Town of Homer Planning Board
Minutes for Wednesday, April 22, 2015 at 7:30pm
Board Members (absent *) Others Present
Eugene Wright, Chairman Lindsay Andersen, Recording Secretary
Michael McMahon John Daniels, CEO*
Betsy Gray Pat Snyder, Attorney
Public Attendance: David Miller, Brian Phillips, Barry Warren, Kim Murphy, Dan Weddle, Pamela Johnson, Amanda Barber
Chairman Wright opened the public hearing for the application by Brian Phillips for a conditional permit and site plan approval to build a barn in a residential district on a 5.7 acre parcel on Foster Road to house 2 horses, chickens and a goat.
Member McMahon asked if this is a planning board matter. Chairman Wright stated that the property is zoned residential. Attorney Snyder stated that this would be a conditional use under the zoning law and a conditional use permit is needed.
Barry Warren is a neighbor to the proposed property and stated that he has no objections.
Jim Alter stated that he also lives next door to the property and when he built his home he needed to follow certain rules and guidelines pertaining to outbuildings and he does not have a problem with the current proposed animals but worries about additional animals in the future. Brian Phillips stated that he has no plans of adding additional animals.
Attorney Snyder stated that the covenants at this property would not pertain to the planning board. He explained that the neighborhood covenants are their own entity of regulations. These regulations state that only one outbuilding is allowed. None of these regulations would pertain to the planning board.
CEO McMahon stated that the ZBA would need to grant an area variance to address the setback described in the ordinance.
The planning board would be responsible for the conditional use permit which would allow him to keep the animals in the residential area.
Tim Buhl had submitted a letter expressing his concern over the number and types of animals that were going to be kept at the property. Brian Phillips stated that he spoke to Tim Buhl and his major concern was the chickens which Phillips stated he was unsure if there would actually end up being chickens housed at the property.
Member McMahon stated that the board would need to see a site plan review prior to approving the conditional use permit.
With no further questions or comments from the public the public hearing was closed.
Chairman Wright opened the public hearing for an application by Robert and Pamela Johnson to subdivide an 8.9 acre parcel into two parcels of 5.54 and 3.33 acres at 5034 Forbes Road.
CEO McMahon stated that his only comment on this application is that parcel that the applicant is keeping which has a shop on it keeps the necessary road frontage. He also spoke on behalf of the applicants and stated that there has been an offer on the property and the previous lot sizes were not what the new buyer wanted.
With no further questions or comments the public hearing was closed.
Chairman Wright opened discussion for the application by Brian Phillips for a conditional permit and site plan approval to build a barn in a residential district on a 5.7 acre parcel on Foster Road to house 2 horses, chickens and a goat.
Member McMahon made the motion to table the application until the applicant completes and presents the site plan review. Attorney Snyder stated that the application also needs to be sent to the county with a copy of the site plan for review. Member Parks seconded the motion. With all members in favor saying “aye”, none opposed and none abstained. The motion was carried unanimous 5,0,0.
Chairman Wright opened discussion for the application by Robert and Pamela Johnson to subdivide an 8.9 acre parcel into two parcels of 5.54 and 3.33 acres at 5034 Forbes Road.
Member McMahon made the motion to declare a minor subdivision and ask the chairman to review the short environmental assessment form. Member Gray seconded the motion. With all members in favor saying “aye”, none opposed and none abstained. The motion was carried unanimous 5,0,0.
Chairman Wright reviewed all questions on the short environmental assessment form with the board members and all questions were answered no.
Member Young made the motion to declare a negative declaration under SEQR. Member McMahon seconded the motion. With all members in favor saying “aye”, none opposed and none abstained. The motion was carried unanimous 5,0,0.
Member McMahon made the motion to approve the subdivision. Member Gray seconded. With all members in favor saying “aye”, none opposed and none abstained. The motion was carried unanimous 5,0,0.
The applicant will need to submit a $50 public hearing fee.
Chairman Wright opened discussion for the proposed local law requiring site plan review for manure storage facilities in excess of 500,000 gallons.
Amanda Barber from the Cortland County Soil and Water Conservation District was present to discuss the proposed local law. She stated that her department is involved in the planning, implementing and technical matters of manure storage. She stated that the soil and water district has a lot of concerns with the proposed size recommendation of 500,000 gallons. She stated this is only 12 months of storage for 80 cows and the recommended storage is for 12-14 months. Her department feels that this size will create several added reviews processes and her department feels that 1 million gallons of storage for site plan review would make more sense as a guideline.
Attorney Snyder stated that the size of the storage was recommended by the Town Board and not the Planning Board.
Member Young explained that the purpose of this site plan review is not to manage the storage facilities but to visit the issue prior to the storage facility being constructed. He stated he has no objection to increasing the volume to 1 million gallons but it may require another public hearing.
Member Parks stated that the general public may not be able to visualize the storage capacity.
Amanda Barber asked for clarification of section H pertaining to inside manure storage. Member McMahon stated that he did not remember the planning board addressing inside manure storage. Attorney Snyder stated that this section was added by the Town Board.
Member Young asked Amanda Barber what her recommendation would be. She stated that she feels the wording could be change to address remote locations vs. the storage located at a current agriculture infrastructure. Member McMahon stated that the siting of the structure is what is being addressed.
Amanda Barber stated that she is looking to understand the process and forms involved. Attorney Snyder stated that he feels it would be the same form as the current site plan review which is fairly straight forward. She also stated that she is concerned about the locations of neighboring wells having to be documented. If the applying farm in non CAFO they may not have neighboring wells mapped.
Amanda Barber stated that the soil and water district also had concerns about the board requiring engineered plans as it is very costly to have these changed if the board requires something to be changed. Member McMahon stated that they are only asking for a sketch. Attorney Snyder stated that the planning board’s recommendation was to only require engineered plans if there were additional concerns.
Amanda Barber asked when a public hearing would be required. Attorney Snyder stated that the Town holds a public hearing for all matters and this would not be an exception. Once the application is received the matter is scheduled for the very next public hearing which is usually less than 30 days and as long as everything can be sent to the county prior to their deadline then everything is addressed at the same meeting.
Attorney Snyder asked Amanda Barber to write a letter of recommendations to the Town Board.
Amanda Barber asked if the applicant already had engineered plans and already had an agency working with them if there would be exemptions. Attorney Snyder stated that it would not be a fair process to allow exemptions and would defeat the purpose of the notification process.
Member Parks stated that he feels #3 should be changed to the planning board CAN request engineered plans. He feels the way it is currently written could be interpreted as the must have engineered plans.
Planning Board members discussed the recommendations they would like to submit to the Town Board which will be typed and submitted to the Town Board for their next meeting.
The meeting was adjourned at 9:45pm.
Lindsay M. Andersen, Recording Secretary