Category Archives: Planning Commission Meeting Minutes

Regular Planning Commission Meetings occur on the 2nd & 4th Thursdays at
6:00 PM via Zoom or phone. We welcome your attendance and participation!

NEWFANE PLANNING COMMISSION SPECIAL MEETING

MINUTES of March 28, 2024

COMMISSION MEMBERS PRESENT: Kate Gehring, Nolan Edgar, Jane Douglas, James Bressor

OTHERS PRESENT: Bill Morse, Merle Tessier (Newfane Zoning Administrator)

CALL TO ORDER
The meeting was called to order at 6:05 pm.

ADDITIONS/AMENDMENTS TO THE AGENDA
None.

MINUTES
A motion was made by Nolan and seconded by Kate to accept the meeting minutes of February 16, 2024 and March 14, 2024 as amended. The motion passed unanimously by voice vote.

PUBLIC COMMENT
Bill Morse commented about the inconvenience of Planning Commission meeting times.

OLD BUSINESS
Bylaw Modernization Grant:
Bill Morse commented on the Bylaw change recommendation presentation made by Windham Regional Commission. No further update, the Commission is waiting for draft language from Windham Regional Commission.

Use of ARPA funds as a revolving loan fund for housing:
Nolan will reach out to Sue Fillion about the Town of Brattleboro’s revolving loan fund. Kate shared suggestions from Gretchen Havreluk for the Town of Newfane related to the MTAP program. Gretchen will attend the next Newfane Selectboard meeting.

Zoning Administrator position:
Kate said she has been trying to reach a resident who has expressed an interest in the position, but they haven’t connected yet. Merle shared some issues that may need the commission’s attention: a definition for a tiny home on wheels; and possibly radio towers for ham operators, although federal regulations may preempt local zoning bylaws.

Short-term Rentals:
Commission members briefly discussed the similar STR ordinances used by Chester and Londonderry, and agreed that they like how both towns clearly state the purpose of the ordinance. Commissioners agreed to review various STR regulations more thoroughly and discuss the issue in more detail in an upcoming meeting.

Development Review Board (DRB) update:
No update.

Broadband update, Deerfield Valley Communication District:
Jane gave update on recent work with the Deerfield Valley Communications Union District. Jane said the district now has more than 200 paying customers. Stamford and Readsboro are wired. Crews are now wiring Whitingham.

Report-back from Town Meetings and/or Selectboard meetings:
None.

Neighboring Town Planning Commission Collaboration:
No update.

2024 Southern Vermont Economy Summit attendance:
Kate said she believed the town had registered the four commission members for the event.

NEW BUSINESS
Agenda setting for next meeting:
Commissioners discussed items to be put on the next regular meeting agenda.

Planning Commission vacancy:
Kate announced Planning Commission seat vacancy.

CORRESPONDENCE
Kate shared on brief email from the town of Windham.

ADJOURNMENT
A motion was made by James and seconded by Jane to adjourn the meeting at 7:35pm. The motion carried unanimously by voice vote.

Respectfully Submitted,
Nolan Edgar

NEWFANE PLANNING COMMISSION SPECIAL MEETING

MINUTES of March 14, 2024

COMMISSION MEMBERS PRESENT: Kate Gehring, Nolan Edgar, Jane Douglas, James Bressor

OTHERS PRESENT (Zoom): Ann Golob (Newfane Selectboard), Sue Westa (Windham Regional Commission), Mike McConnell (Windham Regional Commission), Bill Morse, Annie Landenberger, T. Breeze Verdant

CALL TO ORDER
The meeting was called to order at 6:00 pm.

ADDITIONS/AMENDMENTS TO THE AGENDA
None.

MINUTES
None.

PUBLIC COMMENT
Bill Morse made comments regarding the current housing bylaws in Newfane and the difficulties in developing new housing.

OLD BUSINESS
Bylaw Modernization Grant:
Sue Westa and Mike McConnell from Windham Regional Commission reviewed their responses to Commissioner’s questions regarding the Bylaw change recommendations provided by Windham Regional Commission. Windham Regional Commission will provide further clarification and wording for the Planning Commission to review before moving forward.

Use of ARPA funds as a revolving loan fund for housing:
The Newfane Selectboard set aside a portion of the ARPA funds and they are awaiting a proposal from the Planning Commission. Ann Golob explained the new MTAP state program and that Newfane is one of the Towns that has been authorized to use the program. Ann will start talking with the person assigned to work with Newfane.

Zoning Administrator position:
No update.

Short-term Rentals:
No update.

Development Review Board (DRB) update:
No update.

Broadband update, Deerfield Valley Communication District:
Jane gave update on recent work with the Deerfield Valley Communications Union District. Jane was reappointed as a representative.

Report-back from Town Meetings and/or Selectboard meetings:
Commissioners commented on Town Meeting attendance. The Planning Commission will try to be present at the next Selectboard meeting.

Neighboring Town Planning Commission Collaboration:
Commissioners will put together another meeting with neighboring town Planning Commissioners to discuss collaboration.

NEW BUSINESS
Dummerston Local Hazard Mitigation Plan review:
Commissioners confirmed review of documents sent out by Dummerston.

2024 Southern Vermont Economy Summit attendance:
A motion was made by Jane and seconded by James that all four Commissioners attend the Southern Vermont Economy Summit. The motion passed unanimously by voice vote. Kate will request that Wannetta Powling register the Commissioners for the event.

Agenda setting for next meeting:
Commissioners discussed items to be put on the next regular meeting agenda.

Planning Commission vacancy:
Kate announced Planning Commission seat vacancy.

CORRESPONDENCE
None.

ADJOURNMENT
A motion was made by James and seconded by Jane to adjourn the meeting at 8:00pm.
The motion carried unanimously by voice vote.

Respectfully Submitted,
Nolan Edgar

NEWFANE PLANNING COMMISSION SPECIAL MEETING

MINUTES of February 16, 2024

COMMISSION MEMBERS PRESENT: Kate Gehring, Nolan Edgar, Jane Douglas, James Bressor

OTHERS PRESENT (Zoom): Ann Golob (Newfane Selectboard)

CALL TO ORDER
The meeting was called to order at 6:04 pm.

ADDITIONS/AMENDMENTS TO THE AGENDA
None.

MINUTES
A motion was made by Nolan and seconded by Jane to approve the February 8, 2024 regular meeting minutes as presented. The motion carried unanimously by voice vote.

PUBLIC COMMENT
None.

OLD BUSINESS
Bylaw Modernization Grant:
Commissioners and Ann Golob reviewed the Bylaw change recommendations provided by Windham Regional Commission. Commissioners agree that clarification is needed on a number of the recommendations. Commissioners will prepare questions to ask Sue Westa at the next joint meeting on March 14, 2024.

Zoning Administrator position:
Ann gave a brief update on the process of selecting a new Zoning Administrator.

Use of ARPA funds as a revolving loan fund for housing:
Ann gave an update about ARPA funds.

CORRESPONDENCE
None.

ADJOURNMENT
A motion was made by James and seconded by Jane to adjourn the meeting at 7:59 pm. The motion carried unanimously by voice vote.

Respectfully Submitted,
Nolan Edgar

Planning Commission February 8, 2024 Minutes

TOWN OF NEWFANE PLANNING COMMISSION REGULAR MEETING
MINUTES of February 8, 2024

COMMISSION MEMBERS PRESENT: Kate Gehring, Nolan Edgar, Jane Douglas, James Bressor
OTHERS PRESENT (Newfane Town Office): Bill Morse, Jon Julian
OTHERS PRESENT (Zoom):

CALL TO ORDER
Kate called the meeting to order at 6:07 pm.

ADDITIONS/AMENDMENTS TO THE AGENDA
A motion was made by Jane and seconded by Kate to alter the agenda and start with the revolving loan fund for housing discussion.
The motion carried unanimously by voice vote.

MINUTES
A motion was made by Jane and seconded by Nolan to approve the January 17, 2024 special meeting minutes and the January 25, 2024 regular meeting minutes as presented.
The motion carried unanimously by voice vote.

PUBLIC COMMENT
Bill Morse attended the meeting but had to leave early. He will return at a future meeting.

OLD BUSINESS
Use of ARPA funds as a revolving loan fund for housing:
Jon Julian spoke about his experience owning and renovators rental properties in Williamsville. Commissioners discussed with Jon Julian how the Town could better serve renters and people developing housing. Commissioners still seeking feedback on revolving loan funds in other towns.

Development Review Board (DRB) update:
None.

Zoning Administrator position:
Kate gave a brief update on the process of selecting a new Zoning Administrator. The Commission will reach out to a possible candidate.

Bylaw Modernization Grant:
Commissioners agreed to hold a special meeting on February 16, 2024 to discuss and move forward the Windham Regional Commission’s recommended bylaw changes. Commissioners agreed to review the changes before the special meeting.

Short-term Rentals:
No update.

Broadband update, Deerfield Valley Communications District:
Jane gave update on recent work with the Deerfield Valley Communications Union District.

Report-back from Town Meetings and/or Selectboard meetings:
None.

Neighboring Town Planning Commission Collaboration:
No update.

NEW BUSINESS

Agenda setting for next meeting:

Commissioners discussed which items to include on the next meeting agenda.

Planning Commission vacancy:
Kate announced Planning Commission seat vacancy.

CORRESPONDENCE
Email received from the Vermont Community Leadership Network about upcoming workshops. Email received from a school that wants to do a project involving the Planning Commission.

ADJOURNMENT
A motion was made by James and seconded by Nolan to adjourn the meeting at 8:03 pm. The motion carried unanimously by voice vote.

 

Respectfully Submitted,
Nolan Edgar

Planning Commission Regular Minutes of January 25, 2024

PLANNING COMMISSION REGULAR MEETING MINUTES of January 25, 2024

 

COMMISSION MEMBERS PRESENT: Kate Gehring, Jane Douglas, James Bressor

OTHERS PRESENT (Newfane Town Office): None

OTHERS PRESENT (Zoom): Gary Fox, Ann Golob

 CALL TO ORDER
Kate called the meeting at 6:09 pm.

ADDITIONS/AMENDMENTS TO THE AGENDA
Kate moved to adjust the agenda, to begin with a discussion of possibly using ARPA funds to establish a revolving loan fund and the conversation with Gary Fox, development director for the town of Rockingham. James seconded. Passed unanimously.

Gary provided an overview of Rockingham’s revolving loan fund (RLF), noting that the town loans funds to both businesses and individual property owners. A five-member RLF committee, which meets three or four times annually, evaluates loan applications and recommends whether to support the request or not; the selectboard makes the final decision. The interest rate is kept close to prime.

Rockingham’s RLF policy gives a preference to owner-occupied multi-unit housing. Funds are often used for upgrades and safety improvements; they can also be used to convert properties to create an additional unit. Loans are generally no more than $20,000. The town has approved five to six housing loans over the past two years. Repayment has been good.

MINUTES
A motion was made by James and seconded by Jane to approve the January 11, 2024, minutes. Unanimously approved.

 OLD BUSINESS
Development Review Board update: No DRB member is present.

Zoning administrator:
Kate reported that the planning commission will likely meet with a candidate soon.

Use of ARPA funds as a revolving loan fund for housing—update & discussion:
See above.

Bylaw Modernization Grant:
Kate said she would share a recent correspondence from the Windham Regional Commission, and she asked all planning commission members to review the WRC’s recommended bylaw changes before the February 8 meeting.

Short-term rentals:
No update.

Broadband update, Deerfield Valley Communications District:
Jane said some members of the communications district staff and board would soon meet with legislators in Montpelier.

Report-back from town meetings and/or selectboard meetings:
No update.

Newfane/Townshend/Brookline Joint Planning Commission Brainstorm—update:
No update.

NEW BUSINESS
Agenda setting for next meeting: Commission members agreed that the WRC’s Bylaw Modernization proposals will be on the agenda for the next meeting. Kate said the commission will invite a representative of the Windham & Windsor Housing Trust to a future meeting.

Planning Commission vacancies (1 vacant seat): Kate reported that two individuals continue to express an interest in serving.

CORRESPONDENCE
None.

ADJOURNMENT
A motion was made by James and seconded by Jane to adjourn the meeting at 7:34 pm. The motion carried unanimously.

 Respectfully submitted,
James Bressor

PLANNING COMMISSION REGULAR MINUTES of January 11, 2024

TOWN OF NEWFANE PLANNING COMMISSION REGULAR MEETING
MINUTES of January 11, 2024

 

COMMISSION MEMBERS PRESENT: Kate Gehring, Nolan Edgar, Jane Douglas, James Bressor

OTHERS PRESENT (Newfane Town Office): Mike McConnell (Windham Regional Commission)

OTHERS PRESENT (Zoom): Sue Westa (Windham Regional Commission), Angela Sanborn (Newfane Selectboard), Ann Golob (Newfane Selectboard), David Cotton (Newfane Development Review Board), Walt Dadik (Newfane Development Review Board), David Brown, Patty Johnson, Stanley Noga Jr

CALL TO ORDER

Kate called the meeting to order at 6:37 pm.

ADDITIONS/AMENDMENTS TO THE AGENDA

A motion was made by Kate and seconded by Nolan to move Old Business item A. to the top of the agenda. The motion carried unanimously by voice vote.

MINUTES

A motion was made by Nolan and seconded by James to approve the 12/14/23 regular meeting minutes as presented. The motion carried unanimously by voice vote.

PUBLIC COMMENT

None.

OLD BUSINESS

Bylaw Modernization Grant – Windham Regional Commission Presentation of                                       Recommendations for Housing Access:

Sue Westa (Windham Regional Commission) gave a presentation of the Windham Regional Commission’s recommendations for updating Newfane’s zoning bylaws to make it easier to build housing. Throughout the presentation Sue took questions from the Commission, other town officials and members of the public. Commissioners will review the recommendations at their next meeting. The Commission will meet with Windham Regional Commission again on February 22, 2024.

Broadband update, Deerfield Valley Communications District:

Jane gave update on recent work with the Deerfield Valley Communications Union District.

Development Review Board (DRB) update:

David Cotton and Walt Dadik reported on recent and upcoming Development Review Board business. David spoke of the need to update the Town bylaws to include short-term rentals. David expressed interest in Development Review Board involvement with the hiring of the new Town Zoning Administrator.

Report-back from Town Meetings and/or Selectboard meetings:

None.

Newfane/Townshend/Brookline Joint Planning Commission Brainstorm – update:

No update.

Short-term Rentals:

Jane gave an update on her short-term rental ordinance work and research. The Legislature is still working on the issue. Jane noted that many towns have dropped their ordinances due to lack of enforcement capabilities. Jane suggests waiting to see what the State of Vermont does regarding short-term rentals. The Commission will continue researching this topic and keep the conversation going. Commissioners will consider adding short-term rentals to the Zoning Bylaw as part of the possible bylaw changes presented earlier in the meeting by the Windham Regional Commission.

NEW BUSINESS

Zoning Administrator position:

Kate announced that Merle Tessier will be stepping down as Newfane Zoning Administrator. The Planning Commission is responsible for recommending the next Zoning Administrator candidate to the Newfane Selectboard. Commissioners will work with Merle to find possible candidates for the position. Commissioners agree to keep the Development Review Board looped into the process.

Agenda setting for next meeting:

Commissioners discussed items to be put on the January 25, 2024, Planning Commission meeting agenda. Kate will inquire with Wannetta Powling about the Town website calendar and correct the Planning Commissions meeting information on the Town website.

Planning Commission vacancy:

Kate announced a Planning Commission seat vacancy. Kate will reach out to a couple possible candidates. Eben Viens has expressed interest in joining the Commission. Nolan will invite Eben to the January 25, 2024, regular Planning Commission meeting.

CORRESPONDENCE

None.

ADJOURNMENT

A motion was made by Jane and seconded by James to adjourn the meeting at 8:20pm.
The motion carried unanimously by voice vote.

 

Respectfully Submitted,

Nolan Edgar

PLANNING COMMISSION REGULAR MINUTES

 December 14, 2023

COMMISSION MEMBERS PRESENT:
Kate Gehring, Nolan Edgar, Jane Douglas, James Bressor

OTHERS PRESENT:

CALL TO ORDER
Kate called the meeting to order at 7:01 pm.

ADDITIONS/AMENDMENTS TO THE AGENDA
None.

MINUTES
A motion was made by Jane and seconded by James to approve the 12/2/23 special meeting minutes as presented. The motion was carried unanimously by voice vote.

OLD BUSINESS

Development Review Board (DRB) update:
None.

Broadband update, Deerfield Valley Communications District:
Jane gave an update on recent work with the Deerfield Valley Communications Union District.

Report back from Town Meetings and/or Selectboard meetings:
Cris White was appointed to the Newfane Development Review Board. Planning Commissioners gave the Selectboard an update on the Bylaw Modernization grant, including the special December 2 walking tour and Windham Regional Commission presentation. Jane updated the Commission about the Town’s ARPA funds spending. The Commission hopes to meet with Ann Golob (Newfane SB) about ARPA funds spending in the near future. Commissioners will correspond about scheduling a meeting and will reach out to Ann about attending.

Bylaw Modernization Grant:
Kate gave an update on the Bylaw Modernization project. Windham Regional Commission will attend the January 11, 2024, Planning Commission meeting to give an update. The WRC presentation from 12/2/23 was posted to the Town website.

Newfane/Townshend/Brookline Joint Planning Commission Brainstorm – update:
No update

Short-term Rentals:
No update. Commissioners will discuss at their January 11, 2024 meeting.

NEW BUSINESS

Agenda setting for next meeting:
Commissioners discussed items to be put on the January 11, 2024, Planning Commission meeting agenda.

Commission Meeting Minutes posting protocol:
Nolan gave a review of the protocol for taking and posting meeting minutes, in response to a complaint about the Planning Commission’s minutes being posted late. The review included a reading of the Vermont League of Cities and Towns’ quick guide to taking minutes. The Commission will make sure to have someone assigned to take and post minutes if the Commission Secretary (Nolan) is absent.

Planning Commission vacancy:
Kate announced the Planning Commission seat vacancy.

CORRESPONDENCE
The Commission received a letter from Bill Morse and Jesse Holden regarding housing. The Commission will reach out to Bill and Jesse and ask them to come talk more about their letter at a future meeting.

ADJOURNMENT
A motion was made by James and seconded by Jane to adjourn the meeting at 7:51 pm. The motion was carried unanimously by voice vote.

Respectfully Submitted,
Nolan Edgar

PLANNING COMMISSION SPECIAL MEETING MINUTES of December 2, 2023

TOWN OF NEWFANE PLANNING COMMISSION SPECIAL MEETING
MINUTES of December 2, 2023

 

COMMISSION MEMBERS PRESENT: Kate Gehring, Nolan Edgar, Jane Douglas, James Bressor

OTHERS PRESENT: David Cotton (Newfane DRB), David Brown, Patty Johnson, Don Tucker, Angela Litchfield (Newfane Selectboard), Priscilla Cotton, Deana Wilson, Mike McConnell (WRC), Al Weisbrich, Pat Weisbrich, Jessie (last name?)

CALL TO ORDER

Kate called the meeting to order at 10:00 am.

Walking Tour of Newfane Village with Windham Regional Commission:

Commissioners, other town officials, and members of the public participated in a walking tour of the Newfane village with a focus on housing. Items discussed during the tour included parking, setback requirements, lot sizes, and the challenge of aging septic systems.

Housing Discussion with Windham Regional Commission:

Sue Westa led a presentation from the Windham Regional Commission about the Bylaw Modernization project. Sue emphasized that the project includes Newfane Village, Williamsville, and South Newfane. Sue presented several goals for the Town to consider regarding housing. Sue heard comments from meeting attendees. Sue will share her presentation with the Commission, to be posted on the Town website.

ADJOURNMENT

Commissioners adjourned the meeting after Sue Westa finished her presentation and discussion.

 

Respectfully Submitted,

Nolan Edgar

NEWFANE PLANNING COMMISSION REGULAR MEETING MINUTES of October 26, 2023

COMMISSION MEMBERS PRESENT: Kate Gehring, Jane Douglas, James Bressor
OTHERS PRESENT: Dot Maggio

CALL TO ORDER
Kate called the meeting to order at 6:04 pm.

ADDITIONS/AMENDMENTS TO THE AGENDA
Jane requested a brief executive session to discuss a personnel matter.

MINUTES
A motion was made by James and seconded by Jane to approve the 10/12/23 meeting minutes with one amended requested by Jane: to clarify that the Deerfield Valley Communications District is hoping to have Readsboro and Stamford completely wired by December, but completion is not certain. The motion carried unanimously by voice vote.

UNSCHEDULED MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC
None.

OLD BUSINESS
Development Review Board (DRB) update:
None.

Broadband update, Deerfield Valley Communications District:
Jane noted that the DVCD is planning a November 9 noon event to celebrate the first Readsboro customers.

Report back from Town Meetings and/or Selectboard meetings:
Jane attended the most recent Selectboard meeting and reported there were no discussions relevant to the planning commission.

Bylaw Modernization Grant:
Commissioners discussed the December 2, 2023, Bylaw Modernization walking tour. Kate said she would develop a flyer to publicize the event, and the commission will warn the tour as a special planning commission meeting.

Short-term Rentals:
Jane circulated a revised draft short-term rental registration form and ordinance, which other commissioners will review prior to the next commission meeting. Commissioners discussed the possibility of including the authorizing statutes in the ordinance, as some towns have done. Jane said she would share more web links to other municipalities’ short-term rental ordinances. Jane said she would also share the latest version of the draft ordinance with Doris Mitchell.

NEW BUSINESS

Newfane/Townshend/Brookline Joint Planning Commission Brainstorm – update:
Kate said the Brookline Planning Commission had agreed to the November 9, 2023, multi-community meeting to discuss possible town collaboration.

Agenda setting for next meeting:
The next meeting is the tentative multi-town meeting.

Planning Commission vacancy:
No progress on filling the vacancy.

EXECUTIVE SESSION
The commission went into a brief executive session to discuss a personnel matter. There were no motions or actions taken.

CORRESPONDENCE
None.

ADJOURNMENT
A motion was made by Jane and seconded by James to adjourn the meeting at 7:00 p.m. The motion carried unanimously by voice vote.

 

Respectfully Submitted,
James Bressor

 

PLANNING COMMISSION REGULAR MEETING

TOWN OF NEWFANE PLANNING COMMISSION REGULAR MEETING
MINUTES of September 28, 2023

COMMISSION MEMBERS PRESENT: Kate Gehring, Nolan Edgar, Jane Douglas, James Bressor

OTHERS PRESENT: Sue Westa (Windham Regional Commission), Mike McConnell (Windham Regional Commission), David Cotton (Newfane Development Review Board), Merle Tessier (Newfane Zoning Administrator), Ann Golob (Newfane Selectboard), Keith Nowak

CALL TO ORDER
Kate called the meeting to order at 6:05 p.m.

ADDITIONS/AMENDMENTS TO THE AGENDA
A motion was made by James and seconded by Jane to move Old Business item D to the front of the agenda. The motion was carried unanimously by voice vote.

MINUTES
None.

UNSCHEDULED MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC
None.

OLD BUSINESS
Development Review Board (DRB) update:
None.

Broadband update, Deerfield Valley Communications District:
None.

Report back from Town Meetings and/or Selectboard meetings:
Kate and Jane reported on their attendance at the last Newfane Selectboard meeting. The Selectboard voted to adopt the Floodplain Bylaw revision.

Bylaw Modernization Grant:
Sue Westa gave a presentation about the Bylaw Modernization project. Commissioners discussed the presentation with Sue. David Cotton, Ann Golob, and Merle Tessier joined the discussion of the presentation. Commissioners agreed on December 2, 2023, and December 14, 2023, as possible next meeting dates, including a walking tour. Commissioners will finalize meeting dates at the next meeting.

Floodplain & River Corridor Zoning bylaw revision proposal:
As reported in item C, the Selectboard voted to pass the bylaw revision at their meeting on October 2, 2023.

Short-term Rentals:
Commissioners agreed to revisit the goal of defining short-term rentals in the zoning bylaw. Jane will look for the Commission’s previous work on this.

NEW BUSINESS
Newfane/Townshend/Brookline Joint Planning Commission Brainstorm – update:
Brookline is interested in participating. Kate agrees to reach out again to coordinate with the other town Commissions.

Agenda setting for next meeting:
Commissioners discussed items to be put on the October 12, 2023, Planning Commission meeting agenda.

Planning Commission vacancy:
Kate announced the Planning Commission seat vacancy. Commissioners will reach out to potentially interested individuals.

CORRESPONDENCE
Email received from the Vermont Council on Rural Development. Letter received from Marlboro Planning Commission regarding a bylaw change in their town.

ADJOURNMENT
A motion was made by Jane and seconded by James to adjourn the meeting at 8:00 p.m. The motion was carried unanimously by voice vote.

Respectfully Submitted,
Nolan Edgar

Planning Commission Regular Minutes

TOWN OF NEWFANE PLANNING COMMISSION REGULAR MEETING MINUTES
of September 28, 2023

COMMISSION MEMBERS PRESENT: Kate Gehring, Nolan Edgar, Jane Douglas, James Bressor

OTHERS PRESENT: Sue Westa (Windham Regional Commission), Mike McConnell (Windham Regional Commission), David Cotton (Newfane Development Review Board), Merle Tessier (Newfane Zoning Administrator), Ann Golob (Newfane Selectboard), Keith Nowak

CALL TO ORDER
Kate called the meeting to order at 6:05 p.m.

ADDITIONS/AMENDMENTS TO THE AGENDA
A motion was made by James and seconded by Jane to move Old Business item D to the front of the agenda. The motion was carried unanimously by voice vote.

MINUTES
None.

UNSCHEDULED MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC
None.

OLD BUSINESS
Development Review Board (DRB) update:
None.

Broadband update, Deerfield Valley Communications District:
None.

Report back from Town Meetings and/or Selectboard meetings:
Kate and Jane reported on their attendance at the last Newfane Selectboard meeting. The Selectboard voted to adopt the Floodplain Bylaw revision.

Bylaw Modernization Grant:
Sue Westa gave a presentation about the Bylaw Modernization project. Commissioners discussed the presentation with Sue. David Cotton, Ann Golob, and Merle Tessier joined the discussion of the presentation. Commissioners agreed on December 2, 2023, and December 14, 2023, as possible next meeting dates, including a walking tour. Commissioners will finalize meeting dates at the next meeting.

Floodplain & River Corridor Zoning bylaw revision proposal:
As reported in item C, the Selectboard voted to pass the bylaw revision at their meeting on October 2, 2023.

Short-term Rentals:
Commissioners agreed to revisit the goal of defining short-term rentals in the zoning bylaw. Jane will look for the Commission’s previous work on this.

NEW BUSINESS
Newfane/Townshend/Brookline Joint Planning Commission Brainstorm – update:
Brookline is interested in participating. Kate agrees to reach out again to coordinate with the other town Commissions.
Agenda setting for next meeting:
Commissioners discussed items to be put on the October 12, 2023, Planning Commission meeting agenda.

Planning Commission vacancy:
Kate announced the Planning Commission seat vacancy. Commissioners will reach out to potentially interested individuals.

CORRESPONDENCE
Email received from the Vermont Council on Rural Development. Letter received from Marlboro Planning Commission regarding a bylaw change in their town.

ADJOURNMENT
A motion was made by Jane and seconded by James to adjourn the meeting at 8:00 p.m. The motion was carried unanimously by voice vote.

Respectfully Submitted,
Nolan Edgar

Planning Commission Regular Minutes of August 10, 2023

COMMISSION MEMBERS PRESENT: Kate Gehring, Jane Douglas, James Bressor

OTHERS PRESENT:

CALL TO ORDER
Kate called the meeting to order at 6:10 p.m.

ADDITIONS/AMENDMENTS TO THE AGENDA
None.

MINUTES
A motion was made by Jane and seconded by Kate to approve the July 13, 2023, Planning Commission regular meeting minutes as presented.
The motion passed by voice vote, with James abstaining.

A motion was made by James and seconded by Jane to approve the July 27, 2023, Planning Commission regular meeting minutes as presented.
The motion passed unanimously by voice vote.

UNSCHEDULED MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC
None.

OLD BUSINESS

Development Review Board (DRB) update:
None.

Broadband update, Deerfield Valley Communications District:
Jane gave an update on recent work with the Deerfield Valley Communications Union District. Progress is continuing in Readsboro.

Report back from Town Meetings and/or Selectboard meetings:
None.

Bylaw Modernization Grant:
No update.

Floodplain & River Corridor Zoning bylaw revision proposal:
The Selectboard will be holding a public hearing for the Floodplain and River Corridor Zoning Bylaw proposed changes on Monday, August 21, 2023, at 6:00 PM.

Short-term Rentals:
Jane reported on the short-term rental meeting in Wilmington. It was a presentation by the Bi-town Housing Rental Sub-committee to the Selectboards of Wilmington and Dover. They pointed out that both towns already have the 1% local sales tax option, which means they get money for every STR in their towns through AirBnB and VBRO, and have AirDNA to tell them how many STR there are in town. Now, they are looking at what kind of regulations they need to handle problems with STR. Commissioners will discuss more at their next meeting.

NEW BUSINESS

Newfane/Townshend/Brookline Joint Planning Commission Brainstorm – update:
No update.

Agenda setting for next meeting:
Commissioners agreed not to hold a regular meeting on August 24, 2023. Jane will check with Wannetta Powling about using the Town’s Zoom account to host Planning Commission meetings.

Planning Commission vacancy:
Kate announced the Planning Commission seat vacancy.

CORRESPONDENCE
None.

ADJOURNMENT
A motion was made by Jane and seconded by James to adjourn the meeting at 7:06 p.m.
The motion carried unanimously by voice vote.

Respectfully Submitted,
Nolan Edgar

Planning Commission Regular Minutes, October 12, 2023

COMMISSION MEMBERS PRESENT: Kate Gehring, Nolan Edgar, Jane Douglas, James Bressor

OTHERS PRESENT: Sue Westa (Windham Regional Commission), Mike McConnell (Windham Regional Commission), David Cotton (Newfane Development Review Board), Merle Tessier (Newfane Zoning Administrator), Ann Golob (Newfane Selectboard)

CALL TO ORDER
Kate called the meeting to order at 6:05 p.m.

ADDITIONS/AMENDMENTS TO THE AGENDA
A motion was made by James and seconded by Jane to move Old Business item D to the front of the agenda. The motion carried unanimously by voice vote.

MINUTES
None.

UNSCHEDULED MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC
None.

OLD BUSINESS
Development Review Board (DRB) update:
None.

Broadband update, Deerfield Valley Communications District:
None.

Report back from Town Meetings and/or Selectboard meetings:
Kate and Jane reported on their attendance at the last Newfane Selectboard meeting. The Selectboard voted to adopt the Floodplain Bylaw revision.

Bylaw Modernization Grant:
Sue Westa gave a presentation about the Bylaw Modernization project. Commissioners discussed the presentation with Sue. David Cotton, Ann Golob, and Merle Tessier joined the discussion of the presentation. Commissioners agreed on December 2, 2023, and December 14, 2023, as possible next meeting dates, including a walking tour. Commissioners will finalize meeting dates at next meeting.

Floodplain & River Corridor Zoning bylaw revision proposal:
As reported in item C, the Selectboard voted to pass the bylaw revision at their meeting on October 2, 2023.

Short-term Rentals:
Commissioners agreed to revisit the goal of defining short-term rentals in the zoning bylaw. Jane will look for the Commission’s previous work on this.

NEW BUSINESS

Newfane/Townshend/Brookline Joint Planning Commission Brainstorm – update:
Brookline is interested in participating. Kate agrees to reach out again to coordinate with the other town Commissions.

Agenda setting for next meeting:
Commissioners discussed items to be put on the October 12, 2023, Planning Commission meeting agenda.

Planning Commission vacancy:
Kate announced the Planning Commission seat vacancy. Commissioners will reach out to potentially interested individuals.

CORRESPONDENCE
Email received from the Vermont Council on Rural Development—letter received from Marlboro Planning Commission regarding a bylaw change in their town. 

ADJOURNMENT
A motion was made by Jane and seconded by James to adjourn the meeting at 8:00 p.m. The motion carried unanimously by voice vote.

Respectfully Submitted,
Nolan Edgar

Planning Commission Regular Meeting Minutes September 14, 2023

COMMISSION MEMBERS PRESENT:
Kate Gehring, Nolan Edgar, Jane Douglas, James Bressor

OTHERS PRESENT:
None.

CALL TO ORDER
Kate called the meeting to order at 6:04 p.m.

ADDITIONS/AMENDMENTS TO THE AGENDA
None.

MINUTES
None.

UNSCHEDULED MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC
None.

OLD BUSINESS
Development Review Board (DRB) update:
None.

Broadband update, Deerfield Valley Communications District:
Jane gave an update on recent work with the Deerfield Valley Communications Union District. The project is behind schedule but moving along.

Report back from Town Meetings and/or Selectboard meetings:
Jane reported on her attendance at the last Newfane Selectboard meeting. The Selectboard will vote on the Floodplain Bylaw revision at their next meeting. Planning Commission members will attend.

Bylaw Modernization Grant:
Sue Westa will give a presentation on behalf of the Windham Regional Commission at the September 28, 2023 Planning Commission meeting.

Floodplain & River Corridor Zoning bylaw revision proposal:
No update, besides the upcoming Selectboard vote on the Floodplain Bylaw revision at their next meeting.

Short-term Rentals:
Jane attended the short-term rental meeting in Wilmington on July 31, 2023. Jane learned about communities that add a 1% local options room tax. Newfane is currently restricted from adding a 1% local option because of State law. The commission will explore the idea more.

NEW BUSINESS
Newfane/Townshend/Brookline Joint Planning Commission Brainstorm – update:
The Commission will aim to meet with other Planning Commissions at the end of October 2023.

Agenda setting for next meeting:
Commissioners discussed items to be put on the September 28, 2023, Planning Commission meeting agenda.

Planning Commission vacancy:
Kate announced the Planning Commission seat vacancy. Commissioners will reach out to some people who have shown interest in joining the Commission.

CORRESPONDENCE
Email received regarding the SoVT Get on Board leadership program.

ADJOURNMENT
A motion was made by Nolan and seconded by Jane to adjourn the meeting at 6:59 p.m. The motion carried unanimously by voice vote.

Respectfully Submitted,
Nolan Edgar

PLANNING COMMISSION REGULAR MEETING MINUTES of July 27, 2023

COMMISSION MEMBERS PRESENT: Kate Gehring, Nolan Edgar, Jane Douglas, James Bressor

OTHERS PRESENT:

CALL TO ORDER

Kate called the meeting to order at 6:25 pm. Commissioners welcomed James Bressor as new member.

ADDITIONS/AMENDMENTS TO THE AGENDA

None.

MINUTES

Approval of minutes tabled to next meeting.

UNSCHEDULED MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC

None.

OLD BUSINESS

Development Review Board (DRB) update:

None.

Broadband update, Deerfield Valley Communications District:

Jane gave update on recent work with the Deerfield Valley Communications Union District. Progress is being made in Readsboro.

Report-back from Town Meetings and/or Selectboard meetings:

Jane reported on her attendance at the last Newfane Selectboard meeting.

Bylaw Modernization Grant:

Windham Regional Commission will give a presentation at the September 28, 2023 Planning Commission meeting.

Floodplain & River Corridor Zoning bylaw revision proposal:

The Selectboard will be doing a public review of the Floodplain and River Corridor Zoning Bylaw proposed changes on Monday August 21, 2023 at 6:00PM. Alyssa Sabetto will be present, along with the Planning Commission.

Short-term Rentals:

Jane will attend the short-term rental meeting in Wilmington on July 31, 2023 and report back.

NEW BUSINESS

Newfane/Townshend/Brookline Joint Planning Commission Brainstorm – update:

Jane will ask Andy Snelling about dates to meet in September. Commissioners considered the possibility of hosting a “meet and greet” type of event.

Agenda setting for next meeting:

Commissioners discussed items to be put on the August 10, 2023 Planning Commission meeting agenda.

Planning Commission vacancy:

Kate announced Planning Commission seat vacancy.

CORRESPONDENCE

Email received from Dot Maggio (Brookline Planning Commission).

ADJOURNMENT

A motion was made by Nolan and seconded by Jane to adjourn the meeting at 7:30pm. The motion carried unanimously by voice vote.

 

Respectfully Submitted,

Nolan Edgar