PLANNING BOARD DRAFT MINUTES
March 23, 2016
Chairman Ian Murray called the meeting to order at 7:30 p.m.
Planning Clerk Linda McCabe called the roll: Chairman Ian Murray present, Laurie
Griffen present, Patrick Hanehan present, Robert McConnell absent, Joseph
Lewandowski present, Brandon Myers present, George Olsen - present, Christopher Koval - present.
Due to the absence of Board Member Robert McConnell, Chairman Ian Murray elevated Alternate Member Chris Koval to full voting status.
Also attending: Town Engineer Ken Martin, Brendan O'Hara, Libby Coreno, Jim Vianna, Rex James, John Witt, Jeff Mancini, Kenneth Ayers, Mr. & Mrs. Lautenberg, Frank Owens, Mr. & Mrs. Paul Murphy, Mr. & Mrs. Hub Miller, Gary Squires, Greg Hewlett, Jean Seiler, Maribeth Macica, Lauren Kirkwood, Teri Korb, Krista Malinoski, Edith Rubinson, Marge McShane, Diane Varney and other interested persons. (Sign-in sheet is on file in the Clerks office)
Public Hearing for Minor Subdivision
Brendan O'Hara #16-03 Representative: M. Elizabeth Coreno, Attorney
121 Cahill Rd. 480 Broadway, Suite 250
Stillwater, NY 12170 Saratoga Springs, NY 12866
S/B/L 207.-1-36.1 Rural
Returning Applicant seeks to subdivide his 33.36+/-acre parcel into two lots; Lot 1 is to be 11.083+/- acres with the existing single family home and Lot 2 is to be 22.279+/- acres which the Applicant intends to sell.
Attorney Elizabeth (Libby) Coreno appeared on behalf of the Applicant. She provided the Board with updated survey maps and copies of the engineering report. She stated they left last month's meeting with four notes from the Board, the first related to percolation test and deep hole test pit per NYS DOH regulations. They were able to submit an engineering report to the Town's Engineer indicating those tests were completed by Darren C. Tracy, PE and with the findings they have soil suitability at 3 minutes 30 seconds, with a septic side rate of 1 - 5 minutes perc. They also found the deep hole pit tests was suitable for a waste water system.
The second note was related to the 200' versus 300' of frontage on the 22+/- acre parcel. In discussions with Town Attorney William Reynolds, as well as their surveyors, they were able to move the line of subdivision further over on Lot 1 to provide the 300' of frontage needed for Lot 2. There now is 275' along the straight-of-way on Cahill Rd. and 25' north to the middle of the road, for a total of 300', meeting the required frontage for that parcel.
The third note was to have the water notes placed on the survey, which has been completed and the fourth note was to have the agricultural note placed on the survey, which has also been completed.
The neighbor notification receipts had been handed in prior to the beginning of the meeting.
Chairman Ian Murray stated that after looking at the maps presented to the Board at the beginning of the meeting, he noted the water notes and agriculture notes were on the map. He then asked if there were any questions of the Board; there were none.
Proof of Notice having been furnished by newspaper on March 13, 2016, Chairman Ian Murray opened the Public Hearing at 7:35 p.m., asking those wishing to speak to please stand and state their name and address.
Kenneth L. Ayers, Attorney, 50 W. Grand St., Palatine Bridge, NY, spoke on behalf of the applicant's neighbors, Mr. & Mrs. Joel Lautenberg. On behalf of his clients he requested a copy of his comments and documents be made a part of the record; he then submitted a file with that information to be added to the Applicant's file. He stated he's reviewed the file contents, via FOIL, and researched the original property and believes that land is deed restricted. He then reviewed a 2000 map of the original subdivision with the Board, stating there is an agriculture deed restriction on that parcel.
Chairman Ian Murray and the Board viewed the map, and Chairman Ian Murray stated there is no deed restriction on the map; there is a note on the map, but not a deed restriction. He asked if Attorney Kenneth Ayers can supply a deed showing restriction.
Attorney Kenneth Ayers replied that it is irrelevant if it's on Mr. O'Hara's deed. He gave a lengthy history of his research on the property and then insisted the public hearing be postponed since his clients have been denied the opportunity to view the newly submitted maps that the Board received at the beginning of the meeting.
Chairman Ian Murray invited him to come up and view the map with the Board.
Attorney Kenneth Ayers refused, stating without having the map prior to this meeting he's had no opportunity to have his engineer review it and check that the figures are correct.
He then insisted the public hearing be shut down until he, his engineer and clients have time to review the updated map. He added that he demands this application be denied.
Chairman Ian Murray asked if Attorney Kenneth Ayers had any further questions since he had referenced a few items and certainly did his research on this; he did not have anything further.
Chairman Ian Murray gave Attorney Kenneth Ayers a copy of the newly submitted survey map. He then asked if anyone else wished to speak; no one spoke.
Chairman Ian Murray then stated frontage is now corrected and the Board will leave the Public Hearing open until next month and the Board will have the town's attorney review it.
Special Use Permit Pre-Submission Conference
Rex James #16-04
P.O. Box 143
Grafton, VT 05146
S/B/L 168.-3-9.1 Rural Residential
Location: 772 Rt. 29
Applicant seeks a Special Use Permit to modify the existing garage apartment to conform with current zoning regulations.
Rex James appeared before the Board and stated the property he has purchased, 772 Rt. 29, has an existing garage that was renovated into an apartment and he would like to make it compliant with the current zoning regulations. He stated it has a couple of bedrooms upstairs, a kitchen downstairs, but no living area and he'd like to add a 20' x 20' sunroom, off of the kitchen, to the structure. He and his wife will be residing in the garage apartment and his son and family will reside in the large house. Per zoning regulations the setback should be 40' but the one side is at 43'; and the other side has more than required, so he will need a variance and knows that is the first step. His intention for the variance will be to add a sunroom onto the structure, as stated earlier, and the addition will meet zoning setbacks.
Chairman Ian Murray stated it is an allowable use, and agreed the variance is needed. He questioned the well and septic and asked how the Applicant proposed to address those issues.
Rex James replied it's a single well, single septic system and he's recently had them tested. The water tested in excess of 8 gallons per minute. He has a 1000 gallon tank on the septic system and that was also tested. He was told it was suitable for both structures and the water flow was more than enough for both structures. He doesn't anticipate needing anything else.
Chairman Ian Murray stated that Rex James is the second case to make use of the new local law allowing this. They can allow a second use on the well, but the Board will need so see the engineering report to provide proof that it will prove adequate yields. Secondly, to use the septic, one has to look at the bedroom calculations between the house and the proposed apartment. With 6 bedrooms it doesn't meet the requirements. The septic system needs to be enlarged; both the tank and the leach field. The correct size is 1750 gallons on septic for the two structures. Town Engineer Ken Martin added the size of the leach field depends on the perc rate. He will need to increase his leach field by a 1/3 to take care of the 6 bedrooms and the Board will need to see the engineer's report certifying that. Since the Board doesn't know what the percolation rate is, he'll need to have his engineer investigate what he has, complete perc test and calculate what the needed amount is, write up reports on it and supply a copy of those reports (tank, septic field and well yield) for the Board. The depth of well, casing and storage report will tell the Board what he needs.
Chairman Ian Murray stated that Rex James must go to the Zoning Board of Appeals for the
variance and then back to this Board for Special Use Permit approval.
Sketch Plan for Minor Subdivision
TISA Development #16-05 Representative: James Vianna, PLS
Lisa Breen 170 Lohnes Rd.
117 Chelsea Dr. Stillwater, NY 12170
Saratoga Springs, NY 12866
S/B/L 207.-1-36.1 Rural
Location: Haas Rd.
Applicant seeks a two lot subdivision of a 10+/- acre parcel, located on Haas Rd. Lot 1 (4A) is to be 4.85+/-acres and Lot 2 (4B) is to be 5.63+/- acres.
Jim Vianna, PLS, appeared on behalf of the Applicant. He stated the Applicant is under contract to purchase the 10.5+/- acre parcel which is shown as Lot 4 on the map. This will be a two lot subdivision and the survey will show Lot 4A as 4.85+/- acres and Lot 4B as 5.63+/- acre. Soil investigations have been completed and due to finding clay a couple of feet down, raised systems are required, which the engineer has submitted.
Chairman Ian Murray stated this is a simple subdivision. He asked if there were any questions from the Board; there were none. He then stated we will advertise for a public hearing for the April 27, 2016 meeting.
Jim Vianna thanked the Board.
Peggy Adams #16-06 Representative: James Vianna, PLS
164 Hanehan Rd. 170 Lohnes Rd.
Schuylerville, NY 12871 Stillwater, NY 12170
S/B/L 195.-1-17 Rural
Applicant seeks a lot-line adjustment to convey property to her neighbor, Jake Mikkelson.
Jim Vianna appeared before the Board on behalf of the Applicant. He stated the Applicant owns 59 acres and would like to convey 47 acres to her neighbor, Mr. Mikkelson.
Chairman Ian Murray stated they'll have to rewrite deeds for the Mikkelson's as well as for the Applicant, although hers won't change aside from the number of acreage. No Board action is required so when the new survey's are ready bring, them in for sign-off as well as copies of the rewritten deeds.
Jim Vianna thanked the Board.
Sketch Plan for Major Subdivision Conference
John Witt, Witt Construction #15-05
563 N. Broadway Saratoga Springs, NY 12866
S/B/L 193.-1-17, 193.-1-18, 193.18-1-55 Lake Residential,
Rural District II, Rural District
Location: 142 Cedar Bluff Rd. (Co. Rd. 71)
Returning Applicant seeks to subdivide three parcels, with a total of 113.70+/- acres, into a major subdivision.
John Witt appeared before the Board. He stated he feels the 35 lot subdivision is consistent with the Town's zoning intention; it enhances the visual character of the area, it exceeds regulations in open space and the lot sizes are consistent for a conservation subdivision. He reviewed two maps, one with a through road and one with a cul-de-sac. He stated he feels Hill Rd. was designed to have a through road, but he also designed a cul-de-sac plan per Board request. He then reviewed the land's steep slopes, buildable areas and buffers, saying they are following conservation subdivision requirements. The farm will be a positive visual impact in the community. Open space will be set aside and perhaps used as communal space; it can remain undisturbed. He believes conservation designs are meant to permit flexibility and encourage conservation growth and improve property values. He feels he's doing this by recreating the farmstead. The 1890 map shows Caldwell farm in that location and there are no endangered species, animal or plant, there according to NYS DEC.
From the 111+/- acres, buildable land is 93.78+/- acres. Take half of that for open space plus the unbuildable area, you get a total of 57.5+/- acres which includes the buffers. The proposed lot coverage is 54.1 acres for the 35 buildable lots, which includes the right-of-way. As for lot statistics, they will be less than an acre to 3+ acres and they meet frontage requirements; well over 100' of frontage and they are all substantially larger than the required 20,000 sq. ft. He said that he is following the comprehensive plan for conservation subdivision that allows the development of subdivision clustering.
He added that his proposed plan is to create some kind of a farm - or bring back the farmstead or possibly an orchard or some kind of farming. He stated he feels the farm itself will be a positive visual impact on the community. The current farmland that was there (in 1890) is now forest. The trees are not 'old growth' trees, so at some point it was farmed. He reiterated that a portion of the site will be dedicated for open space, which will be set aside for public or private use and will not be developed; it can be used for community space or preserved as green space. It can be undisturbed or revegetated per town regulations.
He then stated Jeff Mancini is his licensed engineer and Kirby Van Fleet was hired to do water and will be servicing the property with wells, as well as completing a fracture trace study. He's sent out a water survey to the neighbors, 32 in fact, and has only received 8 back. (Some residents countered that, saying he only sent 8 surveys out.)
He reminded the Board he was before them in August with plans, in November with plans showing a 74 lot and 62 lot subdivision. He came back in January with a 78 by right layout, a 41 conservation plan which is now a 35 lot conservation plan. At the February workshop held by the Board, concerns were addressed and he is now asking for a preliminary approval for the 35 lot plan. He stated Van Fleet is reviewing the water surveys returned by the neighbors, archeological has been sent to SHPO(State Historic Preservation Office); they're awaiting a response, and he reiterated he'd like preliminary approval for the 35 lot farmstead subdivision project.
Chairman Ian Murray stated the Board prefers the cul-de-sac option. There will be no preliminary approval tonight. John Witt has talked about buffer area, but in the buffer on every plan submitted, it has agriculture land, so the Board needs to know what direction the Applicant is going with that. As far as the water survey, 32 apparently were sent out, someone said there were only 8 sent; he was only aware of 4 people that received it.
Patrick Hanehan suggested that John Witt should re-send the water surveys 'Return Receipt Requested' to the 32 neighbors; that way he has proof he mailed the water surveys to all of them, since some neighbors here tonight said only 8 were sent.
John Witt stated he will send them return-receipt.
Chairman Ian Murray questioned if the Emory L. Waldrip Trust property, on top of Hill Rd., is no longer a partner in this project?
John Witt replied no he will not be a partner, but he is still tied to it.
Chairman Ian Murray questioned if that piece is still a part of this project.
John Witt replied once it is approved, yes.
Chairman Ian Murray stated the Board needs proof of that land being included in this prior to approval. He added that John Witt referenced the previous meetings they've had with the Board. From the very first meeting with John Witt, concerning this project, the Board has pinpointed everything that is needed and yet still haven't seen what is requested from the Applicant; this is not even close to preliminary. Last Friday, he and Town Engineer Ken Martin walked the property for a couple of hours, then went back and forged a technical memo, he then handed a copy of the memo to John Witt. He then read aloud from that memo:
"There are items required that need to be addressed as the Cedar Bluff Conservation Subdivision proceeds, these are items that will need to be clarified for the Planning Board to fully address the proposed subdivision application.
v The proposed road profile and cross sections. The areas of disturbance, cuts and fills required along the proposed roadway needs to be delineated as there appears to be significant slope modifications and potential extreme driveway slopes especially at the east end of the roadway. How will the cuts and fills affect the layouts of the proposed lots?
v Is the roadway cut and fills balanced?
v Show the clearing and the disturbance limits for the proposed lots.
v Show on the plans the limits of establishing the agricultural pursuits. How is the agriculture being handled, both short and long term? What is the proposed ownership of the open area?
v Chairman Ian Murray and Town Engineer Ken Martin contacted Scott Fitsher of the Washington County NRCS to request the NRCS opinion on the viability of the northern area of the west section being agriculture. Witt Construction should obtain the NRCS opinion as to the viability of agriculture.
v The Planning Board will need correspondence from the Saratoga County Sewer District in regards to the force and gravity mains. The plan and profile of the sewers needs to be shown from the west end of the subdivision to the tie in at Route 9P.
v When and who did the wetland delineation? Has the wetland delineation been reviewed by ACOE? Has a letter of determination been provided by the ACOE?
v Has an archeological/historical review been completed? Has SHPO been requested to comment on the archeological and historical impacts of this project?
v Has Endangered Species been addressed, remembering the newly added species?
Last but not least, though forgotten to put on the printed memo:
v There is no provision in this plan for SWPP and with the wetlands, setbacks and set-asides - nothing has been shown; SWPP provisions need to be addressed."
John Witt stated not even knowing if the Board would go with the plan, they weren't going to furnish all that information and maps and have it rebutted.
Chairman Ian Murray said there has been no storm water plan proposed since the beginning.
John Witt said there are different plans of attack for storm water and retention, but without knowing the number of lots they were not going to go to that expense.
Chairman Ian Murrays said it goes back to the Board asking for proof of wetland delineations - that will dictate questions and answers the Board needs. With further investigation he thinks John Witt will find out how hydric the soil is there and it may be unusable for that use.
John Witt replied as far as wetlands, it will be taken care of in the next couple of months. It's his understanding he'd get conceptual approval then go back and do the engineering.
Chairman Ian Murray responded the Board needs further engineering details before they can make any determination.
John Witt replied yes, for final approval.
Chairman Ian Murray stated for preliminary.
John Witt said it's his understanding all the details, road profiling, engineering, etc will be after preliminary.
Chairman Ian Murray replied that John Witt needs to go back and look at the minutes from the first meeting and read what the Board asked him to provide.
Brandon Myers asked if John Witt completed sight distance out on Wright Rd. and John Witt replied no, he met with Don Ormsby out there. Brandon Myers said one needs sight distances with the conceptual plan, without it, no one can even consider it. But as the Chairman said, if you can get federal Army Corp answers in a month or two, that'd be a miracle. If this is Army Corp or DEC wetlands, won't it affect the required buffer? Won't it drive the determining balance of this as the Chairman has been saying?
Chris Koval stated there are totally different agriculture standards if you're looking to have ag lands there. He doesn't believe the land will support a farm.
Brandon Myers questioned the intentions of the 18+/- acres of open space and asking where the farm is located. There's a lot of information needed here.
John Witt said the 18+/- acres are around the house, behind the house, in front of the house, down the road - not where the wetlands are. The 18+/- acres of open space will be left undisturbed in perpetuity.
Brandon Myers questioned why the 3.2 acres buffer then? His intention is to leave it all as is today-no logging, no anything?
John Witt said no, he wants to do selective clearing, they want to create some areas for perhaps a vineyard or some type of orchards.
Laurie Griffen stated that John Witt keeps talking about farms and farmers - this Board has real, actual farmers as members, not just people playing farmers as a hobby. Putting a tree in your yard doesn't make one a farmer, let's be realistic. The Board knows what he's trying to do there, let's just call it what it is and see what's workable and provide us with the information needed.
John Witt said okay, he's talked to Saratoga Apple and they want to grow a different apple and get into the hard cider business and he asked if this would work for them and they said it could possibly work for them; this would be ideal for something like that. He then said he is not a farmer, so the Board can tell him, if it's not going to work, then it's not going to work.
The Board said this would be more for appearances. The Board does not want any clearing done there just for view sheds. They think it is unsuitable for agriculture lands and that is why NCRS needs to go in and take a look at it and do a study of it. Soil needs testing, Army Corp jurisdiction will review on that, but then it defaults back to the town and the town has a 50' setback, DEC has a 100' setback. So it's not a 100% use to the edge of the wetlands.
John Witt said he flew topo, flagged wetlands and is waiting for those to be verified by Army Corp.
Laurie Griffen said NRCS will tell you if it's okay.
The Board continued asking questions and said they need to see what is left for the houses.
George Olsen questioned the upper lots and if there is any sense of how far down slope he's planning to cut to get the views. He'd like to see how far down, with the tree line, where he's planning to go. He'd like them to show the Board what their plan is for that; show what they are planning to clear cut as well as what they plan to leave there. He suggested getting a forester on site and show what is there and what's to go.
Chairman Ian Murray stated the Board cannot grant preliminary approval, but conceptually the Board will say that the cul-de-sac plan is what the Board is working toward. That allows John Witt enough information to go forward with the engineering calculations and getting other information that the Board needs, which will keep the project moving toward preliminary approval. Chairman Ian Murray reiterated that John Witt needs to attend to the memo he handed him earlier.
Greg Hewlett of MH Imperial Homes stated Gil Albert sent him here and he is looking at some land for sale on Rt. 32 where he'd like to build a 55+ Community of manufactured homes. The parcel is 22 acres and there is a manufactured community there already. The property is part agriculture and part commercial. He said it will be a land lease community similar to Shelley Park. He reviewed the map and his plan with the Board and asked if this is an allowable use in that district. He asked Zoning Officer Gil Albert what is allowed in that district and he told him it's kind of open ended. He then showed pictures of another of his manufactured communities; Lamplighter Acres in South Glens Falls.
Chairman Ian Murray stated septic systems would be needed and proximity to rock is 1' - 2' on that entire property, so septic is an issue and he'd need a private water company to service it.
Mr. Hewitt said NYS DOH monitors all manufactured home communities. Currently the community there has three wells. The well they're currently operating from is 8 gallons per minute at about 240' which runs into a well house which has to be monitored, has to have a chlorination system, storage, everything. He knows the level of engineering needed; he's been through this a number of times and has no delusions of what he will need to do and provide to get this business up and running. What he doesn't know is whether or not if the zoning will allow for this in this town.
Chairman Ian Murray stated this is in the Rural District. The Board will have to get back to him; we cannot discriminate against manufactured housing, but we don't have provisions for a manufactured housing community. The current business there is grandfathered in; possibly a planned unit district (PUD) could be done; this needs to be investigated.
Frank Owens stated he purchased the Ernst property on Rt. 29, both parcels, and would like to have a seasonal fish fry/hotdog food cart business on the vacant parcel. He'd like to install a pole barn to put picnic tables under and put in a restroom for customers on the property. He said he's found the septic, the lot is 113' x 413'. He knows he'd need to get a variance, but he'd like to know if it's possible to have this business on that parcel.
Chairman Ian Murray said it is allowable, but he does need to go to the ZBA for a variance to go forward with this. The Board would like to see the business there, so once the variance is approved he should go back to the Planning Board for a special use permit.
Old Business: None
New Business: None
The next regular meeting will be held Wednesday, April 27, 2016 at .
Linda A. McCabe