Hinesburg DRB examines three projects’ impact on town

By Gail Callahan

At its regular meeting on Tuesday, June 3, the Hinesburg Development Review Board (DRB) discussed large housing projects that will change the face of the town.
Among the Trees, LLC

The property, located on 213 Wood Run, is seeking a conditional use/camp conversion and expansion of a non-complying structure. The Board agreed to continue the application for this proposal to June 17.

Haystack Crossing/Blackrock Construction During a third meeting on the project, which is seeking subdivision sketch plan review, developer Ben Avery is working to modify the proposal. During a lengthy presentation at last week’s DRB meeting, Avery noted that the revised plan, 225 unites on 39.39 acres, now includes senior housing and a more friendly town green, along with a mix of access to public transit. Discussions about solar power are also underway.

Board members expressed concerns about how the market would support commercial portions if the economy remains sluggish, and what mixed-uses would be incorporated. They also were also apprehensive about phasing of the plan and its impact on both the local elementary and high schools. According to Hinesburg Director of Planning and Zoning Alex Weinhagen, Hinesburg Community School and Champlain Valley Union High School both indicated they could accommodate additional students that the proposed project would bring to their doorsteps.

While Board members sought answers to questions, representatives from local commissions addressed aspects of the plan. Jeff French of the Village Steering Committee, expressed trepidation about pedestrian access and parking.

The Energy Committee, represented by Chuck Reiss, criticized the proposal, noting few adjustments were made to the plan.
Bill Marks of the Conservation Commission, noted concerns about the proposal’s traffic impacts.
Weinhagen suggested further Board discussion. The panel will next take up the proposal June 17.

Hinesburg Center, LLC
During a site plan revision hearing, developer Brett Grabowski showed Board members a revised site plan detailing modifications for landscaping. Grabowski also noted objections to some “Finding of Fact” articles drafted by the panel, but will adhere to concerns raised by DRB members.
As attendees spoke, concerns about sidewalks dominated the discussion.

Grabowski pushed for a decision on the role of sidewalks, asking for the public hearing to be closed. The Board ended discussion, but decided not to hold a deliberative session that evening.