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Meeting Minutes

TUES., MAR.18, 2008
*See subsequent minutes for changes

PRESENT:   Donna Swinington, Heidi Schuerger, Gerry Flint, Andrew Peterson, Bob Oliver, Ken Young, Ron Fiske, Tom Barker, Diane Benware (recorder)

The candidate for the secretary position for the Zoning Board CAN meet with the board on Tuesday, March 25, not this evening.

Andrew opened the discussion by asking what it is that the Board wants him to be doing, citing there are 150-200 hours of work to digitize and tidy up files, to conduct some property inspections.

Heidi offered the use of college equipment to digitize forms, once it is determined what is needed.  It was agreed that the Zoning Board and Andrew should come to some agreement as to what forms are needed before going to print.    It was suggested that Andrew and the Board members each make a list or collect copies of what is believed to be needed, and then to decide together if the documents meet the town's needs.
ACTION:  Ron and Andrew agreed to meet on Thursday, March 20 to review files and create a master list of what is needed.  This information should be reviewed annually for accuracy, relevancy and validity.  The fee schedule should be reviewed and brought to the Selectboard with comments.

The next item was the VELCO issue of conservation easements  being offered to the town (one along the Leicester River and one off Bullock Road).
ACTION:  Tom made the motion, Bob the second,  to pay Andrew, from the legal line item of the budget, to do research and make calls.  Bob offered his assistance for the project.

Ron provided each member of the Zoning Board with a Vermont Handbook of Ethics, Rules and Procedures, asking that each member read it carefully.  Missing or incomplete minutes of meetings/decisions makes it difficult for lawyers and/or subsequent members to make sense of actions taken by the board.  Being familiar with information that it provides may decrease the likelihood that the town will find itself in litigation, as is currently the case.

Diane presented 2 possible VLCT Municipal Education Grant opportunities, seeking feedback from both boards. 
ACTION:  She was authorized to contact VLCT (Wendy Tudor) to proceed with applying for MEG funds to support a workshop titled "Is a Development Review Board for Your Town?"  Grant funds cover the cost ($800), provided the town makes every effort to ensure that Zoning Board/Planning Commission and Selectboard members attend.  Training would likely be an enening in late April to mid-May. 

Andrew shared information he gathered at a recent VLCT workshop, regarding suggested language for adult-oriented businesses.

The re-adoption of the Town Plan was the next topic.  The Selectboard was charged with publicly posting a hearing for that purpose.   The date of April 14 was selected for the meeting, at 7:00 p.m. at the Town Office, to re-adopt the Town Plan for 2 years to provide time enough for the Zoning Board to make modifications.  Changes and modifications cannot be made until the re-adoption is in place.  The 2 year time frame also allows us to apply for grant funds to support the initiative for both years.
ACTION:  Selectboard Chair to place the ad and create a news article for the meeting.

Heidi suggested the creation of templates for minutes of ZBA/Planning Commission members, in the event the secretary was absent. 
ACTION:  It was decided that the minutes need to include names of those present and absent, the topic of discussion, the name of those making motions, the second to the motion and the results of any vote.  Minutes are due to be made available to the public within five days of the meeting/hearing.
ACTION: The Zoning Board agreed that they would re-create minutes, with the above minimally required information, for past meetings which had no secretary present.  Minutes to be appropriately dated.

Gerry brought up the issue of the possibility of town counsel attending an upcoming ZBA/Planning Commission meeting, pending Selectboard approval, for the purpose of providing pointers and feedback.  Consensus was to see if we might get information, advice from local, low-cost sources.
ACTION: Chair to find out if any workshops for ZBA/Planning Commissions
being held in Rutland in mid-April, similar to the Selectboard workshops.

Discussion then centered upon the placing of ads on behalf of the ZBA.   

ACTION:  Selectboard Chair to create a "tip sheet" for the secretary, for placing ads at the Addison Independent.

Ron reminded those present that the ZBA/Planning Commission can delegate responsibilities, but cannot appropriate money (Selectboard can, upon ZBA recommendation).

Participants agreed that the discussion had been informative and productive.
Motion to adjourn at 8:20 p.m., made by Tom, second by Ken.
Meeting adjourned at 8:20 p.m.

ZBA/Planning Commission to meet March 25.
Selectboard to meet on Apr. 7, 2008.

Respectfully submitted:
D. Benware