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