CNAPC Reviews Work and Creates Noise Subcommittee

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Thursday January 21, 2016

In light of the ongoing topics of airport-neighbor relationship, new noise exposure maps, and recent city council meetings, the Chamberlin Neighborhood Airport Planning Committee (CNAPC) agreed it was time to finally address the elephant in the room.

The CNAPC formed a noise subcommittee at its January 13 meeting; members also reviewed the consultant’s scope of work and funding sources, and how they relate to the committee’s city council’s charge.

Approved by council on September 15, 2016, the CNAPC is charged with building a good working relationship between Chamberlin neighborhood and the airport, strengthening the neighborhood, retaining affordability of housing, and developing a vision and strategy for long-term co-existence to include:

• Noise abatement strategy including guidance to next Part 150 plan
• Land use plan and land development regulations within Quadrants 1 and 2
• Land use plan and land development regulations within remainder of the Chamberlin area (FBC and other)
• Transportation plan for neighborhood and airport access
• Parks, streetscape, and other public amenities improvement plan

“Noise, as far as the committee is concerned, is a completely fair game topic for you all to be engaged in,” said Planning and Zoning Director Paul Conner.

As far as action items and funding regarding noise are concerned, that’s where limitations come into play.

“We can’t fund a noise study. That’s simply outside the scope of funding that we receive from the Federal Highway Administration,” explained Lee Krohn, senior planner at the Chittenden County Regional Planning Commission, the primary funding source for the committee.

Every year, the CCRPC solicits project ideas from each community in the county, and the Chamberlin Neighborhood project was selected for FY 2015. The CCRPC was approved to fund the project with $100,000. With those funds, the CCRPC hired consultants, Resource Systems Group being the lead consultant. Additional funding for the project comes from matching funds/staff time from the city as well as a $19,000 Municipal Planning Grant by the Vermont Department of Housing and Community Development.

CCRPC is considered a Metropolitan Planning Organization, created under federal law for urban areas with over 50,000 people. MPOs receive funds from the Federal Highway Administration. Since the CCRPC receives funds from the Federal Highway Administration, funding the Land Use and Transportation Study for the Chamberlin Neighborhood area may only be spent on eligible land use and transportation activities.

“If we were talking about some land use improvements that might help mitigate noise, landscaping, berms, or any similar kind of thing, that’s certainly fair game within the context of our funding and the project with our consultant,” Krohn clarified.

Conner said that if the committee wanted to host a series of community forums on the topic, staff would be available to assist, but there wouldn’t be funds attached to it.

As committee conversation ensued, members entertained the idea of having a noise subcommittee of the CNAPC. The scope of the subcommittee will address noise, noise analysis, noise mitigation, and airport planning. The subcommittee will consist of five members: Carmine Sargent, George Maille, Marc Companion, Kim Robison, and Dave Hartnett. A chair will be appointed at a later date, and the subcommittee will report back to the entire CNAPC during their regular meetings when consultants are not present. Like the committee, the subcommittee will have a completion date of June 2016.

Maille made the motion to create the subcommittee with the aforementioned scope, members, and check-in plan, Kim Robison seconded, and the vote was 10-0.

The vote is timely; city council is also discussing a noise abatement committee.

As for the CCRPC’s roadmap to completion, staff shared a suggested meeting schedule devised by Bob Chamberlin from RSG per the committee’s feedback.

The schedule suggested two meetings a month with consultants (RSG, Crosby, Schlessinger and Smallridge; Birchline Planning, LLC) to go over the main “pieces of the pie,” according to Conner: transportation, civic enhancements, neighborhood land use, and strengthening the airport-neighborhood relationship.

The schedule also suggests FAA Part 150 Re-Use Plan discussion and update, whether by email or in-person. The Noise Use/Reuse Plan is an inventory of all the airport’s land acquired with federal dollars. This is part of the airport’s grant assurances, and it explains the process for potential land use and how it’s needed for airport development uses. The proposed schedule outlines the airport’s consultant with a formal presentation/discussion of the airport’s Re-Use Plan direction in the spring.

Krohn said there were not enough funds in the present scope and budget to cover this suggested meeting schedule, and that $40,000 in additional funding would be needed.

“We are prepared to propose, in concert with the city’s match, to add that to the project’s budget, if the committee wants to pursue this strategy,” he said. It would be an 80/20 match (CCRPC and South Burlington, respectively).

The committee ultimately decided to vote in favor of the meeting schedule but with fewer proposed meetings.

The next CNAPC meeting is Thursday, January 28.

SOURCE: Miranda Jonswold, Correspondent