Planning Commission Meeting Minutes 11-2-2017

Town of Fairlee Library
221 US Rte 5 N
Fairlee, Vermont  05045

Thursday November 2, 2017

PRESENT
  • Commission Members: Mark Bishop, Chair; Susanne Pacilio, Vice Chair; Miranda Clemson; Denis Lambert; E. Smith Reed
  • Zoning Administrator: Chris Brimmer
  • Visitor: Grover Boutin
  • Minutes Clerk: Joanna Bligh
CALL TO ORDER: 6:15 PM

Mark Bishop, Chair, called the meeting to order.

AGENDA MODIFICATIONS:

Denis Lambert asked to add an item named “Other Business” to the end of Agendas for future meetings.

MOTION: Denis Lambert moved and Mark Bishop seconded the motion to include “Other Business” in the Agendas. The vote passed unanimously.

REVIEW AND APPROVAL OF MINUTES

MOTION: Susanne Pacilio moved and Denis Lambert seconded the motion to accept the Minutes from October 5, 2017, with modifications. The vote passed unanimously.

PUBLIC CONCERNS AND INPUT

Mark Bishop asked if there were any public comments. Grover Boutin commented that the general appearance of the Town was a concern to him He stated he was a prior Selectperson and recalled that in the archive there is a plan for the redevelopment of Fairlee. Grover Boutin also stated that he is interested in filling the vacancy on the Planning Commission.

Planning Commission Vacancy—Grover Boutin

Mark Bishop asked the Commission members if there were any questions for Grover Boutin. Denis Lambert requested that Grover Boutin give the Commission a brief background of his past work. Grover Boutin responded that he and his family moved to Fairlee in 1997, and he worked for the Army Corp of Engineers until 2003, when he retired. For a few years he worked in Mobile, Alabama, managing a telecom network. He also was on the Fairlee School Board for three years and is involved and cares about the Town.

ENERGY SECTION COMPLIANCE with Two Rivers Ottauquechee-Regional Commission (TRORC), Woodstock VT (http://www.trorc.org/)

Mark Bishop stated that the Town is losing opportunities for grants. Susanne Pacilio noted that the grant opportunities should be incorporated into the Town Plan based on information from TRORC. She also asked how to get an energy update (i.e., the number of vehicles in town and the average miles traveled). Mark Bishop stated that the Vermont Agency of Transportation (VTrans) has that data. Susanne Pacilio continued and asked if the VTrans data included household fuel use and thermal energy targets. Chris Brimmer stated that regional grants have to comply with targets, which will guide new construction, zoning bylaws, and Town ordinances. Denis Lambert stated that compiling data will take work and suggested the work be divided among the Commission based on data source. Chris Brimmer stated that the U.S. Census has lots of data in the Summary File (SF) Tables. Mark Bishop stated that the Commission will divide the work as follows: Mark Bishop will research VTrans and Susanne Pacilio will look up Public Service data.

TOWN PLAN

Economic Development

Chris Brimmer stated that economic development in the Town has 3 venues: Town Hall (renovations), Town Common, and Railroad Station.  There is an energy-efficiency grant of $10,000 for windows in the Town Hall in conjunction with the economic plan for the Town Hall renovations. With permission from the Commission, Chris Brimmer stated that he will have a draft for that grant at the next meeting.
MOTION: Mark Bishop moved and Susanne Pacilio seconded the motion for Chris Brimmer, Zoning Administrator, to prepare a grant for Town Hall window replacement. The vote passed unanimously.

Housing Goals

Chris Brimmer stated that Twin Pines Housing Trust may be interested in some of the properties for sale in Fairlee to promote low-to-moderate income housing. He further noted that some of the properties may be mixed-use, and, in developing housing units, the Town could get a tax credit from the Agency of Commerce and Community Development. Smith Reed suggested that in writing up the Town Plan, they will be specific about the housing goals. Susanne Pacilio stated that in the 2014 Town Plan, there were policies and recommendations, including more family units in the Village. She continued that in the Town Plan (p. 13, graph), five housing units were built between 2000 and 2010. Chris Brimmer noted that the trend has flattened, and those units were single-family homes, not rental units. Smith Reed stated that the proposal in the Town Plan needs to be rewritten and that he will edit the proposal for discussion at the next meeting. Mark Bishop stated that he will add that item to the agenda.

Social Infrastructure—Catamount Arts

Chris Brimmer noted that Elizabeth Wilson is the Treasurer of Catamount Arts (CA), and the representatives of CA who attended the Selectboard meeting on October 23, 2017, were happy with the Town Hall space, especially the prospect of air conditioning during performances. Miranda Clemson stated that CA has the infrastructure to bring performances to the Town, including a mobile stage. Denis Lambert stated that Elizabeth Wilson has been appointment by the Selectboard to form an Arts Advisory Committee/Council. Chris Brimmer suggested that the hours of operations for local business be coordinated with the arts presentations. Smith Reed noted that the Planning Commission will give Elizabeth Wilson support as she sets up the advisory council. Mark Bishop noted that he would like to direct the Planning Commission to invite Elizabeth Wilson to the next meeting, and that he will also advise the Selectboard. 

OTHER BUSINESS

Town Report

Denis Lambert stated that the Town Meeting report needs to be reviewed. Mark Bishop stated that he will put it on the agenda in January 2018.

Dollar General

Mark Bishop asked if there were photos of the damage to the wall of the building. Chris Brimmer stated that pictures were sent to the Vermont Department of Labor and to the State Fire Marshal. Smith Reed noted that the Dollar General headquarters needs to be informed. Susanne Pacilio stated that a law firm in Rutland, VT, represents Dollar General. Miranda Clemson suggested letters be sent to their headquarters with photos of the damage.

Energy Maps

Susanne Pacilio asked if there were energy maps for the Town. Chris Brimmer stated that there are maps of solar, wind, hydro, and other existing energy sources available to put in the Town Plan.

ADJOURN: 8:00 PM

MOTION: Susanne Pacilio made a motion and Denis Lambert seconded the motion to close the meeting. The motion passed unanimously.

Note. There was no audio recording available for this meeting.

Attest: Joanna Bligh, Minutes Clerk

 

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