SOUTH HERO PLANNING COMMISSION August 19, 2020
Members Present: Doug Patterson (Chair); Sandy Gregg (Vice-Chair); David Roy; Michele Gammal; Jonathan Shaw
Public Present: Tim Maxham; Martha Taylor-Varney, ZA
6:00 PM – Doug Patterson called the meeting to order.
Changes to the Agenda
There were none.
Discuss 7/29 Site Visit
Members of the Planning Commission attended a site visit on Partridge Rd. on July 29, 2020 as part of the ongoing discussion on whether there is a need for a junk ordinance in South Hero. Doug Patterson was not able to attend. Comments from the Commission included that the trees and leaves blocked the view of much of the debris in the woods; that neighbors should attempt to work together to alleviate issues; that visual barriers (other than tarps) or other screening could be encouraged; that it is a bigger problem during the winter. The Commission asked if the Town could enforce a junk ordinance on a private road? Martha will contact the VLCT Municipal Assistance Center to find out. Sandy Gregg suggested starting with the problems that can be seen from public roads and to set basic, generic ground rules. She asked that the Selectboard vote whether there is a need for a rudimentary junk ordinance so there would be a public record of their decision.
Sandy Gregg moved for the Town to develop a junk ordinance; Michele Gammal second. Voting in favor – Doug Patterson, Sandy Gregg, Michele Gammal, and David Roy. Voting against – Jonathan Shaw.
2021 Municipal Planning Grant
The Commission members discussed the current planning grant for the Old White Meeting House that is to be administered by NRPC, and whether there was interest in applying for any other 2021 grant. Deadline for application is at the end of September. There was discussion about an MPG for sidewalk upgrades and new sidewalks in the two villages. David Roy was concerned about walkability of the villages, especially considering the proposed senior housing in South Hero village. Questions included — who is responsible for maintaining the current sidewalks that are within the State’s right-of-way? VTrans used to but no longer will. A couple of abutting businesses or residents have maintained their sections, but the balance has been voluntarily maintained by Tim Maxham, with some assistance by the Town road crew. Tim stated that the sidewalks were installed in 1970 but have fallen into disrepair and he is disgusted by how they look. The Commission agreed to bypass a 2021 MPG application but to consider one next year.
Martha suggested getting more information about the VTrans program for the reclassification of State highways in village areas so the Town could have more options for the use of space that is currently within the State’s ROW. She will get more information on the program for the Commission to consider.
Jonathan Shaw told the Commission that he plans to talk with Island Racing to see if they would allow CIDER to park their vehicles there. Although the CIDER offices have moved to the PUD at 260 US RT 2, their vehicles are still parked at the public parking space behind the Old White Meeting House.
Review draft Zoning Application Forms
The Commission reviewed and approved the draft of a new zoning application, “Application for Determining if a Use is Allowed When Not Listed in Table 2.1.” The Commission approved an amended draft and it will be presented to the Selectboard for their approval at their August 24 meeting.
Sandy Gregg moved to accept the minutes of July 15, 2020, Jonathan Shaw second. All in favor.
Martha asked the Commission if there was a need for a food truck ordinance, rather than reviewing each under the zoning regulations at a hearing before the DRB. David Roy said that food trucks impact traffic, parking, and health and should be regulated. Would food carts be included? Doug Patterson felt food trucks were already covered in the Development Regulations, but wondered if food carts could be covered with an itinerant vendors license? Jonathan Shaw said that the Town needs something that can be enforced. Sandy Gregg will research and report back to the Commission at a future meeting.
1. Martha received a new publication called “Enabling Better Places — A Zoning Guide for VT Neighborhoods” produced by the VT Housing and Conservation Board and AARP. The publication will be part of the Zoning Office collection but is available for members or public to borrow. Sandy Gregg said she would try to get additional copies.
2. The Commission members received updated copies of Table 2.1 (pages 7 and 8) from the 2020 Development Regulations to replace the original pages. The Selectboard recently approved minor changes to the Table under ‘accessory uses’ and ‘industrial.’
7:00 PM – Sandy Gregg moved to adjourn; David Roy 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.