DRB Hearing for Paul Rea & Karen Colby

Town of Braintree, Vermont

Development Review Board (DRB)

April 23, 2015



Members Present: Bob Moyer (chair), Joan Richmond-Hall, Jennifer Phipps, Linda Doane, Malcolm Fitzpatrick, Ken Paulhus

Members Absent: Steve Zind

Others Present: Paul Rea (applicant), Stuart Kinney, John Grout, Preston Bristow (DRB Clerk and Administrative Officer)

At 7:05 PM Chair Bob Moyer called the meeting to order.


The public hearing for Application #ZP15-02 by Paul Rea and Karen Colby for a 5-lot subdivision of Parcel #03-025 located on VT Route 12A across from Mobile Acres Road was opened at 7:10 PM by a reading of the hearing notice. Stuart Kinney and John Grout requested and were granted status as interested persons. No DRB member disclosed a conflict of interest or ex parte communication. Applicant Paul Rea, Stuart Kinney and John Grout were sworn in.


It was noted that the DRB held a pre-application meeting on March 26, 2015 and a site visit on March 28, 2015. Any comments made by DRB members at those meetings are non-binding and there are no written findings, conclusions or decisions from those meetings.


Documents provided for this hearing include:

  1. Completed Application #ZP15-02 signed 3/2/15 and received 3/9/15.
  2. Site Plan entitled “Paul Rea, Vermont Route 12A, Braintree, Vermont, Overall Site Plan” by American Consulting Engineers, dated March 3, 2015.
  3. Email entitled “Road Plan” from Jay Collette, Chief, Randolph Village Fire Department, dated April 23, 2015.


Paul Rea presented the details of his proposed subdivision of his 21.3-acre Parcel #03-025 into the following 5 lots:

  • Lot 1 of 2.1 acres
  • Lot 2 of 2.3 acres
  • Lot 3 of 2.4 acres
  • Lot 4 of 1.6 acres
  • Lot 5 of 12.9 acres


The lots would be accessed by a single 50 foot wide right-of-way off VT Route 12A and end in a hammer-head turn-around. The access to VT Route 12A utilizes the previous entrance to a former gravel pit that was approved by Vermont AOT.


Septic designs for the five lots have been completed but Paul Rea is awaiting subdivision approval by the town before submitting it to the state for a water/wastewater permit.


Lot 4 at 1.6 acres is under 2 acres and therefore non-conforming for the Rural II district where it is located. Paul Rea presents it at this size in response to suggestions from DRB members at the site visit of March 28, 2015. The DRB has the authority to waive or vary all development requirements under section 7.3 (Subdivision Waivers) of the Braintree Unified Bylaw.


Paul Rea stated that he may apply for a sixth lot (a further subdivision of Lot 5) after five years to avoid state Act 250 review. Preston confirmed that subdivision of a sixth lot would be subject to review by the DRB under section 7.4 of the Braintree Unified Bylaw.

Stuart Kinney opposes the project because it will increase traffic congestion at the intersection of VT Route 12A and Mobile Acres Road, particularly as it is a school bus stop. Stuart Kinney is also concerned about impacts to the state-designated deer wintering area.


The DRB discussed submitting a request to the Selectboard to ask Vermont AOT to extend the 40 mph speed limit of VT Route 12A from north of the intersection with Braintree Hill Road to a point several hundred yards north of Mobile Aces Road. This would be safer than the current posted speed limit of 50 mph.


Paul Rea indicated that his application would not disturb the deer wintering area and he had no objection to designating the woodlands on the Final Plan as a no development zone.


John Grout questioned the location of his common boundary with this parcel and how close excavation would come to his boundary. Paul Rea answered his questions.


The DRB asked what sort of maintenance agreement there would be among the owners of the subdivided lots for the maintenance of their commonly owned right of way. Paul Rea responded that attorney Peter Nowlan would be preparing this.


The hearing was closed at 8:30 PM. The applicant and interested persons left the room.



DRB Findings and Decision:


Following deliberation, the DRB grants Preliminary Plan Approval for Application #ZP15-02 by Paul Rea and Karen Colby for a 5-lot subdivision of Parcel #03-025 located on VT Route 12A across from Mobile Acres Road under the following conditions:


  1. Lot 4 is permitted as a 1.6 acre non-conforming parcel under Section 7.3 (Subdivision Waiver) of the Braintree Unified Bylaw;
  2. The access road shall be constructed and maintained in compliance with A-76 State of Vermont Design Standards as per Section 7.24.1 of the Braintree Unified Bylaw;
  3. A stop sign will be erected and maintained where the access road intersects VT Route 12A; and
  4. There shall be no parking within the right-of-way of the access road.


The DRB jointly authorizes Chair Bob Moyer and Clerk Preston Bristow to grant Final Plan Approval for Application #ZP15-02 after the following information is provided by the applicants to their joint satisfaction:


  1. The legal means and instrument by which the access road right-of-way will be owned and maintained; and
  2. The woodlands are designated on the Final Plan as a no development zone.


These minutes were approved by Chair Bob Moyer on May 12, 2015.


Submitted by Preston Bristow, DRB Clerk and Administrative Officer