WORKSHOP MEETING – VILLAGE OF NORTHVILLE
Tuesday, February 4, 2020
The Village Board met Tuesday, February 4, 2020 at 6:30 PM at the Village offices.
Present: John Spaeth, Mayor
Steve Collins, Trustee
Sue Eckert, Trustee
John Markiewicz, Trustee
Sue Sedon, Trustee
Wendy Reu, Village Clerk
Scott Henze, Fulton County Planning Department
Mayor Spaeth called the Workshop meeting to order at 6:30. p.m.
Mayor Spaeth reported to the Board that Treasurer Matthews had spoken to the company regarding the Cell Tower buyout and he was able to get the offer raised to $ 625,000.00. He indicated that was the maximum amount they would offer. Mayor Spaeth stated that he continued to research the technology that was out there and what was on the horizon. He stated that one question was if cell towers would become obsolete once 5g was rolled out. He reported that 5g technology uses smaller towers, not large towers, and the idea was to get the towers closer together. Cell towers will not become obsolete in the foreseeable future. He stated that rural areas such as ours will still utilize 4g technology as 5g technology will be on a slow roll out, hitting the urban areas first. Trustee Eckert questioned why the cell company is offering the buyout now, do they know something we don’t know. Mayor Spaeth stated he didn’t have an answer for that, and he couldn’t really give a projected life span of the tower. Trustee Collins stated one would think they would strengthen 4g in rural areas and pull it out as 5 g rolls in. He feels we will see wireless wi-fi on top of power poles in the near future. Mayor Spaeth reported that Supervisor Groff indicated the offer seemed to good to be true. He stated that Supervisor Groff has going to talk with his contacts at the County, especially the Emergency Services Coordinator, to see if they had any additional information of technology coming to our area. After a brief discussion, the Board agreed to revisit the cell tower buyout option at the next meeting.
Mayor Spaeth thanked Scott Henze, from the Fulton County Planning Department, for taking the time to sit with the Board and review the new zoning document. He indicated he was going to be going one by one, to all the Board members, to see what concerns they had with the new zoning document and what, if anything they wanted to see changed in the document.
Mayor Spaeth started out with the draft Zoning map. Trustee Sedon asked about the Commercial District with reference to the clause that states you can’t build single family dwellings in the commercial district. She stated concerns due to the fact that the Lanzi property had previously been granted an approval for condominiums and she was worried that the new zoning, as written, would not allow that project to happen. Mr. Henze stated that the Lanzi project was granted approval under a site plan review and as such, if they build the structure according to the documents presented at the time, the project could still happen under the new zoning. Mayor Spaeth wondered if there should be some type of verbiage change that would allow a residential structure if in the commercial zone but not at street front. He indicated the parcel in question, along with a second large parcel in the southern part of the district were both unique in that they had vacant land that homes could be built on, yet not at the street front. Mr. Henze expressed concerns about spot zoning and added that the two parcels we are discussing are not near each other. He suggested making a second MU district that could encompass the areas being discussed. He cautioned that by making that second MU district, it would shrink the central business district. Mayor Spaeth asked the Board how they wanted to proceed with the areas in question. After brief discussion, the Board felt the district should be left as is.
Mayor Spaeth asked why the Bradt building, at 412 S. Main Street was not in the MU district. He stated that both the park parcel and the building parcel are of commercial nature, yet we have designated the them in the Residential district. He stated that around the Village, the committee took current use into consideration when forming the districts. After discussion, the Board stated they would like the MU district extended down South Main Street to include the municipal property.
Trustee Eckert stated there was discussion at a recent meeting on the number of chickens allowed under the new zoning. After brief discussion, the Board agreed to allow 18 chickens and no roosters. Trustee Eckert stated that on page 13 of the draft zoning, it mentioned henhouse. She questioned why we were not discussing housing for other animals, such as dogs, as well. Scott Henze stated that the reasons chickens were specifically addressed is due to the potential for a large number of chickens on a parcel. He stated that all other livestock is one per acre of land. Mayor Spaeth stated that dogs are regulated by Ag and Markets and in other areas of the Village code. After discussion, the Board agreed to make minor changes to the verbiage pertaining to henhouses having an access door that can be shut and secured at night.
Trustee Eckert requested to discuss Home Based Businesses on page 17 of the draft zoning. Mayor Spaeth stated there was a difference between a Home Based Business and an Artist/Craft Industry. He stated that under Minor home based business, incidental sales are allowed. The Board felt the phrase “such as but not limited to” be added to both the definition of artists and craft work. It was also agreed that the provision for “off street parking being provided” be moved to the Major home based business category.
Trustee Eckert asked about item D on page 19 pertaining to uses prohibited as home bases business, specifically small engine repair. She asked why the committee felt it should not be allowed. Scott Henze asked if she felt it should be allowed in a residential setting. He stated that it does not meet the criteria of a home based business based on the current definitions. He stated that the committee increased the commercial district and created an MU district for businesses of this type. Mr. Henze stated that most general standards of zoning in other municipalities do not allow this type of business in a residential district. He also indicated that the new zoning would only apply to new businesses starting up.
Trustee Eckert stated that pages 36 through 50 dealt with what buildings should look like. She asked if that needed to be in the zoning document. Mr. Henze stated that the section she is referencing applies to new construction and that he highly recommended it stay in the document.
Trustee Eckert asked about page 72 which dealt with subdivision of land. She wondered if that needed to be in the document. Mr. Henze reported that subdivision is really driven by Town and State law and that there is not a lot the Village can change. He stated that needed to be in the document.
Trustee Collins, Trustee Sedon, and Trustee Markiewicz stated they had nothing additional to contribute. The entire Board agreed that they comfortable with the document and the minor changes brought up at this workshop. The Board was appreciative of Mr. Henze’s input, from the County Planning Board perspective, of what items needed to stay in the document.
Mayor Spaeth stated that the important thing to understand is that there is confusion in the community as to what is in the document as a majority have not read the document. He stated it is important that we as a Board understand what is in the document and that it will be enforced. He indicated that we can explain what items in the document are mandated by the State and have to remain in the document.
Mr. Henze stated that the minor changes that the Board made tonight don’t constitute substantive changes. It was reported that the items addressed tonight would be submitted to Monica Ryan to make the minor changes so the final document can come back to the Board for their next meeting.
Mayor Spaeth stated that as there are no substantive changes, the Board could decide to move forward with the document as the Public Hearing on the document was already held or the Board could decide to conduct another Public Hearing. He stated the Board could decide their course of action at the next meeting.
There being no further business before the Board, motion was made to adjourn by Trustee Collins, seconded by Trustee Eckert and passed by voice vote with no one dissenting. The meeting was adjourned at 9:15 p.m.
Wendy L. Reu, Clerk