Minutes of Joint Meeting
Selectboard, Planning Commission and Development Review Board
June 26, 2002
Meeting Attendance: Lynn Gardner, John Guttler, Andrea Morgante, Jonathan Trefry, Randy Volk, Jean Isham, Will Patten, George Bedard, Carrie Fenn, Fred Haulenbeek, Joe Iadanza, John Buckingham, Nancy Norris, Tom McGlenn, Ted Bloomhardt, Howard Russell, Clinton Emmons, George Munson, Sally Guttler, Ted White, Peter Erb, Rocky Martin, Jeanne Wilson, David Lyman, John Lyman, Tom Lyman, Barbara Forrest, Roger Kohn, Bill Maclay (NRG Architect), Chris Tall (NRG Representative).
Selectboard Chairman Lynn Gardner opened the meeting at 6:30 PM by explaining the purpose for the special joint meeting. NRG Systems, Inc. was to appear before the DRB on June 11, 2002 with an application to construct a new building on Lot 15 of Commerce Park. On June 11, NRG withdrew the application, citing that poor soil conditions on Lot 15 would make it too costly to build. They further advised that they are interested in a parcel owned by Howard Riggs which is zoned residential or are considering a move to another municipality. Lynn had called the meeting to discuss the potential for rezoning the Riggs property to allow for NRG construction.
Each attendee at the meeting was given an opportunity to express their concerns about the rezoning issue, as well as to ask questions of the NRG representatives. While the general consensus voiced was in favor of keeping NRG in Hinesburg, some of the concerns expressed were as follows:
Bill Maclay, NRG’s architect advised that there were multiple issues with Lot 15 in Commerce Park that were not easy or inexpensive to address. Building in Commerce Park would mean “significant money”. He further advised that the plan for the Rigg’s parcel was not to build in the field area, but instead back against the hillside, approximately 1000’ from Route 116. This would make the building less visible at the gateway to the village. While the soils on the Riggs property had not yet been tested, there was reason to believe that they would be more suitable to building. Jean Isham noted that the Planning Commission would like confirmation that the site would be suitable before proceeding with a bylaw change. Will Patten stated that the Planning Commission should have a solid proposal before proceeding with a bylaw change. Peter Erb noted that a purchase contract or agreement should also be obtained prior to proceeding with the bylaw change.
Chris Tall, NRG’s representative at the meeting, noted that the building was being designed to allow for future growth. The proposed building is roughly four times as large as the current building. NRG currently employs 35 people. The owners would like to see it remain a small company, and do not expect a large increase in the number of employees.
Public Works Director Rocky Martin noted that the Town has adequate infrastructure to support this type of business. He noted that the zoning for this parcel should be written in such a way as to ensure that only a business of this type would be allowable.
Lynn Gardner asked for a non-binding poll of members present on whether the Town was committed to working with NRG and should proceed with the zoning change according to the timeline outlined by NRG. The vote was unanimously in favor of proceeding.
It was noted by many that the timeline is very tight. A lot of dedication and cooperation will be required to make this work in the time allowed. Chris Tall noted that if NRG has a commitment from the Town, they would most likely be willing to work with the Town on the time issue. Bill Maclay also noted that a considerable amount of work will be required by NRG to assist in meeting the timeline.
Andrea Morgante noted that the Planning Commission is the lead on this project, and that they will need professional support to make it work. Jean Isham inquired whether funds would be available to provide professional support. Members of the Selectboard advised that they would come up with the necessary funding.
Finally, Chris Tall thanked the members of the Boards for their support, and noted that his fellow workers wished him well prior to the meeting, as they all would like to see the business stay in Hinesburg.
The meeting was adjourned at 7:33 PM.
Jeanne Kundell Wilson
Hinesburg Town Administrator