Town of Halifax, Vermont
May 11, 2010
Call to Order
The meeting was called to order at 7:43 PM. Members in attendance were Chair Howard Alboum, Chris Estep, Norman Fajans, Sirean LaFlamme, Brian McNeice, and William Pusey. Bradley Rafus was absent. Others in attendance were Zoning Administrator Rick Gay, Joe Saladino, Margo Avakian, and Secretary Phyllis Evanuk.
Mr. Alboum advised that before they approved minutes and continued the meeting he would like to hear from the visitor in attendance.
Mr. Joe Saladino advised he would like to address the Board regarding a registered letter of violation he had received from the Zoning Administrator. He advised that he has a neighbor who doesn’t like the light he has on a pole in his yard. He advised the light has been there since 1979 and no one complained until this neighbor moved in 4 years ago. He further advised that he is in the process of renovating the house and property and in approximately 30 days the light should be gone. He has moved the light from the pole to a scaffold which is much lower (at 10’) in an attempt to lessen the ‘alleged’ glare on the neighbor’s property. He stated that there are dirt mounds about 10 feet high between his property and the house occupied by the complainant. He cannot see how his light can shine in the bedroom window of that house. At the request of Mr. Gay he put a piece of plywood on the side of the light to shield the light from glaring sideways.
When Mr. Pusey inquired if there had been any other discussions about other issues that might have led up to this complaint Mr. Saladino readily admitted that there were others.
The Board asked Mr. Gay if there was a way to stop the fines that were mentioned in the violation letter. Mr. Gay advised that if he puts a larger board, at least ten inches wide up on the side of the light it would block the glare to the neighbors property, and when he installs the new lighting on the garage, if it is as he stated it will be in compliance with zoning and the neighbor will have no grounds for complaint. This will end the violation and no fines will be levied.
Mr. Saladino advised that he has no complaints about Mr. Gay, he realizes that he is just doing his job, but he wanted the town to know about this situation.
Mr. Gay advised that he is not a code enforcement officer, he is a zoning administrator. He receives complaints but is not in a position to do anything except report them to the Selectboard. For instance on Brook Road there are a couple of unregistered school buses being used for storage. This comes under the junkyard ordinance which should be under the Selectboard jurisdiction. A discussion of whose responsibility it is to report this or other situations to the Selectboard.
Approval of Minutes
Mr. Estep moved to approve the minutes of the April 14, 2010 meeting as written.
Mrs. LaFlamme seconded the motion, which carried 6-0.
The Commissioners reviewed the application for Alan & Rhonda Ashcraft to subdivide a 3.02+/- acre lot from a 50+/- acre lot on Brook Road. They agreed that a site visit should be conducted before the hearing. The site visit will be conducted at 6:00 PM on June 8th and the public hearing will follow immediately after at the town office.
It was noted that the state has some issues with the property that need addressing, so that until they are addressed, the Commission can hold the hearing, but no permit may be issued until the state permits are approved.
Mr. Gay returned to the meeting to advise the Commissioners that he had checked on Mr. Saladino’s light, from the neighbor’s property and it is “like looking at the sun”. So the complaint is valid.
Mr. Estep noted that at the last meeting Mr. McNeice had suggested having a summarized version of the Rules of Procedure and Ethics Policy rather than having to look through the entire manual. He advised that he thought that was a good idea and if no one objected, he volunteered to work on developing one for their approval. His offer was readily accepted.
The meeting was adjourned at 8:50 PM.
Phyllis H. Evanuk