TOWN OF SARATOGA
MINUTES - DRAFT
March 22, 2006 - 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, Vice-chair Susan Cummings – present, Ralph Pascucci – absent, Paul Griffen – absent, Robert Park – present, Laurie Griffen – present, and Patrick Hanehan – present.
Approval of Minutes: All board members present had read the minutes of the February 22, 2006 meeting. A motion was made by Robert Park, seconded by Patrick Hanehan, to accept the minutes of February 22, 2006 as written. Susan Cummings – aye, Patrick Hanehan – aye, Laurie Griffen – aye, and Robert Park – aye. Chairman Ian Murray abstained from the vote because he was not at the last meeting. Carried 4– 0.
Order of Business:
43 Chestnut St.
Schuylerville, NY 12871
S/B/L 157.62-1-1 & 20.2 Village Extension
Ronalee Myers is seeking Planning Board approval to construct a second residence on her property pursuant to Town Zoning Regulations. Mrs. Myers stated that she would like to add an additional house in the back portion of the property, away from neighboring homes. She plans to use the existing driveway for both houses.
Mrs. Myers presented a map from the County showing that the lots have been combined.
Chairman Ian Murray read from Page 8 of the Town of Saratoga Zoning Regulations, which refers to Multiple Uses: (Amended by Local Law No. 2 of 1983) Unless otherwise allowed by this local law, no more than one principle building and/or use shall be established on any lot except, however, that upon application to and approval by the Town Planning Board more than one (1) one-family detached dwelling unit may be placed on a lot provided that each one-family detached dwelling unit is so sited as to meet the minimum area, width, frontage and yard requirements of the Zoning district in which said lot is situated. Additionally, every one-family dwelling unit so placed shall be served by a separate sanitary sewer and water supply required by Article IV , Section 2 and Section 3 of this local law.
Chairman Ian Murray then read from page 48, footnote (2) to Section 4 Village Extension District, which states: [Frontage] May be reduced to 100 ft. if in a subdivision served by internal streets or if served by public sewer.
Chairman Ian Murray reported that he had discussed the situation with Town Attorney William Reynolds who advised that, as the last house on a dead-end street, the dead-end would be considered an internal street in conformance with the Town zoning regulations. Chairman Ian Murray suggested that any new residence be hooked to the public sewer line.
Mrs. Myers said that she will probably connect to the public sewer in the future, but did not have immediate plans to build. She was directed to contact the Mayor of the Village of Schuylerville.
There followed a brief discussion on what would happen if the lot was ever subdivided in the future.
The Board determined that Mrs. Myers was in compliance with Town Zoning Regulations. NO ACTION NECESSARY.
Saratoga Farms, LLC, Applicant
Suite 200-2875/South Ocean Blvd.
Palm Beach, FL 33480
S/B/L 156-3-32 Rural Residential
Returning Applicant proposes a 7 lot subdivision on 96.49+/- acres at 125 Burgoyne Rd. The average lot is proposed to be 14 acres, with a deed restricted horse trail system.
Dave Carr addressed the Board on behalf of the Applicant, David McKibbin, who was unable to make it to the meeting. He reported that the Planning Board had gone on a site walk of the property, led by neighbor and Town Councilman Fred Drumm.
He added that Town Attorney William Reynolds has reviewed the easements and other documents related to the subdivision and made comments. (That memorandum has been made a part of the permanent file of this application.)
There followed a lengthy discussion on a number of conditions that had to be met in order to grant the application for subdivision. Those items are enumerated as follows:
Laurie Griffin confirmed that all houses would be built behind the tree line. Dave Carr stated that the covenants of the Home Owners Association state that residences may not be built in the open fields. The covenants provide for the siting of houses, and the ownership and maintenance of the horse trails. Dave Carr pointed out that Note 9 of the HOA agreement provides for an easement over the horse trails for ingress and egress to the properties. Chairman Ian Murray noted that Town Attorney William Reynolds will review all language in the HOA before the maps are filed with the County.
Susan Cummings asked about the possibility of adding a picnic area along the creek. Dave Carr responded that there were concerns about impacts on Lot 2.
Chairman Ian Murray asked the Board if there were any further questions. There were none.
Chairman Ian Murray noted that a public hearing had been conducted in January for this application, and that the Board has the authority to waive a second public hearing. Due to the fact that only one person had strong feelings about the project at the public hearing, and that person had gone along on the site walk, and the fact that little had changed in the application since the public hearing, Chairman Ian Murray suggested that the Board waive the necessity of a second public hearing. Patrick Hanehan stated that he had no objections to the waiver, but did not want to set a precedent for other projects. There were no objections from the other Board members.
Laurie Griffen made a motion, seconded by Susan Cummings, to waive the second public hearing because little had changed in this matter since the first one. Chairman Ian Murray – aye, Susan Cummings – aye, Patrick Hanehan – aye, Laurie Griffen – aye, and Robert Park – aye. Carried 5– 0.
Robert Park read the short Environmental Assessment Form, which was completed by the Board. Robert Park made a motion, seconded by Laurie Griffin, to accept the documents as presented, declare the SEQR review complete, and make a negative declaration regarding the subdivision. Chairman Ian Murray – aye, Susan Cummings – aye, Patrick Hanehan – aye, Robert Park – aye, Laurie Griffen – aye. Carried 5– 0.
Chairman Ian Murray made a motion, seconded by Laurie Griffin, to grant the application with the conditions enumerated. Chairman Ian Murray – aye, Susan Cummings – aye, Patrick Hanehan – aye, Robert Park – aye, Laurie Griffen – aye. Carried 5– 0. GRANTED WITH CONDITIONS
Michele Rifenberg, Applicant
216 Hayes Rd
Schuylerville, NY 12866
Michele Rifenberg spoke to the Board regarding her proposal to subdivide a 6.5+/- parcel into one 3.5+/- acre lot and one 3+/- acre lot. Ms. Rifenberg plans to build a residence for herself on the 3.5+/- acre lot in the near future.
Ms. Rifenberg began by clarifying that she would prefer to keep 4.5+/- acres from the 6.5+/- parcel and sell off a 2 acre parcel. She said she would like more space around her residence for privacy, and explained that she was able to reconsider the subdivision when she learned that she could move an existing telephone pole. Ms. Rifenberg reported that there is an old septic system on the property from a mobile home that had been there, but the mobile home is gone and the property is now vacant.
Chairman Ian Murray noted that there is a vertical curve on a hill and a steep embankment on the property that will constrain construction. He added that site distances for a driveway would be right over the curve. That situation must determine where the subdivision can be made.
There followed a discussion on the topography of the parcel. Chairman Ian Murray stated that the driveway cut could not be made over the curve and the hill. The Board could not approve a
subdivision that would result in an unsafe driveway cut. There followed another discussion regarding the proper placement of the subdivision and the driveway cut. Chairman Ian Murray directed Ms. Rifenberg to discuss this matter with her surveyor and said that Ms. Rifenberg needs to have a survey conducted before the Board can approve the subdivision anyway. Susan Cummings advised Ms. Rifenberg to work with the surveyor on the proper placement of her residence so she doesn’t “shortchange” herself on the subdivision. Chairman Ian Murray also directed Ms. Rifenberg to have her surveyor investigate the wetlands at the back of the property, which would affect the placement of a house on either lot.
Chairman Ian Murray noted that there is a seasonal stream on the property. Ms. Rifenberg said that she intends to use a culvert system to divert water from the property.
In response to a question from Chairman Ian Murray, Ms. Rifenberg stated that the single-wide trailer had been gone for 2 years. She noted that the proposed house will have 3 bedrooms.
Town Engineer Kenneth Martin commented that the soils are heavy on the lot, and that Ms. Rifenberg will have to have a perc test done. He added that she will have to have someone investigate and design a new septic system.
Ms. Rifenberg was directed to complete a final subdivision application, have a perc test done, and have the land surveyed before returning. RETURNING
Saratoga Builders, LLC, Applicant Valente Realty Partners, Owner
8 Campion Lane 315 Partition St.
Saratoga Springs, NY 12866 Rensselaer, NY 12144
Dan Barber, of Saratoga Builders, LLC, and Jason Tommelle, of Tommelle Associates, addressed the Board regarding a proposal to create a conservation subdivision consisting of 35 building lots on 80.41+/- acres, including 36.4+/- acres of green space and a horse farm. The proposed subdivision would be located at the intersection of NYS Rte 29 and Louden Road.
Dan Barber explained the proposal, noting that the only wetlands on the parcel are located on a small corner near Rte. 29. All subdivision roads will be off of Louden Road with the exception of one driveway for Lot 35, which will be off of Rte. 29. Lot 35 will be a small horse farm consisting of 36.44+/- acres, designated as part of the proposed green space. There is also a proposed green space trail, consisting of 10 acres, that goes all around the parcel, to be used by all the property owners of the subdivision by easement, for mountain bikes, horseback riding, and cross-country skiing. No motorized vehicles would be allowed.
In response to a question from Chairman Ian Murray, Dan Barber said there would be no home owners association to maintain the trail; ownership of the easements should cover any liability issues resulting from use of the trails. The homes will be built at the high end of the hillside so nothing will be seen of the development except one house that will be built where there is an existing old barn. Dan Barber noted that the shaded area on the map is steep.
Chairman Ian Murray said that he would like to see the grade altered or laid back, and re-vegetated where the mining cut stops on the property. He recommended that the mining area be stabilized.
Dan Barber said that the barns on the property will be torn down and removed, and the old car and debris on the property will be cleaned up. He said that money will be budgeted to clean the site.
Laurie Griffen said the Board is looking for creativity in proposed subdivisions, and commented that the proposal has a “cookie-cutter” look to it. Jason Tommelle stated that the developers are constrained by a ridge that runs through the property. He said the agricultural character of the land can be re-established along Rte 29, and that the character of the upper part of the property can be changed by grading. Dan Barber responded that there is some creativity in land owners being able to own recreational property beyond their own lot, and access nearby recreational areas without having to travel. Land owners might also be able to board horses at the nearby horse farm.
Laurie Griffen repeated that she would like to see some creativity in the design. She said that the Board is seeing a lot of designs that incorporate horse farms, but would like to see something in the nature of recreational space for children, such as soccer fields, or parks. She addressed this comment to the Town in general as well, stating that there is a real need for these types of space. She said that she is asking for ideas. Jason Tommelle responded that this property doesn’t lend itself to that type of space because of its proximity to a main thoroughfare. He repeated that the land has an agricultural look to it.
Chairman Ian Murray said that he would like to walk the property and have time to digest the proposal before moving forward from the sketchplan stage. He said that he needed to work from a survey and added that he wasn’t crazy about the pie-shaped lots.
Susan Cummings commented that the angle of the Louden Road intersection with Rte 29 is dangerous, and the traffic from the proposed subdivision will exacerbate the situation. She said that the issue of additional traffic and safety needs to be raised. Chairman Ian Murray suggested that a land swap might be made with the landowner to lessen the angle of the intersection.
Laurie Griffen stated that this situation has to be taken into account when the traffic study is done. There followed a discussion of the traffic along Rte 29.
Robert Park reminded the Board that the Town of Northumberland would have to be notified of this proposal, pursuant to recently enacted State zoning laws.
Chairman Ian Murray set up a site walk of the property by the Board for March 28 at 3:00 p.m.
Jeffrey & Deborah Dooley, Applicants
111 Condon Rd.
Stillwater, NY 12170
S/B/L 193.-1-7.3 Rural
Applicants are seeking a Special Use Permit to operate a boat storage facility on their 4.6+/- acre lot.
In response to a question from Chairman Ian Murray, Mr. Dooley stated that the character of the soil is a mixture of sand and clay. He said the driveway has a good base with fabric underneath.
Chairman Ian Murray explained the new driveway regulations, and Town Engineer Kenneth Martin provided the Applicants with a copy. Mr. Dooley said that his driveway is 30’ wide and that the water drains off of it.
Chairman Ian Murray clarified that there would be no maintenance or repair of boats on the property. Mr. Dooley stated that he intends strictly indoor storage in the single story building. Storage will be seasonal—just over the winter. There will be no sign out front because he intends the property to maintain its residential look.
Chairman Ian Murray explained that the Town allows only boat storage at present, but later may revise its zoning regulations to provide for the storage of RVs. If the regulations are revised, Mr. Dooley would be able to store RVs as well.
In response to a question from Chairman Ian Murray regarding sight distances, Mr. Dooley said that his driveway is located on the straightest part of the road, and that he can see far down both directions of the road when pulling out.
Mr. Dooley was directed to provide notification to his neighbors for a public hearing next month. Planning Clerk Catherine Cicero provided Mr. Dooley with a list of his neighbors that need to be notified. RETURNING
133 Schuyler St.
Victory Mills, NY 12884
S/B/L 170.39-1-12 Village Extension
Applicant is seeking a Special Use Permit to add a two-family addition onto a two-family unit on 3.162 acres in the Village Extension.
Chairman Ian Murray read from page 70 of the Town of Saratoga Zoning Regulations the definition of a multiple family dwelling: A building or portion thereof, containing three or more dwelling units designed and used for occupancy by three or more families living independently of each other. [maximum four]
He then read from page 69 the definition of a building: Any structure having a roof supported by columns or big walls and intended for shelter, housing, or enclosure of persons, animals or chattel. (emphasis supplied)
Mr. Ippoliti addressed the Board, stating that he had made revisions in his plans based on concerns raised by Town Zoning Officer Robert Hathaway and the advice of Town Attorney William Reynolds that the set of breezeways and buildings did not conform to the definitions contained in the Town Zoning Regulations. The breezeways connecting the buildings were eliminated, and the units are now all contained in a one-story building. Mr. Ippoliti said that the floors, ceilings, and foundation are all attached, but the roofline will change due to the grade on the property. He stated that a new well is being engineered in the back of the property. The slope of the property is to the east, and the building is being built on the flat portion of the land. Mr. Ippoliti said that he intends to include a walk-out basement on the east side of his unit.
In response to a question from Susan Cummings, Mr. Ippoliti explained that the 4-unit garage couldn’t be detached because there is no other place for it on the property. He would like to maintain the view to the back of the property from his unit. He also intends to use the garage as a separator for privacy from the front units.
There followed a discussion on the best placement of the driveway, given slope and drainage issues.
Chairman Ian Murray asked the Board if there were any further questions. There were none.
Proof of notice having been provided by newspaper on March 15, 2006, Chairman Ian Murray opened the Public Hearing at 9:05 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 project; the Public Hearing was closed at 9:05 p.m.
Chairman Ian Murray instructed Mr. Ippoliti to re-engineer the drawings and move the driveway. Mr. Ippoliti said the utility pole would be relocated in the new drawings, and that he would be installing a curtain drain. Chairman Ian Murray said it would be possible to shift the back portion of the building if Mr. Ippoliti wanted to do that. Town Engineer Kenneth Martin requested the roof elevations for the buildings. He noted that the property already had engineered septic systems. RETURNING
Barney & Shirley Drumm
139 Coveville Rd.
Schuylerville, NY 12871
S/B/L 182.-1-68 Rural
Mr. and Mrs. Drumm are seeking advice from the Board regarding the possible subdivision of a prospective purchase of 14+/- acres.
Mr. and Mrs. Drumm explained that, if purchased, the property would adjoin their current property in the back. They would like to do a lot-line adjustment to add this property to the existing deed; then leave a portion of the new property that contains a residence. That remaining lot would be non-conforming, but similar to other parcels in the immediate area. There is a trailer situated on part of the purchase property, which the Drumms would like to retain.
The Board determined that the request for information could be treated as a petition. Laurie Griffen made a motion to deny the request for subdivision, and refer the matter to the Zoning Board of Appeals with a recommendation to grant a variance because the non-conforming lot would be consistent with other lots in the area, giving the neighborhood the characteristics of a hamlet, although that area is not designated as such. Susan Cummings seconded the motion.
Chairman Ian Murray – aye, Susan Cummings – aye, Patrick Hanehan – aye, Robert Park – aye, Laurie Griffen – aye. Denied 5– 0. REFERRED TO THE ZONING BOARD OF APPEALS WITH A RECOMMENDATION TO GRANT THE VARIANCE
Saratoga Farms, Inc., Applicant
173 Co. Rd. 69
Schuylerville, NY 12871
S/B/L 182.-2-15.11 Rural
The Board discussed the recent stop work order that was issued by Town Engineer Kenneth Martin to Walter Taras regarding this proposed subdivision, and the recourse available to the Town in response to permit violations on the property. Chairman Ian Murray stated that Mr. Taras has gone well beyond the pre-construction stage, and that the trees that he removed were the only trees on the property.
New Business: Town Supervisor Tom Wood reported that Mr. Pravda has submitted an application for a PUD to the Town Board. He explained that a supermajority of the Board can vote to rule that a PUD is permissible on less than 3 acres of property. He said that the Town Board has a lot of concerns regarding the proposal.
Town Supervisor Tom Wood said that he is investigating Mr. Pravda’s claim that he has 14 sewer hook-ups with the County Sewer District.
Town Supervisor Tom Wood next reported that the Town is currently working on designating a zoning district for adult-use business pursuant to State law. He explained that Town Attorney William Reynolds has done considerable research on this matter. The Town is looking for a remote and out-of-the-way location that would deter use. Laurie Griffen clarified that no request has been made for such use, but the Town is looking to get ahead of the curve on this issue. Town Supervisor Tom Wood said that he was looking for input from the Planning Board. Susan Cummings stated that juice bars should be banned because they can permit minors in adult-use businesses within the district.
Town Supervisor Tom Wood explained that Towns can cooperate to designate a mutual district. Robert Park noted that it would be in the interests of the Villages to join with the Town.
Town Supervisor Tom Wood said that this is an emotional issue and that he would be putting information on the Town website to gain input from Town residents. A public hearing will be scheduled as well. He would like the Town to move quickly to take control of the situation, and hopes to have new regulations approved at the May Town Board meeting.
The next meeting will be April 26, 2006.
A motion to adjourn was made at 10:27 p.m. by Susan Cummings, and seconded by Robert Park. Chairman Ian Murray – aye, Susan Cummings – aye, Patrick Hanehan – aye, Laurie Griffen –aye, and Robert Park – aye. Carried 5– 0.
Catherine E. Cicero
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