Lewis County

August 16, 2007: County Planning Board Meeting




August 16, 2007


1.         Call to Order: Chairman Lee called the monthly meeting of the Lewis County Planning Board to order at 6:00 PM in the Legislative Chambers, Lewis County Court House, Lowville, NY.


2.         Roll Call: Board members present: Tom Sweet, Mike Kaido, Vicki Roy, Rick Lucas, Pat Wallace and Dennis Lee.  Staff present: Renee Beyer, Planner.    


3.         Reading and Approval of Minutes:  The July 19, 2007 meeting minutes were received and there were no modifications made by the Board members present.  Mr. Lucas motioned to approve the minutes; Mrs. Roy seconded the motion, which carried unanimously.


4.         Correspondence and Communication:  None



5.         Report From Officers:  None


6.         Report of Special Committees:

239-M Review Committee

            Mrs. Beyer reviewed the following referral:




Site Plan Review and Special Permit request for the establishment of a Chinese Restaurant and the conversion of an empty storefront into a commercial space located at 7508 South State Street in the Village of Lowville.  Dragon House Restaurant / Rui M. Dong  - Applicant

Mrs. Beyer addressed the second page of the review, which contained a map showing the location of the proposed project.

§                     Compatibility With Adjacent Uses:

The proposed project is located in the Village of Lowville on South State Street (NYS Route 12).  The building contains two storefronts.  The storefront located to the south currently contains a card shop; this space will be converted into the restaurant.  The card shop will be moved to the storefront on the north.  Other uses located to the south of the proposed restaurant are a sub shop, hairdresser and an electrical contractor.  The building located to the north of this property is owned by Lewis County and currently houses county offices.  The proposed project is an allowed use in a CA Zone and is compatible with the adjacent uses.

§                     Traffic Generation and Effect:


According to the site plan, a driveway providing access to the back of the building for deliveries is located on Water Street.  The driveway is currently utilized by the adjacent businesses for deliveries. It does appear that the existing road can accommodate an increase in traffic.  According to the Village Zoning law, the applicant is not required to provide parking for a nonresidential use in a CA Zone.  The applicant's site plan shows five parking areas at the rear of the building for the existing residential uses above the commercial storefronts.

§                     Protection of Community Character:

The proposed project is located in the Village of Lowville. The proposed project will not adversely affect the existing community character.

§                     Signage:

According to the site plan, the applicant proposes one sign for this project.  The sign will be located on the front of the building.  The sign measures 18 square feet, which is less than the maximum size allowed according to the Village Zoning Law. 

The Board reviewed the site plan and other information submitted by the applicant. A motion was made by Mr. Lucas to approve the project. Mr. Wallace seconded the motion, which carried unanimously.


7.            Report of County Planner:

Mrs. Beyer reported the responses from the joint Town/Village of Lowville Planning Board in regard to two projects reviewed at previous meetings.  The Town/Village Planning Board approved the Site Plan Review request from RKR Auto Sales.  The minutes from the Town/Village Planning Board reflect that they requested additional traffic flow plans from the applicant.  Mrs. Beyer then told the Board that the Use Variance request for the machinery sales business on the Number Three Road was also approved, the applicant was required to move the machinery farther from the road and the Town/Village Planning Board granted the variance. 

Mrs. Beyer finally informed the Board that the Town/Village Planning Board approved a project that was not brought to the County Planning Board due to a lack of information provided by the Village in their referral.

The Board voiced their concern for the lack of information at the Town and Village level as well as their lack for concern of the legal process involved in referring projects to the County for review.  Mrs. Beyer stated that she understood their concern and that the County Planning Board serves as an advisory Board to the Towns and Villages. Mrs. Beyer explained that she is looking into a process by which any referral that is sent to the County that does not have a County-wide impact would be reviewed by planning staff and a recommendation would be returned to the referring body.  This process would decrease the number of Board meetings and would allow the Board to have input on projects that have a countywide impact.  Mr. Lucas told the Board that the legislative committee responsible for the Planning Office agrees with this concept.  He asked the Board to share their thought on the proposed change.  The Board voiced there concern again that the Towns and Villages do not always follow the rules or listen the Planning Boards recommendations.  The Board asked if there was some way they could be kept informed of the projects that the planning office reviews that do not require the full Board to meet.  Mrs. Beyer offered to keep them informed via a monthly newsletter which would be on the County's website and could be mailed to them as well. Ultimately the Board approved of the concept.     

8.            Unfinished Business:  None



9.            New Business:  None


10.        Adjournment:  Their being no other business, a motion to adjourn the meeting was made by Mr. Sweet and seconded by Mrs. Roy.  Chairman Lee adjourned the meeting at 6:40 PM.




Respectfully submitted,

Renee J. Beyer



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