Ethan Putnam, Community News Service

The future of Charlotte’s zoning board is unclear after two board members announced their departure and Frank Tenney, who is both the vice chair of the town selectboard and head of the zoning board, is being pushed to step down from his zoning board role. 

On April 14, Zoning Board of Adjustment (ZBA) Vice Chair Stuart Bennett and board member Matt Zucker both sent emails to the selectboard indicating their desire to no longer continue on with their roles. Bennett told the selectboard he would not continue in his role as vice chair and member of the board after his term expires this month, while Zucker cited “personal reasons” as for why he was resigning. Zucker’s term was scheduled to end in 2023. 

Further adding to the shakeup within the board, members of the selectboard have discussed encouraging Frank Tenney, who is both the Vice Chair of the selectboard and chair of the zoning board, to step down from his role as ZBA chair. 

The move comes after new language was proposed which would amend the Selectboard rules to not permit any member of the Selectboard from also holding a position on any other board, commission, or committee. The change was proposed by Selectboard members Jim Faulkner and Lewis Mudge.

This news comes after over a year of previous issues involving the board. In December of last year, the former Zoning Administrator, Daniel Morgan, formally separated from the town after months of discussion about his performance and terms of employment. Past violations of open meeting laws, possible conflicts of interest, and other issues with permits have added to the ZBA’s challenges. 

Other developments have made the future of the board unclear. Along with the likely departure of three of the six currently serving members, the Selectboard is considering plans to create a Development Review Board which would take over some of the responsibilities of the zoning board and Planning Commission. 

Shelburne has had a DRB since 2007, which took over the responsibilities of their zoning board and Planning Commission.