SOUTH HERO PLANNING COMMISSION MINUTES November 3, 2021
Members Present: Doug Patterson (Chair); Sandy Gregg (Vice-Chair); George Harwood
Members Absent: David Roy; Michele Gammal
Public Present: Barb Gardner; Bob Fireovid; Martha Taylor-Varney (ZA)
6:00PM – D. Patterson called the meeting to order.
Changes to the Agenda
There were none.
There was none.
2023 Town Plan – MPG Application
- Gregg submitted the application for a municipal planning grant on October 28. The deadline was November 1st. Grant awards will be made by the end of December. If South Hero does not get a grant, the Selectboard has agreed to add fund to the FY2023 budget to cover the amount needed.
Wastewater Planning and Assessment Committee Update
- Harwood reported that the committee cancelled its scheduled November 1st meeting so Greta Brunswick of NRPC could have additional time to meet with Lynnette Claudon of VT DEC. The next meetings will be November 15 and 29, at the Town Office at 4:30. The committee is looking for additional members, hoping to include people with technical experience and to improve the diversity of the group. Some possible names were discussed, and George will continue to reach out.
Sec. 703 – Fences
Barb Gardner asked the Commission to clarify the regulation on Fences in Sec. 703 of the Development Regulations. As the regulation is written, it could be interpreted that it applies only to fences that are greater than 6 feet in height. Does the regulation address those that are less than 6 feet? There was additional discussion about “nuisance fences” and what regulations that Town or State may have to regulate them. The Board received copies of the regulation and agreed to review the wording and to recommend changes that will better clarify the intent. This item will continue on the agenda for November 17.
Discuss Public Outreach for Town Plan/Wastewater Planning/ARPA Committee
Discussion included how to encourage public participation on these committees. Suggestions included — recruiting via Front Porch Forum, through surveys, mini public meetings, and meeting people at their workplaces or local businesses to solicit ideas. S. Gregg gave the Commission members information on a “Community Heart and Soul” program that outlines ways to engage everyone in determining what they want for their community [contact the zoning office at [email protected] for a copy].
Sandy passed out an outline for an ARPA (American Rescue Plan) committee who would help decide how to allocate the funds that the Town is receiving. Martha distributed a list of current expenditure catagories for State and Local Recover Funds drawn up by the US Dept. of the Treasury. (The list may expand in the future.) Right now, the categories include Public Health, Negative Economic Impacts, Services to Disproportionately Impacted Communities, Premium Pay, Infrastructure, Revenue Replacement, and Administrative. Specific items and how they may fit into the above categories are still to be determined. Some community members have already volunteered for the committee – Chuck Hulse of the Selectboard, Bob Fireovid, Randy Smith, and Doug Patterson and Sandy Gregg of the Planning Commission. Doug suggested that someone representing CIDER should be involved, in addition to a rep from the Fire District. To recruit new members, it was suggested to post an announcement on Front Porch Forum. Sandy will do that. A new South Hero ARPA webpage will be going live soon (web address available soon).
- Gregg moved to approve the minutes of October 20, 2021; G. Harwood second. All in favor.
- There will be a VT DEC webinar on November 16, 2021 from 1 to 2PM on ARPA funds available to help municipalities develop or expand public drinking water systems and community wastewater disposal systems. For more information and a link to the webinar, contact Martha Taylor-Varney in the Zoning Office ([email protected]).
- The November 17 Planning Commission meeting will include a discussion on a handicap accessibility waiver.
- There will be a 5th Monday meeting on November 29th for the Selectboard, Planning Commission, and DRB to meet together. This will be a special public SB meeting and will begin at 6PM.
- VTrans has changed their requirement to acquire a Letter of Intent (LOI) for site plans or subdivisions on a State highway. They will now be issuing the 1111 Access permits prior to the Town‘s review. Previously, the permit would not be issued until the Town had approved the application.
- Gregg moved to adjourn; G. 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.