Planning and Zoning Conference

Wednesday, January 31, 2024

Saratoga Springs City Center

522 Broadway, Saratoga Springs


Terresa M. Bakner, Esq., a partner at Whiteman, Osterman & Hanna LLP, represents clients in permitting, administrative and enforcement proceedings before State and federal agencies, such as the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, the New York State Department of Public Service, the United States Army Corps of Engineers, the United States Environmental Protection Agency and OSHA, among others. Ms. Bakner assists in obtaining land use approvals for commercial, industrial, residential and energy projects and represents clients in projects involving brownfield redevelopment, wetlands laws and regulations, protection of endangered species and critical habitats, and the preservation of archaeological and historic resources.

Dan Barusch has been the Director of Planning and Zoning for the Town and Village of Lake George since August 2015 when he was hired at age 25, notably the youngest individual to ever serve in that municipal position in the State’s history. Over the past eight years, his work with various governments, elected officials, and over 20 committees he sits on, has helped create dozens of transformational projects for the Lake George region, creating successful examples of community and economic development along the way. He has a master’s degree in Urban and Environmental Planning from Arizona State University (ASU), a bachelor’s degree in Design Studies from ASU and an Associate’s degree in Architectural Technology from SUNY Delhi.

Lindsay Buck is the Senior Planner and Stormwater Management Officer for the Town of Stillwater with 18 years of experience in municipal planning as well as the NYS DEC SPDES program. She has written and implemented the Stormwater Management Plans for three municipalities in Saratoga County. Ms. Buck is a graduate of SUNY Albany, a Certified NYS Code Enforcement Officer, and a Certified Professional in Erosion and Sediment Control.

Steve Bulger was appointed Saratoga County Administrator in January, 2021, where he oversees County government operations including 1,300 employees and an annual budget over $400 million. Mr. Bulger served ten years on the Clifton Park Planning Board, including seven years as Chairman from 2003 to 2010. During that time, the Board reviewed over one thousand commercial, residential, and non-profit applications spanning a wide range of development projects and site plans. He was also heavily involved in multiple Comprehensive Plan and GEIS updates in one of the fastest growing towns across upstate New York. Mr. Bulger previously served three years as Regional Administrator for the U.S. Small Business Administration in Regions 2 & 3, leading SBA’s lending, disaster recovery, and economic development operations across seven states. In 2017, he completed a six-year role with the U.S. House of Representatives as District Director for Congressman Chris Gibson, and also spent thirty years in the private sector working in the medical device industry for companies including Stryker and Johnson & Johnson. He is a graduate of Lafayette College, and lives in Clifton Park with his wife, Mary Beth.

Patricia Burke is a Local Government Specialist with the New York State Department of State.  Prior to her service at the Department of State, she worked at the New York State Office of Real Property Services.  Ms. Burke holds a master’s degree in Regional Planning from the State University of New York at Albany, with an environmental concentration that studied wind turbine planning considerations, and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from St. John Fisher College in Rochester.  Prior to her public service, she was an editor for a national legal publishing firm.

John B. Cannie, Esq., has resided permanently in Saratoga Springs since 2015, after spending many summers in the area. He began his practice of law with an Albany-based law firm in 2015 and joined Snyder, Kiley, Toohey, Corbett & Cox, LLP in 2019. His principal areas of practice are commercial and residential real estate; real estate development; zoning and planning; estate administration and litigation; corporate formation; business transactions; evictions; and equine law. He serves clients in Warren, Washington, Albany, & Saratoga Counties, as well as other counties as needed.

Andrew E. Clark, Esq., is a third year Associate attorney at Tabner, Ryan & Keniry, LLP.  His focus and concentration is on municipal law and related civil litigation.

Patrick Cogan is the Zoning & Building Inspector for the City of Saratoga Springs.  In this role, Mr. Cogan is the City’s Head Building Inspector, Zoning Officer, Floodplain Administrator, and Plumbing Inspector.  He oversees all matters of zoning compliance, building permits, construction inspections, and life safety analysis.  Mr. Cogan has extensive knowledge of the NYS Uniform Code and relies on valuable experience gained through a wide variety of roles in the construction industry.  Mr. Cogans is a NYS Certified Code Enforcement Official and a graduate of Clarkson University.

Greg Connors is the President and Chief Executive Officer for the Saratoga Economic Development Corporation commonly known as SEDC. Unanimously appointed by the SEDC Board of Directors in August 2023, Greg is a life-long Saratoga County resident with established experience and professional credentials in both the private and public sectors specifically, real estate sales, economic development, government relations and community service. For 10 years, Greg served as a member of the senior leadership team at GlobalFoundries in the Office of Government Relations, responsible for state, regional and local government interactions in both New York and Vermont. Prior to his time at GF, Greg was the elected Town/County Supervisor for the Town of Stillwater and with Malta Supervisor Dave Meager, created the PDD legislation that formed the Luther Forest Technology Campus, now home to GlobalFoundries Fab 8. Greg was also, at the time, the author of the only tax revenue sharing agreement between municipalities (Malta/Stillwater, Ballston Spa/Stillwater School Districts) in NYS. For over 30 years Greg was affiliated with his family’s insurance, real estate and financial services company located in Mechanicville, a company founded by his father 69 years ago and now operated by his brothers and sisters. Greg and his wife Marilyn reside in the Town of Malta and are the parents of 2 sons and grandparents to 4, all residents of Saratoga County.

John Donnan, IE, is a Traffic/Transportation Designer in VHB’s Albany office. He received his Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from Clarkson University. He has worked as a transportation consultant in the Capital Region for four years in addition to his four years of construction inspection experience.  His experience at VHB includes traffic impact studies, planning studies, agency permitting, highway design, signal design, and detailed safety studies.  In his role as a transportation consultant, he often coordinates with municipal, county, and state agencies on transportation topics and presents transportation studies and finding at municipal and agency meetings, including planning boards and zoning boards.

Sean M. Doty is a Principal of KSPE, PLLC Engineering, a firm specializing in Civil and Environmental Engineering services, with its main office located in Bolton Landing, New York.  He has delivered a diverse array of projects to public, private and non-profit entities over his 20 years of experience in engineering. He has served as Designated Engineer to municipal, regional, and state entities in which capacity has assisted in advancing their broad initiatives including infrastructure rehabilitation and development, special district formation, recreation opportunity advancement, regulation development and adoption, site development and planning and zoning support. He brings extensive experience in securing funding for, designing and managing complex infrastructure projects from project inception to commissioning. Sean has successfully completed many water resources-based projects including water quality improvement projects, wastewater and water utility and process facility improvements and stormwater management and drainage improvement projects among many others.

Sara Drury, EIT, is a Civil Engineer with LaBella Associates, in the Albany and Glens Falls offices. She received her Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from SUNY at Buffalo in 2015. Her work spans the public and private sectors, focusing on land development, redevelopment, stormwater management, and green infrastructure. As a Project Manager, her active and completed projects cover all regions of New York State. One of her most notable contributions to the field has been her work on revisions to the NYSDEC Stormwater Management Design Manual, where she was an active team member updating the previous 2015 manual and establishing the new state standards for stormwater management. The manual is currently awaiting final release for use throughout the state.

Christopher Eastman has been manager of the Local Government Training program at the New York Department of State since 2009. He has also worked as a city planner, a county planner, and for the Preservation League of New York State. He received his master’s in regional planning from the State University of New York at Albany in 2002.

Pamela Fuller was elected Mayor of the Village of Greenwich in 2016, after serving as a Village Trustee for 2 years.  Her undergraduate degree was in Sociology and Psychology, and she holds an MS. in Public Health Education. She has worked in higher education publishing since 1993, working remotely out of her Greenwich office. Before her tenure as Mayor, she served on the Village Dissolution Study committee, which was defeated in a Village referendum. Pam’s focus as Mayor has been revitalization of the Village downtown, including water and wastewater infrastructure. The Village has received and completed several grants, allowing renovations of blighted properties in the downtown business corridor, and including the goal of showcasing local agricultural products. The Village received two Restore NY grants in the 2022 round. She has championed collaboration with the Town of Greenwich through shared service grants, including the Brownfields Opportunity Area designation grant, followed by the BOA pre-development grant where the focus is on updating the Zoning code for both municipalities. The Village and Town of Greenwich also jointly updated the Comprehensive Plan and are currently working on a plan to enhance biking and walking corridors in the area.

Joseph Grasso is a regular contributor to the Conference, frequently speaking on various land use topics important to Saratoga County municipalities.  His goal is to assist Planning and Zoning Boards with carrying out their duties to the best of their ability.  Mr. Grasso is the Supervisor of the Town of Charlton, having served on the Town Board for a decade.  During his tenure he has led efforts to update the Town’s regulations to address current land use challenges.  Mr. Grasso also works for CHA, a national planning, engineering, and architectural design firm.  His Project Manager role at CHA has allowed him to assist dozens of municipalities with the review of land use applications and updates to their regulations.  His experience serving private developers, Planning and Zoning Boards and in a legislative position affords him unique perspectives into the most complex or controversial development applications.

Jaclyn S. Hakes, AICP, is an Associate and Director of Planning Services at MJ Engineering and Land Surveying, P.C. Ms. Hakes has assisted communities for over 23 years in balancing land use, transportation, environmental and quality of life issues through consensus-based planning. She has award-winning experience in both the public and private sectors focusing on comprehensive planning, complete streets, public engagement, resiliency planning, public engagement, waterfront and downtown revitalization, zoning, SEQRA and NEPA. A graduate of the Binghamton University Environmental Studies and Geography programs and the University at Albany Masters in Regional Planning Program, Ms. Hakes also provides technical support to land use boards throughout the Capital Region. Ms. Hakes is often a guest speaker on planning-related topics at Skidmore College, the University at Albany and Fordham Law. She serves on the Leadership Saratoga Advisory Board, the Saratoga PLAN Emeritus Board and the Wilton Wildlife Preserve and Park Board. Ms. Hakes also serves on the Community Advisory Board for the University at Albany Graduate Planning Program and volunteers with the Capital Region Future City competition.

William M. Hoblock, Esq., is a founding partner and President of Richbell Capital Development Group (RBC).  Mr. Hoblock has led the way in making RBC a full-service real estate company since it was founded in 2001 with expertise in property development, construction services, property management, asset management and real estate finance. With an emphasis on ground-up multifamily development, RBC’s focus is building an institutional quality real estate portfolio.  An attorney, Mr. Hoblock is licensed to practice law in the State of New York. Mr. Hoblock also served two terms as a member of the Albany County Legislature.  Prior to joining RBC, Mr. Hoblock spent four years with Nextel Partners, Inc., where he was responsible for developing wireless communication facilities throughout the Northeast. Prior to joining Nextel, Mr. Hoblock was an attorney in private practice with the law firm of Thorn and Gershon, LLP in Albany, New York.  Mr. Hoblock graduated cum laude with a JD from Albany Law School of Union University and holds a BA from St. Lawrence University. He is also a licensed real estate broker in the State of New York.

Floria Huizinga is the Senior Planner and Stormwater Management Officer for the Town of Malta. She has worked with the municipality for over thirteen (13) years. She manages the Town’s stormwater program to maintain compliance with the NYSDEC SPDES Stormwater Construction and MS4 Permit requirements.  Ms. Huizinga is a SUNY Empire State University graduate, and a certified NYS Erosion and Sediment Control Professional.

Matthew J. Jones, Esq., is the senior partner at Jones Steves Grassi.  He has been practicing land use law in Saratoga Springs for the past 44 years.  In 2008 and again 2010 and 2022, Mr. Jones led the development teams for GlobalFoundries through the approvals of Fabs 8.1 and 8.2.  His development clients include The Saratoga Hospital, Skidmore College, and a wide variety of businesses and developers in and around Saratoga County.

Kristopher Kassay relocated from Gansevoort, New York to the Town of Lake Luzerne in the fall of 2020.  His employment experience over two decades has been primarily within the construction and service industry.  In 2021, Mr. Kassay was hired by the Town Board to attend all meetings as the Zoom administrator and to assist with computer, audio and video equipment.  He then transitioned to the position of Deputy Zoning Enforcement Officer to assist in processing land use applications, researching archival records, and inspecting properties to ensure compliance with zoning codes and regulations.  Upon adoption of a local law regulating short-term rentals in the Town of Lake Luzerne in May of 2023, Mr. Kassay was appointed to the position of Short-Term Rental Officer and has taken on the responsibility of permitting, inspecting, and enforcing said law.

William J. Keniry, Esq., is a partner at Tabner, Ryan & Keniry, LLP.  He has practiced municipal law for thirty-four (34) years. He, and other members of the firm, are very active in counseling municipalities in connection with all aspects of municipal law and litigation that arises from municipal action.

Kim Lambert is a Senior Planner with the Saratoga County Department of Planning and Economic Development and the Administrator for the County Industrial Development Agency. Ms. Lambert has more than 20 years of project management, business development, and client and community engagement experience at the local, state, national, and international levels from the promotional products manufacturing, non-profit, and food safety industries. Prior to service at Saratoga County, Ms. Lambert reviewed large Municipal Waste Reduction and Recycling State Assistance Capital Grant applications from $10,000 to $2,000,000 and recommended funding approvals for eligible projects for the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation. She received her Master’s in Regional Planning from the University at Albany (SUNY) and a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Management and Technology from Rochester Institute of Technology.

Linda Mackey works as a Historic Preservation Program Analyst in the Survey and National Register Unit at the Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation (OPRHP).  She holds a BA in Anthropology from the University at Buffalo, and a MS in Historic Preservation from the University of Pennsylvania. Prior to her employment with OPRHP, she worked in the private sector as an architectural historian conducting large-scale surveys and assisting federal agencies in fulfilling their duties under Section 106. At OPRHP, Ms. Mackey is responsible for overseeing the statewide inventory of historic resources in New York City, preparing determinations of eligibility, and assisting communities with surveys to identify and evaluate historic resources worthy of protection. Additionally, she provides guidance to the public in developing and completing official National Register nomination forms and assists in the identification of buildings that are eligible for Historic Tax Credit programs. Since 2022, Ms. Mackey has served as the Statewide Certified Local Government (CLG) Coordinator, providing training and support to municipalities formally designated as CLGs by the National Park Service.

Brian Marsh was elected Mayor of the Village of Menands in 2023 for a 4-year term after concluding 4 years as a Village Trustee on the Board of Trustees. He graduated from Babson College in Boston Massachusetts with a bachelor’s degree in finance, management, and accounting. His first 10 years of work included various positions at a large financial firm and then 13 years at IBM Software Group in Cambridge MA. After moving back to the Capital Region from Boston approximately 10 years ago, he has focused on residential and commercial real estate – both sales and property management working for Coldwell Banker Prime Properties. He also owns a growing rental property portfolio mostly located in Troy.  Brian’s focus and passion has been to revitalize the retail corridor of Broadway in Menands.  Several large renovation projects have been initiated recently in Menands with his direct involvement. He assisted with the redesign of the entire Village Zoning Code approved in 2023.

Charles “Chuck” Marshall, after stints in the New York State Assembly and municipal consulting, has been the Real Estate Representative for Stewart’s Shops since 2012.  Through his time at Stewart’s, Mr. Marshall has appeared before more than 500 municipal land use and legislative board meetings for approvals related to new store construction, existing store modifications and the expansion of their manufacturing facility.  In addition to being a former member of the Saratoga County Sewer Commission, he is now a member of the City of Saratoga Springs Planning Board.

Alanna Moran, PE, is a Senior Project Manager in VHB’s Albany office. She received her Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and has worked as a transportation consultant in the Capital Region for more than 20 years.  Her experience includes traffic impact studies, planning studies, parking evaluations, and detailed safety studies. She has provided technical presentations at numerous industry conferences.  In her role as a transportation consultant, Ms. Moran consistently finds herself representing public agencies and private developers to discuss traffic and transportation conditions at public meetings including planning board, zoning board, and other municipal meetings in the Capital Region and throughout New York state.

Ian Murray is the Supervisor for the Town of Saratoga. Prior to being elected Supervisor, Mr. Murray served 26 years on the Planning board with 21 years as Chairman. He is currently in his 11th year serving on the Saratoga County Planning Board. Mr. Murray brings more that 40 years of experience and ownership in the landscape, construction and development industries.

Scott Reese is the Stormwater Management Officer and Zoning Administrator with the Town of Clifton Park. He is responsible for the Town’s Stormwater Management Plan, advising the Town Board, Planning Board, and the Environmental Conservation Commission on all matters relating to stormwater regulations. Prior to working in the public sector, Mr. Reese worked for himself and other consulting engineers in the Capital District Region focusing on stormwater management design. Scott is a graduate of SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry and is a Registered Landscape Architect.

Matthew G. Rogers has over 25 years of experience in the fields of land use, zoning, and comprehensive planning. He specializes in providing community planning guidance to both rural and urban communities as well as private clients. Mr. Rogers’ prior work with the New York State Adirondack Park Agency has provided him with a unique set of skills that he now uses to assist communities and private clients with the challenges of planning future growth, implementing proper regulatory procedures, and identifying appropriate land use, recreation, and economic development opportunities. Mr. Rogers also served for six years as Planning Board Chair for the Village of Corinth.

Monica Ryan is a Local Government Specialist with the New York State Department of State.  Prior to joining the Department of State, she was a planning consultant for more than twenty years, specializing in zoning and community revitalization planning.  Simultaneously, she was the planner for her town, working with the town’s boards and staff, residents, and developers on planning and development.  Ms. Ryan began her career in the NYS Legislature. She received her master’s degree in Regional Planning from  the University at Albany and a Bachelor of Arts from Siena College.

John Scavo has been the Director of Planning for the Town of Clifton Park since 2008.  He has 24 years of professional planning experience, starting his career as City Planner for Cohoes in 2004. During this time, Mr. Scavo also served as Chairman of the Cohoes Industrial Development Agency and was a founding member of the Cohoes Local Development Corporation.  In 2004, Mr. Scavo joined the Laberge Group, a municipal consulting firm, as Senior Planner and Senior Community Development Specialist.  In 2008, Mr. Scavo became the Director of Planning in the Town of Clifton Park where he and his staff are responsible for overseeing long-term planning and related initiatives, including but not limited to updating the Town’s comprehensive plan, applying zoning laws, designing and implementing capital projects, and developing community strategic plans.

Mark Schachner, Esq., is the Senior Principal Attorney of MILLER, MANNIX, SCHACHNER & HAFNER in Glens Falls and Round Lake. While the firm maintains a general practice of law, Mr. Schachner’s efforts are concentrated in the areas of municipal, environmental, land use and planning/zoning law. In Saratoga County, Mr. Schachner and his colleagues represent the Towns of Corinth, Greenfield, Saratoga and Wilton, serve as Planning/Zoning Counsel for the Town of Malta and the City of Saratoga Springs and are Counsel to the Saratoga County Water Authority and LifeWorks Community Action (formerly Saratoga County Economic Opportunity Council). Mr. Schachner is a graduate of Brown University and Boston University School of Law. He is author of the chapter entitled “Environmental Law – New York State Environmental Quality Review Act (“SEQRA”)” in the book Pitfalls of Practice published by the New York State Bar Association and several articles on Open Government and Ethical Issues in Planning and Zoning. Mr. Schachner has lectured about municipal, environmental, planning and zoning law matters at numerous conferences throughout the State and is a Vice President of the New York Planning Federation.

John L. Scherer is the Historian for the Town of Clifton Park, New York and Senior Historian Emeritus for the New York State Museum.  Mr. Scherer has a B.A. in History from the State University of New York at Albany and a M.A in Museum Studies from the Cooperstown Graduate Program.  He has published numerous books and articles on local history, genealogy, New York decorative arts and popular entertainment and lectures widely on those subjects.  For a number of years he taught a graduate course on material culture studies at the University at Albany, New York.  Mr. Scherer has served as an officer in a number of professional organizations and friends groups including the Association of Public Historians of New York State.

Todd Shimkus has been the President/CEO of the Saratoga County Chamber of Commerce since 2010. Prior to this, he served as the President of the Adirondack Regional Chamber for seven years and as the Vice President of the North Central Massachusetts Chamber starting in 1995. He has a Master’s degree in Urban and Environmental Policy from Tuft’s University and a bachelor’s degree from Clark University, both in Massachusetts. He lives in Saratoga Springs with his wife, Lisa, and they have two adult children, Katelynne who lives in Cambridge, MA., and Benjamin, who lives in New York City.

Frances Stern has been a Historic Site Restoration Coordinator at the NYSHPO since 2020. Prior to that, she served as the Manager of Grants & Technical Services at the Preservation League of NYS. She has a Masters Degree in Historic Preservation from the University of Vermont and a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Art History from Skidmore College. She lives in Albany in a 1916 bungalow that she is lovingly restoring with her husband and daughter.

Nan Stolzenburg, FAICP, CEP, has been the principal consultant on over 75 different planning projects throughout eastern and central New York. Her work concentrates on the planning needs of small and rural communities, and she has been the principal planner for dozens of comprehensive plans, strategic plans, SEQR reviews, zoning and regulatory development projects, and economic development programs.  All the planning projects have significant public engagement efforts that Ms. Stolzenburg has facilitated and conducted including surveys, workshops, interviews, focus groups, public hearings, open houses and steering committee meetings.  Ms. Stolzenburg has been the award winner of multiple state and national planning awards, including one in 2014 for the development of the NYS DEC SEQR SEAF and FEAF Workbook and more recently for work in the Town of Ballston on a local purchase of development rights program. She has a BS in Environmental Science from SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, a MS in Wildlife and Fisheries Biology from University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and a MRP in Regional Planning from the University at Albany. Ms. Stolzenburg has been inducted as a Fellow in the College of American Institute of Certified Planners and is a Certified Environmental Planner and Certified Wildlife Biologist. She has been a consultant for many communities across New York State.  Community Planning & Environmental Associates (CP&EA) was founded in 1992 to provide specialized professional planning consulting services to small and rural communities.  CP&EA has extensive experience with land use and environmental planning, community revitalization, farmland and open space protection, and community involvement strategies.  CP&EA is also a New York State Certified Woman-Owned Businesses.

Michael Valentine has over 30 years of related experience ranging from land acquisition and development (with The Michaels Group (1984-88), and residential property management (creating, developing and managing condominium and HOA developments/communities (as Sponsor, Board President and Manager), to various positions of Municipal Planning (terms as a local planning board member in Halfmoon and later in Queensbury) and serving for 28 years as a Senior Planner with the Saratoga County Planning Department and Administrator for the County IDA.  Mike enjoyed 5 years as a Jr./Sr. High social studies teacher before beginning his career in municipal planning while he was young, and his nerves were still intact.