Approved Copy of PB minutes, 1/26/12:
Meeting was called to order by Bill Squires at 6:55 PM. All members were present.
The main purpose of the meeting was to discuss misunderstandings that have arisen concerning the construction of the Verizon cell tower at the corner of Rts. 336 and 96 with John Sipos, Varick Town Attorney. There is some confusion as to the responsibilities of the Zone Enforcement Officer, the Planning Board, and the Zoning Board of Appeals in regard to the approval of permits, setbacks, and construction site management.
Verizon has written letters to Larry Colton (CEO) and attorney John Sipos concerning their view that the PB issues the special permit, but the ZBA resides over setback variances. Mr. Sipos disagrees and this issue will be resolved through the town at a future date.
Mr. Sipos also raised the question as to who has regulatory authority over cell towers. He cited that they are a special case under state law, but does not know who else is supposed to be responsible. His concern is over possible safety issues.
Another question presented concerns the agent responsible to observe construction of the tower to be sure it complies with building codes and the site plan. We were reminded that the zoning code gives the PB authority to hire someone capable of this oversight. In this case, Verizon would be responsible for remuneration.
Concerns were also voiced over the lack of job description for the CEO and coordination between the PB, ZBA, and town attorney. It is the PB’s desire to clarify the responsibilities of these parties in situations such as approval for special use permits. It is our desire to work respectfully and cooperatively with all involved. The PB has recognized the need to call upon the town attorney whenever possible legal issues or code clarifications may arise.
Mr. Sipos presented the PB with certain educational materials for our consideration. These included Planning Board Rules and Regulations, Site Plan Approval, Procedural Checklist for Town PB, and a Site Development Plan Review. The PB is appreciative of these items and will be carefully considering them in the near future.
It was noted during the course of the meeting that in Section 404.2-1 that "Town Board" is a typo and needs to be changed to Planning Board.
The PB also made a motion to clarify the intent of the resolution concerning the Verizon cell tower special permit in the November meeting. Todd Horton moved to clarify that the intent of the PB resolution for a Verizon special use permit was to leave the issue of variance setbacks to the ZBA. Everything else is to be accepted as written. This was seconded by Bill Lazerlere and adopted unanimously.
Bill Squires then moved to conduct a special meeting at 7:00 pm on February 16, seconded by Todd Horton and approved by all.
Tom Bjorkman moved to adjourn at 8:43 pm, seconded by Linda Mastellar.
Barry Somerville, secretary