Town of Pittsford, Vermont

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January 24, 2008


Planning Commission Members Present - Kathryn Brown, Don Nickless, and Thor Konwin.  Others Present: Ron Stadelman, and Kelly Giard - Recording Secretary.


D. Nickless, Chair, called meeting to order at 7:00 PM


D. Nickless stated that Ron Stadelman has expressed a possible interest in the Planning Commission.  The duties of the board were discussed.


Kathleen Ramsay, Town Manager, had asked D. Nickless for a report of the Planning Commission for the Annual Town Report.  A copy of this report was distributed for review.


A. Loomis presented a report of Zoning Administrator's recent activities for discussion.


Town Plan


D. Nickless reported that he met with Mark Blucher from the Rutland Regional Planning Commission to assist with the finalization of the Town Plan.  D. Nickless distributed copies of information that was discussed at their meeting for review by the Planning Commission members.


The Town Plan Assessment was reviewed.  There were suggestions for the Statement of Policies, Objectives, and Programs.  The names for these topics were discussed and agreed upon that there needs to be consistency throughout the plan. 


The Town background is a requirement of the plan.  D. Nickless inquired if this is a topic that the RRPC should be asked to assist with.  K. Brown stated that the RRPC has the sources for information, and this would be correct information as there are other sources that are not as reputable.  D. Nickless suggested that the RRPC resources be utilized and to stay within our financial constraints.  M. Blucher will contact D. Nickless with a summary of the meeting and proposed contract.


K. Brown stated that the Education section was one area that the data is difficult to obtain.  One section was the school populations.  There was much discussion regarding this topic.


The background information that was submitted by Peggy Armitage was reviewed.  The members stated that there were several points that lead to confusion.  D. Nickless stated that he would contact Ms. Armitage and work with her on this section.  There was discussion as to the origination of the Town name.  Members felt that this would be something that would be beneficial to include in the Town Plan.


The Land Use Plan/Maps were discussed.  The RRPC will update the maps required for the new plan.  There was discussion regarding the West Creek Road zoning change and there have been no conclusive answers as to why the change occurred. 


The Transportation section was discussed.  RRPC will assist with this section and will include comments on Ancient Roads.  D. Nickless will contact K. Ramsay to provide input as to any plan for road maintenance, especially paving.  There was a plan in place in the past and there may have been an extension to this.  A long-range vision for the Town would be to develop a "core" of the Village around the Village Green.  There is a possibility that the Forrest Property could play a role in this being obtained.  Discussion regarding the upgrading of Route 7 and the effect that have on businesses.  The general feeling was that the Select board should negotiate with the Agency of Transportation to see if there was something that could be done to assist the businesses that could be affected.


K. Brown has worked on the Health Care section.  Folks would like to see a doctor in town, however, there is not a sufficient solid patient base to support a doctor.  There was discussion that residents need to support the First Response as they are always in need of volunteers.     


K. Brown has also worked on the Child Care section.  There is a definite need for an affordable after school program. 


D. Nickless inquired the amount of time that there is Police protection.  D. Nickless will contact K. Ramsay for this information.  There was discussion that there have been frequent complaints of speeding within various areas. 


Fire protection was discussed.  Currently, some of the water pipes are undersized.  There is an emergency siren that was installed using FEMA monies.  There was a general concern that very few residents are aware of this siren and may not understand the signal, in the event that there is an emergency.


The Solid Waste section discussed the use of private collectors and what the permit requirements were for a private hauler.  There was a discussion as to having the Town collect the refuse and with this service, the recycling may increase. 


The RRPC would like reference to the Wind Tower project that is at Grandpa's Knob in the energy section.


The use of the water and sewer systems were discussed.  D. Nickless explained the process of sludge removal. 


The MacLure Library offers well-run programs.  Recent building repairs were discussed and the question raised as to future needs for future repairs.  The one drawback of the library is the lack of parking.  There was discussion that possibly the Library would purchase the property behind the Library on the Route 7 side as the resident recently passed away.


S. Eugair had previously worked on the Preservation Policies section.  D. Nickless will contact the RRPC to review this section and make any condensing suggestions.  Members recommended that there should be more emphasis placed on the local and organic product opportunities.


D. Nickless stated that he would be in contact with Kathleen Ramsay regarding the Town Office building fund.


The Post Office has reduced the proposed new building size.  In the event that the Forrest property is sold, this could be a location for the new building.


K. Brown stated that the Recreation has some long-range plans, one being use of the Recreation Area year round, to include a skating rink.


The new subdivision regs would influence preservation and reduce sprawl.  The RRPC will be asked to review these new regs and make suggestions.  D. Nickless stated that another possibility would be to contact the League of Cities & Towns for any further input.


D. Nickless stated that he would review the Energy section.


Members discussed that the Implementation section cannot be developed until the remainder of the plan is completed.  


The RRPC will review the neighboring communities and Regional Plans to assure consistency with a new Pittsford plan.


There was discussion regarding the growth within the community.  K. Brown felt that there needed to be clean up before any growth could occur.  There are properties along main roads that are in need of clean up as these are one of the first areas that travelers see upon entering town.  The clean up of these areas would also increase the quality of life in the area.


Village Designation


K. Brown received the final copy of the Village Designation from Sally Eugair.  D. Nickless will review and forward to Kathleen Ramsay.


Other Business


K. Giard stated that she has been in contact with Kathleen Ramsay and has the information to have the minutes placed on the town website.  These minutes will be forwarded after the Commission signs off on them.


The next meeting will be held on February 14, 2008.

Meeting adjourned at 9:45 PM



Respectfully Submitted



Kelly Giard, Recording Secretary

Don Nickless, Chair

Thor Konwin, Vice Chair

Kathryn Brown


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