Planning Commission Meeting Minutes (Draft) 6.8.23

Arlington Planning Commission June 8 2023 Minutes

Members Attending: Garrett Siegel, Sebastian Massey, Tom Williams, Sunjit Chawla

Members absent: Elliot Nachwalter, Michael Murno

Others present: Nick Zaiac, Joan Nash

1. CALL TO ORDER at 7:00 pm


3. MINUTES OF PREVIOUS MEETING: Motion by Garrett Siegel, seconded by Sebastian Massey, universally approved by members present


The committee continued discussions of the zoning bylaw revision. The previous discussion had ended on the topic of the definition of storage container. After discussion of aesthetic concerns associated with containers’ use as habitable buildings, particularly noting the possibility of container-based homes rather than the boxes’ use as accessory storage buildings, the group amended the definition. Where use of storage containers for habitation had been banned, the definition was changed to read “Storage containers intended for use as a habitation shall be regulated as a dwelling unit and must adhere to the associated definition.”. The group then turned to the definition of “manufactured home”, where they agreed to remove “of not less than 320 square feet” from the definition in an effort to facilitate “tiny homes” without resorting to a separate definition. On that topic, the group agreed not to specifically regulate such homes, instead relying on existing mechanisms including regulation of manufactured homes, accessory dwelling units, and Planned Unit Developments and subdivision rules for groupings of such homes.

The group briefly considered “qualifying products” in the definition of “on-farm businesses” but made no change. The conversation then turned to length of tenure in the definitions of lodging businesses including “hotel” and “motel”. It was agreed that the definition of “motel” would remove “, but occupancy for more than two consecutive months shall not be permitted”, and similarly “hotel” would have “, but occupancy for more than two consecutive months shall not be permitted” removed. The group agreed to drop “Inns shall not exceed 25 guest rooms.” from the definition of “Inn”. A typographical error was removed from the definition of “cemetery”.

Turning to the definition of “accessory dwelling unit” the group removed “provided that the property is owner-occupied”, acknowledging this change makes Arlington’s bylaw more permissible for such units than the minimum required by state law.

Member Siegel provided a list of 6 definitions to be discussed and considered for inclusion at the next meeting. “Abandoned structure”, “scour”, “flood fringe”, “encroachment”, “compensatory flood storage”, “no adverse impact”. In some cases the group has seen definitions provided but they did not make it into the final draft of the bylaw. The group briefly discussed reorganization of Section 4, but members who had previously raised the associated concern are no longer on the commission.

Addressing the passage of S100, the legislature’s most recent housing law, since the previous meeting, the group acknowledged changes to parking requirements from 2 spaces to 1.5 spaces for multifamily and R-zone single family in Table 5.1. Turning to final edits to previously-approved sections, the group amended Section 3.5.1-Site Plan to include “wetlands and associated buffers” after “flood fringe),”. Amending Section 4.3.2 Special Flood Hazard Area, item 2 to include “Former versions of this bylaw referred to this as the “100 year floodplain”.” at the end of the line.

The group discussed the timeline for adoption, with final touches the next regular meeting, an advertised public meeting in early July, and Select Board adoption by the end of July.


Next meeting.

7. Next meeting: Regular meeting 6/22

8. ADJOURNMENT: Motion to adjourn Sebastian Massey, Seconded by Garret Siegel, 4-0 meeting adjourned at 8:35 pm

Respectfully submitted by Nick Zaiac