Varick Planning Board meeting Thursday, March 28, 2002

Approved May 23, 2002

The Town of Varick Planning board held a meeting on March 28, 2002 in the Varick Fire House. The Chairman Thomas Björkman called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m.

Present were Board Members: Richard Foxx; Bill Larzelere; David McMillan; Larry Peterson; Kevin Swartley; Mel Russo and recording secretary Caroline Herd.


The minutes of The January 24, 2002 meeting were approved as presented.

1) Comments from residents

Public comment was held on the issue of Pig Farms and their impact on the community. Nine residents from the Dilts Rd. area spoke. The main issues of concern raised by citizens were odor preventing them from opening windows or having cookouts, ground water contamination, and water consumption and its impact on wells on surrounding properties. It was pointed out that the town has little control over agricultural operations. The state has forced the town to lift the moratorium on building more pig farms. The town may try to establish guidelines that address health hazards only. It is necessary for the Farm owners to present a waste management plan to the planning board before a building permit can be issued. The planning board must have legitimate reasons for denying a permit. Citizens may present a petition demonstrating that public opinion is against more Pig farms, but that is not reason enough to deny a permit.

2) Committee Reports

Campground Regulations (McMillan) In response to a need identified by East Lake Road residents at the last meeting, regulation of recreational vehicles is necessary. McMillan presented a section of zoning code from the Town of Chester that requires a "camping trailer park" to have a Special Use Permit. This special use would cover RV's and camping trailers. Health department regulations would be included in the proposed ordinances for comparison. The health department regulations are in affect at this time since they are the most restrictive regulations. Björkman assigned McMillan continue to develop the campground ordinance to have a final version the Planning Board can act on at its next meeting in two months and then submit it to the town board for adoption.

Cell Towers (Björkman) - Cell towers are a concern for Montezuma due to a possible impact on the migratory fowl. Lighted towers are more dangerous for the birds since they are attracted to the light and fly into the wires and injure themselves. The towers are removed after they are no longer in use and are encouraged to be located on government property. Cell towers would be covered in the zoning code under special use. Björkman will develop language for amending the zoning code to include a Special Use for telecommunications towers. based on those in effect in the town of Tyre.

(Harriet Haynes stated that there will be new state laws dealing with junk yards that will go into effect sometime in either June or July. She further suggested that all of the laws of Varick should be reprinted as a single book with all amendments since 1975 incorporated.)

3) Sundivision: Allen Light

General Light requested permission to subdivide his lake front property to include one lot that is less than the minimum legal lot size of 7/10 acre. He owns three houses on the same lake front lot. He would like to take part of the lake front from one house and give it to the main farm house. By decreasing the size of the lots it would improve the salability of the main farm house and also preserve the view of the main farm house. Since each lot is only being split in 2, none into 3 lots, .it is not a subdivision under the Planning Board's jurisdiction. Creating the substandard lot requires Board of Zoning Appeals approval, so the planning board took no stand.

4) New Business

An application for a building permit from Larry Martin to expand his hog barn. The building permit would have to be approved by the town board. The barn that would be expanded is naturally ventilated with an underground lagoon.

Björkman looked into resolving some of the conflicts associated with expanded hog production through the services of Interface, a program of the Community Dispute Resolution Center in Ithaca. The assessment from Interface would identify the barriers that prevent people from talking and from solving the problems that are causing conflict. An assessment would cost $2100. Getting an assessment done will be proposed to the town board. It may be possible to split the cost with the NYS Farm Bureau, and the town of Fayette since they are undergoing similar problems.

5) The next meeting is currently scheduled for May 23, 2002 at 7:00 p.m.

6) The meeting was adjourned at 9:15 p.m.


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