January 17, 2023 PC Minutes

SOUTH HERO PLANNING COMMISSION MINUTES                                       January 17, 2024


Members Present: Sandy Gregg (Chair); Michele Gammal (Vice-Chair); David Roy; Don Bedard

Others Present: Tim Maxham; Martha Taylor-Varney (ZA)


6:00PM – S. Gregg opened the meeting.


Changes to the Agenda

There were none.


Public Comment

There was none.


Old Business

  1. Continuing Discussion on Village Core and Village Neighborhood Districts Gregg will ask NRPC for a large wall (3’x4’) map of the proposed South Hero and Keeler Bay Village Core and Neighborhood Districts from the recently approved 2023 Town Plan (pages 21 and 22 – Proposed Land Use Maps) to make it easier for the Commission to identify parcel boundaries in each proposed district. Discussion began about dimensional standards for the new Village Core districts – should there be a minimum lot size?  One-quarter acre?  What percentage of green space?  Commission members noted that there had been no public attendance or participation on this agenda item which has been included in the past several meeting agendas.  In addition, no building permits have been issued within the proposed Core areas since the village zoning districts were created in 2020.  The Commission ultimately decided to table the discussion of further dividing the village districts until either the need or public interest arises.
  2. Continue discussion on “small, light industry” and performance standards [this combines items ‘B’ and ‘C’ on the meeting agenda] — Gammal researched how area towns of a similar size review industry and what performance standards they may use.  She made copies of applicable sections of the Milton, Grand Isle, and Fairfax regulations for the commission members to review.  Some included definitions of light industry and all included performance standards, some more specific than others.  Everyone agreed that the Milton performance standards were a complete list that would aid in the review of an industrial application.  D. Roy stated that he preferred the DRB applying performance standards rather than attempting to define light industry.  Commission members agreed that would allow for an objective review by the Development Review Board.  They will review and compare South Hero’s standards to those of Milton, Grand Isle, and Fairfax as homework for the next meeting.



New Business

  1. Definition: Marina Storage and Repair – There was discussion about whether this is considered under “Motor Vehicle Repair” in Table 2.1 (Allowed Uses) or if it should have its own category, “Boating/Watercraft Storage, Repair, and Sales”? The definition for Marinas includes boat storage, but repair facilities that do not have lake frontage or access do not include storage as part of their definition.  The definition of storage in Article 10 references storage structures (i.e. mini storage, etc.) but nothing about outdoor storage of boats or other vehicles.  Tim Maxham said that the DRB needs to be able to consider what may be inherent to a particular business – the number of cars may fluctuate at a repair facility, for instance.  Storage facilities are only allowed in the rural residential zoning district.  Given that boating and watercraft activities are part of the local culture on Lake Champlain, should a boat repair facility located within the boundaries of a village district, without lake access, be able to store boats as a part of its service?  Should ‘storage’ be further clarified as ‘indoor’ and ‘outdoor’?   This discussion will continue.


Approve Minutes of January 3, 2024

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


Administrator’s Report

  1. In October, ZA Martha Taylor-Varney had been notified that the minigolf course approved last May by the DRB on Lot 2 of the Lavin parcel was not going to move forward because the applicant was moving from the area. Martha learned last week that the project has been sold to a local family who intend to develop the project per the approved plans, with the only change being to change the “steampunk” features to agricultural and recreational features that reflect our local and regional area of VT.  The new owners will need to come before the DRB for an amendment to the original site plan to reflect those changes.  The rest of the scope of the project is proposed to remain the same as that approved in 2023.
  2. Martha attended a webinar Thursday evening (1/11) on Act 250, hosted by Northwest Regional Planning Commission.  Anyone interested in the PowerPoint from the presentation can contact Martha for a copy.



  1. Meeting House – there will be no article this year on the Town Meeting ballot for additional funds. The focus will be on private funding at this time.
  2. Town Office Committee – Roy is waiting for the completion of a program document from the Town Clerk before he can begin preliminary design for a future Town Office. The Town recently received a planning grant that will go toward this planning work. No decision has yet been made on the location, size, costs, etc. of the building.  The planning grant will help the Town determine that.
  3. Sidewalk Mapping Study – nothing to report.
  4. Housing Inventory update – nothing to report.


Next Meeting

February 7, 2024 at 6PM at the Town Office.  D. Bedard will not be out of town.



7:49PM – D. Roy moved to adjourn; D. Bedard second.  All in favor.


Respectfully submitted,

Martha Taylor-Varney, ZA



Signed: __________________________________________ Date: _______________________

For the Planning Commission


These minutes are unofficial unless otherwise indicated. All motions were unanimous unless otherwise indicated.