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MINUTES OF THE NEWFANE SELECTBOARD
PUBLIC HEARING REGARDING SUBDIVISION REGULATIONS
OCTOBER 4, 2007
TOWN OFFICES - NEWFANE, VERMONT

PRESENT

Selectboard members: Dan Dewalt, Joe Mandell, Peter Rysz, Guy Wachtel

Also Present: Shannon Meckle, Administrative Assistant; Gunther Garbe, Planning Commission; Piet van Loon; Myra Fassler; Walter Phelps; Charles Bergmann; Robert Holden; John Spicer

The meeting was called to order at 8:50 p.m.

Bud Bergmann stated to the board that he strongly recommends not adopting these bylaws because this is such an important document and it should have more public involvement. There are flaws in the document, and it could open the town up to problems. He did not feel that the meetings had been adequately publicized.

Discussion ensued regarding the statutory requirements for holding public hearings, and proper warning of these hearings. Both the Planning Commission and the Selectboard followed these requirements. Meetings were, however, poorly attended.

Piet van Loon recommended that these Subdivision Bylaws be adopted and revisions can be done subsequently. The downside of that is that there will have to be the same hearing process to amend them.

Ed Druke stated that the biggest concern is if there are conflicts in it, and whether that would open the town up to lawsuits.

Gary Katz stated that he felt the hearings were very adequately warned, but very poorly attended. The Planning Commission was more than willing to hear questions and concerns. Windham Regional Commission was present at these hearings for guidance. Gary recommended the board adopt them so that there is a good basic bylaw to work with, so that the town doesn’t end up losing out because they don’t have one at all.

Piet van Loon stated that this bylaw qualifies the town for certain programs that they will not otherwise be eligible for. The potential for problems is very small. This process brings 10+ years of effort to fruition, and the process has been followed by the law.

The sense of the board was that after adoption, the board would seriously support more public input.

Bud Bergmann reiterated his position that he strongly recommended that the board not adopt the bylaws.

Robert Holden stated that although he’s not as familiar with the document or the process as others are, but it seems there is a clear process for changing it later on. Submit the changes you want to see. Reward hard work, and encourage public participation by adopting the bylaw.

Gunther gave the background of developing the bylaw, and that it would eventually become Chapter 10 of Newfane’s Zoning Bylaws.

Guy Wachtel made a motion to adopt the plan, adding that the sense of the board is to encourage people to submit amendments. If the Selectboard receives any, they will be happy to forward them to the Planning Commission. Dan Dewalt seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

Dan Dewalt made a motion to adjourn the hearing. Guy Wachtel seconded the motion. The motion carried unanimously and the hearing was adjourned at 9:30 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Shannon Meckle
Administrative Assistant

Posted At: Town Clerk's Office, Newfane Store, Williamsville/South Newfane Post Office, and
South Newfane General Store & Deli. www.newfanevt.com (after approval)

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