TOWN OF WEATHERSFIELD, VERMONT
MINUTES OF PLANNING COMMISSION MEETING
Monday, 10 September, 2018
- Call to Order - Chair, Nancy Heatley called the meeting to order at 7:03pm.
Introductions: Howard Beach, Sven Fedorow (Land Use Administrator), Nancy Heatley, Paul Tillman, Michael Todd, Julia Lloyd Wright (Energy Coordinator, ex-officio)
Visitor: Ed Morris, Town Manager
- Agenda Review - 10 September, 2018
A motion was made by Michael Todd to move all further agenda items down to allow Ed Morris to speak on offering Sven Fedorow a full-time position which was proposed on 27 August, 2018, seconded by Howard Beach. Voted: Unanimously.
Ed Morris presented the proposal to the selectboard, they asked questions on funding a full-time position rather than part-time employees. Ed Morris assured them the money was there to cover the expanded position and the work of Land Use Administrator. Planning Commission and Town work will be prioritized. The Board approved the request from the Planning Commission and the Town Manager. Sven Federow accepted the position and will focus on one day a week to complete the rewritten bylaws and research and also keep the same office hours. He will work on a new Town website which will include application forms to be completed on line.
The Town is moving towards encouraging economic development and Sven Fedorow will also help set up this future process.
III. Approval of Meeting Minutes - 27 August, 2018
A motion was made by Michael Todd to accept the Minutes of 27 August, 2018, seconded by Howard Beach. Voted: Unanimously .
- Zoning Bylaw Sections
- Sample of new zoning district format
- Implemented based on discussion on 27 August
The newly revised 2.5.6 Conservation (C-10) one-page format for Zoning Permitted and Conditional uses was discussed.
- Reconsideration of how “Principal uses” and “Conditional uses” listed; to be further discussed in agenda item 4(d)
- Maximum Building Height definition
- Expanded to include various exempt structures
During discussion it was agreed to retain the old definition of Structure: An assembly of materials for occupancy or use for more than six (6) months. Fences, gates, landscape timbers, sculptures, memorial monuments, TV antennae, and satellite dishes are not structures - with the addition of “for the purposes of this bylaw.”
Minor Structures was addressed as “Any new single-story, non-residential structure with a footprint of 150 square feet or less.” “No single structure may have a footprint greater than 150 square feet.”
Sven Fedorow will further address rulings on fences.
- Amended to refer to “lowest visible” foundation point
This item will be further researched.
- Noise Bylaws
- Sample ordinances from other Vermont municipalities
The Commission reviewed a comprehensive Chapter on Noise Control definitions for the Town of Woodstock and standards from Windsor, Westminster, Leicester and Moretown.
Paul Tillman asked if the town had a calibrated decibel meter, who uses it and how violations were enforced. This item will be on the next agenda to review town ordinances, bylaws, day and night infractions, shooting and acoustics. This was also viewed as a landlord responsibility to be further discussed.
- “One principal use”: Continued from 27 August
- Potential amendment to rule: Same materials as for (a).
Discussion covered principal and accessory uses and Sven Fedorow will research amending the definition for residential use. Proposed accessory use square footage was also discussed and how many accessory buildings can be accommodated if there is sufficient land available. There were concerns regarding the 4,000 square feet per accessory building for a business.
- List of bylaws to seek early approval for & amendment to deer wintering bylaw
Sven Fedorow said he spoke with Forrest Hammond, Fish & Wildlife Biologist for the State of Vermont, Fish & Wildlife Department. Deer wintering areas are protected habitat and clear-cutting in large areas for development lead to fragmentation. The State has maps showing these areas but some need to be updated. No wood cutting of trees within 500 square feet of a deer yard. The Conservation Commission is also protective of endangered species such as plants and bat roosting trees. Sven Fedorow will look at proposed amendments for the bylaws.
- Notes/Comments/Agenda Proposals for next meeting
Next Meeting 24 September, 2018
The following ten bylaws will be ready for Ed Morris to take to the selectboard:
Off-Street Parking; Signs; Lighting; Home Business; Gas Stations & Convenience Stores; Waivers; Accessory Dwellings; Mobile Homes; Building Heights and Small Enterprises.
A motion was made by Michael Todd to warn a hearing to review ten completed Zoning Bylaws beginning at 7:15pm on October 9, 2018, seconded by Howard Beach. Voted: Unanimously.
Other items for the next meeting agenda:
Town Plan: Land Use Maps and review any modifications.
A motion to adjourn at 9:23pm was made by Paul Tillman, seconded by Howard Beach. Voted: Unanimously.