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Meeting Minutes - PC

Town of Leicester
 Planning Commission Meeting
Wednesday, May 8, 2013
** See subsequent minutes for any changes
Members Present:  Donna Swinington, Chair, Sue Stroud-Speyers, Jeff McDonough, Peter Fjeld
Absent:  Bill Shouldice
Others Present:  Kate Briggs, ZA, Sandra Trombley, Secretary
Meeting called to order at 6:07 p.m. with roll call. 
Motion by Peter and second by Jeff to approve minutes of April 10, 2013.  All in favor.  So approved.
VT Gas Line – Proposed Revisions to Leicester Town Plan:
Kate explained that because Shoreham and Cornwall have put up such a fight, they are considering coming through this area.
In provisions of the public service board in approving this project in phases, anything they do should be consistent with Town Plans and Regional Plans.  Phase I is to Middlebury.  The towns don’t really have the authority to say ‘no pipeline in our town’, plan B is to amend town plans.  Put something in the plan that at least says, ‘you’ve got to talk to us about this, we have the right to participate, and we want these issues raised’.  Kate was charged by Diane to come up with something to go first to the Planning Commission and then to the Selectboard that would meet this requirement.
Kate talked with Adam Lougee at Regional Planning.  The important issue is the impact on organic farming.  Kate said she would propose that we make changes to two parts of our Town Plan.  One proposed change would be on page 36, “Agricultural Resources”.  Kate’s proposal would be to insert “Expansion of the number of farms that produce organic agricultural products offers one of the best vehicles for this.”   They talk about promoting organic farming.
Page 12, under “Economic Development”; propose to add these sentences to the end of the second paragraph, “Expansion of organic farming is a critical part of this.  No commercial development or infrastructure siting, shall be permitted in agricultural districts that will negatively impact or have the potential to negatively impact the certification of organic farms.”
Page 13, proposed to add to “Goals,” “#4 Expand and protect organic farming.”  Proposed to add to “Recommended Actions” “#7 Encourage the development of new organic farms and ????.”
Peter thinks where they would want to add it is in, Utilities & Services.  We could add a section on utility corridors.
Kate mentioned that the organic farming is a growing business.  You can’t just say you are an organic farmer, you must be certified.  She stated that they probably should have put in organic farming right from the beginning.
Kate stated that the only way the town has a voice or can participate in the process is if it can demonstrate the project is inconsistent with their Town Plan and the impact it would have on the livelihood of town’s people.
Kate asked if the PC wanted to make changes for an amendment to the Town Plan or not. 
Motion by Jeff and second by Sue to send proposed revisions to Selectboard for consideration.  All in favor.  So approved.
On-going Business Zoning By-Laws
Kate asked Donna if she could get a copy of the Middlebury Zoning By-Law Regulations for next zoning meeting.  We can look at the format.
At the next Zoning Meeting on May 28, 2013, they will look at Middlebury’s format of the zoning regulations and definitions.
Motion by Jeff and second by Sue to adjourn meeting at 6:55 p.m.  All in favor.  So approved.
Respectfully submitted,
Sandra L. Trombley, PC Secretary