PRESENT: Board Members: Scottie Adams, Beth Hall, John LaHart, Mike Ritchie and Code Enforcement Officer, Ed Lagree. Guy Middleton, Upper Saranac Lake Manager attended the last few minutes of the meeting.
ABSENT: Bill Young
The meeting was called to order by Chair, Scottie Adams at 2:00 PM.
John LaHart made a motion to approve the minutes of the last meeting. Beth Hall seconded the motion. All were in favor. Motion passed.
Moss Rock Road Residents Petition:
Nine homeowners on Moss Rock Road sent a letter to the Members of the Town of Santa Clara Planning Board Requesting that the Town of Santa Clara change the Land Use District and/or zoning designation of the center parcel around which all their properties are situated (Parcel 453.-2-23 - ~ 20 acres) from R-1-3.2 to R-1-8.5. The senders report that the property is for sale and a change in land use designation is justified because subdivision of the property and subsequent development would (1) negatively affect the wooded and private quality of the neighborhood, (2) overdevelopment would raise erosion and runoff concerns, (3) negatively affect property values, thereby decreasing town tax revenue and (4) increase traffic and maintenance cost to the Town road. An additional letter was received from Barbara Franklin elaborating on run-off issue and property devaluation, and urging consideration of the petition. The entire petition was read to the members of the Planning Board and also the letter received from Barbara Franklin. Scottie reported that she had emailed all the petitioners listed on the emailed petition informing them when the Planning Board would meet and what the process for reviewing the petition would entail.
The Planning Board consulted with the Town special counsel for Land Use matters. The counsel’s opinion was that granting this petition would be “spot zoning", especially since it is a single parcel, and would be very difficult to defend a legal challenge against the land use change.
Board members pointed out that there are already adequate safeguards in place to prevent any ecological damage. For example, for further development to take place, the land must first be subdivided. In order for the land to be subdivided, the subdivision must be approved by the Planning Board. Part of the planning board assessment would include a determination of the suitability of the parcels as building lots. Even if the subdivision were granted, each lot must meet strict standards administered by the building inspector before a building permit will be issued. For example, post-construction run off cannot exceed pre-development run off.
The Planning board will share their findings and opinions with the Town Board before the Town Board meeting in June.
APPLICANT: Sandra Kominoski
PARCEL ID: 442.2-7-3
LOCATION: 62 Edgewater Lane, Upper Saranac Lake
Application of Sandra Kominoski would require a variance from the lake. The distance change requested would be from 75 feet to 20 feet. The NE corner of the deck would be 20 feet from the lake, 2 feet closer than the existing deck, which is 22 feet from the lake. This variance would be on the applicant’s property at 62 Edgewater Lane, Saranac Lake, NY 12983, Town of Santa Clara, Franklin County, New York. Tax Map No 442.2-7-3.
The proposed variances is:
1. A variance from the Body of Water, Upper Saranac Lake from 75 feet to 20 feet.
Members of the Planning Board discussed the proposed variance. It was noted that 3 letters of no objection were included with the application, although none of these letters were from the most adjacent neighbors. The general consensus was that the reason for expansion was legitimate and would replacing the old deck would improve rather than detract from the neighborhood. Beth Hall moved that the Planning Board report to the Variance Board that the Planning board had no major objections to the variance. Mike Ritchie seconded the motion. All members present voted to approve the motion. Scottie will forward a copy of the meeting minutes to the Variance Board Chair and Secretary before the pubic hearing on Tuesday, May 29, 2018.
Land Use Map Adjustments
Michael Martin was not able to attend the meeting, but had emailed the Board that he would tidy up the excel spreadsheet which shows the owners name, the tax ID and the Land Use Classification for the Town of Santa Clara, by eliminating duplicates and changing all the State owned property to a single classification of “State Land". Addressing these small issue should finish the project to the point where any changes the Planning Board recommends, such as the correction of Hickok’s marina property, could be submitted to the Town Board for their approval.
Watershed Management Plan
Guy Middleton, Upper Saranac Lake Manager arrived just as the Board was adjourning and notified the Board that grants through the Department of State, Waterfront Revitalization Program to develop Watershed Management plans had been announced. The Planning Board had passed a motion at their previous meeting suggesting that the Town Board invite Guy to present his material to the Town Board for the Town Board’s consideration to be a sponsor for a watershed management grant. Since time is critical (grant is due in July), members of the Planning Board suggested that the grant application be prepared in hopes that the Town Board would agree to sponsor the grant at one of their next meeting in June.
Scottie will summarize the changes to the Land Use Code that have been proposed over the past year for final consideration at the next meeting, before sending to the Town Special Counsel for Land Use Matters. The next meeting is tentatively scheduled for Thursday May 31, 6 PM.
John LaHart moved that the meeting be adjourned. Mike Ritchie seconded the motion. All were in favor. Meeting was adjourned 2:55 PM