Selectboard addresses amendments at regular meeting

By Heather McKim

At the Nov. 26 meeting of the Selectboard, members discussed amendments to the Shelburne Comprehensive Plan, zoning by-laws, and a temporary sign ordinance.

To begin, member Al Gobeille praised Highway Superintendent Paul Goodrich and his crew for their work during Saturday night’s winter weather.

Then, Selectboard member Toni Supple questioned the number of deer crossing signs, having had a number of close calls with deer. Town Manager Paul Bohne said the town tends to limit signage; when there are too many signs, people tend to ignore them.
Because the second December meeting would fall on Christmas Eve, members decided to reschedule the Selectboard meeting to Wednesday, Dec. 18.

Work continued on the Shelburne Comprehensive Plan. Members spent time covering Parks and Recreation, Housing, Child Care, and Transportation. Bohne said a path and trail network ordinance exists, but it is not a static document. New recreational opportunities could be developed.

When members addressed housing, Supple provided documentation of growth trends within Chittenden County, which shows that the 20-year average growth within the town was 10 percent per year. Supple thinks there is a lot of wisdom in looking ahead 20 years when planning. “We don’t know what is going to happen,” she said. However, Supple remarked the state is expected to lose population over the next couple of decades. But she does not want to send the message that the town wants rapid growth.

“If we’re going to trend this way,” Gobeille said, “my concern in the Town Plan is how do you run a town if growth is stagnant … I think that the true threat to Shelburne, to Chittenden County, to Vermont, is negative growth … How we’re trending should be of concern to every taxpayer in Shelburne.”

Board members eventually agreed to Town Plan language that town growth on an annual basis will be “an average of” 45 units or 110 people.

Work on the Shelburne Comprehensive Plan will continue at the Dec. 10 meeting.

The Board approved an agreement with Marcos Llona to settle a zoning violation for filling at 141 Pinehurst Drive without a permit. This concluded an issue that is about two-years-old.

Members approved an amendment to the zoning by-laws regarding temporary signs. The amendment addresses a section where no permit is required. A request had been made to extend the area where the exemption applies, as well as extending it to a parcel-by-parcel basis rather than limiting it to a business-by-business basis.

Members approved an outdoor seating screening amendment for restaurants. Screening now only applies to restaurants bordered by residences and would only be required on the residential sides.

After significant discussion regarding expansion of structures in the Lake Overlay District, members voted to continue the issue to January. Language of the amendment, which would allow a building to be positioned on a line parallel to (but no closer to) the lake, will be reworked with the Planning Commission.

Members also voted to approve a change of use in the Commercial & Industry South District. This amendment would allow for accessory uses within a Planned Unit Development. That means several businesses could come together and have an accessory business, such as a café.

A total of $13,030 from the Fiscal Year Assigned Fund Balance category was designated for streetlights that were installed in the 2012-13 fiscal year but invoiced and paid in fiscal year 2013-14.

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