TOWN OF RUTLAND
PLANNING COMMISSION MEETING
JULY 16, 2009
The meeting opened at 7:00 P.M.
Commission members present: Howard Burgess, Anthony Flory, Richard Hoenes, Raymond Leonard, William Matteson, Tom Turner, Jerry Stearns and Charles Vajda.
Review of the June 25, 2009 Minutes
Mr. Turner asked that a sentence be added concerning the attachment to the minutes. Mr. Hoenes motioned to accept the minutes with this change and Mr. Stearns seconded the motion. All were in approval.
Rutland Town Plan
Mr. Turner said that the Select Board did not have a copy of the Rutland Town Plan or a letter from the Planning Commission as required. Mr. Turner said that he had written a letter to accompany the Town Plan. Mr. Turner motioned for the Planning Commission to approve sending the letter to the Select Board. Mr. Hoenes seconded the motion. All were in approval. (Please see attached)
Mr. Turner said that a copy of the letter needs to be filed with the Town Clerk. Mr. Joseph Zingale, Jr., the Town Administrator, will take care of the filing of the letter.
Dickinson Subdivision -Sketch Plan Hearing
Ms. Dickinson is planning to subdivide a lot from her parcel of land that previously had a home site with septic and water. There is a thirty foot right of way off Route 3.
The Commission discussed possible waivers needed. These included only surveying the parcel coming out of the larger parcel and not having to denote all the trees on the plat.
The Commission also asked that George Stannard, the surveyor, include the following on the plat:
Once these things are done, Ms. Dickinson can schedule a final hearing.
The abutters need to be notified including the ones across the road. This would include the State of Vermont and Vermont Railway. They are to be told about the hearing and that they have the right to appeal the decision.
Revised Zoning Document
The Select Board has presented to the Planning Commission proposed changes to the original Rutland Town Zoning Document.
Mr. Turner said that these changes have not yet been written into the document. He said that in January of 2009 he gave the Select Board a letter stating that the document needed to be acted upon before the deadline of August 7, 2009 or the zoning document would be considered disapproved.
Mr. Turner has written a letter to the Select Board with comments on their proposed changes which he handed out and read to the Planning Commission. He said he feels the Select Board has been disrespectful of the Planning Commission. A copy of his letter is attached to these minutes.
One item Mr. Turner discussed was the Town having a DRB (Development Review Board) vs. a Zoning Board. He stated that Mr. Mark Blucher from the Rutland Regional Planning Commission had suggested the DRB which would require fewer meetings and thus be a cost savings to the Town. Brandon, Castleton, Wallingford and Pittsford are changing to a DRB vs. the Zoning Board.
Mr. Turner further stated that the Select Board did not have the advantage of training at the Stafford Technical School as the Planning Commission did. He said he felt the Select Board should check with the Town Attorney on the advantages of a DRB vs. Zoning Board.
Another issue Mr. Turner brought up was the amount of junk cars allowed on a property. Mr. Zingale said that the Town was already enforcing the State law of no more than three junk cars on a property.
A third issue Mr. Turner brought up was parking within a certain distance of someone else’s property.
A fourth issue was the amount of frontage required to a property i.e., 100 feet vs. 125 feet.
He said he felt that in some cases the Select Board is being unduly restrictive.
Mr. Turner motioned to send his letter concerning proposed changes to the Select Board. Mr. Hoenes seconded the motion. All were in approval.
Mr. Turner reminded the Commission of the Select Board hearing on zoning scheduled for August 4, 2009.
He also reminded Mr. Matteson that he needs op prepare a letter as Chairman to the Select Board before the hearing on August 4th.
Mr. Flory motioned for Mr. Matteson to write this letter. Mr. Leonard seconded the motion. All were in favor.
The Town received notice of a Waste Water Permit for Joseph Dicton. He is eliminating a dwelling unit and therefore needs to put in a treatment system.
The Town also received a certified letter from Michael’s about a proposed sign for Verizon on Michael’s building. Mr. Matteson said that the Commission has no objections but Verizon would still need to go through Act 250.
Mr. Matteson said a site visit to the Dickinson property needs to be planned.
Mr. Hoenes motioned to end the meeting. Mr. Flory seconded the motion. The meeting ended at 8:20 P. M.
William Matteson, Chairman Date
August 3, 2009 Feedback to the Rutland Town Select Board on proposed Zoning.
The Rutland Town Planning Commission has reviewed changes made by the Rutland Town Select Board to the Zoning draft issued in August 2008. The resulting report back to the Board for its upcoming Public Hearing hereby consists of our request that the attached list of review comments be studied by the Select Board, with input from legal counsel, so that it can reconsider the changes it has proposed. If further changes are made to the Select Board document as a result of such reconsideration, then the Planning Commission should have an opportunity to comment again on the Select Board’s version of the Zoning Ordinance before its enactment into law.
We are not certain that we have reviewed all changes made by the Select Board because the document provided to us in July 2009, claiming to indicate such changes, appears to be unreliable and inadequate. That is, some items changed were not reported to us and some words reported as deleted were not deleted by the Select Board, according to the documents given to the Planning Commission. That conflicting input raises the question as to which document, or part thereof, is really the one which the Select Board is proposing. Maybe people have lost track of some of the changes made; if not, then it is hard to understand why we received information which is confusing with respect to this important legislation.
Bill Matteson, Chairman
Rutland Town Planning Commission
Town of Rutland
Review of Select Boards 2009 Draft Zoning Document Page 1 of 3
Article XII: Development Review Board is replaced by a Zoning Board of Adjustment.
The Planning Commission selected a DRB as the better alternative:
a. It was recommended to us by Mark Blucher (Rutland Regional PC).
b. The PC reviewed the issue during various training sessions at Vo Tech.
c. Reasons given for having a DRB:
An intent of VSA Chapter 117 was to give towns a new option to consolidate reviews under one board (the DRB) to make the subdivision and zoning permit review processes more quick and efficient. Towns with old ZBAs are not required to streamline the permitting process but they now have the chance to update to “one stop shopping”.
Developers would be belier served by a DRB than by a PC/ZBA. Consolidated reviews can reduce the number of hearings, notices, papers and meetings to be managed. Town payroll cost can be reduced by having fewer PC meetings during a year, with only 5 instead of 9 people on the Development Review Board.
The PC of 5 people would still function and its members would be alternates on the DRB. The PC then would have time to spend on items such as the Rail Yard Relocation, the US 7 Corridor Management Plan, and other Town Planning items but it would not require 24 meetings per year for the PC to do that.
The DRB option has been chosen by Brandon, Castleton and Shrewsbury. In June, 2009 Wallingford changed from a ZBA to a DRB. Rural towns without much development potential will probably not change.
The Select Board version in Sec 1203 provides that the ZBA shall act on subdivision approval, among other things. Ch 117 Sec 4460 (a) states: If a municipality establishes a development review board... it shall exercise all of the functions otherwise exercised by... the board of adjustment. It also shall exercise the specified development review functions otherwise exercised... by the planning commission. This says that a DRB can handle subdivision review but a ZBA cannot.
Item-4 Page- Note
Joe Zingale told the Planning Commission that the Select Board changes will not be reviewed by Kevin Brown, Esq. until after the public hearing. If further changes are then made as a result of his review, it seems only logical that such changes should be reported to the Planning Commission and then another public hearing needs to be held.
“Junk Motor Vehicles” (Sec 523 in the PC version) is deleted by the SB. This section also included Junkyards, as defined (see “Definitions”). The PC specifically defined junk vehicles. People say that the State law is not enforced. Zoning provides for Town enforcement (see Article Xl).
Town of Rutland
Review of Select Board’s 2009 Draft Zoning Document Page 2 of 3
Item-6 Page 17
New Sec 526 Al now allows residential parking “within 500 feet” of the lot. Sec 526 D refers to 500 feet for other than residential use. Old 526 Al was adopted to limit parking to the residence lot for the residential type of use.
Item-7 Page 12
New Sec 515 about campers has been revised.
Compare it to the PC version which was Sec 516 on pg 12.
One effect of the SB change is to limit people who summer here and winter in Florida.
Item-8 Page 14
Old Sec 522 A, “Home Occupations” has been changed (new Sec 521). Note that accessory structures have been deleted (A, D1 and D3) Accessory structures have also been deleted from the “Collage Industry” section (new Sec 523, old Sec 525). Many people will not be aware of items allowed by State law unless they can see it included in the Zoning ordinance.
Item-9 Page 25
Old Sections 902, 903, 904 and 908 B have been deleted. They dealt with nonconformity. This makes us less able to help people get permits as they need to be informed in the ordinance about what is allowed. Ch 117 Sec 4412 (7) states: All bylaws shall define how nonconformities
will be addressed, including standards.. etc.
Item-10 Page 30
Sec 1201 E was revised to require unanimous vote to remove a member of the ZBA. However, Ch 117 Sec 4460c was the basis for the PC version, which does not require a “unanimous vote”.
Item-11 Page 26
Sec 1001 D was revised to delete a requirement for the Select board to consult with the Planning Commission before removing the Zoning Administrator for cause. However, Ch 117 Sec 4448(a) was the basis for the PC version, which requires such consultation. Also note a new typo error in the SB version (“Selectbaord”)
Item-12 Page 30
Sec 1202 A was revised to call meetings “as needed” and deleted “at the call of the Chair and at such times as the …. may determine”. The PC version was recommended by our experienced consultants. The Chair and the members should determine what is “needed”.
Item-13 Page 3
Sec. 304, changed R4OA minimum frontage depth from 125 ft to 100 ft.
Item-14 Page 23
Section 801 has been revised to have Conditional Uses reviewed by the Planning Commission. So it looks like an error is in 801 A 2 (iii) where the ”ZBA” is referenced.
Town of Rutland
Review of Select Board’s 2009 Draft Zoning Document Page 3 of 3
Item-15 Page 13
PC Sec 519 B referred to a building permit needed for Mobile Homes. The SB has reworded its Sec 518 to require only a State permit and not a Town zoning permit.
Item-16 Page 21
The SB deleted the first sentence in Sec 701 B which referred to preservation of historic structures, etc.
Item-17 Page 19
The PC version of Sec 602 F was deleted. It provided for higher density if the developer agreed to dedicate 25% of the area to open space.
Item-18 Page 20,27,23
In Sec 702 A & 1004 A, nine sets instead of six sets of documents must be23 provided. But in Sec 802 A only 6 sets are required from the developer.
Item-19 Page Note
Appendices A, B, C are given wrong page references. See Sec 302, 526E and pg 46. Page one refers to definitions “on page 41” not pg 38. The bottom of pg 1 refers to “Terms that appear in bold face type...” but the Select Board has generally removed bold face type for such terms.
Item-20 Page Note
On 1/3/09 the SB received a memo re corrections. Items 1,3,5 and 6 on that list have not been done by the Select Board. See copy attached.
Item-21 Page Note
It was not the intent to list here every change made by the Select Board and not all the changes are listed here.
Prepared by Tom Turner for the Planning Commission meeting held July 16,2OO9