Planning Board
Wednesday, July 12, 2023
Meeting Minutes

Members present: Ryan Stone, Co-Chair; Jon Miner, Alternate; Andrew Maneval, Select Board Representative; Lisa Anderson.

Members absent: Courtney Cox, Co-Chair; Peter Thayer; Don Scott, Alternate.
Attendees: Mary Day Mordecai, Transportation Committee Chair

Voting members – The chair noted the voting members for the evening were himself, Jon Miner, Andrew Maneval and Lisa Anderson

Approval of agenda – The board voted to approve the agenda as presented.

Minutes of previous meeting, 6/14 – This item was deferred until an eligible quorum for voting is in attendance.

Transportation Committee – The board heard from Mary Day Mordecai, who presented the following updates:

  • The school radar signs are working appropriately, and Police Chief Steve LaMears has assumed the responsibility of data collection. The Transportation Committee (TC) will share semi-annual updates on data from radars, working with the police chief. The committee feels the radar augments road safety;
  • The committee has decided not to pursue any grant applications this year, but may consider one for 2024;
  • The committee is currently focused on Hancock Road, following complaints of speeding by a couple of residents. The TC has discussed reasonable options with input from Police Chief. The chief has observed parking on the road by residents and their visitors, which is not allowed and causes unsafe conditions. The committee will meet Monday and will subsequently, if appropriate, bring recommendations to the Select Board. They primarily are considering additional signage and 1 or 2 additional radars but have not arrived at any conclusions yet. Mary Day Mordecai will share with the TC the idea of safety mirrors;
  • The committee will get any missing minutes to the recording secretary for posting. The TC hopes for a more formal agreement with the PB and SB to clarify its role and formalize when and how it becomes involved in projects.

The TC further noted its interest in the Church and School Street road rebuild project, and discussed with the board that no current PB members, other than Andrew Maneval, have received training in Complete Streets. The PB also noted that, currently, no PB member sits on the Transportation Committee, though the TC is a subcommittee of the PB.  The PB noted it will further discuss the subcommittee process, and the TC will get input from its members on the current status.

Returning to the subject of safety on Hancock Road, the PB noted that following the engineering and traffic study undertaken as part of the Hancock Road rebuild, none of the recommended traffic safety measures (e.g. speed  bumps or painted lines) were undertaken, due to opposition by residents. The TC will consult further with the police chief and bring recommendations back to the PB and SB.

Master Plan ReView – Lisa Anderson shared that she will distribute the draft product from Gwarlingo Studios prior to next month’s meeting.  Next month the PB also will discuss the next phase of the Master Plan project.

2023 Ordinance Review Committee – The board reviewed the tentative topics that were recommended for consideration by the Ordinance Review Committee.  Andrew Maneval recommended keeping the committee established on an ongoing basis, given helpfulness of bringing issues in smaller pieces to Town Meeting.

Following discussion, Mr. Maneval moved to reestablish, to the extent it’s not operative, an Ordinance Review Committee to consider the mission of ordinance amendments. Jon Miner seconded. All voted in favor. Mr. Maneval further recommended that the committee reach out to residents who may bring expertise in the way of contracting, building, or environmental expertise. Lisa Anderson will share with Jon Miner and Andrew Maneval the framework used previously by the ORC.

PB Committees – Ryan Stone shared his thoughts on the topic of subcommittees following re-reading of the PB Rules of Procedure, including how members are established, whether a mission statement should be drafted, and the process for projects or topics to be taken up by the subcommittees – whether on their own or filtered through the PB. Mr. Maneval noted the challenge of managing a broad purview if topics fall under different areas or departments within town business.  He suggested that committees recommend a course of action and then the PB can decide what the committee’s mandate is and how it should communicate.

Ryan Stone offered to draft recommended procedures on mission statements, 91-A requirements, deliverables, minutes, etc., for review by the PB.  The PB agreed that the Transportation Committee should proceed status quo for 30 days, and next month the board would discuss TC membership, naming a PB representative.

Application, Check List Review – The board considered revisions to the Lot-line Adjustment application form and plat submission requirements. The PB will consider a vote to adopt the revised form at its August 9 meeting.

Capital Improvement Program (CIP) – The PB reiterated the importance of PB input in the CIP process. Ryan Stone recommended that a PB member be part of a CIP committee.  No further action was taken given the number of absent members. The board will revisit next month.

The meeting adjourned at 9:32 pm.