Planning Commission Minutes                   Monday  October 25, 2010

Public Hearing for the Proposed Development Regulations


BFA Fairfax School – Multi-Purpose Room

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

PUBLIC PRESENT: Skip Taylor, Zoning Administrator; Greta Brunswick, NRPC; Jason Heyer

DRB Chair: Martha Varney, DRB; David Gardell; Thomas Snyder; James Minor Sr.; Michael Averill; Mary Casey; Justin Hayes


7:05 PM - G Heyer called the meeting to order. Greg thanked people for coming and introduced the members of the Planning Commission.  Members of the public introduced themselves.  Greg gave a brief introduction regarding the proposed Development Regulations, including why it was being done - to reflect the current Town Plan and State Regulations.  Greg then introduced Greta Brunswick, Land Use Planner from the Northwest Regional Planning Commission.


Greta began her presentation with an overview of the process, focusing on how the proposal will work its way through the approval process, and how many hearings will occur.  Greta then spoke to the major changes, with the following highlights discussed:

             1.  Zoning Districts

             2.  Dimensional Standards

             3.  Allowed Uses

             4.  Setback Exemptions

             5.  Planned Unit Developments (PUDs)

             6.  Water Quality Protection

             7.  Adaptive Re-Use of Historic Structures

             8.  Small Off-Grid Wind projects

             9.  Road and Driveway Standards

            10. Definitions


Mary Casey identified some potential inconsistencies in the definition of Roads and Driveways, and asked for clarification on density calculations for subdivisions and PUDs.  She asked if the Stream Buffers would affect Density calculations.  Michael Averill complimented the Board for an easy to understand document.  Justin Hayes and Thomas Snyder commented on the changes in Road and Driveway Standards.  The Board responded that much discussion preceded the draft, with an attempt to balance the Fire and Rescue’s concerns about safety with the desire to retain the rural feel of the community and affordability of housing.  There was some discussion about enforcement of private road conditions, and the possibility of town sponsored periodic education for owners of Private Roads.  Standards for Dry Hydrants were mentioned.  The Planning Commission was asked if the time to remove or reconstruct a damaged or abandoned building could be lengthened from one to two years.  David Gardell was concerned that  the new regulations could accelerate the rate of growth in Fairfax, which he said was contrary to the wishes of the Town as expressed in the 2007 Town Survey.  He was specifically concerned with the elimination of frontage requirements, the smaller sizes of lots in PUDs, and the changes in Road and Driveway Standards.  He was concerned that these changes would permit development where none was possible before.  The Board responded that there would be more development in Fairfax and that the Board tried to balance the needs of individual landowners and the needs of the Town as a whole.


The public was thanked and invited to deliver any additional comments in writing to the Zoning Office.


The next meeting of the Planning Commission will be on Tuesday, November 2nd at 7PM in the Town Office.


Respectfully prepared and submitted by Skip Taylor – Zoning Administrator



Approved _________________________________ Date___________________



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