Meeting Minutes : Planning Commission – DRAFT

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)

  1. Call to order
    The meeting was called to order at 7:02 PM by Dave  Soulia;  Chair.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. Adjournment
    A motion was made by  D. Soulia  and seconded by R. Conway  to adjourn the meeting at 9:34 PM. The motion passed unanimously.


Respectfully submitted,


Jeffrey Biasuzzi, Interim Recording Secretary


Approved by,

The Pittsford Planning Commission