Jericho, Vermont

Chartered in 1763 
 
Planning Commission Updates
 

  **NEW**

 

As discussed at a special meeting held by the Planning Commission  (PC)  on Monday February 12, we are seeking to establish an Advisory Committee for the selection of a Planning Consultant:

The Planning Commission is looking to assemble an Advisory Committee to assist in the hiring process of a consultant for the Commercial District project.  The PC received a Municipal Planning Grant from the State of Vermont for work in the Commercial District.  A Request for Qualifications (RFQ) has been sent out to solicit responses from consultants.  While you may view the full RFQ HERE, we have included the following project description:

This project’s goal is to ensure future development within Jericho’s Commercial District (CD) will balance the Town’s desires to protect the scenic views to the mountains and the town’s rural character, with the Town’s interest to provide an area distinct from the Village Centers, that is designed in an aesthetically-pleasing and well-functioning way, to support local businesses and sustainable economic development. 
 
The PC envisions four project components/deliverables: 
  1. Public outreach and engagement throughout the entire process
  2. Purpose Statement updated and “character of the neighborhood” standards developed for the CD
  3. Master Plan developed to illustrate the future potential of the CD
  4. Revised zoning regulations that will help to achieve the District’s Purpose and desired character and that are compatible with the Master Plan.

The purpose of this post is to solicit community members to join the Advisory Committee.  The Advisory Committee will be made up of two members of the PC, two Commercial District Property owners and two members of the community at large.

What would your commitment be? 

The responses from the consultants is due on March 7.  Immediately after that date, the Advisory Committee will choose a small number of consultants to interview.  The Advisory Committee will then interview the consultants, choose a preferred consultant and finally to recommend the preferred consultant to the PC.  The PC would welcome members of the consultant selection Advisory Committee to continue serving in a similar capacity throughout the Commercial District project, however a project advisory committee may take on a different form upon recommendation from the consultant.

 If interested, please contact the Planning Coordinator, Katherine Sonnick (ksonnick@jerichovt.gov).

Thank you for your interest.

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The Planning Commission will next meet on Thursday February 22.  They will meet first at 6:30 pm for 30 minutes and then meet with the Development Review Board, during the DRB's normal meeting time. 

The purpose of the short meeting is to plan the upcoming public informaiton meeting on the Natural Resources Overlay.

The purpose of the meeting with the DRB is it to mainly provide an opportunity for open communication between the boards.  

Both agendas may be found on the Planning Commissions Agendas and Minutes webpage.

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The Planning Commission called a special meeting for Monday February 12th.  The following items were on the agenda: 

  • The RFQ has been sent out for review by folks.  At the time of this posting the comments received have been incorporated. This is the 2/12/17 RFQ DRAFT  with the comments received.  This draft and any additional comments were discussed on Monday, including a comprehensive public engagement strategy.  The PC will also talked about the process of hiring a consultant.  The plan is to have a small group of Planning Commissioners, members of the general public and Commercial District property owner work as a task force to hire the consultant.  More information on can be seen directly above.
  • The Planning Commission briefly discussed the status of the Natural Resources Overlay.  Here is the most current draft of the document.  They decided to hold an informational meeting where they will have an outside professional come in and explain the importance of protecting natural resources, the natural resource data as well as process where that was gathered. At that time there will be a short discussion of the draft Natural Resources Overlay.  Following this information meeting, a workshop is proposed where the draft can be further discussed.  More information on this process as well as dates will follow shortly.
  • The DRB  and the Planning Commission are meeting jointly on the February 22nd. The PC looks forward to fruitful night of conversation.
  • The PC will have a table at Town Meeting day stop by and see us! 

For more information, click on the link on the right sidebar for the MMCTV video recording of the February 12 meeting.

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***ADOPTED*** Draft Land Use Regulations 

On August 3, the Selectboard adopted amendments to the Land Use Regulations (“AKA Zoning Regulations") and they became effective on August 24th.  See the Changes below:

Zoning Amendment Changes Amended 8/3/2017

Below is a short summary of the changes  which  were mostly technical and clarifying in nature, with no change in policy direction. 

  1. Revised Definition:  LOW IMPACT DEVELOPMENT (LID):
  2. Two Zoning District names were changed:  Agriculture District changed to the Rural/Agriculture Residential District.  The Rural Residential District changed to the Low Density Residential District.
  3. Small wording changes to the Open Space, Forestry, Rural/Agriculture Residential, Low Density Residential, and Village Districts purposed statements.  No changes in policy or uses.
  4. Typos fixed – ”C” and “P” swap in Uses Table.
  5. Road types – add missing road types to Uses Table footnote.
  6. “Elderly” is replaced with “senior” throughout.
  7. Riverside Character Based Zoning District permit application process simplified and clarified.
  8. Telecomm section permit exemption clarified.
  9. Residential “property” is replaced with residential “lot” for Access Permits
  10. Final plat deadline can be extended by 90 days.
  11. Maximum gradge of Private road changed to comply with fire safety standards.

So, what is next for the Planning Commission?  During the zoning amendment process, they heard many comments from the community and have included those comments along with Town Plan tasks in a list.  They are currently working on sorting that list as well as ordering their priorities.  Most recently they determined  they would  work first on a natural resources project  they began last year and then move on to energy planning and then specific issues related to zoning districts through town.  Throughout their work they will also address updates that were brought forth through public comment.  That priority list is posted below under the August 1 PC meeting summary.

Click on the links below for specifics regarding the Zoning Changes:

Selectboard Public Hearing Notice

Planning Commission Report with Summary of the Changes

The PowerPoint Presentation explaining the regulation changes and the amendment process  that was delivered to the Selectboard on July 6th.

To learn more about the Planning Commission's process leading up to the draft Amendments as submitted to the Selectboard, see the Planning Commission Meeting summaries below.

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 Planning Commission Meeting Summaries

In an effort to keep the public up to date on current Planning Commission activities we are providing summaries of recent meetings below.

January 16, 2018

 

The following items were discussed at this meeting:

 

  • The Planning Commission received a Municipal Planning Grant from the State of Vermont to continue the Commercial District planning project begun in 2016.  The first step in this planning process is for the Planning Commission to select a consultant.  On Tuesday the PC discussed a draft Request for Qualifications (RFQ).  The RFQ is continuing to be edited by the Planning Commission and will also be reviewed by the Commercial District Property owners.  Any member of the public who wishes to submit comments may do so in writing to the Planner, Katherine Sonnick (ksonnick@jerichovt.gov), by February 2nd. The PC will  make their final edits and approve for distribution to consultants at their next meeting on February 6th.
  • The Planning Commission has been working with the Conservation Commission on revising the Natural Resources Overly district.  They will talk about progress made and next steps, which are summarized in this document.  This the the most current draft.  They hope to provide further information at Town Meeting day as well as to hold a workshop in March.  More information about the workshop will follow.
  • The Planning Commission discussed their response to comments received about the Town's discontinuance of the Local Tax Stabilization program in 2016.  They  Planning Commission is committed to carrying out the vision of the Town Plan to preserve the rural character of the Town and to this end will continue to seek ways such as crafting the Natural Resource Overlay district regulations and rural preservation measures.  They have passed this letter  regarding the comments received onto the Selectboard.

The draft minutes may be found on the Planning Commission Minutes and Agenda page and the MMCTV video of the meeting available on this page's right sidebar.

December 5, 2017

Jericho Planning Commission discussed the following items:

 

  • draft version of the Natural Resources Overlay District (NRO) which is a part of the Zoning Regulations.  They have been working with the Conservation Commission over a period of time on making these changes, which is based on work done in 2014 in the “Science To Action” project and report.  During the meeting, they reviewed the draft and discussed next steps in the review.  This will include hosting, with the Conservation Commission,  a workshop geared toward explaining the draft, it's background and desired outcomes.
  • Cemeteries as a use and potentially allowing them in additional districts.  They also discussed "green burials" which are more natural burials and gaining in popularity. There was a recommendation to allow, as a conditional use, cemeteries in the more rural zoning districts.  The PC will be looking further into this issue.
  • The PC also talked about agriculture land and agricultural uses in Town and if they should consider actions to preserve remaining land and provide language to allow value-added products and activities in additional districts.  The PC talked about how they have heard from citizens that they value the "rural nature of Jericho" and were wondering if a part of "rural" is farming and agricultural uses.  The PC will look further into this a discuss more in upcoming meetings.
  • The PC also recently was notified that they received a Municipal Planning Grant to continue working through zoning in the Commercial District.  They briefly talked about the project and next steps.  

The minutes may be found on the Minutes and Agenda page and the MMCTV video of the meeting is posted on this page's right sidebar.

November 7

 The Jericho and Underhill Planning Commissions held a joint meeting at the Jericho Town Hall on November 7th. 

 The boards discussed issues of commonality, including the shared borders, natural resources connectivity, bike and pedestrian projects, planning and zoning initiatives and the shared Riverside/Flats village center.  In particular, regarding Riverside/Flats village center, Jericho shared details about the character based zoning that governs the Jericho portion of the area and their vision for focusing growth in the village centers and preserving the open space and rural character of the town.

 The boards agreed to keep communication open, share what they are working on and committed to halding future meetings together.

 The MMCTV video may be viewed by clicking the link on the right sidebar.  The minutes are available on the Planning Commission Agenda and Minutes webpage.

 October 17

The Planning Commission met on Tuesday October 17.  The following items were discussed:

  • They discussed their time manning a table at the Jericho Farmers Market.  Their main goal in attending the Farmers Market was to make the PC more visible in the community.  They also saw it as an opportunity to be able to talk to different people than who might normally attend a PC meeting.  The PC has written a document, which may be viewed HERE, summarizing their experiences, the comments received and action steps. 

  • The PC also talked about additional opportunities for community outreach.  They discussed potential events they could attend, such as school gatherings and Town Meeting Day.  They also discussed expanding their outreach electronically and through social media.  They will use these opportunities to continue to inform the public of their activities as well as to provide information on planning projects.

  • They also talked about potentially meeting with the Underhill Planning Commission during their November 7th meeting.  Since that time, that meeting has been confirmed.  They will hold their joint meeting at the Jericho Town Hall.

 The draft minutes of the meeting may be found on the Planning Commission minutes and agenda page.  The MMCTV video, may be viewed by clicking on the link on the right sidebar.

 October 3, 2017

The Planning Commission met Tuesday October 3.  Some highlights from the meeting are summarized below:

They discussed their reciently applied for Municipal Planning Grant.  This is for continuted work in the Commercial District.  They will hear back from the state if they receive the grant in December.  In the meantime, they hope to begin some early discussions with the Commercial District property owners.  They hope to encourage community wide particiaption throughout the whole process.

They also talked about agricultural issues related to the Town Plan and the Zoning. They discussed the importance of having land suitable for agriculture and value-added agricultural endeavors in Jericho as well as the importance to residents of preserving the rural landscape.  The PC decided that at the current time they would prioritize looking at regulations that could affect agriculture as a natural resource, integrated with the Natural Resources Overlay review.  They will continue this discussion in upcoming PC meeting after continued research on agricultural land and potential methods for conservation.

The PC looked at the energy implementation task from the Town Plan and noted that including language about passive solar siting could be worked into the zoning regulations as “encouraging” its development both in the general development standards as well as on the zoning permit application and the DRB applications.   In future meetings they will look further into the language they had already developed in the PUD text regarding density bonuses for development with a higher level of energy efficiency.

The Planning Commission is working on scheduling meetings with the Underhill Planning Commission and the Jericho DRB in the upcoming months.  More information about that will be available when the meetings are scheduled.

The draft minutes may be viewed on the PC Minutes Page.  The MMCTV video of the meeting may be viewed by clicking on the link on the right sidebar of this page.

September 19, 2017

The Planning Commission met on Tuesday September 19.  They discussed the following items:

 

  • A member of the public brought forward the question of the Planning Commission considering increasing districts that allow cemeteries for conditional use review to all districts instead of just the Village Center, Village and Low Density Residential districts.  
  • With the Conservation Commission, the Planning Commission discussed draft language proposed by the Conservation Commission for the Zoning Regulations Natural Resources Overlay District and amended by the Planning Commission last year.  The goal is to amend the current Natural Resources Overlay District standards in the Zoning Regulations with the up-to-date data and protections.  They discussed how to make the standards both easily reviewable and conserve the sensitive natural resources. The Conservation Commission have agreed to revise the document and come back to the Planning Commission with some edits.  The plan is to have a workshop where the public can weigh in on the draft and work with the commissions on any future drafts.
  • They decided to apply for Municipal Planning Grant for continuted study of the Commerical District.  The intent would be to conduct a study that would include signficant collaboration with the Commercial District property owners as well provide opportunties for the general public to participate.  The Town will hear if they receive the grant sometime in December.
  • The Planning Commission talked about their presence at Jericho Farmer's Market.  They have 1 more Markets to attend (October 5).  Please stop by and say hi!

Minutes of the meeting are available for review on the  PC Agenda and Minutes Page.  The MMCTV video of the meeting may be viewed on the right sidebar of this page.

August 15, 2017

The Planning Commission met on Tuesday August 15.  

They restarted a discussion they had begun in 2015 on revising the Natural Resources Overlay District section of the Zoning Regulations.  The Conservation Commission had done a lot of work on the draft and the PC thought that it would be valuable to talk with them before moving forward.  The PC also intends to have a public workshop on the draft sometime in the fall.  Stay tuned for more information on the timing and for further details.

  • The PC discussed applying for a Municipal Planning Grant from the state.  They talked about working further on the Commercial District as well as thinking through the vision and land use sections of the Town Plan.  They will continue these discussions at their next meeting.
  • The PC adopted Rules of Procedure with the intent on having a clear process on how their meetings comply with open meeting law.  

The minutes may be viewed in the PC minutes page and the MMCTV video of the meeting is available on the sidebar on the upper right of this page.

August 1, 2017 Meeting

 The Planning Commission continued to discuss their upcoming planning tasks.  The tasks come from two general sources.  The 2016 Town Plan task list and public comment received this year.  They have sorted the tasks from those two sources into 2 spreadsheets.  One includes the "shovel-ready"  projects that the PC can begin work on immediately.  The second contains tasks that need further research. The ones that need further research will be included with the shovel-ready projects when the general topic is discussed.  For example, when the PC talks about the natural resources project the planner will review the open space plan and make sure they comply.  Click on the links below for the spreadsheets that show the tasks and sorted tasks as well as a spreadsheet that shows them all combined.

Priority Task List

PC Deliberate (shovel-ready) Tasks

Planner Research Tasks

 The PC also spent time looking at draft Official PC Rules of Procedure.  These were not adopted at the meeting but are on the agenda for their next meeting. 

The MMCTV video of the meeting is available for viewing on the sidebar to the upper right.  The meeting minutes are avaialbe for viewing on the PC minutes and agenda page.

 July 18, 2017 Meeting 

The PC discussed their upcoming planning tasks.  The tasks come from two general sources.  The 2016 Town Plan task list and public comment received this year.  During their next several meetings they will continue to sort and refine. 

They discussed having a presence at the Jericho Farmers Market.  More to come for details.

They looked at implementing official PC Rules of Procedure. The draft document they are reviewing will be further discussed and voted on to approve at their next meeting. 

The draft minutes are posted on the PC minutes page and the MMCTV video is available through the link on right sidebar.

 June 27, 2017 Meeting

 The Planning Commission held a special meeting to discuss the round of zoning amendments that will be sent to the Selectboard on July 6th.  The main purpose of this meeting was to review a presentation of the changes, including response to questions raised by the public during the Planning Commission public hearing.  A copy of that presentation may be viewed HERE.  The Planning Commission is also forwarding on to the Selectboard a report about the changes as well as a full list of the changes.

 Click on the highlighted text to view the meeting minutes.  The MMCTV video of the meeting may be viewed by clicking the link on the right side bar. 

 June 20, 2017 Meeting - Canceled

The Planning Commission did not meet due to lack of a quorum.  

June 6, 2017 Meeting

 The Planning Commission met on June 6th.  They approved the "low hanging fruit" amendments to the Zoning Regulations.  See below for more information on the amendment process, including what happens with that draft from this point forward.

They also discussed the draft Chittenden County Regional Planning Commission Energy Plan.  More information on the regional energy plan and energy planning process can be found on the CCRPC webpage, including the energy efficiency requirements of the Vermont state Act 174 legislation.

They also discussed steps forward as well as responding to public comments received.  Click HERE for the comments received to date.  The Planning Commission intends on spending time at their next meeting (June 20) discussing their responses to the comments.

Click the link for the meeting minutes.  And to view the MMCTV video, click on the link on the right sidebar.

 May 16, 2017 Meeting

The Planning Commission, during their meeting of May 18 heard from the Vermont League of Cities and Towns on the PC's role in planning as given through state statute.  This was an opportunity for the Planning Commission and the public to hear why they plan and what they are required to plan.  Highlights included the importance of all regulatory (such as Zoning Regulations) and non-regulatory (such as a Capital Plan and studies) tools to conform with the Town Plan. The MMCTV video may be viewed by clicking the link on the sidebar on upper right side of the page and you may view  the PowerPoint presentation by clicking on the highlighted text.  The draft minutes may be viewed on the PC's Agenda and Minutes page of the website.

May 2, 2017 Meeting

The Planning Commission held a public hearing on the draft Land Use Regulations.  They heard comments from the public and did not take any action on the draft Regulations.

The PC heard a presentation on the EPA "Sustainable Design and Green Building Tool Kit."  Click on the highlighted text to view the presentation.

Click the highlighted text to view the minutes of the meeting.  Click the link on the sidebar to the right to view the meeting as recorded by MMCTV.

 April 18, 2017 Meeting

The Planning Commission heard a summary of an economic development workshop held at the Chittenden County Regional Planning Commission (CCRPC).  A summary of the discussion can be found HERE.

They also discussed next steps forward for their planning activities.  In that process they looked at the IMPLEMENTATION TASKS from the 2016 Town Plan that are assigned to the Planning Commission and the COMMENTS received from recent public input.  They will continue these discussion in the upcoming weeks.

The MMCTV video may be viewed from the link on the right sidebar and the minutes may be viewed on the PC's agenda and minutes page.

April 4, 2017 Meeting

 The Planning Commission finalized their "low hanging fruit" amendments to the Land Use Regulations (aka "Zoning Regulations"). They also warned the amendments for a public hearing.

 
The JPC also discussed the feedback received from the Public Comment Forum on March 28th. (See information about that meeting above. 
 
For more information, click on the link on the sidebar to a MMCTV video recording of the April 4 meeting.  The April 4 minutes can be found HERE.
 
March 21, 2017 Meeting
 
The Planning Commission worked through a round of edits to the Land Use and Development Regulations (aka "Zoning Regulations").  This round of the amendments was called the "low hanging fruit".  These are changes that are mostly technical in nature and are generally not considered controversial.  Below you can see a summary of the changes as of March 21.
 
The changes as of March 21, along with a description of why the changes were made may be found HERE.
 
The Planning Commission meeting minutes from March 21 may be found HERE.  The meeting video, from MMCTV may be viewed by clicking the link on the sidebar.
 
Drafts of the Regulations and Riverside Zoning section of the Regulations, showing the tracked changes, may be found by clicking the links at the top of this page.
 
The Planning Commission on March 21 also discussed holding a training conducted by the Vermont League of Cities and Towns regarding the legal role of the Planning Commission given by the state of Vermont. 
 
The Planning Commission also decided to hold monthly meetings just for public comment.  Look above for more information on those meetings.
 
 February 21, 2007 Meeting
 
The Planning Commission worked through the "low hanging fruit" amendments.  More information of what was discussed at the February 21 meeting can be found below.

 

The list of the changes as of February 21, along with a description of why the changes were made may be found HERE.

 

The Planning Commission meeting minutes from February 21 may be found HERE.  A link to the video recording of the meeting by MMCTV may be found by clicking the link on the sidebar.

 

The summary of the Exit Poll Survey may be found HERE.

 

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Monthly Public Comment Forums

May 23

The Planning Commission held a public comment meeting on May  23.  

This was an opportunity to talk to the Planning Commission about planning related concerns.  Several members of the community showed up and discussed varying topics, including development in the Commercial district and infrastructure planning.  Click the link for the minutes from the meeting and the MMCTV video may be viewed by clicking the link on the sidebar to the right.

Click on the highlight text for a list of the public comments and Planning Commission responses.

This was the third of the monthly listening meetings held by the Planning Commission.  The previous meetings were held in March and April and there will be more to come if the interest is there.  

 April 25

The Planning Commission held a Public Comment Forum on Tuesday April 25.  

A link to the MMCTV meeting video is on the right top of this webpage.  The Planning Commission will be talking about how to address these comments at upcoming Planning Commission Meetings.

 March 28

On Tuesday, March 28, they held their first public comment meeting at Town Hall.  The video of that meeting, recorded by MMCTV, can be viewed by clicking the link on the sidebar.   Click HERE for the meeting minutes.

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 Jericho Commercial District Development Standards Project  

 

The Planning Commission is taking a break for a bit on this project while they work on some Zoning amendments (see above).  These amendment are NOT related to the Commercial District.

For more information on the Commercial District Development Standards Project, please visit the Projects & Studies of our website.  

 

Project updates will be posted on that page as they develop.  Also, feel free to email Katherine Sonnick, Planning & Development Coordinator, at ksonnick@jerichovt.gov with any questions or comments..

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 The 2016 Jericho Town Plan.

The Planning Commission began their reivew in early 2015 and the Selectboard approved and adopted the 2016 Jericho Town Plan on January 7th, 2016. 

The approved Plan can be viewed HERE.

The Planning Commission conducted a survey in the spring of 2015 to determine what Town residents value about Jericho and how they would like to see the Town develop into the future.  280 residents responded. The Planning Commission used the survey results in the update of the Town Plan.  

 You can see either a summary or the full results of the survey by clicking below:

 

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The Selectboard adopted revised Land Use and Development Regulations, including the "form-based code" for the Riverside Village Center on March 19, 2015

 

 

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The Planning Commission is a 7-member board, primarily responsible for updating the  Town Plan (a vision of the town’s future) every 5 years, and updating and revising the Land Use & Development Regulations.  To learn more about the roles and responsibilities of the Planning Commission, click here

   

Planning Commission Members:

    • Samantha Dunn, term expires 2018
    • Jason Cheney-Chair, term expires 2018
    • Erik Glitman, term expires 2018
    • Susan Breese-Clerk, term expires 2019
    • Katie Forleo, term expires 2019
    • Wendy Vervei Berenback, term expires 2020
    • Conor Lahiff, term expires 2020

 

The Planning Commission currently meets on the 1st and 3rd Tuesday of each month at 7:00 p.m at the Jericho Town Hall.  All are welcome to attend.

 

 

Minutes for the Planning Commission will be posted following each meeting. 

Minutes posted will be for the calendar year, a copy of all previous Minutes are

available in the Town Clerks office.  Agendas and Minutes are located here.

 

 

Copyright 2003, Town of Jericho, Vermont