March 6, 2019

August 30, 2019

SOUTH HERO PLANNING COMMISSION MINUTES                                       March 6, 2019


Members Present: D. Patterson; B. Kerr; M. Gammal

Members Absent: D. Roy; S. Gregg

Public Present: Tim Maxham; Jim Brightwell; Jonathan Shaw; Sherry Corbin; Dave Lane; Julie Lane; Liza Kilcoyne


  1. Changes to the Agenda

Change the distribution of the Development Regulations Update Final Draft to discussion of Sec. 404 – Non-conforming Structures.


  1. Public Input

There was none.


  1. Public Hearing – Proposed Sign Ordinance

Attendees were given copies of the draft Sigh Regulations. Jonathan Shaw asked the Commission members why a new permit was needed for an already conforming sign. D. Patterson responded that if the size/shape changes a permit is needed to verify that it is still compliant. There would be no need for a new permit for a change of color, but one would be needed if there was a change in location or illumination. The second paragraph was removed.

Under “Exempt Signs”:

– 1A will add “…, or by permission of the landowner.” Also add “Sign must be removed within 3 days following the event.” There is a difference between a season-long event and a one-time event.

– 1C – Public or Community Events on Town property: what is a “public event”? They are not always on Town property. Examples – Farmers Markets, races, concerts, open studios. Need to clarify this section.

– 1F – Legal signs: add “temporary Public Notices in accordance with State law.” (currently 1K).

-1H – “Retail window signs not exceeding 30% of window area in which the sign is located.

-1I – delete.

-1J – House numbers and 911 Blue signs.

There was additional discussion on the definition of a ‘Bulletin Board.” Dave Lane asked about small directional signs to Snow Farm. He said that they were important for bicyclists and motorists. These signs are exempt. It was explained that there was no intent to deny directional signs for local businesses. Mr. Lane asked if sandwich boards needed regulating. He felt it was the same as directional sign – ordinance enforcement vs. common sense. Additional regulations for non-business signs need to be added. Dave Lane suggested that there be a reference to safety – signs should be easily taken down rather than large and immoveable. Contractor and sub-contractor signs should be exempt.


Under “Sign Requiring a Permit

There was discussion regarding businesses that have many parts (example: Apple Island Resort). Should there be only one free-standing sign that lists everything, or shall they be allowed to have free-standing signs for each part of the business? There needs to be consistency. The current size limit of 40sf may be too small. Larger? Would this be causing more problems? There was additional discussion on illuminated signs. Is a prohibition necessary? What about digital signs? The technology is changing: florescent vs LED.

  • The section on ‘Development Signs’ (2.B) needs to be re-written to clarify what this is.


Under “Non-Conforming Signs

Sherry Corbin expressed concern that current non-conforming signs will not be maintained until the 7-year grace period is up. There needs to be additional text about previously-permitted non-conforming signs.


The text will be edited/updated before the Ordinance is presented to the Selectboard.


  1. Discussion of Sec. 404 – Non-Conforming Structures

The current text on how a non-conformity relates to a replacement structure that reduces the degree of non-conformity nut is still not conforming to the Regulations. Where is height measured? The highest point within the entire non-forming area? References to volume and bulk had been previously removed from this section. It was decided that if the volume remains the same or is reduced that the height within the setback cannot be increased. D. Patterson will re-write this section for consideration by the Commission.


  1. Further Discussion re: South Hero Rec. Committee Trails proposal

There was none.


  1. Update on Planning Grant and HUD Environmental Review application for senior housing.

No new information at this time.


  1. Meeting Minutes
  2. Kerr moved to accept the minutes from February 20, 2019; M. Gammal second. All in favor.


  1. Administrator’s Report
  2. There will be a meeting with Taylor Newton of NRPC for Planning Commission and DRB members on May 1, 2019 at 7PM to discuss a possible MPG to explore options for municipal wastewater. This date needs to be confirmed.
  3. Miranda Lescaze of Cathedral Square has scheduled a public hearing re: the Town’s application for a Vermont Community Development Planning Grant for April 3, 2019. This will be during the regular 7PM Planning Commission meeting that night. Available Selectboard members will be attending.
  4. The final draft of the updated Development Regulations will be available to the Commission members at the next meeting (3/20). Additional copies will be made for Selectboard members in advance of scheduling public hearings.


  1. Adjournment
  2. Gammal moved to adjourn; B. Kerr 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.          

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