PLANNING BOARD MEETING
December 8, 2014 Page 1 of 2
The regular meeting of the Town of Richfield Planning Board was held on Monday, December 8, 2014, at the Richfield Town Hall. The meeting was called to order at 7:00 PM by Chairman Urtz. Other board members in attendance were Andela, Sullivan, Sylvester, Woodrow, and alternate Harris.
The meeting opened with a public hearing on a proposed bottle and can recycling center to be located at 2564 U S Highway 20, Richfield Springs. Applicant Amanda Willsey briefly reviewed that the business will accept cans and bottles for recycling; the cans and bottles will be stored in an enclosed structure and will be picked up weekly or bi-weekly, depending on volume.
Board member Woodrow asked what the size of the enclosed structure will be; 16’ by 24’.
Land Use Officer Woodrow spoke to the board concerning a call she received from one of the applicants a few days after the November meeting. The applicant explained that he was contacted by board member Sullivan. Sullivan told the applicant that he did further research on the application and discovered wetlands within 500’ on adjacent property; the wetlands discovery changed the application to a Type 1 Action, making it necessary for the board to require a long form SEQR. At the November 2014 meeting the board reviewed and accepted Amanda Willsey’s short form SEQR, completed the board’s Part 2, and declared a negative declaration. One board member does not have the authority to change the determination made by the board; decisions are made by the whole board, not one member. Board member Sullivan responded that as a member of Planning Board he had every right to move forward as he did. Since the applicants expressed a desire to move forward quickly he helped them with the long form SEQR.
There was discussion between board members and the applicant on how best to move forward. Board member Andela expressed her concern that any application that comes before the board in the future, regardless of scope that falls within the 500’ wetlands designation will need to be designated as a Type 1 action.
Fred Eckler, Town of Richfield, asked how the 500’ is determined. From the property line? No, from the site of the action.
Samuel Price, one of the applicants asked if they needed to do anything else. No, it is now the job of the board.
Motion to close the public hearing and open the regular meeting at 7:25 PM by Sylvester, second by Woodrow. Andela – yes, Sylvester – yes, Sullivan – yes, Woodrow – yes, Urtz – yes.
Motion by Sullivan, second by Sylvester to approve minutes of the November 10, 2014 meeting. Andela – abstain, Sylvester – yes, Sullivan – yes, Woodrow – yes, Urtz – yes.
PLANNING BOARD MEETING
December 8, 2014 Page 2 of 2
Board member Andela remarked that the board has not looked at wetlands in the past. Sullivan has called the Army Corps of Engineers and was told that planning boards routinely ignore the law (DEC§617.4) even though the boards shouldn’t.
Both Sylvester and Woodrow agreed that the short form SEQR was done in good faith by both the applicant and board. The applicant is willing to change their answer on question 13a, “is the proposed action adjacent to a wetland” from no to yes.
Motion by Woodrow, second by Sylvester to move forward with the approval of the special permit for the applicant, given that they submitted their short form in good faith with guidance from the board.
Board member Sullivan went on record: “due to the fact that we may possibly be vulnerable to legal actions by being in procedural error which could place either the board or applicant in future jeopardy I object to the motion.”
Woodrow asked the applicant if it would create a hardship if the board reviewed the long form SEQR before making a decision. No. Woodrow withdrew his motion until the board completes the long form SEQR.
Motion by Sullivan, second by Andela to schedule another public hearing for the next meeting only if necessary. The clerk will check to see if we need to hold another hearing.
Motion by Andela, second by Sylvester that the application will be completed as a Type 1 action. In view of the fact that the applicant has changed their answer on question 13a, “is the proposed action adjacent to a wetland” from no to yes, the board has decided to review this application as a Type 1 and let the public hearing held tonight stand. Andela – yes, Sylvester – yes, Sullivan – yes, Urtz – yes.
Motion by Woodrow, second by Sullivan that the board will review the application as a Type 1at the next meeting and that Sullivan will send notification letters to involved agencies. After the Type 1 review the board will make a determination next month. Andela – yes, Sylvester – yes, Sullivan – yes, Urtz – yes.
Motion to adjourn at 8:10 PM by Woodrow, second by Andela. Andela – yes, Sylvester – yes, Sullivan – yes, Woodrow – yes, Urtz – yes.
Monica Harris, Clerk