Planning Board - Minutes: May 28, 2014


The convened at 7:00 PM at the Town House; regular members present were Waine Whittier, Alan Williams, Ed Lawless, Austin Harrell, and Creston Gaither. Also present were Board of Appeals Chair Jim Anderberg and several Vienna citizens.

Creston had advertised this meeting as including a public hearing on proposed changes to the Town's Wireless Telecommunications Facilities Siting Ordinance.

With regard to the Board's recent determination regarding Dean Sciaraffa's permit application (see April 23 minutes) it was noted that it was ultimately determined that the proposed construction site does not lie within a flood hazard zone as shown on FEMA's FIRM.

A corrected copy of Waine's May 13 letter to attorney Andrew Hamilton was signed.

The Board then began the public hearing regarding the aforesaid "cell tower" ordinance. Waine outlined the Board's concerns with the setback waiver provisions of the Ordinance. The existing requirements of the Ordinance regarding setback provisions were outlined.

Alan presented proposed wording for a change to the Ordinance which would eliminate its waiver provision. Waine outlined the existing "exemption provisions" which the Board suggests be eliminated from the Ordinance.

Jim Anderberg noted that GTP's recent application denial has been appealed to the Board of Appeals (BoA) and that the Planning Board should avoid discussing matters pertinent to that application in his presence.

Sarah Simons said she believes that a Federal law requires towers to be at least 1500 feet from schools and residences etc. She will try to find documentation of this and forward it to the Board.

Options for new setback requirements were discussed.

The Board formally agreed that a 1000 foot setback from any residence, school, or other public building where meetings are held would be ideal, unless an easement allowing a smaller setback is first obtained.

It was suggested that Sect. 7.2.K.1.f. be deleted.

Jim suggested that the provisions for appeals be clarified as to whether the BoA does a de novo or appellate review, in which it would simply review and rule on prior decisions by the Planning Board.

Waine will discuss the wording of such a provision with M.M.A.

Jim asked whether the Ordinance does or should provide for some parties to have formal "intervener status."

It was agreed that the Board should take its time to carefully draft proposed changes and then have a special town meeting to adopt them.

A Letter of Map Amendment forwarded by FEMA removing the structure at 103 Town House Road from the flood zone was briefly reviewed.

The meeting adjourned at 8:00 PM.

Creston Gaither, secretary

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