Pittsford Planning Commission Meeting
August 31, 2017
Board Members Present: David Soulia, Dave Mills, Rick Conway, Chuck Charbonneau, Kevin Blow, Mark Winslow
Board Members Absent: Colleen Hobbs
Also in Attendance: Jeff Biasuzzi – Zoning Administrator
- Call to order
The meeting was called to order at 7:00PM by David Soulia – Chair.
- Approval of Agenda
A motion was made by Mark Winslow and seconded by Dave Mills to approve the agenda. The motion passed unanimously.
- Approval of Minute
June 15, 2017 Special Planning Commission Meeting and July 27, 2017 Regular Meeting
A motion was made by Dave Mills and seconded by Rick Conway to approve the minutes of the June 15, 2017 Special Planning Commission meeting and July 27, 2017 Regular Planning Commission Meeting. The motion passed with one abstention – Mark Winslow.
- Public Comments
Jeff Biasuzzi reported the State has provided information on the 2018 Municipal Planning Grant Program. There is a requirement to attend an introductory session in September on the program and the deadline for applying for the grants is October 2nd. The grants will not require a matching fund and will provide grants up to $8,000.00. Starting next year, there will be a 20% match. Mr. Biasuzzi volunteered to draft a planning grant and suggested it could relate to subdivision regulations. Mr. Biasuzzi advised that Mr. Haverstock had also suggested he would draft a grant application for economic opportunities. The Planning Commission was in agreement with submitting the grant applications. Mr. Biasuzzi will attend the introductory meeting. Rick Conway suggested a Planning Commission member should also attend the grant seminar.
Mr. Biasuzzi advised there is a Municipal Government Day scheduled for September 15th in Montpelier. There will be a variety of sessions available. There will also be a regional seminar in Rutland at the Asa Bloomer building on September 22nd that will concentrate on wetlands and floodplains. Mr. Biasuzzi stated the Town would cover the registration and travel costs for Planning Commission members to attend. Rick Conway requested the information on the seminars be emailed to the Planning Commission members.
- Review and Vote on Application #17-17
Rick Conway stated the Planning Commission would have to approve the right of way. Jeff Biasuzzi advised the right of way is supposed to go through the Caverly School and extend to service any of the other town properties. Mr. Biasuzzi stated the document provided was a draft and can be changed according to the Planning Commission’s comments. It was noted that Item 5 is the enforcement tool if the applicant does not do what they are supposed to do and any unauthorized changes, such as changing the boundary lines could be cause for revocation. Mr. Conway suggested this is an overzealous document and he would prefer friendlier language. He stated any necessary permits that they have to get from the State are a requirement and there may be something they didn’t realize they need. Mr. Conway suggested Item 5 be eliminated. He stated the evidence and testimony was clear and if there is some issue it would come to fruition.
A motion was made by Rick Conway and seconded by Mark Winslow to remove Item #5 from the decision. The motion passed unanimously.A motion by Dave Mills and seconded by Rick Conway to approve the document, as amended. The motion passed unanimously.
- Continue Town Plan Updating Process
a. Cemetery Addition
Information for the Town Plan relating to the cemeteries in Town was provided by John Haverstock following the Select Board meeting.
A motion was made by Kevin Blow and seconded by Rick Conway to approve the Cemetery addition to the Town Plan. The motion passed unanimously.
b. Energy Section
David Soulia provided the Planning Commission a copy of Hubbardton’s Town Plan Section on Energy that was provided by the Rutland Regional Planning Commission as an example for the Town Plan. It was suggested that basic information is better. Dave Mills stated the statistical information can be obtained. Mark Winslow volunteered to draft the Energy Section for the Town Plan working off Hubbardton’s format and he will provide a draft copy by the next Planning Commission meeting for review and approval. Planning Commission members were asked to provide any input to Mr. Winslow prior to the next meeting. Mr. Soulia provided a document that outlined the data required to update the Energy section. Mr. Mills suggested an action for the Energy section could be to invite energy vendors to Pittsford Days to provide the community information.
c. Housing Section
David Soulia advised the website, factfinder.census.gov, has a link for housing. Dave Mills stated Barbara Noyes Pulling has all the information and Mr. Mills will contact her to obtain the data. Mr. Soulia advised that Ed Bove had indicated because the zoning allows multi-unit housing, it covers the low-income requirement. There are figures that show the population is supposed to be declining and there are many houses available for purchase. Mr. Soulia and Mr. Mills will draft the Housing section for the Planning Commission to consider.
d. Additional Items
Rick Conway reported he has contacted Steve Schilds regarding the maps for the Town Plan. Mr. Schilds advised the State wants to see the river corridors defined on a map and has noted that he will have the maps completed by next Tuesday. Mr. Conway will forward the maps via email to all Planning Commission members once he receives them. The Future Land Use map is already in the Plan.
With regard to the Town Plan hearing process, Mr. Conway noted that as long as the Planning Commission has the hearing warned before it laps, the approval process would be able to move forward. It was recommended to confirm this with Ed Bove of the RRPC. The Planning Commission will be required to have one hearing and the Select Board is required to have two hearings.
Kevin Blow questioned if it would be possible to have a hearing to amend the Zoning Ordinance regarding a change in use for Route 3 and Route 7 at the same time as the Town Plan hearings. It was recommended to complete the Town Plan process first and then take action on the Zoning Ordinance. Dave Mills stated changing the Future Land Use Map will open the areas up to be changed at a later date and the Planning Commission will be able to change the zoning. Chuck Charbonneau questioned why the Town Zoning maps could not be done at the same time. It was noted if there are potential issues with the Zoning maps; it could postpone the approval of the Town Plan. It was suggested once the Town Plan is approved; the changes to the Zoning Regulations could be the next action of the Planning Commission. Mr. Charbonneau stated he would explain this to the constituents that the Planning Commission will act on the Zoning amendments once the Town Plan is approved. Mark Winslow stated the process is being done logically and suggested the Town Plan be completed prior to moving forward with additional changes. It was suggested to have a special Planning Commission meeting on September 14th at 7PM. Jeff Biasuzzi advised that the warning for the hearing has to be published 15 days before the date of the hearing. Copies of the Town Plan with a brief explanation must be mailed to the abutting municipalities, the Regional Planning Commission and the State government agency associated with the Plans at least 30 days prior to the public hearing. Mr. Biasuzzi will mail the document on September 15th to the appropriate groups, provided the draft Town Plan is approved by the Planning Commission at that meeting. It was suggested to send a draft Plan to Ed Bove of the RRPC prior to the meeting. The Planning Commission hearing will be scheduled for 6PM on October 19th that will be followed by a Special Planning Commission meeting on the same night. On the assumption, there are no changes, the Select Board could hold their first hearing on November 29th and the second hearing on December 6th, if there are no revisions required. It was noted the Select Board should be advised of the tight timeline for approval. If the Planning Commission hearing were to be recessed, it was suggested to recess the hearing to the following Monday, October 23rd. It was suggested if there are a large number of people in attendance, a time limit for each person testifying could be defined. It was agreed the October 26th regular Planning Commission meeting be cancelled, if the Town Plan moves forward to the Select Board following the Planning Commission hearing. The Planning Commission’s October 19th hearing and the potential hearing on October 23rd will be held at Lothrop School.
Dave Mills advised there is an ice cream social to be held at the Forrest Village Farm on September 10th from 3:00PM to 5:00PM. The idea is to get the community involved and get families out to see the property. The event will provide an opportunity for people to talk with the Morgans about the property.
- Schedule Dates
September 14, 2017 – 7PM – Special Planning Commission Meeting – Town Offic
October 19, 2017 – 6PM – Town Plan Hearing and Special Planning Commission Meeting – Lothrop School
A motion was made by Mark Winslow and seconded by Kevin Blow to adjourn the meeting at 8:58PM. The motion passed unanimously.
The Pittsford Planning Commission