By Carol Casey
The focus of the Development Review Board’s (DRB) agenda at its meeting on May 21 was continued consideration of the Shelburne Green development expansion. The developer, Graham Goldsmith, Jr., reported that the selected street names – Graham Lane and Sage Court – need to be approved by the Selectboard before final plans can be formally submitted. He agreed to a condition that no building be taller than one story. The discussion of accessory use limitation was based on DRB members’ concern that the development not evolve into a retail center. However, they agreed that businesses within Shelburne Green should be allowed to use part of their space to sell their products. Thus, they decided that not more than 20 percent and in no case more than 1,500 square feet of any individual tenant’s space could be devoted to retail sales.
More problematic was a limitation on a café that would serve employees within Shelburne Green. The DRB wants to ensure the café would not become a “destination restaurant” or franchise that would generate additional traffic and perhaps interfere with residents of The Gables who live on the eastern boundary of the Green. They agreed that such a café would not be located on the eastern boundary, could not exceed 2,500 square feet, and could operate only from 6am to 6pm seven days a week. Members directed staff to prepare a draft decision incorporating these and other previously adopted conditions for their consideration at their next meeting. The Shelburne Green development will still have to go through the Act 250 process.
DRB members then discussed comments submitted by member Bill Stuono, who was not present at the meeting, in response to the “Committee, Board, Commission Reporting Form” requested by the Town Manager and discussed at the Selectboard meeting on May 20. DRB Chair Mark Sammut said he emailed Stuono, asking him to attend the DRB meeting to discuss his responses and to provide facts to substantiate his allegations that the DRB had shown bias in its decisions and had intentionally violated zoning regulations due to conflicts of interest. At the Selectboard meeting, Stuono objected to the term “allegations,” stating his comments were merely observations. Sammut noted that two DRB decisions Stuono cited were based wholly on the opinion of the town’s attorney. DRB members present at the meeting felt strongly that Stuono should have raised his concerns within the DRB first, and at a minimum should have copied them on his report. They deferred any further discussion until a meeting when Stuono could be present.
The next meeting will be held June 4 at 7pm in the Municipal Center.