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August 23, 2017 [HPC]

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Field Producer: Emilio Fornatora

Produced by VCAM.



Town of Hinesburg Planning Commission August 23, 2017 Draft

The previous Planning Commission meeting was held on July 26, 2017. The regularly scheduled August 9th meeting was canceled.

Members Present: Maggie Gordon, Barbara Forauer, James Donegan, Dennis Place, Joe Iadanza, John Kiedaisch, Jeff French

Members Absent: Marie Gardener, Rolf Kielman

Public Present: None

Also Present: Alex Weinhagen (Director of Planning & Zoning), Dawn Morgan (Recording Secretary)

Joe I. chaired the meeting, which was called to order at 7:34 pm.

Agenda Changes: Review of Selectboard changes to Town Plan proposal was added prior to the continued review of zoning housekeeping changes.

Public Comments for Non‐Agenda Items: None.

Review of Selectboard changes to Town Plan proposal.

Alex W. explained that when submitting the Town Plan draft to the Selectboard last November, the Commission also generated a report attesting that the Plan met all of the required statutory goals. He said that the Plan was then reviewed by the Selectboard and changes were made as they felt warranted. There are now two public hearings scheduled as an opportunity for the public to review and provide feedback before the plan is finalized. Alex W. also said that the Commission now had an opportunity to review the Selectboard’s changes at this meeting, after which the Commission would generate another report attesting that the Plan was still in compliance with statutory guidelines after the Board’s modifications.

Barbara F. asked if changes made by the Selectboard were refutable if the Commission disagreed, and Alex W. said that Commissioners were welcome to attend the public hearings to express their thoughts directly to the Board. Alex W. said that the Commission could also submit commentary to the Selectboard if they disagreed with a change or had additional input for the Board.

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Draft PC Meeting Minutes – 08/23/2017 Page 1

The Commission reviewed the changes and Alex W. walked through the Selectboard’s thought process for each change. The members expressed minor disappointment with some of the changes, but agreed that none of the changes were material enough to warrant official disagreement.

Substantive changes made by the Selectboard include:
• Page 7 – Top Priorities: Added several top priority actions.
• Page 46 ‐ Actions 5.1.1 & 5.2.1: Revised wording to mirror language in regulations – i.e., to

minimize impact on certain natural resources rather than prohibit any development in such

• Page 46‐47 – Action 5.3.3: Revised and additional wording to broaden the partner

entities and the tools used to encourage land conservation.
• Page 67 – Actions 6.1.7 & 6.1.8: New action items.
• Page 67 – Goal 6.2: Revised wording to include public health rather than simply hazard

• Page 68‐69 – Chapter 6 Narrative: Additional text in the general government and roads

sections to list Town‐owned lands, clarify status of gravel pit, etc.
• Page 71 – Chapter 6 Narrative: Additional text to list Town cemeteries, including a new table. • Page 73‐74 – Chapter 6 Narrative: Revised wording regarding the future of the municipal

wastewater treatment facility and capacity. Eliminated a table that oversimplified possible

• Page 76 – Actions 6.4.5 & 6.4.6: Revisions to reference and mirror Complete Streets legislation

in regards to making road improvements for bicycle and pedestrian use.
• Page 103 – Chapter 8 Narrative: Revised wording to work on developing requirements for

electric vehicle charging in new development. Revised “required” to “encouraged” for energy

efficient lighting. Deleted call for the Town to support a carbon tax.
• Page 121 – Action 6.4.1 (Bissonette Recreation Area): Revised time horizon from long to short. • Page 125 – Action 7.6.1 (Updating Road Standards): Revised time horizon from long to short.

Joe I. made a motion to send the memo as drafted by the Town Planner to the Hinesburg Selectboard with the Planning Commission’s approval of its content. Maggie G. seconded the motion. The Commission voted 7‐0.

Zoning Revisions – housekeeping changes: Review first draft of proposed changes (cont’d from 7/26/17 & 7/12/17 mtgs).

5.9 – Accessory Apartments

The Commission agreed to hold the discussion of this section until the next meeting, as two members who were interested in the topic were unable to attend this meeting.

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Draft PC Meeting Minutes – 08/23/2017 Page 2

5.10.3 – Demolition and replacement on non‐complying structures

Alex W. said that the changes to this section clarify under what circumstances allowances for a non‐ complying structure can be maintained when that structure is demolished and replaced. He said the changes also differentiate between non‐residential and commercial structures. There was discussion about allowances for commercial properties as well as the challenges with regulating mobile homes (older mobile homes have a smaller footprint than newer mobile homes, making it difficult for replacement homes to maintain compliance).

Jeff F. suggested including definitions for demolition and replacement. He expressed concern that someone could try to take advantage of the regulations by demolishing their entire building except for one foundation stone and argue that they did not completely demolish their property. Joe I. suggested language stating that removing more than 49.9% of a structure, for example, could quantify that definition. John K. asked what part of the building the percentage should refer to (e.g., foundation, roof, framing, etc.). Alex W. said that he would make a note and invited the Commission to continue thinking of ways to clarify the definition.

5.20 – Camping

Joe I. suggested including a definition for camping, and there was general discussion regarding the best way to regulate tiny homes. Joe I. said that he thinks of camping vehicles as designed for temporary occupation, with marginal insulation. Whereas a tiny home is typically built to withstand a winter, with studs and insulation. Alex W. said that the current interpretation is that a tiny home is a dwelling unit, regardless of size, and the only time they come into question is if a tiny home remains on wheels (e.g., a trailer).

The Commission was able to discuss and review the following sections:

5.10.3 – Demolition and replacement of non‐complying structures
5.11 – Existing small lots
5.18.5 – Temporary structures
5.19.2, 5.19.3, 5.19.9 – Mobile home replacement in a mobile home park. 5.20 ‐ Camping

The Commission will resume their review with Section 5.9 – Accessory Apartments, which was skipped at this meeting. They will then resume their ordered review with Section 5.21.5 – Affordable housing incentives.

Minutes of 07/26/17 Meeting: Maggie G. made a motion to approve the 07/26/17 minutes as amended. John K. seconded the motion. The Board voted 7‐0.

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Draft PC Meeting Minutes – 08/23/2017 Page 3

Other Business & Correspondence

  John K. inquired about Alex W.’s discussion with the DRB regarding Home Occupations and the traffic associated with them. Alex W. said that, as discussed at the prior Commission meeting, he discussed the topic with the DRB and the Board felt that they would appreciate the ability to use their discretion (as opposed to being provided with a specific, fixed number of vehicle trips allowed).

  Alex W. said that the Town had filed its wetland permit application for the Village North Sidewalk project (along the east side of Rte 116 from the mobile station up to Riggs Rd.). He said that the Town has been planning a sidewalk there for many years, and received a grant many years ago as well. He said that the Town has been working with the State because wetlands go right up to Rte 116, a consensus had been reached and the permit application has been filed.

The meeting adjourned at 9:39 pm. Respectfully submitted,

Dawn Morgan, Recording Secretary

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Draft PC Meeting Minutes – 08/23/2017 Page 4 

Episode Number: 
Original Airdate: 
Wednesday, August 23, 2017

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