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Zoning Board of Appeals — Meeting Minutes — September 1, 2011

A duly posted meeting of the Shelburne Zoning Board of Appeals was held at the Meeting Room in Town Hall, 51 Bridge Street, Shelburne, on September 1, 2011.

Members Present: Joseph Palmeri, William Sweeney, Lowell Laporte, Theodore Merrill,
Administrative Assistant: Faye Whitney
Members Absent: Catherine Smith. John Taylor
Guests: Deborah Andrew, Cameron Graves

Chairman Joe Palmeri called the meeting to order at 7:10 p.m.

The Board discussed PILOT (Payment in Lieu of Taxes). Tax-exempt organizations often mention making PILOT payments to the town, but there seems to be no mechanism for enforcing it. Perhaps a policy should be created. Mr. Palmeri mentioned that, while PILOT is voluntary, part of the job of issuing Special Permits is to look out for the financial interests of the town.

A motion was made by Mr. Laporte, seconded by Mr. Sweeney to approve the Franklin Land Trust hearing minutes of July 7.

Voting in favor: Mr. Sweeney, Mr. Laporte, Mr. Merrill
Opposed: None
Abstentions: Mr. Palmeri

Deborah Andrew, who had a 7:30 p.m. appointment with the Board, said that in the past month she had tried to become better informed about wind turbines and has decided that the proposed Mt. Massaemet wind farm would not be a good idea. She said there was no reason for it; there was no evidence to indicate that wind power is viable, it doesn't reduce the use of oil, and there is evidence that commercial wind power does not keep its promises.

Mr. Palmeri said the Board is aware that it has a very large task ahead of it. The Board will apply the zoning regulations of the Town of Shelburne to the presentation and that's all it can do.

Mr. Merrill felt that the decision for a major zoning change was not the task of the ZBA, whose mission is to enforce and protect the zoning bylaws as they are written. He went on to say that the decision should be made by Town Meeting. The ZBA should reject the application.

Mr. Palmeri said the Board had to work within the framework [zoning bylaws]. If the applicant doesn't want to go through the zoning process he could go to the Planning Board.

The August 4 minutes were brought up for discussion. Mr. Merrill asked for an addition to the minutes.

A motion was made by Mr. Sweeney, seconded by Mr. Laporte to postpone approval of the August 4 minutes until the next meeting.

Voting in favor: Mr. Laporte, Mr. Sweeney, Mr. Palmeri, Mr., Merrill
Opposed: None
Abstentions: None

The Board had already received some information on wind farms from various unofficial sources. The Board felt that the following zoning bylaws could be affected by the upcoming application: Section 4.1, 2.35, 4.3 and 5.2

At 9 p.m. a motion was made by Mr. Laporte, and seconded by Mr. Merrill, to adjourn the meeting. The vote in favor was unanimous.

Respectfully submitted,
Faye Whitney
Administrative Assistant