October 14, 2009

Approved September24th Meeting Minutes

Town of Varick Planning Board Meeting Minutes

Date of Meeting: September 24th, 2009

Attendees: , Todd Horton, Phil Knapp, Bill Larzelere, Linda
Masteller, Bill Squires
Absent: Thomas Bjorkman, Kevin Swartley

Also attending : Gerald Keefer and Attorney Calvin Brainard

Public Hearing for Keefer Subdivision called to order at 7:05pm by Chairman Bill Squires

Public Hearing:
Mr. Keefer and his attorney presented the Board a set of drawings for a minor subdivision of property of the estate of Elma Keefer to be sold to her three children. The property is at 708 Yale Farm Rd and is about 76 acres. There were no members of the public attending.
Chairman Squires asked the Board if there was any discussion on the Subdivision. Being none, he then asked for a motion to approve the Keefer Sub-Division. Phil Knapp made a motion to approve the Minor Sub-Division as presented. Linda Masteller seconded the motion. The vote by the Board was unanimous to pass the motion. Chairman Squires closed the Public hearing.

Regular Meeting called to order at 7:15pm:

Discussion of new Zoning Code Changes:

Chairman Squires reported he had heard nothing from the Town Board positive or negative about the Code changes. He had had copies made for each Town Board member. He was hopeful that the Board would discuss it at their next meeting and then the next step would be for them to advertize for a public hearing on the Zoning Code changes.

Squires also wanted the changes to be frozen as they are at present.

Phil Knapp brought up a problem with 309.2 “Town Wide Design Standards” The first sentence in paragraph A Unregistered Vehicles. “Notwithstanding the above restriction” Phil asked what the above restriction was. Bill Larzelere said this must have been a carryover from earlier changes and would look into it.

Phil also discussed 311.5 and raised a concern that restrictions on storage of commercial vehicles would not allow a small business owner to park his business van/truck in his driveway. Discussion following on the difference between “storage”- vs- overnight parking of business vehicles used daily. The “intent” was not to restrict the small business owners ability to conduct his business in the most convenient manner. The intent to restrict was to control the longer term storage of larger commercial vehicles that would interfere with neighbors viewshed.

Phil noted pg. 31 typing errors of 311.15 and 311.17 should be 311.1.5 and 311.1.7

Linda Masteller asked Squires if the changes should be sent on to the Zoning Board of Appeals. Chairman Squires said he did not want to until the Town Board had reviewed and commented.

Bill Squires would like to update the Zoning Compliance permit to mesh with the new Code. He will e-mail a copy of the existing permit to all the Planning Board members. The “homework” for the next meeting will be to come back with ideas to update the permit.

Phil Knapp moved to accept the Minutes from the August Planning Board meeting. Bill Squires seconded the motion. The vote to approve was unanimous.

Todd Horton moved to adjourn the meeting. Phil seconded and the meeting was closed at 7:50pm

Next Regular Meeting Date: October 22th, 2009 Varick Firehouse at 7:00pm.

Meeting adjourned: at 7:50PM

Minutes Submitted By: Bill Larzelere (Secretary)

September 12, 2009

Approved meeting minutes for August Meeting

Town of Varick Planning Board Meeting Minutes

Date of Meeting:  August meeting held on September 1st , 2009 

Meeting called to order at 7:08pm by Chairman Bill Squires


Attendees:  Thomas Bjorkman, Todd Horton, Phil Knapp, Bill Larzelere, Linda

Masteller, Bill Squires

Absent: Kevin Swartley

Also attending :  Gerald Keefer and Attorney Calvin Brainard

New Business:

Mr. Keefer and his attorney presented the Board a set of drawings for a minor subdivision of property of the estate of  Elma Keefer to be sold to her three children. The property is at 708 Yale Farm Rd and is about 76 acres.  After discussion and review, Thomas Bjorkman moved that the proposed sub-division be accepted for filing and direct the Planning Board Secretary to advertize for a public hearing at the September 24th Planning Board meeting to vote on approval of the proposed sub-division. Linda Masteller seconded the motion and the board voted unanimously to approve the motion.


New Board Member:  A new Planning Board member was introduced.  Todd Horton lives on rt.89. 

Discussion of new Zoning Code Changes:

Drainage Plan- Bill Larzelere described that new language had been put in the Town Wide Design standards section 309.2 and lined out of 309.7,and 309.5.  The Drainage Plan will be used in all Zones in the Town . 

Rooming House: Discussion developed a definition and conditions in 310.6. 

for a Rooming House

Mean High Water Mark:  Description added to definition.

Canned Hunting:   There is a definition in the new code, but previous notes from meeting minutes had said that the AG and Markets language would be looked at to make sure the subject was covered.  Bill Larzelere said he would do this and report.

Livestock:  Discussion was about “livestock” and “farm animals”.  Both terms will be used interchangeably. Will add “or consumption” to existing definition.  Also Thomas will check AG and Markets definition for possible use in place of the existing definition.  Thomas will report.

Equipment Rental in Lakeshore Zone:   Discussion about why this will not be permitted.  Noise, parking,  lack of space or frontage. 

Changes to Telecommunications  Tower code 311.3.    Thomas Bjorkman  talked about several minor changes to the code  to update it for  new Zones.   Changes on page 32,34,35,36. 

Todd Horton asked if Cottage Rentals had been discussed, noting that people that rent out cottages allow many people to use the cottage at the same time and creates noise, parking issues, etc.  It may be discussed for next time code is changed.


May 28th Meeting Minutes:   Thomas Bjorkman moved to aprrove the minutes as written.

 Phil Knapp seconded, the vote was unanimous to approve.


Motion by Bill Squires:  Made a motion to present the Town Board with a final draft of the Zoning Code with all changes.  Will ask the Town Board to schedule a Public Hearing to approve the changes.   Phil Knapp seconded the motion.   The vote was unanimous to approve the motion.


Bill Squires thanked the Planning Board for working together so well and all the hard work to make the changes to the Zoning Code. 

Next Regular Meeting Date:    Sept. 24th, 2009  Varick Firehouse at 7:00pm.

Meeting adjourned: at 9:25 PM

Minutes Submitted By: Bill Larzelere (Secretary)





August 10, 2009

July Planning board meeting Cancelled

Lack of quorum  caused July 30th meeting to be cancelled.

Next Scheduled meeting is August 27th at the Varick Firehall at 7:00pm.

Posted by Bill Larzelere
Board Secretary.

June 19, 2009

June Planning Board meeting is Cancelled

A lack of quorum due to vacations  will not allow a Planning Board meeting that was scheduled for Thursday June 25th.  

The next scheduled meeting will be July 30th at 7:00pm at the Varick Firehouse.

Bill Larzelere

June 13, 2009

Draft Minutes from May28th meeting

Town of Varick Planning Board Meeting Minutes


Date of Meeting:  May 28th, 2009


Meeting called to order at 7:05pm by Chairman Bill Squires

Attendees:   Phil Knapp, Bill Larzelere, Linda Masteller, Bill Squires, ,Thomas Bjorkman

Absent: Kevin Swartley, Susan Ottenweller 


New Business:

Bill Squires talked about needing a temporary replacement for him as chairman for the next three months as he is having a knee replacement surgery. 

Thomas suggested Susan Ottenweller for the June meeting and Linda Masteller is willing to cover the July meeting and possibly beyond if needed.

Thomas Bjorkman asked when a public hearing may be scheduled for the Zoning Code changes. Bill Squires suggested possibly the July meeting , but others thought this was not realistic.  To be determined. 

Bill Squires left the meeting because of  pain. 

Linda Masteller thought the last working session  with the Town Board  and Zoning Board of Appeals went very well and there were no real major issues to be resolved.  Others agreed.


Code Concerns: 


Discussions and decisions on issues from the working session.


Canned Hunting: 

Ag and Markets has language describing “Canned Hunting”  It will be looked at to add to a definition in our code.


Boats Hoist Walls:

It was agreed that Canvas sides around a boat hoist are walls .  Add to the definition that “no vertical surfaces should protrude lower than standard roof construction over a boat hoist” and the Intent of the code is that it will not block neighbor’s lake view.


Mean High Water Mark:

Described in section 203.6 and will be added to the definitions.


New Condition 310.23

To be added and will be based on 310.18.  Concerns are Traffic, Parking(1 space for every 4 of seating space.), lighting , signage, noise.  Bill Larzelere to do.


Farm Animals : Discussion of farm animals in residential and lakeshore districts.  Thomas Bjorkman will check on Ag and Markets language and will be added to the definitions.


Equipment Rentals(canoes,kayaks in lakeshore district): 

All agreed that on the face of it  this seemed like a logical use, but  because of minimal lakefront available, low demand, potential headaches with parking, noise, liability, that this use would continue to be “not permitted”.


Residential Home Care:

Thomas Bjorkman was concerned about a business “pushing the limits” in the Lakeshore District and suggested making “conditional” in this district using 310.10 as the conditions.


Further discussion about the definitions concluded that we would combine the “four and fewer” and “five to nine” as a Residential Home Care Facility with a new definition and “10 or more” will be an “Institutional” facility.  A question was raised about what a “Halfway House” (drug rehab) would be and if this would be a permitted use.   No conclusion on this.


 Veterinary Services in Lakeshore Residential Zone:

It was decided to allow this use as “conditional” using 310.10 as the conditions for operation. A definition of Veterinary Services Exclusive of Boarding, will be added and be defined as “On premise health care for animals.”  Animal boarding is considered a Kennel and is regulated elsewhere in the code.


Home Schooling:

Discussion on definition of  a School.  Will use Dave Stonefiser’s  definition for “School” and leave Bulk Table as is.


Bulk Table:

It was decided to take out the development features and add these to the Sub Division code.  We will submit these changes to the Town Board at the same time as the Zoning Code to be presented at Public hearing.    The grandfathering of the existing lot development will be addressed by taking these development features out of the Zoning Code


Page 22-  12 feet above centerline east of rt. 89 -  This is reasonable as it covers the height of houses on the east side of rt 89 where the land level is significantly lower than the road level and is close to the road.


309.2-  A  will read “Unregistered Vehicles. A Vehicle of any type is permitted to undergo major overhaul, including bodywork, provided that such work is performed inside a structure or similarly enclosed area properly constructed for such purpose.”


Page 24  Drainage-  Add language to reference drainage plan on page 4


Sign sizes :

Decided that a double-sided sign of a maximum of 15 square feet will be allowed in the Hamlet and Lakeshore District.


Temporary Board Chairman

Thomas Bjorkman made a motion that Linda Masteller be named Temporary Chairman of the Planning Board starting with the July meeting.  Phil Knapp seconded.   Vote was unanimous to approve the motion.



Next Meetings:

June 25th at 7:00 pm in the Varick Firehouse

July 30th at 7:00 pm in the Varick Firehouse


Meeting adjourned:   9:15pm


Minutes Submitted by: Bill Larzelere -Secretary












June 07, 2009

Approved Minutes from April 30th Meeting

Town of Varick Planning Board Meeting Minutes


Date of Meeting:  April 30th, 2009


Meeting called to order at 7:05pm by Chairman Bill Squires


Attendees:   Phil Knapp, Bill Larzelere, Linda

Masteller, Susan Ottenweller  , Bill Squires, Kevin Swartley

Absent: Thomas Bjorkman

Also attending : All members of the Town of Varick Board, and the Zoning Board of Appeals, Code Enforcement Officer Paul Conroy


New Business:

This meeting was a working session with the Town Board and the Zoning Board of Appeals on the draft changes to the Town of Varick Zoning Code that the Planning Board has been working on for several months.   The goal of this meeting was to go through the proposed changes and address any concerns and questions




Page 12 Boat Hoists:  Bob Hayssen asked for clarification on wording that said that “walls” were not allowed on boat hoists.  What was a wall?   His concern was that vertical skirting from the roof down was not allowed and would not allow a boat to be properly protected from the elements.  Would canvas side curtains be allowed?

Bill Squires  said the reason for no walls was so a neighbors lake view would not be blocked .  It was suggested that it be left to the discretion of the ZBA.

 Annie Bachman of the ZBA said the ZBA needed definitions and intent  to be able to rule effectively.

Bill Squires suggested a compromise might be to allow for side walls or cutains coming down from the roof to a certain height measured form the surface of the dock.

It was agreed this would be discussed further by the Planning Board.


Dock Size:  John Saeli thought the 850 square foot dock size was too small pointing out safety issues if the walkway was too narrow.  Discussion followed of the history of this issue and the several changes to allow increased size for docks.  Bob Taylor and the ZBA said that 850square feet should be adequate. It was decided to leave 850 as the number.


Mean High Water Mark:  Bob Hayssen thought a definition should be added.   This will be done.


Use Tables:

Discussion of Home Worship and Places of Worship

Bill Squires pointed out the changes to the Use Tables and Definitions clarifying these two items.  

The Conditional usage will be outlined in paragraph 310.23. This paragraph was referenced but did not exist. This will be corrected.


John Saeli wondered why a Church or Place of Worship was not allowed in the Conservation and Green Energy  Zone.  It was decided to allow this use in this zone as a conditional use.


John Saeli questioned that Agricultue was “not permitted” in the Hamlet district.  No Farm animals were allowed.  What is a farm animal?    Decided no change, but will look at farm animal definition.


Canned Hunting:

John wondered why Canned hunting was allowed in the Ag and Rural Residential district.  It was “not permitted” anywhere else in the Town.  It was a strong opinion from Town residents to not allow canned hunts in the Town of Varick.  Kevin Swartley discussed the definition of Canned Hunting and the difference in a “For Profit” hunting farm business.  It was agreed that there may be a place for the for profit hunting but that the definitions of both Canned Hunting and the for profit business need to be worked on further.


Equipment Rentals:   Town Board members wondered why “Boat and canoe Rentals” were not allowed in the Lakeshore Residential District?  It seemed like the logical place for such a business. Linda Masteller  from the Planning Board responded that there were many concerns about noise, traffic, parking, lights, etc. that many members of the public had raised during information meetings held in both lake roads.  It was agreed that there may be places where this type of business may be appropriate on Rt. 89, but may not be for East lake Rd. on Seneca lake because of the housing density.  This will be discussed further.


Typing errors

Page 18- Fix “310.7” in CRE to “310.17”

311.15, 311.17 move to end of Special Uses section


Residential/In Home Care:  Page19  Discussed the changes to the definitions and permitted usage of in home care providers.   Three levels are outlined  defined by the numbers of patients served.   1-4 are permitted in all zones except CRE , 5-9 will be permitted in all zones except CRE( this is a change as it was not permitted in Lakeshore residential,  10 or more will be permitted only in the business park and institutional zone.  It was noted that titles of the  usages and definitions need to be finalized.  The State has specific definitions and conditions for the operation of such facilities.


Veterinary in Lakeshore Residential :   Art Sherman wondered why this use was not allowed in LR  and was a permitted use in the Hamlet Residential  zone.  The type of facility and size could be controlled by definition and conditions and in his opinion would be an asset to the community. It was agreed that this will be looked at and changed to conditional in lakeshore residential zone.


Winery tasting room in Small Business Park Zone:  Dick Peterson wondered why a Winery tasting room would not be a good use in the Small Business park Zone. He noted that there has been interest in several Wineries collaborating for such a use and in his opinion would be a good fit for the SB and Institutional Zone.  It was agreed to further discuss and change to permitted.

WareHousing not permitted :    The only place warehousing is permitted is in the Small Business and Institutional Zone.  Several people thought this should be discussed for other zones such as the Ag District where barns could be used fro “seasonal storage”  for added income.    It was agreed to better define warehousing and discuss further.

Home Schooling : language needs to be discussed and added 

Bulk Table Changes:

Grandfathering existing lots from a certain date(?)

Non-Conforming -  Went over wording and came up with;   “Can rebuild on same footprint and same type of house if damaged beyond repair by fire.

Development features should be left in the Zoning Code until the SubDivision Code is updated then move to Sub Division Code.

Page 22-  12 feet above centerline east of rt. 89 -  Think about if this is reasonable

309.2-  A  Needs rewording

Page 24  Drainage-  Add language to reference drainage plan on page 44

Sign sizes need to be harmonized or at least looked at again for reasonableness.(page29)

Page 45 typo-  C-1  “A design Plan(t)


Next Regular Meeting Date:    May 28th, 2009  Varick Firehouse at 7:00pm.

Meeting adjourned: at 9:50 PM

Minutes Submitted By: Bill Larzelere (Secretary)

April 05, 2009

Draft Minutes from March 26th meeting

Town of Varick Planning Board Meeting Minutes


Date of Meeting:  March 26th, 2009


Meeting called to order at 7:05pm by Chairman Bill Squires


Attendees:  Thomas Bjorkman Phil Knapp, Bill Larzelere, Linda

Masteller, Susan Ottenweller  , Bill Squires

Absent:  Kevin Swartley


New Business:

Building Permit Forms:  Chairman Squires  submitted a draft form for a new “Zoning Compliance Permit” Application form.  This is intended to be a replacement for the current form and be more helpful in the process both to the Code Enforcement Officer and the person applying for the permit.  One feature of the form would be a checklist for proper completion of the form and sample projects that applicants may be doing. Noting the different name for the permit recognizes that conforming to the Zoning Code is more than just for “building”.

All references to a “Building Permit” in the Varick Zoning Code will be changed to a “Zoning Compliance Permit”.


Bill Squires had talked to Donna Karlsen about having the forms available in the Town Office and she said the only problem was that when this was done in the past that she had to field many questions that were better answered by the Code Enforcement Officer and that was a distraction from her job. The person still had to contact the CEO so they put the forms in CEO’s hands only.  With the new form that will answer many of the questions and being available on the Web, the questions will be minimized for Donna and having the form be available in the Town Office will be more convenient for the public that doesn’t have access to the Web or if they live a distance from the CEO.  This is a suggestion for discussion.


Thomas Bjorkman noted that the procedures for getting and filling out a Building Permit

are spelled out in section 404 of the Zoning Code.


Bill Squires also would like to have a form for applying for a “Special Use” as outlined in the Code  and a Certificate of Occupancy.  These are addressed in Section 403 of the Code.


Other things that were talked about to be included on the Zoning Compliance form were:

·      A map that shows the different zones in the Town

·      A section that spells out the requirements for applying for a permit with the DEC and the Army Corp. of Engineers to build a dock or seawall. It should include the contact information.

·      A fee schedule should be included and who the applicant should pay.

·      All language on the new form should be consistent with Seneca County Code Enforcement Language.

Discussion about process for enforcing the code when it is discovered an applicant has not built according to the plans he/she has submitted in his/her compliance permit. 

·      It is critical that any discrepancies are discovered before the construction is complete. 

·      Remedy should not get to the point where a building needs to be torn down.

·      Penalties should be severe enough that Contractors and applicants will be sure the construction is done properly

·      The penalties should be very prominent in documentation.

·      The goal is to protect everyone , avoid lawsuits, and assure compliance with the Varick Zoning Code.


Bill Squires will talk with the County Code Enforcement if they could add a setback measurement to the foundation inspection process.


Susan Ottenweller will find out on average how many Building Permits are processed in the Town during a years time.


Discussion about Phil Knapps list of Public Concerns brought up at the October 2008 public meeting.  We went through the list and noted that each item had been considered and had either been addressed by a change in the code or noted that the code couldn’t be changed.  Susan Ottenweller suggested that we should be able to explain each item and how it was addressed when we meet with the Town Board and the Public. 


Thomas Bjorkman also had a list of concerns from the meeting and we looked at each of those too.  Satisfied that they were addressed.


Working Session with the Town Board and Zoning Board of Appeals.  Recognizing that our work is in draft mode, we need to present our changes to the Town Board and the Zoning Board of Appeals in a working session to be assured that all parties concerns were adequately addressed.  Bill Squires will communicate with Bob Hayssen suggesting a working session  around May 15th.  Bill will update the Board with a progress report at their April 5th meeting and with a discussion of the path forward to a public hearing on the code changes




Meeting Minutes from Feb 26th 2009:    Thomas Bjorkman  moved to approve with change of Mr. and Mrs. Tom Wilson’s name as suggested by Linda Masteller.  Phil Knapp seconded.  Vote was unanimous to approve with changes.


Next Regular Meeting Date:    April 30th, 2009  Varick Firehouse at 7:00pm.


Meeting adjourned: at 9:25 PM





March 12, 2009

Approved Meeting Minutes from Feb 26th Meeting

Town of Varick Planning Board Meeting Minutes

Date of Meeting:  February 26nd, 2009

Meeting called to order at 7:05pm by Chairman Bill Squires

Attendees:  Thomas Bjorkman Phil Knapp, Bill Larzelere, Linda Masteller, Bill Squires, Kevin Swartley

Absent:  Susan Ottenweller

Guests: Code Enforcement Officer Paul Conroy,  Mr. and Mrs. Tom Wilson


New Business:

Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Wilson from 5406 Rt 96 attended the meeting to answer any questions our Board had about their proposed farm store selling fruits and vegetables grown on their property.  There will also be a bakery in the main building.  Tom showed drawings of the proposed main building and green house and said if approved that construction will begin within the next few weeks.

There was a discussion about the use and their plans.  It was noted by Linda Masteller that this is a permitted use in the Agricultural and rural residential zone, based on the size of the operation and the Code use table. 

It was also noted that if the business changed to, for example, selling soft serve ice cream or a small restaurant that they would need to come back to the Board at that time because it would then be required to meet more restrictive conditions and possibly a public hearing. Thomas Bjorkman said that this was a great addition to our Town.

Chairman Squires made a motion to approve the use as presented and Phil Knapp seconded.  The vote to approve was unanimous.

Building permit forms:

Bill Squires noted that the forms our Code Enforcement officer works with need to be computerized, updated, and made available on the web.  Paul Conroy agreed saying they should also be made available in the Town Office for people that want to pick up a copy to begin the process of filing a permit.

A form for applying for a Special Use permit needs to be created.

Bill Squires will work on this project and the first thing will be to make our forms available at the Town Office.

It was discussed that it would be a good idea to make process documents available for completing various building projects in our Town.

Examples would be from a basic building permit, to building a dock, to filing for a sub division, to larger developments.   All agreed that this information would be a beneficial project.

Zoning Code Changes:

Discussion followed about several changes to the code that the Board would like to present to our Town Board around April .  We would like to have a preliminary meeting with the Town Board and the Zoning Board of Appeals before a full Public hearing to adopt the changes. 

 Larzelere made the specific changes on the computer as the discussion proceeded.

Sections in  the code that were discussed and changed are:

·      sec. 104.1, 

·      Definitions for Mobile home paragraph 1&2, and section 310.5

·      Definitions-  Motel, residence

·      Use table –Header containing zone descriptions across top of each page.

·      Sec 306.3  Dock construction and setbacks

·      Sec 309.1 Bulk Table  Top paragraph moved to Sub division code

                 Deleted a second paragraph that was repeated

·    Sec 309.2 Fences and walls changed

·    Sec 309.5 last sentence about common access sites

Schedule:  Squires noted that we may need an additional meeting to finish off changes before meeting with Town Board and ZBA.   No meeting date was chosen.

Larzelere will get a copy of the code with all proposed changes out to the Planning Board  ASAP.

Phil Knapp noted that our next meeting should include going over the list of community concerns from the public information meeting.  He will make sure everyone has a copy of the documented concerns.

Meeting Minutes from Jan 22nd:   Phil Knapp moved to approve as written.  Linda Masteller  seconded,   Vote was unanimous to approve

Next Regular Meeting Date:    March 26th  Varick Firehouse at 7:00pm.

Meeting closed: at 9:10 PM

Minutes Submitted by:  Bill Larzelere   Planning Board Secretary




February 18, 2009

Approved Meeting Minutes from January 22nd Meeting

Town of Varick Planning Board Meeting Minutes


Date of Meeting:  January 22nd, 2009


Meeting called to order at 7:15pm by Secretary Bill Larzelere. Noting several members were absent, the meeting would be brief.


Attendees:   Phil Knapp, Bill Larzelere, Linda Masteller, Susan Ottenweller

Absent:  Thomas Bjorkman, Bill Squires, Kevin Swartley


Guest: Code Enforcement officer Paul Conroy


Minutes Approved:  

Minutes from December 18th meeting were approved as written. Linda Masteller made the motion to approve and Susan Ottenweller seconded.  The vote was unanimous.


New Business:

 New Code Enforcement Officer Paul Conroy introduced himself to the Board and brought a  question about a Permit request from a Mr. Thomas Wilson of  5406 Rt. 96A.  This request was for construction of a 30’x50’ building and a 28’ x150’ greenhouse on a 15 acre parcel owned by Mr. Wilson. Conroy presented the permit request and a drawing showing the buildings on the site with driveway and parking areas also marked out.  The question from Conroy was the purpose of the building which was for a  Farm Store selling fruits and vegetables raised on the property.  Conroy was unsure if all proposed businesses in the Town had to be approved by the Town Planning Board and wanted to make sure we were “all on the same page”.

After discussion, Larzelere noted that the first place to go was the Zoning Code and specifically the Use Tables for the Zone.  This would show if the use was permitted or not and if there were any “conditions” required for the use.  It looked to the Board that this would be an approved use, but would be discussed first with our Chairman and then , if necessary, at the next Planning Board meeting in February.   Larzelere said he would talk to Bill Squires and show him the drawings. 

Paul Conroy also asked a question about if a permit was approved for a building, and after it was built, the owner changed the use of the building to something other that what was on the original permit. How is this to be addressed and handled?  This was put on the discussion list for the next meeting.


Larzelere thanked Paul Conroy for his questions and made sure he knew he was invited to all our meetings.


The next meeting: was set for February 26th, 2009 at the Varick Firehouse


The meeting was adjourned at 7:45pm


Minutes respectfully submitted: Bill Larzelere(Secretary)







January 05, 2009

Approved Meeting Minutes from December 18th Meeting

Town of Varick Planning Board Meeting Minutes


Date of meeting: December 18, 2008 

Meeting called to order:  7:10pm

¨     Attendees:   Thomas Bjorkman, Phil Knapp, Bill Larzelere, Linda Masteller,  Susan Ottenweller, , Kevin Swartley

      Absent: Bill Squires

A quorum was present.


With Chairman Squires not present, Thomas Bjorkman agreed to run the meeting.


 Suggestion to Bill Squires:  There was a comment that it would be helpful to all if there was an agenda circulated before the meeting.


Meeting Minutes:  Bill Larzelere noted that the November minutes had been changed as per e-mail notes from Linda Masteller.  Susan Ottenweller moved to approve the October and November minutes as written.  Phil Knapp seconded. The vote to approve was unanimous.


New Business:

Thomas Bjorkman reported that as of August 6, 2008, the Cobblestone Farm in the Town of Varick had been placed on the National Register of Historic Places.  Noting that this was a very desirable happening with much work from the owner, Bob Rozzano, he suggested that a letter of “congratulations” from our Board be drafted and sent to the owners with a copy to the Town Board.  All agreed that this was a good idea and Kevin Swartley made a motion that this be done. Susan O. seconded the motion and the vote to approve was unanimous.  Thomas Bjorkman agreed to draft the letter.


Zoning Code Changes:


Discussion about the definition of “A Place of Worship”:


Susan Ottenweller  reported that in her research  “A Place of Worship” was handled differently in the Zoning codes of surrounding towns.  She also found that  in 2000 Congress passed the Religious Land Uses and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA) to protect religious groups from zoning and historic landmark regulations that would significantly interfere with religious exercise. Most zoning codes allow places of worship in any zoning district where the impacts of the facility would be similar to other uses allowed in the district; and in all districts that allow public assembly. Ancillliary/accessory  uses such as day care, schooling, homeless shelter, food pantry...even a catering business.... may be regulated separately; although there appears to be considerable case law for ruling that ancilliary uses are integral parts of the church. There is also NY state case law favoring the use of one's home for church services. Most places maintain that localities have the responsibility to respond to legitimate community concerns associated the location of churches including compatibility, noise, traffic...but should be sure to not regulate them more harshly or leniently than similar land uses.


Our discussion concluded that the use table will have two categories for “Place of Worship”   One will be “In Home Worship” and will be permitted in all zones.  The second will be a “Place of Worship “ and will be a dedicated building or Church. This building will be allowed in all zones except the Conservation and Green Energy zone as a “conditional use”.  


Items that will be addressed for the conditions for a “Place of Worship” will be lighting, signage, screening , and parking.  Parking discussed was 1 parking space for 4 persons of occupancy.   Kevin Swartley has been working on a project for his church in the Town of Fayette and will e-mail the language they use for the conditions of a church in the new Fayette Zoning code. We will use this in consideration of our language.  Possible new conditional paragraph will be 310.23.


“In home worship” will be “permitted”  in all zones. 


“Restaurants” in use table will be allowed as conditional with 310.18 conditions in all Zones except Hamlets. Hamlet zones will have “Special Use” for restaurants and Churchs because of the need for control of parking, lot design, etc., for correct use in the more dense development area of a Hamlet.


Dave Stonesifer Letter to Board 

East Lake Road resident Dave Stonefiser wrote a letter to our board with copy to the Town Board, criticizing the Zoning Code for not allowing Residential Home Care in the Lake District Zone.  Dave’s description of “In Home Care” for disadvantaged folks allowed for a licensed, NYS inspected facility and care for four or fewer people.  After discussion, our board agreed  that this hould be a permitted use in all zones with four or fewer residents cared for.  With 5 to 9 residents cared for the use table will be the same as is now.  This allows these facilities as permitted in all zones except the Lakeshore Residential and Conservation and Green Energy Zones.  A facility with 10 or more residents will have to be investigated to develop consensus. Thomas Bjorkman will write an e-mail to Dave outlining our position and thanking him for clarifying the use.


Next Meeting:

The next regular meeting of the Varick Planning Board will be January 22nd 2008 at 7:00pm at the Varick Firehouse.


The meeting was adjourned at 8:35pm


Minutes respectfully submitted,

Bill Larzelere- Secretary