Selectboard welcomes DRB to recent meeting

By Heather McKim

At its three-hour meeting on May 13, the Shelburne Selectboard sat down with the Development Review Board (DRB) after addressing study findings on economic development.

Doug Kennedy of Doug Kennedy Advisors, a consultant on the project, presented the Village Economic and Planning Study, which indicated there is a market for more development. The study was not without controversy and elicited a number of comments from residents and members of the business community.

Kevin Clayton, Village Wine and Coffee, said that he and other business owners had not been contacted. He also expressed concerns about how the data, which he described as factually flawed, would be used.

When asked about what errors were in the study, Clayton said there is more retail square footage than the 30,000 mentioned in the study. Employment figures are also higher than described.

Kennedy responded that those conducting the study would have loved to have contacted all of the businesses in the village, but the budget did not allow for that to happen.
Shelburne resident David Webster was concerned about suggested changes such as relaxing development standards.

Currently, there are no plans to utilize the study findings.

DRB members were present at the meeting as part of the Selectboard’s efforts to reach out to other committees.

“[I] would like to be able to work together in the most productive manner possible,” von Stange said.

Projects that the DRB has dealt with recently have included Harrington Village, boundary adjustments, and appeals.

“I think the most important thing is communication,” DRB Chair Mark Sammut commented.

Sammut also spoke of how the Historic Preservation and Design Review Commission goes through many projects, and some applicants come before the commission five or six times. Sammut asked to simplify the process and no longer require applicants to come before the DRB. Von Stange asked Town Manager Joe Colangelo to see about helping to arrange for these projects to be consent items.

DRB member Bill Stuono, who had accused other DRB members of intentionally circumventing the spirit or the specific details of the zoning bylaws, was invited to the microphone.When asked about the accusations, which had been sent to the Selectboard in the form of an addendum and did not pertain to pending DRB applications, Stuono said he would only speak of the matter in executive session. When pressed by von Stange, he mentioned road frontage and PUD guidelines. After a confrontation with von Stange, Stuono abruptly left the meeting.

Von Stange shared that despite conversation about Stuono’s comments, the dialog between the two boards resulted in productive suggestions.

In other business:

  • Susan Moegenburg was appointed to the Natural Resources and Conservation Committee.
  • Amendments to Shelburne’s Tree Policy were approved.
  • A Memorial Tree Policy was adopted.
  • ST Paving of Waterbury was awarded the summer paving contract.
  • One-year capital equipment loans for a highway dump truck and two wastewater pickup trucks were approved.
  • Craig Wooster was reappointed as Shelburne’s forest fire warden.

The next Selectboard meeting will be held May 27.