Town of Bolton

3045 Theodore Roosevelt Highway

Bolton VT 05676



Planning Commission Minutes


October 16, 2002


Meeting called to order at 6:06 p.m.


Planning Commission members present: Linda Baker, Chair, Steve Barner, Jim Bralich, Chris Haggerty, Rodney Pingree


Planning Commission members absent: None


Clerk: Amy Grover


Also present: Dana Farley, Joss Besse




1.       Minutes September 10, 2002

2.       Other communications/mail

3.       6:15 p.m. Dana Farley – Review status of CCRPC and the Town Plan/Municipal Planning Grant

4.       Continue review of the final draft of the Zoning Regulations

5.       Draft schedule for future items to be addressed

6.       Any other business

7.       Adjournment




Agenda Item #1 – Minutes

Rodney Pingree made a motion to accept the minutes of September 10, 2002 as amended.  Steve Barner seconded the motion.  All were in favor.


Agenda Item #2 – Other communications/mail

Linda Baker noted seminars available at the 25th Annual Municipal Officers Management conference.


The Commission reviewed and responded to the VLCT municipal law center services survey.


The Commission reviewed the CCRPC task force report “Unlocking Housing Opportunities.”


The Commission drafted a response to the request for public comment on Interim Procedure on ANR Floodway Determinations in ACT 250 Proceedings. The Commission’s response included noting that areas of a watershed need to be developed sensibly so that those areas do not excessively contribute to flooding, i.e. tree removal, road construction, bull dozing, parking etc.  The Commission noted the need for these issues be addressed in the draft procedure enabling the ANR to be proactive in minimize flooding rather than reacting to flooding.  Amy Grover will send the comments to the ANR via email.


Agenda Item #3 – Dana Farley CCRPC/Town Plan/Municipal Planning Grant

6:17 p.m.


Dana Farley noted that she was meeting with the Planning Commission in order to gather information and recommendations regarding the Village II District. Ms. Farley noted that she had met with the Bolton Select Board for the same reason, to gather their input on the subject, and that she would distill all of the information gathered into a report that was responsive to the concerns and visions for that part of Town.  All of the information generated would completely feed into the Municipal Planning Grant, if awarded to the Town.


Dana Farley Reviewed maps with the Commission which showed the current Village II District boundaries on an ortho photo of the area, as well as a slope grade map of the district.  The surprisingly large amount of generally flat areas within the Village II District was noted by both Ms. Farley and the Commission.


Linda Baker stated that she felt that the main issue was determining the capacity for the Village II area, the potential, the restrictions, the constraints and the opportunities, and would look for information and recommendations along those lines.  Linda Baker noted that an important piece would be determining the exact number of lots that already exist, or lots which have been grandfathered.


Jim Bralich noted that there are many discrepancies on the tax maps with regard to lots, even though the tax maps are to be updated yearly, and noted mistakes with regard to his lots.  Linda Baker stated that was an issue that greatly needed attention and correction, and suggested to Ms. Farley that contacting the previous owner of Bolton Valley, Ralph DesLauriers, would be helpful in gathering additional information.


Steve Barner noted that while originally the development within the Village II parcel would be governed by ACT 250, there were other reasons why Village II had been zoned the way it was.  Steve stated that there is a need to find reasonable dimensions and a viable environment for the ski area.


Dana Farley stated that the Village II District would be undergoing the Bolton subdivision process to be subdivided into six lots:

1.      The ski area

2.      The slopeside condominiums (hotel)

3.      An 1,000 acre sale to the Green Mountain Club

4.      An 147 acre sale to a telecommunications company

5.      The water and wastewater facilities

6.      All that remains, frontage, and cross country ski trails


Joss Besse noted that the Town would have no say in where the lines would go or be extended to.


Dana Farley noted that there were issues with the wastewater treatment, and that the resort needs to have 3 new leachfields online by 11/1/02 or they will be in noncompliance.  She stated that she would be investigating the permitting history of the water and waste water systems, and that information would be included in her report.  Jim Bralich stated that there was an extension granted on the leach field, and that the system is permitted for 92 thousand gallons/day and that the system is receiving approximately 35 thousand gallons/day.  Rodney Pingree noted that the new septic rules would allow for building anywhere.  Dana Farley noted that it was a complicated situation, but that limitations to future wastewater and water hookups did not mean that there wasn’t capacity.  Rodney Pingree stated that in order to receive a building permit, the Health Officer would have to sign off on adequate water and sewer.  Dana Farley noted that was an issue to investigate, and asked if the Health Officer had issued anything for Village II.  Linda Baker stated that Dick Ward, ZA, needed to be asked how sewage and septic issues are handled within the Village II District, by written policy, c.o.o, or site visits.  Linda Baker reiterated that it was extremely important to know what lots exist in Village II, and what lots have been allocated septic and water.  Joss Besse stated the need for the Town to have an accurate property/tax map, and asked that the Select Board be apprised of the need to have this important issue addressed.


Steve Barner asked if any other towns have restrictions on the percent of slope grade that is allowed to built on, noting that Ian McDougall of CCRPC stated that hillsides in Bolton needed to be addressed.  Dana Farley stated that other towns were adopting ridgeline ordinances.  Joss Besse stated that the Town had previously relied on natural limitations, but that the Town may want other densities, and added that the challenge would be to identify appropriate dense development, and to be much more specific on what areas are to be developed. 


The Commission, Joss Besse, and Dana Farley reviewed the draft map of the Village II District that was prepared by CCRPC for the Commission in July.  Dana Farley noted that she had seen the map, but didn’t realized what it was, that the Commission had been working on addressing the density issue before the Select Board decided to adopt interim zoning.  Steve Barner noted that the Commission had tried to allow for density around the very core of the ski area, but had wanted to limit the density outside of that area, i.e. in the Bone Mountain area of Village II.  Steve Barner noted the immense difference between what 2/3 of an acre vs. 6-acre zoning could look like, and the impact on the Town.  Rodney Pingree noted that there is a water source protection area where little, if any, development is allowed. 


Dana Farley asked the Commission what their ideal vision of the area would look like.

Rodney Pingree stated PRDs and PUDs would be there.  Linda Baker stated that a viable ski area would be a part of the vision, as well as seasonal and tourist housing to minimize year round impact, and noted that most ski areas today need to have a golf course in order to attract that kind of seasonal business.  Joss Besse suggested that while information is being gathered that the entire Bolton Valley Access Road should be evaluated.


Dana Farley thanked the Commission for their time, and asked them to contact her with any other ideas.  Ms. Farley stated that she would put together a draft of her report and would come back to the Commission for more input at the halfway point.


Agenda Items #4 and 5 - Review Zoning Regulations Draft and future schedule

Tabled until the November meeting.


Agenda Item #6 – Any other business

The next scheduled meeting of the Planning Commission will be on Wednesday, November 13, 2002, 6 p.m. at the Town Office.


Agenda Item #7 – Adjournment

The meeting adjourned at 8:20 p.m.


Amy Grover

Clerk, Planning Commission


These minutes are unofficial until accepted by the Planning Commission.


These minutes were read and accepted by the Planning Commission on


_________________________ , 2002.






Linda Baker, Chair