Zoning Board of Adjustment Members Present – Stanley Markowski – Chairman, Rick Conway – Vice Chairman, Ed Keith, Jr., Clarence Greeno, Dan Adams, Nicholas Michael and Jack Orvis.
Others Present – David Cooper, Matt Casey, James Haley, Peggy Rawlings, Wm Meub, Leah Boyer Kraft, Bev Peterson, Jill Nolan, Andrea Winslow, Tammy Hitchcock, Alicia Malay, Elizabeth Moyer, Tharron Malay, Allen Mills, Roberta Mills, Ernie Clerihew, Paul Lathrop, Brad Keith, Adam Perry, Sybren Spensley, Elizabeth McRae, Jim McRae, Larry Booker, Slva Karen, Deborah Reynolds, Brian Kamuda, Bruce Douglas, Bethany White, Bonnie Stewart, Frank vonTurkovich, Bill Bruso, Beth Sarandian, Bruce Faulkner, Isabelle Kingsley, Kelly Shannon, Stephen Wood, Kim Moriglioni, Laurence Ryan, Denise Mahoney Michael Thomas, Barb Lalancette, Kirsten Connelly, Keith Bishop, John Bishop, Thon Christiana, Aaron Tinsman Jennifer Tinsman, Francene Cone, Odell Johnston, Dave Soulia, Rondene Wanner, Theodore Gillen, Kristy Hamilton, Kathy Shortsleeves ,Chuck Charbonneau, Brenna Kimball, Jonathon Kimball, Bob DeMarco, Susan Shaw, Eileen Shea, Ricky Vest, Rula Moradi, Mary Lou Moradi, Craig Pelkey, Laurie Pelkey, Atty Gary Kupferer, Jeff Biasuzzi – Zoning Administrator and Kelly Giard – Recording Secretary
S. Markowski, Chairman, called the Zoning Board of Adjustment to order at 7:11 PM.
S. Markowski introduced the members of the Zoning Board of Adjustment.
S. Markowski swore in all in attendance and explained the process of the hearing.
Motion by R. Conway and seconded by C. Greeno to approve the agenda as presented.
Abby Dary, engineer for the project made a presentation to the community members that were in attendance. Some highlights of this presentation included, but are not limited to:
- 8 – 12 regular employees with more added as seasonal employees
- Hours of operation will be 8:00 AM – 10:00 PM – 7 days per week
- The delivery schedule is 1 tractor trailer truck per week and smaller box truck deliveries per day
- The landscaping, trash and snow removal will keep the area presentable
- The front of the structure will be on the Plains Road
- The parking will be on the front side; there are plans to install a sidewalk on the Plains Road side of the property.
- The architecture will follow the New England scheme with a brick bottom building with a wooden upper
- The HVAC will be electric and hidden by fencing on the north side of the structure
- There will be a loading dock and 2 handicap parking spaces in the front of the building. The parking lot and loading dock areas will be constructed out of asphalt.
- This is located in the Village and is considered a Conditional Use as there is a 2.78 acre lot and the lot coverage is below the 20% maximum
- The building will be lower than 40’
- There will be 35 parking spaces, which is based on the retail floor size of 7500 square feet.
- The sign will be 8’ wide and illuminated by gooseneck lighting hung above the sign
- The landscaping will be evergreen, stockade fencing (for screening), and the existing maple trees will remain on the property. The storm water will be treated on site.
- The lighting will be on 15’ maximum height poles (3 around the property and 4 on the parking lot) facing downward, consisting of LED lights. There will be a stockade fence installed to assist with the glare of the lights.
- There is a proposal for a crosswalk to be on route 7 with a blinker light to warn vehicles of the crosswalk. There is a proposal to have another crosswalk on the Plains Road side of the property. Atty Cooper inquired if VTRANS is aware of the crosswalk and beacon proposal. Ms. Dary stated that they are aware, however, permits still need to be obtained
- A traffic study was conducted and the annual traffic flow has decreased in the last 20 years. The traffic study has indicated that the Plains Road intersection is not a high crash rate intersection as the site distance is greater than recommended.
- ANR has issued a permit with regard to the wetland impact. There will be a stockade fence installed around the disturbance area.
- There is no permit necessary for the storm water discharge from the front lawn to the swail to the timber area as this is a controlled discharge.
- A business vicinity map was shown for review.
- The Town Plan encourages growth and this project would be bringing business into town.
- There was a typographical error on the presentation stating Pittsfield and not Pittsford.
Atty Cooper read from the Town Plan (pg 15) regarding the character of the project, as well as pg 28 regarding action.
S. Markowski stated that traffic/trucks are a concern and inquired how 1 tractor trailer unit would sustain the operation. Mr. Casey stated that there would be smaller box truck deliveries as needed. C. Greeno inquired if these deliveries would occur during normal business hours. Mr. Casey stated that the deliveries would occur during normal business hours. D. Adams inquired the size of the ancillary trucks. Mr. Casey stated that he would obtain this information. S. Markowski inquired who conducted the traffic study that indicated traffic declining in the area from 11,000 vehicles per day to 9,500 vehicles per day. Ms. Dary stated that VTRANS places traffic counters on Route 7 every 2 years. D. Adams inquired if there had been any studies of the number of cars being “held” at the intersection to enter Route 7. Ms. Dary stated that the information shows an average of 1 car being held during peak hours. Betsey Morgan inquired when this study was conducted. Ms. Dary stated that the study was conducted in 2016. S. Markowski inquired the 1/3 mile north and south crash data. Ms. Dary stated that there have been 2 crashes in this area from 2012 to present based on VTRANS data and it was a .2 mile. R. Conway stated that he believes the held rate is not accurate as this is a busy intersection. Ms. Dary explained that this data is an average over peak times. S. Markowski inquired the entrance/exit areas as there is none presented on Route 7. Ms. Dary stated that this is a VTRANS proposal to make the access via a minor road. Atty Kupferer inquired if VTRANS has been approached for a curb cut on Route 7. Ms. Dary stated that the curb cut is removed on Route 7. Mr. Casey stated that VTRANS has not been approached for the Route 7 curb cut.
N. Michael inquired how the proposed project compares with the Rutland store. Mr. Casey was not sure as he did not develop the Rutland store and stated that the nearest store that he developed was in Chester, VT. Mr. Casey stated that this store was a standard prototype. D. Adams inquired the square footage of the structure. Ms. Dary stated that the proposal is for 9100 square foot.
D. Adams inquired where the speed indicator would be located. Ms. Dary stated that the indicator would be located on the south, on the current speed limit sign as the sign needs to have been issued by VTRANS. The speed indicator will be solar powered. D. Adams inquired if there would be an indicator on the north. Ms. Dary stated that there would not be one located on the north.
J. Biasuzzi inquired the location of the sidewalk. Ms. Dary stated that the intent is to try to connect with the existing town sidewalk that runs along Route 7. J. Biasuzzi inquired who would maintain the sidewalk. Ms. Dry stated that it would be the towns responsibility to maintain the sidewalk, however, the town has not been approached regarding this proposal.
D. Adams inquired the lighting of the sign and inquired if the lighting would be shielded downward. Ms. Dary stated that the lighting would be on a “gooseneck” and covered. D. Adams inquired if there were any specs on the parking lot lights. Ms. Dary stated that this information was included in the packets. D. Adams inquired if there would be any solar panels would be incorporated. Mr. Casey stated that there would not be any solar panels.
R. Conway inquired the length of the tractor trailer unit. Ms. Dary stated that the length would be 68 feet. R. Conway inquired the width of the Plains Road. Ms. Dary stated that the width was 24 feet and explained the turning radius computer program that is used to determine accessibility. R. Conway stated that in the inclement weather, there would be a concern.
Paul Lathrop, Plains Road resident, inquired the restriction on delivery hours. Mr. Casey stated that these would be limited to regular business hours.
Bonnie Stewart inquired the road sign lighting at the crosswalk. Ms. Dary stated that there has been communication with VTRANS, however, a permit was needed for this to be installed.
Larry Booker inquired why Dollar General is looking to build in Pittsford when there are 2 stores in Rutland. Mr. Casey explained that Dollar General has done demographic research. Mr. Booker stated that he has a feeling that this venture will fail and is concerned with drug activity occurring in the parking lot.
D. Adams inquired what would happen with the stormwater when the wetlands overflow. Ms. Dary stated that there has been a study conducted stating that this occurrence of overflow is minor as the wetland is below the jurisdiction and the swail is on the south side of the property. S. Markowski inquired what would happen with the water on the east side of the property. Ms. Dary stated that the property would be graded to the back of the structure. D. Adams inquired if there was a culvert in the area. C. Greeno stated that there was not one in the close vicinity. S. Markowski inquired if there were Agency of Natural Resources permits in place. Ms. Dary stated that there was not one needed due to the construction not meeting the acreage disturbed requirement. S. Markowski inquired if there were permits in place from the town for the water and sewer requirements. Ms. Dary stated that the letters have not been received.
Jill Nolan inquired if there was a requirement for Act 250. Mr. Casey stated that Act 250 is required. Ms. Nolan inquired if there as a possibility of the business scaling back the hours of operation. Mr. Casey stated that they would not change as they are the standard hours, however, they could be scaled back, depending on business. Ms. Nolan stated that Dollar General was fined $24,000 and feels that the town needs to protect the residents prior to allowing this construction.
Tharron Malay presented a petition to the Zoning Board of Adjustment against the project. Some concerns that were stated by Mr. Malay concerning the project were: the trucking weight is 44,000 pounds and Plains Road is not rated this high; smaller trucks are not utilized by secondary vendors; computer programs do not take into account human error; the run off from snow removal. Mr. Malay read the verbiage from the petition.
Peggy Rawlings was represented by Atty William Meub. Atty Meub expressed concern over the drainage as the elevation of the swail is lower than Ms. Rawlings property. Ms. Dary stated that there is an intent of having a timber dam installed to help with the drainage. Atty Meub inquired if there was a Right of Way access obtained across the property. Ms. Dary stated that there is a Right of Way in place and there is a proposal to VTRANS to close the curb cut along Route 7. Mr. vonTurkovick stated that he has spoken with Atty Meub about 1 year ago concerning this project and explained that VTRANS decides the Right of Way, not the developer. Atty Meub inquired if there would be an impact on the property with the Right of Way. Mr. vonTurkovick stated that there would be no impact as there are no chang3es proposed. Atty Meub stated that the lighting would be 15’ high, composed of LED lighting and would light the Rawlings property. Ms. Dary stated that the lights would be 12’ on the building and a 6’ fence would be installed and the light projection would not reach the house due to the lights pointing downward. Atty Meub inquired the impact of the timber dam blocking ice and drainage to the swail. Ms. Dary stated that there would be holes drilled in the dam to allow water to drain slowly. Atty Meub inquired the change in the character of the property. Ms. Dary stated that the development is in the Village Center District. Mr. vonTurkovick stated that the property used to have a store on the property, however, this store is bigger. Ms. Rawlings stated that the tenants in her home have bedrooms that face the parking lot. Mr. vonTurkovick stated that the Municipal Office was constructed “deeper” into the residential district. Atty Meub inquired the parking elevation. Ms. Dary stated that the fence would block the lights and that the larger maple trees would be remaining on the property and there would be more vegetative screening installed along the fence. S. Markowski inquired the location of the fence. Ms. Dary stated that the fence would be installed on the eastern side back to Route 7. Ms. Rawlings stated that she did not live on the property. S. Markowski inquired the street lights that are along Route 7. C. Greeno stated that the lights are LED and point down.
D. Adams inquired the material of the stockade fencing. Ms. Dary stated that the fence will be constructed of cedar and not stained, the fence would be maintained as necessary.
Keith Bishop expressed concern of the impact on other town businesses that are already established as products overlap and inquired if there would be modifications along the product line. Mr. Casey stated that the product line would be “traditional”. Mr. Bishop inquired the cost of the cross walk and additional signs and who would maintain these items. Mr. vonTurkovick explained that the project would be adding to the grand list, however, there would be no impact on the school system. Mr. vonTurkovick explained that the applicant pays and the government entity is dependent on the Right of Way status. Ms. Dary stated that the state installs the signs and the town installs the paths.
R. Conway inquired the crosswalk along Route 7. Ms. Dary stated that this is just a suggestion and VTRANS needs to support the idea.
Mr. Bishop stated that the run-off is not well planned and has not seen any consideration for volume, oil/chemicals, etc. Ms. Dary stated that this is no different than Route 7. Mr. Bishop stated that this needs to be proactive with regard to the run off. Mr. Bishop inquired the turning radius of the vehicles from the Plains Road into the parking lot. Ms. Dary stated that the radius is unknown how the truck would turn into the store and how many parking spaces would be affected.
Bruce Faulkner stated that averages do not tell the truth. Ms. Dary stated that she can obtain the numbers and that they are using VTRANS study information across the state.
Bethany White stated that this project will affect her family as the lights would be shining into the children’s bedroom. The children are 5 and 7 and she is also concerned that there would be drug activity in the parking lot. Ms. White wanted to know what the town would be doing to ensure the safety of her children, as there are already issues with vehicles turning in her driveway.
Ernie Clerihew read the current Billboard Law in Vermont.
Jennifer Tinsman inquired the traffic study that was presented at the last Act 250 hearing, was the same information that was presented currently.
Betsey Morgan expressed concern with regard to the Vermont Supreme Court ruling and that there have been no changes since this ruling. Ms. Morgan stated that the intersection was inadequate with regard to the line of site.
Rondene Wanner stated that the presentation was greatly detailed, however, the residents had no detail to follow. Ms. Wanner also expressed concern with the runoff onto Old Colony Way and the cemetery. D. Adams inquired when the materials were received. J. Biasuzzi stated that the materials were received in October and the postings state that the materials are available for review at the Municipal Office. Aaron Tinsman inquired the exact dates. J. Biasuzzi stated that the review as completed on October 18; the notice was posted on November 8 with certified letters mailed to the abutting property owners; the notices were posted at Keith’s, the Post Office and the Municipal Office.
Laurie Pelkey stated that Ms. Dary mentioned that the truck traffic would wait for a clear intersection to proceed and inquired if this was a violation to the Town Plan. Ms. Pelkey stated that there are a lot of unknowns in the Town Plan.
Kathy Shortsleeves inquired if there would be curbing along the sidewalk. S. Markowski inquired if there was currently a sidewalk. Ms. Shortsleeves stated that there was not a sidewalk and inquired what would protect folks that walk along that area and stated that the banking was not included in the picture. S. Markowski inquired if there would be a curb along the south side of Route 7. Ms. Dary stated that there was not an intention to install a curb in this area. S. Markowski inquired the width of the grass strip along the road. Ms. Dary stated that the strip was 10’ 8”. R. Conway inquired if the sidewalk would be on the bank. Ms. Dary explained that the walk would be below the bank and at the elevation of Plains Road.
Allen Mills stated that ANR has not approved the project and felt that this should happen first. Ms. Dary stated that the ANR approval is not necessary as this project is less than 1 acre of disruption. Atty Kupferer stated that ANR would be necessary for wastewater and not for storm water. Atty Cooper stated that the wetlands permit has been obtained
S. Markowski stated that the petition, the application, the powerpoint presentation and a letter from Kristy Hamilton and Theodore Gillen III were all entered into evidence.
The Zoning Board of Adjustment entered into Deliberative Session at 9:31 PM.
The Zoning Board of Adjustment exited Deliberative Session at 9:43 PM.
Motion by R. Conway and seconded by C. Greeno to recess this hearing until January 22, 2018 at 7:00 PM at the Lothrop Gym. Motion passed unanimously.
Meeting recessed at 9:45 PM.
Kelly Giard, Recording Secretary
Following the seven day comment & review period by ZBA Members, the Chairman is duly authorized to approve these Minutes on behalf of the Zoning Board of Adjustment;
Approved this __________ day of December 2017, by:
Stanley Markowski, Chair