TOWN OF RUTLAND
PLANNING COMMISSION MEETING
APRIL 2, 2009
The meeting opened at 7:00 P.M.
Commission members present: Howard Burgess, Richard Hoenes, Richard Lloyd, William Matteson, Tom Turner and Charles Vajda.
Review of the 3/19/2009 Minutes
There were a few changes to the minutes as written. On page one, “Act” was put in front of 250 vs. Section. Also on this page, Mr. Bowen works for CVPS, not CV Wind and Solar. On page two, John Blittersdorf was added as the representative from CV Wind and Solar “and support the project” was added to Mr. Lloyd’s motion. On the last page under “Ted Hubbard Sketch Plan” two lots was changed to four lots and the sentence on possible drainage issues was reworded. Mr. Lloyd motioned to accept the minutes with these changes and Mr. Hoenes seconded the motion. All were in approval.
Rail Road Crossings
Mr. Robert Ide from VTRANS was present due to a request from the Commission. He came to discuss the timing of some of the rail road crossings in Rutland.
Mr. Matteson mentioned safety issues at the crossing at Park Street and South Main Street for the Bellows Falls line. He said it appears they are switching cars between 8:00 A.M. and 10:00 A.M. and also around 4:30 P.M. and 5:00 P.M. which are the busiest times for traffic. Mr. Hoenes added that all lights are red and all traffic comes to a stand-still. Mr. Zingale said it could be the city that controls the lights. Mr. Ides said that he will talk to one of his experienced engineers about coming down to do a study of the problem.
Mr. Ide said that the State owns the tracks and they are leased by companies like Vermont Railway and the Green Mountain Line. He added that the need for interchanging with other trains puts this train in Rutland at these times.
Mr. Vajda asked what the advance time was for the posting of a crossing and Mr. Ide said about one eighth mile. Mr. Vajda said at one crossing he saw a tractor trailer almost get hit by a train pushing about three cars without a signal. Mr. Burgess asked about the expected increase in train traffic. Mr. Ide said that he felt all corridors had room to add traffic.
Mr. Matteson asked about the tunnel project in Bellows Falls. Mr. Ide said that it has been completed and the first train has gone through, unfortunately without any good pictures. He also said that the Middlebury Spur Project is moving forward and will change rail traffic north of Rutland.
Mr. Zingale asked about height and weight restrictions on bridges and Mr. Ide said that he knew that Bridge 219 in Florence has weight restrictions. It is slated to be worked on in this construction season and this will benefit OMYA. He said that Middlebury is the bottleneck for height issues.
Mr. Ide said that the State is applying for stimulus money to work on the western corridor.
Mr. Matteson asked for an update on the rail yard relocation project. Mr. Ide said that the community needs to understand the importance of rail transportation in supporting local business.
Mr. Hall, a Town Selectman, said he had attended a meeting at the Rutland Regional Medical Center and the issue of disrepair of crossings came up. He specifically mentioned Temple Crossing by Ray Nutting’s and also one on West Street by the Mintzer property. Mr. Ide said that he has fifty years of deferred maintenance but that more rail ties have been replaced in the last year than in the previous five years.
Mr. Zingale said that some businesses don’t use rail delivery because it is not timely. Product may sit in the yard a while before being delivered to the company and only the rail workers can move it. Mr. Ide wanted examples and Mr. Zingale said to contact Sto Energy, Carris Reels and General Electric. Mr. Ide said that it would be beneficial to have David Wulfson come to a meeting since he deals with this sort of issue. His number is 658-2550.
Mr. Lloyd wanted to know if anything could be done to change the crossing times at the South Main Street/Park Street crossing. Mr. Ide said that it is really “an inconvenient truth” because of the co-ordination needed between the rail companies. Mr. Matteson asked if something could be done logistically to perhaps shorten the time the tracks are tied up. Mr. Ide again suggested talking to David Wulfson.
Mr. Matteson asked how Amtrack was doing and Mr. Ide said that the two factors in determining if Amtrack is viable are ridership and fuel prices. He said that currently ridership is up and fuel prices are down which is good for Amtrack.
Mr. Vajda asked how a person could get on Amtrack at the last minute and Mr. Ide said that the conductor can let you on and you pay in Albany. They are looking into automatic ticket machines.
Rutland Town Plan
Tara Kelly from the Rutland Regional Planning Commission was present to discuss the Rutland Town Plan.
The following two sections were discussed:
Future Land Use – Some typos were corrected. Mr. Turner helped Ms .Kelly prepare this section. He suggested that on page 57 some items be
deleted and on page 61 there was a brief discussion on farm buildings from 1993 and prior that no longer are used for farming. It was agreed that they can still be used for storage and make a revenue. On page 63 the policy listed is not applicable and was deleted.
Mr. Turner motioned to approve this section. Mr. Hoenes seconded the motion. All approved.
Natural and Cultural Resource Profile
Ms. Kelly had some suggestions from a publication by Ethan Swift who is a watershed planner for the Agency of Natural Resources. Mr. Turner felt that the document was too large to print in the Town Report but that it could be referred to in a footnote reference and it will remain on file for the Planning Commission to use as a future reference.
Mr. Turner had the following suggestions:
Page 36/37 – The table listed could be put into a sentence. He also suggested an explanation for Statewide Land vs. Prime Agricultural Land. Mr. Zingale added that Statewide Land is not regulated and Prime Agricultural Land is regulated. Mr. Turner said that the Sand and Gravel table could also be put into text.
Page 38 – Remove the first three paragraphs.
Page 39 – Remove Table 9 as the information exists elsewhere.
Page 41 – Eliminate paragraphs one and two under Rivers and Streams.
Page 42 – Need to update the study timeframe.
Page 43 – Change the wording of Flood Plain Regulations and Zoning to Flood Plain regulations in the Town
Page 44 – Cut some paragraphs as it is too wordy.
Page 46 – Delete the first paragraph and add the second paragraph to the next section under “Threats”.
Page 47 – The third bullet refers to a shoreline but needs clarification. The fifth bullet is a repetitious and the sixth bullet needs a change in wording.
In the section that lists Moon Brook and water run-off issues, it was suggested that it be mentioned that studies are underway to determine causes and remedies. Mr. Zingale said that he is on a committee working with the Rutland County National Resources Council.
Mr. Turner motioned to approve this section with changes and Mr. Lloyd seconded the motion. All were in approval.
Ms. Kelly said that she will have the full Rutland Town Plan to review at the next meeting. Then she will make out her final report and payments can be settled before reimbursement from the State.
Robert Walker Subdivision Information Meeting
Mr. Walker said that this is his second attempt at a subdivision and is starting fresh. His sketch plan application has been signed by Mr. Young. Mr. Walker is under a court order to subdivide as well as propose a Town road for his five lots.
Mr. Matteson said there was a need to revisit the reasons why the plan to provide access off Rob Shawn Place isn’t good. Mr. Walker said that he does have an alternate plan. Mr. Matteson suggested that the Commission review the notes from Mr. Walker’s engineer.
A site visit is planned for April 13th at 6:00 P.M. Mr. Matteson asked that Mr. Zingale send out notices to the missing Commission members, including the Road Commissioner, Byron Hathaway.
Mr. Turner asked about removing the ledge at the entrance to Post Road for visibility. Mr. Walker said he can’t buy the land to access the property.
Mr. Burgess asked if the lots were pinned and Mr. Walker said yes, although a few are missing.
Hubbard/Dumas Informational Meeting
Mr. Zingale said that everything was on schedule for the hearing on April 16th. Mr. Turner had a couple of questions concerning the notice in the Rutland Herald on the subdivision. He said that it listed the land as .26 vs. 2.26 acres. Mr. Zingale said as long as he didn’t intend to deceive anyone, it was okay. Mr. Turner also asked about the difference in the code book numbers Mr. Zingale used to warn the hearing as it was different from the numbers the Planning Commission uses for subdivision regulations. Mr. Zingale said that the same information is in both documents and Mr. Turner suggested that perhaps the Select Board could vote to use the same numbers.
Mr. Dumas Sr. passed out a list of his concerns to the Planning Commission. Ed Dumas Jr. said that the meeting planned between them and the Hubbards and their lawyers had not taken place due to Mr. Candon, attorney for Mr. Dumas, being too busy, but they do plan to have one before the April 16th hearing.
Mr. Lloyd asked if there was enough time for them to be ready. Mr. Hoenes said that since the hearing had already been warned, they need to start and if more time is needed then they can recess the hearing to another time.
Mr. Turner wanted to know if Stan Rhodes, the health officer, knew that the Planning Commission would like a report from him on the water contamination issue with the spring. Mr. Matteson said that he and Mr. Rhodes would discuss whether this is Mr. Rhodes domain but he felt that a water sample could be tested for bacteria. Mr. Zingale said that he had talked to Scott Bradley from Aquacheck about the situation and he suggested that a well be drilled to use instead of the spring or that an in-line UV water filter be installed. There is danger that the spring is being contaminated by animals other than deer or that the bacteria could be potentially lethal.
Joe Giancola is interested in purchasing a piece of land from Skip Pratico. Mr. Pratico’s business is part in the Town and part in the City. Mr. Giancola wants to buy a piece in the City that is adjacent to a property he owns in the City. Rutland Town is being notified as an abutter.
DCF has a lot that is considered wetland and it was agreed that they wouldn’t build on the wetland. A request was made to change the parameters of this agreement as someone is building close to this land and the request was granted.
John Kalish has asked to amend his Act 250 permit to extend the time frame for building and for studying the traffic flow.
Mr. Vajda asked if there was anything new on the bottled water project. Mr. Zingale said that there was nothing new.
The State Credit Union has decided not to start building in 2009 as planned.
The old Napa store location is putting on a new store front and will have three tenants.
Mr. Zingale said that no zoning meetings have been scheduled. Stan Rhodes, Jim Hall and Mr. Zingale are working on it. Mr. Matteson asked that he be included in the process.
Mr. Hoenes motioned to end the meeting. Mr. Lloyd seconded the meeting. All were in approval.
The meeting ended at 8:55 P.M.
William Matteson, Chairman Date