Author Archives: Newfane Vermont

Minutes of Development Review Board (DRB) site visit and hearing held December 8, 2021

December 13, 2021

Agenda
Appeal of denied zoning permit; application 21-039 for Tiny House Village on The Original Newfane Flea Market property at 788 Vermont route 30

Site Visit 3:00 pm
Applicants: Jesse Holden, E.W. (“Bill”) Morse, Jr
Development Review Board (DRB): Hendrik van Loon, Lynn Forrest, David Lucido, Walter Dadik
Newfane Planning Commission: Ken Estey

Mr. van Loon chaired the visit. He explained the visit was an opportunity to learn how the proposed use might fit the property and how it might affect neighborhood. He said testimony and gathering of evidence would take place at the hearing that evening – not during the site visit.

Mr. Morse and Mr. Holden led a tour of the area that would be dedicated to the proposed tiny house Village and gave an overview of the layout. They pointed out the eight proposed homesites and a recreation area as well as proposed connections to route 30 and Radway Road. They said landscaping would maintain the current open atmosphere of the property.

Public Hearing 6:00 pm – 7:10 pm
Attendees:
Applicants: Jesse Holden, E.W. (“Bill”) Morse, Jr
Development Review Board (DRB): David Cotton Chairman, Hendrik van Loon, Lynn Forrest, David Lucido, Walter Dadik, Erica Walch alternate
Newfane Zoning Administrator: Merle Tessier
Newfane Planning Commission Chairman: Ken Estey
Newfane Zoning Administrator: Merle Tessier
Abutters: Randall Antinarelli, Erika Goldstein
Brattleboro Reformer: Bob Audette

Mr. Cotton opened the hearing at 6:00 pm and swore-in all those who expected to give testimony. He then asked Mr. Morse to describe the proposed project.

Mr. Morse said the project was conceived as a way to provide much-needed affordable housing in Newfane while producing a reasonable income for the site’s owners – himself and Mr. Holden.

The plan is to rent/lease tiny house sites with access to a septic system, utilities and parking to tenants who will supply their own tiny houses. The goal is a rental/lease term of a least one year. Eight house sites are proposed; but only four will be leased initially. There will be a community recreation area and maintenance will be provided by Mr. Morse and Mr. Holden. The existing Original Newfane Flea Market will share the property and continue to operate.

Mr. Cotton asked each DRB member for comments.

David Lucido noted there is no description or specified size to define tiny houses in the Zoning Bylaw. There was general agree there is a need for one.

Erica Walch asked if there are other tiny house villages. Mr. Morse said he knew of at least one. He believes the tiny house manufacturer in Townshend is supplying some of its houses. This led to a discussion of Kenolie Village, a seasonal mobile home recreation area in Newfane.

Mr. van Loon asked if the project requires a subdivision permit and Mr. Tessier said it does not. Mr. van Loon also asked if the driveways were planned for two-way traffic and Mr. Morse replied they are. There was discussion about arranging he house plots in a less “regimented” fashion; but no changes were made.

Ms. Forrest endorsed the concept of concentrating the plots in a cluster in order to maximize the amount of open space. She also said she is a member of Newfane’s Planning Commission and they plan to have tiny house specifications completed by town meeting day.

Mr. Dadik questioned whether DRB has authority to act on an application for a Tiny House Village since the Zoning Bylaw does not list it as either a permitted or conditional use. Mr. van Loon said DRB does have authority to act regarding residences and this application involves residences.

Mr. Dadik also mentioned difficulties interpreting internal traffic flow on the plot plan submitted with the DRB application; He later expressed concerns about compliance with the Zoning Bylaw’s mixed use specifications – in particular the requirement that the entire cumulative development not cover more than 65 percent of the lot area. Mr. Morse said he strongly doubts there is a problem. Mr. Dadik said there should, nonetheless, be an accurate calculation of the area affected by the multiple uses compared to what the bylaw allows .

Mr. Cotton asked for comments from two of the property’s abutters who were in attendance

Mr. Antinarelli had five concerns:

  1. Effect on property values
    Mr. Morse believes a well managed community will not have a negative effect
  2. Zoning impact
    This is basically a stand alone project not expected to lead to zoning changes in the area
  3. Possibility of expansion beyond the eight units applied for the zoning Bylaw limits the parcel to eight units
  4. Noise levels
    Mr. Morse believes this will be a low key residential community; also, there will be rules to regulate noise
  5. Trash problems
    Mr. Morse said there will be community rules plus attention from Mister Holden and himself to insure proper waste management.

Ms. Goldstein had four questions:

  1. How will occupancy levels be regulated?
    Mr. Morse said there are no plans to specify them at this time
  2. Is there a capital reserve for maintenance?
    Mr. Morse said there is no specific reserve; but, he and Mr. Holden are committed to good practices
  3. Has there been any planning for septic systems and other utilities
    Mr. Morse said he has contacted consultants for water supply and a septic system. Initial investigations are encouraging and state regulations will be followed.
  4. Will there be rules limiting or prohibiting children?
    Mr. Morse said emphatically there will be none.

Mr. Cotton asked if there were other comments and there were none. Mr. van Lon made a motion that:

The Development Review Board recess this hearing and enter deliberative session

The motion was seconded by Ms. Forrest and unanimously passed at 7:10 pm

Development Review Board
Newfane Vermont
Walter Dadik, Secretary

Notice of Development Review Board Decision

December 21, 2021

Background
Newfane Development Review Board (DRB) held a public hearing November 23, 2021 to consider appeal of the Zoning Administrator’s action regarding application 21– 034 for a 3 lot subdivision at 524 Vermont route 30.

Appellant Daryl Johns proposes to subdivide the 10.3 acre property into a total of 3 lots. The Zoning Administrator did not approve this application because the Newfane Subdivision Bylaw requires Development Review Board approval for more than 2 lots.

Guiding Policy Provisions
Town of Newfane Zoning Bylaw adopted February 19, 2015
Town of Newfane Subdivision Bylaw adopted October 4, 2007

Materials Submitted
Preliminary Subdivision plat showing, among other details, proposed lot boundaries and access easement, proposed leach field locations, existing house and barn on lot 3 and location of one proposed house each on lots 1 and 2.

Findings of Fact
Only lot number 1 with the existing house and barn has frontage on a public road. Applicant has proposed an access easement to provide road access for lots 2 and 3. As proposed, each of the 3 lots would contain portions of this easement.
The proposed leach area for lot 2‘s septic system is partially located in lot 1 The owner is pursuing approvals for septic system and access to route 30

Conclusion of Law
Based on a review of materials submitted and presented testimony the Newfane DRB concludes this application as proposed and when finalized and implemented in accordance with the conditions below does meet town of Newfane subdivision criteria.

Decision
Application 21-034 is unanimously approved subject to the following conditions:

  1. Approval is subject to any and all applicable local, state and federal permit approvals
  2. Boundary between lots 1 and 2 is to be adjusted so lot 2’s leach field will be entirely located in lot 2
  3. Boundary of access easement is to be adjusted so the entire access easement is located within lot 3’s boundaries
  4. The preliminary subdivision plat is to be revised and subsequently approved by the DRB Chairman and at least one DRB member who participated in the hearing of this application to confirm the plat incorporates conditions 2 and 3 described above.

Confirmation
Subsequent to the DRB hearing, Chairman Cotton and DRB member Walter Dadik reviewed the revised preliminary subdivision plat and confirmed it incorporates conditions 2, and 3 described above.

Appeal
Pursuant to Title 24 VSA Sections 4471 and 4472, an interested person who has participated in the review of this application may appeal this decision to the Environmental Division of The Vermont Superior Court Court by certified mail within thirty (30) days of the date this decision is issued. A copy of the notice must also be sent to the Zoning Administrator or the Municipal Clerk who is required to provide a list of interested persons to the appellant within five days of receipt of the Notice. The appellant is required to send a copy of the Notice, via certified mail, to each interested person.

Town of Newfane Vermont
Development Review Board
David Cotton, Chairman

Positions on 2022 Town Meeting Ballot

The following positions will be on the ballot for election in Newfane on Town Meeting Day, March 1, 2022.

  • Town Moderator 1 year
  • Town Clerk 1 year
  • Town Treasurer 1 year
  • Delinquent Tax Collector 1 year
  • 1 Selectboard Member, 3 year term
  • 2 Selectboard Members, 1 year term
  • 1 Lister, 3 Year Term
  • 1 Lister, 1 Year of 3 year Term
  • 1 Lister, 2 years of 3 year term
  • Town Agent 1 year
  • Town Constable 1 year
  • West River Unified District School Director 3 year term

Petitions signed by 15 Newfane registered voters and Consent of Candidate Forms must be submitted to the Town Clerk by 5 PM on Monday, January 24, 2022.

Please note that all the present incumbents are eligible to run again for the positions that they hold and the fact that the position is on this list does not mean that an incumbent does not intend to run again.

You may obtain petitions and consent of candidate forms from the Town Clerk or the Secretary of State website.

NOTICE OF BOARD OF CIVIL AUTHORITY EMERGENCY MEETING

Pursuant to the provisions of 24 V.S.A., §801, notice is hereby given that the Board of Civil Authority within and for the Town of Newfane will on the 7th day of December, 2021, at 5:00 p.m., meet at the Newbrook Fire Station to conduct the following business: to appoint a Presiding Officer for the voting portion of the Special Town Meeting to be held at 6 PM on December 7, 2021.

December 7, 2021
Carol Hesselbach, Clerk of the BCA

Copy:
Four public places
Board of Civil Authority
Board Members
Town Website by Carol Hesselbach
Town Clerk

Town of Newfane Special Meeting: December 7th, 2021

Town of Newfane Special Meeting to be held Tuesday, December 7 th at 6:00pm at the NewBrook Fire House
Vote on Town Purchase of Gravel Pit at Radway Hill Road and River Road

November 30, 2021

The Town of Newfane will be holding a special town meeting on Tuesday, December 7 th to discuss the proposed purchase of a gravel pit located at the juncture of Radway Hill Road and River Road in Newfane. The meeting will be held at the NewBrook Fire House located at 698 VT-30, Newfane at 6:00pm. An informational meeting was presented on November 15 as part of the regular Newfane Selectboard meeting and will be re-presented at the December meeting. The presentation is available on the town’s website.

The proposal is to purchase a 21-acre site for $450,000. Based on a report by Savoy Engineering that analyzed the composition of the gravel and sand on two-thirds of the site, there is sufficient material to meet the town’s gravel needs for at least 30 years. The available sand at the site would last even longer. The analysis was done on only 13 of the 21 acres and based on visual examination, the additional 8 acres have a similar composition. Therefore, the town can anticipate using the pit for several decades.

The cost of gravel and sand have risen 54% in the last year and the town’s budget for these two items has had to rise from $145,000 annually to $223,000. This is an issue being experienced by scores of Vermont communities as well as across the globe as sand has become a scarcer resource. A financial projection estimates the savings to Newfane of $2.1 million over 10 years.

Town residents will be asked to vote on two articles which will allow the Selectboard to both purchase the site and borrow the necessary funds to cover the purchase price and other associated costs, particularly the cost of completing the required Act 250 permit. There will be a floor vote; one must be registered to vote in the Town of Newfane and present at the meeting in order to vote. There will not be a paper ballot unless requested at the meeting by at least seven residents; the meeting will not be on Zoom.

Jay Wilson, Newfane Road Foreman, noted, “It is becoming more and more difficult to find contractors that have sand and gravel to sell – at any price. We use about 12,000 cubic yards of gravel and sand every year. With over 800,000 cubic yards available on just 13 of the 21 acres, this will be a boom for the town for years to come.” Mike Fitzpatrick, Newfane Selectboard member, agreed and added, “Purchasing the property now will ensure that we have the materials we need and at a price that is not continually increasing.”

At the Selectboard meeting more details were given about the Act 250 permitting process that the town is required to complete before opening the gravel pit for town operation. Most importantly to surrounding neighbors, given the composition of the material, there is no need for blasting of rock. The town will screen sand and crush gravel on an annual basis and truck it to the town garage for storage. There will not be a constant stream of trucks or activity at the site.

Selectboard Chair Angela Litchfield-Sanborn noted, “At the December 7 th meeting we will answer any questions from town residents and we have several photos available to show what the site looks like today. We hope residents will come out to learn more about the proposal and cast their vote.”

The Leland and Gray Players Present MAMMA MIA! November 11-13

TOWNSHEND, Vt. –  “HERE WE GO AGAIN!” exudes Leland and Gray Players’ Director Sam Chapin. “Live music and theater return to Leland and Gray in the form of MAMMA MIA!  Featuring the upbeat and ever-danceable music of ABBA, the musical centers around a young woman and her quest to determine the identity of her birth father, while at the same time trying to marry her fiance and keep her mother as far out of the loop as possible. The score is fun and familiar with songs like, “Dancing Queen,”  “Take A Chance On Me,”  “The Winner Takes It All,” and, of course, “Mamma Mia”.”

The Company features actors Gianna Birri, Isabella Bowen, Lily Bowen, Peter Broussard, Spencer Butynski, Marley Felker, Ruby Hallenbeck, Dylan Hazelton, Mackson Hiner, Anselm Marrow, Mary McDonald, Kianelise Pena, Lucca Pozzi, Raena Sanderson, Catherine Shine, Stephen Shine, Andrew Tolbert, and Callie Wicker; student tech: Oliver Andersen, Olivia Bell, Jules Bowden, Conner Dunham, Dakota Dunham, Alexander Sicko, Davin Visconti. In the pit, student Abe Newton is on guitar joined by Rene Bernard on drums, Mike Kelly on keyboard, Mike McKinney on guitar, Matt Martyn on electric bass. Directed by Sam Chapin, vocal and music direction by Elyse Wadsworth, choreography by Sarah Grasso, assistant directed by Alexa Litchfield.

Adhering to Covid guidance, the cast will be masked at all times, as will the audience, and appropriate distancing will be maintained. Performances will be in L&G’s Dutton Gymnasium, Rte. 30, Townshend, on November 11 and 12 at 7 pm and November 13 at 4 pm. Admission: $10 dollars for adults and $5 for students and seniors. To reserve in advance write schapin@windhamcentral.org.

Chapin echoes ABBA: “So come join us–you can dance, jive, AND HAVE THE TIME OF YOUR LIFE!”