Town of Watertown Zoning Board of Appeals
July 2, 2014
Members Present: Bob Wormwood, Chairman
Mr. Wormwood called the regularly scheduled meeting of the Town of Watertown Zoning Board of Appeals to order at 7:00 p.m.
Motion 18-14: Motion by Mr. Lanham, seconded by Mr. Cooney to accept the minutes of the May 7, 2014 meeting as written and distributed.
Ayes All: Motion Carried.
Joseph Meyer – 22129 Floral Drive – Tax Map #82.07-1-1.2 – Use Variance for
Outdoor Wood burning Boiler.
Mr. Wormwood re-opened the public hearing for Joseph Meyer originally opened
October 9, 2013.
Ken Decker, Decker Heating & Construction, read a statement regarding the changes
made to outdoor wood burning boilers and why the Town of Watertown should change
their zoning regulations and review the Overlay District to allow the use of outdoor wood
burning boilers. A copy of his statement is on file in the Town of Watertown Clerk’s
Loren Boliver, Contractor for Mr. Meyer, stated that the Zoning Officer for the Town of
Watertown issued a permit but never mentioned that a zoning permit was needed for an
outdoor wood burning boiler.
Mr. Meyer stated that he is frustrated with the whole situation. He never purposely tried
to break zoning regulations. The outdoor wood burning boiler was installed and he used
it for two years before he was notified by the Town of Watertown Zoning Officer that it
was in violation of zoning regulations.
He attended numerous meetings and spoke with town and county officials trying to
educate everyone on the efficiency of his outdoor wood burning boiler versus an indoor
wood furnace (which is allowed).
Mr. Meyer strongly believes that this situation was not self-created. He believes that the whole situation could have been avoided from day one had everyone been doing their job. He believes that fault should be shared by both the Town of Watertown Zoning Officer and Jefferson County Codes. If they were doing their job, he would have found out about the zoning requirements from day one. He also cannot understand how Jefferson County Codes could issue him a Certificate of Occupancy and not ask to see a zoning permit. He believes that he was failed by the system and all parties involved should share in the fault.
He waited for the Town of Watertown Planning Board to review the regulations on
outdoor wood burning boilers in hopes that they would change them to allow the use of
his outdoor wood burning boiler in the Overlay District at his residence on Floral Drive.
He is disappointed that the planning board decided to leave the Overlay District and Codes as it stands with a minor modification to setback requirements. He feels the decision was based on opinion’s of board members and aesthetics and not what is best for the environment.
Mr. Meyer may hire an attorney and take legal action against the Town if a variance is
not granted because he feels that it is unfair to lay blame solely on him as property
owner. The Town of Watertown Zoning Officer and Jefferson County Codes are also to
blame. Mr. Meyer stated that this problem was not self-created and the Zoning Board of
Appeals should grant him the Use Variance he is requesting.
The public hearing was closed at 7:50 p.m.
Mr. Wormwood noted, for the record, that Bina West, 20642 NYS Route 12F, spoke on
October 9, 2013 the date the public hearing was first opened in opposition to this
The board stated that although they sympathize with Mr. Meyer ultimately it is the
property owner’s responsibility to make sure all codes are met. Mr. Decker, who sold
the stove, knew that the Town of Watertown had restrictions on outdoor wood burning
boilers. Mr. Boliver, the contractor, should have checked to make sure that all zoning
requirements were met.
Motion 19-14: Motion by Mr. Lanham, seconded by Mr. Porter to deny the Use Variance request by Mr. Meyer.
The board was polled:
Mr. Wormwood – No – The problem was self-created and the board cannot allow this use in the Overlay District.
Mr. Lanham – No – The problem was self-created
Mr. Porter – No – The problem was self-created.
Mr. Cooney – Abstained
Mr. Dulmage – Abstained
Nay – 3
Abstention – 2: Motion Denied.
Motion 20-14: Motion by Mr. Lanham, seconded by Mr. Cooney to adjourn the meeting at 7:55 p.m.