TOWN OF ARLINGTON
PLANNING COMMISSION MEETING
Minutes of Meeting – Thursday June 23, 2022
Members Present: Charles Moore, John Williams, Garret Siegel, Elliott Nachwalter, Sebastian Massey, Tom Williams and Jessica Roberts (LUA), and Nick Zaiac (TA).
Attendance Formats: Town Hall, Zoom Video Conferencing or Phone
Other Attendees: Cat Bryars (BCRC), Donna Menneto, Chris Chico, R rock Shtusaj, Richard Stroffolino,Kirsten Dahlgren, Henry Ortega, John Burnham, Nan Pard, Joseph Gervais, Patrick Payton, Cynthia Eisenstein, Joe Kelly, Helen Engel and Mary Jo Diegnan.
- The meeting was called to order at 7:00 pm by Chairman Charles Moore.
- A motion to approve the May meeting minutes was made by Elliot Nachwalter, seconded by John Williams. Motion carried.
- Public comments unrelated to the agenda of this meeting were requested. None were received.
- OLD BUSINESS
Chris Chico presented the application for a base of operations permit at 4022 VT Route 313W. As the driveway location was not labeled as such, Michael Murno requested it be labeled on the site. Otherwise, The APC discussed the application and found it acceptable, as the requirements stipulated at the May Meeting were addressed. Michael Murno made a motion to approve the site plan contingent upon the driveway location be labeled and all construction materials be removed from VT. Route 313, seconded by Elliot Nachwalter, Motion carried
- NEW BUSINESS
- Joe Gervais presented Pike site plan for the conditional use for a saw mill. Joe stated that the LUA requires a permit since the property changed ownership. 3 items for approval were presented in the application, A 12’ X 28’ shed for sawmill operations, a conditional use approval to operate a band saw below the threshold, and a request to be grandfathered because the property has been used as a base of operations prior to the Arlington Bylaws. The site plan shows a 35 foot setback from the road to the log storage area, parking location, and the location of the shed/sawmill. Joe stated the property is in the flood plain by 1 foot, but it’s not in the floodway and it’s 11 feet higher than the intersection at Maple Hill Road and Warm Brook Road. There was some discussion regarding the logs location with respect to the flood plain/floodway. It was noted that John Broker Campbell (ANR) is not concerned since the logs location is temporary (they are cyclically stockpiled, processed and removed). Questions arose regarding noise, complaints from the neighbors, and unsightly conditions. Joe stated that foliage blocks the view from the road, the mill operates at a level of noise equal to a lawn mower, and there have been no complaints from the neighbors. Garret asked if the operation is in designated wetlands. Joe stated that he was unaware of any wetlands. Regarding securing or moving the logs in anticipation of a flood event, it was noted that is a ZBA issue. Joe was advised to clearly label the flood plain and floodway areas prior to going to ZBA. Tom Williams made a motion to approve the site plan as submitted, seconded by Garret Siegel. Motion carried
- Bylaw Modernization – Cat Bryars (BCRC)
John Williams noted that the format of the current draft does not include the x-ed out sections shown in the previous draft and that the APC did not yet approve eliminating those sections. Cat explained that she removed them for clarity for this review and APC will have an opportunity to review those sections side by side with the present draft at our special meeting to be held on June 30. The new sections in this draft are indicated in red type. The format of the current draft follows the process i.e.: Requirements, Administration, and Districts. The goal tonight is to decide if APC wants the Bylaw to include River Corridors (Version 2), or not (Version 1)
Section 22.214.171.124 contains new requirement, the waivers segment is also new. Section 3.5.2 Administration, contains referrals, records, enforcement and variances. Enforcement is also new segment. A question was raised as to what is the process to implement the changes. Once the revisions are made, a public hearing is conducted, and any further revisions resulting from the public hearing are documented and then the document is sent to the select board for approval
A question arose as to what is the goal for the changes. Cat explained the reasons for the changes is to make these sections more user friendly. In addition, FEMA requires certain criteria to be covered in the Bylaw to facilitate obtaining flood insurance. Without those requirements flood insurance would not be obtainable. Going on to Page 4 segment E, Cat explained that this segment is an improvement over the current version as it identifies sub districts and includes graphics. APC agreed with this improvement and welcomed it.
A question arose as to definitions and where to place them. It was suggested that at the beginning of each section there should be a heading entitled “Definitions of terms used in this section”. This would avoid having to flip back and forth to get definitions and make the document more user friendly. Acronyms should be spelled out before using them. It was agreed that the term Encroachment needs to be clarified. Cat said she would look into the suggestion and follow up at our next meeting.
Moving on to section 4.3. Special Flood Hazard Areas (SFHA), it was agreed definition needs to be distinguished from Flood Hazard Areas (FHA) Critical Facilities also needs to be well defined to avoid confusion with other facilities.
With regard to revised flood regulations, it was noted that all regulations must be approved by the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources (ANR) to qualify for flood insurance
The difference between Version 1 and Version 2 is that Version 2 includes regulations pertaining to river corridors as indicated on page 2, Section 126.96.36.199; page 5, Section 4.3.1 E 2; and F2, page 13 Section 4.3.4 A; and page 15, Section 4.3.5. All else is similar to Version 1.
Questions regarding river corridors arose with regard to development outside designated centers and development within designated centers, and what actually is considered a river corridor? Regarding designated centers, an example was given that in West Arlington there is no designated center, but Arlington does have a designated center. With regard to river corridors, the definition was likened to the fluvial erosion area, generally considered to be about 50 feet beyond the top of river banks, but not necessarily so. A professional would need to be employed to determine the limits, but as the river evolves and erosion takes place, these limits can change.
The graphic on page 15 was explained with regard to development limitations within in and outside designated centers. The economic advantages to the town with regard to adopting river corridors into the Bylaw was discussed along with a property owner’s development rights limitations. After much discussion, it was decided that an owner’s development rights should not be limited. A motion was made by Tom Williams not to include river corridors in the revised Bylaw, seconded by Garret Siegel. Motion Carried.
Land Use Administrator’s Report for APC meeting for June 23, 2022 (prepared June 16)
– Zoning permits issued:
-Zoning permits pending:
#3325 – Lot 02-1-06, 4022 VT Rte. 313 W (Menneto): base of operations
#3337 – Lot 13-2-15, 1803 Maple Hill Rd. (Gervaise/Pike): shed/storage, sawmill and base of operations
-Zoning permits denied:
-Compliance Letters issued:
1697 VT Rte. 7A, Lot 09-2-40
-Notice of Violation letters issued:
67 Covered Bridge Road (Kelly): home occupation permit and sign permit required
-Letters to File issued:
5028 River Road (Stockoff): roadside digging, determined no permit required
5827 VT Rte. 313 W (Big Big LLC): three crosses, determined no permit required
Jessica Roberts, LUA 6.16.22 APC=Arlington Planning Commission ZBA=Zoning Board of Adjustment
As there was no further business, Michael Murno made a motion to adjourn; seconded by Garret Siegel. Motion carried.
Meeting was adjourned at 8:44 pm. Our next meeting will be a special meeting on Thursday June 30, 2022 at 7:00 pm.
Respectfully submitted, Michael Murno