Zoning Bylaw Public Hearing Minutes 8.24.23



Minutes of Meeting – Thursday August 24, 2023

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

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

Attendees from the Public: Jon Murray – 7 Battenkill Lane, Alex Ernst – 132 Trout Run, Douglas Porczynski – 351 Deer Run, Bill Henry – 5495 River Road, Eleanor Murno – 120 Walnut Court, and Cynthia Eisenstein.

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 Michael Murno, seconded by Garret Siegel; motion carried

Public Comments Unrelated to the Agenda

There were no public comments.

New Business

Chairman Garret Siegel opened the discussion by explain that the Planning Commission has been working to revise the Town’s Bylaw since early 2022 with the assistance of the BCRC. Since then, the Bylaw has been wholly rewritten to make it more user friendly and to reorganize it so that it follows an order of a more logical progression. There have been no changes to the maps, nor the boundaries of the zoning districts. Clarifications have been made as to what is permitted in each of the districts. These are more clearly shown in tabular format in Tables 4.1 and 4.2.  The emphasis and intention of the revised Bylaw was to provide more opportunities for affordable housing development. Including the permitting of smaller and tiny housing. Smaller setbacks have been introduced and consistent with the Home Act.

There were questions from the floor:

  1. Is the new Bylaw available “on Line”?  Yes. The document will be submitted to the Select Board for approval with an anticipated approval by September 11, 2023.
  2. What are some of the changes made? There are more total uses than before and all uses are more defined with more clarity for permitted uses. A Waiver process has been added and time to completion has been extended to two years; three years with the approval of the Land Use Administrator.
  3. Is mill work done at home considered a “Home Based Business” when the actual products produced are sold elsewhere? This would fall into the category of “Home Occupation” if the products are sold at a place other than the home location.
  4. Were the flood sections updated? Yes, more clarity to the section has been added, including a Flood Diagram indicating the flood designations. An enforcement specific set of guidelines was added to Chapter 2, pages 12 and 13, which eliminates previous contradictions.
  5. Other changes include:  Accessory dwelling units (ADW) do not require owner occupancy on the property. For zoning districts, maps can be found on the town website and also on page 29 of the new Bylaw.  Parcels may extend into an adjacent zoning district a maximum of 100 feet.
  6. Regarding violation in the flood plain or floodway, the Land Use Administrator has full jurisdiction. The public was directed to page 12 for reference
  7. The planning commission did consider a river corridor approach to defining flood status, but decided to stay with the definitions for floodway and flood plain.

After reading the Bylaw, questions and/or requested revisions may be directed to the Land Use Administrator, Joan Nash, or Nick Zaiac, Town Administrator. Chairman Garret Siegel reminded the public that the Bylaw is a living document and is subject to change. Nick will keep a record of the comments and suggested revisions. The Select Board is ready to approve the new Bylaw and will do so on September 11, 2023.

As there was no more business to discuss, a motion to adjourn was made by Michael Murno and seconded by Elliot Nachwalter; Motion carried and the meeting adjourned at 7:34 pm.

Respectfully Submitted By Michael Murno

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