TUPPER LAKE - The town-village planning board decided Wednesday it couldn't grant Michael Vaillancourt's request to build two apartments, a garage and a sawmill.
Vaillancourt is looking to add the facilities to a plot of land he's in the process of buying near Barry Avenue, behind the corner of Hosley Avenue and Stetson Road. He asked the planning board to approve a three-lot minor subdivision, a two-story multi-family structure with garage space below it and a private sawmill facility.
After much discussion, planning board members decided that since Vaillancourt is looking to run his businesses, Treebusters and Sootbusters, from the facility, he would need to get a variance from the local zoning board of appeals to run a business in the residential area.
Vaillancourt's engineer, Kurt Bedore, was at the hearing. He said the business is run out in the field; Vaillancourt's trucks go out to sites to cut down trees and clean chimneys.
"It's a gray area," Bedore said.
"No, it ain't," said planning board Chairman Jim Larkin. "It's not a gray area. ... His business is where his office is."
Larkin said he doesn't think the plan is bad and noted that it has a lot of positive aspects to it, but without a variance, he said the planning board couldn't approve it. Other planning board member agreed.
"Most of us don't want to chase eight jobs out of town," said planning board member Jim Ellis. "Eight jobs is important to us."
Ellis said he wishes the process could be rolled into one step rather than shipping the project from board to board.
"I go nuts," Ellis said. "It's like the (Adirondack Club and Resort) all over again on a smaller scale."
Several planning board members said they wished board attorney Kirk Gagnier was present to help, but Gagnier was the lawyer who prepared Vaillancourt's application.
The board did approve the three-lot subdivision. Bedore said Vaillancourt would appreciate at least that bit of progress.
Several neighbors showed up with questions about the amount of traffic and noise the addition would add to the neighborhood.
Contact Jessica Collier at 518-891-2600 ext. 26 or firstname.lastname@example.org.