OFFICE OF THE PLANNING COMMISSION
Town of Halifax, Vermont
PLANNING COMMISSION REGULAR MEETING MINUTES
June 13, 2017
Call to Order
The meeting was called to order at 7:00 p.m. Planning Commission members Bill Pusey, Turner Lewis, Kaitlin Stone, Patricia Dow, and Alice Aldrich were present. William Moore, Valerie Ashcroft, Jason Ashcroft, and Robbin Gabriel were also in attendance.
Changes and Additions to Agenda
Approval of Previous Meeting Minutes
Patty Dow made a motion to approve the5/9/17 public hearing and regular meeting minutes with three corrections. Turner Lewis seconded the motion, which passed, 5-0.
At their April 11th meeting, the Planning Commission voted Bill Pusey as Chair and Turner Lewis as Vice-Chair. As Pusey was not present that evening, they also agreed to revisit the topic at a later date. During this evening’s discussion, Pusey said he would prefer that Lewis hold the Chair position, as he (Pusey) was self-employed and at times other obligations kept him from attending meetings. Lewis advised he was willing, provided that he could rely on Pusey for general advice and to head the July, September, and October meetings this year. Alice Aldrich made a motion to appoint Turner Lewis as Chairman and Bill Pusey as Vice Chair of the Planning Commission. Patty Dow seconded the motion, which passed, 5-0.
Final Permit Form Review
The Board made note of a few minor changes to revised Town permit forms, and clarified a question on structure roof alterations. A simple replacement project, as in new shingles or metal to replace deteriorating materials, does not require a permit, but permits must be issued for any structural change, such as change in pitch or the addition of a dormer.
The final revised permit forms will be posted on the Town web site where they can be easily accessed by applicants.
Zoning administrator Bill Moore has received a query regarding the possible reduction of existing driveway right-of-way width on a piece of property. The Board advised that question should go before the Selectboard. Another property owner, who owns two adjacent parcels, would like to build a house on one parcel to replace a dwelling destroyed by fire. The proposed position of the new building would not adhere to one setback requirement, which falls between the two adjoining parcels. Dow advised bringing a variance request to the Planning Commission for consideration.
Finally, Moore revisited the situation at 194 Old Green River Road, which was discussed at the May 9th meeting. (See https://halifaxvermont.com/committees/planning-commission/2012-planning-commission-meeting-minutes/2017-05-09-planning-commission-regular-meeting-minutes-draft/.) Permits have been issued for a shed, which is to be removed by October 31st or before the first snowfall, and for temporary living quarters during reconstruction. Moore said there is no working septic system and the current resident, who is not the property owner, will not be able to install a system which meets State regulations. Alice Aldrich has visited the site and reports a septic pipe is in place between an RV being used as living quarters and a dry well or septic tank which once serviced a mobile home subsequently destroyed by fire. Aldrich said the resident told her that pipe is carrying gray water, while a Porta-Potty is being utilized as toilet facilities. Valerie Ashcroft noted she believed the water supply and septic connection had been removed from the property assessment. If the water and septic have been put back into use, don’t they have to be reinstated?, she asked. Aldrich will call the State Wastewater department with questions about regulations. The Board will also speak to the Constable about a damaged car, parked alongside Old Green River Road, which has not been removed.
Some further discussion concerned accessory dwelling units, and Bill Pusey related his experience with a wastewater engineer inspecting property which Pusey expects to subdivide for transfer to his son. Pusey said the engineer advised his (Pusey’s) main property would also have to be perc tested, and an alternative design created for use should Pusey’s existing system fail. This unexpected information raised further questions which Aldrich will pose to the State wastewater agency.
Hearing of Visitors
Pusey made a motion to adjourn the meeting. Aldrich seconded the motion, which passed, 5-0. The meeting was adjourned at 8:30 p.m.
Interim Planning Commission Secretary