January 8, 2020 DRB Minutes

January 21, 2020

SOUTH HERO DEVELOPMENT REVIEW BOARD                                            January 8, 2020


Members Present:    Tim Maxham (Chair); Doug Patterson (Vice Chair); Jim Brightwell (alternate); Ross Brown, Nate Hayward; Gareth Hunt; Liza Kilcoyne

Others Present:          Martha Taylor-Varney (Zoning Administrator); Steve Welch (alternate nominee)

Members Absent:      Sherry Corbin

Public Present:          Bond, Jim; Cobb, Jim; Curtis, Beth; DuBuque, Everett; Egan, Carol; Little, Matthew; Spence, Cynthia

Call to Order:              Meeting was called to order by T. Maxham at 7:00 p.m.

Changes to Agenda:   None

Public Input:               None


Hearing:                      20-18-MR007 James G. Bond 3-Lot Subdivision Final Plan Review

  1. Maxham opened the hearing at 7:02 p.m.   T. Maxham recused himself for the duration of this hearing. D. Patterson assumed the chair.

Notice & Oath

  1. Kilcoyne read the hearing warning. D. Patterson administered the oath to the attending members of the public.

Appearing on behalf of the applicant:

James Bond & Beth Curtis

Hearing Notes

  1. Bond stated that per the previous sketch plan review, he is applying to subdivide the 8.5 acre property at 7 Martin Road. He said he is creating two one-acre lots on the northwest corner of his property with the intent of resale. He is contemplating building a retirement home on one of the lots and selling the original farmhouse and one of the new lots.
  2. Patterson said that in the sketch plan review there were 5 issues identified that the applicant needed to address in the final plat. The issues included: (1) correcting abutter information (2) show any wooded areas (3) show location of septic and wells for each lot (4) note that subdivision is entirely within rural-residential district (5) include correct signature boxes for the DRB rather than the Planning Commission. D. Patterson said that all of those issues appear to have been addressed in the final plat presented for approval.
  3. Patterson asked if permit applications for potable and waste water have been submitted.   J. Bond said that they were submitted this morning.
  4. Patterson asked for any questions from the Board. There being none, D. Patterson asked for comment or questions from the audience.

Matthew little said that he was appearing on behalf of Randy Delong, a neighboring property owner. The said that Mr. DeLong asked him to present his concern on the overshadowing of the leach field from the septic on his property.

  1. Patterson asked Mr. DeLong if he was aware that that septic was State and not Town jurisdiction. Mr. Little said yes.

There being no further questions or comments, R. Brown moved to accept the application as complete; N. Hayward seconded the motion. The motion passed by acclamation.

  1. Patterson closed the hearing 7:13 p.m.
  2. Maxham resumed the chair.


Hearing:                      20-32-RT266 Carol Egan/Turn To Joy Child Center Site Plan Revision

  1. Maxham opened the hearing at 7:16 p.m.

Notice & Oath

  1. Patterson read the hearing warning. T. Maxham administered the oath to the attending members of the public.

Appearing on behalf of the applicant:

Carol Egan / Jim Cobb



Hearing Notes

  1. Maxham asked the applicants to highlight the changes to the site plan. Carol Egan said the revised site plan notes specify that there were will a total of 6 staff and 24 children (the original application was for 22 children). There will be a new wastewater system, and changes to parking. The revised plan includes parking for 12 cars and an additional 4 spaces on the Wally’s side of Carter Lane (northeast corner of the property).
  2. Patterson asked if the 6 staff number includes Carol Egan, and whether all staff will be present all day. Carol Egan said that the staff number includes her. She said that 4 of the staff will be there most of the day; sometimes all 6 will be there simultaneously.   Employee hours will be staggered.
  3. Kilcoyne said that there was a comment (in the Administrator’s summary) that the daily traffic flow seems high. She said that with 22 kids, there would likely be 22 trips in and 22 trips out, plus staff trips makes about 60 trips.   The administrative write-up says that the engineer prepared the daily trip estimate based on information provided by the Institute for Traffic Engineers (ITE) and noted that the estimate was high. She asked if the Board was obligated to address the estimate.
  4. Patterson cited a case in New Hampshire for a childcare center with 40 employees and 210 children where the trips were 67% below the ITE book. With discussion, the Board concluded that the ITE figure could be discounted based on common sense.
  5. Kilcoyne said that it seems the number of parking spaces is reasonable for pick up and drop off especially considering the cars are there for maybe 10 minutes.
  6. Hunt said that Note 6 on the site plan had not been updated to show the expected 24 children.
  7. Maxham asked if the applicant was still planning on a two-stage expansion. C. Egan said that they will start with a summer program for 12 infants and toddlers in the existing space, and add 12 preschoolers in the fall once the addition is completed. The second stage will add handicapped accessibility and a handicapped bathroom.
  8. Maxham asked if any lighting was planned for the parking. C. Egan said we plan to do lighting from the building. Note 4 shows the plan for the lighting.
  9. Maxham asked if the applicant would be using both the front and side entrances. C. Egan said infants and toddlers will come in the front; preschoolers in the side. Handicapped access will be on the side. Doug Patterson asked if that’s where the existing concrete pad is. C. Egan said yes.
  10. Maxham asked if there will be a path in front of the cars for kids and parents to use in walking from the parking area to the building entrance. C. Egan said that there will be a gravel path in front of the cars in the parking area. Large stones will separate the cars from the path.
  11. Maxham expressed a concern that with heavy snow, the applicant would need to remove snow from the walkway so that the employees don’t have to use Carter Lane to get to the building.
  12. Maxham said he only sees 3 parking spaces on the diagram. C. Egan said that they came up with a plan to do 4 spaces.
  13. Welch asked how many year-round residences there were on Carter Lane. M. Taylor-Varney said there were 4 year-round residences. S. Welch said that he was concerned that snow not pile up on the north end of the parking area and block the line of sight of cars coming out of Carter Lane.
  14. Patterson said it looked like there were about 5 parking spaces encroaching into the Carter Lane right-of-way and that the two boulders protecting the septic system were also in the right-of-way. C. Egan said that the septic system depicted was the existing system. With discussion, the applicant agreed that because there would be changes to the septic, the boulders could be moved out of the right-of-way and closer to the septic system. N. Hayward observed that the offending parking spaces could be moved further west and out of the right-of-way without impacting access to the building.
  15. Maxham asked what the size of the parking spaces was. M. Taylor-Varney said 9’x20’.
  16. Maxham said that he had a concern that special events may put pressure on the available parking. He said that the applicant would need to consider how to handle that so that Carter Lane residents would not be impacted.

Not hearing any additional questions from the Board, T. Maxham opened to public comment and questions.

Cindy Spence, a neighbor, said that she was glad that the building was being occupied and welcomed the facility.

  1. Taylor-Varney noted that she had a conversation with abutter Swanson who was concerned with how the septic might change flow of water onto their property, and that she had explained that septic was under State jurisdiction. She said that these neighbors wanted their concern aired at this hearing, but supported the childcare center and would like to see it happen.

Hearing no further questions, T. Maxham closed hearing at 7:40 p.m.


Old Business

  1. Taylor-Varney asked J. Brightwell to recap some questions he had asked on issues of interest to the Board at the NRPC training “Essentials of Land Use Regulation and Training”. M. Taylor-Varney noted that the training would be offered in South Hero at the Worthen Library on Tuesday, February 4th from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
  • Regarding how the Board can have discussion to develop additional questions for an application, the NRPC trainers felt that discussion should be held during the hearing itself. They did not feel that discussion of an application outside of a hearing, other than in deliberation after a hearing is closed, would be compliant with open meeting law.
  • Since the main motivation for additional discussion is lack of opportunity to review material and develop questions, the NRPC trainers suggested establishing a deadline for submission of materials. Often newly revised or supplemental materials are submitted at the last minute. The trainers suggested that since information related to an application is supposed to be on file at the Town for public inspection from the time the warning is published, last minute submission of material deprives the public as well as the Board of the opportunity for thorough review. NRPC suggested that deadlines are commonplace in other towns.
  • According to NRPC staff, Boards can perform deliberations in public (after hearings are closed) but are not required to do so.
  • Although appeals to Environmental Court are de novo (meaning that a new hearing with the presentation of new evidence is allowed as if the local hearing did not take place) the judges at the Environmental Division have revealed that they will inquire as to what happened at the lower level to better understand the case, so the written decision and record will be considered.


The Board discussed the desirability of establishing a deadline for submittal of materials. M. Taylor-Varney suggested that if the deadline was the warning date, any materials received after that date would not be included with the submittals in the review package, but could be introduced by the applicant at the hearing. The Board could then decide whether the new materials warranted a continuation of the hearing to allow Board members and the public time for review.

After discussion, D. Patterson made a motion that a complete application must be submitted to the Zoning Officer by the warning date 15 days prior to the hearing. J. Brightwell seconded the motion. The motion was carried by acclamation.

  1. Maxham asked J. Brightwell (clerk) where he was with implementing recording of DRB meetings on a Town-owned digital recording device, as the Board had previously voted in favor of a resolution to do so. J. Brightwell said that he had identified and purchased an inexpensive recorder which he would donate to the town and would bring it in for a trial next meeting.

Review of Minutes

  1. Kilcoyne moved to accept the minutes of minutes of December 11th. The motion was seconded by R. Brown. The motion passed by acclamation.

Administrator’s Report

The Administrator’s Report was delivered by Martha Taylor-Varney (Zoning Administrator).

Santor Subdivision:

  1. Taylor-Varney said that a 4th lot owned by an abutter that could be served by the right-of-way on the Santor property was overlooked at the time of the recent subdivision approval.   The submittals associated with the application showed the abutting Lyman Brownell property as a single 10-acre lot. M. Taylor-Varney subsequently noticed on the Town’s parcel map that the Brownell property was in fact two lots. Because of this 4th lot that could be served by the ROW, Town development regulations require a 50’ width for the ROW across the Santor property instead of the lesser width that was approved. Santor wants a waiver for this requirement. Abutter Brownell is not interested in doing a boundary line adjustment at this time to merge the two lots back into a single 10-acre parcel.

After discussion, the Board concluded that the ROW across Santor does not extend to the 4th lot, and Brownell has the ability to create a ROW across his property to provide access to the 4th lot should he want to sell it.

  1. Patterson asked if the recorded survey for the subdivision approved by the Board is correct, and said that if it is not correct, it has to be corrected. M. Taylor-Varney said that she would have to check.

Upcoming Schedule:

January 22: No hearing; deliberative for Bond, Egan.

February 12: No hearing or deliberative scheduled.

February 26: Continuation of R.L. Vallee hearing.

  1. Taylor-Varney reminded the Board that since the draft development regulations have been presented to the Selectboard, new applications are being reviewed under both sets of regulations until the bylaws are approved or 150 days, whichever occurs first.
  2. Maxham reminded the Board that the meeting on January 22nd will be a reorganizational meeting and will include election of the Chair and Vice Chair. J. Brightwell (now an alternate) has been nominated to the Selectboard as an alternate; Steve Welch has been nominated as an alternate.


  1. Hunt moved to adjourn the business meeting; the motion was seconded by L. Kilcoyne and carried by acclamation at 8:55 p.m.


Respectfully submitted,


James G. Brightwell

Clerk for S. Hero Development Review Board



Signed: ____________________________________________ Date: __________________

                        For the Development Review Board

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

January 22, 2020 DRB Agenda

January 21, 2020



January 22, 2020


South Hero Town Office @ 7:00 PM






  1. Changes to the Agenda
  2. Public Input
  3. Annual Board Reorganization: elect officers for 2020
  4. Sign Wright Family 3-lot subdivision Mylar (20-19-WS353)
  5. Old Business
  6. Review of Minutes
  7. Administrator’s Report
  8. Adjournment
  9. Deliberative



January 8, 2020 DRB Agenda

January 2, 2020



January 8, 2020


South Hero Town Office @ 7:00 PM






  1. Changes to the Agenda
  2. Public Input
  3. James G. Bond 3-Lot Subdivision Final Plan Review — 20-18-MR007
  4. Carol Egan/Turn To Joy Child Center Site Plan Revision – 20-32-RT266
  5. Old Business
  6. Review of Minutes
  7. Administrator’s Report
  8. Adjournment
  9. Deliberative


December 11, 2019 DRB Agenda

December 17, 2019



December 11, 2019


South Hero Town Office @ 7:00 PM






  1. Changes to the Agenda
  2. Public Input
  3. Brian and Julie Wolfe Variance Request to add living space to a replacement structure within the setback — 20-25-PS009
  4. Jeff Sikora (Agent)/John Wagner Sketch Plan review for a 2-lot subdivision at 487 W. Shore Rd. – 20-31-WS487
  5. Keeler Bay Campground and Marina request for an amended site plan – 20-30-RT456
  6. Old Business
  7. Review of Minutes
  8. Administrator’s Report
  9. Adjournment
  • Deliberative


December 11, 2019 DRB minutes

December 17, 2019

DRB Meeting                         12/11/2019                            South Hero Town Office                       


DRB Members Present: Tim Maxham (Chairman), Doug Patterson (Vice Chair), Sherri Corbin, Lisa Kilcoyne, Bob Krebs, Ross Brown, Gareth Hunt.

Public Present: Julie and Brian Wolfe; Kevin Donovan; Cathie Merrihew; Mike Welch; Mike and Michele Gammal; Jeff Sikora; Brad Kline; Peter Velusquez; Martha Taylor-Varney, ZA

Meeting called to order at 7:00 pm by T. Maxham.

Agenda was read and one change was made: Item 7 on the original agenda, Review of Minutes, was completed first.

  1. Changes to the agenda – as noted above. A motion was made by Doug P. to accept the minutes of the November 13 meeting, seconded by Garth H. Minutes approved by voice vote.
  2. Public input – none.
  3. Variance request by Brian and Julie Wolfe to add living space to a replacement structure with a variance from the setback on the new second floor (20-25-PS009). Hearing opened at 7:10 p.m.
  • The variance request warning was read by D. Patterson for PS009 in Shadowland. T. Maxham administered the oath to the two applicants, Brian and Julie Wolfe. Julie stated one correction in that she is now the sole landowner of the property.
  • The current camp was built in 1929 and has been added onto several times. The Wolfes would like to do renovations, however the current camp is on the original cinder blocks and cannot be leveled due to decaying wood. One corner of the camp is 1.5 feet below the other corners and the doors do not close properly. They looked at various options, including putting steel beams under the bottom structure, but the bottom structure would probably rot also. They would like to keep the camp in the family and enjoy it.
  • The proposal is to remove the current camp and replace it with a new structure that will utilize 97-98% of the existing footprint. The current camp is a non-conforming structure. The setbacks are indicated in red on the site sketch. The current camp is 20 ft. x 50 ft. and the new living space will be in a 20 ft. by 40 ft. footprint, with a bump out on the west wall of the structure which will allow for a better staircase to the second floor. The current roof height is 21 to 22 feet, and the new roof peak will be no higher than the current 22 feet. The exterior walls on the second floor will be 4 foot high knee walls, so it will actually be a one and a half story structure. The current camp has five bedrooms and this will be reduced to three in the new camp, two upstairs and one downstairs.
  • The new camp will also be moved back three feet from the lake, which will preserve existing cedar trees that help stabilize the lakeshore bank. The new structure is proposed to be built nearly on the same footprint and will be within 15 feet of the boundary on the east side of the property. The leach field and tank are within the conforming space in the yard on the west side of the camp. The replacement structure will be on a concrete slab and will be insulated but will continue to be used as a seasonal camp. The roof will be a 7/12 pitch and the new roof’s peak will be turned 90 degrees from what it is now. Approximately two thirds of the structure is within a 75 feet setback from the lake.
  • The new camp will continue to be concealed from the lake by existing cedar trees. The current camp is on a non-conforming lot 80 feet by 100 feet total size, which was originally 2 lots in the original Shadowland subdivision in the 1930’s. Overall they are slightly reducing the footprint of the structure on the ground, but increasing the volume by extending the second floor space.
  • Neighbor to the west, Kevin Donovan, has reviewed the plan and is OK with it. Neighbor to the east, Cathie Merrihew, is also OK with the plan. A third neighbor currently living in Long Island also approves (per email).
  • Shoreland Protection allows 100 square feet of impervious surface and the new structure will add 105 square feet. A Shoreland Protection application will be submitted by the applicants pending the DRB variance decision. The DRB has 45 days to render a decision. Hearing was closed at 7:35 pm.
  1. Jeff Sikora/ John Wagner sketch plan review for a two-lot subdivision at 487 West Shore Rd. The subdivision is to create two 5 acre lots.   This is the first review of the sketch plan. Review 20-31-WS487. Hearing opened at 7:37 pm.
  • Patterson read the warning and T. Maxham administered the oath to Jeff Sikora and Brad Kline (neighbor of John Wagner, landowner).
  • There currently is an existing year around house plus a seasonal camp on the property, with the camp on the lakeshore. Lot 1 has a year-round dwelling (a log cabin) and lot 2 will remain a seasonal camp. S. Corbin made a motion that this be a minor subdivision. Moved by G. Hunt and seconded by S. Corbin. Carried by voice vote.
  • Lot 1 has a septic tank and leach field, lot 2 has an operating septic system. New septic systems designs have been submitted to the State due to the subdivision. Both new septic systems will be located on lot 1. Lot 2 will have an easement for the septic on lot 1. Lot 1 will have a 20 ft-wide right-of-way access along its south boundary to lot 2. Lot 1 has a drilled well, lot 2 currently gets water from the lake. It does have availability for a well. The utilities will have an easement to lot 2 and each lot will have their own dedicated transformer.
  • One owner currently owns the entire lot with no plans, at this time, to further develop either lot.
  • Before the second hearing on this project, several items need to be added to the map:
    1. Indicate true North on the map.
    2. Show the easements for the utilities and waste water for lot 2.
    3. Contours need to be continued from lot 1 to the lake.
    4. Septic shields need to be shown on the final plat.
    5. Zoning districts need to be added (lakefront vs. rural residential).
  • Add abutting landowners and deed information for parcels across the street.
  • State permits have been applied for; they are not sure if the site for the lot 1 well has been determined yet. No new structures are planned, just a subdivision of an existing lot.
  • Public input: Kaitlin Kerrington asked if there are any plans to extend the current driveway. The log cabin on lot 1 is the primary driveway and lot 2 goes through that driveway. There are no plans to extend the driveway. The new proposed ROW to Lot 2 is 20 feet south of the current driveway. If the subdivision is granted, lot 2 will need a new street number since there are no additional 911 numbers available for that section of West Shore Rd. The new right of way will need to be named in order to accommodate the 911 numbering.
  • The applicant has 180 days to apply for the second (and final) hearing per state statue. Hearing closed at 8:11 pm.
  1. Keeler Bay Campground and Marina request for an amended site plan 20-30-RT456. The request is that condition #3 be amended (from the October 23, 2019 DRB decision). Hearing opened at 8:13 pm. Michael and Michele Gammal presented.
  • This hearing is to consider the Applicants’ request to amend Condition #3 from the October 23, 2019 DRB decision only. Mr. Gammal explained that the docks need to be next to the launch area for safety reasons and the new request is that the docks be no closer than 100 feet from the property’s north boundary. This is a change from the previously required distance of 150 feet
  • The new docks will be 100 feet from Peter Velusquez’ property. He expressed concern that subsequent Boards had allowed changes to earlier Boards’ decisions, including the location of the boat ramp and the use of the second right-of-way from Rt 2 along the north boundary of the Campground/Marina property.
  • The hearing was closed at 8:25 pm.
  1. Old business – none.
  2. Administrator’s report :
    • This will be the only meeting this month due to Christmas.
    • January 8 will be two hearings: 1.) final plan review for the Bond subdivision; 2.) Site Plan revision for the previously approved daycare proposed for Carter Lane.
    • No hearings are scheduled for January 22 yet.
    • February 12 will possibly be a conditional use/site plan review.
    • February 26 will be the continuation of the RL Vallee CU/SP review.
    • The Select Board will hold a public hearing on January 6 at 6:00 pm at the Worthen Library for review of the new proposed development regulations.
    • There was discussion about moving the start of meetings to 6PM for the winter. After discussion, it was decided to stay at 7:00 pm as it is hard for some people to get to the meeting by 6:00 pm due to work commitments.
  3. Meeting adjourned at 8:47 pm to go into deliberations. Motion to adjourn by L. Kilcoyne and seconded by D. Patterson. Adjourned.


Respectfully submitted,

Sam Hilliker; Asst. to the 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.