Weston board changes planning and zoning structure, sets tax rates

By Shawn Cunningham
© 2021 Telegraph Publishing LLC

The Weston Select Board revised the planning and zoning structure of the town at its meeting on Tuesday, Aug. 10, moving from a Planning Commission and Zoning Board of Adjustment to a Planning Commission and Development Review Board.

This shifts the responsibility for a number of zoning functions away from the planning commission allowing it to concentrate on the work of writing and updating the Town Plan and development bylaws.

Under the ZBA form of zoning, a planning commission also performs site plan reviews, subdivision reviews, and becomes involved with planned development reviews. The ZBA performs a quasi-judicial permitting function (acts like a court) and hears appeals from actions or decisions of the zoning administrator and may also consider conditional use applications, decides requests for waivers, and rules on variance requests.

By taking on all of the development review functions that had previously been undertaken by the Planning Commission, the DRB becomes the single board that performs all of the development review (permitting) functions for the town, which allows the Planning Commission more time to work on its planning and bylaw development functions.

The Select Board’s resolution said that all matters currently before the ZBA will be finished by that board before the DRB takes over and the ZBA goes out of existence. The following people were appointed to the DRB. In addition to these members, the Select Board can appoint alternates to fill in when members are not available.

Carrie Chalmers — 1 year (term expires in 2022)
Debra Lyneis — 1 year (expires in 2022)
Jeff Lennox — 2 years (expires in 2023)
Ann Fuji’i — 2 years (expires in 2023)
Susan Morris — 3 years (expires in 2024)
Allison Stori-Hopkins — 3 years (expires in 2024)
Deborah Granquist — 3 years (expires in 2024)

The Select Board also appointed the following to the Planning Commission. Alternates are not allowed on planning commissions.

James A. Young — 4-year (term expiring 2025)
Allison Stori-Hopkins — 3 year (expiring in 2024)
Alan Knapp — 1 year (expiring in 2022)

In a somewhat related action, the board asked town attorney Merrill Bent to enter an appearance in an appeal of a ZBA decision regarding a building on the property of Brandon and Leah McCanna.

Board sets property tax rates

After postponing the action for several meetings based on questions about the effect of work on a culvert on Trout Club Road, the board set the town’s tax rates.

The “homestead” rate will be $2.1307 per $100 of assessed value while the “non-homestead” rate will be $2.1887. All properties in Vermont are considered non-homestead (formerly “non-resident”) unless they are declared a homestead – a principal residence – each year.

Non-homestead properties include commercial properties in addition to second homes.






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