CITY OF VERGENNES
DEVELOPMENT REVIEW BOARD
MONDAY, MAY 15, 2017
Members Present: Peter Garon, Chair, Brent Rakowski, Vice-Chair, Jason Farrell, Secretary, Tim Cook, Jason Mullin, Don Peabody, Steve Rapoport
Members Absent: None
Meeting Guests: Scott Hardy, Paul Seyler, Amanda Relyea, Dennis Relyea, Sheila Burlock, Ashley Robinson, Richard Catchapaw, Kimberly Catchapaw
Present: Zoning Administrator Mel Hawley
Chair Peter Garon called the special meeting to order at 7 p.m.
- Public Hearing (continued) – Scott Hardy, 186 Green Street, The Fisher Farm, Planned Unit Development, Subdivision, Accessory Structure, Site Plan Review and Conditional Use Review
Peter Garon read the public notice and reminded attendees who were sworn at the May 8, 2017 public hearing that they are still under oath. Peter swore in abutting property owners Richard Catchapaw and Kimberly Catchapaw who were not at the previous public hearing. Jason Farrell advised he had listened to the May 8, 2017 recording of the public hearing to regain his voting rights. Zoning Administrator Hawley apologized for not including the Catchapaws in the mailing of the public hearing notices as he did not realize that their property runs along a portion of the southerly boundary of the subject property. Peter said that although the hearing was continued for the purpose of receiving comments on the declaration once reviewed by the City Attorney, additional testimony would be allowed on the project in general. Zoning Administrator Hawley said City Attorney James Ouimette has sent the declaration to the title insurance company he uses. His initial comment was that the project is not a condominium but rather a planned community. Scott requested that a suitable version of the declaration acceptable in form to the City Attorney be a condition of approval. Peter said that Development Review Board typically has the final version in hand. Mel said that also it is typical that amendments require approval of the board. Scott submitted a handout showing a number of pictures of storage issues with small homes and also examples of other properties on Green Street that have detached garages in front of the front building line. He also talked about special financing arrangements for the garage. Zoning Administrator Hawley said that the proposed declaration is silent relative to the garage and if a garage does not accompany the unit and if it was rented to someone that does not own in Fisher Farm, that would be considered a commercial enterprise and not allowed in the district. Zoning Administrator Hawley asked that there be testimony relative to the location of the garage since it is in front of the building front line (see Section 1501.A.6) and cannot be the dominant feature when viewed from the street (see Section 1511). Scott said there is already a lot of natural screening along the street such that the garage is not the dominant feature. Don Peabody said that he wished the picture of the existing building extended further to the north to show evidence of the existing trees and shrubs. He also remarked that the large expanse of roof would be the dominant feature unless shielded by plantings. Richard Catchapaw asked why the garage was planned in the front instead of the rear of the property. Scott said he desired limited vehicular traffic to the rear of the development. The board discussed at length whether the public hearing should close in advance of having the final version of the declaration. Jason read a portion of Section 1006.G and asked Scott to describe planned parking for Unit #6. Scott said that unit would use the space adjacent to the garage, at the end of the road, or within the garage. There was further discussion about ownership of the garage which will be reviewed more carefully once an updated version of the declaration is available. Steve Rapoport moved to continue the public hearing on June 5, 2017 with testimony limited to the declaration currently under review by the City Attorney. The motion was seconded by Tim Cook with all voting in favor.
2. City of Vergennes, Vergennes Falls Park, Musical Apparatus, Exempt Land Development versus Land Development
Zoning Administrator Hawley reported the Vergennes Rotary has approached the City Council about developing so-called “Harmony Park” within Vergennes Falls Park and asked for a determination of whether this fell within the exemptions in Section 312 or whether it required site plan review. By consensus, the board deemed that it did not fall under the exemption.
3. Review and accept minutes of previous meeting
The minutes to the special regular meeting of April 17, 2017 were reviewed. Steve Rapoport moved to approve the minutes as corrected. The motion was seconded by Brent Rakowski with all voting in favor. The minutes to the special meeting of May 8, 2017 were deferred.
Report of Zoning Administrator – Zoning Administrator Hawley reported that Jerry Miller had stopped into City Hall when he was not present relative to his plans to locate a food stand on Panton Road where Mr. Ed’s was once located. The staff informed him that he did not need zoning approval. Mel said will be in touch with Mr. Miller.
Other Business – none
The meeting adjourned at 8:40 p.m.
Acting Recording Secretary