TOWN OF SARATOGA
ZONING BOARD OF APPEALS MINUTES
March 27, 2006
Chairman Stephen Bodnar called the meeting to order at 7:34p.m.
Chairman Stephen Bodnar led the flag salute and explained the Rules of the Board.
Clerk Catherine Cicero called the roll: Chairman Stephen Bodnar – present, Thomas Carringi – present, Barbara Faraone – present, Clifford Hanehan – absent, Joyce Waldinger – present, Bill Moreau – present, James Burke – absent, and alternate Robert McConnell – present. Chairman Stephen Bodnar recognized alternate Robert McConnell as a voting member of the Zoning Board of Appeals due to the absence of Clifford Hanehan and James Burke.
Also present: Zoning Officer Robert Hathaway and Town Supervisor Tom Wood.
Approval of Minutes: All board members present had read the minutes of the February 27, 2006 meeting. A motion was made by Chairman Stephen Bodnar, and seconded by Barbara Faraone, to accept the minutes of the February 27, 2006 meeting as written. Chairman Stephen Bodnar – aye, Bill Moreau – aye, Barbara Faraone – aye, Thomas Carringi – aye, Joyce Waldinger – aye, and Robert McConnell – aye.
Carried 6 – 0
Order of Business:
Kimberly Wilbur & Donald Neubauer, Jr. #06-05
57 Pryn Hill Rd.
Mechanicville, NY 12118
S/B/L 183.-1-30.1 Conservancy
Applicants are seeking a variance of 200’ for road frontage. They have no road frontage on NYS Rte 4.
Chairman Stephen Bodnar noted at the outset that a stop-work order had been issued due to unauthorized building on the property. He said that matter was not related to the application before the Board.
Mr. DeStefano spoke on behalf of the Applicant, reporting that Kimberly Wilbur had fulfilled all the Town regulations to open a marina on her property, and that she was looking for a Special Use Permit. He said the marina is not a commercial venture, but Ms. Wilbur had noted some commercial business on her application so there will be no compliance issues later. It was his impression that Ms. Wilbur had to apply to the Zoning Board of Appeals for a variance for her lack of road frontage.
Chairman Stephen Bodnar said that he had spoken with Town Attorney William Reynolds, who advised that the matter should be presented to the Planning Board as an application for a Special Use Permit.
William Moreau asked the Applicant if she had an easement to cross the Town property to access her property. There followed a brief discussion regarding the Applicant’s easement “by proscription.”
The Board reviewed a signed survey map of the property which indicated that the parcel consisted of exactly 3 acres; the minimum required for a marina. A brief discussion followed on the necessity of having road frontage in order to operate a marina. It was determined that the zoning regulations did not require a minimum road frontage in order to operate a marina.
Proof of notice having been furnished on March 17, 2006, Chairman Stephen Bodnar opened the Public Hearing at 8:03 p.m. for public comment.
No one spoke, except for a question to Town Supervisor Tom Wood regarding the lack of Town maintenance of the road to the lots behind the Town property. Town Supervisor Tom Wood stated the road was a right-of-way, and not a Town road. Therefore, the Town was not obligated to maintain it.
All those wishing to speak having done so, the Public Hearing was closed at 8:04 p.m.
Chairman Stephen Bodnar stated that he agreed with Town Attorney William Reynolds that the matter was not within the authority of the Zoning Board of Appeals, and should be sent to the Planning Board.
Chairman Stephen Bodnar asked for a motion to be made to send the application to the Planning Board for review. Barbara Faraone made the motion, seconded by Joyce Waldinger, to send the application to the Planning Board as the appropriate place for review. Chairman Stephen Bodnar – aye, Bill Moreau – aye, Barbara Faraone – aye, Thomas Carringi – aye, Joyce Waldinger – aye, and Robert McConnell – aye.
Carried 6 – 0
Barney & Shirley Drumm
139 Coveville Rd.
Schuylerville, NY 12871
S/B/L 182.-1-68 Rural
Mr. and Mrs. Drumm are seeking advice from the Board regarding the subdivision of property they are interested in buying.
Mr. and Mrs. Drumm explained the maps of the property they wish to purchase and showed where it will adjoin their parcel in the back. The Drumms wish to purchase a
14.25+/- acre parcel, then subdivide and sell off a 165’x400’ piece, which includes a residence. The remainder of the property, which has a trailer situated on it, would be
combined on one deed with the property they currently own. After the subdivision, each lot from the purchased property would have 165’ of road frontage. It was the opinion of Town Attorney William Reynolds that the Drumms could consider the road frontage of the new piece with that of their currently owned property to meet required road frontages; however, the 165’x400’ piece would create a non-conforming lot with insufficient road frontage.
The Drumms appeared at the Information stage of the March 22, 2006 Planning Board meeting, requesting advice on how to subdivide the parcel to be purchased. The Planning Board determined that it could not approve a substandard lot, and referred the matter to the Zoning Board of Appeals with a recommendation to grant the variance because the non-conforming lot is consistent with several other lots along the road in the same area. The Planning Board noted that the smaller lots have the characteristics of a hamlet, although the area is not designated as such. Chairman Stephen Bodnar clarified that the area is not a hamlet and the proposed lot would be non-conforming. He said the Town Attorney’s interpretation of the situation is that the Drumms would be adding to their property with a lot-line adjustment, and leaving a non-conforming lot. Chairman Stephen Bodnar said that this matter should be referred to the County for an opinion because the parcel fronts a County road.
There followed a brief discussion on the history of the lots in that area. It was determined that the purchase lot was subdivided sometime in the 1950s. At one time, probably in the late 1960s, the ZBA granted a variance to put a trailer on the property so the owner could take care of his grandmother. The trailer is still there and is occupied. There are 2 wells, 2 septics, and 2 electric boxes on the property, one each for the trailer and for the residence. The location of the trailer on the property does not permit a proper subdivision of the property. The Drumms said they would like to retain a portion of road frontage along that section to provide a second access road to their sawmill, if necessary. The Drumms want to keep the trailer for rental purposes and said they might replace it in the future with a newer model.
There followed a brief discussion of the topography of the purchase parcel, which includes a wooded area in the back.
This matter was not before the Board as an application, and therefore was not noticed for a public hearing. However, Chairman Stephen Bodnar polled the Board members for their opinion on this issue. Robert McConnell stated that he was swayed by the Planning Board’s recommendation. William Moreau said that he had no reservations about granting the variance. Barbara Faraone said that she would prefer to see something else. She added that if she were voting at this meeting she would go along with the Planning Board’s recommendation, but she would prefer to take a look at the parcel before deciding. The remaining Board members said they had no problems with the proposal. The consensus of the Board was that it would grant an area variance for the 1.44 acre lot with 165’ of road frontage so long as the remainder of the parcel was combined with the Drumms’ current property. Chairman Stephen Bodnar clarified that this consensus applied only to a purchase of the property by the Drumms and only because of their plan to add part of the parcel to their current property. The variance would not apply to another purchaser.
In order for them to move forward, Chairman Stephen Bodnar advised the Drumms to retain a lawyer and obtain a contract to purchase the property. They should then formally apply to the Planning Board for the subdivision, obtain a denial for the proposed non-conforming lot with a recommendation to the ZBA, and then apply to the ZBA for an area variance. Chairman Stephen Bodnar stated that any variance would be granted contingent upon the Drumms combining the purchase parcel with their current property. NO ACTION TAKEN
Old Business: none.
New Business: Zoning Clerk Catherine Cicero handed out copies of the revised ZBA applications to the Board members who will review them for discussion at the April meeting.
Town Supervisor Tom Wood reported that the Town Board had passed a mass gathering ordinance and new water regulations at its last meeting. The Board was reviewing where to create an adult entertainment zone in the Town. Several areas in the Town are under consideration, and Town Attorney William Reynolds has done considerable research on the matter. Town Supervisor Tom Wood said that he would be putting information on the Town’s website to obtain input from Town residents. If possible, the Town Board would like to move forward on this issue at its April meeting.
Chairman Stephen Bodnar stated that the landowners in any proposed area should be given written notice of any rezoning of their property. He asked if the Town would be setting minimum lot size requirements, setbacks, and road frontages, or if the area would be zoned commercial.
Town Supervisor Tom Wood explained that the Town is required by law to designate an area for adult entertainment, but Towns may cooperate with adjacent Towns to provide space. He reported that the Town of Northumberland rezoned the Fane Concrete area from industrial, leaving only a small section in Gansevoort available for use as an adult entertainment district; the Village of Schuylerville has no designated zoning; the Village of Victory requires a special permit; and Stillwater has placed adult entertainment within its industrial zone. Town Supervisor Tom Wood said he would pursue the possibility of a cooperative venture with Mayor Sullivan of the Village of Victory and with Town Attorney William Reynolds.
There followed a brief discussion on the definition of adult entertainment. It was noted that some video stores are designated adult entertainment based on the percentage of adult videos that they carry.
Town Supervisor Tom Wood next reported that he had attended a recent Saratoga Lake Protection and Improvement District (SLPID) meeting. New zoning will cover docks, and parking, and what constitutes a commercial marina. SLPID is now a tax collecting entity and is currently petitioning the Legislature for authority to make it self-governing. SLPID is comprised of members from the four Towns surrounding the lake, with one member at large. Residents within the tax district vote once a year, in July, for members to the panel.
Barbara Faraone explained that SLPID was created by the State Legislature years ago, and now needs to return to the Legislature to change its mandate. It intends to hire an enforcement officer from the fees it collects. She said the organization is modeling itself after a similar regulatory body at Lake George. She said that SLPID is trying to take control of the lake, manage development around it, and monitor usage.
Town Supervisor Tom Wood said that the Town was giving up control, but gaining consistency around the lake. He noted that some of the regulations seemed to be very strict.
There followed a brief discussion on how violations of the regulations would be enforced. Town Supervisor Tom Wood explained that, depending on where the violations took place, the appropriate local magistrates would preside over enforcement proceedings.
Thomas Carringi stated that Lake George charges $65 per day to put a motor boat in that lake. There followed a brief discussion on how Lake George handles infractions.
Town Supervisor Tom Wood next reported on the PUD filed with the Town Board by Mr. Pravda. He said that Mr. Pravda was un-compromising on the number of units contained in the proposed apartment building, so the Town Board would probably deny the application. There followed a brief discussion on how the replacement of the 9P bridge might impact that proposal and the surrounding properties. Town Supervisor Tom Wood said that the new bridge will definitely be wider, but didn’t know if it would be higher. Thomas Carringi said that he had spoken with a landscaper from the State on how the new bridge might be constructed, and added that several options were available.
Town Supervisor Tom Wood said that Zoning Officer Robert Hathaway is now using a new reporting method, which contains additional and detailed information.
The next regular meeting will be April 24, 2006 at 7:30 p.m.
Barbara Faraone made a motion to adjourn at 9:27 p.m. The motion was seconded by Robert McConnell. Chairman Stephen Bodnar – aye, Bill Moreau – aye, Barbara Faraone – aye, Thomas Carringi – aye, Joyce Waldinger – aye, and Robert McConnell – aye. Carried 6 – 0
Catherine E. Cicero