September 17, 2007
Planning Board Minutes
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.
Call to Order:

At approximately 7:05 PM, Chairman Jeffrey Boyer called the meeting to order.

Those in attendance were:

Jeffrey Boyer
Judy Watson
Francis Dellamano
Lee Phillips
Barry Pritchard
James Finn
Steve Greene, Jr.
Marjorie Best
Attorney to the Board

Approval of August 20, 2007 Minutes:

Jeff asked if there were any questions or comments to the minutes of August 20, 2007. There being none, Lee Phillips made a motion that the minutes be approved. Barry Pritchard seconded the motion. All ayes. Motion carried.

Old Business:

Application #2007-03 - United Group - Oswego College Suites - Site Plan Review
Jeff said again it was a quiet month. He said he did call Jeff Smetana to see what was going on. They are continuing to provide Barton and Loguidice information for the SEQRA, and they are going to redo the Traffic Study, but have not done it as yet. They want a new traffic study when the college is back in session. Jeff asked if we sent the County the information that we had gathered. Marge stated that Jeff, Steve and she were supposed to get together. Jeff apologized, and said we would definitely get together shortly, and get it to the County before next months meeting. Jeff said he would give Marge a cover letter as to what should be submitted. Marge said she has most of the original material at her house.

New Business:

No New Business.

Public Comment:

No Public Comment.

Open Board Discussion:

Jim said he gave Marge the Certificate of Attendance to the training sessions, and she would give them to Vicky Mullen. Jeff said we did have an opportunity to attend the training sessions. Jeff said both nights were good. He said he learned a lot about the SEQRA and the Planning Board. Jeff said one of the topics was personal liability. If you make rational decisions, based on facts and evidence. That eliminates liability on any decision made. That was backed up by a letter that Kevin Caraccioli wrote to Vicky Mullen. Jeff asked Marge to make a copy for all the members, and he quoted part of the letter:

"Dear Supervisor Mullen:

Recently the Town Board was asked whether board members are personally liable for any decisions that are made on behalf of the Town. This would include members of the Planning Board and Zoning Board of Appeals. The short answer is no.

The Controlling Law on personal liability for actions of public officers has long been established. The action must be shown to be malicious, a willful disregard of the rule of law, or some form of dishonesty. In fact, the highest court in New York State has ruled "that malice or dishonesty of purpose can transform an otherwise privileged act of an administrative official into one for which personal liability may ensue."

In the case of a zoning determination, the issue of personal liability does not come into play provided that the zoning/planning boards use their own knowledge, common sense, and good judgment in making a decision."

Jeff said another thing we learned that when we go over any site plan, we are supposed to be reviewing the whole action - not Phase 1 and Phase 2. In case of the trailer park up here, and Jeff wasn't a part of that, it was done in different phases. Judy said United Group is doing the same thing - Phase I and II. Barry said as far as Barton and Loguidice and the SEQR, they are doing everything, and looking at the whole thing.

Jeff also said they learned in the training session that when we are looking at a site plan review, we must look at it from an external point of view, and not an internal. As to how the business is managed, that is internal. We look for anything external. Fran said he thinks we have done that. Jeff said it could come to economics as well. Fran said he thought economics would enter into a site plan review. In this case, United Group, the reason the people in the city are against it, it's economics. If that is going to be some input, we really have to do some study. We need a lot of data, which will help us make a decision. Judy asked "How would you say it is comparable?" If a 150 year old house in the City of Oswego, that has 4 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms, does that compare to a brand new apartment complex. Fran said they would have to show more than that - the value of the property before and after. We want hard cold facts. At this point, Jeff said "Let me step back." When he said, it should be considered, the site plan review is the esthetic impact, the functionality of the property. They said you could consider economics when you go through that process. Judy said it would seem that the Community Development people would have that information.

Jeff stated he just opened a letter he received from Deborah Stanley, President of the College. He quoted the letter:

"Dear Chairman Boyer:

I apologize for the long delay in responding to your inquiry of April 22, 2007. The information you requested is below:

We are proceeding with plans and preparations to build a 350 bed apartment style residential village on campus. The first phase is anticipated o open in fall of 2009. The project is slated for full occupancy by fall 2020.

We plan to maintain current enrollment size over the span of the next five years.

We have not projected traffic flow outcomes relative to the Oswego Suites Housing Project.

We have not considered or estimated possible economic impact to SUNY Oswego relative to the Oswego Suites Housing Project.

I hope this information is helpful."

Fran said she evaded the whole issue. He said he had talked to her husband, Mike Stanley. The letter doesn't say anything about what her thoughts are - whether she is against it or neutral. She just said they are going to build some units. We ought to write her a letter and ask the question to her if she is so evasive. Jeff asked what question. Fran said we should sit down and talk about what information we need from her to help us make a decision. Judy said we should write "Based on your letter we understand that the college is building 350 beds - is there truly a need in the town for an additional 300 beds.

Greg Herrmann said he doesn't believe we will get an answer from the college. We haven't yet. The way the letter is written, it is very gray. Fran Dellamano made a motion that we write a letter to the President, the way Judy said. Jim Finn seconded the motion. All ayes. Motion carried.

Lee Phillips said he believes economics as far as we are concerned - our basic system is to find out how much it will cost the town, if it will cost the town anything. If we have to put money in the sewer system, that's economics. And how much money that they are going to bring in is considered economics.

Jeff said he is going to call one of those trainers for clarification on what he spoke on. He is also going to talk to Vickie about some videos as to actually attending training sessions for four hours.

Barry Pritchard brought up the fact that we need to approach the Town Board or Town Supervisor, or somebody to somehow get better communications between the town and all the boards. It comes back to the Code Enforcement Officer. We have seen here the last couple of months, there is other stuff going on that we are not aware of, and could be a concern later on. If everybody goes to the Town Clerk, or if the Code Enforcement sees everything, if he should be making a report to the Town Board, and spreading it out to the Boards, just to say - These are the applications that have been put in this month, so if we see something we have a concern with. Barry said buildings are being built where they shouldn't be. Fran said an application should be presented to the Chairman of the Zoning Board or Planning Board to be edited before it goes to the Code Enforcement Officer. Barry said maybe Wayne should call the chairman of each board and discuss it. Fran stated he doesn't think it is a Planning Board or Zoning Board problem. It is the Town Board that must address it. Jeff said he would talk to Vicky and see if there can be a resolution.


At approximately 7:50 PM, Lee Phillips made a motion to adjourn the meeting. Barry Pritchard seconded the motion. All Ayes. Motion carried.

Respectfully submitted,

Marjorie Best,
Secretary to Planning Board
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