TOWN OF SARATOGA
ZONING BOARD OF APPEALS
SPECIAL JOINT MEETING MINUTES
APRIL 15, 2004
ZBA Chairman Stephen Bodnar called the special meeting to order at 7:10 p.m. and explained the Rules of the Board.
Clerk Ruth Drumm called the roll. ZBA members: Chairman Stephen Bodnar – present, William Shutz – present, Thomas Carringi – present, Joyce Waldinger – present, Alternate James Burke – present, Barbara Faraone – absent, Clifford Hanehan – absent, and David Hall – absent. Planning Board Members: Chairman Ian Murray – present, Susan Cummings – present, Robert Park – present, Ralph Pascucci – absent, Albert Baker – absent, Paul Griffen – absent, Laurie Griffen – absent, and Alternate Barney Drumm – absent.
The special meeting was called to address the subdivision application of Edward and Florence Charbonneau, 116 County Rt. 68, Saratoga Springs, reconfiguring their 6.93 acres to provide 1.69 acres for a marina and two remaining lots for the Charbonneau’s and their daughters and the related Special Use Permit needed by Robert and Jean Tarrant, 41 Cliffside Dr., Saratoga Springs, for a marina and the area variance required for the 1.69 acre parcel where 3 acres is required. (Conservancy District 167.-1-16)
Chairman Stephen Bodnar read correspondence from Town Attorney William Reynolds clarifying the use of dashes in the zoning regulations, as this was a question raised at the last meeting. He stated that the use of a dash in the regulations for a particular category meant there was no minimum established requirement for that category usually because the use is accessory to the main use or due to the type of use involved, but as with this case, the Planning Board when reviewing applications for Special Use Permits may address frontage related issues such as adequacy of vehicular traffic access and circulation, and location and sufficiency of off-street parking and loading, among other considerations.
Chairman Stephen Bodnar also read a letter in favor of the rowing center from John Tarrant.
A letter from Barbara Faraone, a ZBA member who could not attend tonight, was read. She noted that she is against the granting of the variance for the Rowing Center because the request is substantial and that it will change the character of the neighborhood now and in the future, which is mostly homes and open fields.
He read a letter against the approval of the rowing center signed by the neighbors, Ellen and Marion Ruhle, Lena Robinson, Diane Robinson, Sherry Robinson, and Charlie Robinson. Their concerns were issues of safety regarding the additional traffic on County Rt. 68 along with the poor visibility of cars pulling out onto the highway and the likelihood of accidents occurring.
Chairman Stephen Bodnar read a letter from the NYS DEC to Town Engineer Ken Martin. It was noted that a Freshwater Wetlands permit and a Protection of Waters permit would be required. It was recommended that the project sponsor contact John O’Connor of the Bureau of Habitat (623-1241) to arrange pre-application field visit and wetlands delineation. It was also mentioned that since the general area contains archeological resources that the project sponsor submit information to the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, and request a determination of project impact on cultural resources.
Chairman Stephen Bodnar asked Mr. Charbonneau to address the board. He stated that due to financial hardships while living on a fixed income he has decided to sell the property to the Tarrant’s for the proposed marina.
Chairman Stephen Bodnar then stated that at the last Zoning Board of Appeals Meeting on March 22, 2004 there was disagreement on how the property was recommended to be divided. The boards discussed the flag lot that had been created and agreed that it did not fit the criteria for a flag lot. Mr. Charbonneau was asked if he would consider enlarging the lot for the marina since the area variance being asked for is quite significant and it was pointed out that if the marina had three acres they wouldn’t need a variance at all. After much discussion by the boards, Mr. Charbonneau, Sandra Danzell, and Dave Carr of the LA Group, and Attorney Eleanor Mullaney, it was apparent that in order to make the marina lot larger it would take Mr. Charbonneau’s driveway and probably would require that he move his pole barn. He was not willing to do that and when a shared driveway was suggested he did not want that either. The board then suggested that in order to correct the non-conforming lot, they could combine the remaining two lots into one lot of 5.24 +/- acres. Planning Board Chairman Ian Murray noted that originally that was what was recommended.
Dave Carr, Attorney Eleanor Mullaney, and Joan Tarrant came forward. Dave Carr stated that the wetlands had been flagged on the 1.69 acre parcel and a wetland delineation would be done. FEMA shows that it is a floodplain and Mr. Charbonneau also confirmed that and stated that he has flood insurance. Dave Carr stated that he believes that only one of the two permits that the DEC requested would be needed and that is the Adjacent Area Disturbance Permit.
Lisa Bevis Schroeder spoke against permitting the marina due to traffic and noise.
Joan Tarrant noted that the rowing center area would be a designated quiet zone. Attorney Eleanor Mullaney stated that in granting the Special Use Permit the Planning Board could narrowly define conditions such as a rowing center only with a quiet zone, no power boats except the one needed for the coach, and that any subsequent owners would be bound by the same terms as the Tarrant’s.
Both William Schutz and Joyce Waldinger stated that they would like to see the marina lot as close to the regulations as possible. William Schutz was also concerned with the parking, especially as the business grows. Chairman Stephen Bodnar noted that the Sheriff’s Department had contacted him and they want input due to the increased traffic on the creek. Chairman Stephen Bodnar noted that the Planning Board sent a positive recommendation to the Zoning Board of Appeals for the 1.69 acre marina when it included improving the nonconforming lot. Attorney Eleanor Mullaney questioned if the 2 lot subdivision would be viable, since the Charbonneau’s were in agreement to the 1.69 acre lot with the remaining as one lot. Susan Cummings noted that it would be hard to draw permanent lines until the wetland delineation and floodplain is completed. Chairman Bodnar asked if it is safe to assume that the Planning Board would be in agreement once the floodplain and the wetland delineation is done and it is found to be an acceptable viable parcel? Chairman Ian Murray stated that once the floodplain and wetland delineation was done and if it was then deemed a viable parcel he felt they would be in agreement, keeping in mind that the full board is not present. He noted that with the granting of a special use permit, deed restrictions and conditions would be included. Chairman Stephen Bodnar was asked if the variance for the 1.69-acre marina parcel would be acceptable to the Zoning Board of Appeals. He responded that he didn’t have a full board in attendance but he could poll the members present. It was noted that it would take 4 aye votes for approval and if the County recommended denial, then it would take a super majority of 5. He polled the board and there were 4 aye votes. He noted that with the opinion of the vote just taken that they would be granted a variance for the 1.69 acres. Although it would not be binding since all facts are not in, including the county’s recommendation and the floodplain and wetland delineation.
Attorney Eleanor Mullaney asked what would be needed to come to the April Meeting. Chairman Stephen Bodnar stated they would need a reconfigured map, showing just two lots, one of 1.69 for the marina and one with the remaining acreage of Mr. Charbonneau’s, a plot plan with the wetland delineation and the floodplain along with an updated SEQR.
Dave Carr stated that they would need until the May meetings to prepare what was needed and they would come back then.
The May meeting of the Zoning Board of Appeals will be held May 24, 2004 and the Planning Board’s May meeting will be May 26, 2004.
Sandra Dalzell thanked the boards for having this special meeting.
Supervisor Thomas Wood also thanked the boards for a fine job and for their efforts. He explained that the proposed zoning changes are going to Town Attorney William Reynolds. He mentioned that Planned Unit Developments (PUD’s) are being explored by the Town Board and he would like the Planning Board and The Zoning Board of Appeals’ members to come to a presentation by County Planner Larry Benton on PUD’s.
He asked what night would be acceptable. After some discussion, they left it at 7:00 p.m. Wednesday, May 5th. Supervisor Thomas Wood said he would notify everyone once it is set.
Meeting adjourned at 9:20 p.m.
Ruth L. Drumm