To the Editor:
In response to the article in The Charlotte News by Jessica Savage, “Charlotte Crossings Faces Parking Challenge,” [Jan. 23] the Planning Commission and the Zoning Board of Adjustment would like to clarify some of the history and facts.
The approved site plan was proposed and submitted by Mr. Dunbar and Ms. Kassabian in April 2018. Their Site Plan included 21 parking spaces (including an ADA space), exceeding the 16 minimum spaces required under the Land Use Regulations. Parking space requirements are determined by the combined square footage of, in this case, retail, office and restaurant use.
Since issuing approval of their original site plan, they are now proposing changes to the Site Plan which includes increasing the restaurant square footage from 495 sq. ft. to 950 sq. ft., additional parking, modifying the landscaping, and a possible second curb cut off Route 7. Such changes require Site Plan review which entails one joint hearing with the Planning Commission and the Zoning Board of Adjustment. Site Plan review is, as stated in the Land Use Regulations, “Intended to ensure that site layout is safe, functional, and of a scale that is compatible with its setting and context, and consistent with these regulations”. These regulations were voted on and approved by the Town in 2016.
Modifying the Land Used Regulations for the benefit of one development by public vote, although legal, does not allow for a thorough deliberative review by the citizens of the Town to weigh the pros and cons and the possible cumulative impacts of the proposed changes. The lack of adherence to this carefully constructed process can lead to unintended consequences.
Ms. Savage requested comment from the Planning Commission, via email to me about the regulation. I replied via email stating: “The Site Plan for Charlotte Crossings was approved in April, 2018, by the Planning Commission. This plan delineates parking on the north side of the structure. The Charlotte Land Use regulations, under Section 5.5, Site Plan Review, (4)b states: ‘Parking is prohibited within the front yard setback areas unless there is no alternative location on the lot.’ The intent of this restriction is to avoid the strip mall look and considering the fact that the majority of the commercial village areas (east and west) are serviced by fairly narrow streets.”
The Planning Commission currently has 80 potential amendments to the Land Use Regulations (these can be seen on the Town website) reviewed and recommended by Townspeople, members of the ZBA, Zoning Administrators, Town Administrator and theTown Planner. The Planning Commission has been reviewing these with the intention of getting them on the ballot for the November 2020 general election. These proposed amendments, by law, require two hearings by the Planning Commission and two by The Selectboard prior to putting them before the town for a vote.
If folks in town feel the parking regulation should be eliminated entirely or amended, we recommend such proposed changes follow the well established process the Town has in place. Any citizen is welcome to submit their recommended changes to the Land Use Regulations at any time.
On behalf of the Charlotte Planning Commission and
Zoning Board of Adjustment
Matt Krasnow for Selectboard
To the editor:
It is a great pleasure to write a letter in strong support of Matt Krasnow for the position of Selectboard in the 3-year slot. It is clear to me that Matt is the best candidate for this position. He has already proven that he is able to do this job and to do it well. I have watched his growth as a leader as he assumed the Chairperson position this past year. He presides over the Selectboard meetings in a very even-handed and respectful way. No drama, no histrionics; just good solid leadership in a town that needs more of this common sense approach! For example, Matt was very helpful in a series of meetings held to negotiate the agreement between the Town and the Friends of the Charlotte Library on payment for the new addition to the library.
We are so fortunate to have a person with Matt’s abilities and integrity running for this position. As a working father of two he is in an underrepresented demographic. In a long-standing Krasnow family tradition, Matt has chosen to donate his time to the town.
I hope that you will join me in voting for Matt Krasnow for 3 more years on the Selectboard.
Re-elect Matt Krasnow
Matt Krasnow has provided thoughtful, even-handed leadership as chair of the Selectboard. The town is fortunate that Matt is willing to run for reelection. We need him!