Mission, Membership and Meetings of the Planning Commission
"Planning Commission- composed of seven members appointed by the Town Council to administer the Town plan and promote the health, safety and general welfare of the Town." (language from town website www.chincoteague-va.gov)
PLANNING COMMISSION TERM 4 YEARS:
Thomas Derrickson 12/31/07
Jane Wolffe 12/31/08
C. Ray Daisey 12/31/08
Mollie Cherrix 12/31/09
Robert Behr 12/31/09
Ray Rosenberger (chairman) 12/31/09
Ellen Richardson (Town Council member)
The Planning Commission normally meets on the fourth Tuesday of every month. It is an advisory body that provides recommendations to the Town Council and is frequently tasked with work by the Council.
Approving the Agenda and Setting the Context
The June 27 meeting of the Chincoteague Planning Commission was called to order by the Chairman at 7pm and adjourned at 9:15pm.
All members were present except for Jane Wolffe. Kenny Lewis. the town's building and zoning administrator, was present as staff as was the new town manager, Robert Ritter. There were three people in the audience.
The first 40 minutes of the meeting were taken up with Mr. Ritter's interaction with the Commission on the subject of how to set an agenda for meetings to be more in compliance with Robert's Rules of Order and efficient public process. The intention is to try to make sure that the subject of meetings is known in advance to the public and the topics addressed at meetings do not stray too far from the announced agenda. The town plans to post the agenda a week in advance of meetings. There was some concern by members that too strict a process would restrict productive discussion but members were reassured by Mr. Ritter that they had some flexibility. Mr. Ritter also
emphasized the importance of giving the Commission staff time to do preliminary research on issues and provide recommendations. The chairman stated that given Mr. Lewis' already overburdened work schedule this was unrealistic, but Mr. Ritter said that adding staff support is being explored.
After this discussion the Commission voted on the adoption of an amended agenda for this meeting.
#1-Public participation. (The chairman requested this business item to be the first on every adjenda of the Planning Commission.
#2-Mr. Lewis's Board of Zoning Appeals report.
#3-Committee suggestions for upcoming meeting in August. (There will be no July meeting)
#4-Fences and trellises.
#5-Workshop on sign ordinance review.
Deliberations of the Planning Commission - June 27
#1-Public participation. No one requested to speak to the Planning Commission.
#2-Board of Zoning Appeals (BZA) report.
There was just one issue. A 6 foot chain link fence has been erected near Captain's Fish's for the work site on the Sunset Bay condominiums on South Main Street. It is clearly a temporary fence
for safety and security of the work site. This issue will come before the Board of Zoning Appeals. Members felt it was a justifiable fence. Mr. Lewis would like the Commission to look into providing
general construction fence standards. (Mr. Lewis is also the staff for the BZA.) The Committee will look into this.
#3-Suggestions for Agenda of August meeting.
Construction fence standards.
Mr. Daisey summarized the issues related to the Captain's Cove septic controversy, with the prospect of substantial outflow into Chincoteague Bay. Does the Commission have something so say about this? Mr. Ritter said he was working on having representatives of the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality and the developer's engineering firm meet with the town council on July 10.
Mr. Daisey has been doing research on the island town of Manteo on the North Carolina outer banks (www.townofmanteo.com) Manteo shares a number of issues with Chincoteague (there are few populated coastal islands) and John Wilson, the mayor of Manteo, would be interested in
visiting Chincoteague. Mr. Daisey has several documents related to Manteo which will be distributed to Commission members. Issues include affordable housing and building codes. Mr. Ritter noted that he is working on getting Ed McMahon of the Urban Land Institute to come to Chincoteague to discuss some of these issues. Might not happen until December because of scheduling problems. (Members of the Commission have been pushing for McMahon to come to Chincoteague).
Mr. Behr noted that the Commission is trying to set up a subcommittee on beautification, architectural, and landscaping issues. Issues related to the visual appearance of the island. An attempt was made to get the town television Channel 9 to carry information about this
and soliciting possible members from the public. Mr. Ritter said it was still unclear what the purpose of the subcommittee would be. There was some discontent by members of the Commission with the delay in carrying the announcement on Channel 9 but members agreed to refine the sub-committee's purpose at the August meeting. Mr. Behr said that part of the concept of the subcommittee is to let the future members brainstorm about the possible functions of the subcommittee.
Mr. Daisey said there was a need to look more into zoning issues re the storage of boats and boat trailers in subdivisions and marinas.The August meeting of the Commission should also discuss the work of the Town's planning consultants, Redman/Johnston, and the public meetings on this to be held on June 28 and 29.
#4-Fences and trellises.
Mr. Lewis brought this item to the agenda because a citizen had complained about his ruling that a short 6 foot high solid fence with roses in front of it was a fence, not a trellis. 6 foot high fences
are not permitted in front yards in Chincoteague. The Commission voted to support Mr. Lewis' position.
#5-Sign ordinance review.
Commission will take this up at a special meeting scheduled for August 9. The Chairman has a number of issues and questions related to this which he will give to Mr. Lewis to help prepare for the August meeting (responding to Mr. Ritter's request for how to better prepare for meetings). The Chairman also noted that they had promised to let real estate people give their responses to the new sign ordinance.
The Commission did not have time to get to this subject. A preliminary date of August 9 was set for the workshop. The committee has been working on updating the town's sign ordinance for almost two years. The complete text of the revised sign ordinance as of the April 26 meeting of the Planning Commission can be found at:
The meeting adjourned at 9:15 p.m.
Notes of the meeting transcribed by David Johnson
N.B. These notes do not constitute the public record of this meeting. The information contained herein is offered in good faith, is presented as accurately as possible, is thought to be a complete account of the proceedings. These notes are intended to be a public service devoid of political commentary for those who are interested in following the activities of Chincoteague Government. Notes of the meeting are recorded, transcribed and distributed by volunteers who receive no financial compensation for their efforts.