SOUTH HERO PLANNING COMMISSION MINUTES September 7, 2022
Meeting held at Worthen Library
Members Present: Sandy Gregg (Chair); Michele Gammal (Vice-Chair); David Roy; George Harwood; Fred Bartle
Others Present: [from sign-in sheet] Janine Bellingiri; Nancy Borleau ((sp.?); Paul Borleau (sp.?); Mary Harwood; Penny Cunningham; Bridget Kerr; Doug Patterson; Tim Maxham; Phil Reynolds; Donny Bedard; Richard Peterman; Anne Quinn; Karola Wigness; Ashley Williams; Mike Gammal; Nate Hayward; Tony, Kay, and Amy Kittner; Robert Fireovid; Joan Falcao; Rick Breault; Sylvie Breault; George Rice; Ross Brown, Emily Klopft (NRPC); Greta Brunswick (NRPC); Martha Taylor-Varney (ZA).
6:00 PM – Chair S. Gregg called the meeting to order and introduced the Planning Commissioners.
Changes to the Agenda
There were none.
There was none.
Continue 2023 Town Plan work
Village Vision Workshop led by Northwest Regional Planning Commission: Emily Kloft and Greta Brunswick of Northwest Regional Planning presented a PowerPoint of the work that has been done up to this point on the 2023 Town Plan. [The complete Power Point is attached at the end of these minutes.] The presentation included Goals/Intent of the Workshop; Town Plan Update Overview; Demographics; Village Planning – History and Intent; Visualizing Density; Village Vision Workshop Discussion/Flipcharts; followed by 2 Workshop Activities. Greta stressed that this workshop was to get the residents’ vision for what the villages can be; not for changing the current boundaries of the two villages. Joan Falcao asked how the current village boundaries were determined. Greta explained that any future changes to the boundaries will be based on the 2023 Town Plan vision for the villages. The Planning Commission is looking for input on the current vision and purpose. Attendees were asked to describe South Hero Village characteristics. Answers included:
- Center of Town
- Commercial concentrated on RT 2
- Residential/Agriculture off of RT 2
- Not accessible – no sidewalks or sidewalks in disrepair
- Heavy seasonal traffic
- South St. is quiet and quaint – church/trees/density/cemetery/feels different from RT 2
- Private roads north of RT 2
- Municipal services in South Hero Village
- Farmers Market
- Key historic buildings
- Wide shoulders on RT 2 (bikes)
- Lack of Pedestrian awareness at crosswalk on RT 2
Keeler Bay Village characteristics
- Suburban area
- No sidewalks
- No shoulder
- Several businesses
- Less aesthetic
- Farmers Market
- Congested Traffic
- Parking Problems
- Difficult to get out of Keeler Bay Variety parking lot
- Traffic calming important
- No crosswalks on RT 2
George Rice commented on current village district boundaries. Suggested they initially be kept small then enlarged later if needed. Phil Reynolds suggested the village zone be closer to the designated village center (RT 2). Planned Unit Developments should be encouraged in rural areas.
Attendees were then asked for their Future Vision of South Hero and Keeler Bay Villages:
- Better sidewalks
- Greenspace and trees as a buffer from the road
- Make RT 2 narrower to slow traffic
- Maintain sidewalks in the winter
- Sidewalks to accommodate bikes also?
- Expand sidewalks down South St. (walk/bike to school)
- Maintain the character of South St. (density and setbacks)
- Connect rec trails to both villages
- No industry in villages – Need definition of industry
- Turning lanes on Rt 2
- Traffic light?
- Ensuring that existing residences have buffers (setback protections) from commercial development.
- Noise ordinance
- Park/rec area
The above comments will be compiled by NRPC and used to develop the vision for the villages to be included in the Town Plan update. The second workshop activity was a mapping exercise where attendees broke up into 3 groups with maps of the 2 villages. Summarized comments included encouraging multi-family housing on RT 2; walkability; keep the maple trees; maintain open space; commercial development mainly on RT 2; for to fit VT characteristics; sidewalks; traditional development patterns less than 1 acre; focus on corridors to create walkable communities.
2022 VTrans Bicycle and Pedestrian Program – S. Hero/Keeler Bay Village Streetscape Scoping Study
VTrans rep Ashley Andrews contacted the PC to introduce herself. She will be assisting the Commission with the Study. The Selectboard will be signing the grant commitment at their September 12 meeting.
ARPA Committee update
There was none at this time.
Wastewater Planning and Assessment Committee update
- Harwood reported that it has been difficult to find appropriate soils. The committee was approved for a $125,000 planning grant. He emphasized that the study is for the villages only.
There was none.
There was none.
- Bartle moved to approve the minutes from August 17; S. Gregg second. All in favor.
- There will be a Certified Flood Manager’s webinar on October 6 from noon to 1PM. Contact Martha for additional information.
- Applications for 2023 Municipal Planning Grants will be December 1, 2022.
- Cathedral Square will host a ribbon cutting to open Bayview Crossing on November 14 at 1:30PM.
- Martha read an email sent to the PC from Linda Fishall.
- Martha received a Notice of Proposed Amendments to the Colchester Development Regulations. Contact the Zoning Office for the list.
- The Vermont League of Cities and Towns 2022 Town Fair will be at Killington on October 6 – 7.
September 21, 2022 at 7PM at the Town Office.
- Harwood moved to adjourn; D. Roy 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.