OFFICE OF THE PLANNING COMMISSION
Town of Halifax, Vermont
PLANNING COMMISSION REGULAR MEETING MINUTES
March 8, 2016
Call to Order
The meeting was called to order at 7:08 p.m. Planning Commission members Sirean LaFlamme, Bill Pusey, Brian McNeice, Stephan Chait, and Linda Lyon were present, as were Rick Gay, Susan Kelly, and Robbin Gabriel.
Changes and Additions to Agenda
Sirean LaFlamme advised the Commission would discuss any needed corrections to the newly approved zoning regulations before sending the file to the printer.
Approval of Previous Meeting Minutes
Gabriel noted that Steve Barrows had attended the February 9th meeting. His name was not included in the first draft of the minutes but has now been added to the list of attendees.
Linda Lyon made a motion to approve the 2/9/16 regular meeting minutes as written. Sirean LaFlamme seconded the motion, which passed, 5-0.
Finalize Report and Set Public Hearing Date for Zoning Repeal Petition
Stephan Chait told the Board he had discussed the zoning repeal report draft, as well as some proposed additional text, with Windham Regional Commission’s John Bennett. Bennett suggested several editorial changes to both; Chait outlined the details for his fellow Commissioners.
In subsequent discussion, Commissioners noted that new construction would be harder to track if no building permits were required, and flood regulations would need to be re-established either as stand-alone regulations or as a town ordinance for Halifax to be eligible for federal flood insurance and state emergency assistance funds. Concerns were expressed regarding a possible gap in eligibility between a potential repeal of regulations and the re-establishment of flood regulations. After agreeing to include Chait’s new text—an example of how zoning repeal does not conform to the Town Plan—the Planning Commission requested Chait to revise the draft. They will conduct a final review at their April meeting before setting a first hearing date.
Zoning Administrator Recommendation
Rick Gay recently announced he would be retiring as Zoning Administrator. LaFlamme told the Commission three individuals—Rick Mirucki, Dan Menerey, and Ray White—had expressed interest in the position. The Planning Commission makes a recommendation to the Selectboard when a new Zoning Administrator is to be appointed. Do we just have names, or do we have backgrounds?, asked Linda Lyon. We have nothing in writing, responded LaFlamme. Gay said Menerey had written much of the zoning, and was most qualified; he (Gay) said it is important the appointed person be able to handle the permit paperwork. After further conversation, the Commissioners agreed they would like some background information on the candidates. Gabriel will request letters of interest from the three individuals, and the Planning Commission will hold a special meeting on Tuesday, March 15, 2016, at 7:00 p.m. to consider a recommendation.
Hearing of Visitors
LaFlamme told the meeting she is opening a business in Readsboro and will be moving there in the next several weeks. She plans, however, to continue in her positions on the Planning Commission and ZBA until her term expires in 2017.
Commissioners have submitted several minor corrections to the paginated version of the newly approved zoning regulations. Gabriel will be sending the completed file to the printer this week.
The meeting was adjourned at 8:00 p.m.
Interim Planning Commission Secretary