Towns say they need more time for development laws

Loujane Johns

Two Yates County towns asked the county planning board to review proposed moratoriums in their towns at the Dec. 11 meeting. 

Barrington and Middlesex both would like more time to work on laws impacting development in their towns.

Barrington Planning Board Chairman David Allardice told the members of the Yates County Planning Board an extension is needed for the zoning committee to finish the ordinance on specific development applications.

Some members reminded Allardice this was the second request Barrington has made for a six month extension.  Chuck Mitchell cautioned, “There is a time limit on moratoriums and if Barrington goes over the time, they could be opening up to a legal issue.”

David Christiansen said he still had some concerns that the law puts restrictions on lot size.  He thought it was excessive.  Allardice replied.  “That is what the appeal process is for.  This extension is only for the moratorium.  The lot size has not yet been determined.”

Allardice added that the proposed Comprehensive Plan for the Town of Barrington has finally been completed.  Now that the plan is done, he feels the zoning laws will move along faster. 

Another Barrington committee member, Steve Knapp told the board the comprehensive plan had been in the works for years.  “With the help of Genesee/Finger lakes Regional Planning Council and County Planner Shawna Bonshak the town was finally able to finish the work.”

Allardice said not much had been done with the laws in a long time and ‘it caught up with us.’  He said more than 50 people served on various committees.  “That’s a lot of ideas, but I would have taken 200 to get the voices heard.  Now we know this plan needs to be looked at about every two years.”

Recognizing all the hard work, the county board gave the plan their approval and the extension of the moratorium.  All voted in favor with Barrington representative Marilyn Scharf abstaining.  Carroll Graves, Lane Clute and Pidge Bower were absent.

•MIDDLESEX: Town Planning Board Chairman Marty DeVinney also came seeking a moratorium of six months for all development of land parcels in the steep slope areas of the town that fall within a 20 percent or greater slope. Middlesex has been aware of the development of lakefront along Canandaigua Lake and the problems arising from builders putting homes on steep banks.  They would like more time to address the issue before people start building on steep areas on the South Lake Road.  DeVinney said right now the town doesn’t allow private roads in this area, so it will be hard to develop.  Heavy trucks in other places around the lake have caused road damage.

There were also two separate referrals for Middlesex from private landowners to sub-divide property.

All three referrals were approved by the county board and sent back to the town.

• MILO: Applicant, Floyd Lane explained a proposal he has to subdivide 6.265 acres into two parcels at 53 Route 54, East Lake Road.  He said the request is in anticipation of another project.

Jeff Kennedy, owner of Morgan Marine explained plans for expansion.  He presented a Site  Review Plan and an application for a Special Use Permit.  Kennedy said he plans to buy two parcels of land and will leave the existing cottages.  He wants to use the land for additional parking.  The cottages, presently used as rentals, will be leased.  His lake frontage will increase to 493 feet.

Board members asked about waterfront use.  Kennedy told them this would be covered under a license he would have to get from the Office of General Services, which can only be applied for after local approval of the project.

“Fueling will stay where it is now.  I am looking into creating more of a harbor affect by bringing boat traffic farther from the shore.”  He thinks this will be more neighbor friendly. 

Legislative Representative Bob Nielsen said if the outlet project goes through, this expansion would be advantageous.

All members approved the referrals to be sent back to Milo.

• BENTON: Vice-Chairman Kevin North complimented the Town of Benton on a lot of hard work done to complete a Local Law on Sub-divisions.  Benton Building and Zoning Officer John Griffin said the document had been revised at least seven times.

• POTTER:  Proposals for subdivision on three separate properties; 742 State Route 247, Rushville; 4250 Vorhees Road and 4233 Vorhees Road were approved by the board.

• DUNDEE:  A referral for a request of subdivision into two properties in the Village of Dundee at 50 Edwina St. was passed. The board included a note for Dundee to check on non-conforming lot size in regard to their own local law before final approval.

• JERUSALEM:  The board reviewed a referral from the Town of Jerusalem to make changes to the Town Zoning Ordinance in the R-1 District.  North said he understood the town did spread sheets to see what variances were requested the most and made the changes.  North said he wished other towns would do this to save time.

• TORREY: A revised Local Law changing the procedure for creating a Planned Unit Development in the Town of Torrey was submitted.  The county board had looked at the PUD Law a couple of months ago and had made several suggestions.  Bonshak said she had helped them also do revisions. The county members were pleased that their recommendations were taken and the changes made.

Christiansen said he still had some reservations on the restriction of large development by lot size.  The other members believed if this became a problem it could be appealed. All voted to approve, Christiansen abstained.  Christiansen noted the law had been approved by Torrey two nights before.

• MEMBERS:  The board welcomed a new member, Doug Skeet from the Town of Middlesex.

Bonshak informed Christiansen and Mitchell that their terms were due to expire.  The board asked if they would like to continue and both agreed to serve again.

Current vacancies on the County Planning Board: Villages of Dresden, Dundee and Penn Yan.