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Zoning is a problem for Knapp

Sunday, August 24, 2014 - Updated: 8:46 AM



PISECO -- Fred Knapp, whose son Andrew has bought the former Piseco Lake Lodge on the west end of Old Piseco Road here, is finding the Town of Arietta Land Use Ordinance difficult to deal with.

Knapp has been told the store and marina may be reopened, but the lodging and restaurant would require a special permit. He feels it should all be grandfathered and he should be able to reopen the business as it was when Alan Barron closed the doors five years ago.

When the Arietta Planning Board met Aug. 12 Chairperson Mary Kiewicz read from the Nonconformity section of the land use code, which states: "Whenever a non-conforming use has been discontinued for a period of one year the use shall not thereafter be re-established except in conformity with this ordinance."

When the Arietta Town Board met Aug. 4 Knapp asked about fueling boats. The zoning regulations say no gasoline pumps or hoses may be located on a dock or a raft or otherwise above a water body.

He asked how people are supposed to put gas in their boats? Are they supposed to take their boats out of the water?

The sign law is also causing Knapp a headache. The current code says, "No advertising sign shall be erected or maintained at a location other than on the same parcel of land where the enterprise advertised is located, nor at a distance greater than 300 feet from the business," and the planning board has proposed making that 200 feet.

Knapp says the sign for Piseco Lake Lodge was on Route 8, about 800 feet from the property, for 50 years. He asked the town board how he could put it back there.


Knapp also wants to upgrade the 330-gallon septic tank with a 1,500-gallon tank rather than repair what is there. He says the larger tank would be better.

He paid the $50 fee for a permit to repair the septic system, but has been notified that he must pay the $75 charged for a permit for a new system.

Knapp does not feel he should have to pay the additional $25, as it is an upgrade to an existing system. The planning board feels this constitutes a new system and he should pay the $75.

Kiewicz said the planning board does not make determinations such as this and does not waive or adjust fees. That is up to the town's Zoning Board of Appeals, she said.

The board feels it was made clear from the beginning that Knapp had approval for the store and marina, but the lodging and restaurant would require a special permit.

According to "Sesquicentennial of the Town of Arietta," Royce and Marie Barnes bought the property in 1947. They opened a boarding house and in 1953 obtained a liquor license and added the bar and grill. A dining room and store were added in 1968.

Note: This article is based on draft minutes of the Arietta Planning Board meeting of Aug. 12, 2014 as provided by Secretary Marie Buanno; and minutes of the Arietta Town Board meeting of Aug. 4, 2014 as provided by Town Clerk Kenneth Parslow.


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