Town of Halifax, Vermont

 May 11, 2010 

Call to Order 

            The meeting was called to order at 7:10 PM.  Members in attendance were Chair Norman Fajans, Sirean LaFlamme, Howard Alboum, Brian McNeice, Chris Estep, and William Pusey.  Board member Bradley Rafus was absent.  Others in attendance were Zoning Administrator Rick Gay, Margo Avakian, and Secretary Phyllis Evanuk. 


            Mr. Fajans advised it was time to elect a new chair and vice chair and to reappoint a clerk/secretary for the ZBA.  He called for nominations for chair.

            Mr. Alboum advised he would like to nominate Mr. Fajans to continue as Chair, but Mr. Fajans declined. 

            Mr. Fajans called for other nominations.  

            Mrs. LaFlamme advised she would be willing to fill the position if they chose to nominate her.

            Mr. Fajans noted that there was also the option he had suggested, that each member take a turn as chair so that they all ‘shared the experience’ of being chair.  

            Mr. Alboum advised that was a pretty good idea, but Mrs. LaFlamme had volunteered so he would nominate her. 

            Mr. Alboum moved to nominate Sirean LaFlamme for the position of Chair of the ZBA for a one year term.
            Mr. Estep seconded the motion which carried 5-0-1, with Mrs. LaFlamme abstaining.

            Mr. Fajans called for nominations for vice chair.

            Mrs. LaFlamme moved to nominate Norman Fajans for the position of Vice Chair of the ZBA for a one year term.
            Mr. McNeice seconded the motion which carried 5-0-1, with Mr. Fajans abstaining.

            Mr. Fajans called for a motion to appoint a clerk/secretary.

            Mr. Alboum moved to reappoint Phyllis Evanuk as Clerk/Secretary for the ZBA for a one year term.
            Mrs. LaFlamme seconded the motion which carried 6-0. 

Approval of Minutes 

            Mr. Alboum moved to approve the minutes of the February 17, 2010 meeting as written.
            Mr. McNeice seconded the motion which carried 6-0.

Zoning Administrator Request for Review

             Mr. Fajans advised that Mr. Gay was in attendance to request input from the ZBA regarding an application to erect an 85’ tall Amateur (HAM) Radio Antenna Support Structure.  The Zoning Administrator does not have the authority to approve any structure that exceeds the maximum height of 35’. (Private antennas are allowed to be an additional 10’ or at a maximum of 45’.) 
            Mr. Gay advised that VLCT had advised him to give the application to the ZBA for their consideration.  Federal law and the State prohibits municipalities from denying installation of HAM radio antennas as they provide important communications during emergencies when other forms of communication may be disabled or overburdened.
            After a discussion of the precedence of federal law over state and municipal laws it was decided to request an opinion from the town attorney before any decision regarding a hearing and/or approval of the application is considered.  Mrs. LaFlamme will request permission from the Selectboard to seek legal advice.  The question was raised regarding setting a precedent for multiple requests for ‘private use’ antennas.  The federal law is exclusive for HAM radios only.
            A letter will be sent to the applicant advising that his application is under review by the ZBA and he will be notified of the next step in the process.


The meeting was adjourned at 7:42 PM.

Respectfully submitted,
Phyllis H. Evanuk