P LANNING COMMISSION
Town of Halifax, Vermont
October 11, 2011
Call to Order
The meeting was called to order at 7:07 PM. Members in attendance were Howard Alboum, Sirean LaFlamme, Cara Cheyette, Brian McNeice, and William Pusey who arrived after the approval of minutes. Norman Fajans and Bradley Rafus were absent. Others in attendance were Lewis Sumner, Margo Avakian and Secretary Phyllis Evanuk.
Approval of Minutes
Mrs. LaFlamme moved to approve the minutes of the September 13, 2011 meeting as written.
Mr. McNeice seconded the motion which carried 4-0.
Update on Halifax Falls LLC
Ms. Evanuk advised that while they have been working on repairs to the bridge over the North River (which runs through the property) they are not yet finished. Ms. Rizio of Beck Engineering will contact her two weeks before they are ready to schedule a site visit. It was noted that daylight saving time will end soon and that may impact the times when they will be able to complete a site visit.
A short discussion of what they hope to determine or clarify at this visit followed. It was noted that there are two dwellings on the property now and the proposal is to subdivide four ten acre lots from the parcel. The State considers the portion containing the two dwellings a separate lot with the river creating a natural subdivision. The Town on the other hand considers it a single lot for tax and zoning purposes. So from the Planning Commission perspective they should consider the entire parcel, not just the portion where the new lots are proposed. It was further noted that the Commissioners had concerns about shared septic systems, even though the state regulations apparently allow it. Another concern was in regard to access from Route 112.
Update on Village District Boundary
The one boundary line that had been in question has been determined through some research. With that line determined Malcolm Sumner will now be able to go forward with his proposed subdivision using the standards for the Village District.
Review of Municipal Planning Grant Application
The Commissioners reviewed the draft, discussed the reasons for subdivisions, softened the language in one area, and agreed that in general it was okay. They also suggested that notices of the meetings and what topics will be discussed should be put on the website as well as posting notices.
Flood Hazard Area Regulations
The Selectboard has submitted the town’s intent to enter the National Flood Insurance Program. This would allow the residents to purchase flood insurance. Flood insurance is a prerequisite for homeowners to be able to obtain federally-backed mortgages from lenders.
A discussion of the rules, costs, and other issues regarding the program followed. They reviewed the Flood Insurance Rate Maps for Halifax. Mr. Sumner noted that to his knowledge there are no houses in the designated flood hazard areas.
The Commissioners discussed whether to review other towns’ regulations as a guide or work from a model regulation. Ms. Evanuk advised she would have information ready for them for the next meeting. This regulation needs to be on the fast track in order to be ready for the town warrant for March town meeting.
Mr. Alboum acknowledged that the flood hazard regulations are the prime topic for the next couple of months, but also reviewed the items that need to be kept on the upcoming agendas so that they don’t get ignored. These include the subdivision regulations and the Town Plan.
The meeting was adjourned at 8:20 PM.
Phyllis H. Evanuk