TOWN OF SOUTH HERO
Planning Commission & Zoning Board of Adjustment
March 20, 2013 Meeting Minutes
Planning Commission Members Present: Todd Cox, Fred Reus, Jonathan Shaw, George (Terry) Delano, Carol Tremble
Planning Commission Members Absent: None
Zoning Board Adjustment Present: Timothy Maxham, Gwen Hobbs, Paula Delano, John Delmage, Steven Nedde, George Rice
Zoning Board Adjustment Members Absent: Sandra Oâ€™Flaherty, Courtland Perry
Staff Present: Don Smallwood, Mitchel Cypes
Others Present: Skip Brown, Hattie Johnson, Debby Kessler, Ted Kessler, Jay Buermann, Russell Waring, Michael Guernsey, Sue Crowley, John Bearlar, Bob Chutter, Joseph Farnham, Nancy Crowley, Garret Crowley, Dennis DePaul, Steven Robinson, Minner Hobbs.
7:05PM: Call to order for the Planning Commission by Todd Cox.
7:06PM: SV077-13-35WWB/ Waring subdivision plan for the creation of 1 new lot
The project was described by Russell Waring and Jay Buermann, especially the easements. They testified that the existing driveway, which was to be used by the proposed lot, was completely on the existing lots property, that the maximum grade on the driveway was 8% and that they believed that they did not need to upgrade the propertyâ€™s access permit with the State and the State stormwater permit since the additional impervious area was less than 5,000sf.
On a motion by Fred Reus, seconded by Carol Tremble and approved unanimously, to approve Sketch Plan application.
On a motion by Fred Reus, seconded by Carol Tremble and approved unanimously, to approve the December 19, 2012, January 16, 2013, February 6, 2013 and March 6, 2013 minutes.
7:14PM: Call to order for the Zoning Board of Adjustment by Timothy Maxham.
7:15PM: SV077-13-35WWB/Vt. Camp Ta-Kum-Ta, Inc. â€“ conditional use review Commercial change of use: camps & fundraising events
Gwen Hobbs read the notice and sworn in Ted Kessler, Mike Guernsey and others from the audience. Mike Guernsey introduced himself as being on the Camp Board and as a neighbor. Ted Kessler introduced himself as the land owner and director. Ted Kessler and Mike Guernsey testified to the following:
- That the camp operates as a 501C3, but still has to pay more than $51,000 in taxes.
- To earn more income, they would like to rent the camp to organizations with similar missions to their pediatric oncology camp, such as those for foster kids, the blind, multiple sclerosis, autism and physical disabilities.
- The full-time staff of 3 and the Mr. Kessler would oversee events at the camp by others.
- That the peak traffic load would not change.
- That they limit the total number of staff, councilors and campers to 200.
- Additional limits of use include 286 maximum seating in the auditorium and 250 available chairs.
- The total number on site could increase beyond 200 during pick-ups and drop-offs of campers; however they stated that buses are usually used at big events.
- Attendance is controlled because tickets for events are required and sold before the event.
- The sheriffâ€™s department has offered to help, if needed.
- The Applicants stated that they put a self-imposed occupancy limit of 36 on the lodge. The Commission requested, which the Applicants agreed, that the appropriate fire department personnel assess the lodge for an occupancy limit.
- The Fire Department visited the site and explained that the road needs to have a 20-foot wide access.
- With parking that a 20-foot wide path will be maintained.
- That they direct traffic to the camp, which only goes to the entrance area.
Regarding the Site Plan:
- There are no new easements.
- There is no change to outside storage, wastewater or proposed traffic.
- There is no increase to the number and square footage of structures.
- The end cabin, security building and tennis court locations have changed.
- The pond is now being replace by a pool since they were not allowed to have a swimming area with a sand bottom for their children.
- The buildings have sprinkler systems and fire alarms.
- Their camp is still in conformance with their State wastewater and stormwater permits.
A letter was read from the David and Doris Brownell, who as a resident of 96 Sunset View Road is an adjoining neighbor. Mr. Brownell expressed support for the project and testified that traffic has not been a concern in the area. On a motion by Jonathan Shaw and seconded by Carol Tremble, the Commission unanimously accepted the testimony.
Jay Buermann testified on the Campâ€™s behalf that the tennis court in its new location was satisfactorily distant from the septic mound and system to conform with the campâ€™s wastewater permit.
Joe Farnum was concerned that event parking would be more in the lower area nearer to his house. The Applicants testified that the â€˜lower areaâ€™ was for agricultural and emergency use, and is now in the land trust.
Bob Chutter stated he wants to be an interested party, but supports the campâ€™s request with constraints.
Sue Crowley stated she is a west shore resident, that parking was not a concern and voiced her support for the project.
Garret Crowley added that traffic from the camp was not a concern and voiced his support for the project.
Mr. Kessler added that regarding security that they have 7 security staff on site during events. Also regarding a gate that could limit emergency access, Mr. Kessler stated that it was kept unlocked.
A discussion trying to quantify the expansion of use occurred. The Applicants were questioned, but were not sure of how much additional time and length of season to request.
A motion was made by Terry Delano, seconded by George Rice and approved unanimously by both boards to continue the hearing to April 10th, 2013 at 7:00PM.
The Boards requested that they try to quantify or provide the following:
- The limits of their use or length of season.
- The maximum number of annual events.
- Provide a picture with parking on a map and for how many people.
- Define the limit of noise, for example music without amplification.
- Try to better describe the type of organizations that would be allowed to use their camp.
8:40PM: Presentation from the South Hero Land Trust regarding the Sawyer Bay Farm Conservation Project.
Minner Hobbs, Bob Chutter and Steve Robinson stated that their mission is to maintain affordable and viable farmland for the future and the following:
- That the land trust purchased the Sawyer Bay farm and applied for a grant from the Vermont Housing Conservation Board.
- The farm has 183-acres, 90% of which has Prime or State Wide significance soils.
- The farm includes approximately 1,100lf of lake frontage and good farm infrastructure.
- 2 young families will work the farm. There are two areas, totaling 5-acres, which are set aside for 2 houses, 1 for each family.
- They are requesting from the Town a letter of support by May.
Concerns raised and issues discussed included the net change of tax revenue for the Town, the size and type of green houses, and water quality and erosion containment.
9:15PM: on a motion by Fred Reus, seconded by Terry Delano and approved unanimously to close the hearing for deliberative session, invited Mitchel Cypes and Don Smallwood to attend.
10:10PM: on a motion by Gwen Hobbs, seconded by Terry Delano and approved unanimously to come out of deliberative session
10:10PM: on a motion by Paula Delano, seconded by Gwen Hobbs and approved unanimously to adjourn the meeting.
Respectfully submitted by Mitchel Cypes, Zoning Administrator.