Shelburne

UPDATE. A complete, version 2 draft of the proposed regulations has been distributed. The online map that allows users to learn what zoning district a property is located in and what district it would be located in under the proposed regulations has been updated to reflect version 2 changes.

Proposed Zoning Questions

Please use this form to ask a question specific to proposed zoning changes on your property or in your neighborhood. We will do our best to respond promptly.

Questions submitted using this form will NOT be posted on the website. To make a public comment, use the ‘drafting the regulations’ discussion tab below.


Project Dashboard
77% Complete
Project Progress
77% Progress

68% Timing

Start Date
1 April 2023
End Date
31 December 2024
26/26
Approved Documents
3/7
Complete Milestones
2/4
Complete Phases
10/14
Complete Tasks
Project Description

The Shelburne Planning Commission is working on a comprehensive revision to the town’s Zoning Bylaw and Subdivision Regulations. This effort is intended to implement the policies of the Shelburne Town Plan, align the town’s land use regulations with recent changes to state statute and improve the town’s ability to efficiently administer its regulations.

 

Milestones
3 / 7 Completed
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Regulatory Audit

The regulatory audit of Shelburne’s adopted zoning and subdivision bylaws is the first step towards a comprehensive revision of the adopted zoning and subdivision bylaws. The audit reviews the adopted bylaws, identifies changes that are mandated by state or federal law, and recommends alternative approaches to more effectively implement Shelburne’s policy objectives as expressed in the Town Plan. The audit will function as a resource to guide the Planning Commission’s decision-making as Shelburne considers revised regulations.

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Complete Draft (version 1.0)

A new zoning map and districts will be proposed to implement the land use policies of the Town Plan and conform to state fair housing and equal treatment of housing requirements.

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Complete Draft (version 2.0)

A complete draft of a unified set of land use regulations (zoning + subdivision) will be produced.

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Complete Draft (version 3.0)

A complete draft of the unified land use regulations revised in response to public comment.

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Public Hearing Draft (Planning Commission)

A final draft of the unified land use regulations to be advanced through the adoptions process, which begins with the Planning Commission public hearing.

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Public Hearing Draft (Selectboard)

The proposed unified land use regulations as revised and approved by the Planning Commission following their public hearing to be sent to the Selectboard for their consideration. The Selectboard must also hold a public hearing on the draft regulations.

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Unified Land Use Regulations Adopted

The unified land use regulations as revised and adopted by the Selectboard following their public hearing. The regulations become effective 21 days after the Selectboard votes in favor of adoption.

Phases
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Drafting the Regulations 30 5 / 5 81
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Description

The proposed regulations will be written, discussed and revised chapter-by-chapter. Some elements of the proposed regulations will be set by state statute and other elements may be retained from the adopted regulations. The Planning Commission will be focusing primarily on those elements identified in the regulatory audit where changes are needed to effectively implement the policies of the town plan.

Draft Article 2 (v.01) This is the first draft of Article 2. Administrative Procedures. It will be reviewed and discussed at the August Planning Commission meeting.
Article 2 Memo This is the memo provided to the Planning Commission to guide review of Article 2. Administrative Procedures.
Draft Article 4 (v.01) This is the first draft of Article 4. Site Design Standards. It will be reviewed and discussed at the September and October Planning Commission meetings.
Article 4 Memo This is the memo provided to the Planning Commission to guide review of Article 4. Site Design.
Use Worksheet This is the worksheet guiding the discussion of land uses and definitions distributed to the Planning Commission for the Oct 12 meeting discussion.
Draft Article 3 (v.01) This is the first draft of Article 3. Zoning Districts. It will be reviewed and discussed at the December and January Planning Commission meetings.
Article 3 Memo This is the memo provided to the Planning Commission to guide review of Article 3. Zoning Districts.

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9 June 2024 at 1:02 am

The “dimensions and density” guide is very interesting.  However it does not cover all of the proposed zoning districts, nor does it cover worst case scenarios, in terms of density and extent.  In particular lot 582-183-10712 in SR-1 and lot 582-183-12405 in the residential neighborhood.  I request that these be analyzed in the same fashion as the those in the guide and added to the guide.
Thanks,  Bob Birkett

Bob Birkett
10 April 2024 at 9:50 am

PlaceSense is being creative in its proposal for the OS/R. However, I suggest it be opposed because putting such a wide range of property types into one Zone make no sense and is counterproductive for the town’s conserved lands. What is it that truly unites these parcels? My study of exitsing mapping deficiencies between multiple official town maps with Pam Brangan is yielding many needed corrections and clarifications particularly with the parcels proposed for this zone. Private residences are being proposed for these public recreational uses, lands owned privately by many HOA’s are proposed for such public use, one cemetary is proposed for inclusion while another is not, one golf course is proposed for inclusion while another is not, and lands which are not buildable are included. The detailed map study is yielding many probable official map changes.
This proposal thus is inappropriate. The primary purpose of zoning is to separate incompatible uses which is not happening here. It is inappropriate for the existing protections of our conserved lands to be diminished. A public recreation lands zone may be worthwhile to have in place when an expansion of town recreation facilities is needed, but it should contain only those lands suitable for this purpose.

Don Rendall
12 March 2024 at 1:18 pm

I wonder what the rationale is for using 60% to define set aside in conservation subdivisions? I realize that that is the current percentage used, but also recognize that other towns like So Burlington and Williston, which have much more experience dealing with intense growth than Shelburne, have increased their set asides to 70% and 75% respectively. Should we learn from their experience? If not, why not?

Jim White
5 March 2024 at 6:16 pm

On page 7.17, I’m wondering what criteria were used to make the distinction between primary and secondary conservation resources. I notice that forest habitat blocks, for example, are classified as secondary. Given their essential role in preserving species continuation and the health of the town’s ecosystem, why aren’t they primary?

Jim White
5 March 2024 at 6:10 pm

In reading Article 7, I find the references to “open space” confusing.
The definitions on page 7.10 don’t help because after frequent ambiguous references to open space up to that point, that particular term is not even included for definition. Yet the page implies that paths, pocket parks, greens, community parks and natura preserves are all “types” of open space. But later, on 7.18, there is further confusion because open space can be used for agriculture, renewable energy generation and on-farm businesses.
To my knowledge, the only existing official definition of open space is that found in Shelburne’s Open Space Plan. It reads:
“Open space is the undeveloped landscape — streams, woodlands, wetlands, shorelines and agricultural lands — that help maintain the condition and function of Shelburne’s natural resources, which are essential to the town’s outstanding quality of life. Open space lands typically have no buildings or other human-made structures in current service, except for active farms with barns and other agricultural structures. These lands may be in their natural state, serving important environmental or aesthetic functions, or they may be used for agriculture, forestry, or low-impact recreation such as walking or running.”
It seems that Place Sense is expanding the use of the term in a way that undermines the intent in the Plan, especially by linking it to various forms of recreational purpose.
It’s hard to know exactly what it refers to in the new regs.

Jim White
5 March 2024 at 6:04 pm

In reading Article 7, I find the references to “open space” confusing.
The definitions on page 7.10 don’t help because after frequent ambiguous references to open space up to that point, that particular term is not even included for definition. Yet the page implies that paths, pocket parks, greens, community parks and natura preserves are all “types” of open space. But later, on 7.18, there is further confusion because open space can be used for agriculture, renewable energy generation and on-farm businesses.
To my knowledge, the only existing official definition of open space is that found in Shelburne’s Open Space Plan. It reads:
“Open space is the undeveloped landscape — streams, woodlands, wetlands, shorelines and agricultural lands — that help maintain the condition and function of Shelburne’s natural resources, which are essential to the town’s outstanding quality of life. Open space lands typically have no buildings or other human-made structures in current service, except for active farms with barns and other agricultural structures. These lands may be in their natural state, serving important environmental or aesthetic functions, or they may be used for agriculture, forestry, or low-impact recreation such as walking or running.”
It seems that Place Sense is expanding the use of the term in a way that undermines the intent in the Plan, especially by linking it to various forms of recreational purpose.
It’s hard to know exactly what it refers to in the new regs.

Jim White
5 March 2024 at 6:04 pm

I have a few questions.  Would you please explain 7102.D to me?  I try and understand all of this but this one I just don’t understand. 
For 7102.E  Is this for Public and Private roads? Or just public roads?
 
7304 “Paths” states that a path must be 20 – 60 feet wide?  Do I understand that correctly?

Tracey Beaudin
29 February 2024 at 10:28 am

Maybe this will be clarified at the upcoming 2/29 PC meeting, but I am a little puzzled by the the density calculation in Section 7508 for Rural Residential subdivisions.  Any Major Subdivision in R-RES is required to be a Conservation Subdivision, but now the allowed density is being doubled from the current five acre standard.  Since there is no need for an “incentive” when something is already required, why is the density being doubled from current standards?

Rowland Davis
27 February 2024 at 10:33 am

I really appreciated the comments made by Mark Pennington at the 2/22 PC meeting, and I look forward to the specific written recommendations that he and others are working on to improve the draft bylaw language with respect to more effective resource protection.  I hope that the PC then engages in an active dialogue with the groups that are involved in those recomendations, i.e. time to move beyond just “listening” to an active back-and-forth discussion on how to make things work in the best way.
I also want to emphasize one point that Mark made, and I paraphrase here: “Having strong and effective resource protection does not mean build less, it just means build smart — with the primary focus on finding the best part of any parcel for built structures while preserving the most important natural resources.”  Shawn Sweeney said it well when he commented favorably on the four easy steps embedded in the Randall Arendt approach.

Rowland Davis
27 February 2024 at 9:18 am

This is a follow-up to the wondeful “Listening Session” that our Planning Commission held last night (Feb 22nd)  — THANK YOU for giving residents a chance to provide feedback/comment/concerns.
I went to the meeting hoping to advocate for a side and rear setback greater than 10 feet for existing homes in the R-N and R-S districts.  I am embarassed when I think about the terrible job I did here and I’d like to request your further consideration on behalf of all the neighbors and residents that I’ve let down in the R-N & R-S districts.
First:  I understand and respect your decision to provide greater setbacks for residences that face development build-outs across their property lines that might be industrial or commercial.  Thank you for protecting these residents! 
But after thinking over the exchange last night:  I’m left very concerned that established residences in the R-N and R-S districts may be facing 6,000 square foot buildings (albeit residential — these are still big buildings — with people in them around the clock…) only 10′ away from their property lines.   
As the code is currently proposed:  those buildings could be 2 … or even 3 (with affordable housing) stories high.  Many of us with homes in the R-N and R-S district do not have large lots….so our homes are significantly affected by new buildings just across our property lines.  Yes:  as you accurately pointed out last night:  we have to provide 10′ on our side of our property lines.   (Shelburne Zoning Bylaws for decades required 15 feet.)  But having a 6000 square foot quadplex 10′ from your property line overshadowing your family home — possibly blocking out sunlight…views….and taking away from your privacy and — potentially — peaceful living — really does oppose our town plan’s objectives.
As you attempt to balance the needs for new housing (totally appreciated & understood) with protecting the rights of Shelburne homeowners who’ve lived here for decades and have invested in this community:  please consider employing a “Transitional Buffer” zone for homes built before the new code is enacted.  This was one of the good things that the SR-FBOD code offered:  a 10′ Transitional Buffer” zone — clear of sheds & other structures  — where the new buildings border on established residences.
THANK YOU for all the time you are donating, the thoughtful research &
consideration you are all contributing….and the heavy weight you carry knowing how significantly your decisions here will change the face — and community — of Shelburne.
— Robilee
 

Robilee Smith
23 February 2024 at 10:18 pm

At the last PC meeting Don Rendall, Chair of the SNRCC, made a suggestion on the process for reaching decisions for the many important details yet to be resolved on the bylaw draft — with specific reference to the “Resource Protection” issues in Articles 6 & 7.  In that same meeting I supported Don’s suggestion — which is to have some small and tightly focused working subgroups meet to discuss options and then report back to the full PC with their suggestions.  I hope that this suggestion is discussed by the PC.  There seemed to be a positive reception from several of the PC members in attendance at that meeting.  The logic for the approach is simple — the ability of the full PC to cover all of these important details and ensure that the public can be deeply involved is just too limited if it is confined to their regular meetings, or even to “listening sessions.”  There needs to be an avenue for back-and-forth discussion of many technical issues.
Here are a few of my suggestions for how these small, focused workgroups could be established:

They do probably need to be public meetings under the open meeting rules (…”subcommittee”), but that should not be a problem.  Just post them as required.
The group should include maybe 2-3 members of the PC, plus Aaron.  And then maybe 2-4 representatives from SNRCC, the SFT Land Conservation Task Force and SAFE.  Others welcome as well.
There should probably be a plan for at least two meetings: (1) first meeting to identify the key issues and the bylaw sections that need attention, plus an intial discussion of the current thinking and questions that need answers, and (2) next meeting(s) to try to work out a consensus view, or if no consensus what options can be presented (i.e. Option A vs Option B).
These would then be submitted in written form to the full PC for discussion and final decisions to made at the planned “work-a-thon” session.

Rowland Davis
21 February 2024 at 2:14 pm

In 2022 Vermont produced a Model Flood Hazard and River Corridor Bylaw
https://dec.vermont.gov/sites/dec/files/wsm/rivers/docs/Annotated%20VT%20Model%20Stand%20Alone%20Flood%20Hazard%20Bylaw%206.23.2022.pdf
Can you let us know if the bylaw draft matches the level of protection in this model bylaw?  And if not, what are the differences and would you recommend changing them to match the standards in the model?

Rowland Davis
16 February 2024 at 4:47 pm

So in my previous post, the graphic image did not “print” into the comment.  Here is a link where you can see more about the Transect concept, and the graphic is on pg 4:
https://uli.org/wp-content/uploads/ULI-Documents/ULI-Resilience-Strategies-along-the-Rural-Urban-Transect-final.pdf
 

Rowland Davis
14 February 2024 at 11:20 am

In the coming discussion about what density standards are appropriate for Shelburne, I think that a regional perspective is needed.  This graphic of “The Transcect” is a standard used for regional planning:

In our case the T5 Urban Center is Burlington + Winooski.  The next transect section of T4 would include adjacent communities: SoBu, Cochester, Essex, and parts of Williston.  Shelburne seems to fit pretty well within the T2-T3 zones, with a touch of T1 also.  Our density standards should be designed to reflect this position — trying to shift us into the T4 zone would be a mistake, I think.

Rowland Davis
14 February 2024 at 11:08 am

We are getting to an important point on Act 250 reform. 
https://vtdigger.org/2024/02/11/environmentalists-and-developers-say-theyre-ready-to-compromise-on-act-250/
 
We have heard a lot about Act H.719, which is the Governor’s bill and was “first out of the gate”.  But there seems now to be agreement between developers and environmental groups on another bill that would reform Act 250.
 
Act H.687 adds very specific new definitions and protection standards for HBs and connecting corridors (starts on pg 36) and statewide mapping of these areas (pg 41). It also creates a new category of approved “Planned Growth Areas” that municipalities can establish (pg 45), in which Act 250-type issues can be adjudicated at the local level rather than at the state level.  Finally, it establishes a regional planning focus for both development and resource protection (pg 56).
 
Rowland-
 

Rowland Davis
11 February 2024 at 11:27 am

The currently proposed Open Space & Recreation district (OS-R) includes lands currently in the Conservation district, combined with a variety of other parcels with a variety of arrangements for ownership and land protection.  I heard the arguments made that this helped to communicate visually the amount of Shelburne land with some type of protection.  But I now feel that while the visual communication issue made some sense, the conglomeration of current Conservation parcels with a variety of others actually creates more confusion and questions on actual land use policy issues.  The best solution would be to preserve the current Conservation district and then have the other parcels remain in the OS-R district, if desired.  The main issue is that as currently drafted, Commercial Recreation (among some other uses) would be allowed on conserved land — and this is a change that potentially weakens the protection for land currently in the Conservation district.  As a theoretical example, my HOA owns a conserved parcel of land along the Laplatte that includes the lovely “cliffs” on the north shore.  Hypothetically, this conserved parcel might now be allowed to establish a commercial rock climbing facility on the cliffs.  Even if this is a remote possibility, why even crack the door open for these kinds of possibilities?

Rowland Davis
10 February 2024 at 5:40 pm

Now that the draft for Article 7 is out, I would like to say that the overall framework for the bylaws looks very well constructed.  Thanks for the good work!
But the emphasis here is on the word “framework” (…and also on the word “draft”).  The current draft is filled with placeholders for many critical details.  These placeholders come from the consultants, but now the commissioners have the hard job of reviewing them closely, considering options and analyzing the likely outcomes of those options.  And this must also include very careful communication with the public.  We only have to go back a couple of years to see what happens when the final draft details are later revealed to be inconsistent with community expectations created during the drafting phase.

Rowland Davis
10 February 2024 at 5:26 pm

Oops!  “Wholeheartedly” too….!  🙂

Robilee Smith
9 February 2024 at 5:50 pm

I wholeheartidly support Bob Birkett’s January 2nd recommendation in this discussion thread (seconded by Rowland Davis on January 4th):  please consider providing a build-out that would show us all what the proposed regulations could lead to if developers choose to maximize profits.  I.e.: what’s the maximum that could be built per the proposed dimensional regs?   Part of the reason the Select Board requested an overhaul of our town zoning regulations is the shock many of us had when we discovered what developers could do with the SR-FBOD (form-based code).   Deja vu!  A decade ago well-intentioned citizens put a lot of time and effort into creating the SR-FBOD.  Residents were invited into the Town Hall to review & respond to an “illustrative plan” that seemed reasonable.  (As an example: the contested Crombach-Brandon lot was drawn with about 28 small homes.  That’s more dense that the equivalent-sized neighboring Wild Rose Circle association that contains ten homes on lots of about half an acre each.  That seemed acceptable, though:  more housing, a bit more dense, but the illustration provided showed small single-family homes fitting into their surroundings.)   Alas:  new owners figured out that the SR-FBOD allowed them to pack in 3-story 22-unit buildings….and that they could, in fact, cover 85% (possibly 95% – unclear language…) of their 6.22 acre residential lot. 
The “independent” consultant that our P&Z office hired, Bluezones, reviewed the SR-FBOD code and found it “problematic.”  They cited quite a few reasons, including stating that the code could lead to a wide range of results, rather than predicatable ones for ‘high-quality public realm’.”
I’ve been told, but do not know if it’s true, that there’s a tool that developers can use to plug in a town’s dimensional standards to find out how to maximize profit.  While not all developers are necessarily motivated by profit, it behooves us to understand what our new regulations could allow.
Bob posted in Front Porch Forum recently that the CCRPC (Chittenden County Regional Planning Commission) can conduct a buildout analysis using a tool (ArcGIS Urban) that has 3D capabilities to visualize potential buildings based on zoning and, also, show impacts on parking, water/wastewater use, energy, population, and impacts to schools, administration and public safety.  As he said, “This could show, numerically and visually, what Shelburne would look like if fully built according to its zoning regulations.”
While I see some promising improvements in the proposed dimensional standards (e.g.: maximum lot coverage in the R-N district is MUCH better — THANK YOU!), I also see some very troubling proposed standards at this point in time (e.g.: in the R-N and R-S districts, only a 10′ side and rear setback.  Egads!  That’s much worse than the SR-FBOD code which required a 30′ setback to neighbors…and 40′ if the home was built before 2002.) 
Please don’t let us repeat the same mistake a decade later!  Your slideshow illustrations look reasonable…..but what could a developer seeking to maximize profit do with the proposed standards…..?
I realize that you have project deadlines to meet (former PM here)…costs to contain…and that we may be too late to engage the CCRPC this year.  But the experience with the SR-FBOD has taught us a very painful lesson (some of us are still paying, negotiating and litigating to try to address the flaws the SR-FBOD has allowed…):  we need to see what developers COULD build and what the impacts to our town and residents would be.
Respectfully & hopefully submitted,

Robilee Smith
9 February 2024 at 4:41 pm

Would it be possible to post the information in your emails on this site or on the town site with the other documents? That way the people who are not on the email list can keep up with the information. I heard Brandy say at yesterday’s Planning Commission meeting that only 162 people have signed up for the email messages. These proposed changes are going to touch everybody in town.
Thanks! 
PS I posted earlier and my messages appeared to have been in the list of comments, then they disappeared. 

Lisa Boisvert
9 February 2024 at 2:22 pm

Hi Brandy and Rod,
Can you explain why the proposal is using 8,400 square feet as a minimum lot size instead of the state’s 8,712? 
Thank you! 

Lisa Boisvert
9 February 2024 at 2:17 pm

Where can I find a copy of the Arrowwood repost on Shelburne? I’ve been looking at the town website, yet am unable to find it. 

Lisa Boisvert
9 February 2024 at 10:31 am

Where can I find a copy of the Arrowwood repost on Shelburne? I’ve been looking at the town website, yet am unable to find it. 

Lisa Boisvert
9 February 2024 at 10:30 am

Would it be possible to post the information you send out in the emails somewhere online – where it’s easy for people who are not receiving the PlaceSense emails to read? The recent email provided a response to the infrastructure capacity questions that have been brought up as a concern in all of the Neighborhood Meetings. With only 162 people signed up for the email, many interested and concern people of Shelburne are not going to see the responses in the email. 
Thank you! 

Lisa Boisvert
9 February 2024 at 10:29 am

If a single family home is turned into a 4plex, does the property tax change? and if it does is the change significant? and how soon does the tax change take effect?

Tracey Beaudin
4 February 2024 at 8:42 am

I do not see my question that I asked after my Jan. 31 neighborhood meeting.  My question asked what is the definition Of “Affordable Housing?”  Is there another place for answers to our questions?

Tracey Beaudin
4 February 2024 at 8:40 am

In response to Rowland’s question about the reference to a density bonus. That relates to the propoposed conservation subdivision language, which will be in the subdivision article. That article has not yet been distributed, but is anticipated to be ready to go out within the next week.

Brandy Saxton
3 February 2024 at 10:43 pm

Two points. The article 6 draft draws heavily from state mapping. One source that was missed is the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources which has mapped its preferred highest priority interior forest habitat blocks and highest priority connector blocks. These should be incorporated in the bylaws references.
It doesn’t make sense to me that the heritage and tourism zone does not allow for parking or parking structures while the OS/R does. The OS/R may need some limited parking depending on the recreation property but structures? And how can the heritage and tourism do much public work without parking? Bike and shoe racks only?
 

Don Rendall
2 February 2024 at 5:41 pm

I think that I heard a mention at the 2/1 listening session to a “100% density bonus” when the developer commits some portion of the land to permanent conservation status.  Can you clarify where this provsion is located in the draft?

Rowland Davis
2 February 2024 at 4:06 am

At the listening sessions several comments were made about the need for “plain language” comparisons of development options under current bylaw provisions and proposed bylaw provisions.  Several examples have been shown for the serviced area.  We need this now for the rural areas.  I would like a general before and after description for a generic 100 acre parcel that is in the current Rural Zone, with clarification of both the physical development issues (i.e. # of dus, required open space %) as well as the process for approval (i.e. PUD required?, site plan review?, environmental reveiw?) for these various scenarios:
1) the parcel is now in (a) Rural Residential, (b) Rural Resource Protection and (c) Rural Heritage; and for each of these
2) under a PUD and not under a PUD if this is allowed; and for all of these
3) whether or not a portion of the property triggers the need for an environmental review.

Rowland Davis
2 February 2024 at 3:50 am

Can you explain the logic or criteria used to define the Forest Habitat Blocks (HBs) that will be considered “priority” in Section 6206 (below)?  Include in your explanantion why this definition excludes the large majority of 20+ acres of HBs identified in the Arrowwood report, and excludes almost all of the critical HB connector areas identified by Arrowwood.  How is this section supporting the purpose identified in Section 6201.A: “Promote interconnected open space and greenway corridors that facilitate speciesmovement.”?  Do you believe that when Arrowwood describes the habitat in Shelburne as being at a “tipping point”, that this level of protection os adequate to avoid the complete fragmentation of the remaining habitat?
6206 FOREST HABITAT BLOCKS6206.A Applicability. The provisions of this section apply to all land in Shelburne mapped as aforest habitat block with a score of 4.5 or greater in the 2023 Shelburne Forest Habitat BlockAssessment & Ranking Report as shown on *priority forest habitat block map.

Rowland Davis
2 February 2024 at 3:31 am

Can you please clarify the meaning of section 6202.B(3) below?
6202.B Within the serviced zoning districts, the provisions of this chapter will not apply to:(1) Lots less than 10 acres in size.(2) Parcels previously developed at a density of one dwelling unit per acre or higher.(3) Proposed development that will exceed the inclusionary housing unit requirementsof [*insert cross-reference] by 200% or more.

Rowland Davis
2 February 2024 at 3:20 am

I’d like to show my support for Stephen Baietti’s comments on November 11. I’d also like to remind the Planning Commission that it was determined nothing would be done regarding a bike path until (at least) the railroad overpass and the LaPlatte bridge were replaced. Without the recommendation from engineers regarding how the bridges sould be designed, we have no idea which side the paths would be situated. I agree with Mr. Baietti that a wide path buffered from the road by a wide grass strip is unnecessary and would take too much land from our small lots. A raised path right next to the road would serve the purpose and be less intrusive. While the “recommended” path that now exists on Webster road may work for that area, it will not for Bay Road. 

Betsey Dempsey
27 January 2024 at 8:35 am

In a prior post on this site, PC member Stephen Selin linked to a Q&A on Act 47.  In the Q&A that Stephen linked, they seem to be making a legal distinction between a town’s bylaws having a “density cap” of 5 DUs per acre, and towns who have a minimum lot size of 1/5th of an acre (they refer to this as a “dimensional standard” rather than as a density cap).  If you have a “density cap” then you can truly require that no more than 5 DUs are allowed per acre, no matter what kind of buildings are used (SF, 2x, 3x, 4x, etc).
 
Can you clarify this?  And confirm that the proposed draft regulations are using only dimensional standards, and not a “density cap”?
 
In this case, allowing four-plexes on a 1/5th acre lot can create densities more like the ones allowed under the previous Form Based Overlay District for residential neighborhoods — is that correct?

 
 

Rowland Davis
22 January 2024 at 8:55 am

Tim,
You may want to look at Section 3106 of the draft Article 3. Paragraph (2) of that section provides an approval pathway for creation of lots without the minimum required street frontage. Additionally, there is new language in Paragraph (5) that was drafted after the first round of Planning Commission discussion to further facilitate the type of development you are describing. Paragraph (5) specifically provides for creation of a back lot without street frontage or with less than the minimum required frontage. That PC discussion considered the Shelburne Falls area because of the number of narrow, deep lots in that neighborhood.
It may also be of interest to know that only two non-corner lots between Route 7 and the LaPlatte along Marsett and Falls Roads have more than 150 feet of frontage, which is the minimum necessary to subdivide if the frontage requirement is 75 feet. To the best of our knowledge, there are no lots that would be subdivable under the current regulations that would be made unsubdividable under the proposed regulations due to frontage requirements.

Brandy Saxton
18 January 2024 at 2:17 pm

Existing lots in the Shelburne Falls Mixed Use District have a 75 foot frontage minimum. The proposed inclusion into Village II would results in an increase from 75 feet to 80 feet. Although Act 47 will allow higher density on existing lots, units on these lots can’t be transferred separately which will likely lead to development where well capitalized developers will have a major incentive to build more infill housing – but that housing will end up being rental stock because the units cannot be conveyed separately. I think we should be making it easier to subdivide where we feel infill is appropriate. 

17 January 2024 at 11:31 am

I don’t understand the value of taking areas that are bounded on all sides by one zoning district and designating them as a separate district – especially when the dimensional reqiurements may limit the type of infill development we seek to promte. Specifically, two portions of the proposed R-N district close to the village center. First area comprised of homes on Hillside Terrace, Meadow Lane, Kimball, Timber Terrace and Wes Road. Second area comprised of homes on LaPlatte Circle. The frontage requirement is being increased from 75 to 80 feet, although the minimum lot size is being decreased. Just include in Village II?

17 January 2024 at 11:26 am

Hi Brandy and Rod,
Just found clarification on minimum lot size per dwelling unit in Act 47 on the VT Department of Housing and Community Development website.
It’s in their “Frequently asked Questions” link, published 6 months ago, and addresses the question raised at the 1/11/24 meeting about whether 20 dwelling units/acre could possibly be allowed by Act 47 in the sewer service area.  The answer is a very clear no. Only 5 dwelling units would be allowed on an acre. That’s regardless of whether those dwelling units were in 5 single family houses, or a single 5-plex building. https://outside.vermont.gov/agency/ACCD/ACCD_Web_Docs/CD/CPR/Resources-and-Rules/CPR-Act47-FAQ-8-4-2023-Provisional.pdf
Questions 1.5 and 1.6 spell it out very well in particular, with understandable illustrations.

16 January 2024 at 10:16 am

Since comments posted earlier tend to “disappear” — I want to refresh my concern that the PC has not yet had any discussion about how development within the serviced area can be managed so that it remains within the sustainable level of 50-70 new DUs per year, on average, over the next 20 years — as stated by the WWTF engineer to the SB.

Rowland Davis
12 January 2024 at 3:38 pm

At the 1/11 PC meeting the brief review of the expected content for the neighborhood meetings left an impression that the meetings for the districts within the serviced area there is not expected to be significant discussion of preservation of natura lresources. This seems to be a serious omission.  These two neighborhood meetings will clearly be the most attended, as residents seem to be encouraged to go to their “local” meeting, but every resident of Shelburne is concerned with the whole of Shelburne.  The Town Plan makes it abundantly clear that natural resource protection is a critical issue for the town, and the issue should be presented to all residents.  I hope that this is corrected in terms of the discussion questions that are addressed in each meeting.

Rowland Davis
12 January 2024 at 2:26 pm

The 1/11 PC meeting concluded the discussion of the SR-1 zoning district without any consideration of the current FBO “Character District” issues that apply to some of the large parcels on the east side of Rt 7.
The “Green Corridor” character district states this intent: “The GCCD is located north and south of the Bay Road and Route 7 intersection. Much of the GCCD lies within the watershed of an impaired waterway. It is intended to preserve the existing pattern of setbacks for buildings along this portion of Shelburne Road while also providing multi-modal access. Commercial and residential buildings are intendedto be clustered into less environmentally sensitive areas of the district. The open space in the GCCD is intended to accommodate environmental benefits, passive and active recreation, agriculture and civic gatherings.”
The “Special Uses” character district states this intent: “The SUCD is located east of Shelburne Road south of the Bay Road intersection. It is intended to accommodate a broad range of building types generally clustered into traditional neighborhood or campus development patterns to preserve open spaces and views from Shelburne Road. Development potential includes pedestrian-friendly neighborhoods, research and academic institutions, or visitor accommodations and facilities.”
I think the PC needs to consider how these issues will be handled within the new bylaw framework.

Rowland Davis
12 January 2024 at 2:10 pm

The more I look at the proposed conversion of the existing Conservation District into an “Open Space and Recreation” zone district, the more I urge you to return tomaintaining the existing Conservation District. As conceived in state statute 24VSA4414, The protections offered in conservation districts may exclude certain types of land use patterns, or only allow limited compatible land uses at very low densities. PlaceSense’s vision seems to be carving out much greater use types for these lands which may not be compatible with Shelburne’s historical vision for them. Conservation districts serve as a complement to the growth zoning intended for Vermont’s compact town centers, preserving historic settlement patterns. Uses in this district should be limited to identified resource management objectives. Please refer to Marshfield and Bolton for good examples of this. Shelburne may benefit from the creation of a Community Space and Recreation district but our Open Spaces are defined in a different way than is beinf discussed in the draft chapter 3. Keep the existing Conservation District.
 

Don Rendall
4 January 2024 at 2:28 pm

There is one issue where I am still confused following the discussion at the Dec PC meeting.  There was a comment from Brandy about the HOMES act requirement that duplex buildings must be allowed wherever a single family home is allowed — and how that has been incorporated into the three new Rural districts.  But the Dimensional Standards table in Section 3403 of the Draft Regs seems to be written more broadly.  Unless I am missing something, the table would also seem to allow for two SF dwellings on the first 5 acres (Rural Residential) — which is more than the HOMES act requires, and which would lead to a more fragmented pattern of development.

Rowland Davis
4 January 2024 at 1:49 pm

As the PC moves forward with discussions on the new zoning districts in the rural area, I believe that the boundary for the Rural Resource Protection district needs careful review.  Particularly for areas near the Laplatte River watershed in the southern part of town, and also for some of the areas adjacent to the Laplatte River Marsh Natural Area and the Nature Conservancy parcel.  Some of the parcels there are now shown as Rural Residential, but given the importance of protecting our waterways consideration should be given to including them in the Resource Protection district.  The issue of such protection for climate resiliency is discussed more in this VRNC piece
https://vnrc.org/clean-water/vnrc-policy-position-resilience/?emci=cba3f86c-63aa-ee11-bea1-0022482237da&emdi=b7d35925-01ab-ee11-bea1-0022482237da&ceid=9345111

Rowland Davis
4 January 2024 at 12:14 pm

I second the comment from Bob Birkett about the value of doing “build out” analysis — probably separately for the serviced area and the non-serviced/rural areas.  This is especially important now that we know the serviced area growth limitations based on our WWTF capacity.  This issue has still not been discussed by the PC.  It needs to be discussed.  The engineer for the WWTF project gave an estimate to the SB that 50-70 new DUs per year (on average) over the next 20 years will be allowable, bringing the new WWTF to its full capacity.  How will this be managed? 

Rowland Davis
4 January 2024 at 12:04 pm

The more I read about Shelburne’s zoning regulations, the more I wonder what the town would look like if a wave of development were to fully build in all of the available spots, in a relatively short time.  How many more houses, businesses, etc would there be?  What would our population be?  Grand list?  What would be the impact on needs for government services, town infrastructure, schools, etc?  What would our street look like?  Answers to these questions are critical to understanding what our zoning regulations should strive for.
I may have mentioned this before, but I believe that a “build-out” analysis is critical to assessing the impact of the zoning regulation on a future Shelburne.
Thanks,
Bob Birkett
 

Robert Birkett
2 January 2024 at 12:57 pm

I continue to have questions about the new Rural Heritage and Tourism zone which replaces what was previously a Rural zone.
Regarding “Heritage” in the title – I get that there is considerable heritage associated with Shelburne Farms and the Shelburne Museum, but that’s also true of the village zones 1 & 2. Why single out one zone for the heritage label?
Regarding “Tourism” – same basic idea. Tourists go to Shelburne Farms and the Shelburne Museum, but they also go to the village and to the Teddy Bear Factory. Why attach the tourism label to this one zone?
One “tourism” element that this zone has that interior zones lack is scenic views, but no mention is made of protections for scenic views. Perhaps that has yet to arrive.
As far as I can tell, what distinguishes this new rural zone from the other rural residential area is the expanded opportunity it offers for worker housing and “commerce.” What the dimensions of this possible expansion would look like have, to my knowledge, not been discussed.
Worker Housing – what are the limits to this? Could Shelburne Farms, for example, build housing for everyone who works there? Or, for only key operational staff? Who will monitor to ensure that only employees occupy the housing? Why is worker housing necessary when high density housing zones is available less than a mile away? Could a transport system to that in-town housing serve instead? Would workers in this housing not need food stores, laundromats, and other services and so might such housing become a small village itself over time? How many other enterprises in this zone with worker housing besides Shelburne Farms would it take for the whole “rural” concept to be lost?
Commerce – what will be different about the commerce permitted in this zone as opposed to that which is allowed in other residential zoning? Will the additional “commerce” allow for expanded facilities – roads, buildings, utilities, etc.? Could an “Ethan Allen Waterslide Park with Heritage Pub and Brewery,” or something of the sort, be developed in this zone, for example, since commercial indoor and outdoor recreational enterprises are permitted? Could hotels,  Airbnbs, and gas stations be introduced to cater to the tourists? How secure from non-tourism development are key properties in the zone? Are we making assumptions about that?
There is already considerable allowance for residential housing and commercial enterprise in the pre-existing rural zones. What real purpose does this new zone provide other than offering a wider opening to more development, with the inevitable consequence of further eroding the rural character of Shelburne? Isn’t it true that this rural character itself is a critical element in the heritage and tourism appeal of the town? Isn’t this new zone rather self-contradictory in a way?

Jim White
27 December 2023 at 8:37 pm

On 12/4, the Housing Subcommittee reviewed the Zoning Map Discussion Guide with Aaron. While some of the questions asked have already been addressed by the Planning Commission, below are our responses to questions and a few comments. We appreciated the storymap format and how specific questions have been asked for the PC (and others) to ponder.

Housing Committee answers to questions posed in the zoning guide:

The municipal complex, parade, churches, etc should be included in Village-1 and not their own district.
The V-2 should extend further east on Falls Rd
The corner lots of Winterhaven should be included in SR-1
Creating a pedestrian-oriented node within the SR-1 area seems like a good idea
Unsure of the Pine Haven Shores area (SR-1 or SR-2) question.
Unsure about the Lakeview MHP frontage, doesn’t seem like it has potential to include commercial like other areas.
One neighborhood residential district is good.
Giving conserved and common lands their own district makes sense and easily shows what is not developable due to conservation and other easements.
Seems like Harborwood Shores fits better with the proposed Residential Shoreline district than the Rural district.

Additional comments:

Would like to see more farms included in the Rural Heritage & Tourism district like Fisher Brothers, Bread & Butter and Killeen Crossing Farms.
Question the 5 acre zoning in some of the rural area – especially areas directly south of South Burlington where large, dense developments already exist.
Possible mapping errors – McCabes Circle (off of Harbor Rd near school) should be in the sewer & water service area; when the guide talks about Conservation & Development areas in red are owned by a nonprofit, Shelburne Museum is listed, but is not shown in red like Shelburne Farms

Thank you!

Pam Brangan
8 December 2023 at 11:03 am

There are lands in the rural protection zone which are not as loaded with natural resources as other portions of the Town and could be profitably developed maybe through a transfer of development right from the rural zone.

I don’t believe that by limiting population density the further east in town you are, we really meet Town goals of resource and open space protection. Will the new Bylaws allow Environmental Protection overlays to do the work of an Expanded Conservation, Agriculture, Forestry Zone? Will the residential zoning in these rural zones continue to provide the Open Space protection which the Town has long worked for and desires to maintain? What is the PlaceSense definition of Open Space and is it different than that approved by the Town in the Open Space Plan?
Thank you for consideration!

Don Rendall
7 December 2023 at 7:01 am

Part 3

The Town in the Shelburne Forward Together exercise has spoken loudly that it want more conservation. The blue conservation mapped zones should not be frozen. The Forest Blocks in The Rural Residential can be used for sustainable income producing forestry industry; why only in the protection zone? Similarly important farmlands exist in both of these Rural Zones; how will they be protected in the rural residential or will they be developed eventually?

I suggest the Town creatively consider keep the existing Rural and Conservation Zones but expanding the definition of the exiting Conservation Zon into a Conservation, Important Farmland, and Forest Block Zone throughout the Rural Zone. Then define the remaining Rural Zone from the Growth Zone to the eastern boundary in a least fragmenting increased clustering “conservation development” approach accomplishing the housing goals described by PlaceSense and still ensuring rural character and more open space. Incentives must be created to move the model from the system that is now fragmenting what we cherish without regard to the values on the land. An expanded Conservation Zone can give protection to ecological resources where they exist not just in the easternmost Rural Protection zone. Please ensure that one of your neighborhood listening sessions specifically addresses the current rural residents to test this.

Don Rendall
7 December 2023 at 7:00 am

Part 2.
PlaceSense suggests changing the eastern rural part of town from the existing two part zoning to a new two part zoning. The half of this rural area furthest  east the Residential Rural Protection Zone is intended to (a) prioritize conservation of scenic, ecological and agricultural resources, (b) support use of the land for farming, forestry and related income-producing activities, and (c) maintain a very low density of residential settlement. The Rural Residential zone between this Protection Zone and the current Growth Zone if to (a) prioritize conservation of scenic, ecological and agricultural resources, (b) facilitate any proposed minor subdivision of small landholdings that would create additional housing opportunities, and (c) manage any proposed major subdivision of large landholdings to ensure open space preservation and protection of rural character. This Rural Residential zone will thus be the next focus of development at least after the buildout of the Growth Zone before the Rural Protection Zone as the Town ages through the years.

Don Rendall
7 December 2023 at 6:55 am

Part 1.
Much of Shelburne is currently in Rural and Conservation zoning. The PlaceSense story map for new Zoning seems to be moving to change this configuration of the Town. PlaceSense asks the Planning Commission 1) if the current language covering the Conservation zone should be changed and even discontinued, 2) if the designation of land in the conservation of Open Spaces by past subdivision Associations in (all?) portions of the Town should be removed and returned to the residential development inventory or for developed recreational use. This would be a significant change of priority by the Planning Commission after years of the Town clearly stating that it values its Open Spaces for the inherent resources upon them.

Don Rendall
7 December 2023 at 6:54 am

1.      Discussion of the proposed zoning districts at the November 16 Planning Commission meeting was notable in that it focused mostly on PlaceSense’s very specific questions about how the districts should be drawn, rather than the appropriateness of the districts themselves.  It is difficult for the public to comment at this stage about the appropriateness of the districts since no specific language has been offered about uses, limitations, dimensions, setbacks etc.  Meaningful public engagement requires an opportunity to comment once the districts have been further fleshed out.  Acknowledging that there will likely be such opportunities as zoning text is added, it is still important for everyone to recognize that any public silence on the appropriateness of the districts at this point does not signal acceptance of them.
 
2.      It would be very helpful for the Planning Commission or PlaceSense to provide the public with a general sense about how the new bylaws will use overlays; which of the existing overlays, if any, will be retained; and if not retained, whether and how the intent of the existing overlay district will be incorporated into the zoning text.
 
3.      In order for there to be meaningful public engagement at the upcoming neighborhood meetings or at later stages in the process, the public needs to be provided with some kind of comparison showing how the proposed zoning scheme differs from the existing zoning (both geographical areas of the districts and the zoning text).  It is not reasonable to expect that the average citizen will be willing or able to get “into the weeds” at each Planning Commission meeting and keep track of the cumulative impacts of the constantly evolving language.

Mark Pennington
30 November 2023 at 3:58 pm

1.      The designation of all of the lands in Shelburne that are “protected in some fashion” as part “Open Space and Recreation” zone  has the potential to create confusion or to dilute the protection that exists.  Grouping disparate categories of land in one zoning category could further the confusion. Some of Shelburne’s so called “protected” lands (conservation easements, association lands) are restricted by legal instruments whose terms may prohibit certain forms of recreation.  Some of these are private lands where no provision currently exists for public access.  In most situations, the more specific terms of any legal instruments would govern. Not all of those legal instruments are perpetual. In cases where those instruments are readily amendable, a zoning designation identifying recreation as a purpose in its title may prompt associations (or for that matter, the town or other non-profit owners) to think more liberally about recreation-related uses, and to favor more intense forms of recreation that involve significant built infrastructure.  That result would run counter to the story board’s comment that these “protected” lands cannot be developed.  “Open space” and “recreation” are inherently vague terms. The regulations need carefully drafted defined terms that distinguish between passive recreation (e.g. walking) that can be compatible with the land’s natural resource values, and active recreation (ball fields, tennis or pickle ball courts, swimming pools) that would be detrimental to resource values.

Mark Pennington
30 November 2023 at 3:57 pm

1.      Discussion of “the service area” at the November 16 PC meeting referred only very generally to the list of exceptions to Act 47’s  definition of an “area served by municipal sewer and water infrastructure.”  It is critical that the Planning Commission be aware of the specific statutory language and available documents that advance the State’s evolving interpretation of them.  Notably, the statute provides that municipalities can exclude from the water/sewer service area “areas within a zoning district or overlay district the purpose of which is natural resource protection” as well as areas that prohibit development “through a Planned Unit Development under Section 4417 of this title or a Transfer of Development rights under 4423….”  Also, the Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development website has an FAQ with helpful discussion about how to interpret the statutory definition of the service area. https://outside.vermont.gov/agency/ACCD/ACCD_Web_Docs/CD/CPR/Resources-and-Rules/CPR-Act47-FAQ-8-4-2023-Provisional.pdf  Oversimplifying, the Agency says municipalities have the discretion to amend their bylaws and ordinances to define the service area, and that until they do so, the standard should be whether a connection or expansion of water or sewer to the area in question is feasible based on proximity and service capacity. 

Mark Pennington
30 November 2023 at 3:56 pm

In 2019 the Shelburne Planning Commission put into the new Town Plan this framework for thinking about future growth:
Shelburne is a part of Chittenden County, the fastest growing county in Vermont. Recognizing its responsibilities as a part of this growing market, Shelburne has determined that it can and should sustain a growth rate that continues its historic growth trend—a growth rate that anticipates the addition of 25-50 new dwelling units per year, on average. (p. 48)
 
At the last PC meeting, Brandy said that many VT towns have annual targets (maybe even a formal allocation system) for new development, based on the available capacity in their wastewater facility (…not just Williston).
 
At the 11/28 Selectboard meeting, the consulting engineer for the WW project gave an update.  Although the current system has a 1.100MGD capacity, the preliminary design for the new system was for 0.925MGD — a 15% decrease.  This decision is now being reconsidered, and a higher capacity might be used (but not more than 1.100MGD).  He said that the decision should be informed by the towns and the PCs expectations and goals.  He also said that if they went to the max of 1.100MGD, the annual new DUs that could be accommodated might be in the range of 50-70 per year (within the sewer service area).  This was, I think, a rough estimate — and I know that more work is being done with town staff to get the best information possible.
 
I have not heard this PC discuss whether there is a desired — or perhaps required — range for sustainable growth.  At this point in the bylaw rewrite project I think it is critical that we hear some kind of conversation among the PC members on this foundational issue.
 

Rowland Davis
29 November 2023 at 2:15 pm

Have to admit I found the discussion of the Rural Heritage and Tourism Zone confusing.
1. This carves the rural district into three zones, and seems inconsistent with the intent to simplify Shelburne zoning.
2. There was little clarity about the “use” (purpose) of the new zone versus the other rural sectors. Why the agreement to have this separate district if we don’t know what it’s for?
3. Just as a density zone would seem to emphasize density, shouldn’t a rural zone emphasize protecting what makes an area rural? Yet there was no discussion of preserving rural lands or culture. There was only agreement to allow workforce housing (more housing) and offer more service flexibility to rural enterprises. In other words, the focus was in the direction of more housing and commercial considerations. Will there be a serious conversation about how to preserve the “rural” in the rural zones?
4. A Rural Heritage and Tourism Zone would seem to be a place where protecting scenic views would merit extra special attention. Will that be considered at some point? 

Jim White
29 November 2023 at 12:16 pm

Please take advantage of the zoning update to prevent future violations of the objectives in Shelburne’s Town Plan, including the second objective on page 8: “2. Consistent with previous Plans, define the Town’s Growth Area as the area that is currently designated to be served by the municipal sewer system under the Town’s Sewer Allocation Ordinance.” At the Planning Commission’s Nov 16 meeting, a reference was made to how the town has violated this objective several times, including when it extended sewer service to Kwiniaska. The regs re-write offers a critical opportunity to prevent violations that encourage sprawl and the loss of open space in Shelburne, especially since residents have once again identified open space as a priority through Shelburne Forward Together.
 

Sarah Ray
26 November 2023 at 6:27 pm

I am writing hoping to reinvigorate interest in one of PlaceSense’s statements in your audit from last summer. Your Section titled 1926 New Mobil Home Parks opens discussion on new types of housing which could bring additional flexibility to Shelburne. You said “Consider replacing this section with a formof residential PUD for small footprint homes (manufactured homes, cottages, tiny homes,etc.) that would allow for a density of housing at least equivalent to what is allowed for multi-unithousing. Other standards such as recreation space and road specifications should beequivalent to what is required for other housing types.” Maybe this can be considered at the December PC meeting.
I also, encourage continuing the discussion briefly mentioned at the Nov 16 PC meeting for community spaces or nodes as you described along the route 7 corridor. These can bring an excellent community center  opportunity breaking from the design canyon that a fully commercial Shelburne Road could become. These nodes can have greater setbacks providing gathering spaces, benches etc., more greenery and trees, and hopefully a unified design which will say welcome to the special place that is Shelburne. The zone for these community spaces (currently not defined) can limit the uses of these spaces to those types that truly are more community: music and theater, dining, pubs and bars, library satellites and bookstores, art galleries while preventing more tire stores and car washes of which we have enough. This is part and parcel of a design aesthetic needed in Shelburne to avoid a boxed canyon look. Better vision for the Town.
 

Don Rendall
20 November 2023 at 5:19 pm

At the 11/16 PC meeting, all of the proposed new zoning districts received at least some discussion — except for two very important ones, the “Rural Residential RL-RES” district and the “Rural Resource Protection RL-RP” district.  I hope that the discussion continues at the Dec PC meeting with these two districts, as well as more discussion of the RL-HT district.  The current “Rural” zoning district is now proposed to be essentially split into these three new rural districts.  We need much more clarity on how these will differ from one another, as well as how they will compare with current rural standards.  What is the goal for open space requirements, relative to the current 60% standard?  Are current PUD requirements expected to remain in place?  If not, what site plan review processes wil be used in their place?  Will the current density standard of one DU per five acres remain in place?  These are, in effect, defining features for these new rural districts, so the mapping for these zones cannot be done without active discussion by the PC members on all of these matters.

Rowland Davis
18 November 2023 at 2:00 pm

At the 11/16 PC meeting there was discussion on the SR-1 district with respect to the Dolan Farms parcel and the large abutting parcel.  I made a comment that these were covered by a “Special Uses” overlay, but this is actually a “Special Uses” character district within the Form Based Code Overlay District.  Sorry for any confusion caused.  However, this does raise an issue worth discussion.  At prior PC meeting discussions, there was consensus support (I believe) that if FBC was to disappear, then any good features of FBC should find a home in the new bylaws, if possible.  I would argue that the FBC language for both the “Green Belt” and the “Special Uses” character districts should be considered when the regs for SR-1 are drafted.

Rowland Davis
18 November 2023 at 1:45 pm

Here are our comments for Rod, Brandy and the Planning Commission.  

Regulation 4206.A   We live on Bay road.  It is over 195 years old with limited space between the houses and the road in some cases.  Regulation 4206.A will not work in all cases on our road.   The regulation states sidewalks 8 feet from the pavement edge.  The 5 foot width would be very close to many homes and or in the middle of lawns.  Also many of the mature,  beautiful flowering trees would be removed.  In some cases a more narrow (less than 5 foot) sidewalk is needed and positioned tangent or closer to the road pavement.
Map –  Residential Shoreline (R-S)   Our concern is the title and description of this zone as it relates to our property.  When you scroll to this section the description states   ” This proposed district (pale yellow on the map) ”   Referring to the map, our property is depicted in the stated yellow (322 Bay Rd).   Our home is not shoreline.  Our back property line is bound by the Vermont Railroad.  Also we have no access to the Bay.  Perhaps  Bay Rd is in another district like Residential Neighborhood (RN)?  
A general question-How many housing units do the new regulation permit on a half acre property?    Property larger than one acre?  What are the distances between abbuting buildings?
We would like the new zoning to protect and conserve large tracks of land.  Save all the animal pathways.  Save forested areas as they are now.

Thank you,
Stephen & Kathleen
 
 
 
 

Stephen Baietti
11 November 2023 at 10:54 am

The storymap is both helpful and cumbersome. Having a color code summary at the beginning would be useful. It is not helpful that sections of zoning districts are cut off and not viewable. Also, the maps in some places don’t show streets that are mentioned in the accompanying discussion.
I wonder if there is a way to show the proposed map against a map of existing zoning to reveal proposed changes more clearly? The proposed changes might be summarized in some other way, but are rather hard to follow.
I’m struck by the extension of the Shelburnewood property right down to the LaPlatte river. Housing development on this parcel would seriously impinge on the natural corridor along the river and conflict with the LaPlatte Nature Park, one of the highest ranking habitats in the Arrowwood Report. New housing should not undercut our most significant natural resources.
I also wonder about the proposed Rural Heritage and Tourism district. This is an area of high value scenic views. How will an accurate evaluation be made during this zoning rewrite of how proposed zoning changes will impact the town’s scenic views? Who would be able to make such an evaluation?
Also, I’m concerned that joining rural heritage and tourism might water down the true ruralness of a rural district by adding a commercial dimension to a rural area under the guise of employee housing development. Isn’t worker housing still housing and therefore shouldn’t it be located in density areas, which are not at all far away?
I question whether we even want to allow for possible future housing development on the site of the golf course? Is this another example of finding back doors into more housing development in areas where we don’t necessarily want more housing? We need more housing, yes, but where is the limit on that?
 

Jim White
25 October 2023 at 10:28 am

The storymap is both helpful and cumbersome. Having a color code summary at the beginning would be useful. It is not helpful that sections of zoning districts are cut off and not viewable. Also, the maps in some places don’t show streets that are mentioned in the accompanying discussion.
I wonder if there is a way to show the proposed map against a map of existing zoning to reveal proposed changes more clearly? The proposed changes might be summarized in some other way, but are rather hard to follow.
I’m struck by the extension of the Shelburnewood property right down to the LaPlatte river. Housing development on this parcel would seriously impinge on the natural corridor along the river and conflict with the LaPlatte Nature Park, one of the highest ranking habitats in the Arrowwood Report. New housing should not undercut our most significant natural resources.
I also wonder about the proposed Rural Heritage and Tourism district. This is an area of high value scenic views. How will an accurate evaluation be made during this zoning rewrite of how proposed zoning changes will impact the town’s scenic views? Who would be able to make such an evaluation?
Also, I’m concerned that joining rural heritage and tourism might water down the true ruralness of a rural district by adding a commercial dimension to a rural area under the guise of employee housing development. Isn’t worker housing still housing and therefore shouldn’t it be located in density areas, which are not at all far away?
I question whether we even want to allow for possible future housing development on the site of the golf course? Is this another example of finding back doors into more housing development in areas where we don’t necessarily want more housing? We need more housing, yes, but where is the limit on that?
 

Jim White
25 October 2023 at 10:27 am

The storymap is both helpful and cumbersome. Having a color code summary at the beginning would be useful. It is not helpful that map sections of zoning districts are cut off and not viewable. Also, the maps in some places don’t show streets that are mentioned in the accompanying discussion.
I wonder if there is a way to show the proposed map against a map of existing zoning to reveal proposed changes more clearly? The proposed changes might be summarized in some other way, but are rather hard to follow.
I’m struck by the extension of the Shelburnewood property right down to the LaPlatte river. Housing development on this parcel would seriously impinge on the natural corridor along the river and conflict with the LaPlatte Nature Park, one of the highest ranking habitats in the Arrowwood Report.
I also wonder about the proposed Rural Heritage and Tourism district. This is an area of high value scenic views. How will an accurate evaluation be made during this zoning rewrite of how proposed zoning changes will impact the town’s scenic views? Who would be able to make such an evaluation?
Also, I’m concerned that joining rural heritage and tourism might water down the true ruralness of a rural district by adding a commercial dimension to a rural area under the guise of employee housing development. Isn’t worker housing still housing and therefore shouldn’t it be located in density areas, which are not at all far away?
I question whether we even want to allow for possible future housing development on the site of the golf course? Is this another example of finding back doors into more housing development in areas where we don’t necessarily want more housing? We need more housing, yes, but where is the limit on where and how much?

Jim White
25 October 2023 at 9:00 am

A related question about the proposed Rural Heritage & Toursim District (RH-TD) is “Why?”.  This is all currently just “Rural” in the bylaws (except I think maybe the Museum).  Why are the Meach Cove and High Acre parcels included along with Shelburne Farms?  The current usage may be similar, but the ownership stuctures and current conservation agreements are not similar.  Whether there should be a new RH-TD zone can only be answered in combination with the question “How will the development standards be different from the Rural standards?  And why?”

Rowland
24 October 2023 at 3:40 pm

I see this phrase in the map storybook under the proposed new RL-TH zone (Rural Heritage & Tourism):  “The concept behind this district is to replace the cumbersome PUD standards that were used to address the unique regulatory needs of these properties in the adopted regulations.”  In past PC meetings there have also been complaints raised about the use of PUDs in the rural areas by town staff.  But I still have not heard anyone really explain what “cumbersome” means.  And for protection of open space within the rural area, in general, what is the tool that will be used, if not a PUD process?  Jumping through some hoops is really only cumbersome for developers, but it may be exactly what is needed to ensure the desired level of protection.  This needs some open discussion at a public PC meeting, so that we can gain more clarity on this important issue.

Rowland Davis
17 October 2023 at 1:29 pm

Hi Brandy and Rod,
 
I’ve been exploring the website and a few things came to mind. 
 
Regarding the R-N districts, I would love to see different characters emerge in different places. How can we enable this? Also, if we want our R-N districts to be walkable, can we have some places to walk to?  I live near the top of Webster. With the bike path, it’s walkable, but it’s not very interesting walking for the most part because our neighborhood consists entirely of housing. There are no “third places” for encountering neighbors (with the exception of the bike path, Webster Woods paths and the Kwiniaska club house which most people don’t think of as being a local pub and, maybe, Sisters of Anarchy). Might the development open space buffers be repurposed for better community use (a neighborhood small soccer field, a community garden, pop up cafe, ephemeral natural art space, and so on). Might we encourage some desirable neighborhood-scale businesses? Something for us to do, something to get us outside without always having to drive somewhere, something to make us more attached to the place in which we live?
 
I also want to comment on our bike parking regulations. Please specify bike rack performance standards and standards for siting the bike racks, e.g., setbacks to buildings, cars, sidewalks, and so on. Best practices exist for these types of things. Also, reconsider the prohibition of using a car parking space for bike parking. One space can accommodate 8-10 bike parking spaces making it a much more efficient way to bring people into a popular area that has the added benefit of reducing traffic congestion.  Local Motion recently created a model bike parking ordinance that can be adapted for a municipality’s use. Please consider taking a look. (https://docs.google.com/document/d/1YWkJ-whyu_Xi4j8gHEXzYehOd6urbfQEXcYKvYX0YxE/edit?usp=sharing)
 
Thanks,
Susan

Susan Grasso
16 October 2023 at 11:53 pm

In the draft for Sec 4300 on parking requirements, there is no mention of EV charging infrastructure.  Our neighbors in South Burlington are recommending that their bylaws require such infrastructure for any new multi-family development:
ACTION T.1.2: Adopt a policy to require (e.g., building code or zoning regulation) all new buildings have the appropriate amount of electric vehicle (EV) charging equipment and 200-amp electric service. Work with Drive Electric Vermont and/or Green Mountain Power to determine the appropriate amount.
Given the need for all VT communities to steer policies in a way to meet the state required reductions in GHG emmisions, I strongly recommend that this issue be addressed by the PC and that some requirement be included in the new zoning bylaws.
 
Rowland Davis
Chair, Shelburne Climate & Energy Committee

Rowland Davis
14 October 2023 at 12:44 pm

Work is underway on Articles 3-5. They will be posted as they are distributed to the Planning Commission. As of now (Aug 21), only Article 2 has been distributed.

Brandy Saxton
21 August 2023 at 5:04 pm

It looks like there are now drafts for Articles 3-5, but I do not find them on the website.  When can they be available?

Rowland Davis
17 August 2023 at 8:33 am

…to continue my previous comment (somehow the website “grabbed” it before I was done)
Climate-specific issues that can and should be properly included in the zoning bylaws, at least for PUDs and larger commercial projects, would include:
1.  Site review for solar efficiency.  The alignment of both buildings and streets can be importnat factors for efficient utilization of solar energy, and should be a factor for DRB consideration.  South Burlington has some requirements that could be used as a starting point.  Also, see this resource with other examples https://sustainablecitycode.org/brief/site-solar-orientation-2/
2.   Possible requirments for solar energy on suitable, large commercial structures.  Again, South Burlington has some language that can can be considered.
3.   Possible increase in riparian setback requirments to recognize increasing flooding risk due to climate change.
 
These are specific ideas to be considered, but the biggest climate-driven impact will be on the preservation of open space and especially forested areas as a way to mitigate CO2 emissions.

Rowland Davis
15 August 2023 at 3:16 pm

Re: Climate issues
Thanks to Brandy & Rod for meeting with representatives of the Climate & Energy Committee on July 31st.  You can find a summary of our discussion here https://vt-shelburne.civicplus.com/AgendaCenter/ViewFile/Minutes/_07312023-2373
At the last PC meeting on 8/10 there was some discussion of climate issues — including even a suggestion by one member that climate issues may not be so important, in general, and that they may not belong in the bylaws.  While it is true that most energy and efficiency issues are usually addressed through ordinances other than the zoning bylaws (e.g. building codes and energy standards), that does not mean that they have no place in the zoning bylaws.
In the current PlaceSense draft, there are two mentions of climate issues being part of any development that is within the Environmental Review Overlay District (currently undefined) and includes those with several other environmental issues that would be subject to advice and review by the Shelburne Natural Resources & Conservation Committee.  Unfortunately, climate issues for zoning bylaws cannot really be restricted to such an overlay district.  The proper trigger for inclusion of climate considerations should instead be based on the type of development under consideration.  Examples would be any PUD and any large commercial development.
The issues that should properly be in the zoning bylaws here would include:
1.  

Rowland Davis
15 August 2023 at 2:55 pm

In the August 10 meeting, I was glad to see some planning commission members begin to ask the PlaceSense consultants if what they were recommending is industry standard practice or their personal opinion. Differentiating between the two seems important in terms of helping Shelburne set it’s own course with zoning regs. At a time when many changes/pressures are coming to bear on zoning (we have at least two major crises before us – housing and environment), it’s good to keep in mind that even standard practice doesn’t necessarily represent the answer for Shelburne. We may want to be more conservative or more progressive with respect to specific zoning practices, depending on the specific circumstances. Generally speaking, I would like to see Shelburne be thoughtful and innovative in their approach, and not just conform to status quo thinking.
I wanted to add that despite how much has been said about encouraging public input in the regs. revision, there seems to be very little opportunity during the planning commission meetings for the public to participate. There’s always a few minutes for comments on items not on the agenda, but the agenda is usually the big, live topic at hand and that’s off the table. The public does tend to be invited to comment at the end of the meeting, but by then everyone present is clearly worn out and wants to go home. The message is – make it quick because we are almost out of time here. So when can the public engage with this? I realize PlaceSense is going to conduct public meetings in 2024, but those I’ve attended so far have mostly consisted of PlaceSense delivering their packaged presentation. Dialogue was at a minimum. And it’s hard to imagine how the general public who have not been following this complicated process will be able to suddenly generate coherent responses to it all in one to two hour sessions in the winter-spring. I think a lot more work needs to go into giving the public access to this project. Just my two cents.

Jim White
15 August 2023 at 1:27 pm

Re: Administrative Procedures. The section on Notice of Hearing says the public must be notified at least 15 days before a hearing. I realize that corresponds to state law which I believe makes 15 days the minimum requirement. However, if the notice is put into the Shelburne News, it would amount to only 13-14 actual days for most Shelburners because the paper is delivered by mail one or two days after publication date. One or two days could make a difference for those processing a complicated application. The PC might consider allow 18 days.
This does not seem like a trivial point to me, if we are to take seriously the right of at least 10 Shelburne voters to appeal. That would not be a quick and easy task for working parents who need to educate themselves and put a petition together. 15 days is only two weeks. Even one day could make a difference.  
Since the notice must go on the Shelburne town website, a suggestion is to allow interested people to sign up for automatic delivery by email of such zoning notices, along the lines of the current practice of sending interested residents notice of town committee meeting agendas. Maybe this is already the case?

Jim White
9 August 2023 at 4:31 pm

Re: Administrative Procedures. My comment pertains to major and minor a) site plan and b) subdivision application requirements. These two categories treat differences between major and minor somewhat similarly.
For site plan applications, minor plans don’t require Resources and Hazards, Access and Infrastructure, Structures and Impervious Surfaces or Greenspace assessments. Major plans require all of those.
For subdivision applications, minor applications don’t require Access, Infrastructure, Streets and Greenspace. Major applications do require those.
It seems to me that the difference between major and minor site plans could be pretty small. For example, new construction requires less than 3,000 sq. ft. of floor space for minor, 3,000 or more for major. The difference between a plan for 2,900 sf (minor) and 3,100 sf (major) in terms of impact on the land wouldn’t be immediately obvious.
So too, the difference between a 3 lot minor subdivision and a 4 or 5 lot subdivision would not be immediately obvious.
Further, for minor site plan approval, no public hearing is required for the Environmental Review or for site plan approval. For minor subdivision plan approvals, no public hearing is required.
The gap between major and minor could be large, but it could be small. I raise this point because it seems relevant to protecting wildlife habitat and corridors across all zones. In high density zones, even the nuances of how a property is developed could have a significant impact on how much it undermines or enables embedded or adjacent habitat and corridors. Inevitably, habitats and corridors will overlap properties that are being developed. Careful development could preserve the integrity of the habitat or corridor; less careful development could easily undercut it.
From this point of view, including Resources and Hazards and other pertinent assessments for both major AND minor plan applications, and Environmental Reviews for major AND minor subdivision approvals makes sense. So does the requirement of pubic hearings for both categories.
I realize that for areas covered by the Environmental Review Overlay, there may be some duplication of assessment. A couple of points:
a.       The Environmental Review Overlay does not exist yet, so we don’t know what will, and will not, be included.
b.       The Administrative Procedures document does include some environmental assessment (Resources and Hazards, Greenspace, for examples) for major applications and subdivisions so PlaceSense is actively making allowance for both with regard to majors. Why not minors also?
c.       The Environmental Review Overlay is not likely to include all areas of Shelburne and that warrants additional environmentally oriented assessment opportunities as referenced above. 

Jim White
9 August 2023 at 4:30 pm

Here are a couple of other catches in the draft chapter 2 language:
2201.D What is the basis for an application being judged complete? Does ZA use Fig. 2-04? 2-05?
I believe Figure 2-03 would be better placed with 2202.A and 2202.C where ZA is making these decisions. It would greatly help clarity.
pg 2.10 paragraph 2203.F there is a phrase immediately repeated
pg 2.24 Paragraph 2305.D change the word “commission” to “committee” members of SNRCC.

Don Rendall
6 August 2023 at 5:31 pm

Hi Brandy and Rod, I think I caught an error in the admin procedures draft. on page 2.24 section 2305.E describing the involvement of SNRCC figure 2-07 is referred to as what we will review. Should this actually be figure 2-08? Thanks for checking and I’ll keep reading! Don Rendall

Don Rendall
31 July 2023 at 6:21 pm

Thank you for the 7/18 meeting with representatives from the Shelburne Alliance For the Environment, where we focused on the details surrounding bylaw provisions that will help to protect Shelburne’s natural spaces and resources, including open spaces.  In discussions to date, these protections have often been linked to our rural districts, but there are also very important natural spaces within the town’s growth zones (i.e. within the area served by wastewater infrastructure).  These also need the same kind of protective measures, and this is a specific goal within the Town Plan (Chapter One: Future Land Use):
 
 
3. Within the Growth Areas, foster compact, walkable, and connected development patterns established with due regard having been given to conservation of exceptional natural resources.
 

Rowland Davis
26 July 2023 at 1:25 pm

Hi Brandy and Rod,

After meeting tomorrow night with SNRCC, how will I upload the meeting minutes into the public record here on the Shelburne page? And, I am not seeing any other meeting minutes from your other outreach meetings. I was hoping to get at the DRB notes for instance. Could they be displayed in the Task list of the informal meetings?

Thank you, Don Rendall, chair SNRCC

Don Rendall
11 July 2023 at 12:52 pm
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Engaging the Community 6 2 / 4 22
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Description

Robust public engagement will be encouraged throughout the project. All meetings of the Shelburne Planning Commission and other town committees that may be involved in the project will be noticed and open to all with opportunity for public comment as required under Vermont law. Meeting agendas, packets, minutes and video (when available) for Planning Commission and other town committees are available from the Agenda Center on Town of Shelburne website.

Project-specific materials and information will be posted on this website as well. Periodic updates on the project will be sent to everyone who signs up for the mailing list (see form at top of page). At particular points during the project, there will be more structured meetings for the purpose of inviting public feedback on the proposed regulations.

Neighborhood Meetings 10 February 2024 3
Virtual Q&A Session 1 18 January 2024

Thursday, January 18, 6:30 pm
Zoom Meeting ID: 768 094 9854

This virtual only session will be an opportunity for Shelburne residents to ask specific questions about the zoning changes under consideration and how the town’s regulations were affected last year by changes to state law under the HOMES Act (Act 47).

Questions are being accepted in advance via the form at the top of this page. If you cannot attend the virtual session, you may ask any questions you have via the form as well. We will be producing a FAQ compiling the questions and answers following the session.

Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form

Shelburne Road & Neighborhoods Meeting 27 January 2024

Saturday, January 27, 9 am
Shelburne Town Hall

This Neighborhood Meeting will be a facilitated discussion of important policy choices under consideration by the Planning Commission. It will focus on how to support housing creation and mitigate the impacts of higher density development within the growth areas established in the Shelburne Town Plan. Discussion questions to be posed at the meeting will be:

Should Shelburne’s regulations do more to support housing creation, choice and affordability in Shelburne Village and surrounding residential neighborhoods than the minimum required by the state under Act 47?

What should Shelburne’s regulations do to mitigate impacts when allowing for multi-unit, higher density residential, mixed use or commercial development along Shelburne Road and in surrounding residential neighborhoods?

 

Shelburne Village & Neighborhoods Meeting 31 January 2024

Wednesday, January 31, 7 pm
Shelburne Museum Auditorium

This Neighborhood Meeting will be a facilitated discussion of important policy choices under consideration by the Planning Commission. It will focus on how to support housing creation and mitigate the impacts of higher density development within the growth areas established in the Shelburne Town Plan. Discussion questions to be posed at the meeting will be:

Should Shelburne’s regulations do more to support housing creation, choice and affordability in Shelburne Village and surrounding residential neighborhoods than the minimum required by the state under Act 47?

What should Shelburne’s regulations do to mitigate impacts when allowing for multi-unit, higher density residential, mixed use or commercial development in Shelburne Village and surrounding residential neighborhoods?

Rural Shelburne East Side Neighborhood Meeting 1 February 2024

Thursday, February 1, 7 pm
Shelburne Town Hall

This Neighborhood Meeting will be a facilitated discussion of important policy choices under consideration by the Planning Commission. It will consider how to reconcile housing with resource protection and how to mitigate the impacts of active recreation and manage open space. Discussion questions to be posed at the meeting will be:

How should Shelburne’s regulations reconcile regional housing needs and state (Act 47) mandates with town policies related to resource protection (environmental, agricultural, scenic)?

How should Shelburne’s regulations guide the location and mitigate the impacts of active recreation uses and recreation-based businesses?

 

Rural Shelburne West Side Neighborhood Meeting 3 February 2024

Saturday, February 3, 10:30 am
Shelburne Vineyard

This Neighborhood Meeting will be a facilitated discussion of important policy choices under consideration by the Planning Commission. It will consider how to reconcile housing with resource protection and how to mitigate the impacts of active recreation and manage open space. Discussion questions to be posed at the meeting will be:

How should Shelburne’s regulations reconcile regional housing needs and state (Act 47) mandates with town policies related to resource protection (environmental, agricultural, scenic)?

How should Shelburne’s regulations respond to the needs of major institutional landowners sustaining much of the town’s scenic rural landscape while mitigating the impact of tourism, recreation and production activities on that land?

Virtual Q&A Session 2 10 February 2024

Saturday, February 10, 3:30 pm
Zoom Meeting ID: 768 094 9854

This virtual only session will be an opportunity for Shelburne residents to ask specific questions about the zoning changes under consideration and how the town’s regulations were affected last year by changes to state law under the HOMES Act (Act 47).

Questions are being accepted in advance via the form at the top of this page. If you cannot attend the virtual session, you may ask any questions you have via the form as well. We will be producing a FAQ compiling the questions and answers following the session.

Topic Meetings 9 May 2024
Informal Meetings 30 September 2023
Meet with Shelburne Housing Committee 5 June 2023
Meet with Shelburne Development Review Board 7 June 2023
Meet with Shelburne Equity & Diversity Committee 26 June 2023
Meet with the Shelburne Natural Resources and Conservation Commission 12 July 2023
Meet with the Shelburne Historic Preservation and Design Review Commission 13 July 2023
Attend the Shelburne Farmers' Market 15 July 2023
Meet with Shelburne Bike & Pedestrian Committee 17 July 2023
Meet with Shelburne Alliance for the Environment 18 July 2023
Meet with the Shelburne Climate and Energy Committee 31 July 2023
Meet with the Shelburne Finance Committee 7 September 2023

If the issue is we need more homes for people who work in Shelburne, why is there no provision in established residential neighborhoods requiring owner occupancy of the home, or adjacent unit, if it is used for Air B N B? 

Lisa Boisvert
25 May 2024 at 12:51 pm

One important mistake has been carried over to this V2. Section 2305.E(5) and 2305.F refer to environmental review as described in Figure 2-07. But the correct Figure should be Fig 2-08. Thank you

Don Rendall
22 May 2024 at 3:39 pm

I would like to suggest an alternative to the V2 proposed Open Space and Recreation Zone since this OS/R zone still does not make sense to me at least. This proposal would be a Recreation Zone and would be comprised of the following: Shelburne Bay Park, Shelburne Beach, Town Ball Fields, Davis Park, Hullcrest Park, Olde Orchard Park, Oak Hill Park, other Town owned lands not developed such as 20 Bay Road, lands north of Boulder Hill and east of Longmeadow, possibly Association lands with no deed restrictions etc: Birch Rd, Deer Run, Farmstead, Greenleaf LLC?, and Littlefield Drive. Other lands could include the triangle of land east of Spear owned by South Burlington owners, the golfcourses, and Shelburne Athletic fields.
Open Space lands including those conserved should not be included with such recreation lands since the uses are so very different.
Thank you for your consideration!

Don Rendall
22 May 2024 at 9:12 am

In reference to the habitat blocks identified as “priority” (see comments by Rowland Davis), I would say that choosing just some defeats the purpose of the mapping project carried out by Arrowwood, which built on previous work by SNRCC. it is the whole system of remaininng habitat blocks AND wildlife corridors that must be kept in mind in relation to any future development. The environmental report made it clear we need to be extremely careful right now. Fragmenting the designated areas breaks up the connections and will lead to a decline in biodiversity, among other things. Adaptability and resilience of intact, functioning natural systems–which Shelburne still has–are essential to moderate the heat, rain, drought and effects of increasingly powerful storms. They are also an essential aspect of what makes Shelburne a good place to live, contributing to our quality of life. Protecting ecosystems does not mean banning all building. It just has to be done with great care, to minimize disturbance, impervious surfaces and roads–in all areas, but especially in the identified habitat blocks and corridors. One suggestion is to require all development proposals to follow conservation design principles as outlined by Arendt. My hope is that the next draft of Article 6 will require that, definitely in ALL the blocks and corridors identified on the Arrowwood map, but even better, in all development proposed in town.

Kit Anderson
10 March 2024 at 3:52 pm

I agree with the suggestion Don Rendall, I believe, made at a recent PC meeting that environmental consultants (such as Arrowwood?) be allowed to offer an expert assessment of Articles 6 & 7 and their implications. Place Sense is very competent, but by their own admission, their business focus is housing development. It’s not realistic to expect Shelburne residents without the necessary background, to do an adequate evaluation of what the consequences of further fragmenting our forest block ecosystem will be. There would be some cost to additional consultant time, of course, but the cost of not doing a thorough evaluation could be much greater. 

Jim White
26 February 2024 at 10:00 am

Section 6103 deals with steep slopes and references a ‘steep slope advisory map’. If this this map is currently available, please advise & post on the site. I would expect it would identify were these steep slope exist so property owners would understand the potential impact of the regulation.
Thanks  

Maureen E O'Brien
22 February 2024 at 4:09 pm

I have advocated for a “build out analysis” by which Shelburne residents can better understand the effects of the new zoning laws, without effect so far.  So I will take a try at it myself.  To do this I need some data, namely an electronic document which gives a cross reference of each parcel number in the grand list to its proposed zoning district.  The comparison maps give me reason to believe that this data exists and could be extracted fairly readily.  Please provide me with this information.  Thanks,  Bob Birkett  Harbor Rd.

Robert Birkett
18 February 2024 at 1:27 pm

Thank you for your response to concerns about Shelburne town infrastructure impacts expressed at the Jan. 27th neighborhood meeting (R-N and R-S districts).   I raised the traffic issue and I understand that you were sharing summary information provided by our Town Manager.
I fear I didn’t make my points clearly enough and want to be sure that the Planning Commission and other decision-makers understand the unique traffic challenge we face due to Shelburne’s geography and property ownership (already in place):   
We have a 2.2 mile stretch of state highway on the northern side of town that is, effectively, land-locked when it comes to traffic relief. Thanks to Shelburne Bay on the western side and solidly contiguous private property going up to Spear Street on the eastern side, all traffic on Route 7 from Allen Road on the northern town border to Webster Road at the jug-handle is effectively trapped as volumes increase – with the one exception of the Bay/Harbor Road loop into the village/onto the point that doesn’t (yet:  thank goodness!) provide relief to all of the vehicles traveling up & down the western side of the state.   As Matt noted in his summary, our rush-hour traffic is one of about a dozen regional trouble spots. (SEE: Shelburne Town Plan p. 71 VTrans chart of daily traffic volumes to get a sense of how bad this particular stretch is….)
It’s great that VTrans plans to invest about $400 million through 2050 to try to minimize congestion in the state – but there’s little that can be done here as the traffic volumes increase on route 7 north of the village due to our specific situation.  Matt noted that the road won’t be widened and now – thanks to the minimal setbacks in the SR-FBOD code: it really can’t be. We would all love to transform this area into a more walkable and bike-friendly environment; but the highway itself and the fact that the amenities that people want to reach (our school, our library, grocery stores, churches, recreation areas — even the town offices….are all in the village).  The impact of increased traffic in this section isn’t limited to the residents in this district:  everyone in Shelburne and everyone trying to pass through our town….or get to our town for it’s tourism, shopping, dining & services….would be affected. I’ve already had friends tell me that they’ve chosen to stop going into Shelburne because of the bottleneck traffic on Route 7 as you enter the village.  
All of this is not to say that we shouldn’t allow more housing in this district; but it does underscore the point that many of us were trying to make:  let’s do our part to meet the new state mandates and help to address housing needs, but let’s not immediately go overboard on this stretch with regulations allowing four times the density required by the state. 
My husband and I were in Westchester county, NY, this past weekend — where we lived almost 40 years ago. We were SO relieved to come home to Vermont! The quality of life in the White Plains area has fallen drastically due to gridlock traffic and lack of parking and overwhelmed remaining green spaces. 
As one neighborhood meeting participant noted, “You can Manhattanize Shelburne, but you can’t Shelburnize Manhattan.” 

Robilee Smith
7 February 2024 at 4:50 pm

A good question was raised at last night’s neighborhood meeting.  What is the definition of “Affordable Housing”

Tracey
1 February 2024 at 9:36 am

Where is the best place to communicate an opinion in response to the village neighborhood meeting on January 31?  I did not get up to speak but after listenting to those who did, I see not reason for Shelburne’s bylaws to go beyond what the state is requiring – at his point.  It is already a pretty dramatic change and it would be helpful to see how it rolls out in the near future.  I agree with density housing in the village but we need to be careful to maintain the historic designation for the village 1 area.
I also have a question about any regulations that will be in place for accessory dwellings?  If they are used for short term rentals then it does little for the need for affordable housing.  Are there regulations about size, etc?

Jane Zenaty
1 February 2024 at 7:13 am

In response to the questions from Neighborhood meeting of 1/27/24:
1) No. At this point, all we know is that the HOMES act will likely result in big changes. We need to adapt to them before we determine whether and how much more we can handle. As someone at the meeting said, and with which I agree, doing the maximum now will limit our options as to HOW we make these changes. A precautionary approach seems a reasonable request.
2) I can think of 4 things that will go a long way toward mitigating the big changes that are coming:
-conduct a thorough and honest analysis of how the HOMES act complies with Act 171 requirements.
-conduct a thorough and honest analysis of how the HOMES act complies with the 30 by 30 “Community Resilience” initiative (Act 59; H. 126).
– Include a Conservation Overlay district in the new regulations that respects and accounts for the forest blocks and habitat connectors identified by Arrowwood.
– Incorporate Randall Arendt’s (or a very similar) conservation design as a requirement in ALL areas of town.

Persis Worrall
31 January 2024 at 6:51 pm

Hi Brandy and Rod,
Looking for the recording of the Virtual Q and A session from January 18th and am not seeing it on the PlaceSense site, town site, or Media Factory recordings page for town meetings. When will it be available to the residents of Shelburne? As only 28 or so people were on the call, there are many Shelburne residents who may benefit from hearing what information was provided. I am not seeing it on the PlaceSense site or on the Media Factory site. How will you inform Shelburne Road and Neighborhoods of the changes made in the proposals you have drafted for the town since the limited communication does not seem to be reaching them? 

Lisa Boisvert Mackenzie
21 January 2024 at 10:18 am

I am very interested in what type of town our zoning laws will ultimately allow.  What would Shelburne look like if it were completely developed according to our bylaws?  How many buildings, what type, how many people, grand list total?  And what would Shelburne look like as we drive around it?  The regional planning commission has the capability to perform a “build out analysis” to answer questions like this.  Could such an analysis be performed and used to evaluate our proposed zoning laws?  Thanks.
 

Robert Birkett
5 September 2023 at 11:44 am

Adding to my comment about the Parade Ground,  I suggest that due to the deeply historic nature of the Parade Ground, the ruling of the Historic Preservation & Design Review Commission with regard to any proposed changes to the Parade Ground be made binding, rather than advisory.

Robert Birkett
21 August 2023 at 3:06 pm

This is my third attempt at posting my comments.  I’m finding using this site confusing and a bit daunting and would imagine others will too.
I’m concerned that the process of rewriting the town’s zoning bylaws in it’s enormity is already seeming to be a bit rushed.  While this is understandable, the result will be to diminish public input, a factor I know PlaceSense values in this process.  Is the Draft of Administrative Procedures chapter finished?  If so, do Shelburne citizens feel that they had ample time to understand the information and comment?

Donna Fialkoff
16 August 2023 at 7:53 am

My wife, grandkids and I have enjoyed strolling through the parade grounds, often while enjoying ic  cream.  And we enjoy driving through town and observing the green space provided by the parade ground.  It is important for current and future residents and visitors to have this green space to enjoy.  This space needs to be designated as a separate zone with rules that prohibit any future structures or pavement to be placed there.

Roger Crouse
15 August 2023 at 5:39 pm

Over the years, Shelburne residents have enjoyed the Parade Ground since it was gifted to the town. It is an important historical and cultural space that should be designated as a separate zone with zoning rules preventing further structures or pavement put on it.

Lee Hollister
14 August 2023 at 11:30 am

Thank you for your work on this. I have 2 suggestions. 1.  All new residential development,regardless of the site, should be required to have a specified percentage of units built for moderate income families. So, for example: less that 5 dwellings must have one built for moderate income families (eg income between say 80 and 200 k). 5 to 10 should have 2 units etc. this would provide some additional moderate income homes without creating “ghettos”. 2.  All new buildings should be limited to 25% of non built property with a grass lawn. The remaining should be native and pollinating plants to help provide food and habitat for threatened pollinator species. 

Susan Stock
13 August 2023 at 9:26 am

 Not only is the Parade Ground ian important historical and cultural space, connecting Shelburne residents with our ancestors and with current residents who value the peace and quiet of open space, but is a gathering space for resident to come together in a peaceful enviroment  The Parade Ground should be designated as a separate zone, with zoning rules preventing any further structures or pavement to be placed upon it. 

T. Karl Hubbard
13 August 2023 at 8:55 am

The Parade Ground is an important historical and cultural space, connecting Shelburne residents with our ancestors and with current residents who value the peace and quiet of open space.  The Parade Ground should be designated as  separate zone, with zoning rules preventing any further structures or pavement to be place upon it.

Robert Birkett
12 August 2023 at 9:13 pm

I appreciate the attention that Allyson brings to the very rapid growth of approved dwelling units over the last 2-3 years — far higher than past growth rates and well above the rates mentioned in the Town Plan: “… can and should sustain a growth
rate that continues its historic growth trend—a growth rate that anticipates the addition of 25-50 new dwelling units per year, on average.” (p.48)

There are three “scarce resources” that need to be factored into future growth: (1) available land (obviously); (2) available infrastructure, particularly the WWTF capacity which is fixed by the law when a facility is constructed; and, (3) the capacity of town staff to manage the needs created by the growth.

Rowland Davis
8 July 2023 at 11:27 am

I appreciated you attending the DRB meeting and introducing some of your findings.     I’ve been ruminating on one of your observations – specifically that we have not achieved the “connectivity” desired as outlined in the Town Plan.    My impression upon re-reading the Town Plan is that the town residents desire pedestrian and bicycle connectivity NOT more automotive connectivity.   I suspect most residents are happy that neighborhoods do not have connecting streets that become shortcuts and bypasses for Route 7.  Caution should be used as we consider revisions to the zoning when it comes to the word “connectivity” and be sure it is very clearly defined.
I’d also point out that the Town Plan indicates the rate of new construction for housing should be 25-50 dwelling units per year.   In the last 2 1/2 years (January 2021 thru June 7 2023), the DRB has approved projects that potentially result in 287 new housing units.  That works out to an average of 114 per year, nearly 4x the rate desired in the Town Plan.     

Allyson
17 June 2023 at 7:53 pm
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Adopting the Regulations 0 0 / 2 2
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Description

The process for adopting land use regulations involves public hearings by both the Planning Commission and Selectboard. The Planning Commission is responsible for developing proposed regulations. However, it is the Selectboard that has the authority to adopt those regulations. The adoption process municipalities must follow is laid out in 24 V.S.A. § 4441, 24 V.S.A. § 4442 and 24 V.S.A. § 4444.

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Brandy and Rod,
I am watching the Saturday meeting of the Planning Commission and there is discussion of lots near Executive Drive, yet there is only text being shown on the screen. 
Please, would you show the maps for the areas being discussed so the meeting attendents on Zoom can see what is being discussed.
Thank you. 

Lisa Boisvert Mackenzie
23 March 2024 at 1:35 pm

Have to admit I found the discussion of the Rural Heritage and Tourism Zone confusing.
1. This carves the rural district into three zones, and seems inconsistent with the intent to simplify Shelburne zoning.
2. There was little clarity about the “use” (purpose) of the new zone versus the other rural sectors. Why the agreement to have this separate district if we don’t know what it’s for?
3. Just as a density zone would seem to emphasize density, shouldn’t a rural zone emphasize protecting what makes an area rural? Yet there was no discussion of preserving rural lands or culture. There was only agreement to allow workforce housing (more housing) and offer more service flexibility to rural enterprises. In other words, the focus was in the direction of more housing and commercial considerations. Will there be a serious conversation about how to preserve the “rural” in Shelburne’s rural zones in the face of development pressure?
4. A Rural Heritage and Tourism Zone would seem to be a place where protecting scenic views would merit extra special attention. Will that be considered at some point?

Jim White
22 November 2023 at 10:11 am
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Project Funding

This project is funded in part through a Bylaw Modernization Grant awarded to the Town of Shelburne from the Vermont Department of Housing and Community Development.