September 3, 2014, PC Meeting Minutes – Draft

September 8, 2014


Planning Commission with Zoning Board of Adjustment

September 3, 2014 Meeting Minutes – Draft

Planning Commission Members Present: George (Terry) Delano, Doug Patterson, Sandra O’Flaherty, Sandy Gregg and David Roy

Planning Commission Members Absent: None

Zoning Board of Adjustment members present: Timothy Maxham, Gwen Hobbs, Paula Delano, Steven Nedde, Courtland Perry, George Rice after 7:03PM and Alayne Rabow after 7:08PM

Zoning Board of Adjustment members absent: Jim Baker

Staff Present: Mitchel Cypes

Others present from sign in sheet: Richard Swinchoski, Valerie Swinchoski, Leslie Bashaw, Robert Bashaw, John Cryan, Maria Cryan, Deborah Dinsmore, Linda Livingstone, Robert Livingstone, Jon Quackenbush, Linda Quackenbush, Virginia Compagna, Diane Cryan, Robert Cryan, Jane Krasnow, Eddie Krasnow, Christopher Herrick, Jamie Bashaw, Mary Kingston Jackson, Deborah Norotsky, Bill Laurence, Kelly Cota, Tim Cota, Jeff Sikora, Jay Buermann and Janine Bellinghiri

7:00PM: Call to order for the hearing by Tim Maxham. Introductions of the Board members were provided.

7:02PM: Additions or Deletions to the Agenda were solicited. None were requested.

7:03PM Steve Nedde offered to and was requested to recuse himself by Valerie Swinchoski

7:05PM: RT238-15-15B, Pest Pro, Inc. c/o Jon Quackenbush, Conditional Use and Site Plan Review to convert an existing single family dwelling to a professional services office. Gwen Hobbs read the hearing notice. Gwen Hobbs swore in the applicants and interested Public

Jon Quackenbush introduced himself and testified the following:

  • He started his business 18 years ago as a home business on Hill Road, which has been in continuous operation without complaint. Once moved the business at the house would be discontinued. Their business has only one location and is not a franchise.
  • The business uses 500sf of their home and they have additional rented storage space.
  • They want to move the business out of their home and storage area and to the 1200sf residence located at U.S. 238 Route 2.
  • Jon and one other person work full time in the office. His company has 5 to 8 technicians, who go to job sites and generally only come to the office to pick up work orders and supplies. He would like to provide each employee a desk to use in the new office.
  • Clients rarely come to their office.
  • Most of the items that would be stored on the property include ladders, traps, applicators, bait equipment, glue boards and bird netting. Items that won’t be damaged by freezing would be securely stored in the outside barn.
  • The inventory of pesticides they keep can fit in a 15sf space. Some of these items are concentrated and are mixed with water prior to use. Currently these are stored and mixed in their house. Once mixed these items stay in the tank until used. They use different tanks for different products. Most of the time the tanks do not need to be washed out.
  • Most items come in ready-to-use in packages.
  • They use a lot of treatments derived from pyrethroids (chrysanthemums).
  • Mixing the products: during preparation the container that the treatment comes in is rinsed with water and added to the treatment tank.       The rinsed containers are placed in a dumpster and picked up by the hauler.
  • In response to concerns regarding danger to pets, he stated he has had 2 to 3 dogs for years and never had a problem with the dogs disturbing the products used. Products have either been locked up in the house or in the trucks.
  • Their business is regulated by the EPA and inspected by the State.       They need separate licenses for different types of pesticide use that require annual recertification.
  • He is proposing to buy the entire property from the Livingston family.       He has no other planned use for the property. The existing 3-bedroom house has only 1,200sf of living space and one bathroom.       The septic system failed and is being replaced with a State approved system, which was designed and will be certified by a licensed professional.
  • Probably less than 1 acre of the property will be involved in the proposed use.
  • Regarding parking, not every technician comes every day.       Currently he has 5 full time employees.
  • The Planning Commission deemed the application as incomplete and is requiring one full size plan, 11×17 copies of the plan for the Board members, and is requiring the plans also show the entire property, parking space outlines, the proposed rebuilt shed limits, mixing locations, floodplain limits, grass swale locations, the proposed dumpster locations, existing water line locations, existing easements and signage and lighting details.

Bob Livingston, owner of the property, stated that the septic system was designed for use only for their property. The septic system will only affect their property because of the way the ground slopes. He stated that in the past Heritage Drive did not exist and was just the driveway for the house and barn. An easement document was shown for the summer camps. He was not aware of an association or any maintenance agreement to maintain Heritage Drive. Members of the Public stated that there are some year round residents and a homeowner’s association.

Public Comment:

  • Richard Swinchoski complained that the warning provided was insufficient, that the proposed use should be industrial and not professional services, was concerned about their water usage stating the deed to their pump house states it is only for residential use, was concerned their road access would be limited, was concerned about the business affecting the water quality of Lake Champlain and nearby agriculture and that the business did not fit the character of the neighborhood. He then provided letters and petitions to the Board.
  • In response Linda Quackenbush stated they have been in the area for a long time, she grew up on a farm, they built their business from the ground up and are liked by their neighbors.
  • Leslie Bashaw raised concerns regarding stormwater runoff, possible altering of the character of the land and the affect the project will have on the tax base.

8:24PM: A motion to accept as evidence, exhibit #1, a letter from Richard S. Swinchoski and Mary Kingston Jackson dated 8/18/14, was made by George Rice, seconded by Sandy Gregg and approved unanimously.

8:29PM: A motion to accept as evidence, exhibit #2, identical letters, dated 9/3/14, from Robert Cryan,  Mary Kingston Jackson, Richard & Valerie Swinchoski, Robert & Leslie Bashaw, Deborah Norotsky, and Maria & John Cryan and one other that has since been withdrawn, along with 2 photographs of the Public warning, that protest the Public warning as being deficient, and stating concerns regarding rezoning, traffic and material storage, was made by Terry Delano, seconded by David Roy and approved unanimously.

8:31PM: A motion to accept as evidence, exhibit #3, a letter from Emily Lee regarding the storage and disposal of chemicals on the property and its effect on water quality, dated 9/3/14, was made by Sandy Gregg, seconded by Terry Delano and approved unanimously.

8:34PM: A motion to accept as evidence, exhibit #4, a letter from Willemina Cerauskis, Christina Cerauskis Bilodeau and Adriana Cerauskis, dated 9/3/14, raising concerns regarding development in the flood hazard zone was made by Doug Patterson, seconded by Sandra O’Flaherty and was approved with George Rice dissenting.

8:37PM: A motion to accept as evidence, exhibit #5, a petition dated August 16, 2014, which opposes the development and raises concerns regarding traffic, chemical storage, wetland protection, water quality and placement of a sign, was made by Gwen Hobbs, seconded by Sandra O’Flaherty and was approved with George Rice dissenting.

8:40PM: A motion to accept as evidence, exhibit #6, a letter from Maria Cryan objecting to the proposed development with concerns regarding zoning and traffic, dated 9/3/14, was made by Sandra O’Flaherty, seconded by Terry Delano and approved unanimously.

8:41PM: A motion to accept as evidence, exhibit #7, the warranty deed for Mr. Livingstone’s property, which includes a mention of easements from U.S. Route 2 to existing summer camps and water easements, was made by David Roy, seconded by Sandy Gregg and approved unanimously.

8:43PM: A motion to accept as evidence, exhibit #8, a petition from Bob Marie Chilson raising concerns regarding water quality on Lake Champlain, dated 9/2/14, was made by Sandra O’Flaherty, seconded by Sandy Gregg and approved unanimously.

The Boards clarified that the application was a change of use allowed with current zoning. The Boards and the applicants discussed the existing right-of-way and the possibility that the Boards could require the establishment of a 50-foot right-of-way.

Additional Public Comment included the following:

  • John Cryan expressed concerns about truck traffic.
  • Valerie Swinchoski stated her belief that the proposed development would require a new State access permit.
  • Mary Kingston Jackson stated that she does not believe the property is suited for business use.
  • Mr. Livingstone added that years ago when he considered using the house for a wine tasting facility and possibly having the summer camps changed to year round use, AOT said it would require a 30 foot wide and 30 foot deep paved apron.

Terry Delano, Planning Commission Co-Chair, encouraged the Public to provide constructive comments and to consider what could be provided to allow this development to occur.

8:58PM: A motion to continue the hearing on October 8, 2014, at 7:00PM was made by George Rice, seconded by Doug Patterson and approved unanimously.

9:06PM: Continuance from August 27, 2014; FR015-15-01B, Cota Family Trust, Planned Unit Development for 9 Conditional Uses on one property and Site Plan Review for Proposed 9-Unit Planned Unit Development on a 9.98 acre property. Proposed Uses of Propane Distribution Center, Propane Professional Offices, Wood Pellet Storage, Empty LP Tank Storage, Firewood Processing Facility, Mulch & Salt & Sand Storage, Professional Office, and 2 Restaurants.

Gwen Hobbs swore in the Applicants and members of the Public. People were reminded that they were still under oath.

Architectural elevations by Jeff Sikora were submitted, reviewed and discussed. Concern was raised that salt in the proposed salt shed would leak through the proposed concrete blocks. Tim Cota stated the following:

  • That the proposed salt shed was an improvement to his existing situation at 33 Ferry Road.
  • Currently the salt is placed outside the bunker and then pushed in to the bunker.
  • The proposed building will allow trucks to back in to the building to unload the salt.
  • If approved he would abandon his salt storage use at 33 Ferry Road.

The Boards stated they would like concrete placed around the building to the height of the salt. Jay Buermann raised the possibility of using a membrane, which the Boards stated they would consider if it was shown to prevent leaking. It was noted that commercial buildings will be reviewed by the State’s Department of Fire Safety.

9:16PM: A motion to accept as evidence, exhibit #6, building elevations by Apple Island Design for each of the proposed buildings, was made by Steve Nedde, seconded by Sandy Gregg and approved unanimously.

Chris Herrick, Chief of the State’s Hazmat team and an abutting land owner introduced himself and stated the following:

  • He has been working with the Applicants and reviewing the proposed design for this project for conformance to NFP58 codes for propane and to correct discrepancies in the Fire Safety Analysis report.
  • Though he is not here to represent the South Hero Fire department, he can state that they will have training for responses to a propane related emergency and have the assistance of the State’s hazmat unit, which is receiving new equipment and training that will allow the hazmat unit to respond to any type of propane related event throughout the State.
  • Regarding the ability for the Fire Department to provide sufficient water, which is part of the required Fire Safety Analysis, they are working to set up an exercise to determine actual available water flow. He believes they will be able to show the ability to demonstrate sufficient water flow.
  • He has inspected the filling station’s propane tanks located at 33 Ferry Road and found no concerns. Regarding the 2 new 500 gallon propane tanks, one new one at the filling station and one located at Island beverage, he said he has not inspected these, but noted that many residents, including himself, have 500 gallon propane tanks.
  • They are generally concerned with propane tanks greater than 2,000 gallons, which makes it a bulk facility. These require security fences, explosion proof lighting, internal valves, emergency shut-offs that are activated by heat or manually, and relief valves.
  • He has looked at these plans already and they meet the codes.
  • The only substantial change, should they expand from one 30,000 gallon tank to two 30,000 gallon tanks would be the available water. Currently they are reviewing use of one of these tanks. Jay Buermann added that the Applicants are requesting the two tanks from the Town, knowing that in the future they would need State approval to upgrade.
  • After the plans are approved, they build the plumbing. Once the plumbing is complete they will have to request to charge the system with nitrogen. Once charged he will visit the site and observe a leak test. If the system passes the leak test, then they can place propane in the system. He has worked with the company that is scheduled to build this facility and they have done good work in past.
  • Fire Department should already have the equipment they need, such as meters that will show if there is a leak. Another safety factor, which is not necessarily going to be a requirement, is to have an unmanned nozzle which can bring water from the road to the tanks for better firefighting ability.
  • One benefit to the location is the proximity of the lake. In the winter, they could utilize water from Hill Road and the Fish Hatchery and with simultaneous tanker operations he believes that the fire department could sustain the required water flow.

Jay Buermann provided a letter from the State DEC, Drinking Water and Groundwater Protection Division, which contains an approval to construct the proposed site and foundation work.

9:30PM: A motion to accept as evidence, exhibit #7, State DEC, Drinking Water and Groundwater Protection Division approval to construct the proposed site and foundation work letter, dated August 27, 2014, was made by David Roy, seconded by Sandy Gregg and approved unanimously.

Jay Buermann provided updated plans sheets 1 through 5 of 11 and agricultural mitigation plan. These plans replace the same plans that were submitted and accepted as evidence as exhibit # 3.

9:34PM: A motion to accept as evidence, exhibit #8, updated plans sheets 1 through 5 of 11 and agricultural mitigation plan, was made by George Rice, seconded by Doug Patterson and approved unanimously.

Jay Buermann explained the changes to the plans as follows:

  • There is a proposed property line adjustment which adds 1.39-acres to lot #2 from lot #1 and increases the total area for lot #2 to 11.37 acres.       This should accommodate the proposed 9 uses on lot #2.
  • They are not proposing to withdraw any of the proposed buildings and no additional structures are proposed.
  • The lot coverage quantities have been changed due to proposed boundary adjustment.
  • The proposed fire wood yard has been increased. There was a discussion as to if there was sufficient land on lot #2.
  • Garage bays have been added to buildings 5 and 6.
  • To compensate for some additional impervious areas, they reduced the size of the proposed parking areas. The proposed overall impervious area is reduced. Proposed parking is reduced by 7 parking spaces; there are still more parking spaces planned than are required.
  • Building 7 was moved to provide 25 feet of distance between buildings 6 and 7.
  • The proposed fence was moved away from buildings 1 and 5.
  • The proposed equipment shed was moved and will instead be used for a fuel tank located in a sealed area bunker for trucks. Chris Herrick stated that this tank would need to be checked by his department and if it is not approvable, it will not be permitted.       Jay Buermann stated it would be a 10’x20’ bunker that would be 8 feet in height.

The Applicants stated that the proposed loading dock would be caged and roofed. The Applicants and the Boards discussed the construction schedule. The Applicants are requesting that the project be approved to be completed by the end of 2018.

A letter from Taylor Buckner of 34 Town Line Road supporting the project was discussed.

Additional Public Comment:

  • Tim Maxham requested and received clarification on the previously approved agricultural curb cut for Boyle lot #3.

10:04PM: A motion to accept the application as complete was made by Sandy Gregg, seconded by Sandra O’Flaherty and approved unanimously.

10:11PM: A motion to close the Zoning Board of Adjustment hearing for deliberative session was made by Steve Nedde, seconded by Alayne Rabow and approved unanimously.

10:12PM: A motion to close the Planning Commission hearing for deliberative session was made by David Roy, seconded by Sandra O’Flaherty and approved unanimously.

Public Input – all attending Public had left the meeting.

10:13PM: Administrative Officer’s Report included the advertisement for ZBA membership in yesterday’s Islander, the letter to Ben Durant and a discussion of complete applications.

There was a discussion on creating an agenda for the combined 5th Monday meeting in September. George Rice will work on the Zoning Board of Adjustment decision for Tim Cota. Sandy Gregg and Doug Patterson will work on the Planning Commission decision for Tim Cota.

10:20PM: A motion was made to go in to deliberative session by Paula Delano, seconded by Terry Delano and approved unanimously.

11:15PM: A motion to come out of Deliberative session and adjourn the meeting was made by Sandra O’Flaherty, seconded by Sandy Gregg and approved unanimously.

Respectfully submitted by Mitchel Cypes, Administrative Officer.


For Planning Commission

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