TOWN OF ARLINGTON
SPECIAL PLANNING COMMISSION MEETING
Minutes of Meeting – Thursday April 13, 2023
Members Present: Garret Siegel, Sunjit Chwla, and Michael Murno; Remotely: Tom Williams
Other Attendees: Joan Nash (Land Use Administrator), Nick Zaiac (Town Administrator), Daisy Smith
Attendance Formats: Town Hall, Zoom Video Conferencing or Phone
The meeting was called to order at 7:17 pm by Chairman Garret Siegel.
Approval of March meeting was postponed to the next meeting when more members would be present to potentially comment.
Public Comments Unrelated to the Agenda
There were no public comments.
There was no New Business
We continued with revisions to the Bylaw, using the January 19 Edition of revisions and concentrating on Article 4 Zoning Districts, specifically Table 4.1 starting from the top of page 44. Garret questioned the need to have Residential Treatment Facilities listed in all four zones as shown. Nick stated that the logic behind all four zones is to allow these facilities wherever residential facilities are allowed. It was agreed to abide by the custom and keep the designations as presented in the table. With regard to Park and Recreation Center, Garret asked if there were any limitations, such as buildings in the Forest and Recreation District. Nick stated that this would come under ZBA review; however, buildings come with a fire risk. Joan asked whether a Ranger Station is permitted in the Forest District. The table does allow for the provision of a Ranger Station. With regard to Cemeteries, Garret asked if there was a reason that they were limited to the two zones shown (Village Residential and Residential). Nick explained that the Town has no inclination to develop new cemeteries, and the existing cemeteries happen to be located in those two zones. The question of having a private cemetery on one’s own property was posed and Nick stated that it is possible, but permissions would be necessary. Sanjit asked about what constitutes a cemetery; how many bodies constitutes a cemetery. Nick said that he would have to check with the Cemetery Commissioner for the answer. Under Public Safety Facility, Nick requested that the designation for the Rural District be amended from not allowed to “C” Conditional. This was acceptable to all present. With regard to Dry Cleaners in the Village District, Michael requested that it be amended from not allowed to “C” Conditional as a conditional use and that was acceptable to all present. With regard to Fueling Stations, Garret requested that all of the zones designated as “P” in the current table (“CR”, “CRR”, “CI”, and “PI”) be amended to “C” Conditional. All present agreed. After extensive discussion with regard to “Take Out Restaurant” and “Tavern, Bar, or Night Club”, which included potential nuisances, parking, and traffic issues, it was agreed to amend the table as follows: For “Take-out Restaurant” – Zones “VR” and “CRR” from not allowed to “C” Conditional and for Zones “CR” and “CI” from “P” Permitted to “C” Conditional. Zone “PI” will remain “C” Conditional. For “Tavern, Bar or Nightclub” – Zones “CR”, “CRR”, and “CI” from “P” Permitted to “C” Conditional and Zone “PI” from not allowed to “C” Conditional.
We moved on to page 46 and discussed Catering or Commercial Kitchen and Mobile Food Unit. For Catering or Commercial Kitchen, we agreed that Zones ”VR”, “CR”, and “CRR” would remain as “C” Conditional and for Mobil food unit, Zones “CI” would remain as “P” Permitted and Zone “PI” would be amended from not allowed to “P” Permitted. It was agreed that Funeral Homes, Crematory, Light Industry of Manufacturing, and Wholesale would remain as presented in the table. For Mail Order Business, we decided to amend the definition to make it more specific to its function as follows: After the Phrase “”from within an enclosed structure” add “that is not a retail store front”. We discussed Storage and Warehousing Facilities and the potential for providing “C” Conditional use in the rural and village districts. It was noted that a moving storage facility is presently operating the rural district on River Road; however, when that permission was granted, many years ago, various restrictions were placed on the use. A review of the permit would be necessary to verify whether the property owner is complying. Barns in the rural district were noted as also operating as storage facilities for equipment, etc. The Woodard facility was also cited as a storage facility operating within the CR District. In the “VR” Village District, Nick noted that there are facilities currently operating as storage facilities for charitable organizations. Sunjit requested clarification on what constitutes a warehousing facility. Is it based on size? Hypothetically, if he considered constructing a building in his field as a storage facility and decided to store a neighbor’s tractor is that permissible? It was noted that it would be an accessory building and once permitted as such, he would be able to store a neighbor’s tractor or car(s). If he decided to advertise it as a storage facility, it would be considered commercial and he’d need to apply for a permit for a commercial facility. On the other hand, a shed that is 200 S.F, or less can be used for storage and most likely would not require a permit. The Land Use Administrator (LUA) would be involved in decisions over whether a building, or buildings are being used as accessory buildings or commercial storage facilities. It was also noted that there are other tiers in the decision making process that might come into play. After considerable discussion and review of this use, it was decided to leave Storage and Warehousing Facilities as “P” Permitted uses in “CI” Commercial Industrial and “PI” Planned Industrial Districts and to provide for them as “C” Conditional uses in the “CR” Commercial Residential and “CRR” Commercial Rural Residential Districts.
We then moved onto the remainder of the General Uses portion of the table. With regard to Vehicle Repair Service and Printing Services, it was noted that these are shown as new uses in the table; however, there have been vehicle repair services previously within the town. Printing Facility is a new service. We decided to leave the designations shown in the current table, namely, for Vehicle Repair Service “C” Conditional in “CR” and “CRR” Districts and “P” Permitted in both the “CI” Commercial Industrial and the “PI” Planned Industrial Districts. For all other districts it is not allowed. For Printing Facility, “P” Permitted in both the “CI” Commercial Industrial and the “PI” Planned Industrial Districts. For Construction Business or Construction Yard, we amended the uses in the “CR’ and “CRR” Districts to “C” Conditional and accepted the table designations for the “CI” Commercial Industrial, “PI” Planned Industrial and “R” Rural as “P” Permitted, “P” Permitted and “C” Conditional, respectively. For all other districts, it is not allowed. With regard Research or Laboratory Facility, we decided to accept the designations in the current table, namely, “C” Conditional for “CR” Commercial Residential, and “P” Permitted for both the “CI” Commercial Industrial and the “PI” Planned Industrial District. For all other districts, it is not allowed. With regard to Junkyard, we amended the designations in the table as follows: For “CI” Commercial Industrial and “PI” Planned Industrial from “P” Permitted to “C” Conditional and in the “R” Rural District from “C” Conditional to not allowed.
For Domestic Animal Service, we accepted the designations shown in the current table. For “CR” Commercial Residential, “CRR” Commercial Rural Residential and “R” Rural, “C” Conditional. For both “CI” Commercial Industrial, and “PI” Planned Industrial, “P” Permitted. For all other districts, it is not allowed. For Veterinary Clinic, we amended “CRR” Commercial Rural Residential from “P” Permitted to “C” Conditional. We accepted all other current designations, namely, for both “R” Residential and “CR” Commercial Residential “C” Conditional, and for both “CI” Commercial Industrial and “PI” Planned Industrial “P” Permitted. With regard to Performance or Movie Theater, we amended the table as follows: for “VR” Village Residential, from not allowed to “C” Conditional and “CR” Commercial Residential from “P” Permitted to “C” Conditional. “P” Permitted remains for “CI” Commercial Residential and all other districts remain as not allowed.
We moved to Event Facility and amended “VR” Village Residential from not allowed to “C” Conditional and “CR” from permitted to “C” Conditional. The other current designations remain, namely “C” Conditional for both the “CI” Commercial Industrial and “R” Residential. All other districts remain as not allowed. With regard to indoor Recreation Facility, we amended “VR” Village District from not allowed to “C” Conditional. All other designations were accepted, namely, “C” Conditional for “CR:” Commercial Residential and “CRR” Commercial Rural Residential and “P” Permitted for “CI” Commercial Industrial and “CRR” Commercial Rural Residential. All other districts remain as not allowed. Because of some controversies associated with Outdoor Recreation Facility, we tabled this topic until such time when we had a larger Planning Commission body to deliberate.
With regard to Golf Course or Country Club, Garret recommended that the “C” Conditional designation for the rural district be amended to not allowed, because we would prefer to encourage home development in the rural area instead of golf courses. We all agreed. The town administrator suggested that we amend the not allowed designation in the “VR” Village Residential District, as there is already a golf course in the Rec Park and there may be a desire to expand it. We decided to postpone discussion on this topic until our next meeting.
Finally, Tom Williams questioned Ron Weber about zoning board minutes. The zoning board does not produce meeting minutes, rather only decision sheets are produced. We should have access to them. They can be found on-line; however, the town administrator, Nick Zaiac, agreed that the planning commission should have access to them and will make a point of having the decision sheets sent to us along with the Land Use Administrator’s Report.
As the 9:00 pm time limit on the meeting had been reached, Michael Murno made a motion to adjourn; seconded by Garret Siegel. Motion carried and the meeting adjourned at 9:00 pm.
The next APC meeting will be a regular meeting to be held on April 27, 2023 at 7:00 pm.
Respectfully Submitted By Michael Murno