Plans move ahead for health center, library

By SCOOTER MACMILLAN
Staff Reporter

The odds that the Charlotte Family Health Center will be moving to new offices across from the Charlotte Town Hall are getting better.

Dr. Andrea (Andy) Regan, head of the health center, and Ben Mason, owner of the 37.7-acre property at 527 Ferry Road, from which an acre would be subdivided for the business, spoke to the Charlotte Planning Commission on Feb. 21 regarding the sketch plan review portion of the permitting process.

After their report and the ensuing discussion, the planning commission unanimously approved the sketch plan and the next step will be the site plan and the hearing plan.

Among the purposes of the site plan review will be to confirm that the building conforms to the requirements for a major planned unit development, or PUD. A major PUD classification allows for more dense building developments on smaller parcels of land in the village commercial district.

Charlotte Planning Commission Chair Peter Joslin said that because the planners have gone “much further than they normally go with a sketch plan” that the sketch plan and the final hearing review could be combined into one meeting.

If everything else proceeds efficiently and all the requirements met, construction might be able to start in late summer, Joslin said after the meeting.

Nan Mason, president of the Friends of the Library, spoke to the planning commission as part of the sketch plan review for building an addition to the Charlotte Library.

She pointed out that the proposed design of the addition would move the main entrance to the back or south side of the building, so it wouldn’t be so close to the driveway where children would not run into the path of a car.

Another reason she cited in favor of the addition is that it would include a separate meeting room so meetings during library hours would no longer take place in the main area of the library.

“We had 330 programs at the library last year, ranging from tiny babies to the elderly,” Mason said.

She said that the proposed addition is the largest that the library can make without being required to install a sprinkler system. She pointed out that the Stowe library had a recently had sprinkler burst. A story in the Stowe Reporter said the December mishap caused “substantial damage” to books, magazines, videos, audio recordings and recently installed carpet.

The planning commission unanimously approved the sketch plan review, so if it the bond issue is approved by voters on March 5, Town Meeting Day, the process will move to a site plan review where they will review landscaping, lighting, parking, drainage, access and other aspects of the plan.

Because of snow, a meeting about changes to the East Charlotte Village Plan was postponed from earlier in February and the planning commission decided to reschedule that discussion as part of the regularly scheduled meeting on March 21.

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