Planning Commission Meeting Minutes 5.23.19



Minutes of Meeting – Thursday May 23, 2019

Members Present–John Williams, Charles Moore, Garret Siegel, Elliott Nachwalter and Tom Williams

Others Present:

  1. The meeting was called to order at 7:01 pm by John Williams.
  • The meeting minutes of April 25, 2019 were accepted as revised and approved.
  • In the April meeting, John Williams agreed to identify any further references in the draft 2019 Bylaw to the 7.16 Wireless Communication Facilities section, solar collectors and wind turbines.  He issued an 4-26-19 email with the following results.  Based the review, there were no incorrect references in the draft 2019 Bylaw.  However, John reported in this meeting that we need to insert “(See Section 5.1.1.d)” after all the references to “Solar Collectors” in Section 6.

It appears we may be nearing the end of the current revisions to the draft 2019 Bylaw.  Bill Henry would like to issue the current draft 2019 Bylaw to get the new changes in force as soon as possible.

  • The following Land Use Administrators report for May was presented by John Williams for Bill Henry who was on vacation.

Land Use Administrator’s May Monthly Report:

            The following zoning permits were issued:

#3184- John Williams, 209 Sycamore Lane in the Rural District – screened-in deck.

#3185 – Linda Carman, 85 Colebrook Drive in the Rural District – sitting room addition.

#3186 – Bryton Holt, 1799 Old West Road – new garage.

           Other activities:

A Zoning Board meeting was scheduled for May 29, 2019 to review a request for construction of a shed and, since the location does not meet setback requirements, a variance is required.    

241 Raven Rock Road – Notice of Violation issued for operating Aaron Septic and Drain, LLC without a “base of operations” permit. Update: Complaint filed by Attorney Joe O’Dea with the Environmental Court and presented to Sheriff for serving.

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. Update: No documentation on grant received despite requests. No update from State on septic approval.

1398 Old West Rd., pursuing a parked truck trailer for permit requirement. Update: Resident is planning to build a garage(permit issued by Al Godreau) and will remove truck trailer when complete. Trailer was for winter storage awaiting warmer weather to pour a foundation. Resident will advise as to progress.

Other inquiries:

Lease of land for growing hemp- update: There is a plan to construct a green house. While no permit is required for agricultural use, resident is required to notify the town of the location which should conform to municipal setback requirements. This was agreed.

I visited the site of a proposed pond that had been permitted by the previous Land Use Administrator and issued an email report on my findings. I suggest that the Bylaw be reviewed for possible modification as, in this case, I believe that a site plan review by the Planning Commission was warranted, although not currently required as the pond is a permitted use (up to 40,000 sf) and the location met setback requirements (See Bylaw Section 7.13).

I am in discussions with the owner of a dilapidated house at 3104 RT 313 W. While there is agreement to tear it down and dispose of it, it is a financial burden to the owner. The owner is proposing to do this in stages and is looking for guidance to reduce the cost? Keith Squires is checking with the fire dept. but feels it an unlikely candidate for training (due to location and state approvals required, asbestos, etc.).

Forwarded Joe O’Dea’s comments regarding a “right-of-way” question raised at the last meeting.

The right of way definition was discussed again regarding the usage term.  We decided to discuss this with Bill at the next meeting.

We also would like both the names of the property owners and addresses in the section of other activities in the Land Use Administrator’s report..

  • On 5-21-2019, Charles Moore emailed a pdf file of a draft of the new Section 14 on Energy for the Arlington Town Plan to the Planning Commission members for review.  He handed out copies of this Energy Plan for comments in this meeting.

The current 2015 Energy section is less than 2 pages compared to 20 pages in the new draft 2019 Energy section.  This more comprehensive Energy section was written to provide information on current energy usage, the available options to reduce energy usage and the options to convert to 90% renewable energy by 2050 to meet the main goal of the 2016 Vermont Act 174.  This section will be a great contribution to the town plan.

The draft Energy Section was discussed page by page with minor comments and requests for more definitions in the glossary and references such as the following.

What would be the change in cost of living if all our energy came from electrical at the current $ per kw-hr?

Add more subsection definitions such as 14.3.a … 14.3.h.

Definition of LEAP on page 85.

Include comment on the Google information that woody biomass is more harmful to the environment than fossil fuels on page 88.

Reference the sources for information on local enforcement and building codes for new construction and renovations on page 88.

On page 89, “Electricity usage is expected to increase to 105.8 thousand million BTUs by 2050.”  Please convert this to kw-hr for average resident and show cost at current or projected $/kw-hr.

On page 90 and 91, the text will include lists of the municipal and school energy improvements without a detailed analysis of past savings.

On page 90, definitions should be added to the glossary for 90X50, NWWVT HEAT Squad and BROC’s SAVES.

On page 92 in Table 3.1, add improve cell service to Electric and Broadband.

On page 92 in Box on Areas for Land Use Regulation, add definitions or references for terms.

On page 93, add comment that state review is needed on impact of additional wastewater treatment systems on the environment of the Battenkill river.

On page 95 with figure of Arlington Generation Sites add definition of PV or use Solar instead.

On page 96 in the box on “Arlington Local Constraints” refer to the other sections of the Town Plan for descriptions of each constraint.

On page 97, add definitions of PUC and CPG to glossary and change “see Figure 4.4” to see Figure 4.5.

On page 97 under “Siting Criteria” add “Minimize the scenic impact on the Battenkill river valley.

On page 98, should the definition of steep slopes be as high as greater than 25%?

On page 99 under “Biomass” paragraph, note potential environmental impact of biomass burning.

On page 101 in the box “Preferred Sites Methodology”, we need more discussion on how and when the town will contact owners of potential preferred properties by letter and the process of response by the owners.

The figures are fantastic, but we need to tell the reader to visit the town web site to expand the figures to view their street by accessing the pdf files.

  • After the review of the Energy section text, Charles Moore presented the solar and wind turbine preferred site figures blown up to table size for a more detailed view of preferred sites of solar and wind turbines.

On the solar map, there were many preferred sites with a good orientation for the sun, near major power lines and with good access.  Many of the preferred sites were in the south east corner of the town of Arlington.  Additional preferred sites were in West Arlington on the north side of Route 313. 

On the wind turbine map, there were only a couple sites with prime wind conditions.  These sites were far from large power lines and major roads.  On the other hand, these sites would not be visible from residential or tourist areas.  A developer would have to evaluate the additional cost of roads and major power lines to site wind turbines in these remote areas.

Charles Moore and Garret Siegel will continue to refine the text of the Energy Section, evaluate and identify preferred sites and work on a methodology to work with owners of the preferred sites.

The meeting was adjourned at 8:45 pm. The next meeting is scheduled for Thursday, June 27, 2019 at 7:00 pm.

Respectfully Submitted by: John Williams

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