February 2, 2022 PC Minutes

SOUTH HERO PLANNING COMMISSION MINUTES                                          February 2, 2022


Members Present: Doug Patterson (Chair); Sandy Gregg (Vice-Chair); Michele Gammal, George Harwood.

Others Present: Michael Frett (Islander); Bob Fireovid (via Zoom); Kathy McGill (via Zoom); Emily Klofft (NRPC, via Zoom); Greta Brunswick (NRPC, via Zoom); Tim Maxham; Martha Taylor-Varney (ZA)


6:00PM – D. Patterson opened the meeting.


Changes to the Agenda

There were none.


Public Comment

There was none.


2023 Town Plan

Greta Brunswick and Emily Klofft of NRPC walked the Commission through the latest draft of the project’s ‘Road Map’ list of to-do’s.  Greta explained that the bulk of the work will be done this year and the document will be finalized next year in preparation for final adoption in August 2023.  Emily announced that the Town Plan website is expected to be live by the end of the week and will include links to both South Hero’s and NRPC’s websites.  She explained that the site can be tweaked and updated quickly.  S. Gregg stated that she wants this to be easy to find and suggested putting it on the Town’s title page.

Initial public outreach is planned for March.  This will include bookmarks, flyers, and postcards.  Should there be an announcement at Town Meeting?  Perhaps by a PC member?

The PC discussed who will be stakeholders in the 2023 Plan, and to invite them to upcoming PC meetings.  Project themes identified in the Road Map include Vibrant Village Centers [the Commission agreed that this needs a new title], Recreation and Rec Tourism, Housing, Climate Change, and Equity and Inclusion.  Each includes sub-themes.  The Commission needs to narrow these down to 2 to 3 themes, perhaps combining some – Villages and Housing; Recreation on its own; incorporating Equity and Inclusion throughout?  Committee/Stakeholder outreach under the Recreation theme could include the Town’s Recreation Commission, South Hero Land Trust, and Local Motion.  Representatives from these groups will be invited to the Feb 16 meeting.  Stakeholders for Housing might include CIDER, Cathedral Square, and CVOEO.  G. Harwood stated that he feels that a discussion of transportation and commuting challenges is an important sub-theme under Housing.  Perhaps Bob Buermann could be invited to be included in that discussion.  M. Gammal will contact the Friends of Northern Lake Champlain for a discussion on Water Quality, a sub-theme under Recreation.

Greta Brunswick asked the Commission to start thinking about ideas for community activities during the summer and fall.  S. Gregg is working with Dave Hobbs on a 3rd and 5th grade project with Folsom students, to be conducted in the Fall, that could be included in the Plan.

Greta reminded the Commission that the Chair needs to sign the contract with NRPC, then it must be signed by the Selectboard.



Better Places Grant Update

Nothing at this time.


Continue review of proposed minor corrections/amendments to the Regulations

ZA Martha Taylor-Varney is editing the document with the recently approved amendments.  The edits may need to be in a smaller font size to prevent major formatting changes to the individual sections or to the entire document.


ARPA Committee Update

The committee’s next meeting will be Thursday, Fed. 3 at 7PM.  The Planning Commission needs to include a new delegate to the ARPA committee to replace PC member D. Patterson.


Wastewater Planning and Assessment Committee Update

George Harwood reported that they have 2 engineering firm candidates for consultants to the committee – Otter Creek and Weston & Sampson.  The committee will be interviewing them on Friday (2/4).  They will finalize their decision at their meeting on Monday, Feb. 7.   The WW Committee is still looking for additional members, especially a representative from one of the villages.


Meeting Minutes

  1. Harwood moved to approve the minutes from January 19, 2022; S. Gregg second. All in favor.


Administrator’s Report

  1. An ad has been placed in the Islander for anyone interested in being appointed to the Planning Commission to finish the 3-year term of resigning PC member Doug Patterson. The ad appeared in the Feb. 2, 2022 issue of the Islander.
  2. Martha attended a ZA’s Roundtable hosted by NRPC on Tuesday, February 1st. The 2-hour forum was held over Zoom.  Discussion centered on FEMA flood regulations.  Updated FEMA Flood Maps for Lake Champlain may be available this spring.  Current maps date to July 1978.


Tim Maxham wanted to thank Doug Patterson for his 8 years of service and expertise on the Planning Commission.  Doug is resigning from the Commission after the Feb. 2 meeting.  His current term ends in June but he has chosen to resign now to allow for a new member to join as the Commission begins work on the 2023 Town Plan. The Commission members also wished to thank Doug for his service.  He will remain a member of the Development Review Board.



7:23 PM – S. Gregg moved to adjourn; M. Gammal 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.