December 13, 2012

Approved Copy Special Meeting 12/13/12


PB Special Meeting – 12/13/12
Meeting called to order by Todd H at 5:00 pm. Members present: Phil Knapp, Bill Squires, Todd Horton, Linda Mastellar, Tom Bjorkman, Barry Somerville. Bob Hayssen and Larry Colton were also present.

The purpose of our meeting was to receive information concerning North East Freight Transfer using the old Seneca Army Depot as a freight transfer station. Material comes in by rail and ships out by truck. Access to the use area is at the SW corner of the depot in the town of Varick with access to 96a. The company needs town permission to use this area for the above purpose. However, that part of the town is in the conservation zone which does not allow such use. A special use permit cannot be granted.

Tim H met with members of NE Freight and Bob Hayssen to discuss the situation and see what we can do to accommodate the business use of this section of Varick. The company seems to be legitimate and want to operate within the parameters of the law. Rather than issue a cease and desist order the PB and TB would like to consider modifying the zoning code to make this area available for NE Freight’s needs.

It was decided that Larry C will write a letter to the company informing them of our intent not to issue a cease and desist order and that we will work on amending the code. However, this will take some time and they need to know that if they continue with infrastructure repairs and construction they may be at risk of losing their investment.

Todd is going to try to set up a meeting with members of the NE Freight, town officials, and PB to visit the site so we understand the layout of the zoning area in question. This will help us have a visual idea of what structures, roads, railway, etc are involved.

Larry C asked the board if there were any restrictions on the property at the SW corner of Rte. 96a and Yale Station Rd being used as residential property v. commercial. He told an interested buyer that they would have to prove there were no underground tanks present since it used to be an old gas station. Otherwise it could be sold for residential use.

Larry also informed us of an area variance granted at a residence on Cayuga St in Romulus to allow a new trailer to replace an old one without having to construct a concrete pad.

At our next meeting (Jan. 3) we will discuss the moratorium issue for PUD’s. We will also deal with who is to serve as interim in the absence of the Zoning Code officer.

This is Phil Knapp’s last meeting. Members of the PB thanked him for his valuable input on the board for the last five years. We appreciate his involvement and faithfulness as a member of the board.

Meeting adjourned at 6:10 pm, motion made by Tom, seconded by Phil, all approved.

Respectfully submitted,
Barry Somerville

Approved Copy Minutes 11/29/12


Meeting called to order at 7:30 pm by Tom B as substitute chairperson. Members present were Tom B, Phil K, Linda M, and Barry S.
The minutes of the previous meeting were motioned for approval by Phil, seconded by Linda. Motion passed.
We have decided to add a line for PUD usage per district in section 308 of our current zoning code.
There was a brief discussion concerning the difference between a subdivision and a PUD. The PB feels that PUD’s may be preferable to subdivisions for our town. There is more flexibility for development on smaller lots of land yet still fit well with the overall comprehensive plan.
The PB board was grateful for the information forwarded by Mr. Sipos. It will be helpful to us in our study of PUD’s and what should be included in the code. However, the PB would still like to request a moratorium on the issue because we think a section on PUD’s should be included in our current zoning code rather than become a separate town law. A request will be forwarded to the TB to add this to the next meeting agenda (12/4/12).
We spent the rest of the meeting reviewing minimum acreage for PUD’s as well as minimum setback requirements. We thought the Fayette code acreage for PUD’s (25 to 35 acres) was quite large. We were more comfortable with a minimum of 10 acres and a maximum of seven houses in that area. However, no lot can be less than .7 acres. This will also allow for reduced setbacks for irregular shaped lots. The PB determined that such lots should be a minimum of 50’ width at the road and no less than 50’ at any place in the lot. A house must have a 40’ setback from the road and a 90’ width at that point on the lot. Side setbacks shall be at least 15’.
The PB is also concerned that PUD’s not be placed so as to create congested areas. Restrictions will be set in place to assure that such developments are not too close to each other. It is also agreed that road access would be allowed through lake district land.
The meeting adjourned at 9:01 pm – motion made by Linda, seconded by Phil and approved by all. The tentative date for the next meeting is 1/3/13.
Respectfully submitted,
Barry Somerville, secretary

Approved Minutes 10/25/12


Meeting called to order at 7:08 pm. Those present: Tom B, Linda M, Phil K, Barry S. Tom acted as chair since Bill S has resigned.

Minutes from the previous two meetings were approved. Linda moved to accept minutes for the 7/26 meeting; Phil seconded, minutes approved with change in Donna Karlsen’s name. For the 8/23 meeting Phil moved to approve the minutes, Tom seconded, motion passed.

There are two openings to serve on the PB. We need to elect a new chair person. Linda moved that we place Todd H as the interim chairman until new members come on the board. Phil seconded and the motion was approved.

We then discussed the need to improve the zoning code specifications for special use permits and area variances. The board holds that the ZB is responsible to take care of variances but needs more latitude within the code to help them make appropriate decisions. It was also suggested that we need to create an intent paragraph and outline the procedure for obtaining permits. All permits should be submitted to the Code Enforcement Officer who will inform the applicant if they need to obtain a variance or special use permit. He will direct them to the appropriate board when necessary. The PB will rewrite code that will include these items to help those who seek permits know exactly what they need to do.

The board also thinks it would be a good idea to peruse the current code to see if there are any other areas that could be improved by adding an intent paragraph. This is a project we will undertake when new appointees join the board.

It was also suggested that we should address the use of wind energy in the town since two windmills have been constructed in Geneva.

At our next meeting we are going to review code language in regard to PUD’s that we have retrieved from other town codes. Our starting point will be Fayette and Aurelius since they are most pertinent to the needs of Varick.

Our next meeting will be on Oct. 25. A motion for adjournment was made by Linda, seconded by Phil, and approved. Meeting closed at 8:18.

Respectfully submitted,

Barry Somerville, secretary

Approved Minutes 9/27/12


Meeting called to order at 7:08 pm. Those present: Tom B, Linda M, Phil K, Barry S. Tom acted as chair since Bill S has resigned.

Minutes from the previous two meetings were approved. Linda moved to accept minutes for the 7/26 meeting; Phil seconded, minutes approved with change in Donna Karlsen’s name. For the 8/23 meeting Phil moved to approve the minutes, Tom seconded, motion passed.

There are two openings to serve on the PB. We need to elect a new chair person. Linda moved that we place Todd H as the interim chairman until new members come on the board. Phil seconded and the motion was approved.

We then discussed the need to improve the zoning code specifications for special use permits and area variances. The board holds that the ZB is responsible to take care of variances but needs more latitude within the code to help them make appropriate decisions. It was also suggested that we need to create an intent paragraph and outline the procedure for obtaining permits. All permits should be submitted to the Code Enforcement Officer who will inform the applicant if they need to obtain a variance or special use permit. He will direct them to the appropriate board when necessary. The PB will rewrite code that will include these items to help those who seek permits know exactly what they need to do.

The board also thinks it would be a good idea to peruse the current code to see if there are any other areas that could be improved by adding an intent paragraph. This is a project we will undertake when new appointees join the board.

It was also suggested that we should address the use of wind energy in the town since two windmills have been constructed in Geneva.

At our next meeting we are going to review code language in regard to PUD’s that we have retrieved from other town codes. Our starting point will be Fayette and Aurelius since they are most pertinent to the needs of Varick.

Our next meeting will be on Oct. 25. A motion for adjournment was made by Linda, seconded by Phil, and approved. Meeting closed at 8:18.

Respectfully submitted,

Barry Somerville, secretary

Approved Copy PB Minutes 7/26/12


Meeting called to order at 6:55 pm. Members present – Todd H, Phil K, Linda M, Barry S. Todd served as chair in the absence of Bill S.

Jenny McWhorter and Wendy Skowcroft had questions of how to proceed with the land they want to buy for a small dog kennel to be used by SPCA. According to current information they have they will not meet zoning requirements for setbacks. We advised them to obtain a survey of the property so they will have exact figures to approach the ZBA. They may not need an area variance dependant on their findings.

A motion was made to accept the minutes from the 6/28/12 PB meeting by Phil K, seconded by Linda M and approved by all.

Barry S informed the board that Jeff H was notified by email of previous changes to the March minutes in regard to statements he made about definition of structures. If he was in agreement with the changes he did not need to respond to the email. Since there was no response made we assume the issue is resolved to his satisfaction.

We next decided that the language in the Zoning Code is sufficient in regard to dog kennels. No changes are necessary.

It was agreed that the secretary send an email to Bob Hayssen and Donna Karlsen to inform them of the resolution the PB made last month concerning the six month moratorium on PUD’s so the Town Board can act on it at their next meeting.

There was lengthy discussion concerning jurisdiction in the area of issuing special use permits and area variances. It is clear in our code and state town law that the ZBA has authority in the latter. We want to discuss further the current zoning code language and our role in special use permits with the other members of the PB. This will be a topic of discussion at the next PB meeting.

We also expressed concerns about communication between the PB, ZBA, TB, and code enforcement officer. We feel it would be beneficial to devise a means of keeping abreast of business that concerns these boards.

We will continue to collect information from other towns concerning PUD’s for our next meeting.

Our next proposed meeting  August 23, 2012.

A motion was made to adjourn by Linda M, seconded by Phil K at 8:50 pm.