Planning Commission Meeting Minutes 3.23.23



Minutes of Meeting – Thursday March 23, 2023

Members Present: Garret Siegel, John Williams, Sebastian Massey, and Michael Murno; Remotely: Tom Williams, and Jane Jenkins

Other Attendees: Joan Nash (Land Use Administrator) Part Time, Nick Zaiac (Town Administrator), Janet Hurley (BCRC)

Attendance Formats: Town Hall, Zoom Video Conferencing or Phone

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

The minutes of the January meeting were approved unanimously as revised.

Public Comments Unrelated to the Agenda

There were no public comments.

New Business

There was no New Business

Old Business

We continued with revisions to the Bylaw, using the January 19 Edition of revisions and concentrating on Article 4 Zoning Districts.

With regard to the listed Zoning District in Section 4.1.1, it was decided not to change the current designations.

With regard to Section 4.1.2 Official Zoning Map, there was some discussion about keeping the zoning maps in the Bylaw, instead of just referencing the maps to the Town Website. Michael Murno made a motion to keep the maps in the Bylaw with the addition of the caveat: “These maps may not be up-to-date; for the most current maps refer to the Town Website (”. There were 4 Ayes, and 1 Abstention; Motion was passed.

We reviewed the text in Section to address a previous question and found the current text to be appropriate.

There was a question about the removal of text from Section 4.1.4 and 4.1.5, since at this time, we could not determine if these sections were covered elsewhere. We agreed to review the document to verify if, in fact, these sections are covered elsewhere and be prepared to discuss it at our next meeting.

It was agreed that as long as all the definitions and pertinent informational and dimensional criteria discussed in the January 19 Edition of the Bylaw revisions for Sections 4.2.1 Village Residential VR District, 4.2.2 Commercial Residential CR District, 4.2.3 Commercial Residential Rural (CRR) District, 4.2.4 Commercial Industrial (CI) District, 4.2.5 Planned Industrial (PI) District, 4.2.6 Rural (R) District and 4.2.7 Forest and recreation (FR) District was included in the new format of Tables 4.1 and 4.2, the majority of the text as shown for those sections could be removed with the exception of the following text and stipulations for: Purpose, Permitted Uses, Conditional uses, Prohibited Uses, References to the Use table, Table 4.1, and the Dimensional Standard table, Table 4.2. In addition, the first paragraph of Section 4.2.7, Forest and Recreational (FR) District shall be revised as follows; “The Forest and Recreational (FR) District shall consist of all areas over the elevation of 1200 Feet (NAVD) and parcels accessed through Black Hole Hollow Road, Stage Coach Road, Sprague Camp Road, and Bear Run”.

There was some discussion on Section regarding Materially Similar Uses and how that distinction is determined. It appeared to at least one member that the criteria specified would require a specialist and/or a specialized study. There was some disagreement and it was pointed out that an appeal process is available as discussed in Section 3.6 if, in fact, someone disagreed with the determination.

We then went to Table 4.1 to verify the inclusion of all information covered in the text for Sections 4.2.1 thru 4.2.7 as discussed above. Garret Siegel pointed out the difference in definition of Multi-Family Dwelling in the current Bylaw and what is presented in the table for this revision, namely that the current revision requires separate living quarters for each family. Janet Hurley explained that the state has jurisdiction over water and waste water permitting. The legislature is considering limited municipal authority over residential density where municipal water and sewer is available. The town still has the authority to regulate residential density, but it will effectively be limited by septic capacity of the lot.  Michael Murno referred to the line in the table for Mobile Home Park shown in this revision as a conditional use in the Village District and pointed out that this type of development is not desirable in the village and out of character with the village environment. It was agreed to remove the conditional (C) designation for Mobile Home Park in the Village District (VR) and replace it with a dash (-) in the table.

With regard to Family Childcare Home defined in the table, Garret Siegel pointed out the previous Bylaw limited the number of children to no more than 6 and the current revision states no limits but refers to it as a Single Family Residential Property used as a Small Daycare business. Janet Hurley explained that there has been no change in the definition. A family child care home is defined by state law as a single family use of property serving up to six children. More than 6 is defined as daycare. It was decided to accept the revised definition.

A question arose “Why is Senior Housing, as shown in the table, not permitted in the rural district?” There was some discussion but it was noted that Multiple Dwelling Units are not permitted in the rural district. It was also noted that Senior Housing is allowed in VR, CR, and CRR Districts. It was agreed to leave the table designations as is.

We discussed Tiny Homes and where they are defined. Janet Hurley explained that they are considered Single Family Homes and will be treated as such in the new Tables 4.1 and 4.2.

We discussed Outdoor Hydronic Heaters andwhere they are covered and regulated in the Bylaw. Janet Hurley said that she would add Outdoor Hydronic Heaters to the use table (Table 4.1) as an accessory use. She will also add standards that these heaters will need to meet, based on the standards in the current ordinance, to the specific use standards section and share the language for review ahead of the next meeting.

It was also noted that Air B&B’s were not covered in the revised Bylaw. Janet Hurley explained that the Vermont Supreme Court ruled that short term rentals are considered residential use of property, unless the use was specifically defined by the municipality. If so, the municipality can regulate. Janet advised against doing that in this revision. Sebastian Massey pointed out that there would be a great number of unhappy residents if regulations were imposed and that this would jeopardize the adoption of the entire Bylaw revision. Some members wanted to include Air B&B’s in the current revision of the Bylaw but it was agreed not to include it in this revision for the reasons discussed above. It was also agreed; however, to put this subject on our agenda for future discussion after the current Bylaw revision has been approved.

As the time limit for the meeting was approaching, Garret Siegel stated that we do have until September 2023 to complete the Bylaw revision, but we will show the revision to the town this summer to reserve time for last minute changes before September.

As the 9:00 pm time limit on the meeting had been reached, Michael Murno made a motion to adjourn; seconded by Sebastian Massey. Motion carried and the meeting adjourned at 9:00 pm.

The next APC meeting will be a special meeting to be held on April 13, 2023 at 7:00 pm.

Respectfully Submitted By Michael Murno

Land Use Administrators Report for APC meeting of 3/23/2023

Date range: 1/18/2023 – 3/23/2023

Permits issued:

3363               WILCOX JOHN & ROBIN   5110 VT Route 313W                      R         01-01-16.3                 Remodel/ Addition   2/28/23

3364               ALICE B GOOD                   187 Farm Rd                                 R           10-02-27                  Garage addition       3/2/23


Permits Pending APC – none

Permits Pending ZBA – none

Permits Completed post ZBA Decision from 2/21/23 meeting:

3360   WHITE, STEPHEN              57 VT Route 7A                                           R         09-3-01                      Accessory building, back setback variance

3362   ARLINGTON COMMON     3960 VT Route 7A                                      VR      16-1-04                      New building and site plan discussion

            (Arlington Arts and Enrichment)

3354    Big Big, LLC                        5827 VT Route 313 West   R                     01-1-10                                  Base of Operations

Violation letters:

3358   BARNES, KIMBERLY         3383 VT Route 313 West  R                     03-3-02                                 Courtesy call 3/21/23 to Barnes re: signing memorandum of Understanding to close the permit. 

Barnes declined and stated that they had no intention of stopping their commercial business as it is their livelihood. Refused to supply new site plan, therefore a cease and desist certified letter was sent 3/2/23. AOT 2/14/24 letter to Barnes stop use of illegal drive and move logs away from highway. This appears to have been done.                  

Compliance Letters Issued:

1/19/23   11-2-27 359 Crow Hill Rd

1/31/23   11-2-27 359 Crow Hill Rd updated for permit completion

2/28/23   02-2-36 145 Sycamore Lane


3 inquiries for major subdivision development, but no applications yet.

470 Ball Mountain Road

0 Red Mountain Rd

0 Twenty Acre Woods

1 inquiry for minor subdivision.  Application started, but incomplete.

855 Butternut Gutter (Diana and Shane Leland) to create one new building lot.

1 customary home business (pet grooming), pending receipt of application.

261 Sandgate Rd – Tracy Smith owner and only employee.  This looks to be well within the parameters of a customary home business.

Awaiting her application so I may add to the next APC meeting.

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