CITY OF VERGENNES
DEVELOPMENT REVIEW BOARD
MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 11, 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, Sheila Burlock, Dennis Relyea, Amanda Relyea, David DiBiasi, Peter McDurfee, Paul Torrey, William Benton, Brandon Mendez, Samantha Dunn, Elise Shanbacker, Jean Terwilliger, Andrea Murray
Present: Zoning Administrator Mel Hawley
Chair Peter Garon called the regular meeting to order at 7 p.m.
- Public Hearing – Scott Hardy, 184/186 Green Street, Two-lot Subdivision
Peter Garon read the public hearing notice and swore in the applicant, Scott Hardy, and abutting property owners Sheila Burlock, Dennis Relyea and Amanda Relyea. Scott reported the proposed subdivision is to create two lots. The lot to the north would be 30,000 square feet and the lot to the south would be 48,040 square feet. Zoning Administrator Hawley reported, as he did at the last meting, that he had approved a zoning permit for a two-family dwelling and the abandonment of any use of the former Fisher Flower Shop building which once contained a second floor dwelling unit. Scott noted he was aware the sewer line that serves the subject property and the property at 188 Green Street goes across the property owned by Sheila Burlock and Steven Burlock and that there is no easement of record. He remarked having communicated with the Burlocks and will see that an appropriate easement is obtained and recorded. Brent Rakowski said that monumentation is not depicted on the dividing line on the proposed plat and will need to be added. It was also noted that building envelopes should be depicted on the plat as well. Zoning Administrator Hawley read a letter from Ashley Robinson, who is the principal of Rest Assured Investments, LLC and owner of record of 188 Green Street, which will be made part of the record. Amanda Relyea suggested there be landscaping on the north side of the property. She also questioned the siting of the two-family dwelling given the angle of the building which was not typical for the area. Scott explained that the position of the approved two-family dwelling was to gain full southern exposure for the roof-mounted solar panels. Don Peabody said the proposed two-family dwelling and suggested accessory building should not be incorporated in the subdivision plat for recording. Don Peabody moved to close the public hearing and deliberate later in the meeting. The motion was seconded by Tim Cook with all voting in favor.
2. Public Hearing – City of Vergennes, Canal Street, Storage Container
Peter Garon read the public hearing notice and swore in Fire Department members David DiBiasi and Peter McDurfee. No abutters were in attendance. Zoning Adminstrator reported that Steve Miller, who owns property to the west of the City’s property, called him and said he had no objections to the proposal. David reported the Fire Department would like to position a storage container, primarily to store training props, on City-owned property just west of the Vergennes-Panton Water District office. An altered areal photo was submitted as a site plan. David said they will sandblast the storage container and paint it red. He said the container is standard size – 40 feet by 9 feet and 9.5 feet in height. He said there will be no lights, no signs, nothing will be stored outside the container and the container will be secured. With no further testimony, Brent Rakowski moved to close the public hearing and direct Zoning Administrator Hawley to draft and affirmative decision. The motion was seconded by Don Peabody with all voting in favor.
3. Scott Hardy, Comfort Hill, 4-Lot Subdivision, Sketch Plan Review
Scott Hardy reported having recently purchased the 7.43-acre parcel on the south side of Comfort Hill across from MacIntosh Park from the State of Vermont. Scott provided a revised sketch prepared by LaRose Surveys, P.C. that reflects the property being subdivided into four lots. It again showed three lots on the northeast end of the parcel and a fourth lot to be developed as a planned unit development with twelve one-family dwellings. The revised plan showed lot lines to be at right angles to Comfort Hill as required in the regulations. The three lots, although having frontage on Comfort Hill, would be accessed by a private road to be developed along the northeast border of the property. The plan showed the location of a proposed water main to serve the three lots and the likely location of a gravity sewer line and pump station. Jason Farrell point out that Section 903.B.1 of the regulations states that all public and private roads serving proposed subdivisions shall comply with the City of Vergennes ordinance regarding streets, sidewalks, curbs, drainage and lighting. Scott said that the three lots would be served by a shared driveway. The Board said that it would need to make a determination of whether Section 903.B.1 applied or whether Section 1205 applied for the shared driveway. Zoning Administrator Hawley felt that each lot would have a driveway off the main access road and those driveways would be applicable to Section 1205 but the privately-owned access road would be subject to Section 903.B.1. Jason Farrell moved to continue sketch plan review at the October meeting. The motion was seconded by Tim Cook with all voting in favor.
4. Scott Hardy, Comfort Hill, Major Subdivision, Planned Unit Development, Sketch Plan Review
Scott Hardy presented a slightly revised version of his proposed 12-unit planned unit development on Comfort Hill. Scott was asked at the last meeting to rethink the concept of a storage building near the entrance in light of Section 1511 and that has been removed from the plan. Most of the parking for the units has been moved to the inside of the circular drive. The Board determined that it could not move forward with a public hearing on this proposal until the lot has been created and also Scott was reminded that a complete application must meet the all requirements in Section 1005 of the regulations.
5. Paul Torrey and Jennifer Moulton,, 190 South Maple Street, One-family Dwelling Review Applicability of Section 1511
Zoning Administrator Hawley reported that he invited Paul Torrey and Jennifer Moulton to the meeting to have the Board review the zoning permit that he issued and the accompanying plans. He explained that the construction is underway and wanted to determine whether they needed Board approval as well. Section 1511 states “Attached and detached garages and other accessory structures shall not be the dominant feature viewed from the street.” Paul explained that they wanted their home to be closer to the river with a carport attached to another structure that would contain a workshop on the first floor and an activity room on the second floor nearer to South Maple Street. Board members noted that, under the regulations, only front-loading garages shall not comprise more than forty percent of the total front façade and since this is a side-loading garage, that requirement does not apply. A side-loading garage does require some architectural treatment facing the street, such as a window and door. The plans showed two windows on each floor on the South Maple Street end of the building. The Board deemed there is no action required of the Board in this matter.
6. L.F. Benton Company, 300 Main Street, Changes Portion of Top Floor to Place of Worship, Site Plan Review (see Section 311)
Bill Benton introduced Brandon Mendez who is interested leasing a portion of the top floor of the building at 300 Main Street for use as a place of worship and instruction classes during the week. A floor plan was provided along with a site plan for the property that shows off-street parking. Brandon said he expects there to be not more that fifty attendees at his Sunday services. Zoning Administrator Hawley reported that places of worship or school are allowed in all districts and there is a limitation of review as set forth in Section 311 of the regulations. Don Peabody moved the application be deemed complete and that a public hearing be authorized for October 2, 2017. The motion was seconded by Steve Rapoport with all voting in favor.
7. H V 2005 Inc., Armory Lane, Multiple-family . Dwelling, Sketch Plan Review
Samantha Dunn of Housing Vermont introduced Elise Shanbacker, Executive Director of Addison County Community Trust, and Jean Terwilliger and Andrea Murray of Vermont Integrated Architecture. Samantha presented three preliminary site plans for Lot 2 of their three-lot subdivision on Armory Lane. One of the plans showed three buildings, each with 7-8 dwelling units. The other two showed a single building with 20-23 dwelling units. Samantha said that this project, unlike the project on Lot 3, would not be exclusively for seniors. Although the parcel is 6.51 acres and could accommodate more dwelling units than presented, much of the property is not developable due to the stormwater detention area, wetlands, and steep slopes. Jean Terwilliger said they found inconsistencies in the regulations as it relates to slopes and wondered whether the limitations regarding slope in the subdivision regulations apply. The Board concluded that the lots were previously subdivided and, unless there were limitations reflected on the subdivision plat or findings, those do not apply since a new subdivision is not part of the application. Samantha thanked the Board and said they will return at a later date with more detailed plans.
8. Deliberative Session – Scott Hardy, 184/186 Green Street, Two-lot Subdivision
The Board held a deliberative session on the application by Scott Hardy. Tim Cook moved that Zoning Administrator Hawley be directed to draft and affirmative decision on the application to include a condition to assure there is adequate sewer lines to serve the lots. The motion was seconded by Brent Rakowski with all voting in favor.
9. Review and accept minutes of previous meetings
The minutes to the regular meeting of June 5, 2017 were reviewed. Jason Farrell 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 August 7, 2017 were distributed but were deferred so that members had more time to conduct their review.
10. Report of Zoning Administrator – none
11. Other Business
Chair Peter Garon reminded members of the Board to be conscience of the Vermont Open Meeting Law that precludes a majority of the members of the Board to communicate by e-mail.
The meeting adjourned at 10:10 p.m.
Acting Recording Secretary