December 18, 2020

Varick Planning Board October 22, 2020


Varick Planning Board

October 22, 2020

Present: Linda Mastellar (chair), Rich Olsen (via Zoom), Hershey Sensenig, Michele Hermann (via Zoom), Frankie Long, Thomas Björkman (Secretary, via Zoom), one vacancy.
Guests:  Gene Pierce, Richard D. Keyser, representing Knapp Farms, Tyler Franzen, Jennifer Persoon.

Minutes of September 24, 2020 accepted: moved by Olsen, second by Long, passed 6-0.


Knapp Farms Public Hearing

Public hearing opened on Knapp Farms subdivision and SEQR at 7:14. Hearing no comments, the public hearing was closed at 7:15.


The county planning board recommended leaving the decision to local jurisdiction.


The Varick planning board issues Final Approval of the Knapp Farms subdivision. This action is a minor subdivision to subdivide Lot 15-1-6.1 (43.8 ac) into two pieces. The new parcel will be 2.5 acres on Rt. 89 and a small field. We accepted an Agricultural Data Statement and SEQR EAF. The application was favorably reviewed by the County planning board. 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 creates a condition that would encourage one. The board therefore makes a negative declaration of environmental impact.

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


Moved by Björkman second by Hermann. Passed 6-0.

Bachman subdivision

Resolution: The condition for the Bachman subdivision Final Approval, namely concurrence by the Seneca County Planning Board, has been met.

Moved by Björkman, second by Hermann. Passed 6-0

Cider house rules

Tyler Franzen, Rt. 89, inquired whether a cidery follows the same rules as a winery. He planted apples next to Knapp Winery and is interested in developing a cidery and tasting room.

Following discussion, the board noted that we should propose an amendment to the Zoning code to allow all site-made beverages that have similar impact to a winery fall under the same rule.

To clarify the immediate situation, we make the following resolution:

It is the sense of the Varick Planning Board that this proposed cidery has identical impact on the community as a winery, and it is appropriate to treat it that way for zoning purposes, as allowed under section 311.10. 

Moved by Björkman. Second by Sensenig. Passed 6-0 

Other topics

Jennifer Persoon, listing agent for Varick Winery, came with questions from a potential buyer regarding development possibilities and restrictions on lakefront development.

The board checked whether recent subdivision approvals were ultimately filed correctly, and reflected in the county tax map.


Adjourn at 8:55pm Moved by Long, Second by Hermann. Approved 5-0


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