Meeting open at 7:00 PM

Commissioners Present:

Raymond Leonard, Howard Burgess, William Matteson, Jerry Stearns and Andrew McKane and Dana Peterson

Mr. Matteson moved to approve the the 8-21-14 minutes with changes. Mr. Burgess made a second to the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

Mr. McKane opened the Town Municipal Plan hearing. Mr. McKane asked if anyone has any questions regarding the proposed 2014 Town Municipal Plan.

Town resident Mr. Kent Smith asked Commissioners to comment on what they believe to be the most significant changes. Rutland Regional Planner Mr. Ed Bove told those in attendance that the Town added a flood resiliency element as well as an economic development element.

Mr. Bove said new introductory language was added to the front of the Plan. He said the new language explains how the Town planning process and implementation works. Mr. Bove said all of the data in the Municipal Plan was updated from 2000 with new information from 2010 as well as the 2012 American Community Survey. Mr. Bove said Town Administrator Mr. Joseph Zingale Jr. did a great deal of the data updates.

Mr. Bove said the Energy section was also beefed up and he cited the fact that the Select Board's "Solar facility Siting Standards" have been incorporated into the Energy section. Mr. Zingale explained why the Town Plan copies have no page numbers. Mr. Bove said he would provide Mr. Zingale with a copy that has page numbers.

Mr. Smith inquired as to the potential for adopting zoning regulations in the Town. Mr. McKane explained the recent history regarding the consideration of zoning regulations in town. Mr. Matteson also commented regarding the consideration of zoning regulations over the past 20 years.

Town Select Board member Ms. Mary Ashcroft cited the fact that the Town needs a duly adopted Town Plan in order to apply for State grants and there was discussion as to the expiration date being October 7, 2014. Mr. Zingale informed those in attendance that according to attorney Kevin Brown, if the Town Plan were to expire, the Plan would still have affect, provide the Planning process to adopt the Plan is ongoing.

Mr. Joe Mondella asked if any of the Commercial/Industrial district were changed. Mr. Matteson said other than changing the colors on the Land Use Map, no changes were made.

Mr. Mondella asked if the commission would fight a proposal, other than solar, should one come along. Mr. Matteson said he would not fight a proposed development.

Ms. Ashcroft questioned whether the Planning Commission should work on the Town Plan Land Use Map or begin working on a zoning ordinance once the 2014 Town Plan is adopted.

Mr. Matteson said the Commission should work on the Land Use Map before beginning Zoning because Zoning would rely on the Land Use map. Mr. McKane said he would like to see a resolution from the Board that a zoning document will be put to a Town vote.

Ms. Ashcroft said she would consider the suggestion and pose the question to the Select Board. Mr. Bove said if the Board were to put the Zoning Document to a Town vote then all items would have to go to Vote and could not be adopted by the Board.

Mr. Bove said the Town could put in a planning grant application to the State to do the Town Plan map work. He said the application deadline is the end of the month.

Mr. Peterson made a motion to support the Select Board in applying for a municipal grant for doing a land use map that we have on our agenda for amending the Town Plan. Mr. Matteson made a second to the motion.

Commissioners discussed the planning grant application process and other issues associated with receiving a planning grant. Mr. Peterson informed Commissioners that he would like the Commission to address the Solar facility Siting Standards when considering the Land Use map.

Mr. Matteson said it would not be appropriate to work on the SFSS under the Land Use map grant. He said the Commission could consider amendments to the Town Plan at any time.

Mr. Peterson said as a Commissioner member he has questions he would like answered in greater detail. He said there are things that leave us vulnerable and things that prevent us from taking the appropriate approach to maintaining a balance between progressive support of land use development and being overly restrictive.

He said the SFSS can be refined and broadened so that the town can feel a sense of cohesiveness in moving forward with the Town Plan. The motion passed unanimously.

Ms. Ashcroft thanked the Commissioners for the hours they put into working on the Town Plan. Mr. Matteson moved to approve the Town Plan as written and to send it to the Select Board. Mr. Stearns made a second to the motion. The motion passed by a vote of 5 to 0. Mr. Peterson abstained from the vote.

Mr. Matteson moved to close the meeting. Mr. Leonard made a second to the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

Andrew McKane, Chairman