Selectboard discusses zoning amendments

By Heather McKim

Changes to zoning amendments, form based zoning and the town’s social service support were key issues at the Oct. 23 meeting of the Shelburne Selectboard.

Town Manager Paul Bohne said paving would begin on Route 7 at Vermont Wildflower Farm in Charlotte on Oct. 24 and head north—reaching Shelburne village in about eight days. At that time, work would switch to nighttime as paving continues through the village and into South Burlington.

Bohne reported a recent rash of car break-ins—each of which involved an unlocked automobile. He praised the two officers who made the arrests and warned all residents to lock their car doors.

A request had been made by Wake Robin that an upcoming meeting be held there.

“The residents at Wake Robin do have a hard time getting here,” Chair Bill Smith noted, ultimately deciding to make the decision of venue for the next meeting once he sees the agenda.

The meeting was the stage for a public hearing regarding amending the Town Zoning Ordinance by changing Section 1930.1, 1930.7.B.7, and 2110 definitions.

The Board reviewed the issue of building design in Section 1930.7.B.7 and decided the language would be changed to “significant”—moving from a quantitative to a qualitative approach.

Section 2110 dealt with human scale development. This would not restrict use but would possibly alter the potential design of a building. The Board voted to carry the motion and amend the section.

The Board voted to amend the town’s subdivision regulations, which had not been updated since 1986. The amendments would update the language of these regulations and address how the town deals with storm water.

Selectboard members also addressed the issue of a ballot item Form Based Code Zoning. The question on the ballot concerns funding for a consultant to work with the town to pursue Form Based Zoning.

The language of the ballot item had been approved, and early voting had seen at least 2,000 residents already vote on the issue. However, Board members wanted to take the opportunity to inform community members about the details of the item prior to Election Day.

The item, if approved, would authorize an expenditure of up to $70,000 for funding a consultant. This would help the town address the issue of development in the town along Route 7—an area seven times the size of the village.

“I really believe this [Form Based Code] will add tremendous value to our town,” Kate Lalley said.

There was also a return to the issue of the social services budget. The issue had been previously discussed at a Selectboard meeting and talked about in a separate meeting.

Board member Al Gobeille introduced a revised plan, which he had dubbed “Social Service Proposal 2.0.” It calls for a five-person social services committee and alters the focus of where the proposed $50,000 budget for the coming year would go; 50 percent would be slated for the VNA (of which Gobeille is a former board member, not current as was indicated in a previous article) and 25 percent to the United Way.

Gobeille will further revise the plan, and present it as a decision item at the next meeting of the Selectboard.

The Selectboard also approved a request from Wild Rose Circle Association for the town to accept Wild Rose Circle as a town road if it is brought up to the specifications of the town. This will include resolving the legal issue of part of the road being titled.

Given the late hour, the Board chose to table the presentation and discussion of the status of the first quarter of the 2012-13 General Budget until the next meeting.

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