Ordinance Review Committee
Tuesday, June 4, 2019
Attendees: Lisa Anderson, Andrea Hodson, Carol Ogilvie, Don Scott, Harry Wolhandler, Winston Sims, Mary Ann Noyer
Members of the public: Lucy Reilly, Nolan Reilly
Request from resident for noise ordinance
Resident Nolan Reilly approached the ORC to request consideration of a noise ordinance. Nolan suffers from Cerebral Palsy and experiences severe physical trauma in response to unscheduled, sporadic fireworks, as occurred Memorial Day weekend over Chesham Pond. He submitted copies of existing ordinances and regulations from nearby towns, including Troy, Temple and Fitzwilliam, for the committee to review. Committee members thanked Mr. Reilly and explained that, depending on the ordinance proposed, action may require a vote at Town Meeting or, if proposed by the Select Board, a public hearing. Mr. Reilly stated he was aware of differing perspectives on such ordinances, and at a minimum hopes for requirement to notice the Fire Department. He will meet with the SB this coming week. Group discussed various alternatives or incremental steps, including public notices to increase awareness of risks of fireworks, or possible permit requirements from Police, Fire or the SB.
Minutes of previous meeting– approved
The group then reviewed the list of possible areas of focus, with the goal of finalizing realistic priorities to present to the Planning Board on June 12. Referring to Carol’s memo of May 30, all discussed possible revisions to the following provisions/language: 1) Lots in two districts (4.1.21); 2) agriculture and broadening opportunities to districts other than Res/Ag, and broadening definition to follow state’s definition; 3) wetlands and possible setbacks for structures, parking and roads; 4) modifying requirements for lot sizes and road frontage to allow opportunities for more housing; 5) Conservation Subdivision Ordinance; and 6) continued modification and relevant deletion of certain definitions.
In addition, the group discussed ongoing matters of addressing solar use, issues around ADUs vis a vis duplexes, and storm water runoff from residential properties.
As a follow up to the 2019 vote, all agreed to proceed with re-proposing the impervious cover article in its originally proposed form, and also to amend Article XX, in particular 20.1.3, to account for the new Article XIX Personal Wireless Facilities.
During discussion, and consideration of the practical ability to accomplish its goals, the ORC generally agreed on the following:
- Introducing setbacks in wetlands– group discussed potential controversy but members discussed importance of protecting wetlands and preserving water quality. Also discussed mapping wetlands and difficulty and fact that property owners would need licensed wetland delineators should a buffer/setback requirement be instituted. Discussion morphed into storm water management control; then morphed into question of reintroducing impervious cover. Harry will try to find his research already done on other towns and their wetland buffers. Group liked idea of conditional use permit. Will consider further. YES – PURSUE
- Districts’ lot sizes, setbacks and road frontage requirements– difficult without town water and sewer – question of where numbers stem from. Discussed trends in housing and competing interest and fact that current ordinance allows for building on Class VI road where frontage established. Carol believes it’s a separate discussion and should be a separate initiative. NO – HOLD OFF FOR NOW.
- Conservation Subdivision– NO – HOLD OFF FOR NOW.
- SOLAR – noted that no existing provisions address public or private generation of power. Carol offered to assemble language from other towns. YES – PURSUEto institute some town oversight.
- Agriculture – YES – PURSUE expansion of opportunities
- Stormwater Runoff – YES PURSUE – ideas: Consider instituting requirement for stormwater management plan via the Planning Board for land disturbance in excess of a certain number of feet or maybe a Grading Permit via the Building Inspector.
- ADU –noted idea of removing the word “existing” from 29.23.1 to address possibility on an empty lot, of building a house with an ADU.
Next meeting is June 26 @ 4:00 pm. Meeting adjourned at 7:15 pm.