Development Review Board Minutes 02-19-2018






Members Present: Tim Cook, Jason Mullin, Don Peabody, Steve Rapoport, Alternate Member Lowell Bertrand

Members Absent: Peter Garon, Brent Rakowski, Jason Farrell

Meeting Guests: Brett Simison, Samantha Dunn, Jean Terwilliger, Laura Mack

Present: Zoning Administrator Mel Hawley

With the absence of Chair Peter Garon, Vice-chair Brent Rakowski, and Secretary Jason Farrell, the role of chair was accepted by senior member Don Peabody. The regular meeting was called to order at 7 p.m.

  1. Brett Simison and Amy Yuen, 15 Victory Street, Demolition of Accessory Structure in Historic Neighborhood District (see Section 1604.F.11)

Zoning Administrator Hawley explained that Brett Simison and Amy Yuen would like to tear down a deteriorated accessory structure on their property. The property is in the Historic Neighborhood District and in accordance with the specific standards for the district; prior approval from the Development Review Board is required. Brett Simison presented an application which included a number of photos of the building. Section 1604.F.11states that demolition of any building in the district which contributes to the historic or architectural significance of the Historic Neighborhood District shall not occur unless the public health and safety require the removal of the building or structure. It further states that demolition may be considered if the building does not contribute to the historic or architectural character of the district as determined by the Development Review Board. Zoning Administrator Hawley suggested the Development Review Board conduct a site visit. Alternate member Lowell Bertrand moved the application be deemed complete and that a public hearing be scheduled for March 26, 2018 at 7 p.m. with a site visit conducted at 6:45 p.m. The motion was seconded by Tim Cook with all voting in favor.

2.  H.V. 2005, Inc., Housing Vermont/Addison County Community Trust

Armory Lane, Multiple-family Dwelling, Site Plan Review, Conditional Use Review

Samantha Dunn, a project manager for Housing Vermont, and Jean Terwilliger of Vermont Integrated Architecture, PC presented an application for site plan review, conditional use review, and local Act 250 review to construct a multiple-family dwelling containing twenty-four dwelling units and associated site improvements at the property owned by H.V. 2005, Inc. located on the northwesterly side of an extension of Armory Lane. The application also included elevations drawings, a site plan, landscaping plan, and utilities plan. The application included a traffic impact assessment and exterior lighting specification. In addition, a narrative was attached addressing Articles VII, VIII, and XI of the zoning and subdivision regulations. Steve Rapoport moved the application be deemed complete and that a public hearing be scheduled for March 26, 2018. The motion was seconded by alternate member Lowell Bertrand with all voting in favor.

3.  Doug Hawley and Mel Hawley, 185 Main Street/Green Street, “Classic Stitching” to “lu·lu Ice Cream”

Zoning Administrator Hawley introduced Laura Mack, owner of “lu·lu Ice Cream”. He explained that normally when a new business plans to locate in the city, he would interpret the zoning regulations as to whether there is or is not a change of use. In this instance, he said that since he is a part owner of the property, he has an obvious conflict of interest and asked the Development Review Board to pass judgement in this regard. Laura said she is excited about the possibility of moving her business from Bristol to Vergennes. She explained that she would be making ice cream and cookies on site. She said there are also items such as shirts that would be sold with approximately 25 percent of sale being ice cream. She said there would be about ten seats but 90 percent of the business is walk-out. Don Peabody suggested that the members of the Development Review Board carefully review the regulations to determine whether this is or is not a change of use. The definitions of restaurant, retail, light industry, and enclosed manufacturing were read. Although some patrons would eat inside, by definition, the primary function of a restaurant is the preparation and serving of food inside the principal structure located on the premises. The Board then reviewed the definitions of light industry and enclosed manufacturing and such uses were not viewed as the primary use. A restaurant is any enclosed business concerned primarily with the retail sale of new produce, products, goods, equipment, or commodities. Lowell Bertrand moved that the use of the space as “lu·lu Ice Cream” as described by Laura Mack be considered retail and that since “Classic Stitching” was considered retail, there is no change of use and, therefore, no action by the Development Review Board is required. The motion was seconded by Steve Rapoport with all voting in favor.

4.  Pending Decision – Scott Hardy, Comfort Hill, 4-Lot Subdivision

As directed, Zoning Administrator Hawley drafted an affirmative decision approving the application by Scott Hardy for his proposed 4-Lot subdivision on Comfort Hill. A review of the draft decision resulted in some changes. Steve Rapoport moved to authorize Peter Garon to sign the decision in its final form on behalf of the Development Review Board. The motion was seconded by Tim Cook with all voting in favor.

5.  Review and accept minutes of previous meeting

The minutes to the regular meeting of January 8, 2018 were reviewed. Alternate member Lowell Bertrand moved to approve the minutes as corrected. The motion was seconded by Jason Mullin with all voting in favor.

6.  Report of Zoning Administrator – none

7.  Other Business

Zoning Administrator announced that the City Council will be holding a public hearing on March 27, 2018 at 6 p.m. regarding amendments to the zoning and subdivision regulations proposed by the Planning Commission.

Don Peabody asked the Zoning Administrator to investigate the exterior lighting at the post office as there is excessive glare from the lights at the loading dock and on the front of the building.

Tim Cook asked about the history of the lot size for the High Density Residential District. Zoning Administrator Hawley suggested he stop by and he would assist in that research.

8.  Adjournment

The meeting adjourned at 8:05 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Mel Hawley

Acting Recording Secretary