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Meeting Minutes - PC

Town of Leicester
 Planning Commission Meeting
Tuesday, February 26, 2013
** See subsequent minutes for any changes
Members Present:  Donna Swinington, Chair, Sue Stroud-Speyers, Bill Shouldice, Lynn Bisbee
Members Absent:  Jeff McDonough, Pete Fjeld
Others Present:  Kate Briggs, Sandra Trombley, Secretary
Meeting called to order at 6:07 p.m. with roll call. 
Motion by Sue and second by Bill to approve minutes of February 13, 2013 as written.  All in favor.  So approved.
Kate wanted to talk about proposed House Bill 223.  Kate provided a copy of the original bill, the action taken by the Lake Dunmore Association, and provided her thoughts.  This Bill is to give the State authority for shoreline protection.  Mainly, it’s about protecting vegetation.  The original bill died.  It has come back due to flooding.  It concerns 25’ of everyone’s shoreline.
Bill is supposed to testify on Thursday morning.  He gave some background and history.
Kate would like to see the state develop construction standards for development which affects wetlands.  She would like to try to get voluntary compliance and educate landowners and contractors.
Motion by Lynn and second by Sue to have Bill represent the PC at the Legislature and bring back info to the Board.   All in favor.  So approved.
Kate explained that Home Occupation is protected under State Statute.  It means you can run a business out of your home that nobody notices is there, unless it has a sign and you are allowed to have a sign.  It doesn’t require additional buildings or automobiles.  The reason it is in our Zoning Regulations under Land Use is because our land use regulations serve two functions; one is land use and the second thing is they alert the listers to what is going on there.  A property that has commercial use, even ever so tiny, is assessed differently than a property that doesn’t.
Kate explained that we have no authority to regulate agricultural activity, but they still have to fill out an application because that’s the way of letting the listers know what’s going on.  We have a right to tax it, but we don’t have a right to regulate it.
Kate thinks we should separate the way we do Lake 1 and Lake 2 and treat as separate districts.  In Lake 1 she recommends almost all of the conditional uses should disappear. 
Home-based business is not allowed in Lake 1.
In Lake 2, under conditional use, you would have the home based business, 3-10 and 14-16.
The difference between home-based business and commercial use is the amount of property involved, the amount of traffic involved and there are only two locations for it.  Some people will be grandfathered.  Some won’t.
Kate recommends they approach it procedurally by saying they are going to look at the commercial uses on Rte.7 as separate entities.  You do them as a group.  You have no permit fee or minimal permit fee.  Warn it one time and then do a conditional use review business by business and ZBA says these are the requirements. 
Bill shared thoughts from the Selectboard about moving forward. 
Kate thought one way to organize things is to look at businesses and commercial activities and lump them into categories. 
Bill recommends possibly adding B&B to Lake 1 and Lake 2. 
Bill recommends coming up with a clean draft with definitions to review for the next meeting.
Kate would like to re-format the look and she and Sue will have a draft of first group of changes for next meeting for review.  Once PC feels its good then they will communicate to the Selectboard by sending them a copy for their review.  Selectboard is always welcome to attend PC meetings.
Next meeting is March 13, 2013 at 6:00 p.m.
Motion by Sue and second by Bill to adjourn at 7:25 p.m.  All in favor.  So approved.
Respectfully submitted,
Sandra L. Trombley, PC Secretary