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Zoning Board of Appeals — Meeting Minutes — July 17, 2008
Selectmen's Office

A duly posted meeting of the Shelburne Zoning Board of Appeals was held at the Selectmen's Meeting Room at Town Hall, 51 Bridge Street, Shelburne, on July 17, 2008.

Members Present: Joseph Palmeri, William Sweeney, Theodore Merrill
Members Absent: Laurie Bluver-MacLeod, Catherine Smith, Lowell Laporte, John Taylor
Guests Present: Richard Broadhurst, John Payne, John & Carolyn Wheeler

The meeting was called to order by Chairman Joe Palmeri at 7:25 p.m.

The Board listened to Mr. Broadhurst, who came to apprise the Board of his difficulties with a building permit first approved, and then apparently rescinded, by the Building Inspector on the grounds of inaccurate information given. Mr. Broadhurst seems to be faced with the necessity therefore of getting a variance to complete his project. After looking at Mr. Broadhurst's site map and listening to his history of his lot, the chair said there seemed to be reason to invoke Section 5.3.2 of the zoning by-law and thereby remove he necessity of applying for a variance, since the required setback involves land taken for public use. Further discussions with the Building Inspector are in order.

The Board then turned its attention to Mr. Payne and Mr. & Mrs. Wheeler. They have been working for about a year on the feasibility of establishing a meat-processing facility in the former Mohawk Orchards building on Colrain-Shelburne Road. No opinion or decision was being asked of the ZBA; they wished only to 1) acquaint the Board with their tentative plans, and 2) elicit our ideas concerning some difficulties they could expect but might not have thought of.

  1. They presented the difficulties that farmers are having in the current state of the area's economy - and pointed out that processing locally-raised livestock, thus avoiding much of the stunning growth in transportation costs to present facilities, presented "compelling" economic opportunities to local farmers. They indicated why their proposed site was ideal for reasons of location, size, and cost. They distributed a series of sketches indicting the present layout of the building and the changes called for by such a facility. They spoke of the volume required to make the operation economically sound.
  2. As for the "hurdles" involved with such a project, conversation turned principally to response by neighbors, and to what effect present zoning regulations would have on decisions about a) the square-footage used in the facility and b) the conversion of the building to agricultural-manufacturing use.

At 9:25 p.m., Mr. Payne and Mr. & Mrs. Wheeler indicated their satisfaction with the conversation and left. Board members spent time discussing the particular zoning by-laws involved with both these projects.

Sweeney moved to adjourn, Merrill seconded, and it was voted to adjourn at 10:10 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

William R. Sweeney, Clerk pro tem