SOUTH HERO PLANNING COMMISSION DRAFT MINUTES April 19, 2017
Members Present: D. Patterson (Co-Chair); G. Delano (Co-Chair); S. Gregg; D. Roy; R. Henry
Public Present: Tim Maxham; Bridgett Kerr; Greta Brunswick, NRPC; Martha Taylor-Varney, ZA
7:00 – D. Patterson called the meeting to order.
Changes to the Agenda
There were none.
Continued Discussion with NRPC re: Updates to the Development Regulations
Greta Brunswick gave the Commission members copies of North Hero’s regulations concerning Marinas, Yacht Clubs, and Residential Marine Associations to use as a gauge for South Hero’s regulations. The members agreed that the language regarding Yacht Clubs and Residential Marine Associations did not apply to South Hero at this time. Discussion items included shoreline frontage, parking, storage of boats and dinghies, circulation of traffic and pedestrians, waste management, and stormwater management. The Commission agreed that parking, the storage of boats (either overnight or long-term), and vehicular and pedestrian traffic need to be regulated. Parking lot setback from the lake was suggested to be 15 feet, with the option for a waiver from the DRB if closer. Storage for boats needs regulation. Should this be included in the Specific Use standard? Seasonal storage for boats in a residential area could be allowed as a residential accessory use per approval from the DRB.
Greta gave the Commission members samples of parking area design standards from St. Albans and Milton to consider for use in South Hero. The St. Albans standards included 5 different angles of spaces (parallel, and 90-degree down to 30-degrees) which would affect the aisle width and space dimensions. Numbers of spaces per Milton’s standards had restaurants included in the ‘Public Places’ category, with the type broken down further by duration of stay (fast food take-out vs. sit-down dinner). Public Places also included convenience stores (considered high-turnover), theatre, hair salons, and medical offices (considered regular traffic), and limited traffic (infrequent customers, primarily by appointment – attorney/accountant), and were based on the gross floor area of the structure. The members agreed that these 3 categories need further consideration and thought before final language is adopted.
Updated language and figures for Article 5 under Non-Conforming Structures and Uses was also reviewed by the Commission. There was considerable discussion on the expansion or replacement of a non-conforming structure that would not increase the degree of non-conformity. It was agreed that this be allowed with approval of the DRB rather than the Zoning Administrator. There needs to be clarification on volume and height within the setback. ‘Volume’ had been previously taken out of the definition but members discussed whether it should be added back. An increase in a non-conforming use will be reviewed under Conditional Use standards. Additional discussion centered on Multiple dwellings on a lot, and which is the primary structure and which is the accessory structure. The Commission felt the proposed language did not meet the standards of an accessory dwelling. This section needs more work and clarification.
Under Article 3 (Development Review), language on setback waivers for structures and parking areas has been added to the Regulations. Under DRB review, setback waivers that represent the least deviation from the Development Regulations may be granted. However, the waiver shall not deviate from the required standard by more than 50%. In addition, the DRB shall require appropriate screening as a buffer from adjacent properties.
General Definitions included new language on Agriculture, breaking it down as either Commercial, Accessory, or Auxiliary. While commercial agriculture is not subject to local zoning, accessory and auxiliary are. Accessory farms have uses that are directly related and subordinate to commercial operations (ex: petting zoo, farm tours, pick-your-own, product-tasting, retail sales of ag products produced on the farm, etc); Auxiliary uses have commercial activities that may not be directly related to the agricultural use (ex: on-site processing or storage, education or recreational programs, event such as weddings, theatre productions, etc.). A fact sheet of Required Agricultural Rules (RAPs) was given to the members which included definitions, explanations of farm size, and their regulatory authority.
NRPC will meet with the Commission at their May 17 meeting to begin final review of the Regulations updates. Articles 1-4 and Definitions will be reviewed.
Approval of Minutes
- Gregg moved to approve the minutes from April 5, 2017, as corrected; G. Delano second. All in favor.
There was none.
- Gregg pointed out that there is addition being added to the Goulet Farm stand. The ZA is aware and has issued a permit.
- Martha gave the Commission members a copy of the response from VTrans to their letter requesting a reduction in the speed limit on US RT 2 in the area of the Health Center/Wally’s Bagels. S. Gregg and G. Delano expressed interest in attending the VTrans Traffic Committee meeting on June 12 when the request will be discussed.
- The Planning Commission will plan to attend a 5th Monday meeting with the Selectboard on July 31, 2017.
- Martha received information from the VLCT Downtown Development Board looking for persons interested on joining the Board.
9:15 – G. Delano moved to adjourn; S. Gregg second. All in favor.
Signed: ___________________________________________ Date: ____________________
For the Planning Commission
These minutes are unofficial until approved at the next regularly-scheduled hearing. All motions were unanimous unless otherwise indicated.