Meeting Minutes : Select Board Meeting & Public Hearing

The meeting was called to order at 6:00PM by Thomas “Hank” Pelkey, Chairman.

Select Board members present:  Joseph Gagnon, Thomas “Hank” Pelkey, Allen Hitchcock, Margaret “Peg” Flory, and Thomas Hooker.

Also present:  Thor Konwin, Don Nickless, Kathy Brown, Linda Weeden, Bruce Paynter (6:15 PM), Anita Paynter (6:15 PM) John Haverstock and Kelly Giard, Recording Secretary

The purpose of this meeting is to provide a public hearing for comment on the proposed Town Plan adoption.

T. Pelkey read an overview of the proposed Town Plan indicating that all areas of the Plan have been reviewed and the proposed Town Plan is available for review at the Town Offices during regular business hours, and it is also posted on the Town’s website.

T. Pelkey stressed that the meeting will be limited to comments with regard to the Town Plan.

D. Nickless, Chairman of the Planning Commission gave a background of the steps that were taken by the members of the Planning Commission.  There were sections of the Town Plan that were re-written several times to accommodate the changes within the Town (e.g. the water system upgrades).

D. Nickless indicated that assistance was provided by the Vermont League of Cities and Towns, as well as the Rutland Regional Planning Commission.  There were also resident of the Town that provided input, whether through participation in public meetings or through writing about a particular topic/section.  D. Nickless indicated that there is not a dramatic change in the Plan from previous versions, however, there is more expanded information.

T. Pelkey, on behalf of the Select Board, thanked the members of the Commission and anyone who contributed to the Town Plan.

T. Konwin indicated that there was quite an outreach within the Town for input and that he was happy with the outcome.  One meeting that was discussed was the meeting of the business folks in the Town and the input that came out of that particular discussion.

J. Haverstock commended the Planning Commission with regard to the meetings with OMYA with regard to its long-term plans.  T. Konwin indicated that there will be follow-up meetings in the near future.

D. Nickless indicated that the Town Plan is intended to look at the future of the Town and one of the concerns that arose was who implements the goals set forth in the Town Plan.

There were discussions at the Planning Commission level and there are no answers to this as yet.

J. Haverstock indicated that the Town Plan is analogous to a constitution.  The interaction between the Town Plan and the Zoning Ordinance is critical as there is anticipation that a new Zoning Ordinance will be drafted to reflect the vision included in the Town Plan.

T. Hooker indicated a concern with the wording with regard to siting a new Post Office.   T. Hooker asked for clarification, as the Plan indicates that the Post Office needs to be built within the “village”.  D. Nickless indicated that the State of Vermont recommends certain items to be included in the Plan, one being the “smart growth” principles.  D. Nickless explained these recommendations.  T. Hooker indicated that the village has always run from Route 3 to Plains Road.  There was discussion that Pittsford is a bedroom community and will never be a Rutland or Brandon with regard to businesses in the Town.

M. Flory made some suggestions with regard to wording of the Post Office section for consideration.  A. Hitchcock explained that there is a need for a Post Office in a safe and convenient location for folks who may walk, especially the elderly.

D. Nickless presented a map for review indicating the location of the Designated Village Center.  The map indicates that the area included is from Route 3 to Plains Road.  There was much discussion concerning the Post Office section and the presentation of the map made the Commission’s intent in that section clearer to the members.

B. Paynter stated that his impression was that the Post Office section was specific as to the location and indicated that the Post Office is a political controversy.  Mr. Paynter felt that the Town Plan “is stacking the deck” to build the Post Office at the Forrest Farm.  T. Konwin disagreed with this comment.  D. Nickless indicated that this was not the Commission’s intent.  K. Brown indicated that she wrote this section and the mention of the history of issues with the Post Office was included as context that might interest someone who may be looking into relocating to Pittsford.

M. Flory indicated, in her opinion, that the Town Plan was well written.

T. Hooker indicated that he would like to see the wording of the history of the lawsuit be a little different.

J. Haverstock invited the members of the Planning Commission to the next Town Plan Hearing, to be held on January 7, 2010.

M. Flory expressed pleasure with the way the Town infrastructure and the Route 7 sections were written.  Meeting adjourned at 6:29 PM.

Respectfully Submitted,

Kelly Giard, Recording Secretary

Thomas “Hank” Pelkey, Chairman

Allen Hitchcock, Vice Chairman

W. Joseph Gagnon, Selectman

Thomas Hooker, Selectman

Margaret “Peg” Flory, Selectman