By Lisa Loomis

Working in executive session this week, the Waitsfield Select Board appointed members to a newly created development review board and also named members to the town's planning commission.

At a March 12 meeting, the board first adopted a resolution dissolving the current zoning board of adjustment and recreating it as a development review board. The resolution concurrently dissolved and recreated the planning commission as a seven member board rather than a nine member board. That action was taken in open session.

New DRB members are Gib Geiger, Eleanor D'Aponte, Jamey Fidel, Mike Kingsbury, Mark Sinclair, Brian Shupe and Hallie Tamez. Bob Shaffer in an alternate and there is another alternate position open. The new DRB members are all current members of the ZBA, with the exception of Fidel who comes to the DRB from the planning commission.

The select board appointed seven planning commissioners to the newly streamlined commission. Those members include veteran planners Peter Laskowski, Robin Morris, Hadley Gaylord, Russ Bennett, Steve Shea and Karl Klein and the board will interview new candidate Brian Fleisher on March 26.

The select board did not appoint a planning commissioner to serve on the tri-town Mad River Valley Planning District, opting instead to wait until the planning commission has met, organized itself and when its chair makes a recommendation to the select board as to which member should serve on the planning district's steering committee. That committee includes a planning commissioner and select board member from Waitsfield, Warren and Fayston.

The planning commission will now work exclusively on planning and will no longer work on development review such as subdivisions. The development review board will take over all regulatory review applications, but the zoning board of adjustment will remain in existence long enough to finish the applications currently under review.

Those include a canopy over the gas tanks at The Village Grocery, the Mad River Meadows project and a request by Jake Cady of Jake's World Auto to expand his business by adding an office and showroom area.

In other business, the select board discussed how to proceed with plans to purchase and install an emergency generator for the Waitsfield School to function as a shelter in the event of an emergency, natural disaster or some other event. Town voters approved spending up to $35,000 at Town Meeting in 2006 and at Town Meeting 2007 discussed whether the 2006 approval included hooking up buildings other than the school to the generator.

This week, select board members decided to proceed with purchasing and installing and wiring the generator to serve the school, the General Wait House, and the Waitsfield Fire Station, but will not hook up the Mad River Valley Health Center as had been planned. Now the town will give the health center the option of hooking itself up to the generator.

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