TOWN OF JOHNSTOWN PLANNING BOARD

APRIL 11, 2017
6:00 P.M.
TOWN HALL
MEETING NOTES

PRESENT:

RICHARD GOEBEL, CHAIRMAN

ERIC VANALSTYNE, VICE CHAIRMAN

RICHARD LYNAUGH,

ERNEST NIFOROS

ALBERT PECK III

MIKE MCGRAIL

GARTH BRUCE

TONY AMBROSINO, ALTERNATE

SEAN M. GERAGHTY, SR. PLANNER

I. CALL MEETING TO ORDER:

The meeting was called to order at 6:00 p.m.

II. APPROVE MINUTES OF LAST REGULAR MEETING:

MOTION: To approve the minutes to the March 21, 2017

meeting.

MADE BY: Garth Bruce

SECONDED: Richard Lynaugh

VOTE: 6 in favor, 0 opposed

III. BORREGO SOLAR – PUBLIC HEARING ON A SPECIAL PERMIT FOR SOLAR FARMS ALONG WEST STREET EXTENSION AND WEST STATE STREET EXTENSION:

Background:

Borrego Solar is proposing to develop two (2) separate Solar Farms on properties owned by Robert and Megan Smullen along the south side of West State Street Extension (“Tax Map Parcel Nos. 134.-1-7, 134.9-3-4 and 134.-1-2). Each of the Solar Farms will be located on its own parcel. Lot #1 will be approximately 14.3 acres in size and will have a system that generates approximately 1.42 megawatts of electricity. Lot #2 will be approximately 15.9 acres in size and will have a system that generates approximately 2 megawatts of electricity. In total, 11,934 panels will be installed as part of the project.

DISCUSSION: Steve Long, P.E., Borrego Solar, gave Planning Board members a brief overview of the solar project. He introduced Rob Garrity, the developer of the project from Mid Hudson Solar. He explained that both Solar Farms will be surrounded by 6’ high chain link fencing with 1’ of barbed wire on top. He talked about the installation procedures for the solar panels. He noted that the racking systems are supported with 6-8’ screws that are drilled into the ground.

February 14, 2017 Meeting:

During its February 14, 2017 meeting, the Town of Johnstown Planning Board began its review of Borrego Solar’s subdivision and Special Permit applications for Solar Farms along West State Street Extension. At that time, the Planning Board asked that the following information be provided with a revised submittal package prior to the public hearing:

1. A metes and bounds survey description of each of the parcels to be created as part of the Solar Farm Project must be shown on a separate subdivision plat.

STATUS: Provided

DISCUSSION: The Planning Board had no questions regarding the dimensions of the two (2) parcels to be created as part of the subdivision application.

2. The Planning Board asked that screening be provided along the east side of West Street Extension as well as the south side of West State Street Extension and the south end of the property. The Planning Board also asked that the landscaping plan for West State Street Extension include a combination of berming and plantings. A planting schedule for the landscaping plan must also be included on the revised submittal.

STATUS: The applicants have proposed to landscape in clusters around the project site on a 2’ high berm. The applicants are proposing to provide 115 Engelmann spruces that are 6’ in height along with approximately 138 Rhododendron bushes around the perimeter of the property.

DISCUSSION: Mr. Long showed Board members a rendering of what the clustered plantings would like on top of the berms.

Planning Board Member Albert Peck asked how much spacing there will be between each cluster?

Mr. Long explained that there will be approximately a 10’ gap between each of the clusters.

Mr. Peck then asked about the constant hum that is generated by the Solar Farms? He indicated that he wanted to make sure that an adequate sound barrier is provided around the site.

Mr. Long explained that the transformers are what generates the noise on a Solar Farm. He indicated that the units create about 60 decibels at a 1 meter distance. He showed Board members the location of the transformers for each of the Solar Farms. He indicated that the distance between those transformers and the nearest residences will render the sound less than the ambient noise levels in the area. He also pointed out that, at night, the transformers make no sound at all.

3. The final technical specifications for the two (2) Solar Farms must be provided. The size of each system, as well as the acreages for each of the properties, must conform to the information provided on the final Environmental Assessment Form and other submittals that are made as part of this application.

STATUS: The property acreages and system sizes have been revised. However, the Full Environmental Assessment Form indicates that a total of 10,614 solar panels will be installed, whereas the final drawings indicate that 11,934 panels will be installed.

DISCUSSION: Both Mr. Garrity and Mr. Long indicated that they would make the necessary corrections on the final Environmental Assessment Form.

4. The distance between the solar panels on West Street Extension and the homes along the west side of West Street Extension should be identified on the revised drawings.

STATUS: The minimum distance between the solar panels and a home on West Street Extension has been identified as 128 feet.

5. The 3-line electrical diagram should be updated.

STATUS: Provided

DISCUSSION: Mr. Geraghty indicated that he spoke with Town Code Enforcement Officer Ryan Fagan earlier in the day concerning the electrical diagram. He indicated that Mr. Fagan was comfortable with the diagram that was provided for the project.

6. The Operation and Maintenance Plan for the proposed Solar Farms must include language concerning the replacement of dead or damaged trees and bushes that will be planted as part of the Landscaping Plan for the project.

STATUS: Provided

DISCUSSION: The Planning Board had no further questions regarding the Operation and Maintenance Plan.

7. The size and design of all warning signs and contact signs to be installed on the project site should be included on the revised specification sheets.

STATUS: Provided

8. The location of access driveways and turnaround areas outside of the fence for both systems should be identified.

STATUS: Turnaround areas have been provided outside of the fence lines for both systems.

DISCUSSION: Planning Board Vice Chairman Eric VanAlstyne questioned the amount of space that was provided for a turnaround area on the southern property. After several minutes of discussion between the applicant’s engineers and Board members, it was agreed that the access gate to the southern property should be pushed back to allow a longer turnaround area.

9. A revised Decommissioning Plan must be provided.

STATUS: ?

DISCUSSION: Mr. Geraghty indicated that he spoke with Town Code Enforcement Officer Ryan Fagan earlier in the day regarding the proposed Decommissioning Plan. He indicated that Mr. Fagan felt that there were some additional costs associated with the potential decommissioning of the site that would need to be factored into the final plan. Mr. Geraghty indicated that Mr. Fagan felt that the cost of that Decommissioning Plan should be higher than what has been presented. Mr. Geraghty indicated that Mr. Fagan used a similar project that was developed by the applicant on Elmwood Avenue in the Town of Johnstown as a baseline for what those costs should look like.

Mr. Long indicated that he would contact Mr. Fagan concerning the changes he would like made to the Decommissioning Plan.

10. The reconfiguration of the proposed solar installations required setback variances from the Town of Johnstown Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA).

STATUS: Those area variances were granted during the ZBA’s April 6, 2017 meeting.

C. State Environmental Quality Review:

During its February 14, 2017 meeting, the Town of Johnstown Planning Board classified the proposed project as a Type 1 Action and proposed that it act as the Lead Agency for the purpose of issuing a determination of significance under SEQR. A copy of the Site Plan drawings, along with the completed Full Environmental Assessment Form was forwarded to the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC), the US Army Corps of Engineers and the NYS Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA).

NYSDEC:

In a letter dated February 23, 2017, the NYSDEC concurred with the Town of Johnstown Planning Board’s proposal to act as Lead Agency for the SEQR process. The Agency noted that the Cayadutta Creek, a Class C(T) Stream is located in the project site and that any disturbance to the banks of the stream will require an Article 15 Protection of Waters Permit. The Agency also noted that a disturbance of 1 or more acres of land on the property will also require a SPEDES General Permit for Stormwater Discharges from Construction Activities.

The Planning Board received no other comments from Involved Agencies.

MOTION: Declaring the Town of Johnstown Planning Board the Lead Agency for the purpose of issuing a determination of significance on Borrego Solar’s Solar Farm Project along West State Street Extension.

MADE BY: Eric VanAlstyne

SECONDED: Ernest Niforos

VOTE: 7 in favor, 0 opposed

FURTHER DISCUSSION: The Planning Board did not feel that the proposed Solar Farm project would have any significant environmental impacts.

MOTION: Authorizing the filing of a negative declaration under SEQR for this proposed action since:

1. The applicants have sufficient acreage available to subdivide the project site into two (2) parcels each to be leased for a Solar Farm installation.

2. As designed, the project will avoid any impacts to wetlands and streams on the project site.

3. The necessary utility connections to National Grid’s infrastructure are readily available to the project site.

4. There will be no traffic implications resulting from the proposed action.

5. The visual impact of the project will be minimized by the plantings to be provided along West Street Extension, West State Street Extension and the southern end of the property.

MADE BY: Richard Goebel

SECONDED: Richard Lynaugh

VOTE: 7 in favor, 0 opposed

(NOTE: Planning Board Member Mike McGrail arrived at the meeting.)

D. Public Hearing:

1. The public hearing was opened at 6:20 P.M.

2. Speakers:

Steven Gordon

265 West Street Extension

Mr. Gordon indicated that he lives across the street from the proposed project and has lived in the neighborhood since 1966. He indicated that, in 1978, he bought his current home and has lived there ever since. He indicated that he has nothing against Mr. Smullen or solar power in general, but feels that the project will have a negative impact on his property. He indicated that he spoke with two (2) real estate agencies prior to this evening’s meeting and was told that they cannot be sure if the project would negatively impact his property values. He indicated that he didn’t want to see the Solar Farms across the street from his property and that he didn’t believe the Landscaping Plan would be effective at buffering his view of the solar fields.

Sherman Town

174 West State Street Extension

Mr. Town indicated that he would rather have the Solar Farm project on Mr. Smullens’ property than another type of development. He indicated that he has spoken to a few of his neighbors who are also not concerned with Mr. Smullens’ proposal to lease his property for a Solar Farm project.

Jim and Barbara Semione

267 West Street Extension

Mrs. Semione used an IPad to show Planning Board members an image of the view out of her front window into the field that is owned by Mr. Smullen. She pointed out that every day she will have to look out into that field and see solar panels. She indicated that she and her husband recently drove by a solar project in Hagaman and are now convinced that Mr. Smullen’s project will hurt the value of their property. She indicated that she has lived in her home for 41 years and would like to continue living there but does not want to look out her front window at the Solar Farms.

Steven Gordon

Mr. Gordon asked if the Town of Johnstown will receive any direct benefit from this project?

County Senior Planner Sean Geraghty indicated that the Town will not receive any direct benefit from the solar project, but will eventually enter into a PILOT Agreement with the applicant that will generate revenue for the Town.

Planning Board Member Mike McGrail

Mr. McGrail indicated that, last year, a very large solar project was approved on the back side of his property on Elmwood Avenue. He indicated that he was in the same position as many of the individuals who spoke this evening. He indicated that he and his neighbors discussed the project and felt that they would rather have Solar Farm installation than some other type of large-scale development behind their homes.

Planning Board Member Albert Peck III

Mr. Peck indicated that any of the residences along West Street Extension that have a second floor will be able to easily see the solar installation across the street.

Robert Smullen

265 State Highway 309

Mr. Smullen indicated that he spoke with several of his neighbors, including Jim Handy, John Lucas and Walt Buyce, who were unable to be here for this evening’s public hearing. He indicated that all of them have indicated to him that they have no concerns with the Solar Farm Project. Mr. Smullen indicated that he purchased the property approximately 10 years ago and has spent a significant amount of time with his father cleaning up the property, which included a significant amount of back lot farm equipment. He indicated that he felt the project was a win-win situation for everyone in the community and that the Solar Farm will be a baseline usage of his 90-acre property which he intends to use for a variety of farming activities. Mr. Smullen pointed out that he will have the maintenance contract for the project site so that it can be maintained to his satisfaction.

Town Supervisor Jack Wilson

Mr. Wilson quickly explained that both the County and the Town will be entering into an agreement with Borrego Solar to provide a PILOT payment for the solar project.

Eric VanAlstyne

Mr. VanAlstyne asked who the end user of the electricity will be?

Robert Garrity, Mid Hudson Solar, explained that the energy generated by the Solar Farms will be placed in a community pool and is not specifically targeted to any particular entity.

3. The public hearing was closed at 6:34 P.M.

E. Planning Board Action:

Subdivision:

In accordance with Section 276 of the Town Law of New York State, the Planning Board shall, by resolution, conditionally approve, with or without modification, disapprove or grant final approval and authorize the signing of the subdivision plat within sixty-two (62) days after the public hearing.

MOTION: To approve Borrego Solar’s subdivision application for Robert and Megan Smullens’ property on the south side of West State Street Extension.

MADE BY: Eric VanAlstyne

SECONDED: Richard Goebel

VOTE: 7 in favor, 0 opposed

Special Permit:

In accordance with Section 84-54(D)(9)(a) of the Town of Johnstown Zoning Regulations, the Planning Board shall grant, deny or grant subject to conditions the application for Special Use Permit within sixty-two (62) days after the hearing.

MOTION: To conditionally approve Borrego Solar’s Special Permit application for Solar Farms along West State Street Extension and West Street Extension with the following stipulations:

1. The final Environmental Assessment Form and the final drawings must identify the same number of solar panels to be installed as part of the Solar Farm Projects.

2. The entrance gate for the southern property must be moved back to provide more maneuverability for emergency vehicles.

3. The final Decommissioning Plan must be endorsed by Town Code Enforcement Officer Ryan Fagan.

MADE BY: Richard Lynaugh

SECONDED: Richard Goebel

VOTE: 6 in favor, 1 opposed (Albert Peck III)

IV. KIM LIVINGSTON – SITE PLAN FOR ACCESSORY DWELLING ALONG NEW TURNPIKE ROAD:

Background:

Kim Livingston would like to construct an accessory dwelling at 275 New Turnpike Road on property owned by Theresa Westover (Tax Map Parcel No. 172.-2-76). The existing parcel is approximately 41.2 acres in size and has an existing home and barn located in the northwest corner of the property. The applicant would like to construct an accessory dwelling in the northeast corner of the property that will sit approximately 400’ off of New Turnpike Road.

Fulton County Planning Department:

The Fulton County Planning Department reviewed the Site Plan drawings for Kim Livingston’s accessory dwelling in accordance with Article XI of the Town of Johnstown Zoning Regulations and would like to offer the following comments:

1. The title of the drawing should read “Site Plan for Accessory Dwelling”.

2. The proposed driveway location for the new residence should be identified on the Site Plan drawing.

3. A north arrow and scale should be provided on the drawing.

4. The dimensions of the property should be noted on the Site Plan drawing.

5. Percolation and pit test results for the septic system should be provided.

DISCUSSION: The Planning Board felt that all of the above-referenced information should be provided on the final Site Plan drawing.

State Environmental Quality Review:

In accordance with Section 617.5 of 6NYCRR, the applicant’s proposal to construct an accessory dwelling at 275 New Turnpike Road is considered a Type II Action and not subject to any further SEQR review.

Planning Board Action:

In accordance with Section 84-55-8b of the Town of Johnstown Zoning Regulations, the Planning Board has the discretion to hold a public hearing on a complete Site Plan application within sixty-two (62) days from the determination by the Planning Board that the application is complete. Consequently, does the Planning Board feel that it has enough information to schedule a public hearing at this time?

DISCUSSION: Mr. Lynaugh asked if the applicant intends to construct a modular home on the property?

Ms. Livingston indicated that she would be constructing a modular home.

Planning Board Member Albert Peck III expressed some concern with the concept of allowing a second residence on a property.

Mr. Geraghty pointed out that Town Code Enforcement Officer Ryan Fagan has determined that Ms. Livingston’s project falls under the definition of an Accessory Dwelling, which means that it is allowed in this Zoning District subject to a Site Plan review.

MOTION: To waive a public hearing on Kim Livingston’s Site Plan application for an Accessory Dwelling and to conditionally approve the application pending receipt of the information referenced in Section B above.

MADE BY: Mike McGrail

SECONDED: Garth Bruce

VOTE: 7 in favor, 0 opposed

V. SARAH AND MICHAEL RICHARDSON – SUBDIVISION ALONG JOHNSON AVENUE AND COUNTY HIGHWAY 131A:

Background:

Sarah and Michael Richardson own a piece of property along Johnson Avenue and County Highway 131A in the Town of Johnstown (Tax Map Parcel No. 162.-1-17.1). The property is approximately 72+/- acres in size. The property is split by a National Grid transmission line. The applicants intend to transfer approximately 6.08+/- acres located along the east side of the National Grid power line to another parcel owned by Sarah Richardson (Tax Map Parcel No. 162.15-7-4). This will give that parcel direct access to Johnson Avenue. The remaining 66+/- acres will be subdivided into an 8.17+/- acre lot that will be retained by the applicant and a 58+/- acre lot with access along County Highway 131 that will be sold as part of the existing farm.

Planning Department Review:

Section 63-7 of the Town of Johnstown Subdivision Regulations identifies the information an applicant is required to submit to the Planning Board for a proposed subdivision. Upon review of the proposed preliminary plat by the Fulton County Planning Department, the following issues have been raised:

1. An actual field survey of the boundary lines of the tract giving complete descriptive data by bearings and distances showing the location of that portion which is to be subdivided in relation to the entire tract and the distance to the nearest existing street intersection.

STATUS: The entire acreage to be sold by the applicant should be shown on the subdivision plat.

DISCUSSION: The Planning Board spent several minutes talking about the remaining acreage that will be retained as part of the farm.

Mr. Ackerbauer pointed out that he has not surveyed the entire parcel, but only the lot to be created around the cell tower and the lot to be transferred to the adjacent property owned by Sarah Richardson.

The Planning Board did not feel that the remaining property needed to be surveyed and shown on the final subdivision plat.

2. The proposed subdivision name and the name of the Town and County in which it is located must be identified along with the date, north arrow, map scale, name and address of record owner and subdivider.

STATUS: Provided.

3. All existing structures, wooded areas, streams and other significant physical features within the portion to be subdivided and within 200 feet thereof. If topographic conditions are significant, contours shall also be indicated at intervals of not more than five (5) feet.

STATUS: There are no topographic features identified on the subdivision plat.

DISCUSSION: The Planning Board did not feel that topographic features needed to be shown on the final plat.

4. The name of the owner(s) and all adjoining property owners as disclosed by the most recent municipal tax records.

STATUS: Provided.

5. The tax map sheet, block and lot number, if available.

STATUS: Provided.

6. All available utilities and all existing streets.

STATUS: Not provided.

DISCUSSION: The Planning Board did not ask that utilities be shown on the final plat.

7. The proposed pattern of lots including lot width and depth, street layout, recreation areas, systems of drainage, sewer and water supply within the subdivided area.

STATUS: Given the nature of the application, there are no new lots being created with the intent of constructing a residence or commercial business.

DISCUSSION: The Planning Board agreed that, given the nature of the application, percolation and pit test results for the properties did not need to be provided.

8. All existing restrictions on the use of land including easements, covenants, and zoning lines. A copy of such covenants or deed restrictions that are intended to cover all or part of the tract shall be included.

STATUS: A 20’ wide right-of-way exists for Lot #2 in the proposed subdivision. This is presently used for access to that property. However, the applicant also has direct access for that parcel to Johnson Avenue if needed.

DISCUSSION: Mr. Ackerbauer pointed out that, if Lot #2 in the proposed subdivision is ever sold, there is direct access to Johnson Avenue.

9. A Short Environmental Assessment Form with Part I completed by the applicant. The Planning Board may require a Full Environmental Assessment Form if circumstances are warranted.

STATUS: Provided.

State Environmental Quality Review:

Section 617.1 of 6 NYCRR states that, the basic purpose of SEQR is to incorporate the consideration of environmental factors into the existing planning, review and decision making processes of State, regional and local government agencies at the earliest possible time. To accomplish this goal, SEQR requires that all agencies determine whether the actions they directly undertake, fund or approve may have a significant effect on the environment, and if it is determined that the actions may have a significant effect, prepare or request an environmental impact statement. Under these terms, the review of a Subdivision application is subject to SEQR. Therefore, the following issues must be addressed:

1. Does the Planning Board feel that the Short Environmental Assessment Form, provided by the applicant, has been completed adequately?

DISCUSSION: The Planning Board felt that the Short Environmental Assessment Form had been completed adequately.

2. Does the Planning Board feel that any additional information should be provided as part of the SEQR process?

DISCUSSION: The Planning Board did not ask for any additional information.

3. Section 617.6 (b) of 6 NYCRR states that, when a single agency is involved, the agency will be the lead agency when it proposes to undertake, fund or approve a Type 1 or Unlisted Action that does not involve another agency. If the agency has received an application for funding or approval of the action, it must determine the significance of the action, within twenty (20) calendar days of its receipt of the application, an Environmental Assessment Form or any additional information reasonably necessary to make that determination, whichever is later. Therefore, does the Planning Board wish to issue a Determination of Significance under SEQR at this time?

MOTION: Authorizing the filing of a negative declaration under SEQR for this proposed action since:

1. There are no new building lots being created as part of this subdivision since the two (2) main parcels already contain buildings or structures.

2. The remaining property to be transferred to a separate tax parcel owned by the applicant will bring that property into compliance with the Town’s Zoning Regulations and provide direct access to a public street.

3. There are no traffic implications that will result from the proposed action.

MADE BY: Eric VanAlstyne

SECONDED: Ernest Niforos

VOTE: 7 in favor, 0 opposed

Planning Board Action:

In accordance with Section 63-10 of the Town of Johnstown Subdivision Regulations, the Planning Board shall schedule and hold a public hearing on the preliminary plat within sixty-two (62) days after the plat is determined to be complete by the Planning Board.

MOTION: To schedule a public hearing on Sarah and Michael Richardson’s subdivision application for 6:00 p.m., Tuesday, May 9, 2017.

MADE BY: Mike McGrail

SECONDED: Garth Bruce

VOTE: 7 in favor, 0 opposed

VI. MICHAEL CHIARIELLO – SUBDIVISION ALONG OLD PECK HILL ROAD:

Background:

Michael Chiariello owns a piece of property along the west side of Old Peck Hill Road in the Town of Johnstown (Tax Map Parcel No. 133.-3-59). The existing parcel is approximately 6+/- acres in size. Mr. Chiariello would like to create a 1-acre building lot in the northeast corner of the property.

Planning Department Review:

Section 63-7 of the Town of Johnstown Subdivision Regulations identifies the information an applicant is required to submit to the Planning Board for a proposed subdivision. Upon review of the proposed preliminary plat by the Fulton County Planning Department, the following issues have been raised:

1. An actual field survey of the boundary lines of the tract giving complete descriptive data by bearings and distances showing the location of that portion which is to be subdivided in relation to the entire tract and the distance to the nearest existing street intersection.

STATUS: Provided.

2. The proposed subdivision name and the name of the Town and County in which it is located must be identified along with the date, north arrow, map scale, name and address of record owner and subdivider.

STATUS: Provided.

3. All existing structures, wooded areas, streams and other significant physical features within the portion to be subdivided and within 200 feet thereof. If topographic conditions are significant, contours shall also be indicated at intervals of not more than five (5) feet.

STATUS: Provided.

4. The name of the owner(s) and all adjoining property owners as disclosed by the most recent municipal tax records.

STATUS: Provided.

5. The tax map sheet, block and lot number, if available.

STATUS: Provided.

6. All available utilities and all existing streets.

STATUS: Provided.

7. The proposed pattern of lots including lot width and depth, street layout, recreation areas, systems of drainage, sewer and water supply within the subdivided area.

STATUS: A detailed Site Plan for the sewage disposal system plan has been provided for the new building lot. The proposed well location as shown on the subdivision plat is different than the Site Plan for the sewage disposal system.

DISCUSSION: Mr. Geraghty asked the applicant’s engineer, Charles Ackerbauer, P.E., if the septic system design was unique in any way?

Mr. Ackerbauer indicated that the septic system design is fairly standard.

Mr. Geraghty pointed out that the location of the well on the subdivision plat is different than the location shown on the septic system design drawing.

Mr. Ackerbauer noted that he prepared the septic system design but did not prepare the subdivision plat.

Mr. Chiariello indicated that he would contact Chris Foss and have the well location changed on the subdivision plat.

8. All existing restrictions on the use of land including easements, covenants, and zoning lines. A copy of such covenants or deed restrictions that are intended to cover all or part of the tract shall be included.

STATUS: There are no easements or covenants identified on the subdivision plat.

DISCUSSION: Mr. Chiariello indicated that there were no covenants to go along with the property.

9. A Short Environmental Assessment Form with Part I completed by the applicant. The Planning Board may require a Full Environmental Assessment Form if circumstances are warranted.

STATUS: Not provided.

DISCUSSION: Mr. Geraghty explained that a Short Environmental Assessment Form will need to be provided for the project.

Planning Board Action:

In accordance with Section 63-10 of the Town of Johnstown Subdivision Regulations, the Planning Board shall schedule and hold a public hearing on the preliminary plat within sixty-two (62) days after the plat is determined to be complete by the Planning Board.

MOTION: To schedule a public hearing on Michael Chiariello’s subdivision application for 6:00 p.m., Tuesday, May 9, 2017.

MADE BY: Mike McGrail

SECONDED: Garth Bruce

VOTE: 7 in favor, 0 opposed

VII. JAMES HULBERT AND BEVERLY MACCRACKEN – SUBDIVISION ALONG NYS ROUTE 29 AND OLD STATE ROAD:

Background:

James Hulbert and Beverly MacCracken currently own two (2) parcels of land along NYS Route 29 and Old State Road in the Town of Johnstown. The property located on the north side of NYS Route 29 is approximately 156+/- acres in size (Tax Map Parcel No. 147.-1-60). The applicants would like to create a 6.64+/- acre building lot from this parcel and intend to retain the remaining 150+/- acres. The applicants also own a piece of property on the south side of NYS Route 29 that extends all the way to Old State Road (Tax Map Parcel No. 161.-1-1). That parcel is approximately 11.48+/- acres in size. The applicants would like to split that property into a 6.37 acre property along NYS Route 29 and a 5.11+/- acre lot along Old State Road.

Planning Department Review:

Section 63-7 of the Town of Johnstown Subdivision Regulations identifies the information an applicant is required to submit to the Planning Board for a proposed subdivision. Upon review of the proposed preliminary plat by the Fulton County Planning Department, the following issues have been raised:

1. An actual field survey of the boundary lines of the tract giving complete descriptive data by bearings and distances showing the location of that portion which is to be subdivided in relation to the entire tract and the distance to the nearest existing street intersection.

STATUS: The location map provided on the subdivision plat should more clearly depict the location of the lots to be created in relation to the entire tracts of land. The location map should also identify the Tax Map Parcel Number for the subdivision located on the south side of NYS Route 29.

DISCUSSION: The Planning Board was comfortable with having the proposed subdivision of both properties included on one (1) map.

2. The proposed subdivision name and the name of the Town and County in which it is located must be identified along with the date, north arrow, map scale, name and address of record owner and subdivider.

STATUS: Provided.

3. All existing structures, wooded areas, streams and other significant physical features within the portion to be subdivided and within 200 feet thereof. If topographic conditions are significant, contours shall also be indicated at intervals of not more than five (5) feet.

STATUS: There are no topographic features identified on the subdivision plat.

DISCUSSION: Mr. Peck indicated that the classification of the stream on the property should be identified.

Mr. Geraghty indicated that he believed the stream is probably a Class C(T) Stream. He asked Mr. Ackerbauer how far the nearest residence is proposed to be from the stream?

Mr. Ackerbauer indicated that he could move the potential location of a home further away from the stream if necessary.

After a brief discussion, the Planning Board felt that the proposed location of a home on Lot #2 of the south subdivision should be moved at least a 100’ from the stream.

Mr. VanAlstyne asked if there were any wetlands on the property?

Mr. Ackerbauer indicated that there are no wetlands in the areas where new building lots will be created.

4. The name of the owner(s) and all adjoining property owners as disclosed by the most recent municipal tax records.

STATUS: Provided.

5. The tax map sheet, block and lot number, if available.

STATUS: Provided.

6. All available utilities and all existing streets.

STATUS: Provided.

7. The proposed pattern of lots including lot width and depth, street layout, recreation areas, systems of drainage, sewer and water supply within the subdivided area.

STATUS: Percolation and pit test results for the new building lots must be provided.

DISCUSSION: Mr. Ackerbauer indicated that he would provide percolation and pit test results for the new building lots.

Mr. Peck noted that there is no well location identified for Lot #1 in the south subdivision.

Mr. Ackerbauer pointed out that Lot #1 on the south subdivision will have access to City of Johnstown water.

8. All existing restrictions on the use of land including easements, covenants, and zoning lines. A copy of such covenants or deed restrictions that are intended to cover all or part of the tract shall be included.

STATUS: There are no easements or covenants identified on the subdivision plat.

DISCUSSION: Mr. Ackerbauer indicated that he didn’t believe there would be any easements or covenants to go along with the new building lots.

9. A Short Environmental Assessment Form with Part I completed by the applicant. The Planning Board may require a Full Environmental Assessment Form if circumstances are warranted.

STATUS: Provided.

State Environmental Quality Review:

Section 617.1 of 6 NYCRR states that, the basic purpose of SEQR is to incorporate the consideration of environmental factors into the existing planning, review and decision making processes of State, regional and local government agencies at the earliest possible time. To accomplish this goal, SEQR requires that all agencies determine whether the actions they directly undertake, fund or approve may have a significant effect on the environment, and if it is determined that the actions may have a significant effect, prepare or request an environmental impact statement. Under these terms, the review of a Subdivision application is subject to SEQR. Therefore, the following issues must be addressed:

1. Does the Planning Board feel that the Short Environmental Assessment Form, provided by the applicant, has been completed adequately?

DISCUSSION: The Planning Board felt that the Short Environmental Assessment Form had been completed adequately.

2. Does the Planning Board feel that any additional information should be provided as part of the SEQR process?

DISCUSSION: The Planning Board did not ask for any additional information.

3. Section 617.6 (b) of 6 NYCRR states that, when a single agency is involved, the agency will be the lead agency when it proposes to undertake, fund or approve a Type 1 or Unlisted Action that does not involve another agency. If the agency has received an application for funding or approval of the action, it must determine the significance of the action, within twenty (20) calendar days of its receipt of the application, an Environmental Assessment Form or any additional information reasonably necessary to make that determination, whichever is later. Therefore, does the Planning Board wish to issue a Determination of Significance under SEQR at this time?

MOTION: To authorize the filing of a negative declaration under SEQR for this proposed action since:

1. There is sufficient acreage available on both of the applicant’s properties to create three (3) new building lots.

2. Public utilities are readily available to service each of the new lots.

3. There will be no traffic impacts resulting from the proposed action.

MADE BY: Eric VanAlstyne

SECONDED: Richard Goebel

VOTE: 7 in favor, 0 opposed

Planning Board Action:

In accordance with Section 63-10 of the Town of Johnstown Subdivision Regulations, the Planning Board shall schedule and hold a public hearing on the preliminary plat within sixty-two (62) days after the plat is determined to be complete by the Planning Board.

MOTION: To schedule a public hearing on James Hulbert and Beverly MacCracken’s subdivision application for 6:00 p.m., Tuesday, May 9, 2017.

MADE BY: Albert Peck III

SECONDED: Richard Goebel

VOTE: 7 in favor, 0 opposed

VIII. HALES MILLS ROAD EXTENSION ZONING RECOMMENDATION:

Background:

During its March 21, 2017 meeting, the Planning Board talked about the concept plan that has been put together for the Hales Mills Development Area as part of the preparation of the County Development Strategy. County Senior Planner Sean Geraghty pointed out that the Town’s existing Zoning Law classifies most of the properties along Hales Mills Road as Residential Agriculture (RA) and outlines a process for establishing the Hales Mills Road Planned Unit Development (PUD). Mr. Geraghty explained that the process to create the PUD is lengthy but would be needed to allow the Town to develop the area as it is shown in the conceptual plan. The Planning Board agreed that the Planned Unit Development Regulations for the Hales Mills Road Extension Area should be removed from the Town’s existing Zoning Law and that a new Hales Mills Development District should be created in that area that would allow the types of uses and standards that are necessary to pursue the concept plan for the Development Area.

Proposed Amendments:

See attached Zoning Amendments.

DISCUSSION: Mr. Geraghty briefly reviewed the concerns that were discussed during the Planning Board’s March 21, 2017 meeting regarding the potential lengthy local regulatory review that could occur if an applicant is required to go through the current process of establishing a PUD along Hales Mills Road Extension. Mr. Geraghty reviewed the changes that the Planning Department drafted to address this issue. He explained that under Article 3, a new number 10 will need to be added to the Zoning Law to create a Hales Mills Development District (HMDD). He indicated that he used the Planning Board’s vision for the Conceptual Development Plan of the Hales Mills Road area as the basis for describing the intent of the District.

Mr. Geraghty noted that Section 84-52 of the Zoning Law will need to be removed. He explained that this section of the law deals specifically with creating a PUD District along Hales Mills Road Extension. Mr. Geraghty also pointed out that Section 84-53(E)(2)(d) will need to be removed because it refers to parking standards along Hales Mills Road Extension.

Mr. Geraghty explained that a new column was added to Appendix A and each of the uses in the table is identified as either permitted, not permitted, subject to a Special Use Permit or subject to a Site Plan Review. He made note that agricultural uses will still need to be permitted in the Hales Mills Development District (HMDD) since a few of the properties in the District are within a State-certified Agricultural District.

Mr. Geraghty indicated that he also added a new column to Appendix B Dimensional Requirements Table and went through and identified various setbacks, coverage and size limitations. He pointed out that the maximum lot coverage in the District is set at 60%. He indicated that this would allow high-density development and leave property for attractive public spaces.

Mr. Geraghty noted that there are 11 properties within the proposed Hales Mills Development District. He indicated that 10 of those properties are currently zoned RA, while one of them is zoned Manufacturing. Board members briefly reviewed the proposed District boundary lines on maps provided by the County Planning Department. Mr. Geraghty asked Board members if they were comfortable with the proposed changes that have been made and would like to recommend this proposed change to the Town Board?

After several minutes of discussion, there was a general consensus among Board members that, in order to reduce the local regulatory burden and shorten the potential local review timeframe, the proposed changes should be made.

Mr. Geraghty indicated that if anyone has any changes they would like made or notices any errors in the language or tables that were provided by the County Planning Department to let him know. He indicated that his office would also review the proposed changes before sending it over to the Town Board and the Town Attorney.

Planning Board Action:

MOTION: Recommending that the Town Board create a Hales Mills Development District along Hales Mills Road Extension and that the proposed changes as identified by the County Planning Department be forwarded to the Town Board for its consideration.

MADE BY: Mike McGrail

SECONDED: Richard Lynaugh

VOTE: 7 in favor, 0 opposed

IX.CLOSE OF THE MEETING:

MOTION: To close the meeting at 7:30 p.m.

MADE BY: Richard Lynaugh

SECONDED: Garth Bruce

VOTE: 7 in favor, 0 opposed