SOUTH HERO DEVELOPMENT REVIEW BOARD August 14, 2019
Members Present: Tim Maxham (Chair); Doug Patterson (Vice Chair); Jim Brightwell (alternate); Ross Brown, Nate Hayward; Gareth Hunt; Liza Kilcoyne
Others Present: Martha Taylor-Varney (Zoning Administrator)
Members Absent: Sherry Corbin
Public Present: Bellner, Anne; Breault, Rick; Bunker, Jenn; Clark, Emily; Collins, Summer; Diglio, Stephen; Gammal, Michele; Gammal, Mike; Gammal, Phoebe; Gammal, Rachel; Greg, Sandy; Horne, Gail; Kerr, Bridget; Lavin, Marty; Lavin, Pat; Maguire, Guy; Nielsen-Airoldi, Lena; Sikora, Jeff; Velasquez, Peter; Naughton, Dennis; Martell, Dave; Maggie, Guy; Bellinghiri, Janine; O’Reilly, Barbara; Gravelin, Dennis.
Call to Order: Meeting was called to order by D. Patterson at 7:00 p.m.
Changes to Agenda: None
Public Input: None
Hearing: 19-45-RT275 – Lavin 6-lot Subdivision Final Plat Review
- Patterson re-opened the hearing at 7:03 p.m. The hearing is a continuation from 7/10.
Members sitting for this hearing
Doug Patterson (Vice Chair); Jim Brightwell (alternate); Ross Brown; Gareth Hunt; Liza Kilcoyne. Not sitting: Tim Maxham (recused); S. Corbin (absent); N. Hayward (recused).
Notice & Oath
The notice and oath were not read as this is a continuation of the original hearing.
Appearing on behalf of the applicant:
Jeff Sikora, Apple Island Planning; Steve Diglio, KAS Consulting.
- Patterson opened the hearing. D. Patterson asked the applicants to review the outstanding items for the subdivision plan that were identified in the meeting of 7/10.
Item #1: The mylars are to be printed in color. J. Sikora agreed that he would provide mylars in color.
Item #2. Building envelopes must be clearly delineated and cannot cross easements, wetlands, or other encumbrances. J. Sikora said that building envelopes were added to the plat plan created by David Tudhope.
- Patterson said that there was a request for the septic easement to be surveyed, and asked if it had been surveyed. J. Sikora said that it had been surveyed by David Tudhope. D. Patterson pointed to the significant margins of error and asked why the recorded easement could not be more accurate. S. Diglio said that he didn’t understand why it had to be more accurate, and that there were easements that float based on “as built” conditions. D. Patterson asked how the easement was recorded for Lot #1 on the deed. Martin Lavin said that the easement was conveyed on the deed from him to Island Racing. D. Patterson asked why the easement was not recorded on the plat. J. Sikora said that it was recorded with the +/- margins if error discussed.
- Patterson said that he saw no building envelopes on Lot #8. J. Sikora agreed that there was no building envelope defined and that he would have it added.
Item #3. Any restrictions on the 50-foot strip of land leading to South Street on Lot #4 should be noted on the plat. J. Sikora said that there was no easement at this time and that the 50-foot strip benefits only Lot #4.
Item #4. Metes and bounds not legible. J. Sikora said that metes and bounds had been made more clear, and that they had added a definition of the triangle on Lot #7 for the end of the right-of-way.
Item #5. Westerly abutter. J. Sikora said that the westerly abutter had been changed to Tappan South Hero LLC.
Item #7. Vehicle turn-around arrow. J. Sikora said that this had been more clearly defined.
Item #9. Note to restrict building envelopes until wetlands are re-surveyed. J. Sikora said that he had added a note about wetlands to the effect that disturbance of wetlands may require approval from the State of Vermont or the Army Corps of Engineers. D. Patterson said that since what was presented on the plan was superimposed from a previous survey by Tudhope that the wetlands needed to be re-delineated and surveyed. J. Sikora said that he agreed that if the buyer of the lot were going to build close to the wetlands that a new survey was warranted and it was the buyer’s responsibility, but if they were building elsewhere on the lot, a new survey was not needed. J. Sikora said that the subdivision plan showed pretty accurately where the wetland areas were. M. Taylor-Varney said that when she issues a building permit in the area of a wetland she requires as a condition of the permit that the applicant re-delineate the wetlands.
Item #10. Blue swath on Lot #8. J. Sikora said that the blue swath had been removed since the wetlands were not clearly delineated as the blue swath originally implied.
Item #12. Driveway to lot #8. J. Sikora said that the driveway to lot #8 had been clarified on the road plan.
- Diglio said that with regard to the comments that Notes 4 and 5 need clarify as to when permits are needed, he had added comments describing what the triggers are. S. Diglio said that for Note 8 regarding providing a vertical benchmark, he used the catch basin as a vertical benchmark since that was surveyed in. S. Diglio said that he had also added a road profile per request which is sheet SP4.
Regarding whether a 22 foot entrance curve was sufficient if the lots were ever used commercially, it’s a 30’ radius to the shoulder stripe with an 8’ shoulder. On sheet SP2 the road radius and the theoretical radius that goes out to the stripe is shown that meets the commercial standard. The plans have been submitted to VTRANS to get a new LOI for the additional 6 lots (an LOI already exists for the existing 3 lots). The application has been submitted as a residential 8-lot subdivision. No lighting is proposed; potential well locations have been added.
- Sikora said that a draft road easement and road maintenance agreement has been submitted to the Board.
The only phasing that has been defined is Phase I, which is to pave the first 50’ from edge of pavement, which will happen this fall.
- Patterson said the site plan shows disconnects all along the road. What happens when a driveway goes across the disconnect? S. Diglio said that once a lot gets developed and the disconnect is no longer there the lot owner will have to develop a storm water plan. The road is set up to be incorporated into the owner’s plans for each lot.
- Patterson asked for the utilities be added to the site plan. S. Diglio agreed to add electric, telecom in the easement.
Comments from public
Bridget Kerr said that she lives on South Street across from the Congregational Church. She enumerated the natural resources accommodated by the area to be developed, the number of acres to be developed and the number of abutters that will be impacted, and asked the Board to consider this when making their decision.
- Patterson closed the hearing at 7:30 p.m.
Hearing: 19-72-RT456 – Keeler Bay Associates Conditional Use and Site Plan Review
- Maxham opened the hearing at 7:32 p.m.
Members sitting for this hearing:
- Maxham, J. Brightwell, R. Brown, L. Kilcoyne, N. Hayward, G. Hunt, D. Patterson. Not sitting. S. Corbin (absent).
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:
Mike and Michelle Gammal.
Statement of Mike Gammal. Mike Gammal said that he is now the sole owner of the property. He has brought in new utilities, created a new bathhouse, cleaned up the shoreline, and repaired the docks. He is now looking to expand the marina and has received approval from the Army Corps and the State. There will be no new structures – just new docks and parking. The docks are being relocated to the north along the shoreline to take advantage of deeper water, to consolidate parking and docks in the same area of the property, and to separate camper and boater traffic. Parking will initially be grass. There will be no new structures. The marina operation is targeting seasonal slip renters.
- Maxham asked what the hours of operation will be. Mr. Gammal said 5:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. Mr. Gammal said that boats don’t go out much after sundown.
- Maxham asked what the vehicular traffic will be. Mr. Gammal said that it will approximately double based on doubling the current number of slips – that on average 10% of the boats are off the dock at any given time.
- Brightwell asked whether the marina was looking to accommodate day-visitors. Mr. Gammal said that the target was seasonal slip renters.
- Brightwell asked if the applicant was planning to provide gasoline sales, boat repair, pump out service, or winterization. Mr. Gammal said he was not looking to provide these services on-site.
- Brightwell asked if the business was open during the winter. Mr. Gammal said no. Michele Gammal said that they have the entrance chained.
- Brightwell asked what the traffic volume was today. Mike Gammal said that J. Buermann estimated the current 60-slip marina car traffic at 30 vehicle trips per day. Michelle Gammal said that there were about 1-5 cars parked at the marina at any given time during the week.
- Maxham asked if trailer storage will be provided. Mike Gammal said yes, that trailer storage was offered. Currently they have 12 trailers parked. The proposed parking will cover one trailer per slip; the current parking has never been filled.
- Taylor-Varney distributed a summary of the Town reviews since Keeler Bay Associates purchased the property, and the summary was read aloud by T. Maxham.
- Kilcoyne asked if the old docks will be removed. Mike Gammal said that the slips will be floated north and added onto; the old concrete lake access structures supporting the current location will be demolished and removed.
- Maxham asked how many campsites there are. Mike Gammal said 28 sites; of which only 24 can be rented.
- Kilcoyne asked if all slips were rented. Mike Gammal said for the previous couple of years all slips were rented, but this past year there were a lot of weeds which impacted rentals and they are remediating with an effort at weed control.
- Hayward asked if a channel was needed out to a boatable area. Mike Gammal said that they had been removing weeds and that was working well.
- Brightwell asked if the access drive shown on the north side of the property was existing or proposed. Mike Gammal said that the access road from U.S. Route 2 is existing. The neighboring lot owned by the Montani’s has a right-of-way and they are using it to access their property. That roadway would be improved and graveled; the horseshoe-shaped driveway beyond would also be graveled.
- Brightwell said that he was concerned about the chokepoint at the end of the horseshoe drive leading into the parking areas where entering and exiting cars with trailers would be meeting head-on. J. Brightwell also expressed concern that the way the parking was arranged on the north side of the property was to the detriment of the neighbors while there was plenty of space for parking and opportunity for better traffic flow if parking was placed further to the south between the campground and the lake. Mike Gammal said that what he was trying to do was to separate the camper from the marina traffic. Mr. Gammal said that the northeast area designated for parking was not currently being used, and if necessary, he would screen the area from the neighbors.
- Brightwell asked how far the neighbors’ houses were from the northeast parking area since it was not indicated on the site plan. Mike Gammal said that Peter Velasquez’ house was on the lakeside third of his parcel. Mr. Gammal said that the Montani house was on a hill and was not as affected.
- Maxham said that he would like to see distances that the parking and structures are from neighboring properties and structures.
- Maxham asked if the applicant was gaining water depth by moving north. Mike Gammal said yes, and the additional depth was critical during periods of low water.
- Maxham asked of the 24 campsites how many were renting docks? Mike Gammal said 9 to 11.
- Patterson asked if camp sites had to be eliminated to support the marina expansion. Mike Gammal said that in the earlier expansion, they had to eliminate camp sites. Since then, the State revised how they calculate sewage flows and the marina now has the capacity for 131 slips. So, the septic capacity meets current State requirements.
- Brightwell said that there were a number of things that were required that were not addressed on the site plan, including detail on construction of the new road; how parking would be indicated; lighting; signage; how traffic flow would be controlled; control of drainage into the lake. Mike Gammal said that the site plan was drawn by himself and not by an engineer. J. Brightwell said that he was concerned that the Board needed to see a proper site plan. Mike Gammal said that J. Buermann was on vacation and that a site plan would be forthcoming.
A letter from Jan Doler was read by L. Kilcoyne.
- Brown made a motion that the letter from Jan Doler be read into the record. D. Patterson seconded the motion. The motion passed by acclamation.
- Maxham opened the hearing for input from the public.
Dennis Gaudin asked whether the Department of Transportation had approved the additional traffic volume. Mark Gammel said yes.
Peter Velasquez asked if the applicant had an updated approval from watershed management other than the one dated 3/29/17. M. Taylor-Varney said that’s the most recent one.
Peter Velasquez said that the approval says nothing about moving the docks. It says the docks may be extended by 192 feet and 10 dock fingers each. It also says the project does not propose the removal of aquatic or shoreline vegetation, and that there will be no adverse impact to aquatic or shoreline vegetation. Mr. Velasquez said that the applicant was moving the docks over 300’ and putting them right in his back door.
Mr. Velasquez said that the green area near the northeast parking lot is a hill and when it rains the ground gets very wet; in the area where parking is shown you can’t walk through it without boots. Mr. Velasquez said that he considered the project ridiculous and asked the Board not to be complicit in it.
Richard Peterman asked if there would be any outdoor lighting. Mark Gammel replied no.
Mr. Peterman said he kayaked in the area and was curious as to how the weeds were kept clear of the area in front of the marina, since they were very heavy elsewhere in the area. Mark Gammel said that it was a very expensive and laborious process involving hiring a boat to pull weeds for hours. Mr. Gammel said they were pulling floating weeds and dragging the bottom of the lake. Mr. Peterman said they had to have a permit to do that. Mr. Gammel said they would pursue a permit if that was required.
Peter Velasquez said that the area that the docks were being moved to was no deeper than the current location. Mr. Velasquez said that it was his opinion that in 3 more years the marina would come in and ask to add 3 more docks back in the original location.
Silvie Breault asked about handicapped parking closer to the lake. Michelle Gammel said that it was something the marina was considering.
Peter Velasquez asked if he could submit photos. N. Hayward made a motion to admit the photos from Mr. Velasquez into the record. The motion was seconded by R. Brown and approved by acclamation.
Peter Velasquez spoke of studies by “Environmental Protection” that documented water quality degradation. The Board asked Mr. Velasquez to provide a citation to clarify the authority he was citing.
Lena Nielsen-Airoldi said that she summers at Keeler Bay. She suggested that since the campers sit high up overlooking the lake, that the parking could be put in front of the campers. She said that area is a lot drier. Ms. Nielsen-Airoldi also said that getting in and out of the marina is dangerous, particularly for making a left-hand turn to go southbound on Route 2. She suggested that the State look at the speed limit along the stretch of Route 2 in front of the marina and suggested a turn lane and improved signage with lighting for the marina.
- Hayward suggested that the Board conduct a site visit.
- Patterson said this is not a site plan – the Board needs a site plan in accordance with Section 305. He also said that the applicant might need a storm water management plan.
- Brown said there would be suggestions regarding lighting.
- Maxham suggested that Shoreland will need to look at the site plan if the parking area is graveled and said that the applicant should talk to Shoreland and see if it’s a concern. M. Taylor-Varney said that anything below 102’ is regulated by the State. Mark Gammel said that he has started the conversation with the State but needs Town approval to finish.
- Kilcoyne made a motion that the Board conduct a site visit. R. Brown seconded the motion, which was approved by acclamation. After consultation with the Zoning Administrator, the site visit was scheduled for September 21st at 10:00 a.m.
- Maxham suggested that the Board recess the hearing and reconvene on the 25th of September. Mark Gammel said that he could have site plans done by then.
- Hunt moved to recess the hearing until the 25th of September. The motion was seconded by D. Patterson and carried by acclamation.
Review of Minutes
- Patterson moved to accept the minutes of September 12th; L. Kilcoyne seconded. The motion passed by acclamation.
The Administrator’s Report was delivered by Martha Taylor-Varney (Zoning Administrator).
The Planning Commission will hold a public hearing on the new Town development bylaws on October 2nd at the Worthen Library.
Upcoming Board Meetings:
August 28th. Conditional Use and Site Plan Review for R.L. Vallee (Maplefields) a site at the intersection of Routes 2 and 314.
September 11th. Variance request for Bentlage on Kibbe Farm Road; 2-lot subdivision sketch plan for Santor.
September 25th. Santor final plat; continuation of Keeler Bay Marina hearing.
- Brown move to adjourn the business meeting; the motion was seconded by G. Hunt and carried by acclamation at 8:55 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.