Planning Commission Discusses Old Town ROW

The Town of Charlotte, VT

The March 7 Planning Commission meeting included a sketch plan review for a right of way (ROW) located at 95 Inn Road and reconsideration of boundary adjustment for 4190 Mt. Philo Road, adjourning after lengthy discussion with both applicants.

Kim Locke of 95 Inn Road presented her sketch plan with adjacent neighbors and interested parties in attendance. Locke explained that, while she wants to sell her house, it was determined that her property has an existing ROW across it and that the septic mound system that was installed as a condition of her purchase of the property in 2011 is located on said ROW. Town Planner Daryl Benoit said he spoke with the Zoning Administrator and “they don’t necessarily check surveys before going through with the design … and on the ESI map (the waste water site plan submitted to the town by the company) doesn’t show the ROW or property boundaries.”

The Planning Commission then discussed the earlier site visit to Locke’s property as well as the limited historical information regarding the town’s creation of the ROW as a condition of the 1978 subdivision. Chair Peter Joslin said, “I looked at the staff details, and there is a reference to original ROW that feasibly it could be a town road. We don’t have any documentation from the town that this discussion occurred.” Planning Commission member Marty Illick said, “I see this as a remnant of the past. Whatever we can do as a town to clean this up would be beneficial.” It was determined that the sketch plan review would continue as the commission will request legal counsel to weigh in.

The second agenda item, reconsideration of boundary adjustment, was presented by landowner Gill Barlow. He requested adjustments to two of three lots he owns on Mt. Philo Road as a “housekeeping” activity. According to Barlow, the boundary adjustments would allow “Lot 1 to go from 13.338 to 13.293, and lot 2 to go from 9.956 to 10.001.”

This application, along with the commission’s previous decision letter to the landowner, resulted in a lengthy discussion among the commission and applicant specifically around building envelopes. Barlow said, “Building envelopes are unwarranted and unprecedented…. And the requirement for building envelopes was not discussed in the final hearing.” Joslin agreed, noting, “We should have brought it up at the hearing.” The motion to close the reconsideration of boundary adjustment was motioned and approved.

In other business, Benoit presented a change to Chapter 2 in the draft Town Plan, suggesting planning-specific language to a section related to areas of high public value. The commission agreed with his recommendation, which will be submitted back to the town for possible inclusion in the draft Town Plan. The commission adjourned for deliberations.