Zoning Board of Adjustment Members Present – Stanley Markowski – Chairman, Rick Conway – Vice Chairman, Clarence Greeno, Dan Adams and Jack Orvis.
ABSENT: Nicholas Michael and Ed Keith, Jr.
Others Present – Donna Greeno, Bruce Pyle, Pam Frett, Gerry Carbine, Keith Bishop, Bonnie Stewart, David Bieg, Hank Pelkey, Matt Casey, Tammy Hitchcock, Gary Kupferer, Theodore Gillen, Kristy Hamilton, Donna Wilson, Peter Wilson, Peggy Rawlings, Rishi Connelly, Alicia Malay, Tharon Malay, Sylvia Kallen, Deb Reynolds, Robert Brown, Marsha Booker, Julia Purdy, David Saladino, Ernie Clerihew, Dan Shea, Elizabeth Morgan, Barb Lalancette, Abby Dery, David Cooper, Jeremy Mutosky, Jeff Biasuzzi – Zoning Administrator and Kelly Giard – Recording Secretary
S. Markowski, Chairman, reconvened the Zoning Board of Adjustment at 7:02 PM and swore in residents who had not spoken or given testimony in the past. S. Markowski explained that this was a continuation of the March 12, 2018 hearing and explained that the Zoning Board of Adjustment did a site visit at 5:30 PM on March 26, 2018.
Motion by R. Conway and seconded by D. Adams to approve the agenda as posted. Motion passed unanimously 5 – 0.
S. Markowski explained that Atty Kupferer was present for legal counsel. Atty Kupferer explained that the Zoning Board of Adjustment consists of 7 members, however, since there has been a quorum at the past meetings, the members have not been consistent. Atty Kupferer recommends that deliberation does not occur until the members that have not been present have the opportunity to listen to the recordings so that everyone has the same information. This has been discussed with the applicants. Atty Cooper stated that there is no objection, however, would like to be sure that the audio files are audible. Keith Bishop inquired if the information that would be reviewed by the members included the powerpoint presentations. Atty Kupferer explained that everything that was discussed would be included as documents have been placed into evidence as exhibits.
Mr. Mutosky made a powerpoint presentation, which a printed copy was entered into evidence. Mr. Mutosky stated that the application was presented prior to the completion of the current Town Plan and feels that the project is consistent with the current Plan. Mr. Mutosky stated that the developer will absorb the cost of the Plains Road/Route 7 re-alignment project, included in this project is a 6 ½’ fence and the addition of a right turn lane onto Route 7 from Plains Road; the energy efficient LED lighting meets Act 250 requirements; the parking lot meets the Town Plan requirements; the pedestrian crosswalk will connect to the sidewalk near the store in the State right of way , which will connect with the current sidewalk and be 5’ wide; there will be bike racks on the property. There are currently discussions with the landowner to the north of the intersection and will be seeking an AOT permit if the Zoning Board of Adjustment approves the project. Mr. Mutosky explained that the turning radius for the trucks is determined by a computer program called AutoTurn and pointed the turning radius on the presentation slide. Mr. Mutosky stated that he has met with Mr. Brown from Brown’s Salvage and there is no issue with the turning at the intersections. Mr. Mutosky stated that the Wetlands permit was issued on September 9, 2016 and states that there is 2.7 acres that is not used and is to remain unmowed. Mr. Mutosky explained that the storm water permit is not necessary from the state, however, is subject to local permitting. The storm water will flow south between the building and the Rawlings property with a natural flow to be constructed, with no chance of flooding. There will also be curbing and a catch basin located on the Plains Road.
Mr. Mutosky explained that the Conditional Use requirements were reviewed with the developer and accepted with minor or no impact to the area and the objectives of the 2017 Town Plan were met. The structure has been researched for historical concerns and there is no significant architecture in line with surroundings. Mr. Mutosky also stated that there were no security or privacy issues noted.
David Saladino was present to discuss the traffic impact. The firm that Mr. Saladino represents, VHB, has conducted traffic studies during peak times in the morning (10) and the afternoon (46).
S. Markowski stated that the Site Plan Review is the responsibility of the Zoning Board of Adjustment. R. Conway read Article 5 of the Zoning Regulations. Mr. Mutosky read Section 1003 and stated that the traffic has adequate space; will not be backing out into the traveled portion of the road; the lighting would be pointed downward; the parking lot would be screened with plantings and fencing; all parking spaces will be located on-site; there would be no shared use parking; the lot would be paved; the entire property would be screened and fenced.
S. Markowski inquired if VTRANS has made any recommendations for the sidewalk material construction to be asphalt. Mr. Mutosky stated that asphalt has proposed the asphalt construction to match the existing material. S. Markowski stated that some of the other town sidewalk projects have been constructed of concrete for longevity. S. Markowski inquired the material construction of the curbing. Mr. Mutosky stated that the recommended material for the curbing is concrete.
S. Markowski inquired if the realignment of Plains Road and Route 7 would be a complete pavement project or just an overlay/shim project. Mr. Mutosky stated that this has not been determined as there is no determined width of the realignment. R. Conway stated that at the March 12 hearing, Ms. Dery was asked the width of the traveled portion of the road and she stated 22’, however, this was measured today at 20’. D. Adams inquired if the site plan showed the actual finished width. Mr. Mutosky stated that this was the finished width. R. Conway inquired how the overweight vehicles would be addressed. Mr. Mutosky stated that they would apply for permits, even for the short distance on Plains Road. R. Conway inquired if the Select Board has approved a curbcut. Mr. Mutosky stated that there has been no discussion with the Select Board to date. R. Conway inquired if the alignment project has been approved by the State. Mr. Mutosky stated that the permit will be pursued following the Zoning Board of Adjustment approval and conditions. R. Conway stated that the trucks entering the property and backing into the loading dock presents a safety concern. Mr. Mutosky stated that this is the layout that is in place at other stores and feels that they are safe and that the operators operate their vehicles in a safe manner. R. Conway inquired if there was an alternate way to enter the property. Mr. Mutosky stated that this way has been proven to work at other locations and the wetland preservation is a concern. Mr. Mutosky also stated that the delivery schedule is infrequent and the ordinance states that there can not be any trucks backing into the road. Mr. Casey stated that the Jericho location has been open for nearly 3 years and there have been no issues at that location.
D. Adams inquired if the speed indicator on Route 7 was removed. Mr. Mutosky stated that this was removed. S. Markowski inquired if the flashing lights would remain at the crosswalks. Mr. Casey stated that the flashing lights have also been removed and were replaced with warning signs as maintenance was a concern, however, will approach VTRANS if required by the town.
D. Adams inquired if the number of tractor trailer units delivering has changed. Mr. Mutosky stated that there would be 1 Dollar General tractor trailer unit and they can not specify what type of truck could be used to deliver products.
S. Markowski inquired if the Dollar General sign was going to be independent of the structure. Mr. Mutosky stated that the sign was externally illuminated. R. Conway stated that lit signs needed to be reviewed by the Planning Commission. J. Biasuzzi stated that this is now under the discretion of the Zoning Board of Adjustment. J. Biasuzzi stated that the illuminating sign was freestanding and that the lights could be turned downward or off. Mr. Mutosky stated that the lights are programmed to come on a half hour before the store opening and a half hour after the store closes. Mr. Casey stated that the perimeter lighting stays on for safety reasons and that Dollar General has sign consultants that apply for the signs. J. Biasuzzi inquired the standard store security. Mr. Casey stated that there would be lighting and surveillance cameras utilized. S. Markowski inquired how many main lights would be involved. Mr. Mukosky stated that there would be 5 lights, that were down shielded light packs on the building, the parking lot lights would be off, the sign lights would be off and the grass lights would also be off.
J. Biasuzzi stated that Police Chief Warfle presented some concerns, which were entered into evidence.
Mr. Casey stated that the normal business hours are 8:00 AM – 10:00 PM, 7 days a week, however, can be adjusted after a “trial” period. Atty Kupferer inquired if the maximum hours are being requested. Mr. Casey stated that that was the proposal.
Mr. Casey stated that he has reviewed Chief Warfle’s concerns and there would be a fence at the rear of the property, however, no concern to gate; the motion lights would be through the wall packs, Mr. Mutosky state that the southern lighting was being eliminated.
D. Adams inquired how the landscaping would be maintained. Mr. Casey explained that the locations have a budget and hire local companies to do the snow removal and landscaping.
Atty Kupferer stated that the deliveries would arrive via Route 7 to Plains Road. Mr. Casey stated that this was the intent. Atty Kupferer stated that the tractor trailer units would be crossing the center line of the road upon entry and exit. Mr. Mutosky stated that the truck would cross the center line only on the Plains Road. Atty Kupferer stated that the truck turning left out of the property would cross both lanes. Mr. Mutosky stated that this was true, however, there is good site visibility.
S. Markowski stated that the Board received the Powerpoint presentation and this was entered into evidence. Atty Kupferer stated that there are a lot of plans and revisions and asked that the Zoning Board be sure that they have the most current set. Ms. Dery stated that the current set is the set that was sent on March 21 via Green Mountain Courier. J. Biasuzzi stated that there is a public copy for review at the Municipal Office.
D. Adams inquired if there was a current landscaping maintenance plan. Mr. Casey stated that the company is granted an allowance and hire local contractors.
R. Conway inquired the date on the plan submitted. Mr. Mutosky stated that the date is in the top right corner of the plan. Atty Kupferer inquired if the plans are date stamped when they are received at the Municipal Office. J. Biasuzzi stated that there is a received date stamp.
Mr. Morgan stated that the presentation stated that Kevin Geno would not ticket someone for driving over the yellow line, however, he submitted an e-mail from authorities at the Vermont State Police into evidence.
Mr. Clerihew stated that the presentation did not show a sign. D. Adams inquired if the sign would be generic. Mr. Mutosky stated that the plan is only an artists rendering and proposal. S. Markowski inquired the colors of the structure. Mr. Casey stated that these are the proposed colors. Mr. Mutosky stated that the architectural plans are included in the presentation.
Ms. Hitchcock inquired when the new information was made available. J. Biasuzzi stated that the Public Copy was made available on Wednesday of the previous week.
Mr. Gillien stated that the building does not fit in the character of the neighborhood. Mr. Gillien read from the Town Plan and stated that the pictures that were presented do not look like other structures within town. Mr. Gillien also stated that the traffic counts are not consistent with a variety store vs a discount store. Mr. Saladino stated that traffic was counted and compared to Jericho and Springfield stores, which are of similar size. Mr. Gillien stated that the parking lot appears to be a prototype. Mr. Mutosky stated that the parking lot is smaller due to the wetland sensitivity. Mr. Gillien submitted his information and letters as evidence.
Atty Cooper stated that he believes that VTRANS may close the apron, however, there would be no change to the Rawlings property. Atty Kupferer inquired if this is the same project. Mr. Mutosky stated that in earlier versions of the project there was much discussion over the Rawlings property, however, there is no proposal to eliminate the Rawlings easement. Ms. Dery clarified that there is no permit application to VTRANS for the easement or access. Atty Kupferer inquired if VTRANS had taken a position in the past. Atty Cooper stated that the Zoning Board had no say over the access as VTRANS is eliminating multiple curbcuts and the plan does not say “closing”.
Mr. Gillien stated that he is an engineer at the City of Rutland Department of Public Works and has reviewed the plans there and is submitting his presentation as evidence.
Ms. Rawlings stated that her property is a 2-family residence. Atty Cooper stated that VTRANS may change the access at the 1111 permit hearing.
D. Adams stated that the Zoning Board of Adjustment has no say over the Route 7 access. S. Markowski stated that the Right of Way is not the issue on Plains Road.
Ms. Lancelette stated that the Rawlings property would be affected. D. Adams stated that the project is on a commercially zoned lot. S. Markowski stated that the Planning Commission wrote the regulations to control growth and that the Zoning Board of Adjustment is now looking at the presentation fairly and is making the decision aside from personal feelings. The Right of Way is a VTRANS deal and feels that this should move forward. Residents are invited to attend the 1111 permit hearing to support Ms. Rawlings.
Mr. Morgan inquired the length of the contract between the developer and Dollar General. Mr. Casey stated that this was not an appropriate concern. Mr. Morgan stated that Pittsford is a bedroom community for Rutland and there are 2 stores in Rutland. Mr. Morgan read Article 5 of the Zoning Regulations.
Laurie Pelkey inquired where the snow would be plowed. Mr. Mutosky stated that the snow would go to the large grassy area at the end of the parking lot.
Keith Bishop stated that the traffic study shows that a majority of the vehicles would turn south, however, feels that Pinewoods Road will be used as an alternate route.
Donna Wilson shares the safety concerns and is curious if the bollards will be installed in front of the doors. Mr. Mutosky stated that they would be, however, they are not shown on the plans. Ms. Wilson inquired the intersection alignment. Mr. Mutosky stated that the design plans are being used to determine the alignment.
Betsey Morgan read a petition that Ernie Clerihew presented into evidence.
Ms. Lalancette stated that the actual pictures should be presented before any decision is made. Mr. Casey stated that the Jericho store was comparable to the proposed structure. R. Conway stated that the elevation, color schemes and bollards needed to be included in the application. Mr. Mutosky stated that the elevations are on record. Atty Kupferer asked for clarification to the plans that are attached to Atty Cooper’s letter. Atty Cooper stated that the colors are traditionally “neutral” and not seen in the by-laws and would be in compliance. Atty Kupferer stated that the other drawings and March 21 letter from Atty Cooper did not include the colors. J. Biasuzzi stated that the elevations were included in the November 27, 2017 drawings and site plans that were submitted. Atty Kupferer stated that the Zoning Board should have a complete packet. Mr. Mutosky stated that the plans with the ‘TCE’ logo are the most current plans. Mr. Casey stated that he will provide the color scheme, as requested. Atty Cooper stated concern that any evidence would be negated. Atty Kupferer stated that the testimony would be taken into account and grant based on accurate plans.
Tharon Malay stated that the delivery schedule should be included in the complete submission.
Mr. Cooper stated that the sign was removed from the building in the drawings as there is a sign consultant that would be “placing” the sign and inquired if there could be a blank box presented and would agree to the condition, if necessary.
S. Markowski inquired if the Zoning Board should enter into Deliberative Session. Atty Kupferer stated that this should not happen until the remaining board members review the testimony that was presented and there was further evidence that was requested.
Motion by R. Conway and seconded by D. Adams to recess the hearing to May 14, 2018 at 7:00 PM at the Lothrop Gym. Motion approved unanimously.
Motion by R, Conway and seconded by C. Greeno to approve the minutes of the March 12, 2018 hearing. Motion passed unanimously.
The meeting was recessed at 10:06 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 April, 2017 by:
Stanley Markowski, Chair