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Regular Meeting – September 26, 2018

 Town of Homer Planning Board

Minutes for Wednesday, September 26, 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:  Jon Miller, Jason Kristof

Public Hearing

Chairman Wright opened the public hearing for an application by Michael R. Park to subdivide a 24.30-acre parcel at 5164 McDonald Road into one with 1.5 acres, and another with approximately 22.80 acres.

Jon Miller stated that he is Mike’s son-in-law and would be speaking on his behalf. Jon stated that the land surveyor was supposed to have the survey maps completed for the meeting but they were not finished. He presented a sketch of the proposed subdivision and stated that the lot that his home is on is an established lot but is part of the 24.30-acre parcel owned by Michael Parks. They would like to finalize owning the parcel their home is located on but the established driveway prevents the 2.4-acre minimum lot size.

There were no questions or comments from the public.

Regular Meeting

Chairman Wright opened the meeting for discussion of an application by Michael R. Park to subdivide a 24.30-acre parcel at 5164 McDonald Road into one with 1.5 acres, and another with approximately 22.80 acres.

Chairman Wright read the letter received from the county planning department which stated they recommend that the applicant obtain a waiver from the county health department. The request is otherwise technically adequate and has no state or county wide impact.

Member McMahon requested that the Chairman complete Part 2 of the short environmental assessment form. Chairman Wright stated that the applicant has not yet filled out Part 1 of the form.

Member McMahon made the motion to table the application until the next meeting to allow the applicant adequate time to complete Part 1 of the short environmental assessment form, obtain the survey maps and waiver from the county health department. Member Young seconded the motion. With all members in favor saying “aye”, none opposed and none abstained. The motion was carried unanimous 7,0,0.

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.

Chairman Wright read the letter that was received from the county planning department which stated the County Planning Board recommends approval of the application for site plan review contingent the following:

  1. The solar panels being setback a minimum of 50 feet from all property lines.
  2. That the applicant provide a landscaped buffer, at a minimum, along the east side of the property to provide visual screening of the solar arrays from the neighboring properties across US Route 11.
  3. A sign not to exceed eight square feet being displayed on or near the main access point listing the facility name, owner and phone number.
  4. A clearly visible warning sign concerning voltage being placed at the base of any pad mounted transformer or substation.
  5. The decommissioning plan for the site being approved by the Town.
  6. Compliance with SEQR requirements. AND

The Board reminds the Town of the requirements of General Municipal Law Section 239 M that a supermajority vote is to be attained by the Town in order to approve this application unless every contingency documented in this resolution is followed.

The representative of the plan stated that she had read all of the contingencies and the only questionable requirements is the landscaped buffer on the east side and if it is required to be vegetated. She stated that horizontal slatting is often placed in their fencing to meet this requirement but anything vegetated in nature would shade the panels. She is also unsure if the property owner would be in agreement with planting trees which is more of a long-term effect.

Member May stated he feels the term landscaped buffer that was used as the requirement on the east side of the property line would be satisfied by a fence with horizontal slatting. The slats in the fence would allow the visual array.

Member May made the motion to interpret that the slatted fencing would comply with the requirement of the landscape buffer. Member McMahon seconded the motion. With all members in favor saying “aye”, none opposed and none abstained. The motion was carried unanimous 7,0,0. none abstained. The motion was carried unanimous 7,0,0.

The board then reviewed the environmental assessment form.  Part 1 was signed by the applicant’s representative, Kate Millar, who is with Renovus Solar.  The board answered no or minor impact to all questions in part 2.

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

Member McMahon made the motion to approve the site plan for the project as long as the County Planning Board conditions are met. Member May seconded the motion. With all members in favor saying “aye”, none opposed and none abstained. The motion was carried unanimous 7,0,0.

Chairman Wright opened discussion for an application by Jason Kristof for a conditional use permit for a home occupation and site plan approval to brew beer at his property (for sale and distribution off premises) at 722 State Route 90.

CEO Daniels stated there is already a building on the property that he would like to use to brew the beer and he would like to brew the beer at his residence without the intent to sell the product at his residence.

CEO Daniels stated that he does not believe there is anything in the zoning law that prohibits this action.

Attorney Snyder stated that he believes the applicant may looking for a resolution stating the action is not prohibited.  He also believes that a use permit needs to be issued for a home occupation. He referred to section 504 which relates to home occupation conditional uses.

The applicant stated that he will only have a single barrel system unless and until he has the ability to construct a tap room in the future.

Member McMahon made the motion to approve the home occupation conditional use permit, restrict operations to a single barrel system and require that all activities take place within the existing 32×40 building. Member May seconded the motion. With all members in favor saying “aye”, none opposed and none abstained. The motion was carried unanimous 7,0,0.

Chairman Wright opened discussion for a possible change in the Town Zoning Law to allow for farm breweries/wineries/distilleries in certain districts with a Special Permit.

The board members reviewed a sample Town Zoning Law from the Town of Fayette that had been proposed by Member McMahon at the previous meeting. Board members discussed the recommended changes to be made to the sample Town Zoning Law that was provided and attached to these minutes is a recommended change to the Homer Town Zoning Law. There was also a discussion about whether the zoning law should be amended to allow for “wedding barns.”

The next meeting is scheduled for October 17, 2018 at 7:00PM.

Adjournment

The meeting was adjourned at 8:35pm.

Lindsay M. Andersen, Recording Secretary