CITY OF VERGENNES
PLANNING COMMISSION MINUTES
MONDAY, JUNE 3, 2019
Members Present: Shannon Haggett-Chair, Mike Winslow-Vice Chair, Danelle Birong, Cheryl Brinkman, John Coburn , Carrie Macfarlane, Tim Cook
Members Absent: Christine Garrow
Also Present: Peter Garon, Zoning Administrator
Chair Shannon Haggett called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m. The agenda was amended to add discussion and action on recommending to the City Council reappointment of the Zoning Administrator.
No visitors were present.
Upon motion by Cheryl Brinkman, seconded by Mike Winslow, the minutes of the regular meeting of May 6, 2019 were approved unanimously.
Mike Winslow made a motion, seconded by Tim Cook, to recommend to the City Council the reappointment of Peter Garon as Zoning Administrator. With Cheryl Brinkman abstaining, the Commission approved the motion unanimously.
Shannon Haggett was asked by the City Manager and Mayor for a letter from the Commission with regard to the VT 22A Truck Route Study Addison County, Final Report. The Commission reviewed his draft. Cheryl Brinkman raised a concern about reference to “ensuring environmental protection” in section 4. Carrie Macfarlane suggested changes in language between sections 4 and 5. The Commission, on motion by Mike Winslow, seconded by Cheryl Brinkman, and approved unanimously, agreed to have Shannon Haggett and Carrie Macfarlane work together to develop a letter endorsing the study.
Cheryl Brinkman presented her draft of the Pre-School and Non-Public Options. It was discussed with suggested revisions. She will make modifications based on the discussions and forward a final version to Shannon Haggett.
Carrie Macfarlane presented a draft of Section 5.1, Transportation, which included Shannon Haggett’s entry on “Our Aspirations”, moved to the Transportation Section. Discussion ensued with suggested changes. Shannon Haggett will edit the final version.
Danelle Birong presented Section 3.0, Housing and Population. Suggestions were made for revisions which will be included in a subsequent draft.
There was a brief discussion about the Goals and Policies Outline. Shannon Haggett noted that the format followed an earlier version of the plan. There were suggestions made to pare down the number of items to better emphasize the important sections and reduce redundancy. Mike Winslow and John Coburn noted that the Sticky Dot exercise would be useful to help focus that discussion which will continue at a future meeting when the group is near completion of the proposed plan changes.
Next the Planning Commission heard items of interest updates:
- Transportation – Mike Winslow noted that he has been working on two grant applications for bicycles/pedestrians. One related to a sidewalk from the Bixby Library to the bridge. The other was a small grant for wayfinding signs.
Shannon Haggett informed the Commission that the Transportation Advisory Committee had approved the VT 22A Truck Route Study Addison County, Final Report. Their letter of approval will be considered by the full ACRPC at the June 12 meeting.
- Stormwater items update – Mike Winslow that although the state is adopting new requirements for any projects larger than three acres, Vergennes High School is on the list for expedited review because they had already started the process.
- Energy Planning update – Cheryl Brinkman noted that Adam Lougee, Executive Director of ACRPC, has provided maps and tables for our proposed Enhanced Energy Plan. He has asked that the Commission provide him with any necessary change requests by the end of June so he can conclude his work with Vergennes on this before the end of his fiscal year.
In new business, Shannon Haggett shared communications with Brent Rakowski, Chair of the DRB, about demolition of historic structures in the Historic Neighborhood District. He said that the guidelines on that topic were lacking as the original purpose of the regulation was to allow public feedback on any plans through DRB review.
Shannon Haggett asked members whose term are expiring in August to let him know if they wish to be reappointed on the Commission so he can notify the City Council of their intent.
The meeting adjourned at 9:10 p.m.
Peter Garon, Recording Secretary