Development Review Board Minutes 6-17-19



JUNE 17 , 2019

Members Present: Chair Brent Rakowski, Vice-Chair Don Peabody, Steve Rapoport, Jason Mullin, Teresa Hyndman, Jason Farrell

Members Absent: Tim Cook

Guests: Aliceanne LaValley, Dutch LaValley, Joann Blais, Donna Blais, Heidi Mahoney, Daniel Hassan, Rebecca Hassan, Pete Jensen, Bill Bowers, Helen Bowers, William Houston, Connie Houston, Dennis Van Auken, Helen Van Auken, John Emerson, Debra Emerson, Jill Strube

Present: Zoning Administrator Peter Garon

Chair Brent Rakowski called the regular meeting to order at 6:50 p.m.

  1. There were no amendments to the agenda.
  2. Chair Brent Rakowski read the notice for the public hearing to consider the request by Donna Blais to demolish the existing structure at 130 Green Street . The request will be considered under Section 1604 of the Zoning and Subdivision Regulations. Aliceanne LaValley, Dutch LaValley, Joann Blais, and Donna Blais were sworn in. The hearing was recorded .(D 7/7)

Aliceanne LaValley explained that Donna Blais wanted to remove the trailer at 130 Green Street and ultimately replace it. She noted that the current structure has no historic or architectural significance in the Historic Neighborhood District.

On motion by Don Peabody , seconded by Jason Mullin, and approved by all, the Zoning Administrator was instructed to draft an affirmative decision for review and signature by the Chair.

  1. Chair Brent Rakowski read the notice for public hearing to consider the request by Shanandoah, LLC for site plan and conditional use review for an adaptive reuse project at 1 & 2 Canal Street. The request will be reviewed under Article VII, Article VIII, and Section 1610 of the Zoning and Subdivision Regulations. Heidi Mahoney was sworn in. The hearing was recorded (D 8/8).

Written documents dated May 17, 2019 and June 14, 2019 were presented to the Board. The application requests four residential units in the Annex and nineteen in the Shade Roller building. Those units will consist of nine studios, two 2-bedroom units, and 8 one-bedroom units. Parking will include 8 dedicated spaces under a parking easement over the land of Treetop Homes, LLC. Low lighting will be provided on the steps up to the Treetop Homes spaces according to written material submitted. Ms. Mahoney noted that the Park Service will have input on the lighting plan, and requested that instead of coming back to the Board for review of any lighting plan changes that the Zoning Administrator be allowed to review and approve any changes. .

Ms. Mahoney noted that as this building is on the National Historic Registry, they have been working with the Park Service on all aspects of the construction. Hazardous material mitigation has been completed. It is expected that the project will be competed by the end of 2020.

The Board reviewed the components of Article VII and VIII with the applicant. The applicant agreed that safety near the falls was an appropriate topic for the Board to consider. The issue was discussed in detail. The plans presented by the applicant noted that access to the falls will be disallowed and blocked from the building and property. The area intended to be used by occupants on the northwest side of the building will be protected from the falls by a minimum 42” railing which will attach to the building and prevent access on the back side adjacent to the falls. The applicant is working with GMP on the issue of access from the Main street side.

The applicant indicated that the connecting bridge across Canal Street will just be for mechanical equipment access and will not be accessible by occupants.

On motion by Jason Farrell, seconded by Steve Rap0port, and approved by all, the Board closed the hearing and moved the application to deliberative session. After deliberative session, upon motion from Steve Rap0port, seconded by Teresa Hyndman and approved by all, the Board directed the Zoning Administrator to draft an affirmative decision for review by the Board with conditions related to: fencing, parking easement, lighting, attorney review of easement, and requirement for a certificate of occupancy.

  1. Daniel and Rebecca Hassan presented their request to demolish the building at 40 Green Street. They submitted written material including maps, a history of transactions related to the building, an excerpt from “The Historic Architecture of Addison County”, and excerpts from National Park Service documents.

Upon motion by Jason Farrell, seconded by Teresa Hyndman, and approved by all, the application was moved to public hearing at the July15, 2019 DRB meeting.

  1. William Houston presented an application for a new building on 105 Panton Road. Currently 103 and 105 Panton Road are separate parcels. As the proposed building will be an extension of the 103 Panton Road business, there is a need for a walkway connecting the two structures through the setbacks.

The Board questioned the applicant with regard to septic and sewage connections, and items in section 702 and 703 of the regulations. They noted that the applicant should be prepared to also provide Article VII information.

Upon motion by Don Peabody, seconded by Jason Mullen, and approved by all, the application was moved to public hearing for the July 15, 2019 meeting. Prior to the hearing the applicant must complete his application, and the Zoning Administrator is to work with him on the potential need to combine the properties if that is needed to accomplish his plans. The public hearing should also include Local Act 250 review.


  1. Jill Strube, Director of the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Vergennes presented an application to change the use of a portion of the building at 20 Armory Lane. Currently 720 square feet on the first floor and 400 square feet on the second floor are zoned for medical office use. They propose to change the use of this space to a community center in order to expand the Club.

Upon motion by Steve Rapoport, seconded by Teresa Hyndman, and approved by all, the application was deemed complete and moved to public hearing for the July 15, 2019 DRB meeting.

  1. No one appeared to present the application for change of use at 300 Main Street, so the Board took no action on the request.
  2. Dennis and Helen Van Auken presented a subdivision plan to subdivide their property at 192 South Maple Street into 2 lots. Although one lot did not have road frontage, it did have waterway frontage, and would be provided with a deeded easement to the roadway. The Board pointed out that the requirements for the District called for 100 feet of road frontage for all lots. After further discussion, the applicants withdrew their request for a subdivision, and will consider developing a proposal for a garage.
  3. The minutes of the May 20, 2019 regular meeting were reviewed. Upon motion of Jason Farrell and seconded by Don Peabody, the minutes were unanimously approved.
  4. In other business the Board discussed a recent instance in which a replacement structure appears to have deviated from the original structure’s mass, rhythm, and scale. Concern was expressed that this instance not be construed as grounds for similar deviation by future applicants. A formal means for rolling back the policy implicit in this development and a re-statement of that policy as enunciated by the Zoning Regulations was advocated.

Board members, after considerable discussion, felt that such formal action was not necessary at this time – though the approach should be investigated for potential future action. It was thought sufficient, at this time, to have Board minutes summarize this discussion, reassuring the public that Board members unanimously agree that it is the intention of the Development Review Board to follow the law in all such instances with no deviation from the prescriptions of the law.

  1. The meeting was adjourned at 10.00 pm.

Respectfully Submitted,

Peter Garon, Acting Recording Secretary