Town of Halifax, Vermont
May 26, 2015


Call to Order

The meeting was called to order at 6:12 p.m. Planning Commission members Sirean LaFlamme, Bill Pusey, Brian McNeice, Stephan Chait, and Linda Lyon were present, as were John Bennett (Windham Regional Commission), Michael McGillion (Fisher Law), Edee Edwards, Rick Gay, Nicholas Bartenhagen, Margaret Bartenhagen, Sue Kelly, Marilyn Allen, Janet Taylor, Bonnie Brown, and Robbin Gabriel.

Changes and/or Additions to the Agenda

In anticipation of the upcoming grant close-out process, Edee Edward advised John Bennett and the Commission of her June travel schedule. Stephan Chait asked whether the Board was going to address needed changes to the bylaw amendment this evening. John Bennett recommended continuing to address that amendment separately, while using the allotted time at this meeting to finish reviewing the main body of zoning regulations, so the draft can be submitted to the state.

Approval of Previous Meeting Minutes

Bill Pusey made a motion to approve the 5/12/15 regular meeting minutes as written. Brian McNeice seconded the motion, which passed, 3-0-2, with Sirean LaFlamme and Linda Lyon abstaining.

New Business

Update of Zoning Regulations with John Bennett
Bennett passed out full sets of the updated zoning regulations draft. The majority of the changes under review this night involved minor editing decisions. A few questions remain unanswered, and Bennett assured the Commission that although the grant is expiring, Windham Regional has a small budget for technical assistance which will make it possible for him to advise them on as yet unresolved details.

Bennett distributed advisory comments from VLCT related to the limited areas in which Vermont State statutes allow municipalities to condition or delay issue of local permits until state permits are approved, and wording was deleted from the town’s regulations accordingly. Detail on waivers, based on Dummerston’s template, was included in Section 203. No definition will be added for bulk storage of fuel (Section 307[4)] #25), as the state has a full complement of regulations and permitting requirements covering that issue. No decision was reached on whether to raise the minimum lot size in the Conservation District to 27 acres, or whether to alter the maximum decibels allowed under General Performance Standards (Section 405(1). Bennett provided several text examples of phrasing the Commission could use to revise Section 505, Ponds, Impoundments, and Dams, in a manner which would allow ponds under a certain size to be constructed without a zoning permit. Bennett added appropriate references to river corridors and special flood hazard areas in Article 8: Flood Hazard Area Regulations.

Hearing of Visitors

Rick Gay submitted an edited draft of the zoning permit application form. Gay advised the Board should set a fee for hoop buildings, and add a checklist to guide applicants as they fill out the form.

Old Business


Other Business

Linda Lyon asked about the Planning Commission’s previous recommendation that the Selectboard appoint a Conservation Commission for the town. Edee Edwards said the Selectboard had discussed the request and would be talking to people who might be interested.


LaFlamme made a motion to adjourn the meeting, Chait seconded the motion, which passed, 5-0. The meeting was adjourned at 7:27 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,
Robbin Gabriel
Interim Planning Commission Secretary