Meeting Minutes : Planning Commission – DRAFT

Pittsford Planning Commission Meeting
July 27, 2017

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

Board Members Absent: Colleen Hobbs, Mark Winslow

Also in Attendance:  Jeff Biasuzzi – Zoning Administrator, Jeanne Collins, Tom Hooker, John Haverstock, Gordon DeLong, Barbara Willis, Rebecca Davenport, Tracey Barnard, David Barnard

  1. Call to order
    The meeting was called to order at 7:00PM 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.
    Item 7 – Town Plan Update – add items a) Land Use Map, b) Agriculture and c) Economic Development
  3. Approval of Minutes
    June 15, 2017 Special Planning Commission Meeting
    The June 15th minutes were tabled for approval at a subsequent meeting.
  4. Open Public Hearing
    • Application #17-17 Site Plan/Subdivision Review
      1. Receive Testimony 

        Interested Parties: Jeanne Collins, Tom Hooker, John Haverstock, Gordon DeLong, Barbara Willis, Rebecca Davenport, Tracey Barnard, David BarnardDavid Soulia swore in the individuals who would be testifying.Jeff Biasuzzi reported this is a public hearing for a minor subdivision of the Caverly property that is going to create a five-acre parcel around the south end of the property near the Haunted House. The Zoning ordinance 1103 requires a Planning Commission review of applications for access by a town road and right of way. The minimum width of the right of way must be 50 feet. The Zoning Administrator suggested the right of way serve the five acres at the end of the Caverly Row and go past the five acres to the adjacent land that is owned by the Town of Pittsford. A survey was presented to the Planning Commission.

        John Haverstock stated the reason for this request is that the Town and School District have been discussing the proposed transfer to the Town due to school district consolidation. In the past, there has been a good rapport with the Pittsford School District regarding the Haunted House, however, the district is now larger and includes other towns and it has been agreed that the parcel with the Haunted House would come under the ownership of the Town of Pittsford.  Jeanne Collins stated the OVUU Board is in agreement with this exchange.

        Barbara Willis asked if there would be access to the new cemetery with this change. John Haverstock advised there are 52 acres that were transferred from the State to the Town, which is the next parcel over from the parcel being discussed. It was noted this hearing is regarding the Caverly School and Haunted House only, but there would be access to the cemetery. There is a trail that goes into the parcel that could be turned into a road and this parcel is to be used for recreational trails and a future cemetery. The 52-acre parcel is adjacent to the 25-acre Caverly parcel and those 25 acres have no bearing on the cemetery parcel. Mr. Haverstock suggested the Cemetery Committee come before the Select Board to request access to the parcel. Tom Hooker did not think there would be an issue with an access as it appears that part of the town’s property is on Plains Road. Jeff Biasuzzi stated this was the reason he suggested the right of way be extended to serve other town property because the Haunted House is surrounded by town property. Gordon DeLong stated it is not known which part of the property will serve as the cemetery and is something that will be decided in the future. Rebecca Davenport stated there was confusion whether there was a town cemetery in the plans, which prompted the memo that the Cemetery Committee submitted to the Planning Commission to clarity this item. It was suggested there be reference to the proposed cemetery in the updated Town Plan. David Soulia stated this was discussed at the last Planning Commission meeting and could be addressed further in this meeting.

      2. Deliberate
        Kevin Blow questioned whether the fire trucks would still be allowed to be parked in the field and Tom Hooker confirmed that they would still be able to be parked in that area.
      3. Vote
        A motion was made by Rick Conway and seconded by Chuck Charbonneau to accept the application, with the right of way to extend through the subdivision to the adjoining town-owned properties. The motion passed unanimously.
  5. Close Hearing
    The hearing closed at 7:21PM.
  6. Public Comments
    David Soulia stated Mr. Conway had presented a letter he received from the Cemetery Committee to the Planning Commission regarding the proposed cemetery at the last meeting. Before adding the information to the Town Plan, the Planning Commission would need Select Board approval regarding the future cemetery, as there was no clear information received. It was noted that the information provided tonight clears up a lot of confusion in knowing that it is a separate parcel. Dave Mills suggested information be provided to the Planning Commission for the Town Plan that would describe the current cemetery situation and additional information about the proposed cemetery. It was noted there is still about 25 to 50 years in the St. Alphonsus cemetery and 50 years in the Town’s cemetery. John Haverstock provided information from the Pittsford’s Second Century book concerning the cemeteries. Mr. Haverstock suggested the Cemetery Committee be added to a Select Board agenda to start the discussion about the future cemetery, with the next meeting scheduled for August 23rd. Following discussion at this meeting, Mr. Haverstock will provide the Planning Commission the information on the cemeteries for the Town Plan. Dave Mills suggested using a lot number to describe the proposed cemetery.  Mr. Haverstock noted there is a deed for the site and Mr. Conway suggested mentioning that document in the Town Plan. Tom Hooker suggested getting a 911 address for the trail.
  7. Town Plan Updating Process
    • Land Use Map
      Chuck Charbonneau thought the map was good except for the parcel that is residential on Route 3, as it is a lot larger. There are parcels of land on the east side that could also be used as commercial parcels. Mr. Charbonneau suggested the Planning Commission could approach the landowners, as he does not want to leave anyone out who would want commercial zoning. Dave Mills stated the maps are correct, however, the designations of how they are taxed is the issue, such as agricultural property being taxed as residential. Jeff Biasuzzi advised the tax maps are done by a private map company and are updated annually for changes in land use, with the updates being sent to the Regional Planning Commission. It was suggested a request for clarification could be asked of the listers. It was noted that the base map is okay and it was suggested to leave the map as is.
      A motion was made by Dave Mills and seconded by Rick Conway to approve the Future Land Use map as submitted.The motion passed unanimously.
    • Agriculture
      Mark Winslow submitted a proposed Agriculture/Forestry section for the Town Plan for the Planning Commission’s consideration.
      A motion was made by Rick Conway and seconded by Kevin Blow to approve the Agriculture/Forestry section of the Town Plan. The motion passed unanimously.
    • Economic development
      Mark Winslow submitted a proposed Economic Development section for the Town Plan for the Planning Commission’s consideration.Dave Mills questioned the statement in the 4th paragraph regarding lack of potential sewer capacity. It was noted that there is capacity available and the lack of potential sewer capacity should be removed from the description. In addition, the village support area should be changed to allow commercial development. Rick Conway also questioned the statement about the village being primarily residential and having limited ability for new commercial development. Mr. Conway does not agree that the village is just historical, as it is suitable for commercial.  Chuck Charbonneau noted the statement indicates it is limited due to historical, but not impossible. Mr. Biasuzzi suggested striking the sentence altogether and all Planning Commission members agreed. Mr. Mills also suggested extending the commercial districts along Route 3 and Route 7 would assist in keeping the areas wild. Mr. Biasuzzi suggested the commercial balance should be to focus along Route 3 and Route 7, which are more appropriate for economic development. David Soulia stated it would further protect the conservation districts in concentrating the commercial areas along the Route 3 and Route 7 districts. Mr. Mills recommended adding the following sentence, immediately following the 3rd sentence in paragraph 4: To help keep these acres wild; extending the zoning districts along Route 3 and Route 7 for commercial application will help concentrate business areas away from the more sensitive environmental areas. It was also recommended to change the first sentence in paragraph 4 to read: Pittsford has been at the forefront of preserving many acres to be natural areas, as indicated by its Upland Conservation districts.

      Mr. Mills questioned what commercial support assessment was; noting paragraph 5 was confusing. There was a recommendation to strike the first and second sentence in the 5th paragraph and reverse the order of paragraphs 4 and 5 in the document.

      Under Actions, it was suggested to change the wording of the 3rd action to read: Support village as what it is historical, residential and commercial. It was also recommended to change the 2nd action item to read: Target to substantially increase jobs available in Pittsford.

      A motion was made by Kevin Blow and seconded by Rick Conway to accept the Economic Development section with the changes noted. The motion passed unanimously.

      Jeff Biasuzzi provided information on the Planning Commission update that he placed in the Pittsford Newsletter. Mr. Biasuzzi stated with regard to the information provided on the proposed village district; the State has a village encouragement program where one can get up to a 25% tax credit for façade management and up to a 50% tax credit for code upgrades. Originally, it was designed to encourage business, but it is not limited to that.  Mr. Biasuzzi noted there is a lot of paperwork involved, but it can be worthwhile. Mr. Conway volunteered to discuss the village designation with the Town Manager.

      Jeff Biasuzzi stated Act 250 has been in existence for 50 years and is currently scheduling comment meetings across the State to obtain suggestions for changes. A website is also available to provide comments on Act 250.

    • Discuss completion timeline
      David Soulia proposed a special meeting on August 31st, in addition to the regular Planning Commission meeting on August 24th to continue the Town Plan update. If needed, another special meeting will be held in early September to complete the Town Plan update process so that the public hearing could be held during the September 28th regular meeting. The Housing and Energy sections are the remaining items for update of the Town Plan, plus the Cemetery section that will be provided by John Haverstock. Dave Mills and David Soulia will be meeting with Ed Bove of the Rutland Regional Planning Commission (RRPC) to discuss the Housing and Energy sections. Dave Mills suggested future Pittsford Days could include exhibits by energy-related companies to provide information on what is available. Rick Conway questioned how many maps, aside from the Future Land Use Map, will be included in the Town Plan. David Soulia advised clarification will obtained regarding the maps required. Dave Mills stated the current Town Plan includes maps on Public Utilities and Facilities, Transportation, Education, Recreation, Natural Resources and the Future Land Use Map. Mr. Conway will contact Steve Schilds of the RRPC to confirm what maps need to be in the Town Plan. Jeff Biasuzzi stated the Natural Resources map has to be specific with the areas noted that are environmentally sensitive. Chuck Charbonneau requested the maps be emailed to him.
  8. Schedule Date for Next Meeting
    August 24, 2017 @ 7:00PM – Planning Commission Meeting
    August 31, 2017 @ 7:00PM – Special Planning Commission Meeting
  9. Adjournment
    A motion was made by Dave Mills and seconded by Kevin Blow to adjourn the meeting at 8:50PM. The motion passed unanimously.


Respectfully submitted,

Charlene Bryant
Recording Secretary


Approved by,



The Pittsford Planning Commission