Regular Meeting of August 8, 2016
South Hero Town Hall, Monday 7:00 PM
Board Members Present Jonathan Shaw, Skip Brown (also Board Secretary), George Rice, Anne Zolotas
Board Members Not Present: Carol Tremble
Others Present: Sharon Roy, Town Clerk. Martha Taylor-Varney, Administrative Assistant. Also see sign in sheet.
1. Called to Order:
-The meeting was called to order by Chairman Shaw at 7:00 pm.
2. Adjustment to Agenda:
-Mandy Hotchkiss of the Blue Paddle Bistro will not attend the meeting and has rescheduled for August 22.
– Anne Zolota made a motion to accept the minutes of the meeting of July 25, 2016 as corrected. The motion was seconded, all in attendance so voted and the motion carried. The correction is that it is Coleen (not Pauline) Bushway in 4-A. George Rice made a motion to accept the minutes of August 1, 2016 as written. The motion was seconded, all in attendance so voted and the motion carried.
4. Public input:
A. Peter Gregg suggests that we should ask Local Motion for a sign to let cyclists know to walk their bikes at the new flashing crosswalk beacon across Route 2 at South Street, rather than riding them across.
5. Administrative Assistant Report:
A. A written report was submitted. A hard copy with discussion points can be seen in Town Hall filed with these minutes or on www.southherovt.org.
B. The Vanderer family has advised Martha that they have permission to cut a 6′ wide swath in the old railroad berm into Keeler Bay without any permits necessary. They would offer to cut a 6′ swath in the berm on the abutting Town property to make it a 12′ total wide swath. Note that there are wetland buffers at the foot of the berm at the property line. Also, it is unclear if the 6′ is the top or the bottom of the berm, as the sides will have to be pitched in order to avoid collapse. If that is the case, they should provide proof to the Town that they have permission to do it, then the Town will decide if they want to proceed. Note that they will also need a driveway into the property and will have ask for a curb cut from VTrans.
C. Martha had a meeting with Mandy Hotchkiss of Blue Paddle Bistro regarding the special event on Sunday August 7. No cars were observed on Route 2.
6. New Business:
A. Taylor Newton of Northwest Regional Planning was present to discuss the pros and cons of replacing the current structure of Zoning Board of Adjustment (ZBA) and Planning Commission (PC) in with a Development Review Board (DRB) and PC. He provided a handout that answered most of the questions. A hard copy with discussion points can be seen in Town Hall filed with these minutes or on www.southherovt.org. More discussion with the current ZBA and PC will be had at the 5th Monday meeting on August 29, 2016.
B. Skip Brown made a motion to allow the Chairman to sign the agreement between the State of Vermont and the Town of South Hero for the High Risk Rural Roads program, that will allow the State to update signage on West Shore Road at no cost to the Town except ongoing maintenance. The motion was seconded, all in attendance so voted and the motion carried.
7. Old and Ongoing Business:
A. South Street reconstruction project from Landon to Martin Roads updates: It appears that the necessary permits are now obtained.
B. Re. the Zlotoff Foundation real estate tax appeal: Nothing new to report.
C. Re: the Camp Takumta real estate tax appeal: There is a possibility of settlement, but nothing is firm yet.
8. Other Business:
A. George Rice made a motion to sign the order 17-04 and pay the bills associated with said order. The motion was seconded, all in attendance so voted, and the motion carried.
-Anne Zolotas made a motion to adjourn 8:25 pm. The motion was seconded all in attendance so voted and the motion carried.
Respectfully submitted, Approved by,
Graham Brown Jonathan Shaw, Chair
TOWN OF SOUTH HERO
Administrative Officer’s Report to Selectboard August 8, 2016
1. Update on request for a shooting range on South St. in the village.
2. Update on request from Vanderers’ regarding their lakefront lot on Keeler Bay.
3. Town advertisement for ZBA members. Printed in the August 2nd issue of the Islander. Have received a letter requesting another 3-year term from Alayne Rabow. 3-year terms for Ross Brown (finishing term of George Rice, Paula Delano, Jim Baker, and alternate Alayne Rabow end in October.
4. Sending ad this week to Islander for Rec committee members. Update from email from David Hobbs.
5. Received email from VLCT re: Town Health Officers Workshop in September.
6. Report on discussion with Mandy Hotchkiss of Blur Paddle Bistro in regards to an August 7, 2016 fundraiser at the restaurant. Would like to meet with the SB on August 22.
7. Fee schedule has been amended to include a $20 fee for Certificates of Compliance.
Planning Commission and Zoning Board of Adjustment
• PC and ZBA approved the Sie Plan and Conditional Use requests for Island Physical Therapy. ZBA also approved variance request to build an ADA compliant ramp within the setback.
• Combined hearing for CU and SP (MKN, LLC) approval for a Planned Unit Development to include a Fire Station, Community Library, and office building at 260 US Rt 2 recessed to August 23. A site visit was held on Aug 3. VTrans will attend the August 23 hearing to answer questions about the proposed shared entrance and concerns about the speed limit in that area.
• Site Plan and Conditional Use joint hearing for the proposed Park and Ride will be held on either September 7, or will be heard at the separate September meetings of the PC and ZBA on the 7th and 14th. Yet to be determined.
Development Review Board
A development review board is a single board that performs all of the development review (permitting) functions for the town. It replaces the zoning board of adjustment and takes over the development review duties of the planning commission so that the planning commission can focus on its planning functions.
Creation of development review board. If the legislative body of a municipality creates a development review board to perform all development review functions for the town, that board must consist of five to nine members serving terms that are determined by the Selectboard. The Selectboard may determine the size of the board when it is formed, and may thereafter, by resolution, alter its size.
• A municipality may not have a board of adjustment and a development review board at the same time. Upon creation of a development review board, the existence of any board of adjustment terminates. 24 V.S.A. § 4460.
• The development review board may include one or more members of the planning commission.
Removal. A member of a development review board may be removed for cause by the legislative body upon written charges and after public hearing. 24 V.S.A. § 4460.
Organization. A development review board elects its own officers, adopts rules of procedure and schedules its regular meetings at its organizational meeting each year.
Procedure. No change from the current function of the Zoning Board. All meetings of the board are open to the public (except deliberative sessions). The board must keep minutes of its proceedings, showing the vote of each member on each question, or, if absent or failing to vote, indicating this. The board must also keep records of its examinations and other official actions, all of which must be immediately filed in the office of the clerk of the municipality as a public record. When the board is conducting a hearing or taking an action it must have a quorum of not less than a majority of the members of the board. All actions must be taken by the concurrence of a majority of the board. 24 V.S.A. § 4461.
Decisions. The time period and other requirements for decision making remain the same as with the Zoning Board of Adjustment.
Development Review Board Powers. The DRB assumes all duties and powers of the Zoning Board of Adjustment and the development review duties of the Planning Commission. This includes appeals of a zoning administrator decision, variances, conditional use, subdivision, site plan review, planned unit development review, stays of enforcement and other optional development reviews.
DEVELOPMENT REVIEW BOARDS
Benefits and Drawbacks
• One Board hearing all applications will lead to a consistency among project reviews.
• Clarifies the role and responsibilities of each body- legislative vs. judicial.
• The process is timesaving for applicants vs. going to both the Zoning Board and Planning Commission.
• Avoids the possibility of contrary opinions from the Planning Commission and Zoning Board.
• Creates a better public impression of the local process.
• In the long-term it can lead to streamlining of zoning bylaws in regards to site plan vs. conditional use.
• The Planning Commission is free to plan- to update bylaws, take on special projects, complete capital budgets, etc.
• The Development Review Board can complete local Act 250 reviews if other standards are also met.
• The Planning Commission is only planning, and not working with the very bylaws they are charged to modify.
• The Development Review Board can get overwhelmed with the number of applications that need review.
• If there are problems within the permit review board, they are magnified, as there is no longer a system of checks and balances.
• Some existing members will not want to serve on either the Planning Commission or Development Review Board.
• Coordination of multiple reviews for one project can get complicated with the need for more than one set of findings, site plan vs. conditional use.