Meeting of the Santa Clara Planning Board held on September 15, 2020

PRESENT: Board Members: Scottie Adams, John LaHart, Mike Ritchie, Beth Hall and Code Enforcement Officer, Ed Lagree. Also present were applicant Edmund Coletta, Janet H. Bliss, attorney for Mr. Coletta, Barbara Franklin and Upper Saranac Lake Manager, Guy Middleton

ABSENT: Bill Young

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

The items on the agenda were a site plan review application, a boundary line adjustment application, STR update and the recently announced building moratorium resolution.

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. Beth Hall seconded the motion. All were in favor. The minutes from the Planning Board meeting on 08-15-20 are approved.

Boundary Line Adjustment Application:
APPLICANT: Edmund Coletta Jr/Janet H. Bliss
PARCEL ID: 453.2-13/453.2-14
LOCATION: 140/148 Moss Rock Rd.

The applicants propose a boundary line adjustment by which a new common boundary being the western boundary of the Partridge Point LLC property (17.29 acres with ~ 2500 feet of shoreline) and the eastern boundary of the Coletta property (0.89 Acres with 122 ft. of shoreline) will be established. This will result in an additional 1.3 acres with ~ 129 feet of shoreline being added to the Coletta property. Deed restrictions will include a 40-foot wide no cut zone on the boundary line. No new principal building right is being transferred and the lands will merge with the land owned by Coletta. Documentation declaring the property to be free of wetlands is provided and a letter from the APA stating a permit is not required. The application fee has been paid. The applicant and attorney were able to satisfactorily answer Board member questions. All requirements in the town of Santa Clara Land Use Code definition of a Boundary Line Adjustment are met by this application.

Mike Ritchie made a motion to approve the boundary line adjustment application. The motion was second by John LaHart.

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

The boundary line adjustment is approved by the Town of Santa Clara Planning Board. Chair, Scottie Adams will send an official letter to the applicants notifying them of the approval with instructions for the registration requirements for the Town and Franklin County.

Site Plan Review Application:
APPLICANT: Ann Mullen and Karen Graff
PARCEL ID: 431.4.2-2
LOCATION: 179 Church Pond Road, Church Pond

This application is a request "to build terraced steps to correct what has become an unsafe dirt path to the waterfront. The current path is a switchback which has eroded over time and exposed many slippery roots. We propose to intersect the steep part with terraced stairs made of wooden boxes (6"x6" lumber) filled with dirt and gravel. The steps will then connect with the more gently inclined existing dirt path. This takes us to 18 ft. from the water where there is a short steep section. We propose a [wooden] walkway with a hand-rail connecting the existing path and the [existing 12 ft. x 12ft.] dock. We are also requesting to add a dressing of gravel to the dirt pathway, to increase the safety of the path." The fee has been paid. The application is complete including the Tax ID number, drawings of the proposed path, a map of the lot showing its location in relation to neighboring properties, and the deed.

After discussion, Beth Hall made a motion to approve the site plan review application for Ann Mullen and Karen Graff. The motion was seconded by John LaHart.

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

The chair will notify the applicants of the approval of their application, so that they may obtain a building permit.

Short Term Rentals (STRs)

The chair reported that she had emailed the special counsel for land use matters to remind him that he was sent the STR regulations and forms on July 7, 2020. He replied that he hoped to have time to review the document by our October meeting.

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 being debated is how many days a year STRs should be allowed. There was further discussion about banning STRs altogether. The chair will update the counsel to have him consider the legalities involved in banning short-term rentals. Barbara Franklin had a list of STR related issues to discuss. Most of the issues she raised will be addressed by the proposed STR regulations that the Planning Board is working on.

Building Moratorium Resolution

At the September 10, 2020 meeting the Town Board passed a resolution scheduling a public hearing on a local law to establish a moratorium on commercial development in the R-R-1.3 and R-3.2 Zoning Districts in the Town of Santa Clara.

Members of the Planning board expressed disappointment that the Planning board was not notified of this action. The members of the Planning Board are not sure what they are expected to do? Hopefully some direction from the Town Board will occur. The Planning Board did agree that the Land Use code for R-C and GR areas need to be updated to reflect the current situations.


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

Beth Hall moved that the meeting be adjourned. Mike Ritchie seconded the motion. All were in favor of the motion. Meeting was adjourned 11:02 AM.


Return to the top or click on following link to view Past Planning Meetings

Town Of Santa Clara
5359 State Route 30  ·  Saranac Lake, NY 12983
Phone: 518-354-8477  ·  Email:
© Town Of Santa Clara  ·  Website Design: Rainbow Graphics
You are the counter visitor. Thank You for stopping by.