Development Review Board Minutes, 12/16/19

Development Review Board Minutes

Regular Meeting, December 16, 2019

Members Present: Chair Brent Rakowski, Vice-Chair Don Peabody, Steve Rapoport, Tim Cook, Carrie Macfarlane, Teresa Hyndman, Jason Mullin

Guests: Julianne Murat, Didier Murat, Jennifer Decarlo, Steven Decarlo

Present: Zoning Administrator Peter Garon

Chair Brent Rakowski convened the meeting at 7 P.M.

  1. There were no changes to the agenda.
  2. Public Hearing – To consider the request by Didier and Julianne Murat to demolish part of a porch and make other exterior alterations to the existing structure at 104 South Water Street. The request will be considered under Section 1604 of the Zoning and Subdivision Regulations. Chair Brent Rakowski read the warning and swore in Julianne and Didier Murat. The hearing was recorded (A 10/10).

Tim Cook noted for the record that he is an abutting landowner. He did not feel that his ability to remain impartial would be affected so he remained at the table for the discussion and decision.

Julianne and Didier Murat explained their proposal to shorten the front of the porch to bring it into line with the rest of the house per plans presented to the Board. This will leave more room for grass between the porch and the sidewalk. The entry to the porch will be moved to the east side. There will be no changes in roof lines. There will be two can lights on the ceiling of the porch. Cut sheets were provided. The door to the left of the porch will not be changed on the outside.  It will not  be an entry or exit wayway.

A motion was made by Steve Rapoport, seconded by Jason Mullin, and approved by all to direct the Zoning Administrator to draft an affirmative decision for review by the Board.

  1. Site plan and conditional use review, 34 Main Street – Jennifer Decarlo presented the proposal for a change of use at 34 Main Street on behalf of the applicant, Christopher Beuhler. The property is currently approved as a Professional Office/Residence. It is in the Medium Density Residential District. The application is being made to allow them more leeway for signage.

There will be no changes to the building or to the activities being conducted on site. Jennifer Decarlo noted that medical services are provided in a clinic type setting similar to a private physician office. Patients come to the office with a variety of physical limits based on hearing issues.

On motion of Tim Cook, seconded by Don Peabody, and approved by all, the application was deemed complete and moved to a Public Hearing on January 20, 2020. The Board noted that the public hearing should be noticed for site plan and conditional use review.

  1. Zoning Administrator Peter Garon provided the Board with a draft of a new fee schedule which is scheduled to be discussed at the City Council on December 17, 2019. The new fee schedule attempts to shift more of the financial burden from the City to the applicant, and thus make the Zoning Office more self-sufficient. The original impetus for the change was because the State of Vermont increased the mandatory filing fee. The current fee schedule was adopted in 2011, so it was also time for a review. Surveys were done of area towns and although comparison was difficult the proposed draft appears to be in line with other town fees.

Zoning Administrator Garon updated the Board on some enforcement issues. He is working on a proposal that would bring zoning violations to the Judicial Bureau through a ticketing process similar to current driving violations. There are many advantages, both financial and a more timely process, for ticketing over filing cases in Environmental Courts. Both processes can be used by the City if ordinances are appropriately approved. The process will ultimately go before the City Council.

  1. Chair Brent Rakowski had intended to discuss the Rules of Procedure and Ethics but that was postponed to next meeting.
  2. The meeting was adjourned at 8:10 p.m.

Respectfully submitted

Peter Garon, Acting Recording Secretary