Meeting Minutes : Planning Commission


Pittsford Planning Commission Meeting    

July 25, 2013




Board Members Present: Kathryn Brown, Chris Beitzel, Don Nickless


Board Members Absent: Mike Gecha, Trish Lewis


Also in Attendance:Ken Niemczyk – Zoning Administrator,  Charles Sumner


1.  Call to order


The meeting was called to order at 7:00PM by Don Nickless, Chair.      


2.  Administrative Matters


There was no discussion held.


3.  Public Hearings


a) Old Business


1) Application by Charles Sumner to subdivide 60 acres into 2 lots: Lot 1 being 58 acres and Lot 2 being 2 acres.  The property is located at 407 Old Hubbardton Road, Parcel ID#1332, in Florence, Vermont.  The Zoning Regulations for the Town of Pittsford require that any subdivision of land be reviewed and approved by the Planning Commission.


Charles Sumner stated the property has a house and garage that has its own septic and water and another house that has its own water and septic. There is a new access that has been permitted by the Select Board and a driveway is in place. There is one driveway that will no longer exist. Mr. Sumner advised the reason for the request to subdivide is that he has not had good luck renting and it is his intent to sell 1.3 acres and he will maintain the other 58 acres. The subdivision is proposed to be along the tree line. It was noted the Planning Commission would prefer that the parcels be more symmetrical. Mr. Sumner stated due to the topography, the proposed subdivision line makes the most sense. Mr. Sumner advised an individual from the state has viewed the property and there is more than enough clearance for the wells, and septic replacement sites were identified. The two parcels would be independent of each other with their own septic, water, power and access. The septic has been approved through the state, but the mapping still needs to be completed. The soil test has passed, but formal approval from the state cannot be obtained until the property is subdivided. Ken Niemczyk advised the approval of the subdivision by the Planning Commission could include a condition that when the paper work is received from the state, a copy of the information be submitted for the town records. It is the understanding that until the subdivision is approved, the formal approval cannot be provided by the state for the septic. It is not a desire of Mr. Sumner to increase the lot size for the subdivided lot.  Mr. Sumner has no intentions of doing any further subdivision on his larger property.  Ken Niemczyk stated due to the topography; it is logical to keep the property line along the tree line.


A motion was made by Don Nickless and seconded by Kathryn Brown to close the hearing at 7:15 PM.  The motion passed unanimously.


b) New Business


There was no new business discussed.


4. Deliberation


A motion was made by Don Nickless and seconded by Chris Beitzel to approve the subdivision of Parcel ID#1332 conditional upon submission of the final state approval for the septic system and the replacement areas for the existing septic system. The motion passed unanimously.


Mr. Sumner questioned whether he is required to also submit an application to the state for a permit. Ken Niemczyk advised if a subdivision approval is not obtained by a Planning Commission, a state approval would be required. Pittsford has the requirement for the Planning Commission to approve subdivisions; therefore, the only requirement would be state approval for the septic.


Mr. Niemczyk will provide the approval of the subdivision to Mr. Sumner once the Planning Commission minutes are finalized. Upon receipt of the septic approval by the state, Mr. Sumner will submit the information to the town for recording in the land records.  


5.  Public Comments


 There was no discussion held.  


6.  Other Business


a)   Continued discussion of proposed amendments to the Pittsford Zoning Ordinance


Don Nickless advised once the recommended changes are complete, Mr. Niemczyk and Mr. Nickless will meet to transpose the document. 


Chris Beitzel advised he has contacted adjacent towns to obtain information on regulations relating to quarrying and has found that there is none available. It was suggested that the Rutland Region Planning Commission would be a source for assistance in the wording for quarrying and setbacks. Ken Niemczyk advised quarrying is listed as an industrial use. Don Nickless noted in some cases, the state will support a town if it has more strict regulations. There is an option to do nothing and refer to state regulations for these items. Quarrying is in the use chart, but nothing is noted in the narrative section, in the event someone would want to open a gravel pit.  It was suggested to reach out to an expert in this area for wording on this subject. A suggestion was made to define quarries and determine to what it extent they can be regulated. Ken Niemczyk suggested contacting the Rutland Regional Planning Commission to ask for examples of quarrying regulations. If they are unable to assist, Mr. Niemczyk advised a blanket question can be posed to “List Serve”, which is a service for people who are engaged in planning and zoning. This service will provide responses from towns throughout the state. State statutes that address quarrying will provide parameters that local areas can use for quarrying activity. Ken Niemczyk noted that quarrying is a permitted use in the industrial zone and the planning commission has the authority to review new applications. There is, however, currently no criteria that the Planning Commission could use in reviewing any quarrying applications to minimize the negative impact on the town. If the regulations are silent, there would be no specifications outlined by the town. Mr. Niemczyk will pose the question to “List Serve” and Mr. Beitzel will contact the VLCT legal department concerning this subject.   


Mr. Nickless will review the list of proposed changes to the zoning ordinance for discussion at the next meeting.


b) Amend Rules of Procedure and Conflict of Interest Policy


Don Nickless reported there are three outstanding items for amendment of the Rules of Procedure and Conflict of Interest policy. 1) When the policy was first drafted, the Planning Commission meeting was scheduled for the 3rd Thursday of each month and it is now scheduled for the 4th Thursday of each month. 2) There are now five members of the Planning Commission and the draft indicates there were seven members. 3) The final item is the recording of the minutes. The zoning administrator will serve as the clerk of the Planning Commission and will appoint a recording secretary. The recording secretary will transmit a draft of the minutes to all members and the members will respond back to recording secretary with any changes. Once the minutes are approved and changes are noted, the recording secretary will submit a final draft to the clerk of the Planning Commission. The clerk will print the approved minutes for the Planning Commission chair to sign. Ken Niemczyk will provide a draft of the policy with the changes noted for review and approval at the next Planning Commission meeting. Don Nickless requested a draft be provided to the Planning Commission members prior to the next meeting. 


7. Next Meeting


Thursday, August 22, 2013 @ 7:00PM at the Pittsford Town Offices.    


8. Adjournment


A motion was made by Kathryn Brown and seconded by Don Nickless to adjourn the Pittsford Planning Commission meeting at 7:40PM. The motion passed unanimously. 


Respectfully submitted,



Charlene Bryant
Recording Secret



Approved by,




 The Pittsford Planning Commission