Meeting open at 7:00 PM

Commissioners Present:

Raymond Leonard, Howard Burgess, William Matteson, Jerry Stearns and Dana Peterson

Mr. Matteson cited a Rutland City Zoning Variance request for a property located off Woodstock Avenue in Rutland City. Commissioners discussed the proposed change to Business District and had no concerns with the requested change in the City of Rutland.

Mr. Matteson cited correspondence from The New England Clean Power Link regarding plans to run two 500 Mega Watt direct current power lines from Canada to Cavendish, VT. Mr. Matteson said the line would be in the US RT 4 Bypass R-O-W and will cross the Quarterlie and Creek roads in Town.

Mr. Matteson cited correspondence regarding the State of Vermont Complete Streets Highway program. Town Administrator Mr. Joseph Zingale Jr. said he thinks the information will be helpful in understanding the purpose of the complete streets program.

Mr. Zingale cited the fact that Town Road Commissioner Mr. Byron Hathaway planned to meet with Commission's to explain the program and seek input from the Planning Commission.

Mr. Zingale told Commissioners that Mr. Hathaway is working with a small committee to mark up a Town street map, to show locations for future improvements. Mr. Zingale said Commissioners will review the map and offer comments.

Mr. Burgess told Commissioners that a cross-walk is needed in front of the Town Municipal because it can take up to 10 minutes to cross during the day. He said vehicles travel at high speed and never stop to let individuals cross the street.

Mr. Zingale used the projector and showed photos of Cop John Drive and a relocated Cop John Drive. Mr. Zingale told Commissioners that the Town's Traffic consultant feels now is the time to relocate Cop John Drive to avoid new dog leg intersection which will develop when the new Rutland Commons development is constructed.

Mr. Zingale said the Town will need the cooperation of the owners of; the Holiday Inn, The Aspen Dental Complex, The Hampton Inn and Taco Bell if the new road is to be constructed. Mr. Zingale told Commissioners that it will be key for the Town to be able to recreate parking spaces due to the loss of spaces for construction of the relocated road.

Mr. Zingale said the plan is to create parking for the Aspen Dental Complex and Taco Bell in the space where Cop John Drive is presently located. Additionally, Mr. Zingale told Commissioners that Saxon Partners have agreed to place $100,000.00 is escrow toward the cost of the new road provided the State does not require the installation of new traffic lights on Cop John Drive as a condition to opening their new store.

Mr. Zingale said that according to the Town's traffic consultant the new traffic light on Cop John Drive would not be required until such time the Town of Rutland closes Cop John Drive north of the Farrell Road intersection.

Mr. Matteson said there should be two left hand turns to the north exiting the Green Mountain Plaza and the same for the Commons development. Commissioners discussed the proposed road changes further and took no action.

Mr. Zingale informed Commissioners that the new developers of the Rutland Commons plan to challenge Act 250 regarding whether Criterion 9(L) should apply to their project.

Commissioners discussed what they will do in their review of the Town Plan Land Use Map. Mr. Matteson said the Commissioners should begin by reviewing the allowable uses to determine whether they are adequate or not.

Mr. Zingale told Commissioners that Select Board member Ms. Mary Ashcroft has suggested that land presently designated for development should be changed if the land is undevelopable due to reasons such as; wetland, flood hazard or steep slope.

Mr. Matteson said the Commission might create a land use district for solar panels. Mr. Burgess informed Commissioners that a Minnesota company has purchased a large 59 acre parcel of land off the Cold River Road for solar development.

Mr. Matteson said the Town would receive no benefit from the Minnesota Company's

solar farm but that there would be a local benefit if the General Electric (GE) were to purchase the land and develop solar power.

Mr. Peterson said if GE were to do the project it would; reduce GE's power consumption, GE would get paid by GMP for power produced (GE would get 6 cents for every kilo watt generated) and GE could sell their energy credits. Mr. Peterson said there needs to be advocacy at the State level to encourage local businesses to get into solar development.

Mr. Matteson cited the fact that there is no overall game plan as to where solar development will occur. He said solar projects are popping up when someone has the money to buy the land. Mr. Stearns suggest new developments like the new big box store, be constructed so as to allow for roof top solar panels rather than putting more panels on the land.

Mr. Stearns moved to close the meeting. Mr. Leonard made a second to the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

William Matteson, Vice Chairman

Andrew McKane, Chairman