April 21, 2021 PC Miinutes

April 28, 2021

SOUTH HERO PLANNING COMMISSION MINTES                             April 21, 2021

 

Members Attending: Doug Patterson (Chair); Sandy Gregg (Vice-Chair); David Roy

Member Absent: Michele Gammal

Public Attending: Bridget Kerr; Bob Fireovid; Martha Taylor-Varney (ZA)

 

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

 

Changes to the Agenda

Add discussion on 2023 Town Plan under Old Business

 

Public Comment

There was none.

 

Public Hearing discussion for amendments to the Development Regulations

  1. Table 2.1 – changes under Commercial Accessory Uses: currently permitted in all zoning districts; recommend change all to conditional use and site plan approval.
  2. The Board discussed whether ‘industry’ needed to be further defined for application within the 2 Village zoning districts. Bridget Kerr wants more definition.  The Board prefers to let the DRB make that judgement, as they already had in 2 previous applications.  The Village Districts portion of Sec, 203 (Zoning District Purposes) allows for “small, low-impact industry” within the South Hero and Keeler Bay Village Zoning Districts.  This discussion will continue at the public hearing.
  3. Accessory Dwellings – the State changed the requirements and definitions of accessory dwellings. Gregg will contact Greta Brunswick at NRPC for the full list of changes.

 

The Commission set June 2, 2021 for the Planning Commission’s public hearing, to be included as an agenda item on that night’s regular PC meeting agenda.

 

Small Business Saturday

There was no additional information at this time.

 

Meeting Minutes

  1. Gregg moved to accept the minutes from April 7, 2021; D. Roy second. All in favor.

 

New/Old Business

Accessory On-Farm Businesses – The Commission members will defer on amendments to the Regulations related to AOFB’s.

2023 Town Plan – The members all agreed that we should apply for a municipal planning grant for this.  Martha will ask Greta for a budget from NRPC.

 

Administrator’s Report

-Grand Isle will be hosting a Zoom seminar on Open Meeting Law rules and procedures on May 13, 2021 at 6PM.

-The next PC meeting will be May 5, 2021 at 6PM.  Meetings will continue on Zoom for the foreseeable future.

 

Adjournment

6:38PM – S. Gregg moved to adjourn; D. Roy second.  All in favor.

 

Respectfully submitted,

Martha Taylor-Varney, ZA

 

 

Signed: _________________________________________ Date: _______________________

For the Planning Commission

 

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

 

 

 

April 7, 2021

April 14, 2021

SOUTH HERO PLANNING COMMISSION                                                       April 7, 2021

(Meeting via Zoom)

 

Members Present: Doug Patterson (Chair); Sandy Gregg (Vice-Chair); David Roy; Michele Gammal

Public Present: Ruth McGowan; Mark Sarrano (AmeriCorps/NRPC); Greta Brunswick (NRPC); Bob Fireovid; Emily Klofft  (NRPC); Bridget Kerr; Martha Taylor-Varney (ZA)

 

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

 

Changes to the Agenda

There were none.

 

Public Comment

Bridget Kerr asked how the Commission members defined ‘Industrial’ and how the Development Regulations (Table 2.1 – Allowed Uses) had been changed to allow industrial uses in the South Hero Village District with Conditional Use and Site Plan review.  She felt this was a big change.  The Town website does not have the most recent (3/31/20) final draft of the Regulations posted.  Greta Brunswick explained that all changes must go through the public hearing process – Planning Commission and Selectboard.   The Planning Commission will decide a hearing schedule at upcoming meetings.

 

Discussion with NRPC on the 2023 Town Plan

As part of the Town’s contract with NRPC, there must be 2 consultations with the Town within the (now) 8-year period between Town Plan updates.  Greta Brunswick considered this planning discussion for the 2023 Plan to be the second of those consultations.   She had reviewed the current Town Plan (2015) for strengths, weaknesses, and where the focus needs to be.  She suggested strengthening the sections on economic development, education, housing, accessory dwellings, accessory on-farm businesses, adding an enhanced energy plan, and reformatting the plan to make it shorter and easier to digest.  She also recommended adding Community Health and Community Resilience to the Implementation section by including access to recreation and healthcare, promoting active lifestyles, community connectivity and walkability.  D. Roy suggested considering studies for improved infrastructure and energy sustainability.  Greta asked if the Commission wanted a simple update of the current Town Plan or a more comprehensive update with outside assistance.  NRPC could provide some assistance for a smaller in-house update.  A more comprehensive update would require a municipal planning grant.  D. Patterson asked Greta for a budget from NRPC for both a minor and more comprehensive update.  Greta agreed.

 

 

 

Options for American Recovery Act Funds

Emily Klofft reported that they haven’t received much detail yet about the Recovery Act funds but that the duration of the grant gave applicants a longer period of time than usual – until 2024 – to use any awarded funds.  More guidance should be coming soon.

 

Accessory On-Farm Businesses

Emily Klofft discussed Act 143, which was passed by the Legislature in 2018.  This Act allows municipalities to regulate accessory on-farm businesses (AOFBs) only through site plan review and the use of performance standards.  Pre-existing non-conforming uses can continue.  Emily recommended that the 2023 Town Plan include AOFB language.  NRPC has funding to help Towns implement a model plan.  Is South Hero interested in this assistance?

 

  1. Gregg moved that the South Hero Planning Commission is interested in assistance from NRPC in implementing a model AOFB plan; D. Roy second. All in favor.

 

Accessory Dwellings

Act 179, signed by the Governor on October 12, 2020, makes multiple changes to the State’s zoning laws related to accessory dwellings.  This is an effort to further encourage accessory dwelling units for affordable housing and housing choice.   Accessory Dwellings may now have more than 1 bedroom if there is sufficient wastewater capacity, and may not exceed 30% of the total habitable floor area of the single-family dwelling, or 900 square feet (whichever is greater).  Additional changes include language about restrictions to developing smaller lots, review standards for dwellings consisting of four or fewer units, and the regulation of short-term rentals.  The first 3 changes went into effect upon passage and supersede existing local regulations.  However, these required changes to the Bylaws must still follow amendment procedures, requiring Planning Commission and Selectboard public hearings before the document can reflect the new language [go figure].  D. Patterson asked NRPC to clarify parking requirements for primary and accessory dwelling units.

 

Regulating Private Airfields and Heliports

Greta told the Commission that this is on NRPC’s radar and that simple language may be available soon.  The State will not have any land use regulations related to private airfields and heliports, so the only land use regs will be on the municipal level.

 

Meeting Minutes

  1. Gregg moved to accept the minutes from the March 17 meeting; M. Gammal second. All in favor.

 

 

 

 

New/Old Business

  1. Gregg reported that the ‘pocket parks’ proposed for the Old White Meeting House and the Worthen Library will include community art projects supported by the Folsum School art teachers and local residents. She also told the Commission that the Old White Meeting House committee had applied for a $15 million grant through the Welch Community Project Fund. She invited the public to the next OWMH committee meeting to be held via Zoom at 4PM on April 22nd.

 

Administrator’s Report

The Planning Commission agreed to continue meeting on Zoom on a month-to-month basis.  The next meeting will be April 21, 2021.  M. Gammal will be unable to attend.  D. Patterson will be out of town but thinks he’ll be able to attend.

 

Adjournment

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

 

Respectfully submitted,

Martha Taylor-Varney, ZA

 

 

Signed: ________________________________________ Date: ____________________

For the Planning Commission

 

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

 

 

 

March 17, 2021 PC Minutes

March 18, 2021

South Hero Planning Commission Minutes                                      March 17, 2021

 

Members Present: Doug Patterson (Chair); Sandy Gregg (Vice-Chair); Michele Gammal; David Roy.

Public Present: Bob Fireovid; Martha Taylor-Varney (ZA)

 

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

 

Changes to the Agenda

There were none.

 

Public Comment

There was none.

 

Discussion of Airfields and Heliport Regulations

  1. Patterson had contacted VLCT and was told that no draft ordinance had yet been prepared. VLCT suggested that we contact Northwest Regional Planning. Since the Commission’s April 7 meeting will include NRPC, we will include discussion on regulating airfields and heliports on the agenda.  Doug told the Commission that VTran’s application for and airfield or heliport was relatively simple (he will send everyone the pdf), but that the FAA regulations and guidelines are pretty involved.  Doug recommended that South Hero consider this further because there are already planes and helicopters operating in South Hero.  Martha will contact Grand Isle and North Hero to see what regulations or issues they may have.  This issue will remain on the agenda.

 

Small Business Saturday

  1. Gammal reported that she has contacted more businesses and is getting a favorable response for the proposed date (November 20). She is hoping that each participating business will have some sort of special ‘draw’ to encourage people to come. Meeting prospective participating businesses will become easier as Covid restrictions are eased.

 

Meeting Minutes

  1. Gregg moved to approve the minutes from March 3, 2021; David Roy second. All in favor.

 

New/Old Business

The Selectboard passed onto the Commission information on the American Recovery Act, funding to support local governments that could include, among other things, funds for assistance to small businesses, impacts to tourism, travel, and hospitality, and investments in water, sewer, and broadband infrastructure.  D. Roy asked if this could include funds allocated toward further study of water and sewer systems in South Hero.  This conversation will also be added to the agenda for the April 7 meeting with NRPC.

Administrator’s Report

  1. Martha showed the Commission members a front-page article in the March 16 issue of the Burlington Free Press about a House bill introduced in Montpelier that would require owners of short-term rentals to live in their rentals for 270 days a year. There was general support from the members for this type of State regulation.
  2. The next meeting will be April 9, 2021. Greta Brunswick of NRPC will attend to discuss whether the Town will need an MPG for the 2023 Town Plan, in addition to further discussion on Acts 143 and 179, airfield and heliport regulations, and whether the American Recovery Act could apply to any proposals in South Hero.

 

Adjournment

6:31 PM – S. Gregg moved to adjourn; M. Gammal second.  All in favor.

 

 

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.

 

 

 

March 3, 2021 PC Minutes

March 6, 2021

SOUTH HERO PLANNING COMMISSION                                                       March 3, 2021

Meeting held via Zoom

 

Members Present: Doug Patterson (Chair); Sandy Gregg (Vice-Chair); David Roy; Jonathan Shaw

Member Absent: Michele Gammal

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

 

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

 

Changes to the Agenda

Under ‘New/Old Business’, add: Discussion on Airfield/Heliport regulation; Clean Water Initiative; Better Places grant; and retail Cannabis.

 

Discussion on Act 143 – Accessory On-Farm Businesses

Martha attended a virtual seminar on February 25th hosted by NRPC, which included a presentation on Act 143 – On-Farm Accessory Businesses.  Discussion with the Planning Commission included whether the Town needs to adopt a bylaw that clarifies AOFB’s and what would be the standard of review.  The Agency of Agriculture recommends a site plan review, but there is currently no adopted requirement by the State. Discussion also included letting the Agency of Ag makes farm determinations rather than the ZA, Town, or Applicant.  NRPC is working on a model bylaw.

 

Act 179 – Legislation related to Accessory Dwelling Units

Additional information on this was also presented at the 2/25 NRPC seminar. The South Hero Development Regulations were amended to match the State’s new requirements for accessory dwellings.  However, the Seminar also included new directives that prevent Conditional Use review for up to 4-unit dwellings.  Currently, the Town’s Development Regulations require Conditional Use review in the Rural Residential and Shoreland Districts.  Reviews for this number of units also may not consider Undue Adverse Effect on character of the area.  These changes will require the Regulations to be amended once again.

 

Meeting Minutes

  1. Gregg moved to approve the minutes of February 17, 2021; J. Shaw second. All in favor.

 

New/Old Business

  1. Small Business SaturdayMichele Gammal will have more information at the March 17 or April 7 meeting.
  2. Airports/Helipads – The airfield at Allenholm has been registered with the FAA for 45 years. Does regulation of new airfields and helipads need to be added to Table 2.1 (Allowed Uses) with the review requirements?  Patterson says the Commission needs input from aviation authorities and will look into it for the next meeting.
  3. Clean Water Initiative: Gregg read the report and said there is no clear data yet that supports whether investments made by the State are making a difference in water quality.
  4. Better Places Grant: Gregg reported that the Town’s application for a Better Places Grant was denied.   There were a lot of applicants, and the State is considering a second opportunity for applications.
  5. Retail Cannabis Sales: Retail cannabis sales in South Hero were approved at Town Meeting. Patterson stated that the Town needs to be proactive in regulating the sale of cannabis and the effect it will have on the Town if there are no other towns nearby that also have retail cannabis sales.  The State has no rules yet and will not for a while so retail sales will not happen for a while.

 

Administrator’s Report

The next meeting will be on March 17, 2021 at 6PM, via Zoom.  Martha will send the PowerPoint presentations from the 2/25 NRPC seminar on Acts 143 and 179 to the PC members for further discussion on March 17.  The April 7 meeting will include Greta Brunswick of NRPC, attending to discuss the 2023 Town Plan, in addition to Acts 143 and 179, and airfield/helipad regulations.  There is a fifth Monday in March and  Martha will ask the Selectboard and DRB if they wish to meet together on that date.

 

Adjournment

6:47PM — S. Gregg moved to adjourn; J. Shaw 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.

 

 

 

February 17, 2021 PC Minnutes

February 19, 2021

SOUTH HERO PLANNING COMMISSION                                                       February 17, 2021

 

Members Present: Doug Patterson (Chair); Sandy Gregg (Vice-Chair); David Roy; Michele Gammal; Jonathan Shaw.

Public Present: Bridget Kerr; Martha Taylor-Varney, ZA

 

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

 

  1. Gregg requested that the Commission members observe a moment of silence in recognition of Sharon Roy and all her years of service to the Town.

 

Changes to the Agenda

There were none.

 

Public Comment

There was none.

 

Review Preparations for 2023 Town Plan

Members suggested asking a representative from NRPC to meet with the Commission on March 17, 2021 for discussion regarding format and possible MPG.  Martha will contact NRPC to confirm.

 

Review of Minutes

  1. Gregg moved to accept the minutes from February 3, 2021; M. Gammal second. All in favor.

 

New/Old Business

  1. Gammal will be meeting in March with Sherry Potvin of Champlain Islands Economic Development and Randy Smith of Buy Vermont Local to discuss ideas for an island-wide Small Business Saturday. The Commission members agreed that the best date will be the Saturday before Thanksgiving [November 20, 2021].

 

Administrator’s Report

  1. Gregg will put a reminder in Front Porch Forum about the requirements of the new Mobile Vendors Ordinance for conditional use and site plan review before the DRB. J. Shaw will talk with Mike Donaghue to see if he would do a follow-up to his earlier article in the Islander.
  2. Martha received information from the Vermont Transportation Board about suggestions that towns include language regulating private helipads and airfields either in their zoning bylaws or via an ordinance. Patterson asked that it be put on the agenda for March 17 to discuss while NRPC is in attendance.  Martha will forward the email to the PC members before that meeting.

 

(over)

Adjournment

6:15PM – D. Roy moved to adjourn; J. Shaw 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.