unaware of the intention to conduct a balloon float until after the fact.
Ralph Pascucci recommended that the company do another balloon float and provide notice to both the Board and to Town residents. Mr. Pascucci said that the Board and Town residents are very interested in knowing the impact of the cell towers on the Town.
Chairman Ian Murray read from the computer generated maps, which indicated that the simulations were based on several assumptions regarding topography and vegetation.
In response to a question from Robert Park, Mr. Newell explained that the two proposed towers are between 2.5-3 miles apart.
Chairman Ian Murray read from the Town zoning regulations regarding the review of telecommunication towers (Section 7.J.2), which states in part, that “[p]ictorial representation of ‘before and after’ views from key viewpoints both inside and outside the town including but not limited to: state highways and other major roads, state and local parks, other public lands, preserves and historic sites normally open to the public, and from any other location where the site is visible to a large number of visitors or travelers.” He said that the photos did not comply with the Town regulations. Mr. Newell explained that the photos were only a preliminary representation. Chairman Ian Murray noted that none of the historic sites near the proposed towers were represented.
Robert Park asked if there was an overlap in coverage for the two towers, or if one tower could be reconfigured to handle the work of both. Mr. Newell said that there would be some overlap in coverage, but the propagation maps were the best way to determine the site of the towers.
Ralph Pascucci noted that the monopole would look different once several carriers have attached to it. The simulations show what the tower would look like with only one tenant. The first carrier attaches to the top of the monopole. Each carrier added thereafter is attached further down the pole.
Chairman Ian Murray asked Mr. Newell to explain the company’s rating process used to select the tower sites. Mr. Newell stated that the company looks at available land for lease and at zoning issues.
Chairman Ian Murray read from the Town zoning regulations Section 7.D, which directs an Applicant to present a report to the Board “inventorying all existing tall structures and existing or approved towers within a reasonable distance of the proposed site.” Chairman Ian Murray stated that the Applicant was directed to comply with this mandate at the April meeting, and a report has not been forthcoming. Mr. Newell said that there are no existing structures or towers available that could be included in such a report. There followed a brief discussion on why the tower located at Willard Mountain, approximately six miles away, would not be feasible. Nor would the tower recently located at the Washington Fairgrounds. Mr. Newell said that the company intends to link coverage in Mechanicville.
Chairman Ian Murray stated that a second balloon float would be necessary, due to the interest of the public and the historical significance of the Town. There followed a discussion on how best to conduct the balloon float. It was determined that a public hearing would be set up, probably for the July meeting, to obtain Town resident input prior to the balloon float. Ralph Pascucci said that a notice could also be put in the newspaper to let people know about the float.
Chairman Ian Murray explained that the Planning Board, pursuant to Town Zoning Regulations, Section 7:K:4, is authorized to hire a consultant at the expense of the Applicant, to assist the Board members in their review. Chairman Ian Murray said that he has already talked with Michael Ingersoll of the LA Group regarding this matter.
Ralph Pascucci commented that the Board won’t inhibit or hasten the process, but will thoroughly review the process. Chairman Ian Murray and Laurie Griffen concurred with that assessment.
Town Historian Sean Kelleher spoke briefly regarding the visual aspects of the Town’s historic sites.
Joe Finan, Assistant Superintendent of the Saratoga National Historical Park, presented the Board with a set of maps entitled Visually Sensitive Parcel Prioritization Study reflecting sensitive visual areas surrounding the Park lands.
Chairman Ian Murray noted that Washington County and the Town of Easton will be involved in the process due to the view sheds. The Coveville site may be affected by a nearby airport, which will need FAA approval. Chairman Ian Murray said that the lead agency letter for the SEQR process has not yet been sent out. There followed a discussion on the agencies involved in the SEQR process, the process itself, and timeframes in the process. Chairman Ian Murray said that the SEQR process would begin immediately. The application will be designated as a Type 1 action with a coordinated review.
Paul Griffen and Ralph Pascucci wanted to know if the Applicant was considering other towers in the Town and how many towers would ultimately be requested. There followed a discussion on coverage. Mr. Newell stated that it may actually be a few years before a tower is built on the Coveville property, if it is approved.
Mr. Newell said that the need for the towers has been established, but the issue of view sheds must be addressed.
Robert Park said that he would like to make it clear that the two applications will be considered separately. Laurie Griffen asked Mr. Newell for copies of all letters that are sent to him.
SBA Network Services, Inc., Applicant
5900 Broken Sound Parkway, NW
Boca Raton, FL 33487-2797
S/B/L 183-1-49 Rural
Returning Applicant is seeking a special use permit to construct an unmanned telecommunications facility in Coveville consisting of a 150’ monopole tower with provisions for up to five future wireless telecommunications providers on the tower and at the tower base for antennas and equipment. The proposed tower site property is privately owned.
Kimberly Wilbur & Donald Neubauer, Jr., Applicants
57 Pryn Hill Rd.
Mechanicville, NY 12118
S/B/L 183.-1-30.1 Conservancy
Returning Applicants are seeking a special use permit to operate a marina on their property in Coveville. This item was tabled at the request of the Applicants’ attorney. TABLED
3 Brown Road 9P
Saratoga Springs, NY 12866
Mr. DeCore asked the Board to advise him regarding the development of his Lake property. The site was used as a bar/restaurant prior to a fire, which occurred over a year ago. Mr. DeCore was interested in changing the use of the lot to an office building.
Jeffrey & Deborah Dooley, Applicants
111 Condon Rd.
Stillwater, NY 12170
S/B/L 193.-1-7.3 Rural
Chairman Ian Murray reported that this application is still ongoing. Currently, the Town is considering an amendment to the definition of a boat storage facility and associated zoning requirements.
New Business: Town Supervisor Tom Wood summarized the actions taken at the last Town Board meeting.
The next meeting will be July 26, 2006.
A motion to adjourn was made at 10:18 p.m. by Paul Griffen, and seconded by Laurie Griffen. Chairman Ian Murray – aye, Susan Cummings – aye, Laurie Griffen – aye, Robert Park – aye, Ralph Pascucci – aye, Paul Griffen – aye, and Patrick Hanehan – aye. Carried 7 – 0.
Catherine E. Cicero