July 21, 2008
Planning Board Minutes
Oswego Town Hall
Chair: Jeffrey Boyer
Town Board Members: Francis Dellamano,
Lee Phillips, Barry Pritchard, Judy Sabin-Watson
Attorney To The Board: Stephen Greene, Jr.
Secretary: Joyce Molinari
to Order: The meeting of the Oswego Town Planning Board was called
to order at 7:00 p.m. by Board Member Francis Dellamano.
Attendance: Those in attendance were:
Approval of June 30, 2008, Special Meeting Minutes: Barry Pritchard made the motion to accept the June 30, 2008, minutes as written. Lee Phillips seconded the motion. All ayes; motion carried.
Old Business - United Group
In answer to Francis Dellamano’s question about what has happened with the United Group’s application to the City of Oswego, to hook into the City’s sewer system, Judy Watson explained that a recent article in the Palladium-Times had stated that the City had said “no” to the plan, and that United Group was going to pursue the possibility of their own sewage treatment facility. Barry Pritchard confirmed this.
Lee Phillips asked about the procedure for the application coming back to the Planning Board concerning the on-site treatment facility. Barry Pritchard explained that United Group will have to do a study, approved by the DEC. Barton and Loguidice will then look at the study, and, if they approve it, the Planning Board can approve it, also.
A short discussion followed about the amount of land needed, how the on-site treatment facility works, and the usefulness of a local stream in the process.
New Business – Peter Wiltsie, Home Builder and John MacDonald, Contractor, concerning the possible construction of a windmill
Mr. Wiltsie stated that he is building a home on County Route 20, just past Cabin Cove, and is looking at the possibility of renewable energy to power the house, specifically a wind turbine, and is hoping to get documentation to present to the New York State Energy and Research Authority (NYSERDA) in order to get a grant to help in the cost of the construction of the wind turbine.
Mr. Dellamano asked about the height of the tower. Mr. Wiltsie answered that it would be about 120 feet.
Mr. MacDonald explained that it would be a 10-kilowatt generator, as compared to the 30- kilowatt one at Port Ontario. There is also one on Wiltsieville Road, near Hannibal.
Mr. MacDonald and Mr. Wiltsie pointed out on their map where the house is located in relation to County Route 20 – about 500 feet from the road, with the turbine approximately 200 feet from the house and 600 feet or more from any other homes in the area. Mr. McDonald explained, in reference to concerns about any possible noise, that it would be comparable to a home air-conditioner.
Mr. MacDonald stated that they were also looking into the possibility of solar power, which would be situated behind the house. One of the consultants who had looked at the site said that it was the third best site he had seen for a combination hybrid wind and solar. They would like to take advantage of both. Also, they will probably do a ground source heat recovery system, which means drilling wells or digging trenches, to get the heat out of the earth over and over again, ending up with an efficiency factor of almost 400%. That means that for every kilowatt of electricity produced or bought, they can get four kilowatts of heating or air-conditioning. With the combination of wind generator, solar collector, and ground source heat recovery, they will come close to having a house entirely powered by renewable energy.
Francis Dellamano made it clear, with Attorney Stephen Greene, that the Town of Oswego does not have any specific ordinances concerning wind turbines. The only restrictions the Town has concerning wind turbines would be those height restrictions for any structure.
Attorney Greene also stated that, since the structure would not be within 500 feet of a county road, it wouldn’t have to be referred to the County, but, to be safe, they would want to do a Site Plan, which might be sent to the County for their thoughts.
Francis Dellamano asked about which Board would consider the height variance. Mr. Greene explained that it would go to the Zoning Board of Appeals for a height variance.
Mr. Wiltsie and Mr. MacDonald explained the costs of such a wind tower, about $65,000. NYSERDA gives $25,000 toward that cost. There are federal and state tax credits for solar power, but not for wind power. NYSERDA wants to see official support from the Town Planning or Zoning Board, in order for one to qualify for their grant program, possibly including a Public Notice.
Mr. Dellamano stated that they should start with the Zoning Board and then come back to the Planning Board. Mr. MacDonald said that a representative from one of the wind power companies would be willing to come to the meeting to explain the process.
Stephen Greene explained that the process would be to get a Site Plan, send it to the County for their information, and then have a Public Hearing, since NYSERDA would like to know that one had been held.
Mr. MacDonald described the meter, which actually spins backwards when more energy is produced than Mr. Wiltsie’s home will need and that it is only for one home, not multiple homes.
After further discussion, it was decided that the procedure would be for Mr. Wiltsie to go to the Town Clerk to start the procedure. It was also decided, in an effort to consolidate the process and save time, to send the information to the County, put a Legal Notice in the newspaper for a Public Hearing, and have the Public Hearing and the Site Plan presentation to the Planning Board at the same meeting. Then it would go to the Zoning Board for the height variance. The presentation and the hearing would both be at the next Planning Board meeting on August 18, 2008, and then the height variance would go to the Zoning Board meeting on August 21, 2008.
Judy Watson also clarified that they will not have to go to the neighbors with notification, as there is no zoning ordinance for windmills. The Secretary is to place the Legal Notice in the newspaper and take the information to the County.
Open Board Discussion:
Barry Pritchard mentioned the fact that Sam Zappala had come before the Planning Board two months ago, asking about changing their warehouse into commercial furniture storage. However, it looks as if they have already done so, so a letter should go to the Code Enforcement Officer to see if he is aware of it and if he has approved it. The Secretary is to write the letter, from the Board, and including the information from the May 19, 2008, Planning Board meeting. Jeff Boyer should approve it and sign it, as Chairman, and the CEO should be asked to “please advise”.
Judy Watson also brought up the place on State Route 104, formerly known as “The Strawberry Patch”, where construction includes a second floor being added to a large portion. Possibly a site plan review is necessary and, at least, a building permit, but nothing has come to the Planning Board. The Secretary is also to write a letter to the CEO concerning this matter, with Jeff Boyer signing it.
Judy Watson brought the Board up-to-date on the zoning revisions, which are finished and have gone back to the County to be re-typed. The last thing to be completed is any zoning on windmills. When the re-typed document is ready, the committee wants to meet with both Boards and go through everything, including any comments from the Board members. Donna Scanlon has the name of a person who can come to the meeting and speak about windmills. The committee has also included outside wood burning stoves.
Adjournment: The motion was made by Lee Phillips to adjourn and seconded by Barry Pritchard. The meeting was adjourned at 7:35 p.m. The next meeting will be August 18, 2008.
Secretary to the Planning Board