August 29, 2012

Minues August 23, 2012

Varick Planning Board
August 23, 2012

Called to order 7:10 pm

Present: Squires, Horton, Knapp, Björkman
Absent: Mastellar, Somerville
Resigned: Larzelere

Substitute secretary: Björkman

Tabled minute approval to next time, when at least 4 members from last month are present.

SPCA update: Prospective applicant went to the ZBA, which gave them good advice about getting accurate information for the application. There were discrepancies, which we also noted to applicant, on the actual dimensions of the lot.

Board communications. We want to make sure we improve our communication to the Town Board and ZBA so they know what we are up to from month to month. It helps avoid surprises.
We can email our draft minutes (even though they are on the web) to the Town Board members and the ZBA chair. Our minutes are on the web ( as a record, but an email with the contents will be seen in time to help.

Town Attorney: We wish John Sipos a speedy recovery.

Planned action items. From June, our priorities were to request a 6-month moratorium on PUDs to allow us to write a good code. Second, work on 403.1 and 404.2, on the proper way to issue Special Use Permits.   Thereafter, revisit school restrictions, and pay attention to hydrofracking.

Regarding hydrofracking, we have no regulation now. It is worth waiting a little before beginning work to get more clarity on what responsibility falls to towns. We may be outside the relevant area because the Marcellus is too shallow here for this process. Furthermore, the governor is expected to issue some base rules in the coming month.

Special uses and area variances. We discussed the process for special use permits. The planning board properly has the authority to issue special use permits under 274-b (2) of NYS Town Law. However, where the application clearly fails to comply with a quantitative or absolute requirement, an area variance may be needed. The area variance is issued by the ZBA as a separate action. Our Telecom tower and Mobile Home Park special use requirements are unclear on that point. Some towns have the ZBA act first, after the ZCEO determines that an area variance is required.  We should at least modify the code so that the parts involved with an area variance are separated from the ones for the special usepermit (i.e. use variance).

In our summary of the code, describe more simply and clearly what the PB, ZBA, ZCEO and resident duties are. This could be on the website (when it returns) and as a preamble to the code.

Planned Unit Developments.

We reported on our research of other codes.
Knapp provided PUD code from Fayette, Mendon, Canandaigua, Victor and Perinton. He also had an excellent book on doing PUD approvals from Mt.Vernon, WA.
Björkman provided Saratoga and Forestburg.
Horton provided Aurelius, which has similar mix of lake, town and agriculture. 

We discussed creating a new zoning district for each PUD, as is done in the Town of Forestburg, and decided it would not be appropriate for Varick.
On Planned Unit Developments, we need to specify where they are to be permitted. We agreed that PUDs should be a Special Use in the ARR district, and not permitted in the others.

For next time, start with Aurelius and Fayette as frameworks. They may be fairly close to what we want.
Aurelius (Article 6):
Fayette (Section 832): land use  regs.pdf

Squires moved to adjourn, Horton seconded.
Adjourned 8:42 pm