Lewis County

November 15, 2007: County Planning Board Meeting




November 15, 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, Mike Green, Pat Wallace and Dennis Lee.  Staff present: Renee Beyer, Planner.


Representatives from Barrett Paving Materials, Inc. present:  Dean Herrick, Sam Gowan, Brian Millman, David Shank, and Mike LaBuzz.  Town of Lyonsdale Zoning Officer: Joe Pfieffer. Others present:  Steve Virkler-Watertown Daily Times, Robert Domagala, and Gregory Millick.


3.         Reading and Approval of Minutes:  The August16, 2007 meeting minutes were received and there were no modifications made by the Board members present.  Mr. Green 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 introduced the representatives from Barrett Paving Materials Inc., and asked permission from the Board to conduct the review in conjunction with input from the representatives.  The Board agreed that this format would be acceptable.  Mrs. Beyer asked the representatives from Barrett to add information, as they deemed necessary while she completed the review.


Site Plan Review for the establishment of a new 78-acre limestone mine located on NYS Route 12 in the Town of Leyden.

Barrett Paving Materials, Inc. - Applicant


Mrs. Beyer opened the discussion up to Barrett to explain the location and directed the Board to the location map attached to the review.  The Barrett representatives provided additional maps depicting the location.  Mr. Wallace inquired if the applicant had contacted NYS Department of Transportation (DOT) or the NYS Department of Parks and Recreation (Parks) to obtain access to the proposed site.  The applicant stated that they have already spoken to Parks regarding the canal crossing and that they were planning to talk to DOT once they had County, NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and Town approval.  Mr. Lee asked if DEC would be the lead agency in the process.  Barrett stated yes, DEC would be the lead applicant.  The Board and the Barrett representatives discussed the Black River Canal area in detail.

Mr. Green inquired about the number of buildings that will be located on site.  The representatives from Barrett stated there might be a scale house, and possibly a maintenance garage.


The question was asked about the depth of the mine, the Barrett representatives stated that during the first five years of the mine the floor will be approximately 60 feet below the natural topography of the area.  Mr. Wallace asked about water and drainage at the site. A hydrologist representing Barrett explained to the Board that the water flows from east to west and that there will not be an impact on surrounding wells.  He also stated that there would not be an impact on the Village water supply because it comes from the Moose River Road area approximately 2 miles east of the site.  Additionally, the Board discussed storm/runoff water disposal at the site.  The representatives stated that there would be no need to pump water from the mine, that the natural topography will allow drainage of the mine.  Mr. Wallace expressed a concern for the culverts and ditches along NYS Rt. 12 due to possible drainage issues created in the area.

Mrs. Beyer read the following review to the Board:

§         Compatibility With Adjacent Uses:

The proposed project is located to the west of NYS Route 12, just north of the Village of Port Leyden limits in the Town of Leyden.  The proposed mine is located on a vacant parcel owned by the applicant.  Land uses surrounding the proposed project location are mainly residential, one commercial property and a community park/open space area.  There are approximately 20 residential properties within a radius of 1,000 feet of the border of the life of the mine area and one commercial property.  The park is approximately 1,350 feet from the proposed entrance and initial mine area.


The setback of the life of the mine boundary is at least 25 feet from the property line on all sides; an additional 60 feet back from the life of the mine boundary will be disturbed but not mined.

In addition to residential, commercial and open space, there is an underground gas transmission line located approximately 50 feet west of the life of the mine boundary as well as National Grid overhead power line running through the center of the proposed mining site.  The applicant states that the excavation boundary will remain at least 150 feet away from the gas transmission line.

The applicant proposes to excavate only 6.2 acres of the total proposed 78-acre mine during the first five years of its mining permit.  However, the impact of the entire 78-acre mine that proposes to be in existence for approximately 80 years, must be considered when looking at this proposed project.  The proposed project is not compatible with adjacent uses.


The Barrett representatives stated that the mine's life should be approximately 30 years, not 80 as stated in the review.


§         Traffic Generation and Effect:

The applicant proposes the construction of a new 50 feet wide access road from NYS Route 12 approximately 1,200 feet north of the Village of Port Leyden.  The access road will be paved for at least 200 feet to ensure that site debris is freed from truck tire surfaces prior to entering NYS Route 12.  There currently is access to the site off of Rugg Road.  The applicant states that this access road will not be used for truck traffic.

According to the applicant, at peak construction times (mid-April through mid-November), they estimate 484 truckloads of aggregate leaving the mine each week. During peak activity hours they estimate 20 trucks per hour.  According to statistics provided by the applicant regarding NYS DOT traffic information for this area, traffic, on average, has increased by 1% per year for each of the last three years.  Additionally, according to the applicant, the proposed project will increase traffic by 1.6% in this area, for a projected cumulative increase of 2.6%.


The Barrett representatives stated that they do not intend to move the asphalt mix plant to the Port Leyden location.  They did state that they would be trucking material from the Port Leyden mine to the Boonville mine, crushing it, and then trucking it out again.  They also stated that there would be no net increase in traffic in the area.  The Board; however, felt that there would be some increase in traffic.


The applicant also states that the line of site to both the north and south of the access road are sufficient to ensure that traffic flow will not be obstructed and traffic safety will not be significantly impacted.

Parking for the workers and site traffic flow are not addressed in the application.


Mr. Lee asked about parking for the workers at the mine and during blasting.  The Barrett representatives state that there would be off-site parking during blasts, however, they would be providing parking on-site during normal operations.


Mr. Lee also inquired about the number of blasts per week that would be occurring at the mine.  The Barrett representatives stated they anticipate approximately 1 to 2 blasts per month.  They also stated that the neighbors would be notified in advance of the blasts and that they are required to monitor the blasts at the nearest residences and keep those records on hand.


§         Protection of Community Character:

The proposed project is located in the Town of Leyden, which is a single unnamed zone.  The Village of Port Leyden, including the Village Park and swimming pool, are approximately 1,200 feet from the site of the proposed project.  Residential properties exist on all four sides of the proposed project.  NYS Route 12, the Black River Canal, and an inactive rail line are present to the east of the proposed project. Additionally, there is a commercial property located to the south of the proposed location.


The proposed hours of operation of the mine are Monday through Saturday 6:00 AM to 6:00 PM, and Sunday from 6:00 AM to 5:00 PM as necessary to meet demand.  The applicant states that there may be occasions where aggregate processing, front-end loaders, and haul trucks will be operating during evening and nighttime hours to meet contractual demands.


The proposed project may adversely affect the existing community character.


§         Signage:

The applicant stated that signage would be placed on NYS Route 12 to indicate truck traffic and to assist in traffic control at the access point of the mine.  No additional signage was addressed.


§         Drainage:

The proposed area of the mine contains approximately 10 wetlands, all of which are too small in size to be listed by DEC or to be Federally protected.  There are two class C trout streams, one located to the north and one to the south of the proposed project site.  Both of these streams drain into the Black River.  According to the applicant, only a small portion of the northwest corner of the proposed site drains into the northern stream, this area will eventually be excavated.


During the development of this site, the applicant proposes to use silt fences and stone check dams as temporary surface water management features and to reduce erosion and control sedimentation.


§         Lighting:

Lighting was not addressed in the application.

§         Landscaping/screening:

The applicant proposes to place vegetated berms measuring at least 10 feet high and 40 feet wide at the base on the north, west, and south sides of the excavation area using topsoil and the overburden that will be stripped from the bedrock of the excavation area.

Mr. Lee asked Mrs. Beyer what was the greatest concern she had regarding this project.  Mrs. Beyer stated that both the proximity of the Village and the noise impact on the Village from the project were her greatest concerns.

A representative from Barrett discussed the noise and it's impact on the surrounding residences.  He stated that upon completion of a sound impact study, they have determined that the placement of the vegetated berm would be acceptable mitigation according to DEC standards.

The Board discussed the project further and asked questions regarding the gas line, power line, and about the impacts on traffic and neighbors. The Board also asked the applicant about the timeframe for obtaining other permits.  Mr. Lee inquired about the tax implications of the property at the County level.  Mrs. Roy stated yes, there would be a significant increase in taxes levied on this property.

The consensus of the Board was that the project would be an asset to the County and that with mitigation, the impacts on the surrounding community would be minimal.  Mr. Green made a motion to approve the project; Mrs. Roy seconded the motion, which carried unanimously.


Mrs. Beyer reviewed the second proposed project as follows:


Area variance request to allow the construction of an attached 22 feet x 24 feet, two-stall garage to an existing single-family dwelling.  The addition will be located within 22 feet of the rear property line, 40 feet is the required setback according to the Village Zoning Law.  The proposed project is located on the corner of Clinton Street and West State Street in the Village of Lowville.

Robert Reynolds - Applicant


Mrs. Beyer addressed the map attached to the review in order to assist the Board with determining the location of the requested variance.


§         Compatibility with Adjacent Uses:


The proposed project is located in an R-14 zone, which is defined as residential 14,000 square feet. The property is a corner lot and is surrounded by residential, commercial and religious uses. The proposed project is compatible with adjacent uses.

§         Traffic Generation and Effect:


The proposed project is located in the Village of Lowville and has existing access on West State Street. The proposed project will not have an impact on traffic.


§         Protection of Community Character:


The proposed project is located in an existing residential district. According to the Village Zoning Law, an accessory structure, such as a detached garage, has a required setback of 10 feet of the rear lot line. If the accessory structure is attached to a principal building, it shall comply in all respects with the requirements applicable to the principal building. The addition of a garage to this dwelling will not affect the existing community character.


Mrs. Beyer further explained to the Board that if the applicant were to have built a detached garage they would not require an area variance because the Zoning Law requires a 10-foot setback from the lot lines for a detached accessory structure.


§         Signage:

Not applicable

§         Drainage:

Not applicable

§         Screening/Visibility:

Screening was not addressed in the application

§         Lighting:

Not applicable


The Board discussed other variances that had been sought in the Village.  The Board also addressed the location of the neighbors to the proposed project.  Mr. Sweet made a motion to approve the variance; Mr. Wallace seconded the motion, which carried unanimously.


7.            Report of County Planner:

Mrs. Beyer informed the Board that the Town of Martinsburg had responded since the last County Planning Board meeting that they had passed their local law regarding the extension of their wind power overlay.

Mrs. Beyer distributed to the Board the notice regarding the 4-Hour Training Session that will be held on the 27th of November.  Additionally, Mrs. Beyer reviewed the training that the Board members had received to-date.  Mr. Sweet has completed all four hours of required training.  Mrs. Roy and Mr. Wallace have completed 1.5 hours.  Mr. Green, Wallace, Lee, Kaido, and Mrs. Roy all stated that they plan to attend the upcoming 4-hour training session.

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. Green and seconded by Mrs. Roy.  Chairman Lee adjourned the meeting at 7:10 PM.




Respectfully submitted,

Renee J. Beyer



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