OFFICE OF THE PLANNING COMMISSION
Town of Halifax, Vermont
PLANNING COMMISSION MEETING MINUTES
May 8, 2018
Call to Order
The meeting was called to order at 6:58 p.m. Planning Commission members Turner Lewis, Bill Pusey, Kaitlin Stone, and Jason Ashcroft were present; Alice Aldrich was out-of-state and unable to attend. Also present were John Bennett (WRC), Stephan Chait, and Robbin Gabriel.
Changes and Additions to Agenda
Stephan Chait had some information he wished to share later in the meeting.
Approval of Previous Meeting Minutes
Kaitlin Stone made a motion to approve the 4/10/18 regular meeting minutes as written. Jason Cooper seconded the motion, which passed, 4-0.
Town Plan Update—John Bennett
Before beginning on the Town Plan sections scheduled for review this evening, Commissioners discussed details of their previous work. Turner Lewis contributed a rewrite of the paragraph describing early roads in Halifax, and Gabriel had some specifics on the location of the old drill field in Halifax Center. John Bennett distributed print-outs of WRC’s 2018 Halifax town profile, and then offered a series of suggestions for minor additions and changes, gleaned from Windham Regional’s earlier Forest Stewardship recommendations, to the Land Use section of the Plan. Several of those proposals were related to increasing Conservation District size and/or lot size and frontage. Chait suggested there might be alternatives that would promote the State’s objective of protecting and preserving forest habitat blocks and connectivity without changing current Conservation District specifications.
Bennett and the Board next worked through the Town Plan sections on natural resource use and conservation, and community facilities and services, making minor corrections to text and updating information to bring it in line with present-day circumstances. Portions of the section on solid waste will be re-written to reflect changes in Windham Solid Waste Management District operations and recycling. In the years since the last plan update, changes and additions have been made to Vermont State statutes. Plan wording was altered in several instances to take those changes into consideration. The Board will also revise the section on education to make note of the recent Act 46 school merger, and Kaitlin Stone will draft an update on the health and emergency services section. Other discussion touched on the status of cell phone and Internet broadband access in town, and whether the town office is ADA compliant.
Just prior to closing, Chait advised the Board that the Marlboro Conservation Commission is interested in working with adjacent towns regarding forest block connectivity; they would be willing to come to Halifax for conversation, or Halifax Commissioners (and others) are invited to attend Marlboro meetings.
Hearing of Visitors
The meeting was adjourned at 9:07 p.m.
Planning Commission Interim Secretary