April 17, 2024 PC Minutes

SOUTH HERO PLANNING COMMISSION MIUTES                                           April 17, 2024


Members Present – Sandy Gregg (Chair); Michele Gammal (Vice-Chair); Don Bedard

Member Absent – David Roy

Others Present – Steve Robinson; Emily Alger; Jenna McDonald; Tim Maxham; Martha Taylor-Varney (ZA)


6:00PM – S. Gregg called the meeting to order.


Changes to the Agenda

There were none.


Public Comment

There was none.


Old Business



New Business

  1. South Hero Land TrustEmily Alger of South Hero Land Trust presented a Poer Point to the Commission titled ‘Goulet Farm Conservation Project.’ [The full Power Point will be attached to the minutes on the Town website]. The Land Trust’s proposal is to conserve the Goulet Farm and some of the abutting Swanson property.  The Goulet acreage is 156 acres, and the Swanson property adds 38 more, for a total of 194 acres, of which 182 is active farmland.  The Goulet home and farm buildings will not be included in the conserved land.  Tim Maxham asked if the partnership with Island Excavating will continue?   Yes, that portion of the property is not included in the easement.  Bedard asked if there was anything that could prevent the easement from being approved.  Emily said that letters of support are needed from the Panning Commission and the Selectboard.  M. Gammal expressed support for the proposal but asked what would happen to the land if ceased to be farmed.  Emily said that the land would continue to be maintained.  The Goulets have a succession plan in place.  By selling the conservation rights, they will have funds to implement their plans and continue to farm.  Tim Maxham commented that the Goulets have added new uses – commercial hay sales, the farm stand selling local produce and meats, and products from other local producers.  D. Bedard agreed that the conservation easement was a good idea and that large tracts of land like this in South Hero need to be conserved.  S. Gregg agreed that it was a “marvelous idea.”  The consensus of the Commission was that they support the proposal and will write a letter of support to the Land Trust.
  2. Online Submission Tool for Municipal Planning Commission Bylaw Reporting Form – The responsibility now falls on the Town to submit this form to The VT Agency of Commerce and Community Development (VCCD) any time a zoning bylaw is updated. Gregg is creating a spreadsheet for proposed additions/edits to the development regulations and will send a copy to Commission members.


Review of Minutes of April 3, 2024

  1. Gammal moved to accept the minutes of April 3, 2024; D. Bedard second. All in favor.


Administrator’s Report

  1. ZA Martha Taylor-Varney reported to the Commission that the results of the traffic study on Hochelaga Rd., conducted last year by Northwest Regional Planning, has not been given to the town yet. Residents on Hochelaga Rd. had asked the Selectboard to reduce the speed on the road but a traffic study is required before the speed can be changed.  Gregg will contact NRPC for an update.
  2. Martha received an email from VT DEC about the 3-Acre Permit Obtainment Assistance Program. This program is for development that creates 3 acres or more of impermeable surface (roofs, driveways, parking lots, etc.).  DEC is encouraging developers to apply for available funding to use toward permit fees related to stormwater runoff.
  3. The Zoning Office will be closed from April 24th through May 2nd. Martha will miss the May 1st PC meeting and asked for a copy of that meeting’s agenda to post before she leaves.



  1. Meeting House Gregg reported that the South Hero Meeting House committee received approval to submit a final application for funding through the Northern Borders Regional Commission for a $500,000 grant. She is writing a letter of support for the Selectboard to sign at their next meeting.
  2. Town Office Committee – The Town Office Building Committee will have their organizational meeting on Thursday, April 18 at 6PM at the Town Office.
  3. Sidewalk Mapping Project – Northwest Regional Planning has sent a draft map of the sidewalks in South Hero Village including their conditions, width, and surface type, and asked the Commission members to review and make any necessary updates. Where else would the Commission like to see sidewalks in the village?  A priority would be down South St. to the school, and also along the south side of RT 2 to a crosswalk across RT 2 to the library.  The Commission will focus on both current sidewalk conditions and future proposed locations.
  4. Weekend in the Islands – this will be removed from the agenda going forward.


Next Meeting

The next meeting will be May 1st at 6PM at the Town Office.



7:23 PM – D. Bedard moved to adjourn; M. Gammal 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.


Goulet Swanson Conservation Project 2024