TOWN OF NORTH HARMONY
TUESDAY, 08/09/2022, 7:00 PM
MEMBERS PRESENT: PAT RICE PHIL STRAND
RICHARD JOHNSON GARY WINGER
JIM GOODLING WALTER GEIST
OTHERS PRESENT: Stephanie Gibbs, Dick Sena, Kelly Johnson, Duane James, Maureen Mack
- PAT RICE OPENED THE MEETING AT 7:00 PM.
- Mr. Sena gave Town Report (see 8/8/22 Town Board Minutes)
TRI-JAMES SERVICES, INC., REQUEST FOR A SPECIAL USE PERMIT FOR A PROPOSED MINE FOR GRAVEL PRODUCTS ON LAND LOCATED AT THE CORNERS OF OPEN MEADOWS RD. AND CHENEY’S RD. SPECIFICALLY SEC. 348.00-1-29.1 AND 348.00-2-19.3.1.
Mr. Johnson said he believes the permit will need to go to the Zoning Board of Appeals for side setbacks. He said he believes there is a requirement for a county approval. Mr. Johnson said he sees that screening onsite is still on the environmental assessment form even after Mr. James said they do not intend to screen.
Mr. Rice said they can put that there is no screening permitted on site on the special use permit.
Mr. Goodling said stockpiling is listed as well and he understands there would be no screening or stockpiling permitted.
Mr. James said they would have to stockpile temporarily to dewater the gravel.
Mr. Goodling said it states they will stockpile until needed or sold.
Mr. James said they won’t have a scale there.
Mr. Goodling said it should say that.
Mr. Rice asked Mr. James to explain how this is going towork
Mr. James said they will dig the gravel and as they dig the water will fill in. He said they will stockpile it to let it drain back into the pond, they will then transport it to the Stow location using their own trucks to process it there.
Mr. Rice asked how long they would be stockpiling gravel at the sight.
Mr. James said it would typically take a couple days.
Mr. Rice asked if they were expecting to have customers come to the site to get gravel.
Mr. James said if the town was looking for gravel, they would certainly sell it to them on site.
Mr. Rice asked what they planned to do about fencing.
Mr. James said they could use the plastic fencing, or they could create a berm around the whole thing. He said it would also help to stop ATVs and snowmobiles from driving into the water.
Mr. Rice said Open Meadows Rd. is one of the most scenic roads in the county and he would like to maintain that. He said he likes the idea of a berm more than fencing.
Mr. Winger said in some of the correspondence with the DEC on some of the flood plain some mention about the berm being problematic.
Mrs. Mack said if the berm is located within 100ft. of the flood plain you must file for additional permitting, so they eliminated a short section of berm near the flood plain. She said they also must have a gate at the entrance to the site.
Mr. Goodling asked how big the gap in the berm would be.
Mrs. Mack said there would be about 100ft. long gap.
Mr. Goodling questioned how the berm will help keep water on site if there is a gap in the berm.
Mrs. Mack said the water can’t get out unless it is an extreme flood.
Mr. James said they can still put a berm there he said they would just have to create it deeper into the mine. Mr. James said they can’t mine it anyway so they might as well create a berm.
Mr. Rice asked how long they expect this project to last.
Mrs. Mack said the permit terms are 5-year terms. She said they estimated about 3 permit terms. Mrs. Mack said with gravelthings change so you just never know.
Mr. Goodling asked what happens if the property is sold to another company.
Mr. James said the permits would transfer with the sale and they would have to follow the guidelines set by the DEC.
Mr. Goodling asked if future permits must come back to the town for approval or is it automatically renewed.
Mrs. Mack said it is not automatic. She said they must do a renewal permit through the DEC. She said if the town wants them to, they can update the town when they update the DEC.
Mrs. Johnson said that they can request they renew with the town when they renew with the DEC.
Mr. Goodling said that is a good idea. He said on page 9 where the current uses are discussed it says there are zero wetlands and surface water features and on page 11 under surface water features it asks are there any wetlands and it is checked yes.
Mrs. Mack said page nine is concerned with just what is inside the mine area. She said on page 11 it is talking about the adjacent properties.
Mr. Geist asked if there will be any power run to the site.
Mr. James said he wouldn’t think so.
Mr. Rice asked what the hours of operation will be.
Mr. James said Monday – Friday 7AM-5PM and Saturday mornings 7AM-12PM.
Mr. Geist stated that the berms were going to be 10ft. high or greater and asked if the stockpiles would exceed the height of the berms.
Mr. James said he will make the berms even higher so if there were to be a stockpile 10ft. you wouldn’t be able to see them over the berms.
Mr. Rice said they will be far off the road.
Mr. James said they would be back behind the house and there are pine trees there, so they have a natural buffer already.
Mrs. Mack said the closest they are to the road will be 150ft. from the road and several hundred ft. away in other areas.
Mr. James said they will be paving the end of the driveway 100ft. in to keep any dirt from coming out onto the road.
Mr. Rice said the Planning Boards suggested regulations are there will be a berm 10ft. plus, that will be seeded surrounding the project, they will talk about a permit renewal with the town every 5 years when they renew their permit with the DEC, the hours will be hours 7am – 5pm during the week and 7am – 12pm on Saturdays, no screening onsite, limited stockpiling, and pave 100ft. on entrance of the access road to the project.
Mrs. Mack asked if the board wanted a 10ft. berm along the edge where the woods are or can that berm be a little shorter.
Mr. Rice said the 10ft. berm is to screen it off from the road, so he doesn’t think on that side it needs to be that high.
Mr. Johnson said whatever will keep the water from escaping would be sufficient.
Mr. James asked if there were any snowmobile trails going through the area.
Mr. Rice said he doesn’t believe we have any trails in the township.
MR. WINGER MOTIONED TO RECOMMEND THE TRI-JAMES OPEN MEADOWS MINE SPECIAL PERMIT TO THE TOWN BOARD WITH THE REGULATIONS MR. RICE OUTLINED IN THE MEETING BASED ON A SUCCESSFUL APPLICATION FOR AN AREA VARIANCE BY THE ZONING BOARD OF APPEALS FOR SETBACKS.
Mr. Johnson said he is still concerned regarding the wetlands. He said in the case of a catastrophic weather event he thinks it would be a crime if one of the berms blew out and the water flowed into the wetlands, and he doesn’t feel it could recover from that in years.
Mr. Rice said he personally doesn’t feel comfortable telling somebody they can’t use their property in accordance with allowable uses under the zoning code based on speculation. He said we are relying on the DEC to make those determinations and he finds the DEC to be overly aggressive in terms with their enforcement proceedings.
Mr. Geist asked if the DEC was lead agency on the SEQR.
Mr. Rice said yes.
Mr. Johnson said he doesn’t disagree that the DEC can often be overly aggressive.
Mr. Sena said the DEC are the professionals and they are the ones that oversee the project. He said they have been approved as lead agency, so he feels comfortable with their findings.
Mr. Rice said he doesn’t want to second guess the DEC.
Mr. James said the parcel is flat. He said it would be different if it was on a slope or a hill. He said they could raise those berms if that is a concern. He said is self-contained at a flat level but raising a berm is nothing to them.
MR. GEIST SECONDED. YES (4) WINGER, GEIST, RICE, STRAND. NO (2) GOODLING, JOHNSON. THE MOTION WAS CARRIED
Next regular meeting scheduled September 13, 2022, at 7:00 P.M.
ON A MOTION MADE BY MR. GEIST, SECONDED BY MR. WINGER AND NONE BEING APPOSED, THE MEETING WAS ADJOURNED AT 7:52 PM
Deputy Town Clerk