Meeting Minutes : Zoning Board of Adjustment



August 13, 2012


Zoning Board of Adjustment Members Present – Rick Conway – Vice Chairman, Clarence Greeno, Jack Orvis, Jim Morale.  Absent: Stanley Markowski – Chairman and John Mitchell.


Others Present – Sarah Eugair, Jason Cadwell, LaVerne Lesznik, Chris Smith, Atty. Jack Facrey, Ken Niemczyk – Zoning Administrator, and Kelly Giard – Recording Secretary.


Rick Conway, Vice Chair, called the Zoning Board of Adjustment to order at 7:10 PM.


R. Conway explained that the purpose of the meeting was a continuance of the hearing on the application by US Department of Agriculture – NRCS and Jason Cadwell for a conditional use permit to grade within a flood plain at property located on Elm Street – Parcel # 1592, consisting of approximately 34 acres.


R. Conway explained that this meeting was recessed from July 9, 2012, at which time a more detailed plan showing for the proposed project was requested.


R. Conway swore in Ms. Eugair, Mr. Cadwell, Ms. Lesznik, and Mr. Smith.


K. Niemczyk indicated that no additional information was been received concerning this application.


Ms. Lesznik inquired if the surveyors have visited the property.  Mr. Smith indicated that the surveyors attempted to contact the Lesznik’s for access permission and received no return call, therefore, the surveyors were only allowed to use the public walking trails.


Mr. Smith presented and explained a map that listed elevations and the placement of the ditch plug.  Mr. Smith also explained the removal of the berm and the additional material that would be utilized.  Mr. Smith explained that the numbers listed on the map are not actual elevations above sea level, the calculations are based on formulations, which Mr. Smith discussed.


R. Conway inquired the size of the area involved in the project.  Mr. Smith indicated that there was approximately 4.8 acres involved.


Mr. Smith indicated that Phillips Loop was used as opposed to the use of the Lesznik’s property lines.


J. Morale inquired what is the determining factor of inundation.  Mr. Smith explained that the area of land from the basin and the slope uphill to the east.


R. Conway inquired what the maximum depth of water will be.  Mr. Smith indicated that there will be approximately 2 feet of water.


R. Conway inquired the depth of the ditch from the plug.  Mr. Smith indicaterd that the ditch runs below the water.  R. Conway indicated that a previous representative (Ryan) indicated that the ditch would be 8 or 9 feet.  Ms. Eugair indicated that the elevation would be 9 feet maximum.  Mr. Smith indicated that the ditch would be placed on the south for the water to run out to the river.


Ms. Lesznik inquired the purpose of the project.  Mr. Smith indicated that the purpose was to participate to restore a Wetland Reserve Program to improve habitat and water quality.  This program is a national program and in Vermont, there are 30 – 50 % of historic wetlands lost.  Mr. Cadwell indicated that the usage of the land over the last 10 years has decreased due to flooding and the Harvey Farm has not been able to utilize this section of land due to flooding for the last 2 – 3 years.  Mr. Smith explained that the program eligibility is a landowners decision and there is a 1 time payment per acre and the income is taxable.  S. Eugair indicated that the USDA will be continue to work with landowners and will be planting trees and doing landscaping.


Ms. Lesznik inquired if there had been any archeological studies in the area.  Ms. Eugair indicated that there has been some study, however, there is only potential.  Mr. Smith indicated that this is a Federal agency, therefore is required to follow National protocols and State historical guidelines.


R. Conway indicated that Ryan had stated that there would be “stagnant” water in the area and that neighbors have expressed concern over the breeding of mosquitoes.  Mr. Smith explained that the Allen Graham from the State would be providing a letter addressing this concern.  R. Conway inquired if there would be mitigation in the future.  Mr. Smith indicated that there was a potential for mosquitoes, however, “critters eat mosquitoes”.  R. Conway explained the neighbors concern for odor.  Mr. Smith explained that the Fish & Wildlife Department has done research and used the Pomainville property as an example in the explanation.


R. Conway inquired who prepared the maps that were presented.  Mr. Smith indicated that Ryan had prepared the map.  S. Eugair indicated that the US Government can not effect other’s property.


Ms. Lesznik indicated that she and her husband are supportive of natural habitat, however, not mosquitoes.  R. Conway inquired if there was a mosquito issue now.  Mr. Smith indicated that they are working with regional mosquito districts to study mosquito populations.


R. Conway entered into evidence a letter from Allen Graham concerning the mosquito concerns.


Atty. Facey inquired if, when the ditch plug was in place, there would be no impact as a result of work proposed on adjoining landowners.  A letter was received from Rob Allen concerning this concern and is on file.


There is also a letter on file from Rob Evans, Rivers Corridor Coordinator.


Mr. Smith indicated that, based on elevation data, the ditch plug, as designed would no impact neighboring landowners due to the 10 foot elevational difference.


Ms. Lesznik inquired what would be done in the event of impact on the neighbors.  R. Conway indicated that the plug would need to be removed and repair any damage caused.


R. Conway indicated that a neighbor has expressed concern over beaver causing flooding issues.  Mr. Cadwell indicated that the Zoning Board could impose a condition to remove any beavers, and was agreeable.


Motion by C. Greeno and seconded by J. Orvis to enter into Deliberative Session for discussion of the project.  Motion passed unanimously 4 – 0.  The Zoning Board entered Deliberative Session at 7:55 PM


The Zoning Board exited Deliberative Session at 8:16 PM.


Motion by J. Morale and seconded by C. Greeno to accept the project as presented by the restoration design map as stated with conditions similar to the Pomainville decision to include mosquito control, applicant responsible for impact on adjoining landowners, and beaver dam damage. Motion passed unanimously 4 – 0.  There was discussion concerning the Pomainville project.
A motion was made by J. Morale and seconded by J. Orvis to adjourn.  Motion passed unanimously 4 – 0.


Meeting was recessed at 8:21 PM.


Respectfully Submitted




Kelly Giard, Recording Secretary


Stanley Markowski, Chair


                                                                        Richard Conway, Vice Chair


                                                                                                                                                James Morale


                                                                        Clarence Greeno


                                                                        Jack Orvis


John Mitchell