August 06, 2008

Summary of proposed Zoning changes

The Varick Planning Board has proposed the following changes in the Zoning Code in order to rectify issues that have been identified since it was enacted last December. The proposed changes are the most pressing and considered relatively easy to resolve. The Planning Board and Town Board will work on the more intricate, difficult or controversial issues this fall.

These proposed changes are the subject of a public hearing on August 19, 2008 at 7 pm in the Varick Fire Hall, followed by a special meeting of the Town Board to act on them.

The full code with changes marked is available for download at http://www.varickny.com/TownDocuments/VZCDraft8-19-08.pdf (0.5 MB)

1. Impervious surface and structure height
Section 309.1, Bulk Table. Delete restrictions on impervious surface. Change Lakeshore Residential to 25% structure or 2000 sq ft. whichever is greater; increase maximum height from 25 ft to 35 ft; and decrease side and rear setbacks from 15 ft to 10 ft.

This change allows for larger houses, and provides a measure of scaling for the smallest lots. (They still need to meet setbacks.) Any amount of blacktop or pavement will be allowed. We will need to deal with water quality issues in another manner.

2. Docks
Section 306.3. Increase allowable dock surface area to 850 square feet and reduce the setback to 10 feet. Note that the setback applies to hoists as well.
This change accommodates all the docks currently at issue.

Section 107. Add definition of dock as approved at the May, 2008 Planning Board meeting.

This addition clarifies what constitutes a dock and how to measure its size.

Section 308, Use Table. Add Seawall as a Conditional Use in the Lake and Lakeshore Districts
Section 310.22. Add condition on seawalls that they permission is obtained from state and federal agencies before construction or repair.

These provisions primarily help landowners avoid getting in expensive trouble with regulators.

3. Small sheds
Section 309.1, Bulk Table. Added line for Accessory Facilities under 200 sq ft and 15 ft high, and provide a setback of 5 ft.

This change lets homeowners put small sheds a little closer (5 ft) to the side and back than they would otherwise (10 ft). The front setback is not reduced.

4. Funneling
Section 309.5 (G). Insert section 302.4 (I) and (J) from the previous code into the paragraph regarding Common Access sites.

This change restores funneling limits that existed previously and was unintentionally deleted. Scaling for more owners was simplified.

5. Remove restriction on churches
Section 308, Use Table, Second use (Places of Worship). Change the LR zone from C310.11 to P.

Eliminates concern about restriction on churches. Given the high sensitivity of East Lake Road residents to on-street parking and congestion issues, some other way must be found to deal with potential parking issues.

6. Deleted text
Parts of 309.2, 309.4 and 309.5, 310.3. Remove all text that was crossed out on Dec. 4. and renumber paragraphs as necessary.

This change has no effect on what is permitted, but makes the text easier to interpret.

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