Planning Commission Meeting Minutes 12-7-2017

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

Thursday, December 7, 2017

PRESENT
  • Commission Members: Mark Bishop, Chair; Sarah Berger; Miranda Clemson; Denis Lambert; E. Smith Reed
  • Zoning Administrator: Chris Brimmer
  • Minutes Clerk: Joanna Bligh
CALL TO ORDER: 6:06 PM

Mark Bishop, Chair, called the meeting to order.

AGENDA MODIFICATIONS:

Chris Brimmer noted that there are no attendees from the Selectboard; therefore, the Selectboard Open House item on the Agenda can be removed. Denis Lambert noted that the agenda item “Other Business” was not added to the end of this meeting’s agenda. Also, a discussion of temporary business signage in the Town will be added.

REVIEW AND APPROVAL OF MINUTES

Denis Lambert noted a spelling error and Mark Bishop corrected missing text.

MOTION: Denis Lambert moved and Smith Reed seconded the motion to accept the Minutes from November 2, 2017, with modifications. The vote passed unanimously.

PUBLIC CONCERNS AND INPUT

Chris Brimmer reported that the Selectboard forwarded the 1 ½–hour, Power Point Webinar “Implementing Act 171: Land Use Planning to Address Forest Fragmentation” for Town officers’ review.

Selectboard Open House/Commissioners Meet & Greet

Mark Bishop stated that these two agenda items are cancelled because of no attendees.

Flood Plain Administration

Chris Brimmer announced that he will be taking the Flood Plain Administration certification exam in December, which will allow monitoring of Lake Morey flood elevations.

Economic Development Planning

An extended discussion was held regarding the Town Economic Plan. The plan includes revisions suggested by the Selectboard, including expanding the scope with a discussion of housing, investment, incubation space, and services. Mark Bishop and Chris Brimmer reported attending the Cohase (www.cohase.org) Community Annual Forum. The forum included brainstorming and focus groups with discussions on broadband/cell phone issues and encouraging utilities to improve services. Chris Brimmer noted that the Housing Study has now been funded from the USDA, and the study will be completed by the end of February 2018. The Planning Commission continued to discuss the Town Hall auditorium space in relation to Catamount Arts and the creation of an Arts Council in Town. Chris Brimmer stated that there is more underutilized public space in Town—the Town Common and the Railroad Station. Many ideas were discussed—farmers’ markets, craft fairs, discovery maps (discoverymap.com), biking events, outdoor winter events, and the development of a brochure/website focusing on recreation and restaurants. Sarah Berger presented materials from the Orton Family Foundation (www.orton.org) “Community Heart & Soul” and suggested inviting representatives from “Heart & Soul” in 2018. Smith Reed noted that he will have a first draft of the Town Plan at the next Planning Commission meeting. Mark Bishop confirmed that the Town Plan will be worked on in January.

Temporary Signage for Businesses

Chris Brimmer noted that Judicial Bureaus allow towns to write tickets ($70 to $250) for noncompliance of regulations. The judicial process includes numerous preliminary letters, official notice (7-day warning), and lawyer involvement approved by Selectboard. Mark Bishop stated that the Commission needs to reread and suggest improvement of the current zoning regulations. Smith Reed noted that a Public Hearing and Selectboard approval would be required.

ADJOURN: 8:18 PM

MOTION: Sarah Berger made a motion and Miranda Clemson seconded the motion to close the meeting. The motion passed unanimously.

Attest: Joanna Bligh, Minutes Clerk

 

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