OFFICE OF THE PLANNING COMMISSION
Town of Halifax, Vermont
PLANNING COMMISSION MEETING MINUTES
March 12, 2019
Call to Order
The meeting was called to order at 7:00 p.m. Planning Commission members Turner Lewis, Bill Pusey, Kaitlin Stone, and Alice Aldrich were present; Jason Ashcroft was absent. Stephan Chait, Cara Cheyette, Kim Hurley, and Robbin Gabriel were also in attendance.
Changes and Additions to Agenda
Alice Aldrich advised the Board that she had received a query about permitting requirements for the cabins at Abbott’s Glen; specifically whether the permits contained a condition that they could not be rented. As the majority of the present Board members were not serving when those permits were issued, they did not have an answer, and considered this to be a question for the Zoning Administrator.
Bill Pusey recounted a conversation he had with Thurber Road residents concerning their request to discontinue a portion of the road. In general discussion, Commissioners gave Pusey some details of the situation which had been shared in previous meetings, and Gabriel said the Selectboard would address the question in the spring when weather allows site visits. Cara Cheyette mentioned there were two sides to every story.
Approval of Previous Meeting Minutes
The October 9th meeting and hearing minutes could not be approved due to various absences from those sessions.
Alice Aldrich made a motion to approve the 1/8/19 regular meeting minutes as written. Turner Lewis seconded the motion, which passed, 4-0.
Acting Zoning Administrator Recommendation
Turner Lewis advised that Rick Gay was willing to accept a recommendation for the position of Acting Zoning Administrator. Commissioners unanimously agreed to recommend Gay for the position. The Selectboard will be making yearly appointments at their April 2nd meeting.
Discuss Conservation Commission
Seven individuals have expressed interest in serving on the Halifax Conservation Commission. Turner Lewis read letters and emails into the record from the following applicants: David Towler, Linda Huebner, Laurel Copeland, Stephan Chait, David Jones, Fabio Garelli-Carasi, and Jessica Cooney. Per statute, the Conservation Commission can have three to nine members; Lewis suggested five would be a good number. Stephan Chait volunteered to act as a liaison between the Conservation and Planning boards, should he be appointed to the Conservation Commission. Pusey made a motion to have Stephan Chait serve as liaison between the Conservation and Planning Commissions. Alice Aldrich seconded the motion, which passed, 4-0.
Hearing of Visitors
.Kim Hurley, who lives on Collins Road, had submitted a permit for a boundary line adjustment between her property and the adjacent Witte parcel. The Zoning Administrator has approved the permit, and both property owners are in agreement, but Hurley was not sure if the Planning Commission needed to hold a hearing on the request. Hurley described the topography and plan for adjustment and told Pusey where the boundary markers were. The Commissioners were of the opinion that a boundary adjustment of this nature did not need to go through a hearing, but Gabriel took Hurley’s contact information and said she would confirm that information.
Stephan Chait complimented the Planning Commission for the work done to update the Town Plan. The revised Plan was approved by the voters at Town Meeting. Chait also recommended the Plan now be submitted to Windham Regional Commission for approval. WRC approval gives Towns eligibility for grants which would not otherwise be available. Lewis told the meeting 162 votes were cast on Town Meeting day, which 92 voting yes, 26 voting no, and 42 blank ballots. Kaitlin Stone said she missed the question completely; it was printed at the bottom of the ballot. Commissioners suggested many other voters missed the question for the same reason.
Bill Pusey introduced the topic of junk cars on private property; he expressed concern that the State did not make more resources available to deal with that issue. There was general discussion on the topic, including vehicles on the property and in the road at the base of Town Hill and on Route 112 at the Massachusetts border.
Gabriel said the approved Town Plan will soon be posted on the Town web site and files will be sent to the printer. She also mentioned there had been no further word from Windham Regional Commission on the enhanced energy project; which was waiting for grant funding. Chait will be attending a WRC meeting on Monday and will ask John Bennett about the status of the project.
The meeting was adjourned at 8:05 p.m.
Planning Commission Interim Secretary