Planning Board Minutes 10/17/06

MINUTES OF  October 17, 2006, REGULAR MEETING of the Town of Rochester PLANNING BOARD, held at the Town Hall, Accord, NY.
Meeting was called to order at 7:00 PM by the Chairman, Steven L. Fornal.


PRESENT:                                                ABSENT:
Steven L. Fornal, Chairman                              Nadine D. Carney                                        
Shane Ricks                                             David O’Halloran, Alternate(not required to attend)
Frank Striano, Sr.
Anthony Kawalchuk
Melvyn I. Tapper, Vice Chair
Robert Gaydos


Also present at the meeting was Town Planner, Jan Johannessenn, from The Chazen Companies.  


Pledge to the Flag.


AQUARIUS STAR CORP-     c/o Joseph Esposito, Special Use Permit for 3 Unit Residential Building, Tax Map                                #77.1-2-42.12, R-1 District


At 7:00 PM, Chairman Fornal called the applicant’s representative, David Rider, forward for the Public Hearing.


The Chairman noted the Ulster County Planning Board (UCPB) felt that this application was incomplete back in August. They remarked that the flood plains and wetlands should be delineated.


Mr. Rider felt that the Wetlands weren’t an issue. He has put the flood plains on the map. There was no Federal Wetlands indicated on the GIS Data. He did mention that it was typical for Flood Plains to contain Federal Wetlands. Probably in the floodway and they probably are there, but the flood plain is more than overlapped that.  He went through the UCPB Comment letter and further noted that the landscaping plans have been placed on the site plan. The only drainage is 2 level spreaders that collect the drainage from the driveway and parking area. One in the southeast section of the property that will drain off the rear of the parcel and another towards the western part of the property that will collect the drainage coming off of roofs and sidewalks. It’s pretty basic. The stormwater would also be handled through a level spreader at the edge of the driveway.  They would put an 18” pipe underneath the existing drainage ditch. They have to get the County Highway out to determine those specifics. They are proposing flood light cut offs over each doorway and one on the side of the building. They have a print out of what the applicant is proposing in regards to architectural elevations as well as floor plans. He also submitted an aerial to give a feeling of where the building was situated on the property. They don’t propose any signage.


The Board felt that it was beneficial and necessary to send this back to the UCPB once Mr. Rider completed all of the revisions necessary to the plans.  


T/ROCHESTER                                                                             Page 2
MINUTES OF MEETING                                                                      October 17, 2006


AQUARIUS STAR CORP(cont’d)-     c/o Joseph Esposito, Special Use Permit for 3 Unit Residential                                                  Building


Mr. Ricks motioned to keep the Public Hearing Open. Seconded by Mr. Gaydos. No discussion.
Fornal: Yes                                             Ricks:          Yes
Tapper: Yes                                             Carney: Absent
Striano:        Yes                                             Kawalchuk:      Yes
O’Halloran:     Not requested to attend                 Gaydos: Yes


Mr. Gaydos questioned if they had Health Dept. approval yet?


Mr. Rider noted that the County Health Dept. was out to the site on October 3rd and they determined that they would either have a raised bed or a shallow trench. He further noted that the County won’t continue their review until the PB has settled out SEQRA by issuing a Negative Declaration.


JAMES DENNIN–   subdivision approval for 4 lots off of Airport Road, Tax Map #69.3-1-17.1, ‘A’ District


Mr. & Mrs. Dennin were present on behalf of their application along with surveyor, Terry Ringler.


The Chairman started off by noting that at the last meeting it was mentioned about having all of the lots share ownership of the road for tax purposes.


Mr. Ringler stated that in his experience having lots share ownership of the road is a nightmare. People feel that since they own to the center of the road they have the right to obstruct part of the common road because it’s their property.


Mr. Ricks has noticed that when one person has ownership of a road, if they don’t pay their taxes on it the Town gets stuck with the road.


Mr. Johannessen noted that if the Town ever had to take the property because of taxes they could just adjust property lines.


Chairman Fornal noted that all Town Roads are owned by property owners to the center of the road and the Town has a right-of-way over their property.


The Board went through review letter dated October 12, 2006 from Chazen.


Mr. Johannessen noted that he had minor comments on Part 1 of the EAF.


Mr. Ringler noted that he didn’t fill out Page 1 of the EAF because that is for the Lead Agency to fill out. Lead Agency hasn’t technically been declared either as of yet.
T/ROCHESTER                                                                             Page 3
MINUTES OF MEETING                                                                      October 17, 2006


JAMES DENNIN(cont’d)–   subdivision approval for 4 lots off of Airport Road
The following questions from said comment letter were discussed as shown below:


A.3.b: The subject parcel contains soils within groups 1 through 4; the applicant should mark “yes.”
Mr. Johannessen requested the applicant to provide the acreage. The instruction for “yes” was a typo.


A.18: The site is located within Ulster County Agriculture District #3; the applicant should mark “yes.”
Mr. Ringler questioned where he would get the Ulster County AG Map?


Mr. Johannessen had this available in GIS, and could provide a copy to Mr. Ringler. He would also forward a copy to the Town for a reference.


B.1.g: The applicant should provide the maximum vehicle trips generated per hour and cite the source.
Mr. Ringler noted that the applicant’s provided ‘5 trips per hour’ as their answer. He wasn’t sure of the source in which to get this information.


Mr. Johannessen noted that if he could get the ITE handbook source, that would be fine.


B.22: The applicant should answer this question.
Mr. Ringler didn’t know the pumping capacity.


Mr. Johannessen noted that greater than 5 gallons per minute should be the answer as this is a Health Dept. Standard.


Mr. Ricks noted that this information will come forth during the Health Dept. approval process when the applicants fill out a well log as part of the approval process.


B.25: As disturbance to the site is greater than one-acre, a Notice of Intent is required to be submitted to the NYSDEC for coverage under Permit GP-02-01.


Mr. Ringler noted that he has revised the EAF to reflect that .88 acres will be disturbed including the improvements and the road. Mr. Ringler didn’t delineate it on the map because it was getting too crowded to fit everything on there.


 Planning Review
1. The subject site is immediately adjacent to a site listed on the State and National Register of Historic Places; therefore, the application will be considered a Type 1 Action under SEQRA. It is recommended that the applicant request additional information/comments from the Office of Parks, Recreation, and
Historic Preservation.


T/ROCHESTER                                                                             Page 4
MINUTES OF MEETING                                                                      October 17, 2006


JAMES DENNIN(cont’d)–   subdivision approval for 4 lots off of Airport Road


Mr. Johannessen felt that he should submit this information to the Town and the Town would submit this on their letter head. He felt that it should be revised to include the fact that this site is quite far away from the actual historic house, but is adjacent to the large piece of property on which it sits.
2. The Bulk Regulation Table should be revised to compare all the requirements of the R-1 Zoning District to what is being proposed (lot-by-lot analysis).


Mr. Ringler noted that he had all of this information configured into the map on the lots already, if Mr. Johannessen wanted it in a table format, he would take it off of the lots and put it in a table format, but to do both would not be effective.


Mr. Johannessen felt it would be fine to leave it as is then.


4. The limits of disturbance should be illustrated and calculated on the Plan.
Mr. Ringler wanted to eliminate this request.


Mr. Johannessen felt it was important to see how Mr. Ringler arrived at his calculation and noted that this was part of the subdivision checklist.


Board members agreed with Mr. Johannessen that this should be shown on the map.


5. The applicant should confirm that no work is proposed within the Town right-of way.
Mr. Johannessen was just checking to see if they were going to do any work on the entrance of this driveway which comes out onto Airport Road which is a Town Maintained Road. If they were this would require a Highway Work Permit.


Mr. Dennin noted that there would be no further work to the mouth of the driveway, it was existing.


7. Structures, wells, and septic systems within 200 feet of the property line should be added to the Plan and a note indicating the same should be provided.
Mr. Ringler would put this note on the plan.


8. The applicant has indicated that the 50-foot wide right-of-way is proposed as a private driveway; the driveway should be in conformance with §125-20 of the Subdivision Regulations. The applicant should demonstrate conformance with §125-20 of the Subdivision Regulations.
Mr. Ringler would add this note to the plan as well.


Mr. Johannessen requested that the chart from 125-20 of the Subdivision Regulations be added to the plan.


11. The applicant should submit an Erosion and Sediment Control Plan for review.
Mr. Johannessen agreed that if the limits of disturbance were shown to be under 1 acre as Mr. Ringler has said, it wouldn’t be required.
T/ROCHESTER                                                                             Page 5
MINUTES OF MEETING                                                                      October 17, 2006


JAMES DENNIN(cont’d)–   subdivision approval for 4 lots off of Airport Road


12. In accordance with §125-13A(2)(a) of the Subdivision Regulations, tests should be performed to ascertain subsurface soil, rock, and groundwater conditions and the results of these tests should be provided for review.
This would be done when the Health Dept. came out for review. This would be a part of the County Data.


14. Does the parcel to the south utilize the existing driveway that traverses applicant’s parcel? Is so, will this parcel continue to utilize this access-post subdivision? Is there an existing easement in place?
Mr. Johannessen asked the Board if they wanted to see an easement for the entrance which is shown on the map to be shared with bounding owners ‘now or formerly of Anne C. Yzquierdo’?


Mr. Dennin noted that Yzquierdo had another entrance, but he didn’t care if it continued to be a shared one.


The Board decided that an easement wasn’t necessary.


15. The most current deed and parcel description along with any existing easement documentation should be provided for review.
Mr. Ringler noted that they would submit the deed.


Mr. Ringler noted that the only easement that existed was between the well on the remaining lot to the lots to the south. A member in the family retained that right to use that well and put in water lines to it. There is no delineation of it on the map because they are underground and he has no idea where they are. The prior subdivision had provided a right-of-way for that.


Mr. Johannessen asked that it be noted on the map.


17. The subject site is located in an Agricultural District; an Agricultural Data Statement must be provided prior to a public hearing.
Mr. Ringler had the form to fill out for this. He noted that he checked all of the listings for all of the properties within 500’ and nothing is listed as Agricultural.


Mr. Johannessen noted that if they were located in the AG District, but weren’t operating as a farm, then this is what he should state on the Data Sheet. This does happen.


Mr. Ringler used Real Property Info land classifications.


Mr. Dennin also noted that there were no operating farms within 1,000’ of this property.


Mr. Johannessen wasn’t comfortable with relying on assessment information.


Mr. Ringler noted that if they were taxed as vacant land, then that was what it was classified as, not agricultural, just because they were in an Ag District.
T/ROCHESTER                                                                             Page 6
MINUTES OF MEETING                                                                      October 17, 2006


JAMES DENNIN(cont’d)–   subdivision approval for 4 lots off of Airport Road


Mr. Johannessen had pulled an aerial photo of this site and asked the applicants to identify an object that he couldn’t make out. He wasn’t sure if it was a rock outcropping?


Mr. Ringler replied that this was where they had scraped off some gravel. There wasn’t any rock on this site.


Mr. Johannessen questioned if the Board felt that they were ready to Declare Intent for Lead Agency or if they wanted to wait for a revised Part 1 of the EAF?


The Board felt they were ready. This was their second Planner Review.


Mr. Ricks motioned for the Board to Declare its intent for Lead Agency. Seconded by Mr. Gaydos.
Fornal: Yes                                             Ricks:          Yes
Tapper: Yes                                             Carney: Absent
Striano:        Yes                                             Kawalchuk:      Yes
O’Halloran:     Not requested to attend                 Gaydos: Yes
The Board felt that they could declare Lead Agency and schedule the Public Hearing at the next meeting.
TOM POWERS–     Napa Auto Parts, Site Plan Approval for 2,400 sf Addition to existing building for                              storage of inventory, Tax Map# 76.2-2-6.7, ‘B’ District


Mr. Powers was present on behalf of his application.


Mr. Ricks questioned if he should recuse himself as he carries a mortgage on the neighboring property?


The Chairman didn’t feel that it was necessary to recuse himself. As long as Mr. Ricks disclosed his situation, that should be ample. As long as it wasn’t anything competitive or anything.


Mr. Ricks disclosed for the record that he owned a bounding property to Napa Auto Supply. He actually carries the mortgage on it. Someone else owns it.


Mr. Powers noted that this would be the same roof line. They just put in a new septic. The concrete tanks deteriorated. He proposes a 60’ x 40’ addition to the building. He had this idea back in 1995 when he originally applied, but didn’t present this size building to the Board. The parking in the back that they have is not used. The staff parks on the side. Without that rear parking they do meet the requirements. The driveway in the back is going to be downsized from 16’ to 10’ wide. The dumpster can be put in a different spot. He won’t need more parking for the storage area. The existing parking over exceeds what is needed based on the existing retail area. He is not proposing further retail and therefore doesn’t need to increase his parking spaces. As he mentioned before; even by taking out the rear spaces, he will still comply with the zoning.
T/ROCHESTER                                                                             Page 7
MINUTES OF MEETING                                                                      October 17, 2006


TOM POWERS(cont’d)–     Napa Auto Parts, Site Plan Approval for 2,400 sf Addition to existing building


Mr. Johannessen questioned if this addition would be built in the swale? What stormwater is captured there?


Mr. Powers noted that the run off from the back and driveway goes to the road and gets picked up with the Route 209 drainage. He needs this addition for storage.


Mr. Johannessen didn’t believe that any SEQRA would be required because this is a Type 2 Action.


Chairman Fornal noted that a few months ago they had a person come in for a pre-application meeting for a 10,000 sf retail space on the vacant land on that NAPA parcel. The applicant stated that the property would be legally separated from what is there now. Was this still happening?


Mr. Powers explained that he has not come to an agreement with that gentleman on that area. If something were to happen he would redo the driveway and make sure it conformed to what was necessary.


Chairman Fornal would research whether or not a Public Hearing would be required for amending a site plan.


Mr. Powers questioned if the Board thought that  2 months would be a reasonable time frame to assume that this review could be completed once he applied?


The Board thought that would most likely be feasible.


As there was no further business necessary for the Planner to be present for, he left.
The Board was contacted by the Town of Olive in regards to a subdivision on the Olive/ Rochester Town line that was previously sent to the Planning Board for comments. The Board had no comments to offer.
T/ROCHESTER                                                                            Page 8
MINUTES OF MEETING                                                                      October 17, 2006
Chairman Fornal attended the following training and offered the comments below to the Board:


Ethical Considerations for Planning & Zoning Board Members
4 October 2006
Bond, Schoeneck & King, PLLC
Robert H. Feller, Esq.


Understanding true value of “gift” may not be easy thing to do…might as well accept no gifts whatsoever. Example: Offer to see Yankee game, with transportation, could very well be over $75.


Should a member recuse themselves from considering an application, they may not receive any documentation in their folders regarding that specific application from that point on.


Should use extreme caution during review if (for example) a civil engineer representing an applicant is used often by PB member(s) or appears regularly before the PB, in order to avoid any perception of favoritism/bias. This should also exclude solely relying on that civil engineer for information. Up to PB to validate project info via professional (Chazen) planners/engineers.


As for recusing oneself from review of application: When PB member has financial interest they MUST recuse themselves. If PB member is business competitor should recuse. If PB member is a member of a group formally in opposition to application before PB, then should recuse from proceedings. If member does this, however he/she should probably not speak out as it could be seen as leading the PB to desired perception.


There is no need to recuse oneself from applications for reasons like contiguous property ownership, knowing the applicant, having sold property to applicant, have worked with applicant. However, disclosure is extremely important. Once disclosing, the member will be judged based upon his/her conduct during the review process.


Members should discuss all projects in generic terms as opposed to personal likes and/or dislikes.


Members should NEVER state objections until all evidence is in and reviewed.


Members should NEVER make judgment prior to full review being conducted.


Ex Parte communications (discussions between applicants and one or more PB members), should not be conducted. Projects should be discussed in front of entire PB. This will help PB avoid “introducing matters that are not incorporated into the record thereby subjecting decisions to challenge; if widespread, they may violate right to procedural due process; they may violate open meetings law; they undermine confidence in decision making.” Of course, should potential applicants have procedural questions, they should be directed to PB Secretary for having any/all questions answered.


Email correspondence between a majority of members discussing an application before the board may be considered to violate Open Meeting Law. Direct queries to Becky and she will relay to individual members. Contradiction: Intra-agency and internal not FOIL-able.


T/ROCHESTER                                                                             Page 9
MINUTES OF MEETING                                                                      October 17, 2006
Mr. Gaydos motioned to accept the minutes from the September 19, 2006 meeting. Seconded by Mr. Striano. All members present in favor.


Mr. Tapper questioned why you can never state an objection to a project until its time to vote? If you’re not happy with something, shouldn’t it be stated during the process?


Chairman Fornal noted that Board members couldn’t use “I” which makes it too personal. Members should try and state things. Like, “the aesthetics of the Town would be protected if the building were moved back, rather than, “I think it would look better if the building was further back”.


Chairman Fornal questioned if anyone had any comments on the draft plan that was distributed?


Mr. Tapper felt that the Business District should be deeper than it is so that businesses aren’t set right on the road. He realized that if it were a retail store or something that should be a little closer, but if there were storage sheds or something similar that doesn’t need the front of the road advertisement. It wouldn’t be as visible if it were 1,000’ back rather than 500’. He didn’t know if this was more for Zoning, but a retail business has to be 100’ back, another kind of business has to be 500’ back—certain restrictions individualized to the uses.


Mr. Ricks felt that extending Business Districts further up side roads off of Route 209 so that all the businesses weren’t right on the main road was a good idea. They also need to encourage business zones in places like where Duffy’s Store is on Mettacahonts road.


The Chairman noted that there were currently 49 properties that were deeper than 900’ and more than 10 acres.
The Chairman questioned the Board about the concept of overlay so that there were performance standards for commercial zones. As long as it would meet performance standards in regard to impact it would be allowed anywhere in the Town. In terms of noise and truck traffic… like low impact businesses would meet certain criteria and be allowed where they fit—not just in a designated ‘B’ Zone. As long as the impact was mitigated, it could work.


Mr. Gaydos motioned to adjourn the meeting. Seconded by Chairman Fornal. All members present in favor.


As there was no further business to discuss, at 8:30 PM Chairman Fornal adjourned the meeting.


                                                                        Respectfully submitted,
                                                                        Rebecca Paddock Stange, Secretary