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Joint Board Meeting — Zoning Board of Appeals & Planning Board
Meeting Minutes — March 28, 2008
Fellowship Hall, 17 Little Mohawk Rd in Shelburne

A duly posted joint meeting of the Zoning Board of Appeals and the Planning Board was held at the Fellowship Hall, 17 Little Mohawk Rd in Shelburne for the purpose of an "informational meeting" about proposed zoning by-law changes..

ZBA Present: Joseph Palmeri , John Taylor, William Sweeney
ZBA Absent: Catherine Smith, Laurie MacLeod, Lowell Laporte, Ted Merrill
Planning Board Present: Charles Washer, John Payne, Beth Simmons, Chris Davenport
Planning Board Absent: Rodney McBride

Visitors: See sign-in sheet

Planning Board Chair Charles Washer called the meeting to order at 7:00pm and described the purpose of the meeting. Washer called on Taylor, Clerk of the ZBA, who reported that this was a posted ZBA meeting, and there were 3 members present, but the ZBA members were there to hear, ask, and/or answer questions about zoning but it is the Planning Board who is hosting the meeting.

Washer designated John Payne to chair the remainder of the meeting to discuss revising the Zoning Bylaws.

Payne presented a 15 minute Powerpoint presentation on the bylaw revisions, then reviewed the proposed zoning document, use change summary sheet, and discussed the "new" zoning map.

Payne recognized Palmeri who expressed the support of the ZBA for the proposed changes.

Questions and comments were taken from those present including:

M Parry: requested a section by section comparison, and stressed the need for more voter education. Payne handed out a comparison chart to the group.
L Gould: Concerned about changes to the use table which makes activities more restrictive; wondered if the uses were asked for by the voters (citing pig farming) or whether the PB made the change for their own benefit; Gould feels Payne has personal agenda and developed the use table all by himself. Payne disagreed. Palmeri described the discussion that went on between the PB and other boards.

Payne also responded to Gould's comments by pointing out what some might consider a conflict of interest: Payne has worked with a group who is hoping to bring a meat processing facility to Shelburne, and although he will not own it he may invest in such a type of facility in order to have his farm's beef processed there.

B Simmons: stated that Payne come to the PB last year with a proposal he had developed and felt this was inappropriate as it should have be done with all the members of the PB. Washer asked that the meeting focus on the proposal and not solely on the process which developed the document.

L Gould: Asked why the use table was being updated when there are no issues in the use table. He feels the PB should have spent time addressing topics not currently in the bylaws and leave the current parts alone.

Taylor and Palmeri responded for the ZBA that there are issues with the current use sections including the special permit part of the residential section, and the contradicting inclusive-exclusive language in the commercial and industrial sections, which is the subject of legal action in the "Pioneer Nutritional Formulas vs Mitchell" case.

M Parry: Commented that the process did not seem to be based on "best practices" but rather arbitrary concerns of the board members. Board members disagreed cited work with the regional planning staff.

B Simmons: Expressed concerned that the whole process was rushed and that more outside expertise was needed.

L Gould: Questioned the dimensional schedule and whether it should be reviewed.

Taylor revisited the four areas of where the ZBA "lobbied" for changes in order to improve the bylaws: updated, more accurate map; more clear definitions; description of the special permit criteria; and the use revisions previously mentioned.

L Flaccus: Expressed appreciation for the work done by the Boards and she he not only values the outside expertise but the local expertise as well.

G Dole: Stated that he too was appreciative of all the work by the volunteer boards. He feels that a deadline or target date is needed to bring what has been done to the voters, because otherwise the Town will never be able to move ahead on other issues. He suggested back lot development as the next issue the PB should bring to the Town.

M Taylor: Supported Dole's comments and encouraged the PB to bring these items forward and then tackle the more controversial ones.

J Palmeri: Supported the inclusion of the new zoning map. He also listed some items in the current bylaws which lacked clarity and he supported the new bylaws as it would clarify many of those items.

As there were no other comments or questions at this time both Boards, in turn, voted to adjourn at 8:49pm.

Respectfully submitted,

John E Taylor
Clerk Pro-tem