Skip to content Skip to left sidebar Skip to footer

Regular Meeting – August 22, 2018

 Town of Homer Planning Board

Minutes for Wednesday, August 22, 2018 at 7:00pm

Board Members  (absent *)                                       Others Present

Eugene Wright, Chairman                              Lindsay Andersen, Recording Secretary

Michael McMahon                                         John Daniels, CEO

Betsy Gray                                                       Pat Snyder, Attorney

Bruce Crandall

Stuart Young

Chad Butts*

Michael May

Public Attendance:  Stacy Alexander, Theresa Foster, Peter Young, Sam & Chris Curlew, Bill Ruth, Feng Xie, William and Marna Butler, Herbert Mead, Mr. & Mrs. Robert Mead, Jon McNamara, Jason Kristof, Zach Young

Public Hearing

Chairman Wright opened the public hearing for an application by William and Marna Butler for subdivision approval to remove an approximately 50-foot-wide strip from tax map parcel 67.00-10-03.000 at 1748 O’Shea Road and add it to the parcel behind the residence, tax map no. 67.00-05-20.112.

Mr. Butler stated that he sold some acreage to Mr. Alexander that is land locked and he has use of a logging road to access the property as long as Mr. Butler owns it but he is in the process of selling his home and wants to ensure that Mr. Alexander has access to his property after he sells his home. He plans to deed the 50-foot-wide strip to Mr. Alexander.

Member McMahon asked if a 50-foot-wide strip would allow for a future building lot. Mr. Butler and CEO Daniels stated that they did not feel the land would ever have the possibility for future building, due to the topography of the land.  Mr. Butler stated that the current owner only has plans to use the land for recreational purposes.

Mr. Butler was asked if his remaining parcel would still be at least 2.4 acres. Otherwise he would need an area variance. Mr. Butler stated that his parcel would still be at least 2.4 acres in size.

There were no questions or comments from the public.

Chairman Wright opened the public hearing for an application by East River Acres, LLC for subdivision approval to split off 5 acres from tax map parcel 48.00-05-04.000 to create a residential lot at 5764 Dillon Road.

Zach Young stated they would like to subdivide a 5-acre parcel to be purchased by Peter Young for his brother in law to build a home. Mr. Young’s family previously owned the farm that East River Acres purchased and Mr. Young would like his family to reside on a parcel of the land.

Herbert Mead stated that he is opposed to the subdivision and sees no reason why they have to build a residence across from his property and old barn. He is also concerned that Peter Young will hunt on the 5-acre parcel and impede on his and his families hunting during hunting season.

There were no further questions or comments from the public.

Chairman Wright opened a public hearing for an application by Feng Xie for a special use permit to raise chickens in a residential district at 4685 Briar Hill Road, tax map no. 75.02-01-35.100.

The applicants speak very limited English therefore CEO Daniels agreed to present their request to the board members. He stated the applicants would like to have 8-10 chickens, no roosters and will have them in a chicken coup.

The neighbor that resides on the back side of their property stated that she brought pictures to show the board that the chicken coup has already been constructed and there was also an electric fence installed that there was no permit for and she feels is very unsafe. She stated that she and her husband do not want chickens in their back lawn and the applicants already have the chickens at their residence. She also stated that the electric fence is not tagged or marked. The board members reviewed the provided photographs.

With no further questions or comments the public hearing was closed.

Chairman Wright opened a public hearing for an application by Homer Storage Solar, LLC for site plan approval for a 166 KW solar energy project at 5211 Route 11, tax map no. 56.00-01-58.120.

Jon McNamara presented the project that his company would like to build to the board members. He stated his company usually uses the roofs of storage units for their projects but they do not feel that there is any other use for the land where they are proposing to build their project.

Attorney Snyder asked what the total of the acreage is that will be disturbed. Jon McNamara stated that he does not feel the land will be disturbed but the total acreage is 2 aces. The total penetration into the ground is approximately 4 feet and this is not a sensitive wetland area flagged by DEC. The units are 9 feet to their tops.

He stated that the units are guaranteed for 25 years but their life expectancy is closer to 35 years. At the end of their life the units are recycled.

With no further questions or comments the public hearing was closed.

Regular Meeting

Chairman Wright opened the meeting for discussion of an application by William and Marna Butler for subdivision approval to remove a 50-foot-wide strip from tax map parcel 67.00-10-03.000 at 1748 O’Shea Road and add it to the parcel behind the residence, tax map no. 67.00-05-20.112.

Member McMahon made the motion to consider the matter a lot line adjustment to allow the 50-foot-wide strip be consolidated with the existing lot owned by Mr. Alexander. Member May seconded the motion. With all members in favor saying “aye”, none opposed and none abstained. The motion was carried unanimous 6,0,0.

Member McMahon made the motion to approve the 50 foot lot line adjustment and require it be consolidated with the parcel it adjoins. Member Young seconded the motion. With all members in favor saying “aye”, none opposed and none abstained. The motion was carried unanimous 6,0,0.  

Chairman Wright opened discussion for an application by East River Acres, LLC for subdivision approval to split off 5 acres from tax map parcel 48.00-05-04.000 to create a residential lot at 5764 Dillon Road.

Member McMahon stated that he believes there is sufficient road frontage for the proposed request and asked the Chairman to complete Part 2 of the Short Environmental assessment form. All questions were answered no.

Member McMahon made the motion to declare a negative declaration under SEQR. Member May seconded the motion. With members in favor saying “aye”, none opposed and Member Young abstained. The motion was carried 5,0,1.

Attorney Snyder stated that the County Planning Department determined the request was technically adequate and had no state or county wide impact and the request was returned for local determination.

Member McMahon made the motion to approve the subdivision. Member Crandall seconded the motion. With members in favor saying “aye”, none opposed and Member Young abstained. The motion was carried 5,0,1.

Member McMahon stated that he understands there is opposition to this subdivision but the concerns that have been presented do not pertain to issues that are addressed by the Planning Board.

Chairman Wright opened discussion for an application by Feng Xie for a special use permit to raise chickens in a residential district at 4685 Briar Hill Road, tax map no. 75.02-01-35.100.

Member May asked the Chairman to review Part 2 of the Short Environmental Assessment Form. All questions were answered no.

Member McMahon made the motion to declare a negative declaration under SEQR. Member Gray seconded the motion. With all members in favor saying “aye”, none opposed and none abstained. The motion was carried unanimous 6,0,0.

Member May made the motion to approve the special permit contingent the electric fence is removed, there are no roosters, the chickens are contained and not allowed to free range and there are no more than 8 chickens. Member Gray seconded the motion. With all members in favor saying “aye”, none opposed, and none abstained. The motion was carried unanimous 6,0,0.

Chairman Wright opened discussion for an application by Homer Storage Solar, LLC for site plan approval for a 166 KW solar energy project at 5211 Route 11, tax map no. 56.00-01-58.120.

Member McMahon stated that he feels this proposed project will be located in a very minimally intrusive location and will also be located in the proper zoning district.

All members felt that the location was ideal for this project.

Member McMahon asked if the County had reviewed the plan. Attorney Snyder stated that he had not yet received correspondence from the County regarding the proposed site plan.

Member McMahon made the motion to table the site plan review until determination is received from the County Planning Department. Member Grey seconded the motion. With all member in favor saying “aye”, none opposed and none abstained. The motion was carried unanimous 6,0,0.

The board then discussed whether chickens should be allowed in a residential area “by right.” That is, without the need to obtain a conditional use permit, as is required now. Member McMahon stated he feels that if the Village is making an exception and allowing chickens without need for any permits then the Town needs to follow suite and make an exception to the existing Zoning Law. He stated that based on discussion with all members he would like to make the following recommendations to the Town Board to amend the Zoning Law. The Town should make an exception and allow chickens with the following restrictions: – maximum of 8 chickens – no free range chickens allowed, no roosters, and proper containment needs to be in place – no electric fences shall be permitted. Anything more than that would still require a conditional permit and site plan review.

Attorney Snyder stated that the Homer Town Board is also looking for recommendations from the Town of Homer Planning Board on whether to amend the Zoning Law as it pertains to small micro-breweries,  farm-breweries, and the like by special permit in a residential area. 

Member McMahon stated that he found a couple of other Town Zoning Laws pertaining to small breweries, cideries and distilleries and those Towns do require a special permit for the operations.

The next Planning board meeting will be September 26, 2018, at which time the members will bring their suggestions about whether the zoning law should be amended to allow this use by special permit.

Adjournment

The meeting was adjourned at 8:55pm.

Lindsay M. Andersen, Recording Secretary