October 2, 2019 Planning Commission Minutes

October 8, 2019

SOUTH HERO PLANNING COMMISSION MINUTES                                       October 2, 2019

 

Members Present: D. Patterson (Chair); S. Gregg (Vice-Chair); D. Roy; B. Kerr; M. Gammal

Public Present: Suzanna Jaeger; Jim Brightwell; Anne Quinn; Tim Maxham; Jay Buermann; Bob Buermann; Jim Bond; Nate Hayward; Ross Brown; David Carter; Jeff Sikora; Taylor Newton (NRPC); Martha Taylor-Varney (ZA)

 

7PM – D. Patterson called the meeting to order. Introduction of the Board

 

 

Changes to the Agenda

There were none.

 

Public Input

There was none.

 

Public Hearing for Draft Amendments to the South Hero Development Regulations

  1. Patterson gave a brief background on the process of amending the Development Regulations. The Planning Commission was awarded a 2016 Municipal Planning Grant and engaged Taylor Newton and Greta Brunswick from Northwest Regional Planning Commission to assist. As part of the amendments, the Planning Commission decided to add 2 Village Zoning Districts and to consider form-based code in these new districts. Public forums included a walking tour of South Hero and Keeler Bay villages and a public meeting at which participants discussed various design elements that were preferred and completed a visual preference survey from which village district form preferences were considered. Since the beginning of the process, the Commission had over 50 meetings devoted to writing new regulations and amending/clarifying others. The approval process requires at least one Planning Commission public hearing and a Selectboard public hearing, after which the document is approved or not by either the Selectboard or, if they choose, by the Town voters. Taylor Newton was introduced to present the Final Draft and an overview of the changes.

Taylor explained the focus of the updated Regulations were on the 2 new Village Zoning Districts – Keeler Bay village and South Hero village – and the future development in these districts, applicability, removing repetitive language, and providing mandatory, enforceable language. The proposed boundaries of the 2 village zoning districts were presented, and new lot density, setback, and height requirements were discussed.

Clarifications in ‘Development Review’ (Article 3) include exemptions in zoning permit procedure, application requirement and standards, a discussion on the definition of “undue adverse effect”, and setback waivers in the Shoreland and Village Districts. Changes/additions to ‘Subdivision and Boundary Line Adjustment’ (Article 4) include waivers for some submission requirements for subdivisions of large lots, and a new review process for 2 and 3-lot subdivisions allowing for administrative review by the ZA rather than the current minimum 2-hearing review process. Administrative review is limited to only Minor Subdivisions. ‘General Regulations’ (Article 5) includes driveways and access to lots, non-conforming structures, parking, and performance standards. ‘Development Standards’ (Article 6) include landscaping and screening, public infrastructure, roads and pedestrian infrastructure, stormwater management, and the village form and design standards. Bob Buermann wanted to clarify that a driveway standard for single family dwellings are suggestions. Standards for all others are requirements. Jay Buermann questioned the 50-ft. minimum distance of a driveway from an intersection and asked the Commission to consider adding a waiver to areas outside the Village and Shoreland Districts. Taylor emphasized that form requirements do not apply to single family homes, but only for applications requiring reviews by the DRB. Jeff Sikora asked if the entrance orientations applied only to street-side entrances, since some main entrances are located at the side of structures. He felt the architectural details seemed subjective and would like to see better definitions. He felt the window placement should be “form follows function.” He also said that the examples sown in the Regulations looked like old designs and did not address renewables. Ross Brown asked if the designs were unique to South Hero. Would there be waivers to entrance, setback, and parking requirements due to septic/leach field design? (No). Would community septic be allowed or encouraged? The Commission suggested that Jeff Sikora work with David Roy to clarify the section on form.

‘Specific Uses and Structures’ (Article 7) clarify language for accessory structures, home businesses, lake access structures and marinas, conversion of seasonal dwellings, and telecom facilities. ‘Administration and Enforcement’ (Article 8) clarifies the ZA’s responsibilities in addition to the appeal process (to both the ZA’s decisions and the DRB’s), and zoning violations, including the option for civil enforcement. ‘Flood Hazard Area and River Corridor’ (Article 9) adds River Corridor regulations, allowing the Town to qualify for Emergency Relief and Disaster funds, to recoup a higher percentage of funds from damages to municipal facilities or roads from FEMA. ‘General Definitions’ (Article 10) added 71 definitions to the amended Regulations.

There were numerous questions/concerns by public who attended the meeting:

  1. Jay Buermann questioned the need for a traffic impact study for a parking lot for 25 cars or more (Sec. 605.C.3). He felt that 25 was a low limit. He also asked for a definition of “hammerhead” and questioned whether the 35-ft. exterior radius for a cul-du-sac in Figure 6.1 was too small for a delivery truck to turn around. He suggested 42 feet. Stormwater regulations in Sec. 606 requiring a stormwater plan for areas of 5000sf or more were too regulatory. He commented that Shore Stabilization was not cited specifically in Article 7 (specific Uses and Structures). He suggested that the DRB, Planning Commission, and Zoning Administrator do a ‘test run’ of a theoretical project to see how the new regulations apply.
  2. Jeff Sikora was concerned that the form requirements made the use of renewables on the roof or the side more difficult. Should there be an option for a waiver from form for innovative design? Doug Patterson suggested that Jeff Sikora work with David Roy to clarify the section on form.
  3. Tim Maxham had concerns regarding the looks of buildings. He felt that owners should be able to do what they want. He cited interim zoning and how it divided the Town. He stated that he does not like that there are no density requirements in the proposed village districts due to the requirements for septic.

 

8:37 PM – D. Patterson closed the hearing.

 

Meeting Minutes

  1. Gregg moved to approve the minutes from September 4, 2019, with corrections; B. Kerr second. All in favor.

 

New/Old Business

  1. Gregg asked what the advantages were for Form Base Design? This was followed by a discussion on character of the street.

 

Administrator’s Report

  1. The Planning Commission’s November 6, 2019 meeting will host the Northern Lake Champlain Basin Plan public forum. Location is still to be determined. The forum will be hosted by Amanda Holland of Northwest Regional Planning Commission.
  2. There will be a meeting on October 16, 2019 at UVM, hosted by Local Motion, featuring Jeff Speck, a walk/bike advocate and planner.

 

 

Adjournment

9PM – S. Gregg moved to adjourn; D. Roy second. All in favor.

 

Respectfully submitted,

Martha Taylor-Varney, ZA

 

 

Signed: __________________________________________ Date: _____________________

For the Planning Commission

 

 

These minutes are unofficial until approved at the next regularly scheduled meeting. All motions were unanimous unless otherwise indicated.

September 4, 2019 PC Minutes

September 10, 2019

SOUTH HERO PLANNING COMMISSION MINUTES                           September 4, 2019

 

 

Members Present: D. Patterson (Chair); S. Gregg (Vice-Chair); D. Roy; B. Kerr; M. Gammal.

Public Present: Tim Maxham; Martha Taylor-Varney, ZA.

 

7:00 PM – D. Patterson called the meeting to order.

 

Changes to the Agenda

There were none.

 

Public Input

There was none, at the moment.

 

MPG – 2020 Update

The new estimate for a feasibility study for wastewater and municipal water for the entire town increased from the original $50,000 to $70,000 range given to the Town in May to $200,000 to $250,000 now. There was discussion wondering if the amount was so high because engineering firms are so busy right now and are quoting themselves out of contention. The PC agreed to stay with the original estimate of $70,000 for a study of the full scope rather than reducing the scope to the 2 villages or municipal water for the entire town and municipal wastewater for the village only. They would like to know how far $70.000 will go. There was additional discussion on other water districts within the Town (Allen Point, Shadowland, etc.).

 

Review of Development Regulations – Any additional edits?

The Commission members reviewed the maps of the proposed boundries of the 2 new Village Zoning Districts. There was discussion about whether these districts should extend to the lake, should the South Hero village district include the Lavin property, how far down South St. should the district extend? The members decided to present the maps with the South Hero village district extending from the lake south to Folsom, and to include the Lavin parcel, and let the public comment on them at the Oct. 2 hearing.   B. Kerr questioned whether the wetlands area of the Lavin property should be included in the Conservation District even though wetlands cannot be developed.

There were some additional minor edits to the Development Regulations draft.

 

Meeting Minutes

  1. Gregg move to approve the minutes from August 21, 2019; B. Kerr second. All in favor.

 

New/Old Business

Three was none.

 

 

Administrator’s Report

  1. The Planning Commission’s public hearing for the updated Development Regulations is scheduled for Wednesday, October 2nd at 7PM, to be held at the Worthen Library. Taylor Newton of NRPC will present the new additions and changes to the document. Planning Commission Chair Doug Patterson will give an outline of the Commission’s schedule of work over the past 3 years as an introduction to the presentation.
  2. There will be no meeting on September 18.

 

8:48 PM – S. Gregg moved to adjourn; B. Kerr second. All in favor.

 

Respectfully submitted,

Martha Taylor-Varney, ZA

 

 

Signed: ________________________________________ Date: _____________________

For the Planning Commission

 

 

These minutes are unofficial unless approved at the next regularly scheduled meeting. All motions were unanimous unless otherwise indicated.

May 1, 2019 PC Minutes

August 30, 2019

Feb. 20, 2019 PC minutes

August 30, 2019

SOUTH HERO PLANNING COMMISSION MINUTES                     February 20,2019

 

Members Present: D. Patterson-Chair, S. Gregg-Vice Chair, B. Kerr, M. Gammal

Members Absent: D. Roy

Public Present: Chelsea Mandigo-Rec Commission, Dave Hobbs-Rec Commission, Linda                            Burger-Rec Commission, Jack Brooks-Rec Commission, Tim Maxham

 

7 PM – D. Patterson called the meeting to order.

 

Changes to the Agenda: There were none

 

Public Input: There was none

 

South Hero Rec Commission: SH Rec Comm members presented the “South Hero Community Trails Project”Connecting Us to Each Other & Important Community Places”.

A map was presented that clearly showed three (3) prioritized trails that will expand and connect to already existing trails.

Priority #1: Folsom-Library Trail

Priority #2: Landon-Folsom Trail

Priority #3: South Street-Roy Marsh (Creamery Creek) Trail

 

#1 Folsom – Library Trail would require addressing Trail Patrons’ safely crossing Route 2 to access the new Library, Community Health Center, Wally’s, and future Senior Housing Project.

 

#2 Landon-Folsom Trail would require some “turnpike” (Raised) stretches over blue areas on the map.

 

#3 South Street-Roy Marsh will be addressed at a later date.

 

General issues/notes:

  1. SH Rec Com already has Memoranda of Understanding from each landowner that states they are willing to further discuss these trails and work with the Commission.
  2. Upon complete build-out at #260 (Library currently under construction & a planned office building should begin construction later this spring) the DOT will re-evaluate the traffic along Route 2 at the entrance to see if some sort of traffic calming is in order.
  3. D. Patterson expressed that the Plannning Commission would like to see sidewalks along the south side of Route 2. Note: sidewalks already exist along the north side.
  4. Signage: Trail signage has been discussed by the SH Rec Comm and grants have been identified to help with the cost.
  5. SH Rec Comm is planning general public outreach to get feedback from the community.
  6. SH Rec Comm was reminded that the SH PC is here to provide support in this endeavor and will sign letters of recommendation to that effect for grant applications.
  7. SH Rec Comm already posts signs during hunting season that the trails are closed for safety.

 

Discussion on the Application for NDA was postponed until the next meeting.

 

Discussion on the maximum height of new buildings within the new Village Zones was discussed. It was noted that SHVFD does not have the capacity to reach a proposed 45 foot height. Discussion followed and resulted in a Motion by B. Kerr to have the maximum height within the Village Zones be 40 feet. Motion seconded by S. Gregg. The vote was unanimous.

 

The PC went on record as disappointed that the new Fire & Rescue Building does not have sprinklers.

 

Status of Sign Ordinance: First public meeting has been warned for March 6,2019 PC meeting.

The Selectboard is asked to attend.

 

Meeting Minutes: Motion by B. Kerr to approve the Minutes of the PC Meeting January 16, 2019, Motion seconded by M. Gammal. Three voted in favor; D. Patterson abstained as he was absent. Motion passed.

 

New/Old Business: None

 

Administrator’s Report: Read by D. Patterson in lieu of the Zoning Administrator’s absence. A copy is available in the Town Office.

 

8:30 PM Adjournment: Motion to Adjourn by B. Kerr and Seconded by S. Gregg the vote was unanimous.

 

Respectfully submitted by,

Sandy Gregg, Vice Chair SHPC

 

 

Signed: ____________________________________________ Date: _____________________

For the Planning Commission

 

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

These minutes are unofficial until they are approved at the next regularly scheduled meeting. All motions were unanimous unless otherwise indicated.

August 21, 2019 PC Minutes

August 30, 2019

SOUTH HERO PLANNING COMMISSION MINUTES                                       August 21, 2019

 

Members Present: D. Patterson (Chair); S. Gregg (Vice-Chair); D. Roy; B. Kerr; M. Gammal

Public Present: Tim Maxham; Martha Taylor-Varney, ZA

 

7:00 PM – D. Patterson called the meeting to order.

 

Changes to the Agenda

There were none.

 

Public Input

There was none (…at the moment).

 

MPG 2020 – Scope?

  1. Roy asked that if there was public wastewater throughout Town, would community systems be considered? B. Kerr said she was on the fence. Are we trying to overdevelop South Hero? She felt strongly that any proposal should be aimed toward protecting the lake rather than how much of the town’s open space could be developed. This is just a feasibility study to identify options for town-wide water and/or wastewater. D. Patterson disagreed that town-wide water or wastewater would drive development. He wants to see a first broad brush that could identify options that could be available for the future. A feasibility study won’t obligate the Town to follow through with any of the findings. S. Gregg and M. Gammal agreed. The consensus of the Commission was to direct NRPC to apply for a grant for a feasibility study for both water municipal water and wastewater town wide.

 

Review Draft Development Regulations

There was some discussion about proposed Figure 4.1 (Subdivision Review Process: At a Glance) regarding the proper sequence after ‘Pre-application Conference’ – there as confusion about the process of Administrative Review vs. a DRB hearing and how clearly the chart spelled out whether the application will be reviewed next by the ZA or the DRB. Martha will talk to Taylor Newton at NRPC to see if this can be made clearer.

 

At the October 2, 2019 Planning Commission public hearing D. Patterson will introduce Taylor Newton and explain the background/relationship between South Hero and NRPC with this project.

 

Need to confirm the boundaries of the 2 proposed Village Zoning Districts with NRPC.

 

Meeting Minutes

  1. Gregg moved to approve the minutes from the August 7, 2019 Planning Commission meeting; D. Roy second. All in favor.

New/Old Business

  1. Kerr contacted Act 250 to ask if they’d come to a PC meeting in late Oct. or early Nov. to discuss their review process. It will be scheduled on a regular PC meeting night and will be formatted as a Q and A. It was discussed whether to invite other Island towns. The Commission will invite Bob and Jay Buermann to attend.

 

Administrator’s Report

  1. State Gov’t Municipal Days has scheduled several full- and half-days throughout Vermont on dates between Oct 23rd and Nov. 7. There will be a half-day session in Essex Junction. Planning Members are encouraged to attend one. Further information, with agendas for each, is available at info@vermont.gov.
  2. The October 2nd public hearing requires a 30-day warning and will appear in the 8/27/19 issue of the Islander. Planning Commissions from adjacent Towns (Grand Isle, Milton, and Colchester), NRPC, and ACCD can receive the warning and pdf of the draft Regulations by return receipt email. That will be sent out the week of Aug 26.
  3. The Library has been reserved for the 10/2 public meeting.
  4. The next meeting of the Planning Commission will be September 4th. The Sept. 18 meeting may not have a quorum and will be confirmed on the 4th.

 

8:30 PM – S. Gregg moved to adjourn; M. Gammal second. All in favor.

 

Respectfully submitted,

Martha Taylor-Varney, ZA

 

 

Signed: ________________________________________ Date: _____________________

For the Planning Commission

 

These minutes are unofficial until approved at the next regularly scheduled meeting. All motions were unanimous unless otherwise indicated.