Planning Commission Meeting Minutes 12.14.23



Minutes of Meeting – Thursday December 14, 2023

Members Present: Garret Siegel, Tom Williams, Sebastian Massey (via zoom), Sunjit Chawla (via zoom), John Murray and Michael Murno

Other Attendees: Joan Nash (Land Use Administrator),

Attendees from the Public: None.

Attendance Formats: Town Hall, Zoom Video Conferencing or Phone

The meeting was called to order at 7:00 pm by Chairman Garret Siegel.

A motion to approve the meeting minutes of our last meeting was made by John Murray, seconded by Sunjit Chawla; motion carried

Public Comments Unrelated to the Agenda

There were no public comments.

New Business

Chairman Siegel resumed discussion on Special Projects introduced at our last meeting and asked if anyone had reviewed the Tool Kit which he forwarded last month. Most members had not done so citing the busy seasonal activities, such as preparations for Thanksgiving, the holiday season and busy schedules. We all agreed to review the tool Kit and be prepared to discuss at the next meeting. The need to establish a registry for Air B&B’s was brought up once more to at least provide emergency services to owners, the community, and occupants of those facilities. All were in agreement

We discussed the need for affordable housing and the potential to offer tax incentives to developers and owners to facilitate affordable housing development. It was noted by Tom Williams that the cost for housing has increased dramatically; where once one could rely on a cost of about one hundred dollars a square foot, current costs are three hundred dollars or more per square foot. Unfortunately, the market controls the pricing, however: these increases have virtually priced young buyers out of the market. Garret suggested that we, through a new Bylaw, identify opportunities to ease restrictions to zoning rules, increase densities, to facilitate the purchase of housing for those who are otherwise priced out of the market. We should be looking at impediments in the Bylaw that can be compiled for review and revision.

Sunjit has been researching state programs that can assist low income Vermonters secure and maintain affordable housing, such as BROC, a Community Action Program providing educational programs, fuel and utility assistance and financial assistance to help low income families keep and maintain their residences and VHIP (Vermont Housing Improvement Program). Under VHIP developers are offered grants to improve their rental properties and bring them up Vermont heath code standards. Landlords may be eligible for the following grants:

Up to $30,000 for the rehabilitation of each 0-2 bedroom unit.

Up to $50,000 for the rehabilitation of each 3+ bedroom unit.

Up to $50,000 for the creation of new units in an existing building

Up to $50,000 for the creation of accessory dwelling units (ADUs)

Many more details are available on their web sites. It was noted that there is a guide book for rental units in Arlington. A Question was raised and needs to be researched: Are there state assistance programs for new build, beside renovations?

Ideas that were brought up:

  • Provide a feeler questionnaire(s) to property owners and developers regarding development potential; include tax abatement possibilities, and other a precursor to a meeting on the subject.
  • Follow up with a meeting and Power Point presentation.
  • Show/Discuss what is available to owners and developers
  • Potentially provide an on-line newsletter?

It was noted that there have not been many permits applications for Accessory Dwelling Units (ADU’S) to support affordable housing.

We then moved on to the control and management of shipping containers within the Town of Arlington. It was noted that they were always intended for temporary use, (Section 5.1.11). but “temporary” was never enforced. In addition, many containers were never permitted. It was noted that there are probably 300-500 containers in Arlington compared with 1367 parcels. There was discussion regarding grand fathering as well as requiring them to be removed. It was agreed that removal would be an extremely controversial issue, as there have been no complaints from adjacent land owners.  As to grand fathering existing containers, it was proposed that containers be required to be properly screened with landscaping to hide them from public view and to require them to adhere to setback rules in accordance with the Bylaw. As we reached an impasse on the issue, it was agreed to discuss the issue with the Town Administrator, Nick Zaiac and the select board, so that what we finally decide is appropriate.

As there was no further business the chaiman called for a motion to adjourn. Michael Murno made a motion to adjourn, seconded by Tom Williams. Motion carried and the meeting adlourned at 8:45 pm. Our next meeting will be held on Thursday Jan. 24 2024 at 7:00 pm.

Land Use Administrator’s Report for APC 11/30/2023

Date range: 10/25/23 – 11/30/23

Permits issued:

Date                      Parcel ID     Zone          Last Name  First Name   Address                        Permit Type             

2023-11-0906-04-11RRockwell,Anna938 Tory Lane  Accessory building 
2023-11-2815-02-06VRMattison,Alan             120 School St                                Accessory building 
2023-11-2809-2-32REmery,Karen1307 Old West RdDeck 
2023-11-28   TBARPickering,Fred             0 Pickering Rd   Minor Subdivision 
2023-11-3019-2-10VRO’Reilly,Michael       38 Spruce Ln                         Remodel & Garage 

Pending Permits:

2023-03-28          19-2-01.000         CI  McCauley, Douglas  1311 East Arlington Rd     Accessory Dwelling Unit

(Waiting on WW permit)

2023-08-10          13-2-13.000         R   Hayes, Kevin   1091 Warm Brook Rd   Tiny Home

Permits Pending APC: None

Permits Pending ZBA: None


ALBERT VERA/ Claudia Castenada             27 Pleasant Street           VR          20-1-21   Informal violation letter sent 7/20/23 for deck in floodway; reported to LUA by concerned citizen.  7/25/23: came into office to discuss violation and was told that it will need to be removed from the floodway.  7/27/23: Came into office to find out more about contacting the state of VT about the floodway designation.  I explained that the town still has bylaws about floodway even if the state approves.  Could cost $$ to get engineering reports, APC and ZBA meetings, etc.. Unlikely to be approved by the town.  8/8/23: Received email from JBC stating that the deck may be ok and to do an after-the-fact permit.  Made no sense!  Arranged a site visit.  8/11/23:  Made a site visit and took more pictures and measured from water to the deck is 14’.  Floodway in area of the deck is 31 feet from the thread of the river to the outer floodway boundary.  Clearly the deck is in the floodway.  Emailed JBC with this information and asked if he wanted to make a site visit, or what his opinion is.  He has not responded.  8/22/23: Advised that they should put in an application, that I can’t approve, and they can appeal it so they can have a hearing. I did not sow any false hope!  9/30/23: Employed Mance Engineers to check BFE. If the deck is 1’ above BFE I will approve. 10/24/23: Mance engineers have been to the property, but no report yet.

3358       KIMBERLY BARNES          3383 VT Route 313 West              R             03-3-02   3/8/23: Certified letter NOV received. 4/3/23: Select Board letter upheld LUA violation  5/11/23: Sent letter recognizing that the commercial production appears to have ceased, Barnes is also selling equipment. We can cease fines if Barnes signs the memo of understanding.  6/20/23: No contact from Barnes. Drove by 6/15 to see a very large pile of split wood.  8/18/23: Large dump truck next to piles of wood.  Clearly not for household use.

9/30/23: Continue to see wood piles with splitter, dump truck.  Active firewood production.  

10/24/23: Continue to see wood piles with splitter, dump truck.  Active firewood production.  11/30/23 Less production

3354       KIRSTEN DAHLGREN        5827 VT Route 313 West              R             01-1-10   4/27/23: The Vermont Supreme Court

rejected the Battenkill River Determination Appeal as Dahlgren filed is a day too late. 5/23/27: Sent out a new informal NOV on 3 points:  Removal of cross from floodway, permitting process on all crosses on property (subject to setbacks) and raft on trailer by barn needs to be stowed in the barn when not in use.  6/15/23 formal NOV will be issued if not resolved.  The Vermont Superior Court Environmental Division has acknowledged the appeal on the base of operations conditions that were approved by the ZBA. 9/14/23: Elliott Nachwalter reported a trailer with raft left outside of the barn.  I was in touch with Dahlgren immediately and the trailer was moved. 10/24/23: No further issues.  11/30/23: No further issues.

Moffitt, Eric        35 Andrews Lane             VR          20-2-16

10/24/23 I have been observing at least a couple of times a week over the past month.  I don’t think I have enough of a case that people are living full time in the RV, although the neighbor across the street claims they’ve been there for months.  Will continue to monitor.    10/31/23 Sufficient evidence collected and informal violation letter sent.  11/14/23 No contact from Moffit so formal violation letter sent out.  11/17/23 Violation remedied.  Violation discharged.

Certificate of Completion issued:

Date                      Parcel ID       Zone          Last Name          First Name                         Address                              Permit#

2023-11-03          22-1-03.000         R             Smith,                   Scott                                      70 Crow Hill Rd                  3306

2023-11-03          100-2-26.000      R             Goliber,                Timothy & Rosemary      241 Farm Rd                       3356

2023-11-03          06-2-14.006         R             Burke,                   Alexander                           108 Town Line Rd             3300

2023-11-17          10-1-21.001         R             Allan,                     Ed                                           4432 VT Route 313W      3333

2023-11-17          09-2-32.000         R             Emery,                  Karen                                    1307 Old West Road       3369

2023-11-17          14-8-85.000         R             Klare,                    Matthew                             293 Birch Grove                3353      

Zoning Compliance Letters Issued: 

Date                      Parcel ID       Zone          Last Name          First Name                         Address                     

2023-10-31          12-1-18.000         R             Derosa,                Mary                                     67 Cedar Rock Rd                            

2023-11-02          03-1-06.000         R             Broomhall,          Matthew                             3434 River Rd   

2023-11-14          21-01-03.000      VR          Brown,                 David                                     150 Warm Brook Rd                                       

2023-11-28          10-1-41.000         R             Nooney,              Stephen                               265 Birch Grove                                               


Date                    Parcel ID        Zone      Last Name   First Name      Address                           Inquiry

2023-11-2116-1-15.000PIMackseyJohn79 East Arlington RdAccessory building permitting
2023-11-093-1-18.000RBertucelliLouis3319 River RoadBoundary line adjustment inquiry
2023-10-2517-2-23.000VRGuntherJack265 E. Arlington RdSeptic violation wants to use property for Food Shelf.  Will need conditional use and Act 250.
2023-10-262-3-05.000RLaCroixChris3402 VT Rte 313 WVarious topics from subdivision to access of vacant lot, possible barn for storage.
2023-10-266-3-15.000R/CCRMearsRich118 Sugar ShackConsidering a glamping or camping on property of 6+ acres across from Camping on the Battenkill
2023-11-039-2-32.000REmeryKaren0 Old West RoadQuestions re: use of property and possible pavilion to be built at bottom of hill.
2023-11-146-3-09.000RBucchieriWendy4519 VT Route 7AProvided information about setbacks and building size, permit paperwork provided.
2023-11-2110-1-30.000RCarnealScott470 Ball Mount’n RdPermitting for a window, converting closet to a bathroom. No footprint change, exempt.
2023-11-3013-1-08.000RLelandDiane855 Butternut GutterLast year Shane Leland, Diane’s son, came in to discuss the subdivision process and what would be needed to build on a newly subdivided lot.  Diane seemed upset and thought that somehow her land was subdivided without her knowledge. (This did not happen)
2023-10-3016-2-20.000VRWadeMatt & Kelly00 Woodchuck HillDiscussed permit for new residence as well as transport of modular home.


Date                    Parcel ID           Zone       Last Name    First Name                 Address

2023-11-07          09-2-19.100         R             Woodard             Paul                      645 VT Route 7A

                                                                               RE: 09-2-19.003 R             Pike, Blake  661 VT Route 7A  Commercial burning

2023-11-16          Dunham Rd         R             Irate citizen residing on Dunham Rd loudly complaining about speeding

on Dunham Rd after he was almost hit. Suggested he call state police.

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