Planning Commission Meeting Minutes 4.25.19



Minutes of Meeting – Thursday April 25, 2019

Members Present–John Williams, Garret Siegel, Charles Moore, Michael Murno and Bill Henry (Land Administrator).

Others Present:

  1. The meeting was called to order at 7:01 pm by John Williams.
  • The meeting minutes of March 28 were approved as submitted.
  • Bill Henry introduced and circulated for review to the APC a new publication entitled MAPPING VERMONT’S NATURAL HERITAGE. The publication highlights Vermont’s history and includes maps and other important information.  Bill will obtain another copy for the Commissions use and file the original in his office. The publication can also be accessed at for review.
  • Regarding the definition of Right-Of-Way as adopted at the March 28, 2019 APC Meeting “The legal right, established by usage or grant, to pass through the grounds of property belonging to another” Garret asked the question of what constitutes “usage”. Bill said the he would discuss it with Joe O’Dea for clarification.
  • Three definitions for “Manufactured Home” were discussed, the current one in the 2013 By-Law, one from Catherine Bryars, and one from Bill Henry. After reviewing and discussing them, John Williams made a motion to adopt Bill Henry’s definition, seconded by Garret. Motion carried.
  • Charles Moore was asked to give a status report on the Energy Plan. With respect to Solar, Charles stated since there are only two potential and viable wind locations in Arlington, there is a greater potential for producing solar energy than there is for wind. Charles met with Bill Laberge, who has been installing solar systems in the area for a number of years, who referred Charles to the GMP Grid Maps. The GMP grid maps; however, show limited resources to integrate solar panels with the power lines for credits.  In addition, there is talk that GMP will charge for transformer hookups and lower power payback rates, thus lowering the rates of return for the individual energy producer(s) and virtually reducing the incentive to produce solar energy. We also discussed the limitations of producing solar energy in winter in Vermont.
  • We focused on Bill Henry’s April 19, 2019 email with regard to the By-laws.  Since it was agreed at the March 25, 2019 APC Meeting to eliminate Section 7.16, Wireless Communication Facilities Section, John Williams agreed to identify any further references in the current 2013 By-law and the draft 2019 By-law to the 7.16 Wireless Communication Facilities Section and also solar and wind turbines. 
  • With regard to Section 6.1, it was agreed that at the beginning of the section the following be added: “All uses, in any of the land use districts, whether permitted or conditional, require a permit from the Land Use Administrator.
  • Exemptions as outlined in Bill Henry’s April 19 email were reviewed and addressed as follows:
  1. Required agricultural practices – reviewed and deemed appropriate but not to be built in the Floodway.
    1. Accepted silvicultural practices – reviewed and deemed appropriate.
    1. Forestry operations – reviewed and deemed appropriate.
    1. Hunting, fishing and trapping – reviewed and deemed appropriate.
    1. Communication facilities – reviewed and deemed appropriate.
    1. Normal maintenance and repair – reviewed and deemed appropriate.
    1. Interior alterations or repairs – reviewed and deemed appropriate.
    1. Exterior alterations – reviewed and deemed appropriate.
    1. Residential entry stairs, handicap ramps, walkways and fences – reviewed with questions regarding fences less than 8 feet in height. This item was deferred until our next meeting for further discussion.
    1. Minor grading and excavation – Garret questioned the meaning of “minor grading”. We discussed the question with regard to maintenance and agreed that it would be a judgement call, but certainly nothing excessive.
    1. Outdoor recreational trails – reviewed and deemed appropriate.
    1. Small accessory buildings associated with residential areas which are less than 64 S.F. floor area – reviewed and deemed appropriate.
    1. Garage sales, yard sales, and auctions – reviewed and deemed appropriate.

John Williams made a motion to approve Bill Henry’s modifications to “Exemptions” enumerated in his April 19, 2019 except for (i) above until further discussion at our next meeting. Seconded by Charles Moore. Motion carried.

  1. Land Use Administrator’s Monthly Report

            The following zoning permits were issued:

#3181- Clyde Baker, 13 Old Mill Rd. in the Commercial-Residential District – raised roof dormer.

#3182 – David and Nancy Simcox, 186 Hollerith Rd. in the Rural District – one lot subdivision (exempt under Section 1.05-Subdivision Regs.) (Note: milar plat was filed).

#3183 – David and Nancy Simcox, 186 Hollerith Rd. lot 2B in the Rural District – new residence (tiny home). (Note: State water and wastewater permit filed).

Other activities:

241 Raven Rock Road – Notice of Violation issued last month for operating Aaron Septic and Drain, LLC without a “base of operations” permit. Update: no application submitted, town attorney to draft a complaint to the State Environmental Court.

133 East Arlington Rd. – State issued Notice of Violation 01/31/19 for septic system, not received by resident, but was hand delivered by State 03/28/19. Owner claims notification that a State grant has been received which will allow for construction of a septic system and to become current on delinquent mortgage.

1398 Old West Rd., pursuing a parked truck trailer for permit requirement.

Other inquiries: Lease of land for growing hemp- update: met with owner/lessees to discuss state permit requirement, fencing and future structure permit.

In further discussion Bill Henry added that currently APC does not have a closed loop on permits; that is a certificate of completion is not required.  Bill suggested we consider requiring a certificate of completion.

A new procedure was recently adopted whereby Listers visiting properties with open zoning permits will identify those where construction was not commenced in the one year since issuance of the permit, and issue a letter informing the property owner that the permit has expired and is void. Copies of such letters will be given to the Land Use Administrator for filing in his records and to the Town Clerk for noting in the town computer records of zoning permits recorded.

Additionally, Bill suggested we review the By-Law section on pond construction, as there seems to be a previously approved pond, approved for constructed on a slope, which is evidently having problems. Bill will assess the situation and report back to APC.

The meeting was adjourned at 9:15 pm. The next meeting is scheduled for Thursday, May 24, 2019 at 7:00 pm.

Respectfully Submitted by: Michael Murno

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