Forest Hills Planning Board 10-15-01

Village of Forest Hills

Planning Board Minutes

October 15, 2001


Present:  Ann Chambers, Jim Davis, Sally James, Larry Kolenbrander, Ian Pritchard, Joe Rossano, David Shapiro, Gene Tweedy


The meeting was called to order at 7:05 PM by Kolenbrander.  Minutes from the September 17 meeting were approved unanimously with one correction (i.e., Joe Rossano was present).


Kolenbrander introduced Jim Dukes (from Dukes Planning and Environmental Inc.) from Sylva, NC.  Mr. Dukes discussed a variety of conceptual plans for housing.  These included plans for more dense, affordable houses in the front end of the development; less dense, more expensive homes in the back end.  An alternative would be to have multifamily homes (i.e., two families per home), including garden villas.  These could be on one story to appeal to retirees.  A third plan included lots of cul-de-sacs; not pedestrian friendly.  Other plans presented were of increasing density, up to 241 units, including town houses and garden villas (i.e., lots of roads, still incorporating 8 acres of open space).  The plan ultimately selected must consider connectivity to water, sewer, etc.  The working assumption inherent to all plans discussed is that nature (i.e., the pond, streams, etc.) belongs to everyone, providing an open area with walkway along the pond.  Specifically, there would be no houses located right up to the pond that would inhibit public access.


Question was asked who is responsible for deciding which plan may be selected and the role of the current village residents in that decision.  Kolenbrander explained that a priority is to develop sufficient restrictions/planning housing plans to serve as a condition of land purchase by a prospective developer.


Kolenbrander then reintroduced Geoffrey Willett to continue discussion of draft subdivision regulations.  Density becomes a tradeoff for affordability of utilities; yet, the higher density creates greater need for utilities.  To require a developer to implement our requirements creates a need to compromise our desire to keep density low (i.e., to maintain affordability to pay for the requirements).  Suggestion was made to change regulations to "village, county, and state regulations”.  Section B/fire hydrants requires a developer to plan for a water system, which also reduces insurance costs.  Hydrants could be put in before the water system; the water system could be added later.  Recommendation was made to leave Section B in place.  Ditto for Section C, D, and E with minor rewording.  Section 405/Other Design Standards and Section 406/Ownership and Maintenance Agreements for Common Areas and Open Spaces were discussed with minor revisions suggested.  Willett suggested that we run different scenarios or examples of development proposals through the review process to ensure we would get what the community wants.


At Kolenbrander's request, Willett prepared an amendment to the Village ordinance authorizing the Planning Board.  This ordinance must be revised if ETJ is adopted in order to reflect the proportional representation required under ETJ and should be adopted in any case in order to clarify the legal authority of the Planning Board.  Kolenbrander/Willett discussed which body (Planning Board vs. Village Council) should consider the amendment.  Previously, the same people served in both functions; at present, the bodies are functioning separately.  Revision to ordinance must go to public hearing.  Willett distributed proposed ordinance.  Discussion addressed the possibility that the ETJ could have greater density than the existing Village; in such a case, there could be greater representation on the Planning Board by ETJ than the existing Village.  Following discussion, Board agreed to recommend ordinance to the Village Council.  Kolenbrander will bring the ordinance to the Village Council.


Plan for next meeting will be to finish discussion of draft subdivision regulations, proposed changes in Planning Board bylaws, and a draft planned unit development ordinance.  The last two documents were distributed for reading before discussion at the next meeting.


No further business was discussed.  Meeting was adjourned at 9:35 PM.  Next meeting is scheduled for November 19, 2001 at 7:00 PM.


Submitted by,


David Shapiro