Planning Commission Regular Meeting Minutes of March 25, 2021

COMMISSION MEMBERS PRESENT: Ken Estey, Nolan Edgar, Jane Douglas, Kate Gehring

OTHERS PRESENT: Jeanette Perry, Walter Dadik, Merle Tessier

The meeting was called to order at 6:05pm by Ken Estey.

There were no additions or amendments to the agenda.

Commission reviewed minutes of 3/11/21 organizational meeting. A motion was made by Jane and seconded by Nolan to approve the organizational meeting minutes of 3/11/21. The motion carried unanimously by voice vote. Commission reviewed minutes of 3/11/21 regular meeting. A motion was made by Jane and seconded by Kate to approve the regular meeting minutes of 3/11/21. The motion carried unanimously by voice vote.


Broadband Update, Deerfield Valley Communications Union District:
Jane gave report on recent DVCUD activity and news. Jane and Luke Stafford were reappointed to the DVCUD committee at the 3/15/21 Newfane Selectboard meeting. Annual meeting of the broadband group will be held in April.

Zoning Bylaw for Short Term Rentals – next steps & discussion:
Merle Tessier presented his feedback on the draft Zoning Bylaw amendment. Commission reviewed community submitted correspondence concerning draft Zoning Bylaw amendment. Commission discussed community feedback and agreed to halt work on current draft zoning bylaw amendment and await news on two Vermont House bills concerning short-term rental regulation. Commission agrees to continue looking at relationship between housing availability/affordability and short-term rentals. Commission will consider adding short-term rental definitions to the Zoning Bylaw to assist the Development Review Board with their work.

Last Selectboard meeting – Report:
None besides Jane’s report about Broadband committee reappointments.

Next Selectboard meeting – Who will attend? / What will we present?:
Kate will attend the 4/5/21 Newfane Selectboard meeting to discuss short term rental bylaw update.

Development Review Board (DRB) Report:
Walter Dadik gave an update on the most recent Newfane Development Review work, including the 4/21/21 scheduled hearing on Green Burials in Newfane.

Planning the Work of the Planning Commission:
Kate gave report on her work with Ken to plan the work of the Planning Commission. Ken and Kate worked more on dividing the Town Plan up into sections and identifying core idea, core value and core challenges of each section. Their next step is to combine their work and identify top priorities of the Commission. Ken and Kate plan to pass along their work to the other Commissioners by the next Commission meeting.

No new business.

Email received from Windham Regional Commission about their next ‘Looking Forward’ webinar. Email received announcing the 2021 Southern Vermont Young Professionals Economy Summit. Email received announcing the monthly place-making meetup titled ‘Color & Beauty’. Email received from Vermont League of Cities and Towns announcing ‘Open Meeting Law Basics for Municipal Boards’ training session on 4/1/21.

A motion was made by Nolan and seconded by Jane to adjourn. The motion carried unanimously by voice vote and the meeting adjourned at 7:55pm.

Respectfully Submitted,
Nolan Edgar