Planning Commission, City Hall, first floor, Tuesday, Nov. 27, 2018, 7 - 10:17 p.m.
Members present: Chair Jessica Louisos, Vice Chair Bernie Gagnon, Clerk Monica Ostby, Art Klugo, Duncan Macdonald, and Michael Mittag
Staff present: Director of Planning and Zoning Paul Conner and City Planner Cathyann LaRose
Others present: City Councilor Tim Barritt, Sandy Dooley, Donna Leban, Andrew Chalnick, David Burke, Liam Murphy, David Angus
The planning commission, as it will for the coming nine months, dedicated the majority the Nov. 27 meeting to Interim Zoning next steps, as well as the Planned Unit Development Phase II project.
Before launching into those discussions, the commission heard from members of the public. Andrew Chalnick of the Energy Committee expressed interest in working with the commission to implement the city council’s climate pledge. Louisos welcomed new ideas from the committee to be shared with commissioners. Donna Leban of the Bicycle and Pedestrian Committee shared her interest in working on the new citywide roadway standards in the Land Development regulations. Louisos confirmed that this was being worked on, and Conner offered to share a copy of the available draft.
For commissioner announcements, Ostby noted that members of the Affordable Housing Committee were invited to the grand opening of the Allard Square Building on Market Street. She also planned to attend the Vermont Energy Climate and Action Network Energy Conference over the weekend.
Under the staff report, Conner announced that zoning permits for 126 dwelling units have been issued to-date in 2018 in the City Center Form Based Code District.
Interim Zoning Nominations
Following the Nov. 13 city council special meeting in which the Interim Zoning Bylaws were officially enacted, City Manager Kevin Dorn provided involved city committee/commission chairs with a memo outlining the work plan, which staff shared with the commission.
The first item listed is the completion of the revision of Planned Unit Development regulations. The second goal is to identify and prioritize existing open spaces, forest blocks, and working landscapes for preservation, which will be vetted by a newly-formed committee. Louisos noted that the planning commission was initially omitted from the list of existing committees that needed to nominate a member to form the new committee, and that has since been corrected. The third portion of the work plan is the formation of a Transfer Development Rights Committee. Dorn asked committees to nominate members to serve on this committee, as well. The fourth part of the work plan is the creation of another new committee which is charged with a cost- benefit analysis of development versus no development.
Mittag and Gagnon were nominated to be the commission liaison to the Transfer Development Rights Committee and Open Space committee, respectively. City council will make appointment at its Dec. 17 meeting.
Scheduling action concerning initial consideration of requests for amendments to the Land Development Regulations discussed on Oct. 9, 2018:
With a clearer vision of their charge with Interim Zoning, members ultimately decided to not take up two zoning amendment requests initially received at an Oct. 9 meeting. One of the requests was from Liam Murphy to allow parking in front of buildings under certain circumstances related to visibility and pre-existing development; the other was from David Burke to remove applicability of the Hinesburg Road North Scenic View Protection Overlay District at 1398 Hinesburg Rd. Burke and Murphy accepted the commission’s decision and requested they be among the first zoning amendments for review once Interim Zoning concludes.
Commission Work Session: Planned Unit Developments
The planning commission is in Phase II of a complete overhaul of how Planned Unit Developments are structured for the city. The intent for these larger projects is to provide more predictability for applicants and the public during the review process and align with the Comprehensive Plan through innovative design and development. The Phase I Report, completed in August 2016, listed potential Planned Unit Development types that could be used in different areas of the city. Phase II focuses on the review criteria and functionalities of each Planned Unit Development type. The city has been working with consultants Sharon Murray of Front Porch Community Planning (also the consultant that created the Open Space Report during 2012 Interim Zoning) and Mark Kane from SE Group. Per the commission’s request at its last meeting, LaRose walked members through which elements to complete and which to consider after the Interim Zoning period.
Staff identified these items critical to adoption: Planned Unit Development standards; subdivision standards; Master plan standards except for the City Center Form Based Code area; site plan standards; open space standards; creating graphic illustrations (photos, charts, graphs); building typology standards; consolidated and well-planned street standards; Natural Resource Standards (some could be partially delayed); coordination of development with the stated goals in the Comprehensive Plan; re-evaluation of the underlying zoning districts; streamlining the application process and creating project scorecards; revisions to parking standards; and miscellaneous cleanups of conflicting or duplicated standards within the Land Development Regulations.
As for what should be put on hold until after Interim Zoning, staff recommended pausing master plan standards for the City Center Form Based Code, Part II of the Natural Resource Standards, Part II of zoning district alignment, and miscellaneous cleanups of conflicting or duplicated standards within the Land Development Regulations. Depending on the work that comes out of the Interim Zoning Committees, the planning commission must also consider possible outcomes from the Open Space project and from Transfer Development Rights amendments.
Staff also shared a rough draft application spreadsheet and review elements that developers would use for Planned Unit Development projects. The sheet provides insight into a number of components such as land and density, connectivity, open space, building types, and affordable housing.
Mittag recommended that, in the interest of time and efficiency, commissioners not go through the intricacies of completed staff work. Klugo agreed. Conner said staff was amenable to this, as the Planned Unit Development prioritization items in particular were in response to a planning commission request.
Commission consideration of update to FY 2019 Work Plan
Staff recommended prioritizing the PUD project and related items, as well as work related to Interim Zoning projects. View a copy of the full work plan the city’s website at http://www.southburlingtonvt.gov/government/city_committees_boards/planning_commission.php
Consider Resolution for Electric Vehicle Charging Station Grant
The commission voted to approve a resolution for the Electrical Vehicle Supply Equipment Grant. The State of Vermont FY 2019 Budget Act allowed for the establishment of the 2019 Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment Grant Program to install electric vehicle chargers at public locations; the South Burlington Energy Committee collaborated with the city to develop an application to apply for grant funding to install electric vehicle chargers in the Community Center at 180 Market Street parking lot (the new public library/ city hall and senior center building). Gagnon made the motion to approve the resolution, Louisos seconded, and the vote was unanimously in favor.
The minutes of Oct. 23, 2018 were approved; Gagnon made the motion, Mittag seconded, and the vote was 5-0. Duncan abstained due to not being present at that meeting, and Riehle was absent for the vote.
There is a Winooski Planning Commission public hearing on a Draft Winooski Master Plan set for Dec. 13, 2018 at 6:30 p.m. located in Winooski City Hall. There was also a Burlington Planning Commission public hearing on draft amendments to Burlington Comprehensive Development Ordinance, which took place the same time as the South Burlington planning commission meeting, on Nov. 27, 2018, 7 p.m. at Burlington City Hall. The Burlington Planning Commission has an additional public hearing on the draft plan BTV Burlington Comprehensive Plan on Dec. 5, 2018, 7 p.m. at Burlington City Hall. Commissioners took no action on these items.
Staff shared pre-applications from the Public Utility Commission (formally referred to as the Public Service Board) regarding two locations for solar.
One will be tucked in a corner near the intersection of 1-189 and 89 ramp close to the Paul Miller Research Complex (University Farm); the other is along the rec path parallel to 1-89 above the East Woods Natural Area where over a dozen existing trackers live. The addition will be fixed-tilt solar structures. There is a 45-day pre-application notice, and the commission can share comments and requests or warn a public hearing. Commissioners recommended that land underneath the structures have an environmentally beneficial use, such as use of pollinators.
Finally, the planning commission will not be meeting at its meeting on the fourth Tuesday of the month, as it falls on Christmas Day. The commission will decide where to make up that missed meeting.
Meeting adjourned at 10:17 p.m.