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May 7, 2014 ZBA Minutes

Regular Meeting
Town of Watertown Zoning Board of Appeals
May 7, 2014

Members Present: Bob Wormwood, Chairman
Brandon Cooney
Mike Dulmage
Fred Lanham
Matt Porter

Mr. Wormwood called the regularly scheduled meeting of the Town of Watertown Zoning Board of Appeals to order at 7:00 p.m.

Motion 15-14: Motion by Mr. Porter, seconded by Mr. Dulmage to accept the minutes of the April 9, 2014 meeting as written and distributed.

Ayes All: Motion Carried.

Variance Request

Valentine Store, Inc. (Nice N Easy) – Corner of NYS Route 12F & Corner of Salmon Run Mall Road – An amended request for four variances for proposed signage.

Pat Scordo, GYMO, Steven J. Primo, Harris Beach, and Ed & John Valentine were present.

The board reviewed the amended variance requests and proposed plans of the amended variance request of the height and square footage of the proposed signage. The four variance requests were for:

1) An area variance for the square footage of the face of the sign greater than 150 square feet.
2) An area variance for height greater than 20′
3) An area variance to permit a 3 Pole section mounted sign instead of a monument style sign.
4) An area variance of 12′ for the setback from the lot line.

Motion 16-14: Motion by Mr. Lanham, seconded by Mr. Wormwood to deny the variance requests by Valentine Stores, Inc. (Nice N Easy) for four variances for proposed signage at the Corner of NYS Route 12F & Salmon Run Mall Road.

The board was individually polled:

Mr. Cooney – Voted – Nay to variance request 1, 2 & 3

It affects the future vision of the Town of Watertown, other methods are available for advertising, the variance requests are substantial, and the situation was self created because it was the applicant’s responsibility to make sure that all permits were in place. Mr. Cooney is not opposed to the request of a 12’ setback if the proposed signage met zoning requirements.

Mr. Porter – Voted – Nay to variance request 1, 2 & 3

There are other means to advertise, the variance requests are substantial and not in character with the Town’s vision. Mr. Porter is not opposed to the request of a 12′ setback, however, he does not believe that the setback request would mean anything without the approval of request 1, 2 & 3.


Mr. Wormwood – Voted – Nay to variance request 1, 2 & 3

All requests are substantial as they are asking to raise the norm by an extremely large margin. The amended request asks for 300% on the height increase and an approximately 70% increase in square footage. The proposed location of the signage at the southeastern corner is asking for an 80% setback reduction. The 12′ setback is minimum and would only be granted for a 20’ sign that meets zoning requirements. He agrees with Mr. Cooney that the situation was self created; proper approvals were not received by all involved agencies prior to planning the project which is the sole responsibility of the applicant and their agent. He also agrees that the benefits sought can be achieved by other feasible means such as placard on DOT signs, rental of billboards, as well as an on-site sign that complies with zoning regulations. He believes that approval would set a precedent as there are ten (10) other businesses in the area that have complied with signs that meet zoning regulations.

Mr. Dulmage – Voted – Nay and agrees with comments made by fellow board members.

Mr. Lanham – Voted – Nay and agrees with comments made by fellow board members.

Ayes – 0
Nay – 5: Motion Carried.

Mr. Primo asked if there is any height or square footage in excess of zoning regulations the board would consider.

Board members stated that they based their decision on the 5 criteria for area variances and are not amendable to compromise that is not consistent with the Town’s vision.

New Business

Mr. Wormwood announced that he asked Mrs. Desormo from the Town Clerk’s Office to contact Joseph Meyer, 22129 Floral Drive, Tax Map #82.07-1-1.2 to have him appear at the June meeting of the Zoning Board of Appeals.

The zoning board opened a public hearing on October 9, 2013 for a use variance request for an outdoor wood burning boiler by Mr. Meyer and left it open pending a review of regulations on the use of outdoor wood burning boilers by the Town of Watertown Planning Board for possible changes. The Zoning Board of Appeals needs to bring Mr. Meyer back and make a decision on his use variance request.
Motion 17-14: Motion by Mr. Lanham, seconded by Mr. Cooney to adjourn the meeting at 7:20 p.m.

Ayes All: Motion Carried.

Susan Burdick

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