Skip Navigation
Welcome to Glenville
Town Links
Quick LInks

This table is used for column layout.




MEETING MINUTES
MEETING MINUTES


Town of Glenville Open Space Committee
 Meeting Minutes
May 4, 2006

Attending Committee members:  Al Haugen, Dorothy Hickok, Ray Koch, Stanley Lee, Larry McArthur, Michael Pileggi, Mike Sheppeck, Don Snell, Hank Stebbins, Mike Sterthous, Mark Storti, Harry Willis

Also attending:  Val DiGiandomenico (Town Councilwoman/Liaison), Mike Burns (Planning Dept.), Kevin Corcoran (Planning Dept.)


·       The meeting began at 9:00 a.m.  Introductions were made by those attending.

·       Kevin Corcoran distributed an Open Space Committee “roster” containing names of those appointed by the Town Board to the Committee (27 members), as well as those appointed to the nine-member Steering Committee. Committee members asked that additional contact information be added to the roster (i.e. address, phone number, and e-mail).  The Town Board has deferred to the Committee to select its own Chairman and Deputy-Chairman.  This should occur soon; at the next meeting, or perhaps the meeting following.   

·       A handout detailing the Committee’s mission statement, activities, reporting responsibilities, etc., as determined by the Town Board, was then distributed. Also discussed were quarterly progress reports to the Town Board, to be given by the Chairman, Deputy Chairman, or Planning staff.  

·       Planning staff then distributed a list of publicly-owned open spaces within the Town. Ownership of these parcels is by the Town, County and/or State.  Kevin noted that approximately 1,025 acres of open space is publicly-owned in Glenville, which amounts to 3.28% of Glenville’s total land area.

·       It was noted that the list of publicly-owned open spaces did not include the Village of Scotia, since the Town does not have jurisdiction over the Village relative to zoning and land use.  Members felt we should reach out to the Village to see if they would be willing to participate with the Town anyway.  Kevin will contact Mayor McLaughlin to see if the Village would be interested.  Also, it was stressed that Glenville needs to involve its neighbors (i.e. Clifton Park, Ballston, Charlton, etc.) as we progress our Open Space Plan.  We need to know what our neighbors are doing relative to open space planning, too; particularly Clifton Park, who has adopted an Open Space Plan.

·       Mike Burns then made a Power Point presentation showing various open space resources located within Glenville.  The photos covered both publicly and privately-owned open spaces of varying types (i.e. parks, preserves, stream corridors, wetlands, schools, cemeteries, historic sites, pocket parks, stormwater management areas, etc.).

·       Kevin then circulated a handout illustrating common elements of an open space plan.  A discussion followed about how many of these elements are of relevance to Glenville.  In particular, Kevin asked if a build-out scenario and fiscal analysis is necessary, or whether this would need to be as detailed as it is in some other communities’ plans.  Consensus is that we can’t ignore build-out and fiscal analyses, since these would add legitimacy to the Plan.  However, perhaps we only need to touch on these topics in a general manner (i.e. cite studies that show that low density single-family development costs more to service than it does to leave land undeveloped).  

·       Discussion then moved on to public input.  How do we gather public comments?  Do we prepare and circulate a survey?  When should we seek initial input?  It was determined that a written survey has merit.  Councilwoman DiGiandomenico asked if the survey could be included as an insert with our pending Glenville Newsletter.  The consensus is that we should seek public input fairly frequently, and that we should seek early input, before we start to assemble the Plan.

·       It was felt that we should use the Town’s website to post meeting dates, minutes, data, maps, and perhaps the survey.  Also, meetings are open to the public.  We should set aside time in the beginning of each meeting to solicit comments from the public, if members of the public are in attendance.  Harry Willis noted that the Committee’s meetings should be posted/advertised ahead of time.      

·       The Committee then discussed how often we should meet, when, and where.  Given that some people can’t make daytime meetings, and others may have conflicts in the evenings, it was determined that we should alternate between daytime and evening meetings.  In general, the Committee will try to meet every other week.  The next meeting of the full Committee is Thursday, May 18th at 9:00 a.m.  The Committee also scheduled a public input/hearing for Monday, June 19th at 7:00 p.m.  Both meetings will take place in the courtroom of the Municipal Center.  There was also a sentiment that the Steering Committee should meet between the May 18th and June 19th meetings.

·       Prior to the May 18th meeting, Planning staff is to assemble examples of key elements of other communities’ open space plans, including goals, ranking/scoring methodology, community surveys, etc.  Staff will also identify applicable open space goals and objectives from the Town’s Comprehensive Plan.

·       The meeting was adjourned at 10:40 a.m.

Submitted by Mike Burns and Kevin Corcoran





Town of Glenville Open Space Committee
 Meeting Minutes
May 18, 2006

Attending Committee members:  Dan Grzybowski, Al Haugen, Barbara Jefts, Ray Koch, Stanley Lee, Clarence Mosher, Jack Osterlitz, Mike Sheppeck, Don Snell, Hank Stebbins, Mike Sterthous, Mark Storti

Also attending:  Val DiGiandomenico (Town Councilwoman/Liaison), Mike Burns (Planning Dept.), Kevin Corcoran (Planning Dept.)


·       The meeting began at 9:00 a.m.  Introductions were made by those attending.

·       The minutes of the May 4, 2006 meeting were accepted as written.

·       K. Corcoran distributed a map entitled “Environmental Features – Town of Glenville.”  This map identifies various natural resources that may be worthy of special consideration in our pending open space plan.  Elements on the map include New York State wetlands, flood plains, streams, agricultural districts, aquifer recharge areas, etc.  The Committee members reviewed the map, and determined that other elements should be added to the map.  Some of these other items include slopes in excess of 15%, all agricultural lands (not just those in agricultural districts), cemeteries, school properties with open space/recreation facilities, scenic county highways, the proposed greenbelt that would connect Indian Meadows Town Park with the Indian Kill Nature Preserve, the old trolley line that runs north from the hamlet of Alplaus area into Saratoga County, etc.  The map will be amended and will be on display at the June 19th public information meeting.

·       The Committee then looked over three examples of open space questionnaires/surveys that were distributed last week to help in the preparation of a survey for Glenville.  Of the three surveys distributed, members felt that the Lower Gwynedd Township example is closest in format and length to what Glenville wants to produce.  The Committee also borrowed a bit from the Town of Ogden’s survey.  With some modifications, additions and deletions, the Committee assembled a survey for Glenville.

As for distribution of the survey, the Committee recommended that the survey be added to the Town’s website to allow people to complete it on-line.  It was also recommended that the survey be distributed as in insert in the pending Town Newsletter.  It was also suggested that we ask the Glenville Weekly if they would insert our survey into an issue of their newspaper.  

·       Kevin then handed out two examples of open space “scoring”/ranking criteria from the Towns of Warwick and Upper Makefield.  The members were asked to review these two examples and be prepared to discuss at the Committee’s next meeting.  
·       The discussion turned to the pending public information meeting to be held on Monday, June 19th at 7:00 p.m. at the Municipal Center.  Kevin distributed a flier that was drafted to announce the meeting.  The members liked the flier.  The Planning Department will make a minor modification or two to draw more attention to the meeting date and location component of the flier.  

It was suggested that the public information meeting announcement be posted on the Town’s website.  We should also contact the Daily Gazette, Spotlight, and perhaps television outlets to announce the meeting.  Staff will also post the flier at the library, post office, stores, and other public places that provide community bulletin board-type displays.  It was suggested that someone contact Rotary about posting the meeting announcement on Rotary’s sign along Route 50 in front of the First National Bank of Scotia.

Councilwoman DiGiandomenico offered to place a couple of signs in the ground – similar to political sign placement – in a couple of high traffic locations.  Some members questioned the aesthetics of such a sign.

·       The next item discussed was selection of a Committee Chairman and Deputy Chairman.  Following brief discussion and acceptance, Mark Storti was selected as Chairman, with Don Snell and Mike Sterthous chosen as Co-Deputy Chairmen.
 
·       The next meeting of the Committee will take place on Thursday, June 8th at 9:00 a.m. in the Municipal Center courtroom.  

·       The meeting was adjourned at 11:05 a.m.

Submitted by Kevin Corcoran



Town of Glenville Open Space Committee
 Meeting Minutes
June 8, 2006

Attending Committee members:  Diane Berning, Dan Grzybowski, Al Haugen, Barbara Jefts, Ray Koch, Clarence Mosher, Jack Osterlitz, Michael Pileggi, Mike Sheppeck, Don Snell, Hank Stebbins, Mike Sterthous, Mark Storti, Harry Willis

Also attending:  Val DiGiandomenico (Town Councilwoman/Liaison), Mike Burns (Planning Dept.), Kevin Corcoran (Planning Dept.), Jim Creighton (Planning Department)


·       Chairman Storti called the meeting to order at 9:02 a.m.  Introductions of those in attendance followed.

·       The minutes of the May 18, 2006 meeting were accepted as written.

·       The Committee turned its attention to the community survey/questionnaire.  Kevin noted that a number of suggestions were provided by Committee members since the May 18th meeting, but not all the suggestions could be accommodated because the survey would have become too lengthy.  Some of the discussion today focused on what constitutes “small,” “medium” and “large” open spaces; how to distinguish conservation easements from a purchase of development rights program; “active” vs. “passive” recreation; asking survey takers to voluntarily provide their names and addresses; the desire to include an explanatory article in the pending Glenville Newsletter to provide background on the survey, which will be included in the Newsletter, etc.  Kevin will make a few minor modifications to the draft survey, per recommendations of the Committee, and forward the final version to all Committee members.     

·       The Committee offered suggestions on how the June 19th public meeting should be formatted.  Mark Storti agreed to Chair the meeting, with assistance from Kevin on the Power Point presentation.  Mark noted that good attendance on the part of Committee members would be appreciated.  

There are two primary purposes of the June 19th meeting.  One is to inform the public of the Committee’s mission and progress to date.  The second is to solicit input from the public to determine if there is support for the preservation of open space, and if there is, to learn what the public believes the focus of the Committee should be.

The meeting, which will be held in the Municipal Center Court Room, will start at 7:00 p.m., and wrap up no later than 8:30 p.m.  The presentation part of the meeting should last no more than ½ hour, thereby leaving ample time for public input.  The tentative agenda is as follows:



1.      Introductions and Background
2.      Presentation on Existing Open Spaces in Glenville
3.      Open Space Questionnaire
4.      Mohawk-Hudson Land Conservancy Community Partnerships
5.      Questions and Answers

·       Mark Storti highlighted some of the additions to the Environmental Features map.  He noted that slopes in excess of 15% have been added, as have active farms not located in an agricultural district.  Mark also noted that some of the mapping layers need to be converted to transparent so that underlying features don’t get hidden.  Items to be added include Hoffman’s Fault (map to be provided by Hank Stebbins), and “public” cemeteries (i.e. not family plot cemeteries).  

The Environmental Features map will serve as a backdrop to the meeting on June 19th, illustrating the types of resources and features that the Committee considers “open space.”  It was suggested that several copies of the map be on display on the 19th.

·       Focus then shifted to the subject of open space property ranking/prioritization.  Examples of ranking systems were provided from the Towns of Warwick, Haycock, and Upper Makefield.  Hank suggested three broad categories of open space; Ecological, Recreational, and Cultural.  The Committee members then identified types of open spaces that fall under each category.  

It was noted that subcommittees could be established to tackle these three elements.  The particulars of subcommittees will be addressed at a future meeting.

Also discussed was whether the Committee is going to evaluate or “score” every property in Town with this system.  There was general sentiment that no, we’re not going to evaluate every parcel, but rather, overlays of these features will be superimposed on a property map (more than likely just an expanded version of the Environmental Features map).  Properties with multiple features, or with particularly critical features (i.e. the aquifer recharge zones), will likely “score” the highest, and therefore be given higher priority for preservation.

The Committee asked Planning staff to develop a scoring/ranking system based on what was discussed today relative to ecological, recreational, and cultural features.  Kevin will circulate a draft for consideration at the first meeting after the June 19th public meeting.

·       Discussion then turned to future meetings.  Several in attendance suggested that the Committee hold meetings in the evening to accommodate members of the Committee who can’t miss work to attend a daytime meeting.  Kevin noted that seven of the nine Steering Committee members have regularly attended the daytime meetings, but that two Steering Committee members have difficulty in attending daytime meetings.  Judy Rightmyer, in particular, has asked that the Committee hold evening meetings.

With this in mind, the next meeting of the Committee – following the June 19th public information meeting – will take place on Thursday, June 29th from 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the Glenville Senior Center.  

·       The meeting was adjourned at 10:35 a.m.



Submitted by Kevin Corcoran



Town of Glenville Open Space Committee
 Public Information Meeting
June 19, 2006

Committee members in attendance:  Diane Berning, Dan Grzybowski, Al Haugen, Dorothy Hickok, Dan Hill, Barbara Jefts, Hugh Jenkins, Ray Koch, Stanley Lee, Jack Osterlitz, Michael Pileggi, Mike Sheppeck, Don Snell, Hank Stebbins, Michael Sterthous, Mark Storti, Harry Willis

Town officials in attendance:  Frank Quinn, Town Supervisor, Kevin Corcoran, Town Planner, Michael Burns, Planner I, Bob Kirkham, Highway Department, Norm Hagen, Highway Department

Residents/landowners in attendance:  
Megan Allen                             
Ed Baker                                
Mel Banker                              
Lisa Burton                             
Robert Clark and family         
Pat Culhane                             
Jim Edwards                             
Nancy Edwards                   
David Greenwood                 
Sally Greenwood                 
Jan Hagen                               
Paul Hubel                              
Sarah Hubel                             
Audrey Hughes                   
Tom Kudlacik                            
Kathy Less                              
Reggie Less                             
Dorie McArthur                  
Garry Packer                            
Ron Pucci                               
Dale Purvis                             
Don Reid                                
Kailyn Sheppeck                 
Frank Winters                           
Donna Wojcik                            
Marjie Zielaskowski                     

Others in attendance:  Mary Martialay, Daily Gazette

Another six to eight people attended but failed to sign in.  

·       Chairman Storti called the meeting to order at 7:05 p.m.  Introductions of the Open Space Committee members followed.  Mr. Storti also recognized Town Supervisor Quinn and Town Planning staff.
Page 2


·       Mr. Storti offered an observation from his childhood; about how easy it used to be to walk a significant distance to go fishing without being confronted with development.  Now it is not so easy, as open space has been steadily lost to development.  Mark then discussed the agenda for this evening, noting that feedback from residents and landowners is very important as this will help shape the open space plan.

·       Kevin Corcoran then made a Power Point presentation showing photographs of existing open spaces in Glenville; both publicly-owned open spaces and privately-held.  Mr. Corcoran’s presentation also detailed the mission and tasks of the Open Space Committee, as well as a timetable for preparation of the Plan.

·       Mark Storti then took a few minutes to go over the open space questionnaire that was handed out this evening.  The Town will also be distributing the questionnaire in the next issue of the Glenville Newsletter, which will be mailed out within a couple of weeks.  For those in attendance this evening, Mark suggested that they return the questionnaire to the Town within two weeks.  The Town will place a box for completed questionnaires at the counter of the main office at Town Hall.

There were a couple of questions from the audience about particular wording of certain
questions, but it was decided that the questionnaire will remain unchanged, as it has been
revised many times to this point.  

·       Mike Sterthous followed Mark Storti’s discussion on the open space questionnaire by detailing the mission of the Mohawk-Hudson Land Conservancy (MHLC), formerly known as the Albany County Land Conservancy.

The MHLC acquires property through purchase for conservation purposes.  Currently the MHLC has 1,100 acres in its possession in the Capital District.  The Conservancy also acquires conservation easements, either through purchase or donation.  The MHLC is currently working with two Glenville property owners, in the Wolf Hollow area, to secure conservation easements on portions of their properties.  Mr. Sterthous sees other opportunities in Glenville.  The fact that Glenville is putting together an Open Space Plan will assist the MHLC in evaluating acquisition or easement opportunities as they arise in Glenville.

The MHLC acts as the steward of the conservation easements that they secure.  The organization monitors properties on a yearly basis to make sure that conditions of the easement are being met.  

The New York State Legislature just passed a law that will, for the first time, provide a tax credit to those that opt to place their land in a conservation easement.  The tax credit program amounts to a 25% property tax refund.  This incentive should foster voluntary open space preservation efforts statewide on the part of landowners.



Page 3


Mr. Sterthous acknowledged that the acquisition of land by conservancy organizations results in properties being taken off the tax rolls.  But it was also noted that it
cost more to service sprawl than would be received in property tax revenue.  

·       Mr. Storti then highlighted the elements of the “Environmental Features” map.  This map identifies properties and areas that possess qualities that make the areas well-suited for preservation.  Some of the features include parks, preserves, wetlands, floodplains, steep slopes, aquifer recharge areas, and farms.  

Mark then asked the audience if there were other features that should be added.  The Ski Ventures ski area off of Johnson Road and the sledding hill adjacent to the Glendale Nursing Home on Hetcheltown Road were both mentioned.  These will be added to the map, which will be displayed in the lobby of Town Hall, and hopefully on the Town’s website.  

·       Mr. Storti then opened up the floor to those with suggestions and/or questions.  The following is a summary of questions/comments and responses:


An attendee asked how the MHLC decides what properties should be preserved.  Mr. Sterthous answered that the Conservancy has developed criteria for evaluating and ranking properties, much like what the Town is doing in crafting their evaluation/ranking system.  Some of the criteria include the development threat to the property, adjacency to existing parks/preserves, and viewsheds.  Mr. Sterthous also noted that the MHLC doesn’t accept all donations or purchase offers, in part because not all properties score well, and the fact that funding is limited.

A question was posed whether Glenville was looking at its neighbors as it develops its open space plan, with the suggestion that Glenville needs to be in synch with our neighboring towns.  Mr. Storti noted that we have looked at our neighbors to a degree.  We are aware of Clifton Park’s open space plan.  We will also find out what is occurring in Ballston, Charlton, and Amsterdam.

A question was posed about wetlands, given today’s (or yesterday’s?) U.S. Supreme Court decision that has somewhat called into question what constitutes a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (A.C.O.E.) wetland.  It was then pointed out that the Environmental Features map only shows New York State Freshwater Wetlands, namely because A.C.O.E. wetlands aren’t mapped.  Consequently, the Supreme Court decision doesn’t have much bearing on the Open Space Committee’s work.  The Committee will have to address how we should deal with A.C.O.E. wetlands.  

Another individual asked if the Town’s leaders are on the same page as the Open Space Committee.  In other words, will there be support for the open space plan once it is released?  Mr. Storti indicated that we really don’t know yet.  But, the Town Board appointed the Committee and established its mission.  The next step is for the Committee to develop criteria to determine what properties are best-suited for preservation.  
Page 4


One of the attendees pointed out that the MHLC isn’t the only entity that can work with landowners to preserve land.  Is the Town going to look at other conservancies and additional incentives?  Also, the Town needs to make an effort to assist landowners in conserving land.  The burden can’t be entirely on landowners; there has to be contributions from the Town as well.

Similarly, it was suggested that the Town shouldn’t ask people to preserve open space and then hit the landowners with a high property assessment.  There has to be recognition on the Town’s part that there is value in preserving land.  Assessments should reflect the fact that the land can not be developed.


With no more questions, Mr. Storti noted that there will be several more meetings over the next 12 to 18 months where the Town will be soliciting public comments on our open space plan.  He then thanked everyone for attending.  

The meeting adjourned at 7:54 p.m.



Submitted by Kevin Corcoran





Town of Glenville Open Space Committee
 Meeting Minutes
June 29, 2006

Attending Committee members:  Dan Grzybowski, Al Haugen, Dan Hill, Barbara Jefts, Stanley Lee, Larry McArthur, Don Snell, Hank Stebbins, Mark Storti, Harry Willis

Also attending:  Ruth Bailey, Mike Burns (Planning Dept.), Bob Kirkham, Eleanor Marks


·       Chairman Storti called the meeting to order at 7:06 p.m.

·       The minutes of the June 8, 2006 meeting and June 19, 2006 public information meeting were accepted as written.

·       Committee members asked if the Glenville Newsletter had been distributed containing the Open Space - Community Survey/Questionnaire. Mike Burns said that the Newsletter has not been finished and was unsure of the publication and distribution schedule, but he would check its status and provide committee members with an update. Brief discussion followed about the importance of distributing the survey/questionnaire to inform citizenry and obtain adequate feedback. Members suggested contacting Supervisor Quinn to impress upon him the value of the survey. It was also suggested that additional survey/questionnaire forms could be left on the counter in the Municipal Center for the public to use.     

·       In general, committee members were pleased with both the turnout for the initial public information meeting and the comments, suggestions and questions offered by the public. Mark Storti noted the geographic distribution of residents recorded in the minutes suggesting the importance of involving citizens on a town-wide basis.  

·       Chairman Storti initiated discussion of a proposed minor (2-lot) subdivision of the Coton property located on Ridge Road. Mike Burns stated that the application is fairly simple. Mr. Coton wants to divide his 79 acre parcel into two lots, one just over 4 acres in size surrounding his home; the remaining 75 acres would be placed for sale. The significance of this proposal is that the western boundary of the Coton parcel is immediately adjacent to Sanders Preserve, representing both an opportunity and potential threat to existing open space resources. Committee members discussed methods of protecting the Sanders Preserve from encroaching development including:

1.      “Floating” buffer zones.
2.      Purchase of a portion of the property by the town.
3.      Dedication of land or easements by the present or future owner.
4.      Payment of a recreation fee in lieu of land dedication.

A suggestion was offered that the Open Space Committee should obtain or develop information for land owners to advise them of conservation options, should they choose not to sell, but preserve their property.

·       Chairman Storti initiated review of the Draft Open Space Ranking Criteria. From the previous meeting, it had been suggested that subcommittees could be established to identified types of open spaces that fall under one of three broad categories: Ecological, Recreational, and Cultural.  Volunteers were assigned to each of the subcommittees. Tentatively the assignments are:  

1.      Ecological – Don Snell.
2.      Cultural/Historic – Stanley Lee, Harry Willis, Barbara Jefts.
3.      Recreational – members to be named at a later date.      

Detailed review of the Draft Open Space Ranking Criteria followed. Several minor changes were proposed which and are summarized below:

1.      Definitions of Significant Plant and Animal Habitat are needed.
2.      “Unique” Geological Resources should be defined.
3.      Historic Sites should be added under the heading “Historic Significance.”
4.      Eliminate “Agricultural district” criterion.
5.      Points should be increased to 3 for “active farm outside an agricultural district” and “prime agricultural soils.”
6.      Consideration of a category and point score for “undeveloped lands.”
7.      Increase points for “Adjacent to Public Parks or Preserves” to 4.
8.      Define “viewsheds.”
9.      Add “hillsides” to “Viewsheds” category along with ridgelines and hilltops, and increase points to 3. Also increase point score for “Property is part of a significant viewshed” to 3.
10.     Add Mohawk River viewsheds with a point score of 3.
11.     Add “waterways” to adjacent to “proposed greenways or linkages.
12.     A final category should be added for “Recreational Use/Access.” Categories are to include hiking, biking, skiing; hunting, fishing; organized sports; and boating access.

The Committee asked Planning staff to revise the scoring/ranking system for review at the next meeting.

The next meeting of the Committee will take place on Thursday, July 13th at 3:00 p.m. at the Glenville Municipal Center, Glenridge Road.  

·       The meeting was adjourned at 8:35 p.m.



Submitted by Michael Burns



Town of Glenville Open Space Committee
 Meeting Minutes
July 13, 2006

Attending Committee members:  Dan Grzybowski, Al Haugen, Ray Koch, Stanley Lee, Jack Osterlitz, Mike Sheppeck, Don Snell, Hank Stebbins, Mark Storti

Also attending:  Val DiGiandomenico (Town Councilwoman/Liaison), Ruth Bailey, Bob Kirkham, Eleanor Marks, Mike Burns (Planning Department), Jim Creighton (Planning Department)


·       Chairman Storti called the meeting to order at 3:05 p.m.

·       The minutes of the June 29, 2006 meeting were accepted as written.

·       Committee members were informed that the Glenville Newsletter was finished, and was to be sent to the printer within a week. It would be distributed to households upon return from the printer. Survey forms are due August 25, 2006. Additional survey forms are available at the counter in the Municipal Center.   

·       Following Committee recommendations made at the previous meeting, Planning Department staff revised the scoring/ranking system for potential open space resources. Chairman Storti initiated review of the Amended Draft Open Space Ranking Criteria. Two additional revisions were suggested:

1.      Working Landscapes and Farms – It was suggested that woodlots (mature forested lots) of 20 acres or more should receive consideration in addition to Forestry property tax exempt parcels which are larger than 50 acres. This new category would receive a ranking of 3.
2.      Recreational – It was decided unanimously that all categories should receive a ranking of 3.
3.      Airport Runway Protection Zones – This category was eliminated following discussion and a unanimous vote of the Committee. The major reason because Runway Protection Zones are regulated by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), and are not likely candidates for development.  
4.      Viewsheds – The term “gateways” should be added to this category with a ranking of 1.  
5.      Adjacency to Linear Features – A suggestion was made to define the term “adjacent.” However, no definition was proposed.

A Committee member suggested that there may be significant smaller “urban” parcels worthy of protection, which the present ranking system will not detect as noteworthy. Planning Department staff was asked to develop a new category for these potential areas. An example discussed at length was the former gasoline station site on Saratoga Road/Route 50, directly in front of Price Chopper Plaza, that was recently reclaimed and landscaped by the town.

·       Committee members then reviewed a selection of potential open space resources to “test” the Draft Open Space Scoring System. The results of which pointed to the following;
1.      Worksheets of each parcel’s tabulation should be set aside for later verification should discrepancies arise;
2.      A system of definitions should be produced to define what a particular score actually means;
3.      The ranking system can produce misleading results for some worthy parcels. The example of the Scotia Sand & Stone parcel was cited as a stunning example. Its score was only 5 yet it nearly surrounds the Village of Scotia’s drinking water source.

·       Stanley Lee distributed and summarized efforts of the Cultural/Historic subcommittee (report is attached). Don Snell mentioned the Ecological subcommittee could use additional members. The Natural Heritage Program still has not provided requested information about endangered species and ecologically significant sites within or adjacent to the Town. They need to be contacted again.

·       A handout from Saratoga Plan’s website was available for review. The material referenced an introductory soft covered book published by the Land Trust Alliance entitled “Conservation Options: a Landowner’s Guide,” available for $10. The material was made available in response to a Committee suggestion that information should be provided to landowners to advise them of the conservation options available to them, should they choose not to sell, but preserve their property.

A second handout was available from Saratoga County’s “Green Infrastructure Plan.” It illustrated the interconnectivity of the Town’s Open Space efforts with the communities surrounding Glenville.

·       The next meeting of the Committee will take place on Thursday, July 27th at 9:00 a.m. at the Glenville Municipal Center, Glenridge Road.  

·       The meeting was adjourned at 3:55 p.m.



Submitted by Michael Burns



Town of Glenville Open Space Committee
 Meeting Minutes
July 27, 2006

Attending Committee members:  Dan Grzybowski, Al Haugen, Barbara Jefts, Ray Koch, Stanley Lee, Jack Osterlitz, Mike Sheppeck, Hank Stebbins, Mike Sterthous, Mark Storti

Also attending:  Henri Plant, Val DiGiandomenico (Town Councilwoman/Liaison), Jim Creighton (Planning Department), Kevin Corcoran (Planning Department)


·       Chairman Storti called the meeting to order at 9:07 a.m.

·       The minutes of the July 13, 2006 meeting were accepted as written.

·       A general discussion concerning the open space parcel scoring system was initiated.  Members discussed ways in which properties that form open space clusters and linkages can be given extra attention.  Large contiguous parcels were viewed as being highly desirable open space formations.  Several additional properties were recommended for scoring.

·       The committee discussed the advantages of forming 500-acre areas of open space.  Such areas could be offered to the NYSDEC for purchase.  These lands would generate taxes for the town from the NYSDEC.

·       Concern over the impact of open space restrictions on land value and development was raised.

·       Sub-Committee Report:

Mr. Stebbins’ subcommittee recommended that a scoring system be put in place for properties abutting open space areas; such as those around the Coton property.  The subcommittee also stressed the importance of an open space map highlighting areas of particular importance.  The role of the GECC in mitigating impacts with the use of open space regulations was discussed.  The subcommittee also suggested that open space plan areas be delineated on the town’s GIS system.  Land conservation “buffer-zones” were suggested to further protect sensitive areas.  The subcommittee recommended the creation of an “Open Space Cookbook.”
·       Kevin Corcoran briefed the committee on the “Empowering Communities” grant that the Town recently received, in partnership with the New York Planning Federation.  The grant is funded by the Schenectady Foundation, and its purpose is to assist the Town in preparing a transfer of development rights program.  Kevin noted that the Village of Scotia is also a co-applicant/recipient.  Mr. Corcoran explained the concept of transfer of development rights, and how it is just one tool for open space preservation, albeit a fairly complex tool.  The grant amounts to $25,000, of which $12,000 will go to the Planning Federation to assist the Town and Village, and another $12,000 for a consultant to assist the Town and Village.

·       Mr. Corcoran defended the inclusion of the airport protection zones in the open space scoring system.  It was found that the inclusion of the airport protection zones would aid the County in securing FAA funding in the event there was a desire to acquire ownership of critical zone properties.

·       The committee recommended checking Saratoga’s Open Space Plan to determine if they included any special provisions for its airport protection zones.  Mike Sterthous will also check his resources to determine if other communities have incorporated runway protection zones into their open space plans.  

·       The committee also recommended examining open space plans in neighboring communities and ultimately holding a meeting with neighboring community officials to discuss open space planning.  This meeting was suggested for October.  In the meantime, it was suggested that Glenville notify our neighbors to let them know that we are preparing an open space plan, and to ask for copies of their plans, if they have prepared any.

·       The progress of the Glenville Newsletter was discussed.  The Newsletter, including the open space survey, should be distributed in early August.  

·       The committee was told that a quarterly report would need to be made before the Town Board at the Board’s September 13th work meeting.  Mr. Storti encourage committee members to attend that meeting.

·       The next meeting of the Committee will take place on Thursday, August 17th at 9:30 a.m. at the Glenville Municipal Center, Glenridge Road.  

·       The meeting was adjourned at 10:16 a.m.



Submitted by James Creighton and Kevin Corcoran



Town of Glenville Open Space Committee
 Meeting Minutes
August 17, 2006

Attending Committee members:  Charlie Beers, Diane Berning, Dan Grzybowski, Al Haugen, Stanley Lee, Clarence Mosher, Don Snell, Mark Storti, Harry Willis

Also attending:  Val DiGiandomenico (Town Councilwoman/Liaison),  Jim Creighton (Planning Department), Kevin Corcoran (Planning Department)


Chairman Storti called the meeting to order at 9:35 a.m.

The minutes of the July 27, 2006  meeting were accepted as written.

Kevin summarized a new map entitled Open Space Regions that the Planning Department prepared at the request of the Committee at their July 27th meeting.  The map shows areas where there is a cluster of environmental features; where there should be a greater focus on open space preservation.  

Seven areas were identified: Hoffmans Fault; West Glenville; Sanders Preserve; Indian Meadows; Van Vorst Road; Alplaus Kill; and Mohawk River.  Several suggestions were made for revising the boundaries of a few of these areas.  Of particular note is the expansion of the West Glenville zone northward to the Town boundary.

The Committee also suggested three new regions:  Aquifer Protection Zones; Indian Kill Greenway; and Horstman Creek.  Planning staff will make the changes and present the revised map at the next Committee meeting.  

Mark Storti then noted that the Town recently received a letter from the NYSDEC Natural Heritage Program regarding rare and endangered species that may be present in Glenville.  The letter was distributed to the Committee.  Don Snell, who made the initial contact with the Natural Heritage Program, summarized NYSDECs letter and findings.  In short, there is only one plant species of note; specifically, the Side-oats Grama plant, considered endangered in this area.  The last report on this plant species occurred in 1998.  

A map was also included with the letter identifying areas to consider for rare plants and natural communities.  Many of the rural areas and stream corridors in Glenville were identified on the map.

This is helpful information as subdivision applications are considered by the Town.  Regarding the Side-oats Grama plant habitat, the Open Space Plan should generally refer to this habitat, but do so in a general manner so that the exact location of the plant habitats cant be identified, since NYSDEC considers this information sensitive.  Don Snell will check with Nicholas Conrad of the Natural Heritage Program to verify what the Town can and cant reveal about the information provided in the letter.

Harry Willis summarized the Open Space Plan Implementation Subcommittees Draft Discussion Paper.  The Subcommittees paper included a restating of the purpose of the Towns open space planning process; various implementation strategies or tools that a municipality can use to preserve open space; a summary of the Towns existing Land Conservation Zoning District regulations; a proposed Land Conservation Buffer Zone district and regulations; a brief assessment of conservation easements; an d an excerpt of the recently passed New York State conservation easement tax credit.  The five-page draft paper was distributed to the Committee for digestion.  The Subcommittee will fine-tune their recommendations as needed.

Stanley Lee then offered a report of the Historic Resources Subcommittee.  The Subcommittee identified their mission as aiding the Town in recognizing, conserving, and preserving its historic, cultural, and scenic heritage, which includes homes, churches, schools, cemeteries, special historic areas, and archeological sites.  Other items discussed included creating a list of properties; identifying areas of special historic interest (i.e. West Glenville and Alplaus hamlets, Route 5 corridor, Sacandaga Road); identifying ways to protect the uniqueness of these resources and areas; and making contact with Town Historian Szablewski to obtain a list of properties from the Glenville Historic Property Inventory.  

Mr. Lee asked the Committee if his subcommittee should be involved with scenic and special viewsheds, as they do in Malta.  The Committee felt this goes beyond the purview of the Historic Resources Subcommittee.  Mark Storti suggested formation of another subcommittee to address scenic views/vistas.       

Kevin informed the Committee that notifications were sent out to our neighboring municipalities in early August.  The purposes of the notification were to make our neighbors aware of our efforts, to determine if our neighbors have prepared open space plans or if they are in process, and to see if neighboring municipal representatives would be receptive to meeting with us in the fall.  So far, we have only heard back from Clifton Park.  Clifton Park does have an open space plan, and they would be more than willing to share their experiences with Glenville.

It was noted that the Glenville Newsletter, which includes the open space survey, has been mailed out to Glenville property owners.  Some residents have already received the Newsletter.  The deadline for residents dropping off or mailing in the survey is Thursday, August 31.

Kevin then handed out another map that identifies the properties that have been ranked to date, including the score of these properties.  Copies of the scoring table were also distributed.  Kevin asked where we are going with the scoring.  Should every property in Glenville be scored and ranked?  Should we continue to score new properties that appear to be valuable for open space?  

The Committee feels that we should continue to rank properties as time permits, but to focus on properties within the Open Space Regions, as identified on the map that was distributed earlier in the meeting.  Also, the scoring system should be adjusted slightly to assign five points - instead of the current four points for properties that are adjacent to existing parks and preserves.  Planning staff will make this adjustment and rank some additional properties, and then provide an update at our next meeting.    

In summary, tasks for the next meeting include:  revising the Open Space Regions map by expanding the West Glenville area and by adding three additional areas as noted previously; amending the scoring system by bumping up the value of properties adjacent to parks and preserves from four points to five points; scoring additional properties within open space regions; and offering a preliminary summary on open space surveys received from residents.

Mark Storti reminded the Committee that he will be presenting the Open Space Committee progress report to the Town Board  on Wednesday, September 13.  

The next meeting of the Committee will take place on Tuesday, September 19 at 9:30 a.m. at the Glenville Municipal Center, Glenridge Road.  

The meeting was adjourned at 11:00 a.m.



Submitted by Kevin Corcoran




Town of Glenville Open Space Committee
 Meeting Minutes
September 19, 2006

Attending Committee members:  Charlie Beers, Diane Berning, Dan Grzybowski, Al Haugen, Barbara Jefts, Stanley Lee, Larry McArthur, Clarence Mosher, Jack Osterlitz, Mike Sheppeck,  Don Snell, Hank Stebbins, Mark Storti

Also attending:  Mike Burns (Planning Department), Kevin Corcoran (Planning Department)


·       Chairman Storti called the meeting to order at 9:32 a.m.

·       The minutes of the August 17, 2006 meeting were accepted as written.

·       The revised “Open Space Regions” map was distributed for review and feedback.  The map shows areas where there is a cluster of environmental features; where perhaps there should be greater focus on open space preservation.  Kevin highlighted the changes from the initial map (West Glenville region was expanded; Horstman Creek region was added; Indian Kill Greenway region was expanded to merge with the Indian Meadows region).  

The Committee suggested that the West Glenville region be expanded a bit to include the Crabb Kill where it crosses Sacandaga Road, all the way to the Schenectady/Saratoga County border, and also capturing the New York State wetland that straddles the stream near the border.  It was also suggested that the aquifer protection regions be expanded so that they cover zones 1 and 2 (wellhead protection zone and primary recharge zone), and not just zone 1.  Planning Department staff will make these changes to the map.

·       Mark Storti noted that the two-lot subdivision of the Coton property on Ridge Road, adjacent to Sanders Preserve, was approved earlier this month by the Planning and Zoning Commission.  The approval was conditioned upon the fact that if the remaining 75-acre “parent” parcel is to be subdivided in the future, the Town will be looking to acquire a 500-foot buffer along the Sanders’ boundary.  This could be in the form of a conservation easement, outright acquisition, or some other preservation tool.  

Jack Osterlitz noted that there are a number of properties adjacent to Sanders Preserve where new housing could creep up against the Preserve’s boundaries.  We need to advance the open space plan so that we have protections in place before additional subdivision applications surface.   

·       Stanley Lee summarized the Historic Resources Subcommittee’s report which was handed out at the meeting.  Since the last meeting, Stan contacted the Schenectady County historian, Town of Charlton historian, Schenectady Heritage Foundation, the Stockade Association, and the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation (SHIPO).  Stan inquired about the role of historic commissions, the particulars of historic districts, and the process for inclusion on the State and National Register.  Stan noted that having a local historic commission in place is extremely helpful if a community or individuals wish to have properties included on the State and National Register.  

To be included on the State and National Register, properties/buildings must exemplify a significant historic theme and possess integrity of location, design, setting, materials, workmanship, feeling, and association.  Benefits of being on the Register include widespread recognition, the raising of community awareness and pride in its past, possible qualification for tax credits and grants, and a measure of protection against adverse effects on the property.  

Many municipalities possess historic landmark ordinances that designate local historic landmarks, often including the establishment of a historic commission, with review procedures.  Several scattered sites throughout Glenville would likely qualify as important local landmarks.  Further, the hamlets of West Glenville and Alplaus could possibly qualify as historic districts.

Barbara Jefts contacted Joan Szablewski, Glenville Historian, and brought back a great deal of information on notable Glenville sites.  Barbara looked over reports on 24 houses, plus various other sites, cemeteries, and early schools.  There are a number of photographs, both old and new, documenting these sites.

·       Charlie Beers briefly summarized the activities of the Environmental Subcommittee.  He contacted Supervisor Quinn about the Intermunicipal Watershed Rules and Regulations, which serve to protect the Great Flats Aquifer from contamination.  Glenville, Niskayuna, Rotterdam, Schenectady, and Scotia all adopted the regulations in the early 90s.  Mr. Quinn characterized the regulations as being strong, but enforcement/fines are weak (i.e. only a $250 fine for violating the aquifer regulations).  There is a pending meeting with local and county officials to determine how teeth can be added to the regulations.  

There was a brief discussion about the recent establishment of a construction and demolition landfill off of Barhydt Road.  This violates the Watershed Rules and Regulations.  Kevin noted that the Watershed Rules are part of the Town’s Zoning Ordinance, and that the Supervisor is seeking to apply the stiffer penalties that are authorized by the Town’s Zoning Ordinance in this instance.

It was noted that railroads represent the most significant threat to our aquifer, since there are active rail lines that run right through Glenville’s well field and adjacent to Scotia’s well field.  A derailment and subsequent chemical spill could be devastating to the Town’s or Village’s water supply.

As an aside, Charlie noted that the parsonage in West Glenville on the corner of North Road and West Glenville Road will be razed within a month or so.  He checked into what it would cost to relocate the building, but it was cost-prohibitive.  If anyone wants to immortalize the parsonage, they should take pictures within the next week or two, before it’s gone.


·       Kevin distributed the preliminary results of the open space survey.  As of last week, approximately 460 completed surveys had been returned.  Of those who returned the surveys, 416 were in favor of the Town developing a plan to preserve its open space, with only eight (8) being opposed.  The other 36 didn’t answer this question.

It was noted that residents in the Amsterdam zip code (12010) area of Glenville were accidentally omitted from the mail distribution list for the recent Glenville Newsletter, in which was inserted the survey.  Blank surveys have since been dropped off at the West Glenville Fire Department for residents to fill out and return if they choose.  The Town will also be mailing the survey to those residents who were omitted from the previous mailing, and both Charlie Beers and Paul Borisenko, Building Inspector, are providing blank surveys to some West Glenville-area landowners.

The Committee then briefly looked at the numerical results of the survey.  It’s pretty apparent that the majority of people who responded support open space preservation, with varying levels of support for preservation techniques.  The only preservation strategy that was rejected by the majority of survey respondents was the idea of increasing taxes to raise money for the purchase of key open space properties.  

Kevin noted that the final tally won’t occur until October, after West Glenville residents are given an opportunity to respond.  The final tally will include a percentage breakdown for all responses as well as a narrative interpretation of the results.  

A discussion followed concerning a letter to the editor that appeared in today’s Daily Gazette.  The letter writer was critical of the survey and of Kevin, asserting that the 4% response rate renders the survey meaningless, and that the 11,000+ who haven’t responded are likely opposed to open space preservation and the use of additional land use regulations to protect open space, despite the fact that 81% of those who responded were supportive of amending land use regulations to preserve open space.  Those in attendance felt that the Committee should submit a response letter to the Gazette, provided Supervisor Quinn and/or the Town Board supports a response.  Mark Storti will contact the Supervisor and/or Councilwoman/Committee Liaison DiGiandomenico.  Kevin will write the response letter for Mark’s review and signature.    

·       A map and narrative were then handed out summarizing information compiled by Vincent Schaefer in 1983 about notable historical, archeological, scenic, and geologic sites in Glenville.  Hank Stebbins brought this information to the Committee, noting that Mr. Schaefer possessed a vast knowledge of important local sites.  This information could be lost if not perpetuated through documentation and acknowledgement by entities such as the Open Space Committee.  Many of these sites have merit with respect to open space preservation.

Kevin took Mr. Schaefer’s hand-written map and transposed it to GIS format.  He also organized and cleaned up the site descriptions narrative.  Mark suggested that the map and site descriptions be added to the County’s on-line GIS (Schenectady Internet Mapping System [SIMS]).  Hank will speak with Jeanette Schraeder and perhaps Joan Szablewski to verify that the locations and descriptions are accurate.  Also, additional features may be added, including sites noted in the Glenville History publication by Percy Van Epps.

The final map and narrative should be included as an addendum to the Open Space Plan.  

·       In terms of the Committee’s next tasks, Kevin offered to prepare an outline for the Open Space Plan, which would be reviewed and modified at the next meeting.  The sense of the Committee is that we have pretty much concluded our data gathering, and that it’s time to start working on the plan itself.  

It was also noted that we had hoped to have representatives from Clifton Park and possibly other neighboring municipalities join us for a meeting in the fall so that we might benefit from what they have learned.  Clifton Park is the only municipality who responded to our inquiry.  It was felt that an entire meeting in the near future be dedicated to a discussion session with Clifton Park representatives.

·       Barbara Jefts noted that there is an upcoming one day seminar at Columbia-Greene Community College on the topic of farmland preservation.  Kevin will forward Barb’s e-mail detailing the seminar to Committee members.

·       The next meeting of the Committee will take place on Thursday, October 12 at 9:30 a.m. at the Glenville Municipal Center.  

·       The meeting was adjourned at 10:40 a.m.



Submitted by Kevin Corcoran


Town of Glenville Open Space Committee
 Meeting Minutes
October 12, 2006

Attending Committee members:  Dan Grzybowski, Al Haugen, Barbara Jefts, Stanley Lee, Jack Osterlitz, Mike Sheppeck, Don Snell, Hank Stebbins, Mark Storti, Harry Willis

Also attending:  Jim Schaefer (guest speaker), Steve Fragale (Glenville resident), Val DiGiandomenico (Town Councilman/Liaison), Mike Burns (Planning Department), Kevin Corcoran (Planning Department)


Chairman Storti called the meeting to order at 9:35 a.m.

The minutes of the September 19, 2006 meeting were accepted as written.

At the invitation of Hank Stebbins, Jim Schaefer was in attendance to highlight some of the work of his father, Vince Schaefer.  Vince Schaefer is the gentleman who prepared the hand-written 1983 map, along with notes, detailing various geologic, historic, and scenic features of Glenville.  

Jim noted that his father was an avid outdoorsman/naturalist, who befriended farmers and landowners throughout Glenville and the Rotterdam hills, which helped Vince develop a vast knowledge of the history and features of these areas.  Jim noted that during his childhood, he  and his father trekked across the Glenville hills, Rotterdam hills, the Helderbergs, and the Adirondacks, pretty much on a weekly basis.

Vince had other interests as well, having founded the Atmospheric Sciences Research Center at SUNY Albany and having been an early pioneer in cloud seeding.

Jim then discussed the Long Path, another area of interest of his father.  The Long Path currently runs from the George Washington Bridge in New York City to Thacher Park in Albany County.  Jim is one of several people proposing an extension of the Long Path all the way to the top of Whiteface Mountain.  Part of the Path would pass through West Glenville.  

Admittedly this is an ambitious project that would necessitate a great deal of the Path to be along existing roads.  Fortunately, GPS readings have already been taken for most of the landmarks that would lie along the proposed extended route.   

Regarding the Committees work on the Schaefer Map and the data that supports the map, Jim offered his assistance, as well as the files prepared by his father.  However, he cautioned the Committee to be careful with the information so that the Town doesnt make it easy for people to pilfer resources from geologic and historic sites.  

Stan Lee updated the Committee on the status of the Historic Resources Subcommittee.

The Subcommittee met on September 27th and again on October 11th.  The group also made a presentation to the Alplaus Homeowners Association on October 4th.

The Alplaus group seemed interested in the State and National listing.  They gathered contact information from Stans Subcommittee and will pursue this subject on their own.  The Alplaus Association is not interested in additional regulations on their property, as is the case in Schenectady.

Dan Grzybowski has begun sorting through the various sources of information on historic properties that have been gathered to date.  The idea is to condense everything into one list, and then to identify the properties by tax map numbers and to assemble photographs of the sites.  

It was suggested at the last meeting that the Subcommittee develop a white paper to identify programs and resources to assist in developing a master list of historic Glenville properties.  The Subcommittee has opted instead to use references and Q & A forms from New York State, one of which was handed out at todays meeting.

Stan has spoken to James Jamieson, Chairman of the City of Schenectadys Historic Commission.  Stan was given a copy of Schenectadys zoning regulations that address historic districts and the citys Historic Commission.  For planning/zoning applications involving property within historic districts, the Historic Commission has a formal review role prior to the Planning Board conducting their review.

Stan condensed the 15 pages of regulations down to three pages, but he will make the longer version available to anyone desiring a copy.      

Kevin then handed out a draft outline of the Open Space Plan.  The draft reads as follows:

Town of Glenville Open Space Plan Outline

I.      Introduction
What is open space?
Why do we want to preserve open space?
The benefits of open space

II.     Summary of Public Input
Community open space questionnaire
Public information meetings

III.    Open Space Inventory
Publicly-owned open space
Environmental features
Natural, scenic, and historical features
Open space areas

IV.     Goals and Objectives

V.      Open Space Candidate Areas
Scoring system
Prioritized candidate areas

VI.     Open Space Plan Map

VII.    Implementation Strategies
Zoning techniques
Land conservation zoning
Planned unit development
Site plan approval
Overlay districts
Subdivision regulations
Cluster development
Conservation subdivision design
Deed restrictions
Land set-aside
Tax benefit options
Conservation easements
Agricultural districts
Forest tax law
Transfer of development rights
Land donation
Land acquisition
Fee simple
Purchase of development rights

VIII.   Funding Options

Appendices:
                Appendix A        Town Board resolution forming Open Space Committee
                Appendix B        Open space questionnaire tabulations and comments
                Appendix C        Open space scoring system
                Appendix D        Glossary

There was a bit of discussion about the outline, with the consensus being that we are at the  point where we should schedule another public information meeting/hearing.  The first week in December is our target date.   

We should advertise this meeting widely, with a notice on our website, publication in the Glenville Weekly, an article in the Daily Gazette, and perhaps an announcement on the Rotary sign in front of First National Bank.  

There was also discussion that a dog and pony show should be created for presentations in various locations throughout Town, with West Glenville and Alplaus being obvious locations for a presentation.  It was also suggested that fliers be created and hand-delivered to key locations throughout town.

The next meeting of the Committee will take place on Thursday, October 26 at 9:30 a.m. at the Glenville Municipal Center.  The Committee will work on establishing goals and objectives at this meeting.   

The meeting was adjourned at 10:55 a.m.



Submitted by Kevin Corcoran


OPEN SPACE SURVEY RESULTS

CLICK BELOW







Town of Glenville Open Space Committee
 Meeting Minutes
October 26, 2006

Attending Committee members:  Dan Grzybowski, Al Haugen, Barbara Jefts, Ray Koch, Stanley Lee, Clarence Mosher, Jack Osterlitz, Mike Sheppeck, Don Snell, Hank Stebbins, Mark Storti,

Also attending:  Steve Fragale (Glenville resident), Kelly de la Rocha (Glenville resident), Kevin Corcoran (Planning Department)


Chairman Storti called the meeting to order at 9:40 a.m.

The minutes of the October 12, 2006 meeting were accepted as written.

Kevin distributed the final tally of the open space questionnaire results.  An additional 45 or 50 surveys were returned to the Town after the subsequent hand-delivery and mailing to West Glenville residents.  

The additional survey results didnt change the overall tone of the results as a whole.  Kevin did note that the responses from West Glenville did reflect a bit more of a preservation of property rights mindset than the overall responses.  Still, those who responded from West Glenville were also strongly in favor of open space preservation

Kevin will put together a narrative that characterizes the survey results.  Hes not sure how to summarize all of the written comments that were received, however.  Both the numerical survey results and the narrative will be included in the Open Space Plan.   

(Following the meeting, Kevin determined that 473 people returned a survey.  The tallies for the various questions dont add up to 473, nor are the totals consistent from question to question, because not everyone who responded answered all of the questions.  In fact, there were a few who didnt answer any questions, choosing instead just to offer written comments.)

While going over the survey results, there was a brief discussion whereupon Hank Stebbins noted that single-family residential growth is a tax drain.  It cost more money to service new homes than is collected in property tax revenue.  Although it seems counterintuitive, open space preservation actually saves money.  This point needs to be made to both the public and the Town Board, who will eventually be asked to adopt the Open Space Plan .  

The group turned its attention to articulating goals and objectives for the Open Space Plan.  It was suggested that a number of the goals outlined in the Towns Comprehensive Plan (1990) could and should be listed as goals in the Open Space Plan.  
For example, here are two goals identified in the Comprehensive Plan that can be inserted into the Open Space Plan.

        Promote land uses that enhance the existing development pattern, while
        providing opportunities for future development consistent with the
        carrying capacity of natural resources and the ability to provide services.

                                             and .

        Preserve and enhance the natural and cultural features of the community
        that form its unique qualities.

There was consensus that we should borrow some of the goals from the Comprehensive Plan.  There was also consensus that protection of the aquifer should be a high priority goal of the Open Space Plan.  The survey results back this up strongly.

The preservation of rural West Glenville is also another obvious goal that needs to be articulated in the Open Space Plan .  This led to a discussion of possible zoning recommendations for the rural portion of town.  Mark Storti inquired about the possibility of larger minimum lot sizes.  Kevin noted that larger lot sizes dont necessarily preserve open space.  Instead, you end up with large homes on large lots spread all over the landscape.  Even minimum lot sizes in the 5 to 10 acre range does not necessarily translate to preservation of rural character, especially if youre looking at 10 new homes plopped down in what was once a farm field.

Mark then raised the possibility of draconian zoning measures such as 40-acre minimum lot sizes.  There is a 42-acre minimum lot size requirement in certain areas of the Adirondack Park.  Feedback on this was mixed.  

The group also discussed clustering and conservation design subdivision as two tools for preservation of rural character.  It was correctly noted, though, that clustering wont necessarily work in rural areas because of the space and separation that is needed for septic systems and wells.  Clustering may work on the fringes of growth areas where public water is often available, but it may not be feasible for most of West Glenville.  

It was noted that were drifting away from establishing goals and focusing on action items or recommendations instead.  We need to flesh out the goals of the Open Space Plan first.   

In consulting the survey results again, it was suggested that the results particularly those of question #3 be used as guidance to articulate many of the Open Space Plan goals.  The results of this question confirm that there is a strong desire to preserve streams, wetlands, flood plains, wildlife habitats, farmland, scenic views, etc.   

The group asked Kevin to draft goals for the next meeting.  Perhaps we can set up a flip chart at the next meeting spelling out the various goals, and then fill in objectives and action items for each goal.
Hank reminded everyone that this evening Dr. Gary Kleppell, a biology professor at SUNY Albany, will be giving a speech from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at the Senior Center on the subject of rural preservation.  Subtitled death by 1000 cuts, Dr. Kleppels presentation will cover some of the open space tools that we have discussed (i.e. transfer of development rights and conservation subdivision design).  Hank noted that only three Glenville representatives have signed up to attend tonight.  He urged all Committee members to make the presentation if they can.

The next meeting of the Committee will take place on Thursday, November 16th at 9:30 a.m. at the Glenville Municipal Center.  

As for the next public information meeting, Kevin is going to check on the availability of the Senior Center for the evenings of the first two Tuesdays and Thursdays of December.

The meeting was adjourned at 10:50 a.m.



Submitted by Kevin Corcoran


Town of Glenville Open Space Committee
 Meeting Minutes
November 16, 2006

Attending Committee members:  Charlie Beers, Dan Grzybowski, Al Haugen, Barbara Jefts, Ray Koch, Stanley Lee, Clarence Mosher, Jack Osterlitz, Mike Sheppeck, Hank Stebbins, Mark Storti,

Also attending:  Steve Fragale (Glenville resident), Val DiGiandomenico (Town Councilman/Committee Liaison), Kevin Corcoran (Planning Department)


·       Chairman Storti called the meeting to order at 9:33 a.m.

·       The minutes of the October 26, 2006 meeting were accepted as written.

·       A recent Letter to the Editor that appeared in the Daily Gazette was distributed to the members.  The letter writer was lamenting the potential loss of open space and the sledding hill that would occur if the new Schenectady County Nursing Home was built adjacent to the Glendale Home, as currently planned.  

·       The Committee members then discussed the 12 goals that have been drafted for the Open Space Plan.  Several of the goals were revised a bit based on members’ input.  In addition, the members began identifying objectives for the goals.  Kevin will provide copies of the revised goals and objectives to everyone before the next meeting.  

·       One of the points of discussion with the goals relative to the desire to preserve the character of West Glenville is the question of what exactly constitutes “West Glenville?”  As noted in the draft goal, West Glenville is the area of Town west of Sacandaga Road and north of the Mohawk River.  Some may view West Glenville as the hamlet only.  Jack thought that West Glenville was previously defined as the area of Glenville west of Swaggertown Road.  Stanley suggested that the term “western Glenville” should be applied so that it’s not confused with the West Glenville hamlet.  In the end, the definition as drafted will be used, but slightly modified to read “the portion of Town generally defined, but not limited to, the area west of Sacandaga Road and north of the Mohawk River.”

·       The group turned its attention to the upcoming information meeting to be held on December 14th at the Glenville Senior Center.  The maps that have been prepared to date should be on display at the meeting.  Mark suggested that the chairmen of the three subcommittees offer a five-minute summary of their findings and recommendations to date.  Jack suggested that a handout be prepared summarizing the various land preservation options/tools that can be employed to preserve land.  Mark asked Hank to ask Mike Sterthous if he would briefly address attendees on the 14th about the various land preservation options/tools.  A quick summary of the draft goals should also be presented on the 14th.    

·       In terms of advertising the meeting, the usual means of notification (i.e. notice/article in the Gazette, notice in the Glenville Weekly, posting on the Town’s website, etc.) should be done for the meeting on the 14th.  

Everyone was in agreement that we should target owners of large properties with a
direct mailing, perhaps via a postcard.  Large landowners have the most at stake, since it is the development of large properties that would be most damaging in terms of sprawl.   

There was discussion about the threshold for large properties.  Should we target landowners with more than 25 acres?  10 acres?  Kevin will ask Rosalie Fahey, Town Assessor, to determine how many land holdings in Glenville exceed five acres.  If there are too many of these to allow for practical and quick notification, we will bump it up to 10 acres.     

·       The meeting was adjourned at 11:07 a.m.



Submitted by Kevin Corcoran


Town of Glenville Open Space Committee
 Meeting Minutes
December 7, 2006


Attending Committee members:  Charlie Beers, Dan Grzybowski, Ray Koch, Stanley Lee, Mike Sheppeck, Don Snell, Hank Stebbins, Mark Storti, Harry Willis

Also attending:  Steve Fragale (Glenville resident), Kevin Corcoran (Planning Department)


·       Chairman Storti called the meeting to order at 9:31 a.m.

·       The minutes of the November 16, 2006 meeting were accepted as written.

·       The Committee discussed the format and agenda for next Thursday’s (12/14) public information meeting, which will take place at 7:00 p.m. at the Glenville Senior Center.  Kevin distributed a tentative agenda for the meeting, which included a list of possible handouts and maps to be displayed at the meeting

·       The Committee then turned to the goals and objectives.  At the last Committee meeting, the group identified 10 different goals, as well as objectives for two of the goals.  Today the group refined the goals a bit, and eliminated one goal, making it an objective under another goal (“strategies to improve public access to the Mohawk River” was placed under the “protect, expand, and/or create active and passive recreational facilities/areas” goal).

·       The next regular meeting of the Committee will take place on Thursday, January 4th at 9:30 a.m. at the Municipal Center.

·       The meeting was adjourned at 10:59 a.m.



Submitted by Kevin Corcoran




Town of Glenville Open Space Committee
 Public Information Meeting
December 14, 2006


Glenville Town Planner, Kevin Corcoran, opened the public information meeting at approximately 7:10 P.M. welcoming attendees, making general housekeeping announcements and introducing Open Space Committee Chairman, Mark Storti.

Mr. Storti introduced members of the Open Space Committee attending, and reviewed the committee’s mission statement and tasks assigned by the Town Board.  A summary of draft goals, an “open space scoring system,” and list of publicly-owned open space in Glenville was shown in addition to other work completed by the committee to date. Background information was supported by numerous maps located around the meeting room (Publicly-Owned Open Spaces, Environmental Features, Natural, Scenic, and Historic Features (i.e. Schaefer Map) and Open Space Areas).  Results of the recent “open space survey,” distributed in the July/August edition of the Town of Glenville newsletter, were discussed briefly.  

An explanation was given for creating three subcommittees (open space planning strategies, environmental resources, and historic resources) and their pertinent areas of research. Each of the three subcommittees presented information relevant to their assigned area, beginning with Hank Stebbins and Harry Willis serving on the open space planning strategies subcommittee.  Some of the methods available for preserving open space in New York State include;

·       New York State’s new 25% conservation easement tax abatement program
·       Transfer of Development rights
·       Revision to zoning and subdivision codes
·       Official maps
·       Clustered subdivisions
·       Planned unit Developments
·       Incentive zoning.  

Environmental resources subcommittee members Don Snell and Charlie Beers discussed efforts to identify unique plant and animal habitats.  The critical nature of water resources was presented. Specifically, the town’s drinking waster resources and aquifer were highlighted. Reference was made to the Intermunicipal Watershed Board and its rules and regulations governing land use within aquifer protection zones of the Town.   

Historic resources subcommittee member Stanley Lee presented summarized the various historic resources (buildings, cemeteries, sites, etc.) in Glenville, noting that most are not officially recognized by listing on either the State or National Requester of Historic Places.  Mr. Lee discussed the difference between historic district formation and individual historic site nomination. He explained the benefits of inclusion on State or National Register of Historic Places and some of the common misconceptions concerning government regulation of National Register properties.  The process for nominating a property was detailed.  Finally, Mr. Lee emphasized the need to generate more public interest in Glenville for adding properties to the National Register.

Chairman Storti opened the floor to public comments and a questions and answers period (questions listed below).

·       How will additional Open Spaces/Greenspace be paid for?  Who will bear the burden of the extra cost(s)?
·       Is there political will and public backing/support to save (and pay for) open space preservation?
·       Can a surcharge be added to new property purchases in support of open space preservation? Can a bond be issued in support of open space preservation?
·       What is the anticipated impact upon those who presently own large tracts of undeveloped land?  What new regulations, costs, etc., will the landowners assume to preserve open space?
·       No additional costs should be borne by present landowners.  If people desire open space preservation, these people should purchase the land themselves.
·       Concerned with continual increase in property tax burden.  The increases make it difficult to retain the land in its undeveloped condition.  
·       Concerned about public water extensions into undeveloped areas, specifically Washout Road (the impact upon properties with large road frontage), and the resultant additional tax burden.
·       Mentioned the efforts underway to compensate agricultural landowners in Delaware County (NYC watershed area) for not developing their properties for residential or seasonal home purposes.
·       The added property tax burden and development potential associated with public water main extensions should be carefully considered before an extension receives approval.
·       Can property tax incentives/abatements be given for landowners who willingly preserve their land as open space?
·       Should “eminent domain” be regarded as an option for preserving open space?
·       Has the committee explored “Right to Farm Laws” as another option for preserving rural open spaces?
·       What is the significance of numerous “paper streets” through out the town?  Can these be linked together and preserved?
·       Has the committee reviewed successful open space plans from other municipalities?  Are there common landowner concerns?  What have other communities successfully implemented to address preservation and landowner reservations?
·       What are the true benefits of an “Official Map?”
·       What is the value of open space and a high quality of life?  Have studies been completed assessing this?
·       A “Cost of Development Study” is commonly used to assess the fiscal implications associated with new development.  Have any been reviewed by the committee?  Will a similar study be prepared for this open space planning effort?

Town Councilman Bailey suggested that the Power Point presentations be added to the Town’s website for public review, as well as the “Real Cost of Development” publication that examined the cost of residential sprawl in three Dutchess County towns.  Mr. Bailey also commented on the substantial amount of work completed to date but also acknowledged the need to reach consensus on key open space issues before the Town Board considers the plan.    

Being no further comments or questions, Chairman Storti thanked everyone for attending and adjourned the meeting at 8:48 P.M.  




Submitted by Michael Burns



Town of Glenville Open Space Committee
 Meeting Minutes
January 4, 2006


Attending Committee members:  Charlie Beers, Dan Grzybowski, Ray Koch, Stanley Lee, Michael Pileggi, Mike Sheppeck, Don Snell, Hank Stebbins, Mark Storti

Also attending:  Robert Van Flue (Glenville resident), Pete Goodall (Glenville resident), Valerie DiGiandomenico (Town Councilwoman/Liaison), Mike Burns (Planning Department), Kevin Corcoran (Planning Department)


·       Chairman Storti called the meeting to order at 9:36 a.m.

·       Mark shared two recent newspaper articles from the Daily Gazette and Times Union, featuring two West Glenville residents who recently entered conservation easements for portions of their property along Hoffman’s Fault.  A brief discussion followed concerning the importance of positive publicity and the effectiveness of informing additional landowners about their options for voluntary preservation.

·       The minutes of the December 7, 2006 meeting and the December 14, 2006 public information meeting were accepted as written.

·       Discussion began about the members’ thoughts regarding the recent (December 14th) public information meeting and comments offered by those attending.  The overall number of attendees (estimated at 160-170) was considered excellent. Positive attendance was attributed to direct mailing, potential controversy related to the topic, and general resident interest.  Direct mailing should be continued for future public information meetings/hearings.  A date for the next public information meeting was tentatively scheduled for sometime in April/May.  For that meeting, it was suggested that the committee should be prepared to address specific open space preservation alternatives for inclusion in Glenville’s pending Open Space Plan.  

·       Committee members reviewed the “Open Space Plan Goals and Objectives” handout.  Discussion ensued concerning the objectives as stated on the sheet beneath each goal. Members discussed the need for additional information about methods for funding open space acquisition.  They also discussed the concept of “carrying capacity of the land” and how to quantify or measure an area’s carrying capacity for development. This concept lead to discussion of utility extensions within the township and the process the community follows when considering a water or sanitary sewer main extension.  Although no conclusions were reached, it appeared that a majority of committee members favored no further extension of existing utilities beyond areas already served.  In fact, members considered the restriction on development used currently in the Town of Charlton, whereby development is restricted to lands where acceptable percolation test results can be achieved.  If percolation rates exceed 45 minutes, no development is permitted.  

Discussion then turned to availability of drinking water supply as a determinant of growth.  In this case, water production rates for individual drinking water wells were considered.  Mention was made to standards being utilized in neighboring Montgomery County where a yield of 6 gallons per minute or greater is required before a building permit can be issued.  Again, no conclusions were reached on the acceptability of using either of these measures as methods of preserving open space, or determining the carrying capacity of the land.  Added research is necessary before consensus can be reached.  Ray Koch will provide a copy of Charlton and Montgomery County’s standards to the Planning Department.    

·       Objectives listed for the water resources goal were considered.  Mention was made to implementing stream corridor buffers and no cutting/removal of vegetation restrictions along various water features (wetlands, ponds, streams, etc.).  A consensus wasn’t reached and the topic will be considered at a future meeting following additional research about the subject.

·       A brief discussion began about agricultural and forestry exemptions and the process for inclusion within these programs.  It was suggested that as a component of the town’s educational outreach for property owners, appropriate New York State web links would be incorporated on the town’s web page.  This would allow prospective owners considering these programs to obtain information at their leisure.

·       The final 5 goals and objectives were not reviewed due to time constraints. Discussion concerning revisions to the above measures and the remaining goals and objectives will be continued at the upcoming January 25, 2007 Committee meeting.  With no additional business to consider, Chairman Storti adjourned the meeting at 11:09 a.m.



Submitted by Mike Burns



Town of Glenville Open Space Committee
 Meeting Minutes
January 25, 2007


Attending Committee members:  Dan Grzybowski, Ray Koch, Stanley Lee, Clarence Mosher, Jack Osterlitz, Mike Sheppeck, Don Snell, Hank Stebbins, Mark Storti

Also attending:  Kathy Van Flue (Glenville resident), Robert Van Flue (Glenville resident), Peter G. Goutos (Glenville resident), Ruth Bailey (Glenville resident), Valerie DiGiandomenico (Town Councilwoman/Liaison), Kevin Corcoran (Planning Department)


·       Chairman Storti called the meeting to order at 9:34 a.m.

·       With four residents in attendance, introductions were made.

·       The minutes of the January 4, 2007 meeting were accepted as written.

·       The group began discussion on the goals and objectives.  Mark noted that Kevin e-mailed the changes/additions made at the last meeting.  

Kevin briefly discussed the mechanics of land conservation (LC) zoning as an open space preservation tool, noting that the Town could apply LC zoning to natural resources other than wetlands and floodplains; amenities such as steep slopes and wildlife habitat areas, for instance.  Mr. Van Flue was concerned that the application of LC zoning could limit the developability of his property.  He noted that there is wildlife everywhere.  Kevin pointed out that we’re just talking about areas that have been designated as wildlife habitat by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.    

It was suggested that a glossary of terms be included in the Open Space Plan, as well as a zoning map of the Town.  This will help people understand LC zoning and other conservation strategies, and it will allow readers to see where LC zoning has already been applied in Glenville.

Stan Lee and his subcommittee prepared several objectives to embellish the goal that calls for the preservation of historical sites and structures.  The objectives were fine-tuned a bit, and the Committee also recommended investigation of formation of historic district(s) in Town.

Mark suggested four or five new objectives under the protection/expansion of active/passive recreation goal.  The Committee was okay with the additions.

With many of the goals and objectives consisting of recommendations for action by the Town’s other commissions (mainly the GECC and PZC), Hank asked if there should be a chapter or section within the Open Space Plan dedicated specifically to recommendations for other commissions.  This was discussed a bit with no clear resolution.

Discussion then followed on the objectives involving the goal that calls for preservation and enhancement of key gateways to Glenville.  Kevin briefly discussed the Town’s existing zoning regulations for gateways, noting that these regulations should probably be clarified a bit.  There were no changes to this goal or the two companion objectives.    

·       Hank gave a brief update on the efforts of the Mohawk-Hudson Land Conservancy regarding the establishment of conservation easements in the Wolf Hollow/Hoffman’s Fault area.  It appears that the recent press on easements being applied to the Crauer and Schmidt properties has generated wider spread interest on the part of other landowners in that area of Glenville.  

·       Hank noted that there will be a conservation easement seminar at the Glenville Senior Center on Thursday, March 15th at 7:00 p.m.  The speaker will be Jerry Cosgrove, Northeast Regional Director of the American Farmland Trust.  This should be an interesting session focusing on the basics of conservation easements, benefits, and tax advantages.

·       Kevin briefed the Committee about a Glenville resident who is interested in bequeathing a 33-acre parcel and single-family home to the Town.  The parcel is located in the developed portion of eastern Glenville.  The property abuts one of the Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake School District properties.  The site includes a Class A trout stream, some steep slopes, and wetlands, with a portion of the property being used for farming.  The property ranks pretty high using our scoring system; 15 points, which places it 7th highest of the 50 properties that have been scored.  The Park Planning Commission has recommended acceptance of the property.  There seemed to be consensus on the part of the Open Space Committee members present for the Town to accept the property.  Glenville’s Town Attorney is looking into the legal particulars of this would-be donation.  

·       Mark asked Kevin if he would research the topic of municipalities adopting minimum standards for water yield/supply and soil percolation results as a determinant for building permit issuance.  Specifically, have our neighboring communities adopted standards that are stricter than State standards, and if so, what has been their experience?  

After the Committee’s last meeting, Ray Koch provided Kevin with two such examples from the Towns of Amsterdam and Charlton.  Charlton sets a soil percolation rate cap of 45 minutes for building permit issuance.  Also, Charlton does not permit any variances of this standard.  Amsterdam sets a minimum well yield of six gallons per minute in order for residential building permits to be issued.

Kevin noted that a similar approach in Glenville would represent a major change in policy, and he’s not sure if this would be supported.  In his opinion, setting standards that exceed State requirements could be viewed as a “back-door moratorium.”  
It was countered that the Committee is not necessarily recommending adoption of these standards, but rather that due consideration be given to this idea.  This topic evolved from earlier discussions on using the land’s carrying capacity as a means of establishing development density limitations.  

·       The Committee’s next meeting will take place on Thursday, February 15th at 9:30 a.m. at the Municipal Center.  Goals and objectives will be reviewed one more time and finalized at that meeting.  The Committee will also discuss Kevin’s findings regarding the establishment of minimum water yield and soil percolation standards.  Lastly, we should discuss the time frame for the next public information meeting.
                        
·       With no additional business to consider, the meeting was adjourned at 11:15 a.m.


Submitted by Kevin Corcoran

Town of Glenville Open Space Committee
 Meeting Minutes
February 22, 2007


Attending Committee members:  Dan Grzybowski, Stanley Lee, Jack Osterlitz, Mike Sheppeck, Don Snell, Hank Stebbins, Mark Storti, Harry Willis

Also attending:  Kevin Corcoran (Planning Department)


·       Chairman Storti called the meeting to order at 3:05 p.m.

·       Mark handed out several copies of the “Scenic Schenectady County” map, which was produced by the Schenectady County Planning Department and Schenectady County Environmental Advisory Council in 1988.  The map identifies roads or road segments that have scenic and/or historic notoriety.  In the Town of Glenville, the following roads were identified as being scenic or historic; Wolf Hollow Road, Green Corners Road, Potter Road, West Glenville Road, Ridge Road, Sacandaga Road, Amsterdam Road, Closson Road, Snake Hill Road, Swaggertown Road, Van Buren Road, Glenridge Road, Maple Avenue, Alplaus Avenue, and Sunnyside Road.

·       The minutes of the January 25, 2007 meeting were accepted as written.

·       The group picked up its discussion on the Open Space Plan goals and objectives.  Wording was revised here and there, and additional objectives were identified for the 1st goal – “Preserve and enhance the natural and cultural features of the community that form its unique qualities.”    

Hank, Don, Stan, and Mark all offered revisions or new objectives.  Kevin will make the revisions and circulate them to the Committee before our next meeting.  One more go-around on the goals and objectives will be scheduled for the next Committee meeting.

·       The Committee then discussed the format and date for the next public information meeting.  It was determined that the meeting should focus on the goals and objectives.  It was also suggested that we not overload the audience with information, but rather keep the presentation brief and pointed, with ample opportunity being given to attendees to comment.  The hearing will take place on Thursday, April 26th at 7:00 p.m. at the Glenville Senior Center.

·       The Committee’s next meeting will take place on Thursday, March 15th at 3:00 p.m. at the Municipal Center.  Goals and objectives will be reviewed one more time and finalized at that meeting.  

·       With no additional business to consider, the meeting was adjourned at 4:05 p.m.

Submitted by Kevin Corcoran


Town of Glenville Open Space Committee
 Meeting Minutes
March 15, 2007


Attending Committee members:  Dan Grzybowski, Al Haugen, Ray Koch, Stanley Lee, Don Snell, Hank Stebbins, Mark Storti

Also attending:  Peter G. Goutos (Glenville resident), Jack Scales (Glenville resident), Robert Van Flue (Glenville resident), Valerie DiGiandomenico (Town Councilwoman/Liaison), Kevin Corcoran (Planning Department)


·       Chairman Storti called the meeting to order at 3:03 p.m.

·       The minutes of the February 22, 2007 meeting were unanimously approved.

·       The group turned its attention to the latest draft of the Open Space Plan goals and objectives.  

Regarding the goal to “Protect, expand, and/or create active and passive recreational facilities and opportunities,” Mark pointed out that this is very relevant to the Planning and Zoning Commission (PZC) right now, because the PZC is reviewing a 10-lot subdivision off of Woodruff and Judy Drives, adjacent to Indian Meadows Town Park.  The proposed subdivision calls for extensive cutting and clearing of this wooded parcel, which would alter the view along the southeastern border of Indian Meadows.  The PZC is having deliberations about whether or not to require a buffer on the project site, and whether to require the developer to significantly reduce the proposed number of lots.  This parcel might be a good candidate for acquisition, or perhaps more appropriately, for acquisition of a conservation easement to preserve a buffer.  Obviously our Open Space Plan hasn’t evolved to the point where we can use it as a basis for acquiring an easement on this property, but the review of this subdivision application does underscore the importance of having an open space plan.   

Mark suggested some minor wording to one of the objectives under this goal.  The revised objective will now read “Continue to support and recognize the heritage values of traditional outdoor recreational activities such as fishing, hunting, and trapping, consistent with New York State’s Open Space Plan for Region IV.”

Attention then focused on the last goal, which addresses the desire to preserve and enhance key gateways to Glenville.  There was some discussion about what constitutes a gateway, what is currently required within gateways, who could or should provide assistance and funding to landscape and beautify gateways and entryway signs, etc.

With one minor amendment to one of the objectives under this goal, the Committee declared that the draft goals and objectives are now finished and ready for scrutiny at the April 26th public information meeting.  

·       Regarding the April 26th public information meeting, the entire evening will be devoted to the draft goals and objectives.  The goals and objectives will be presented at the beginning of the meeting, with the balance of the meeting being set aside for public input.  The Committee has asked that a handout of the goals and objectives be distributed at the meeting, along with a comment form that can be turned in at the end of the meeting, or mailed to the Town within a week or two.  Public feedback at the meeting and the written comments that we receive will help the Committee finalize the goals and objectives.

As with the last public information meeting, meeting invitations will be mailed directly to those 400+ property owners who own 10 or more acres of residential or vacant land within the Town of Glenville.  The invitations should be mailed out in early April.  It was also suggested that our Daily Gazette reporter be contacted prior to the meeting to see if we can get an article out of him prior to the 26th.

·       Once the goals and objectives have been finalized, the Committee will then turn its attention to the recommendations/implementation section of the Open Space Plan.  Again, public input will play a significant role in shaping the recommendations.  This is arguably the most important section of the Open Space Plan, and it is likely to be the section that the Town Board will focus on when they are asked to adopt the Plan.    

·       The Committee then revisited the possible donation of a 30-acre parcel and house to the Town of Glenville.  There was discussion about whether the Town wants to keep the parcel or perhaps sell it (not acceptable to the donor).  Or, if we accept the parcel, what should be done with it?  Should it be turned into an active park, or would it serve the public best by keeping it passive?  There seemed to be consensus that there is community benefit by just having open space, even if the parcel isn’t to be developed or maintained.  It was also pointed that housing development is a tax drain, and that there is merit to keeping this parcel as open space for that reason alone.

·       Hank reminded the Committee that tonight, at 7:00 p.m., at the Glenville Senior Center, the Mohawk Hudson Land Conservancy is hosting a workshop on conservation easements.  Jerry Cosgrove of the Department of Agriculture and Markets, and until very recently the Northeast Regional Director of the American Farmland Trust, will be making a presentation on this topic.

·       With no additional items to consider, the meeting was adjourned at 4:03 p.m.

Submitted by Kevin Corcoran




Town of Glenville Open Space Committee
 Meeting Minutes
March 29, 2007


Attending Committee members:  Dan Grzybowski, Al Haugen, Stanley Lee, Jack Osterlitz, Mike Sheppeck, Don Snell, Hank Stebbins, Mark Storti, Harry Willis

Also attending:  Valerie DiGiandomenico (Town Councilwoman/Liaison), Kevin Corcoran (Planning Department)


·       Chairman Storti called the meeting to order at 9:32 a.m.

·       The minutes of the March 15, 2007 meeting were unanimously approved.

·       The group briefly revisited changes to the draft goals and objectives that were finalized at the March 15th meeting.  One minor addition was suggested for the first objective of the first goal.  Specifically, in addition to making a commitment to frequently updating the Open Space Areas Map, it was suggested that a commitment be made to updating the “Schaefer Map,” as needed.   

Regarding the April 26th public information meeting, Kevin distributed the draft meeting announcement/flyer.  A couple of sentences were added to the announcement informing recipients that they can view the goals and objectives ahead of time by accessing the Town’s website or by contacting the Planning Department.  The flyer will be mailed out to owners of large (15+ acres) vacant and/or residential properties sometime next week.

It was also suggested that we try to get an informational article out of the Daily Gazette about two weeks prior to the meeting.  Val suggested that we announce the meeting on the Rotary sign in front of First National Bank.  (Kevin checked into this after the meeting and learned that the sign is already booked solid for April)    

The meeting announcement has already been posted on the Town’s website.

·       Discussion then turned to the Open Space Plan recommendations/action items.  There was a lot of discourse on whether or not the Town should advocate purchase of specific properties, or conservation easements on specific properties.  The group was somewhat divided on this issue, but there seemed to be consensus on the need to recommend permanent preservation of Zone 1 (wellhead protection zone) of the Town’s and Village’s well fields.   

The community survey results demonstrated near unanimity in terms of making protection of our aquifer a top priority.  This could mean an Open Space Plan recommendation that the gravel mining properties around the well fields be purchased, or at least the development rights of these properties be purchased.  And while it is recognized that the railroad lines that traverse Zone 1 are a potential significant threat to our water supply, it is the combination of an exposed water table- as a result of the mining – and the railroad lines that renders the Town’s and Village’s water supplies vulnerable.    

Committee members wondered what modifications could be done with the rail lines to minimize the likelihood of a derailment and subsequent chemical spill.  Rerouting the rail lines is not practical.  Hank noted that there has been some rail bed stabilization in the area, which helps keep down rail car sway.  Perhaps more stabilization could be done on the segments of rail beds that traverse our aquifer.  

Kevin noted that the Watershed Board is trying to bring rail company representatives to the table to get a dialogue going on this very topic.  It was also noted that perhaps the Watershed Board would be a more appropriate body to fund the condemnation of land or easements around our well fields.

A fair amount of discussion was devoted to the question of whether or not the Town is willing to spend money (or find money) for open space protection, and whether or not the Open Space Plan should call for public spending.  It was noted that public sentiment clearly does not favor any increase in taxes for open space preservation.  This necessitates a creative approach to open space preservation, and one that advocates partnerships between the Town and landowners and/or land conservancies and landowners.

The group also discussed the benefits that can be derived by property owners if they commit their land to preservation.  Stan Lee suggested that improvements to historic structures should not result in a higher assessment, and a subsequent higher property tax bill.  Others wondered what can be done to relieve someone’s property tax burden other than ensuring that the assessment is based on agricultural or forest value.  Still others wondered what it would take to entice landowners to commit their land to preservation when the landowner must pay a stewardship fee, which is used to fund oversight of the parcel.

Fortunately, New York State has a new law on the books that allows property owners to take a credit on property taxes of up to $5,000 per year if they have committed their properties to a conservation easement.  This is a tangible benefit that very few other states have offered.           

·       Kevin then brought the Committee up to speed on the status of the Transfer of Development Rights (TDR) grant that was received by the Town and Village, via the New York Planning Federation.  The grant is relatively small, with $12,000 being earmarked for a consultant to assist us in developing our TDR program.  We went out to bid, and unfortunately, we only received one bid, and it was for an amount more than double the grant amount.

As a result, the Planning Federation has offered to assume the role of the consultant for this project.  The Town and County will offer GIS mapping services, while the Town will also offer Planning staff support.  The Planning Federation will also seek volunteer assistance from TDR experts such as Gary Kleppel of SUNY Albany.  The grant Steering Committee is awaiting a revised proposal and work plan from the Planning Federation, after which we’ll start to focus on identifying sending and receiving areas.  

TDR programs tend to be complex; perhaps the most complex tool for open space preservation. As a result, it is important that stakeholders, local government leaders, and the public be educated about the merits and particulars of TDR.  With this in mind, two workshops have been scheduled to discuss the TDR program and its application to our grant.  The first workshop will be targeted to Town Board members, the PZC, the Open Space Committee, and other local boards and officials.  That session is scheduled for Tuesday, May 15th at 7:00 p.m. at the Glenville Senior Center.  The second session will be targeted to landowners and residents.  That one will take place on Thursday, June 28th at 7:00 p.m., also at the Glenville Senior Center.  

·       The next Open Space Committee meeting will take place on Thursday, April 19th at 9:30 a.m. at the Municipal Center.  The Committee will continue its discussion on recommendations and action items.  It was agreed that it would be helpful to have our Open Space Areas Map handy for the next meeting.

Kevin also suggested that we invite the Open Space Coordinator from Clifton Park to attend our next meeting (or a subsequent meeting) so that we can take advantage of what they learned during development of Clifton Park’s Open Space Plan.  Supervisor Quinn has asked that we contact Clifton Park to see how they handle their land acquisition and purchase of development rights program and how they assess and tax properties that have been preserved.  

·       With no additional items to consider, the meeting was adjourned at 10:49 a.m.

Submitted by Kevin Corcoran



·       

Town of Glenville Open Space Committee
 Meeting Minutes
April 19, 2007


Attending Committee members:  Dan Grzybowski, Al Haugen, Ray Koch, Jack Osterlitz, Mike Sheppeck, Don Snell, Hank Stebbins, Mark Storti, Harry Willis

Also attending:  Peter G. Goutos (Glenville resident), Jim Edwards (Glenville resident), Valerie DiGiandomenico (Town Councilwoman/Liaison), Kevin Corcoran (Planning Department)


·       Chairman Storti called the meeting to order at 9:32 a.m.

·       The minutes of the March 29, 2007 meeting were unanimously approved.

·       Regarding the upcoming public information meeting on April 26th, the agenda will be as follows:

-       Background information and mission statement
-       Summary of survey results
-       Presentation of goals and objectives
-       Questions and Answers

Mark asked Kevin to put together a Power Point presentation highlighting the mission statement, survey results, and goals/objectives.

Kevin passed around a public comment form that will be distributed to the audience at the April 26th meeting.  Attendees will be asked to either drop off the completed form in a box as they leave the meeting or hand-deliver, fax, or mail the form to Town Hall.

The Committee suggested that we contact the Gazette, and perhaps the Times Union and Spotlight newspapers to alert them of the April 26th meeting.  Kevin will get Gazette reporter Matt Volke’s telephone number for Mark.  We will also ask the Gazette to do a “blurb” in the “community notes” section of the newspaper announcing the meeting.  

·       The Committee turned its attention to the Open Space Plan recommendations and actions.  At our last meeting we talked about zoning and land use actions that could be used to preserve open space as well as whether or not we should recommend establishment of funding to acquire open space.  We also discussed the idea of advocating the use of conservation easements, particularly in light of the recent passage of a New York State law that allows up to a $5,000 property tax credit per year for those who commit their land to an easement.  There was also a considerable amount of deliberation on whether or not we should target specific properties for conservation, with focus on the gravel mine properties that surround the Town’s and Village’s wellfields.

Today, Hank noted that there is draft enabling legislation before both houses of New York State that would allow municipalities to impose a real estate transfer fee, with funding from this program to be applied to open space preservation.  This program is already in use in five different towns on Long Island.  The transfer fee on Long Island applies only to property sales where the price is above the median price.  

There was general agreement that our Open Space Plan should include a recommendation that Glenville do what it can to advocate passage of the real estate transfer fee bill, with an eye towards possibly applying this technique in Glenville.  In the meantime, the Town should take a look at 2006 real estate sales in Glenville to determine how much money would have been raised for open space preservation if we applied the fee for those sales above the median price.  Figures should be derived for a fee in the 0.5% to 2% range.  Also in the meantime, Hank offered to check on the status of the draft legislation.

The sentiment of the Committee is that partnerships need to be formed with landowners willing to preserve their land.  Whether it’s a land conservancy or the Town that partners with landowners, the idea is that open space preservation should be voluntary on the part of the landowner.

There is also general agreement that the Town should develop conservation design subdivision standards to encourage preservation of open space as part of the subdivision review process.  Further, the conservation subdivision review process should be simpler than the traditional “cookie cutter” subdivision review process.  In other words, those that want to conserve open space should be rewarded with a more user-friendly subdivision review process, instead of the other way around.

Kevin noted that he borrowed a tape-recorded program on the conservation design subdivision process from a member of the Schenectady County Environmental Advisory Council several months ago.  The program was quite good, but it was available in VHS format, only.  Apparently the program is going to be available in DVD format, at which point the Town would be interested in purchasing a copy.  In the meantime, Kevin will try to borrow the VHS version again and share it with interested Committee members.

Hank re-emphasized the “four town” theme that was advanced in the Town’s Comprehensive Plan (river town, rural town, industrial/commercial town, and suburban town).  Whatever open space strategies, buffering requirements, and design standards end up being advanced in the Open Space Plan, they should reflect the four town concept of the Comprehensive Plan.

Another key to preserving open space is to keep water and sewer services out of rural areas.  Consequently, one of the recommendations of the Open Space Plan should be that the Town develop a capital plan for water and sewer infrastructure, and that it be in synch with the Town’s Comprehensive Plan.

The group then began discussion on stream buffering.  Mark suggested that the Town develop stream buffering standards, perhaps with mandatory 100’ buffers.  The consensus of the Committee is that the stream buffering standards need to be case-sensitive.  What works well along the Mohawk River may not be applicable to the Kromme Kill, for instance.  

Hank noted that the U.S. Department of Agriculture has done a lot of work on this topic.  Their literature should be consulted if Glenville is to pursue stream buffering standards.  Kevin also noted that the states of Wisconsin and Minnesota have adopted comprehensive stream buffering standards.  

The committee then initiated a discussion on term easements, which are conservation easements, but with a sunset provision.  Term easements have the effect of preserving land for a set period of time (20 years is fairly typical).  However, these kinds of easements can also lead to land speculation, whereby the market price for that property could be considerable upon expiration of the term, particularly if development has occurred all around the parcel during the term.  

Mike Sheppeck suggested that perhaps a better approach would be to set up a right-of-first-refusal program for properties with term easements, allowing the Town or a land conservancy the option of purchasing the property or the development rights of the property upon expiration of the term.  

If term easements are to be recommended in the Open Space Plan, more thought will have to go into the particulars (i.e. duration of term, tax break %, right-of-first-refusal option, etc.).

·       For the Committee’s next meeting, we will try to bring in Jennifer Viggiani, the Open Space Coordinator for the Town of Clifton Park.  Jennifer was not available to meet with our group today.  Kevin will check her availability for 9:30 a.m. on Tuesday, May 8th and Thursday, May 17th and get back to the Committee with a firm date.  
  
·       With no additional items to consider, the meeting was adjourned at 10:37 a.m.

Submitted by Kevin Corcoran



Town of Glenville Open Space Committee
 Public Information Meeting
April 26, 2007

Town of Glenville Open Space Committee Chairman, Mark Storti, opened the public information meeting at approximately 7:06 P.M. welcoming attendees, and introducing members of the Town Board, Open Space Committee and town planning department staff in attendance.

Mr. Storti reviewed the Open Space Committee’s mission statement formulated by the Town Board to guide committee efforts.  Several maps were located around the meeting room (Publicly-Owned Open Spaces, Environmental Features, Natural, Scenic, and Historic Features (i.e. Schaefer Map) and Open Space Areas) illustrating background information collected and evaluated by the committee.  Results of the recent “open space community survey,” were reviewed and discussed briefly.  

A summary of draft open space plan goals and objectives was presented using Power Point slides and a handout. These goals and objectives were reviewed by chairman Storti after which, Mr.   Storti opened the floor to public comments and a questions and answers period (questions listed below).

The following issues and questions were put forth from the approximately 60-65 members of the public attending:  

·       The word “acquisition” appears four times in the list of draft goals. Is the Town of Glenville actually seeking properties to acquire?
·       How will property owners who preserve open spaces be compensated? Will they receive relief from property tax burdens?
·       Will recreation impact fees received from housing developments and subdivisions be used to purchase open space?
·       Will “eminent domain” be considered as a method for preserving open space?  People are worried about this possibility.
·       Will the fiscal impact of preserving open space be studied?
·       Concerns about increases in property taxes for rural land owners. What can be done to reduce these taxes?  
·       Why is there emphasis on preserving Town gateways?  Who will pay for this?
·       Will open space that is preserved be open for public use?
·       Public water and sewer extensions into rural areas should be considered carefully and perhaps prohibited altogether.
·       General comment concerning the balance of taxes within the Town of Glenville. Specifically, what could be done to encourage additional commercial/business development? Additionally, there should be no corporate “give always” in terms of taxes, which ultimately place a greater tax burden on residents and landowners.
·       Fill empty businesses within developed areas of the town such as the vacant K-mart property.
·       Stream corridors should feature buffers to provide linkages between open spaces.

Being no further comments or questions, Chairman Storti thanked everyone for attending and adjourned the meeting at 8:48 P.M.  

Submitted by Michael Burns



Town of Glenville Open Space Committee
 Meeting Minutes
May 31, 2007


Attending Committee members:  Dan Grzybowski, Ray Koch, Clarence Mosher, Jack Osterlitz, Mike Sheppeck, Don Snell, Hank Stebbins

Also attending:  Jennifer Viggiani (Town of Clifton Park Open Space Coordinator), Valerie DiGiandomenico (Town Councilwoman/Liaison), Mike Burns (Planning Department), Matt Smith (Planning Department), Kevin Corcoran (Planning Department)


·       Kevin Corcoran called the meeting to order at 9:35 a.m. and welcomed Jennifer Viggiani, Town of Clifton Park Open Space Coordinator.  

·       Jennifer provided a 15-minute overview of the evolution of Clifton Park’s Open Space Plan and program.  She stressed the importance of having “buy in” from various groups (i.e. farmers, residents, builders, recreation advocates, etc.) and of keeping the Town Board informed of progress.  The Co-Chairs of Clifton Park’s Open Space Committee were very good at meeting with and keeping the Town Board “in the loop.”  Also, public input was very important in order in “selling” the Plan.  Clifton Park offered a number of public outreach opportunities, including community surveys, meetings, charrettes, etc.  The Clifton Park Town Board adopted the Plan in 2003.

·       Jennifer went on to talk about the key components of Clifton Park’s Plan.  She noted that the Plan is “big picture,” almost conceptual, really, thereby allowing the Town Board the flexibility to pursue different options.  This also helped minimize public opposition, since the Plan didn’t really target any particular properties for preservation.

Jennifer noted that Clifton Park’s Open Space Plan focuses on five general topic areas; protection of natural resources and water resources; farmland preservation; expansion of active recreation opportunities; protection of historical/architectural/scenic resources; and creation and expansion of trails.

On the heels of adoption of Clifton Park’s Plan in 2003, the Town turned its focus to the 13,000-acre rural western section of town.  The town developed a Generic Environmental Impact Statement (GEIS) for this area, and through rezoning, decreased the build-out potential from 7,500 units to 2,500 units.  The zoning in this area was changed to “conservation residential,” with the maximum density being increased from a minimum lot size of one acre to one unit per three developable acres.  

In addition to this change of zoning, the Town adopted amenity zoning provisions which allow developers to trade open space for higher density on the developed portion of their property.  In lieu of offering more open space, the developer can pay $30,000 per unit, with this money going to the acquisition of open space.  To date, the town has levied $900,000+ through this program.  


In addition to pursuing their open space agenda, the Town has focused a considerable amount
of attention on trail and pathway development.  The Town has developed 12 miles of new trails/paths since 2000.

Regarding trail development and acquisition of land for trails, Jennifer noted that Clifton Park seeks trails and pathways during the review and approval of new subdivisions.  Further, Jennifer strongly recommends that trails be developed before the homes are built, otherwise there will be strong opposition to the new trail after homes have been occupied.

·       Following Jennifer’s overview, the Committee members asked a number of questions covering everything from term easements to TDR to gaining public confidence to tax breaks for land committed to open space.  

In short, Jennifer’s message is that an Open Space Plan is most effective if it is general and flexible.  Support on the part of the public, landowners, and developers is also very important, as is Town Board “buy in.”  Lastly, financial resources and staffing committed to open space preservation are keys to successful implementation of an Open Space Plan.

·       The meeting was adjourned at 10:58 a.m.