Planning Commission Minutes 6-20-19

Planning Commission 6-20-19

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 TOWN OF RUTLAND PLANNING COMMISSION




DATE: June 20th, 2019




Present: Chair Person Barbara Noyes-Pulling, Dana Peterson, Howard Burgess, Sherman Hunter and Andy McKane

Approval of the Agenda:

Mr. Burgess moved to approve the agenda with the addition of a request from VELCO to discuss support of a solar project. Mr. McKane seconded the motion. The motion passed 4-0.

New Business; Meet with Michael Fiske from VELCO to discuss support of a solar project:

  1. Fiske presented the commission with information on a proposed 5oo KW solar array on their property. The recently purchased a new section of land adjacent to their own.
  2. They have applied for their Certificate of Public Good (CPG) for their project. It states their project must maintain a 50’ buffer from a property boundary line. This new array, as proposed, would be within that buffer, but they are the property owner on the abutting parcel.
  3. VELCO is asking for a letter from the Town giving approval for the array to be built inside this buffer.
  4. The array was moved from its original proposed location, into this buffer zone, due to concerns from a nearby neighbor about its visibility. They are meeting with the other property owner in the next couple of days to review their updated location.
    1. This abutter is the only one who would possibly be affected.
  5. The commission discussed asking them to combine the 2 parcels into 1 large parcel. This would eliminate the buffer area issue.
    1. A description with a new deed would be all that is needed. Both parcels are surveyed.
    2. Discussed the letter with support being contingent on VELCO filing a new deed combining the 2 parcels into 1 continuous parcel.
  6. This array would be used to power their facility.
  7. Hunter moved to allow the chair to sign the letter on behalf of the Commission if the Select Board agrees to it. Mr. Burgess seconded the motion. The motion passed 4-0.

New Business; Discuss Storm Water ordinance mailing and upcoming education/outreach efforts:

  1. Since the last meeting a mailing was sent out to the same property owners the flyer was sent to originally, this time it included a letter explaining their property had a direct impact from this ordinance and informing them of the public meeting. A copy of the flyer was resent again as well.
    1. No response has been received as a result of this second meeting.
  2. Andres Torizzo will be here for the meeting July 11th at 6PM.
  3. McCain will reach out to the reporter at the Rutland Herald who covers our area to discuss helping us publicize the meeting.
  4. Discussed various other methods to try to publicize the meeting

Old Business; discuss the Select Boards 2nd public hearing on the energy plan:

  1. There were some residents from West Proctor Road that attended; they were concerned the West Proctor Road was being removed from the list of view sheds.
  2. No vote was taken but 3 of the 4 present indicated they would give their support to the plan.
  3. The Board is sending a possible 10th criteria for project approval, given to them by Norm Cohen at the first public hearing, to the energy committee to review the language and give a recommendation to the board on whether to include it or not.
    1. Discussed the presentation of the 10th criteria language to the Select Board directly, from a Commission member, with there not being prior approval given from the Commission.
  4. Discussed a letter sent from Commission member Jim Hall to Select Board members, Bill Sweet and Ms. Noyes-Pulling shortly before the start of the Select Board hearing when they held their first hearing on the energy plan. Mr. Hall was a member of the commission when he sent this.
    1. It included his views on the energy plan and gave an opinion that a vote should be postponed.
  5. Discussed developing a set of guidelines to use when Planning Commission members engage with the Select Board as an individual and not as a Commission member.
    1. Peterson will begin developing the guidelines and send them to the Commission for comments.
  6. Peterson brought up that the addition of the 10th criteria, by approval of the Select Board after the hearings, could represent a substantive change and require the review and hearing process to be started all over again. There was a lengthy discussion on the topic.

Old Business: Review of Local Energy Committee Forum on June 13th;

  1. Cohen and Mr. Hunter attended the recent meeting.
  2. This forum gave some guidance towards municipalities developing energy committees.
  3. Hunter commented on what was discussed, what other energy committees are doing in other towns and their level of involvement.

Approval of minutes May 30th, 2019:

  1. Peterson moved to approve the minutes. Mr. McKane seconded the motion. After some clerical changes were made the motion passed 5-0.


Mr. Peterson moved to adjourn. Mr. McKane seconded the motion. The motion passed 5-0. The meeting adjourned at 8:27 PM.



Respectfully submitted, Bill Sweet





Barbara Noyes-Pulling

Rutland Town Planning Commission Chair