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July 26, 2017 [HPC]

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Field Producer: Jude Domski

Town of Hinesburg Planning Commission July 26, 2017 Approved August 23, 2017

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

Members Absent: James Donegan, 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 7:31 pm.

Agenda Changes: None.

Public Comments for Non‐Agenda Items: None.

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

The Commission continued their systematic review of each proposed item beginning with item 5.1.2 #2.

Section 5.1.1 #2 – Home occupation allowed size for simple zoning permit

Alex W. said there are essentially three levels of permitting for home occupations: Permitted use, conditional use and larger home occupations and cottage industries. He said this section refers to regulations governing permitted use home occupations, which are currently limited in size to not more than 20% of the total livable floor area in a dwelling. He went on to say that this wording creates a loophole where a home occupation located in an attached garage, for example, would have no size limit because it is not part of the livable floor area of the dwelling. The proposed language clarifies that permitted home occupations may not be larger than 20% of the principal dwelling structure, regardless of whether it is located in the principal structure or not.

5.1.1 #5, 5.1.2 #4, 5.2.6 – Home occupation traffic allowance

Alex W. said that the regulations currently restrict traffic volume allowances for all home occupations to not exceed what would normally be expected in a neighborhood of a similar type. There is also a finite cap on trips regardless of normal neighborhood traffic. He said that this creates some incongruities, since a home occupation situated on a busy road (Rte 116, for example) could have far more trips than

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Approved PC Meeting Minutes – 07/26/2017 Page 1

the current limit yet have very little effect on the expected traffic in the neighborhood. The proposed language retains the requirement that traffic still be characteristic of the neighborhood, but recognizes that different types of roads have different “background” traffic volumes.

Joe I. said that he appreciates having a numerical limit, and suggested placing different limits on different classes of roads (more allowable trips for roads that normally have higher traffic volumes, less allowable trips for roads with lower traffic volumes). He also suggested incorporating a percentage of overall neighborhood round trips.

There was general discussion about the benefits of keeping conservative limits on traffic volumes, other options, and how the regulations would be enforced. Maggie G. suggested devising a range for number of trips (high/moderate/low) for conditional use home occupations and Joe I. suggested language indicating trips shall not exceed a certain number. Jeff F. suggested looking at the individual neighborhood and calculating an allowable percentage of the overall traffic volume. It was noted that conditional use home occupations would be reviewed by the DRB and that without numerical limits it would be up to their discretion.

The Commission agreed to leave section 5.1.1 #5 as currently written. For sections 5.1.2 #4 and 5.2.6, John K. suggested investigating how other town’s approach the matter. Alex W. suggested adding the discussion to the agenda of the next DRB meeting to see if the Board had any thoughts or suggestions.

5.6.3 – Front yard parking allowance

Alex W. said that the proposed language clarifies that new parking spaces in front yards of existing buildings are prohibited unless they are well screened and approved by the DRB.

Joe I. noted the regulations state that if more than one structure is served by the parking area, parking may be allowed in front of half of the structures. He inquired about the rationale for this allowance. General discussion about parking followed.

John K. noted that there is currently no mention of the types of screening materials to be used (vegetation vs. fencing, etc.). He also noted that there is no mention of desired spacing of vegetation, nor are there requirements on replacing dead or dying screening vegetation. There was general discussion about the Commission’s desire for sufficient vegetative screening that still allows for open areas to mitigate a feeling of solid walls in front of buildings.

Alex W. said he would work on clarifying this section.

Approved PC Meeting Minutes – 07/26/2017 Page 2

5.8 – Accessory uses and structure

Alex W. said that this section was rewritten as a result of the Commission’s recent discussions about this item. Barbara F. asked about regulating animal enclosures and Alex W. said that the town does not regulate agricultural uses. He added that the Select Board could adopt an ordinance addressing animals, but said that the zoning regulations would not be the best place to do so.

Jeff F. asked if there was a town noise ordinance and Alex W. said that the Select Board had discussed it and determined that it was not appropriate for the town at this time.

The Commission was able to review the following sections:

5.1.1 #2 – Home occupation allowed size for simple zoning permit 5.1.1 #5, 5.1.2 #4, 5.2.6 – Home occupation traffic allowance 5.2.2 #2 – Cottage industry as a principal structure
5.3.2 – contractor yards

5.4.5 #1 – Sign illumination, internal illumination prohibition 5.4.5 #2 – Sign lighting placement and intensity guidance 5.5.1 – Parking lot access
5.5.2 – Parking lot ADA requirement

5.6.3 – Front yard parking allowance 5.6.4 – Exterior lighting requirements 5.6.11 – Drive‐thru windows/service 5.7.1 – Access strip allowance

5.8 – Accessory uses and structures
The Commission will resume their review with section 5.9 – Accessory Apartments.

Minutes of 07/12/17 Meeting: Maggie G. made a motion to approve the 07/12/17 minutes as written. Barbara F. seconded the motion. The Board voted 6‐0. John K. abstained.

Other Business & Correspondence

Alex W. said that he will not be at the next meeting. The Commission decided to cancel the meeting, as Alex W. is an integral component to the housekeeping changes.

Alex W. said that the Select Board has scheduled a hearing on the Town Plan on August 31, 2017. He said that prior to the hearing the Commission needs to review changes the Select Board made to the Plan. He said the Commission can review the Plan at the August 23, 2017 meeting.

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Approved PC Meeting Minutes – 07/26/2017 Page 3

Joe I. inquired about the sale of Sunset Villa. Alex W. said that the residents have a certain amount of time to make an offer, and if they vote to make an offer then they will receive an additional amount of time to complete the sale. If the residents do not vote to make an offer then it could be sold to an interested buyer. Alex W. said that Hinesburg’s affordable housing committee is monitoring the situation.

Joe I. made a motion to adjourn the meeting. John K. seconded the motion. The Commission voted 7‐0. The meeting adjourned at 9:33 pm.

Respectfully submitted,

Dawn Morgan, Recording Secretary

Approved PC Meeting Minutes – 07/26/2017 Page 4 

Episode Number: 
Original Airdate: 
Wednesday, July 26, 2017

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