6 February 2008 | Approved: 5 March 2008
Chairman McClelland called the meeting to order at 7 p.m. In attendance were Commissioners Charlie Challstrom, Joe Clark, Peggy Ebner, Bob Evans and alternate Missy Yachup. Also in attendance were Town residents Sheldon Bierman, Bob Booher, Ann Briggs, Georgette Cole, Meredith Horan, Chuck Kershaw, David Neumann, Bruce Rothrock and Susan Van Nostrand.
Approval of Minutes
The minutes for January were approved.
Master Plan Public Comment Listening Session
The regular meeting of the Planning Commission (PC) started at 7pm in order to accept public comment on the revision of the Master Plan.
103 Brown Street
Chairman McClelland noted that the “common wall” verbiage regarding definition of accessory buildings was removed from the Ordinances in 1999 but the change was not recorded in the working copies that the commissioners use (see attachment A) . Therefore, the PC’s assessment of the building permit for 103 Brown Street was made based inaccurate information. The issue of the auxiliary building’s non-conformance to approved plans has been sent to the Mayor for action. Ralph Hurst commented that he feels owners should be notified if there is a problem with their property.
Johnson Alley Survey
Commissioner Challstrom stated that the survey for the Johnson Alley block has been completed by Snider and Assoc. He added that Bruce Rothrock and Judy Banachowski had a survey of their property at 407 Acorn completed at the same time. Commissioner Challstrom noted that residents can have property surveys completed while Snider and Assoc. are here doing the Town surveys at a very reasonable cost. The survey found that one corner of the 407 Acorn’s addition encroaches onto Johnson Alley by approximately two inches. He also pointed out that the building permit that was issued for the addition was approved based on an erroneous deed that was submitted by previous owners unknown to the current owners or Town officials. Another property at 410 4th Avenue appears to encroach on the alley by 2-3 feet and may cause a much more serious problem for emergency vehicle access. David Neumann noted that he feels the Town should have a letter from the surveyor stating the level of uncertainty. Commissioner Challstrom said he believes the margin of error for the surveyor is plus or minus two inches but that he will find out and make a note for Town records. Susan Van Nostrand asked if the eaves over Johnson Alley were considered in calculating the 407 Acorn encroachment and if the eaves were approved by the PC. Commissioner Challstrom answered that they weren’t but added that amendments to the Ordinances have been discussed to require property owners to have a boundary survey completed where there are questionable setbacks.
315 Grove Avenue
Chris Kirtz, owner of 315 Grove, sent a letter and copy of a survey to the PC (see attachments B and C) outlining property. The survey clearly shows that the tank, a corner of the shed and the front porch are located on Town property. Mr. Kirtz’s letter indicates that the house is for sale and that they “have been careful about indicating what parts were on Town property and the limitations attendant thereto” to potential buyers. The PC reiterated the need to keep potential buyers informed of the encroachment on Town property and that the encroachments may need to be eliminated in the future.
Article VII Section 3.14
Chairman McClelland started a discussion of Article VII, Section 3.14 regarding the averaging of neighbor’s setbacks from the Avenues in order to allow a smaller setback for a potential building permit. The PC has reviewed a case where it caused the applicant’s set back to be wider based on the neighboring setbacks. As this is not the intent of the Ordinance, the PC will review and revise if necessary.
Development of Operational Procedures for PC, TC, BZA and Mayor for Enforcement Officer
Chairman McClelland started a discussion regarding the need for operational procedures to be used when Town officials interact with the enforcement officer in order to ensure consistency and reasonable processing time. Commissioner Challstrom suggested contacting the new enforcement officer for suggestions for procedures and forms that are already in use in other areas. Chairman McClelland will call Mr. Plummer for guidance.
The meeting was adjourned at 9:12 p.m.