TOWN OF RUTLAND
Board members present: Steve Hawley, Mary Ashcroft, Joe Dicton and Don Chioffi
The meeting opened at 6:50 P.M with the Pledge of Allegiance.
The Board reviewed the minutes of July 29, 2014. Ms. Ashcroft moved to approve the July 29, 2014 minutes with corrections. Mr. Dicton made a second to the motion. The motion passed by a vote of 3-0. Mr. Chioffi abstained from the vote.
Mr. Hawley informed the public that Mr. Mike Rowe, the Town Recreation Director and Select Board member Mr. John Paul Faignant will not be present at the meeting. Mr. William Matteson told the Board that he is representing Town Planning Commission Chairman, Mr. Andy Mc Kane, who will not be present.
Mr. Chioffi inquired if a previously authorized letter had been sent to Town officials regarding their attendance. Mr. Hawley said the letter had been sent.
There were no questions from the floor.
Town Clerk & Treasurer Ms. Donna Zeller reported:
Informed the Board that she and the assistant Town Clerk participated in election training involving the voting machines the previous week.
Informed the Board that the previous night she attended an election training put on by the State of Vermont. Ms. Zeller told the Board she will look into positing election results via the internet versus mailing the results into Montpelier.
Told the Board election guides are available at her office for anyone that will be working the election.
Informed the Board that Absentee ballots are being requested for the upcoming election.
Told the Board that August 20th is the last day to register to vote.
Reminded the Board that the next Board meeting would be August 25th and not the 26th due to the election.
Informed the Board that Town Administrator Mr.
Joseph Zingale, had given her a invoice from Black River Design, for
a check that is already cut and is waiting and she asked how she
Ms. Zeller said there is a note from former Town Clerk Marie Hyjek stating she can not release the check until she has Select Board approval. Ms. Zeller said the check is dated June 19, 2014 and would be invalid at 90 days.
Ms. Ashcroft said there will probably be a Board of Civil Authority meeting after the election to deal with some of the election law changes. She said the Board will have to develop a couple of policies.
Ms. Zeller told the Board that recently she and the Assistant Town Clerk spent a couple of hours determining how land is to be posted in response to a residents request. Mr. Hawley told Ms. Zeller she should have asked Mr. Zingale since he has dealt with such matters in the past. Ms. Zeller said the request was made in the middle of the day.
Mr. William Matteson, Town Representative to SWAC reported:
the Board that he and Mr. Zingale would address the recent
correspondence from Ms. Pam Clapp regarding information needed for
the re-write of the SWAC Solid Waste Plan.
Mr. Matteson cited the fact the Town's proposed share would be about $2,800.00. Mr. Matteson said the Town's share would have been less had the Town of Fair haven participated. He said the Town of Fair Haven could not participate because their Town Plan has expired.
Mr. Matteson informed the Board that the Town Plan re-adoption is scheduled for September 4, 2014.
Town Representative to the Rutland Regional Planning Commission Mr. Sherman Hunter reported:
No meeting, No report.
Town Road Commissioner Mr. Byron Hathaway reported:
Told the Board he has completed his road work associated with the planned paving and reclaim of the Cold River Road. Mr. Hathaway said he hopes to have Wilk begin paving on September 10, 2014. Mr. Hathaway said there will be traffic delays associated with the paving work and he encourage motorist to use alternate routes when the Cold River Road is being paved.
Informed the Board that he had rented an excavator to remove ledge along the Cold River Road in order to widen the shoulder as part of the complete streets program. He said the work created two to three feet wide road shoulders.
Mr. Hathaway told the Board he will soon place a large order to purchase various governmental road signs. He inquired if the Board would have a problem if he does business with an out-of-state company.
Mr. Hathaway said the out-of-state company is $2,000.00 cheaper than Vermont Correctional industries for the same order. Mr. Chioffi made a motion to go with the low bidder. Mr. Dicton made a second to the motion. The motion passed unanimously.
Mr. Hathaway said he should have word before the next meeting weather the Town will receive State funds for the proposed Post Road sidewalk extension.
Town Fire Chief Mr. Frank Cioffi reported:
Chief Cioffi informed the Board that problems with the garage door openers at the new Fire Station have been repaired. Mr. Cioffi said the motors had to be rewired because it was not up to the manufactures installation requirements. Mr. Cioffi said the expense should be covered because the wiring should have been done to the manufacturers recommendations.
Cioffi told the Board that an abutting landowner to the Joseph J.
Denardo Fire Station, has informed him that he will soon lease an
apartment to family with three little boys. Mr. Chioffi said the
landowner is concerned with the steep bank on the Fire Station
property. Chief Cioffi said the apartment owner would like the Town
Mr. Dicton said the Board has discussed the matter and now needs to expedite the matter. Mr. Dicton said he would like to move forward on doing what the Board previously discussed. Mr. Hawley said he agreed.
Mr. Dicton made a motion to authorize Chief Cioffi to find the proper fence people to help us out and remedy the wall with the neighbor issue with a fence. There was more discussion. Mr. Dicton said the fence should be whatever is standard for boundaries. Mr. Dicton said Mr. Chioffi should get a couple of prices.
Mr. Chioffi made a second to the motion. Mr. Hawley asked Mr. Hathaway to get a price for a Tree company for removal of trees behind the station. Mr. Hawley said he has a meeting scheduled for Thursday with Chief Cioffi to discuss outstanding issues. Mr. Hawley said he has already discussed some of the issues with Mr. Dicton and that there would be a report at the next meeting.
Hawley recommended the Board pay the individual who has rented the
Fire department space with Town funds rather than wait for the
Insurance company to pay the bill. Ms. Ashcroft and Mr. Chioffi
agreed with Mr.Hawley. Mr. Hawley called for the motion for the
fence at the Fire Station. The motion passed unanimously.
Ms. Ashcroft moved to pay from Town funds subject to reimbursement, the rental for the temporary relocation of the Fire department. Mr. Dicton made a second to the motion. Mr. Zingale cited the fact that a Town business is also waiting for payment from the Insurance. Mr. Zingale explained that Rob Stubbins Electric at the Town's request did work at the station and has not been paid. Mr. Hawley said Stubbins should also be paid and Board members agreed.
Board members discussed the matter. Mr. Hawley cited the fact that Stubbins is a small business, which is not under the general contractor's umbrella. The motion passed unanimously.
Cioffi informed the Board that the ISO company will be evaluating
the Town at the end of August. Mr. Cioffi said an ISO evaluation was
last done 10 years ago. He said he would be begin to gather
Mr. Cioffi said ISO is a rating firm, which determines and sets the Town's Insurance Fire rating. Mr. Cioffi said a good report from ISO would result in lower fire insurance cost for those with fire insurance in the Town.
Mr. Zingale informed Chief Cioffi that a recent inspection of the roof at the new station shows some hail damage. Mr. Zingale will notify VLCT of the possible damage.
Mr. Dicton told Chief Cioffi that he and Mr. Hawley have discussed putting a fall restraint in the hose tower. Mr. Dicton said even though Mr. Hawley feels a restraint is not required, they agreed it should be installed. Mr. Cioffi said he is looking into the matter.
Town Police Chief Mr. Ed Dumas reported:
These are the stats of the Rutland Town Police Department within the past two week period.
-Calls for service within the two week period: 21
Total calls year to date in 2014: 519
Total calls year to date in 2013: 217
-Types of calls assigned
Theft, Residential / Commercial alarm, Traffic Hazard, 911 Hang up, Agency Assist, Suspicious Person / Circumstances, Animal problem, Motor Vehicle Complaint, Motor Vehicle Crash, Vandalism, VIN Inspection and Welfare Check.
Closed Cases: 24
Number of Arrests: 1
What Types of Arrest: Retail Theft.
Motor Vehicle Stops: 19
Vermont Civil Violation Complaints (Tickets) Issued: 9
Total Fine Amount : $1,541.00 dollars
Total Fine Year to Date $19,398.00 dollars
Total number of Patrol Hours: 112.0
Chief Dumas: 8.5
Captain Washburn: 63.5
Officer Gamble: 40
Total number of Admin hours: 50.5
Chief Dumas: 42
Captain Washburn: 8.5
Officer Gamble: 0
new cruisers are in. The Rutland Town Police Department asks the
Select board to authorize the Town Treasurer to cut a check for
$19,000.00 to Foster Motors so we
can pick up the cruisers. Mr. Chioffi made a motion to authorize a
check not to exceed $19,000.00
for the purchase of the new cruisers. Ms. Ashcroft made a second to
Mr. Chioffi said that because time is of the essence in the matter, he suggested that Chief Dumas be given a blanket authorization to make purchases which are with in the budget approved by the Board. Mr. Dumas said it is estimated to cost $5,000.00 per vehicle for new equipment at Wells Communication in upstate New York.
Mr. Dumas said it will be less than $3,000.00 for two vehicle for logos. Mr. Chioffi said the Town will pay for two vehicles and that there would be no charge for the third vehicle. Mr. Hawley said everything discussed has been authorized. Mr. Chioffi made a motion that Chief Dumas be authorized to spend within his budget the amounts required to get the job done. Mr. Dicton made a second to the motion. The motion passed unanimously.
Mr. Dumas told the Board that the Rutland Town Police Department will be participating in the upcoming Labor Day D.U.I. Campaign. The Campaign is being conducted by agencies across the State of Vermont and the Country. There will be an increase in Law Enforcement prescience across the county so Town residents should expect to see officers from all agencies around the county patrolling Rutland Town. The Rutland Town Police Department reminds people if you drink and drive you will be arrested.
Town Recreation Director, Mr. Michael Rowe reported:
The Town pool will close on either August 23rd or the 24th.
Soccer registration is ongoing.
Mr. Hawley called the Solar Facility Siting Standards (SFSS) Town Plan Amendment Public Hearing to order.
Ms. Ashcroft acknowledged that the Board has received an e-mail from Regional Planner Ed Bove in which he suggest the Board check to see that the SFSS address
not locating ground mounted solar facilities in fluvial erosion hazard areas as identified on the Town of Rutland FEMA Map.
Ms. Ashcroft said it appears the proposed amendment addresses the concerns cited by Mr. Bove. Mr. Matteson said the recommended language is in the Town Plan proposed to be readopted next month.
Town resident Mr. Philip Allen, who is co-owner of Same Sun of Vermont, addressed those in attendance and presented several photos to illustrate the various points he made.
Mr. Allen showed photos of properties in Town as well as photos of solar power generation. Mr. Allen said he would much rather look at a solar panels than the properties he presented.
Mr. Allen made the following comments:
It is obvious to him that solar is being treated like nothing else.
He said Rutland Town has no zoning.
He said if there was zoning, solar arrays would be a lovely thing.
He said he is more qualified to speak about aesthetics than anyone present since he was a fine art dealer for 20 years and has been paid to speak on aesthetics.
He said the group present is very lucky since they can hear him for free.
He said he moved to Rutland Town in 2003 and that he thinks it is a great place to live.
He said he has created 9 full time jobs.
He said he has used 180 different vendors over the past 3 years.
He has used 8 different excavators.
He pays his staff between $15.00 to $65.00 an hour.
He displayed photos of properties in the Town of Rutland as well as photos of solar arrays.
He said solar power is creating; jobs, money and clean energy.
He said the public should worry about the power they can not see such as fracted power and natural gas.
He said the solar community is negative carbon.
He said the Rutland Heralding is not printing the fact solar power will produce clean energy for many years.
The photos displayed were taken from his car.
He said he is willing to look at a large wood pile because he knows Vermonters can get energy from wood.
He showed photos taken from his car within a quarter mile of the Cold River Road.
He said the people who have a problem with the proposed solar arrays should first address the aesthetic problems on the street.
He showed a picture of a Green Mountain Power relay station and said it is pretty ugly but that people are used to looking at it and he asked why people would rather look at the substations than solar arrays.
He showed a building across the street from his home and he said it is historically protected. He said the barn was placed on the historic registry 20 years ago by the former owners. He said he has to look at it when he leaves his driveway.
He compared the photo of the building across the street from his home to a photo showing two small solar arrays on his property and he said it was not fair for him to make the comparison since he is financially qualified to talk about aesthetics.
He said he had to apply to the Historical Society for a permit for his two ground mounted solar arrays but that he did not have to get a permit for his garden, which he said is larger that the solar arrays.
He said no one has complained about the solar field on Allen Street near the hospital. He said it will provide 200,000 kilo watts of clean power every year.
He said the solar field is no longer visible from the hospital after little trees were planted.
He cited the fact that Town residents two and a half years ago approved solar panels for the Town school roof. He said those who supported the vote did so because it would force every student in the school for the next 30 year to look at the solar arrays.
He showed a photo of his staff in front of the solar farm near the Creek Path in Rutland City and said the solar farm was built on a former Brownfield.
He said the kids at Stafford Technical Center are learning a valuable trade working with Solar.
He said people like him will continue to build solar arrays but that they just will not build them in Rutland Town because of the Board's position regarding solar development.
He said the jobs, the tax revenue and the free energy can all be in Rutland Town or that the Board can put the breaks on.
He thanked the Board for the time to speak.
Ms. Ashcroft asked Mr. Allen if he is aware that the Board eliminated the very wide set backs and substituted landscaping. He said he does not think the Board will succeed.
Town resident Mr. Mark Foley Jr. made the following comments:
He said his main concern with the SFSS is the setback requirements.
He said the set backs being considered are restrictive and unreasonable.
He said the proposed setbacks are dangerous to other types of development as well.
He said he is fearful the SFSS will create an uncertain environment in the Town and may lower property values and the tax base.
He asked the Board to reconsider the SFSS criteria and to propose siting standards for all commercial development rather than the piece meal approach that the Board has taken.
He said it is odd the Board would allow almost any commercial development including industry within 500 feet of a building but will not allow solar panels.
He said the real issue is about individual property rights and the financial impact of piecemeal zoning and the unwillingness of the Select Board to solve the bigger issue of land use planning.
He said although the Town Plan has identified many areas for commercial development, including sites being considered by solar developers, he said there in not a common understanding of what kind of development there should be and where it should go.
He said the Town is blessed with beautiful land and property rights. He said lack of planning will result in disputes over the use of land.
Ms. Ashcroft announced that the Town Plan re adoption public hearing is scheduled for September 4, 2014. Ms. Ashcroft said after the Town Plan is adopted the Board would turn to zoning.
Town resident Pat Hunter made the following comments:
She said her interest in the solar debate is that of a someone who cares very much for the community.
She said she is pleased with the goals and the policies in the proposed SFSS.
She questioned why the Town would want to avoid or reduce adverse impacts on energy development etc..
She said the way the Town regulates business and development should be the same across the board.
She said the Town does not want things to be shown and cited the section in the proposed SFSS regarding 80% of a solar project not allowed to be visible.
She said there are some real eye sores in town, which people have to look at.
She said the eye sores came about because there was not planning.
She said the Board has not given attention to development such as a tanneries or large commercial site.
She said the Board should treat all business like it is treating solar development. However, she said individuals would view such regulations as restricting business in the community and that the regulations would not go through.
She said solar arrays should have the same requirements around them that other commercial constructions might have, if the Board is concerned with aesthetics.
She questioned if the Board is business friendly. She said she is looking for sustainable appropriate development for the Town.
She questioned if the Board is signaling out particular industries or businesses.
She said solar arrays are good neighbors and that she would like to see them in town. She said they do not; smell, make noise, have truck traffic, create light pollution.
She said she wants to see that whatever we do in one case feels like it is fair across businesses.
Town resident and representative to SWAC ,Mr. William Matteson said:
He said the reason solar is being treated differently than other commercial and industrial is because they have to go through the Act 250 process and that solar development does not.
He said to say everything should be treated the same means solar should go through the Act 250 process.
He said if solar development is treated differently in Town it is because the State treats it differently.
He cited the fact the State has removed Solar development from the realm of Act 250.
He said people would feel more comfortable if solar was required to go through Act 250.
He said in Act 250 individuals would have a platform to speak from.
He said solar is good in some places and that he can understand why some people would have issues with solar development.
Town resident Mr. Jerry Hansen made the following comments:
He said the matter has turned into a bureaucratic play.
He said town officials should be open minded and follow the parameters, rules and regulations that are set.
He said if the Board wants to change the rules down the road it could try to address them later.
He said to go backward does not make sense to him.
He said time money and resources have been spent on the matter.
He said he is glad to hear the Board is willing to stop the flow and address it.
He said for a neighbor of means and resources to bring the matter to the Board's attention, where it may not have gotten the attention if someone else had done it, is in appropriate.
He said he does not see any existing perimeters or conditions that apply to the particular piece of land.
He said in his own situation he purchased an adjoining piece of property in order to keep the parcel from being developed.
He said neighbors to the Cold River Road solar site had the opportunity to purchase the land but did not.
He said REDC has been marketing the property for many many years as an industrial site.
He said other agencies also tried to promote the property.
He said there have not been any opportunities up until this point.
He said the neighbors came out of the woodwork to say, you can't do that, after they found out the land was going to be developed.
He said the individuals opposing the solar proposal don't want any development on the land.
He said REDC was marketing the land for a 34 foot tall building, 10,000 to 15,000 square feet in size, which would have been all lit up with signage and security lighting and truck traffic 24/7.
He said the Cold River Road is a major thoroughfare going into the City of Rutland.
He said there is noise pollution and exhaust gasses polluting the air on the Cold River Road.
He said solar arrays do not run up and down the street nor make any noise.
He said solar does not interfere with the environment.
He gave the example of the tall trees along the road screening the Rutland Country Club from view from the road.
He said the golf course is screened from view by 12 foot tall trees, which are six feet deep.
He said solar developers should do the right thing and put up the appropriate buffer zone.
He said it is un excusable to try to restrict what another property can do with their land.
He said the neighbors still have the opportunity to buy the land proposed for the solar development.
He said the land was classified for development long before some on the individuals built their homes.
He said they speculated and they guessed wrong.
Town Administrator Mr. Joseph Zingale told the Board that in the past 10 years he is aware of three individuals who attempted to purchase the land but were unsuccessful. He said the individuals were interested in the land for housing and level 3 care.
Town resident and Green Mountain Power employee, Mr.Steve Costello, read a letter prepared by Susan and Marv Elliott, who could not attend the meeting. The Elliott's letter cited setback requirements from historic properties and screening requirements as signaling out solar development from other development in town. The Elliott letter was strongly in favor of solar development.
Mr. Costello informed the Board regarding a solar project to be built on the former City landfill. He said Green Mountain Power has received national attention for the proposed project. He said the project will cost $10 million dollars to build.
He said the investment in the city will create jobs and help turn the community image of Rutland City around. He said solar development in the city has already had a huge impact on the downtown and the revitalization of the City of Rutland.
He said Green Mountain Power is willing to sit down with town officials any try to determine where the town wants to see solar development.
He said he has a problem with the 500 foot setback requirement from historic properties.
He said the 500 foot requirement will cause solar developers to look elsewhere to build their projects.
He said he as a town resident will lose the tax benefit from solar development.
He questioned why only solar development is proposed to be screened and rendering plants and asphalt plants are not included as well.
He said the current screening standards will cause every developer his company knows to go elsewhere.
He said 40 foot tall trees would have to be planted to meet the less than 20% visibility from 500 feet away.
He said if the Town wants to close its boarders to solar development then the Town has a right to do so.
He said if the Board wants a workable solution then they must slow down the SFSS adoption process and have the needed conversations as to where the Board wants to see solar in light of zoning and in light of Town Planning and not piecemeal.
Ms. Ashcroft said the upcoming Town Plan Public Hearing will include the Land Use Map and the designated districts. She said the Town will be looking for input as to where development can and can not occur.
Rutland City resident Mr. Chris Wetherby asked for clarification regarding a statement made by Mr. Matteson regarding the Town Plan amendment up for adoption and the re adoption of the Town Plan scheduled for next month.
Mr. Allen told those in attendance that depending on the size of a solar project some have to go through Act 250 and others go through Act 248. He said he needs to get a certificate of public good and that anything mounted in the ground requires going through the Historical Society.
Mr. Allen said when he is trying to get an Act 250 permit he is required to notify all neighbors of the solar proposal. He said people are notified before hand.
Mr. Zingale inquired as to Mr. Allen's statement that some solar projects need an Act 250 permit. Mr. Allen said he was referring to the 248 process. Mr. Matteson said the two proceeding are very different.
Town resident Ms. Marsha Cassel made the following comments:
She said the Board should consider the proposed SFSS a draft.
She told the Board that her high school students would be puzzled by the Board's concerns.
She said she is not that familiar with the proposed SFSS and that she had only done a cursory reading.
She said it seems there is targeting going on in some of the language.
She applauded the Board for responding to residents concerns.
She said maybe the SFSS are going through too quickly.
She said this is a nice draft but you are not done.
She said she would be sad if Rutland Town is not part of the progressive movement going on around Vermont.
She said the Board is not thinking progressively.
She said the Board should slow down the process and get it right.
She said the Board should bundle the proposed SFSS with more comprehensive planning.
Town resident and neighbor to the proposed Cold River Road solar project, Mr. David Fucci, made the following comments:
He cited the fact that the Board has been discussing the regulation of solar development for the past 13 months.
He said the proposed SFSS under consideration would help make it a level playing field
He cited the fact that any development other than solar development would need an Act 250 permit prior to construction.
He said Act 250 and Act 248 are entirely different.
He said to date not a single solar project has been denied by Act 248.
Town resident and Town representative to the RRPC, Mr. Sherman Hunter, made the following comments:
He said the Act 250 and Act 248 process are very similar.
He said Act 248 is not a whitewash.
He said in Act 248 there is a strong review of what is required and that the standards are similar to Act 250.
He said Act 248 is not an easy process to get through.
Mr. Zingale told those in attendance that the main difference between Act 248 and Act 250 is that an abutter can appeal an Act 250 permit and an abutter to an Act 248 proceeding can not appeal the permit.
Town resident, Mr. Roy Pilcher, made the following comments:
He said he spent 2 to 3 hours walking the property last week.
He told the Board not to cut off their nose to spite their face.
He said what the Board is doing now will cause a lot of harm down the road.
He cited various types of development which would be more intensive and noxious to the Town than the proposed solar farm.
He said a solar projects emit no fumes.
He said there would be more fumes from one truck driving down the road once than from the proposed solar farm.
He said a single vehicle driving down the road would use more fossil fuel than the Solar Farm when it is operating.
He said the solar farm would not produce any noise.
He said a car or a motor cycle would produce more noise than the proposed solar site.
He said the Town does not have to supply any services to the solar development.
He said no infrastructure has to be built for the project to move ahead.
He said the solar project would not require waste or fresh water infrastructure.
He said the solar project would change the topography or hydrogeology of the landscaping
He said a building for the elderly and a parking lot would change the hydrology.
He said the project would not require any fire or security expense.
He said some other type facility would result in fire calls like at the Gables.
He said he can not think of an industrial project that would be less benign than a solar project.
He said the solar project would not require new roads or paving.
He said for people who depend on their own water the hydrology is not going to change.
He said the power produced by the solar project will be used locally.
He said the power will be used right here in everybody's homes.
He said the raw materials do not have to be imported and that it is unlimited.
He said the solar project will produce a steady and predictable source of revenue for the town.
He said no new classrooms will have to be built.
He said no more teachers have to be employed.
He said the proposed SFSS were specifically designed to stifle the proposed Cold River Road solar project.
Mr. Chris Wetherby made the following comments:
He told those in attendance that he is a renewable energy professional and a forester.
He said he appreciates the careful work that went into the proposed SFSS.
He said it reads well and is very direct toward solar.
He said any clear cut forest on a mountain side is much worse to look at than solar panels in a field.
He said he would prefer to see solar panels on rooftops than in fields.
He said the Town should look at the regulation forest harvesting given the State's and region's promotion of biomass.
He said forest harvesting will cause more aesthetic problems than solar development.
Mr. Chioffi made the following comments:
He told those in attendance that he had to admit to an oversight on his part regarding the proposed SFSS.
He said none of his decisions were made specifically toward one property, in the development of the SFSS.
He said the Cold River Road property precipitated the Board's development of the SFSS.
He said the SFSS are specific to solar development.
He said the Town was forced to adopt the SFSS due the expediency with witch the State has encouraged solar projects.
He said the Town has had years to decide on commercial, industrial and residential, agricultural and forestry developments.
He said the Board is not trying to discriminate against solar development rather the Board is reacting to a State policy which is running speedily through our towns.
He said he can not represent every person in Town since there is a divergence of views regarding the issue.
Mr. Chioffi read from the proposed SFSS regarding solar developments being held to the same setback distance as any other project, within the district they are proposed.
He said he recently realized that Ms. Ashcroft's proposed amendment to the SFSS would require that no more than 20% of a solar field be visible from any part of a residence.
He said the requirement is not appropriate or fair and should not be included.
He said he made a mistake when he voted for the provision.
He said he does not support the 20% and that is should be removed.
He read from the proposed SFSS regarding screening standards.
He said there should be more language in the SFSS regarding appropriateness, height and type of screening, based on the type of topography of the land.
He said the 20% requirement should be removed.
He said the most benign use of the property is agriculture.
He said the best raw material that has no cost to the Town is soil.
He said food for animals and people is produced.
He said maybe the best use of the land is to leave it the way it is.
Mr. Chioffi made additional comments.
Mr. Dicton told the public that he will continue to recuse himself from the solar discussion.
Mr. Costello said if section 2 which Mr. Chioffi does not like is removed than the section above it would suggest that no part of the solar development be visible from a residence within 500 feet of a project.
Mr. Allen asked Board members for their evidence, that people other than those who live near the Cold River Road site, opposed solar development. He asked the Board how they know the community does not want to see solar arrays.
Mr. Chioffi said the Town's responsibility is to provide a document and framework that will regulate the entire town and not just the Cold River Road. Mr. Chioffi cited the fact that agricultural parcels of land in town, are surrounded by residences. He said residents have told him they do not want to see solar development on agricultural land.
Mr. Chioffi said he is told all the time by people who have moved to Rutland Town that they did so because they love to look at open and farmed fields. He said they do not say they moved to town because they like to look at solar fields.
Ms. Ashcroft said the Board needs everyone's input in the Town Plan and zoning adoption process. Ms. Ashcroft cited the proposed gas pipe line and DC transmission line, which are both proposed to go through the town. She said the two need to be put in the appropriate locations in town.
Mr. Costello asked if the Board had considered removing the 500 foot set back requirement from historic buildings. No Board member said they planned to remove the 500 foot requirement. Mr. Chioffi said no development should take place within 500 of a historic property. Mr. Chioffi said is should be removed if it does not apply to all development and not just solar.
Mr. Hawley declared the meeting closed. Mr. Hawley said the Board would schedule another meeting and work on the proposed SFSS.
Town Administrator, Mr. Joseph Zingale Jr. reported:
Informed the Board that Mr. Dicton had secured a free conferencing phone for the Select Board room. Mr. Zingale said the Board can get a conference bridge through Fairpoint Communication for 10 ¢ per minute per caller. He said it would be 45 ¢ per minute per caller for operator assistance.
Asked Ms. Ashcroft if she could attend a Flood Hazard Zoning Board of Adjustment hearing for 6:00 PM on August 25th. Ms. Ashcroft said she would attend the meeting.
Informed the Board that he had been requested to write a letter of recommendation for the VMS Construction company regarding the obstruction of the new Fire Station. Mr. Hawley told Mr. Zingale to hold off writing the letter.
He suggested the applicant's table be moved to make a 90° angle with Mr. Faignant's desk so as to get everyone in the camera's field of view. The Board agreed.
He informed the Board that the according to Town Lister Mr. Burgess the state has raise the power output threshold for solar panels for taxing purposes. He said the change would result in a business which currently pays taxes for their rooftop solar panels will no longer have to pay taxes to the Town.
informed the Board that the Town would have an additional charge for
traffic control in conjunction with the Post Road electrical panel
relocation. He told the Board that a VTrans official had called and
ordered a “blue light” be on site the next time the crew
was working in the US 7 / Post Road intersection due to safety
Mr. Zingale said he had previously raised the question regarding the need for “blue lights” on site and was told by Mr. Tom Doty with DuBois & King, that they would not be required due to the small nature of the project and the use of a small backhoe. He said the bill could be as much as $800.00
Mr. Zingale said there would be another bill for the amount of replacement asphalt required on the Post Road. He said because Mr. Doty specified 4” of asphalt and not the required 9” of asphalt there will be an additional charge to the Town.
Mr. Chioffi made a motion that DuBois & King pay for the decisions that they made for the blue light and the additional pavement. Mr. Dicton made a second to the motion. The motion passed unanimously.
The Board reviewed packet correspondence.
Ms. Ashcroft announced that the Town and City Intermunicipal committee will meet at City Hall on August 19th at 5:00 P.M. She said the Cold River Road solar project will be heard by the Public Service Board on August 20 through August 22.
Mr. Hawley said the Board will meet next on Monday the 25th of August.
Mr. Dicton moved to adjourn the meeting at 9:20 P.M. Mr. Chioffi made a second to the motion. The motion passed unanimously.