June 30, 2008
Planning Board Minutes Special Meeting
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.
to Order: Chairman Jeffrey Boyer called the meeting of the Oswego
Town Planning Board to order at 7:04 p.m.
Attendance: Those in attendance were:
Old Business: Consideration of the United Group Site Plan for the Oswego Student Housing Project.
C-1 Title Page: Jeff Boyer questioned the item under Zoning Data about building height (2.5 stories or 35 feet). Barry Pritchard clarified that those are the Town’s allowed zoning heights.
Francis Dellamano questioned the height of the buildings in feet rather than stories. Kevin Caraccioli answered that the Lodge building is four (4) stories or 44 feet tall and the four lower buildings (A, B, C, & D) are three (3) stories or 35 feet tall, excluding any spires or cupolas.
Craig Zogby explained that the height is measured from the average between the eave and the ridge to the average ground level.
L-1 Existing Conditions Plan: No questions or comments.
L-2 Clearing and Demolition Plan: No questions or comments.
L-3 Erosion and Sediment Control Plan: Francis Dellamano asked about the basis of the erosion plan – rainfall in 24 hours. Craig Zogby answered that the plan takes into account the worst-case scenario for rainfall and how to direct that water away.
Lee Phillips questioned Scott Pritchard about the fact that only one (1) hydrant is shown on L-3. Scott answered that there are sufficient numbers of hydrants in the plan – more than just one. It was pointed out that L-6 (Utility Plan) shows all of the hydrants – about six (6) or seven (7).
Jeff Boyer mentioned that the number of retention basins is on the next page.
Francis Dellamano asked who approves the sediment plan – a state agency? Craig Zogby said that it is approved by the DEC.
Mr. Dellamano stated that we need a letter or some kind of confirmation from the DEC telling us that this plan is acceptable. Jeff Smetana responded that the review by Barton and Loguidice, as explained at the May 8, 2008, Subcommittee Meeting indicated that they felt the United plan met the criteria sufficiently.
Kevin Caraccioli confirmed, for the record, that there was a letter issued May 19, 2008, from Barton and Loguidice that should be read in conjunction with a letter written June 29, 2007, which gave a detailed analysis of the environmental conditions, including sediment control, and about which, at that time, Barton and Loguidice raised some concerns. Those concerns were then addressed. The product of addressing those concerns was reviewed, further, in May of 2008, followed by the May 19, 2008, letter. That was all submitted to the County Planning Board, resulting in their letter of review with a recommendation of approval.
L-4 Layout and Materials Plan: Jeff Boyer asked about signage. The local zoning code and a dimension of 15 square feet (3X5) was discussed. Craig Zogby commented that United Group always refers to the local zoning for entrance signage, low to the ground, lighted, with landscaping around it.
Francis Dellamano made a statement, for the record, that he feels that one entrance is not enough for a project of this size. He also asked a question about what thoughts go into deciding for two (2) entrances for fire, health, public welfare, etc. Craig Zogby explained that it is usually the fire department that would address such concerns and that the tenant traffic flow is relatively spread out throughout the day, not causing a problem. Scott Pritchard explained that the Town Fire Department’s concern was with wanting multiple access points to the buildings. Greg Herrmann stated that the Fire Department had requested the divided entrance to the property, and that United Group had changed it to a two-lane divided entrance. Jeff Boyer explained that each lane is twelve (12) feet with an eight (8) foot median.
Francis Dellamano asked about the responsibility for plowing the entrance, to which Jeff Smetana answered that that would be United Group’s responsibility.
L-5 Grading and Drainage Plan: Francis Dellamano asked if the DEC approves the Grading and Drainage Plan. Craig Zogby answered that the DEC has already seen and approved the drainage plan.
L-6 Utility Plan: Francis Dellamano asked for clarification of what items were covered under the term “Utility” and if Barton and Loguidice had approved it. Jeff Smetana confirmed that “Utility” covered all utilities and had been approved by Barton and Loguidice.
Jeff Boyer mentioned that when the Planning Board makes a decision on the Site Plan, the Board Members need to consider whether United will get permission from the City of Oswego to access their sewage system, a situation which is still in discussion. He went on to clarify with United Group that all utilities, including electrical, would be underground.
Barry Pritchard asked if the six (6) inch pipe would be adequate for the water flow within the site. Craig Zogby explained that OCWA did the calculation and would do the installation work on site.
Francis Dellamano questioned whether the water pressure would be adequate for the Fire Department. Scott Pritchard answered that it would be a new system and there would be adequate flow.
Jeffrey Boyer asked about the pump station, which appears to be on the property line. Barry Pritchard pointed out where the property and setback lines are located and that the location of the pump station will not be a problem.
L-7 Planting Plan: No questions or comments.
L-8 Road Profiles: Jeffrey Boyer asked about sufficient fill to bring the swales up to grade. Craig Zogby assured everyone that there was plenty of fill available.
Francis Dellamano stated his concern about water runoff coming down onto Johnson Road and asked if there were any catch basins at the bottom. Barry Pritchard pointed out that there is a 1% grade away from the road.
L-9 Conceptual Off-Site Utility Plan: Jeff Boyer explained that this was the connection from the pump station on Johnson Road to the proposed hookup with the sanitary line on State Route 104. Therefore there is not much that the Planning Board can do with this item, as it is a condition that the applicant needs to work through with the sanitary from the facility. He questioned whether the water line already exists past the site, or if it would have to be put in. Scott Pritchard explained that the only existing water line is a six (6) inch one on the city side and that a new one would be run by OCWA, to their specifications.
L-10 Site Details: Jeff Boyer asked about handicapped parking near the buildings. Barry Pritchard stated that there were eight (8) to ten (10) per building.
L-11 Continuation of Site Details: Jeff Boyer questioned the fencing details, specifically along the back parking lot, which was pointed out as being listed on L-4.
L-12 Additional Details, Erosion Control, and Storm Water Details: No questions or comments.
L-13 Utility Details: Francis Dellamano asked about the percent of hydrants with shutoffs. Scott Pritchard explained that all of the new ones have shutoffs and isolation valves every 600 feet in the line.
Continued Discussion: Jeff Boyer added, for the record, that the reason for this meeting was to give the City the thirty (30) required days for them to review the material. The Board has not received a letter from them.
Lee Phillips asked about the proposed walkway and the college’s answer. Jeff Smetana replied that they had given a very cautious answer. The college is reviewing it, but Jeff Smetana has not heard back from them at this point, but that United Group is still pursuing it.
Kevin Caraccioli reported that the Zoning Board of Appeals approved the Height Variance without condition.
Francis Dellamano asked about sprinklers in the buildings. Kevin Caraccioli answered, yes, that the Fire Department had been consulted about it, and it was part of the analysis done by the Zoning Board of Appeals.
Kevin Caraccioli asked for clarification on the date of the Site Plan. Jeff Boyer noted that United Group said these were the latest and final Site Plans, dated October 26, 2007.
Judy Watson had a question regarding the sewers, wondering how the Planning Board could go ahead with approving the Site Plans without knowing what is going to happen with the sewers. Kevin Caraccioli answered that the zoning ordinance permits approval with conditions – a conditioned approval – conditioned upon approval or consent of the City of Oswego Common Council to utilize the public sewer system.
Kevin Caraccioli went on to another issue, that the Planning Board and Zoning Board of Appeals adopted a conditioned negative declaration for the SEQR, which requires a thirty (30) day public comment period. The comment period doesn’t begin until that conditioned negative declaration is published in the Environmental Notice Bulletin. Therefore, if the Planning Board is inclined to approve the Site Plan as submitted, it would be subject to any comments received during the thirty (30) day public comment period. If there were any comments that necessitated a change or material alteration to the Site Plan, that could come back before the Planning Board, but if there are no comments, then the Planning Board’s approval would stand, subject to the issue with the City of Oswego and the sewer system being worked out.
Francis Dellamano suggested that the approval should be conditioned upon the Site Plan coming back to the Planning Board for a final approval after the City gives its approval; that the Planning Board should give approval on everything except the sewage, so it would come back to the Planning Board and not leave the final approval to the City.
Jeffrey Boyer proposed that since they have a detail for the connection to the City, then if it deviates from what the Planning Board has reviewed, then it should come back.
Lee Phillips brought up the topic of money, that the City might want the Town to help pay for any problems dealing with the connection into the City sewer system.
Many questions and comments followed among members of the Board and the audience, concerning Francis Dellamano’s question about what the City might decide. Kevin Caraccioli’s suggested wording of the resolution was changed to eliminate any specific reference to “Ontario Heights Sewer District” and “substantially” deviates from the sewer plan approved by the Town’s engineers.
Judy Watson asked if the City could change their plan of how they want to accept this, if we approve the Site Plan tonight. Jeff Smetana answered that the project would be tying into an existing system of infrastructure and pumping into the manholes. Once it reaches those manholes it’s tying into a system which is not going to change by anything the City is talking about. It’s a matter of some issues either at the plant or elsewhere in the City that feed into that plant.
Michael Hagenmayer pointed out that the City recently approved accepting sewer from the college’s latest expansion. The college has a problem with their commingled water system, which they will have to address. The United Group project does not have that problem, as only raw sewage would be going into the City’s system.
Greg Herrmann added that the United Group project would not be adding storm water into the system, so no changes would have to be made. Therefore, the only answer the Town and United Group will get from the City is either “yes” or “no”. The system cannot cost the Town any money as the developer pays for the connection from Point A to Point B.
Discussion continued, with Jeff Smetana saying that United Group has proposed a sewer plan that Barton and Loguidice, working for the Town, has designed. United Group, then, is asking to get approval from the Town so that they can build that system, as designed by the Town’s engineers.
Kevin Caraccioli was asked to again read the pending resolution so that the Board might go through it item by item. Kevin read the resolution as follows:
Board discussion continued. Jeff Smetana commented that the United Group project might produce 30,000 gallons of sewage a day. The City now receives about three million gallons a day, with a capacity of five million gallons a day, so what this project would add to the system is minimal. The City’s problem is that they are mixing their storm water with their sanitary, so occasionally they get overwhelmed with volume. There are some storm water systems that flow into the sanitary plant, which could be redirected to create some additional capacity in the City so they could accept more sewage. Therefore, United Group would like to have approval by the Planning Board, so that they can move forward with the City, get their permission to connect, and would not have to go through an additional step of coming back to the Planning Board.
Michael Hagenmayer made the assertion that the Board would want the conditioned resolution written in such a way that it said that the Site Plan would come back to the Planning Board if there were issues that are normally dealt with by the Planning Board.
Kevin Cariccioli added that if the City approval deviates in any way from the plan approved by the Town’s engineers, then it is automatically coming back to the Planning Board.
Jeff Boyer added that the Town’s engineers have provided a plan which we have given to the developer. There is nothing the Town or the developer will change, based on what the City commits to. If the City says “no” it has to come back so the Town can go for an alternate design. If the City says “yes’, nothing is going to change, so there would be no need for the Planning Board to review it again. He then recommended the Planning Board review the proposed resolution again, with the changed wording, and vote.
Joyce Molinari called the vote, which was as follows:
New Business: None
Open Board Discussion: None
Meeting was adjourned at 8:38 p.m. Next meeting will be July 21, 2008. Francis Dellamano will chair the meeting, as Jeff Boyer will be away.
Joyce Molinari, Secretary