Planning and Zoning Conference

Wednesday, January 31, 2024

Saratoga Springs City Center

522 Broadway, Saratoga Springs


Presenters: Steve Bulger, Joe Grasso, Ian Murray & William Hoblock

Ever wonder how & why your legislative body passes the land use regulations that you make your decisions on? Listen to a few of Saratoga County’s most experienced leaders who have been on both sides of the table.  This should give you insight into the reasons why, and how, the planning process evolves.

Presenters: Patricia Burke & Monica Ryan

This course addresses the powers and duties of municipal planning boards. The administrative and regulatory roles of the planning board, including its review of site plans, special use permits, and subdivision plats are discussed, along with its role in the comprehensive plan. The importance of board procedures, referral to the county planning agency, and making findings are also covered.

Presenter: Christopher Eastman

This introductory course to the zoning board of appeals focuses on the statutory tests boards must follow to grant use and area variances and proper handling of zoning interpretations. Meeting procedures and notice requirements will also be discussed, along with the ZBA’s relationship with enforcement officials and the planning board, and the importance of making good findings.

Presenter: Terresa Bakner

This presentation will address how the new definition of WOTUS set forth in the Sackett decision by the US Supreme Court and the new definition of State regulated Freshwater Wetlands adopted by the State Legislature will impact municipal projects and municipal review of private projects.

Presenter: Mark Schachner

The State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA) has been in place for almost 50 years and the review process has not changed much in that time, yet Land Use Boards (primarily Planning Boards and Zoning Boards of Appeals) still struggle mightily to comply. This discussion will focus on the basics/principles of SEQRA review, practice guidelines, and pitfalls to avoid.

Presenter: Charles Marshall, Dan Barusch, John Cannie & Sara Drury

Using the format of the popular television show, we will attempt to convey relevant information surrounding Planning, Zoning, and Land Use topics.  The idea is to generate interest amongst the audience and participating contestants who are engineers, attorneys, and code enforcement officers.  This year will feature instances of interactive polling with the audience as the contestants deliberate the questions they are faced.

Presenters: John Scavo, Mike Valentine & Kim Lambert

 The planning review process presents challenges in interpreting and applying code language within a workflow context. The goal is to demystify the process and provide predictability to applicants, the public, and board members to facilitate project considerations. Outcomes of the session will include workflow examples, handouts, and charts for FAQ to applicants and the public.

Presenters: Lindsay Buck, Floria Huizinga & Scott Reese

Municipal staff will present what a review board should understand during a project review when it comes to stormwater.  The course will cover required knowledge with tools and recommendations to assist the board member to better understand what happens prior, during, and after a project review when it comes to stormwater review.

Presenters: Charles Marshall, Mark Schachner, Jaclyn Hakes, Sean Doty & Pat Cogan

Similar to the Introductory level course, this program attempts to convey relevant land use knowledge including planning, zoning, and SEQRA in a format that is entertaining to the audience.  There will be instances for interactive polling of the audience as they watch contestants battle each other and encounter questions from all facets of the land use realm.  Panelists will include an engineer, attorney, code enforcement officer, and land use planner to see the different approaches each take to their line of work. This level is intended to be more difficult than the introductory level and certain questions will hopefully spark debate amongst the contestants.

Presenters: William J. Keniry & Andrew Clark

A review of recent significant land use, planning and zoning cases pertinent to matters in the State of New York.

Presenters: Matthew Rogers, Gregory Connors, Brian Marsh & Pamela Fuller

Today’s commercial corridors are in a constant state of flux and can present significant challenges for communities seeking to increase economic development opportunities, and in some cases, reverse decades of decline. To overcome these challenges, communities should actively seek new business development, facilitate the infill of underutilized parking lots and retail plazas through enhanced zoning regulations, increase pedestrian and bicycle connectivity to reduce automobile dependency, and improve streetscapes and overall aesthetics to create a “sense of place” or local identity. This session will discuss the various planning and zoning techniques communities could use towards successful corridor redevelopment, and includes an overview of successful corridor redevelopment efforts.

Presenters: Patricia Burke & Monica Ryan

Area variances are the most frequent appeal before most zoning boards of appeals. This course is a thorough exploration of each factor of the area variance test with examples and discussion of details often missed and concepts often misunderstood. Tips and best practices for review, decision-making, and documentation, with several court case examples that address key legal considerations and challenges will also be highlighted.

Presenters: Alanna Moran & John Donnan

Transportation mitigation comes in many forms beyond increasing vehicular capacity. Mitigation such as new or enhanced multimodal accommodations provide sustainable solutions for project related transportation impacts. Explore with us ways to think outside the box and identify when additional vehicle capacity is or isn’t appropriate and how to consider more thoughtful ways to plan for transportation improvements.

Presenters: Linda Mackey, Frances Stern & John Scherer

With the 250th Anniversary of the American Revolution on the horizon, it is important to focus on the historic assets in your community. Historic Preservation of structures and sites is beneficial in several ways including fostering heritage tourism, creating pride of place, and preserving the importance of bygone eras. In this session you will learn about the benefits of New York State’s Certified Local Government Program, historic preservation grants, and tax credits that are available, and hear from a local historian about how to form a successful Historic Preservation Commission.

Presenters: Jaclyn Hakes & Nan Stolzenburg

This session will discuss key planning and zoning topics facing the region’s rural and small communities.  From solar development and the changing face of agricultural businesses to short term rentals and homesteading, this session will explore the issues and identify potential approaches, tools and resources available to communities to address.

Presenters: Matthew Jones, Todd Shimkus, Dan Barusch & Kris Kassay

Short term rentals (STRs) are growing in usage. The overcrowding/abuses may make the headlines, but many happen without incident. Would the host communities and neighbors benefit from some oversight? Are they driving up real estate prices that affect other potential buyers? Come and learn what strategies local communities have implemented or are considering relative to STRs from the panel of assembled professionals who have their finger on the pulse of this topic.