Businessman: Planning Commission Botched Flood Zone Vote

Lyndon businessman, Mark Bean, at left, speaks with Lyndon planning director and zoning administrator, Annie McLean on Wednesday, May 8, 2019. (Photo By Todd Wellington)

Businessman Mark Bean is challenging the results of a recent vote by the Lyndon Planning Commission.

Bean spoke out at Monday’s select board meeting about the commission’s recent approval of changes to the town’s floodwater bylaws.

“I think there was a ton of confusion at the last hearing and I’m not sure everybody really knows what they were voting on,” said Bean. “What was shown and given to the newspaper was not what was put on the screen to vote on that night.”

At issue is the level of development regulations in the town’s flood hazard area. The bylaw changes adopted by the planning commission are now being forwarded to the select board for consideration.

But Bean, who has long been outspoken on the issue, said he believes the commission voted to approve the wrong version of the bylaw changes.

“It seems as if everyone was talking about going back to the original that came out of the work group on September 3 or 4 - whatever that day was,” said Bean. “The one that got voted on was the one that everybody - meaning NVDA, ANR and even groups - had an issue with…There was mass confusion at the end and I don’t believe you voted the one up that was meant to be voted up.”

Select Board Chairman Chris Thompson responded to Bean’s concerns.

“As I understand it, the version that was voted on was basically the version that was warned with just a very, very minor wording change,” said Thompson. “That’s the version we have to work with. That’s actually what was voted on.”

A copy of the bylaw changes is available on the town’s website.

Select Board Member Nancy Blankenship said she was also at the planning commission meeting when the changes were approved.

“I do think that that is the one that they intended to go forward because that is the only one that they could get a unanimous vote to move forward,” said Blankenship. “I think that everybody agreeing was more important than going back to a former model.”

“I’ll agree to disagree,” responded Bean. “That’s not the way I heard it…it was rushed at the end because there was so much confusion and I just wanted to put my two cents in.”

Blankenship agreed, in part.

“I do agree that it was rushed to be off the table at the end of the evening,” said Blankenship.

Chairman Thompson suggested the board go back and take a closer look at the planning commission meeting.

“Get the meeting link and look through it again,” said Thompson. “I know I’m gonna do that.”

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