March 28, 2007 - 7:30 PM



Chairman Ian Murray called the meeting to order at 7:34 p.m.


Planning Clerk Catherine Cicero called the roll.  Chairman Ian Murray – present, Ralph Pascucci – present, Paul Griffen – present, Robert Park – present, Laurie Griffen – present, Patrick Hanehan – present, Robert McConnell – present, and Alternate Jennifer Koval – present. 

Also attending: Town Engineer Kenneth Martin. 


Approval of Minutes: All Board members present had read the minutes of the February 26, 2007 meeting. A motion was made by Laurie Griffen, seconded by Patrick Hanehan, to accept the minutes of February 26, 2007 as written. Chairman Ian Murray – aye, Robert Park – aye, Patrick Hanehan – aye, Paul Griffen – aye, Robert McConnell – aye, Ralph Pascucci – aye, and Laurie Griffen – aye. Carried 7 – 0.


Order of Business:




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 28-lot conservation subdivision on 89.7 +/- acres on the north side of Rte 29, across from Bryants Bridge Road, to be named Schuyler Hills.


Peter David, of the LA Group, addressed the Board on behalf of the Applicant, and gave a brief history of the proposal as well as an update from the last meeting.  Mr. David reported that he expects a response from SHPO within the next 2 months and has not yet received a response from NYS DOT. He added that he has met with a representative of the Army Corp of Engineers, who commented positively on the plans to avoid the wetlands as much as possible.  The plans have been revised pursuant to the Board’s instructions at the February meeting, and a couple of grading plans have been submitted regarding Lots 8 and 25.  Mr. David said that guardrails have been added to the entrance road in certain areas where the fall would be over 10’.


Mr. David presented elevation sketches of sections of the subdivision to show what it might look like from the road.  Ralph Pascucci said that a section is misleading.  He wants to know what the actual elevation will look like, and reminded Mr. David that he was supposed to inventory the existing trees. Ralph Pascucci said that his concern is with losing something that would be extremely difficult to recover.  Mr. David said that he will delineate a no-cut area on the maps where there will be absolutely no clearing.  Ralph Pascucci said that he wants to make it perfectly clear to excavators or clearers so the message isn’t lost.  Town Engineer Kenneth Martin gave an example where trees were marked and the trees disappeared anyway.

Patrick Hanehan questioned whether a forester should be sent in to mark the trees.  Chairman Ian Murray stated that it might be premature to do that.


A discussion followed on how best to keep the large trees from being cut down during construction of the road and houses.  Ralph Pascucci noted that cuts and fills tend to “spread out” due to the operation of large machinery.  Mr. David said that he would take a photograph of the property and superimpose houses to give a sense of what the subdivision will look like when finished.  He noted that there is probably less of a sight-line coming down the hill than when driving in the other direction. Chairman Ian Murray recommended that the clearing plans for Lots 15 and 16 be tightened up even more.


A discussion followed on the seed mix to be used on various areas of the subdivision.


Town Engineer Kenneth Martin said that more work needs to be done on the steep slopes with regard to the internal road, and reported that Town Highway Superintendent David Hall has expressed concerns with that as well.


Chairman Ian Murray said that he wanted to see footages on the maps concerning the no-cut areas and the buffer.  In response to a question from Patrick Hanehan, Mr. David explained that the whole circumference would be a no-cut area, as well as some internal areas.  Mr. David said that a Home Owners Association (HOA) will be set up to maintain the undeveloped land.


Chairman Ian Murray asked the Board if there were any further questions; there were none.


Proof of notice having been furnished by newspaper on March 20, 2007, Chairman Ian Murray opened the Public Hearing at 8:00 p.m., asking that anyone having comments provide their name and state whether they were for or against the proposal.


Charlie Hanehan—Commented that he and his brothers own the farmland on the north and west side of the proposed subdivision and that he appreciates the incorporation of buffers and no-cut areas around the subdivision.  He asked if there was any practical way, aside from the agricultural data statement on the maps, to advise people that there is farming to the north and west.  Chairman Ian Murray and Ralph Pascucci suggested that something could be included in the deed description.


Bernard DeFelice—Does not disapprove of the project, but raised safety concerns about the increased traffic along NYS Rte 29 from both this subdivision and from Burgoyne Estates on Burgoyne Road, particularly since the area in front of the subdivision is one of the few passing opportunities along the highway. 


A long discussion followed on the dangerous situation that currently exists along that corridor.  Mr. David noted that the entrance to the subdivision would be 408’ west of the Bryants Bridge Road intersection.  Patrick Hanehan asked whether a turning lane could be requested from the State.  All the Board members agreed that a safety issue exists.  Chairman Ian Murray explained that the Town has no jurisdiction over this matter, and can only petition the State to do something.  He added that he had spoken with a representative of NYS DOT who was pleased that the subdivision entrance had been moved from its original location across from Bryants Bridge Road.  Town Engineer Kenneth Martin suggested that a request could be made to the State to extend the no passing zone along that section of road.  He compared the situation with a similar problem in Wilton.  Chairman Ian Murray said that he would look into the matter.

David Reulet—Commented that he lives along the eastern boundary of the proposed subdivision and has questions regarding the drainage.  Mr. David explained how the roadside swales would collect run-off; then direct it toward the basins.  The water is released back into the wetlands at a rate dictated by NYS DEC.  He added that, by law, no more water can be released into the wetlands than the amount currently being released without the subdivision. 

Mr. David also explained that the stormwater drainage systems would be installed in accordance with stringent rules set by the Army Corps of Engineers and NYS DEC.

Mr. Reulet asked whether the development would have drilled wells or a water system.  They would be drilled.  The test wells have been approved by NYS DOH.


All those wishing to speak having done so, the Public Hearing was closed at 8:19 p.m.


Laurie Griffin asked who was responsible for monitoring the flow of water from the basins into the wetlands.  Town Engineer Kenneth Martin said that he and NYS DEC determine the natural flow, which is estimated by software.


Robert McConnell asked what the price range would be for the houses in the development.  Mr. David did not know and was unable to provide a ballpark figure.  Chairman Ian Murray commented that he had been told the parcel would be sold once the subdivision was approved.


A discussion followed on when to set up a workshop for the Board to discuss the SEQR review in this application.  Since necessary information for the review is still outstanding, no date has been set for the workshop.  RETURNING


Saratoga Farms, Inc./Taras, Applicant                               

173 County Road 69

Schuylerville, NY  12871                                          

S/B/L 182.-2-23 Rural


Returning Applicant proposes a 35-unit subdivision of single family homes on County Road 69 and Casey Road.   Thirty-four lots will range in size from approximately 1 to 3 acres.  The thirty- fifth lot will be approximately 58 acres in size, with a defined building envelope.  The remaining lands within that lot will be deed restricted and preserved as open space.  Attorney Robert Pulsifer and Gavin Villaume of Environmental Design Partnership, LLC appeared on behalf of the Applicant and briefly recapped the proposal to date. 


A discussion followed regarding the issue of standing water on properties of single-family homes along Casey Road.  Mr. Villaume said that the situation is being looked into so the development doesn’t exacerbate the problem.  Mr. Villaume said that some grading and perhaps a berm might be constructed so that no more water flows onto that property from the subdivision.  Chairman Ian Murray recalled seeing standing water near those homes even as a kid, so the problem has been longstanding.  He added that he is concerned about water from the development draining to the homes on Musket Drive as well.


Chairman Ian Murray said that he was concerned about holding stormwater elsewhere on the development. Mr. Villaume said that the grade is higher in other areas of the parcel, and suggested that dry wells might be installed in order for water to drain below the frost line during the winter months.  Chairman Ian Murray cautioned about the proper installation of dry wells when the water table is so high.


Robert McConnell asked for clarification that the owner of the large undeveloped parcel would be responsible for paying taxes on it.


A brief discussion followed on the possibility of creating wet ponds in various locations in the development.


Chairman Ian Murray asked the Board if there were any further questions; there were none.


Paul Griffen made a motion, seconded by Robert Park, to grant preliminary approval for the proposal.  Chairman Ian Murray asked for a roll-call vote of the Board:


Chairman Ian Murray – No. 

Chairman Ian Murray said that he recognizes that the owner has a right to develop his property, and that EDP has done a great job in developing the plans.  However, in this instance, he feels that the Board is “handcuffed” by the conservation subdivision, which clusters houses and contains density, and does not serve the purpose of preserving the rural character of the land.   

[Attorney Robert Pulsifer asked that he be allowed to comment briefly that the plans are the result of a meeting with members of the Board where the developer asked for some direction in devising his plans.]

Robert Park – Aye.

Patrick Hanehan – No.

Patrick Hanehan said that the 4 lots along County Road 69 should be eliminated.

Paul Griffen – Aye.

Laurie Griffen – Aye.

Ralph Pascucci – Aye.

Ralph Pascucci said that he concurred with Chairman Ian Murray’s comments, but felt that he had to vote to grant preliminary approval because the design fits the rules laid out by the Town.

Robert McConnell – Aye.

Robert McConnell said that he agreed with Ralph Pascucci and that the situation is a shame, but the land owner has done what he was asked to do.





Schuylerville Central School, Applicant

14 Spring Street

Schuylerville, NY  12871

S/B/L 157-1-54 Rural Residential


Applicant proposes to convey, by lot-line adjustment, 2.874+/- acres of land to T. David Bullard.  The property is located behind the Marshall House, on the west side of NYS Rte 32 and US Rte 4, 900’ north of the Village of Schuylerville.  Mr. Bullard has no plans to develop the additional property.  TABLED AT THE REQUEST OF THE APPLICANT








Arthur Kemmet, Applicant

183 River Road

Schuylerville, NY  12871

S/B/L 209.13-1-17 Conservancy


Returning Applicant is proposing a three-lot subdivision on the 22.91+/- acre parcel situated primarily between NYS Rte 4 and River Road.  Lot 1 is 1.85+/-acres, Lot 2 is 7.18+/- acres, and Lot 3 is 13.81+/- acres. The parcel straddles NYS Rte 4 and has additional road frontage on Wilbur Road.  TABLED AT THE REQUEST OF THE APPLICANT


Michael Vitaliano, Applicant

6 Huron Road

Shirley, NY  11967

S/B/L 156-2-9 Rural Residential


Applicant is proposing to construct eight 3-unit buildings on 49.89+/- acres located between Beaver Street and Wall Street along NYS Rte 29.  To achieve his desired density, the Applicant proposes a state-of-the-art wastewater treatment system for all the building units that “uses less space, emits no odor, and has the ability to remove up to 97% of the nitrates in the effluent.”


Michael Vitaliano and Hank Kuczynski presented an overview of their proposal to the Board, stating that they intend to develop only 10% of the site, with the remaining 90% being left in its natural state.  The plans include 8 units on half-acre sites, a stormwater collection area, a recreation area, and the septic system.  Mr. Vitaliano handed out a sketch of what the units would look like and an informational sheet on the septic system, which he briefly explained.  He said the community would be self-contained with very little impact on the Town. The units would be located on a plateau on the property, so few trees will have to be taken out, and the visual impact from NYS Rte 29 and Wall Street would be minimal. The units would not be visible from Beaver Street.  A HOA would be established to maintain all internal roads, and pay for the sewage treatment, lighting, landscaping, and maintaining the open space.


The majority of the Board’s questions were directed to the proposed septic system, which Mr. Vitaliano explained runs on electricity. The system operates 24/7and is monitored from a remote location by an operator trained and employed by the HOA. It will be located in a flat area near NYS Rte 29 and will be gravity-fed by the slopes. The septic unit will be located entirely underground except for a small hut, which will house the controls. The treated water is “gray water,” which can be released into the surrounding wetlands with a NYS DEC permit. He said that the system meets all federal and State standards, named several instances in the region where such a system is in use, and directed the Board members to the internet [] for more information.


Ralph Pascucci commented that 20% of the parcel is wetland; therefore, 70% is open space, once the wetland calculation is removed.


Chairman Ian Murray explained that the proposal does not conform to existing Town Zoning Regulations, so the Applicant should pursue his proposal with the Town Board through the Planned Unit Development (PUD) process.  He also advised Mr. Vitaliano to deed-restrict the open space and to develop a HOA contract.  He added that there are some steep slopes on the property that might have to be taken out.  Ralph Pascucci commented that some of the units might have to be eliminated from the plans.

Chairman Ian Murray thanked Mr. Vitaliano and Mr. Kuczynski for showing the Board the proposal and referred them to the Town Board, stating that the Planning Board was “comfortable” with the project.


David and Jane Sheeran, Applicants

176 Burke Rd

Saratoga Springs, NY  12866

S/B/L 181-1-26 Rural


Returning Applicants propose to divide their 34.39+/- acre lot into four lots: Lot 1 would be 4.99+/- acres, Lot 2, with an existing house, would be 3.43+/- acres, Lot 3 would be 12.87+/- acres, and Lot 4 would be 13.0+/- acres.  Applicants were granted a variance of 100’ for road frontage for Lot 3 on the March 26, 2007 by the Zoning Board of Appeals.


James Vianna presented the plans to the Board, stating that the shared driveway for Lots 1 and 2 would be relocated on a less steep area and the new driveway, designed by Dave Myers of Myers Engineering, would conform to Town Zoning Regulations regarding driveway standards.  The proposed driveway system will include one road onto Burke Road, which then splits in two, with one driveway being shared with Lots 1 and 2, and the other being shared by Lots 3 and 4.  The existing substandard driveway would be abandoned.  Mr. Vianna commented that, although there is a shared driveway system, all the lots have sufficient road frontage.  He noted that the portion of Lot 3 behind Lot 1 will be designated a no-cut area to maintain privacy for Lot 1.


Ralph Pascucci was concerned that the driveway seemed too much like a private road, stating that he was concerned about setting a precedent in approving the shared driveway system. Mr. Vianna went through the set of easements that has been devised for the driveways.  He said that, without the shared driveway plan, the proposal would not be feasible. Paul Griffen said that he liked the approach but was concerned about driveway maintenance. He added that he liked the idea of eliminating a stretch of mail boxes along the road.  Chairman Ian Murray said that he liked the shared driveway concept and that Town Zoning Regulations are moving in that direction; however, currently such proposals are granted by the Planning Board on a case-by-case basis.


Chairman Ian Murray said that he had suggested that the Applicant subdivide the parcel into three estate lots.  He thought that would eliminate some of the Board’s concerns and make the property more attractive to buyers. Patrick Hanehan suggested that approval be contingent on Lot 4 being constrained from putting in a separate driveway, and that the no-cut area behind Lot 1 be deed-restricted.


Chairman Ian Murray requested that Mr. Vianna look into adding some vegetation that would support the wetlands in the front of the property.  Mr. Vianna said that the proposal does not come close to any of the wetlands on the site.


Robert Park suggested that the Board members walk the site, but said that he was agreeable with the plan.  Mr. Vianna requested that the Board grant preliminary approval.


Robert Park made a motion, seconded by Robert McConnell, to grant preliminary approval.  Chairman Ian Murray asked for a roll-call vote of the Board:


Chairman Ian Murray – No. 

Robert Park – Aye.

Patrick Hanehan – Aye.

Paul Griffen – Aye.

Laurie Griffen – Aye.

Ralph Pascucci – No.

Ralph Pascucci said that he did not approve of the driveway structure.

Robert McConnell – Aye.



Chairman Ian Murray scheduled a walk-through of the site for Tuesday, April 10, at 6:30.  The Board members will assemble by the driveway in front.  RETURNING




Sean Scott

915 NYS Rte 29

Saratoga Springs, NY  12866

S/B/L 155.-1-84 Rural Residential


John Farndell, architect for Mr. Scott, explained that the Applicant wants to move the lot line between two parcels that he owns in order to construct a garage on a currently non-conforming parcel.  That parcel would then become a conforming parcel, but the adjacent parcel, which is now conforming, would become non-conforming.  He added that the density in the area will not change and that no further subdivision will take place.  Although one lot is already substandard,  Chairman Ian Murray commented that the resulting non-conforming lot would be “considerably” more non-conforming than the currently existing non-conforming lot.


Ralph Pascucci said that he remembered when the lots were first subdivided and that they predated Town Zoning Regulations.  He said the non-conforming lot was legal at the time it was subdivided.  He did not foresee a problem with granting the request, but said that it needed to be checked out.


Chairman Ian Murray stated that this matter would be considered as a sketch plan so the Board could act on it.  Ralph Pascucci made a motion, seconded by Robert Park, to deny the sketch plan application and refer the matter to the Zoning Board of Appeals with a positive recommendation. Chairman Ian Murray – aye, Robert Park – aye, Patrick Hanehan – aye, Paul Griffen – aye, Ralph Pascucci – aye, Laurie Griffin – aye, and Robert McConnell – aye. Carried 7 – 0. DENIED AND REFERRED TO THE ZONING BOARD OF APPEALS WITH A POSITIVE RECOMMEDATION


Old Business: The Board discussed the difficulty with trying to monitor developments once they are approved. Robert McConnell suggested that a penalty clause be included in the language granting a subdivision and that the trees also be bonded.  He asked that photos be taken before development begins. Town Engineer Kenneth Martin related an instance in the City of Saratoga Springs where a developer was ordered to pay someone to monitor his construction progress for compliance.


Ralph Pascucci was concerned that once the parcel for the Schuyler Hills development is sold, the Town would be dealing with an entity that never dealt with the Planning Board during the approval process.

Robert McConnell repeated concerns raised earlier about the dangerous traffic situation that exists along NYS Rte 29 in front of the proposed Schuyler Hills development. 


There was a brief discussion on the signage in front of Giovannone’s boat storage facility and whether he was in compliance with the approval language of his SUP. 


New Business:  None


The next meeting will be April 25, 2007.


A motion to adjourn was made at 10:00 p.m. by Laurie Griffen, and seconded by Patrick Hanehan. Chairman Ian Murray – aye, Robert Park – aye, Patrick Hanehan – aye, Paul Griffen – aye, Ralph Pascucci – aye, Laurie Griffin – aye, and Robert McConnell – aye. Carried 7 – 0


Respectfully submitted,


Catherine E. Cicero

Planning Clerk


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