CITY OF VERGENNES
DEVELOPMENT REVIEW BOARD
MONDAY, JULY 16, 2018
Members Present: Peter Garon, Brent Rakowski, Tim Cook, Jason Mullin,
Don Peabody, Steve Rapoport
Members Absent: Jason Farrell
Meeting Guests: Jory Raphael, Anna Charlebois, Dan Pflaster, Zhen Ting, Ling Lee
Present: Zoning Administrator Mel Hawley
The Development Review Board conducted a site visit of the property owned Jory and Stacy Raphael at 84 Green Street at 6:30 p.m.
1. Public Hearing – Jory and Stacy Raphael, 84 Green Street, Demolition of Accessory Structure in Historic Neighborhood District (see Section 1604.F.11)
Peter Garon read the public hearing notice and swore in Jory Raphael. No abutting property owners were in attendance. Jory Raphael explained their plans to tear down the deteriorated accessory structure on their property. He said the roof is leaking badly, the foundation is not stable, and the building is not structurally sound. He said they have been unable to determine the age of the structure but felt it did not contribute to the historic or architectural character of the district. He said the building is not in the official registry of historic structures in the Vergennes Historic Residential Area. Zoning Administrator Hawley said the building was not reflected in the 1910 insurance maps prepared by the Sanborn Map Company. Jory also felt that removal of the building or structure was necessary for safety reasons. The regulations further state that demolition may be considered if the building does not contribute to the historic or architectural character of the district as determined by the Development Review Board. Tim Cook noted during the site visit there was only a single top plate which is an indicator that the building was not built during the time the neighborhood was originally developed. With no further testimony, Tim Cook moved to close the public hearing and that Zoning Administrator Hawley be directed to draft an affirmative decision for review at the next meeting. The motion was seconded by Jason Mullin with all voting in favor.
2. Lincoln Geronimo, LLC, (Owner) and 35C, LLC (Applicant), 33 Green Street, Change Use of Community Center to Retail Store, Site Plan Review.
Ian Huizenga presented an application involving his plan to take over the space that will soon to be vacated by the Boys and Girls Club. He said he needs additional space for his two restaurants (Antidote and Hired Hand) for cooking, food preparation, and storage. He explained that he has incorporated retail sales of the locally brewed beers at Hired Hand. He said more space is needed for this as well. He said at some point, he plans to locate two fermenters in the space for on-site brewing. Ian outlined the proposed changes to the interior space. Zoning Administrator Hawley listed the application as a change of use from community center to retail store but members felt the retail store is an affiliated and subordinate use to the restaurant. Brent Rakowski asked if the fermenters were part of this application or a future request as such activity would require an assessment of wastewater discharge. Ian confirmed the purchase and installation of the fermenters are not part of this application. This property does not have any off-street parking and, therefore, and waiver is required. It was suggested by members that a re-assessment of parking requirements be conducted. Steve Rapoport moved the application be deemed complete and that a public hearing be authorized for August 20, 2018. The motion was seconded by Tim Cook with all voting in favor.
3. Pflaster Investments, LLC (Owner), Zhen Ting and Ling Lee (Applicant), 10 Main Street, Change Use of Portion of First Floor from Office to Restaurant and Construct Addition for Restaurant, Site Plan Review, Conditional Use Review
Anna Charlebois reported she was in attendance on behalf of her clients, Zhen Ting and Ling Lee, who have a purchase and sale agreement with Dan Pflaster for the property at 10 Main Street. Peter Garon said he felt he should disclose that he has discussed this project with Anna outside of a public meeting. Anna said her clients have engaged architect John McLeod and provided a site plan and photos showing existing conditions and an addition planned for the back of the building. She said that Zhen and Ling plan to move their take-out Chinese food business (Shuen Lee) which is in the Ferrisburgh Shopping Center. She said the new location would still offer take-out but would have be a restaurant with seating for thirty-six patrons. Outside seating is also contemplated. They project there will be eight employees. Members critiqued the site plan and provided a number of suggestions. The location of a dumpster was identified but did not reflect screening which is required. They also suggested the number of islands be reduced so there are only two openings. Anna was reminded of the specific standards in the Northern Gateway District relative to pedestrian circulation. Anna was asked to have their architect consider angle-parking encouraging entry from the north. A concrete sidewalk was also suggested along the front of the building to provide safe access to the front door of the business. Steve Rapoport moved that a public hearing be authorized for August 20, 2018 provided a modified site plan is delivered by August 2, 2018. The motion was seconded by Tim Cook with all voting in favor. Zoning Administrator Hawley suggested that the board conduct a site visit in advance of the public hearing. Members agreed and set a site visit for 6:30 p.m. on August 20, 2018.
4. Pending Decision – Dr. Maja Zimmerman and Peter Voorhees (Owner), Boys and Girls Club of Greater Vergennes (Applicant), 20 Armory Lane, Change Use from Medical Services Facility to Community Center, Site Plan Review, Conditional Use Review
As directed, Zoning Administrator Hawley drafted an affirmative decision approving the application by the Boys and Girls Club. Don Peabody moved to authorize Peter Garon to sign the decision in its final form on behalf of the Development Review Board. The motion was seconded by Steve Rapoport with all voting in favor.
Zoning Administrator Hawley reported that in light of his resignation as Zoning Administrator effective July 24, 2018, he took the liberty to prepare a draft decision involving the application by Jory and Stacy Raphael. Brent Rakowski moved to amend the agenda to take up the pending decision by Jory and Stacy Raphael.
5. Pending Decision – Jory and Stacy Raphael, 84 Green Street, Demolition of Accessory Structure in Historic Neighborhood District (see Section 1604.F.11)
Zoning Administrator Hawley explained that he prepared the draft decision modeled after the decision involving the demolition of an accessory structure in similar condition approved for Brett Simison and Amy Yuen. Tim Cook moved to authorize Peter Garon to sign the decision on behalf of the Development Review Board. The motion was seconded by Brent Rakowski with all voting in favor.
6. Review and accept minutes of previous meetings
The minutes to the regular meeting of May 21, 2018 were reviewed and corrected. Steve Rapoport moved to approve the minutes as corrected. The motion was seconded by Jason Mullin with all voting in favor. The minutes to the meeting of June 18, 2918 were also reviewed and corrected. Tim Cook moved to approve the minutes as corrected. The motion was seconded by Brent Rakowski with all voting in favor.
7. Other Business
Don Peabody reported on the exterior lights at the post office and thanked Zoning Administrator Hawley for taking the time to meet with him and the maintenance personnel at the post office in hopes of correcting the situation.
Peter Garon said this is the last regular meeting of the Development Review Board that Mel Hawley will attend as Zoning Administrator for the City and offered a proposed motion of gratitude to Zoning Administrator Hawley for his extraordinary service to the Development Review Board. The Chair noted that mere words cannot capture all that Zoning Administrator Hawley has done to guide development in a fair and consistent manner in the city. His expertise and guidance has led and educated the Development Review Board, helping us become a strong and unified component in a public-oriented planning process. The motion of gratitude was made by Tim Cook who noted that under Zoning Administrator Hawley the Development Review Board has developed a process which, while allowing full discussion of sometimes controversial issues, usually results in unanimous agreement, unusual in the development process. The motion was seconded by Don Peabody and passed with enthusiastic unanimous support.
8. Report of the Zoning Administrator
Zoning Administrator Hawley thanked the members for their years of dedication as members of the Development Review Board.
The meeting adjourned at 9:16 p.m.
Acting Recording Secretary