SOUTH HERO PLANNING COMMISSION DRAFT MINUTES April 5, 2017
Members Present: G. Delano; D. Patterson; R. Henry; S. Gregg; D. Roy
Public Present: Tim Maxham; Bridget Kerr; Martha Taylor-Varney, ZA
7:00 – G. Delano called the meeting to order.
Changes to the Agenda
There were none.
Continue Discussion with NRPC re: Development Regulations updates
Discussion centered on recommended language related to Driveways and Roads. The definition of driveways was clarified to include “access drives or easements serving not more than 3 lots, residential dwelling units, and/or commercial uses.” Construction standards include a travel width of 12 feet, and a maximum grade of 10%; approval by the DRB under Conditional Use review would be required for driveways with grades over 10% up to 15%, provided the Fire Department approves. There was discussion about whether the Fire Department should provide documentation that the proposed driveway can accommodate fire/rescue access since the Departments has expressed reluctance to make a unilateral decision in these cases. It was decided to ask the FD for their advice and input on the wording of this section. Additional discussion included the need for turn-arounds and pull-off areas on driveways longer than 400 feet, the recommended size of each, and at what distances along the driveway these should be placed. It was suggested that no turn-around be placed closer than 50 feet from the residence to allow fire apparatus to be at a safe distance in the case of fire. Shared driveways may be required by the DRB to help manage the number of accesses onto a Town road. The Commission members considered whether sub-base standards need to be applied to driveways as they are to roads.
Off-street parking space requirements included additions to the list of uses in Table 5.1 (added marinas, dwellings by number of bedrooms) and indicated the number of spaces required for each classification. Suggestions included basing the number of parking spaces necessary on peak shift times for industrial and hospital uses, and adding more spaces for restaurant employees rather than only calculating spaces per restaurant seats. In some cases the DRB could reduce the number of spaces if the Applicant can justify the smaller parking space demand. Locations of parking areas (side and back in the Village Districts; not in the front), landscaping and screening requirements, and parking lot design requirements have also been added. Pre-existing parking areas in the Village District will be allowed to remain but any additions must be on the back or side. The size of the individual parking space has been reduced from 9’x20’ to 9’x18’. Width of travel lanes between rows of parking spaces was also discussed.
Road construction and design standards in proposed Section 606 (Roads and Pedestrian Infrastructure) refer to the current Town Road Ordinance. Proposed language requires that any development that adds a fourth lot, residential dwelling or commercial use to a driveway will require upgrades to Town road standards. Several members felt this could create hardships for landowners at the end of long driveways that may want a simple 1 or 2-lot subdivision but would have to upgrade the entire length at considerable expense. This could be a disadvantage to a single landowner while a developer with more substantial financial backing would have more options. The members questioned whether the road standards could vary under certain circumstances, per review by the DRB? Or if different road standards could be applied to different Districts? D. Patterson recommended that there be the possibility of a waiver in the Shoreland District, given the number of pre-existing ‘roads’ in this district due to the number of camps built years ago. NRPC will review the language and recommend options to these requirements. New language has been added for the layout and configuration of new roads, including whether curbing or sidewalks will be necessary per DRB review.
NRPC will meet again with the Planning Commission on April 19 where review will include proposed regulations regarding marinas.
- Gregg moved to accept the minutes from February 1st; D. Roy second. All in favor.
There was none.
-S. Gregg will request that the Village Center Designation be expanded in both villages – in South Hero village expanding east to include Pest Pro on the north side of RT 2 and to Sambala on the south side of RT 2; in Keeler Bay Village up RT 314 to include both sides of the road up to the Grand Isle Nursery. She explained that she will write a letter from the Selectboard requesting the expansion of the Village Center and send it to Richard Amore of Vermont Community Development for consideration.
-Sandy also reported that she had asked the Selectboard to approve her request to attend a May 22-23 Vermont Preservation Trust retreat at the Grand Isle Lake House as a representative from South Hero [**The Selectboard has since approved that request].
- The Zoning Administrator asked if Commission members David Roy, George Delano, and Sandy Gregg would like to be considered for re-appointment to the Planning Commission when their current terms expire at the end of June 2017. All three agreed. The Selectboard will be notified at their next meeting.
- The ZA’s Roundtable, sponsored by NRPC and held in St. Albans earlier today, discussed the Residential Building Energy Code and FEMA Floodplain regulations. This was a very good opportunity to meet with other area ZA’s to discuss common areas of concern.
- The ZA presented the Planning Commission members with a ‘white sheet’ Breakdown of Cost Analysis for State Highways from VTrans explaining the costs associated with a Town assuming the responsibilities of a State highway where it runs through the village of South Hero. This would reduce oversight by VTrans for installation of signage, crosswalks, rights-of-way issues, etc. The Commission would like to discuss the options with the Selectboard at an upcoming fifth Monday meeting.
- A copy of the State Planning Manual, a comprehensive overview for writing Town Plans is in the Zoning Office for future reference. Once the next Town Plan is updated, the cycle for required updates will extend from 5 years to 8 years.
9:29 – S. Gregg moved to adjourn; D. Roy second. All in favor.
Martha Taylor-Varney, Zoning Administrator
Signed: __________________________________________ Date: ___________________
For the Planning Commission
These minutes are unofficial until approved at the next regularly-scheduled meeting. All motions were unanimous unless otherwise indicated.