Meeting Minutes : Planning Commission April 27, 2017 DRAFT

Pittsford Planning Commission Meeting
April 27, 2017

Board Members Present: David Soulia, Kevin Blow, Dave Mills, Rick Conway, Chuck Charbonneau,

Board Members Absent: Colleen Hobbs, Mark Winslow

Also in Attendance: Jeff Biasuzzi – Zoning Administrator, Bob Tinker, Tammy Hitchcock


1. Call to order
The meeting was called to order at 7:02PM by David Soulia – Chair.

2. Approval of Agenda
A motion was made by Dave Mills and seconded by Kevin Blow to approve the agenda as amended. The motion passed unanimously.
Add Item 8: Review/Finalize Agriculture Section under Continue Town Plan Updating Process

3. Approval of Minute
April 13, 2017 Special Planning Commission Meeting
This item was tabled to the next meeting.

4. Open Public Hearing

  • Hitchcock Site Plan Review/Subdivision Application
    Jeff Biasuzzi reported the application for a 4-parcel subdivision on Hitchcock Road that also abuts Haskins Road was received on March 31st. The hearing was warned on April 7th and posted at Keith’s and the Post Office on April 8th. The warning was also posted on the Town’s website, copied, and was presented to Planning Commission on April 13th.David Soulia read the Interested Party Oath and was accepted by Tammy Hitchcock and Bob Tinker.Bob Tinker, a licensed surveyor was available to answer questions. The Zoning Administrator stated the application conforms to the town zoning regulations and is subject to review by the Planning Commission pursuant to 1301b of the Zoning Ordinance.

    Mr. Tinker displayed an enlarged map of the proposed changes. The application included creating two lots around pre-existing homes with one of the lots being surveyed. Mr. Tinker stated parcel 3 is on both sides of Hitchcock Road. To save expense and get the job done a transfer to Steven Hitchcock’s property could be done in a future deed description. Mr. Tinker suggested to Tammy Hitchcock and her brother, Steven that a survey of one of the boundary lines could be done with the remainder using the natural boundaries. There are three springs and it is the request of Ms. Hitchcock and her brother to place the line so that the springs are on the lot they are going to retain. Mr. Tinker had previously surveyed the 10-acre parcel. He has also surveyed Lot 2, which is an existing 1.2 acre lot. Mr. Tinker reported Don Woods has done the water and septic work and has submitted an application to the State for a permit; but this has not been received back yet. Mr., Tinker stated down the road on west side of the road is a yellow house and that parcel had been excluded from conservation easement area and the boundaries will not comply with zoning. Don Woods is waiting to configure the boundaries and see where an adequate septic can be done. It will make a difference as to where to create a boundary line and the lot may end up with 2 acres. It is vague right now, but is intended to be part of the subdivision. When taking out the 1.4-acre and 2 acres that leaves parcel 4 that is on both sides of the road and the land down to Furnace Road that is approximately 159 acres, but this is not surveyed yet. The three springs come down through parcel 4, head down to parcel 2, goes across the road, services Steven Hitchock’s house, and then services the 1.4-acre parcel, the big farmhouse and small house down the road. Mr. Tinker was not sure where the water lines are.  Tammy Hitchcock stated she and her brother intend to retain the property.

    David Soulia questioned whether the Planning Commission could approve the application when the acreage of the proposed subdivision for lot 1 is not known and it does not meet existing zoning standards. The Zoning Administrator stated it will have minimum lot size and road frontage, but they are not sure how much more the State is going to require.  The boundary has to have minimum setback for septic and it will conform to the Pittsford zoning. The permit approval would be contingent upon State approval for the isolation distances. Rick Conway stated the Planning Commission could put a condition that it has to comply with zoning and has to comply with State regulations. The intent has been made clear and as long as the applicant complies with the regulations, it could be approved. Bob Tinker stated when they excluded the house lot from the conservation easement, it was ½ acre. Chuck Charbonneau asked if the applicant would be able to get more land. Tammy Hitchcock stated her brother is giving up a 2-acre building lot. Kevin Blow questioned if lot 3 needs to be surveyed. Mr. Tinker stated the boundaries are generally by the town line, river and the owners, but the applicants would like to get the lines surveyed.  Mr. Tinker could prepare a plat of the area, if necessary. Dave Mills asked if the line is an existing property line and Mr. Tinker stated it would be a new line that will be conveyed by Steven Hitchcock to his Uncle Steven.  Mr. Tinker stated he has placed the pins and the lots are based on a handheld GPS. Mr. Tinker can incorporate the lines in his description and asked if a Mylar is required. The Zoning Administrator stated a plat is not required in the zoning and because of the size of the area, he does not think a survey is required by the Town, especially since there will be a narrative description. Mr. Conway concurred that a plat would not be required. Mr. Tinker stated the pins are already in and with a little more work; he can get more specific with the description. Mr. Conway suggested that the deed description should be included in the conclusion. Tammy Hitchcock stated they have a meeting with the Land Trust next week and they have to approve the changes, but she is not anticipating a problem. Ms. Hitchcock stated if one of the houses in the future decides to sell, a well would be required.

    A motion was made by Dave Mills and seconded by Kevin Blow to approve the application #17-06 resulting in a 4-parcel subdivision based on the following conditions:

    1. approval by the state for lot 1 and lot 2;
    2. the new boundary between lot 3 and lot 4, based on the deed description

The motion passed unanimously.

The Zoning Administrator stated he will draft the decision and hold for the State’s response before approving the permit. The Town cannot approve the permit without the State’s approval for the wastewater.

5. Close Hearing
A motion was made by Rick Conway and seconded by Kevin Blow to close the hearing at 7:50PM. The motion passed unanimously.

6. Public Comments
There was no discussion held.

7. Continue Town Plan Updating Process

  1. Review/Finalize Vision Section
    Dave Mills read the following rewrite of the Vision: To maintain the residential nature of Pittsford Village, encouraging mixed business/residential locations where practical. Realizing the need for more business opportunities within the Town to keep taxes stable and provide jobs. Mixed use buildings, parking, access, etc., being limited within the village, promote clustered development along Route 7 and Route 3 South to provide jobs and tax stabilization. Thus retaining our youth and helping maintain our population.Rick Conway stated there had previously been discussion that the surrounding areas outside the village needed to be represented. Mr. Conway tried to condense the Vision statement and the other members agreed with his statement of vision.Mr. Conway read his proposed Vision statement: The Town Plan is a document with several pages of detailed information projecting goals and objectives. The central concept is simply: “To preserve the historical character of Pittsford by encouraging residential and commercial growth within existing village centers while promoting continued uses of surrounding lands for agriculture, forestry, recreation and other permitted uses designated within Pittsford’s zoning regulations.” The above statement is the theme of this plan.

    Mr. Conway stated the permitted uses in Pittsford zoning are designated and in looking at the goals and objectives in the State statutes, any new business will come before the zoning and will be addressed through the zoning criteria. To meet the objectives, the Planning Commission has to include development of the village center and there are going to be some new businesses coming into town. Some of the houses in Pittsford are not in the best of condition, but there are some that are being revitalized. Mr. Conway noted he was trying to make it simple and comply with the goals and objectives in accordance with the State statute, and to make the vision concise and to the point. He stated the Town does have many commercial areas and there are several areas in the village where there can be businesses such as Keith’s, the Sunoco Station, the old Methodist Church, the old barbershop and the Forrest Farm. Mr. Conway thought there is a lot of business in the village and the zoning covers everything outside.  The areas are there and are spelled out and he did not see the need to change them. David Soulia stated the Land Use map needs to mirror the Zoning map.

    Dave Mills stated his reason for the change is if someone goes to the website and reviews Pittsford’s Town Plan, there is nothing unique to set Pittsford apart. David Soulia stated there was discussion of changing Route 3 back to commercial, but because of the Town Plan and Land Use map, if a change is not made, the area would remain as currently zoned. Chuck Chabonneau agreed with what Mr. Mills was referring to, however, noted a new business is not going to worry about the Town Plan if they are having issues with the zoning and Act 250. Mr. Charbonneau noted the Town wants new business here, but there are new businesses that have to go multiple times for Act 250. David Soulia asked if the intent is to stay with focusing on retrofitting everything in the village center, or changing the language to include additional growth outside the village center. Mr. Conway stated he and Colleen Hobbs had a lot of discussion to come up with a proposed vision and when it was proposed to the Planning Commission, everyone was in agreement with the language.  If the Commission wants to add some language, he is okay with that, but not a complete rewrite. Mr. Conway stated he has discussed his version with some townspeople and they are in favor of it. Mr. Mills stated the Rutland Regional Planning Commission (RRPC) indicated Pittsford is a “pencil” village and the Route 3 and Route 7 areas were brought up. David Soulia noted the RRPC advised with regard to the State statutes that they recognize Pittsford is one of the towns that cannot fit the statute as defined. Mr. Conway expressed concern with the Planning Commission; noting they need to function as a Board and are accountable to the townspeople. Mr. Charbonneau questioned what the Commission thought was missing from Mr. Conway’s vision for the Town. David Soulia read what is currently in the Town Plan and the proposed vision statement provided by Mr. Conway. Mr. Soulia stated every Town Plan has fundamentally said the same thing. He thought the vision statement is the same and it indicates business growth will be in the village and agriculture, forestry, recreation and other permitted uses will be outside. Mr. Soulia stated it had previously been discussed to change Route 3 to Commercial and that is where the discussion to change the vision to indicate that Route 3 and Route 7 originated, as there is a lot more room for growth and traffic moderation. Mr. Soulia suggested a change to encourage growth in the Route 3 area. He noted the Plan could maintain the village center as historical and change Route 3 to commercial from rural/commercial. Mr. Conway stated as far as Route 3, the soils are heavy to do commercial on Route 3 and even though the village is a historic area, it does not mean that people cannot do things with their houses. Mr. Soulia expressed concern there are not jobs available to keep the graduating students in the area. Mr. Charbonneau noted it is not what the town’s zoning is doing, but it is more Act 250 issues.  Mr. Charbonneau was concerned with changing Mr. Conway’s vision statement. Mr. Mills stated it was not his intent to cause an issue, but wanted to provide different ideas. Mr. Conway respectfully disagreed with the changes being proposed and stated as a new business owner, he would be looking at the zoning and not specifically the Town Plan. Mr. Soulia stressed that the language looks similar to what the Town always has had. Mr. Conway cited the state requirements for town plans and stated by taking the language and running it by several businesses, he thought the proposed vision statement was appropriate. Mr. Conway stated to change Route 7 and Route 3 from their designations; the land use map will have to be changed. Mr. Soulia noted the land use map controls the zoning map. Mr. Conway wanted to be sure the map are correct. Mr. Mills asked if the Town Plan has to be changed before changing the zoning map and Mr. Conway confirmed that this would be the correct procedure.

    A motion was made by Kevin Blow and seconded by Chuck Charbonneau to approve the Vision Section as presented by Rick Conway and Colleen Hobbs. The motion passed unanimously.

  2. Review/Finalize Transportation Section
    This item was postponed for discussion at a subsequent meeting.  The proposed Transportation Section was submitted by John Haverstock to the Planning Commission for consideration.
  3. Review/Finalize Housing Section
    This item was postponed for discussion at a subsequent meeting.
  4. Discuss Land Use Inventory Map
    This item was postponed for discussion at a subsequent meeting.
  5. Discuss Water and Sewer Information
    This item was postponed for discussion at a subsequent meeting.
  6. Discuss Energy Section     
    Dave Mills provided the Committee members the updated Energy maps from the State. The Town has until the end of May to advise the Rutland Regional Planning Commission where the Town does not want wind or solar, and give reasons why.  Otherwise, the maps will go into the Regional Plan as is. Mr. Conway suggested including this on the agenda for the next meeting.  David Soulia stated as far as the Energy Section; there are municipal, state and federal properties that could be included, but the Planning Commission cannot indicate any private properties. Mr. Soulia has been researching Burlington because they are 100% net neutral and have hydro, wind and a biomass plant. A review of the Energy Section was postponed for discussion at a subsequent meeting.
  7. Review/Finalize Historical Section
    This item was postponed for discussion at a subsequent meeting.
  8. Review/Finalize Agriculture Section
    This item was postponed for discussion at a subsequent meeting.

8. Schedule Date for Next Meeting
May 25, 2017 @ 7:00PM – Regular Planning Commission Meeting

9. Adjournment
A motion was made by Kevin Blow and seconded by Rick Conway to adjourn the meeting at   9:16PM. The motion passed unanimously.


Respectfully submitted,
Charlene Bryant
Recording Secretary


Approved by,



The Pittsford Planning Commission