DEVELOPMENT REVIEW BOARD April 24, 2019
Members Present: Tim Maxham (Chair); Doug Patterson (Vice Chair); Jim Brightwell (alternate); Sherry Corbin; Nate Hayward; Gareth Hunt; Liza Kilcoyne
Others Present: Martha Taylor-Varney (Zoning Administrator)
Members Absent: Ross Brown
Public Present: Noreen Swanson; Jim Cobb; Carol Egan; Jeff Sikora
Call to Order: Meeting was called to order by T. Maxham at 7:00 p.m.
Changes to Agenda: None
Public Input: None
Hearing: Combined Preliminary/Final Plat Review for a 6-lot subdivision at 275 US RT 2 – Martin and Patricia Lavin (#19-45-RT275)
- Maxham opened the hearing at 7:02 p.m. T. Maxham recused himself and turned the chair over to D. Patterson. N. Hayward also recused.
Notice & Oath
- Hunt read the hearing warning.
Appearing on behalf of the applicant:
- Hunt made a motion to continue the hearing until May 22nd; S. Corbin seconded. The motion passed by acclamation.
Hearing: Conditional Use and Site Plan review for a childcare facility at 266 US RT 2 – Carol Eagan (#19-48-RT266)
- Maxham opened the hearing at 7:06 p.m.
Notice & Oath
- Patterson read the hearing warning. T. Maxham administered the oath to the attending members of the public.
Appearing on behalf of the applicant:
Carol Eagan, Jim Cobb.
- Maxham said that the Board would entertain conditional use approval first, followed by site plan approval.
- Eagan said that the childcare facility will initially serve 4 infants and 8 toddlers and have a staff of 4 people (2 full-time and 2 part-time). A later phase will add two additional employees and also serve preschoolers.
Planned hours are 7:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. with a possible opening as early as 6:30 for drop-offs.
- Eagan said that Grand Isle County is one of the least served counties in Vermont for infant and childcare. She has over 33 years of experience in education, and has been a special educator and early childhood educator in the local school system. T. Maxham asked if the facility will be receiving a state license. C. Eagan said yes, and clarified that she will be receiving the license in phases: the 1st phase is to submit LLC paperwork and have a site inspection; the 2nd phase is to get all permits in place and have inspections done.
- Corbin asked if there was fencing planned. C. Eagan said there will be a fence across the front along Route 2 and a free-standing fenced yard in back. The fences are not shown on the site drawing that was submitted. Egress will be via a front and back door.
- Eagan said that the back yard will need to be graded and fenced. T. Maxham asked if the fence was a state requirement. C. Eagan said yes.
- Eagan said that she will be renovating the enclosed back porch into a classroom with a handicapped-accessible bathroom and entrance.
- Hunt said there appear to be seven parking spaces on the site plan and asked how many employees would be working simultaneously. C. Eagan said that all six employees could be working at once. G. Hunt asked if the spaces would also be used for pick-up and drop-off. C. Eagan said yes, but that she expected that pick-up and drop-offs would be staggered and added that there is potential to add more parking.
- Taylor-Varney asked if the work hours of the part-time employees will overlap with the full-time employees. C. Eagan said yes.
- Maxham noted that the write-up said that children would be from 6 weeks to 3 years old and asked if preschoolers will be served. C. Eagan said that with Phase 2 in 2020 and the completion of the classroom, the facility will serve preschoolers.
- Maxham asked what the capacity is. C. Eagan said that with Phase 2, the center will serve 22 kids – the preschool classroom will have 10 kids, and there will be 12 infants and toddlers. Phase 2 will also add the two additional staff (1 FT and 1 PT) for total of 6 staff.
- Corbin asked what the septic capacity had to be to serve that many students. C. Eagan said that according to J. Buermann, the state calculates septic requirements for daycare centers by the number of meals served. Four children will receive two meals / day; the rest are at the facility for part of the day and will get no meals or lunch only.
- Maxham asked if C. Eagan was renting or purchasing the property. C. Eagan said that she was hoping to purchase due to the investment required to bring the building up to licensing requirements.
- Patterson asked what the note pertaining to the 2nd floor regarding serving additional programs meant. C. Eagan said that the 2nd floor can’t have a classroom, so she was hoping to use the space for counseling or therapy. She clarified that there would not be a full-time office upstairs, but that the space would be offered to organizations providing counseling to families of enrollees. She is waiting for a determination from the fire marshal regarding use of the 2nd floor.
- Maxham suggested that since plans for the facility are incomplete, that C. Eagan apply now for Phase 1 and return for Phase 2 when more details are available.
- Kilcoyne asked why 7 parking spaces are proposed when the site was previously permitted for 10. C. Eagan said that they added a handicapped space and used 9’x20’ dimensions for the parking space size.
- Taylor-Varney said that the staff analysis assessed parking requirements based on the bylaws Table 5.1 for education/religious establishments since the town doesn’t have a requirement specifically for childcare facilities.
- Maxham asked if the new classroom was expanding the footprint. J. Cobb said that they were demolishing the back porch and building the classroom in that space.
- Maxham asked where the septic system is. J. Cobb said that the septic is a cesspool between the house and Carter Lane.
- Corbin observed that one of the parking places will be needed as a turnaround.
- Maxham suggested that the applicant consider creating a separate parking area for staff in the back of the lot. He suggested that it may take up to 15 minutes for parents to park and bring children in, and said that the applicant may want to look at a better traffic pattern. At parent-child center there are a considerable number of cars at any given time of day. N. Hayward suggested maintaining good pitch to the culvert in the back of the lot as the area floods in the spring.
- Maxham asked what the timetable is for opening. C. Eagan said August 15th.
- Kilcoyne asked if the path from the handicapped parking spot to the rear entrance will be ramped. C. Eagan said yes.
- Maxham asked if an outside fire escape was required for the 2nd floor. C. Eagan said yes, and that there is one currently but they would move it to the side of the building, since the present one goes across the roof.
- Taylor-Varney asked if there were plans to operate on weekends. C. Eagan said that they may do things for families like open child play time on Saturdays.
Martha Taylor-Varney asked if 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. was sufficient hours? C. Eagan said that there could be special evening training so a 9:00 p.m. closing would be needed.
- Maxham said that the Board should now talk about site plan approval. He observed that there was no reference to outdoor lighting in the site plan and said that the applicant might want to have a light in back for employee parking.
- Corbin said that for a site plan the Board needs to see a proposal for parking in site plan from the engineer, and a plan for exterior lighting.
- Patterson said that the Board needs to see the building as proposed, including the fire escape. What was submitted is the plan for the existing building.
- Maxham said that if the Board is granting approval for all 3 phases, the plan as submitted does not address everything. The final site plan needs to show everything, including parking, outside lighting, fire escape, fencing, and the final proposed building.
- Hayward suggested that the applicant might want to rethink the parking plan to consider a single curb cut onto Carter Lane opening into a parking lot with parking on either side of a center aisle, to avoid backing onto Carter Lane. D. Patterson suggested that backing into Carter Lane be minimized. T. Maxham said that the site plan needs more parking.
- Maxham suggested that the Board continue the hearing for both conditional use and site plan until the applicant was able to return with a more complete site plan.
- Taylor Varney said that she had captured the following items that needed to be addressed in the site plan: expanded parking; proposed structure showing addition; location of fencing; lighting location; fire escape.
- Maxham opened the meeting for public input.
Noreen Swanson said that she was the abutter to the north and west. She said that she was concerned about the parking and the lights.
- Eagan asked what the nearest emergency shelter was. After discussion, the Board recommended contacting the Town’s emergency administrator.
- Corbin made a motion to recess the hearing until May 22nd; L. Kilcoyne seconded. The motion passed by acclamation.
Review of Minutes
- Corbin moved to accept the minutes of April 10th, G. Hunt seconded. The motion passed by acclamation.
The Administrator’s Report was delivered by Martha Taylor-Varney (Zoning Administrator).
May 8th will hear an appeal of notices of violation issued to Zlotoff.
May 22nd will be a continuation of the hearings for Lavin and Carol Eagan.
May 1 will be a joint meeting with the Planning Commission, DRB, and NRPC regarding potential for obtaining funding for sewering the Village District.
The Zoning Administrator will be out of town through next Tuesday, but available by phone/email.
- Brightwell said that he had received an email from South Hero Land Trust identifying that Charlotte Land Trust and Vermont Land Trust have participated PUD developments that involved open space preservation. SHLT volunteered to set up a follow-up with Charlotte to understand their role in preserving land as a part of a PUD. J. Brightwell to forward this to the Planning Commission.
- Patterson move to adjourn; the motion was seconded by N. Hayward and carried by acclamation at 8:35 p.m.
James G. Brightwell
Clerk for S. Hero Development Review Board
Signed: ____________________________________________ Date: __________________
For the Development Review Board
These minutes are unofficial until approved at the next regularly-scheduled meeting. All motions were unanimous unless otherwise indicated.