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DRAFT-UNAPPROVE MINUTES Maidstone Planning/Zoning Board Regular Quarterly Meeting July 14, 2015

posted Jul 27, 2015, 12:50 PM by Bruce Richardson

Present: Board members Bruce Hobaugh and Bob Lancraft

Absent:  Sean McCarthy (prior commitment)

Zoning Administrator Mike Otis

Public: Bert and Nancy Desrochers

Bruce called the meeting to order at 6:15pm.  Nancy was asked to take minutes.

A brief discussion about this committee selecting a Chairman and a Clerk for the year was held and tabled until the next meeting in October with further discussion at that time.

The members then discussed how to best deal with construction started without a Town permit. This appears to be a sporadic problem. Discussed was how to educate the owners, their contractors, as well as how to enforce the law and the possibility of penalties assessed to the owner.  This will be explored and discussed further at the next regular meeting.

Mike reviewed the status of each of the 9 permits under construction. He had visited each site and approved seven and denied two; one started construction without a Town permit and the other had not met lot size requirements. Since that time variances were filed and a hearing held on 7-6-15. Both parties were issued their Town permits after hearing each individual appeal.

The Planning/Zoning Board members discussed with the Zoning Administrator  importance of all parties involved be made aware of ; #1) what permits are needed before construction; #2) follow-up procedures of ongoing construction; #3) keeping paperwork, permits and correspondence flowing between the Zoning Administrator, the Planning/Zoning Committee and the Town; #4) correspondence (awareness) on final  construction status.

Properties having some potential issues were reviewed.  There was some ambiguity about monitoring and policing these activities. The roles of the Listers and the Zoning Administrator were discussed. It appears that during construction there are few ZA inspection visits documented, details of the permit revisited or notifications of completion. A question was raised about how often is new construction visited by the ZA? Are these visits scheduled or due to complaints? Are all projects ZA inspected for compliance? When Listers visit the property for tax assessment do they check the plan’s permit against “as built” construction? Example: installation of water, sewer, toilet and/or kitchen facilities in a “garage” permit.  What happens when ZA or Listers, identify possible violations? Should fines be imposed to the owners? At what point does tax assessment begin after Listers have done their initial evaluation? (During and/or after completion). Ambiguity remained on a number of issues.

It was noted that the ZA gives each applicant a sheet “Guidelines for Zoning Permit Application and appeal Process”.  This was felt to be very helpful and should be shared with all owners.  Mike indicated he needs to update a few items and will do so before the next meeting. The Board discussed the possibility of mailing the revised form to all tax payers in Maidstone so as to keep them duly informed.

Planning Board Clerk: Nancy Desrochers provided the Planning/Zoning Board a written proposal for an Administrative Secretary/Clerk position.  This job would entail taking minutes and distributing them plus assisting the chairman with development and distribution of agendas.  Working with the Town clerk to assure proper and timely posting of all Planning/Zoning Board applicable ads and notices  Also, she could do research work requested by the P&Z Committee at the Town hall and on-line. She felt developing this position would help the committee meet their responsibilities as outlined in  VSA Title 24 Chapter 117 and the VT Open Meeting Laws.   She indicated that she does not wish to become a member of the Planning /Zoning Board.  The Acting Chairman, Bruce Hobaugh, indicated her proposal will be taken under consideration.

With no further business before the Board the meeting was adjourned at 7:25pm

Respectfully submitted,

Nancy Desrochers

Acting Secretary
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