Wilmington zoning revisions still on table


WILMINGTON -- Although closer to adopting proposed revisions to zoning documents regarding signs, administration and definitions, the town's Selectboard still has decisions to make.

"There's two things we're not clear on saying ‘yes' to," said Wilmington Selectboard member Susie Haughwout, who is liaison between the board and Planning Commission.

Questions remained involving setbacks for small structures and off-premise signs after a joint special meeting with the commission and board on Wednesday, July 23.

Haughwout said she thought there were substantial changes. That would mean the public hearing process will need to be started all over again. She was absent from the public hearing held a week earlier.

Changes considered substantial require the commission to bring a draft back to the Selectboard. If changes are deemed minor, then the Selectboard can make those edits and the revised documents can be adopted.

Commission Chairwoman Wendy Manners brought the board a spreadsheet addressing input collected at the hearing. The commission met on Monday, July 21, where it went over the input.

The commission did not come to a full consensus on whether flags should be considered free standing signs. It also did not reach a full agreement on whether motor vehicles with signs should require licenses. Local business owner Steve Adams had suggested licensing not be required as it would be difficult to enforce.

"Some feel we should hold our guns on this," Manners said. "Some say it will proliferate and people will park with a sign on their hoods if we don't do this."

Commission member Lynn Matthews mentioned there was a difference between rolling stock and cars used only for advertising.

"I think everyone who is smart will park a truck in their business area with a sign," she added.

It was decided that using language that did not include that vehicles require a license could be adopted. Haughwout said if there seems to be an ongoing problem, it could be amended.

Keeping a database on signs was discussed.

"(Zoning Administrator) Craig (Ohslon) appropriately had a concern," said Manners. "That is not an overnight objective. It's going to take time to evolve."

Having a similar expiration period for the zoning administrator's permit and a Development Review Board decision was another item that came up.

Haughwout mentioned findings for the Deerfield Valley Transit Authority's new building had run out before the permit expired.

"Very typically, DRB decisions were written for 12 months and the zoning administrator permits were for two years," Haughwout said.

"There should never be an inequity in amount of times where findings or permits are shorter. Both should be concurrent."

The Selectboard will discuss where to go with the revisions at its next regular meeting on Wednesday, Aug. 2.


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