Draft Planning Commission Minutes, 2-3-2020





Members Present: Shannon Haggett-Chair, Mike Winslow-Vice Chair, Danelle Birong, Carrie Macfarlane, Tim Cook, John Coburn, Cheryl Brinkman (left at 7:50 pm)


Present: Peter Garon – Zoning Administrator

Chair Shannon Haggett called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m. He asked if there were any amendments to the agenda. Cheryl Brinkman requested that item 7a (areas of interest update – energy planning) be covered first as she had to leave the meeting early. Everyone agreed.

  1. Item 7a – Areas of Interest Update, Energy Planning – Cheryl Brinkman reported on an energy meeting organized by Addison County Regional Planning Commission (ACRPC). It included representatives from area energy committees and organizations. The focus of the roundtable was that there are a lot of resources available if the city wants to start an energy committee. Cheryl Brinkman is hopeful we will and noted it is a recommendation in the proposed enhanced energy plan. ACRPC can provide public relations assistance, planning help, and work on setting up local meetings. She said that state money which was used to help develop local energy plans can now be used to set up committees and otherwise assist towns with energy issues.
  2. On motion by Mike Winslow, seconded by Tim Cook, and approved by all, the minutes of the Public Hearing of January 6, 2020 were accepted as written.
  3. On motion by Cheryl Brinkman, seconded by Danelle Birong, and approved by all, the minutes of the regular meeting of January 6, 2020 were accepted as written.
  4. Shannon Haggett outlined the adoption process for the Municipal Development Plan. Thirty days notice is required for the warning of the City Council public hearings. Those hearings will be held on February 25, 2020 and March 10, 2020. Both hearings will be at 6 P.M. at the fire station. After city council adopts the plan, it will go the ACRPC Local Government and Energy committees for review and public hearing. Those committees will forward their recommendations to the full ACRPC for adoption. If there are no delays, the process should be completed by mid-April.

Subsequent to that approval, the Commission will begin review of the regulations and Shannon Haggett hopes to conclude that review in 3 to 4 months.

  1. Chair, Shannon Haggett shared informal comments on the Municipal Development Plan received from Katie Raycroft-Meyer at ACRPC. After review, the Commission felt that her comments under “Natural Resources” and “Flood Resiliency” were non-substantive and could be accommodated without any further action. Her comment about a table which seemed to be missing from the text was because both the table and reference to the table had been removed from the most updated version of the proposed plan. The Commission felt that the way the plan addressed “Implementation” satisfies the requirements of 24 VSA § 4382

There was discussion of the map on page 52 with the question being whether the Commission want an aerial map, or the loop map which is now included in the plan. The feeling was that the aerial map would be difficult to see in the plan. However, the loop plan map needed non-substantive clarifications. Shannon and Tim will request those changes from Kevin Behm at ACRPC.

Danelle Birong asked about the first section of page 51 being written in the first person, unlike the rest of the plan. It was decided that these would be non-substantive changes and should be fixed at the time of final proof-reading of the plan after adoption.

  1. It was decided to cancel the regular March meeting of the Planning Commission, as the next significant order of business at that time would be to review the results of the City Council public hearings which do not conclude until March 10. The next regular meeting will be scheduled for April 6, 2020.
  2. Items of Interest
    1. Transportation – Mike Winslow reported that the 2020 Downtown Transportation Fund grant applications are due March 9, 2020. The grants can be used for improvements on city land and within or serving a designated downtown district. He reported the City may consider an application for increased lighting near the City docks at the base of the falls.
    2. Stormwater – Mike Winslow reported that a state wetland grant program had been canceled for now. VUHS had previously considered applying for a grant under this program, but had opted not to submit an application.
  3. New Business – Danelle Birong reported that both the 2020 Route 22A/Main Street Paving Project and the Triangle Bike Loop Project will be discussed at the Annual City Meeting.
  4. The meeting adjourned at 8:05 P.M.

Respectfully submitted,

Peter Garon, Recording Secretary

These are draft minutes and have not been reviewed or approved by the Commission.