February 02, 2020

Varick Planning Board, September 26, 2019

Varick Planning Board
September 26, 2019

Present: Linda Mastellar (chair), Hershey Sensenig, Thomas Björkman (Secretary), Michele Hermann, Frankie Long. Absent: Rich Olsen, one vacancy 
Visitors: Mr. Seth Brandow 

Meeting called to order at 7:00 p.m. 
Approval of minutes from July and August. Moved by Sensenig, second by Long. Approved 5-0
Brandow subdivision. 784 Yale Farm Road, Tax map lot 06-1-42.  Patrick Crowe, Seth and Donna Brandow, owners. 
Public hearing opened 7:11. Applicant provided the final sketch plan. No comments
Hearing closed at 7:14 (Moved by Sensenig, Second Hermann; Passed 5-0
Reviewed a survey map to subdivide the property on 784 Yale Farm Road, Tax map lot 06-1-42. The proposal is to take three non-conforming lots and produce three conforming lots. 
of one, four and five acres. The Seneca County planning board recommended approving the change because it will create compliant lots. Parcel A will stand alone as lot 06-1-42, being the residual of land transferred to neighboring lots. Parcel B will be merged with lot 06-1-06.5. Parcel C will be merged with lot 06-1-06.4. The applicant provided the town subdivision application and application fee.

Resolution approving Brandow subdivision.
The Varick Planning Board issues a Final Approval of the Brandow subdivision. This action transfers5.6 acres of 06-1-42 to Lot 06-1-06.5 and 6.4 acres to Lot 06-1-06.4, leaving 1 acre.
The applicant supplied an Agricultural Data Statement. The board finds that there will be no impact on adjoining agricultural uses. 
The board received the Short Environmental Assessment Form and declared itself the lead agency for State Environmental Quality Review and made a negative declaration of environmental impact in August 2019.
The application was reviewed by the county planning board, which recommended approval conditional on parcels B and C being transferred to the adjacent parcels and being joined with those. This approval reflects that condition.
Moved by Björkman, Second Mastellar. Approved 5-0

Depot development.The Martin galvanizing plant proposal is no longer considering a Varick location. The possibility was raised at the August meeting.

Dock height. In response to an inquiry from town board member Eric Riegel the planning board discussed dock height. The code currently requires docks to be 1.5 feet above the 100-year flood mark in order to avoid damage during floods. Mr. Riegel indicated that this height is considerably above current dock heights and would be impractical for boarding boats and other usual dock uses. 
The board reviewed historic water levels, current dock heights, and recent experiences from damage from high water. For instance, the 1993 flooding reached  387.9feet BCD. The board reached a consensus to recommend a designated height 0.5 below 100-year. mark. This is two feet lower than before but high enough to avoid removal of docks when we have snowstorms after the lake has been raised to summer levels. The recommendation will be added to the list of pending changes to the Zoning Code and included when the next revision is sent to the Town Board. 

Short-term rental issues.

The board has assembled a list of issues that concern residents living near properties used for short-term rental, as well as current regulations from various sources and the mechanism whereby they are enforced. 
In many cases, it would be valuable to have education and prevention in place. That measure has proven effective elsewhere and results in the highest enjoyment of property for all. It would also be valuable to have a milder mechanism for enforcement that calling the sheriff or state police. Residents are understandably reluctant to use that as a primary approach. 

·     Renters are enjoying vacation next to people who need to go to work in the morning. The curfew. We want people to enjoy themselves, but not be obnoxious. Can there be an end time for lively parties? 
·     Permits are valuable in giving the property owner and manager a specified role in managing renters’ behavior. With a town permit for short-term rentals, the town government has a role in seeing that the rules are followed. The town’s power to revoke a permit strongly encourages property owners to inform and manage renters. But we need better due process than Fayette’s current rule, and don’t need the high cost. The loss of income from a suspended or revoked permit would be a significant financial penalty. 
·     To provide education, a list of the various rules and expectations could be prepared by the town and posted in rental properties. A tone of how to be a good neighbor would work the best. This method is effective, and helps the property owner or manager discuss the issues more easily.
·     Fireworks are recognized as a problem, with renters setting them off frequently throughout the summer. While some fireworks on Independence Day weekend is normal, a barrage all summer disturbs the peace for residents and is a source of stress for many pets. State law regulates firework use now. What is the current enforcement practice?
·     People don’t realize how sound carries across the water. That could be mentioned in the rules-and-expectations sheet. 

Which issues should have owner intervention as the first step. The permit system commits the owner to doing those parts (through a property manager if need be).

Our code needs to address glare from lighting more comprehensively. We added it to the to-do list for the next revision.

Adjourned at 8:12 Moved by Sensenig, Second by Long. Approved 5-0
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