Planning Commission Meeting Minutes 7.27.23



Minutes of Meeting – Thursday July 27, 2023

Members Present: Garret Siegel, Sebastian Massey, Elliot Nachwalter, Sunjit Chawla, and Michael Murno

Other Attendees: Joan Nash (Land Use Administrator), Nick Zaiac (Town Administrator)

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 Sebastian Massey, seconded by Elliot Nachwalter; motion carried

Public Comments Unrelated to the Agenda

There were no public comments.

New Business

There was no New Business

Old Business

Garret Siegel reminded the commission that a Public Hearing relative to the Bylaw will take place on August 24, 2023 and a target date to submit it to the select board is scheduled for September 11, 2023. In addition to the customary advertisements in the local media, Garret requested that signing announcing the Public Hearing be placed in front of town hall. The Commission agreed and Nick Zaiac will provide the sign.  Nick then suggested we review the report prepared for the state outlining what we have done by way of revising our bylaw. The report must reflect state Home Act Requirements. The report was projected on the video screen for our review. There were few comments regarding the substance of the report; however, typos were sighted and corrected. We discussed the minimum number of parking spaces to be provided for multi-family dwellings, which were proposed as 1.5 spaces in the current revision, as opposed to 2 spaces in the previous bylaw. A motion was made by Garret to accept 1.5 spaces as the minimum, seconded by Sebastian. Motion carried unanimously.

We continued with revisions to the Bylaw. Michael Murno voiced his reservations regarding a revision to the bylaw made at the June 8, 2023 meeting, which he could not attend. Namely, the removal of the minimum square feet requirement for tiny homes. The previous bylaw required 320 square feet as a minimum. Michael stated that a tiny home is a dwelling unit, which is defined as “any structure or part of a structure designed for permanent residency by one family having complete living facilities with private entrance for exclusive use of the occupants”.  In addition, the bylaw defines “Family” as follows, “Any number of individuals related by blood, marriage, or adoption, or not more than five unrelated individuals living together as a single housekeeping unit.” Michael contended that there should be a square foot requirement based on a minimum of 5 people (the scenario mentioned for “unrelated individuals living as a single housekeeping unit”). There was significant discussion regarding this issue; many felt that there is no need to require minimum house size as there are state regulations that would dictate a minimum house size. The majority agreed with the latter reasoning, but decided to revisit the issue at a later date and potentially revise the bylaw once again. The matter was put to a vote. A motion was made by Sebastian Massey to put to rest the discussion of minimum dwelling size to a later date, seconded by Elliot Nachwalter. There were four ayes and one abstention. Motion carried.

A question was raised by Elliot whether a planning commission member need to be a residents of Arlington. Nick stated that town property owners who live outside the town are permitted to be on the planning commission. Nick sighted that they have an interest in town planning and they offer an outside perspective and a diverse opinion. Whereas, a select board member has to be a resident of Arlington.

Joan sighted a bylaw reference to “holiday lights” and questioned their meaning/restriction.  Holiday lights have specific religious meaning and are intended to be used for a specified number of days during the holiday season. A restriction is placed on them so that they do not become a lighting nuisance. Joan also sighted that under exemptions, regarding “Works of Art”,  we need to add that these must still conform to zoning setbacks as outlined in Table 4.2.

Garret questioned the definition of “sawmill”. For lack of a better definition, the current one will remain.

A motion was made by Elliot Nachwalter to present the current addition of the bylaw to the public at a public hearing scheduled for August 24, 2023 and then to the select board on September 11, 2023, seconded by Sebastian Massey. Motion carried unanimously.

As an aside to Joan Nash, Garret reassured Joan that if she is not satisfied with the condition any site plan that comes before her, the APC stands with her. The applicant must be made to satisfy bylaw requirements.

Garret made a motion to adjourn, seconded by Elliot. Motion carried unanimously. Meeting adjourned at 8:50 pm. Our next meeting is the public hearing on August 24, 2023 at 7:00 pm.

Respectfully Submitted By Michael Murno

Land Use Administrator’s Report for APC meeting of 7/27/2023

Date range: 6/21/2023 – 7/25/2023

Permits issued:

JOHN MENDENHALL               333 East Arlington Rd             VR        17-2-21            Accessory building permit

DUSTIN MILLETTE                   105 Twenty Acre Wood          R          09-2-13.4         Mobile home

THOMAS LEBEICKI                  92 Walnut Court                     R          10-1-45            New residence

JAKOB SENFT                           405 Sunrise Lane                     R          06-1-13            New residence

Pending Permits: None

Permits Pending APC: None

Permits Pending ZBA:

SHERRY SALLISKY                    1027 VT Route 313W              R          12-3-01            Presenting new site map to ZBA on 7/25/23 (approved!)

JOE GERVAIS/ PIKE                 1803 Maple Hill                       R          13-2-15            Wetland determination in favor of applicant (approved!)


Boundary adjustments            193/269 Old Depot Rd            R          09-1-14.1 -.3   Process is complete and recorded


STORMY SWEENY       2912 VT Route 7A                   CRR     22-2-01            Construction w/o permits.  Could not find a permit for the house,

Accessory building(s), container storage(s), and the new roof in front of the garage door erected this past week.

ALBERT VERA              27 Pleasant Street                   VR        20-1-21            Informal violation letter sent 7/20/23 for deck in floodway;

                                                                                                                                    7/25/23 came into office to discuss and remove from floodway.

3358    KIMBERLY BARNES      3383 VT Route 313 West        R          03-3-02            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.

7/25/23 No contact.

3354    KIRSTEN DAHLGREN   5827 VT Route 313 West        R          01-1-10            The Vermont Supreme Court rejected the Battenkill River

Determination Appeal as Dahlgren filed is a day too late.

The Vermont Superior Court Environmental Division has acknowledged the appeal on the base of operations conditions that were approved by the ZBA.

6/15/23 Traveled to the vicinity on River road and 313W to see if the crosses were still there.  Took pictures of all three as evidence for the record that nothing had been done about them.  NOV written and reviewed by Nick, sent certified w/ return card at PO.  Nick forwarded to the town lawyer.  Lawyer for Dahlgren calling me, not returning call, Nick states our lawyer should talk to him after Dahlgren gets the NOV, not me since this is now litigation.

7/25/23 Heard from Dahlgren that she plans to apply for permitting of crosses in new area within setbacks and legal. 

(Update 7/27 application received and approved for moving all 3 crosses within town setbacks.)

3311    SHERRY SALLISKY        1027 VT Route 313W              R          12-3-01            5/4/23 Sent letter on violation to Sallisky

5/16/23 Steve Sallisky (father) visited my office to review the situation, and was convinced that the permitted locations for the RV was incorrect.  Insisted that I walk the property with him to review why he feels this way.

5/17/23 Walked the property and reviewed the situation with Steve Sallisky.  Clearly he had not measured out correctly in several ways, including the current location of the porta-potty, that I brought to his attention.  I emphasized that he / Sherry Sallisky needs to work with ANR to get the location for the concrete pad exactly right  and at the right elevation. I emailed him copies of the APC and ZBA minutes as well as excerpts of bylaws quoted in the latter. 

6/15/23 Sent a second informal letter trying to resolve the situation.  In the letter I stated that if we aren’t on the path to resolution a formal NOV would be created on 6/30/23

7/25/23 Several conversations and deliberations finalized into a legal pathway forward with an accurate site map to present to ZBA 7/25/23.  (ZBA approved new site plan / 180 day use.)

TSCHORN, DOUGLAS & NANCY 3351 VT Route 313 West     R          03-3-03            Operating Kayak business w/o permit

Tenant: Josh Enzensperger        3353 VT Route 313 West      R          03-3-03            1/17/23 Letter to confirm no longer doing business

5/17/23 I’ve been keeping an eye on this situation.  Enzensperger never contacted me to confirm no longer doing business, so I’ve been watching.  There were a lot of Canoes / Kayaks on the property in April (maybe to sell them?), but since then fewer, and no movement.  Will continue to monitor.  

6/20/23 Been by several times and no obvious activity with kayaks.  A few kayaks in the yard haven’t moved.

7/25/23 No change. 

3337    ED & BRENDA PIKE/ JOE GERVAIS 1803 Maple Hill  R            13-2-15            Continuing to follow-up on the sawmill situation in wetlands area.

Since last year waiting for a wetland delineation to be completed.  5/4/23 Gervais now has a contract with Otter Creek Engineering, who will be working on this through July 2023.     

5/18/23 The consultant did the initial site visit and soil samples did not show wetlands in the project area. She will now work to schedule the DNR biologist to do a site visit to concur on the assessment.  

 7/25/23 Otter Creek Engineering reviewed the property thoroughly and found no wetlands on the property.  Plans to present to ZBA and move forward on 7/25/23.

(7/27 ZBA approved for base of operations.)

Certificate of Completion issued:

NATHAN BACHIOCHI  611 Lost Lake Rd         R          11-2-02.001                             In ground Pool

Zoning Compliance Letters Issued:

2023-06-20      16-1-17.000     CI         Toth                 133 East Arlington Rd

2023-06-27      01-1-42.000     R          Nutter             23 Hawley Mountain Rd

2023-07-20      06-2-13.000     R          Yanez               0 Town Line Rd/ 125 Chiselville Rd


2023-07-13      08-2-14.000     FR        Sykes, Albert   0 Grass Mountain Rd              New Residence            Wants to build a primitive residence.

2023-07-18      09-2-21.003     R          Laberge, Bill    45 Emmaus Rd                        New Residence           New residence

2023-07-06      3-2-13.001 ??  R          Pickering, Fred 0 Pickering Hill                       Subdivision?  New residence? 

2023-07-18      04-1-16.000     R          Rezvani, Ramin 188 Fisher Rd                           Pond

2023-07-18      01-1-16.000     R          Wilcox, Amy    5172 VT Route 313 W            Porches/Decks – no permit needed


2023-06-28      09-2-14.000     R          Holt     Brayton           1799 Old West Rd                   Complaint       I found that the owner of the RV is actually the new owner of the 5 acre parcel it sits on, and he has a home being installed very soon.  Nick Zaiac also went up and took pictures yesterday and a letter to the Hoyt’s will be going out shortly.

2023-07-06      19-2-13.000     VR        Neighbors to McLaughlin 9 Walker Meadow 3376    Complaint       The property is trashed and full of junk.  Raises even more of a concern regarding the farming they plan to do.  People are afraid that their property will devalue.  I encouraged them to come to the meeting and share their concerns.  Provided a warning/agenda and a copy of what the “barn” will look like.

2023-07-06      17-2-22            VR        Mendenhall     John     RE: 333 East Arlington Rd       Complaint       333 E.Arlington Rd.  Many junk cars, trash and debris, some on Mendenhall’s property

2023-07-10      09-2-32.000     R          Emery  Karen   0 Old West Road                                 Complaint            Neighbor complaint about digging at Emery property bottom of hill, thinks they are creating a pond.  Unfounded upon inspection.

2023-07-14      09-2-32.000     R          Emery  Karen   0 Old West Road         3369                Complaint            Complains about noise.  Stopped by 9:30 am and there was no one there, all quiet.  Stopped again later in week and no one there.

2023-07-14      10-1-13.000     R          Thompson       Gregory           116 Dry Brook Rd        Complaint            Complaints about junkyard, and the lot is completely full of junk cars and scrap.

2023-07-14      09-2-14.000     R          Holt     Brayton           1799 Old West Rd                   Complaint            Checking on Twenty Acre Wood, junk, RV, e

2023-07-20      20-1-23.000     VR        Vera    Albert  27 Pleasant Street                               Complaint            Citizen complaint that a deck has been added to 27 Pleasant St without a permit. Pictures obtained.  Informal violation letter sent with immediate response.

2023-07-20      13-2-13.000     R          Hayes  Kevin   1091 Warm Brook Rd                         Complaint            Fence or Laundry line in floodway?  Reported by Nick.  It looks like most of the property is in the floodway.  Will watch to see what happens.