Town of Esopus Zoning Board of Appeals

May 20, 2003

The meeting was called to order at 7:35 p.m. by Chairman Steve Britton. Pledge to the Flag followed.


Present: Steve Britton, Catherine Charuk, Joe Guido, and Rob Hare.
Absent: Peter McGowan, Richard Wenzel, and Karl Wick.






BUNTEN, DANIEL CASE #04-15-03-01

This application was presented for the informational portion of the April 15, 2003 meeting at which time there was no one present to represent the applicant. Again, there was no one present for this case. It was decided that a certified letter would be sent to the applicant advising him that if he is not represented at the June 17, 2003 meeting, the application will be rejected. If he should wish to pursue this matter in the future, it will be necessary for him to submit a new application with the required fee.



Mr. Butterfield was present and advised that he would like to build a residence, a pottery gallery, and a kiln. Zena Matera, a neighbor, asked how big the buildings would be and Mr. Butterfield advised the gallery will be 16x16 feet and it will not be accessed from Ulster Avenue. There are no buildings on the property now and he is not interested in building any more than the three he is now proposing. In answer to Mr. Guido’s question, Mr. Butterfield advised that the kiln will be propane fired. There will be no chemicals involved in the glazing process. Mr. Hare advised that this is a very low impact use of the property. He had previously been involved with ceramics and stated that a ceramic kiln cannot be heard running from forty or fifty feet away.

Ms. Matera asked if the zoning is changed, would that mean it would be possible for someone to come in in ten years and put in some big factory. Mr. Britton advised that if a variance is granted, it will be for this business only. Mr. Hare advised that as was discussed last month, this is not a question of the ceramics gallery but a question of whether the residence should be allowed. In the LI district, residences are not allowed uses. Adele Wagman asked how much property the applicant owns. He advised that he has a 37 acre parcel and a 3 acre parcel on Ulster Avenue. Mr. Butterfield pointed out on the map where his proposed house would be located on the larger parcel which is LI. He needs to be near his kiln and studio and that would be the best location. He advised that he has cleared about three acres of his property where he intends to build, but most of it would be used for gardens. The road in from Route 9W is about a quarter of a mile long, but he can’t build close to the highway because it is wet. Mrs. Wagman asked if this is an ongoing business that he is just moving or a new one just being established. Mr. Butterfield answered that his business has been on hold while he is going through this process of requesting a variance. He operated the same business successfully in Virginia before moving here.

Mr. Guido asked what the hours of operation will be and Mr. Butterfield stated that the gallery will be open during daylight hours starting at about 8:00 a.m. It will be closed from December 25 until approximately April 1. Mr. Guido then asked about the hours that the kiln will be operated. The applicant advised that he will be building a large kiln so he will probably only be firing about once a month. Mr. Hare explained the firing process and that it takes about 24 hours but the kiln will not be able to be heard from any distance.

There were no further questions from the Board. Mr. Guido advised that he had talked to Ray Rice regarding zoning laws and why the Light Industrial District was set up the way it was. The response that he got was that it was the intent of the Town to encourage businesses and not tie up large amounts of land with residences as would be the case here. Ms. Matera asked if a residence was allowed here with this variance, would that mean that the applicant could subdivide and sell off several parcels for other houses. Mr. Britton advised that the variance would be for this parcel only and for this residence only. The zoning will not be changed. If the property is subdivided at some time in the future, any uses permitted in the LI District would be permitted on those parcels. If any purchasers are interested in building residences on those parcels, they would also have to appear before the Zoning Board to request a variance.

Mr. Britton then advised the applicant and the Board that he received a call from Russ Shultis who is Chairman of the Town Planning Board. That Board is looking at making a recommendation that if a variance is granted, a stipulation be included requiring the applicant to appear before them for a site plan review. The Ulster County Planning Board sent back a recommendation that “in the event that this use variance is granted, the application will become subject to site plan review and will need to be submitted to the Town of Esopus Planning Board for said review”. Mr. Britton reiterated that these are only suggestions but they may be included in the variance and he wants the applicant to be aware of this. Mr. Butterfield asked if a decision could be made at this meeting and Mr. Britton advised there are still matters that are under consideration and no vote will be made at this meeting.
The applicant should provide documentation to prove hardship and present that at the next meeting.

At this point, I excused myself from my position as secretary to the Board in order to ask a question and make a comment as part of the Public Hearing. Although I am not an adjoining property owner, I am able to see the property and where the applicant presently lives from my house. I would like to know how much more of the property will be cleared and where the buildings will be located on the parcel in relation to the cleared spot. Mr. Butterfield pointed this out on the map. As a member of the public, I expressed my opinion that I would like to see this use of the property rather than something larger and more intrusive.

The Public Hearing was closed and Mr. Britton advised that the decision will be made at the next meeting. He suggested that the applicant speak to someone from the Planning Board and perhaps appear before them at this month’s meeting in anticipation of the variance being granted. Mr. Butterfield asked what a site plan review involves. The members of this Board advised that lighting, parking, access, and aesthetics are some of the matters that are addressed by the Planning Board. The Public Hearing portion of the meeting was then closed.

Mr. Britton advised that there were no decisional cases or other business on the agenda for this meeting. JOE GUIDO MADE A MOTION TO ADJOURN. CATHERINE CHARUK SECONDED. ALL PRESENT VOTED IN FAVOR. The meeting was adjourned at 8:25 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Kathleen Kiernan