New town plan and zoning regulations

Staff Reporter

The Shelburne Selectboard voted to accept the town plan and two new zoning regulations Tuesday night. Both zoning amendments were made to regulations for the rural districts within the town.

The first amendment was a tweak to a zoning regulation that was changed last year to allow properties with structures within the setback from the road to allow a 25 percent addition to the building within that setback area.

The biggest change to the zoning regulation was about side yard setbacks. If a building is in the side yard close to the property line, the landowners will be able to put additions of up to 25 percent onto those buildings in that side yard area.

The language was also adjusted to be more general, so the change applies to more properties.

The other amendment brought more debate. It allows property owners to subdivide parcels of land in the rural district under 15 acres. Previously land under 15 acres could not be subdivided, and landowners with more than 15 acres could go through the subdivision process.

With that change, now all subdivisions in the rural district have to go through the Planned Unit Development process. Land owners for those developments would also have to enter into open space agreements for 60 percent of the land.

Resident Amy Sarr questioned why land owners with larger parcels would have to undergo the stricter planned unit development process. Others asked about definitions within the regulation.

Civil Engineer Dave Marshall suggested more of the terms be defined in the regulations, such as “slope.”

“If we can take some time to fill in those blanks it would be a better product,” he said. Marshall was representing a Shelburne couple that could not be at the meeting, he said.

Chair Jason Grignon explained the debate behind these issues was similar to what Sarr and Marshall were bringing up Tuesday.

“This is where the debate brought us,” he said.

The selectboard ultimately voted to approve the amendments to zoning regulations asking the Planning Commission to look into defining terms in the regulations more.

Other business

  • Last fall, the selectboard approved a new application process for town committees, commissions and boards. However, with the deadline of April 1 looming to make appointments and no time to go through the process, the selectboard voted Tuesday night to extend all current board and committee members’ terms for one year. This was a temporary fix while town officials were deciding on the new town manager, and they decided to extend all terms so the turnover sequence would continue. Town Manager Lee Krohn will be checking in with current boards to ensure they want to continue serving this year.
  • The selectboard continued to refine a list of goals for Krohn.
  • Cate Cross was appointed to an alternate position for the Ethics Committee.
  • The selectboard approved Library Director Kevin Unrath to apply for a $50,000 grant from the Institute for Museum and Library Services for a variety of “digital inclusion” projects. There is no local match required.
  • Library Trustee Ruth Hagerman told the board that the Pierson Library roof was nearly complete.

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