August 20, 2014, PC Minutes – Draft

August 25, 2014


Planning Commission with Zoning Board of Adjustment

August 20, 2014

Meeting Minutes – Draft


Planning Commission Members Present: George (Terry) Delano, Doug Patterson, Sandra O’Flaherty, Sandy Gregg and David Roy

Planning Commission Members Absent: None

Zoning Board of Adjustment members present: Timothy Maxham, Gwen Hobbs, Paula Delano, Steven Nedde, Courtland Perry, Jim Baker, and Alayne Rabow

Zoning Board of Adjustment member absent: George Rice

Staff Present: Mitchel Cypes


Others present from sign in sheet: Michael Wichrowski, Jim Burke, Paul Boileau, Bill Bingham, David Carter, Ruby Brezinsky, and Clyde Wigness


7:04PM: Call to order for the Planning Commission by Tim Maxham.


7:05PM: The Public was asked if there were any requests for additions or deletions from the agenda. A request to rearrange the order to Public input first, then Administrator’s Report and then minutes was discussed and agreed by consensus.


7:06PM: Continuance from July 30, 2014: FL005-14-71B, Vermont Department of Fish and Wildlife, Conditional Use, Site Plan Review and Subdivision Amendment for Public Boat Launch Facility and realignment of Featherbed Lane. Introductions of the Boards were given. The Applicants and Public in attendance were given the oath by Gwen Hobbs.


Using the submitted August 6th letter, Michael Wichrowski and Jim Burke provided the Boards with the additional information requested.

  • Per Comment #1: Regarding marking a navigational channel with buoys, spoke to U.S Army Corps of Engineers, who stated that an upgrade of permits would be required to create the channel and that the Department of Fish and Wildlife needs to work with Apple Island Resort on such changes. Apple Island Resort stated that they are planning to apply for upgrades to their marina permits in 2-years and would not be willing to go through a permitting process until then. Sailboats moored near the proposed dock appear to be from Apple Island Resort and in the possible channel.
  • Per Comment #2, The Department of Fish and Wildlife is willing to extend the guardrail as requested to connect both proposed sections of guardrail.
  • Per Comment #3, with design assistance from Richard Cleveland of AOT, new signage on Route 2 will be placed. From the submitted updated plan the existing and proposed signs were described. Michael Wichrowski stated that AOT will waive the 200 foot minimum length per sign requirement. Proposed sign options for a sign on US #2 were discussed. Wichrowski stated that the sign will be brown colored and the only proposed sign on U.S. Route 2. The Boards stated their belief that having the Fish and Wildlife logo on the sign was important. It was noted that the Featherbed Lane sign was missing, which David Carter confirmed had been stolen. It was suggested that the words ‘private road’ be added to the sign.
  • Per Comment #4 the design for a portion of the proposed Featherbed Lane, which did not have sufficient depth of subbase according Town Road standards, has been changed to meet the Town standards.
  • Per Comment #5 stormwater calculations were provided to the Town and reviewed by Staff. Staff testified the following:
    • The new methodology the State used calculated a peak stormwater discharge, calculates a peak discharge which is significantly less than the calculated peak discharge using more traditional methods.
    • A 48-inch diameter culvert is about as large of a pipe that could be placed in the area, and would be able to convey the peak discharge of a 50-year to 100-year storm event as calculated per the more tested traditional analysis, and which would be required per State standards.
    • During a storm event that would maximize the proposed pipes ability to convey stormwater, the water level of the lake would increase above the invert of the pipe, which would inhibit the flow of stormwater through the pipe, regardless of size.
  • Per Comment #6, the recently submitted landscape plan was discussed including the need to have a variety of plant species.
  • Per Comment #7 Correction crews are utilized to maintain the stormwater system and to remove litter, debris etc.
  • Per Comment #8 as described they will replace Featherbed Lane culvert.


In addition the Applicants wanted the Town to know they are putting the project out to bid and that they can make change orders if need be to adjust to the Town decision. The Department of Fish & Wildlife would like to begin construction in October. Changes would include coordination to place the dry hydrant.


Public Comment:

  • Ruby Brezinski and Paul Boileau expressed concerns about the wording and sizes of the proposed signs.
  • Ruby Brezinski stated her belief that it was not appropriate for the rebuilt Featherbed Lane to be paved a length of only 40 feet because the Association paved Featherbed Lane a length of 70 feet. In response the Applicants stated that the proposed Featherbed Lane will have a better shallower grade, will be wider than the existing at 24 feet and has a wider entrance.
  • Ruby Brezinski stated that the Department of Fish and Wildlife have not paid dues to the Association to maintain Featherbed Lane.
  • The letter submitted by Mr. Boileau, which recommends ways to limit access to the boat launch from Featherbed Lane using rock walls and gates, was discussed. Concerns were raised regarding where people who mistakenly use Featherbed Lane will go to turn around. It was recommended that a new Featherbed Lane road sign be placed that states that Featherbed Lane is a private road.
  • David Carter stated that he was in favor of the realigned Featherbed Lane and hoped the Boards could expedite the decision, and that he believes that any remaining issues could be worked out with the Department of Fish and Wildlife.
  • The Boards and Public discussed the concern regarding parking, some stating seeing more than 40 cars on the property on a weekend. The Applicants stated that the parking spaces will not be marked and were assumed to be 12 feet in width. The possibilities of unauthorized use of the adjacent lot was discussed, noting that the drainage swale with check dams may deter the Public from using the adjacent open lot. The Boards reminded the Public that should they see illegal parking on Route 2, they should contact the Sherriff’s Department.
  • Ruby Brezinski stating disagreement with David Carter on trusting Fish & Wildlife stating there were misrepresentations in the past. She stated her belief that they are only doing the work required of them and that this project will create a parking problem for Town.
  • Ruby Brezinski and the Applicants discussed the placement and wording of a rules sign, which the Applicants stated had been ordered per Brezinski’s request. Ruby Brezinski showed proposed sign wording she would request.


Tim Maxham explained the decision making procedures to the Applicants and Public and stated that interested parties may appeal decisions made by these Boards to superior court.


7:55PM: A motion to accept as evidence, exhibit #5, the letter from the Department of Fish and Wildlife dated August 6 2014 was made by Doug Patterson, seconded by Sandy Gregg and approved unanimously.


8:02PM: A motion to accept as evidence, exhibit #6, the finished grading plan, landscaping plan, subbase plan and stormwater calculations as updates to the plans, was made by Gwen Hobbs, seconded by David Roy and approved unanimously.


8:04PM: A motion to accept as evidence, exhibit #7, the letter and 2 attachments from Paul Boileau dated 8/17/14, was made by Jim Baker, seconded by Sandra O’Flaherty and approved unanimously.


8:09PM: A motion to accept as evidence, exhibit #8, the proposed information sign submitted by the Department of Fish and Wildlife was made by Sandra O’Flaherty, seconded by Steve Nedde and approved unanimously.


8:09PM: A motion to accept as evidence, exhibit #9, the proposed information sign submitted by Ruby Brezinski, was made by Sandra O’Flaherty, seconded by Steve Nedde and approved unanimously.


8:10PM: A motion to accept as evidence, exhibit #10, the proposed official business directional signs, was made by Paula Delano, seconded by David Roy and approved unanimously.


Additional discussion included the following:

  • The Applicants agreed to send Town full size plans of all the update and recently submitted plans.
  • The Applicants clarified the rules stating that the types of allowable activities for the Public facility include fishing, hunting trapping and boating and the following:
    • Boating can range from big boats to kayaks.
    • Vehicle can park for these uses up to 72 hours or for longer periods with a special permit.
    • Currently a 12” x 18” sign on the kiosk states the rules. They are proposing to replace this sign with a new 42” x 44” sign.
    • The mailboxes for use by residents of Mott Lane will remain in the same location.
    • The Department of Fish and Wildlife would be willing to make some modifications of the signs in the future if required.
    • After discussion with the Boards, agreed to make the fishing access entrance sign as large as is allowed by the Agency of Transportation.
  • Ruby Brezinski encouraged the Boards to protect the Public and that it is within the jurisdiction of the Boards to maintain character of area and parking.
  • Clyde Wigness encouraged the Boards to enforce and follow all the rules.
  • The Boards reviewed the Section 303 of the Town’s Development Regulations for the Public, discussed limitations for this application regarding flood hazard zone standards and any work below elevation 95.5. It was also explained that once permit is issued, the landowners will have to come back to the Town should major changes to an approval is required.

8:28PM: A motion to accept the application as complete was made by Sandra O’Flaherty, seconded by Sandy Gregg and approved unanimously.


8:34PM: A motion to close the hearing for deliberative session was made by Jim Baker, seconded by Alayne Rabow and approved unanimously.


8:35PM: The Public that attended the hearing had left the meeting, so no additional Public input was possible.


8:36PM: Administrative Officer’s Report:

  • Feedback was requested regarding placing on the Town website notices for site visits. After a discussion the ZBA and the PC said that these should be placed on the Town calendar.
  • Discussion of notices to the Board resulted, the Boards would like to see preliminary hearing agendas placed on the Town website. Also after a discussion there was agreement to changing the typical agenda order to Public input, Administrative Officer’s report and then review of minutes.
  • Feedback was requested on whether gutters on roofs should require a permit, even if placed within a setback. After a lengthy discussion the consensus of the Boards was that gutters were not a structural item and should not require a permit. An application, which requests an extension of a roof into a setback area does require a variance.
  • Upcoming hearings include the following:
    • On August 27, 2014 a continuation of Conditional Use and Site Plan hearing for the ZBA and PC of FR015-15-01B, Cota Family Trust.
    • On September 3, 2014 a Conditional Use and Site Plan hearing for the ZBA and PC of RT238-15-15B for Pest Pro, Inc.
    • On September 17, 2014, Final subdivision hearing for RT493-14-04PC.
    • On October 8, 2014, the previously mentioned variance hearing, which was not scheduled in September because of the applicant’s request.
  • The Boards asked Staff to discuss with the Selectboard the following:
    • Discussing with the State moving the ‘Welcome to South Hero’ sign away from proposed Fish and Wildlife access.
    • Replace the removed Featherbed Lane street sign with a sign that states that Featherbed Lane is a private road.
    • Remind the Selectboard that new appointments for the ZBA are required in October and authorization to advertise for board members should be done ASAP.
    • Ask if there is going to be a 5th Monday SB meeting in September.
    • Ask if fans could be added to the meeting room.


9:02PM: A motion to move into executive session was made by Paula Delano, seconded by Gwen Hobbs and approved unanimously.


9:35PM: A motion to move out of executive session was made by Paula Delano, seconded by Steve Nedde and approved unanimously.


9:39PM: A motion was made to approve the Minutes for August 6, 2014 by Sandra O’Flaherty, seconded by Sandy Gregg and approved unanimously.


9:40PM: A motion to adjourn the meeting was made by Sandra O’Flaherty, seconded by Sandy Gregg and approved unanimously.


Respectfully submitted by Mitchel Cypes, Administrative Officer.




For Planning Commission

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