AT A REGULAR MEETING OF THE TOWN BOARD OF THE TOWN OF NISKAYUNA DULY CALLED AND HELD ON THE 29TH DAY OF JUNE, 2004, AT THE NISKAYUNA TOWN OFFICE BUILDING, ONE NISKAYUNA CIRCLE, NISKAYUNA, NEW YORK, THE FOLLOWING MEMBERS WERE PRESENT;
LIZ ORZEL KASPER, COUNCILWOMAN
WILLIAM R. CHAPMAN, COUNCILMAN
DIANE P. O’DONNELL, COUNCILWOMAN
LUKE J. SMITH, SUPERVISOR
RICHARD A. HOLT, COUNCILMAN, absent
Others present: Barbara Nottke, Deputy Town Clerk; Eric Dickson, Town Attorney; Kathy Matern, Town Planner; Tom Cannizzo, Building Inspector; Richard Pollock, Superintendent of Water & Sewer; John Lubrant, Police Lieut.; Frank Gavin, Superintendent of Highways; and Paul Sebesta, Comptroller.
PRIVILEGE OF THE FLOOR
Kim Koenig, 1464 Via Del Mar, informed the Board that she has noticed an increase in the number of cars parked along the north end of her street by the Coop Market. The cars appear about 7 a.m. and the drivers appear to be high school students. She has seen between 6 and 10 cars parked and sometimes cars are parked on both sides of the street making navigation through the area difficult, in particular school buses. Some residents are having trouble getting out of their driveways and the problem is also made worse when garbage cans and lawn bags are out. Some cars have been parked on lawns, and garbage is left. She noticed No Parking signs on other streets and assumed that other neighborhoods have had the same problem. She supplied photos to the
Board to show them the difficulty they are having and also had a petition asking for help.
Supervisor Smith will look into whether there are restrictions about parking so close to an intersection and will look into the situation.
Tom Cannizzo, 949 North Ravine Road, noted that in reading the zoning requirements for the Office Technology/Light Industry zone, one of the permitted principal uses is public service facilitates “including but not limited to town offices, libraries or post office”. He wondered if Rec facilities would be included in that description and if so, does this preserve the current Rec property?
Supervisor Smith responded that it preserves it as a Recreation Center now because that is what they use it for. With the rezoning he supposes at some point the Town Board could change its use to something else. He suspects that if it were left at R-2, another Board could change it again. There is no plan to use it for anything else but Recreation purposes at this point. Councilman Chapman stated that “public service facilities” meant sewer and water facilities, not recreational.
Mr. Cannizzo noted that there is a category for public utilities as well in the zones permitted principal uses. “Public service facilities” eluded more to Town services. Supervisor Smith stated that the zone could include recreation facilities since the language uses the term “not limited to.” Supervisor Smith believes that the bonding of the property does not restrict its use for Recreation. Attorney Dickson recalled that when it was purchased there was talk of selling a portion either immediately or in the future. According to what he read, he does not see a dedication of parkland. It is his understanding that the way the land was purchased does not preserve the future use of the land for recreational facilities. Mr. Cannizzo would like the land to remain for recreational
Jerry LaGoy, 26 Aqueduct Road, has supported the tech park in the past. He felt that the other properties that were excluded should have been included. He felt that contractors have been required to get necessary environmental permits by giving parkland or money in substitute for parkland. He considers that a pressure or a bribe to get things done and feels that if the contractors are asked to give land that the Town should donate the land near the Rec Center as parkland. Most of the other proposals within the zone change are positive and he asked the Board to revise the zone change. Supervisor Smith stated that the Board would review at what was done. Reviewing the zone change is not unpolitical and they are not afraid to look at it again.
Regarding Mr. LaGoy’s use of the term “bribe” this action was taken by an elected Town Board who made a decision to have developers (who are making money from the Town) and would like to develop every piece of land. It was put into the Subdivision Regulations that they are required (not forced or pressured) to provide parkland or money-in-lieu of parkland so that lands could be developed as parkland. It was voted on by the Town Board and Planning Board. There is no pressure – it is part of the regulations and duly authorized by the Boards. Attorney Dickson stated that this is not peculiar to Niskayuna. All Towns have this.
Mr. LaGoy questioned if the Town has no desire to do anything with the Recreational facility land, it seems to him it would not have been rezoned for a tech park.
He stated that maybe the word “bribe” was too strong; however, the project would be refused if the developer did not give money or land. The regulations state that if he does not stay within zoning the project will be refused.
Patrick Smith, 31 Lori Drive, stated that his area is lacking in parkland. At the first Planning Commission meeting where the original sketch plan was presented and the developer offered $160,000 in lieu of giving land. He felt we really need parkland in their area and it should be the Town’s choice as to money or land. He would like to see the Town address this issue especially in their area without parkland and he asked the Town Board to look into this.
Supervisor Smith stated that the Planning Board can make the recommendation that the developer give land instead of money.
Mickey Galiotto, Aqueduct Road, stated that he has been a developer all his life and he never felt he was giving anyone a bribe when he gave parkland. He and his family have been responsible for thousands of acres all over the country. It is a good policy and he will continue to support it.
Regarding the Rec Center, there was a lot of concern about what would happen with this property and why the Town should spend the money on the Center. He actively supported the Center. There have been problems with the facility but he supports the original idea of the property which is that it is for Town use, preferably, recreation. He does not want to put anything in place to make it easy for the next Town Board to change the original intent of the Rec property. He believes the original intent was to keep this property either for a Rec Center or Town office. This fits in well with the property which is environmentally fragile. He asked the Board to look into this a little bit deeper.
Councilman Chapman stated that originally the Town was renting the property. We had a referendum that failed for a Rec Center in the center of Town. The Board’s concern was that the property would be purchased and we would lose the pool. The Board’s intent was to have the property for recreation and to have a pool. The purpose was not to bail out Mr. Lawrence; the Town was renting the property.
Kevin Baxter, 26 Lori Drive, stated that a number of residents met with Town Planner Matern, Mr. McKinney, and Mr. Paulsen, concerning park development. They were told that the Planning Department had submitted park information on the development to the Planning Committee and were waiting for a recommendation back.
Councilwoman Kasper responded that the committee met on June 18 with a map of Mr. Paulsen’s layout. In looking at the map, the Parks Committee said that they would like to have a “multi-purpose” pathway along the road so there would be an access from Birchwood School, up Lori Drive, along Paulsen’s road across to Kimberly where the Town has land at the Lishakill tying the whole thing together. They also looked at the possibility of a section between two lots that back onto Birchwood School. Mrs. Kasper inspected the area and thought the Town should at least have a right of way so people coming through the new development could use it. She stressed that the only plan they looked at was the plan given to her on June 18 which is the original. She found out today that a meeting happened June
28 and she had not seen any of the maps from this meeting and will review these tomorrow. The Parks & Recreation Committee will look at whatever map is presented. With the map they were originally given, they felt that the best they could do was the multipurpose path so that people would have access to one side of the Lishakill to the other.
Kathy Matern stated that she has copied the new map and has written a memo to the Planning Board telling them that she has met with residents from Lori Drive and they presented three alternatives. It is up to the Planning Board to talk to Mr. Paulson about it. Mr. Paulson was at the meeting with his design that shows a connection to Lori Drive. The map has changed somewhat from the map reviewed by the Rec Committee because they did a little bit of a land swap with Cerrone but Mrs. Matern has not seen that map yet.
Mr. Baxter asked if the Rec Committee could take a look at Mr. Paulson’s proposal and make recommendations. He has his development, road, and lots laid out but the Rec Committee doesn’t necessarily have to work around that. It is the Committee’s recommendation to say what they recommend.
Councilwoman Kasper stated that previously these things never went to the Parks & Rec. and went directly to the Planning Board. According to the way Paulsen has it mapped out, it probably is best to use the multipurpose path. She is sure there are other ways but there are a lot of wetlands they know nothing about. They looked at two lots that are in the corner connected to Birchwood, but whether they are good for a park is questionable as it comes out behind the school and two houses. The Planning Board will not see the resident proposed maps until July 12, but Mrs. Kasper will look at these tomorrow. They can look at the resident maps and make suggestions but it won’t be official until Mr. Paulsen adopts them. She stressed that what they looked at was what Paulsen had submitted.
Kathy Matern stated that the Rec Committee can make a recommendation to the Planning Board, and the Planning Board can then stress to Mr. Paulsen that they would rather have park land instead of fees or a combination or a multipurpose walkway instead. Councilwoman Kasper noted that parkland is very important to this Town, but putting a park somewhere just to make sure there is no pass-through to Lori Drive is not the best thing either. They will look at the parkland on its own merits and whether it is good for the area and for the Town. After this review, she will appear at a Planning Board meeting and speak.
Supervisor Smith stated that they can’t make recommendations based on alternatives if that is not the plan the developer submits for a subdivision. The developer can submit what he wants but it can be rejected. He stated that a park would be a public park open to anyone in or outside of Town and a park would also generate traffic in and out of the neighborhood.
Mr. Baxter stated that in an ideal situation you would think that the Planning Board would negotiate with the developer and come to a consensus. On July 12 expectations are that the developer will be submitting the preliminary plot plan at which time the process go into high gear. He felt that if recommendations are to be made, they need to be made soon.
It was stated that an application is official when the developer turns it in. If Mr. Paulsen wants to be on the July 12 Planning Board agenda he must submit documents 10 days before.
Debbie Baxter, 26 Lori Drive, requested that members of the Town Board speak with people on the Planning Board. Residents are still concerned about the cut through and the traffic that will go through. They have met with members of the Planning Board, Kathy Matern, Rudy Paulsen, and Jim McKinney and expressed their concerns. It seems that the cut through street is going through as they anticipated from the beginning just due to the feeling that there seemed to be on the Planning Board. They asked the Town Board to look at the big picture, notice that there is 22 acres of land which the Cerrone’s have approached people about selling, which could happen within the next year. In looking at the big picture there are alternatives. They don’t see the
cut through as the only option and asked the Town Board to beg the Planning Board to look at the big picture. The Planning Board should be planning for the future and she believes that their job is to look at the whole picture. They like their small neighborhood and have very valid reasons to keep it the way it was. She urged the Board to look at the alternative plans created by the residents. They will be distributed to the Planning Board, Mr. Paulsen, and Cathy Matern, and she will distribute them to the Town Board.
Residents have been asked to respond to a six question e-mail questionnaire but no identity was made of who initiated the questionnaire at nocutthrough.com. The Supervisor has not heard of anyone doing research on this topic other than the residents involved.
The following resolutions were approved with a vote of four ayes (Councilman Holt was absent), unless otherwise noted.
Resolution 2004-200 appoints Joseph Tamburello to the position of Seasonal Laborer in the Water & Sewer Department at $8.25 per hour effective retroactive to June 28, 2004.
Resolution 2004-201 authorizes the advertising for bids to slip-line a sewer main in the Providence Avenue area.
Resolution 2004-202 authorizes the repair of a sewer main on Cunningham Court from Schenectady Mechanical at a cost not to exceed $6,000.
Resolution 2004-203 authorizes the advertising for bids for the replacement of the electrical controls at the Avon Crest North and Valerie Drive pump stations.
Resolution 2004-204 authorizes the advertising for bids for the purchase of a used ten-wheel dump truck for the Water & Sewer Department.
Resolution 2004-205 makes permanent appointment to the position of Information Processing Specialist I in the Water and Sewer Department to Denise Tucker, 1870 Oneida Street, Schenectady effective July 19, 2004 at a Grade 8 Step 4 and at a salary of $27,817.
Resolution 2004-206 grants a Special Use Permit to Communication Federal Credit Union to allow the construction of a 4,500 square foot building located at 3333 Consaul Road.
Resolution 2004-207 appoints Samara Malkis, as a temporary Clerical Aid on an as-needed basis to end September 15, 2004 at a rate of $9.79 per hour.
Resolution 2004-208 calls for a public hearing September 7, 2004 at 7 p.m. regarding the Town’s proposed Agency Plan for Section 8 Rental Assistance.
Resolution 2004-209 authorizes Amy Houlihan to attend the New York State Assessor’s Association Seminar at Cornell University on July 19-23 at a cost of $220 for registration, $158 for hotel accommodations, plus meals and travel expenses, with a portion to be reimbursed from the New York State Office of Real Property Services.
Resolution 2004-210 takes action to employ additional persons in the Recreation Program and authorize a rate change.
Resolution 2004-211 authorizes the Supervisor to enter into an agreement with mark Klemballa to conduct golf instruction effective retroactive to June 21, at a total cost of $500 for the 5-week session.
Resolution 2004-212 adopts Local Law 16 and amends Chapter 203, Vehicles and Traffic to add a Stop sign on Gloucester Place at Avon Crest Boulevard.
Resolution 2004-213 adopts Local Law 17 and amends Chapter 203, Vehicles and Traffic to add a Yield sign on Oxford Way at the intersection of Gloucester Place.
At this time, with a unanimous vote of the Town Board, the Supervisor called for Executive Session to discuss litigation and negotiations.
With no further business to come before the Town Board, Supervisor Smith adjourned the meeting.
Barbara Nottke, Deputy Town Clerk