City of Cortland Planning, Zoning & Building Commission met on Monday, July 12, 2010 at 7:00 P.M., at the City Administration Building, 400 N. High Street. Members present: Chairman Scott Daffron, Vice-Chairman Bill Sasse, Jim Chubb, and Charlie Peck.Absent was Scott Rowley. Also present were Service Director Don Wittman, Law Director Patrick Wilson and the following individual:

 

†††††† Jerry Carleton†††††††††† 415 Cherry Hill

 

Scott Daffron:Today is Monday, July 12th, 2010.Iíd like to call to order the Cortland Planning, Zoning & Building Commission.Dee can we have roll?

 

ROLL CALL:Bill Sasse, here; Scott Rowley, absent; Scott Daffron, here; Charles Peck, here; Jim Chubb, here.

 

Scott Daffron:Can I have a motion for approval of commission minutes for the regular meeting held May 10th, 2010?

 

Bill Sasse made a motion to approve May 10, 2010 minutes, seconded by Charles Peck.ROLL CALL:Scott Daffron, yes; Charles Peck, yes; Scott Rowley, absent; Jim Chubb, yes; Bill Sasse, yes.MOTION APPROVED.

 

Scott Daffron:we donít have any old or new business on our agenda tonight, do we have anything else for discussion?

 

Bill Sasse:Yeah, Don, Dollar General, why are those signs still there?

 

Dee Daniels:The ones in the right-of-way?

 

Bill Sasse:Iím sorry?

 

Dee Daniels:The ones that are in the right-of-way?

 

Bill Sasse: Yes, maíam.

 

Dee Daniels:Thatís my fault, I didnít call.

 

Bill Sasse:Oh you didnít call?Iím sorry.

 

Dee Daniels:Itís my fault, not Donís.

 

Bill Sasse:Sorry Don.

 

Dee Daniels: Iíll call them tomorrow.I will take blame, you called and I failed to call them and I apologize and I will call them tomorrow.

 

Bill Sasse:Okay, no problem.What about that wagon or whatever the heck you want to call it sitting at McQuaidís for the flea market?

 

Dee Daniels:Where is it sitting at?

 

Bill Sasse:Every weekend it sits right at the corner, right by McQuaidís there advertising the flea market.Itís a big wagon left over from the parade with all kinds of signs on it and flags and everything else and it looks like a piece of garbage.

 

Dee Daniels:Is it still there now, or is it just there during the flea market.

 

Bill Sasse:They leave it there over the weekends, I donít know.I didnít look today.

 

Atty. Patrick Wilson:Is that the group that came in here recently about a flea market?

 

Bill Sasse:Iím sorry I didnít hear you.

 

Atty. Patrick Wilson:They didnít ask for permission for a sign, I was just saying.

 

Bill Sasse:No. and they just put that wagon up there saying itís open.Theyíve got flags, garbage and everything else hanging on it every weekend.

 

Jim Chubb:The whole thing is in the Cortland city limits.

 

Don Wittman:Did they come before this board or Council?

 

Atty. Patrick Wilson:Maybe it was Council.They may have just come to Council to advertise.

 

Bill Sasse:Can we do something about that?

 

Dee Daniels:Yeah, if we can find a contact for them.

 

Don Wittman:The problem that you are going to run into there is an enforcement issue and typically if itís removed thenÖ

 

Bill Sasse: They leave it there over the weekend.

 

Don Wittman: Right but if I go inÖyeahÖitís an enforcement issue.If they take it away and youíre going to court and the prosecutor asks if itís there and you say no then theyíllÖcase closed.

 

Bill Sasse:Yeah, but we canít just keep havingÖIím sorry Pat go ahead.

 

Atty. Patrick Wilson:No, no, if we can find out who Ďownsí the flea market, or I mean, they came to Council so we have minutes of them coming to Council so we can find out who they are and back track it that way.

 

Bill Sasse:There is a phone number connected on there, somewhere.Iíve seen a phone number in that area.

 

Dee Daniels: Okay.

 

Bill Sasse:And he had 30 days on the new Belleria sign?On that portable sign?

 

Don Wittman: I think it was 60?

 

Bill Sasse:Was it 60?

 

Dee Daniels:I think it was 60.

 

Bill Sasse:I didnít look it up I was just trying to go from memory.

 

Charles Peck:What was the effective date of his permission to put that thing up?


Don Wittman:Whenever the permit was issued.I would have to check to see when that is.

 

Charles Peck:I would like to know that because I would like to make sure to count the days down.

 

Don Wittman:I think itís until the end of August or mid-August.

 

Bill Sasse:And just so this Board knows, Iíve had two people, not relatives, not neighbors or anything, that know Iím on Zoning and want to congratulate the Board on how nice the town looks and how well itís been taken care of.And I said you have to look to our beautification department too and the parks department for all that.I couldnít remember what itís called, I said Flo Hutton.

 

Don Wittman:CBA Ė Cortland Beautification Association.

 

Bill Sasse:Right.Two people have said how nice the town looks I just wanted to let everybody know that.

 

Scott Daffron:Do you remember the discussion we had on Turnberry about the lack of a cul-de-sac or lack of a temporary T?

 

Don Wittman:Yes.


Scott Daffron: Do we know anything there?

 

Don Wittman: That thereís not one there.

 

Scott Daffron:I mean I donít know, I was just trying to remember the discussion on it.

 

Don Wittman:I think thatís one of the sins of the past administration that couldnít be readily addressed without the city honing up and paying for it.

 

Scott Daffron:Because they basically accepted the road? Is that what weíre saying?

 

Don Wittman: Yes.

 

Scott Daffron:Even though it wasnít up to the ordinance?

 

Atty. Patrick Wilson:It happened a few times in the past.

 

Don Wittman:And then if you notice where we have the ones on Copperlake East and West, we have the temporary cul-de-sacs placed in there.

 

Scott Daffron:Right.

 

Don Wittman:With the dedicated right-of-way at least.

 

Scott Daffron:It was just brought to my attention again over the weekend and I knew we had discussed it but I couldnít remember where it stood.Anything else?Yes.

 

Jerry Carleton:Iím Jerry Carleton, I have a piece of property in Cortland located at 419 S Mecca.I was under the understanding that it was zoned commercial, but in talking to Don I found out it is zoned service right now.

 

Don Wittman: Service which is a designation of the commercial zoning.

 

Jerry Carleton:We are looking to do some multi-family on that piece of property.If in fact it were zoned highway commercial I would not be sitting here talking to you regarding that because in that case I would be allowed to do something under that highway commercial zoning.Because it is a different zoning than what I thought it was now I have to come before you and I just want to make you aware that in other cases in other cities, if in fact I am doing something under the zoning that Iím in now I would not have to come before anyone to do something at a lower zoning than it is zoned now.This process means that now I have to go through probably a four month situation to drop down in zoning from where I am now.Right now I can go in there and put a McDonaldís in I can put in a number of things in that in fact would not be pleasing to a lot of people.But now I have to go through that total process simply becauseÖmaybe you can explain it to me why there are two different zones in that situation and why you need them.Can you tell me that Don?

 

Don Wittman: Well as we discussed there are communities that employ pyramid zoning in which Industrial Zoning would be at the top of the pyramid and then Commercial on down to Residential. So if you fallÖyou can not go down the pyramid but you can go up.So you could put a residential neighborhood in an area thatís zoned Industrial.You canít put an industrial park in an area thatís zoned Residential.Thatís pyramid zoning.However, the City of Cortland has strict zoning classifications where the use must meet that classification.

 

Scott Daffron:And rezoning will be even stricter zoning.

 

Don Wittman:Right.So you can not build residential in an industrial zone or a commercial zone or even put commercial in an industrial zone.The Comprehensive Plan identifies areas that will be reserved for an industrial tax-base, a commercial tax-base and then you have the residential districts which would have the infrastructure, water, sewer, storm sewers to support that development.Itís just two ways of looking at the zoning classifications and how the use must meet that classification.Pyramid zoning is how it was originally developed, however, it seems like other communities are going to more where the zoning district controls the use of that land.

 

Charles Peck:Do we have any latitude whatsoever in a situation like that?

 

Atty. Patrick Wilson:No.

 

Charles Peck: I mean Iím not aware of any.

 

Atty. Patrick Wilson:No.

 

Scott Daffron:I think it actually prohibitsÖ

 

Atty. Patrick Wilson:Right.

 

Jim Chubb:I truly think that the pyramid isnít healthy for our little town.You know a guy builds a house down here and then next to him a McDonaldís goes through you know I just donít think that all works out.

 

Jerry Carleton:It may not work out Jim, I understand.I mean this happened before when in fact Repphun wanted to build a development, 10 single family homes and he knew and everyone that was going to be involved knew that in fact there was industrial/commercial beside him.It was not one of these, Iím surprised later that this happened.Even withÖ

 

Don Wittman: And he had no problem with it.

 

Jerry Carleton:He had no problem with, you guys did.You wouldnít let him do it.

 

Jim Chubb: It wasnít zoned like that?

 

Jerry Carleton:It was zonedÖ

 

Don Wittman:It was zoned industrial.It was a vacant property with Delphi.

 

Scott Daffron: We were looking at buffer zones and different issues with that.

 

Jerry Carleton:But those from what I am saying is, that in fact, those people that were going to put them on the edge of the development they were going to buy the lots, were aware of that situation.

 

Scott Daffron:I mean by our decision this board nor the city ordinances, basically weíre not promoting residential sitting beside industrial. Thatís really what that means, with the lack of buffer and I canít remember the exact details, that was like 3 or 4 years ago.

 

Jerry Carleton:Itís might be longer than that.

 

Don Wittman:It was going on when I got here and Iíve been here six.

 

Jerry Carleton:I guess weíre going at the sharpest point of the pyramid when weíre talking Industrial, okay?Iím not in a situation where Iím Industrial.Iím in a situation where I have a lot of residential around me, there is, I touch a little bit on commercial with Lou Wollam but in most cases Iím surrounded by residential.Now if I go in there, and you want to make someone mad, then I go in there under the service zoning and do something that a lot of people will be unhappy with and I have the right to do it.

 

Jim Chubb:You do.

 

Jerry Carleton:But thatís not good for the community.

 

Jim Chubb: What gives you theright to do that if the zoning isnít.

 

Jerry Carleton:Iím zonedÖ

 

Bill Sasse:Heís zoned service.

 

Jerry Carleton:I can do whatever I want.

 

Atty. Patrick Wilson:But he canít do something less restrictive is what he is saying.

 

Jerry Carleton:Less restrictive and thatís what Iím saying to you that Iím within that piece of property Iím going to end up with a product that is going to be more conducive to that area than if I went in there and went under service and Don can give you a list of probably 30 to 50 things I can go in there and do.And thatís what Iím saying to you, is there an inequity here that maybe you want to look at, that allows you some latitude as Charlie said, that allows someone like myself to come in and do a more attractive situation within that zone.

 

Bill Sasse:Well I think Pat would have to answer that.

 

Atty. Patrick Wilson:What he is suggesting is changing the nature of the zoning ordinance.

 

Bill Sasse:Right.

 

Atty. Patrick Wilson:And I, I mean if thereís support for it, then it can be done.

 

Jerry Carleton: And thatís why Iím here.


Atty. Patrick Wilson:Right, thatís what heís proposing is, do we want to talk about it and see if thereís support for it.

 

Charles Peck:Itís not an unreasonable discussion item in my mind.That we can at least, at least a discussion item.

 

Jerry Carleton:Well because right now, Iím faced now with four months of going through this process, where I call someone in and we have to call all the property owners in, say are you happy with this?They would be crazy not to say yes.

 

Atty. Patrick Wilson:To change the rules of the zoning board anyways you need that much time.

 

Jerry Carleton:No, Iím not asking, Iím just saying, Iím presenting to you for future reference are we stepping on some toes here?

 

Atty. Patrick Wilson:Do we want to look at a pyramid scheme?

 

Jerry Carleton:Thatís right

 

Don Wittman:Being with the education background youíre trying to enlighten the board of the inequities that the current zoning places on developers.††† We did discuss, I did provide Mr. Carleton with a zoning classification change form so that will be on our next meeting.So we will have an agenda item next meeting.†† Weíll set the public hearing for September.

 

Scott Daffron:We have done things just recently and one of them was bringing in annexed property under a different classification.

 

Don Wittman:And that goes back to the map and us needing to update the map.I think back in í95 is when they created the zoning classifications because before then, I think everything was pretty much residential multi-family unless it was zoned single family or commercial and in í95 the classifications were adopted at which point everything that was commercial was pushed into service district and not a lot of thought was given to, okay, the downtown fits Central Business, letís do Central Business. I know we talked about it a little bit as far as going in and doing an overhaul of the Comprehensive Plan, where you go down High Street and make that Highway Commercial, so that when you do have residential, you have a mix of residential and commercial, instead of, okay hereís a residential non-conforming use within a Service District.It just makes things cleaner, neater and then you donít get into any enforcement issues of sayÖif one of those homes goes to a business, and now they canít go back to residential?

 

Scott Daffron:Probably one of the biggest things weíve been hammered on though is multi-family residential over the past 10 years or whatever.

 

Jerry Carleton:Well the first one I did in town I did get hammered, because no-one understood what we were doing when we built Woodland Trace.On the second, third and fourth we didnít have problems because people knew what we were doing and said they looked at our product before and we cleaned up a lot of issues.We cleaned up some lots.We cleaned up a lot of water issues that the city faced for years, because we did retention on our properties prior to a lot of rules and regulations for detention.And weíve maintained that within our developments.And I think that anyone within those, around those areas that we built, donít have a problem.I donít think you get reports of problems with crime, or all the other things they reported we were going to be faced if in fact we built these communities.All Iím saying is that I think there is an inequity regarding what I am faced with now, by going under the standard by which I am now zoned and in a situation that in fact more people are going to be happy with when I down-zone to a multi-family situation.†† Iím just presenting it to you to maybe look at and maybe give it some thought in the future.

 

Atty. Patrick Wilson:Jerry, did you talk to Curt at all?

 

Jerry Carleton:No, I talked toÖDon and I met today and we talked a little bit in the past, butÖ

 

Atty. Patrick Wilson:He might be somebodyÖyou could have a discussion with him too before the next meeting.

 

Bill Sasse:Thank you we appreciate the input.The next step is probably to take a serious look at going over all of this and see what we can come up with.We have run into this problem before on 305.

 

Scott Daffron: That was an issue with a variance.

 

Bill Sasse:Right.

 

Scott Daffron:And it took them so much time to turn it around that it fell apart.

 

Bill Sasse:Right, but it could have been nasty.

 

Scott Daffron:So that was a little different.

 

Don Wittman:We have cleaned that up through the annexation ordinance.

 

Scott Daffron:Right.

 

Bill Sasse:Right.

 

Don Wittman:So thatís new property coming into the city but then thereís also the (inaudible) on the owner to know what the property is zoned and what the intended use is.

 

Bill Sasse:Right and then they can come before the board and (inaudible)

 

Jerry Carleton:Iíve owned this property long enough to go through the change that went through so at one time with the zoning the way it was I did not have to go through what we have to go through now, I could simply go in there and do what I wanted to do.Which weíve talked about that, I mean, literally there was some question about a restaurant on top of the hill and thatís been some time ago and thereís also been talk about multi-family.

 

Bill Sasse made a motion to adjourn, seconded by Jim Chubb.ROLL CALL:Jim Chubb, yes; Scott Rowley, absent; Bill Sasse, yes; Scott Daffron, yes; Charles Peck, yes.MOTION APPROVED.

 

Meeting Adjourned: _7:25 p.m.

 

 

____________________††††††† ___________†††††† __________________

Scott Daffron, Chairman†††††††††††††††† Date†††††††††† Dee Daniels, Secretary