TOWN OF SOUTH HERO
Planning Commission with Zoning Board of Adjustment
September 9, 2015 Meeting Minutes – Draft
Planning Commission Members Present: George (Terry) Delano, Doug Patterson and Sandy Gregg
Planning Commission members absent: Sandra O’Flaherty and David Roy
Zoning Board of Adjustment members present: Janice Fetsch, Paula Delano, George Rice, Sherry Corbin and Alayne Rabow
Zoning Board of Adjustment members recused: Timothy Maxham and Jim Baker
Zoning Board of Adjustment members absent: Ken Goodwin
Staff Present: Mitchel Cypes
Others present from the sign in sheet: Jeff Sikora, David Smail, James Baker, Rocky Giroux and Tim Maxham after 7:49PM
7:30PM: Call to order for the Zoning Board of Adjustment by Janice Fetsch.
7:31PM: Call to order for the Planning Commission by Doug Patterson.
7:31PM Additions or Deletions to the Agenda: No change was requested
7:31PM: FR033-16-09B, Cota Family Trust, Conditional Use / Site Plan Review for Proposed Propane Distribution Business and Proposed Commercial Use / Storage structures. Janice Fetsch read the hearing notice. Janice Fetsch stated that she purchases propane from Mr. Cota and felt there was no conflict of interest. Hearing no objection, introduction of the Boards were made. Tim Cota and all members of the Public in attendance were sworn in. Mr. Cota testified the following:
- They have abandoned prior approval because they could not park trucks in the back and provide fire truck access as required in the fire safety study.
- They have removed the big tanks and trucks. The Bobtail trucks are now parked in the back.
- He proposes to fill 20lb tanks on property for home delivery, and for retail sale at his 1 Ferry Road property and other places, utilizing the existing 500 gallon tank.
- He stated that he did not know when he started his propane business that he needed permit for the business. The other business had prior permit approvals. The need for this application is due to delays getting required State permits.
- He has sold the wood cutting business and only sells wood pellets. Retail sale of wood pellets occurs near the lower bunker. There is no retail occurring in the upper area.
- His snow plow, salt and sand operation is for personal use and to support his other businesses.
- He no longer operates the lawn mower and small engine repair businesses and would be agreeable to abandoning these businesses.
- He is not operating the garage, but still has their inspection license and would like to maintain the garage business for future use after moving propane business. He would be agreeable to maintaining the garage as a sequential business and not a parallel business to the propane business.
- He is requesting site plan approval for the same 4 buildings, which were approved in the abandoned permit approval.
- He stated that the fork lift tanks and construction tanks etc., which were mentioned in his submittal letter, are not included in the application.
- He explained that they listed 20 parking spaces, which were not delineated in past approvals, and which is being maintained in this application.
- He testified that the number of employees, hours of operation, traffic and peak traffic have not changed from the previous applications.
- He stated that since they are parking a maximum of 4 vehicles instead of 8, they have enough room for a turnaround in the lower parking area.
- He testified that the gate is closed, except when one of his trucks needs to go to the upper area.
- He is not proposing any changes to his chick coop and the residential trailer. He stated that the chickens are free range.
- He discussed how landscaping in his opinion was not necessary except adjacent to Davis Hill Road because the view of the property is blocked by the hillside and the building. He proposed to place an 8 foot high slotted fence near Davis Hill Road.
- He testified that at 1 Ferry Road there is a lock on the cabinet, which distributes the propane, and not a fence, and is in conformance with NFPA standards.
- He testified that he sells 20lb tanks at 1 Ferry Road.
- He discussed the truck that acts as a sign stating the truck, which is stored at 1 Ferry Road, brings propane to 33 Ferry Road from Montpellier or Richmond. The truck is empty when parked at 1 Ferry Road. The Boards acknowledge that the Town does not have jurisdiction on truck signs.
- He testified that he owns the new pump station at 1 Ferry Road and the previous pump station was owned by Suburban Propane, and he is waiting on a State permit to operate the new pump station.
- He testified that he still has 5 million dollars of insurance for the property.
- He stated that he would need 60 days to place a fence or landscaping.
- He would provide the Town with an employee list who fill tanks and provide copies of these certifications and licenses.
8:24PM: A motion to accept the site plan, which was edited to show the locations of the filling tank, wood pellet retail area, pump station, pallets of mulch and pellets, turnaround, security gate and proposed fence location, as exhibit #1 was made by Terry Delano, seconded by Sherry Corbin and approved unanimously.
8:28PM: A motion to accept as exhibit #2, a letter from Gerald Wherle dated 8/31/15 expressing concern about the functioning business without a prior permit and the need for landscaping was made by Sandy Gregg, seconded by Doug Patterson and approved unanimously.
8:30PM: A motion to accept as exhibit #3, a letter from Kathleen Swanson dated 9/8/15 expressing concern about the traffic circulation and requesting no expansion to the existing business was made by Terry Delano, seconded by Sherry Corbin and approved unanimously.
8:33PM: A motion to accept as exhibit #4, a letter from Glenn & Kimberly S. Ravdin dated 9/8/15 expressing concern about the size and community need of the propane business and wandering chickens was made by Sandy Gregg, seconded by Doug Patterson and approved unanimously.
- James Baker stated concerns about being in evacuation zone for one bobtail truck and the traffic on the property. Tim Cota testified that the tanks on the property are filled twice per day, the truck travels 2 or 3 times per week, twice per day. Cota testified that the Bobtail truck runs daily, for the 2 busy months of the year they deliver 900 tanks per week and for the rest of the year they deliver about half the amount per week. Cota testified that the salt and sand use creates some limited late night work.
- Rocky Giroux stated that he echoed the concerns listed in the submitted letters.
- David Smail stated his concern regarding clarity of the discussion and the process. The Boards explained that since this is not Mr. Cota’s first hearing, that they had some knowledge of the property and proposed application.
8:51PM: A motion to take judicial notice of prior record for decisions for the property since 2009 was made by George Rice, seconded by Sherry Corbin and approved unanimously.
8:52PM: A motion to accept the application as complete was made by Doug Patterson, seconded by Sandy Gregg and approved unanimously.
8:52PM: A motion to close the Conditional Use hearing for deliberative session was made by George Rice, seconded by Alayne Rabow and approved unanimously.
8:53PM: A motion to close the Site Plan hearing for deliberative session was made by Terry Delano, seconded by Sandy Gregg and approved unanimously.
The 45th day was calculated as being October 24th.
8:55PM: Public Input: No Public remained in attendance.
8:56PM: Administrative Officer’s Report included a reminder to Tim Maxham and Sherry Corbin to reapply for a new term on the ZBA should they wish to continue being a ZBA member and the upcoming hearing schedule.
9:00PM: The Planning Commission and Zoning Board of Adjustment separated their meetings.
9:13PM: A motion was made to approve the Minutes for September 2, 2015 by Terry Delano, seconded by Doug Patterson and approved with Sandy Gregg abstaining.
9:16PM A motion to go into deliberative session was made by Sandy Gregg, seconded by Terry Delano and approved unanimously.
9:48PM: A motion to come out of deliberative session and adjourn the meeting was made by Terry Delano, seconded by Sandy Gregg and approved unanimously.
Respectfully submitted by Mitchel Cypes, Administrative Officer.
For Planning Commission