SOUTH HERO PLANNING COMMISSION MINUTES May 18, 2022
Members Present: Sandy Gregg (Chair); Michele Gammal (Vice-Chair); Fred Bartle
Members Absent: George Harwood; David Roy
Others Present: Joan Falcao; Emily Klofft (NRPC); Bridget Kerr (via Zoom); Kathy Magill (via Zoom); Martha Taylor-Varney (ZA)
6:04PM – S. Gregg opened the meeting.
Changes to the Agenda
There were none.
There was none.
Continue Town Plan Discussion
- Emily Klofft of NRPC to discuss data to be included in the plan: Emily presented a PowerPoint data presentation to the Commission. This will be put on the South Hero – Town Plan page of the NRPC website. South Hero’s year-round population has grown 3% since 2010. Subject headings include Land Use, Transportation and Complete Streets, Municipal Facilities and Services, Housing, Local Economy, Climate and Flood Resilience. A copy of the presentation is also available from the Zoning Office.
- Review draft of Town Plan Survey Formatted Questions: The questions are based on the work by the survey committee (Sandy Gregg, Michele Gammal, Joan Falcao). The draft included open-ended questions related to specific Town Plan Guiding Themes.
- Vibrant Villages (Change to Village Zoning Districts) – Emily reported that median primary home sale prices from 2015 to 2021 had increased by 74%. Joan Falcao was concerned about no minimum lot sizes in the village zoning districts. Can these be covered in general comment at the end of the survey, or should there be more specific references to this? She also recommended adding support/neutral/against for each question, rather than “dos you support…”. Bridget Kerr suggested changing “concentrated Development” to “density.” It was suggested to add the purpose statement from the Regulations to the introductory paragraph. Also, add additional lines to the “other” designation to allow for more room to write comments.
- Public Transit — question on public transit: would you use it; how would you use it (commute to work, appointments/etc.); how often?
- Water Quality – questions include whether residents support efforts to increase public drinking water?; efforts to improve water quality of Lake Champlain?
- Recreation – the Commission removed questions about the proposed Rec Park since the Recreation Commission is including them in their survey.
- Equity and Inclusion – how can South Hero be welcoming to all people. It was decided to remove the question “Would you like more information about what “Equity and Inclusion” means?
ARPA Committee Update
There was no update.
Wastewater Planning and Assessment Committee Update
George Harwood was not available.
- Fred Bartle spoke with David Hobbs about School Safety Zones. Fred needs additional information about safety zones for crosswalks and will discuss with D. Hobbs further.
- 2022 VTrans Bicycle and Pedestrian Grant Program update: Sandy Gregg explained that this is only for a scoping study to study the possibility of sidewalks in both villages. The study is required for any future implementation grant to develop. Should the Town apply? More discussion is included on the Selectboard agenda for their next meeting.
There was discussion about identifying areas of forest fragmentation and maintaining wildlife corridors in a map for the Town Plan.
Fred Bartle moved to approve the minute of May 4, 2022; Michele Gammal second. Joan Falcao asked that the discussion about the survey draft at that meeting related to minimum lot sizes be added to the minutes because “community members are concerned.” Sandy Gregg commented that minutes are not a transcript of the meeting. Fred suggested adding that as part of public comment. Joan agreed to do that at the next meeting. At the end of discussion, the motion to approve the minutes was unanimous.
-There will be a webinar sponsored by VLCT on Regulating on May 24 from 10 to noon.
-The 2022 Downtown and Historic Preservation Conference will be in St. Johnsbury on June 9th, hosted by the VT Dept. of Housing and Community Development.
The next meeting will be June 1st at 6PM.
8:03 – Michele Gammal moved to adjourn; Sandy 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.