NOVEMBER 14, 2017
6:00 P.M.













The meeting was called to order at 6:01 p.m.


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


MADE BY: Garth Bruce

SECONDED: Richard Lynaugh

VOTE: 7 in favor, 0 opposed



Amber Nellis is proposing to use an existing structure at 115 South Pine Street for a Home Occupation (Tax Map Parcel No. 149.8-24-25). Ms. Nellis’ Home Occupation is a dog grooming business that will be conducted entirely within her garage. Some minor remodeling of the interior of the garage is required before the business can be opened.

September 12, 2017 Meeting:

During its September 12, 2017 meeting, the Planning Board began reviewing Amber Nellis’ Special Permit application for a dog grooming business at 115 South Pine Street. At that time, the Planning Board determined that additional information was needed before a public hearing on the application could be scheduled. The Planning Board asked that the following information be provided:

1. A scaled sketch plan of the property showing all buildings and setbacks from property lines and adjacent buildings.

STATUS: Orthoimagery of the property has been provided showing approximate building dimensions and some of the setbacks from adjacent property lines.

DISCUSSION: Planning Board Member Eric VanAlstyne asked if there were any setback requirements for the business itself?

Both County Planner Sean Geraghty and Town Code Enforcement Officer Ryan Fagan indicated that there were no regulations governing how close a business could come to an adjacent property line. Both indicated that the Town’s setback requirements only pertain to the structures themselves.

2. The square footage of space inside the garage to be used for the Home Occupation must be identified.

STATUS: Based on the Town’s Zoning Law, a maximum of 15% of total floor area can be used for a Home Occupation. The applicant has shown a calculation that would allow her to use up to 334 sq. ft. of space for her dog grooming business. The orthoimagery of the property shows a space approximately 320 sq. ft. in size designated for the business.

DISCUSSION: A few Planning Board members noted that the applicant added the square footage on the front porch to the overall floor area calculation. After a brief discussion, Board members felt that the area to be used inside the garage for the Home Occupation would comply with the Town’s 15% total floor area limit.

3. A notation should be made on the drawing indicating that the Home Occupation will be conducted entirely within the enclosed walls of the garage.

STATUS: Provided.

4. The location, size and design of any sign advertising the business must be identified.

STATUS: A 2 sq. ft. sign has been shown attached to the mailbox in the front yard.

DISCUSSION: Planning Board Alternate Tony Ambrosino pointed out that the 2 sq. ft. sign attached to the front mailbox is likely to get knocked off during the winter season by the snowplows. He suggested that the applicant move the sign to a better location along the front of the property.

5. A notation should be made on the drawing indicating that public water is available to the building and that the property is served by an onsite septic system. The applicant was also asked to contact the Town Code Enforcement Officer regarding the existing system for a determination as to whether it can handle the additional flow that will be generated by the dog grooming business.

STATUS: Town Code Enforcement Officer Ryan Fagan has been contacted regarding the existing system, and he has indicated that the onsite septic system should be adequately sized. He has recommended that a filter/screen for dog hair be added to the system. A notation has also been made on the application indicating that public water is available to the site.

DISCUSSION: Mr. Fagan indicated that he felt the volume of water to be used for the dog grooming business could be handled by the existing system.

6. The hours of operation for the proposed business must be identified.

STATUS: The hours of operation are identified as Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

DISCUSSION: The Planning Board had no questions concerning the hours of operation.

7. The number of customers that the business will generate on a typical day should be identified.

STATUS: The applicant indicates that an average of four (4) dogs are seen each day.

DISCUSSION: The Planning Board recognized that the applicant may have days when there are more than four (4) dogs seen at the business.

Both Mr. Geraghty and Mr. Fagan explained that the Planning Board has the option of limiting the number of dogs that the applicant can see during any given day as part of its decision on the Special Permit application.

Several Board members indicated that they would like to see some type of limitation placed on the dog grooming business.

8. The location of off-street parking spaces for customers must be identified.

STATUS: An area has been outlined on the orthoimagery for off-street parking. However, the dimensions of that space are not clearly defined.

DISCUSSION: Mr. Ambrosino pointed out that the applicant’s driveway is fairly long and there should be enough space to park several vehicles in the driveway.

Mr. VanAlstyne noted that this type of business typically doesn’t require many parking spaces since clients usually drop off their dogs and come back later in the day to get them.

9. A Short Environmental Assessment Form for the application must be completed.


DISCUSSION: Mr. Geraghty indicated that he would send Ms. Nellis a Short Environmental Assessment Form to be completed prior to next month’s meeting.

Planning Board Action:

In accordance with Section 84-54 of the Town of Johnstown Zoning Regulations, the Planning Board shall hold a public hearing on a complete Special Use Permit application within sixty-two (62) days from the determination of the Planning Board that the application is complete. Does the Planning Board feel that it has enough information to schedule a public hearing at this time?

DISCUSSION: The Planning Board felt that the applicant provided enough information to schedule a public hearing on the Special Permit application.

MOTION: To scheduled a public hearing on Amber Nellis’ Special Permit application for a dog grooming business for 6:00 p.m., Tuesday, December 12, 2017.

MADE BY: Mike McGrail

SECONDED: Eric VanAlstyne

VOTE: 7 in favor, 0 opposed


A. Code Enforcement Update:

1. Future Code Enforcement Officer:

Town Code Enforcement Officer Ryan Fagan introduced Todd Unislawski as the Town’s future Code Enforcement Officer.

Mr. Unislawski indicated that he was looking forward to trying his hand at being a Code Enforcement Officer.

Planning Board Member Richard Lynaugh asked Mr. Unislawski to tell the Planning Board a little bit about his past experiences.

Mr. Unislawski indicated that he has been working in facility maintenance for the past 14 years for the Fulton Friendship House. He indicated that the position has required him to learn about several different types of codes.

Planning Board Member Mike McGrail asked if he would be taking classes in order to get certified as a Code Enforcement Officer?

Mr. Fagan explained to Board members that he has set up an extensive schedule of classes that Mr. Unislawski will have to take in order to get his certifications. He pointed out that in order to get his State certification, he will need to complete 190 hours of course work. On top of that, Mr. Fagan indicated that all certified Code Enforcement Officers in New York State are required to take between 24 and 30 credit hours per year of ongoing training.

Mr. VanAlstyne pointed out that this time of year is a good opportunity to get all the class work completed since there’s not a lot of hands on experience that can be gained during the winter months.

Mr. McGrail asked Mr. Fagan what he will be doing once he leaves the Code Enforcement Officer position?

Mr. Fagan indicated that he and his wife will be working with some local contractors on a variety of projects and will also be doing quite a bit of community service work.

2. CG Roxane:

Mr. Fagan explained that the permits for CG Roxane’s expansion have been issued. He reminded Board members that CG Roxane’s expansion involves the construction of about 65,000 sq. ft. of additional warehouse space at their facility.

3. Solar Farms:

Mr. Fagan explained that Borrego Solar has started work on its Solar Farm Project along Elmwood Avenue. He pointed out that the Solar Farms on County Road 142A and NYS Route 67 are wrapping up. He indicated that issues involving landscaping, signage and maintenance plans still need to be finalized for those projects.

Mr. Lynaugh asked if the Solar Farm on Robert Smullen’s property has been started?

Mr. Fagan indicated that there hasn’t been any activity on Mr. Smullen’s property yet.

Mr. VanAlstyne asked if special inspections are required for the concrete work on the Solar Farm Projects?

Mr. Fagan explained that the Solar Farm cement work is considered light-frame construction so special inspections are not required. Mr. Fagan and Mr. VanAlstyne then talked briefly about when a special inspector is required and whether or not owners or contractors typically hire these types of services.

4. Keller Construction Pond Project:

Planning Board Member Dick Lynaugh indicated that the Keller Construction’s Pond construction along NYS Route 67 looks like it has been finished up. He indicated that the applicants have put up some type of chicken wire fence along the right-of-way. Mr. Lynaugh asked if a more substantial fence was required as part of this project?

Mr. Geraghty indicated that he believed the applicants were told that a fence capable of collecting debris along the right-of-way and preventing it from getting into the pond was requested by the Planning Board.

Mr. Fagan indicated that he had not been out to inspect the project site but would do so shortly.

B. Chairman’s Update:

Planning Board Chairman Dick Goebel asked when the sewer line along Hales Mills Road will be installed?

Mr. Geraghty explained that the funding for the Hales Mills Road sewer line project is in the County’s 2018 Budget, so there won’t be any work until at least next year. Mr. Geraghty pointed out that the County also needs to wait on the State to have the existing infrastructure turned over to the County. He pointed out that this could take a considerable amount of time. Mr. Geraghty indicated that he would get an update on the overall project for next month’s Planning Board meeting.


MOTION: To close the meeting at 6:35 p.m.

MADE BY: Tony Ambrosino

SECONDED: Mike McGrail

VOTE: 7 in favor, 0 opposed