Planning Commission Minutes 9-17-2020
TOWN OF RUTLAND PLANNING COMMISSION
DATE: September 17th, 2020
Publicly accessible conference line
OPEN MEETING 6:30 P.M.
Present: Chairperson Barbara Noyes-Pulling, Dana Peterson, Howard Burgess, Sherman Hunter, Andy McKane, Mary Beth Poli, Jerry Stearns and Norman Cohen
Approval of the Agenda:
Mr. Burgess moved to approve the agenda. Mr. Hunter seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.
New Business: Boundary Line Adjustment request from J.R. Bullock
- J.R. Bullock was present and reviewed his request. There is a sale planned of the home at the north end of the property, labeled as Parcel A. This BLA will be to give the land being sold more area around it in the future.
- Mr. Burgess said Mr. Bullock owns parcel A and B and this change will be done to give parcel A more land.
- All the forms need for the application are included.
- Mr. Cohen asked about the details listed on question 4 from the application regarding the additional features of the property. The draft survey plat was reviewed by the commission.
- Mr. Bullock discussed what features would be included which are only a few, and include a airport beacon, which will removed in the near future.
- The right of way shown is also used by VELCO.
- This will have specific language associated with it in the deed when parcel A is sold.
- Mr. Burgess stated all the right of way information is well documented. A note on the final drawing referencing the existing VELCO survey plat would be beneficial.
- The access to parcel B will be over the same right of way that exists for VELCO.
- Mr. McKane moved to approve the application for the boundary line adjustment for a public hearing. Ms. Poli seconded the motion. Mr. Burgess said a note should be included which reference the right of way and the existing survey plat. This was added to the motion. After extensive about the right of way being clearly detailed on maps and subsequent deeds, the motion passed unanimously.
- The hearing will be scheduled for October 15th.
New Business: Subdivision application for Benetatos
- No one was present to discuss it, this will be moved to a future meeting
New Business: Patch Pond Solar and Walloomsac River Solar presentation
- Steve Schmidt and Julie Van Lith were present from Pacific Northwest Solar were present to discuss their project.
- Mr. Schmidt stated they have secured a Power Purchase Agreement with Green Mountain Power. There are 2 projects due to the limits in place for. More than 1 project can be adjacent to another.
- There will be tracking arrays, which move east to west during the day.
- Access to the sites will be off of Route 7.
- There are preliminary plans, which were provided to the commission members, but these are subject to change depending on future plans.
- The site is on Thomas family land covering about 33 acres. The project will be on approximately 25 acres. The land will be purchased from the Thomas family.
- It was originally going to be up to 50 feet away from Route 7 North, but the project may be moved back to allow a commercial property to be developed in front of it. Mr. Schmidt asked if this would be beneficial. Ms. Moyes-Pulling said that is but access onto Route 7 could be an issue. Limiting it to one access point would be best.
- The Commission agreed it was a good location for a future commercial project.
- Ms. Noyes-Pulling said that are areas within their project area that may present some archeological issues and should be explored. Mr. Schmidt said they have dealt with that in the past and could adjust the project.
- Screening was discussed. There is existing vegetation which would be left in place. Additional vegetative screening could be installed if needed.
- Dual use, with grazing, could be done, which is beneficial to the project.
- Mr. Schmidt asked if there were any concerns with solar at this location. Mr. Cohen urged the developer to review our town plan and specifically the energy portion to help prepare his project. Specifically looking at aesthetics and views.
- Mr. Schmidt asked what the process would be to split the lot. Mr. Burgess stated a subdivision process would be what is needed, along with going through Act 250.
- Mr. Schmidt stated there will be a significant tax benefit to the town for allowing this project and plans to discuss this with the Select Board.
- Ms. Noyes-Pulling stated the Select Board asked the group to move forward with the Municipal Planning Grant. Ms. Poli will be helping complete it and submit it as well.
- The next meeting will be October 15th, subsequent meetings will be on the original schedule unless something else needed it to be changed.
Approval of minutes 8/27/2020:
- Mr. Peterson moved to approve the minutes. Ms. Poli seconded the motion. Mr. Stearns name was added to the list of attendees of the meeting. Mr. Peterson moved to approve the minutes as amended. Ms. Poli seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.
- Mr. Peterson moved to adjourn. Mr. Hunter seconded the motion. The meeting adjourned at 7:46 PM.
Respectfully submitted, Bill Sweet
Rutland Town Planning Commission Chair