Town of Halifax, Vermont
June 10, 2009
Call to Order
The meeting was called to order at 7:10 PM. Members in attendance were Chair Christina Moore, Norman Fajans, Craig Stone, Howard Alboum, and Sirean LaFlamme. Board members William Pusey, Paul Placentino, and Brian McNeice were absent. Others in attendance were Margo Avakian, and Secretary Phyllis Evanuk.
Mrs. Moore asked that Ms. Evanuk, as WRC representative, recap the information regarding the re-adoption of the Town Plan that had been presented at the Selectboard meeting. Ms. Evanuk advised it was an update with proposed time schedule for the public hearings. It had also been suggested that a voting session be scheduled strictly for the re-adoption. The general feeling of the Selectboard was that no decision would be made regarding a special session until after the public hearings. If there was a definitive turnout, they would consider whether or not to wait until the regular Town Meeting.
Mrs. Moore opened discussion on the possibility of splitting the Planning Commission and ZBA so that the same members are not both developing the rules and then enforcing them, as is the case now. She suggested that in order not to have time taken away from planning to deal with zoning, two five-member boards could each tend to the issues they are faced with. After some general discussion it was the general consensus that a better option would be, except for brief administrative duties such as approval of minutes, to schedule ZBA hearings for a different day than the scheduled Planning Commission meetings. Because the ZBA hearings are not a regular event, this should work okay.
Mrs. Moore advised that in July there will be two meetings. The regular meeting will be on July 8th and the public hearing on July fifteenth.
Ms. Evanuk requested approval to write the cover for the required mailing of Town Plan copies to the surrounding towns and other statutory parties.
Mr. Fajans moved to approve Ms. Evanuk’s request.
Mrs. Moore seconded the motion which carried 5-0.
Mrs. Moore then asked for comment regarding whether or not to set aside consideration of a new Town Plan until after the public hearings on re-adoption. There is a lot of work that needs to be done, and possibly a better method could be applied.
Ideas that were put forth were:
- Each member could take a section and review it at home, bring suggestions back for the consideration of the whole group.
- More than one person should review the same section to give a broader interpretation and viewpoint.
- In the past there have been sub-committees reviewing and suggesting.
- Many areas need to be updated, while some areas need little or no change.
Mr. Fajans advised that perhaps the best way would be for each member to read and choose some sections that they have knowledge or expertise in.
It was noted that they had gone over a portion of the Plan before and made suggestions, but no definitive changes were decided upon. It was further noted that they had not worked on the Plan since September 10th.
Mr. Stone advised that the members should all read through the plan as there are numerous things that need to be updated, and verified.
Mrs. Moore advised that on July 8th the members will confirm the procedure and rules for the re-adoption public hearing in preparation for the July 15th hearing.
Approval of Minutes
Mr. Stone moved to approve the minutes from the May 13, 2009 meeting.
Mrs. LaFlamme seconded the motion which carried 5-0.
The meeting was adjourned at 8:13 PM.
Phyllis H. Evanuk