Planning Commission Minutes -3-11-19




MONDAY, MARCH 11, 2019

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

Cheryl Brinkman, Christine Garrow, Carrie Macfarlane, Tim Cook

Members Absent: John Coburn

Also Present: Peter Garon-Zoning Administrator

Shannon called the special meeting to order at 7:00 p.m. There were no changes to the agenda nor visitors present.

The minutes to the regular meeting of February 4, 2019 were reviewed. Cheryl moved to approve the minutes, seconded by Mike. Non substantive corrections were made and all voted in favor to approve the amended minutes.

In response to an email request from Christine, Shannon provided background information on the statewide planning process and how Vergennes had addressed state guidelines through the Municipal Development Plan (MDP). He noted that the MDP is not only the basis of Zoning and Subdivision Regulations but provides a rationale to support grant funding for City improvements. The current format of the MDP, which is a major revision of prior versions, was initially developed in 2009 with the assistance of planning consultants. As a result of the new MDP, the Planning Commission generated major revisions to the Zoning and Subdivision Regulations in 2010. There were subsequent revisions to the MDP in 2014 and 2017, and corresponding revision to the Zoning and Subdivision Regulations in 2015 and 2018. Currently we are operating on a shortened time frame as the current plan is scheduled to expire by the end of September 2019. Once adopted through a public process, the new plan will have an eight year expiration period rather than the five year period now in effect.

Discussion continued about the purpose of the plan, how it is used, and the various audiences to which it is addressed. With regard to assigning responsible parties for different actions item, it was noted that assigning others to those action items may not be within the Planning Commission’s authority. The Commission preferred alternative language such as potential stakeholders, or potential partners. “Potential Partners” was the preferred language.

Danelle led the discussion of Section 2. Danelle will make modifications in her next draft based on Commission suggestions.

Next the Planning Commission heard items of interest updates:

  • Transportation items update – The public meeting to discuss the newest draft from the TAC with regard to the VT Route 22A Truck Route Study will be presented at a public meeting at the Vergennes Opera House on April 2, 2019 at 7:00p.m. This is a change of date from earlier reports. Mike also reported that he, City Manager Matt Chabot, and Mayor Jeff Fritz recently visited Morrisville to meet with officials there about their experiences in developing their bypass.
  • Stormwater items update – Mike met with facilities management at the Vergennes Union High School who are in support of the planned grant application for storm water improvements, but will need school board approval to move ahead. Because of changes in the grant process, the City will not apply for storm water work at this time. The new requirements involve a loan with a 50% local match.
  • Materials Management – Cheryl recommended that this item be removed as a regular item as the situation is stable at this point after a period with a lot of activity. Everyone agreed.
  • Energy Planning update – Cheryl reported there is an upcoming enhanced energy plan workshop coming up to assist ACRPC to develop a process for approval of local energy plans. She is also exploring what other towns have to offer on the topic. Shannon suggested looking at Leicester’s enhanced energy plan.

There was no new business presented.

The meeting adjourned at 9:24 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Peter Garon, Recording Secretary