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Town Board Minutes 09/05/2000

                        PATRICIA A. DONNELLY    COUNCILWOMAN
                        LIZ ORZEL KASPER                COUNCILWOMAN
                        WILLIAM R. CHAPMAN      COUNCILMAN
                        LUKE J. SMITH                   SUPERVISOR

        Others present:  Helen Kopke, Town Clerk; Eric Dickson, Town Attorney; Charlie Goldstock, Deputy Zoning Enforcement Officer; and Darryl Ostrander, Deputy Police Chief


        Supervisor Smith presented a Proclamation to Town resident Andy Bloom whom will be participating in the 2000 Summer Olympics.  


        Public Hearing No. 1 – Amends the Vehicle and Traffic Code to provide Stop signs on Brittany Place at Fox Hollow Road and Fox Hollow Road at Windsor Drive and Gloria Lane.
        Supervisor Smith reiterated the Police Committee is not necessarily for or against this amendment.  The Police Chief has registered his concern and objection to these Stop signs other than one at Fox Hollow and Windsor.  Supervisor Smith read a message from Jim Burgess that the Town should follow the Police position that Stop signs are not for speed control but for traffic control and feels the Town should not install these Stop signs.   He also read a letter received from Peter Ontkush who is against some of the Stop signs and made various recommendations for traffic control in this area.

        Brad Bodmer, 21 Chestnut Lane, submitted petitions and affidavits asking that three way stops be placed on all of the intersections included in the public hearing plus a Stop sign on Fox Hollow at Pheasant Ridge.    Residents who are not directly effected by the Stop signs but who live on streets that have three-way Stop signs sign the affidavits.  These three-way Stop signs have greatly helped traffic and speed control.  Mr. Bodmer asked for a future public hearing for a Stop sign on Fox Hollow at Pheasant Ridge.  There is currently a one way Stop coming from Pheasant Ridge to Fox Hollow.   

        Richard Lubert , 1445 Fox Hollow Road, thanked the Board and thanked their predecessors who placed a Stop sign further up on Fox Hollow which had made a big difference.  He understood the Police Department’s concern for the overuse of Stop signs. The Police are infrequently on Fox Hollow and its crossroads.  He believes the Stop signs will make a big difference particularly in the wintertime.  At one point they requested speed humps which they are still in favor of if signs are not possible.  He is familiar with speed humps that can be removed in the winter for snowplows.

        Rabbi Matt Cutler, 1405 Fox Hollow Road, remarked that two years ago when he came before the Board there was concern about the nature of the T stops and how they would effect traffic patterns.  He encouraged the Board to witness Fox Hollow Road and the nature of traffic towards the high school.  They have called the Police on many occasions, but it has not alleviated the problem.  He was under the impression that the responsibility for traffic patterns was to be shared evenly between Fox Hollow and Rosehill Boulevard.  By not placing Stop signs on Fox Hollow makes it a major thoroughfare, which increases the traffic and is a clear shot for young drivers to the high school.  He is in favor of the Stop signs.

        Karen House, 1472 Fox Hollow Road, thanked the Police Department for their response to past calls. She described dangerous and reckless behaviors and attitudes and suggested we need a community-wide awareness of safety and traffic issues.  She believes the neighborhood desperately needs the Stop signs to slow traffic down and believes the speed indicator sign would be helpful in increasing awareness of speeds.  Supervisor Smith remarked that plans were designed to defuse the traffic so that no one neighborhood gets its all.  
        Councilman Chapman remarked that the resolution to speeding is enforcement and awareness for the safety of all children in all neighborhoods.  Mrs. House offered her assistance in anything the Town wanted to do to help.  
Councilwomen Kasper felt many children are not “street smart.”
        Mrs. House had previously inquired if the Town could work with the developers and build all the roads at once to avoid particular streets suffering an unfair burden of traffic for years while waiting for development to progress.  She also believed parks get used if they are accessible and asked that a park or green area be built in new developments as a place for kids to go.   

        Rocco Serafini, 2521 Angelina Drive, at the corner of St. Anne Drive, was told three years ago that when Fox Hollow opened the traffic would spread out.  He asked the Town Board to make their decisions with consistency for everyone who has asked for Stop signs.  He recommends a three-way Stop sign at the corner of Saint Anne and Angelina Drive, but he understands traffic patterns and expects some relief when Fox Hollow opens up.  He is not against Stop signs, but other residents have asked for them, and he thinks it is only fair that the Board be consistent.

        Andrea Golub, 2525 Angelina Drive, have had three years of experience with a heavy traffic pattern and has been waiting for Fox Hollow to open.  She asked that her street be considered for a three-way Stop sign because visibility is a problem.

        When no other members of the public wished to be heard, the Supervisor declared the Public Hearing closed.

        Public Hearing No. 2 – amends a Special Use Permit for Planned Development District to allow a fitness center with medical offices and related uses in St. James Square, Phase II.  
        A representative from ABD Engineers described the 41,000 square foot project.  This amendment would allow a fitness center of 15,000 square feet on the second floor.  5,000 of the square footage will be used for physical and other therapies.  The Planning Board was concerned about the intensity of parking for this use fitting with existing parking.  The Engineers study of parking needs for Phase I showed in the morning about 22% of the total space is being used.  The fitness center’s peak hours are between 5 to 7 a.m., and 5 and 7 p.m.   In the afternoon, only 47% of parking spaces are occupied but the fitness center is not busy.   In the evening, about 40% of the existing spaces are occupied.  There will also be 168 additional spaces with some located in the back of the building.

        Leslie Gold, 1919 Pawtucket Avenue, clarified that the rear parking was planned to be accessible to a walkway between the buildings however, the current plan is for the walkway to be closed off.  

        When no other members of the public wished to be heard, the Supervisor called the Public Hearing closed.


        Upon motion of Councilwoman Kasper, which was seconded by Supervisor Smith, the minutes of the meeting of August 15 was approved.


Earl Slanker, 847 Hereford Way, distributed a petition asking the Town to correct a problem recently created or exacerbated land Drive property owner’s construction of a swimming pool.  The addition of the pool has caused significant water runoff into their lots resulting in erosion, excessive wetness, and damage to lawns, shrubs, and plants.  Supervisor Smith responded that the Town must look to the resident to correct this and the Town is going to court to enforce the code in this regard.  Mr. Slanker is concerned that eventually the water will break into his basement or other houses.
        Councilwoman Donnelly answered that this has been discussed at Special Districts and Charlie Goldstock has been working on this.  After the court appearance tomorrow, we will have more answers.
        The following resolutions were approved with a vote of five ayes, unless otherwise noted.

        Resolution 2000-207, authorizes the replacement of the variable speed drive and transducer in Well No. 6 at the Water Filtration Plant at a cost of $5,000.


Resolution 2000-208, authorizes Frank E. Gavin to attend the Annual Conference of the New York State Association of Town Superintendents of Highways on September 19 to 22, at a cost of $455; Richard Harris, Town Planner to attend the Annual Conference of the New York Upstate chapter of the American Planning Association from September 21 to 23 at a cost of $450; and Thomas Cannizzo, Building Inspector, to attend the New York Building Officials Conference September 13-15 at a cost of $40, and to attend the Capital District Building Officials Educational Conference from October 23 to 25 at a cost of $195.

Resolution 2000-209, authorizes the Supervisor to enter into an agreement with Donald Frame for the disposition of animal carcasses, at a cost of $40 per carcass.

Resolution 2000-210, authorizes the Supervisor to enter into an agreement with Eagle Inspection & Consulting Services to provide professional inspection and monitoring services for all new subdivisions and commercial construction involving the installation and testing of water, sewer, and/or drainage systems and the construction of new roadways.

Resolution 2000-211, authorizes the Supervisor to enter into a three-year agreement with Millar Elevator Service Company for maintenance of the Town’s elevator at a cost of $150 per month.

Resolution 2000-212, approves an agreement with Terry L. Maxon, owner of 2589 Banker Avenue, to permit the construction, maintenance, and use of a driveway over a portion of a Town right-of-way.

Resolution 2000-213, authorizes the Superintendent of Highways to participate in a public auction held by the New York State Thruway Authority, and permits expenditures up to $7,000.

Resolution 2000-214, authorizes amending the Code to require trash containers be placed at curbside no earlier than 6 a.m. the day before collection, and removed no later than 6 p.m. the day after pickup.  

Resolution 2000-215, calls for a public hearing September 19, 7:05 p.m. to amend Local Law 4 (1999) to add details to a map of boundaries of the Niskayuna Office and Technology Zoning District.

At this time, the Supervisor made a motion, which was unanimously approved by the Board, to meet in executive session to discuss labor contract negotiations.
There being no further business to come before the Board, the Supervisor declared the meeting adjourned.


                                        Helen Kopke, Town Clerk



One Niskayuna Circle, Niskayuna, NY 12309
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