Planning Commission Minutes, 03.15.2023

Planning Commission DRAFT minutes 
Wednesday, March 15, 2023 6:30 pm 
236 School Road, Guilford, VT 

Planning Commission members in attendance: Jethro Eaton, Julie Holland, Jeanette Tokarz, Zon Eastes (Selectboard liaison) 

Call to order: The meeting was called to order at 6:40 pm 

Recognition of the Public: Christina Belogour, William Jewel, Energy Committee ad hoc member, Dan Mallach, Dubois and King 

Rules of Procedure: The meeting is conducted in accordance with Roberts Rules of Order and civility 

Changes to Agenda order: None 

Approval of minutes 2/21/23: Jethro Eaton moved to approve the minutes from 2/21/23; Julie Holland seconded. Motion carried unanimously. 

New Business: 
Julie attended the ‘Coffee with Coffey’ 1/14/23 in Vernon. At that meeting Sara highlighted ongoing work in the Legislature to address transportation issues, child care funding, and advance the Clean Heat Standards bill among others. 

Regarding transportation, the app ‘Go! Vermont’ is a rideshare app that could be very useful if widely used. Vernon owns a van to transport seniors; Guilford has no wheelchair accessible vehicle to serve the same purpose. 

Vernon and Guilford encourage residents to sign up for VT-ALERT as part of their Emergency Management Plan. Members in attendance didn’t know if Guilford has a ‘phone tree’ to deploy in the event of an emergency. 

The graphic guide to civics and democracy in Vermont ‘Freedom and Unity’ was mentioned as an excellent resource and is available for download:

Jeannette gave a brief overview of the whitepaper Identifying Planning Solutions for the Connecticut River Migration System of New Hampshire and Vermont. It discusses anticipated ‘climate migration’ to the region and emphasizes the importance of planning for related housing & infrastructure demands while wisely managing the ecology of the region.

Ongoing business: Why start a housing committee? | 
Dan Mallach from Dubois and King shared his firm’s Strategic Planning Process Public Participation Overview. Robust exchange of ideas ensued. A suggestion was made to host a “Business Breakfast” that would be open to any Guilford business to attend. It would function as a focus group and a networking event. Other key strategies include ‘place-based’ events to involve land conservation-minded residents and an ‘open forum’ type event. After the conclusion of the focus group events, Visioning workshop(s) would be held, which is intended to be immersive and multi-modal. 

The outcome of the process is intended to be an actionable, fiscally responsible, and achievable plan for Guilford to address housing, business growth and land conservation in the near, medium and long term. 

Emily and Dan from D&K will be in Guilford on 3/22/23 for the Town Tour to be organized by Jeannette and Zon. 

New business: 
The proposal to form a Housing Committee was discussed. (See: Why start a housing committee? | Members were in agreement to move toward the formation of such a committee. First step will be to host a meeting open to interested individuals to discuss the concept and begin the process of committee formation. Jethro agree to lead that effort. Bill Jewel agreed to participate and lend his expertise, especially pertaining to new regulations regarding septic system requirements. 

Adjournment: Julie Holland motioned to adjourn the meeting, Jethro Eaton seconded. Motion carried unanimously. Meeting adjourned at 20:07 

Next Planning Commission Meeting: Wednesday, April 19, 2023 at 6:30 pm