Ordinance Review Committee
August 27, 2019
Meeting Minutes

Attendees: Carol Ogilvie, Lisa Anderson, Don Scott, Charlie Sorenson, Mary Ann Noyer, Harry Wolhandler
Members of the public: Winston Sims

Minutes of August 6, 2019
– Approved

Planning Board– Lisa noted that the Planning Board requested to review proposed amendments from the committee on a piecemeal basis to allow enough time to consider. The committee will present the first four (ADU, impervious cover, signs and solar) for discussion at the next PB meeting, September 11.

The group agreed, given the current application before the ZBA and given the request from that board, that additional work may be needed on the ADU article and related provisions to clarify in more exact language what constitutes an ADU.  ORC will await the outcome of the joint meeting with ZBA/PB on the pending application before taking further action.

Review of Draft Zoning Amendments for PB Review on September 11 – The ORC feels it is set for now with impervious cover language and with the sign ordinance, except for 17.2.6 (signs on town property), which Lisa will discuss with the Select Board. The ORC is also set to propose deletion of Article 20.1.3.

Solar Ordinance – The committee discussed the definitions section at length. For the proposed 30.2.4, the word “less” will be deleted from the first line; the phrase “without a Special Exception” will be added following  “more than 1000 square feet of ground” to require this approval for larger systems. Members considered adding a differentiation between solar voltaic and solar collection and deliberated levels of review for size and power limits for each category, and numerical equivalents for thermal systems. No decision made to revise limits.

Additional discussion surrounded setback requirements and whether solar panels and equipment constitute accessory structures and thus should be treated as such under the ordinances. Requirements for screening and buffers also mentioned but no specific changes proposed, due to subjective nature of esthetics and potential to overburden property owners.

The proposed provision 30.4.5 states that ground mounted systems would not be considered impervious surfaces though this was not unanimous.

The group suggested eliminating the distinction between commercial solar and large scale commercial solar and requiring the same review process for commercial/industrial districts, requiring a special exception for all. Members suggested the need to clarify in the definitions section that the commercial applications are for the purpose of selling energy. These would not be permitted in the village, residential/agricultural or historic districts.  The group agreed agricultural could be deleted as a distinct system under the last proposed definition in 30.2.

Carol will revise the draft proposed amendments and the committee agreed to meet again on Tuesday, September 3, at 5:00 pm.