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08/11/2005 Minutes
TOWN OF EAST WINDSOR
Planning and Zoning Commission
Public Hearing #1460
August 11, 2005
SPECIAL MEETING
                
Draft Document - Subject to Commission Approval


Chairman Guiliano in the Meeting Room of the Town Hall, 11 Rye Street, Broad Brook, CT, called the meeting to order at 6:35 P. M.

ESTABLISHMENT OF QUORUM:

A quorum was established as three Regular Members (Filipone, Guiliano, and Saunders) and one Alternate Member (Ouellette) were present.  Regular Members Gowdy and Rodrigue and Alternate Members Kehoe and Tyler were absent. Also present was Town Planner Whitten, and First Selectwoman Roberts

DISCUSSION:  Issues and goals related to the proposed residential moratorium.

Town Planner Whitten provided the following handouts to the Commission, and made the same handouts available to the public:
        *       Tonight's task
        *       Chapter III - 2004 Plan of Conservation and Development -
                "Guiding Development"
        *       "Growing Greener Essentials - Growing Greener:
                 Conservation by Design"
        *       "Growing Greener - Putting conservation into Local Codes"

Town Planner Whitten reviewed the information contained in "Tonight's Tasks".   She READ FOR THE RECORD excerpts from Page 2, which listed the Core Strategies outlined in the Plan of Conservation and Development (POCD), noting the strategies are listed by priority (A being the highest, and B being an ongoing priority) and actions (1 being immediate, 2 being one to five years, and 3 being ongoing to long term).

The Commission felt their immediate priority was updating and adopting the draft Zoning Regulations through in-house review assisted by the consultant, with concentrated assistance by the consultant for regulations addressing Active Adult Housing, Special Development Districts, Planned Residential Developments, and Conservation Subdivisions.  The Commission noted their intent is to return to their original meeting schedule, with review/revision of regulations to be undertaken during the second meeting/work session, and application review to occur on the first monthly meeting.   The intent is to make the regulations easier to understand and easier to work with.

Discussion continued with regard to the role of the Commission, the consultant, and the public in this task.  Town Planner Whitten reviewed page 3 of  "Tonight's Tasks" which outlined several options for regulation changes.  The consideration of "clarify/defining Open Space requirements for all residential development" drew input from Rand Stanley in the audience.   Chairman Guiliano noted the Commission presently has the option to accept fees-in-lieu of Open Space or a 10% allocation of land to satisfy the Open Space Requirement.  The POCD recommends a corridor for Open Space for the Commission to shoot for when considering applications; he noted that recommendation ties into the Cluster Subdivisions the Commission has been reviewing.

Town Planner Whitten noted the consideration of  "re-evaluating the Sewer Service/Avoidance Area for both business and residential development" might require a joint meeting with the Water Pollution Control Authority (WPCA) and the Office of Policy Management (OPM) to clarify who owns responsibility for maintaining the area and is the area a policy issue only.  

Town Planner Whitten noted another consideration would be to require cluster housing in sewered areas only, or to consider Low Impact Development, which would assist with the aquifer protection zone.

The Commission considered the consultant's recommendation to create Village Districts for Warehouse Point, Broad Brook, and Scantic.   Town Planner Whitten noted creation of these districts would include an architectural review by a licensed architect, she indicated she has been unable to find anyone qualified willing to fill such a position.   She noted the Commission can act as the architectural review board but it's a huge responsibility.  The Commission felt creation of the Village Districts is a larger undertaking than they can handle presently.

Town Planner Whitten noted Doug Wilson, of the NRPC (Natural Resources Preservation Committee) was present in the audience.  Mr. Wilson, speaking from the audience, noted he has been working on developing an open space map, which currently reflects anything on the Town Assessor's records listed as open space, including land qualified for PA 490 - farmland preservation.   The goal is to define areas for good open space.   The Open Space Plan would be a tool to use for application review and in the future a Conservation Commission could make recommendations to the Planning and Zoning Commission.  The Town could create greenways around and within the town.   If an official Open Space Map were created reflecting priority properties it could identify those properties that can seek tax assistance.  Mr. Wilson noted there is no such map at present; he could also add flood zones, CLP easements, and areas of endangered species to his project.   Discussion followed regarding the current status of Mr. Wilson's project, the eventual creation of a Conservation Commission and the interaction of the Commissions with regard to future development.   The Commission suggested a definition for Open Space would be developed.

The Commission felt their immediate priorities should include:

        *       Redraft/revise/adopt Zoning Regulations
        *       Re-evaluation of open space standards
        *       Consideration of alternative density factors, revision of
                density standards
        *       Revision of Residential Districts

Town Planner Whitten suggested the Commission could utilize the consultant's assistance with revisions concerning Active Adult Housing, Planned Residential Developments, and Special Development Districts.

Commissioner Saunders suggested the Commission consider a 6-month moratorium rather than the 9-month period currently proposed.  Chairman Guiliano felt the shorter period would give the Commission only 5 actual work sessions to work on regulation revisions.  The Commission concurred with retaining the original 9-month moratorium period.  

MOTION: To ASK THE BOARD OF SELECTMEN TO BRING TO THE BOARD OF FINANCE AN APPROPRIATION UP TO $19,000 FOR CONSULTING SERVICES TO HELP REVISE/UPDATE THE EXISTING REGULATIONS.

Filipone moved/Saunders seconded/VOTE:  In Favor: Unanimous

Chairman Guiliano reiterated the commission's intent is to revise/define the regulations with the goal to incorporate the recommendations of the Plan of Conservation and Development.

The Commission noted the Public Hearing for the moratorium is scheduled for September 13, 2005. If approved the moratorium would become effective October 2005.

ADJOURNMENT:

MOTION: To ADJOURN this Meeting at 8:05 P. M.

Saunders moved/Filipone seconded/VOTE:  In Favor: Unanimous

Respectfully submitted,

______________________________
Peg Hoffman, Recording Secretary
Planning and Zoning Commission