DEVELOPMENT REVIEW BOARD MINUTES January 9, 2019
Members Present: T. Maxham (Chair); D. Patterson (Vice-Chair); S. Corbin; R.Brown; G. Hunt; N. Hayward
Public Present: Doug Goulette (Lamoreaux and Dickinson); Joe Bullister (PW Campbell); Stephen Diglio (KAS); Robin House; Bridget Kerr; Anne Quinn; Michael Gammal; Michele Gammal; Heidi Tappan; Cynthia Spence; Michael Ryan; Nate Hayward; Marian Fritz; Ruth Ring; Martha Taylor-Varney (ZA).
7:00PM – T. Maxham called the meeting to order.
Changes to the Agenda
There were none.
There was none.
7:04PM – SeaComm Federal Credit Union Conditional Use and Site Plan review (19-32-SV028)
Board member Nate Hayward recused himself from this hearing.
- Maxham opened the hearing. Introductions were made, the warning was read, and Interested Persons were sworn in.
Stephen Diglio of KAS and Joe Bullister of PW Campbell presented the application to the Board. Stephen Diglio explained that the Applicants wanted to present the Board a sketch plan prior to producing a finished site plan in order to have an opportunity for feedback and guidance from the Board. He said that the proposed project met the Town’s dimensional standards and parking requirements for the Rural Residential District. The project will be subject to on-site wastewater to be shared with future development on Lot #2 and located south of the existing mound that straddles Lot #1 and the Island Racing parcel. The shared system will also straddle the 2 parcels. An additional mound, located just south of this, will be for Island Racing. The systems’ designs are not yet complete and will be submitted at a later meeting. They anticipate the permit application to be ready by the end of the month. The project cannot connect to the current Fire District water line at this time so will probably have an on-site well. Although the amount of proposed impervious surface will not currently trigger the need for a stormwater plan, any future additional development will require it, so the developer is designing it now. A gravel wetland stormwater treatment will be located by RT 2 in front of the credit union.
No locations for a stand-alone sign is yet shown on the plan. The elevations presented are interpretations, with a building-mounted sign on a tower above the main bank entrance.
The Applicants stated that they would prefer to provide a sidewalk from the credit union to the RT 2 shoulder but that ditching along the road, and the location of the proposed stormwater treatment make it difficult to build sidewalks along their frontage on RT 2.
Traffic estimates at peak hours of 74 cars were submitted with the application for the VTrans 1111 access permit. Joe Bullister estimated that the actual trips will be about half that.
- Corbin asked about a buffer between the building and the road. The distance from the building to Rt. 2 is about 105 to 110 feet. Stormwater requires a 25-ft. buffer from impervious surfaces. The distance from the building to the road, similar to Island Racing.
A landscape plan will be submitted at the next hearing.
- Maxham asked if there will be water in the stormwater treatment area. The area will be a gravel wetland, with plantings, plant roots, soil, and gravel as a filter. There may be some groundwater at the surface. There will be no catch basins. Tim also asked about utilities. Electricity will be run underground from the pole by Island Racing. There will possibly be a propane tank installed and the location will be included in a future submittal. The well will be in the southeast corner of the lot. Tim asked who would be constructing the road from Rt. 2 to the credit union entrance? Stephen Diglio stated that it was their intention for Lavin to build the road since it will serve multiple lots. The road and parking lot will be paved.
- Patterson asked about the Fire District right-of-way. The ROW belongs to Island Racing. The developer will provide insulation above the water line to Island Racing. Doug also asked about the anticipated number of employees. There will be room for 9 but the credit union will probably average 6-7 employees on a typical day. Hours of operation are to be 8AM to 5PM, Monday thru Friday. There will be no weekend hours to start but Saturdays may be added in the future. Will the south parking area be for employees, and will there be a HC space in that area? Joe Bullister said that the credit union would be agreeable to that. Schedule for construction? Start in April/May for 5 months. Open in the Fall.
- Hunt and S. Corbin asked about exterior lighting. Stephen Diglio said they would provide a complete lighting plan. Joe Bulister said they would be following NYS ATM security guidelines, no light would bleed off the property, downward LED’s would be usd, and there would be no nighttime light pollution.
- Hunt also asked about the design of the building and if it was a common design for the credit union. The Applicants said that the ‘identity tower’ is used in all SeaComm designs. Gareth stated that the tower looks like a large sign. He was also concerned that the design looked “too much like Plattsburgh.” T. Maxham commented that companies need to deal with smaller communities and be willing to change their designs to fit in better. He also said that the sign on the identity tower will not meet current sign regulations.
- Corbin warned that the main door on the building, located on the northwest corner, could be problematic due to wind.
- Brown expressed concern about the design of the building, that it did not fit in with the surrounding building designs. He used the Health Center as an example and encouraged the developer to drive around South Hero a bit to see what other buildings looked like. He said that commercial building designs in small, rural agricultural communities don’t need to look like those in larger urban or suburban areas. Joe Bullister asked for guidance from the Board of architectural types that they could approve.
Public Comment –
Cindy Spence owns a property across the street from the proposed credit union location and said that the ‘identity tower’ does not fit into the community. She also questioned if there was a need for SeaComm to build in South Hero.
Bridgett Kerr said the identity tower was out of scale to surrounding structures and does not fit in a Vermont community. She also commented on the amount of parking, the amount of impervious surface created, and asked whether the employees will be hired locally or will be coming from Messina.
Robin House was concerned about lights, noise, traffic, wildlife, loss of rural character, and water and wastewater issues. She commented that there are no sidewalks on that part of Rt. 2. She wants South Hero to retain its ‘homey’ character.
Nate Hayward asked if sidewalks could be constructed further in from the edge of Rt. 2 onto the south side of the swale. Stephen Diglio responded that there needs to be a 25-ft. buffer between the stormwater system and the closest impervious surface, limiting the area where a sidewalk could be constructed. Nate also asked about streetscaping. Stephen responded that they cannot do anything within the VTrans ROW and that ‘traffic calming’ would require a reduction in the width of the shoulder. He said that right now the road is constructed like a high-speed roadway and that streetscaping will not affect the speed of cars on that section of road. Both Nate and Heidi Tappan recommended the developer consider Vermont vernacular.
Joe Bullister asked the Board what the process was going forward. Would the Board consider it if he went back for redesign? The Board asked that he consider the community’s values. Perhaps replacing the brick exterior with white clapboard and putting on a standing seam metal roof?
- Brown moved to enter the Applicants’ VTrans Letter of Intent as Exhibit #1; S. Corbin second. All in favor.
8:20 PM – S. Corbin moved to recess the hearing until January 23, 2019 at 7PM; R. Brown second. All in favor.
8:23 PM – Lighthouse Estates 3-Lot subdivision Sketch Plan review (19-32-SV028)
- Maxham opened the hearing. The warning was read and interested Persons were sworn in. N. Hayward rejoined the Board for this hearing.
Doug Goulette of Lamoreaux and Dickinson represented the Applicants.
Doug presented to the Board a sketch plan showing the creation of 2 new residential lots to be subdivided from a 76-acre parcel located at 28 Sunset View Rd. Proposed Lot #1 will be 1.8 acres and Proposed Lot #2 will be 1.2 acres. The existing home on the parcel will remain part of the remaining 73 acres. Both located on Sunset View Rd., Lot #1 is west of the existing home and Lot #2 is east of the existing home, further down the hill toward Rt. 2. The entire parcel fronts onto both US RT 2 and Sunset View Rd. and is fully within the Rural Residential District.
Mr. Goulette told the Board that test pits found suitable soils for wastewater on both of the proposed lots. Wastewater permits have not yet been issued but will be presented at Final Plat review.
Although a portion of the parcel is in Current Use, the area from which the proposed lots are to be subdivide are not within that area.
The proposed driveways are in the vicinity of existing driveways across Sunset View Rd. Town Access permits have not yet been issued.
- Patterson moved to classify the subdivision as Minor; G. Hunt second. All in favor.
- Corbin asked if the lots were being developed for single family homes? Mr. Goulette stated that, although they are being presented as residential lots, they were not designated single-family and the septic designs for each proposed lot were for 4BR’s. D. Patterson asked if the soil tests limited the number of bedrooms to 4 each? Mr. Goulette stated that he didn’t think they could get much more. If so, the owners would have to get the ww permit amended.
Public Comment —
Marion Fritz expressed concern about an existing wildlife corridor. She was also concerned about increased run-off from the parcel after trees were cleared in the past. She asked about the possibility of run-off from new septic systems and concern for her well. Mr. Goulette said that well and septic shields will be on the final plat. She also asked if the lighting on residential properties can be regulated. At this time, only lighting on commercial properties could be regulated by the Board.
Ruth Ring asked if any existing wetlands would be affected. Mr. Goulette stated that the wetlands are delineated outside both proposed lots. Each lot has about 50% trees.
Mike Gammal asked about the DRB process. It was explained that the Applicant will need to come back for Final Plat review after including what the Board requested to be added to the Final Plat.
The Board asked Mr. Goulette to add the following to the Final Plat review:
- Building envelopes
- Acquire Town access permits for driveways
- Apply for wastewater permits
- Well and septic shields
8:50 PM – T. Maxham closed the sketch plan. The Applicant has 180 days to apply for Final Plat review.
Review of Minutes
- Corbin moved to approve the minutes from December 12, 2018; N. Hayward second. All in favor.
Review of Conditions of Approval by ZBA and Planning Commission for application #16-72-RT260B
Conditions of approval from the previous ZBA’s Conditional Use and Planning Commission’s Site Plan approval #16-72-RT260B for the RT260 Planned Unit Development (Health Center/ Wally’s/ FD/Rescue/Library) required additional review by the relevant Board(s) before the 4th approved structure could be built. Nate Hayward presented to the Board documentation supporting these requirements, including a review of parking, traffic flow, lighting, landscaping, and that copies of Condo/Association agreements had been recorded in the Town Land Records. There was additional discussion as to the appropriate classification for a catering business that will not have on-site sales and would be for production only. The Board decided that, under the current Regulations, the use would be Professional Services. Nate is also looking for ways to install a light at the main entrance to the PUD from US RT 2 – possibly running a line from the existing lighted sign, or solar powered?
- Brown moved that the conditions from application # 16-72-RT260B have been met; G. Hunt second. All in favor.
There will be a continuation of the SeaComm conditional use and site plan review on January 23, 2019. The Board’s February schedule includes 2 variance requests on February 13, and a change in conditional use and site plan review for Seb’s. A public hearing for naming Lavin Lane and Community Lane will be held at the Selectboard’s January 28 meeting.
- Patterson moved to adjourn; R. Brown second. All in favor.
Martha Taylor-Varney, ZA
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.