TOWN OF NORTH HARMONY
TUESDAY, 12/10/2019, 7:00 PM
MEMBERS PRESENT: DICK JOHNSON WALTER GEIST
JOHN WARNER PAT RICE
PHIL STRAND GARY WINGER
OTHERS PRESENT: Brad Lawson, Zoning C.E.O.; Dick Sena, Town Council; Stephanie Gibbs, Deputy Town Clerk
- PAT RICE OPENED THE MEETING AT 7:00 PM.
- DICK SENA, TOWN COUNCIL GAVE TOWN REPORT.
- There was discussion on the new Town Building.
- LAWSON, ZONING C.E.O. GAVE ZONING REPORT
- Lawson said a couple things that have come up are the Zoning board will be looking at a property on Hadley bay that back in 2010 he gave a permit for a garage on a substandard lot and it was on a separate lot on Mason St. The garage was destroyed by a tree and he gave them a permit to rebuild the garage as It was, and they did. When he inspected everything was fine. They then turned part of the garage into habitable space. He said he doesn’t think they ever rented it and that he thinks they just used it for overflowing guest. Mr. Lawson said they hooked it up to the front septic system across the street. Mr. Lawson said now they are wanting to sell it. Mr. Warner asked if it was a town road and Mr. Lawson said it was a private road. Mr. Lawson said he gave them a violation on both counts. Mr. Lawson said they are coming into the zoning board now to get it approved to have it as habitable space. Mr. Rice asked what the issue was with the septic being hooked up. Mr. Lawson said there wasn’t a permit. Mr. Rice asked if it wasn’t substandard. Mr. Lawson said he doesn’t know and that Mark or his department would know. Mr. Lawson said the problem its habitable space on a substandard lot. Mr. Lawson said the health department might give them a permit to put in a tank and when the sewer comes they can hook up, but its up to the town if they want habitable space there. Mr. Lawson said a couple things he wants the board to think about is in the zoning the R district and up through AR AG and Conservation there is no provisions for an accessory or efficiency apartment by special permit or by any permit. Mr. Lawson asked if it was odd and thought it was something we should discuss. He said if you live in these districts and you want to put on a mother in law apartment according to our zoning you can’t do it. Mr. Rice asked if we have had any requests for it. Mr. Lawson said the only thing and it was more an addition was Mr. Kidder put a big addition on his place and eventually he daughter and people coming to visit used it and it did have apartment like features but it wasn’t meant for that. Mr. Lawson said when you make a mother in law apartment and when she is gone, could you rent it out to someone? He said that might be an issue you not being in the R1 districts. He said when we were talking about the matrix, we never touched on it. Mr. Geist asked if it was an oversight and Mr. Lawson said he didn’t know if it was that or if it wasn’t in the original matrix. Mr. Lawson said another thing is if we do the transient maybe it’s something already going on, having an attached apartment. Mr. Rice asked if someone came in and wanted to add an addition and it met the setback requirements is that something we would turn down. Mr. Lawson said according to the law we would have to. He said if there was no access to the home and had a Livingroom, kitchen and bathroom they would have to say no. Mr. Lawson said he hasn’t had anyone apply for one he is just thinking ahead of the game. Mr. Warner asked if we would put clauses saying no rental and must be accessible from the main house. Mr. Rice said it depends on where it is. Mr. Rice said if we are going to do something, we could do it through a special use permit that way we could control it. Mr. Johnson asked if there would be a problem is someone wanted to add on a bedroom for their mother in-law and Mr. Lawson said it would not be a problem. Mr. Johnson asked if you add a kitchen and other living space that has apartment type looks is it an apartment? Mr. Rice asked if they wanted to build an extra room with a bathroom and a little kitchenette would it be allowed. Mr. Rice said yes as long as there is access to the main house. Brad said he doesn’t need an answer tonight its just something to think about.
- Lawson said to go back to the garage on a vacant lot. He said he is getting more and more requests. He said in the back 40 its fine but he is getting some in the r1 and r2 and they are building a garage and bringing their RV in for the weekend and as it is you can park your RV on a lot and stay for a certain amount of time. Mr. Strand said when you build a garage or temporary building it takes away form the neighbors and he feels it needs to fit in with the community your in. Mr. Lawson asked do we allow someone to build a garage without a permanent structure? Mr. Strand said if it goes along with the other neighbors it would be fine. Mr. strand said if it is something to park a RV it’s a different story. Mr. Rice said we already have a provision for temporary RV’s. Mr. Lawson said what he is afraid of is it a new normal for people to build a garage because they don’t want to pay house taxes and just put their RV there. Mr. Rice said there is a couple RV places one is on Ramsey rd. Mr. Lawson said the zoning board allowed the to do that. Mr. Lawson said recreation camp private, public or quasar public is like boys and girls club type club and it would be a big deal and its allowed in the r3 r4 and ag with a special permit. Mr. Lawson would like to ask other towns to see what they are doing with camps. Mr. Lawson said a public recreational camp can be done in the r3 and r4 with a special permit and it would be so much bigger of an operation. Mr. Rice asked if we have any public recreational camps right now and if camp Chautauqua would be considered a public camp? Mr. Lawson said he doesn’t think so and that it is more of a RV park. Mr. Rice said there was a camp in Quigley years ago. Mr. Lawson said the Bergman’s bought it. Mr. Rice said a lot of them burned. Mr. Lawson read the definitions of public and quasi-public. Mr. Lawson said they had to go to quasi-public in the zoning when the fire department was built in Quigley and the zoning board still had to approve it. Mr. Lawson said he will look into other town laws and see what they have for those laws.
- Sena said did a 5 min presentation on a 5-hour seminar at the board meeting. Telecommunications and you can’t put moratoriums on anything and there is a lot of new laws on it. He said there is a lot of new laws saying we can’t say no. Mr. Rice said they are trying to encourage build out of that system. He doesn’t know if it will impact us in the near future it will probably impact the cities before us. Mr. Sena said they were also talking a lot about the solar farms. Mr. rice said he knows they have been looking around and Mr. Sena said brad has a meeting on Thursday with one. Mr. rice said they are talking about substantial acreage. Mr. Sena said it is moving quickly. Mr. rice said we should be really looking into solar. Mr. Lawson said he has a meeting with a buyer interested in putting on a chuck of land on open meadows and said it would be a 30-acre plant. Mr. Sena said there was a lot of talk about the AG and it takes away farming. Mr. Rice said we can’t do moratoriums on solar or cell towers. Mr. Lawson said there is a shot clock. Mr. Rice said in Jan we need to start discussing this more. Mr. Rice asked if we can still use Don as a resource and Mr. Lawson said we still have a budget for that. Mr. Rice said he will call Don to come to a meeting sometime early next year so we can get his input on that. Mr. Sena said we never use our entire budget every year and they rob from it every year. Mr. Sena said we have money to use. Mr. Lawson said we should have him come in January if we can get him here. Mr. Sena said they also asked last night if we would have a combined meeting on the transient law and if there was any time in the future. Mr. rice asked if there is a lot of blowback on the transient law and Mr. Sena said it appears that way to him. Mr. Lawson said it is a pretty straight forward law.
- Warner asked is there is any areas we wouldn’t want commercial solar? Mr. Lawson said he doesn’t know. He said we only have about 4 regular farms left here. Mr. Lawson said 30 acres is a big field. Mr. Sena said they are were talking about big ones at the seminar. Mr. Lawson said if you can put them where they can’t be seen it would be okay. Mr. rice said a lot of those laws pertain to big cities and he doesn’t know how they would affect us. Mr. Lawson said they are talking about phasing out burning fossil fuel and nuclear plants. Mr. Sena said he heard Chautauqua county is the cloudiest place. Mr. Johnson said economics has changed he said a few years ago it wasn’t feasible to do solar around here. Mr. Lawson said we need to be ready for it because of the shot clock. He said we need to know what conditions we need to have on a 30-acre solar farm. Mr. Sena said he thinks there was a big one in long island that was over 100 acres. Mr. warner asked if we should revisit the 5g cell towers. Mr. Lawson said he thought they would probably build them in higher traffic areas. Mr. strand said they do have some flexibility with the cell towers you can make it look like a tree.
Next regular meeting scheduled for January 14, 2020 at 7:00 P.M.
ON A MOTION MADE BY MR. WARNER, SECONDED BY MR. GEIST AND NONE BEING APPOSED, THE MEETING WAS ADJOURNED AT 8:30 PM
Deputy Town Clerk