DRB gives conditional approval to pedestrian bridge

At its meeting on Oct. 1, the Development Review Board (DRB) acted upon seven applications, including one by Joplin James on behalf of the Town of Shelburne for approval for a Conditional Use Permit for the construction of a suspension footbridge in the LaPlatte Nature Park. James, a teacher at the Shelburne Community School who lives on Thompson Road, had been accompanying a group of school children in the neighborhood in walking to school via a cable suspension he and his friends built over the LaPlatte in August 2013. However, they had not obtained a permit for the bridge and it was built on town property without the town’s approval. After the Selectboard questioned the safety of the bridge, it was closed in March 2014 and taken down in July.  James and his colleagues have been working with the Selectboard, the town’s consulting engineer, and state employees in redesigning a bridge that would meet safety standards by increasing its weight capacity, raising the height of the railings, and enclosing the railing sides. The DRB approved the conditional use application with the provision that the town’s consulting engineer must certify both the plans submitted for the building permit and that the finalized bridge meets the building plan specifications.
Earlier in the meeting, the DRB approved three Design Review applications for: adding a round 5’ in diameter “Welcome to Shelburne Little League” sign on the façade of the baseball “snack shack” at the baseball fields behind the municipal center; renovating an accessory barn at 175 Harbor Road, including siding the front with cedar clapboards, replacing two existing doors, and removing two windows then installing a new stained glass window; installing a new 70’ mobile home at site #186 in Shelburnewood in place of a home that had been removed.
The DRB next considered a conditional use application for expansion and reconstruction of the home owned by Mark and Stacie Fagan at 3488 Harbor Road. Part of the existing home is within the 100 foot setback from the lake, but the expansion of the home from 3,347 square feet to 6,228 square feet will be landward and will not further encroach upon the setback. Some DRB members were concerned that the drawings showed two new wooden steps on the lakeside façade but the owners and their architect agreed to offset the increased square footage in the setback from these steps by removing some of the existing concrete patio and steps from that patio. The DRB approved the application with the condition that the offset be implemented so that there is no net increase in square footage in the setback.
The DRB then discussed an application by Derek Hellyer on behalf of 3310 Shelburne Road for the addition of two 15’ light poles in the parking area. The application was continued until the DRB’s next meeting so that Hellyer could provide documentation that the illumination limit would not be exceeded by the installation of these light poles.
The next item on the agenda was an application by Bob Clark for conditional use approval for the addition of an integrated agriculture use and a variance from the required setbacks for his property at 4947 Spear Street. After discussion with the applicant, the DRB continued the application to its Nov. 15 meeting so that Clark could provide sufficient detail for justifying a variance and approving integrated agricultural use.
At the beginning of the meeting, DRB Chair Mark Sammut announced the resignation of DRB members Paul Orzech, who is moving out of town, and of Bill Stuono. He also introduced Steve Gibbs, a newly appointed member of the DRB.
The next meeting of the DRB will be held on Wednesday, Oct. 15 at 7pm in the Municipal Center.