August 22, 2021



Zoning Board of Adjustment Members Present – Stanley Markowski – Chairman, Rick Conway – Vice Chairman, Clarence Greeno, Dan Adams, Nicholas Michael, Ed Keith, and Charlie Simpson. Others present: Kerri Polli, Greg Polli, Mike Merrill, Kerri Merrill, Reg Charbonneau, Chuck Charbonneau, Mike Norris, Bob Fallon, Brad Keith, Jeff Biasuzzi – Zoning Administrator, Kelly Giard – Recording Secretary.

Chairman Markowski read the agenda and the warning for application 21-34. Motion to adopt the agenda by R. Conway and seconded by D. Adams. Motion passed unanimously 7 -0.

S. Markowski introduced the members of the Zoning Board of Adjustment.

S. Markowski swore in Kerri Polli, Kerri Merrill, Chuck Charbonneau, and Jeff Biasuzzi.

The Zoning Board of Adjustment members reviewed the site plan and application. J. Biasuzzi stated that the aerial view that was presented was prior to the current site layout, which includes the fabric and frame structure.

S. Markowski inquired if the structures that are being requested are currently constructed. Ms. Merrill stated that they were constructed on the property. S. Markowski stated that the Google map view details of setbacks and dimensions were needed. J. Biasuzzi stated that the frame/fabric structure setback was adequate.

S. Markowski stated that the unpermitted structure on the property changes the complying uses. Ms. Merrill stated that the topsoil trucks were originally stored at their shop in Chittenden with their mowers, which are also required for landscaping services. S. Markowski questioned the sale of equipment on Route 7. Ms. Merrill stated that when they discontinue the us of the equipment for their businesses, they place it on the front lawn for sale and denies being a broker for used equipment.

S. Markowski explained the topic that is drawing attention is the sale of firewood. R. Conway stated that he has received communication from Charles Simpson and inquired if the Merrill’s have received the same communication. Atty Kupferer stated that he does not believe the document from Mr. Simpson should be received as evidence. Mr. Simpson stated that J. Biasuzzi stated that he would distribute to the board for review. R. Conway stated that the date on the warning stated August 6, 2021. J. Biasuzzi stated that he had a recent conversation with R. Conway with regard to firewood processing and sales, which were not included on the application. Firewood processing and sales are not prohibited or permitted. The exempt use is governed by the agriculture rules. There was discussion on the processing of firewood and Ms. Merrill stated that recently there was a processor on site to assist with processing and is not a permanent structure or piece of equipment. Ms. Merrill stated that they process 50 – 75 cord of wood per year as a small operator. Atty Kupferer inquired how the wood was obtained. Ms. Merrill stated that they purchase by the log load and process. Mr. Merrill explained that the topsoil is part of the landscaping operation that is on his property. Atty Kupferer inquired if this was manure. Ms. Merrill explained that they were contacted by a farm owner to assist with clearing farmland and brought the product to their property and denied mixing with manure.

S. Markowski inquired the dimensions of the portable shed. Ms. Merrill stated that she is not sure of the size. S. Markowski inquired if the topsoil shed was behind the shed and visible from the road. Ms. Merrill stated that this was not visible from the road. R. Conway inquired if this was visible to adjoining landowners. Mr. Simpson, Mr. Fallon and the Polli’s stated that they can see the pile.

S. Markowski inquired the hours of use of the chainsaws. Ms. Merrill stated that these were used during daylight hours, after 8:00 AM and before dark. Atty Kupferer inquired if these hours also included weekends. Ms. Merrill stated that the firewood is processed whenever there was free time. Atty Kupferer inquired if the firewood and topsoil were being trucked out. Ms. Merrill stated that they deliver the wood, as well as the topsoil.

R. Conway inquired if there has been an effort for screening to hide the operation. Ms. Merrill stated that they were not aware of an issue prior to the permitting process. S. Markowski inquired how long the Merrill’s have lived at the property. Ms. Merrill stated they have lived there for 5 years, been in operation with the firewood for 2 years and the topsoil was added this year. D. Adams inquired if this processing was commercial or industrial. J. Biasuzzi stated that commercial requires a permit.

There was discussion concerning renewable energy resource, which Atty Kupferer stated that this was exempt from zoning and the exemptions were reviewed. Atty Kupferer inquired if this was in the flood plane. J. Biasuzzi stated that this was outside the mapped flood plane. D. Adams stated that the application does not follow protocols and this should be returned to the Merrill’s for details.

Ms. Polli sated that the current use is not a single family residence. J. Biasuzzi stated that there is no home occupation permit, however, there is a detached structure permit in place. Ms. Polli inquired if there was a permit required for the logs. Atty Kupferer explained that this was the current discussion of the board. Ms. Polli stated that the impact of the neighborhood is the noise. Atty Kupferer stated that if a permit is issued, there may need to be conditions included. Ms. Polli inquired the use of the processor. Atty Kupferer asked for clarification of the processor. Ms. Merrill stated that the processor is a machine with a conveyor to the blade to the splitter. Atty Kupferer inquired if this was part of the operation. Ms. Merrill stated that they do not currently have a processor. C. Greeno inquired if the processor was quieter than a chainsaw. Ms. Merrill stated that this was quieter.

Mike Norris stated that he agrees that the neighbors should be allowed quiet hours, however, there should also be a reasonable amount of processing.

Atty Kupferer stated that the testimony from Mr. Simpson could be received into evidence as exhibit ‘A’. J. Biasuzzi stated that he would send a copy of this document to the attendees that signed in.

C. Simpson stated that the site plan was missing the brook that runs on the property, that there is a “shaker” machine that is used for the processing of topsoil, that he has watched 15 log trucks with pup trailers on the property. Mr. Merrill stated that there has only been 5. C. Simpson stated that there is a lot of saw dust, bark and debris from the processing machine, which remains. C. Simpson stated that there is noise 7 days a week and he can not enjoy his deck. C. Simpson stated that there has been no effort to hide anything or lessen the noise.

Ms. Polli stated that the wood is separate from the topsoil and recommends that the members visit the property.

Motion by R, Conway and seconded by N. Michael to recess the hearing to August 16, 2021 at 6:00 PM at the subject property. Motion passed 6 – 0. C. Simpson reclused.

Respectfully submitted

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, 2021 by:

Stanley Markowski, Chair