Planning Commission Minutes 07-02-2018





MONDAY, JULY 2, 2018

Members Present: Shannon Haggett-Chair, Mike Winslow-Vice Chair, Danelle Birong,

Cheryl Brinkman, Tim Cook, Christine Garrow, John Coburn

Members Absent: Carrie Macfarlane

Also Present: Mel Hawley, Zoning Administrator

Shannon called the regular meeting to order at 7:00 p.m. He asked if there were any proposed amendments to the agenda. No amendments were requested

The minutes to the meeting of June 4, 2018 were reviewed. Cheryl moved to approve the minutes with corrections. The motion was seconded by Danelle with all voting in favor.

Shannon began an update of the activities of the Zoning Administrator Search Committee. He advised there are four applicants for the position. At 7:05 p.m. Mike moved the Planning Commission enter executive session to deliberate on applicants for the Zoning Administrator position. The motion was seconded by Tim with all voting in favor. At 7:35 p.m. the Planning Commission exited executive session. Danelle moved the Planning Commission authorize the Zoning Administrator Search Committee to submit their nominee of choice for the position of zoning administrator to the City Council on behalf of the full Planning Commission. The motion was seconded by Christine with all voting in favor.

Christine guided the Planning Commission through her updated draft public outreach and participation plan for the municipal development plan re-write effort. The initial public planning event is scheduled for Thursday, September 13, 2018 at the Vergennes Opera House. During the review, action items, deadlines were assigned to members of the Planning Commission. Responsible parties will coordinate their progress with Christine. The results will be reviewed at the August meeting with the goal of having all the necessary tasks completed in time to hold a successful planning session in September.

As part of the review of the public outreach plan, Tim updated everyone on his ideas for the High Density Residential District. In the course of his research on the district, Tim found many of the regulations for the district were legacy from earlier iterations of the regulations and not supportive of high density development. Given the district’s proximity to the City’s designated downtown area, Tim proposed the plan and then the regulations be updated to make the district more compatible with the abutting Historic Neighborhood District in terms of density and setbacks. Everyone agreed this concept was sound and should be presented at the public planning event.

Shannon asked the Planning Commission to recognize the contributions of Mel, the retiring Zoning Administrator and Planning Commission Clerk. He read the following statement and presented Mel with a framed copy of the document:


“We, the undersigned members of the Planning Commission of the City of Vergennes would like to formally recognize the many years of work, dedication and contributions of Mel Hawley.  Over more than forty years Mel has served the Planning Commission in various capacities including as a member of both the municipal and regional boards, as Clerk and as Zoning Administrator, and as a mentor and guide.  The impact he has made on planning and zoning in the City is incalculable.  As he enters retirement, Mel has our gratitude for all he has done for the Planning Commission. His experience, knowledge and wisdom will be sorely missed.

Respectfully submitted on July 2nd, 2018, (signed by Shannon Haggett, Mike Winslow, Danelle Birong, Cheryl Brinkman, Tim Cook, Christine Garrow, John Coburn and Carrie Macfarlane)”

Next the Planning Commission heard items of interest updates:

  • Transportation items update – Shannon reported he attended a meeting for the VT 22A Truck Route Study on June 22, 2018. Attendees to the meeting were Joe Segale and Sommer Bucossi from VTrans, Rick Bryant and Greg Edwards from Stantec Consulting Services, Josh Donabedian from Addison County Regional Planning Commission, Brent Rakowski – the City’s delegate to the Transportation Advisory Committee of the Addison County Regional Planning Commission, and himself. The meeting was held to review the scope of work, establish lines of communication, and set out roles and responsibilities. Among the items of interest, Shannon reported Stantec Consulting Services is targeting a public outreach event in Vergennes on or around September 26, 2018. He will keep the Planning Commission updated as this progresses.
  • Stormwater items update – Mel reported while he doesn’t have the final Vergennes Stormwater Master Plan from Dana Allen of Watershed Consulting Associates, he has a nearly final version. Dana is still working on the sanitary sewer mapping items. Mel stated he would email a copy of the most recent submissions to everyone on the Planning Commission.
  • Materials Management items update – No update.
  • Energy Planning items update – Cheryl reported the Energy Committee of the Addison County Regional Planning Commission was scheduled to hold their second public hearing on July 18, 2018 for the proposed regional energy. She will keep the Planning Commission updated as this progresses. Mel added that with his retirement he is no longer a delegate to the Addison County Regional Planning Commission. Shannon and Cheryl are the City’s delegates and he encouraged others to consider appointment as an alternate delegate as the City is entitled to two alternate delegates which are currently vacant.

Under new business, Shannon reported the 2019 Municipal Planning Grant program has been announced by the Vermont Department of Housing and Community Development. The deadline for applications is October 1, 2018 and grant awards will be announced in early December. Mike asked if this might be too late for our purposes. Danelle responded we would still have eight or nine months of plan update efforts that this might cover. Mike added this might help with printing and other plan costs and materials. Shannon stated we could revisit our potential needs prior to the deadline.

The meeting adjourned at 9:34 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Mel Hawley, Clerk