TOWN OF RUTLAND
Meeting open at 7:00 PM
Raymond Leonard, Howard Burgess, Andrew McKane, William Matteson and Dana Peterson
Commissioners reviewed the 11-20-14 minutes. Mr. Matteson moved to approve the minutes as corrected. Mr. Peterson made a second to the motion. The motion passed unanimously.
Commissioners discussed drafting a letter to be sent to the Act 250 District #1 Environmental Commission stating the Commissioners position regarding the imposition of Criterion 9 (L) upon the project.
Mr. McKane said 9 (L) does not apply because a portion of the proposed project is a gas station and therefore 9 (L) does not apply. Mr. McKane said pedestrian access to a gas station is a moot point. Mr. McKane said the proposed development is a box store, which sells bulk items. He said pedestrian access to a box store is also moot.
Mr. Leonard questioned if anyone staying at the Holiday Inn or the Hampton Inn would walk to the proposed development. Mr. McKane cited the fact that the applicant is proposing to build a walkway into the project. Mr. McKane said all of the surrounding businesses are non pedestrian type access.
Both Mr. Burgess and Mr. Matteson cited the fact the project has an Act 250 permit. Mr. Matteson said the State now wants to negate the permit and apply the new requirements in 9 (L). Mr. Matteson said such an action is grossly unfair in the permit process.
Mr. Matteson questioned how the proposed development in the Town is considered strip development while similar development in South Burlington is not considered strip development. Mr. Matteson also questioned why the numerous solar farm sprouting up around Vermont are not considered strip development.
Mr. McKane suggested he and Mr. Zingale could draft a letter, which the Commission would consider for approval at the next meeting. Board members agreed. Mr. McKane said the first point that should be made is that the development already has a permit.
Mr. Burgess questioned if the Town Attorney should review the proposed letter. Mr. McKane said he does not see a need for the Town Attorney to review the letter. Mr. Zingale told Commissioners that he believes the Select Board plans on having the Town Attorney file letter of support on behalf of the Board.
Mr. McKane questioned Commissioners as to whether the Commission should state why it should not be applicable. Mr. Peterson said the Commission should site the fact that criterion 9 (L) was only just revised in July 2014 and that the project had previously received an Act 250 permit. Mr. Peterson said the revised 9 (L) should not be considered because the development site has already received a permit.
Mr. Matteson said his biggest problem with 9 (L) is that it addresses the sprawl issue. He said the sprawl issues was addressed and that the project received an Act 250 permit. He said it seems the criterion was revised to negate the project.
Mr. McKane said the Commission's letter should object to review under 9 (L) because the land has a valid permit that should be honored regardless of the subsequent adoption of 9 (L). He questioned if the Commission's letter should state why 9 (L) should not apply to the Rutland Commons project.
Mr. Peterson said he thinks the Commission should state why 9 (L) should not apply to the Rutland Commons project. Mr. Matteson said the Commission should submit a letter immediately stating the Commission objects to Act 250 applying any new requirements or criteria to the project.
Mr. Matteson said he agrees with Select Board member Mr. Joe Dicton, who said the proposed project will revitalize the area. Mr. Matteson said there could be renewed interest in the Mall if the proposed development is approved.
Mr. McKane said the Commission is in agreement that the letter should initially contain rebuttal on the grounds of the time line of the project. Mr. McKane said he and Mr. Zingale would draft the letter the following day and then e-mail the letter to all Commissioners.
Mr. McKane said he would like to send the letter out well before the next meeting. Mr. Matteson moved to give authorization to the Chairman and Town Administrator to compose a letter that will express the Commission's feelings as indicated tonight without any further approval.
Mr. Burgess made a second to the motion. The motion passed unanimously.
Mr. Zingale informed Commissioners that Town officials would be meeting the following
week to discuss possible changes to Cop John Drive with VTrans officials. Mr. Zingale said Town officials would meet with State officials via a telephone conference. He said the meeting is scheduled for December 9th from 1:00 P.M. to 2:30 P.M.
Using the projector, Commissioners viewed eight locations in Town which are designated as Commercial or Commercial/Industrial on the Town Land Use map. All of the locations viewed contained either floodplain or wetlands or both.
Commissioners also viewed several locations in Town which are heavily wooded.Commissioners will decide whether they will create a “Forest District” and if so, what uses they will allow with in the “Forest District” Commissioners took no actions and will hold public meeting in the future to discuss any possible land designation charges with.
Mr. Matteson moved to adjourn the meeting at 8:15 P.M. Mr. Leonard made a second to the motion. The motion passed unanimously.
Andrew McKane, Chairman