Regular Meeting of Monday October 11, 2021 at 7:00 PM
At South Hero Town Hall and via Zoom
Board Members Present: David Carter/Chairman, Ross Brown/Vice Chairman, Chuck Hulse, Anne Zolotas (entered the meeting at 8:30PM).
Board Members Not Present: Skip Brown/Board Secretary
Others Present: Mike Donoghue (The Islander), Julow, Town Clerk/Treasurer, Martha Taylor-Varney, ZA, Karen Browning (via Zoom), Sandy Gregg (via Zoom), Tim Maxham, and Cindy Reid, Cathedral Square Corp. (via Zoom)
- Called to Order:
-The meeting was called by Chairman Carter at 7:00 pm
- Adjustment to Agenda:
–Chuck Hulse made a motion to acknowledge the minutes of the meeting of September 27, 2021. The motion was seconded, all who were in attendance at the last meeting so voted and the motion carried.
–Ross Brown made a motion to acknowledge the minutes of the special meeting of October 7, 2021, to approve conduit connection from the Fire/Rescue building to Bayview Crossing. The motion was seconded, all who were in attendance at the meeting so voted and the motion carried.
- Public input:
- A. David Carter congratulated Planning Commission member Michele Gammal, the vendors, and visitors for the Weekend in the Islands celebration in South Hero over the weekend of October 9 and 10. It was a great success, and the Board appreciated the effort made by all.
- B. Bridget Kerr read a statement to the Selectboard [included as an attachment to the minutes]. David Carter responded that the Selectboard’s vote to approve the proposed amendments to the Development Regulations was in the best interest of the Town.
- C. Karen Browning asked the Board what their thought were on reapportionment. None of the current representatives of Grand Isle County are from the Islands (2 reps from Milton and the Senator from Colchester). Karen asked of the Board supported redistricting to have better representation. Karen will send a current plan to the Board for their response. Proposals are requested by October 18. This will be a future agenda item.
- New Business:
- A. Cindy Reid of Cathedral Square presented an amended MP1 policy from VCDP, requiring the addition of “no texting while driving” to the municipal policy. Ross Brown made a motion to approve the addition and sign the amended policy. The motion was seconded, all who were in attendance at the meeting so voted and the motion carried.
- B. Cindy Reid also presented the VCDP Admin Services Program Management Contract, allowing Cathedral Square to administer the recently received Implementation grant. The Treasurer’s responsibilities will be to maintain adequate records on receipt and disbursements of grant funds. Cathedral Square will be responsible for all other administrative duties required by the grant. Chuck Hulse made the motion to sign the contract. The motion was seconded and all those in attendance at the meeting so voted and the motion carried.
- C. Ross Brown made a motion to sign the FY22 Municipal Resolution in support of the Planning Commission’s application for a municipal planning grant for the 2023 Town Plan update. The motion was seconded and all those in attendance at the meeting so voted and the motion carried.
- D. Chuck Hulse made the motion to accept the name “Higgins Lane” for the private road/right-of-way created by the subdivision of 487 West Shore Rd. The motion was seconded and all those in attendance at the meeting so voted and the motion carried.
- E. Ross Brown made the motion to authorize up to $570 for the purchase of a bulletin Board to be mounted on the plexiglass outside the front door of the Town Office. The motion was seconded and all those in attendance at the meeting so voted and the motion carried.
- F. The Board tabled the appointment of a Health Office for a 3-year term and add it to the agenda for the Oct. 25 meeting.
- Administrative Assistant Report:
- A. See the written report filed with these minutes (below on the website or filed in Town Hall).
- Old and Ongoing Business:
- The OSHMH committee had a meeting with Rebecca Arnold of Arnold and Scangas architects on October 7th, with a preliminary walkthrough of the building. The committee expects a report on structural issues, estimated renovation costs, and procedures going forward by winter. David announced Nate Hayward’s intention to donate land behind the meeting house to the Town to be used for recreation. A committee of local residents will be formed to consider options for the space.
- B. Regarding ARPA funds, there will be a webinar on October 20 from 6 to 7:15PM to discuss the requirements and restrictions for the funds received by Town. South Hero will receive $493,000 in total funds. The community will need to decide how to how to use the funds. David suggested that the Planning Commission host public meetings and conduct surveys to get public input. Ross would like to see community members not already on Boards take part. David will be meeting with the Planning Commission at their 10/20 meeting to ask the Commission to take on that responsibility.
- C. Ross told the Board that he has been gathering information from other towns who have impact fees attached to building permits for new homes. NRPC will help review the information. Chuck Hulse asked if the impact fees would be earmarked for specific uses. Ross will send the information he has gathered so far to the Board members to review. Impact fees will be kept on the agenda for the Oct. 25 meeting. Tim Maxham suggested this be discussed at the 5th Monday meeting scheduled with the DRB and Planning Commission on November 29, 2021.
- Announcements and Communications:
- David read a letter from Island Arts thanking the Board for the donation to their 2021 budget, and requested the same amount be considered for their upcoming 2022 budget.
- Other Business:
- A. Chuck Hulse made a motion to approve and sign orders 22-08 and to pay the bills associated with the orders. The motion was seconded, all in attendance so voted and the motion carried.
- B. Town budget discussion for FY2023 will begin at the Oct. 25, 2021 meeting. Refer to the Administrator’s Report for the organizations scheduled as of this evening.
- Town Treasurer Kim Julow told the Board that the annual audit will start on October 18.
- There was no Recreation Commission (RC) update.
- D. Ross Brown reported that the Road Department has been very busy. They will meet their deadline to complete ditching on Hill Rd. Test pits were dug on the Hill Rd. property behind the Town garage that the Town is considering purchasing for a new salt shed. Septic need for the garage is yet to be determined. Paving on Martin Rd. and Landon Rd. is complete. Paving on Sunset View is ongoing. There may still be an additional water leak in the line to the Town Office. John Beaulac will be testing the water to determine if it is from the Fire District update:
- E. Anne Zolotas asked that the Board understand the importance of bicyclists to the Town. The Town needs to work towards providing enough room on local roads for motorists and bikers to travel the roads safely.
- F. Ross Brown offered an apology for anyone who was offended by his remarks at the Selectboard’s August 23rd Public hearing and September 13 regular meeting.
-Chuck Hulse made a motion to adjourn 8:50 pm. The motion was seconded, all in attendance so voted and the motion carried.
Respectfully submitted, Approved by,
Martha Taylor-Varney David Carter, Chairman
Message to Selectboard Read by Bridget Kerr at 10/11/2 SB Meeting
My name is Bridget Kerr. I live on South Street, within the new South Hero Village Zoning District. I served on the South Hero Planning Commission from 2017-2020.
On June 16, 2021, at the Planning Commission’s public hearing on proposed amendments to the 2020 Development Regulations, the vice-chair of the Selectboard vigorously pushed back on my testimony, claiming that hearing from a few neighbors was not enough, that he needed to hear similar concerns from more residents. So two months ago, neighbors gathered to discuss shared concerns about the direction of town planning, and in a short time, over 130 South Hero residents, including homeowners and businesses throughout town, signed a petition expressing opposition to allowing industrial use throughout our villages.
A hard copy of this petition, with signatures, was presented to this board at a well-attended public hearing of the Selectboard on August 23. That evening, and at the subsequent Selectboard meeting, the majority of residents who spoke expressed concerns about industrial development; this time the vice-chair was interruptive and argumentative and he accused South Hero’s residents of being “apathetic.” At your September 13 meeting, following little public discussion amongst board members, you voted unanimously to allow for industrial use throughout both village zoning districts where this use had been prohibited.
I’m here this evening to ask you to please explain why the Selectboard has not responded publicly to this petition.
Administrator’s Report – 10/11/21
Administrative Officer’s Report to Selectboard October 11, 2021
- Scheduled so far for 2023 budget discussion:
October 25,2021 – Museum; Library
November 8, 2021 – Sheriff’s Dept.; Cemetery Commission
November 22, 2021 – Highway Dept.
I’m still waiting to schedule Rec Commission; Fire Dept; Rescue
- A 5th Monday meeting has been scheduled for the SB with the Planning Commission and DRB.
The Planning Commission is now meeting in person but continues to provide a Zoom option for those who prefer.
- The Planning Commission is completing the application for a 2022 Municipal Planning Grant for the 2023 Town Plan update. Deadline is October 31, 2021. The Commission thanks Sandy Gregg for taking this monumental task on.
- Additional discussion continues re ARPA fund possibilities.
- The South Hero Wastewater Committee (they may change the name!) will hold their first meeting on Monday, Oct. 18 at 4:30PM at the Town Office. Committee members are George Harwood, Ross Brown, Peter Zamore, and Bob Buermann. Greta Brunswick wil represent NRPC on the committee.
Development Review Board:
– DRB meetings moved back to in-person meetings at the Town Office on June 23. The Zoom option will continue to be available. The Board agreed to make the meeting time of 7PM, moved in June from 6PM, a permanent change. The earlier time makes it difficult for some members to get there on time.
– Upcoming hearings include two 2-lot subdivision administrative reviews and a setback waiver request. I am scheduling DRB hearings into November 2021.
– Recent DRB hearing decisions are posted on the Board outside the ZA’s office or can be emailed upon request.
Martha Taylor-Varney (ZA and Assistant to the Selectboard)