Meeting of the Santa Clara Planning Board held on February 23, 2021

PRESENT: Board Members: Scottie Adams, Mike Ritchie, Beth Hall, Bill Young, John LaHart and Code Enforcement Officer, Ed Lagree. Also present was Upper Saranac Lake Manager, Guy Middleton

The meeting was called to order by Chair, Scottie Adams at 9:05 AM

The first order of business was to approve the minutes of the previous meeting which all received by email. Beth Hall moved to approve the minutes. Mike Ritchie seconded the motion. All members were in favor. The minutes from the Planning Board meeting on 01-19-21 are approved.

Site Plan Review Application:
APPLICANT: Stephen Maikowski
PARCEL ID: 474.-1-13
LOCATION: 722 Bartlett Carry Road, Upper Saranac Lake.

This is a new application for a dock with a sundeck to replace the previous application for a new dock which was included in the site plan review application for a new home. The new, separate application was suggested by the Chair and the Town Code Enforcement Officer (CEO). The area under the sundeck which creates a boat slip is considered a boathouse for code enforcement purposes. The proposal is for a "boathouse" that is 30 ft. long by 18 ft wide for a total area of 540 sq. ft. There is a dock space on either side of the sundeck which measure 4.5 ft by 30 ft. and a proposed bridge or ramp for access to the deck which is shown as 4 ft. wide by 6 ft. long with the notation that the length pending APA and DEC requirements. The proposed deck plus bridge would be 294 sq. ft. Therefore, the total combined area of the docks and boathouse/covered slip would be 834 sq. ft. The boathouse/covered slip and docks meet the area requirements in the Town Land Use Code. The dock meets the length and sideline set back requirements and will occupy less than 15 % of the 220 ft shoreline. The fee has been paid and the CEO has received the APA jurisdictional determination.

Beth Hall moved that the site Plan review application be approved with the stipulation that the ramp leading to the dock/sundeck be less than 5 ft. in length. The motion was seconded by Bill Young. All voting members of the Planning Board approved the motion. The Chair will notify the applicant of the Planning Board decision.

Site Plan Review Application:
APPLICANT: Susan Manners and Elizabeth Evans
PARCEL ID: 474.-1-12-200
LOCATION: 724 Bartlett Carry Road, Upper Saranac Lake

This application is to replace a fixed dock and build a new seasonal dock to replace a 4 ft. x 32 ft. roll-in seasonal dock used by the previous owners. The applicants state that an existing small deck is approximately 81 sq. ft. and the existing larger deck is about 275 sq. ft. Both these measurements are estimated to be on the high side because 2 large boulders on the shore line affect the contour of the decks. The 2 decks cover 9 ft. and 18 ft. on the 210 ft shoreline.

The application form is complete, a site plan showing the location of the docks on the waterfront is included along with details of dock construction. A deed is attached and the fee has been mailed. One drawing shows the small deck that is 9 ft. x 9 ft. for a total area of 81 sq. ft. A second drawing shows an irregular shaped fixed dock that is "trapezoidal" in shape and approximately 274 sq. ft. A new seasonal dock to be installed by Dock Doctors extends towards the water from the narrow end (10 ft.) of the fixed dock in an L-shape. One leg is 2 - 8ft. x 6 ft. sections, the other leg is another 2- 8ft. x 6 ft. sections for a total area of 192 sq. ft. The total area of the fixed dock and seasonal dock is 466 sq. ft. and they extend 26 ft. from the shoreline. The combined deck area of the small ( 81 sq. ft. ) deck and the rebuilt larger deck with the seasonal dock is 547 sq. ft. Section 7.35 A of the Town Land Use Code states "the total surface area dock, deck, wharf or pier shall not exceed 500 sq. ft. " Various options for the applicant, such as eliminating the small deck or reducing the size of the rebuilt existing deck were discussed. Another option would be to pay an additional fee and take a chance on applying for a variance.

Bill Young moved that the application be denied because the dock/deck total square footage exceeds the 500 sq. ft. limit imposed in Section 7.35A of the Town Land Use Code. The motion was seconded by Mike Ritchie. Roll call vote was as follows:

Beth Hall - yes to deny the application
Mike Ritchie- yes to deny the application
Bill Young- yes to deny the application
Scottie Adams- yes to deny the application
John LaHart- recused
The chair will notify the applicants of the Planning Board decision.

Ethics Board

Chair, Scottie Adams communicated that at the Town Board meeting on Feb. 11, 2021, it was reported that the Ethics Board had finished their investigation of ethics complaints and turned in their report to the Town Board. However, since the Town Board only received the report a few days before the Town Board meeting, there was insufficient time to thoroughly review the document and make any decisions.

Building Moratorium

Chair, Scottie Adams reported that at the Town board meeting on Feb. 11, 2021, the moratorium was enacted with changes to allow maintenance. Guy Middleton provided the information the that the moratorium officially begins when it is approved by the Secretary of State of New York. The moratorium is set to end June 30, 2021 but may be extended or shortened at the discretion of the Town Board.

Special Committee

Chair, Scottie Adams reported that the first meeting of the special committee formed by the Town Board at their January 14, 2021 meeting was held by Zoom on January 18, 2021. Members of the committee are Town Board, Mickey Webb and Rick Lyon, Planning Board, Scottie Adams and Bill Young, Variance Board, Nancy LaBombard and Judy Meagher, CEO, Ed Lagree and Special Counsel, Mike Hill. The meeting was conducted by Chazen specialist, Chris Round. There were other attendees; neighbors, USLA and marina representatives, as it was an open meeting. The meeting was introductory and Chazen asked committee members to share some of their thoughts to give Chazen a starting point. Chazen reported that they would have an initial template for the committee to discuss with in 2 weeks. Hopefully, a second committee meeting will be held within a week of receiving the document(s) from Chazen. Mickey Webb stated that once the committee plan was ready it would go to the Planning Board for their input before being presented to the Town Board. Guy Middleton pointed out that the Town Board had rejected the Planning Board proposal to make the focus of the special committee all non-residential waterfront development. The reason for not accepting the Planning Board proposal was to make the process of regulation development proceed more quickly.

Comprehensive Plan

The Comprehensive Plan is still "on the back burner" to allow waterfront development considerations to be prioritized.

Short Term Rentals (STRs)

The chair reported there was still no word from the special counsel for land use matters about the STR regulations submitted to him in July. The last indication was that the regulations looked reasonable and could be enacted without having a Comprehensive Plan. Some discussion followed about the regulations on situations where there was more than one living unit on the property. All attendees will contact people who have an interest in this topic to contact the Town Board in an effort to move this project forward.

Upper Saranac Lake Management Plan

Upper Saranac Lake Manager, Guy Middleton reported on the Upper Saranac Lake Management Plan that is being developed in conjunction with Adirondack Watershed Institute. The first Zoom meeting was held February 18, 2021. The results of a survey were presented. One item of interest to the Planning Board was the result for a question about supporting short term rental (STR) regulations. Approximately 75% of the respondents supported STR regulations, while only 11 % did not.

**Another item of interest was increasing number of boat launchings at the Upper Saranac Lake Boat Launch over the years. A graph provided by the Adk Watershed Institute (AWI) showed the number of boat launches during weekends in August for the last 5 years. In 2016 there were 164 and in 2020 there were 347 (87% motorboats). The results of the survey will be posted soon for the general public. The data contained in the survey should be useful to the Planning Board, the Town Board and the committee to develop marina regulations.

Next Meeting

The next meeting will be held on Tuesday, March 30, 2021 at 9 AM at the Town of Santa Clara Town Hall.


Mike Ritchie moved that the meeting be adjourned. Bill Young seconded the motion. All were in favor of the motion. Meeting was adjourned 9:55 AM

** Corrected data provided after original report was incorrect.


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Town Of Santa Clara
5359 State Route 30  ·  Saranac Lake, NY 12983
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