February 4, 2024


  • el
  • pt



    Board members present: Bruce Kullgren, Alan Pickman, Rae Barnhisel, Marty Connolly, Ted Petro, Alan Oxman


    7:40 p.m.  Meeting called to order by B. Kullgren.


    1.             This meeting was to cover Proposed Zoning Changes submitted by the Selectmen.


                    B. Kullgren started by explaining how he felt “we would drown in red tape.”  Discussion followed on why the Selectmen were presenting zoning changes.  Selectman Bob Frazier said the changes were needed as a result of trying to enforce ordinances.  A. Oxman said these issues are to make the ordinances more enforceable.  B. Kullgren thought the ordinances contain too much now.  B. Frazier suggested the town consider adopting the BOCA code to help alleviate problems.  T. Petro asked if these changes would help any existing problems.  B. Frazier said no.  B. Frazier explained why the junk yard definition was being changed.  It needed to be more specific to accommodate requests the Selectmen had received.  A. Pickman thought this would be more lenient than State laws on the issue.  He failed to see the wisdom in this.  M. Connolly thought this change could create more junk yards rather than avoid them.  B. Kullgren asked if the purpose of the change was to legitimize the auto enthusiast.  Discussion followed on whether this would allow more cars than the State specifications.  T. Petro thought more changes would not cover every possible infraction.  B. Frazier agreed.  He said the Selectmen put in their best effort and ultimately the townspeople vote for or against a change.  The Selectmen offered to withdraw the junk yard definition zoning change if the Planning Board wanted them to.  B. Frazier pointed out that the town is changing a lot.  A. Oxman reiterated how much the town has changed recently.  The Selectmen withdrew the junk yard definition change.  B. Kullgren asked if similar items in the remaining changes could be grouped together for voting purposes.  A. Oxman said yes.  Chris Bradler asked if a license was available for a car collector.  A. Pickman said no, it would have to be a junk yard permit.

    2.             8:10 p.m.  B. Frazier spoke on the change regarding signs.  He said the ordinance currently allows only 2 signs.  Signs on buildings are not part of the building.  The Selectmen are submitting this for a better definition.  Discrepancies had arisen on the specific technical meaning of the current ordinance.  Discussion followed on whether or not permits should be required.  The size of signs was also discussed.  B. Frazier reminded the Planning Board that they had an opinion but the townspeople had the ultimate vote.  A. Oxman asked for specifics rather than philosophy.  He mentioned Wheeland’s as an example of possibly needing a different size sign.  T. Petro described some “what ifs”.  B. Frazier felt the Planning Board should help enforce rules by changing ordinances as needed.  A. Pickman disagreed.  He also commented that the town has no commercial zone.  He thought the change was too vague, and suggested 1/10% of the building size as a maximum sign size.  B. Frazier explained they are using interpretation which is arbitrary.  Howard Bradler suggested the Zoning Board of Adjustment (ZBA) could help with interpretation.  B. Kullgren felt that because violations had happened in the past, it should not affect future sign ordinances.  He did not want anymore than 2 signs allowed, and he supported the efforts to enforce the current ordinance.  A. Oxman asked why hadn’t the Planning Board members complained about obvious infractions if they felt the current rules were adequate.  T. Petro said because it wasn’t across from his house.  B. Kullgren said he never really noticed the infractions.  T. Petro asked how the Planning Board would be notified in the future to make discretionary decisions about signs.  B. Frazier said, when someone requested a site plan review, the Board would be notified.  Wayne Edwards thought the ZBA should be the officials to oversee this.  A. Oxman thought each situation was unique and had to be treated as such.  David Holt felt some businesses needed more than 2 signs.  Discussion followed on past vs. future enforcement.  A. Oxman said the Selectmen were requesting a change to fit reality.  The Planning Board did not agree.  M. Connolly thought if a house is not commercial property the zoning ordinance would not apply.  A. Pickman wanted to add to the existing zoning change a size of not more than 1% the footprint of the building.  The Planning Board voted not to support Pickman’s change.  Both items relating to the sign zoning ordinance will be combined for voting purposes.  The Planning Board voted 5 no, 1 yes.  Planning Board does not support these zoning changes.

    3.             8:50 p.m.  Changes to the Private Residential Development (PRD) section of the zoning ordinances.  The Selectmen agreed to combine all items relating to Article IV: Section 19 for voting purposes.  The first items covered were changes to the terminology in the existing ordinance.  A. Oxman explained these recommendations were to correct the intention of the ordinance.  Ben Tirey asked if the zoning ordinance had a definition for “open space”.  A. Oxman said no.  Wayne Edwards asked what the difference was between a tract and a parcel.  A. Pickman said tract refers to the entire piece of land, parcel refers to the small pieces after subdivision.  T. Petro suggested they add tract and parcel under the ordinance definitions.  Discussion followed on where the terms came from.  A. Oxman clarified why this change was being recommended.  Wayne Edwards suggested each parcel should have 300 feet of road frontage not the entire tract.  Explanations followed on the definition of a PRD.  B. Frazier will include a definition of tract and will notify the Planning Board of it before adding it.  The Planning Board voted 5 yes, 1 no.  Planning Board supports these zoning changes.

    4.             9:25 p.m.  This change to the PRD relates to how much and what type of land is included in the “open space”.  T. Petro asked how one would define “to the extent possible”.  B. Frazier defined it as “favorable” or “unfavorable”.  A. Oxman said the intent was to create quality open space in the future not just open space and not to inhibit a PRD plan.  Chris Bradler asked if the open space was already defined as contiguous.  B. Kullgren said all the open space must be available to PRD residents but does not have to be contiguous.  A. Oxman showed a sample drawing to clarify the intent of the change.  R. Barnhisel asked for the definition of tract, did this exclude roads and undevelopable land?  Is the open space considered a lot?  Ben Tirey said confusion exists between building parcel and open space lots and on specifying that open space lots cannot be subdivided.  Discussion followed on “tract” as currently defined in the PRD ordinance and the definition of 50% undevelopable land.  A. Pickman and B. Frazier gave examples and discussed wetlands and steep slopes.  B. Kullgren said people just want to stop development while other just want to build a house to live in.  He felt stiff requirements make it more difficult to build, he stated he was on the Planning Board to prevent this.  He did not support regulation which would exclude people.  B. Frazier explained what the 50% would include.  A. Pickman felt this did not protect the wetlands more than the current ordinance.  A. Oxman explained this change would only affect lots with a large amount of undevelopable land.  He gave examples.  A. Pickman thought it should say that 50% of the open space needed to be developable land.  Howard Bradler stated that a PRD does not help low income people, therefore it should benefit the people living here not speculations on who might live here.  PRD’s as currently written do not benefit the town.  He felt the PRD ordinance is wrought with problems.  B. Kullgren felt wealthy people are buying up the land and that communities need to address this issue.  Discussion followed on future speculations.  Discussion followed on licensed forester vs. qualified forester.  M. Connolly felt it should not require a licensed forester for work on the open space.  B. Frazier explained this would help protect the multiple land owners involved.  The Planning Board voted 5 yes, 1 no.  Planning Board supports these zoning changes.

    5.             10:40 p.m. The change to the Remodeling section and Repairing section was discussed next.  The Selectmen have added that changes to structures cannot exceed 1 electrical branch without needing a building permit.  B. Kullgren asked if this change was more stringent then State requirements.  B. Frazier said he did not know.  The Planning Board voted 5 yes.  Planning Board supports these zoning changes.


    11:00 p.m. Adjourned.


    Minutes submitted by Sherry Fiske.

    If you got to this page via the SITE MAP, then click to go back to the HOME PAGE | MINUTES PAGE

    or if you like you may just CLOSE THIS WINDOW