Present: Sharon Murray, Tom Longstreth, Lars Botzojorns, and Kristian Omland
Minutes recorded by Kristian Omland
1) Grant proposals for Preston Pond trails
· Tom had attended the Selectboard meeting on 16 Jan. The members had a favorable response to the grant proposals, and they had few issues/ questions. The reimbursement nature of the terms was acceptable to them. They also found it acceptable to treat work by town personnel on the parking areas as part of the match.
· Tom sent proposals for the state’s Recreation Trails Grant Program and Vermont Youth Conservation Corps (VYCC). Timetable unknown.
2) Zoning Board meeting 9 Feb
· Jen represented the Conservation Commission; about 15–20 others had attended.
q We need to confirm that Jen will continue to represent the CC on the Zoning Board (despite the fact that she is “on leave” from the CC).
· The proposal on the table is to down–zone the entire town; zones with minimum 2–acre lots would be changed to minimum 10–acre, etc. Land with road frontage would mostly be changed to minimum 10–acre lots. Lots over 1500’ elev. would have minimum 25–acre lots.
· Owners of Bolton Valley Resort and adjacent lands had reservations about the proposed changes.
· Proposed changes were noncontroversial elsewhere.
· Land along Honey Hollow Rd would be designated conservation lands with inholdings.
· There would be no building permitted in the floodplain except within the village district.
· A completed draft of the proposed changes is due by April as required under the municipal planning grant.
· The earliest revised regulations could be voted on by the town is November 2004 (general elections). Both the Planning Commission and Selectboard must hold additional public hearings prior to any vote.
3) Town Meeting Preparation
· Lars had drafted a flyer describing projects for the coming year. It met with everyone’s approval.
· Kristian suggested adding an item on outreach, specifically dealing with ATV use and living with bears.
q Kristian will draft that item.
q Under “Wildlife Habitat Monitoring,” we should confirm that it is OK to give Hilary’s name as the contact — or should it be Jen?
q Lars will take copies of the flyer to the town meeting.
· We may have to raise the question of another year of the conservation fund. That is 2005 as well as the current year. The selectboard may be able to continue the fund without it being raised at Town Meeting, but we will be prepared to raise the question. Important phrasing: “to make sure we uphold our promise.”
4) Next meeting
· With Town Meeting coming up, the Conservation Commission will not meet in March.
· Next Conservation Commission meeting 5 April, the night of the full moon.
· Preliminary agenda
4 Plan signage for Preston Pond trail network.
q Kristian to extract trail segment distances from map.
q All to brainstorm trail names.
4 Discussion of VAST’s grant success and their plans for moving the trail away from Upper Pond.