OFFICE OF THE PLANNING COMMISSION
Town of Halifax, Vermont
PLANNING COMMISSION SPECIAL MEETING
July 28, 2015
Call to Order
The meeting was called to order at 6:15 p.m. Planning Commission members Brian McNeice, Stephan Chait, and Linda Lyon were present; Sirean LaFlamme and Bill Pusey were unable to attend. Attorney Robert Fisher was present, but not in an official capacity—he was scheduled to moderate the ZBA hearing immediately following the Planning Commission meeting. Robbin Gabriel was also in attendance.
Changes and/or Additions to the Agenda
Zoning Regulations Update
Working from John Bennett’s most recent draft, the Commission reviewed some of the few remaining alterations which remain undecided in the revised zoning regulations. After discussion, the Board chose to leave minimum lot size in the Conservation District at 15 acres, pending review of some recommendations on forestry offered by WRC. A 27-acre lot size had been proposed earlier, which would assure property owners were eligible for the state’s Current Use program. Brian McNeice recalled there had been resistance to the idea in the past, and Bob Fisher said other towns have been considering use rather than size in determining minimum acreage. Increasing size requirements would result in a reduction of the number of subdivisions possible on larger parcels. Stephan Chait described some Current Use forestry-approved logging of properties in town as pretty barbaric. Fisher said both state and county foresters oversee those operations, and mentioned the appearance of a logged lot might be perceived differently by a trained versus an untrained eye. Linda Lyon used the project at the corner of Hatch School and Butterfield Roads as an example; some might think it an eyesore, but it has been designed to foster specific habitats.
The Board also considered Section 405: Noise, and after examining some examples of regulations from other towns McNeice suggested combining portions of Wardsboro’s Marlboro’s wording. Discussion of shorelines, pond permitting requirements, the addition of definitions for the terms “plot plan” and “right of way,” and the incorporation/revision of subdivision and flood regulations was postponed until all Commissioners are available.
Hearing of Visitors
The meeting was adjourned at 6:50 p.m.
Interim Planning Commission Secretary