Town of North Harmony
Tuesday, 4/10/2018, 7:00 PM
Members Present: Pat Rice Dick Johnson
John Warner Louis Rieg
Phil Strand Walter Geist
Brad Lawson, Zoning C.E.O
Others Present: Louise Ortman, Jerry Grice, Helen Emick, Stephanie Gibbs, Dick Sena
Mr. Rice opened the meeting at 7:00 PM.
Mr. Lawson, Zoning C.E.O. gave report.
Mr. Sena said he read the proposals to the Town Board and Mr. Grice does not believe that fits his needs for the property.
Mr. Grice said he purchased the land several years ago at the same time the Tordellas did and decided to put the storage in with their son. He spent that time demolishing houses and leveling the land out with the mindset of at some point putting a commercial business there and they ended up building a couple other houses for themselves and not pursuing that. He said they put it on the market as a commercial property after they had received a letter in 2016 that the property was zoned commercial. Mr. Grice said they had a purchaser that showed interest in putting a little store there and when the buyer come to do his due diligence and found out the property had been changed from commercial to an R3 district which he had missed that information and during pursuing the issue they found out in fact it was changed to an R3. They got word that the Planning board put in a recommendation that the land be changed to a TC2 district or back to C1 and it stated in the letter that a TC2 would give them more options and Mr. Grice believed it to not be true. C1 gives them a lot of different options and under TC2 they are hugely limited, so they would prefer they return the property to the original classification, so they can proceed with the sale of the property for the small store. Mr. Grice mentioned that the taxes for a C1 property are much different and would generate a larger income for the town. Mr. Grice asked for the board to please return it back to a C1 district.
Mr. Rice asked if anyone else would like to address the board on this.
Mrs. Emick asked what the boards rational for the change was.
Mr. Rice said part of it was the characteristics of the neighborhood in that location, and they put a lot of work into the comprehensive plan and that commercial district opens us up for a lot of development that we don’t feel suitable for the area.
Mr. Sena said there was concern that we would start looking like Lakewood with all the car lots there and we were hoping to get a little better type of development there.
Mr. Grice said he doesn’t believe a car lot was ever allowed on the C1.
Mr. Sena said he was just using it as an example.
Mr. Geist asked what the intent of the customers design was.
Mr. Grice said they do not have a design in place. The intent is a small store. The customer currently has a store it is just in a bad location and he was hoping if he moved to 394 he would get more traffic.
Mr. Senske said that under a TC2 they can still go in front of the board to get a variance
Mr. Grice said but with a commercial they don’t need to go in front of the board. And he doesn’t want to add another layer to the process when the original intent and for years and years was commercial and everything around it was commercial.
Mr. Rice said it limited the control the town had over the development.
Mr. Grice said that commercial has all kinds of restrictions.
Mr. Rice said he has to disagree with that.
Mr. Senske said that there are dozens of opportunities with a TC 2 district with a special use permit.
Mr. Grice wants to know how it got changed to multi family. There is no water or sewer so there would not be a multifamily interest.
Mr. Rice said they changed it to meet the character of the area over there. They looked at it and thought perhaps we could go back to a more liberal use of the property and they thought a TC 2 met with the conditions of the comprehensive plan and they talked about the TC2 last month when it was pointed out to us.
Mr. Grice said they as the owners of the property want it to be returned to what it was originally and what they bought it as.
Mr. Rice said he understands what he is saying but if they change his back it would be spot zoning and he doesn’t believe it would conform with the comprehensive plan that the community approved after a couple years of work.
Mrs. Emick asked how much other land was involved
Mr. Lawson said from the north side of Wells Bay almost to Victoria Road and 400 ft back from 394, and we proposed to change the whole section to a TC2 not just a carved-out area.
Mr. Lawson said even under a C1 the buyer would still have to come to the Planning Board with a thought process. With a TC2 it would be the same process and would them have to go to the Zoning Board of Appeals. So that would be the only added process.
Walter Geist motioned to make an affirmation of the motion that was passed last month Steve Senske seconded.
All in favor yes (7) No (0)
Brad said the zoning had an issue before them with and an accessory structure. There is a height limit and a set back but there is no size restriction. Even though it was okay this time, in the future it might not be, so we need to look at coming up with a size restriction. If we have a size restriction they could still come in with an area variance if they wanted bigger. All other town municipalities have a size restriction.
Mr. Senske asked for Stephanie to find out if we need to amend the Local Law or the Zoning Law.
Mr. Sena said there is a new Supervisor. Frank Stow was sworn in at the Town board meeting and Mr. Stow resigned as Councilman. We are looking to fill that council seat, so we are excepting letters of intent until April 20th.
Next regular meeting scheduled for May 8, 2018 at 7:00 P.M.
John Warner motioned to adjourn the meeting, seconded by Louis Reig.
All in favor yes (7) No (0)
Meeting adjourned at 8:30PM
Deputy Town Clerk