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Meeting Minutes - PC

Town of Leicester
 Planning Commission Meeting
Wednesday, March 13, 2013
** See subsequent minutes for any changes
Members Present:  Donna Swinington, Chair, Sue Stroud-Speyers, Bill Shouldice, Jeff McDonough, Peter Fjeld arrived after roll call.
Others Present:  Kate Briggs, ZA & Sandra Trombley, Secretary
Meeting called to order at 6:00 p.m. with roll call. 
Approve Minutes of February 26, 2013:
Motion by Jeff and second by Sue to approve minutes of February 26, 2013 as written.  All in favor.  So approved.
Kate wanted to talk about proposed House Bill 223.  Bill has been very involved in Montpelier about Bill 223 and shorelines.  He will report back later on the agenda.
Kate began by providing some hardcopies with recommended changes.  She explained that she first went through and looked at it from the beginning to the end.  The first section, Section 110 – 180 is just boiler plate from the State, but the boiler plate may have changed.  This is something they will run by Regional Planning. 
Section 190:  Definitions is where changes can be made.  Everything in capital letters, except for original titles, is what Kate added.
Abutting Landowners:  Kate is asking the question, what about landowners across the lake?  Peter stated that he would think there is case law that has already decided this. 
Accessory Dwelling Unit:  Kate added: attached to, or within several feet of.  Peter stated; it had to be attached.  Appurtenant is not clear as to what it means.  Kate thinks this is a big issue.  She stated that they need to define this.  Peter wonders if they need to define it.  There were differing opinions.  Kate brought up the septic system.  Bill recommended they just say; must share the same services of the primary building? 
Basement:  Kate added: the midpoint on the slope is not more than six feet.  Kate stated they need to look at it and think about it.  There was much discussion of different scenarios.  It depends on the slope.
Bed & Breakfast:   Kate added:  owner occupied and with less than five guest rooms instead of ten.
Boathouse:  Kate added:  A structure at the waterfront that maintains a boat(s) for launching either because it is cantilevered over the shoreline or because a channel has been dredged to permit direct launching.
Building Coverage:  Kate added:  Any impermeable surface including driveways, decks and any other structures will be included in the calculation of coverage. 
Building Front Line:  Kate added:  or for lake front buildings, the line parallel to the mean water line. 
Kate combined Commercial Use/Retail Use.
Deck:  Kate added:  not impinge on public waterways and be seasonally removable if not meeting setback requirements, otherwise must obtain a setback waiver to be exempt.
Dock:  Kate asked State Statute or stronger?
Footprint/Envelope:   Kate added:  configuration of a structure encompassing all its dimensions – square footage at ground level, total volume (cubic square feet) and shape and fenestration.
Kate stated that they need to decide what you want to permit in the future and how we get there from here. 
Home Occupation:  Kate added:  employees or members of the household (with one or two exceptions), no additional parking required, except for signage, no visible activity.  Typical home occupations are barber shops, beauty parlors, online support, individual music lessons, custom cabinetry/millwork.
The Board needs to come up with a baseline.  Kate would like to have a comprehensive conditional use review on commercial businesses.  Peter stated that the Selectboard needs to be on board with this.
Home Based Business:  Kate added:  activities conducted within a dwelling or accessory building which are not customary in residential areas and which change the character thereof.  Use of home or accessory building should be less than 60%.  Typical HBB’s are contractor’s yards, small body shops, metal shops, professional offices, retail store.  With multiple client’s per day.
Kate asked the Board to read this handout and make suggestions.  Kate will have more available for our next meeting.
Bill gave a summary of the executive summary of what the committee wants to do with Bill 223.  They want to take over the State.  They want statewide zoning.  There are enough of them coming down the road that are going to try to do it.  Bill explained that what they got them to do so far is to go away from statewide zoning if you have an existing system in place.  They don’t want to talk about structure on the lakeside; they want lakeshore zoning that goes back 250’.  The first 100’ is buffer; the first 125’ is setback, and then go back to 250’ that would be needed to have permits.  They are getting away from all buildings.  All they are talking about is disturbances and permeable surfaces; such as driveways, roof tops.    If it’s a new construction, it can’t exceed 20% of the lot.  If it’s an existing construction it can’t exceed 30% of the lot.  It’s very convoluted.  Basically they want to have duff, shrubs, trees, branches.  They don’t want you in that 100’.  They will give you 4’ line to get to your water; unless you are grandfathered.  This has legs.
Kate asked what they can do.  Bill stated that he recommends they use this body of work as some sort of boiled down piece to put in our zoning regulations so when they come to us, we can say we are grandfathered.  It’s going to come out of committee.  They had a huge turnout. 
More long term, Bill thinks they are going to do something. 
Peter wants to ask Ron Fiske if he can come to our next meeting, April 10, 2013. 
Next meeting is April 10, 2013 at 6:00 p.m.
Motion by Peter and second by Sue to adjourn at 7:15 p.m.  All in favor.  So approved.
Respectfully submitted,
Sandra L. Trombley, PC Secretary