July 15, 2019

PRESENT: Board Members: Scottie Adams, John LaHart, Bill Young, Mike Ritchie, Beth Hall and Code Enforcement Officer, Ed Lagree. Kevin Smith, applicant and Guy Middleton, Upper Saranac Lake Manager were in the audience.

The meeting was called to order at 9:00 AM.

The first order of business was to approve the minutes of the previous meeting which all received by email. Bill Young move to approve the minutes. Mike Ritchie seconded the motion. All were in favor. The minutes from the planning Board meeting on 6-29-19 are approved

Chair, Scottie Adams updated the Board on the status of the Land Use Code updates. The process is in the hands of the legal counsel and the Town Board. The latest information is that the Town Board will meet on Thursday, July 18, 2019 and pass a resolution moving the date of the public hearing to the August Board meeting night.

Another update is that Michael Martin will finish the final updates to the Town Land Use Map when he recovers from health issues.

PRESENT: Kevin Smith, owner


LOCATION:: 148 Moss Rock Road, Upper Saranac Lake

The applicant's initial application was incomplete, but the Planning Board members have received proper documentation.

The application shows the current one-story 442.8 sq. ft. structure that is less than 15 ft. high, with front docks totaling 276 sq. ft. In addition there are 2 additional 6 ft. x 16 ft. docks along the shoreline. The proposed renovation would increase the length of the boathouse by 3 ft. The total square footage of the renovated boathouse would be 496.8 sq. ft. The combined square footage of the renovated boathouse and existing docks would be 959.4 sq. ft., well beyond the legal limit of 875 sq. ft. Although the current Town of Santa Clara Land Use Code prohibits dry boathouses, this is a pre-existing structure. The code prohibits allowing any pre-existing structure to be made more non compliant. If one of the 6 ft. x 16 ft. docs were removed, then the combined square footage of the renovated boathouse and the docks would be 863.4 sq. ft., which is below the legal limit. The applicant, Kevin Smith, agreed to the removal of the "middle" 6 ft. x 16 ft. dock.

Beth Hall moved that the application be approved with the stipulation that the 6 ft. x 16 ft. dock closest to the docks in front of the dry boathouse be removed. Mike Ritchie seconded the motion. After extensive discussion on dry boathouses, all Planning Board members voted in favor of the motion.

The Board verified for the Lake Manager that this approval supersedes the previous boathouse approval

PRESENT: Judith A. Cohen


LOCATION:: 186 Fish Creek Park Road, Fish Creek Lot #18

The applicant requests a variance from the public road/right of way. The distance change requested would be from 50 ft. to 35 ft. for the construction of a garage. The applicant states the garage is to hold a boat for winter storage and used for storage of vehicles, boats, a workshop, etc. which will create a neater, cleaner look. No variance is needed for sideline setbacks, only in the direction of the road. It is stated that they do not believe it will change the character of the neighborhood.

John LaHart moved that the Planning Board report to the Variance Board that they have no objection to granting the variance submitted by the Judith Cohen. Beth Hall seconded the motion. All were in favor. Motion passed.

Other topics:

A letter was received from Ron Otten voicing his objection to boathouses being included in the 15% shoreline restriction. "In summary, boathouses should not be subject to the 15% shoreline restriction. The 15% restriction should be applied to docks, wharfs, etc. This would allow boathouse use to continue to enhance shoreline beauty."

The Planning Board members discussed Mr. Otten's objection. It was the unanimous opinion of the Planning Board that the 15% restriction SHOULD include boathouses. They do NOT agree that boathouses enhance shoreline beauty. The Planning Board members feel that it their duty to preserve as much of the natural shoreline as possible to enhance the natural beauty of the shoreline for all to enjoy. The chair will report their decision to the Town Board and make every effort to attend the public hearing to reinforce their decisions on the Land Use code amendments.

The Chair will prepare the minutes of the meeting for distribution to Board members before they are posted on the Town of Santa Clara Web site. The site plan applicant will receive an official approval letter defining the Planning Board ruling. The Variance Board will receive a copy of the Planning Board minutes.


Town Of Santa Clara
5359 State Route 30  ·  Saranac Lake, NY 12983
Phone: 518-354-8477  ·  Email:
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