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Public Hearing 1-9-24

Planning Board Minutes
January 9, 2024

PUBLIC HEARING:
Present: Jeff Osgood, Bill Joyner, Gerry DeBonis, Sara Tobias,Diane Callahan

Call to order by Bill Joyner at 6:00 pm.

Mr. Joyner explained that this public hearing is to present the Planning Board’s recommended changes to the definition section of the Zoning and Building Ordinance Article XVII: Definitions and the definition section of the Land Subdivision Control Regulations Section II Definitions.

Mr. Joyner then explained the difference between an Ordinance and Regulation. An Ordinance is a town law created by the vote of the town citizens at the annual meeting. It is similar to a law passed by Congress. The power of an ordinance comes from the fact that it is a law made by all of the citizens of a town. It is not made by the elected Select Board or by the appointed, unelected Planning Board. A Regulation is a town law (rule) made by the appointed, unelected Planning Board members in a regular Planning Board meeting to support an Ordinance with details needed to clarify specifics of an Ordinance not included in the Ordinance. It is similar to Federal and State Commissions and Agencies creating laws (rules) to support the implementation of laws passed by Congress.

In a meeting with the Town Attorney it was recommended as a housekeeping matter that all definitions should be moved to the Ordinances for greater authority and simplicity of organization.

Mr. Osgood reviewed the proposed changes, first reviewing the one change to the Land Subdivision Control Regulations, which is to change the definition of a building. The current definition reads “Building means a structure designed and built or occupied as a shelter or roofed enclosure for persons, and used for residential, religious, educational, recreational or professional purposes. Such building includes open porches, open breezeways, other roofed areas, and decks.” The new proposed definition reads: Building means a structure designed and built or occupied as a shelter or roofed enclosure for persons, animals and property of any kind.” Rich Dufresne, Spring Hill Road, asked about the meaning of “property of any kind”. The response was this would include vehicles, equipment, and other property that may need to be kept under cover. Ms. Tobias pointed out this definition would also include tents, dog houses, etc.

Mr. Osgood reviewed the proposed additions and changes to the Zoning and Building Ordinances. The definitions of Board, Building, Building Development, Engineer, Minor Subdivision, Plat, Street, and Subdivision are currently in the Land Use Control Regulations (LSCR) and it is proposed to add them to the Zoning and Building Ordinances. The definition of Dwelling is a new definition and it is proposed to add this to the Zoning and Building Ordinances as well.

Rich Dufresne, Spring Hill Road, asked for the rationale of moving these definitions into the Zoning and Building Ordinances. Mr. DeBonis explained that the ordinance has more legal authority than the regulations.

There were no other questions or comments.

Motion to close the public hearing at 6:30 pm (DeBonis/Tobias). All in favor, motion carried.

Minutes taken by Debra Harling. Approved on 02/13/2024.