Planning Commission Minutes                     August 19, 2008         



PC MEMBERS PRESENT: G. Heyer, A. Lemieux, M. Hunziker, R. Wimble, D. Brown

Public Present: S. Taylor, Z.A.; A. Karnatz


7:30 PM   G. Heyer called the meeting to order. The minutes from August 5, 2008 were reviewed. 

M. Hunziker made a motion to accept the Minutes from August 5, 2008.  D. Brown second.  All in favor


Allen Karnatz, regional Co-Director Champlain Valley, Vermont Land Trust (VLT), met with the Planning Commission.  He talked about the program in general.  They protect mostly farm land.  Many times the farms are sold by the Land Trust, but the Deeds have restrictions against subdividing the properties and developing the land. They are flexible with the conservation easement, and they do allow farm buildings. The Land Trust does try to get adjacent farms.  Some are sold to the Land Trust and some are gifted. The job of the VLT is to protect the best agricultural land in the area.


The VLT is in the preliminary stages of purchasing the development rights of some of the property owned by a Fairfax resident. Mr. Karnatz wanted feedback from the Town before he proceeded. Each property is reviewed on a case by case basis.  The appraisal has not been done yet.  They do not pay over the appraised value, which is usually the difference between 1) the value if the land was fully developed, and 2) the value with restrictions.

After discussion of the specific property, the Planning Commission asked VLT to consider granting an easement for public access along a brook, if they proceed with the project.  Mr. Karnatz left.


The Planning Commission discussed the Town Plan. S. Taylor had sent G. Brunswick current photos of the Town.  He is not sure if they will be in color or black and white.  A joint meeting with the Selectboard has been scheduled for September 16, 2008 from 7:30 to 9:30 PM at the Town Office. S. Taylor talked about various issues the Selectboard mentioned to him. There was extensive discussion on private roads that are not built to required standards. One suggestion would be to require a Town appointed Engineer to inspect each private road, at the Developer’s expense. A. Lemieux mentioned maintenance of private roads was an important factor.


A sheet of questions from Karon Horn, Vermont League of Cities and Towns regarding the Smart Growth Summer Study Committee was discussed.  C. Raymond will e-mail the responses.  An e-mail from C. Steen regarding grants was discussed.  The Village Center Designation Study was also discussed. S. Jones is working on that study. Storm water permits were discussed. One acre or more of impervious surfaces (roadways, driveways, rooftops), will trigger a Storm Water Permit. Developments can be fined if stormwater systems are not maintained. 


The Planning Commission would like to schedule a joint meeting with the Development Review Board in October.  The next Planning Commission will be on September 2, 2008.

9:00 PM A. Lemieux made a motion to adjourn.  M. Hunziker second.  All in favor.



            Locator Map showing land in Fairfax that is protected by the VLT.

            Orthophoto Map, showing the land of a Fairfax resident, discussed by VLT.

            VLT information titled “Protecting our relationship with the land and each other”.

            VLT newsletter, summer 2008.


Respectfully Submitted,

Cathy Raymond, Zoning and Planning Assistant



Approved_____________________________________ Date______________, 2008


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