Village Planning Board
Home Construction Runs into Resident Objections
Story by John Thomas
Former Village Trustee Bob Brogcinski attended the public hearing at the Village Planning Board meeting on Tuesday night. He wanted to voice some concerns with the new home planned for a lot on Adams Street. Village Planner Gary Palumbo gave a review of the proposed residence. The nearly one acre irregularly shaped lot is in the Village Residential district. The home planned for it will be just over 4,000 square feet and meets the FAR ratio for the lot size. The single-family residence will have a detached garage. The home will have two exterior accessed lock-out rooms. Mr. Palumbo said the lock-out rooms would require a special use permit and were the reason for the public hearing. Aaron Teller was at the meeting to answer questions about the plans. Mr. Teller said he had submitted the plans to the Village Engineer who had not yet reviewed them.
Mr. Brogcinski, who had written a letter to the board addressing his concerns, now spoke to the board directly. He said he was not trying to stop the construction of the home, but wanted to point out several concerns for “moving forward.” First off he feels the home is too big for the area. The former trustee pointed out the home will use a shared driveway that is also used by two other houses in the area. He said the opening of the driveway was only 17 feet wide, and not a true street. Since there are other building lots for sale behind the home, he felt creating a Village street should be considered. He added there are likely to be parking problems for the residents.
But his biggest concern seemed to be the poor drainage in the area. A resident of the neighborhood, Brogcinski said his side yard is currently flooded, and other homes in that area have flooded backyards. The banker said the drainage problems had started when two new homes were built on the street, and that adding a third home could exacerbate the problem. It was noted that a berm had been built on one of the lot borders to control flooding.
Mr. Teller addressed the board with his plans to control the run-off from the home. He said the lot was like a bowel in that the run-off tends to collect in the middle and that controlling stormwater is the home-owners responsibility. He added he designed the home without a basement and elevated the foundation to keep the home above water. His plans call for a French drain that flows into a leaching chamber from which the water will slowly drain. Mr. Brogcinski seemed a bit skeptical about that asking where the water would go from the leaching chamber. He added water doesn’t always go where it’s intended. The resident stated again he was not trying to stop construction but was asking the board to come up with a drainage solution for down the road. At this point, the owner of the lot spoke up and said he did not intend to intrude on any other property owners. The public hearing was closed.
In continuing the discussion regarding the new home construction, the board felt they should not decide Nussbaumer and Clark, the Village Engineers, had reviewed the site plan. They also felt it might be wise to have the new Town/Village Engineer look at the area and make a recommendation. A motion was passed to table the application until the Village Engineer reviews the plans.
Lot Line Adjustment
The Planning Board then took up its regular meeting. The first discussion involved an application for a lot line adjustment for the downtown lot for the closed Tips Up restaurant. Several years ago a kitchen exhaust fan was installed at the rear of the building. The back of the fan extends over the lot line for the establishment. Over time the problem faded from concern, but now that the building is for sale, it has become an issue. The line adjustment is just enough to put the back of the fan on the correct side of the property line. A motion was passed to approve the change. Village Attorney Kathleen Moriarty will handle the legalese.
M&T Bank Building
Mike Nickolson was on hand regarding the application for work on the old M&T Bank building on Washington. The new owner wants to convert an old dentist office on the second floor to an apartment. The two bedroom, two and a half bath unit will occupy the entire second floor of the building. The office had been abandoned for five years. Local law states if a downtown property stands empty for over a year a special use permit must be approved before any new use. Converting the old office to a residence will require installing a fire escape. It will exit the rear of the second story, travel across the roof of the present single story extension and then to the ground. A public hearing for the special use permit will be held and the Planning Board’s regular meeting next month.