Board Members Present: David Soulia, Kevin Blow, Dave Mills, Rick Conway, Chuck Charbonneau
Board Members Absent: Colleen Hobbs, Mark Winslow
Also in Attendance: Jeff Biasuzzi – Zoning Administrator/interim recorder, refer to Attendance List (Addendum I)
- Call to order
The meeting was called to order at 7:02 PM by Dave Soulia; Chair.
- Approval of Agenda
A request was made by Dave Soulia to amend the draft Agenda’s order, adding an item to address a personnel matter. A Motion was made by K. Blow and seconded by D. Mills to approve the amended agenda. The motion passed unanimously.
- Approval of Minutes
The Minutes of the September 14, 2017 Meeting were reviewed. The Minutes of October 19, 2017 were reviewed and R. Conway noted that in Item 4 (Town Plan Updating Process) it was Dave Soulia, and not Dave Mills, as stated in the first line, that reported the RRPC map issue. The Minutes of the December 19, 2017 Special Meeting were reviewed.
A Motion was made by D. Mills and seconded by K. Blow to approve the Meeting Minutes of September 14, 2017 and December 19, 2017 as written. The corrected version of the October 19, 2017 Meeting Minutes were to be reprinted and distributed at the next PC meeting for approval. The motion passed unanimously.
- Continue on Town Plan Updating Process: Town Manager updates and time line for Plan completion and adoption
Rishi Connelly asked how Public comments should be submitted. K. Blow suggested holdinoff on Public Comments until later, as reorganized in the Agenda.Hank Pelkey stated that the dates for the Select Board (SB) Public Hearings are going to be announced very soon, with the possibly of a 1/17/2018 addressing changes and the second Hearing on 2/7/2018 reviewing final draft.
Tharon Malay asked if the public comments from this meeting would be presented at the next Select Board Public Hearing.
D. Soulia read through the adoption checklist drafted by Town attorney Gary Kupferer (received in email 12/28/17, 3:00pm; Addendum II).
K. Blow asked if the seven item list of items identified at the last Select Board Hearing had been added to the latest draft of the Plan
R. Conway stated that a Village Center Designation Map had to be approved ; and he had not received a final map from Rutland Region Planning Commission (RRPC) with names of businesses. The initial map (2007) that is in present version of the Plan does not include business names. D. Soulia supplied a map by the RRPC (dated 12/13/2017) and initially delivered by Town Manager Haverstock. Upon review R. Conway noted that some of the business names were not current or in need for an update, perhaps in a later revision of the Plan. H. Pelkey noted that the Select Board will want a correct Village Center Designation Map presented at the next SB Hearing. R. Connelly asked if the map would have corrected names prior to the nest SB Hearing. D. Soulia noted that the RRPC map (12/13/17) was as current as would be available by the January Hearings, and polled the PC members for their suggestions. C. Charbonneau supported use of the map available; updating the business names at a future date.
- Public Comments D. Soulia opened the floor for public input.
Elizabeth Morgan asked again if a revised Village Center Designation Map would be available in time for the next SB Public Hearing. R. Conway read the applicable statue (24 VSA Ch. 117, Section 4385 (d) ) ; “Plans may be reviewed from time to time and may be amended in the light of new developments and changed conditions affecting the municipality”. R. Conway then made a Motion; noting that the Planning Commission has reviewed the Village Center Designation Map (12/13/2017) and votes to include it in the draft Town Plan; subject to review by the Town Attorney prior to the next Select Board Hearing. K. Blow seconded the Motion, all approved and Motion passed. D. Soulia offered to correct the spelling typos on the map, if time allowed prior to the deadline for recording the required Report and amended Plan with the Town Clerk by 3:00 pm, 12/29/2017. T. Malay asked if a proposed list of amendments to the Plan could be submitted at the next SB Public Hearing. A Commissioner thought that the only change planned was the Village Center Designation Map.
T, Malay asked if a copy of the Opinion Survey was available. J. Biasuzzi supplied copies to those in attendance.
There was discussion between PC Members and the Public on how to identify actionable goals stated in the Plan.
T. Malay & R. Connelly asked about the Plan’s reference to Act 250 (VT’ Land Use Permit process); stating it may not reflect the opinion of the Town’s residents. E. Morgan also expressed her disfavor of the Plan’s language; referring to it as “editorial and slanted”; and asked how the Town could “back up” such a position. R. Connelly noted that changes to the Act 250 language was suggested in the 12/5/2017 Public Hearing; and asked why a revision was not suggested by the SB. C. Charbonneau responded that Act 250’s impact to Pittsford businesses has been detrimental for some time. His take away from discussions with residents is that state regulations are discouraging or limiting business opportunity, and reduction of state government in local matters is preferred.
T. Malay asked why the Plan does not include supporting evidence in it positions, such as citations and specific references to statue. D. Soulia stated the PC was limited in time and assistance in addressing all the elements now required in the Plan. R. Conway noted that Hubbardton’s Plan, recognized as the “Town Plan of the Year”, was concise, readable, and utilized photos and charts; not reference to statute and citations. J. Biasuzzi also noted his observation that the current trend is for Town Plans to be more of a promotional tool, and not repeat the past format of Plans full of statistical detail that is not read or utilized.
Tammy Hitchcock relayed her preference for everybody trying to work together to keep Pittsford a desirable place to live.
T. Malay noted that a common theme in other Town Plans was an effort to research what other businesses would be a fit for Pittsford. On this note, E. Morgan reminded everyone about the Fact Finding Meeting for the Forrest Farm property on Elm Street, on January 18th.
R. Connelly asked if the RRPC had approved the draft Town Plan. She also supported the idea of working together with towns people in small advisory groups, to assist the Planning Commission in the future.
Noting the time, D. Soulia asked for any final comments from the PC and attendees, and closed the Public Comment section of the Meeting at 9:20 pm.
- Personnel Matter
D. Soulia announced his resignation as PC Chairman, at the end of 2017, noting he will continue as a regular member of the PC. He also resigned his position as Town representative at the Regional Planning Commission. Dave Mills will serve as Interim Chair, until the PC schedules an election for new leadership.
- Schedule Date for Next Meeting
The next regular Meeting of the PC was set for Thursday Jan. 25, 2018, at 7:00 pm, at Town Office.
A motion was made by D. Soulia and seconded by R. Conway to adjourn the meeting at 9:34 PM. The motion passed unanimously.
Jeffrey Biasuzzi, Interim Recording Secretary
The Pittsford Planning Commission