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.



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.




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