December 5, 2007
Planning Board Minutes Committee Meeting
Oswego Town Hall
Chair: Jeffrey Boyer
Town Board Members: Judy Sabin-Watson, Francis Dellamano,
Lee Phillips, Barry Pritchard, James Finn
Attorney To The Board: Stephen Greene, Jr.
At approximately 7:00 PM, Barry Pritchard called the Committee Meeting to order.
Those in attendance were:
Jim Finn said he is not familiar with most traffic studies. I am sure most engineering firms are capable with doing traffic studies. What he looks at when he looks at the traffic study is initially we ask you to do a traffic study and look at adjacent intersections - not just 104. Our biggest concern is the neighborhood in Ontario Heights. There are 125 people who signed a petition that don't want this thing to happen. This traffic study doesn't show anything that talks about the traffic flowing through their neighborhood. That concern needs to be addressed. There is a college parking lot at the end of Baylis Street, and if people leave this development and go across 104, they turn right, and then left, they got access to that parking lot. How we can resolve that concern, I thought would be done through a traffic study. Their traffic study to me, involves 2 hours in the morning and 2 hours in the afternoon, and did nothing with the intersections across 104 from Johnson Road. They did one other intersection, which is Mollison Road.
John Condino said the point in having them back out here was to make sure they took these traffic counts during session. Last summer, the biggest thing was the 20% factor. Jim Finn said no one knew where the 20% factor came from. John Condino said we talked earlier in the beginning of this process regarding the issues and concerns, most of the traffic would utilize the main entrance to the campus. Jim Finn said he doesn't know, he is relying on the traffic study. John said what they can tell you is what the traffic on 104 is and what the traffic at these intersections will be. They can calculate the level of service. They can then compute the addition of this traffic in this area. When we talked before, one of the mitigating measures the instruction training and the forewarning of the folks that can occupy these units, and also some signage that would basically say "No Through Traffic". Jim Finn said that was one of the concerns of the Planning Board Meeting. John said what this is, is an addition to the first study, it is a supplement. What they have done is taken the traffic study during school. So they have verified the increase. John Condino said he thinks the process from a SEQRA standpoint which is really what we were looking at. We have address the environmental concerns.
Jim Finn said there is an impact on those neighborhoods, whether it is noise, vision, increased traffic, danger to the neighbors, that is an impact, whether you realize it or not, at some point, I want some sort of a conclusion statement that takes all these grafts, and says these grafts tell us it is not going to be a significant impact in that neighborhood. If you can't give me that, I am not happy with the traffic study. If anyone else is, they are closing both eyes and saying run the railroad through town. If you don't want to do it, that's fine. I asked back here (pointing to map) for adjacent intersections. That's more than one. These streets here. They choose not to give it to me, fine. All I can do is ask.
I still want to know what the impact the traffic will bring. And I bet I can find an engineering firm that will do that. John Condino said that is what the position of the Board is - to request whatever you feel is necessary. Jim Finn said a conclusion statement of these grafts I don't think is asking too much. Jim said if he has to start figuring out how to read these grafts to everyone in Ontario Heights, I'm moving. John Condino said that is what they need to know. Jim Finn asked if he was out of line, and John Condino said no.
Barry said the whole Board feels the same way. They need a conclusion or statement of the impact it will have on the neighborhood. Barry asked if that is enough on the traffic. One thing he has noticed that the Site Plan has been changed. All the parking sections on the lower part has moved up to the top now? John said they had to change it. Barry asked if that was due to wetlands. Jim Saxton said they took a look at their balance of cut and fill. Barry said that took care of the traffic and the site plan.
Jim Finn had another question. When he looks at the last highlighted item - New York State and County DOT, where is that in there? It is the last paragraph on your letter (talking to John Condino) asking them to do it. Jim Saxton said it was in the agreement. Jim Finn asked what they have done. Jim Saxton said a lot of these things are handled more appropriately at Site Plan. They are getting ready to commit to the resources. We managed to get out of them a lot of things that they would have normally reserved at Site Planning. Simply because there is such a potential for objection. Jim Finn said he can expect some sort of communication. John Condino said that is actually part of your Part III of the SEQRA.
John Condino said there are still a couple of things they are in the process of completing. We are talking about the Indiana Bat. They sent someone to the site, did an assessment, and one of the things they are finishing up now, and send back to Fish and Wildlife. What they are looking for is a letter from Fish and Wildlife, stating their findings have no impact. They are going to be cutting trees. The time frame is October to March. That is so it doesn't disturb any roost trees for the Indiana Bat.
Barry Pritchard asked "No minimal plan disturbance". No further investigation is anticipated? Jim Saxton said until Fish and Wildlife agree, that means nothing.
Jim Saxton said the only other things outstanding, he doesn't think they have received a response from Natural Heritage. They did a Phase I - archeological on site, and they have cleared that. They beefed up the visual assessment. He doesn't think there is anything else they are currently working on. We looked at their Storm Water Plan, and they came a long way on that. We are confident of the makings of a good plan for handling storm water both during construction, and once it is built. Actually again, that is a Site Planning activity.
John Condino said there is one important factor on the SEQRA issue is the fact that in their submission this time, there is no Phase II. He said Jim has done another draft of Part II of the SEQRA (which he passed copies out to those present). John told Jim Finn as far as the traffic issues in his neighborhood, he wishes he could give him better answers, but said he would start basically with their folks, and then we will sit down with Jeff and his group, and discuss it. Jim Saxton said they have sent people to count cars, 6 to 8 people.
Jim Finn said he did his own little survey at his house on Swift Street, for about a month and a half in the early Fall. It was constant. He said he almost came home from work early one day to go over to Johnson Road and 104 to park there and count. He said he thinks Swift Street's traffic will reduce. When he moved there, he was working 8:00 to 4:00, so by the time he got home all the movement was done. When he retired, he figured "Holy Cripes". Barry said maybe you should go back to work, and Jim said he did. Jim Finn showed on the map where Swift Street has a loop, and then goes into the parking lot.
Jim Finn said his neighbors on the other streets have complained to him, and he wants to represent them as best as he can on the traffic.
John Condino feels United Group has done a very good job responding to the concerns. Jim Finn said to John Condino and Jim Saxton "You have done a lot for us, and we appreciate it".
Barry asked if the Planning Board itself should go any further with the declaration, and John Condino said "Not yet". John said we want to make sure everything is comfortable before we have forward.
The Committee Meeting was adjourned at approximately 8:00 PM.
Planning Board Secretary