TOWN OF NORTH HARMONY
TUESDAY, 02/08/2022, 7:00 PM
MEMBERS PRESENT: PAT RICE PHIL STRAND
RICHARD JOHNSON JAMES GOODLING
GARY WINGER JOHN WARNER
Brad Lawson – Zoning CEO
OTHERS PRESENT: Stephanie Gibbs, Dick Sena, Don McCord, Kelly Johnson
- PAT RICE OPENED THE MEETING AT 7:00 PM.
- Mr. Lawson gave Zoning Report.
- Mr. Sena said he does not have any Town News to report due to the Planning Board meeting before the Town Board this month.
- TOWN OF NORTH HARMONY BATTERY ENERGY STORAGE LAW AND SOLAR ENERGY SYSTEMS LAW
Mr. Rice said we went through the law in detail and asked if there is a motion.
MR. WINGER MOTIONED TO RECOMMEND TO THE TOWN BOARD TO SCHEDULE A PUBLIC HEARING AND SEQR FOR LOCAL LAW ON SOLAR ENERGY SYSTEMS AND BATTERY ENERGY STORAGE. SECONDED BY MR. GOODLING. YES (6) NO (0)
- AGRICULTURAL DISTRICTS VS. AG RESIDENTIAL DISTRICTS
Mr. McCord said he sent out an email regarding the AG district and regarding the Planning Boards role. In that email he said he listed the uses that would be impacted by moving the boundaries. He said the AG district does not stop you from building a single-family residence and the only difference when it comes to building is in the AG residential there is a minimum lot size of 1 acre and in the AG district the minimum lot size to build a house on is 2 acres. He said if you move the line you need to think about the impact it will have on all the uses.
Mr. Johnson asked where we are seeing the building take place.
Mr. Lawson said it’s in the AR district. He said Butts Rd. and just north of Butts Rd. has had some activity.
Mr. Rice said there are a lot of homes on Open Meadows Rd. that are primarily single-family homes.
Mr. Lawson said there is a lot of shared crops there. He said he doesn’t really like the idea of moving the line.
Mr. Rice said it seams we are seeing developmentout toward Butts Rd., and it seems that it might make those neighborhoods more desirable if there was some protection.
Mr. McCord said to build a solar farm you must hook up to something. He said there are a few parcels on Stoneledge Rd. and Open Meadows Rd., so the bulk of the agricultural district is protected by economics at the moment.He said the cost for them to run a line is almost a million dollars a mile and it isn’t cost effective. He said he feels that if they move the line, they should do it strategically instead of just forming a line that way certain areas are not impacted.
Mr. Warner said he likes that they must have 2 acres to build in the AG district because he doesn’t feel one acre is enough to build on.
Mr. Rice saidwe can look at the uses in that area and revise them.
Mr. McCord said that is another option to change the uses in the AR.
Mr. Lawson said he could provide a list of new homes in the AR within the last 10 years.
Mr. Rice asked if Mr. Lawson could get them a list of new home in the AG district as well.
Mr. Winger said the idea of moving the boundary makes sense.
Mr. Rice asked about modifying the double wide in the AR district on a foundation.
Mr. Lawson said that would be allowed all the way down to Route 394.
Mr. Rice said there have been several applications brought to the zoning and they have been approved.
Mr. Lawson said they were replacements.
Mr. Lawson said we can modify the AR district to start 500ft from the road.
Mr. Lawson said if you take from Carpenter-Pringle Rd. to Open Meadows Rd. there is a lot of woods and land it will be hard to get back there to build.
PLANNING BOARD ROLES – SPECIAL USE PERMITS
Mr. Lawson thinks it is a good idea. He said the Planning board is already doing the site plan it makes sense to approve the permit.
Mr. Rice asked the board if they want to take on that responsibility.
Mr. Sena said it is a common thing for the planning board to do. He said he supports the idea.
Mr. Lawson said it streamlines the process so that the person coming to the board they can come to one board and be done.
Mr. Rice said he likes the idea of streamlining the process. He said right now sometimes it takes months to get everything done.
Mr. Warner asked how often the town gets a special permit.
Mr. Lawson said they would be responsible for all the special permits.
Mr. Rice asked how many Special Permits they did last year.
Mr. Lawson said not even one a month. He said for the applicant it would streamline the process
Mr. Rice said if they can streamline the process and make it easier for the taxpayers, he thinks it is a good idea.
Mr. Lawson said he can get a count of how many the Zoning Board did last year.
Mr. Winger said he was on the Zoning Board before and there were not that many and some of the ones they had were very easy.
Mr. McCord said the Planning Board comes up with the laws and this way they are implementing the laws they come up.
Mr. Lawson asked if they will be hearing Use Variances as well.
Mr. McCord said no, that will be the Zoning Board.
Mr. Warner said his most concern is solar. He said he is not apposed to solar but believes it needs to be in the right place.
Mr. Rice said he thinks we really need to protect the residential areas.
Next regular meeting scheduled March 8, 2022, at 7:00 P.M.
- ON A MOTION MADE BY MR. JOHNSON, SECONDED BY MR. STRAND AND NONE BEING APPOSED, THE MEETING WAS ADJOURNED AT 8:15 PM
Deputy Town Clerk