By Martha Taylor-Varney, South Hero Zoning Administrator
The South Hero Selectboard will hold a public hearing on Monday, Jan. 6 at the South Hero Worthen Library to review proposed amendments to the Town’s Development Regulations beginning at 6 p.m. This draft is the result of the Planning Commission’s multi-year effort to comprehensively review, clarify, and update the document.
Highlights of the draft Regulations include the creation of 2 new zoning districts: The South Hero Village District and the Keeler Bay Village District. These 2 new districts are the traditional village centers of the town and the new Regulations seek to encourage greater concentration of residential, commercial, and public-use development in these areas, in addition to pedestrian-friendly streets and sidewalks. All principal structures subject to conditional use and/or site plan review within these districts must conform to general form-base standards, including entrance orientation, scale, minimum window coverage, and possible required architectural details. Maps showing the boundaries of the new Village Districts are in the Town Office or can be found online at the Town’s website.
An increase in the density of development in the Village Districts will help ensure that future development in the Rural Residential District is focused on residential development. There are no proposed changes to the Conservation District. The Shoreland District, extending inland 500 feet from the mean water level of the lake, will remain the same except for shoreland areas within the proposed boundaries of the new Village Districts.
Other additions to the proposed Regulations include: An optional preliminary site plan review for larger projects, where the Applicant can present a conceptual plan to the Development Review Board prior to applying for a full Site Plan Review; Setback waivers for new and pre-existing (conforming and non-conforming) structures, driveways and parking areas within the Village and Shoreland Districts; Subdivision review for 2 and 3-lot subdivisions has been simplified to allow administrative review by the Zoning Administrator, replacing Sketch Plan review and reducing the number of hearings before the DRB to one; Types of Home Businesses will be defined and clarified to meet the requirements of Home Occupations or Home Enterprises; All previous development review procedures referencing the Planning Commission and Zoning Board of Adjustment have been replaced by the Development Review Board; and the document includes numerous additions and revisions to the General Definitions for clarity.
The draft of the Development Regulations can be found on the town website, southherovt.org, or by contacting the zoning administrator at 802-372-4841 or firstname.lastname@example.org
The Planning Commission will present a PowerPoint presentation and be available to answer questions from the public at the meeting.