Meeting called to order at 7:10 pm. Members present: Hershey S, Todd H, David K, Barry S, Linda M.
Motion was received by Dave K to accept the previous meeting minutes, second by Hershey S, approved by all.
Guest speaker – Bruce Habberfield from Finger Lakes Railway. Bob Hayssen was also present to meet with Mr. Habberfield and our board.
Todd H informed the board of meetings he held with Bob Aronson, Tom Bouchard and Bill Karlsen. He and Bob discussed possible development for the Depot area of Varick and drew up some of these ideas on an area map. These will be copied and distributed to board members at the next meeting.
Todd met with Tom and Bill to discuss possible zoning changes for the depot. Later we proposed a joint committee to exchange ideas about this issue. Two PB members and the chair from each board would meet on March 21. Linda M and Hershey S volunteered from our board. Todd will contact Tom to confirm a meeting.
Bruce Habberfield informed us where FL Railway would build a possible spur to come into the Romulus side of the depot. This would cut off about 4 miles of travel for trains. Rail business would open up the SW and SE sections of the depot in Varick on either side of the rail loop which needs to be considered for zoning. He gave us a brief history of the FLR and how it strategically connects to other rail systems in the state. The depot is strategically located as a hub for the transfer of numerous goods such as agriculture, lumber, plastic resins, sand and pipe for shale drilling. It would have a low impact on the community since this part of the depot is largely out of sight. Bruce is going to work up a site map to give us an idea of how the current facilities could be used and accommodate certain businesses.
The board discussed the need of solving the issue of zoning for NE Freight. It seems we will need to do this in two stages. First, address the needs of this company and zone a commercial area that will allow them to continue business in the town. Second, address the need to rezone sections of the depot other than conservation. This stage will take longer because there are numerous issues to consider.
In regard to the first stage we need to specify a name for a zoning area that will accommodate NE Freight as well as other appropriate businesses. We then need to define the permissible uses for this area and fully map it out. Then the normal procedures for approval will be followed.
Meeting was adjourned at 9:05 – motion made by Linda, second by Barry, approved by all.
Next meeting is scheduled for March 28.
Barry Somerville, secretary