TOWN OF JOHNSTOWN PLANNING BOARD

FEBRUARY 14, 2017
6:00 P.M.
TOWN HALL
MEETING NOTES

PRESENT:

RICHARD GOEBEL, CHAIRMAN

ERIC VANALSTYNE, VICE CHAIRMAN

RICHARD LYNAUGH,

ERNEST NIFOROS

ALBERT PECK III

GARTH BRUCE

ANTHONY AMBROSINO, ALTERNATE

RYAN FAGAN, CODE ENFORCEMENT OFFICER

SEAN M. GERAGHTY, SR. PLANNER

I. CALL MEETING TO ORDER:

The meeting was called to order at 6:02 p.m.

II. APPROVE MINUTES OF LAST REGULAR MEETING:

MOTION: To approve the minutes to the January 10, 2017

meeting.

MADE BY: Garth Bruce

SECONDED: Richard Lynaugh

VOTE: 6 in favor, 0 opposed

III. JAMES SCOTT RETERSDORF – PUBLIC HEARING ON A SUBDIVISION ALONG MCGREGOR ROAD:

Background:

James Scott Retersdorf owns a piece of property approximately 25+/- acres in size along McGregor Road in the Town of Johnstown (Tax Map Parcel No. 133.-3-67). Mr. Retersdorf would like to create a 6.5 acre building lot around an existing home and a new 8.6+/- acre building lot. He intends to keep the remaining 10.33+/- acres.

September 13, 2016 Meeting:

During its September 13, 2016 meeting, the Town of Johnstown Planning Board began reviewing James Scott Retersdorf’s subdivision application for a piece of property along McGregor Road. At that time, the Planning Board asked that the following information be provided on a revised subdivision plat prior to the public hearing:

1. The plat should note that this is a 3-lot subdivision.

STATUS: Provided.

2. Topographic features for the two (2) new building lots must be provided.

STATUS: Provided.

3. The location of the NYSDEC wetland boundary, as well as the buffer zone, should be identified on the plat.

STATUS: Provided.

4. The utilities available to the new parcels should be labeled.

STATUS: Provided.

5. Percolation and pit test results for the two (2) new building lots must be provided.

STATUS: Percolation test results have been identified, as well as a typical soil profile.

DISCUSSION: Mr. Geraghty pointed out that Town Code Enforcement Officer Ryan Fagan indicated to him that he would like to see pit test results for the property before any septic systems are designed.

6. If there are any easements or covenants to go along with the new building lots, they must be identified on the final plat.

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

DISCUSSION: The Planning Board had no other comments regarding the revised subdivision plat.

State Environmental Quality Review:

During its September 13, 2016 meeting, the Planning Board authorized the filing of a negative declaration under SEQR for this proposed action. Consequently, unless new additional information has been provided, no further SEQR action is necessary.

Public Hearing:

1. The public hearing was opened at 6:04 P.M.

2. Speakers:

There was no one to speak regarding James Scott Retersdorf’s subdivision application.

3. The public hearing was closed at 6:05 P.M.

Planning Board Action:

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 such subdivision plat within sixty-two (62) days after the public hearing. Consequently, does the Planning Board wish to issue its final decision on James Scott Retersdorf’s subdivision application for a piece of property along McGregor Road at this time?

MOTION: To approve James Scott Retersdorf’s subdivision application for a piece of property along McGregor Road with the stipulation that pit test results for Lots 2 and 3 be provided to Town Code Enforcement Officer Ryan Fagan before septic systems are designed.

MADE BY: Ernest Niforos

SECONDED: Richard Goebel

VOTE: 6 in favor, 0 opposed

IV. SUREFIRE SIGN, INC. – SITE PLAN FOR BILLBOARD ALONG NYS ROUTE 30A:

Background:

Surefire Sign, Inc. would like to install a 10’ x 30’ 2-sided LED billboard on property owned by the First Choice Financial Credit Union along NYS Route 30A (Tax Map Parcel No. 149.-1-54). The property to be used by the applicant was recently purchased by the Credit Union from NYSDOT as part of the disposition of excess right-of-way along NYS Route 30A. The property is approximately 1.739+/- acres in size with 501 linear feet of frontage along NYS Route 30A. However, the parcel does not have access to NYS Route 30A or South Kingsboro Avenue Extension. Access to the property is along Van Road. The property is located in an M-1 Manufacturing District, which requires a Site Plan for off-premise signs.

Planning Department Review:

The Fulton County Planning Department reviewed the Site Plan drawings for Surefire Sign’s proposed billboard on the First Choice Financial Federal Credit Union property in accordance with Article XI of the Town of Johnstown Zoning Regulations and would like to offer the following comments:

1. A survey description of the parcel to be used for the proposed LED billboard must be provided on the Site Plan drawing.

DISCUSSION: Mr. Geraghty pointed out that there is no survey description of the project site provided on the Site Plan drawing. He noted that the applicants previously provided a survey drawing of the property that was acquired by the Credit Union from NYSDOT. He indicated that the survey information will need to be included on a revised Site Plan drawing. He asked if a complete survey of the property was available. Credit Union officials indicated that they were still waiting for NYSDOT to provide them with a metes and bounds description of the entire parcel to be acquired.

2. The exact location of the LED billboard on the property and the separation distances from property lines and other structures on the property must be shown.

DISCUSSION: The Planning Board agreed that the setback distance from the NYSDOT right-of-way, as well as the adjacent Credit Union property, should be shown on a revised drawing.

3. The property recently acquired by the Credit Union that is intended to be used by Surefire Signs, Inc. contains several utility easements. The specific location of the billboard in relation to those easements should be clearly shown on the Site Plan drawing.

DISCUSSION: Mr. Ackerbauer provided a revised Site Plan drawing showing a proposed 20’ wide easement for a buried gas line on the property, as well as an easement for fiber optic cable to the existing Credit Union building.

Mr. Geraghty stated that there needs to be some type of verification if the easements have been finalized. He indicated that the distances between the proposed sign location and the gas line easement needs to be clearly shown on a revised plat.

4. The proposed access to the LED billboard should be shown on the Site Plan drawing.

DISCUSSION: Mr. Geraghty pointed out that the Site Plan drawing does not show the entire piece of property that was acquired from NYSDOT. Mr. Geraghty indicated that the property will have access off of Van Road, which is still a Town road. Credit Union officials agreed that the final deed description from NYSDOT will show that the property acquired by the Credit Union extends to Van Road, which will be the access point for the property.

5. In accordance with Article VI, Section 84-21 of the Town of Johnstown Zoning Regulations, off-premise signs that are located in an M-1 Manufacturing District cannot exceed 300 sq. ft. in area. Surefire Sign, Inc.’s proposal to install a 2-sided 30’ x 10’ LED billboard would result in a total sign area of 600 sq. ft. Surefire Sign, Inc. has indicated that it will seek an Area Variance from the Town of Johnstown Zoning Board of Appeals for this sign.

DISCUSSION: Frank Marzullo, Surefire Sign, Inc., verified that he would be seeking an Area Variance from the Town of Johnstown Zoning Board of Appeals to install a 600 sq. ft. LED billboard.

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 Site Plan 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)(3) of 6 NYCRR states that, when an agency proposes to directly undertake, fund or approve a Type 1 or Unlisted Action undergoing a Coordinated Review with other Involved Agencies, it must, as soon as possible, transmit Part 1 of the Environmental Assessment Form, completed by the Project Sponsor, or a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) and a copy of any application that has been received to all Involved Agencies and notify them that a Lead Agency must be agreed upon within thirty (30) calendar days of the date the Environmental Assessment Form or DEIS was transmitted to them.

MOTION: To classify the proposed project as an Unlisted Action and to propose that the Town of Johnstown Planning Board act as the Lead Agency for the purpose of issuing a determination of significance under SEQR and to offer other Involved Agencies twenty-five (25) calendar days to comment on the proposed action or the Town of Johnstown Planning Board’s proposal to act as Lead Agency.

MADE BY: Richard Lynaugh

SECONDED: Garth Bruce

VOTE: 6 in favor, 0 opposed

(NOTE: Planning Board Member Albert Peck III joined the meeting.)

Planning Board Action:

In accordance with Section 84-55-8(b) 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 of 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?

MOTION: To schedule a public hearing on Surefire Sign’s Site Plan for an LED billboard along NYS Route 30A for 6:00 p.m., Tuesday, March 14, 2017.

MADE BY: Garth Bruce

SECONDED: Richard Lynaugh

VOTE: 7 in favor, 0 opposed

V. ROBERT AND MEGAN SMULLEN – SUBDIVISION ALONG NYS ROUTE 309:

Background:

Robert and Megan Smullen own an 86.9+/- acre piece of property along the west side of NYS Route 309 extending across both sides of West State Street Extension and east of West Street Extension in the Town of Johnstown (Tax Map Parcel No. 134.-1-7). The applicants also own an adjacent parcel (Tax Map Parcel No. 134.9-3-4) along NYS Route 309 that will be combined with the aforementioned parcel to create a 94+/- acre property. The applicants would like to create a 1.03 acre parcel around an existing house on West State Street Extension. The lot is serviced by City of Gloversville municipal water. The applicants are in the process of constructing a home on the remaining parcel north of West State Street Extension with access from NYS Route 309.

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 subdivision plat does not show a complete survey description of the applicant’s property provided for the land south of West State Street Extension?

DISCUSSION: Mr. Geraghty pointed out that the metes and bounds description for the portion of the property located south of West State Street Extension is not complete. He noted that if the additional parcel on NYS Route 309 is to be added to the main parcel, a metes and bounds description for that area needs to be shown on the subdivision plat.

Mr. Ackerbauer indicated that he could provide that metes and bounds description on the final 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 shown on the subdivision plat. Also, a driveway detail must be provided for Lot #1.

DISCUSSION: After a brief discussion, the Planning Board felt that given the nature of the application, topographic features would not need to be shown. However, a driveway specification for Lot #1 was requested.

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: Mr. Ackerbauer indicated that he could add the labeling for utilities on the subdivision 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: There are no percolation or pit test results shown for Lot #1.

DISCUSSION: Mr. Ackerbauer indicated that Town Code Enforcement Officer Ryan Fagan has already received percolation and pit test results for the property.

Mr. Geraghty indicated that the Planning Board typically asks that those results be shown on the final 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. Geraghty asked if the City of Gloversville municipal waterline serving Lot #2 in the subdivision will be used for the home being constructed on Lot #1?

Mr. Smullen indicated that the City of Gloversville municipal waterline has been extended from the house on Lot #2 to his new home on Lot #1.

Mr. Geraghty questioned why an easement or covenant has not been identified on the property?

Mr. Smullen indicated that he will continue to own both parcels and didn’t feel an easement was necessary. He then talked briefly about a conversation he had with Fulton County Planning Director James Mraz concerning the potential creation of a Water District in the immediate vicinity of his project.

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 Mr. Smullen’s subdivision application since:

1. There is sufficient acreage available to create a 1-acre lot around an existing home on the property.

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

3. Public utilities are readily available to service the remainder of the site.

MADE BY: Ernest Niforos

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 Robert and Megan Smullens’ subdivision application for a piece of property along NYS Route 309 for 6:00 p.m., Tuesday, March 14, 2017.

MADE BY: Albert Peck III

SECONDED: Anthony Ambrosino

VOTE: 7 in favor, 0 opposed

VI. PV ENGINEERS D.P.C. (BORREGO SOLAR) – SUBDIVISION AND SPECIAL PERMIT APPLICATIONS FOR SOLAR FARMS ALONG WEST STATE STREET EXTENSION:

Background:

PV Engineers (Borrego Solar) are 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.

DISCUSSION: David Albrecht, P.E., PV Engineers, introduced Robert Kearney, Project Development for the Solar Farm Project. Mr. Albrecht described the existing conditions on the project site. He pointed out that the project area will include approximately 30.2 acres of Mr. Smullens’ property.

Planning Board Member Eric VanAlstyne asked if the project area would include the additional parcel on NYS Route 309 to be added to Mr. Smullens’ property?

Mr. Albrecht indicated that it would and that the revised Site Plan drawings will show that parcel added to the property.

Mr. Lynaugh asked if the parcel along NYS Route 309 would be used as part of the Solar Farm project?

Mr. Albrecht indicated that it would not.

Mr. Albrecht went on to indicate that no tree clearing will take place on the site. He noted that the stream passing through the applicant’s property is considered a classified Trout Stream so there are strict limitations on tree removal within a certain distance of that stream. He indicated that his office is working with both the NYSDEC and the Army Corps of Engineers on wetland permitting for the project. He explained that the project site slopes generally towards the south and the east making it ideal for a Solar Farm project.

Mr. VanAlstyne asked if the Solar Farm would be 200’ from the houses along the west side of West Street Extension? He noted that, on a previous project along Elmwood Avenue, as a good faith effort, Borrego Solar moved the Solar Farm installation more than 200’ from adjacent residential property owners.

Town Code Enforcement Officer Ryan Fagan noted that the 200’ setback in the Zoning Regulations is for abutting residential properties. He noted that since the residences along the west side of West Street Extension are not abutting properties, the 200’ setback distance will not apply and will be only 50’ from the road.

Mr. Albrecht indicated that he would like to get some feedback from the Planning Board on the types of screening that could be provided along West Street Extension.

Mr. Goebel asked if any special provisions were being made for the installation of the solar panels in the wetlands that are on the property?

Mr. Albrecht explained that the Army Corps of Engineers typically allows the installation of the solar panel racking systems within wetland areas as long as there is no dredging or filling taking place on the property.

Planning Board Member Dick Lynaugh asked who would be receiving the power that is generated by the Solar Farms?

Robert Kearney, PV Engineers, indicated that the project would be considered a community solar generator, meaning that any residential user in the area could request to receive the power generated by the Solar Farm.

Mr. Albrecht pointed out that the system has been laid out according to the topographic conditions on the site and there will be very little grading of the property. He noted that a 20’ gravel access driveway meeting fire codes will be constructed off of West State Street Extension.

Planning Board Alternate Tony Ambrosino asked if the racking systems would be placed on gravel?

Mr. Albrecht indicated that all of the racking systems are essentially screwed into the ground so that there is little disturbance to the soils. He talked briefly about the types of inverters to be used for the project.

Mr. Lynaugh asked who would be responsible for maintenance of the Solar Farms?

Mr. Albrecht indicated that, typically, his company hires a local landscaper to provide maintenance services. He indicated that Mr. Smullen, the property owner, has expressed an interest in entering into an agreement with PV Engineers to maintain the Solar Farms on his property.

Mr. Geraghty suggested that the Planning Board work its way through the remainder of the Agenda in order to make sure that all of its questions and issues are addressed.

Planning Department Review:

The Fulton County Planning Department has reviewed the Special Use Permit application in accordance with Article X of the Town of Johnstown Zoning Regulations. Article X states that a Special Use Permit shall not be granted until the Planning Board finds that the following criteria, as well as any special criteria, have been met:

1. Harmony with Master Plan:

2. Compatibility:

3. Access Circulation and Parking:

4. Infrastructure and Services:

5. Environment and Natural Features:

6. Long-term Effects:

C. Article VIII, Section 84-45B of the Town of Johnstown Zoning Law outlines the special criteria that applies to Solar Farms. Based on this review criteria, the following information must be provided by the applicant:

1. Blueprints or Drawings of the Solar Photovoltaic Installation signed by a Licensed Professional Engineer showing the proposed layout of the system and any potential shading from nearby structures.

STATUS: Provided. However, the proposed subdivision plat for the property showing the two (2) separate parcels to be created as part of the project needs to be included with the Special Permit application package. Also, the ownership of those parcels needs to be clarified.

DISCUSSION: Mr. Albrecht explained that the final size of each of the subdivided parcels has yet to be determined.

Mr. Geraghty pointed out that a metes and bounds description for both parcels will need to be provided with the final submittal for the public hearing.

Mr. Albrecht indicated that he could have that information within the next two (2) weeks. He talked briefly about his company’s desire to increase the size of the system on the northern property.

2. Proposed changes to the landscape of the site, grading, vegetation clearing and planting, exterior lighting, screening vegetation or structures.

STATUS: The type of screening to be installed as part of the project is not clearly defined on the Site Plan drawings.

DISCUSSION: Mr. Geraghty pointed out that the proposed Solar Farm is only required to be set back 50’ from a road right-of-way. He noted that, for the homes along West State Street Extension, this means that a solar facility will be relatively close and in plain sight. He indicated that some type of extensive landscaping will need to be provided along West Street Extension in order to buffer the visual effects the facility could have on those residential homeowners.

Mr. Albrecht agreed and talked about some of the screening options that he would recommend for those residential properties along West Street Extension. He talked about the different types of plantings that could be provided and the possibility of constructing a berm along the east side of West Street along with plantings. He also indicated that slats could be provided in the 8’ chain link fence to block the view of the solar panels.

Mr. Geraghty pointed out that, in the past, the Planning Board has not looked favorably on the use of vinyl slats in the fence lines as a form of visual buffering. He indicated that the Planning Board typically likes to see an extensive landscaping plan for these types of projects.

Mr. Lynaugh agreed and pointed out that he liked the idea of a berm being constructed along the east side of West Street Extension along with plantings to break up the visual appearance of the Solar Farm.

Mr. VanAlstyne talked about the need for the applicants to add language to the Maintenance and Operation Plan outlining the procedures for replacing dead or damaged plantings that are part of the landscaping plan.

Mr. Albrecht agreed that language could be added to the Maintenance and Operation Plan. He indicated that he would put together a Landscaping Plan using some type of berm construction along West State Street Extension.

Mr. Geraghty pointed out that some type of landscaping buffer will also need to be provided along the south end of the property and along the north end of the property on West State Street Extension.

3. A description of the Solar Farm facility and the technical economic and other reasons for the proposed location and design shall be prepared and signed by licensed professional engineer.

STATUS: The total number of panels to be installed as part of the Solar Farm projects is identified as 11,574 panels. The breakdown of the size of each Solar Farm has not been clearly identified on the Site Plan drawings.

DISCUSSION: Mr. Geraghty asked for a clarification on the size of the Solar Farm?

Mr. Albrecht explained that the 2.728 kW DC system on the southern parcel will actually be converted to approximately 2 megawatts AC. He indicated that the 1.399 kW DC system on the northern property will turn into approximately a 1 megawatt AC system on the northern property. He indicated, again, that his company would like to find some way to enlarge the Solar Farm on the northern parcel.

Mr. Geraghty indicated that there are some technical discrepancies between the Site Plan drawings and the Full Environmental Assessment Form. He noted that there are also some acreage differences between what is shown on the Site Plan drawings and the Full Environmental Assessment Form.

Mr. Albrecht indicated that he would clean up any of the discrepancies that appear on the drawings and EAF.

4. Confirmation prepared and signed by a licensed professional engineer that the Solar Farm complies with all applicable federal and State regulations.

STATUS: The applicants have agreed that the plans will be stamped by David Albrecht, P.E.

5. One or 3-line electrical diagram detailing the Solar Farm layout, solar collector installation, associated components and electrical interconnection methods with all national electrical code compliant disconnects and over-current devices.

STATUS: Provided. However, the diagrams are very generic and somewhat vague in terms of the amount of information provided.

DISCUSSION: Mr. Albrecht agreed that the diagrams were somewhat generic and were difficult to read. He indicated that he would provide updated 3-line electrical diagrams on the revised submittal.

6. Documentation of the major system components to be used including the PV panels, mounting system and inverter.

STATUS: Provided.

DISCUSSION: The Planning Board had no questions regarding the components of the Solar Farms.

7. An operation and maintenance plan which shall include measures for maintaining safe access to the installation, stormwater controls, as well as general procedures for operational maintenance of the installation.

STATUS: Provided.

DISCUSSION: Again, the Planning Board talked briefly about the need to have language added to the maintenance plan explaining how dead or damaged trees and bushes that are part of the landscaping buffer will be replaced.

8. Information on noise (inverter) and reflectivity/glare of solar panels and identify potential impacts to abutters.

STATUS: Provided.

DISCUSSION: Mr. Albrecht pointed out that the solar panels will actually face the southeast, which is away from the residences on West Street Extension and West State Street Extension.

D. Minimum Requirements:

Article VIII Section 84-45D outlines the minimum requirements that all Solar Farm developments must conform with. In accordance with those minimum requirements, the following issues must still be addressed:

1. The installation of a vegetated perimeter buffer along the north, west and south sides of the property needs to be addressed.

DISCUSSION: Mr. Geraghty pointed out that the Planning Board has already discussed this issue with the applicants and will consider the Landscaping Plan at its next meeting.

2. The installation of clearly visible warning signs concerning voltage must be placed at the base of all pad-mounted transformers and substations. Any additional signage identifying the owner and operator and an emergency telephone number must also be shown.

DISCUSSION: Mr. Geraghty indicated that the Planning Board typically asks that the size and design of the signs to be provided on the facilities be included in the specification sheets.

Mr. Albrecht indicated that he would provide specifications for both the warning signs and the identification signs on specification sheets.

3. A pull-off or turnaround area should be provided near the electrical equipment pad for the northern system.

DISCUSSION: Mr. Albrecht agreed that a separate turnaround area should be considered near the electrical equipment on the northern property. However, he pointed out that the access to the two (2) parcels may be changed to separate entrances. He indicated that, in an effort to reduce the amount of access driveway that needs to be constructed, a separate short access driveway may be developed off of West Street Extension for the southern property. He pointed out that, in that case, turnaround areas would be provided for both driveways.

Mr. VanAlstyne indicated that the Planning Board has typically asked that a turnaround area be provided outside of the fenceline so that vehicles do not have to enter the installation to turn around.

Mr. Albrecht indicated that he could provide a turnaround area near the road that could also be used by utility company trucks.

4. PV Engineers has provided an engineer’s estimate setting forth projected costs for decommissioning the Solar Farms. Factoring in a 2% inflation rate over 20 years, the decommissioning cost estimate provided is $189,770.

DISCUSSION: Mr. Geraghty pointed out that Town Code Enforcement Officer Ryan Fagan has reviewed the cost estimates for decommissioning the Solar Farms. He noted that, unfortunately, Mr. Fagan had to leave the meeting and is not available to explain some of the changes he would like to suggest. Mr. Geraghty indicated that he would have Mr. Fagan touch base with the applicants in order to identify where cost differences have occurred.

Mr. Albrecht pointed out that, if the size of the northern system increases, the decommissioning costs will also increase.

E. 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 Special Use Permit application is subject to SEQR. Therefore, the following issues must be addressed:

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

DISCUSSION: The Planning Board felt that the Full 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)(3) of 6 NYCRR states that, when an agency proposes to directly undertake, fund or approve a Type 1 or Unlisted Action undergoing a Coordinated Review with other Involved Agencies, it must, as soon as possible, transmit Part 1 of the Environmental Assessment Form, completed by the Project Sponsor, or a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) and a copy of any application that has been received to all Involved Agencies and notify them that a Lead Agency must be agreed upon within thirty (30) calendar days of the date the Environmental Assessment Form or DEIS was transmitted to them.

MOTION: To classify the proposed project as a Type 1 Action and to propose that the Town of Johnstown Planning Board act as the Lead Agency for the purpose of issuing a determination of significance under SEQR and to offer other Involved Agencies twenty-five (25) calendar days to comment on the proposed action or the Town of Johnstown Planning Board’s proposal to act as Lead Agency.

MADE BY: Ernest Niforos

SECONDED: Garth Bruce

VOTE: 6 in favor, 0 opposed

FURTHER DISCUSSION: Mr. Albrecht asked if the application would be forwarded to the County Planning Board under Section 239-m of the General Municipal Law?

Mr. Geraghty indicated that the application would be forwarded by his office to the County Planning Board.

Mr. Albrecht pointed out that, if the size of the systems changes, the applicants may need to seek setback variances from the Town Zoning Board of Appeals. He asked if the Planning Board could refer the Area Variance requests to the Zoning Board of Appeals on behalf of the applicant?

Mr. Geraghty indicated that, if setback variances become necessary, then the Planning Board can forward the application through an administrative process to the Zoning Board of Appeals.

MOTION: Authorizing County Senior Planner Sean Geraghty to review the revised submittal from PV Engineers and to forward the application to the Zoning Board of Appeals if setback variances are necessary.

MADE BY: Albert Peck III

SECONDED: Ernest Niforos

VOTE: 7 in favor, 0 opposed

F. Planning Board Action:

In accordance with Section 84-54(D)(7)(a) of the Town of Johnstown Zoning Regulations, the Planning Board shall hold a public hearing on a complete Special Permit application within sixty-two (62) days from the determination of the Planning Board that the application is complete.

MOTION: To schedule a public hearing for 6:00 p.m., Tuesday, March 14, 2017.

MADE BY: Garth Bruce

SECONDED: Richard Lynaugh

VOTE: 7 in favor, 0 opposed

VII. OTHER BUSINESS:

A. Bonnie and Anthony Peters – Property Transaction along County Road 102:

Charles Tallent, Esq., representing Bonnie and Anthony Peters, explained to Board members that his clients would like to transfer a small strip of their property to their next door neighbor on County Road 102. Mr. Tallent noted that a 15’ x 250’ strip of land between his clients’ property and the neighboring owners, Gerald and Jennifer Desjardins, will be transferred as a result of the neighboring property owners constructing their driveway on his clients’ property.

Mr. Geraghty pointed out that the Peters cannot reduce the size of their property below the minimum 1-acre requirement in the Zoning Ordinance. He pointed out that, given the drawing that was provided for the Planning Board’s consideration, it does not appear as though his clients’ property will be reduced below 1 acre in size. He indicated that a final survey drawing showing the exact sizes of both parcels will need to be provided. After a brief discussion, there was a general consensus among Planning Board members that the proposed property transaction was not subject to a subdivision approval.

MOTION: Recognizing that Bonnie and Anthony Peters’ property transaction with Gerald and Jennifer Desjardins does not require a subdivision review and can be approved as a lot line amendment.

MADEB BY: Garth Bruce

SECONDED: Richard Goebel

VOTE: 7 in favor, 0 opposed

VIII. CLOSE OF THE MEETING:

MOTION: To close the meeting at 7:26 p.m.

MADE BY: Richard Lynaugh

SECONDED: Garth Bruce

VOTE: 7 in favor, 0 opposed