Planning Commission : Minutes : 5.26.10



Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Present: Ms. Phillipa Proulx, Ms. Emily Hunt, Mr. Mike Harman, Ms. Linda Russell,

Mr. Mike Tapager and Mr. Allen Hale (Board Liaison)

FLOODPLAIN ORDINANCE: Mr. Boger presented comments received from FEMA on the County’s Ordinance adopted May 11, 2010. After review of the recommended changes, primarily to add or clarify definitions, Commissioners voted 6-0 to authorize staff to advertise the amendment for public hearing at their June 23rd meeting.

COMMUNICATION TOWER ORDINANCE: Commissioners discussed how to proceed with proposed amendments to the ordinance, noting the draft developed by the subcommittee. Mr. Boger said that the previous review of the draft involved adding most of the current ordinance back into the draft and the feeling that the current ordinance is working the way it is. Mr. Tapager said that his understanding was that broadband would require changes to the ordinance and that the ordinance could be amended at that time to incorporate all the changes. Ms. Russell said that the broadband technology is ever-changing and would require ongoing ordinance amendments to stay current. After further discussion, Ms. Proulx noted the options to do nothing with the current ordinance; recommend some portion of the current draft ordinance; or send the current draft back to the subcommittee for further consideration of the broadband needs. Ms. Russell suggested doing a review of the current draft ordinance with recommendations to the Supervisors. If staff has information on broadband needs prior to the formal recommendations, they can be incorporated into the draft. Commissioners agreed by consensus to work on the draft at their June 23rd meeting.

PROPOSED ZONING AMENDMENTS: ARTICLES 2, 12, 13, 16: The proposed amendments to these Articles deal with Zoning Permits and Site Plan requirements. Commissioners reviewed:

– Article 2. Definitions – no changes to draft

– Article 12. General Provisions. Zoning Permits – minor wording changes

– Article 13. Site Development Plan – Ms. Russell noted that the primary change is to make the preliminary site plan a recommendation rather than a requirement due to the cost of developing a preliminary site plan. In addition, the amendment includes a detailed list of what is required on a complete site plan.

– Article 16. Amendment and Rezoning – no changes to draft

Commissioners voted 6-0 to authorize staff to advertise the proposed amendments for public hearing at their June 23rd meeting.

PROPOSED ZONING AMENDMENTS: MISCELLANEOUS: Commissioners reviewed multiple “housekeeping” amendments to correct wording and state code references to Articles 4, 6, 8A, 14 and 20. Commissioners voted 6-0 to authorize staff to advertise the proposed amendments for their June 23rd meeting.

REZONING/THOMAS NELSON HIGHWAY: During the Planning Commission’s April meeting, Commissioners considered and recommended approval of a rezoning for Vito’s Restaurant on Rt. 29 to Business, B-1. During that discussion, Commissioners agreed to consider a rezoning for the properties in that area along Rt. 29 to reflect what is actually there and what is designated in the Comprehensive Plan. Ms. Proulx said that zoning Is about the area, not about the individual property. She said that she went along with the rezoning of Vito’s because that area is going that way and the Comp Plan approves that zoning. Ms. Russell said that she understands that one Supervisor is not in favor of a rezoning for the area. Mr. Hale said that he and Mr. Harvey agree that there is mixed use all over the county and that is something the Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors should respond to at the request of an individual property owner. He said that, in his opinion, the Commission merely corrected a mistake in the Vito’s case. Mr. Hale said that zoning is a way to control growth and it fails abysmally. Ms. Proulx said that it does not fail if a locality actually uses zoning. She said that this county does not use it. Mr. Hale said that the landowner will come to the county if they want to rezone their property.

Ms. Proulx asked Mr. Hale how he views the Comp Plan in relationship to zoning. Mr. Hale said that if a landowner requests a rezoning, it has to agree with the Comp Plan and other uses in the area. Ms. Proulx said that that makes zoning totally subjective – if I like you, if I like your business. She said that zoning designates different areas for different uses. Ms. Russell asked whether the Commission can initiate a letter notifying them that the Commission is considering a rezoning of properties in that area without going to the Supervisors. Ms. Boger said that the Commission can do that, noting that the Commission had done the same for Lovingston in the past. Commissioners directed staff to prepare a letter to property owners of Parcels 10A, 10, 9D, 14 and 15 – the area from the Nelson County Rescue Squad to Mr. Ponton’s property north of Vito’s.

COMPREHENSIVE PLAN: Ms. Proulx noted that the Comp Plan is due for review and said that she does not feel that much needs to be updated other than the data. Mr. Boger said that the transportation portion needs an update, which should be available within the next month or so. Ms. Proulx said that with the updated data and transportation plan, the Commission could make a recommendation that it be adopted with those updates. Tabled for further consideration.

Meeting adjourned.

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