Pittsford Planning Commission Meeting
April 28, 2016
Board Members Present: David Soulia, Chuck Charbonneau, Kevin Blow, Dave Mills,
Mark Winslow, Rick Conway, Colleen Hobbs
Board Members Absent:
Also in Attendance: Jeff Biasuzzi – Zoning Administrator, Ann Marie McNeil, Tina
VanGuilder, David Trombley, Hank Pelkey
1. Call to order
The meeting was called to order at 7:01PM by David Soulia – Chair.
2. Approval of Agenda
A motion was made by Dave Mills and seconded by Mark Winslow to approve the agenda, as presented. The motion passed unanimously.
3. Approval of Minutes
A motion was made by Kevin Blow and seconded by Colleen Hobbs to table the approval of the meeting’s minutes of March 24, 2016 and March 31, 2016 to the next meeting. The motion passed unanimously.
4. Public Comments
Anne Marie McNeil and Tina VanGuilder of the Rutland Area Prevention (RAP) Coalition were present to provide information to the Planning Commission on their program. RAP is a substance abuse prevention and education coalition. Ms. McNeil provided suggestions to the Planning Commission relative to advertising regulations that included content-neutral restrictions, which could require retail stores to have no more than 25% of their windows covered by signage of any kind. This would preserve the view of the neighborhoods and increase the visibility of parking lots, entrances and cash registers for safety. It would also enable law enforcement and passersby to see potential criminal activity, making the store less of a target. There are viable options to be considered where advertisements may be placed and the size and numbers of signage. The ordinance could not restrict content as this would be a violation of the First Amendment. This program is related to public health with regard to the use of tobacco and alcohol. Ms. McNeil noted research has found that tobacco advertising is greater in stores most visited by youth; and youth are more likely to smoke the brand of cigarettes most heavily advertised in the tobacco retailer nearest their school. Ms. McNeil provided a packet of information on the Coalition and encouraged the Planning Commission to contact them if there is any support that they would like in this area. Jeff Biasuzzi will distribute copies of the information to all Board members. Dave Mills asked if this also includes beer advertisements. Ms. VanGuilder stated content neutral relates to advertising in general, as restrictions to content specific items are unconstitutional. It was noted some communities are choosing to regulate all signage, regardless of advertising. This is the down side as it regulates the good things, but also regulates the things that are not the most desirable for the communities. Ms. VanGuilder stated the program is for aesthetic appeal and safety, but freedom of speech cannot be hindered. Mr. Mills suggested, rather than doing it by regulation, having the store owners meet and discuss this subject. Ms. VanGuilder stated there was a program called Healthy Retailers that worked heavily with store owners in discussing ways of regulating themselves, however, the state did not see any changes at that level and the decision was made to discontinue the program. It was noted if the community sees this as a problem; the Coalition can help those communities.
Jeff Biasuzzi stated there is a request from Denise Mahoney, Accountant for the Town, suggesting that all ancillary boards and commissions provide all electronic documents to the Town Clerk to assure that a record will be properly saved. If the documents need to be changed or edited, they can then be found on the server. It was noted that the server is backed up every night. David Soulia stated this is in response to trying to find the Flood Hazard word document. Mr. Biasuzzi stated right now everything is on paper in the vault.
Jeff Biasuzzi reported the Act 250 Commission recently held a hearing regarding the Omya quarry. David Trombley reported Omya is looking to increase their capacities for blasting material going from 5,000 lbs. up to 12,000 pounds. If they have an urgent need for a large amount of material, they could get it out quicker with a stronger blast. They are going to normally be around 7,000 pounds. This is a two-phase Act 250 process. They want the quarries to stay open on Saturdays, with no blasting, as they have a larger need. The Select Board supported this and sent a letter of support to the Act 250 Board. The Select Board has viewed how the blasting would be done and participated in a demonstration to listen and feel the blast to experience the change. Mr. Trombley stated there are new techniques being used and they did not experience any difference. Mr. Trombley stated there was an all-day session of the Board taking testimony from concerned people. There were an array of experts present to answer questions and it was noted the meeting was very interesting. It is currently being reviewed by Act 250 and a decision will not be received until the end of May or early June. There was a new technique used due to the fact the old blasting technique was leaving plastic in the mix and this will also assist in keeping the product clean. It was noted that Omya quarries one million metric tons per year with 20% coming out of this quarry and 80% out of the Middlebury quarry.
5. Hearing for Pinkowski Application 16-06 Site Plan Review
The hearing was open at 7:18PM.
Jeff Biasuzzi stated Mr. Pinkowski will not be in attendance at the hearing as he is working out of state. Cedar Lane is a private lane south of the Pittsford golf course on Corn Hill Road on the northwest side. Mr. Biasuzzi provided the information to the Planning Commission that was submitted by the applicant. Rick Conway asked if there has been a dully authorized agent appointed by the applicant and Mr. Biasuzzi stated Mr. Pinkowski did not appoint a person. David Soulia stated this is a simple subdivision and questioned if the Planning Commission was comfortable with moving forward with the process. The Planning Commission was in agreement with moving forward. Mr. Biasuzzi stated there were no interested parties present for the hearing. He noted this is a site plan review for an application submitted by Martin Pinkowski for a 26.1 acre parcel on 337 Cedar Lane. The applicant will be subdividing into two lots, with one being 21.3 acres with a house and a second lot of 4.8 acres. This lot was part of a five-lot subdivision approved by the ZBA in 2005. Rick Conway questioned whether the applicant had submitted two plans and Mr. Biasuzzi confirmed that he did. It was noted that Art Kruger of Kruger Engineering did the work for the application. Mr. Biasuzzi checked for the required road front acreage and minimum depths and all requirements are met. Mr. Pinkowski will have the wastewater and septic designed for the lot. Mr. Biasuzzi noted this is an example of a simple parceling. Mr. Pinkowski had advised that he could be reached by phone if the Planning Commission had additional questions. It was noted there were no questions.
6. Close Public Hearing
The hearing closed at 7:33PM.
A motion was made by Mark Winslow and seconded by Dave Mills to approve the Pinkowski16-06 Site Plan Review application.
Jeff Biasuzzi reported all neighbors were notified and there were no objections. The date of the warning of the hearing was the 7th of April and was warned in 3 public places and sent certified mail to the abutters.
There were no conditions outlined.
The motion passed unanimously.
7. Open Executive Session
A motion was made by Dave Mills and seconded by Kevin Blow to enter into executive session at 7:35PM. The motion passed unanimously.
8. Close Executive Session
David Soulia declared the Planning Commission out of executive session at 8:20PM. There was no action required.
9. Discuss Posting of Warnings
Rick Conway noted concern on the posting of warnings in that they are specific as a public hearing notice, to include the date and time it was posted and the individual who posted the warning in the three designated places in town and on the web site. Mr. Conway requested clarification of the public hearing notices relating to permits. Jeff Biasuzzi advised that in posting of permit requests, he uses the permit application as the posting and includes the public hearing information and summarizes the reason for the hearing. The written notices that go on the web site and are advertised in the newspapers state the details of the hearing. Mr. Conway stated there needs to be a separate posting for the public hearing and it should be the typical stand-alone public notice. Mr. Conway stated the public notice should contain the specifics of the hearing, the time of the posting and who posted it. It was noted that it should be the same thing that is placed as an advertisement. Mr. Conway noted there was a question of whether the Special Planning Commission meeting on March 31st was legally warned and therefore, any actions taken at that meeting would need to be reapproved.
A motion was made by Rick Conway and seconded by Mark Winslow to readopt the language from the last meeting as follows:
1. To grant authority to the Zoning Administrator to approve a Boundary Line Adjustment that is limited to small areas, does not create or increase a non-conforming situation, and the land is permanently merged to the receiving ownership (so no new free-standing parcel results).
2. To grant authority to the Zoning Administrator to approve a simple subdivision (aka Simple Parceling), that results in a total of two conforming parcels limiting the property owner to one (1) Simple Parceling application of the same property every 365 days. Larger or more frequent subdivision applications are to be reviewed by the Planning Commission, per existing Zoning Ordinance.
The motion passed with two abstentions – Dave Mills and Colleen Hobbs.
David Soulia reported he sent the Planning Commission members an email with proposed changes to the motion with grammatical changes.
Rick Conway read the following changes relating to Article X: Site Plan Approval, Section 1001: Scope: C. and D.:
C. Lot Line/Boundary Line Adjustment: The Zoning Administrator may approve a lot Line/Boundary Line Adjustment that does not create or increase a non-conforming situation and the land is permanently merged to the receiving ownership so as no new free standing parcel results.
D. Simple Subdivision/Parceling: The Zoning Administrator may approve one (1) lot per year, per owner with no ownership restrictions that results in a total of two (2) conforming parcels. The property owner is limited to one (1) Simple Subdivision/Parceling application of the same property every 365 days. Larger or more frequent subdivision applications are to be reviewed by the Planning Commission, per existing regulation.
Dave Mill requested clarification of the 365 day limit. It was noted that the new owner could choose to split the new parcel and would not be subject to the 365 days. Dave Soulia stated if the original owner wants to do more parceling, they will need to go before the Planning Commission.
A motion was made by Rick Conway and seconded by Mark Winslow to approve the changes as noted above. The motion passed unanimously.
10. Finalize Zoning Changes
Dave Soulia reported Rick Conway and he have reviewed the document and included the information regarding Lot Line Adjustment. Jeff Biasuzzi has also provided language on this; however, Mr. Soulia has not had a chance to review it and is uncertain if the language is better than what is included. With regard to the Flood Plain map, Ed Bove of the Regional Planning Commission has requested a conversation. He also noted that the language in the Zoning Regulations has to match up with the Town Plan. It was noted the proposed change to expand Commercial on Route 7 and Route 3 affects the Town Plan. Mr. Soulia stated his discussion will be such that the Planning Commission has searched for the change that removed those districts without success and those changes should not have been changed legally. Mr. Soulia stated because the Planning Commission is ready to complete the Zoning Ordinance revisions, they cannot contradict the Town Plan, since the Town Plan has not been amended or rescinded. It was suggested if the intent is to lawfully put the map back to its original Commercial area; the Planning Commission could choose to rescind the Town Plan, pass the Zoning Regulations and then redo the Town Plan. Mr. Soulia stated in his discussion with Mr. Bove, he will explain that the Planning Commission does realize the map does not correspond to the Town Plan, but there has been no supporting information found that the change should have been made. The Planning Commission will therefore fix the Zoning Regulations and then fix the Town Plan. Mr. Soulia stated the Rutland Regional Planning Commission has a map that shows Route 7 and Route 3 as Commercial. Rick Conway stated he has not heard of rescinding a Town Plan and he will need to discuss this with either legal counsel or the VLCT prior to agreeing to this plan. Mr. Conway thought there needs to be a conversation with Gary Kupferer. Dave Soulia will call Ed Bove to get his input on this situation. The Rutland Regional Planning Commission has a link to the proposed changes and a copy of the current zoning, but the fact that they did not have past maps is a concern. Mr. Conway stated his concern is that the Planning Commission has to have a public hearing on the map and after the hearing; it will have to go to the Select Board.
Mr. Soulia advised the Town Plan specifies Rural Commercial and this is likely what the conversation will be about.
David Soulia requested all Planning Commission members review the changes to the Zoning Regulations that were distributed and he will be in contact with Mr. Bove tomorrow for clarification. He will send everyone an email regarding his conversation with Mr. Bove, so that at the next meeting this item can be wrapped up. Mr. Soulia also requested the members review Mr. Biasuzzi’s recommendations for the verbiage for lot line adjustment and simple parceling for discussion at the next meeting. Dave Mills suggested scheduling a special meeting on May 12th to complete this task, with all members in agreement. David Soulia will submit the agenda and posting to the Town Clerk. Rick Conway also noted the members need to read the Flood Plain information, as this will also need to be added to the document. Mr. Conway suggested a couple of minor changes to the Flood Plain document that were distributed to the members. It was noted the Flood Plain document is in accordance with FEMA rules and it was suggested to also have it reviewed by River Management.
David Soulia reported he attended the Rutland Regional Planning Commission meeting and was present at the subcommittee discussion regarding the proposed solar projects. There are two subcommittees that meet at the beginning of the meeting; one dealing with proposed projects and the other deals with town plans and approvals. For the remainder of the meeting, the two subcommittees combine to discuss other topics. Ed Bove suggested that both the representative and alternate are invited to attend the meeting that would enable a representative for each of the subcommittees. Mr. Soulia thought it was an interesting meeting. Mr. Soulia will confirm the date of the next Rutland Regional Planning Commission meeting.
11. Schedule Zoning Changes Filings and Hearings
This item was postponed to a subsequent meeting.
12. Schedule Next Meeting/Hearing Date, Time and location
A motion was made by Dave Mills and seconded by Kevin Blow to schedule a Special Planning Commission meeting for May 12, 2016 beginning at 7PM. The motion passed unanimously.
A motion was made by Mark Winslow and seconded by Dave Mills to adjourn the Planning Commission meeting at 9:02PM. The motion passed unanimously.
The Pittsford Planning Commission