January 15, 2020 PC Minutes

January 21, 2020

SOUTH HERO PLANNING COMMISSION MINUTES                                       January 15, 2020

 

Members Present: D. Patterson; S. Gregg; B. Kerr;

Members Absent: D. Roy; M. Gammal

Public Present: T. Maxham; J. Brightwell; M. Taylor-Varney (ZA)

 

6:00PM – D. Patterson called the meeting to order.

 

Changes to the Agenda

Moved discussion of the proposed Amendments to the Development Regulations (3) to the second item on the agenda.

 

Proposed Amendments to Development Regulations – Discuss results of Jan. 6th Selectboard Public Hearing

Jim Brightwell gave the Commission members a proposed draft for Density Bonus (Sec. 304).   There was discussion on the difference between ‘Open Space/Public’ and ‘Open Space/Common’. Jim’s definition applies to ‘Open Space/Public’ in the Rural Residential District only. The Commission stressed that a density bonus cannot be sent to a separate non-contiguous parcel or lot. Also decided was that ‘Open Space/Common’ in a Planned Unit Development can be developed for recreational use by the owners of the Association. S. Gregg will write a new draft for all of Sec. 304.

Also discussed – Storage Facilities (Table 2.1 – Allowed Uses) will not be allowed in the proposed Village Districts, and Marinas will be allowed in the Village Districts (since those districts have now been expanded to include the shoreline in those areas).

 

  1. Patterson made the motion to request the Selectboard not to warn the Article for the amended Regulations at Town Meeting in order to give the Planning Commission time to make changes requested by the Selectboard; S. Gregg second. All members in attendance in favor.

 

Public Comment

There was none.

 

Meeting Minutes

  1. Gregg moved to approve the minutes from December 4, 2019; B. Kerr second. All those in attendance in favor.

 

New/Old Business

  1. Kerr has been attempting to get more information about the Act 250 process but has received no response from the local coordinator. The Commission will wait, pending the outcome of current discussion in the Legislature before trying again.

 

Administrator’s Report

  1. There will be an “Essentials of Land Use Training” on Tuesday, February 4th at the Worthen Library from 7-9 PM. This training will be conducted by Northwest Regional Planning. All new and ‘veteran’ members of the Planning Commission and DRB are encouraged to attend. This is one of several sessions that NRPC has facilitated throughout the Region.
  2. The Agency of Natural Resources has funding opportunities for village community wastewater that will be discussed at a Jan. 21st meeting in Montpelier. Selectboard members and Planning Commission members are invited to attend.

 

Adjournment

7:55PM – S. Gregg moved to adjourn; B. Kerr second. All in favor.

 

 

Respectfully submitted,

Martha Taylor-Varney, Zoning Administrator

 

 

 

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.

 

 

December 4, 2019 PC Meeting Minutes

December 10, 2019

SOUTH HERO PLANNING COMMISSION MINUTES                           December 4, 2019

 

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

Member Absent: D. Roy

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

 

6:00 PM – D. Patterson called the meeting to order.

 

Changes to the Agenda

There were none.

 

Public Input

There was none.

 

Discuss addition to Sec. 301 (Preliminary Site Plan Review)

The option of requesting a Preliminary Site Plan review has been added to the Development Regulations draft. This review is an optional DRB review of a conceptual plan that will allow an Applicant to present a plan to the Board before making a commitment to producing a Final Site Plan. An aerial photo with the plan drawn onto it and any sketch of proposed buildings would be sufficient for the DRB to have an idea if the project will work. The Preliminary Site Plan review will be warned like any other hearing and the Commission will recommend to the Selectboard that there be a $100 application fee to cover the expense of warning the hearing and other administrative preparations. A separate hearing fee will be required if the Applicant applies to the DRB for a final Site Plan review. There will be no time limit between a preliminary site plan and applying for a final site plan review.

 

Schedule Selectboard Public Hearing for proposed Development Regulations

The Selectboard public hearing is scheduled for January 6, 2020 at 6PM. This will be warned as a special Selectboard meeting. It will be held at the Worthen Library community room. The final draft and maps of proposed village zoning districts will be put on the home page of the Town website. Martha will coordinate putting information about the Regulations in the Islander and Front Porch Forum. There was additional discussion about whether the Selectboard can approve the Regulations or if it needs to go to a vote at Town Meeting. Martha will meet with Taylor Newton of NRPC to finalize edits to the document before distributing to the Selectboard, Planning Commission, and the public.

 

Meeting Minutes

  1. Gregg moved to approve the minutes from Nov. 20, 2019, as amended; B. Kerr second. All in favor.

 

New/Old Business

There was none.

 

Administrator’s Report

  1. The Town’s application for a 2020 Municipal Planning Grant to study the feasibility of having town-wide water and wastewater was not granted.
  2. There will be no second meeting this month (Dec 18, 2019) nor first meeting of the month in January (Jan. 1, 2020). The Commission’s next regular meeting will be January 15, 2020.

 

Adjournment

8:04 PM – S. Gregg moved to adjourn; M. Gammal second. All in favor.

 

 

Respectfully submitted,

Martha Taylor-Varney, ZA

 

 

Signed: ___________________________________Date: _________________________

For the Planning Commission

 

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

 

 

 

November 20, 2019 PC Minutes

November 21, 2019

SOUTH HERO PLANNING COMMISSION MINUTES                           November 20, 2019

Meeting held at South Hero Town Office.

 

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

Member Absent: None

Public Present: Tim Maxham

 

7:02 PM – D. Patterson called the meeting to order.

 

Changes to the Agenda

There were none.

 

Public Input

There was none.

 

Public Meeting.

Discussion on section 303 (Site Plan Review) to include conceptual site plan to the proposed development regulations. Doug has revised Table 3.1 to discuss “concept” plan. There was discussion as to what to call the preliminary review. All agreed on “Sketch Plan Review”. The review would not require any fee, but would be publicly warned to the public. The intent is to provide an informal meeting with the DRB to discuss the scope and scale of the proposed development and what would be deemed important to the DRB in the subsequent Preliminary and/or Final Plan Review meetings. This will provide feedback for the applicant prior to submitting a formal application to the ZA.

 

The “Sketch” plan is entirely optional for the applicant and pre-empts the formal application submittal.

 

Martha (ZA) should contact NWRP to get language on for the Development Regulations. An example of a Sketch Plan approach was also shared by D. Roy.

 

Meeting Minutes

  1. Gregg moved to approve the minutes from November 6, 2019; M. Gammal second.

All in favor.

 

New/Old Business – Report from those who attended the 10/25 ANR seminar in Montpelier

 

From here on, the Planning Commission will begin meetings @ 6:00 p.m. through February 2020 and will conclude @ 8:00 p.m.

 

 

Administrator’s Report – Presented by D. Patterson

  1. PC has confirmed that setbacks will not be measured from Easements
  2. PC has determined that setbacks will be measured from a R.O.W.
  3. The Town is seeking a representative for the Northwest Regional Planning Commission. PC recommends advertising for the position in Front Porch Forum as well as in the Town news.
  4. The meeting minutes will include reference to location under the title.

 

8:55 PM – S. Gregg moved to adjourn; B. Kerr second. All in favor.

 

Respectfully submitted,

David P Roy, PC Secretary

 

 

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.

 

November 6, 2019 PC Minutes

November 18, 2019

SOUTH HERO PLANNING COMMISSION MINUTES                           November 6, 2019

 

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

Member Absent: D. Roy

Public Present: Tim Maxham; Steven Robinson; Jeff Parizo; Bill and Judy Rowe; Pete Bartellow; Denis Gravelin; Todd Kelley; Cynthia Kelley; Howard Demars; Rod Sherman; Guy Maguire; David Hobbs; Mike Gammal; Amanda Holland (NRPC); Karen Bates (DEC – Watershed Management: Basin Planner); Martha Taylor-Varney, ZA

 

7:03 PM – D. Patterson called the meeting to order.

 

Changes to the Agenda

There were none.

 

Public Input

David Hobbs updated the Commission members on the Rec Committee’s progress obtaining easements for trails across the Lavin property from Folsum School to the Worthen Library. The Committee is working on applications for grants to build the system and discussing with VTrans options for crossing RT 2.

 

Public Meeting – Lake Champlain Tactical Basin Study

The South Hero Planning Commission hosted the public meeting presenting the Northern Lake Champlain Tactical Basin Study. Karen Bates, Dept. of Environmental Conservation Basin Planner, presented the study to the public and the Commission.

This particular plan is for developing a plan for South Hero, Grand Isle, and North Hero to protect and/or restore the water quality of this basin. The process includes monitoring/testing water, accessing the results, planning for remediation and protection, public outreach, and implementation. Sectors include agriculture, roads, stormwater, forestry, and rivers. The full study can be found at (copy/paste if link won’t open): http://dec.vermont.gov/sites/dec/files/wsm/public-notices/mapp/mp_TacticalBasinPlan_Basin5_NothernLakeChamplainDirectDrainages_DRAFT.pdf

 

Edits to Form-Base Code in Proposed Regulations

The Commission edited copy to delete figures that appeared to show styles of architecture that would be required. References to ‘historic’ character of the villages were deleted. There was discussion with Jeff Sikora about earlier traffic studies that recommended street designs that would slow traffic and allow for more walkability. Discussion included ‘village’ vs. ‘highway’ design.   There were additional changes to window placement and details. The Commission members chose to delete a drawing that showed how to calculate window coverage and instead include only a formula.

Meeting Minutes

  1. Gammal moved to approve the minutes from October 16, 2019; B. Kerr second. All in favor.

 

New/Old Business – Report from those who attended the 10/25 ANR seminar in Montpelier

  • Gammal attended 4 session: solid waste; water quality; river corridors; emerald ash borer.
  • Kerr attended the full-day session on VT Ecology and Environment.   Sessions included climate change, losing forests to fragmentation, Community capital and planning. She suggested including ideas covered when updating the next Town Plan in 2023.

 

The Commission recommended that it become procedure that all meetings conclude by 9PM.

 

Administrator’s Report

  1. Martha attended the VLCT Fall Planning and Zoning Forum on Oct. 23rd.
  2. Local FEMA maps are being updated for the first time since 1978. Martha is completing a FEMA RiskMAP survey, due Dec. 13, to help in the production of new fully digital maps. This is a 5-year process, estimated to be completed in 2024.
  3. NRPC will be hosting a Community Engagement Workshop at Northwest Vermont Medical Center on Thursday, Nov. 21 from 6 to 8.

 

9:13PM – S. Gregg moved to adjourn; M. Gammal second. Al in favor.

 

Respectfully submitted,

Martha Taylor-Varney, ZA

 

 

Signed: __________________________________________Date: _____________________

For the Planning Commission

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

October 16, 2019 PC Minutes

October 20, 2019

SOUTH HERO PLANNING COMMISSION MINUTES                           October 16, 2019

 

Members Present: D. Patterson (Chair); D. Roy; B. Kerr; M. Gammal

Members Absent: S. Gregg

Public Present: Jonathan Shaw; Jeff Sikora; Mike Gammal; Tim Maxham; Martha Taylor-Varney (ZA)

 

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

 

Changes to the Agenda

There were none.

 

Public Input

There was none.

 

Discussion of Comments/Suggestions from Oct. 2 Development Regulations Amendments Public Hearing

Jonathan Shaw told the Board that he had concerns regarding the enforceability of the proposed amendments and the process for approval:

  1. Sec 203 – Village District: What is the “majority”? and should the word “shall” be used?   The language here is not well defined. Should the regulations include introductions that already appear in the Town Plan?
  2. 204.B(2) – No waivers or variances for land uses that are not specifically identified. Is this intentional?
  3. Table 2.3 – Dimensional Standards. Height limits for structures in the proposed Village Zoning Districts raised to a maximum of 40 feet? Setback distances from boundaries too restrictive. Roy commented that the intention is to have structures closer to the road. D. Patterson reminded that there will be setback waivers of up to 50% allowed (Sec. 305). Should this be eliminated?
  4. Section 502.A – Abandonment. Does this apply to residences that have been abandoned/unoccupied for several years? Martha explained that any wastewater system that has been unused for more than 2 years is required by statute to be either replaced per State permit or certified by the State to be continued.
  5. 503.C – Are the number of parking spaces at a B&B determined by the number of bedrooms? Are these counted as separate dwelling units? No.
  6. 506.B – Outdoor lighting. Language defining ‘intent’ should not be in the Regulations. Hard to interpret. ‘Intended use’ is subjective but necessary.
  7. 508 – Performance Standards. Difficult to enforce.
  8. 602 – Landscaping and Screening. Needs to be more specific. The screening language is obscure and perhaps too strict.
  9. 608 – Village District Form and Design Standards. Jonathan does not like this section. D. Roy said the drawings were bad examples. Jeff Sikora felt the requirements squash creativity. They’re too restrictive. D. Roy said that form encourages walkable streets and downtowns, keeps orientations and scale, and keeps the focus on elements and not what they look like. Jeff said that is difficult in Vermont. Jonathan said it seems like a good idea but doesn’t work here. D. Patterson asked Jonathan if the section on Form is the biggest obstacle the Selectboard may have with the amendments. Jonathan agreed. Is it worth it for D. Roy and Jeff to review? The ‘farmhouse’ examples are not good. The formulas are good but the drawings give the impression that that is the required design. The section on Form is at the end of Article 6, making it easy to remove? Remove it from the document and re-introduce at a later date?
  10. 701.B(1)b – Accessory Dwellings. Accessory dwelling’s size limited 30% of total floor area of the primary structure could be too limiting for a small house.
  11. Seasonal dwelling definition – used no more than 6 months of the year? How is this enforced?

 

  1. Kerr asked Jonathan how the Selectboard felt about the Village Zoning Districts. Jonathan said it was hard to have 2 sets of rules.

 

Jonathan feels that the approval process will require that the question go to the voters, and he feels that it will pass. D. Patterson responded that the public has had the chance to participate and that the Selectboard should be able to make the decision. Jonathan responded that if the turnout for the Selectboard hearing is low, the Board may make a decision whether to approve or not, but it may have to go to the voters.

 

Concerns brought up at the October 2nd Planning Commission public hearing by Jay Buermann included the requirement for a traffic study for parking for more than 25 cars. He felt the threshold was low. Tim Maxham asked if a traffic study should be required in South Hero.

 

  1. Patterson passed to the members a re-sized diagram for cul-de-sac in Figure 6.1 to answer concerns raised at the Oct. 2 hearing. The Board agreed to increase the area of impervious surface from 5000sf to 11,000sf for standards requirements for major developments. Need to add ‘Shoreland Stabilization’ to Table 2.1 (Allowed Uses) under Village Districts and Shoreland District with the notation ‘P’. In 503.B(3) – Accessibility for Emergency Vehicles for single-household dwelling driveways – the word “shall” will be replaced with “should.”

 

Review of Minutes

  1. Roy moved to accept the minutes from October 2, 2019; M. Gammal second. All in favor.

Discussion on Meeting Decorum

  1. Kerr suggested tabling the discussion to a later meeting. All agreed.

 

Administrator’s Report

  1. The Planning Commission will host the Northern Lake Champlain Tactical Basin Study at their November 6 meeting. The meeting will be at 7PM at the Worthen Library.
  2. The VLCT Fall Planning and Zoning Forum will be held on October 23rd in South Burlington.
  3. There will be a PC meeting on November 20 since Thanksgiving is late this year.

 

9:15PM – M. Gammal moved to adjourn; D. Roy second. All in favor.

 

Respectfully submitted,

Martha Taylor-Varney, ZA

 

 

Signed: _______________________________________ Date: _______________________

For the Planning Commission

 

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