SOUTH HERO PLANNING COMMISSION May 5, 2021
Members Present: Doug Patterson (Chair); Sandy Gregg (Vice-Chair); Michele Gammal; David Roy.
Public Present: Bridget Kerr; Bob Fireovid; Mark Naud; Tim Maxham; Martha Taylor-Varney (ZA)
6:00PM – D. Patterson called the meeting to order.
Changes to the Agenda
There was none.
Bob Fireovid asked if Jonathan Shaw was still on the Commission. Jonathan has resigned and the Commission is looking for a new member. Martha commented that the Commission should try to encourage a local business owner to join.
Discuss proposed amendments to the Development Regulations:
-Table 2.1 – Accessory Uses (Commercial) – The Commission is recommending that all commercial accessory uses in Table 2.1 (Allowed Uses) require conditional use and site plan review in all zoning districts. Currently, commercial accessory uses are permitted in all zoning districts without additional review by the DRB.
**D. Roy moved to revise Table 2.1 under ‘Commercial-Accessory Uses’ to change to C/S for all districts; S. Gregg second. All in favor.
-Industrial uses in the Village Zoning Districts – Sec. 203 (Zoning District Uses) allows “low-impact industry” in the Village Zoning Districts. The Commission members are recommending that rather than trying to define low-impact industry, that the DRB be allowed to decide whether a proposal is a low-impact industry at a conditional use hearing. Bridget Kerr said that this needs to be discussed in a public hearing. Mark Naud stated that a conditional use/site plan review would grant the opportunity to review the scale of a proposal. D. Patterson said that any change to Table 2.1 under commercial accessory uses must agree with Sec. 203.
**S. Gregg moved to require C/S under ‘Commercial – Industrial’ in the Village Districts; D. Roy second. All in favor.
-Accessory Dwellings – Revisions to Accessory Dwelling language reflects changes instituted by State statute. Greta Brunswick of NRPC recommended the following [paraphrased] revisions to the Regulations:
- Sec.302.D.2 – add (a): a multi-unit dwelling cannot be denied due to adverse effect on character of the area.
- Sec. 504.A – add 1: an exception for lots less than 1/8th of an acre.
- Sec. 701.B.1(b) – Habitable area to remain 50%; …not to exceed 900sf, “whichever is greater”; Sec. 701.B.2 — leave as is Commission decided not to include an additional statement that a single household dwelling shall conform to Sec. 205 (redundant).
** S. Gregg moved to accept NRPC’s recommendations in reference to Sec. 702.B.1(b); M. Gammal second. All in favor.
Small Business Saturday
- Gammal reported that feedback has been positive. Businesses are encouraged to add specials for the day. Do the Museum and Town want to take part? The Old White Meeting House committee may want to publicize their revitalization project. May consider having the first Small Business Saturday just in South Hero and expand to other Island towns for subsequent years if it is successful. Scheduled for Saturday, November 20, 2021 (Saturday before Thanksgiving).
- Gregg moved to accept the minutes from April 21, 2021; D. Roy second. All in favor.
-S. Gregg announced that the OWMH project is going out for an RFP and interested architects will be touring the building on Friday, 5/14 at 11:30.
–S. Gregg told the Board that the Vermont Community Development Agency will be hosting a virtual conference on June 17 on revitalizing communities. For more information, contact Sandy.
- The warning for the Planning Commission’s public hearing for amendments to the Development Regulations needs to be published at least 15 days prior to the scheduled meeting. The Islander has changed its publication date, necessitating warnings for Wednesday night hearings/public meetings to be warned a week earlier. The date for the PC’s hearing was originally set for June 2nd but the warning cannot be prepared in time to appear in the May 12 edition of the Islander. ** Gregg moved to schedule the PC public hearing to June 16 at 6PM; M. Gammal second. All in favor.
- The Commission agreed that the Town needs to apply for a municipal planning grant for assistance in updating the Town Plan. Martha will contact NRPC for a proposed budget.
7:40PM – S. Gregg moved to adjourn; M. Gammal 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.