CITY OF VERGENNES
DEVELOPMENT REVIEW BOARD
MONDAY, APRIL 16, 2018
Members Present: Peter Garon, Brent Rakowski, Tim Cook, Jason Mullin, Steve Rapoport, Alternate Member Lowell Bertrand
Members Absent: Jason Farrell, Don Peabody
Meeting Guests: Samantha Dunn, Elise Shanbacker, Jean Terwilliger, Andrea Murray,
Joan Devine, Wally Howard, Ralph Wenzel, Paul Paquin, Carl Cole, Roderick Cole, John Cole, Grace Meyer, Michael Dunn, Missa Aloisi, Danelle Birong
Present: Zoning Administrator Mel Hawley
The Development Review Board conducted a site visit of the property owned by H.V. 2005, Inc. on Armory Lane at 6:30 p.m.
- Public Hearing (continued) – H.V. 2005, Inc., Housing Vermont/Addison County Community Trust, Armory Lane, Multiple-family Dwelling, Site Plan Review, Conditional Use Review, Local Act 250 Review
Peter Garon read the public notice and reminded the representatives of the applicant and interested parties that they are still under oath. He also explained that the purpose of the continuance of the public hearing was to accept additional information from the applicant and for new testimony. Jean Terwilliger of Vermont Integrated Architecture said that copies of deeds pertaining to maintenance of the privately-owned portion of Armory Lane have been provided as requested at the public hearing. The traffic impact assessment by Lamoureux & Dickinson is dated January 27, 2009. This assessment was part of the application by H.V. 2005, Inc. for the subdivision that was approved by the Development Review Board on May 4, 2009. Jean Terwilliger said that since there were concerns expressed about the assessment given that it was done over nine years ago, they commissioned their traffic consultant to provide an updated report. The cover letter for the updated assessment stated that their original conclusion that the traffic generated by the proposed project can be accommodated on the adjacent roadway network without creating undue traffic congestion or unsafe traffic safety conditions remains valid. The report indicated that the intersection of Armory Lane and Monkton Road was rated as a level “A” intersection which is considered no delay with less than 10 second wait times, at worst would drop to a “B”, with less that 15 second wait times, with the build-out of Armory Lane Extension. She also reported supplying two letters from the Vergennes Area Rescue Squad relative to their ability to provide services without unreasonable burdens. When asked about landscaping to shield headlights towards Route 22A (Main Street), she said the street is considerable lower than the elevation of the parking area. Paul Paquin said he was disappointed with the site visit as he felt members of the Development Review Board should have viewed the proposed project from the upper level porch of the American Legion. He said the proposed building should be rotated and moved to the west. Joan Devine said the traffic study dated April 12, 2018 does not take into account the current traffic from the American Legion which includes wedding receptions, Little League baseball games, Lions Club meetings, and Rotary Club meetings. She said the report also does not take into account anticipated traffic from the Boys and Girls Club that has plans to move into the property owned by Dr. Maja Zimmermann and Peter Voorhees, development of the lots owned by Roderick Cole and John Cole, and development of the day care facility. She predicted that the traffic will back up on Armory Lane and she will not be able to back out of her driveway. She felt the Board should reject the traffic study for these reasons. Carl Cole asked about garbage handling and the applicant pointed out that an enclosed area is planned at the north end of the parking lot. He also suggested the development have a connection to Route 22A. Jean Terwilliger said that topography and the required stormwater infrastructure precluded a connection road to Route 22A. Carl Cole said that the latter was self-inflicted and also noted that in this instance the applicant’s previous projects and proposed projects are creating the character of the neighborhood. Brent Rakowski asked if 360-degree access is required by the fire department and fire safety regulations. Jean Terwilliger confirmed that was the case which is anther reason why the building location cannot be moved to the north. Carl Cole submitted a letter for the record on behalf of his sons, Roderick Cole and John Cole. With no further testimony, Tim Cook moved to close the public hearing and take up the matter in deliberative session later in the meeting. The motion was seconded by Lowell Bertrand with all voting in favor.
2. Doug Hawley and Mel Hawley, 185 Main Street/6 Green Street, Business Sign for “NFP Insurance”
Zoning Administrator Hawley again explained that he acts on all exterior signs, but in this instance, since he is a part owner of the subject property, he has an obvious conflict of interest and asked the Development Review Board to continue to be involved. He reported having contacted the sign company and NFP Insurance has agreed to use white letters on a green background as was suggested at the last meeting. It was the consensus of the Board that this alternative was acceptable and conformed to the regulations for the district.
3. Denecker Real Estate Investments II, LLC (Owner), Rockfire 14, LLC (Applicant), 14 Main Street, Change Use from Motor Vehicle Sales to Manufacture, Storage, Distribution and Sale of Wine and Hard Ciders, and Retail Sales
Robert Feuerstein, principal of Rockfire 14, LLC, presented an application to change the use of the property at 14 Main Street which was previously operated as Denecker Chevrolet. He explained that he has leased the property which includes an option to purchase. He said his immediate plans are to convert the front 1,000-1,500 square feet to retail with the balance of the building used for warehousing associated with Shacksbury Cider which brews hard cider out of his building across the street. He said he is not proposing any changes to the exterior of the building or site. Lowell Bertrand moved the application be deemed complete and that a public hearing be warned for May 21, 2018. The motion was seconded by Jason Mullin with all voting in favor. Mr. Feuerstein was encouraged to review the specific standards in Section 1610 and be prepared to speak to those at the public hearing.
4. 99 Panton Road, LLC (Owner), NPM Properties (Applicant), 99 Panton Road, Production of Alcohol Spirits, Retail/Tasting Room, Site Plan Review, Conditional Use Review, Local Act 250 Review
Grace Meyer and Michael Dunn, representatives of NPM Properties, and Missa Aloisi of Hinge Architecture, presented an application to develop the property at 99 Panton Road for production of alcohol spirits (potato vodka and potato gin) and associated retail/tasting room. The site plan showed a proposed one-story structure with a footprint of 4,307 square feet. There is also a proposed mezzanine of 1,000 square feet. A patio that is 1,140 square feet and stone wall is planned in front of the building. A fifteen-car parking lot is planned to the east of the building. The site plan also incorporated a landscape plan reflecting a layout using deciduous trees and conifers. Elevation drawings were provided as well. Board members asked about hours of operation, related truck traffic, lighting, and trash handling. Grace Meyer said that the normal business hours would be noon to 7 p.m. and the only trucks involved would be once-a-week deliveries with a box-truck. She said there would be no dumpster or outside storage of materials. Brent Rakowski asked if the sewer line that runs along Panton Road was a City-owned line or privately owned. Zoning Administrator Hawley said that he thought that line has been officially turned over to the City but would investigate and confirm whether that is indeed the case. Brent Rakowski then moved the application be deemed complete and that a public hearing be warned for May 21, 2018. The motion was seconded by Steve Rapoport with all voting in favor.
5. 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
Zoning Administrator Hawley reported that he put this back on the agenda as he suspected that a more complete application would be forthcoming. Since that did not occur, the application was deferred.
6. Pending Decision – Brett Simison and Amy Yuen, 15 Victory Street, Demolition of Accessory Structure in Historic Neighborhood District (see Section 1604.F.11)
As directed, Zoning Administrator Hawley drafted an affirmative decision approving the application by Brett Simison and Amy Yuen to demolish their accessory structure on Victory Street. Tim Cook 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 Lowell Bertrand with all voting in favor.
7. Review and accept minutes of previous meetings
The minutes to the regular meeting of February 19, 2018 were reviewed. Steve Rapoport moved to approve the minutes as corrected. The motion was seconded by Tim Cook with all voting in favor.
The minutes to the regular meeting of March 26, 2018 were reviewed. Tim Cook moved to approve the minutes as corrected. The motion was seconded by Lowell Bertrand with all voting in favor.
8. Deliberative Session – H.V. 2005, Inc., Housing Vermont/Addison County Community Trust, Armory Lane, Multiple-family Dwelling, Site Plan Review, Conditional Use Review, Local Act 250 Review
The Development Review Board conducted a deliberative session regarding the application by H.V. 2005, Inc. which concluded with Lowell Bertrand making a motion that Zoning Administrator Hawley be directed to draft an affirmative decision for review at the next meeting. The motion was seconded by Tim Cook with all voting in favor.
9. Other Business – deferred
10. Report of the Zoning Administrator– deferred
At 9:35 p.m., Lowell Bertrand made a motion to adjourn. The motion was seconded by Tim Cook with all voting in favor.
Acting Recording Secretary