Meeting Date : December 12, 2022
Download Minutes : Download File

Village of Tivoli

Planning Board


December 12, 2022



Lisa Schwarzbaum; Chairperson

Mike Billeci

Donna Matthews

Bill Shilling

J.P. Ward, Alternate



Pamela Morin

Amy Breedlove, Alternate


Also Present

Gail Armstrong, Applicant


The meeting was held in the Historic Watts de Peyster Village Hall. It began at 7:01 PM. Lisa Schwarzbaum stated that JP Ward would be a voting member for the meeting.


Minutes from September 12, 2022 were reviewed.

Bill Shilling made a motion to approve the minutes from September 12, 2022. Donna Matthews seconded. All in favor. The minutes were approved.

New Business

58 North Rd – Special Permit

Lisa Schwarzbaum asked the applicant to introduce the project.

Gail Armstrong stated that the property being discussed was purchased by her parents in 1969. Her mother died two years ago leaving her the owner of the property. It has taken a while to settle some issues with the property and now work is being done so that she can move into the house. When she moves, she would like to bring her two horses to live in Tivoli on the property with her. Previously there have been horses on the property but the last horse died a few years ago. Now due to changes in zoning, a special permit is required to have horses again. A horse barn that her father built still exists on the property, and she intends to repair it and the old fence lines for the three previously established paddocks.

Lisa Schwarzbaum asked what buildings exist on the property. Gail Armstrong answered that the house is the main structure. There is a garage next to it and a horse barn next to the garage. She intends to repair the horse barn by replacing siding and to use the rear two stalls for her horses.

Bill Shilling asked about the condition of the fencing. Gail Armstrong answered that it is all overgrown and only the posts exist and she would need to rebuild the fencing. She intends to fix the barn paddock (A) fencing first for the winter, Paddock B in the spring and Paddock C last.

Bill Shilling asked when she planned to move the horses to the property. Gail Armstrong answered that she hoped to move them when she moves at the beginning of the New Year but she is waiting for approval and work on the house is going slowly, delaying her move. Lisa Schwarzbaum asked if the horses can overwinter on the property. Yes, they will have better accommodations with the horse barn than the shed they currently have.

JP Ward questioned the acreage requirement for horses and whether their paddock would be two acres. The definition of Animal Husbandry in the zoning was consulted and it states that the parcel size, not paddock size, is a minimum of one acre for each horse.

JP Ward questioned the type of fencing that will be used and whether it should be identified on the site plan. Yes that is a good idea.

Mike Billeci stated that, in the past, site plans couldn’t be approved if there are code violations on the property. He suggested that there are several remaining code violations for this property including concrete and solid waste. He also said it might not be an issue for granting the special permit, just the site plan. Resolving code violations could be made a condition of approval.

Gail Armstrong requested a specific list of what would need to be remedied because the property has been greatly cleaned up.

Bill Shilling questioned the issue regarding a special permit versus the site plan. The zoning was consulted and site plan approval is required after the granting a special permit, so if the special permit is granted, the horses cannot be moved until the site plan review portion is completed. There was a discussion about whether the approvals should be done simultaneously.

Gail Armstrong asked for clarification regarding site plan approval. Mike Billeci explained that it is to make sure everything is to code and legal.

Lisa Schwarzbaum stated that they could move forward to schedule the public hearing because the special permit portion can proceed. Mike Billeci responded that it just couldn’t be implemented until the site plan is completed to which Bill Shilling questioned the point of the separate special permit approval.

Mike Billeci suggested referring the application to the Village Planner to resolve the potential issues including code violations. Bill Shilling questioned whether that adds expense to the project for the applicant. Yes, the planner must be paid, and the benefit is to the applicant so it is their expense.

Gail Armstrong requested to review the expense.

Bill Shilling clarified that they can set the public hearing and move forward with that portion.

Mike Billeci suggested that it was most efficient to use the planner because otherwise it might take longer if the board needs to research the issues.

Gail Armstrong clarified that it is a choice between taking longer and costing more.

Consulting the building inspector was discussed. Lisa Schwarzbaum will contact the building inspector directly to look into open code violations while moving forward with the special permit.

Donna Matthews made a motion to schedule the public hearing for the special permit on January 9th, 2023. Bill Shilling seconded. All in favor. The public hearing for the special permit for a private stable was scheduled at 7pm on January 9th, 2023.

Lisa Schwarzbaum asked if there were any more questions or other items to discuss. No.

Mike Billeci made a motion to close the meeting. JP Ward seconded. All in favor. The meeting was adjourned at 7:34.

Respectfully submitted,

Laura Gail Tyler

Deputy Village Clerk