Town of Bolton
3045 Theodore Roosevelt Highway
Bolton VT 05676

Planning Commission Minutes

July 18, 2005

The meeting was called to order at 6:08 p.m.

Planning Commission members present:   Steve Barner (6:30 p.m.), Jim Bralich, Jim Thornton

Planning Commission members absent: Linda Baker, Rodney Pingree

Clerk: Amy Grover

Also present:  Greg Brown, CCRPC


  1. Town Plan – Grant Work Plan: Housing and Energy chapters.
  2. Minutes June 6, 2005
  3. Other communications/mail
  4. Any other business
  5. Adjournment

Agenda Item #1 – Town Plan – Grant Work Plan: Housing and Energy Chapters

The PC reviewed the draft language for Housing and Energy provided by Greg Brown.  It was noted that, and discussion included:


·       Energy section to be drafted around aspects required by State law.

1.  Resources:

·       Hydro power:  General observation that may be worthwhile to think about over the long term.

3.  Energy Goals and Policies:

·       Bike path and footpath statements are unrealistic, more appropriate to make roads bike and pedestrian friendly.  Delete unrealistic statements, add widen roads and bike lanes over time.

·       Park and Ride:  Check with MPO on potential sites – Bolton listed?  Keep investigating potential future use of current I89 bridge repair staging area for park and ride, additional parking for Bolton Valley.  Draft language for Bolton Valley to encourage parking at the bottom of the BV Access Road/Route 2.  Bring additional information regarding state ownership/maintenance of a park and ride area back to Select Board.

·       Wind Power:  Maps have been developed of potential sites in the state, but are proprietary information.  Is Bolton a targeted site?  Industry determines sites through an average number of days with wind speeds above a certain rate.  Greg to research non-proprietary information, other town’s language with regard to this issue, and add draft language.

·       With relation to energy, the PC and SB have formally asked Redstone/Bolton Valley for a Master Plan, and whether any significant increase in need for electricity requiring a distribution line upgrade is anticipated.

·       B. 1. Protection:  i.e. bylaw requires large enough setbacks and height restrictions so that neighbor could use solar power (house not in adjacent house’s shadow). 

·       B. 1. Incentives: Tax policy is the most powerful incentive, does not work well in a rural town.  Apply density bonuses if houses are built to be energy efficient and/or use renewable fuels/resources.


·       Housing markets do not pay attention to boundaries.  Not so much what happens in Bolton, but in Chittenden County and northwest VT as a whole.  If people are still willing to commute to employment areas, housing pressures and costs in Bolton will continue to increase.  Drivers for demand may not be in Bolton, but are in northwest VT.

·       Difficulty reconciling numbers in Bolton, Greg will continue to work on this.  Jim T. noted that the town was close to completing the update to the Grand List; still expect a high number of affordable housing units, well within CCRPC’s target housing goals.  Greg and Jim to review updated Grand List.

Housing Goals and Policies:

·        #2 – delete.

·        #4 – specific incentives, delete, enough to encourage PUD/PRD through density bonuses.  Accessory apartments are mentioned to link the town plan to the zoning regulations and VT statute.

·       Delete specific numbers of target housing goals

·       Add bullet that Bolton is meeting target housing goals.

·       Feedback on charts and tables.  It was noted by the PC that if the charts and tables need to be explained, they are ineffectual, and should not be included in the Town Plan. Greg stated that he felt some data is necessary to support the goals of the Town Plan.  Recommendations:

1.     Table x – y 2000 Households and Populations – adjust the numbers.

2.     Table x - y2 2000 Housing Supply – delete and use new grand list data.

3.     Table x – y3 2000 Housing Type – delete, available from grand list data.

4.     Table x – y4 2000 Age – delete.

5.     Table 6-6 2000 Housing Types – delete.

6.     Table 6-7 Growth in housing supply - delete

7.     Table 6-8 Update information, illustrates what is driving demand for housing in Bolton, use text instead of table.

8.     Table 6 – 9 Median Home prices – keep.

9.     Table 6-10 Rental – keep and clarify.

10.  Table 6-11 Housing Wage – delete, included in 6.12 Housing.

11.  Table 6-12 Housing Cost Burden – keep, clarify.

Other Town Plan issues:

·       Transportation: commuter train service – retain language for the provision of a commuter train station in Bolton.

·       The PC would like to see Town Plans from other rural communities

August meeting:

Greg will provide draft language for Transportation and Utilities, and noted that in order for him to work effectively, some time will need to be spent on purposes, goals and objectives and where the town currently stands on those issues. 

Greg noted that CCRPC is currently interviewing, and that the new planner is expected to be on board mid-fall to work with Bolton, with a transition phase provided by Greg.  Greg stated that it is feasible to complete a hearing draft of the Town Plan by the grant closeout date.  The PC suggested allocating time for public input within the framework of a regular working meeting.

Amy signed the grant contract with CCRPC.   

Agenda Item #2– Minutes June 6, 2005

Tabled until the next scheduled meeting, chair not present to sign minutes.

Agenda Item #3– Other communications/mail

Amy will contact CCRPC Representative Leslie Pelch to notify/invite her to attend future PC meetings. 

Amy noted that the Conservation Commission wants to be notified when the Natural Resources chapter is on the agenda.

Agenda Item #4 – Any other business

The next meeting of the Planning Commission is for Monday, August 15, 2005, 6 – 8 p.m. @ the Bolton Town Office.


Agenda Item #5 – Adjournment

The meeting adjourned at 8:00 p.m.

Amy Grover

Clerk, Planning Commission

These minutes are unofficial until accepted.

These minutes were read and accepted by the Planning Commission on

__________________________ , 2005.


Linda Baker, Chair