PLANNING COMMISSION MINUTES

December 18, 2002

7:30 PM

Jamestown Library

The meeting was called to order at 7:34p.m. the following members were present:

Rob Lambert Gary Girard

Mary Brennan Betty Hubbard

Victor Calabretta Michael Schnack

Also present:

Lisa Bryer, AICP – Town Planner

Cinthia Reppe – Recording Clerk

John Murphy – Attorney

Arthur Milot

  1. Reading and Approval of Minutes from December 4, 2002
  2. A motion was made by Commissioner Schnack and seconded by Commissioner Girard to accept the minutes as written. So unanimously voted.

  3. Correspondence
  1. DEM–State Land ConservationReport for Fiscal Year 2002
  2. DEM – Public Notice of Proposed Permit Actions – M/V Dauriya (or comparable vessel type)
  3. FYI – Letter from Stephen P. Froberg Re; Plat 3A Lot 434
  4. FYI – Memo to Town Council Re: Highgroundwater Table Ordinance
  5. FYI – Letter from Andrew Yates to Town Council Re: Taylor Point Site for Highway Barn

Commissioner Hubbard commented on item number 2. She asked that the proposed aquaculture ordinance be put on a future agenda if there is time for it. Commissioner Girard supports this idea. Town Planner Lisa Bryer stated that the Planning Commission has approved this proposed ordinance but has not yet sent it to the Town Council. Ms. Bryer will take a look at the status and report back to the Commission.

  1. Citizen’s Non Agenda Item
  2. Reports
    1. Town Planner’s Report
    2. Town Committees
    3. Sub Committees
  1. Old Business

VI. New Business

1. Proposed Zoning Ordinance Amendment related to Parking, Section 1203

Commissioner Calabretta recused himself and left the table.

Mr. Arthur Milot, resident, commented on this proposed ordinance stating that anything that puts businesses at less risk is not good and this proposed zoning ordinance amendment is going down the wrong path. He wants to keep the Ordinance as is.

Attorney John Murphy representing the Jamestown Chamber of Commerce stated Bristol exempts their downtown businesses from parking requirements. Mr. Murphy asked that the Planning Commission find this proposal consistent with the Comprehensive Community Plan, and then stated that this will eliminate a huge burden that exists now to the business owners.

Commissioner Barker arrives at 8:05 p.m.

Commissioner Girard wants to set a schedule to look at the parking issues and would like input from the Chamber of Commerce.

Commissioner Schnack agrees there is a problem and it needs to be looked at. The problem is with zoning, and the ordinance should apply to everybody. We should fix the ordinance and not ignore it.

Commissioner Lambert stated that when a business goes before zoning, it is the process that has value to the community and it should not be taken away. It is a good process.

Commissioner Hubbard stated that the Planning Commission is not the body that is causing the difficulty.

After further discussion a motion was made by Commissioner Girard and seconded by Commissioner Lambert to recommend denial for the reasons stated in the Memorandum from the Planner. The motion follows:

"To recommend the Town Council deny the proposed Zoning Ordinance Amendment related to Parking as submitted by the Chamber of Commerce on November 25, 2002 to the Jamestown Town Council. This denial is recommended based upon the following findings of fact and consistency with the Comprehensive Plan.

A. FINDINGS OF FACT

    1. The Jamestown Commercial Downtown District has limited parking and little room for expansion;
    2. The historic, high density commercial district is clearly defined and the subject of the proposed Zoning Ordinance amendment;
    3. Approximately 50% of the businesses and properties proposed to the subject of amendment are either non-conforming or currently operating under a variance for adequate parking;
    4. The proposed amendment does not provide any benefit to future businesses should they change use;
    5. The proposed amendment does not benefit all existing businesses equally;
    6. The Comprehensive Plan addresses the process to be followed in reviewing downtown parking and it is contrary to the proposed amendment;

B. CONSISTENCY WITH THE COMPREHENSIVE PLAN

The Planning Commission finds that the petition is not consistent with the Jamestown Comprehensive Plan. The Comprehensive Plan states that the following actions shall be taken in regards to parking:

  1. Consider amending Zoning Ordinance to include parking standards for all types of commercial businesses.
  2. Consider amending Zoning Ordinance to ensure commercial parking is located within commercial zones.
  3. The Planning Commission should work with the Harbor Management Commission to determine the parking responsibility for the Town and the Business Community.
  4. Conduct comprehensive downtown parking study that addresses current and future needs including private lot usage.

The proposed amendment does not provide parking standards for all types of commercial businesses and is not based upon a comprehensive parking study that addresses future needs including private lot usage."

So unanimously voted.

Commissioner Calabretta returns to the table. Commissioner Girard stated that this item should be put on the first agenda of the new year and Commissioner Schnack agreed. Commissioner Girard stated that the Planning Commission wants to work with the businesses and community needs. A motion was made by Commissioner Girard and seconded by Commissioner Schnack to have the Town Planner review the calendar and place downtown parking and proposed parking area changes on the first agenda. So unanimously voted.

There will be no election of officers until after the Town Council makes an appointment to the Planning Commission on January 13.

Everybody thanked Commissioner Lambert for a job well done and told him he will be missed.

A motion was made by Commissioner Schnack and seconded by Commissioner Lambert to adjourn the meeting at 8:28 p.m. So unanimously voted.

Attest:

Cinthia Reppe