2 January 2008 | Approved: 6 February 2008
Chairman John McClelland called the meeting to order at 7:35 pm. In attendance were Commissioners Charlie Challstrom, Joe Clark and Bob Evans.
Approval of Minutes
The minutes of the December meeting were approved with the modifications previously suggested by the Chairman.
The Commission discussed two matters relating to violations of zoning ordinances. The first was the 107 Pine Avenue home, which is for sale and has advertised that it has a separate in-law/rental unit. A letter was sent by Mayor Compton, on the recommendation of the Commission, on November 27 to the owners noting this violates Town ordinances; no further developments have occurred.
The second issue was the home at 103 Brown Street. Following the Commission’s refusal to issue a permit for the proposed attachment of an auxiliary building to the main house, the owners appealed the matter to the Board of Zoning Appeals. In July, 2005, the Board had granted an exception to the owners to proceed with the construction, based upon the “common roof” shown in the proposed plans. The construction work, however, was not completed in conformity with those plans. After discussion, the Commission agreed to recommend to the Mayor that he notify the owners that (a) the failure to seek approval of the revised plan was a municipal infraction, and a fine of $100 should be levied; and (b) the owners need to either (1) construct the common roof as shown in the plans considered by the BZA in their 2005 decision or (2) connect the two structures in accordance with the revised and now current Section 4.2.
Commercial Business Application
The Commission has received a request for a permit to operate a florist business in the Commercial Corner. It was agreed that “florist” is not one of the specified permitted uses and the applicant will need to apply to the BZA for an exception under Section 8.2 (b).
A demolition permit application has been submitted for the residence at 115 Chestnut Road. It was noted that the Historic Preservation Commission has expressed interest in raising funds to relocate the structure. However, because of time pressures on the owners, it was agreed the application should be approved and the permit issued.
Master Plan Update
Commissioner Challstrom presented a draft revised Chapter 2, "Municipal Growth." He pointed out that under Section 2.2, "Municipal Growth Areas," there are 5 proposed growth areas, including the Oakmont area across the railroad tracks. It was the consensus of the Commission that the railroad tracks provide a sensible natural barrier for the Town and that there were no significant benefits to the Town in annexing the Oakmont area; the Commission therefore agreed to delete "Area 5" under Section 2.2 (1).
Commissioner Challstrom said the revised draft of the entire Master Plan would be ready in about two weeks. It was agreed that the Commission would invite public comment on the revised draft in a "listening session" to precede the Commission’s February 6 regular meeting, and that this session would begin at 7 p.m.
Chairman McClelland initiated a discussion about the need for clarified procedures for the handling of zoning approval and enforcement matters, including clarifying the roles and processes of the Commission, the Historic Preservation Commission, the BZA, the Mayor and the code enforcement officer. Commission members were asked to think about appropriate procedures so that the matter can be discussed further at subsequent Commission meetings.
Town Council Report
Commissioner Challstrom reported that the matter of permitted turns at McCauley Street and Washington Grove Lane was discussed at the last Town Council meeting but no action was taken. Councilor Darrell Anderson, however, indicated that he continues to believe there should be a modification of the restrictions and will present a proposal at a subsequent Council meeting.
The meeting was adjourned at 9:20 p.m.