CITY OF VERGENNES
PLANNING COMMISSION MINUTES
MONDAY, JULY 1, 2019
Members Present: Shannon Haggett-Chair, Mike Winslow-Vice Chair, Danelle Birong, Cheryl Brinkman, Tim Cook
Members Absent: Christine Garrow, John Coburn, Carrie Macfarlane
Also Present: Peter Garon, Zoning Administrator
Chair Shannon Haggett called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m. There were no changes to the agenda, and no visitors were present.
Upon motion by Cheryl Brinkman, seconded by Mike Winslow, the minutes of the regular meeting of June 3, 2019 were approved unanimously.
Chair Shannon Haggett informed the Commission that Mike Winslow, Tim Cook, and Danelle Birong were reappointed to the Commission by the City Council. He also noted that Christine Garrow had withdrawn her request to be reappointed. There was discussion about whether the Commission should seek another candidate or stay at seven members. The sense of the meeting was that as the Commission was well along the process of reviewing the MDP, it would be difficult for a new member to get up to speed, so keeping membership at seven was best. Cheryl Brinkman was reappointed as representative to the Addison County Regional Planning Commission. Shannon Haggett was reappointed as the Vergennes representative to the Transportation Advisory Committee. Tim Cook expressed his interest in joining the housing committee of ACRPC.
Chair Shannon Haggett explained that the Municipal Planning Grant cycle is beginning. The Commission discussed some tentative ideas for grants. Included in those discussions were the Economic Corridor, and a broad look at city budget planning including police and wastewater topics.
Tim Cook, Carrie Macfarlane, and Danelle Birong attended the ACRPC Housing Presentation. The focus was on affordable housing for Addison County. There was a presentation about the new mixed use housing project on Armory Lane. The high cost of construction for this project, nearly $300,000 per unit, was noted. There was also a presentation of affordable housing efforts in Lincoln which featured a community led local effort involving older housing stock. Other discussion topics to increase affordable housing included changes in setbacks, high density housing, easing parking restrictions, and Neighborhood Development Areas.
Cheryl Brinkman presented her redraft of the Pre-School and Non-Public Options. As there were no significant revisions, Shannon Haggett will now add it to the draft MDP.
Cheryl Brinkman presented her Energy Plan draft with a focus on an “enhanced” energy plan. Shannon Haggett noted that there will be several formal reviews of the plan after the Commission has approved their draft. These reviews include the Vergennes City Council, ACRPC energy committee, and the ACRPC. There was discussion of how to present the plan; as an appendix; formatted like the rest of the plan; or format the MDP like the energy plan is done. The Commission liked the formatting of the energy plan and thought following that for the MDP would be best. Suggestions were made for changes in Cheryl Brinkman’s draft. Shannon will make the modifications for the final version.
Zoning Administrator Peter Garon shared with the Commission a recent Development Review Board discussion related to frontage requirements. He thought the issue could use some clarity in upcoming review of the regulations.
Chair Shannon Haggett shared the letter he and Carrie Macfarlane had written on behalf of the Commission with regard to the Economic Corridor.
Next the Planning Commission heard items of interest updates:
- Transportation – Mike Winslow noted that grant applications for a bicycle/pedestrian sidewalk from the Bixby Library to the bridge and another for wayfinding signs have been submitted. He also noted that the Town of Panton has asked the ACRPC to lead a discussion with them about the Economic Corridor.
Tim Cook noted that he has been working with Brent Rakowski and Carrie Macfarlane on issues related to a multi modal transportation route.
- Stormwater – No updates.
- Energy Planning update – Cheryl Brinkman said that the regional energy committee has not met recently. She also noted that Adam Lougee, Executive Director of ACRPC, has grant money for future energy issues.
There was no new business.
The meeting adjourned at 8:45 p.m.
Peter Garon, Recording Secretary