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

PRESENT: Board Members: Scottie Adams, Mike Ritchie, Beth Hall, Bill Young, and Code Enforcement Officer, Ed Lagree. Also present were applicant Edmond Coletta and architect Michael Bird from Adirondack Design. Upper Saranac Lake Manager, Guy Middleton attended using Google Duo with Chair, Scottie Adams.

ABSENT: John LaHart

The meeting was called to order by Chair, Scottie Adams at 9:00 AM.

The first order of business was to approve the minutes of the previous meeting which all received by email. Mike Ritchie moved to approve the minutes. Bill Young seconded the motion. All members were in favor. The amended minutes from the Planning Board meeting on 02-23-21 are approved.

Site Plan Review Application:
APPLICANT: Michael Bird for Edmond and Elizabeth Coletta
PARCEL ID: 453-2-14-200
LOCATION: 140 Moss Rock Road, Upper Saranac Lake

This application is to build a new boathouse. The application is complete with application form, deeds, property sketches, building plans and applications fee. The property is located in District R-1-3.2. The site map shows a property with ~241 ft of shoreline. All other structures are greater than 75 ft. from the shoreline. The new boat house is situated 26' 9" from the nearest sideline and situated so that it is facing away from the nearest neighbor. Michael Bird showed the Board pictures of the boathouse he designed for the Colettas, detailing its design to meet the Town Code. The proposed boathouse with attached dock covers 30 ft. 7 in. along the shoreline, projects 29 ft. 11 in. from the shoreline and is 15 ft. high. The total square footage of the boat house is shown as 620 sq. ft. The dock area on the side/front of the boat house is shown as 255 sq. ft. Total square footage of the boathouse and dock is shown as 875 sq. ft. The boathouse and dock cover ~ 12.7 % of the shoreline. All parameters are within the specifications of Section 7.35 of Town Land Use Code. However, it has been brought to the attention of the Planning Board docks already exist on this property close on the property line with Hall. The Board was assured that all existing waterfront structures would be removed Bill Young moved that the application be approved since it meets all the requirements in Section 7.35 of the Town Land Use Code. The motion was seconded by Mike Ritchie.

Roll call vote:

Bill Young - yes to approve
Mike Ritchie - yes to approve
Scottie Adams - yes to approve
Beth Hall - recused

The application is approved. The chair will send a formal letter of approval to the applicants 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 is a revised application to rebuild an irregular shaped fixed dock that is "trapezoidal" in shape and approximately 274 sq. ft. and a second smaller dock 81 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 permanent decks cover 9 ft. and 17 ft. on the 210 ft shoreline. The newly designed seasonal dock will be L-shaped projecting from the larger fixed dock with a 16 ft. x 6 ft. side and an 8 ft x 6 ft. side for a total of 144 sq. ft. Total dockage is 499 sq. ft. which is within the limits allowed by Section 7.35A of the Town Land Use Code.

Beth Hall moved that the application be approved now that the dock/deck total square footage meets the 500 sq. ft. limit imposed in Section 7.35A of the Town Land Use Code. The motion was seconded by Bill Young. All present members voted in favor of the motion. The Application is approved. The chair will notify the applicants of the Planning Board decision.

Variance Application:
APPLICANT: Forestcraft, LLC
PARCEL ID: Reported as 165-200-28-642 (463.-2-8.100 per Franklin County)
LOCATION: 438 Gilpin Bay Road, USL

That applicant has applied for a variance for an extension on the time limit associated with a Temporary Discontinuance of 2 years (TSC Land Use Code Sectio8.14.) in order to replace an abandoned seasonal dock with a new ~ 10 ft. x 20 ft. dock. The information received did not include any dimensions of the waterfront or the boathouse and dock already present. The 75 ft. set back from the shoreline is indicated and 6 out of 12 the structures besides the boathouse and dock are within the 75 ft. setback. The size of new dock is only estimated at 10 ft. x 20 ft. with a reference to a ramp being 10-15 ft. long and no specification on the width, except it would be narrower than a picture shown of the original. After discussion, the Board agreed that it could not make a valid suggestion based on the data it received. Since the interval for which the use has been discontinued is estimated at 10 years, it was felt that a more appropriate variance would be for the size of dock area and total boathouse and dock area. Granting a variance on the basis of temporary discontinuance would seem to set an inappropriate precedent to allow reconstruction of long gone non-conforming structures. The Chair will relay this information to the Variance Board Secretary and Chair.

Ethics Board

Chair, Scottie Adams communicated that the Town Board is expected to present their findings on the Ethics Board report at the next Town Board meeting on April 8, 2021

Special Committee

Chair, Scottie Adams reported that the second meeting of the special committee to work with the Chazen Corporation to design marina regulations for the Town will be held by Zoom on March 32, 2021. She provided members of the Planning board with copies of a memo, sample regulations from other towns and a draft template which will be discussed at the meeting. Suggestions were solicited from Planning Board members since they are the ones who work with the Land Use Code on a regular basis.

Short Term Rentals (STRs)

The Planning Board members received a memo and an amended copy of the STR regulations from our Special Counsel. As they have revised the law, it would apply throughout the Town, regardless of Zoning District. Since there are provisions within the STR regulations to limit the number of days a property can be rented in a year, members of the Planning Board did not feel it was appropriate to limit the commercial establishments within the Town that are in district zoned residential/commercial. Since commercial establishments are already regulated by the Dept of Health, they need not be bound by any STR regulations passed by the Town. Members were tasked with reviewing the modified STR regulations and providing further input, especially concerning wording which would exclude commercial establishments from the regulations. The goal is to have something to present to the Town Board - not finalized, but just to keep them apprised of the process and solicit any input from them. The merits of banning STR altogether were discussed and how the regulations would be implemented and by who. Perhaps regulations could ban any future STRs while regulating the current rentals.

Upper Saranac Lake Management Plan

The presentations from Meeting #1 concerning the Upper Saranac Lake Management Plan that is being developed in conjunction with Adirondack Watershed Institute are now available for viewing on the Project Webpage. "Here you will find the project overview presentation as well as Dan Kelting's Upper Saranac watershed overview presentation, and Meeting Notes. The next public meeting is scheduled for Thursday, May 6 from 7pm - 8:30pm. The meeting will be held on Zoom and is open to the public, but we ask that you register in advance. Click here to register!"

Next Meeting

The next meeting will be held on Tuesday, April 20, 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 10:15 AM.


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