TOWN OF JOHNSTOWN PLANNING BOARD

SEPTEMBER 12, 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

RYAN FAGAN, CODE ENFORCEMENT OFFICER

SEAN M. GERAGHTY, SR. PLANNER

I. CALL MEETING TO ORDER:

The meeting was called to order at 6:03 p.m.

II. APPROVE MINUTES OF LAST REGULAR MEETING:

MOTION: To approve the minutes to the August 8, 2017

meeting.

MADE BY: Garth Bruce

SECONDED: Eric VanAlstyne

VOTE: 6 in favor, 0 opposed

III. ROBERT SCOTT JEWEL – PUBLIC HEARING ON A 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 three (3) building lots on the property that will be 1.496+/- acres, 2.106 and 2.011+/- acres in size respectively.

August 8, 2017 Meeting:

During its August 8, 2017 meeting, the Town of Johnstown Planning Board began reviewing Robert Scott Jewel’s subdivision application for a piece of property along Wemple Road and Watershed Road. At that time, the Planning Board determined that no additional revisions would need to be provided on the subdivision plat prior to the public hearing.

DISCUSSION: The Planning Board had no further comments or questions regarding the subdivision plat.

State Environmental Quality Review:

During its August 8, 2017 meeting, the Town of Johnstown 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 Mr. Jewel’s 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 Robert Scott Jewel’s subdivision application at this time?

MOTION: To approve Robert Scott Jewel’s subdivision application for a piece of property along Wemple Road and Watershed Road.

MADE BY: Ernest Niforos

SECONDED: Garth Bruce

VOTE: 6 in favor, 0 opposed

IV. CG ROXANE, LLC – SITE PLAN AMENDMENT FOR WATER BOTTLING PLANT (DENMARK SPRINGS WATER SUPPLY):

Background:

On May 8, 2012, CG Roxane, LLC received a Site Plan approval for its water bottling facility along Watershed Road in the Town of Johnstown (Tax Map Parcel No. 146.-1-31). The approved Site Plan application called for the project to be constructed in two (2) phases with Phase 1 involving the construction of a 176,557+/- sq. ft. facility and Phase 2 involving the addition of a 65,545+/- sq. ft. expanded facility. The company is now proposing a small amendment to the original Site Plan application which involves the decision to use the “Denmark Spring” on lands owned by the Village of Canajoharie as the third spring water source for the water bottling plant. A new road and waterline will be constructed to an existing spring box which will be reconstructed in order to use the “Denmark Spring” as the third source.

(NOTE: Planning Board Member Richard Lynaugh arrived at the meeting.)

DISCUSSION: Chad Kortz, P.E., C.T. Male Associates, explained that the Denmark Spring, which is owned by the Village of Canajoharie, currently flows to the Village but is not used. He pointed out that CG Roxane, LLC has an agreement with the Village of Canajoharie to use the Denmark Spring with any excess capacity continuing to flow to the Village of Canajoharie.

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

Mr. Geraghty explained that the only amendment to the previously-approved Site Plan is the construction of a new road and waterline and the reconstruction of an existing spring box that were not improvements that were identified on the original Site Plan application. After a brief discussion, the Planning Board felt that no additional information would be needed regarding the proposed amendment.

State Environmental Quality Review:

On May 8, 2012, the Town of Johnstown Planning Board authorized the filing of a negative declaration under SEQR for this proposed action. At that time, the Environmental Assessment Report that was attached to the negative declaration specifically noted that the source of spring water for Phase 2 of CG Roxane’s project would be either the Village of Canajoharie’s “Denmark Spring” or an alternate nearby spring on the applicant’s property. The report also noted that review and approval of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) would be required before the third spring could be used.

Section 617.7(e) of 6NYCRR indicates that any time prior to its decision to undertake, fund or approve an action, a Lead Agency, at its discretion may amend a negative declaration when substantive:

· Changes are proposed for a project.

· New information is discovered.

· Changes or circumstances related to the project arise that were not previously considered and a Lead Agency determines that no significant adverse environmental impacts will occur.

At the time of the original issuance of a negative declaration, it was determined by the Planning Board that there would be no adverse environmental impacts resulting from the proposed project regardless of which water source was used for Phase 2 of the project.

DISCUSSION: Mr. Kortz explained that the Village of Canajoharie will need to amend its Village Water Supply Application to specifically address the use of the Denmark Spring and, therefore, will need to show that SEQR has been addressed. There was a general consensus amongst Planning Board members that the decision by CG Roxane, LLC to use the Village of Canajoharie’s “Denmark Spring” for its third spring water source for its water bottling facility will have no adverse environmental impacts.

MOTION: To authorize refilling the Negative Declaration under SEQR for CG Roxane’s proposed spring water bottling facility along Watershed Road based on the same findings that were outlined in the Environmental Assessment Report dated May 8, 2012.

MADE BY: Richard Lynaugh

SECONDED: Mike McGrail

VOTE: 7 in favor, 0 opposed

Planning Board Action:

In accordance with Section 84-55I of the Town of Johnstown Zoning Regulations, the terms and conditions of any Site Plan approval may be amended in the same manner required to approve the Site Plan. The Planning Board must determine if the proposed amendment is significant enough to schedule a new public hearing on the proposed amendment.

MOTION: To waive a public hearing and to approve CG Roxane, LLC’s Site Plan amendment for its water bottling plant along Watershed Road in the Town of Johnstown.

MADE BY: Richard Goebel

SECONDED: Ernest Niforos

VOTE: 7 in favor, 0 opposed

V. AMBER NELLIS – SPECIAL USE PERMIT FOR HOME OCCUPATION (DOG GROOMING BUSINESS) AT 115 SOUTH PINE STREET:

Background:

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.

Amber Nellis explained to Board members that she has cleaned up an apartment that is inside of her garage and will use that space for a dog grooming business. She indicated that she has had the electric service for the building inspected.

Mr. Geraghty stated that, in the absence of some type of sketch plan or drawing, it is difficult for the Planning Board to have a full understanding of exactly how she intends to use the property. Mr. Geraghty suggested that the Board look at some of the standards that a Home Occupation must comply with in the Town of Johnstown.

Planning Department Review:

No sketch plan or drawing has been submitted by the applicant for the Special Permit application. Consequently, there is very little that the Planning Board can review. This particular business has been classified as a Home Occupation with onsite service and, therefore, requires a Special Use Permit that is subject to the following standards:

1. Maximum floor area can be no more than 15% of the total floor area of the dwelling unit or 500 sq. ft., whichever is less.

DISCUSSION: Ms. Nellis indicated that she thought the space inside the garage was approximately 350 to 400 sq. ft. Mr. Geraghty explained that she should speak with Town Code Enforcement Officer Ryan Fagan to determine if the amount of space she intends to use inside the garage exceeds 15% of the total floor area of the buildings on the property.

2. The use shall be conducted entirely within the enclosed walls of the dwelling unit or accessory building.

DISCUSSION: Ms. Nellis indicated that her entire business will be conducted within the garage.

3. There shall be no external evidence of such use except one (1) sign not exceeding 2 sq. ft. Such sign cannot emit any flashing or intermittent illumination.

DISCUSSION: Mr. Geraghty noted that there is a large sign currently on the property that will need to be removed. He pointed out that if the applicant wishes to have a sign exceeding 2 sq. ft. in size, then she will need to seek a variance from the Town of Johnstown Zoning Board of Appeals.

Ms. Nellis indicated that she put up the existing sign in an effort to advertise her business.

4. No external structural alterations, which are not customary to a residential building, shall be allowed.

DISCUSSION: Ms. Nellis indicated that she would not be making any exterior changes to the building.

5. Any form of business whose primary function is the wholesale or retail sale of goods or articles from the premises shall not be considered a Home Occupation.

DISCUSSION: Planning Board Member Eric VanAlstyne asked if the building is connected to public water and sewer?

Ms. Nellis indicated that public water is available to the property, but the house is connected to an onsite septic system.

Mr. VanAlstyne questioned whether the existing septic system could support what is going to be generated by the dog grooming business?

Mr. Geraghty indicated that he would contact Town Code Enforcement Officer Ryan Fagan and find out if any system upgrades will be required in order to use the existing septic system for the dog grooming business.

6. The use shall not result in or cause vehicular traffic that will create a nuisance to abutting properties or be detrimental to the residential character of the neighborhood.

DISCUSSION: Mr. VanAlstyne asked how far the garage is set back from the neighboring property owners?

Mr. Geraghty indicated that the applicant will need to provide some type of sketch plan that clearly shows the location of buildings in relation to property lines and adjacent buildings.

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: After several minutes of discussion, the Planning Board felt that the applicant needed to provide additional information in the form of a sketch plan of the site before any formal action is taken.

MOTION: To table any action on Amber Nellis’ Special Permit for a Home Occupation (Dog Grooming business) pending receipt of a sketch plan for the site.

MADE BY: Ernest Niforos

SECONDED: Albert Peck III

VOTE: 7 in favor, 0 opposed

VI. OTHER BUSINESS:

A. Chairman’s Update:

Planning Board Chairman Dick Goebel indicated that he attended the Site Selectors meeting on Friday, September 8, 2017, at the Holiday Inn. He indicated that the Site Selectors were very impressed with the PTECH Program as well as the local BOCES itself. He indicated they talked about how much of an asset it is for a community to have a good sewage treatment plant with excess capacity. On the other hand, Mr. Goebel pointed out that the Site Selectors also expressed some concern with the local workforce. Several members pointed out that there was some recent bad publicity regarding the City of Gloversville. There was then several minutes of lively discussion concerning the local labor market.

B. Planning Board Member Mike McGrail expressed some discontent with the fact that Tom Avgerakas’ office building project on North Pine Street has not been constructed in accordance with the Planning Board’s approved Site Plan for the property.

Mr. Geraghty explained that once the Planning Board issues its approval of a Site Plan application, it is then the responsibility of the Code Enforcement Office to see that a property owner complies with the approved Site Plan drawing. He indicated that, unfortunately, the Planning Board has no policing authority over applications that come before it and must rely on the Town Board and the Code Enforcement Office to make applicants comply with what they indicated they were going to do on their Site Plan application.

C. Mr. VanAlstyne questioned the size of the detention ponds for W.J. Keller Construction Company’s Site Plan application for property along NYS Route 67. He indicated that the ponds are much larger than what was shown on the Site Plan drawings.

Mr. Geraghty indicated that he would speak with Town Code Enforcement Officer Ryan Fagan regarding the status of this project.

D. Mr. McGrail asked if there has been any progress on proposals for projects in the Hales Mills Development Area?

Mr. Geraghty indicated that the County has budgeted money next year to get sewer services to the Development Area but, as of yet, there are no projects proposed along Hales Mills Road.

VII. CLOSE OF THE MEETING:

MOTION: To close the meeting at 7:45 p.m.

MADE BY: Dick Goebel

SECONDED: Ernest Niforos

VOTE: 7 in favor, 0 opposed