TOWN OF NORTH HARMONY
TUESDAY, 10/18/2022, 7:00 PM
MEMBERS PRESENT: PAT RICE PHIL STRAND
GARY WINGER JOHN WARNER
WALTER GEIST JAMES GOODLING
Brad Lawson – Zoning CEO
OTHERS PRESENT: Dale Robbins, Attorney; Stephanie Gibbs, Deputy Clerk; Dick Sena
- PAT RICE OPENED THE MEETING AT 7:00 PM.
- MR. SENA GAVE TOWN REPORT. (See minute s from the Town Board Meeting 10/11/2022)
- MR. LAWSON GAVE ZONING REPORT. (See report from Town Board Meeting 10/11/2022)
LOT SIZE AND SETBACK REQUIREMENTS
Mr. Lawson saidwith sewers coming close to finishing we should look at setbacks and lot size
requirements. He said people are wanting bigger homes and the Zoning Board has had a lot come through for area variances for lot percentage and side and road setbacks. Mr. Lawson presented to the board examples from The Town of Ellery and The Town of Ellicott. He said The Town of Ellery mimics the Town of North Harmony. Mr. Lawson said Ellery allows 20,000 sq. ft. in the R-1 district. He said the Town of North Harmony used to be the same and we increased it to 40,000 sq. ft. Mr. Lawson said the town of Ellery is at 25% for lot coverage, minimum lot width is 100 ft., and front set back is 50 ft. which is the same as North Harmony. He said their side setback are only 15 ft. and minimum floor space is 1,000 sq. ft. on the first floor and North Harmony is 1,200 sq. ft. on the first floor, and they have maximum building height of 30 ft. and North Harmony’s maximum building height is 32 ft. Mr. Lawson said there are some differences but not a lot. He said Ellicott is 25ft from the highway right of way and 15ft. from side property lines. Mr. Lawson said some of Ellicott’s business districts go down to 5ft. to 7ft. setbacks. He said he didn’t feel we wanted to make a residential area 7ft. setbacks but there have been area variances given for that. He said he thinks lot size is a big deal. He said generally residents meet all setbacks but still must come to the Zoning Board of Appeals for lot size.
Mr. Goodling asked what the record for the Zoning Board of Appeals granting variances was and if they grant them all.
Mr. Lawson said no, they have recently denied quit a few.
Mr. Warner asked if there was a particular area of concern with variance requests.
Mr. Lawson said he believes the R-1 district is involved mainly along the lake. He said he could get what The Town of Chautauqua has for another example.
Mr. Warner said the R-1 district seems pretty saturated with buildings and lots already. He said he didn’t feel there would be a great deal more available.
Mr. Lawson said there would still be tear downs and rebuilds.
Mr. Warner asked if they were all grandfathered in for less the 40,000 sq. ft.
Mr. Lawson said they are but if you are building bigger and you’re reaching out to side setbacks or making it a larger footprint on the lot then it is an area variance.
Mr. Sena asked if we were looking at it across of the board or just where sewer will be.
Mr. Lawson said just where the sewer will be and that we couldn’t change the lot size where there isn’t sewer because that is coming from the state.
Mr. Rice asked about creating a separate district along the lakefront. He asked if we really want to see Route 394 change that much.
Mr. Lawson said the west side of Route 394 is AG Residential and on the east side of Route 394 is all R-1 and would have all sewers. He said some of the west side of Route 394 would have sewers but there are things that are allowed in the AG Residential that would need more property.
Mr. Warner questioned how you would avoid subdividing and making the density go up. He said he doesn’t feel that we want to see that.
Mr. Rice said he feels the lake front is different than the rest of the R-1 district so he thinks maybe we should look into another district.
Mr. Robbins said anything you do along the lake is going to require a SEQR and it can get difficult when you start talking about density.
Mr. Lawson said he is not sure it would cause more density because there is so much developed there already. He said he sees bigger homes being built but not more homes being built.
Mr. Robbins said you will still see issues with runoff.
Mr. Goodling asked if there have been any combinations of existing lots to create bigger lots.
Mr. Lawson said few and far between will buy two lots to make a bigger lot. He said when they do typically, they are buying their view.
Mr. Warner asked if any of the variance requests were to go over the max coverage of 25%.
Mr. Lawson said yes. He said they don’t run over to much because there is more of a chance to get approval. Mr. Lawson said there are many applications that if the lot size requirements were a little smaller it would be a lot less cumbersome for someone to do something. He said it is just something to think about.
Mr. Goodling asked how many lots are under 40,000 sq. ft.
Mr. Lawson said most of them along the lake.
Mr. Goodling asked if it’s a bad idea for the Zoning Board of Appeals to review those requests. He said by human nature no matter what the rules are people are going to push them so they will still have all the variance they already have.
Mr. Lawson said with the growth in the town of people wanting variances or wanting to build bigger he thinks that setbacks are mostly being followed and we can leave the 25% lot coverage but looking at other towns comparable to ours, our requirements are a lot different.
DEVELOPMENT ON OLD MITCHELL PROPERTY
Mr. Lawson said Owl Homes has contacted him and said they are looking at possibilities on a housing development in that location. He said the drawings he got it went onto other properties. He said he is just bringing to the boards attention that there is something in the works.
Mr. Rice said we need to stick to our comprehensive plan. He asked with sewer and possible water coming is there anything else we need to do to the interchange.
Mr. Sena said we have put some money aside for the comprehensive plan. He said instead of trying to redo the whole thing we need to pick out sections that we want to update.
Mr. Sena brought to the board’s attention that the Tri-James Gravel pit was declined by the Zoning Board of Appeals. He said Tri-James sold to JMI.
Next regular meeting scheduled November 8, 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 8:10 PM
Deputy Town Clerk