By Carol Casey
A public hearing on seven proposed changes to the zoning bylaws drew no audience at the Planning Commission meeting held on May 24. The changes had been discussed extensively at previous commission meetings, and were adopted by a vote of four to one. The adopted changes will be forwarded to the Selectboard for their consideration, and include (1) reducing the lot frontage requirement for single-family dwellings in the Village Residential District from 100 feet to 75 feet; (2) including crawl space and basement space and spaces used for storage or mechanical purposes in the calculations for expansion of structures within the 100 foot setback from the 102 foot elevation contour; (3) giving more options for posting temporary signs; (4) applying the standards for signs currently set for the Village Institutional/Museum District to the Shelburne Falls district; (5) allowing driveways no less than five feet from the side or rear property line in certain instances; (6) redefining when permits will be required for fill; and (7) clarifying definitions for landscaping and building coverage. Commissioner Dick Elkins was the lone dissenting vote, voicing his objections to allowing facade signs in the Shelburne Falls districts, permitting driveways within five feet of a property line, and setting more lenient standards for temporary signs.
Alec Webb invited Commissioners to join him on a site visit to the proposed location of a wind turbine at Shelburne Farms. The installation would be funded by Green Mountain Power and situated in close proximity to the solar panels near the Coach Barn. The Commission will visit the site on Thursday, June 14 at 6 pm.
The Commission adopted proposed changes to the zoning bylaws regarding design review for proposed development along the Shelburne Road corridor north of the Village, thus giving a role to the Historic Preservation and Development Review Committee in evaluating projects for both commercial and mixed-use PUDs within the mixed-use district. The standards address such issues as building location, access, parking, landscaping, and building design. Commissioner Kate Lalley expressed the hope that these changes would facilitate more creative designs and considered them an important interim step until a form-based code is adopted for the Route 7 corridor. A public hearing on the proposed changes will be scheduled shortly.
In the SDAT update, Lalley reported that the committee is drafting a very specific request for proposals detailing the scope of work required to move the “A Vision for 7” effort forward.
The Commission then reviewed proposed changes to the text of the sections on Land Use in Shelburne and Growth and Development in the draft Town Plan. These changes were proposed to incorporate the four goals set in the vision statement into the introduction to each section of the plan. There was a general agreement on the approach taken, but the Commission will review the entire text of these sections, focusing especially on specific recommendations made, at their next meeting which will be held on Thursday, June 14 at 7 pm in the Municipal Town Center.
By Carol Casey