PLANNING COMMISSION MINUTES                                        August 2, 2011


Fairfax Town Office


Members present: G. Heyer, D. Brown, M. Hunziker, R. Wimble

Public Present: S. Taylor-ZA, Greta Brunswick-NRPC


7:00 PM- G. Heyer called the meeting to order.  The minutes from the July 12, 2011 meeting were reviewed.  D. Brown moved to accept the minutes from July 12, 2011 as written; R. Wimble 2nd.  All in favor.


TOWN PLAN:  In preparation for a new Town Plan, which must be adopted by September 2013, G. Brunswickfrom the Northwest Regional Planning Commission spoke about the process of submitting a planning grant application (due September, 30, 2011) and deciding on the scope of the project itself.  Options include:

               -      Readopting the previous Town Plan with minor updates.

-          An issue-oriented amendment only, or

-          Do a major re-write of the document


G. Brunswick suggested that the focus should include updating the Goals, Policies and Implementation Strategiescontained in the current Town Plan


Potential projects for an issue-oriented amendment could include water/sewer, recreation, infrastructure, mapping, improved streetscapes, village center enhancements, natural resources inventory, community center, or feasibility analysis for a new Town Office. The feasibility study for a new Town Office is already underway.


M. Hunziker asked about Town inventories for natural resources? G. Brunswick replied that examples could include wildlife habitats, forest types and soil types and limitations.  The Plan could implement strategies to protect these from development. 


There was discussion regarding revitalization of the Village Center.  G. Brunswick asked “what do people want?”  The Planning Commission felt it was important to define what is important for revitalization of the Village Center.  There was discussion about putting together a grant application to redo the Town Plan with this as the focus.  There could be a new section of the Town Plan specifically about this.  G. Brunswick will work with the Town to put this together by the grant application deadline. She suggested that establishing a community committee representing various interests to take part in the process.


The Planning Commission decided that the strategy for the new Town Plan should include a minorupdate of the existing plan’s Goals, Policies and Implementation Strategies, and an added section focused on revitalizing the Village Center.


The Planning Commission will meet with G. Brunswick again on September 13, 2011 at 7PM.  She will work on the application and have the project description completed by then.  S. Taylor will inform the Selectboard of this plan before then.


BUILDING HEALTHY COMMUNITIES GRANT:G. Brunswick described this new grant program. The Planning Commission authorized S. Taylor to write a non-binding letter of intentto apply for a Building Healthy Communities Grant.  M. Hunziker asked about the time limit for the use of this grant’s funds. G. Brunswick replied that this grant’s funds must be used by Oct. 12, 2012. 


CAPITAL BUDGET:S. Taylor reported thatthe Selectboard needs no additional work from the Planning Commission on the Capital Budget other than perhaps proof-reading later on.


8:20 PM-  M. Hunziker moved to adjourn the meeting; D. Brown 2nd.  All in favor.


Respectfully submitted,

Martha Varney, Zoning and Planning Assistant


Approved________________________________ Date _________________, 2011

                        For the Planning Commission



These minutes are unofficial until approved at the next regularly scheduled meeting.