Development Review Board Minutes 08-07-2017






Members Present: Peter Garon, Chair, Brent Rakowski, Vice-chair, Jason Farrell, Secretary,

Tim Cook, Steve Rapoport, Jason Mullin

Members Absent: Don Peabody

Meeting Guests: Scott Hardy, William Poquette, Lynette Poquette

Present: Zoning Administrator Mel Hawley

The Development Review Board conducted a site visit at 55 South Water Street at 6:30 p.m. The property is owned by Kevin Morgan and Julia Leone.


Chair Peter Garon called the regular meeting to order at 7 p.m. Scott Hardy requested the agenda be amended by switching items 2 and 3. He said he invited William and Lynette Poquette to the meeting as they are associated with item 3. Peter Garon approved the request.

  1. Kevin Morgan and Julia Leone, 55 South Water Street, Demolition of

Attached Shed

Zoning Administrator Hawley reported, as he did at the site visit, that he has an application for a zoning permit from Kevin Morgan and Julia Leone to remove an attached shed on the back of their house and build a similarly sized structure. He reported that he wanted the Board to look at the structure to assist in determining whether it should remain under the specific standards in the Historic Neighborhood District. Section 1604.F.11 states that demolition of any building 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. Zoning Administrator Hawley felt the attached shed was not part of the original structure as evidenced by the presence of original clapboards on the main structure within the area of the shed. He said that although the application does not involve demolition of an entire building in the Historic Neighborhood District, he wanted the Board to be aware of the proposal. No member of the Board expressed any objection to issuance of the zoning permit.

2.  State of Vermont (property owner), Scott Hardy (applicant), Comfort Hill,Major Subdivision, Planned Unit Development, Sketch Plan Review

Before Scott Hardy began his presentation, Jason Farrell disclosed that he had a conversation with Scott on Saturday and felt he should disclose that ex-parte communication. Zoning Administrator Hawley said that because a formal public hearing has not yet been warned, his meeting with Scott does not constitute ex-parte communications under the Board’s rules of procedure. Jason Farrell said that although the disclosure was not required, he felt he should advise the Board. Scott Hardy reported he has option with the State of Vermont to purchase a 7.43-acre parcel on the south side of Comfort Hill across from MacIntosh Park. Scott supplied a sketch prepared by LaRose Surveys, P.C. that reflected the property being subdivided into four lots. It showed three lots on the northeast end of the parcel and a fourth lot that to be developed as a planned unit development with twelve one-family dwellings. The three lots, although having frontage on Comfort Hill would be accessed by a private driveway to be developed along the northeast border of the property. Scott explained that he had discussed the creation of additional lots easterly of the drive on property of William and Lynette Poquette if a portion of their property was changed from an Agricultural and Rural Residential District to the same as the subject property being High Density Residential. Members agreed with Zoning Adminstrator Hawley that the lot configuration did not comply with the regulation which requires lot line to be generally perpendicular to the street. The Board also conducted a preliminary review of the proposed 12-unit planned unit development. Scott was asked to rethink the concept of a storage building near the entrance in light of Section 1511 and also pointed out that the three parking areas appear to obstruct the walkway. The Board also advised Scott that he should plan on a street the is designed consistent with that expected for a street that would be turned over to the City.

3.  Scott Hardy, 184/186 Green Street, Two-lot Subdivision

Scott Hardy presented a subdivision application involving the property at 184/186 Green Street. Zoning Administrator Hawley reported that he had recently approved a zoning permit for a two-family dwelling and abandoning any use of the former Fisher Flower Shop building which once contained a dwelling unit as well. Although there was some uncertainly relative to whether the existing 4-inch private sewer line was sufficient for the existing and proposed development, Jason Farrell moved the application be deemed complete and that a public hearing be authorized for September 11, 2017. The motion was seconded by Tim Cook with all voting in favor.

4.  City of Vergennes, Canal Street, Storage Container for Fire Department

As City Manager, Mel Hawley reported the Fire Department would like to position a storage container, primarily to store training props, on City-owned property just west of the Vergennes-Panton Water District office. Provided an application could be filled out and a site plan could be prepared within the next couple days, Steve Rapoport moved that a public hearing be authorize for September 11, 2017. The motion was seconded by Jason Mullin with all voting in favor.

5.  Pending Decision – James O’Brien (property owner), Tracy Fisher (applicant), 109 Panton Road, Ditwhitt’s Snack Shack, Site Plan Review, Conditional Use Review

The Development Review Board continued its deliberations relative to the application involving Ditwhitt’s Snack Shack. The Development Review Board finalized the content of a decision to approve the application with conditions. Tim Cook moved to approve the application with conditions based on the findings set forth in the decision and authorize Chair Peter Garon to sign the decision on behalf of the Development Review Board. The motion was seconded by Steve Rapoport with Peter Garon, Jason Farrell, Tim Cook, and Steve Rapoport voting in favor. Brent Rakowski and Jason Mullin did not vote as they were ineligible for having neither attended the public hearing nor listened to the recording to regain their right to vote.

6.  Review and accept minutes of previous meeting

The minutes to the regular meeting of July 3, 2017 were reviewed. Jason Farrell moved to approve the minutes as corrected. The motion was seconded by Brent Rakowski with all voting in favor. It was noticed that the Board did not formally review and act on the minutes to the regular meeting on June 5, 2017. Zoning Administrator Hawley said he would distribute those draft minutes with the next agenda packet for review.

7.  Report of Zoning Administrator – none

8. Other Business – none

9.  Adjournment

The meeting adjourned at 9:56 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Mel Hawley

Acting Recording Secretary