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Regular Meeting – September 10, 2019

Re Town of Homer Zoning Board of Appeals

Minutes for Tuesday, September 10, 2019 at 6:00pm

Board Members  (absent *)                                       Others Present

Gary Lawrence, Chairman                              Lindsay Andersen, Recording Secretary

Jon Miller                                                        John Daniels, CEO

Gary Sweeney*                                               Pat Snyder, Attorney

Joseph Gilbert

Neil McMahon

Daniel Gustafson

Gerald Neuman

Public Attendance:  The daughter and fiancée of Lynn Hughston

Public Hearing

Chairman Lawrence opened the public hearing for an application by Lynn Hughston for a use variance to operate a kennel for up to 10 dogs in a residential district at 5056 NYS Route 41.

The applicant’s daughter stated that she was present with her father’s fiancée to speak on his behalf as he was unexpectedly admitted to the hospital.

The applicant’s fiancée stated the idea to operate a small boarding kennel came about when she began to foster dogs. She provided the board with a sketch of the building that the dogs would be housed in and also a layout of the fencing.

She stated they currently have 5 foster dogs and 2 personal dogs. The current foster dogs came from Darlington, SC.

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

Regular Meeting

Chairman Lawrence opened the regular meeting.

Chairman Lawrence opened discussion for an application by Lynn Hughston for a use variance to operate a kennel for up to 10 dogs in a residential district at 5056 NYS Route 41.

He began by reading a letter received by the Cortland County Planning Department which described at length several issues that would need to be addressed prior to a use variance being granted. The letter is attached to these minutes for reference.

Chairman Lawrence stated that in order for a variance to be granted the applicant would need to prove a hardship and he does not feel that there is an evident hardship in this case.

Attorney Snyder stated that the letter received from the planning department was not a letter of denial but a letter of recommendations as the county planning board had not yet officially met. It would take 30 days from the date the board met to receive an official determination. Therefore, the Zoning Board of Appeals could not approve the application/request at tonight’s meeting.

Member Neuman questioned if the residential district could be broken up. Chairman Lawrence stated he would be reluctant to recommend breaking up the district as that would create spot zoning.

Member Neuman made the motion to deny the use variance. Member Gustafson seconded the motion. With members in favor saying “aye”, none opposed and Member Gilbert abstained. The motion was carried 5,0,1.

Chairman Lawrence opened discussion for a proposed application by Carl Snyder who is representing Jack Daugherty from NY Land Quest.

Carl Snyder stated the proposed house his buyer would like to build at the location is 6 feet different from the flood plain.

Member Miller stated his concern would be the proximity of the property to the railroad tracks and the fact that the property is located in an industrial area which has very extended hours of operation.

The applicant would need to obtain a use variance to build a residence at this property. The proposed map shows 2.5 acres. The house would need to be built six feet off of the ground on stilts which the proposed buyer has no objection to.

CEO Daniels stated that Frederick Ave is also in the same industrial area / flood plain.

The proposed buyer would need a loan and the bank will not finance a light industrial property.

Member Gilbert made the motion to advise the applicant to fill out the application to its entirety and send the application to the county planning department for review. Member McMahon seconded the motion. With all members in favor saying “aye”, none opposed and none abstained. The motion was carried unanimous 6,0,0.

Chairman Lawrence made the motion to approve the July 24, 2019 meeting minutes. Member McMahon seconded the motion. With all members in favor saying “aye”, none opposed and none abstained. The motion was carried unanimous 6,0,0.

Adjournment

The meeting was adjourned at 7:10pm.

Lindsay M. Andersen, Recording Secretary