Planning Commission Public Hearing Minutes 05-22-2017

CITY OF VERGENNES

PLANNING COMMISSION

MINUTES

PUBLIC HEARING

MONDAY, MAY 22, 2017

Members Present: Shannon Haggett-Chair, Mike Winslow-Vice Chair, Tim Cook, Jason Farrell, Cheryl Brinkman, Morgan Kittredge

Members Absent: John Coburn

Also Present: Mel Hawley, Zoning Administrator; Mayor Michael Daniels, Jeanette Van Buren, David Austin, Joseph Fortune, Cristy Goyette, Robert Feuerstein

Shannon Haggett called the public hearing to order at 7:00 p.m. He read the notice of public hearing and opened the floor for testimony relative to the proposed amendments to the municipal development plan.

Jeanette Van Buren read testimony on behalf of her sister and brother-in-law, Linette and William Poquette. The testimony read, “We are considering a joint project with our new land adjoining neighbor, Scott Hardy. He is proposing developing a shared road on our two properties and developing building lots on either side which the road would grant access to Comfort Hill. Our understanding is that Scott’s property is zoned high density and our property is zoned Agricultural Residential. We would like to know if there is a possibility that we could apply to have less than two acres of our property changed to a higher density zoning to allow the development of 3-5 building lots. We are not interested in changing the zoning of any of our other property because agriculture zoning fits our needs. Sincerely, Linette and William Poquette.”

David Austin testified he is in strong support of the Planning Commission’s work to reinstall language in the plan and regulations to prevent ground-floor residential use in the Central Business District. He stated it had been a long, expensive process to get Main Street to the condition it is currently in and would hate to see it deteriorate. He added he had been part of a consortium that redeveloped the so-called Basin Block years ago when ground-floor residential uses were allowed and it was blight on the downtown. He explained that as a developer he has witnessed cities in other areas allow ground-floor residential and has seen the problems it has caused. He has also seen the work needed to reverse those decisions. He hoped the proposed amendment would move forward and ground-floor residential use in the Central Business District be disallowed.

No other testimony was provided. Shannon Haggett announced the Planning Commission was holding a regular meeting immediately following the public hearing where the received testimony would be discussed. He added the meeting was open to the public and encouraged everyone present to attend. He then closed the public hearing at 7:15 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Mel Hawley, Clerk