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Minutes from Feb 25, 2004


LAND USE SUB COMMITTEE MINUTES


Meeting Date:  February 25, 2004

Meeting called to order @ 7:18 PM by Dan Levitz

The Chairperson suggested that we need, as a committee, to stress how subdividing impacts town facilities.  Ie: roads, fire dept and schools.  Impact studies by developers should undertake such considerations as paving, water sources, schools per number of bedrooms and taxation needs of the town for the cost of additional children and residents. One opinion was that the profit of the developer is tied to the cost to the taxpayer.

Discussion of a predetermined "vision" desired for the appearance and aesthetics of the town should be encouraged.  Ie: businesses on Route 202; the number of town families supported by these business, green areas, taxes on buildings and equipment for these businesses; and the feasibility of commercial property without commercial zoning. One subject is to take advantage of this central artery without destroying our rurality. We should look to a Comprehensive Plan which attracts environmentally sound and beneficial businesses.

The issue of incentives to investors for low cost home building may be a tough call taking into account the theoretics of median income sales and mandates at 10%; possible smaller lot sizes; and cluster housing. State and Federal work with developers is to back up zoning and developing not to
fund same.

Ease, difficulty or political marketing of a Comprehensive Plan as town flavor remaining "small and rural" and citizen's acceptance of change, subjectively or otherwise. People with skills, resources to invest on any scale wish the whole outside market and the advantages of roads and services.  A lot of environmental or property misuse is just as is rather than intentional.

Mapping all areas of the town is a first priority to assess where specific uses should or may work or not with details gradually working themselves out.   Keeping the process "personality neutral" is a goal. Locking in as exists may not be acceptable to the State even if the vote is passable. State
standards can be vague with contradictory regulations and laws. The State attempts to guide growth if a town is without a plan. Thus the need for a Comprehensive Plan to avoid the State designating for us. However this must be a plan acceptable to citizens.

Our Mission Statement or template may suggest a semi rural atmosphere with sustainability considerations and historical preservation ideas.  Environmental Protection mandates fall under a whole other set of guidelines. We need to be more specific that the previous Comprehensive Planning draft.  It may be worthwhile to learn or review the Comprehensive Plans of other~similar
surrounding communities. In guiding growth and/or land uses, a planning statement should designate desired~ accomplishments of the community with use as an example for subcommittees.

Mapping of the town is to be the first task for this subcommittee with the use of Land Trust, SMRPC and Town maps. Each person will take a map and study a specific type of land use.