TOWN OF JOHNSTOWN PLANNING BOARD

JUNE 13, 2017
6:00 P.M.
TOWN HALL
MEETING NOTES

PRESENT:

ERIC VANALSTYNE, VICE CHAIRMAN

RICHARD LYNAUGH,

ERNEST NIFOROS

GARTH BRUCE

TONY AMBROSINO, ALTERNATE

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 May 9, 2017

meeting.

MADE BY: Ernest Niforos

SECONDED: Richard Lynaugh

VOTE: 5 in favor, 0 opposed

III. WILLIAM J. KELLER AND SONS CONSTRUCTION CORPORATION – PUBLIC HEARING ON SPECIAL USE PERMIT FOR COMMERCIAL EXTRACTION OPERATION ALONG NYS ROUTE 67:

Background:

William J. Keller and Sons Construction Corporation will be constructing an irrigation pond on lands owned by Shari Harwell at 1411 NYS Route 67 (Tax Map Parcel No. 161.-4-7.11). Ms. Harwell’s property is 67.7+/- acres in size. The irrigation pond to be constructed by William J. Keller Construction Corporation will be 500’ x 450’ in size and will be approximately 6’ deep. The construction company will remove the clay material from the property and haul it off-site.

May 9, 2017 Meeting:

During its May 9, 2017 meeting, the Town of Johnstown Planning Board began reviewing the Special Permit application for the irrigation pond on lands owned by Shari Harwell along NYS Route 67. At that time, the Planning Board felt that some type of fencing will need to be provided along the boundary between Ms. Harwell’s property and the NYS Route 67 right-of-way so that debris is prevented from blowing into the proposed irrigation pond.

STATUS: Mr. Geraghty indicated that he had spoken with Town Code Enforcement Officer Ryan Fagan concerning the type of fencing that could be provided in order to prevent debris from collecting in the irrigation pond. He indicated that Mr. Fagan had a couple of ideas and may need to be consulted regarding this issue.

State Environmental Quality Review:

In accordance with Section 617.5 of 6 NYCRR, the applicant’s proposal to construct an irrigation pond along NYS Route 67 and remove material from the site constitutes a land use action that is consistent with generally accepted principals of farming and, therefore, is classified as a Type II Action and not subject to any further SEQR review.

DISCUSSION: The Planning Board had no questions regarding the classification of the proposed action.

Public Hearing:

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

2. Speakers:

Planning Board Member Dick Lynaugh asked what will happen to the soil that has already been stockpiled on the site?

Representatives from William J. Keller and Sons indicated that the material would be placed back in the irrigation pond.

Mr. Lynaugh suggested that, instead of providing fencing along the NYS Route 67 right-of-way, the applicant could provide some evergreen plantings to serve the same purpose, which is to obstruct garbage from blowing into the pond.

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

Planning Board Action:

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.

DISCUSSION: The Planning Board, again, talked with the applicants about the type of barrier that should be created between NYS Route 67 and the proposed irrigation pond.

The applicants indicated that it would be more costly to provide evergreen plantings, but they would prefer to do that instead of installing a fence.

Eventually, the Planning Board decided that the applicants would need to either install a fence along the right-of-way or provide evergreen plantings along the right-of-way to block debris from entering the pond.

Mr. Geraghty suggested that approximately 30 evergreens will need to be planted at approximately 10’ spacing, which would provide a 300’ barrier that would eventually fill out.

The applicants asked when they would be able to begin mining the site and creating the irrigation pond?

Mr. Geraghty indicated that they would need to contact Town Code Enforcement Officer Ryan Fagan and let him know what type of barrier will be provided at the conclusion of the project in order to prevent debris from entering the pond.

MOTION: To conditionally approve William J. Keller and Sons’ Special Use Permit for a commercial extraction operation along NYS Route 67 with the stipulation that 30 evergreen plantings be provided at 10’ spacing between the NYS right-of-way and the irrigation pond or that a fence be installed along the entire length of the irrigation pond as specified by the Town Code Enforcement Office.

MADE BY: Eric VanAlstyne

SECONDED: Garth Bruce

VOTE: 5 in favor, 0 opposed

IV. ROBERT SCOTT JEWEL – SUBDIVISION ALONG WEMPLE ROAD AND WATERSHED ROAD:

Background:

Robert Scott Jewel owns a piece of property at the intersection of Wemple Road and Watershed Road in the Town of Johnstown (Tax Map Parcel No. 146.-2-26). The existing property is approximately 5.6 acres in size. Mr. Jewel would like to create two (2) building lots on the property that will be 1.496+/- acres and 4.1164+/- acres in size respectively.

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: Old State Road is incorrectly labeled on the subdivision plat. The plat should indicate that the property is along Wemple Road and Watershed Road in the Town of Johnstown.

DISCUSSION: Chris Foss handed out a revised plat showing the correct road identification as Watershed Road. He pointed out that, at one time, the road was called Old State Road.

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 on all existing streets.

STATUS: Not provided.

DISCUSSION: Mr. Foss indicated that there are no utilities located adjacent to the two (2) new building lots. However, he pointed out that power has been extended to one of the building lots located just to the west of the proposed subdivision.

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 on the subdivision plat. Once more, the approximate locations of the proposed septic fields are uphill from the proposed home locations?

DISCUSSION: Mr. Foss indicated that he would provide percolation and pit test results before the public hearing.

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.

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 file a negative declaration under SEQR for this proposed action since:

1. There is sufficient acreage available to create two (2) building lots from the original tract of land.

2. Public utilities are within a reasonable distance of the two (2) new building lots.

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

MADE BY: Ernest Niforos

SECONDED: Richard Lynaugh

VOTE: 5 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 Scott Jewel’s subdivision application along Wemple Road and Watershed Road for 6:00 p.m., Tuesday, July 11, 2017.

MADE BY: Ernest Niforos

SECONDED: Garth Bruce

VOTE: 5 in favor, 0 opposed

V. DONNA DAVIDSON – SUBDIVISION ALONG CIRCLE DRIVE:

Background:

Donna Davidson owns a piece of property along Circle Drive in the Town of Johnstown (Tax Map Parcel No. 150.-2-21). According to her application, the parcel is approximately 71+/- acres in size. She would like to subdivide a 53/- acre tract from this property and convey it to Steven Savage for his maple syrup operation. The applicant will retain an 18+/- acre parcel with a home and two (2) barns.

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: According to the Fulton County Real Property Tax Services Agency, Donna Davidson’s property along Circle Drive is approximately 58.8+/- acres in size. The discrepancy in acreage is noted on the subdivision plat as being a “wood lot” claimed by Klein on the basis of tax map records. The applicant’s subdivision plat goes on to indicate that no deed documentation for this claim was found and that the parcel is included in the description in Liber 42/Page 204 which is part of the Davidson chain of title.

DISCUSSION: Christopher Foss, representing the applicant, stated that he believed there was a clear line of title showing that Donna Davidson does indeed own the acreage that has been claimed by an adjacent property owner Klein. He also pointed out that it is his understanding that Klein will be officially stopping any claim on the property.

The Planning Board had no further comments or questions regarding this issue.

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 property. Mr. Foss pointed out that Mr. Savage is already using the property for his syrup operation.

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: N/A

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: There was a brief discussion concerning whether or not the applicant will be offering an easement to Steven Savage for driveway access.

Mr. Foss indicated that he didn’t believe an easement would be included in the deed description but would verify that issue before the next meeting.

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. The acreage being transferred is for agricultural purposes and will have very little land use impact.

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

MADE BY: Eric VanAlstyne

SECONDED: Garth Bruce

VOTE: 5 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 Donna Davidson’s subdivision application for 6:00 p.m., Tuesday, July 11, 2017.

MADE BY: Tony Ambrosino

SECONDED: Ernest Niforos

VOTE: 5 in favor, 0 opposed

VI. DAVID MORSE – PROPERTY TRANSACTION ALONG MAPLE AVENUE (COUNTY HIGHWAY 122):

Background:

David Morse (Life Use c/o Jerinne Spaker and Charlene Smith) own a piece of property along the east side of Maple Avenue (County Highway 122) in the Town of Johnstown (Tax Map Parcel No. 148.-2-48). The property is approximately 4+/- acres in size. The applicant would like to split the property into two (2) parcels that will each be transferred to adjacent lot owners. Lot #1 will be transferred to William and Charlene Smith and will have direct access on Maple Avenue. Lot #2 will be transferred to David and Linda Morse who own an adjacent landlocked parcel with a home.

DISCUSSION: Mr. Geraghty explained that the applicant is essentially proposing to take a landlocked parcel, subdivide it into two (2) parcels and then transfer both parcels to adjacent tax parcels.

Planning Board Member Ernest Niforos questioned whether or not the proposed transaction should be treated as a subdivision under the Town’s Regulations?

Mr. Geraghty pointed out that he felt the Planning Board could treat the property transaction as a lot line amendment given the fact that the landlocked parcel will essentially be eliminated because portions of the lot will be transferred to adjacent property owners leaving one (1) less property. He indicated that no new building lots will be created as part of the transaction.

Planning Board Member Eric VanAlstyne noted that it appears as though multiple homes will be located on the lot to be conveyed to David and Linda Morse.

Chris Foss, representing the applicant, indicated that he didn’t believe both of the trailers were occupied, but pointed out that all of the structures on the landlocked parcel are in existence and the applicants are not asking to build any new structures.

Eventually, the Planning Board agreed that the proposed transaction is not subject to the Town’s Subdivision Regulations since no new building lots are being created.

PLANNING BOARD ACTION:

MOTION: Recognizing that the David Morris’ property transaction along Maple Avenue Extension is not subject to the Town’s Subdivision Regulations and can be approved as a lot line amendment.

MADE BY: Tony Ambrosino

SECONDED: Garth Bruce

VOTE: 5 in favor, 0 opposed

Mr. Foss handed out a revised survey map to Board members showing that the driveway on Lot #2 will not be deeded to the adjacent property owner as a right-of-way.

VII. CLOSE OF THE MEETING:

MOTION: To close the meeting at 6:34 p.m.

MADE BY: Richard Lynaugh

SECONDED: Garth Bruce

VOTE: 5 in favor, 0 opposed