Lewis County
Minutes

January 18, 2007: County Planning Board Meeting

Body:

MINUTES

LEWIS COUNTY PLANNING BOARD

January 18, 2007

1.         Call to Order: Chairman Dennis 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:  Dennis Lee, Mike Green, Pat Wallace, Vicki Roy, Mike Kaido and Tom Sweet.  Legislators present:  Richard Lucas.  Staff present: John Sorbello, Director of Economic Development; Renee Beyer, Planner.  Others: Cheryl Shenkle-O’Neill, Snow Belt Housing Company, Inc.

The Board skipped to agenda item

 8.  Report of County Planner

§         Introduction of the new Economic Development Director, Mr. John A. Sorbello and the new Planning Board member, Mr. Mike Kaido.

Mr. Kaido and Mr. Sorbello were both introduced to the Board.  Mr. Kaido is a newly appointed member from the Town of Lewis; he currently serves on their Planning Board as well.  Mr. Sorbello is the newly hired Director of Economic Development.  He will be overseeing the duties of County Planning. 

3.         Reading and Approval of Minutes:  The October 24, 2006 meeting minutes were received and there were no modifications by the Board members present.  Mr. Green motioned to approve the minutes; Mr. Wallace seconded the motion, which carried unanimously.

4.         Correspondence and Communication:  None

5.         Report From Officers:  None

6.         Election of Officers:  Mrs. Beyer stated that this being the first meeting of 2007 that it would be appropriate to elect a Chairman and a Vice-Chairman for the year.  Chairman Lee asked for nominations.  Mr. Lucas made a motion to close the nominations from the floor and nominated Mr. Lee as Chairman and Mr. Sweet as Vice-Chair.  Mrs. Roy seconded the motion, which carried unanimously. 

7.         Report of Special Committees:

 

239-M Review Committee

Mrs. Beyer reviewed the following projects.  Due to the fact that Mrs. Shenkle-O’Neill was present, the Board reviewed the two project submissions from Snowbelt Housing Company, Inc. first.

VILLAGE OF LOWVILLE PLANNING BOARD

Special Permit Request – To reinstate a non-conforming use by completing major renovations to an existing five (5) unit multiple-family dwelling located at 5497 Water Street in the Village of Lowville.  Snowbelt Housing Company, Inc. – Applicant

Mr. Green asked for clarification of the location of the project within the Village.  Mrs. Beyer addressed a map that was attached to the review and explained in better detail the location of the project.  Mrs. Beyer also stated that this applicant has also submitted another review for an adjacent multiple-family structure and that it might be more practical to discuss both projects at the same time. 

§                     Compatibility With Adjacent Uses:

The proposed project is located in a R-9 Zone (Residential 9,000 sq ft lot) as defined by the Village of Lowville Zoning Law.  Multiple-family dwellings are not an allowed use in this zone.  This particular building has been unoccupied for more than one year.  According to the Village of Lowville Zoning Law, to re-instate the multiple-family dwelling use the applicant must apply for a variance. The proposed project is compatible with adjacent uses.  

§                     Traffic Generation and Effect:

The proposed project is located on Water Street.  It appears that there will not be a significant impact on the existing roadway.  According to the Village of Lowville Zoning Law, parking requirements for a multiple-family structure specify four (4) parking spaces for every three (3) dwelling units. There is room for two (2) parking spaces in front of this building, but due to the lack of space at this site, the applicant intends to provide an additional two (2) more parking spaces for the occupants of this building behind their other apartment building located at 5475 Water Street. 

§                     Community Facilities:

Municipal water and sewer already exists at this site.  The proposed project will not adversely affect community facilities.

§                     Drainage:

Drainage is not addressed in the application. 

§                     Protection of Community Character:

The proposed project is located within an existing block of multiple-family dwellings.  The applicant proposes to complete major interior and exterior renovations, to include vinyl siding and a new roof. The project will not have an adverse effect on the existing community character.

§                     Screening:

Screening is not addressed in the application.

§                     Landscaping/Signage:

Landscaping will be provided around park areas, in addition to green space at both the front and rear of the building.

Recommendation: Disapprove – Comments: The applicant should apply to the Town/Village of Lowville Zoning Board of Appeals for a variance to re-instate this use.

VILLAGE OF LOWVILLE PLANNING BOARD

Special Permit Request – To reinstate a non-conforming use by completing major renovations and possibly creating a sixth apartment within an existing five (5) unit multiple-family dwelling located at 5475 Water Street in the Village of Lowville.  Snowbelt Housing Company, Inc. – Applicant

§                     Compatibility With Adjacent Uses:

The proposed project is located in a R-9 Zone (Residential 9,000 sq ft lot) as defined by the Village of Lowville Zoning Law.  Multiple-family dwellings are not an allowed use in this zone.  This particular building has been unoccupied for more than one year.  According to the Village of Lowville Zoning Law, to re-instate the multiple-family dwelling use the applicant must apply for a variance. The proposed project is compatible with adjacent uses.   

§                     Traffic Generation and Effect:

The proposed project is located on Water Street.  It appears that there will not be a significant impact on the existing roadway.  According to the Village of Lowville Zoning Law, parking requirements for a multiple-family structure specifies four (4) parking spaces for every three (3) dwelling units. The applicant proposes to provide eight (8) parking spaces behind the building.

§                     Community Facilities:

Municipal water and sewer already exists at this site.  The proposed project will not adversely affect community facilities.

§                     Drainage:

Is not addressed in the application. 

§                     Protection of Community Character:

The proposed project is located within an existing block of multiple-family dwellings.  The applicant proposes to complete major interior and exterior renovations.  The proposed project will not have an adverse effect on existing community character.

§                     Screening:

The applicant intends to provide screening of the parking areas from the surrounding residences.

§                     Landscaping/Signage:

Landscaping will be provided around the parking area, in addition to green space in the front of the building.

Recommendation: Disapprove – Comments:  The applicant should apply to the Town/Village of Lowville Zoning Board of Appeals for a variance to re-instate this use.

The Board discussed these projects and asked for clarification of why the proposed project required a variance.  Mrs. Beyer explained that the proposed project was a building that had been vacant for more than one year.  According to the Village Zoning Law, re-instating this use in this zone would not be an allowed use. Because the building has been vacant for more than one year; the applicant must apply for a variance to re-instate the use. 

The Board addressed Mrs. Shenkle-O’Neill and asked her if a disapproval by the Board would hold up her project.  Mrs. Shenkle-O’Neill explained that she is in the process of writing a grant to get money to perform these renovations and that she will receive more points on her application if she has local approval for her project.  The Board asked her if she would like a letter of support from the Board to submit with her application.  She said yes, she would like that.

Mr. Sorbello noted that the review incorrectly addressed the parking requirements for these two buildings.  He stated that if the Zoning Law was quoted correctly, (4) parking spaces for every (3) units, then more parking would be necessary to accommodate the parking needs at 5497 Water Street.  Mrs. Shenkle-O’Neill stated that there was space for at least nine parking spots behind the building on 5475.  Mr. Sorbello stated that, based on the Zoning, she would need to provide 13 or 14 spaces.  Mr. Sorbello stated that she may also need to request an area variance if adequate parking cannot be accommodated. 

Mrs. Shenkle-O’Neill explained that she has intentions of purchasing additional land both across the road from the buildings and the vacant lot beside 5497 Water Street to provide additional green space for the occupants of the buildings or to provide additional parking. 

The Board expressed that they were very supportive of this project, however, they understood the need to disapprove it.   The Board discussed writing a letter of support and asked that the Economic Development Department Draft a letter and Chairman Lee will sign it. 

Mr. Lucas made a motion to disapprove both this project and the following  project submitted by the same applicant.  He also stated that the response should explain to the Village why the Board is disapproving these projects and also state that the Board is supportive of to proposed improvements.  Mrs. Roy seconded the motion, which carried unanimously. 

Mr. Green made a motion that the County Planning Board write a letter in support of the project addressed to Snowbelt Housing Company, Inc.  Mr. Sweet seconded the motion, which carried unanimously.

VILLAGE OF LOWVILLE VILLAGE BOARD

Review proposed Town and Village of Lowville Comprehensive Plan 2005.

Village of Lowville - Applicant

The joint Town and Village Comprehensive Plan 2005 is a plan devised by the two municipalities with the intention that it will provide a long-range Plan for development and growth for both the Village and Town of Lowville.  The NYS Tug Hill Commission assisted in the development of this Plan. The process began in 1999 and a final draft Plan was issued in July of 2005.    

   

Recommendation: Approve

Mrs. Beyer explained that both the Town and Village are each responsible for requesting a review by the County Planning Board of their joint Comprehensive Plan, therefore, there are two submissions which must be reviewed.  Mrs. Beyer further explained that each municipality would be responsible for passing their own legislation to adopt the Plan once the County Planning Board has completed it’s review.  Mrs. Beyer stated that the Town and Village reviews could be done simultaneously. 

TOWN OF LOWVILLE TOWN BOARD

Review proposed Town and Village Comprehensive Plan 2005. 

Town of Lowville - Applicant

The joint Town and Village Comprehensive Plan 2005 is a plan devised by the two municipalities with the intention that it will provide a long-range Plan for development and growth for both the Village and Town of Lowville.  The NYS Tug Hill Commission assisted in the development of this Plan. The process began in 1999 and a final draft Plan was issued in July of 2005.

Recommendation: Approve

Mr. Lucas made a motion to approve both the Town of Lowville and the Village of Lowville requests for review of their Comprehensive Plan.  Mr. Sweet seconded that motion, which carried unanimously.

 

8.         Report of County Planner:  (completed earlier in meeting)

9.         Unfinished Business:  none

10.     New Business: Mr. Green asked the Board about ATV trails within the county.  He stated  that the reason for his request was that he is a trustee of the Town of Montague and they are intending to close their roads to ATV traffic.  Mr. Green asked what the County was doing to fix the problem.  Mr. Sorbello, Mr. Lucas and Mrs. Beyer explained that the County Economic Development Office is working on the issue and that due to the current lawsuit against the County progress has been slow.  However, they explained to Mr. Green and the Board that trails are a priority.  Mr. Lucas urged Mr. Green to have his Town Board meet with Mr. Diehl the County Trail Coordinator.     

11.     Adjournment:  There being no other business, a motion to adjourn the meeting was made by Mr. Lucas and seconded by Mrs. Roy.  Chairman Lee adjourned the meeting at 7:00 PM.

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