May 4, 2022 PC Minutes

SOUTH HERO PLANNING COMMISSION MINUTES                                       May 4, 2022


Members Present: Sandy Gregg (Chair); Michele Gammal (Vice-Chair); David Roy; George Harwood; Fred Bartle

Others Present: Joan Falcao; David Hobbs; Tim Maxham; Kathy Magill (via Zoom); Greta Brunswick, NRPC (via Zoom), Martha Taylor-Varney, ZA.


6:00PM – S. Gregg called the meeting to order.


Changes to the Agenda

Adjust the agenda until Greta signs on.


Public Comment

There was none.


ARPA Committee Update

  1. Roy reported that the ARPA survey is now available.


Continue 2023 Town Plan discission

Debrief Stakeholders’ discussions – All members had compared their notes to those provided by Northwest Regional Planning.  There were no comments. Greta Brunswick will post them on the South Hero page of the NRPC website.  These will be revisited at a future meeting.  S. Gregg will post on FPF that the notes are available on the Town website under Planning Commission.

Review Draft of Proposed Survey – The Commission reviewed the draft survey questions by S. Gregg, M. Gammal, and Joan Falcao.  Greta Brunswick of Northwest Regional Planning Commission helped review the questions, offering suggestions and alternate ideas.   The Commission agreed that the goal of the survey should be to identify common themes to help form a vision statement.  The survey will be open for the month of June.  There was discussion about wording and rephrasing questions.  Themes of the survey include — Housing: The questions will consider housing needs – a) affordability; b) do housing options meet the needs of the community? c) short-term rental – should these be regulated?  Transportation: Needed to provide information to Green Mountain Transit and CIDER.  Would public transportation be utilized here if it was available?  Water Quality: Add water supply and wastewater management?  Recreation and Public Safety: The focus should be on the proposed Town Park.  Need to prioritize what activities community members want to see there. David Hobbs also suggested a questions about whether the community would support multi-use paths and trails for pedestrians and bikes for connectivity?  Equity and Inclusion: Greta suggested that this part be approached from the standpoint that we need to learn more and do more.  Greta suggested adding a section on Vibrant Villages with village-related questions. The Village zoning district purpose statement and the village zoning district maps from the Development Regulations needs to be included for reference. Greta suggested including a general question “Do you have concerns with the vision described in the village zoning district purpose statement”? rather than getting too specific with questions that could be considered leading.

Joan Falcao suggested a question directly related to businesses – Are there impediments that businesses face in South Hero?  Is there anything the Development Regulations can do to support businesses here?  S. Gregg recommended that the Commission sponsor a public meeting specific to that subject instead.

Public Outreach schedule – public outreach opportunities to gain feedback will include [CCC’s] on June 27 and August 22, in addition to a table at the Farmers’ Market on June 22, July 13, and August 17.

Discuss idea of a Resource section – for the back of the Town Plan, to include stakeholders’ links, other links, and references.  Greta agreed that it would be a good idea.


Future Agenda Items – it was suggested to put Impact Fees on the June 15 Planning Commission agenda for discussion, not as part of the Town Plan discussion. Could possibly be included as a mention in the Plan.  The May 18 agenda will include Emily Klofft of NRPC reviewing data that will be used in the plan.


New/Old Business

  1. Gregg will discuss with David Hobbs whether the Town should apply for the 2022 VTrans Bicycle and Pedestrian Grant Program. This would be for a scoping study. Sandy wants to concentrate on sidewalks in South Hero Village first.  The application is due by the beginning of June.  The Selectboard must authorize it and would need to agree to a 20% match. Sandy also reported that the renewals of the Village Center Designations for South Hero and Keeler Bay Villages have been renewed by the State.


Wastewater Planning and Assessment Committee Update

  1. Harwood reported that the committee is moving along. The contract for Otter Creek Associates was signed by the Selectboard. The application for the State Revolving Fund grant has been submitted.  The committee’s survey has been mailed out to residents in the 2 village zoning districts.


Meeting Minutes

  1. Bartle moved to approve the minutes of April 20, 2022; M. Gammal second. All in favor.


Administrator’s Report

ZA Martha Taylor-Varney told the Board about a VLCT webinar scheduled for May 24th on required regulations related to cannabis.  It is recommended for ZA’s, Planning Commission members, and Selectboard members.  She will forward the registration information to the PC members.

Martha discussed with the Board a recent change to a VTrans rule and how it had affected a local resident’s subdivision review before the DRB.  She noted that towns are too often not notified of changes in State regulations until months after they are implemented, resulting in delays and additional financial obligations to applicants.


The next meeting of the Planning Commission will be May 18, 2022 at 6PM.


Due to the late hour, agenda 6 (School Safety Zone Update) will be included on the May 18 agenda.  Planning Commission Rules of Procedure prohibit any meeting lasting longer than 2 hours.




8:00 — G. Harwood moved to adjourn; M. Gammal second.  All in favor.


Respectfully submitted,

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.