New DRB Member Jennifer Smith

Smith Joins Development Review Board

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Thursday August 22, 2013

Jennifer Smith is one of the two newest Development Review Board members. She joined the board on July 16, 2013 along with David Parsons who was introduced in last week’s edition. With the addition of these two new members, the DRB returns to a full count of seven members.

How long have you been a South Burlington resident?

I was born and raised in SB, attended Orchard School, the then-named South Burlington Middle School, and South Burlington High School.  After leaving Vermont for graduate school in Virginia in the early 90s and again for work in mid 2000s to North Carolina, I moved back for good for “family, friends, and snow”.  I appreciate the smallness of Vermont and that we tend to look out for our neighbors, and when I’ve run into fellow Vermonters while living out of state, the bond is instant.

What is your background prior to becoming a DRB member?

After high school and UVM for undergrad (Majored in Business Admin), I took a year off to get work experience under my belt before graduate school at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond for an MBA.  I was Executive Director of the Vermont Trial Lawyers Association from 1993 to 2004, then moved to Cary, NC to run the National High School Mock Trial Championship under my former counterpart at the North Carolina Academy of Trial Lawyers.  We had 1400 participants come to Charlotte, NC, as mock trialers, judges, coaches, parents and other volunteers from around the country, as well as from Guam and the Northern Marianas.The lure of family, friends and snow was too strong for me to ignore after almost 2 years away, so I packed up and came home.  After losing first my stepfather and then my mom, both within the past two years, I’m now living in the house where I grew up and struggling (happily) to keep up with my mother’s perennial gardens.  I have worked full-time with a well-established architectural firm in South Burlington  for the past 5 1/2 years, and enjoy spending time with friends as much as possible.

Why did you want to be a member of the Development Review Board?

My interest in joining the DRB came after attending just a few meetings as an observer last year.  The Board has the important task of interpreting the regulations to ensure that the City and its image are, on one hand, moving ahead with development, but also preserving the way of life we all appreciate.

Do you have any goals in your first year on the board?

Not sure if “goals” is the word I’d use, but, in my first year on the DRB, I hope to explore the nooks in our City that I haven’t yet found after 40-ish years here, and also become more familiar with the sense of direction and vision that SB’s citizens have for our City in the immediate future and for the long term.

Currently, the DRB follows the Land Development Regulations, but do you have an opinion about Form Based Code which could be the new zoning regulation for the entire city?

One aspect of the FBCs, as I read them, is that they can be used as a tool that will help the growth process avoid the cookie-cutter look on one extreme and completely mismatched buildings on the other.  The standards and clarity that they’ll bring to the review of potential projects may simplify the expectations of what’s acceptable in proposals.

What are your interests and hobbies?

I used to snowboard a lot when I lived in Waterbury in the 90s and volunteered at Stowe Mountain Resort as a Host.  My mountain bike is getting somewhat dusty this summer, but I get a decent amount of exercise walking at lunchtime, doing yard work and gardening.  I’m looking forward to winter when I can pull out the XC skis and hit the trails.

I look forward to serving on this Board and to meeting more of my fellow South Burlingtonians.

Veteran Board Members

Mark Behr serves as the Chair of the Development Review Board. Behr works at Richard Henry Behr Architect P.C. as a Senior Project Manager and Director of Design. He is serving a three-year term until 2014 and has been on the DRB since 2005.

Art Klugo serves as the Vice Chair of the board. When he’s not working with fellow DRB members, he works as the Vice President of Real Estate Development for Sugarbush Resort. Klugo joined the board July 2012 and is serving a three-year term through 2015. 

Tim Barritt serves as the Interim Clerk for the board. Barritt has lived in two locations in South Burlington for the last 21 years. By day, Barritt works at IBM as an engineer in an IT department. He is married, and has two children, one who is starting college this fall and a 9th grader. 

Barritt loves the South Burlington community and tries to take every opportunity to apply this caring where he can, on future developments reviewed by the DRB. Barritt finished his second year of his three year term serving the board.

Michael Sirotkin has a strong legal background having worked for Vermont Legal Aid before becoming a partner in the Mickenburg, Dunn, Sirotkin, and Kupersmith law firm. He established the Governmental Affairs law firm of Sirotkin and Necrason (Montpelier) in 1998. Sirotkin is on a four year term through 2014.

Bill Miller joined the board with Klugo in July 2012. Miller is a consulting CFO for several small and medium companies, and has lived (and walked) in South Burlington for over 20 years, and he sent four children through South Burlington schools. He is currently CFO for Green Lantern Capital and Wall Goldfinger.

The Development Review Board is a seven member volunteer board made up of South Burlington citizens who are appointed by the City Council. The Development Review Board is charged with overseeing subdivision, site plan, conditional use, and all other Board review applications. All meetings are open to the public and are typically held on the 1st and 3rd Tuesday of the month at 7:00 pm in the City Hall Conference Room at 575 Dorset Street.

SOURCE: Miranda Jonswold, Correspondent