Meeting of the Santa Clara Planning Board held on August 17, 2020

PRESENT: Board Members: Scottie Adams, John LaHart, Bill Young, Mike Ritchie, Beth Hall and Code Enforcement Officer, Ed Lagree. Also present was Dr. Michael Jones. Upper Saranac Lake Manager, Guy Middleton arrived at approximately 10:30


The meeting was called to order by Chair, Scottie Adams at 10:00 AM.

The items on the agenda were 2 site plan review applications, a variance application and a review of the STR presentation from the previous meeting.

The first order of business was to approve the minutes of the previous meeting which all received by email. John LaHart moved to approve the minutes. Mike Ritchie seconded the motion. All were in favor. The minutes from the Planning Board meeting on 07-29-20 are approved.

Site Plan Review Application:
APPLICANT: Michael and Kathleen Jones
PARCEL ID: 453.3-9-5
LOCATION: Lot #17 Fish Creek Park

This application is to build a third dock on the property. The proposed new dock would be 30 ft. x 4 ft. (120 sq. ft.). The existing 2 docks, 40 ft. x 2.5 ft. (100 sq. ft.) and 40 ft. x 4 ft. (160 sq. ft.), are both non-conforming because they both extend greater than 30 ft. into the water. They are allowed to exist because they are grandfathered in. Proposed total square footage of dock space would be 360 sq. ft. The lot upon which these docks are located is listed as having 100 ft. of shoreline. The existing 40 ft. x 4 ft. dock and the proposed new dock are both greater than 25 ft. from the sideline of the lot. Total width of the docks on the shoreline is 10.5 ft., less than 15 %, but with 2 approximately 8 ft. wide pontoon boats parked at the docks, then at least 26.5 % of the shoreline would be obscured. One of the pontoon boats is not owned by the owner of the lots, violating section 7.35 F, which specifies use of boathouses and docks shall be by the owner or occupant. Additionally, there are numerous other visible water craft within the 75 ft. shoreline setback. This lot already has 2 non-conforming docks, adding a third dock would make the even more non-conforming. .

John LaHart made a motion to deny the site plan review application. The motion was second by Mike Ritchie.

Roll call vote was as follows:
John LaHart- Approve
Beth Hall - Approve
Mike Ritchie - Approve
Bill Young - Abstain
Scottie Adams - Approve

Chair, Scottie Adams will send an official letter to the applicants and suggest that they could pursue obtaining a variance if they want to build this additional dock.

Site Plan Review Application:
APPLICANT: Robert R. Stegemann
PARCEL ID: 431.4-2-9
LOCATION: 117 Church Pond Road, Church Pond

This application is to replace an existing dock on a property with 150 ft. of shoreline in an area with a Land Use Classification of R-1-3.2. The current dock is approximately 49 ft from the nearest side line and measures 30 ft. x 6 ft. but only extends 24 ft. into the water. The replacement dock would be 8 ft. x 8 ft. close to the shore and then extend 16 ft. into the water at a 6 ft. width. There would be an additional 6 ft. x 12 ft. sloped ramp or steps leading to the dock. The total area of dock and ramp would be 232 sq. ft., less than the maximum allowable size of 500 sq. ft. The dock is 8 ft. wide at the widest point and therefore occupies less than 15% of the shoreline. The fee has been paid. The application is complete including the Tax ID number, drawings of the current and proposed dock, a map of the lot showing its location in relation to neighboring properties, and the deed.

Beth Hall made a motion to approve the site plan review application for Robert R. Stegemann. The motion was seconded by Bill Young. All board members voted in favor of the motion. The motion passed. The chair will notify the applicant of the approval of his application.

Variance Application
PARCEL ID: 431.4-2-15
LOCATION: 65 Church Pond Road, Church Pond

The applicant seeks a variance from the shoreline setback of 75 ft. to 63 ft. to construct a deck which is 10 ft. x 24 ft. on the front of the existing house. The deck is 6 ft. from the ground. The house is currently barely visible from the body of water. Therefore the deck would not be obtrusive.

Bill Young made a motion that the Planning Board report to the Variance Board that they have no objections to granting a variance for this application. Mike Ritchie seconded the motion.

Roll call vote was as follows:
John LaHart - Recused
Beth Hall - Approve
Mike Ritchie - Approve
Bill Young - Approve
Scottie Adams - Recused

The motion was approved. The chair will notify the Variance Board Chair and Secretary, of the Planning Board's decision.

Short Term Rentals (STRs)

The special counsel for land use matters is currently occupied with other town issues and has not had the opportunity to review the STR regulations and forms which were sent to him early in July. There is still considerable discussion about the definition of short-term rental and whether all rentals should be covered under the permit system. Another point still ne rebate is how many days a year STRs should be allowed. Beth Hall suggested that information provided to renters should include information about invasive species in addition to information on noise, fireworks and dog control. Everyone agreed that was a good idea. Lake Placid has a Good Neighbor flyer on their web site. The Board should develop something similar. Scottie will resend an editable version to all for their input. Septic inspections and who can perform them was discussed.

The next meeting is dependent on either new applications of receiving input from the special counsel.


John LaHart moved that the meeting be adjourned. Mike Ritchie seconded the motion. All were in favor of the motion. Meeting was adjourned 10:50 AM.


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