SOUTH HERO PLANNING COMMISSION MINUTES January 19, 2022
Members Present: Doug Patterson (Chair); Sandy Gregg (Vice-Chair, via Zoom); David Roy; George Harwood (via Zoom), and Michele Gammal (via Zoom)
Others Present: Martha Taylor-Varney (ZA); Bob Fireovid; Kathy McGill
6:00PM – D. Patterson called the meeting to order.
Changes to the Agenda
There were none.
There was none.
2023 Town Plan
Greta Brunswick of NRPC will meet next with the Commission in February. S. Gregg asked the Board to consider what topics to recommend for inclusion in the 2023 Town Plan. Sandy pointed to the recent Berlin, VT Town Plan as a good format to use [Martha will send copies to the Commission members and public who attended this meeting]. Topics from the Berlin plan include Land Use, Energy, Economic Development and Housing, Climate and Environment, and Utilities and Facilities. Each heading includes related sub-sections. It has been recommended to include 3 to 5 topics. There was discussion about combining some of the sections – energy and climate/environment, housing and economic development? Kathy McGill suggested a topic related to the lake. D. Roy agreed that it could be included under Land Use. The Berlin Town Plan will be included in the Feb. 2, 2022 PC agenda. Sandy said that the Commission will be looking for community volunteers to assist with the 2023 Town Plan, acting as a sub-committee to the PC. Both Kathy McGill and Bob Fireovid agreed to volunteer. Commission Chair D. Patterson authorized the formation of a subcommittee under the Commission’s Rules of Procedure.
Continue review of proposed minor corrections/amendments to the Regulations
At their January 24, 2022 meeting, the Selectboard will consider the PC’s recommendation to approve (1) the addition of an Accessibility Waiver as a local exemption, and (2) the updated language for Fences (Sec. 703) that simplifies and clarifies the section. If approved on the 24th, the amendments will become effective February 21, 2022.
Additional discussion included amending Sec. 305.A.1 (Setback Waivers—Non-Conforming Lots). The Commission recommends removing driveways and parking areas from this section. They also recommend that the Village Districts be removed from this section and limit setback waivers here to just the Shoreland District. Sec. 305.A.2 will be replaced with new language related to the Village Districts — allowing waivers for special circumstances, mostly related to the current flexible road setback of 10 to 40 feet. This would replace the current 305.A.2 which waived conforming pre-existing structures, driveways, and parking areas.
The language in Sec. 303.D.1 under Final Site Plan Review needs to remove the requirement for a VTrans Letter of Intent (LOI). VTrans discontinued that requirement on October 1, 2021.
The Commission made edits to the Acknowledgement page on the September 2021 Development Regulations, replacing Jonathan Shaw with George Harwood, removing past member Terry Delano, and to remove language related to Northwest Regional Planning.
There was discussion on how a proposed Article for Town Meeting that would require approval by Town voters for any changes/additions/deletions/edits to the Development Regulations could prevent or needlessly delay needed updates to the Regulations. The Commission members agreed that this Article will have an adverse effect on the Commission’s ability to do its job. Procedures are already available to recommend changes to the Regs and the public has always been encouraged to participate. The Commission does not operate in a vacuum.
ARPA Committee update
The next meeting will be Feb. 3, 2022 at 7PM. The meeting will be held I the Town Office, with a Zoom option. T he Committee will continue to meet once a month on the first Thursday after the Planning Commission’s first meeting of each month.
Wastewater Planning and Assessment Committee
RFQ’s for a feasibility study are die by Jan. 24, 2022. The Committee members will be reviewing them at their Jan. 24 meeting, to be held on Monday, Jan 24 at 4:30PM.
- Gregg moved to approve the minutes of Jan 5, 2022; D. Roy second. All in favor.
- Martha met with Skip Brown to re-organize the zoning information on the Town website. Ordinances were rem0oved from the zoning page. Outdated documents and maps that remained after updated materials were added were removed.
- The VT legislature passed new legislation related to COVID response and open meetings – Zoom information and links must now appear on the agendas for each meeting.
- The names on the cover page for the September 2021 Regulations amendments were updated.
- The Selectboard will be considering at their Jan. 24, 2022 meeting the Planning Commission’s recommendations to approve an accessibility waiver and updates to the Fence regulations presented to the SB at their Jan 10 meeting.
- Greta Brunswick will be meeting with the Planning Commission at their Feb. 2nd and 16th meetings to continue discussion of the 2023 Town Plan.
- Roy moved to adjourn; S. Gregg 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.