SOUTH HERO PLANNING COMMISSION MINUTES August 4, 2021
Members Present: Doug Patterson (Chair); David Roy; Michele Gammal; George Harwood
Member Absent: Sandy Gregg
Public Present: (vial Zoom) Bob Fireovid; Anne Quinn; Greta Brunswick (NRPC); Bridget Kerr; and Martha Taylor-Varney (ZA).
6:00 – D. Patterson called the meeting to order.
Changes to the Agenda
There were none.
There was none.
Greta Brunswick from NRPC to Discuss 2023 Town Plan update
Greta Brunswick joined the meeting via Zoom to discuss options for the required upcoming 2023 Town Plan update. The Commission supports having assistance from Northwest Regional Planning Commission in applying for a municipal planning grant. The PC will ask the Selectboard to support the application for a Municipal Planning Grant or, if not awarded, to put money in the 2023 budget for assistance in producing the updated Plan.
Greta told the Commission that the current 2015 Plan is a good length but that a workplan for the 2023 Plan might consider:
- Whether there are any areas that should be more robust and/or more user friendly (by adding graphic, photos, sidebars)?
- Should the Plan include targets and benchmarks?
- Should data be embedded throughout the document, or can it all be compiled into one section (using graphics, etc.)?
She strongly recommended that the Plan update include an Implementation focus.
Ideas and suggestions for the update can be collected through the use of surveys, public workshops, and participation in community events. The Planning Commission mmight also consider other stakeholders to participate – Rec Commission, sub-committees appointed by the PC, etc. Topic areas could include affordable housing, Village Center planning, other? Also, would the Planning Commission want NRPC to manage all or some of the project, or would it prefer an RFP for a private consultant?
Greta recommended the Commission members review the recent Town Plans for Berlin (award winning) and Alburgh. The Alburgh Plan is concise, short, and includes graphics. Martha will email these Plans and the 2015 South Hero Town Plan to each PC member to review prior to the next meeting on August 18.
Michele Gammal moved to accept the minutes of July 21, 2021; Dave Roy second. All in favor.
- Village wastewater planning grant opportunities – The Planning Commission’s September 1st meeting will host the Selectboard for a discussion with Lynette Claudon of VT DEC grant/loans program to talk about funding options for municipal wastewater. The public is encouraged to attend.
- Small Business Saturday updates – Michele Gammal reported that the weekend community event planned for Oct. 9-10 now has a name – WITI: Weekend in the Islands. With the help of Randy Smith of Buy Local Vermont and Andrew Julow of Lake Champlain Islands Economic Development, they have a new logo and a Facebook page. Michele has sent letters to 97 South Hero-based businesses inviting them to register for the event. Deadline for registration is August 16.
- Regulating Helipads and Airstrips – no additional information at this time.
- Upcoming schedule – August 23, 2021 at 7PM: the Selectboard’s public hearing for the proposed amendments to the 2020 Development Regulations; September 1, 2021 at 6PM: the Selectboard will attend the PC meeting to discuss funding options for municipal wastewater (see ‘a’ above) with Lynette Claudon of VT DEC. Greta Brunswick (NRPC) will also attend this meeting; deadline for applications for a 2023 Municipal Planning Grant is November 1, 2021.
The Planning Commission discussed a letter and site plan received last week from E. South Hero Co. LLC in reference to a proposed project at the VEC/VELCO facility on Eagle Camp Rd. to add “six purpose-built battery enclosures.” The Vermont Public Utility Commission will be reviewing the project and the Town Planning Commission, the Selectboard, and NRPC have been invited to submit comments and inquiries to ESHC regarding the project. The Commission discussed whether this project requires Town review or if the Public Utility Commission’s review supersedes local review requirements. George Harwood offered to review the letter and site plan further for the Commission.
7:02 — David Roy moved to adjourn; George Harwood second. All in favor.
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.