Planning Commission Minutes

Date:  Monday January 14, 2019 (01/14/19)

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Monday, 14 January, 2019


I.          Call to Order  -  Chair, Nancy Heatley called the meeting to order at 7:01pm.

Introductions:  Howard Beach, Sven Fedorow (Land Use Administrator), Nancy Heatley, Paul Tillman, Michael Todd, Julia Lloyd Wright (Energy Coordinator, ex-officio) 

Visitor: Ed Morris, Town Manager


II.         Agenda Review - 14 January, 2019


III.       Approval of Meeting Minutes -  10 December, 2018   

A motion was made by Michael Todd to accept Minutes of 10 December, 2018 with corrections, seconded by Howard Beach.  Voted:  Unanimously.


IV.       Comments from Citizens - None


V.         Better Connections Grant application and updates: Resolution for Better Connections Grant

Ed Morris asked the Planning Commission for their approval to sign off on the application grant for municipal planning on the east side of town.  The $60,000 grant will focus on economic development for the village of Ascutney.  It will also include transportation and look at benefits that exist such as the Town Forest.  Ed Morris said with airport planning being discussed, committee members could consider a connection for the town.  The SWCRPC (Southern Windsor County Regional Commission) have agreed to help with the process and a report which will go to the Selectboard.

A motion was made by Michael Todd to endorse the application to authorize the Chair of the Planning Commission to sign the recommendation for the Better Connections Grant for the Town of Weathersfield and Village of Ascutney, seconded by Howard Beach.  Voted: Unanimously 


VI.       Zoning Bylaw Updates

            (a)        Solar screening bylaw

An ordinance prepared for the Town of Bennington for ground mounted solar electric generation facilities in excess of 15kW(AC) was reviewed with the goal of preserving scenic quality set forth in the Town Plan.  The Ordinance further stipulated that all solar facilities be screened as set forth in the Ordinance.

The Commission discussed screening for Weathersfield’s rural, village, commercial, industrial and individual sites. Provision is already in the Town Plan to protect named areas of scenic significance.  An interim bylaw for the Town of Cornwall was also discussed.

It was agreed by the commission that wording regarding decommissioning of solar arrays be written into the bylaws.  Sven Fedorow will check on standard recommendation for performance bonds and write up a draft bylaw for the next meeting.

            (b)        Airport Uses

A Town of Springfield, VT Airport Approach Overlay District Map showing various Cone Zones was reviewed,.  Sven Fedorow will contact Jason Rasmussen (SWCRPC) to request an extended copy of the map to include the Town of Weathersfield’s areas abutting the airport.  There was discussion of possible industrial/commercial activities that could be encouraged to take advantage of the airport facility.           

            (c)        Proposed final Conservation (C-10) district bylaw

A final copy of the  2.5.6 Conservation (C-10) bylaw was reviewed.  Sven Fedorow will contact Jason Rasmussen (SWCRPC) to discuss existing parcel and zoning boundaries.  There was discussion on how a parcel split in the village with a C-10 property could be handled.  

A motion was made by Michael Todd to accept the 2.5.6 bylaw changes, seconded by Howard Beach.  Voted: Unanimously

            (e)        Updated bylaw status spreadsheet

Work continues on updating the current bylaws.  After reviewing the list the Planning Commission agreed to move forward with the following reviews/revisions: 2.4 Expansion of Minimum Lot Size;  2.5 Table of  Districts and Uses, all; 3.2 Conservation of Natural Resources, all: 3.4 Nonconformities, all.

Regarding “definitions” Nancy Heatley said there may be issues or maybe non- issues but we need to check for need and print the definitions.

            (d)        “De minimis” bylaw for setbacks, height

Sven Fedorow raised the question of how the Zoning Board might handle an honest mistake if a calculation is flawed and is less than 10 percent.  This item will be continued at  the next meeting. 


VII.      Proposals for next meeting agenda on Monday, 28 January, 2019

            Bylaw discussion: 2.4, 2.5

            Draft of airport map for discussion                       

VIII.     Adjourn

A motion to adjourn at 9:04pm was made by Howard Beach, seconded by Michael Todd.   Voted: Unanimously.