Sketch plan for new Fisher Circle development approved

At its meeting on Feb. 18, the Development Review Board (DRB) approved a sketch plan submitted by Bill Posey for a major subdivision at 516 Falls Road. Posey intends to build three single-family homes and two duplexes around the proposed Fisher Circle off Falls Road which will connect onto Wes Road. The existing home will be renovated; two free-standing garages and two diesel tanks will be removed. The next step is for Posey to present a Preliminary Plan application with more detail. He hopes to begin the project in late summer and complete it by 2017.

A new business is coming to Shelburne: the DRB approved signage for “Stitched,” a shop at 15 Falls Road.

Lisa Williams, co-chair of the playground committee for the Shelburne Community School, presented an application to amend the site plan for modifications to the playground area. The school would like to add a wall ball court on the outside gym wall and eight fitness stations along the recreation path. The pavilion will be replaced with a more functional design. The DRB approved the application.

The DRB also discussed a recent letter from members of the Natural Resources and Conservation Committee which urged the board to consider carefully any application asking that previously imposed conditions be altered or removed. The letter stated “it is also very unlikely that the circumstances that prompted the DRB’s establishment of conditions would be materially different, especially during relatively short time intervals” and that “elimination of existing conditions sets an unfortunate precedent that casts doubt on the validity and strength of development-review decisions and encourages piecemeal, rather than comprehensive, town planning.” Gail Albert, the chair of the committee, reiterated the committee’s “whole hearted support for and appreciation of the DRB,” but noted that the committee would like more time to review materials before any DRB hearing. The DRB pledged to continue to work cooperatively with the committee and welcomed their input which they consider seriously before making decisions.

DRB Co-Chair Jeff Pauza asked for clarification that the DRB would apply the three standards set by the Vermont Environmental Board before altering a permit condition. According to their ruling in the Stowe Club Highlands case, only three kinds of changes justify altering a permit condition: “(a) changes in factual or regulatory circumstances beyond the control of a permittee; (b) changes in the construction or operation of the permittee’s project, not reasonably foreseeable at the time the permit was issued; or (c) changes in technology.” The DRB has applied those standards in recent decisions and will continue to do so in the future.

The next meeting of the DRB will be Wednesday, March 4 at 7pm in the Municipal Center.