TOWN OF RUTLAND
PLANNING COMMISSION MEETING
The meeting opened at 7:00 P.M.
Commission members present: Howard Burgess, Anthony Flory, Raymond Leonard, Richard Lloyd, William Matteson, Jerry Stearns, Tom Turner and Charles Vajda.
Election of Officers
Mr. Leonard nominated Mr. Matteson to be the Chairman. Mr. Vajda seconded the nomination. The vote was six to one, with Mr. Lloyd voting in the negative.
Mr. Matteson nominated Mr. Turner as the Vice Chairman. Mr. Flory seconded the nomination. All were in approval.
Review of the 4/2/2009 Minutes
The following changes were made to the minutes: Adding the correct spelling of Mr. Wulfson’s name, removing Table 9 on Page 39 of the Town Plan draft, changing health commissioner to health officer, removing Mr. Dicton as working on the zoning meetings, and three other typos.
Mr. Lloyd motioned to accept the minutes with these changes and Mr. Vajda seconded the motion. All approved with the exception of Mr. Leonard and Mr. Flory who were not present at the 4/2/2009 meeting.
The Rutland Town Plan
Tara Kelly was present to review sections of the Rutland Town Plan. Mr. Burgess said that the Grand List amount was incorrect and that he would provide the correct numbers to Ms. Kelly. Mr. Turner said that the new vision statement needs to replace the old one.
Changes other than minor typos were:
Page 12 = Add that the crossing is paved
Page 22 = The last paragraph on treatment of waste water is to be rewritten to be better understood, leaving out specific numbers.
Add fire protection to rescue squad as the Fire Department’s duties.
Page 58 = The Town of Chittenden does not have a Town Plan but are working on one.
Ms. Kelly will have the complete Town Plan prepared for the next meeting along with a report for the Selectmen. She will also send in the final report to the State. Mr. Turner was concerned about the time frame for being eligible for the State grant. Ms. Kelly said that the Commission has met the requirements by having drafted the Town Plan. It is required that the abutting towns receive a copy of the Rutland Town Plan thirty days prior to a hearing.
Discussion on Site Visit for Mr. Walker
Mr. Robert Walker was present to discuss the Commission’s site visit to the area of his proposed subdivision. The main question is the access to the subdivision via Rob Shawn Place. An alternative entrance near the Hemmingway property has been discussed but has not been mapped or decided upon.
Mr. Matteson said that Charles and Roger Hemmingway have water concerns. Mr. Matteson told them that once an entrance has been decided upon, then their concerns can be heard.
The Commission agreed that Rob Shawn Place is not a good entrance for the subdivision. Mr. Turner cited the letter from Mr. Walker’s engineer stating that the sight distances from Rob Shawn Place are not sufficient per the State’s B71 regulation.
In light of this information, Mr. Turner motioned to deny the sketch plan and Mr. Leonard seconded the motion. All were in approval. Mr. Walker will get this decision in writing for the Court.
The residents of Amanda Place have requested that their road become a Town maintained road. Mr. Matteson passed out copies of the deed(s) and read a paragraph that is listed on each homeowner’s deed that says the Town will not take over the road until it is brought up to Town specifications. He also stated that nothing has been done to the road since the subdivision in 2003.
Mr. Lloyd expressed his opinion that the Town should not incur any costs related to this issue in light of what the deeds convey. Mr. Turner also expressed his opinion that the deeds speak for themselves.
Mr. Lloyd also said that there were culvert issues and that the boring that was done to test the road foundation was only done on the edges vs. the middle. Mr. Spencer, the engineer who did the boring, said this was done to check to see if there were stumps in the road.
Mr. Flory asked Mr. Rhodes, chairman of the Select Board, his thoughts on the subject. Mr. Rhodes said that he was not present to do so but that the Board had taken a straw poll and felt that the lawyers for each party should handle the situation. He also compared this situation with the DCF project.
Mr. Burgess questioned whether this issue should fall under the Commission’s domain but said he felt Amanda Place was different than DCF in that Amanda Place is much steeper and could be considered a safety issue.
Mr. Matteson said he felt the Select Board should request that the homeowners of Amanda Place provide a complete and comprehensive report on the construction of the road and its deficiencies in regard to the Town’s specifications. He asked for a motion to this effect. Mr. Leonard made this motion and Mr. Stearns seconded the motion. All were in approval.
Hubbard Final Two Lot Subdivision Hearing
Mr. Turner chaired this portion of the meeting as Mr. Matteson had recused himself based on a previous request from the applicants.
Mr. Turner started by saying the hearing had been warned in the Rutland Herald and that participation is a prerequisite to the right to appeal.
Matt Branchaud was present to represent the Hubbards for this two lot subdivision off Perkins Road. A final map was passed out to the Commission members. Also submitted was an unsigned letter dated March 20, 2009 written by Dominque Golliot, Agricultural Resource Management Specialist with the Vermont Agency of Agriculture. It stated that on March 16th he inspected the Hubbard property in regard to manure and water runoff management and that he did not see any violation.
Mr. Branchaud stated that water issues on the property existed before the Hubbards took ownership and that they had installed culverts and ponds to alleviate the run off, pushing the water past the springs. Improvements to the existing culverts have been discussed by the Hubbards and the Dumases but nothing definite has been decided as yet. Mr. Martin, director of Beechwood Farms, an abutter, said he is very interested in what changes will be made to the culvert system.
R. Brownson Spencer, P.E., stated his professional opinion that the subdivision drainage system was adequate but that some fine tuning could be done for some culvert locations. Mr. Branchaud said that Mr. Spencer was not submitting his comments in writing but instead was present to respond on behalf of the applicants to any Commission questions at the hearing.
Waivers were discussed, in particular, the tree line vs. each tree and the water line to Cook’s spring as the exact location is unknown.
Mr. Hubbard stated that the fence on the Cook property as shown on the plat has been relocated to his property and that all other fences located on the property of abutters would be moved to his property by October 1, 2009.
Mr. Turner went over a checklist he had made on issues unresolved previously. The Dumases and Hubbards and their lawyers were supposed to have had a meeting but the only meeting was without the lawyers. There are still unresolved issues that do not affect the subdivision decision that the property owners will have to resolve on their own.
One is a boundary line agreement regarding the monument in the southeast corner. Mr. Branchaud wrote up an agreement but never heard from Mr. Candon, the lawyer for Mr. and Mrs. Dumas. Ed Dumas Jr. said he was not completely satisfied with the wording on this agreement even though he agreed to the line. He said he was afraid that once the subdivision was approved, things would change. Mr. Branchaud said that the boundary line agreement could be done after the subdivision is approved.
Changes to the culvert system as stated above are yet to be determined. Mr. Branchaud said there were requests that were not practical such as no animals within 100 feet of the well, but the barn for the animals is within 100 feet of the well. Also, the access to Dailey Place has an easement for up to three houses and since there is currently no house planned for the Avery lot, this should not be an issue.
Mr. Turner questioned the wording on the map that it does not intend to depict all easements. Mr. Spencer said that this wording is very common as not all easements have all been put into writing. However, Mr. Branchaud vouched that all known easements are shown.
Mr. Spencer was asked about the possible contamination of the well and if he felt this was an issue. He said that it should be all right as it sits higher than anything else. Mr. Turner asked Mr. Rhodes as the Health Officer if he had a report on this issue. Mr. Rhodes said that since the well is twelve feet deep, it will be contaminated to some point. He felt that the word of the engineer was sufficient. Mr. Branchaud said the request to have a report from the Health Officer was out of order.
The Commission received a copy of a deed giving Edward and Rosita Dumas exclusive right to access and operate the spring and water line serving their property. Mr. Hubbard acknowledged this and stated that the fencing which limited access at the time of the Commission’s site visit had since been removed.
Mr. Lloyd said he felt this was the most detailed subdivision map he has ever seen and that he felt the Hubbards had done a good job complying with the Commission’s requests. He motioned to approve the subdivision with the condition that all the applicant’s fences placed on property not owned by the applicant would be removed and relocated by October 1, 2009. Mr. Burgess seconded the motion. The vote was five to one, with Mr. Flory voting in the negative and Mr. Turner and Mr. Matteson abstaining.
Mr. Flory motioned to end the meeting. Mr. Vajda seconded the motion. All were in approval. The meeting ended at 9:40 P.M.
William Matteson, Chairman Date