Development Review Board Minutes
Regular Meeting, September 16, 2019
Members Present: Chair Brent Rakowski, Vice-Chair Don Peabody, Steve Rapoport, Tim Cook, Carrie Macfarlane, Teresa Hyndman
Members Absent: Jason Mullin
Guests: Bob Trepanier, Lesley Deppman, Jubilee McGill, Helene Murphy, Julie Basol, Bob Feuerstein, Kimberly Trombley, Lynn Donnelly, Linda Cook, Colin Davis, Katherine Werthmann, David Austin, Ashley Robinson, James Amblo
Present: Zoning Administrator Peter Garon
- There were no amendments to the agenda.
- Public Hearing – To consider a request by Frank Trombley, owner, and Vermont Redemption Inc., applicant, for site plan approval and conditional use approval to build an accessory structure to house a can bailer. The request will be considered under Article VII, Article VIII, and Section 1613 of the Zoning and Subdivision Regulations.
Chair Brent Rakowski read the warning and swore in Kimberly Trombley. The hearing was recorded (A 9/9). Kimberly Trombley went through the packet, which was entered into evidence, which explained the proposal to build a 14 by 14 foot shed, 14 feet high, to house a can bailing machine. It will be used only for the business on site, and will operate during day time only. There will be no outside lighting. The building will be insulated against noise, keeping it at 100 decibels maximum. It will be constructed within required setbacks.
Upon motion by Don Peabody, seconded by Tim Cook, and approved unanimously, the public hearing was closed and the application was moved to deliberative session.
- Public Hearing – To consider the request by Kennedy Brothers Inc., owner, and Shacksbury Cider, applicant, for conditional use approval to change the use of the second floor of the so-called “creamery building” to enclosed manufacturing (cider brewing, bottling), restaurant, and indoor recreation (2 shuffleboard courts). The request will be considered under Article VIII and Section 1613 of the Zoning and Subdivision Regulations.
Chair Brent Rakowski read the warning and swore in Colin Davis and Bob Feuerstein. The hearing was recorded. The applicant withdrew his request for a restaurant and shuffleboard court. He provided an application packet for the hearing. The applicant noted there would be no exterior changes and only slight changes in traffic. There would be a reduction in traffic between his two Main Street locations. He may possibly add one or two employees. The change would not create any additional parking needs.
Upon motion by Tim Cook, seconded by Steve Rapoport, and approved by all, the public hearing was closed, and the application was moved to deliberative session.
- Public Hearing – To consider a change of use request by James Amblo for the front portion of 214 Main Street from Retail to Office; for a new use for the rear portion of the first floor as a Professional Studio; for a new use for the vacant area of the third floor as a residence; and a waiver of parking regulations. The request will be considered under Section 1609, Article VIII, and Article XII.
Chair Brent Rakowski swore in James Amblo, Bob Trepannier, Lesley Deppman, Jubilee McGill, Helene Murphy, Julie Basol, Lynn Donnelly, Linda Cook, Katherine Werthmann, David Austin. The hearing was recorded. The Chair received a petition from 10 residents/property owners seeking interested party status, and designating David Austin as spokesperson. The petition was accepted.
James Amblo withdrew the portion of the application relating to a new third floor apartment. He presented his application to change the use of the front 110 square feet of the first floor from retail to office, and a vacant 482 square foot at the back of the first floor to Professional Studio, and a request for a waiver of off-street parking requirements. The application and testimony identified SaVida Health as the tenant of the front space, and Katie Werthmann as the tenant of the rear portion of the first floor.
James Amblo submitted, with the application forms, a diagram of the first floor, a brief statement of general purpose of the changes, a brief description of the SaVida operation, indicating there would be a counselor, and doctor and up to 5 employees in total. Between one and eight clients would be seen daily between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. He also provided information that the back tenant would provide massage and reflexology services to one client at a time, Monday through Sunday, 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.
The written application included a description of plans from Katie Werthmann. It also included a statement from Helene Murphy describing the SaVida proposed operations.
Mr. Amblo noted that there would be no medications dispensed on site. Chair Brent Rakowski asked why the operation did not qualify as a Medical Services Facility. Mr. Amblo thought it fit under Professional Services. Don Peabody noted that it wasn’t just a generic office, but one containing professional services. Carrie Macfarlane expressed concern about the lack of on street parking.
David Austin questioned the Chair about the standards of review should this use be categorized as a permitted use. Chair Brent F. Rakowski said the Board was reviewing under general performance standards, and not under conditional use review. The review was considering the application in its entirety. Mr. Austin provided a variety of material to demonstrate that the use on the front of the first floor by SaVida Health was better characterized as a Medical Services Facility than a professional office. Mr. Austin provided the Board with the following documents:
- a handout from SaVida Health entitled “Specialty Addiction Practice Providing Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) for Opioid and Alcohol Use Disorder”
- a document entitled “Provider Information for 1598225021”
- a document from the Department of Health and Human Service explaining about a National Provider Identification
- a document describing Suboxone.
Linda Cook, Lynn Donnelly, and Julie Basol all provided comments that the space was better used as retail rather than an office of any nature.
Helene Murphy, representing SaVida, noted that SaVida does not provide methadone, and is not proposing to dispense medications. They will occasionally write prescriptions. They do not provide medical services, but do counselling and therapeutic services. They have offices in Newport, Springfield, and Bennington. All are much larger than the proposed Vergennes operation. They did not open as planned on Monday and do not plan to open until the application process is complete.
Upon motion by Don Peabody, seconded by Teresa Hyndman, and approved by all, the public hearing was closed, and the application was moved to Deliberative Session.
- Ashley Robinson presented her application for a conditional use review and parking waiver request for a change of use of garage at 19 South Water Street to a home occupation and dwelling unit (Multi-family residence). Carrie Macfarlane recused herself from considering this application.
Her proposal was to move into the front unit of the duplex and use the garage for an office. She also wanted to make good use of the garage space and create a dwelling unit there. The Board discussion noted this would in essence create a multi-family dwelling which isn’t allowed in the district. Because she has a duplex she can not have an accessory dwelling unit.
The Board advised her to work with the Zoning Administrator on further plans for the property.
- Pending Decision – Hassan application for demolition of 40 North Street. The deliberative session continued. Don Peabody presented material for discussion but Chair Brent Rakowski ruled it out of order. Changes were made in the draft. A motion was made by Tim Cook and seconded by Steve Rapoport to direct the Zoning Administrator to redraft the approval letter for review and signature of the Chair. The vote was Tim Cook, Steve Rapoport, and Carrie Macfarlane in favor with Don Peabody and Teresa Hyndman opposed. Chair Brent F. Rakowski abstained from voting.
- Pending Decision – Blaise application to replace structure at 140 Green Street. The deliberative session continued. Changes were made in the draft decision. Chair Brent Rakowski made a motion seconded by Teresa Hyndman to direct the Zoning Administrator to redraft the approval letter for review and signature of the Chair. Chair Brent Rakowski, Teresa Hyndman, Don Peabody, Tim Cook, and Carrie Macfarlane voted in favor of the motion. Steve Rapoport voted against the motion.
- Pending Decision – 29 Short Street LLC application for multi-family residence at 29 Short Street. The deliberative session continued. Changes were made in the proposed draft decision. Upon motion by Don Peabody, seconded by Teresa Hyndman, and approved by all, the Zoning Administrator was directed to redraft the approval letter for review and signature of the Chair.
- Election of a Secretary for the DRB was deferred.
- The minutes of the regular meeting of August 19, 2019, were reviewed. On motion of Steve Rapoport, seconded by Tim Cook and approved by all the minutes of the meeting of August 19, 2019 were approved. The minutes of the special meeting of August 29, 2019 were reviewed. On motion of Steve Rapoport, seconded by Chair Brent Rakowski, and approved by all the minutes of the special meeting of August 29, 2019 were approved.
- Upon motion of Chair Brent Rakowski, seconded by Steve Rapoport, and approved by all, the deliberative session was deferred.
- The meeting adjourned at 10:30 p.m.
Peter Garon, Acting Recording Secretary