TOWN OF PITTSFORD
ZONING BOARD OF ADJUSTMENT
September 14, 2016
Zoning Board of Adjustment Members Present – Stanley Markowski – Chairman, Rick Conway – Vice Chairman, Ed Keith, Jr., and Dan Adams. ABSENT: Sherry Reed, Clarence Greeno and Jack Orvis.
Others Present – Madelyn Erb, Dave Burley, Kevin Henderson, Michael Skaza, Robert Tinker, Jeff Biasuzzi – Zoning Administrator and Kelly Giard – Recording Secretary
S. Markowski, Chairman, called the Zoning Board of Adjustment to order at 7:25 PM. S. Markowski introduced the members of the Zoning Board of Adjustment.
Motion by D. Adams and seconded by E. Keith to adopt the agenda as presented.
S. Markowski stated that the meeting was properly warned in 3 public places, on the town website; and mailed to the abutting landowners via certified mail with return receipt.
S. Markowski swore in Jeff Biasuzzi (Zoning Administrator – Town of Pittsford); Madelyn Erb, Dave Burley, Kevin Henderson, Michael Skaza and Robert Tinker.
S. Markowski stated that the hearing was to hear a Conditional Use by a Vermont owned institution, which requests construction of a 3 story training structure for the Fire Academy.
J. Biasuzzi stated that the application was to construct a 3 story structure that meets the proper set-backs. The property is owned by the Environmental Conservation.
D. Burley presented pictures of the perimeter of the property showing views from Plains Road, which is a gated area and screened by trees. The structure measurements are 22’ X 51’ X 33’ 6”. The setbacks are well beyond the required 75’.
D. Burley showed a comparison project with Vermont Technical College structure that is currently in use.
M. Skaza, Training Coordinator, explained that there are 10 – 20 actual “live burn” days that occur during the training sessions at the Academy and that each day averages 5 – 8 cycles per day. M. Skaza stated that there are other trainings that occur at the Academy, however, “live burns” are not always involved. M. Skaza explained that M. Skaza explained that the burn building uses natural wood, dry wood and hay (the equivalent of 4 pallets and a half bale of hay) are the average fuel. M. Skaza explained that the only noise involved was the axe chopping and voices and that there is no siren involved. M. Skaza explained that there was no increase in traffic to the Academy. D. Adams inquired the access to the Academy. D. Burley explained that access is from the Furnace Road to the Academy. M. Skaza explained that the Plains Road entrance is gated and will remain that way, unless there is an emergency.
D. Burley explained that a Federal Grant is being used to construct the structure and there would be no change of use, just to better the training experience for the firefighters.
S. Markowski inquired what would happen to the current burn structure. D. Burley stated that there would be some training in the structure, however, there would be no more “live burns”. M. Skaza stated that the building would be repurposed for other training exercises. S. Markowski inquired if the pallets and had produced enough heat for training exercises. M. Skaza stated that the walls are lined as such that the fire stays contained and theatrical smoke is used to simulate smoke, if necessary. D. Burley stated that there was very little electric supply required for the structure. M. Skaza stated that there were exhaust fans, that were used if necessary.
S. Markowski inquired the hours of operation. M. Skaza stated that the hours are week days/weekends from 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM, with the occasional weeknight of 6:00 PM – 9:00 PM, which are the same hours as currently in effect.
M. Skaza explained that the current building is “tired” and it is best to retire before the concrete fails. M. Skaza explained that there would be no increase in volume of use and this is just a continuation on a modern structure.
S. Markowski inquired the amount of land that was currently at the Academy. M. Skaza stated that there is 135 acres. D. Adams explained that the plan stated 168 acres. J. Biasuzzi stated that the 168 acres is the Fire and Police Academy properties combined. S. Markowski stated that there was 33 acres leased. K. Henderson stated that the 33 acres is possibly the Recreation Area.
K. Henderson stated that the Vermont Technical College facility is 6 years old and there is not much smoke visible on the structure, whereas the current structure in Pittsford is experiencing leaking windows and the new structure will reduce this concern.
S. Markowski inquired the material of the proposed structure. D. Burley stated that the building is metal. R. Conway inquired the maximum height of the proposed structure. K. Henderson stated that the maximum height would be 34’.
D. Adams stated that there were propane tanks on the plan and inquired if the propane is used to fuel the fire. K. Henderson stated that the propane fuels fires on the burn pads and explained these fires.
J. Biasuzzi stated that the application shows the removal of the burn pads. K. Henderson stated that the removal was to accommodate the proposed structure.
S. Markowski inquired if there was town water or sewer at the facility. D. Burley stated that there would be no water or sewer at the proposed facility and very limited electric. K. Henderson explained that the water used in the firefighting was taken from the recycled water/rain collection areas.
R. Conway inquired the timeframe for the construction. K. Henderson anticipates May 2017 completion with bidding to occur over the winter months.
R. Conway inquired the color of the structure. K. Henderson explained that there has been no decision, however, anticipate green or brown.
S. Markowski inquired if the structure would be visible from Plains Road. D. Burley stated that there would be no vision of the structure from Plains Road in the summer as there are trees, mostly evergreens, planted as shields. K. Henderson stated that the Fire Administration building may be visible during the winter months.
D. Adams inquired if there would be an increase in traffic or more training to occur. M. Skaza stated that there is no anticipation of increasing class sizes.
Mr. Tinker inquired the height of the structure. D. Burley explained the various locations that will house the fires during the burns and the environmental impacts. D. Burley explained that there would be less emissions in the new structure, as opposed to the current structure.
S. Markowski inquired how long it would take to eradicate smoke in the structure. M. Skaza stated “a couple minutes” through the exhaust fan or opening the door.
D. Adams inquired the number of pallets being used. M. Skaza explained that there are very strict fire safety protocols and the amount of “fuel” can not be increased as the heat reaches 400 – 600 degrees at the ceiling.
K. Henderson stated that the current building has gaps at the windows.
S. Markowski inquired if there were any concerns from the neighbors. M. Erb stated that there had been issues in the past, which were immediately addressed and the academy is a good neighbor. B. Tinker stated that his window sills have black soot, however, there is no proof that the academy is the source and there is no concern.
M. Skaza stated that the current structure was constructed in the 1980’s, rebuilt in the 1990’s and it is now time to retire the structure.
S. Markowski inquired if there would be any additional lighting required. D. Burley stated that there would be no additional lighting required outside the structure. J. Biasuzzi inquired if there would be a sign required. D. Burley stated that there would not be a sign.
D. Adams inquired if there would be any night training. M. Skaza stated that training ends at dusk as there is a safety concern.
R. Conway inquired the security measures. M. Skaza stated that the structure is key locked at the doors and windows.
B. Tinker inquired what would happen if the cedars “die off”. K. Henderson stated that there was a provision that the trees needed to be replaced in the event of die off, as stated in the original permit.
S. Markowski reviewed the Conditional Use Permit criteria. K. Henderson stated that the potable water source is town water and the septic is on site.
D. Adams inquired the need for new pavement. D. Burley stated that the Act 250 is in the works and there is currently no need for pavement.
Motion by R. Conway and seconded by E. Keith to approve the permit as testified and presented with the condition of a green color being chosen for the structure. Motion passed unanimously 4 – 0.
The Zoning Board of Adjustment signed the minutes from the Gallus hearing from August 15, 2016 3 – 0 – 1 (Conway abstained).
J. Biasuzzi stated that he has received an application for Brandon Auto South to move RV’s to the lot of the former driving range on Route 7 north, which has been permitted by another applicant to sell RV’s and used cars. J. Biasuzzi stated that the permit has not been discontinued, the current application does not require a new sign or new lighting with a 40 unit maximum; hours of operation would be 9:00 AM – 5:30 PM Monday through Friday and 9:00 AM – 3:00 PM on the weekends.
The Zoning Board of Adjustment agreed that no hearing was required as the proposed use is not a change from the past application.
The Zoning Board of Adjustment adjourned at 8:30 PM.
Kelly Giard, Recording Secretary
Following the seven day comment & review period by ZBA Members, the Chairman is duly authorized to approve these Minutes on behalf of the Zoning Board of Adjustment;
Approved this __________ day of September 2016, by:
Stanley Markowski, Chair