Planning Commission Minutes 4-23-2020




 DATE: April 23rd, 2020

Held via publicly accessible conference call line



Members Present: Chairperson Barbara Noyes-Pulling, Dana Peterson, Howard Burgess, Norman Cohen, Andy McKane, Jerry Stearns, Mary Beth Poli, Sherman Hunter, Jim Hall.

Approval of Agenda:

Mr. Hall moved to approve the amended agenda. Mr. McKane seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

New Business: Review parcel information on Sugarwood Hill sent out by Howard Burgess

  • Burgess sent out parcel map information to the commission members earlier in the day.
  • Howard Smith and Mr. Aaron Spanos were on the call as well and are interested in purchasing the property for development.
  • They are interested in a property that may not perk {for septic} and may be developing a storage unit facility on the property. They asked about zoning in the area.
  • Noyes-Pulling said there is no zooming in Rutland Town, but the land use is designated as residential and it is listed on the viewsheds in the Town Plan, which could limit its use.
  • The parcel is larger than 1 acre and would be subject to Act 250 review.
  • Discusses the possible access points to the property, on Route 7 North or Sugarwood Hill.
  • They would expect to start with 3 buildings, with up to 30 units per building.
  • Burgess stated access directly on and off of Route 7 would be unlikely to be approved by VTrans.
  • No wetland designations were noted on the property.
  • The property is currently owned by the Thomas family.
  • McKane asked about the size of the buildings. They would be approximately 100’ x 25’.
  • Poli said she would forward some information on what permits may be needed for the project as well as contact information for the agencies involved.

New Business: Recap of the Otter Creek solar project petition and the Rutland Town response

  • Noyes-Pulling recapped the petition progress.
  • There have been 3 big changes since the developer last asked for approval.
    • The land use map was added to the Town Plan
    • Viewsheds were added, which this project is a part of
    • It is not listed as a preferred site in the energy plan
  • A letter has already been sent with this information because the comment period was closing.
  • The Select Board has not decided if they want to intervene with the process.
    • The new policies were communicated
    • The board voted 4 -1 to send the letter
    • A full petition has not been filed yet by the developer.

Old Business: Appointment terms for Commission members

  • Noyes-Pulling confirmed the term for the newly re-appointed commission members expires in 2023.

Old Business: Review the next steps for the Business Route 4 recommendations

  • Hunter discussed doing sites visits, and how that could be accomplished with social distancing. No decision was made
  • Hall asked where these recommendations came from
    • Noyes-Pulling briefly discussed the 2 studies
    • Hall discussed the recommendation for the Railroad Museum and asked if the members of the museum have been asked about their thoughts. They will be invited to attend a future meeting
    • Hall discussed Carris Reels ands said local business should be promoted as part of the work.
    • Peterson commented on the scoring process used and that the study was not a total comprehensive study of Center Rutland. The recommendations used were ones that the Planning Commission felt were reasonable.
  • Site visits could start on areas that focus on recreation.


  • The Agency of Natural Resources commented on the Act 250 permit application filed by the town for the cold storage building.
  • The next meeting is expected to use zoom conferencing. We will allow attendees to log in early to allow for any technical issues to be resolved before the meeting begins.

Approval of Minutes for April 2nd

  • Peterson moved to approve. Mr. Hunter seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously. Mr. Hall abstained.

Approval of Minutes for April 9th

  • Peterson moved to approve. Mr. Hunter seconded the motion. After some clerical corrections were discussed Mr. Peterson moved to accept the minutes as corrected. Mr. Hunter seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.


Mr. Peterson moved to adjourn. Mr. Hall seconded the motion. The meeting adjourned at 7:39 PM.

Respectfully submitted, Bill Sweet



Barbara Noyes-Pulling

Rutland Town Planning Commission Chair