June 24, 2020 DRB Minutes

July 2, 2020

SOUTH HERO DEVELOPMENT REVIEW BOARD                                            June 24, 2020

 

Members Present:    Tim Maxham (Chair), Doug Patterson (Vice Chair), Jim Brightwell, Nate Hayward, Gareth Hunt, Liza Kilcoyne, Mike Welch, Sue Arguin (alternate), W. Rowe (alternate)

Others Present:          Martha Taylor-Varney (Zoning Administrator

Members Absent:      None

Public Present:          Jim Hoag, Lee English

Call to Order:              Meeting was called to order by T. Maxham at 7:00 p.m.  The meeting was conducted by Zoom web meeting software.

Changes to Agenda:   None

Public Input:               None

Hearing:                      (20-58-TL048) Request for Variance – Jim Hoag and Lee English

  1. Maxham opened the hearing at 7:03 p.m.

Notice & Oath

  1. Taylor-Varney read the hearing warning. T. Maxham administered the oath to the attending members of the public.

Appearing on behalf of the applicant:

Jim Hoag and Lee English

Hearing Notes

  1. Hoag said that he was applying for a variance to add a handicap bathroom to his downstairs. In order to do that, he needs to go beyond the existing footprint of the house into the 25’ setback for the Ministry Lane right-of-way by up to five feet. The existing overhang is four feet. There is nowhere else other than the proposed location to put the bathroom as the other locations are all slab or away from the septic system. J. Hoag reminded the Board that the house is nonconforming within the setback as it predates the Ministry Lane ROW.
  2. Maxham asked if the applicant was planning to build out from the foundation towards Town Line Road.   J. Hoag said yes. T. Maxham said so you’re not building any closer to Ministry Lane, but rather you’re here because you’re within the setback. J. Hoag confirmed that he was not building any closer to Ministry Lane and was staying within the pre-existing house envelope.
  3. Patterson said if I understand you correctly, you’re saying that from the existing wall you’re going to go eight feet towards Ministry Lane? J. Hoag said that he was proposing to go eight feet towards Town Line road, not Ministry Lane. J. Hoag said that since the overhang was four feet, he would extend from two to five feet beyond the current footprint towards Town Line Road.
  4. Hayward suggested that the variance specify 9’ from the wall or 5’ from the overhang. D. Patterson asked if there would be an overhang on the bathroom extension. J. Hoag said that there would be a gable end on it so there would be maybe another foot beyond that. D. Patterson suggested that the variance specify 10 feet. J. Hoag agreed that would be more than sufficient. L. Kilcoyne said that the variance should be measured from the wall. L. Kilcoyne asked if there was anything in the space to be built in. J. Hoag said there was nothing in that space now.

Hearing no further questions from the Board, T. Maxham closed the hearing at 7:12 p.m.

 

Old Business

None.

Review of Minutes

  1. Hunt moved to accept the minutes of June 10th, 2020 as corrected. The motion was seconded by L. Kilcoyne and approved by acclamation.

Administrator’s Report

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

  • July 8 there will be two hearings: 1) a waiver request for setback for a parcel in the Shoreland district 2) a site plan revision for MKN Community Lane development to expand parking behind the health center.
  • July 22 Wagner final plat review 2-lot subdivision on Westshore Road.

Adjournment

Motion to adjourn

  1. Patterson moved to adjourn the business meeting. The motion was seconded by W. Rowe and carried by acclamation. The meeting was adjourned at 7:21 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.

June 10, 2020 DRB Minutes

June 18, 2020

SOUTH HERO DEVELOPMENT REVIEW BOARD                                            June 10, 2020

 

Members Present:    Tim Maxham (Chair), Doug Patterson (Vice Chair), Jim Brightwell, Nate Hayward, Gareth Hunt, Liza Kilcoyne, Mike Welch(alternate), Sue Arguin (alternate), W. Rowe

Others Present:          Martha Taylor-Varney (Zoning Administrator); Sandy Gregg (Planning Commission), David Roy (Planning Commission)

Members Absent:      None

Public Present:          Jessica Montani, Bridget and Doug Kerr, Cinthia Spense, Jeff Sikora, Jim and Irene Falby, Sharon Chadwick, Grigori Scarlat, Anne Quinn, Douglas Walker, Michele and Mike Gammal, Mandy Hotchkiss, Paul Hendler.

Call to Order:              Meeting was called to order by D. Patterson at 7:00 p.m.  D. Patterson chaired the meeting at the request of T. Maxham. The meeting was conducted by Zoom web meeting software.

Changes to Agenda:   None

Public Input:               None

Hearing:                      20-51-RT275 Conditional Use Hearing for Trucking Terminal – Grigorii Scarlat

  1. Patterson opened the hearing at 7:05 p.m.

Notice & Oath

  1. Taylor-Varney read the hearing warning. D. Patterson administered the oath to the attending members of the public.

Appearing on behalf of the applicant:

Grigorii Scarlat

Hearing Notes

The hearing was for a conditional use of the parcel at 275 US Route 2, Lot 5, for use as a trucking terminal. The proposed use is not a permitted use as defined in Table 2.1 of the South Hero Development Regulations.

  1. Scarlat said that he is the owner of a small trucking company running about 8 trucks doing long-haul runs. G. Scarlat said that the closest permitted use he found in the South Hero Development Regulations is motor vehicle repair facility, which doesn’t describe all of the things he is requesting. He said he is requesting permission for a trucking terminal, consisting of a 60’x60’ building and a parking lot. Lot 5 is 2.38 acres. G. Scarlat said he is currently renting in Milton and is looking for a facility where he can own and have sufficient room for his operations and accommodate potential growth.
  2. Kilcoyne asked if there was a site plan or if the Board was just looking at conditional use. M. Taylor-Varney said the Board was just looking at conditional use in this hearing.
  3. Scarlat said that he is a prospective buyer of the property and that his purchase of the land was conditional on obtaining the use he needs. He said that he realized that while commercial use was allowed in the village, trucking terminal was not currently an allowed use and he hoped that through this hearing trucking terminal would be added as an allowed use.
  4. Brightwell said that Table 2.1 of the regulations lists the allowed uses in the zone, and that while the DRB could not add new uses to the list, the DRB could provide a conditional use if the use met criteria outlined in Section 302 of the regulations. J. Brightwell said that he did not see in the information packet for the hearing all of the information required of a conditional use applicant by Section 302. M. Taylor-Varney said that the sole purpose of this hearing was to determine whether the proposed use is covered by one or more of the uses listed in Table 2.1.   If the Board found that the proposed use was conditionally permitted, then a full conditional use hearing would be held.
  5. Hayward asked if the Planning Commission had an opportunity to provide input by the provision of Section 204 B (3). M. Taylor-Varney said that Planning Commission members were in attendance for that purpose.
  6. Brightwell apologized for derailing the applicant’s testimony and suggested resuming learning about the proposed use. J. Brightwell asked what type of vehicles would be parked on the facility; how many vehicles; etc. G. Scarlat said that the vehicles would be 18-wheelers (trucks and trailers). Right now he has eight 18-wheelers; there could be twenty in a couple of years. He estimated that there is a maximum physical potential for 30 trucks on the site considering the footprint of the shop. The trucks are 72’ long by 8.5’ wide. The shop would be only for the repair of his trucks and would not be open to the public.
  7. Brightwell asked if all 20-30 trucks would be on the lot at the same time. G. Scarlat said that most trucks would be on the road at any given time except for holidays.
  8. Brightwell asked if there would be refrigerated trailers parked on the lot. G. Scarlat said that he does not run refers, only dry vans (no motorized units attached to the trailers). G. Scarlat said that idling would occur only when the trucks are warming up and building up air for their brakes.
  9. Brightwell asked what the hours of operation would be. G. Scarlat said that most of the activity would be during the day since he is not running a trucking terminal where cargo is transferred, and usually businesses where he is picking up or dropping loads in Vermont work regular business hours. J. Brightwell asked what hours the shop would have. G. Scarlat said 8 to 5, staffed by himself as dispatcher and one part-time mechanic as needed.
  10. Arguin asked how far off of Route 2 is lot 5. G. Scarlat said Lot 5 is the third lot, about 700 feet in. S. Arguin asked what the facility would look like from the road. G. Scarlat said you would see a building, with the trucks parked behind. If necessary, he could provide a visual barrier with trees. Also if Lots 1 & 2 were developed he did not think that his facility would be visible from Route 2. S. Arguin asked if the lot would be paved or gravel. G. Scarlat said the lot would be gravel. S. Arguin asked if the noise would bother the neighbors. G. Scarlat said that the neighbor to the east was a machine shop; to the south was a large open area. He foresaw a problem only if somebody built a house within the development, which he did not think likely in a commercial area.
  11. Kilcoyne asked if he would have a fueling facility on the site. G. Scarlat said no – due to the small size of his operation a bulk fuel facility would not be feasible.
  12. Welch asked if there would be ongoing maintenance of trucks on the site. G. Scarlat said yes, basic maintenance would take place primarily in the shop building. He said that the type of maintenance is similar to that performed servicing cars. G. Scarlat said that he thought for this reason that he would fit within the designation of motor vehicle repair but that he recognized that although his vehicles are motor vehicles, they are big and he felt is necessary to bring this to the town’s attention.
  13. Hunt asked what kind of equipment was needed outside. G. Scarlat said a snowplow in the winter; mowing equipment in the summer; and cars parked by the drivers while they are on the road. G. Hunt asked if there would be any outside storage. G. Scarlat said no, possibly with the exception of a container to store tires at some point in the future.
  14. Patterson asked to confirm his understanding that there would be no loading of cargo at the facility. G. Scarlat said there would be no loading/unloading.
  15. Welch asked if there would be fuel storage on-site. G. Scarlat said the only fuel on the site would be that stored within the trucks themselves.
  16. Welch asked what facilities would be within the shop. G. Scarlat said that there would be two doors for the trucks and one or two man-doors for people access. There would be an office for himself, a break room for the mechanic, and a toilet.
  17. Welch asked if trucks would be able to turn right onto the southbound lane of Route 2 without pulling into northbound traffic. G. Scarlat said that U.S. 2 had a full breakdown lane, plus Lavin Lane was wide. The truck would need about 32 feet to make the turn. He said a right turn would not be a problem and pointed to Island Racing next door, which also has tractor-trailer traffic.

Not hearing further questions from the Board, D. Patterson opened the meeting to the public. M. Taylor-Varney said that Sandy Greg and David Roy were present to provide input from the Planning Commission.

  1. Roy said that he was concerned about the potential mix of uses on the property – that the use of a trucking terminal would not mix well with other permitted uses for the village like retail or restaurant. S. Gregg said that the first parcel developed does set a tone for the future of the development, that the proposed use of trucking terminal is not included in Table 2.1 for a reason, and that the development backs up onto residential properties and she was concerned about the potential for noise and visual pollution.
  2. Scarlat asked S. Gregg how she would see the compatibility of the development of Lot 1 as a restaurant and Lot 3 as a motor vehicle repair facility (allowed as conditional use).   S. Gregg said the potential exists for the lots to also be developed as residences, and the problem with the propose use as a trucking terminal would discourage other permitted uses. D. Roy said that his concern was the size of vehicles mixing in with cars and bicycles.   S. Greg said the purpose of the village district was to have a bike able, walkable community, and the propose use seemed out of scale with what is currently going on in the village.
  3. Patterson asked for the people who submitted written responses to read their response. Bridget Kerr read the letter submitted by herself and her husband Doug Kerr. M. Taylor-Varney read the letter submitted by Kathleen Swanson. L. Kilcoyne made a motion to have the letters entered into the record; N. Hayward seconded. The motion passed by acclamation.

Anne Quinn said that she was concerned that with large trucks there would be noise, and that people who might want to buy lots in the development might be put off by the presence of a trucking facility.   She said that twenty trucks seemed like a lot of trucks for the area. She said she could hear noise from the existing Island Raceway facility.

Jim Falby said that his concerns were in line with the Kerrs and Anne Quinn. He said that he had no opposition to small retail or housing, but the noise from Island Racing was unbearable and he was not interested in having more trucks come into the area. He encouraged the Board to reject the application.

Cinthia Spence said that she lived right across from the property and was concerned about the noise.   She said that Island Racing was unbearable a lot of the time and encouraged the Board to come up with a more compatible use.

Michele Gammal of the Planning Board said that she agreed with remarks that had already been made by other Planning Board members.

Sharon Chadwick said that she appreciated what Mr. Scarlat was trying to do and wished him well but she did not feel that it was the right fit for South Hero.

Not hearing further questions or remarks, D. Patterson closed the hearing at 8:13 p.m.

Hearing:          #19-62-RT456 (20-54-RT456) Conditional Use and Site Plan Review for expansion of DRB decision #19-62-RT456 Blue Paddle

  1. Patterson opened the hearing at 8:23 p.m.

Notice & Oath

  1. Taylor-Varney read the hearing warning. D. Patterson administered the oath to the attending members of the public.

Appearing on Behalf of the Applicant

Mandy Hotchkiss and Paul Hendler (Blue Paddle); Mike & Michelle Gammal (Keeler Bay Associates)

Hearing Notes

Mandy Hotchkiss said that Keeler Bay Associates had previously been granted condition use for the operation of a food truck on their property at Keeler Bay Marina. Blue Paddle has been selected as the food truck vendor for the site. What the applicants now sought was approval for a 40’ x 40’ outdoor deck and a hut to provide bar service to be erected on the site on the bay side of the hill, to overlook the marina and Keeler Bay.   The deck would seat patrons served by the foot truck.

The applicant plans to provide musical entertainment approximately three nights per week.

The deck would be mounted on three shipping containers set into the hillside and would be accessed from the food truck parking area via a walkway. The walkway enters the deck flush with the hillside to permit handicap access. A railing will be provided around the deck for patron safety.

Mike Gammal said that because the deck was on the bay side of the hill, it would not be visible from the road and would have minimal impact on the community.

  1. Brightwell asked if barbecue would be available, as it had been promised during the original application. M. Hotchkiss said that barbecue would be on the menu, and said that the food truck had a full kitchen that included a wood-burning pizza oven and would be able to serve dishes ranging from burgers and fries to lobster rolls, steaks, pulled pork, pizza, etc. M. Hotchkiss said that the food truck was essential to her business because in the near future she may not be able to serve as many people inside the restaurant. Michele Gammal said that Keeler Bay Associates was glad to be making the choice of a business partner that kept the solution local. Paul Hendler said that the Blue Paddle planned to feature ingredients from local farms.
  2. Patterson said that this was a two-step review: 1) conditional use, and 2) site plan. J. Brightwell asked to confirm that what was different from the original approval was the outdoor dining area. D. Patterson said that the difference was the deck, the bar, restaurant style seating, and music.
  3. Brightwell asked if the operating hours would be the same as the original application. M. Taylor-Varney said that there were minor changes in the application. The new application specified business hours of 11:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. whereas the original application hours were 10:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. M. Hotchkiss said that they were planning on closing at 10:00 p.m. but were requesting until 11:00 to provide time for cleanup.
  4. Taylor-Varney asked if the food truck would have its own fresh water. M. Hotchkiss said yes. M. Taylor-Varney asked if there would be more than one port-o-let provided. M. Hotchkiss said that she had called the State and had a meeting with them scheduled for next week and would seek and follow their recommendation.
  5. Kilcoyne asked how many patrons the deck would accommodate. Mike Gammal said that they were asking approval for a stage area that would not be immediately constructed. On the deck itself the seating would be variable according to what the State permitted under social distancing regulations.
  6. Brightwell asked about the number of patrons that could be accommodated after we all get vaccinated. He recalled that the number of approved parking spaces in the food truck area was forty. M. Hotchkiss said that 50% of the business would be take-away, 20% would be delivery, and the balance would be outdoor dining.   She said that she didn’t have any idea what the ultimate post-pandemic business would be. J. Brightwell said that he was looking beyond the pandemic and noted that there was considerable parking in the food truck lot and in the marina, and that there was considerable upside potential.
  7. Hotchkiss said that they were trying to expand their business by providing a unique South Hero location and an affordable menu.
  8. Kilcoyne asked about the location of the food truck. Mike Gammal said that the proposed location of the food truck had been moved to the middle of the lot to be closer to the deck. He said the lot had been graded and space for twenty places had been graveled. The path would go from the truck across the hill to provide access to both the marina and the deck. He noted they had put a rock divider between the parking area and Route 2 to prevent cars from entering or exiting outside of the designated entrance as was required by the original conditional approval.
  9. Brightwell asked if the deck was elevated. Mike Gammal said that the containers were placed into the hill so that they were elevated on the east (downhill) side but were at grade level on the west (uphill) side where they would be accessed from the path to the food truck. He said they were 8’ high storage containers, so that it was about an 8’ rise over the container’s 40’ length.
  10. Hayward asked if the containers were already in place. M. Gammal said yes.
  11. Brightwell asked what the plan was to prevent patrons from falling off of the deck. M. Gammal said that the deck would be encircled with railings.
  12. Hayward asked if there was a plan to put in a roof or tent covering. M. Gammal said that they had engineered the site to permit this but did not have immediate plans.
  13. Rowe asked at what point the facility becomes a restaurant. Mike Gammal said that was up to the Health Department.
  14. Hayward asked if there would be seating on the deck. Mike Gammal said yes, and also in the surrounding area.

Paul Hendler said that he didn’t see it becoming a restaurant due to its seasonality.

  1. Kilcoyne asked about visibility of the facility from the lake. Michele Gammal said that if you’re on the deck, you can see the lake, but if you’re on the lake, you don’t really notice the deck because it’s beyond the campers and a considerable distance from the lake itself. Paul Hendler said that the material choices were also made to blend in with the environment.
  2. Patterson said that he thought the site plan should have the floor elevation of the deck, and the setback from the adjacent property. M. Gammal said that the Montani’s owned the adjacent property, and the shipping containers were 15’ in from the property line. M. Taylor-Varney said that the setback required by regulation was 15’ (and later corrected herself to note that the setback for accessory structures in the Lake District was 5’).
  3. Kilcoyne asked where the portable toilets would be. Mike Gammal said that they would be nearby but the final location had not been decided. He said there would likely be at least one along the pathway between the truck and the deck, and that they would meet with the state to figure that out.   D. Patterson said that the number and location of the port-o-lets should be shown on the site plan for completeness.
  4. Brightwell asked if the elevation would also show the railing height. Mike Gammal said that he wanted the flexibility to design that later according to business needs once conditional approval was given. J. Brightwell said that maybe the Board could provide a decision on conditional use and then continue the hearing for the site plan so that it was in full possession of all required details on the site plan when it provided approval. M. Hotchkiss said that there was building code for commercial space that would be followed in the construction.
  5. Hayward said that the things the Board needs to have for a complete site plan are the floor elevations for the deck, some setbacks from the boundaries to the deck, and locations for port-a-lets. D. Patterson said that those were the items that he was looking for. N. Hayward said that the applicant just needed to provide a number for the floor elevation. After discussion, the Board concluded that the height of the shipping containers was 145’; the finished elevation would be slightly higher to include the height of the deck.
  6. Hotchkiss said that the State would not specify where the port-o-lets would need to be placed, but would tell them what number they needed. D. Patterson said that’s why he was asking – if they tell you six, the Board wants to know on the site plan where you are putting them.
  7. Kilcoyne said she didn’t know if the applicant was going to need a dumpster, but if they have one, the Board would like to know its location.  M. Taylor-Varney said the regulations require specifying where the dumpster is. L. Kilcoyne said that the Board would likely want to see it screened, and the applicant needed to consider that it needs to be emptied periodically.

Mike Gammal said that with regard to the site plan, it’s about expediency because he’s trying to open by July 1st since the season is so short.

  1. Hendler asked when the next opportunity was to provide the items missing from the site plan. D. Patterson said this is the 10th of June and you’re planning to open July 1st; the Board is not scheduled for another meeting until June 24th and has 45 days to provide a decision. D. Patterson noted that the applicant is ready to go with the food truck as it was previously approved. D. Patterson asked when the trailer was ordered; Paul Hendler said they finalized the trailer order two months ago.
  2. Welch asked the applicant to show on the site plan the barriers between the parking area and Route 2.
  3. Taylor-Varney suggested that if the applicant can provide an updated site plan with the missing information, within the next two weeks, the Board may be able to deliberate on the 24th and provide a decision. Paul Hendler said they would definitely be able to provide the information by next meeting if the Board could deliberate on the 24th.
  4. Brightwell said to clarify for the minutes, the applicant proposes to provide the information missing from the site plan in advance of the 24th, and the Board agrees to provide a decision on the 24th in its deliberative session. There was general agreement on this point.
  5. Rowe asked how the grey water would be handled from the bar in the hut. Paul Hendler said that there would be a containment box in the bar.
  6. Patterson opened the meeting to the public for comment. Jessica Montani asked if the facility would be summer-only or year-round, and asked how many days per week the music would occur, pointing out that it was near her house.

Mandy Hotchkiss said that they regularly have music at the Blue Paddle, which is near Bill Fifield’s house. The music is folk-music style and has not been a problem – they have never gotten one complain in over 15 years. Mandy clarified that it would be June through September, the second week of October at the latest. Mike Gammal said the operating dates of the marina were the middle of May through the middle of October. Mandy said they don’t start the music until late May and close typically by October.

  1. Taylor-Varney asked the applicant to define dates for what they consider “seasonal.” She said that the original application for the food truck was for May 1st through October 31st.   Mike Gammal said he would like to amend the time period to start April 1st and finish October 31st. Mandy Hotchkiss and Paul Hendler agreed. Mike Gammal asked if they had a special event in the winter how it would be handled. D. Patterson recommended the applicant ask for a limited number of special events outside of the approved hours. Mike Gammal said that although he had no immediate plans, he would like to ask for a half dozen special events outside of the operating season not to exceed three days each. Paul Hendler agreed.
  2. Hayward suggested that if the applicant had plans for a tent-type cover over the deck that they also put this in the site plan that would be submitted in time for the Board’s deliberation.
  3. Taylor-Varney said that there were no lights shown on the site plan, and asked if the Board wanted lighting shown on the site plan. Mike Gammal said that if they did lights, they would be solar-powered downward-facing lighting. M. Taylor-Varney said that finding #5 on the previous approval for the food truck was that lighting would be on the truck and would be downward facing, and that food would be served only during daylight hours. She suggested that now that food would be served after dark and that the dining area was expanded and in a different area that lighting should be shown.
  4. Hunt suggested that the applicant should provide all of the information specified in Table 3.1 of the regulations as applicable.
  5. Kilcoyne made a motion to accept the site plan as incomplete, with the expectation that the missing elements would be provided in an updated plan provided by the applicant in time for the next Board meeting on June 24th. W. Rowe seconded. The motion passed by acclamation.

Hearing no further questions from the Board or audience, D. Patterson closed the hearing at 9:45 p.m.

 

 

Old Business

None.

Review of Minutes

  1. Maxham moved to accept the minutes of March 11, 2020. The motion was seconded by G. Hunt and approved by acclamation.

Administrator’s Report

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

  • June 24th one hearing is scheduled for a variance request. The proposal is to hold the meeting in person, outdoors if possible.
  • July 8 there will be two hearings: 1) a waiver request for setback for a parcel in the Shoreland district 2) a site plan revision for MKN Community Lane development to expand parking.
  • July 22 Wagner final plat approval.
  1. Taylor-Varney said that in response to requests she had unsuccessfully tried to obtain larger space for June 24th at Folsom School and at the Library.   After discussion, the Board agreed that the hearing on the 24th could be held with some people attending in person, and those who wished to be remote attend via Zoom. G. Hunt said that he would bring in an Xbox to provide a wider-angle webcam. In person attendees would need to notify M. Taylor-Varney so that she could ensure that social distancing guidelines are met.

Adjournment

Motion to adjourn

  1. Kilcoyne moved to adjourn the business meeting. The motion was seconded by D. Patterson and carried by acclamation. The meeting was adjourned at 9:58 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.

March 11, 2020 DRB Minutes

March 18, 2020

SOUTH HERO DEVELOPMENT REVIEW BOARD                                            March 11, 2020

 

Members Present:    Tim Maxham (Chair), Doug Patterson (Vice Chair), Jim Brightwell, Nate Hayward, Gareth Hunt, Liza Kilcoyne, Bill Rowe, Sue Arguin (alternate), James Welch (alternate)

Others Present:          Martha Taylor-Varney (Zoning Administrator)

Members Absent:      None

Public Present:          Tonya Poutry; Mitchel Richardson; Jeff Sikora; Heidi Tappan

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

Changes to Agenda:   None

Public Input:               None

  1. Maxham announced that the Selectboard had received the resignation of Ross Brown from the DRB due to his recent election to the Selectboard.   T. Maxham also announced that the Selectboard appointed Bill Rowe to complete the rest of Ross’s term.

Hearing:                      20-34-RT288 Conditional Use and Site Plan Review for Real Estate Office and Retail Space – Jeff Sikora

  1. Maxham opened the hearing at 7:05 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:

Jeff Sikora

Hearing Notes

  1. Sikora said that he was planning to purchase the building at 288 US RT 2 for use as real estate office and keep the retail use for the display and sale of art. J. Sikora emphasized that the retail use would be compatible with the use as a real estate office and would not include convenience foods, drinks, etc.
  2. Brightwell asked if the applicant planned to make any modifications to the site for the new use. J. Sikora said no, other than cleaning up the parking spaces where the grass had grown in.
  3. Brightwell asked the Chair to clarify for the Board how it was supposed to evaluate the application under both the old and new regulations. J. Brightwell said that under the new regulations, site review may not be required depending on whether the applicant planned to make any modifications to the site. J. Brightwell cited the new bylaws Section 303 (A) on page 22, “Applications for change of use and modifications to existing uses that do not propose or require an alteration to the existing, permitted site design also does not require site plan review.” J. Brightwell said that under the new regulations, the site is in the village district and professional services is a permitted use, so the applicant would not need to come before the Board for a conditional use hearing. Since the project is a change of permitted use and no modifications to the site are planned, under the new regulations no site plan review is required as the property was previously approved as a commercial space. Under the old regulations, the property is in the rural residential district and the applicant would need conditional use amd site plan approval. J. Brightwell asked if the application is approved under one set of regulations, does it also need to be approved under the other set of regulations.
  4. Maxham said so that everyone understands the question, we have new development regulations that were approved by the Selectboard Monday night. They won’t become effective until March 31st, but the statutes say that in the interim the Board has to take a look at the application under both old and new regulations. T. Maxham deferred to M. Taylor-Varney to answer the rest of the question.
  5. Taylor-Varney said the new regulations apply from the date of the Selectboard public hearing for the new regulations, which was December 11th, for the next 150 days, or until the regulations are approved and adopted, whichever comes first. Any application that comes before the ZA or the DRB has to be reviewed under both old and new regulations. This is the first application that came in since December 11th. The new regulations will become effective on March 31st if there is no petition by 5% of the registered voters in the town. She said that she didn’t see that happening. The Board will deliberate on this application on February 25th, and so needs to deliberate under both sets of regulations.   M. Taylor-Varney said that she listed the application for site plan review under the new regulations because she wanted the Board to have the option of reviewing the parking under both sets of regulations as the newer regulations have much more detailed requirements.
  6. Brightwell asked D. Patterson, who is also on the Planning Commission, if it was the intention of the Planning Commission that the new regulations not require a site review for an additional permitted use.
  7. Patterson said that was true, but the applicant was planning to make changes to the parking, since there was no delineated parking currently.
  8. Sikora said that no changes to the parking area were planned. The parking area is graveled, but the grass is grown up. He might bring in more gravel. The whole front has been gravel for a long time.
  9. Brightwell asked the applicant if he was planning to make delineated parking as shown in the site plan, given that the parking is gravel. J. Sikora said no.
  10. Taylor-Varney asked if the Board wanted to require delineated parking.
  11. Brightwell said that as he read the new regulations, they do not require a site plan review. There is a phrase which is a little vague, “applications that do not propose or require an alteration to the existing permitted site design” do not require a site review.   The phrase “or require” does not define who is requiring it. J. Brightwell said as he reads it, if the new use requires an alteration to the site, then a site plan review would be required, but otherwise not. This is in Section 303 A on page 22.
  12. Taylor-Varney said it’s an added use – professional space plus retail.
  13. Brightwell said that he agrees, it’s an added use, and that as he reads the new regulations they do not say that a site plan review is required. Under the new regulations, the applicant does not even need to appear before the Board for conditional use because the proposed use is permitted.
  14. Brightwell said under the old regulations the parcel is in the rural residential district and its proposed use would require conditional use approval plus site plan review. The site plan that is submitted looks like a preliminary site plan, but under the old regulations we don’t have the concept of a preliminary site plan, so there are things missing in the site plan that the applicant would need to update. J. Brightwell said if the applicant is not planning to do anything except slap some paint on the building and move in, he was not sure the Board would require a site plan under the new regulations.
  15. Patterson said he’s adding the use of professional office to an existing retail use. It’s not changing a use, it’s an additional use.
  16. Brightwell said so you’re saying because it’s an additional use, this clause does not apply.
  17. Patterson said yes, if you’re changing it to a retail office, I would agree with you, but he’s come before us adding another use, a real estate sales office.
  18. Maxham said before we go down this path further, since we’re also evaluating under the old regulations, let’s get the information we need for that. When we’re done with the hearing, we can discuss the new regulations.
  19. Maxham said let’s review the staff report. Martha is saying that the applicant may have to get VTRANS approval. J. Sikora said that he had started the process with Ed Pierce of VTRANS.
  20. Maxham asked about the wastewater permit with the State. J. Sikora said he planned to follow up on that.
  21. Maxham asked what the applicants needs are for parking and said that he saw a lot of cars at Coldwell Banker. J. Sikora said that Coldwell Banker has 37 people working there.
  22. Maxham asked there were going to be interior partitions separating the real estate office from the retail. J. Sikora said that the interior was one big space and that his primary purpose was to have a real-estate office. If retail is a problem he would drop the retail part – he was not intending to be in a retail business other than incidentally.
  23. Brightwell asked if water and electric were on the site and if they were shown on the site plan. J. Sikora said that water and electric were present on the site but not shown on the plan. He said that water comes in the back of the property from the water district.
  24. Brightwell asked how the driveway area in the front of the building drains.  J. Sikora said that it drains from the front of the lot toward the building and then to both sides. The floor level of the building is about 144’. The building has been there so long that water issues have been taken care of by previous owners.
  25. Maxham asked if the applicant had done the calculations to see what the parking requirements were. J. Sikora said yes, that the building was 912 square feet, and that the parking shown was adequate under the existing regulations.
  26. Taylor-Varney said that under the new regulations more than one parking criterion might apply, but that she thought that Professional Space with Limited Customers parking designation was most appropriate. That criterion specifies 1 space per 600 square feet, and for retail it is 1 space per 450 square feet. The consensus of the Board was that the four spaces provided were adequate under these criteria.
  27. Sikora said that although he has several associates, they use the office primarily for meetings. J. Sikora said that he and his associates don’t go into the office every day, that most of the work is by phone or computer. Customers don’t walk in the door anymore.
  28. Brightwell said that if the applicant did have retail, he would need somebody there minding the shop. J. Sikora said true, but that’s not the intent.
  29. Sikora said that for the retail business that’s there now, there is at most only one or two cars there – the owner plus maybe one customer.
  30. Brightwell asked if the privacy fence on the west side was on the applicant’s property. J. Sikora said that it was on the neighbor’s property.
  31. Maxham asked if the current sign would stay. J. Sikora said he would put a bigger sign in the same location.
  32. Brightwell asked if cars would be able to go around the back of the building. J. Sikora said yes, at one point you could drive all around the building, the gravel is still there but the grass has grown through it.
  33. Hayward asked if it got wet in the back of the building. J. Sikora said no.
  34. Brightwell said that several required features were omitted from the site plan, including features on adjacent sites, the neighbor’s house, the privacy fence, and under the new regulations a daily and peak traffic figure.
  35. Maxham said that even under the current regulations the traffic figures were needed.
  36. Taylor-Varney asked if the traffic figures were from a reference manual or were practical. The consensus of the Board was that traffic figures from a reference manual were not always applicable to South Hero and that practical estimates from the applicant were also valuable.
  37. Taylor-Varney asked if the Board would be will to go ahead and approve the application conditioned upon submission of a site plan that is updated with the items mentioned and complete in the judgement of the Zoning Administrator. J. Brightwell said that he would be happy with this solution, but was anxious to maintain the standard that site plans be complete according to requirements of the regulations.
  38. Maxham asked if the Board needed any further discussion of parking in light of the new regulations requiring parking around back. D. Patterson said that in his view, this was an existing use and the applicant was not planning any site modifications, so it did not make sense to require that parking be moved to the rear of the building. The consensus of the Board agreed with D. Patterson.
  39. Patterson said that the only remaining concern he had was with the retail use. J. Sikora said that his daughter and wife were interested in selling art hanging on the office walls, but that this was a secondary purpose to the real estate office. J. Sikora said the space was very small, and that the primary alteration he planned was to put in a handicap toilet as the current facility was inadequate.
  40. Kilcoyne asked what the interior would be like. J. Sikora said that it would be a conference space plus a couple of cubicles. L. Kilcoyne said that by the time you put in the toilet, conference room and cubicles you would only have room for a small lobby for the artwork, not even a gallery. L. Kilcoyne said that for her, the retail was an incidental or secondary use. It’s not like the building would be open for retail use when the real estate office was not open. J. Sikora confirmed that the building would not be open for retail use other than when the real estate office was open. L. Kilcoyne said in terms of a building permit that would be an incidental use – retail is not really the intent of the space. J. Sikora agreed.
  41. Kilcoyne asked what the sign would say out front. Does it say “art gallery”? J. Sikora said that the sign would say Apple Island Real Estate. L. Kilcoyne asked if the sign would say “artwork” or “paintings”.  J. Sikora said no – that’s not the intent, it’s a real-estate office. L. Kilcoyne said that clarifies it.
  42. Maxham said in summary that we talked about needing to have a complete site plan. J. Sikora said that modifying the site plan would not be a problem because he was using AutoCad. J. Sikora said he could drop a completed site plan off so that when the Board deliberates they will have a complete plan.

Hearing no further questions from the Board or the audience, T. Maxham closed hearing at 7:50 p.m.

 

 

 

Hearing:          20-35-FR138 Conditional Use and Site Plan Review For Additional Use – Mitchel Richardson

  1. Maxham opened the hearing at 7:58 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

Mitchel Richardson

Hearing Notes

The application is for an additional use for the property at 138 Ferry Road. The applicant received Conditional Use and Site Plan approval (Application #19-09-FR138) on September 12, 2019 to build a car and farm machinery repair facility.   The applicant is now requesting to add professional space to the second-floor of the structure, making this a multi-use building. The property is in the Rural Residential district. Professional use in Rural Residential requires a conditional use and site plan review by the DRB under both old and new regulations.

  1. Richardson said that he was planning to have office space on the second floor and was now looking to accommodate a second business in a portion of that space. He was not planning any changes other than allocating part of that space to the additional business.
  2. Patterson asked how many square feet were in the second floor allocated to professional space. M. Richardson said 2200.
  3. Brightwell asked if the space was in the design previously approved by the DRB. M. Richardson said yes, and that there was no new square footage in the building as a part of this.
  4. Brightwell asked if the applicant was planning to make any modifications to the site. M. Richardson said no.
  5. Brightwell asked what the number of approved parking spaces was. M. Richardson said fifty-four.
  6. Hunt said that the property looked like a junkyard and asked how many cars were on the property. M. Richardson said 15 to 20, but that this would be taken care of this spring.
  7. Maxham asked if the office space upstairs would be used by M. Richardson and another business. M. Richardson said yes, by a separate business not associated with Keeler Bay Service.
  8. Brightwell asked if there would be changes to the entry doors. M. Richardson said no, the second business would use the same doors and stairs.
  9. Patterson asked if all 2200 square feet would be allocated to outside use. M. Richardson said yes.
  10. Hayward asked if the applicant would have his own office upstairs also. M. Richardson said no.
  11. Hayward said we never saw a layout for the floor plan upstairs. M. Richardson said that at the time of the last application it was just a layout within the building. M. Richardson presented a layout that he said was tentative.
  12. Maxham asked if there were going to be two professional spaces. M. Richardson said yes, there’s enough room for two, which is why he specified six people – there’s enough septic. So it’s either one big space or two separate ones.
  13. Taylor-Varney asked about customer traffic. M. Richardson said customer traffic for the professional use will be very minimal.
  14. Hunt asked what kind of professional service was expected. M. Richardson said anything professional – real estate offices or lawyers, for example.
  15. Maxham asked about handicap access for the second floor. M. Richardson said that he talked to his architect and she said that you don’t have to have handicap access just for professional space, since it would not be open for retail. He said that if it turns out to be required, he would address it. M. Richardson said that the square footage falls below the required minimum that would require changes to address fire code.
  16. Kilcoyne said the other change to ask the architect about would be whether there are any changes required to address egress. M. Richardson said that his architect had addressed this, and pointed out that there were stairs front and back. L. Kilcoyne clarified that this was not DRB jurisdiction but that she was offering suggestions for the applicant to check into.
  17. Hunt asked if the floor was open to the floor below. N. Hayward observed that was the case which is why it is labeled mezzanine space. M. Richardson said that they were running the plan by the fire marshal next week.

 

 

  1. Maxham said that the site plan was showing 121’ from the road and asked if that was the same that was approved by Act 250. M. Richardson said yes, that the town wanted 175’; Act 250 wanted 75’; and all parties compromised at the original 121’
  2. Maxham requested and L. Kilcoyne made a motion to admit the elevations A1 and A2 presented by M. Richardson as Exhibit A. D. Patterson seconded, and the motion passed by acclamation.
  3. Maxham said that the DRB had received an email today from abutter Deb Sherman regarding the application. The email expressed concern regarding the DRB’s May 9, 2018 decision Item #10 that states that the owner-operator shall not maintain a salvage yard, scrap metal processing facility, or automotive graveyard, as defined by Vermont Statue 24 VSA 2241. The email says that Mitchel currently has a number of cars on the property which have been there for well over 9 months. The email requested this issue to be addressed at tonight’s meeting, asked if having additional office space will extend the parking area, and requested a copy of the minutes for the hearing.
  4. Richardson said that would soon be addressed and noted that he had recently vacated his previous business location and had to put stuff somewhere.
  5. Hayward asked if the applicant was already out of the old location, and asked if the applicant was still operating a business. M. Richardson said he was out of his old location and was not currently operating.
  6. Hunt said that he thought that each time there was a car junked (from the old location) it was moved to the site and that is why people were upset.
  7. Richardson said that the issue of vehicles was brought up before (in the previous DRB hearing) and since then nothing else has been added. G. Hunt said yes it has.
  8. Maxham said that he didn’t want to get into a back and forth. T. Maxham asked for a motion that the email be entered into the record. L. Kilcoyne so moved, seconded by G. Hunt. The motion passed by acclamation.
  9. Henderson said that this (removal of the cars) was a condition of the previous Board approval and since that time no cars have been added, and that he would address it.
  10. Maxham said that there were 2 or 3 points regarding the earlier decision. So that everybody understands what the Board did before, condition #10 of the previous approval said that the owner-operator shall not operate or maintain a salvage yard, scrap metal processing facility or automotive graveyard as defined by Vermont Statute 24 VSA 2241. Condition #11 said that no inoperative or unregistered vehicle shall be stored on the site for a period longer than 30 days.
  11. Maxham asked if the elevations would be changing. M. Richardson said no.
  12. Hayward said the section cut that was submitted doesn’t give enough head height for the staircases. He said he had a sidebar conversation with Mitchel and while he is not making any changes to the exterior elevations, the floor would be lower than what is shown. N. Hayward said he just wanted to make sure it’s on the record that none of the exterior elevations are changing.
  13. Patterson said that the parking was approved on the previous estimation of what the business required before the additional of 6 people and questioned whether the parking was adequate. M. Henderson said that the number of parking spaces was set to appease Tim Maxham and that Act 250 would not approve any more spaces. M. Henderson said that he already had much more than what was required.
  14. Brightwell said that his recollection was that the Board had asked Mitchel to increase the number of parking spaces because of the number of vehicles that were seen on his lot. Toward the end of the approval process the Board was asking whether that many were actually needed. J. Brightwell said that he was not sure that there are requirements for parking spaces for a garage in the regulations. Fifty-four spaces minus twelve (for employees parking for both businesses) give you 42 spaces for the garage operations. M. Richardson said that the shop required 14 spaces based on square footage. J. Brightwell said that there was a huge overage in the number of parking spaces based on what was seen in practice at the previous location of business where there were a large number of vehicles. L. Kilcoyne said she remembered that conversation. J. Brightwell said that there are plenty of spaces to accommodate the additional 6 employees associated with the professional space, and there would still be likely spaces to accommodate visitors to that professional space. M. Richardson said that Tim said that at any given time (at my previous place of business) he could see 30 cars so Mitchel went way above that in planning parking.
  15. Maxham asked if there was anything in the current or new regulations that would clarify how many spaces were listed. M. Taylor-Varney said that in the current regulations, the only thing it fits under is Commercial. Under the new regulations it probably fits in professional services with regular customer traffic, which requires one space per 450 square feet. L. Kilcoyne said that there was a reason for the extra space, which was for the cars that don’t get finished overnight, and we didn’t want those cars on the farm.
  16. Hayward asked if the plan for the cars on the property now was to remove the cars. M. Richardson said that in the spring, All-Metals Recycling was going to clean it up – the cars would go to recycling. N. Hayward said so they’re not going to wind up getting worked on – they’re all just going to go away? M. Henderson said yes. M. Henderson said that the cleanup date would depend on the weather.
  17. Maxham said that the parking issue was one of his concerns, and that he was at the Act 250 hearing and that Act 250 thought that the parking was excessive. Act 250 let it go since the Town required it.   He said his concern was that he had seen that many vehicles at the old business site and that if the applicant expands his business, more space would be needed.    M. Richardson said that if we went back to Act 250 with more parking we would get resistance.
  18. Brightwell asked if M. Richardson could define what “all cleaned up” meant so that the Board could perhaps condition its approval on removal of all of the vehicles. M. Richardson said all of the vehicles meeting the prior conditions would be removed. J. Brightwell asked if this excluded agricultural vehicles, since this was a farm. M. Richardson said yes. G. Hunt asked if this included the motor home. M. Richardson said that the motor home would likely be moved and used as it belonged to his parents.
  19. Rowe asked that since there is a trailer on the property as a place to stay doesn’t that change things. M. Richardson said it’s not permanent, it’s a motor home. W. Rowe said I thought you said it was going to be parked there. M. Richardson said it’s not fixed; it can move. J. Brightwell asked if it was registered. M. Richardson said no. J. Brightwell asked if it could be registered. M. Richardson said yes. J. Brightwell said so if we had a condition that said all non-agricultural vehicles on the property would be registered, would that be acceptable. M. Richardson said yes. M. Richardson said that he could buy a registration from New Hampshire, which sells 10-year registrations for $35. G. Hunt asked registration for what? M. Richardson said for a car, trailer, or tractor-trailer. G. Hunt said so then you could leave that junk truck there for 10 years? M. Richardson said what you classify as junk may not be junk to somebody else.
  20. Maxham said I have not been by the site for some time. I just would say that you have agreed that you understand what our conditions are in our original decision. We’re referencing state statute. Sometimes history isn’t always in everybody’s favor. You’re making a statement here that all of that stuff is going to be cleaned up and you’re going to put in a respectable business and nice looking building and operate there. I guess I’d just like to say that the Board is saying that they’d like to see some improvements there, and if they’re going to approve something based on what’s already there, then if you move forward, I‘d take that to heart very seriously.

Mitchel said that the design of the building and the effort he’s already put forward states what his intention is. T. Maxham said that I understand that, and you’ve said you’re going to have it cleaned up shortly, and it’s got something to do with weather, but I can also say that if you’re looking to move forward and make a presentable presentation, you could easily have had somebody come in there with a track excavator or something and have that stuff all cleaned up most anytime. M. Richardson said we’re coordinating with All-Metals Recycling so you have to work around their schedule.

  1. Patterson asked if the applicant had approached VTRANS about the enhancement. M. Richardson said that he had approached VTRANS and that nothing further is needed as far as they are concerned. M. Richardson said they had also contacted Act 250.

Hearing no further questions from the Board or audience, T. Maxham closed the hearing at 8:24 p.m.

Old Business

  1. Maxham said that we had a hearing recessed to Feb 26th, which was for the gas station at the corner of Route 314 and Route 2. The property changed hands; applicant Vallee decided not to pursue application further and the Board received a written request from Mr. Vallee to withdraw the application. That effectively extinguishes the process.
  2. Brightwell said that on the subject of recording the DRB meetings, he had identified a solution with external area microphone that should work, and that he had forwarded the information to M. Taylor-Varney.

Review of Minutes

  1. Hunt moved to accept the minutes of January 22, 2020, as corrected. L. Kilcoyne seconded, and the minutes were approved by acclamation.

Administrator’s Report

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

  1. Taylor-Varney reported that the draft bylaws were approved by the Selectboard on Monday night. They will become effective on March 31st.

No DRB hearings are scheduled for March 25th. That meeting will be used to hold deliberations for tonight’s hearings, and Heidi Tappan, owner of Sebs, will come in for her 1-year review of parking.

  1. Patterson and G. Hunt said they will be out on the 25th. Sue and Mike (alternates) are invited to fill in.

Adjournment

  1. Hunt moved to adjourn the business meeting into deliberative. The motion was seconded by Liza and carried by acclamation at 8:35 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 Minutes

January 30, 2020

SOUTH HERO DEVELOPMENT REVIEW BOARD                                            January 22, 2020

 

Members Present:    Tim Maxham (Chair); Doug Patterson (Vice Chair); Jim Brightwell; Ross Brown; Nate Hayward; Liza Kilcoyne; Mike Welch

Others Present:          Martha Taylor-Varney (Zoning Administrator)

Members Absent:      Gareth Hunt

Public Present:          Sue Arguin, Bill Rowe

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

Changes to Agenda:   None

Public Input:               None

Annual Board Reorganization

  1. Maxham turned meeting over to M. Taylor-Varney to solicit nominations for Chair. J. Brightwell nominated T. Maxham. R. Brown seconded the nomination. T. Maxham was elected Chair by acclamation.
  2. Maxham resumed conducting the meeting as Chair. R. Brown nominated D. Patterson as Vice Chair. L. Kilcoyne seconded the nomination. D. Patterson was elected Vice Chair by acclamation.
  3. Patterson nominated J. Brightwell as DRB Clerk. R. Brown seconded the nomination. J. Brightwell was elected DRB Clerk by acclamation.

Signature for Wright Family Mylar (20-19-WS353)

After inspection of the final subdivision plat by members, N. Hayward moved to have the Chair sign the Wright subdivision Mylar. L. Kilcoyne seconded. The motion was passed by acclamation.

Old Business:  None

Review of Minutes

After review and corrections, N. Hayward moved to accept the minutes of September 12th as corrected. The motion was seconded by R. Brown, and passed by acclamation.

 

Administrator’s Report

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

NRPC will offer The Essentials of Land Use training for Island DRB, PC and Selectboard members on Feb 4th at the Worthen Library from 7 to 9PM.  Although it may be a refresher for some, it’s highly recommended for new members.

Upcoming Hearing Schedule

February 12th – No hearings scheduled.

February 26th – continuation of hearing for R.L. Vallee at the Worthen Library in South Hero. If the applicant cancels in time to warn a different hearing, there may be a conditional use review for Mitchell Henderson for his property on Route 314.

  1. Maxham asked M. Taylor-Varney to get the potential cancellation from R.L. Vallee in writing.

Adjournment

  1. Kilcoyne moved to adjourn the business meeting and move to deliberative session. N. Hayward seconded the motion, which passed by acclamation.

The Board moved into deliberative session at 7:25 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 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.

Adjournment

  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.