3 August 2004 | Approved: 7 September 2004
Chairman John McClelland called the meeting to order at 7:32 p.m. In attendance were Commissioners Darrell Anderson, Peggy Ebner, Bob Evans, John McClelland, Bud O’Connor and alternate Jim Leng. Also in attendance was Town resident John Tomlin.
Approval of Minutes
Due to technical difficulties, the minutes for June were not available for review. They will be approved at the September meeting.
Ridge Road Gravel
Due to recent construction of a home on Ridge Road, the large rocks at the bend of Ridge Road have been filled in by small gravel by the builder. John Tomlin pointed out that the small gravel does not drain as well and is allowing vehicles to drive across the graveled area. Other residents have expressed concerns about the poor drainage and its potential cause for icing in the winter. Chairman McClelland asked if the builder had been required to carry a bond to which Mr. Tomlin replied that there was an insurance policy but no bond. The commissioners sent a message to the Town Council directing the builder to remove the small gravel and replace with large gravel. The builder’s insurance company should be contacted if immediate compliance is not achieved.
A discussion followed regarding the deterioration of Town property that often occurs when large trucks and equipment are used for new home construction and renovation. Chairman McClelland moved to add the following to the Miscellaneous Planning Commission requirements found under Article 4, Section 1.d. of the Town Ordinances:
A road bond of the following values will be required: a) minimum $10,000 for all new home construction or b) minimum $5,000 for all renovations requiring a dumpster or costing 20% or more of assessed value of the home or in-ground pool installation.
Ordinance Review – Fences and Pools
The owners of 107 Pine Avenue submitted two permit applications to construct a fence around the perimeter of their property and pool. The first permit was for all sides of the property except the rear and was approved. The second application was for a six-foot fence at the rear of the property bordering Town parkland. This application was denied, as a four-foot fence is the maximum height permitted. In a later meeting with the Mayor, the owner (Bill Miller) produced the approved permit application but misled Mayor Compton into believing that the entire fence (including the six-foot section) was approved. Subsequent face-to-face discussions took place with the owner and Chairman McClelland indicating that further construction of the fence was to cease, however, the option of temporarily attaching chicken/rabbit wire across the rear property line was offered until the Board of Zoning Appeals reviewed the case. The owner continued to build the six-foot portion of the fence despite a stop-work order issued by the mayor. The commissioners discussed whether the Planning Commission should request the Mayor take action for the owner’s disregard for the denied permit and stop work order or wait till the Board of Zoning Appeals reviewed the case. Commissioner Evans said that since the owner was in process with the Board of Zoning Appeals, maybe the commission should wait before assessing fines. Some commissioners felt that the owner clearly disregarded Town ordinances and that the Planning Commission and Town Council have been largely ignored by residents that have chosen to violate ordinances. Commissioner O’Connor wondered if the four-foot fence requirement is too restrictive. Chairman McClelland moved that the Planning Commission send a letter to the mayor according to Article 7, Section 14 of the Town Ordinances regarding the fence height violation at 107 Pine Avenue as well as the disregard of the stop-work order and numerous consultations with Town officials. The motion was passed with four (4) in favor and one (1) (Commissioner O’Connor) opposed.
Currently there are no ordinances requiring a permit to build a pool. Commissioner Evans stated that he thinks the Town should require a five-foot fence around pools to conform to the County requirements. The requirements for application and definition of a pool are under consideration by the Planning Commission.
The discussion of non-compliant fences brought up the owners of 406 Grove Avenue who erected a ten-foot deer fence with no permit. They have been notified by Chairman McClelland and the Mayor that they are not in compliance with Town Ordinances but have yet to comply. Chairman McClelland moved that the Planning Commission send a letter to the mayor regarding the non-compliant fence located at 406 Grove Avenue. All Commissioners were in favor of the motion.
Board of Zoning Appeals Fee
The Commissioners have become aware that the Board of Zoning Appeals is required to have a stenographer record their hearings at a cost to the Town. Commissioner Evans motioned that the Planning Commission recommends that a flat $125 fee be assessed with the application to cover administrative costs. The motion was unanimously approved.
The following permits were approved:
- 112 Ridge Road – fence
- 411 Chestnut Avenue – garage
Missy Yachup – Secretary
The meeting adjourned at 9:06 p.m.