Franklin Planning Commission

June 18, 2019

Town Clerk’s Office


Members Present: Clark Hubbard, Rolland Rainville, Dave Bennion, Sam Gervais

Guests:  Michael Gervais


Meeting called to order at 7:36 pm


Approval of Minutes:  Dave made a motion to accept the minutes and Rolland seconded the motion.  All approved the minutes. 


New Business: The PC did a site visit to the proposed subdivision discussed in the previous meeting.  It was noted that Michael Gervais redid areas on the map showing that the location of septic and water will not interfere with Mark Stanley’s sugarhouse.  Rolland said that Mark Stanley mentioned that he was not notified regarding the wetland process.  Michael said that notifications are done online.  All abutters to the land should have been notified.  Michael also said that perhaps Mark Stanley does not have email. 

Clark read the General Subdivision Review Standards from the Town of Franklin Development Regulations.  This procedure determines if the proposed development meets the standards. 

In addition, all required elements need to be noted on the map.  Michael Gervais needs to check with Mark St. Pierre if an access permit from the Vermont Agency of Transportation or from the Town of Franklin approving access or intersection has been obtained.  Clark said that is needed paperwork.

Clark questioned Michael about the driveway construction.  He wondered if the same contractor will be hired.  A previous driveway constructed for Mark St. Pierre had a great deal of washout that necessitated the Town of Franklin clean out the ditch below the driveway.  There is a great deal of stone still in the ditch.  Clark feels it was not properly constructed.  He feels that Mark St. Pierre repay the Town of Franklin for the cost of digging the stone and debris out of the culvert that had washed down from the driveway.  He does not want to see the same thing happen in this proposed subdivision.  Michael Gervais responded by stating that he is pretty sure it was Mark’s men who put the driveway in.  Due to the fact that the proposed subdivision has wetland area, the driveway construction will have to be monitored to meet wetland regulations.  Rolland asked if there are specific regulations as far as type of gravel for the proposed driveways.  Michael said there has to be silk fence, but does not think there has to be a type of gravel.  He is not required to inspect the project, but the State of Vermont Wetland advisor (Brock)will be checking on the driveway construction.  The landowners cannot change the existing ditch, the ditch can be cleaned out but not changed.  Clark and Rolland made sure their concerns regarding the wetland were noted.  Sam wants to make sure that there is protection for Mark Stanley regarding wastewater/ and washout.  The road itself cannot be moved either.  If the owners wanted to move the road, they would have to reapply for another wetland permit.  Rolland again expressed his concern about the lot that has the wetland.  He wants to make sure that the construction is monitored to reduce the negative impact on the areas surrounding the development.  Rolland wants the designation to change on the map, as it is not a three lot subdivision, it is actually 4 lots.  Michael Gervais said that current wetland designations have changed over the years. 

Clark made a motion to accept the subdivision with the provision that the title 3 lot subdivision be changed to a 4 lot subdivision, the date is changed, and that the access permits for driveways are completed.  Once the necessary changes are made, Clark will sign off on the proposal.  Rolland seconded the motion.  All approved the motion. 

Clark left a map and two permits for the subdivision on Lisa Larivee’s desk. 

Clark stated that a concerned citizen- Michael Gervais – expressed some concern regarding whether existing camps on the lake can become year round residences.  Michael Gervais remained to discuss this with the PC.  Clark would like to make a motion that the PC make an amendment to the development regulations that all single lot subdivisions must come before the PC for one meeting.  They receive approval from the ZA, but the PC would like to be involved in the process.  This would keep the PC informed and can monitor what subdivisions are  requested.   Michael commented on the motion.  He would like to make sure that the motion include the fact that the PC has final approval on all projects.  Clark reworded the motion to state that the PC have final approval with the ZA having initial approval of single lot subdivisions.   The reason is to ensure that the PC know how the town is growing and developing.  The PC can also know who is proposing development within the town limits.  This would also insure that the PC knows how many lots are being developed. An individual could propose single lots every 6 months.  Act 250 allows up to 9 proposals.  Rolland seconded the motion. All approved the motion. 

Clark discussed another question that was brought to his attention.  He would like all members read the regulations and know if it is stated that there is a deadline for camps to convert to full time residences if they have potable water and sewer that met state standards.  Rolland said that the regulations state that campers can do it.  Clark stated that people are being told that campers cannot make the change.  Rolland said that the PC said that people can if they met state and town standards.  Michael Gervais said there are systems that reduce the footprint a lot – basically like a sewage treatment plant- they are costly systems.  Clark would like the PC to check to see how the Town Development regulations are written with regards to camps and full time residences.  Michael Gervais stated that he heard that the reasoning behind denying the change from seasonal to year round is because most existing camps are within the 50 feet of the lake, and are not one acre.  Clark wants to see what the square footage is in the regulations, because if someone wants to buy the land around their camp, and meet what is written, it should not be a problem.  The mention of 20,000 sq. ft. is most likely to make sure there is not a lot of “postage stamp” size residences around the lake.  Clark thanked Michael Gervais for attending the meeting. 

Clark again asked the members to read the regulations to determine what is written for square feet regarding seasonal to full time residence.  The PC noted that the dimensions for Shoreland/recreation area state the square footage for one unit seasonal dwelling is 14,000 sq. feet or 20,000 sq. ft. depending on water and sewer access.  One unit year round is 40,000 sq ft. which is an acre.  The PC also read the minimal frontage and setback measurements.  There is a question regarding what measurement the ZA  is using.  It was discussed that the measurements can stay the same or is that something the PC would like to change.  There is concern that campers will not spend the money upgrading their septic systems for year round residency if they cannot receive approval for that change. 

The PC discussed whether the current regulations are discouraging campers from upgrading septic systems thus contributing to the improvement of the lake water quality. 


Public Comments: no public comments

Any concerns of members or community: no concerns


Clark made a motion to adjourn the meeting at 8:36, seconded by Dave Bennion.  All voted to adjourn. 

The next regular meeting of the Franklin Planning Commission will be held on July 16, 2019 at the Franklin Town Clerk Office. 


Respectfully Submitted,

Maureen Sodaro, Secretary

June 20, 2019


Minutes are not final until approved by the Planning Commission at the next regular meeting.