Planning Commission Minutes 6-20-19
TOWN OF RUTLAND PLANNING COMMISSION
DATE: June 20th, 2019
RUTLAND TOWN MUNICIPAL HALL
OPEN MEETING 7:00 P.M.
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:
- 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.
- 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.
- VELCO is asking for a letter from the Town giving approval for the array to be built inside this buffer.
- 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.
- This abutter is the only one who would possibly be affected.
- The commission discussed asking them to combine the 2 parcels into 1 large parcel. This would eliminate the buffer area issue.
- A description with a new deed would be all that is needed. Both parcels are surveyed.
- Discussed the letter with support being contingent on VELCO filing a new deed combining the 2 parcels into 1 continuous parcel.
- This array would be used to power their facility.
- 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:
- 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.
- No response has been received as a result of this second meeting.
- Andres Torizzo will be here for the meeting July 11th at 6PM.
- McCain will reach out to the reporter at the Rutland Herald who covers our area to discuss helping us publicize the meeting.
- Discussed various other methods to try to publicize the meeting
Old Business; discuss the Select Boards 2nd public hearing on the energy plan:
- 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.
- No vote was taken but 3 of the 4 present indicated they would give their support to the plan.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- It included his views on the energy plan and gave an opinion that a vote should be postponed.
- 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.
- Peterson will begin developing the guidelines and send them to the Commission for comments.
- 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;
- Cohen and Mr. Hunter attended the recent meeting.
- This forum gave some guidance towards municipalities developing energy committees.
- 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:
- 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
Rutland Town Planning Commission Chair