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Messages - dgardell

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The proposed new zoning regulations will allow much more development in Fairfax. Do we really want to abandon almost all the zoning controls that have been in place for many years? If this is approved, new lots can be created that have no frontage on a public or private road, multiple lots on one driveway, creation of small lots in all zoning districts (PUD). Seems like almost any project could be either approved or denied based on the discretion of whoever happens to be on some future DRB. Should be an interesting meeting on October 25.

Current News & Events / Re: Relaxing the Fairfax zoning regulations
« on: September 03, 2010, 01:48:35 PM »
Just wanted to post an update. I did send in my comments on the 1st draft zoning regulations and got a note back from the zoning administrator. Apparently they are not interested in comments from the public at this time. Here is the text of the note.

I've received your comments.  They will go in a folder for the future time when the public is asked to comment.  Right now the Planning Commission is still working on getting a draft prepared for the first public hearing, which is not yet scheduled.  The PC has been working on this for well over a year and the new document is being re-structured with ease of use in mind.  It is also being re-done to bring it into conformance with changing state regulations and with the Fairfax Town Plan which was adopted in 2008.  The Town Plan is rewritten every 5 years and in 2008 the rewrite was done partially in response to the input garnered from 288 residents who responded to the Town Survey (over 1500 were mailed out).
The adoption process includes at least three public hearings; one by the PC, followed by at least two by the Selectboard.  We are still some time away from scheduling the first.  The draft you received was a working draft designed to solicit input from various town departments, and that work is not yet complete.

Current News & Events / Re: Relaxing the Fairfax zoning regulations
« on: August 03, 2010, 06:26:15 PM »
You have found everything that I have been able to find on the web. I was able to get a complete copy of the draft regulations  dated June 2020 V1 at the zoning office (83 pages). I have heard that there is also a shorter summary of changes document but have not seen it.
I have not had a chance to talk to the zoning administrator but was told he is accepting written comments until this Friday and that there will be future public forums.
If anyone else knows of any other info on the web please let us know.

Current News & Events / Re: Relaxing the Fairfax zoning regulations
« on: August 01, 2010, 05:27:41 PM »
I had heard there was a recent public forum but that it was poorly attended. I know I never saw it advertised anywhere. Hopefully we will hear about the next one before it happens.

Current News & Events / Re: Relaxing the Fairfax zoning regulations
« on: August 01, 2010, 12:03:36 PM »
Thanks for your reply I can appreciate the complexity of writing the development regulations and I am glad to hear one goal is to make the  rules less open to interpretation. I also agree that in some cases the existing regulations were ineffective. I think this could be resolved by just clarifying a few of the definitions instead of removing the regulations. Removing the requirements for frontage and allowing 3 houses per driveway will allow development (sprawl) in a lot of places in town where it is not possible or practical now. I have not been able to find anything in the draft regulations that would provide the same level of protection to these existing open  spaces.
I feel the new regulations should not limit what anyone is currently able to do with their property but I see no reason why the existing regulations should be relaxed.   

Current News & Events / Relaxing the Fairfax zoning regulations
« on: August 01, 2010, 07:04:38 AM »
The existing Fairfax zoning regulations have some sensible regulations that have the effect of limiting further development on some properties. Newly created lots in a subdivision must have a minimum size, set backs and road frontage. Right of ways can be used to access pre-existing lots that do not have frontage.  Access to more then one new lot must be by a road.

The proposed new regulations will eliminate most of these protections and result in more sprawl and less open space in the town. The requirement for lot frontage is eliminated and up to 3 new lots can be accessed by a single right of way driveway. PUDs can be approved by the DRB that allow houses to be built right up to the property lines even in rural and conservation districts.  The DRB can also deny applications based on what seems to be subjective criteria.

I coud not find a copy of the draft regulations on line but they are available from the zoning administrator. I do not know if any future public discussions on the draft are planned. The zoning administrator is accepting comments on the draft regulations up until Friday Aug 6 2010.

Announcements / Short season thanks to those darn birds!
« on: July 31, 2010, 03:25:42 PM »
Sadly, our pick-your-own blueberries are finished for this year.  We've had very heavy losses due to flocks of fruit-eating birds and are closing this season producing only 1/3 the equivalent of last year's harvest.  Thanks to everyone who came out to pick and sorry to those of you that didn't get the chance.  Next year we plan to have a "bird strategy" in place and hope to break our 812 lb. record of last summer!  Enjoy what's left of the summer,
Deb Gardell

By the way, I believe that Willow Hill Farm in Milton (about 3 miles up Hardscrabble Road, on the right) still has blueberries but I'm not sure what they charge.  Also, there's another nice organic fruit farm off Intervale Blvd. in Burlington ---Adam's Berry Farm --- cross the Winooski bridge and bear right onto Riverside; take a right at the next light onto Intervale, past Gardener's Supply and the composting place and it's on the left just past the community gardens.  He charges $3.50/lb for pick-your-own but has about 3000 bushes and still had plenty of berries last week.

Announcements / Pick Your Own Blueberries
« on: July 15, 2010, 03:14:51 PM »
Hello Everyone!,

I'm happy to announce that we will be kicking off our Pick-Your-Own Blueberry season this Tuesday, July 20 at 9am.  We're located off McNall Rd, just a half mile up Richards Rd, 4th driveway on the right.  Look for the signs we usually post at the intersection of Rte. 128 & McNall Rd!  We will be open Tuesday - Thursday, 9am - 6pm and Saturdays 8am - 4pm.  We have containers you can pick into or feel free to bring your own;  $2.50 a pound to pick your own & $3.50 per pound for pre-picked.  We have nine varieties, each with its own distinct flavor --- so come and enjoy some fresh vermont produce & sunshine!  We do close due to rain so if the weather looks questionable please feel free to call:  849-2181(house) or 233-6227 (cell).  Oh, the crop looks beautiful this year too! 

See you soon,
Deb, Dave & Levi Gardell

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