The Mountain Times

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Town of Killington Planning Commission discusses repair needs

KILLINGTON -- At the September 21 meeting of the Town of Killington Planning Commission Mr. Deke Kaufman introduced himself and his wife and noted that they own a home on Roaring Brook Road behind the firehouse and next to the Roaring Brook. Given that tropical storm Irene had such an impact on Killington, Mr. Kaufman asked if the Town is considering being mapped for a flood plains so that those who wish to purchase flood insurance can do so. Mr. Kaufman expressed concern that the brook is now shallower due to all the debris the storm washed down into the stream bed and it will not take much for it to flood again. Dick Horner, Town Planner, advised that in 2008 the Planning Commission had discussed joining the National Flood Insurance Program. At that time both the Board of Selectmen and the Planning Commission decided not to join it because of the bureaucratic hurdles in addition to other reasons. Dick advised that he was going to recommend to the Commission that they revisit the program again.

Next, Jeff Temple of Killington Resort gave the Commission an update on the resort's efforts to repair the damage from tropical storm Irene. They were working to have snowmaking operations repaired and in working order by October 15. Other priorities are to repair and bring back on-line areas needed to stage upcoming fall events.

The resort is looking to build The Roaring Brook Umbrella Bar deck in the place of the Superstar Pub which was knocked off it's foundation by the storm. There would be two umbrella bars on the deck- one would have a radius of about 12 meters with seating for approximately 65 guests and the other would have a radius of about 10 meters with a seating capacity for about 45. The walls would be glass panels with the ability to open for use in the summer. The goal is to have these up and running by this Thanksgiving. The question was raised as to the level of the review the Planning Commission wants for storm recovery projects such as these.

Commissioner Lee made a motion to authorize Dick Horner to handle this permit and similar permits for reconstruction of damaged and/or demolished property due to tropical storm Irene administratively as long as the construction does not increase seating capacity, and the motion was approved unanimously.

Dick Horner then reminded the group that at the last Board of Selectmen meeting the Board voted to waive all zoning and permitting fees associated with any reconstruction of damage from tropical storm Irene.

Dick Horner then thanked Jeff Temple for organizing the daily convoy in and out of Killington during the shutdown and reconstruction of Route 4 toward Rutland. Dick said that it was a great asset to the Town.

In Dick Horner's Planner's Report, he asked that if the Planning Commission so wished, he would re-distribute the draft Flood Ordinance from 2008 for further discussion. The Commissioners were in agreement to re-visit this subject.

Next on the agenda was a discussion about Aspen East's time and temperature sign that is broken. There are no replacement parts for the technology that was used to operate the flip-o-matic sign. The only technology available now are LED type lights. One of the conditions the Commission had placed on that sign was that it be kept in working order. Dick Horner asked whether the Commission had an issue with the sign being replaced with current technology noting that the new sign would be slightly smaller than the current one. Commissioner Rosenblum noted that this was a grandfathered sign and it was his feeling that the new technology would probably be covered under the grandfathered clause. Commissioner Barbash did not agree that the new technology falls under the grandfathered clause and noted that other businesses would have to be allowed to do the same thing when they replace their signs. Commissioner Linnemayr asked Dick Horner to obtain a drawing of the sign. The question was raised as to whether there should be provisions in the Zoning for such signs. Dick felt that since the Zoning is currently being revised, that this was an opportune time to add this provision. The Commission had a lengthy discussion as to whether or not allowing the use of LED lights in signs would cause a surge of signs around town flashing the name of a product. After further lengthy discussion, the consensus was not to allow replacement of the sign with new technology.

Next, Dick informed the group that the Highridge mediation is scheduled for November 18.

The Killington Ski Club wants to enlarge their decks slightly and build a cover over the steps to keep them clear of snow. Dick Horner asked whether this can be done administratively. The Commission asked that the contractor, Jeff Findeisen, attend the next Commission meeting with a drawing of the proposed project.

Other Business:

Commissioner Rosenblum noted that over the years the issue has been raised that the Town does not have a holding cell that constables can use in the event someone needs to be detained and/or kept in custody. We have always relied on the State Police to come and take an individual to Rutland or Woodstock. Tropical storm Irene and the resultant isolation due to the road damage leading in and out of Killington showed that may not always be possible. Commissioner Rosenblum questioned whether the concept of a holding cell should be revisited and suggested getting input from town constables.

Next, Dick Horner distributed the draft Zoning Regulations for review. Although the Zoning Committee will be meeting one last time he feels that there shouldn't be any major changes and the substantive changes the Commission needs to carefully review are the walkway easement, pages 43 to 46 regarding section 240.12, portable signs, Planned Unit Development, and Site Plan Review.

Under Commissioner's Concerns:

Commissioner Barbash asked whether Dick Horner had ever looked into the Trailside Annex. Dick responded that what happened was that the Trailside Lodge was still under construction and they had a big party coming. They rented the old KMS dorm to put up their guests and used the signs so that the guests could find it. Dick has spoken with the Trailside Lodge owners advising them that it was not appropriate and they apologized indicating it was a panic situation.

Commissioner Linnemayr expressed his thanks to Craig Mosher for all the work he did and for doing an incredible job in repairing the road damage to Route 4 at River Road after tropical storm Irene. Commissioner Barbash added that all the contractors should be thanked for their efforts.

Tagged: mountain musings, killington