May 23, 2019

Varick Planning Board March 28, 2019

Varick Planning Board
March 28, 2019
Called to order at 7:00 pm
Present: : Linda Mastellar (Chair), Michele Hermann, , Frankie Long, Thomas Björkman (Secty),  Hershey Sensenig, Rich Olsen, excused. One vacancy.
Guests: Mark Fuentes with AT&T, Art Sherman, Tim Dorn
January Minutes approved 4-0 Moved by Mastellar, Second Long
February, with one correction, approved 4-0 Moved by Mastellar, Second by Hermann
Special use permit for cell tower. Information was sent to county, but we didn’t hear back. Will schedule public hearing as soon as possible, Donna will advertise. AT&T would like to install antennas before an osprey nests on tower. 
Will want a letter of credit filed for removal.
Sherman subdivision. Submitted sketch plan of a lot-line move on East Lake Rd. Proposal to move lot line to make 147 ft lot 100 ft, and 150 ft lot 197.  (Mastellar is a neighbor) From lot 6-2.02 to lot 6-2.01. No issues were detected. We submit to the county for review. Can hold public hearing at next meeting. No SEQR is anticipated.  All documents were in order (application, EAF, Ag Data Statement, fee), Moved Olsen, Second Mastellar, passed 6-0)
Move next meeting to April 18. Publish in Reveille along with Public Hearing ad. 
We will develop solar language for our zoning code based on the Olean code at the April meeting.

We will check that subdivision proposals that were denied have not been filed.

Adjournment moved by Sensenig,  Second by Olsen. Passed 6-0
Adjourned 8:56 pm


March 29, 2019

Varick Planning Board February 28, 2019

Varick Planning Board
February 28, 2019
Called to order at 7:00 pm
Present: : Linda Mastellar (Chair), Hershey Sensenig, Frankie Long, Thomas Björkman (Secty). Absent: Rich Olsen, Michele Hermann, excused. One vacancy.
Public hearings:
Jim Brown subdivision and SEQR.Public hearingopened 7:04 
Reported on county-planning-board resolution.
No other comments.           
Hearing closed at 7:06 on a motion from Björkman, and a second from Sensenig.
Hogue subdivision and SEQR. Public hearing opened 7:08.
No comment. 
Hearing closed at 7:09 on a motion from Björkman, and a second from Sensenig.
Jim Brown subdivision approval. All documents are in order, the EAF has been and the subdivision as proposed is approved by the county planning board.Resolution: TheVarick Planning Board issues final approval of the Jim Brown sub-division.  The action transfers for a lot line move from parcels 04-01-2.11 to 04-01-2.2 on the Fayette-Varick Townline Rd 
The board further makes a negative declaration of environmental impact under SEQR.
Moved Björkman Second by Long. All in favor. 4-0

Hogue subdivision. All documents are in order, the EAF has been and the subdivision as proposed is approved by the county planning board. Resolution:The Varick Planning Board issues final approval of the  realigning lot 10-4-25.11 and 10-4-25.12 & 10-24  to make two lots, eliminating 10-4-25.12. The board further makes a negative declaration of environmental impact under SEQR.
Moved Björkman Second by Long. All in favor. 4-0

Sylvester Brown subdivision. All documents are in order, the EAF has been and the subdivision as proposed is approved by the county planning board. A public hearing was held at the January meeting. Resolution: The Varick Planning Board issues final approval of the Sylvester Brown minor subdivision of lot 10-2-17.2 to make two lots. The board further makes a negative declaration of environmental impact under SEQR.
Moved Björkman Second by Mastellar. All in favor. 4-0

BQ Energy solar farm.Kim Nason represented BQ Energy. The proposal is for a solar farm of up to 100 ac on the Depot (Martin property) near the east entrance. The installation would be in 20 – 25 acre units due to a 5MW parcel limit set by the NYS Public Service Commission. Our code requires amendment to make solar a special use in the WITE district. The planning board agrees that it should be. The question now is how to proceed.
BQ can provide amended code language and the Special Use application in one package. That combination would be considered a single action under SEQR. The town could amend the code independently as a separate action under SEQR. 
The planning board will develop and initial draft of the zoning revision at the next meeting, and request feedback from BQ on the provisions. The general format will follow the Town of Olean code in having some solar-specific requirements for the Special Use, including provisions for removal at end of life and ecological services.
BQ Energy would like to have a joint meeting of the Town Board and the Planning board, with a target date of the April Town Board meeting, to determine whether there are any issues that should be addressed before proceeding.
Only after BQ Energy has the permits to proceed, as well as the current lease option on the land, they will enter serious negotiation with the utility to tie to the grid as a Community Solar provider. 
A similar proposal in The Town of Romulus is pending a zoning application, but their Zoning Code does not require amendment. 
Adding antennas to cell tower.Tim Dorn received a permit application from AT&T to add antennas to the Verizon cell tower at Rt 336 and 96. This modification is a Special Use under our code, so it will require some additional steps.
The application contains all but a few items. Dorn will ask the applicant for the additional information.
If the information comes in the next few days, we can consider the application referred at that time and schedule a public hearing for our next meeting. We have 30 days from referral to hold that hearing. If the material is received later we have to consider it referred at our March meeting with a public hearing at our April meeting. 

We noted that the Zoning Compliance Application form needs amendment to add the new zoning districts. (It is available on the ZBA website.)
Adjourned at 8:43 on a motion by Sensenig and a second by Long (4-0)

March 04, 2019

Varick Planning Board, January 24, 2019

Varick Planning Board
January 24, 2019
Called to order at 7:00 pm
Present: : Linda Mastellar (Chair), Michele Hermann, Hershey Sensenig, Thomas Björkman (Secty). Absent: Rich Olsen, Frankie Long, excused. One vacancy.

November Minutes approved with minor changes 3-0
Member changes. David Kidd resigned.
Bill Yale resigned due to other commitments. 
Michele Herman was appointed by the Town Board to fill David Kidd’s seat. Thomas Björkman was reappointed. 
Sylvester Brown subdivision. Received signed documents, and will send them to the county.
 Public hearing opened at 7:05, closed 7:06 No comments. 
Hogue subdivision. The board accepted the sketch plan for a subdivision of lot 10-4-25 and adjacent. (Motion by Björkman, second by Sensenig, passed 4-0). We classified it as a Minor Subdivision. The proposal is to turn three lots on East Lake Road, currently 60, 55 and 55 ft wide into two lots, 100 and 70 ft wide.  That change brings them closer to compliant, and is viewed favorably by the board. The application needs an Environmental Assessment Form and an Agricultural Data Statement before we can proceed. Thereafter we can forward the application to the county and schedule a public hearing for February 28.
Jim Brown subdivision.The board accepted the sketch plan for a lot line move from parcels 04-01-2.11 to 04-01-2.2 on the Fayette-Varick Townline Rd. (Motion by Björkman, second by Mastllar, passed 4-0)The proposal isto add 26 ft  to a current lot that is currently 200 ft wide. The piece will be removed from a large parcel with many hundred feet of frontage.We received the application with the Environmental Assessment Form and Agricultural Data Statement. We will forward it the county and schedule a public hearing for February 28.
Romulus Presbyterian Church.  Prospective buyer wants to know whether the former church could be used as a wedding and event venue. Referred to Zoning Code on churches and restaurants in the Hamlet district.
BQ Energy. Provided additional information, but do not have a code recommendation at this time. They would like a joint meeting with the town board.
Adjourned at 8:58 pm

February 03, 2019

Varick Planning Board, December 13, 2018

Varick Planning Board
December 13, 2018
Called to order at 7:00 pm
Present: : Linda Mastellar (Chair), Frankie Long, Hershey Sensenig, Rich Olsen, Bill Yale, Thomas Björkman (Secty).  Absent: David Kidd, excused.
Kim Nason, Phillips Lyte (representing BQ Energy) and Jim Falsetti, BQ Energy; Mike Karlsen, Michele Hermann. 
Minutes of October 2018 approved. Moved by Long, Second by Yale.  All in favor. The November meeting was cancelled due to a snowstorm.
Sylvester Brown estate subdivision. Mike Karlsen represented the owner who proposes to subdivide tax parcel 2-17.2. The proposal is to divide a property consisting of 7 ac vacant land, with one parcel being 1.7 acres and 100 ft wide, the other being 5.3 acres and 350 feet wide. The applicant will provide SEQR information and an Agricultural Data Statement. [Board member Long noted that she is a party to this transaction.]
The planning board received the Sketch Plan and classified it as a Minor Subdivision. We received the subdivision plat, and will forward it to the county once the signed documents are received. 
Solar energy proposal.BQ Energy presentation on solar energy facility in the WITE district on the former Depot. This was an introductory discussion to familiarize the board with the proposal and to determine next steps. 
The company develops solar energy plants on brownfields. They own the facilities and sell the power mostly to multiple local customers, “community distributed generation.”
The company has about 100 acres under option with owner Martin. The area is north of the townline road on the east side of the property. It is currently mostly igloos and access roads, and has no special environmental contamination issues. They began talks with Seneca County IDA when they owned the property. They would develop units of 5 MW (~25 ac), the limit for a single parcel. Each unit would have solar panels in a solid block, grass underneath and between panels that is periodically mowed, and have a fence that is compliant with the National Electric Code. The facility would be managed remotely. A local contractor would mow and maintain electrical equipment. 
The igloos would be leveled and the remains left in place. Trees would be cleared in the first year. There would be no panels over wetlands. The fence would have a small opening at the bottom to allow small animals to move in and out and facilitate closer mowing, while excluding humans. Deer would be able to jump over.
The power would mainly be targeted to local users, for which there is abundant infrastructure. NYSEG will take 5 MW in the local distribution line. Larger amounts would need to go to a National-Grid 34.5 kV transmission line at the “Ordnance substation” on Cherry Hill Rd. 
Plans for end of life. The panels have a 30-year design life. The company would prefer a lease of 20 years with optional 5-year renewals. Old panels tend to still be in service, so these may be worth keeping in place after 30 years. Another likely scenario is to put new panels on the same infrastructure. If it is removed, both the panels and frames would be removed, with little left behind. The planning board would expect a decomissioning plan with a bond.  
Property tax. Under Tax law 487 solar energy generating facilities are not subject to taxes. The community may want a payment in lieu of taxes. Since the revenue from the facility is about same as a full property tax, that rate is uneconomical. The PILOT agreement would be negotiated by the Seneca County IDA, who would distribute the funds. The rate agreed to in Cattaragus is $5,000/MW capacity per year, whereas Lackawanna and Patterson have no fee because they value the power and occupancy. 
The current code does not permit solar development in the WITE district, but that use is anticipated in the Comprehensive Plan. One option is to make solar a Special Use in the WITE zone. That option was considered a good place to start with a proposal. The company prefers to have the code change and special use permit be combined as parts of a single action under SEQR. 
The board will attempt to develop code revision at January 24 VPB meeting, and get input from Harriet Haynes in the County Planning Department.
For SEQR, planning board can be lead agency. Town board passes the Special Use Permit. 
  
Docks and Moorings. Ryan Stebbins, town attorney, provided language relating to docks and moorings used in Fayette and comments on Varick code. 
Proposed revision to Zoning Code. New text in italic.
Add to Definitions: 
Mooring. A floating device anchored to the bed of the lake, such as a bouy or a fixed structure, on or under the water, to which a boat can be attached.
Add to Use Table:
Lake Water district. The permitted uses are Docks, boat hoists,and moorings. Moorings must comply with Coast-guard rules. They shall be positioned so that the boat or swim platform remains within the water-rights lines. 

Add to the end of  306.3: Other structures:
A removable seasonal dock only requires a permit initially and may be reinstalled annually as long as it is the same size and meets the setbacks.  placed in accordance with the constraints of the permit. 
If the lot is too narrow for a dock to meet the side setbacks, the ZBA may consider granting a variance for a temporary dock and hoist with smaller setback dimensions, if it is installed in a way that does not impinge on the neighboring lots and contribute to congestion. This provision shall not be used to justify allowing more docks on larger lots. 
This language will be in the next proposed revision of the Zoning Code that is submitted to the Town Board.
Michele Hermann expressed interest in joining the Planning Board. Chair Mastellar will convey that information to the Town Board, as well as the apparent vacancy of Kidd. 
Adjournment moved by Olsen, seconded by Long. All in favor.
Adjourned 9:30.

November 25, 2018

November 15, 2018 cancelled. Next Dec 13

The November 15 meeting was cancelled due to a winter storm.

The December meeting will be on Thursday, December 13.

Varick Planning Board, October 25, 2018

Varick Planning Board
October 25, 2018
Called to order at 7:00 pm
Present: : Linda Mastellar (Chair), Frankie Long, Hershey Sensenig, Rich Olsen, Bill Yale, Thomas Björkman (Secty).  Absent: David Kidd, excused.
Minutes of September 2018 approved. Moved by Mastellar, Second by Yale. All in favor. 
Subdivision of Parcel 1-02-32, located at 895 Yale Farm Road, Applicant Thomas Karlsen, executor for the estate of Mary Alice Karlsen.
Public hearing called to order7:03, No comments
Closed 7:04 on a motion by Björkman, Second by Sensenig. All in favor.
Discussion centered on avoiding creation of a landlocked parcel. A solution was identified an is reflected in the approving resolution.
The County Planning Board recommended keeping the residual part of original lot in same ownership as adjoining lot to the north. The Varick Planning Board felt this was best accomplished by merging the residual part of the original lot into the adjoining lot to the north, which is under the same ownership and all of the resulting parcel is currently farmed.

Motion:Approve dividing current parcel 1-02-32, joining 3.5 acres to parcel 01-2-30.1, and the remaining acres to adjoining parcel 01-2-16.1. Parcel 1-02-32 is thereby eliminated.
Moved by Björkman second by Sensenig. All in favor(6-0).


Vacation rentals.
Dave Bowe Sunset Bay. He has written the board about this topic in the past. New buyers are turning residential properties into commercial rentals, and some are absentee owners. If overdone, this trend reduces the quality of life by turning a residential neighborhood into a commercial one.
Fayette addressed the issue through a revocable permit. Mr. Bowe supports that approach, the most effective for keeping the renters under control. The main issue for him is a lot of late loud parties. 
The board indicated that a noise ordinance would be a primary component of addressing the noise problem directly. Furthermore, a revocable permit is recognized as a good mechanism for enforcement of good behavior by rental guests.
Reviewed Zoning Code Enforcement Officers report. 

The pending Major Subdivision by Somerville is on hold. They are waiting to get municipal water before moving forward.
An application is in the works for solar-energy development on Depot. The County Planning office indicated that the town can institute a moratorium beforeaccepting the application.  It would be subject to Site Plan Review under normal procedures for that district.

Motion to Adjourn moved by Sensenig, second by Long. All in favor.

October 26, 2018

Varick Planning Board September 27, 2018 minutes


Meeting called to order at 7:02 p.m.

Members Present:  Linda Mastellar, Bill Yale, Rich Olsen (acting secretary) and Frankie Long.  Also present were Thomas Karlsen, Gideon Stoltzfus, and Susan Ottenweller.

Absent:  Hershey Sensenig, Thomas Bjorkman and David Kidd

Previous meeting notes reviewed and motion by Bill Yale, seconded by Frankie Long and so carried unanimously to approve the minutes of August 30, 2018.


The board reviewed an application submitted by the Allen’s who supplied an agricultural data statement.  The board finds that there will be no impact on adjoining agricultural uses because the land use will remain agriculture.

The board received the short Environmental Assessment Form and declared itself the lead agency for State Environmental Quality Review.  Upon review of the EAF, the board found no impact because the action will lead to no change in land use, nor creates a condition that would encourage one.  The board makes a negative declaration of environmental impact.

The application was reviewed by the county planning board, which recommended unconditional approval. 

A motion by Richard Olsen, seconded by Linda Mastellar and so carried unanimously that the Varick Planning Board issues final approval of the Allen sub-division.  The action transfers 29.042 acres of Lot 12-1-44.211 to a new lot number to be determined by Seneca County.

A motion by Linda Mastellar, seconded by Frankie Long and so carried unanimously to open the public hearings at 7:05 p.m. regarding an application for approval of a major subdivision of property located on Yale Farm Road, Parcel Number 06-1-10 submitted by Barry Somerville as POA for James O. Somerville and a minor subdivision of property located on Ernsberger Road, parcel number 12-1-44.21 submitted by Gideon Z. Stoltzfus.

Mr. Somerville was not present for the public hearing for this sub-division request. Seneca County Planning Board recommended preliminary approval of their request contingent on certain requirements as outline in their resolution.  The Varick planning board tabled Somerville’s major subdivision request until further documentation of completion of requested work is submitted by Mr. Somerville.   

The Planning Board considered the Gedeon Stoltzfus’s appeal for subdivision into two lots, one lot is 44 acres and the second lot is 30 acres.  Mr. Stoltzfus presented a survey map to be signed by Linda Mastellar. 

A motion by Linda Mastellar, seconded by Frankie Long and so carried unanimously to close the public hearings at 7:40 p.m.

Mr. Thomas Karlsen requested an application for subdivision of property located on Yale Farm Road, agricultural lot number 1-2-16.1 to be added to lot number 1-2-31 which they are in the process of purchasing.  They would like to have access to the pond and gas well. 

A motion by Bill Yale, seconded by Linda Mastellar and so carried to hold a public hearing on October 27th at 7:00 on a minor sub-division of parcel number 1-2-16.1 located on Yale Farm Road owned by the estate of Mary Alice Karlsen. 
Roll Call:
Linda Mastellar           Yes
Frankie Long              Yes
Bill Yale                      Yes
Rich Olsen                  Abstain
Yes– 3 No-1

Susan Ottenweller, ZBA requested a joint meeting in February to review codes and revise if necessary to clarify vacation rentals, campers, etc.

A motion by Rich Olsen, seconded by Linda Mastellar and so carried unanimously to adjourn the meeting at 8:45 p.m.

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