March 22, 2023 DRM Minutes

SOUTH HERO DEVELOPMENT REVIEW BOARD                                             March 22, 2023


Members Present: Tim Maxham (Chair); Doug Patterson (Vice-Chair); Mike Welch; Liza Kilcoyne; Gareth Hunt; Jim Brightwell; Nate Hayward


Others Present: Jennifer and Taylor Buckner; Rebecca Reynolds; Mike and Michele Gammal; Rachel Gammal; Joan Falcao; Martha Taylor-Varney (ZA); (attending via Zoom) – Gunner McCain (McCain Engineering); Timothy McCanna; Don Bedard; Tim Mullen.


7:00PM – T. Maxham called the meeting to order.  Board members were introduced.


Changes to the Agenda

There were none.


Public Input

There was none.


Administrative Review for a 3-Lot Subdivision at 466 US RT 2 – Timothy and Deborah McCanna (23-46-RT634)

Chair T. Maxham recused himself from this hearing because he is a near abutter to the proposed subdivision. Vice-Chair D. Patterson opened the hearing. The warning was read and interested persons were sworn in.

Zoning Administrator Martha Taylor-Varney presented the application to the Board.  The proposal is a 3-lot subdivision of a 6.08-acre parcel at 634 US RT 2.  The parcel is on the east side of RT 2 just south of the Town Line Rd. intersection. There is a home and barn on the parcel, with 2 accesses onto RT 2 – one at the north end of the parcel and one to the south, linking a single ‘horseshoe’ driveway on the property.  The Applicant proposes to create two 1.1-acre lots, identified as Lots 2 and 3, along the south boundary of the parcel.  The new lots will share the south access.  Lot 2 will have frontage on RT 2 and Lot 3 will be accessed via a shared driveway right-of-way through Lot 2.   The right-of-way is shown on the plan to be 50 feet wide. VTrans has required that the south access be widened and paved, relocating the driveway access to Lot 1 directly from the new right-of-way rather than from RT 2.   The old driveway section will be removed, seeded, and mulched.

A 2BR home is proposed for each of the two new lots.  The two homes will share a wastewater system and well, both located on Lot 3, with easements to benefit Lot 2.  Overhead power lines are proposed from an existing pole on the road to a new pole on Lot 2, then directly to each new home. Ledge in the area is expected to make it hard to bury the lines.   The Applicant agreed that the lines would be buried if it is found that there are sections with no ledge.

The Applicant’s Engineer, Gunner McCain, asked the Board for a waiver to reduce the width of the right-of-way from 50 feet to 30 feet, to allow for more flexibility in locating the house on Lot 2.  The setback from the boundaries can still be maintained whether the waiver is granted or not.  After discussion with the Board, it was agreed that the right-of-way could be moved to the north, straddling the boundary with Lot 1, and retain its 50-ft. width.   The driveway will remain on Lots 2 and 3 but will not be centered on the ROW, instead staying to the south side of it. Natural screening by trees along the boundary will remain.


Questions/Comments from the Public

Abutting landowner Taylor Buckner (34 Town Line Rd.) told the Board that he had no objections to the proposal.

Tim Maxham asked about the ledge on the property and if the houses could be built on it.  Tim McCain responded that both houses will be on slabs.  Tim said he preferred that a 50-ft. ROW be maintained to allow for the opportunity of future development on Lot 1.

Rebecca Reynolds, daughter of Applicant Timothy McCanna, told the Board that she hopes her parents will have a place to go when they visit.  They used to have a seasonal home at Apple Island Resort, and she wants them to be able to build a new place near her.


The Board agreed that they would like to see a revised survey plat showing the new location for the right-of-way before closing the hearing.  Tim McCanna and Tim McCain agree.


  1. Hunt moved to allow a waiver from the requirement for underground power lines if ledge prevents the lines from being buried; J. Brightwell second. All in favor.


  1. Kilcoyne moved to recess the hearing to April 12, 2023 at 7PM; M. Welch second. All in favor.


  1. Maxham re-joined the Board.


Sketch Plan Review for a 3-Lot Subdivision of 466 US RT 2 – Keeler Bay Associates (23-42-RT466

The warning was read and interested persons were sworn in.  This Sketch Plan review is required as part of a Major Subdivision, since this is the 4th lot being created from the same parcel within the past 10 years.

Applicant Mike Gammal presented the sketch plan to the Board.  He explained that he is adding a 4th lot to the 3-lot subdivision approved at what was 456 US RT 2 in 2021.  He is proposing a .53-acre lot, to be identified as Lot 4, so he can construct a storage garage for personal use. The lot will be created by .08-acre from existing Lot 3 (the Food Truck lot – RT464) and 0.45-acre from Lot 1 (the Marina Lot—RT466).  The remaining acreage on Lot 3 will be 1 acre and Lot 1 will be 3.38 acres.  The existing event deck, currently on Lot 1, will be on the new lot.

An amended wastewater permit [WW-6-2515-7] allows a composting toilet and hose bib at the garage.


Gareth Hunt— Why subdivide?  To retain ownership of the garage if any of the other lots are ever sold.

Nate Hayward – Will the garage be visible from RT 2?  Not very much. It will be a single story. Why does the building envelope on Lot 4 stop at the edge of the event deck?  There is no additional room for development. Do not plan to build it yet.  Maybe in a couple of years. T he bump-out on the event deck appears to be within the setback to the east boundary of proposed Lot 4.  May need to make an adjustment to the boundary to correct this.

Tim Maxham – How much difference is there in the grade of the slope?  The garage will be set into the bank 6 or 7 feet.  There will be a high frost wall on the west side.  Why have the event deck on the new lot?  Mike said he did not want to create a smaller lot that may be non-conforming if minimum lot sizes are ever established in the Keeler Bay Village zoning district.  Is there any plan to use the structure for marina equipment?  Yes, maintenance equipment in addition to personal equipment.

Doug Patterson questioned whether a storage structure could be the only structure on a lot. Martha interpreted the Regulations as the garage being the principal structure, so could be allowed.

Tim Maxham – How did the garage get an allocation from Fire District #4?  Water supply was re-allocated from some of the house lots.  There is no new service from the Fire District.  Is the event deck not considered a permanent structure?  Correct. It is set on storage containers and can be removed.  The deck is for use by the food truck on Lot 3.  A revised septic permit allows 52 seats on the deck. Previous permitting allowed for a permanent roof cover.  A shed roof will be built over the bar area and will be possibly expanded I the future.  The amended ww permit also allows for an increase in boat slips to 120. The septic allowance at the deck is a re-allocation of septic from 3 houses on the PUD (not yet built).

Liza Kilcoyne – Will there be any building mounted lights? Yes.  There will be power to the building.


The Applicant asked for waivers, to be presented at the final plat review –

  1. Waiver from a traffic generation study. A private garage will make no changes to the current amount of traffic.
  2. Waiver from a traffic impact study – same as above.
  3. Waiver from the requirement to show a grading plan. The amount of material moved/removed from the site will be less than 500 cubic yards.
  4. Waiver from requiring an erosion control plan. The Applicant stated that silt fencing will be installed during construction.


  1. Brightwell moved to accept the sketch plan and move to a combined preliminary/final site plan review; L. Kilcoyne second. Al in favor.


Chair T. Maxham closed the hearing at 8:35.


New Business – Amend Finding #7 on DRB decision 21-59-RT456(PUD) – Keeler Bay Associates

The Board agreed to amend the wording of a 2021 DRB decision Finding of Fact requested by Mike Gammal of Keeler Bay Associates.   The edit clarified that the Planned Unit Development was nine units.


  1. Brightwell moved to clarify the wording of Finding #7 of DRB decision #21-59-RT456(PUD) to “The PUD consists of nine units. Eight of the units are single family homes. The ninth unit is the existing residential structure, proposed for future commercial use.” D. Patterson second.  All in favor.


Review of Minutes

  1. Welch moved to accept the minutes of March 8, 2023, as amended {correction of spelling – Hackett]; N. Hayward second. All in favor.


Administrator’s Report

  1. Schedule – April 12: Site Plan Review for Pan’s Pizza

April 26 – Continuation of Final Site Plan review for Island Mini-Golf

  1. NRPC Housing Needs Assessment – there will be a public meeting in North Hero on April 20 to review the report. A Zoom option will be available.
  2. ‘Zoning 101’ will begin on Thursday, April 27 at 6PM at the Town Office. Recurring meetings are tentatively planned for the last Wednesday of each month until finished.



9:01 PM: G. Hunt moved to adjourn; L. Kilcoyne second.  All in favor.


Respectfully submitted,

Martha Taylor-Varney, ZA



Signed: __________________________________________ Date: _______________________

For the Development Review Board


These minutes are unofficial until approved at the next regularly scheduled meeting.  All motions were unanimous unless otherwise indicated.