Jan. 17, 2018 PC Minutes

January 23, 2018

SOUTH HERO PLANNING COMMISSION                                                       January 17, 2018


Members Present: D. Patterson (Chair); S. Gregg; D. Roy; B. Kerr

Member Absent: R. Henry

Public Present: Sherry Corbin; Liza Kilcoyne; Tim Maxham; Jim Brightwell; Martha Taylor-Varney, ZA


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


Changes to the Agenda

There were none.


Public Input

There was none.


Continued Discussion on Development Regulations Update

Home Occupations – Sherry Corbin expressed concern that the current draft language for home-based businesses did not reflect the conversation and decisions made by the Planning Commission at their May 3, 2017 meeting.  To simplify the regulations and reduce the length of the document, she suggested replacing the draft language in Sec. 704, which differentiates between Home Business, Home Occupation, and Home Enterprise with only one category – ‘Home Occupation.’  Sherry suggested a zoning permit would be triggered by the number of employees.  There was discussion on how restrictive to be, outside storage for some businesses like contractors, and the number of employees that are not on-site (again, contractors), and how to categorize these businesses. Additional discussion included typical occupations to be included in definitions for ‘Home Occupations’ and ‘Home Businesses’, and setback distances for parking.  It was suggested that Home Occupations have no posted business hours and not to allow retail sales.  The existence of a sign identifying the business would make it a ‘Home Business.’  Another suggestion was to reduce the categories to ‘Home Occupation’ and ‘Home Enterprise’ only.  Sherry gave Martha a copy of the 5/3/17 PC minutes.

  1. Patterson and S. Gregg recommended that all businesses in South Hero be required to register, and have a Conditional Use approval, with the Town.



Review Planning Commission Rules of Procedure

            Some changes are required since the PC’s previous development review responsibilities for subdivision and site plan review have been given to the Development Review Board.  The Commission asked Martha to contact VLCT to see if they have a model PC template and will continue to review the Procedures at the next meeting.



Sign Ordinance

            The rules regulating signs has been proposed to be removed from the Development Regulations and included in an ordinance approved by the Selectboard.  S. Gregg presented the Commission with a draft Sign Ordinance for review.  Discussion included internally-lit signs, who would enforce the ordinance (Selectboard or ZA), bulletin boards, possible exemptions for municipal services buildings, sandwich boards, and signs posted on the inside of windows (facing out) and whether the Town can regulate these.  Instead of specific sizes, can signs be limited to a certain percentage of a structure’s façade or lass area?  D. Patterson will research sign heights.  The Commission will continue discussion on this at the next meeting.


Review of Minutes

  1. Gregg moved to accept the minutes from January 3, 2018, with corrections; B. Kerr second. All in favor.


New/Old Business

            There was discussion on the schedule for edits on the draft document to reflect the most recent review.  Martha will continue to make track changes to the document for further review at upcoming PC meetings.  D. Patterson asked if NRPC could provide a pdf map of the 2 proposed Village District areas that would include parcel boundaries.  Martha will contact Taylor Newton to find out.


Administrator’s Report

            Martha discussed the recent 4-day NFIP FEMA course she attended in Essex Junction.  She plans to take the Certified Flood Manager (CFM) exam later this year to get certification.


9:38PM – S. Gregg moved to adjourn; B. Kerr 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.




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