October 23, 2020

Varick Planning Board September 24, 2020


Varick Planning Board

September 24, 2020

Called to order at 7:10 pm

Present: Linda Mastellar (chair), Rich Olsen (via Zoom a bit later), Michele Hermann (via Zoom), Frankie Long, Thomas Björkman (Secretary, via Zoom), Absent: Hershey Sensenig, one vacancy.
Guests:  Annie Bachman, Richard D. Keyser, representing Knapp Farms.
Mark Venuti. Howard and Betsy Relin, Laura Toole.


Minutes of August 27, 2020 accepted: moved by Hermann, second by Long, passed 4-0 (Olsen arrived later)

Bachman subdivision.

Public hearing opened 7:13.

Public hearing closed 7:15.

Move to close by Björkman, Long second. Passed 4-0.


The Varick Planning Board issues final approval of the Bachman sub-division on Rt. 89. The action is a lot-line move that transfers 1.226 acres from Lakeshore Winery (Parcel 09 - 1 - 45.1) to a residential lot (09 - 1 - 33.112) owned by LoFaro.

The current use of the Lakeshore property is agriculture.

The board received the Short Environmental Assessment Form and declared itself the lead agency for State Environmental Quality Review. Upon review of the EAF, the board found no impact because the action will lead to no change in land use, nor create a condition that would encourage one. The board makes a negative declaration of environmental impact.

An agricultural data statement was provided. It showed that the action will preserve agricultural land.

The approval is conditional on concurrence by the county planning board, and will be signed when that condition is met.

Moved by Long second by Hermann. Passed 5-0.

The county planning board will review at its October meeting.


Knapp Farms subdivision.


The Varick Planning Board accepted a preliminary plat for a minor subdivision to subdivide Lot 15-1-6.1 (43.8 ac) into two pieces. The new parcel will be 2.5 acres, including a lake house (5379 Rt. 89), frontage on Rt. 89 and a small hay field with a septic system. The residual property is vineyard. We accepted an Agricultural Data Statement and SEQR EAF with modifications to reflect the change in use. We will send the application to the County planning board for review.


Moved by Björkman, second Hermann, passed 5-0


The Agricultural data statement was amended to state the future use of the ~2 acres of agricultural land on the west part of the new lot, currently in hay. The amended statement was accepted.

An easement provides only for the pump at the Town water line, and water pipe to the western parcel.

We will schedule a public hearing for our October meeting.

Relin use. The property owners requested a letter for a prospective buyer stating that they would be permitted to rent the existing cabins on the property. The board determined that it could not provide such a letter. This potential use was also discussed at the August board meeting.

The question is whether the future use would be expansion of the current non-conforming use. We discussed what would constitute a change in use (from residential to commercial) and what would be and expansion of the current use. The latter is not allowed. The determination, as it was last month, was that renting the cabins to the public would be at least an expansion if not a change in use.

The cabins are not big enough to qualify as dwellings if rented as residential more than 30 days, dwellings require a minimum of 550 square feet and a kitchen.

Short-term vacation rentals

The congestion and disturbance impacts of short-term vacation rentals continue to be felt, and the previous discussion brought out some that need more resolution. We have sent a dog-ordinance revision and draft noise ordinance to the Town Board to address those two impacts on a town-wide basis. There are residual issues where a permit system would be useful for giving property owners and managers clear requirements so they can set expectations for tenants. We will continue that discussion in October. The Towns of Fayette and Geneva have experience that we are learning from.

Adjournment moved by Björkman, second by Hermann, passed 5-0
Adjourned 9:22 pm

October 04, 2020

Varick Planning Board August 27, 2020


Varick Planning Board

August 27, 2020

Called to order at 7:00 pm

Present: Linda Mastellar (chair), Rich Olsen (via Zoom), Frankie Long, Thomas Björkman (Secretary, via Zoom), Absent: Michele Hermann, Hershey Sensenig, one vacancy.
Guests: Annie Bachman, Neil and Lisa Olver, Sarah Abernethy.


Bachman Subdivision. Accepted a preliminary plat for a minor subdivision. The proposed lot line move transfers 1.226 acres from Lakeshore Winery (Parcel 09 - 1 - 45.1) to a residential lot (09 - 1 - 33.112) owned by LoFaro, allowing better access to the residence. No concerns were identified, all subdivision requirement appear to be met. Schedule a public hearing. Moved by Björkman, Second by Olsen, passed 4-0.

Olver subdivision. Neil and Lisa Olver. Considering buying Varick Winery and subdividing for homes. We recommended checking with County code enforcement on what can be built on the lots between the lake and the highway given the setbacks and topography. The dimensions and arrangement of the new parcels appear to be consistent with our subdivision code, though a judgement can only be made once a preliminary plat is submitted.

Cottage use question. Sarah Abernethy is considering purchasing a property on East Lake Road and operate five existing small cabins as vacation rentals. The main home would be a two-unit rental. She sought the Planning Board’s assessment of the proposal.

The board reported that cottages for rent are not a permitted use in the Lakeshore Residential district, due to congestion and neighbor-impact, therefore this use is not an option. Parking is likely to be a challenge, and is also an impact that the neighborhood is very sensitive to.

Minutes of July 23, 2020 approved. Moved by Olsen, second by Mastellar, passed 4-0.

Adjournment moved by Björkman, second by Long, passed 4-0
Adjourned 8:38 pm