The Village Board of Trustees held a special meeting on January 29, 2009 at 5:30pm for the purpose discussing the Donald Hanson construction project and any other business that came before them. The meeting began approximately 20 minutes late due to an attorney/client -privileged session between the Board and Village Attorney Rick Golden.
Mayor Stebbins began the meeting by announcing that a lot has occurred over the course of the past week with regard to the Hanson situation. He reminded that Board that the Hanson building permit has been before them for renewal since November 2008 and that since that time the Board has repeatedly requested that Mr. Hanson submit a storm water management and erosion control plan. This plan was submitted to Village Engineer Rich Messer via e-mail late in the day of January 20. The Mayor called on Mr. Messer to detail what has transpired since the receipt of that plan.
Mr. Messer reported that after confirming the receipt of Mr. Hanson’s plan from Leonard Jackson and Assoc, a meeting was arranged for Tuesday January 27. Prior to that meeting, Village engineers Westin and Sampson completed a preliminary review of the plan and submitted a list of comments to Leonard Jackson and Assoc.
The engineers met as planned on January 27. Also present at this meeting were: Mr. Hanson, Mayor Stebbins and John Ledwith. The group completed a walk through of the plan along with the comments submitted to Leonard Jackson and Assoc. by Westin and Sampson and concurred that there are some issues remaining that need to be addressed. Following this review, the group walked the Hanson construction site where they continued to discuss issues that remain outstanding. Specifically, a discrepancy in the topography of the site has been noted relative to the original plan. Westin and Sampson is suggesting that Mr. Hanson commission a new survey to determine the accurate topography before submitting their final erosion control plan. Additionally, there were some questions regarding the quality of work as well as the safety of a stone wall which was constructed in November of 2008 after the Stop Work Order was in effect.
Following Mr. Messer’s report, Mayor Stebbins asked the Trustees if they had any questions.
Trustee Worthy inquired of Mr. Messer whether or not he felt Westin and Sampson had been given an adequate amount of time to perform a thorough review of the plan before submitting their comments to Leonard Jackson and Assoc..
Mr. Messer replied that the amount of time was not adequate for a thorough review and that only a preliminary review had been completed.
Trustee Worthy then asked Mr. Messer to confirm that at present Leonard Jackson and Assoc. has a great deal of work to complete in order to provide the necessary information and he did.
Moving on, The Mayor reported that Mr. Hanson has expressed his interests to the Village as follows:
He would like permission to continue with limited work immediately including the completion of an indoor structure, which will house a swimming pool (this will be a 4 week operation and will entail finishing walls and constructing a roof) the installation of new garage doors and the pouring of a concrete slab in conjunction with completing the pool structure.
The Mayor went on to suggest that the Board grant John Ledwith the authority to extend Mr. Hanson’s building permit for a period of six months contingent upon following 3 conditions:
- Mr. Hanson’s Stormwater and Erosion Management Control Plans must be reviewed and accepted by the Village Engineer. This includes:
- Both a pre & post construction analysis plan (to ensure plan
- An interim plan to take effect ASAP
- Both a pre & post construction analysis plan (to ensure plan
- A N.Y.S. licensed engineering firm must certify that the concrete wall
poured in November is safe for the purpose intended
- The Building Inspector must provide certification of code compliance based on a review of the site table/site calculations as provided by the applicant and the Village code.
Village Attorney Rick Golden suggested that the Board add the completion of the topographical survey to their conditions.
The Mayor responded that the survey will need to be completed in order to ensure accuracy of the storm water management and erosion control plans.
Trustee Hansen inquired as to what sort of time frame Mr. Hanson would be given to satisfy the conditions and how soon after they are satisfied would the permit extension be granted. He further inquired as to whether or not Mr. Hanson would have to begin work right away once the permit had been issued.
John Ledwith responded that according to the Village Code, if work slows or stops altogether for a period of 90 days or longer, the Village can revoke the building permit.
The Board then agreed that 90 days was a reasonable amount of time to allow Mr. Hanson for satisfying the proposed conditions.
The Mayor then asked Mr. Hanson directly if he felt 90 days was enough time. Mr. Hanson conferred with his attorney, Brian Nugent, and then Mr. Nugent responded that Mr. Hanson would need to have a copy of the proposed conditions in writing for review before making a decision. He further commented that it would be exceedingly beneficial for Mr. Hanson if the Board would also agree to allow him to do “limited work” in the interim (before satisfying the conditions)
Trustee Hansen inquired as to whether or not Building Inspectors are qualified to inspect walls and was told by Rick Golden that they were.
Trustee Hansen then asked if the Board has the jurisdiction to enforce code compliance before issuing a permit renewal.
Rick Golden responded that they do.
The concept of limited work was then discussed and the Board collectively decided that it should not be allowed.
Trustee Hansen commented that he would like to see Mr. Hanson complete his project in a timely manor, but he does not want to put either The Board or the Building Inspector in the position of determining what connotes “limited work”. He further stated that conditions being proposed by the Mayor are very reasonable and should be somewhat easy for Mr. Hanson to meet in a timely fashion and once he has met them, he will be allowed to proceed with a full permit.
Trustee Shaw commented that she felt the Board should move on and suggested they vote and not revisit the issue any further.
Mr. Hanson then made a statement to the Board. He commented that after the November Trustees meeting, at which his neighbors the Stewarts made a complaint with regard to run-off from his property, it had been his impression that he was to provide documentation relative to that issue. He submitted a report, which detailed run-off issues relative to Continental Road and the Stewarts property and was told by the Board that what they really wanted to see was a new storm water run-ff/erosion control plan. Mr. Hanson expressed his dismay at this request because a storm water run-off and erosion control plan had already been approved by the BAR when the permit was initially issued. However, despite his frustration at being asked to redo the plan, he did so. He commented that in his opinion, he has gone out of his way to work with the Board and comply with their requests and in return he would ask that they work with him. He explained that his reasoning for wanting to complete the “limited work” has to do with his mother-in-law, who will be undergoing surgery and coming to live him during her recovery.
Mayor Stebbins responded that all Mr. Hanson has to do is to satisfy the conditions and then he will be allowed to proceed with all work.
Trustee Hansen concurred.
The Board then voted unanimously in favor of granting John Ledwith the authority to extend Mr. Hanson’s building permit for a period of six months based upon satisfaction of the conditions as discussed. Mr. Hanson will be given 90 days to satisfy the conditions and his extension will be for a period of 6 months.
Trustee Shaw reported that she had received a call from Michael Collins, who expressed interest in discussing the sale16 acres of property adjacent to his home on Potucket Road to the Village. There is a Village owned in-ground water tank on the property as well as an existing road with an easement. Trustee Shaw commented that she believes it might be an ideal spot for relocating either the DPW or the Village Office in order that the Village might be able to sell the lake front property on which these two offices are currently located.
Mayor Stebbins responded that relocating the DPW would entail constructing a new building, which would be held to current N.Y.S. standards and that this would be very costly.
Trustee Worthy commented that regardless of what the Village might chose to do with the property she would welcome a discussion with Mr. Collins.
Mayor Stebbins announced that he would be circulating a draft proposal for a performance-based employee compensation plan to be reviewed and discussed at the next meeting.
The engineering analysis of the Sterling Place Water Management System is nearly finished and as per the settlement Mayor Stebbins has asked Village Engineer Rich Messer to draw up a list of requirements necessary for the development’s inclusion in the Village water system.
The Board voted 4-1 in favor approving the Dangoor building permit for a new driveway, with Trustee Worthy voting against. Trustee Worthy commented that she respects the BAR’s right to approve a project, she voted against the application because it involved the use of artificial materials where natural ones could have been used.
There was some discussion regarding whether or not the Board of Trustees has the right to object to a permit that has already been approved by the BAR.
Trustee Hansen commented that the Design Guidelines would be a good way to regulate the types of materials used by applicants.
Trustee Worthy suggested that the BAR should retain a reviewing architect.
The Mayor commented that a BAR architect would be able to review the design guidelines and help the BAR to determine the core concepts within.
Trustee Shaw commented that she was opposed to the idea, stating that it would just be one more cost for applicants.
The Mayor responded that he is in favor of the idea.
Trustee Hays also stated that he is in favor, commenting that such an architect would not necessarily need to attend every meeting. He further commented that having an architect available to the BAR would improve the efficiency of the process greatly and probably pay for itself in no time.
Trustee Shaw demanded of Trustee Hays exactly how an architect would improve the BAR process.
Mayor Stebbins responded that the architect would be able to frame issues for the BAR to focus on.
Trustee Hansen agreed and stated that the architect would facilitate in moving the process along.
The Mayor then proposed that the Board move forward with the idea by establishing a fee structure.