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February 28, 2006 Minutes
TOWN OF EAST WINDSOR
Planning and Zoning Commission

Public Hearing #1477
February 28, 2006


***** Draft Document - Subject to Commission Approval *****


The meeting was called to order at 7:33 P. M. by Chairman Guiliano in the Meeting Room of the Town Hall, 11 Rye Street, Broad Brook, CT.

ESTABLISHMENT OF QUORUM:

A quorum was established as five Regular Members (Gowdy, Guiliano, Ouellette, Rodrigue and Saunders) and two Alternate Members (Kehoe and Tyler) were present.  Chairman Guiliano noted Alternate Commissioner Kehoe will sit in on any Hearings/Items of Business he sat in at previous meetings, or if any of the Regular Commissioners step down.  Also present was Town Planner Whitten.

ADDED AGENDA ITEMS:

Town Planner Whitten noted the discussion under the Executive Session will also include discussion of pending litigation.

RECEIPT OF APPLICATIONS:

1)      Application of East Windsor Historical Society, Inc. for Site Plan Approval for parking lot and drainage improvements at 115 Scantic Road.  [B-1 Zone; Map 30, Block 32, Lot 27].

Chairman Guiliano and Town Planner Whitten announced that the Commission would not be acting on the Application for River Place (Phoenix Farm Company) tonight.  The Applicant was not able to attend this meeting and wanted to be present when the decision was made.

LEGAL NOTICE:

The following Legal Notice, which appeared in the Journal Inquirer on Thursday, February 16, 2006, and Thursday, February 23, 2006, was read by Secretary Saunders:

1)      Application of David Flynn & Robert Daddario for a Special Use Permit to allow car sales (Northeast Vehicle Distributors) at 84 South Main Street, owned by Vito Cortese.  [TZ-5 Zone, Map 28, Block 5, Lot 44].

CONTINUED HEARING:  White Pine, LLC - SDD, Site Plan Approval and Special Use Permit for 12 single-family condominiums at 22 Wagner Lane, owned by TJL Investment Trust, LLC (Phase I, Wagner Terrace).  [M-1 & B-1 Zone; Map 13, Block 11, Lots 2 & 3].  (Deadline to close hearing extended to 2/28/2006):

Chairman Guiliano read the Hearing description.   Appearing to discuss this Application was Attorney T. Mark Barbieri, representing the Applicant, White Pine, LLC; John Heagle, P.E. of Megson and Heagle; Ray Jefferson, Landscape Architect; Mike Howell, of William Pitt/Sotheby’s International Realty, Real Estate Agent; and Regean Jacques, the developer.

LET THE RECORD SHOW Commissioner Rodrigue stepped down from service; Alternate Commissioner Kehoe replaced him on the Board.

Attorney Barbieri indicated that this is the continuation of the Site Plan/Special Development District Application for White Pines, LLC; he noted the Commission approved a Subdivision Application at the previous meeting for the same location.  The property is located on the south side of Wagner Lane behind the storage facility, and is presently occupied by the golf driving range.  Attorney Barbieri suggested the area being shown to the Commission is for Phase I and Phase II under this Application which is now before the Commission as a Site Plan for 42 acres.  Chairman Guiliano clarified that the Commission was hearing an Application for the development of only 12 units being proposed under Phase I; Attorney Barbieri concurred, noting the Applicant would have to reconfigure the plans if new regulations were passed.

Attorney Barbieri noted they have not yet received approval from the Inland/Wetlands Commission; that Hearing is continued until the March Meeting.  By State Statutes the Planning and Zoning Commission (PZC) can continue their Hearing for 35 days after the issuance of the Inland/Wetlands approval.

Attorney Barbieri noted that the Open Space allocation for this subdivision was offered under Phase I but would also apply to Phase II.   Chairman Guiliano suggested that the Open Space will be satisfied for Phase I and Phase II; the Commission is only looking at Phase I at this time and the Open Space Regulations may change.  Attorney Barbieri suggested they have more than enough Open Space for Phase I; their offering is far in excess of what’s required for Phase I.

With regard to the Plan of Conservation and Development (POCD), Attorney Barbieri suggested the maps contained in the POCD it’s difficult to know what the Town intended for this area.   He referenced each map and noted the following comments:  

Map contained on page 3.21 of POCD - Proposed East Windsor Business Corridor Zoning:  Attorney Barbieri suggested the thick purple line on this map shows the business industrial corridor.   The subject parcel is shown as M-1 but it’s really a mixed

use area surrounded by residential and agricultural to the southwest, business to the east, industrial/residential to the north and more business to the south.  Attorney Barbieri also suggested that the narrative suggests the M-1 Zone be expanded to, and past, Winkler Road.  Attorney Barbieri suggested in actuality much of the area is developed in other ways.  

Map contained on page 3.23 - Proposed Central Business Corridor:  Attorney Barbieri suggested this map shows the subject parcel as entirely residential - single family.   He indicated that the narrative discusses redefining the TZ-5 Zone as light business and mixed residential use with business mixed uses around the subject parcel with the noticeable absence of M-1 uses with one exception.

Map contained on page 6.2 - Future Land Use Map:  Attorney Barbieri suggested the narrative for this map is entitled “Conclusions”, it specifies 3 goals, none of which are inconsistent with their proposal.  The map shows the subject parcel as M-1 and all the land around them as M-1, even though much of the land is developed as residential and doesn’t extend the M-1 land past Winkler Road as the goals suggest.   

Attorney Barbieri noted he also found Appendix A-11 under the POCD - Existing Land Use Map, shows this parcel as entirely residential, but the Zoning Map (dated 2001) handed out with the application forms shows the subject parcel as M-1.

Attorney Barbieri reiterated that the map contained on page 3.23 of the POCD - Proposed Central Business Corridor, recognizes much of this area has been developed residential, and he indicated that from past workshops, etc. we know that business and residential are ok.  He suggested that the best indicator of what fits is what is there - condos to the east and along the river near the curve and apartments above that, and the mobile home park nearby.  Attorney Barbieri suggested that in reviewing the list of considerations contained in Town Planner Whitten’s memo of 2/2/2006 this application is compatible.  

Attorney Barbieri reported that this parcel has been considered for M-1 development for many years but drainage has been a difficulty.   It’s difficult to drain to the north; they could drain down to the river via the easement with the Farmers if the property is developed with a residential use; and they have done other alternative drainage reviews.  Attorney Barbieri suggested that the drainage rights from the Farmers would not be available if they were proposing M-1 development because Mrs. Farmer doesn’t want to see M-1 development in her front yard.   This parcel is in proximity of the existing residential development.  

Attorney Barbieri indicated they presented a traffic study prepared by F. A. Hesketh & Associates at the last meeting; the study didn’t indicate any adverse impact due to this development.   Attorney Barbieri suggested that at the previous meeting someone in the audience said anyone can hire a traffic engineer who will say there is enough room to do a given project; he suggested that’s true because they wouldn’t be here if the project had a bad traffic problem.  Attorney Barbieri suggested that the traffic from this development,

even if the Commission approves the application for 192 units nearby, the road in this area can handle this project.  Attorney Barbieri noted that he was in this area for a half to three quarters of an hour at 8:30 this morning and counted 3 cars on South Water Street.  He came through Thompson Road to access Route 5 and found the light blinking red; the truck in front of him was able to enter traffic with no problem.  Attorney Barbieri suggested it seems to appear that many of the traffic problems on Route 5 are caused by the sequencing of the lights when school starts at the high school.

With regard to the width of Wagner Lane Attorney Barbieri suggested that the blacktop is between 18’ to 20’ at the widest point but it varies along the road length.   It’s the widest from the front of their development to South Water Street; the right-of-way is 35’ to 50’.

John Heagle indicated that the site is serviced by sewer, gas, and electric.  The Fire Marshal has reviewed the plans and has requested that fire hydrants be installed at specified locations.  The project has also been approved by the WPCA.  

With regard to drainage, Mr. Heagle indicated that drainage will discharge into a detention pond on the west property line and go out through a 6” standpipe which in turn goes into a 30” pipe which crosses South Water Street.   Utilizing the easement on the adjacent property the water will discharge into a riprap plunge pool on the east side of the existing sewer line and then go into the watershed of the Connecticut River.  Mr. Heagle suggested the area has been disturbed earlier for construction of the sewer line.  He indicated that 18 1/2 cfs of water goes into the pond which will include a filter to improve the water quality; .33 cfs will be the run off during a 100 year storm.  

Chairman Guiliano questioned how high, of record, does the Connecticut River overflow during a high flood season, such as early this Spring?   Mr. Heagle suggested 32.6’ is the 100 year elevation, 21.5’ is the elevation of the bottom of the pond, 24.5 is the elevation at the berm, and 23.34’ is the bottom of the slope.   He noted that the plans have been reviewed by the North Central Health District (NCHD) and Town Engineer Norton.   Chairman Guiliano questioned if Mr. Heagle were saying that there was a possibility that the pipe could be underwater?  Mr. Heagle replied affirmatively.  Chairman Guiliano questioned that at some point it wouldn’t work?  Mr. Heagle suggested the water level will never get above the 32.6’; it would back up into their pipe.   The worse case would be at the 100 year flood level; the water would be 8’ above the outlet but the water in the pipe will discharge before.  Chairman Guiliano was concerned that the water in the river would be pushing against the pipe, and the water could end up staying in the pipe.   Mr. Heagle suggested that would occur only to the flood elevation.  Attorney Barbieri questioned if the water would stop the flow?   Mr. Heagle replied no.   Commissioner Tyler suggested he would be more concerned about the flow of the river on the pipe and riprap; the velocity of the river is a concern.  Attorney Barbieri suggested that was why they were proposing as part of the common-interest-ownership document that there be routine inspections every 3 months and reports of those results be given to the Town.  Commissioner Tyler suggested he would recommend using intermediate riprap.   Mr. Heagle noted there is no scour or erosion in that area now; it’s stabilized itself over time.  

The down gradient side will remain stabilized.   He reiterated that Town Engineer Norton had reviewed the proposal; Commissioner Tyler suggested whatever Town Engineer Norton says is fine with him.  

Commissioner Ouellette questioned what other drainage alternatives had they pursued?   Mr. Heagle noted the site is flat.    They had considered going out to Route 5.   Commissioner Ouellette questioned the elevation at Route 5.   Mr. Heagle suggested it was 58’ at the site, and Route 5 is basically the same; also the storm drainage in Route 5 isn’t that deep.  There is an existing storm drain running from the north; it outlets further to the north and by the time they drained there the site would be too high to outlet.  They also considered going north on South Water Street but there would be an 18’ to 20’ cut going through the road.  Commissioner Ouellette questioned if that was doable, but not economically feasible, for this Application?   Mr. Heagle replied affirmatively, and they are able to go with this option.  Commissioner Ouellette questioned what about South Water Street to the east; is there any formal drainage system on South Water Street going to Route 5?  Mr. Heagle suggested there was nothing at a significant depth.   They also looked at going through the condo discharge but they couldn’t make that work either.  The neighbor was willing to give the easement for residential development and it works well.   

Chairman Guiliano questioned if they could talk about the width of Wagner Lane.  Mr. Heagle suggested that towards Route 5 it’s 18’ and going towards South Water Street it’s 22’.   There are 2 driveways to the east.  The right-of-way is 35’; opposite the open space area it expands to 50’.

Commissioner Gowdy questioned if it were possible to discharge to the north, and would it be cost effective?  Mr. Heagle suggested there is a significant distance and depth; they could do it but it’s not practical.  He understood other people have looked at this but rejected it because of the problems with the storm drains, and they were able to get the easement for the residential development.  

Chairman Guiliano requested that they had said there were similar drainage set ups with the Tribble property?  Attorney Barbieri suggested this same system has been used at Scantic Glen condos, and Meadowview condos with a different retention basin at the bottom of the escarpment towards the Connecticut River, and at the Tribble property where the main drainage comes into Quarry Brook.  This is a good design, and there is a lot of velocity, and there will be a team of people to review it.  Attorney Barbieri suggested he understood the system at Meadowview to be good; he understood that the only one that shows some sedimentation is at Scantic Glen and they never set a maintenance schedule and reporting requirement for that system.  

Mike Howell, of William Pitt/Sotheby’s International Realty, suggested the Town recently replaced drainage at School Street and Dean Avenue and the drainage dumps into the Connecticut River  through a direct discharge; they are proposing a plunge pool for this project.  

Regean Jacques, the developer, requested to show the prints of the proposed buildings; there will be 18 styles for the entire project; there will be 4 styles for Phase I.   There is a mix of 2 and 3 bedroom units.  Chairman Guiliano noted that the architectural drawings show some brick; Mr. Jacques suggested it will be an option.  

Commissioner Gowdy questioned that these units will all be built and then sold, they won’t be built on request?   Mr. Jacques replied affirmatively.  He noted he has been working on Norton Glen condos and has had people stop in to see if he is building detached condos.    These units will range from 1200 to 1700 square feet; the ranch style could be made handicapped accessible.  Town Planner Whitten noted the plans indicated they have 3 type “C” units; she questioned if they were all 3 bedroom units?   Attorney Barbieri indicated that unit #5 is a type “C” unit but is 2 bedrooms.  Town Planner Whitten indicated she wanted to be sure the proposal was falling within the regulation criteria.

Mr. Jacques noted all the units will have 2 car garages and 2 parking spaces in the driveways.

Commissioner Gowdy questioned if the units will be sprinklered?   Mr. Jacques replied no.  Attorney Barbieri noted the Fire Marshal has accepted the plans as presented but has requested the installation of 3 fire hydrants.  

Ray Jefferson, the landscape architect, joined the discussion to review the landscape plan.   He noted they are proposing street trees along Wagner Lane; along the entrance they are proposing a post and rail fence with pear trees.  Along the interior roads they are proposing a mix of deciduous and flowering trees, and deciduous trees and evergreen shrubs between the homes and the recreational space.  They are proposing the 100’ buffer adjacent to the industrial zone; the buffer will be populated with staggered rows of evergreen.  Mr. Jefferson noted he has prepared detailed drawings of 2 homes to show the various shrubs proposed; they will not be using the same planting materials on all of the homes.   Commissioner Gowdy questioned that the homeowners association would be responsible for maintaining those trees?   Attorney Barbieri replied affirmatively.   Chairman Guiliano questioned that the plantings would be maintained by the association, not the tenant?   Attorney Barbieri and Mr. Jacques replied affirmatively.

Town Planner Whitten clarified that the 100’ buffer zone between the M-1 and residential zones is being proposed that part of the buffer will be in the M-1 Zone and part will be in the SDD Zone, which would require an easement.  The buffer is not following the property line.  Attorney Barbieri indicated they will acquire the easement to maintain the buffer line.

Commissioner Tyler noted that review of detail 18 of the discharge basin suggests that there would be 4 1/2’ of water in the basin permanently; he questioned if that was their intent?   Mr. Heagle suggested that the discharge from the detention pond is perforated stand pipe with stone around it so the water filters through.  Commissioner Tyler

suggested that didn’t appear on the drawings; he’s familiar with that system and it works.

Chairman Guiliano opened discussion to the audience:

Steve Farmer, 247 South Water Street:  his concerns have been traffic and quality of life on the street, he indicated that the fact of life is that that area of the street will get developed with something.   When the developer came to them they made it clear what was going in.   He understands the area is industrially zoned; this is as good as it gets with regard to development across the street from them.   He spoke with Don Wagner and the president of the River Ridge condos and asked for their approval before granting the easement.   Mr. Farmer indicated he has made issues about the speed on the street; this development won’t generate speed on Wagner Lane or on the corner and it’s down the street from the ballfield; this is as good as it gets with regard to traffic.  He understands there are more phases coming in.   They didn’t know what they would get with industrial.

With regard to the detention pond the way the land is graded, he hasn’t looked long and hard at the plans but the condos to the north, the sewer pipe in this area never goes under water but the water comes up as you go south in that area.

Mr. Farmer indicated he is in favor of this type of development.

Jim Carroll, 8B Reggie Way:  is in favor of this proposal, he has lived in East Windsor for 15 years and has owned other property; he is interested in moving into this development in the future.

Larry Kelly, owner of the driving range:  indicated he has a long term lease and if this project is passed sooner or later he will have to be dealt with.

Noreen Farmer, 247 South Water Street:  with regard to the inspections she doesn’t have a problem with every 3 months for the duration of the construction but she would like to extend that inspection time in the future, maybe every 6 months or twice a year.  Chairman Guiliano felt that would be a recommendation from staff and the Town Engineer; Commissioner Tyler felt inspections could be done every 2 years and after a flood event.

Town Planner Whitten reminded the Commission they need to close this Public Hearing this evening, but will be able to take into consideration when voting the decision pending before the Inland/Wetlands Commission.

Chairman Guiliano felt everyone is always arguing about keeping industrial property for development and now we would be giving up a nice chunk of industrial zoned land that goes all the way to Route 5.   Everyone is before the Commission fighting for more business in town and the Commission would be giving away a nice chunk for condominiums.  Commissioner Gowdy suggested that was the intent of the POCD for this to be industrial land, even though there may be some contradictions on the maps.   

He also felt all of Route 5 should be industrial.  Commissioner Gowdy indicated he understands the concerns regarding drainage but perhaps if the Farmers didn’t live there the next owner might give permission for an easement for storm drainage across their property.  He questioned if it was in best interest of the community to make a decision based on the opinion of one resident.  Commissioner Gowdy indicated he knows this is a problem property; it’s been for sale for years.  

Commissioner Ouellette indicated he looks at the surrounding land uses and he doesn’t see this property being developed industrial or commercial.  Commissioner Gowdy noted he understood that.   Chairman Guiliano noted the Commission keeps bringing up discussion of mixed uses and he only sees condos and apartments in this area.  Attorney Barbieri suggested the 3 maps contradict each other.  Chairman Guiliano suggested he wasn’t going by the maps; he’s going by what’s there now; it’s zoned M-1.  Attorney Barbieri noted that residential is what has come there; maybe in the future it will be primo industrial land.  The guy with the 192 apartments has been trying to do that for years but that’s what’s coming in.   He knows we need M-1 land but maybe that’s not the place for it.  There is better land down the road but Southern Auto Auction came in and that’s a better use for that area.  Thompson Road was a shoe in at that time, and there is still good land on Newberry Road.  

Commissioner Saunders suggested part of this property is a gateway to East Windsor; it’s hard for him to envision this as a truck terminal or a big industrial building sitting in this field.  With regard to impact for this area Commissioner Saunders felt housing is the least impact.  He felt the Commission needs to look at areas for industrial and maybe rezone along Route 5.   When you drive down South Water Street it’s conducive to housing; it’s hard for him to see a big building on that parcel.  Commissioner Gowdy suggested he understood it would be hard for the neighbors.  Chairman Guiliano noted the land has been zoned M-1 for a long time and the neighbors should know what the possibilities are.  Commissioner Saunders felt the Commission had given up M-1 land at the end of Newberry Road for housing; Commissioner Gowdy indicated that land was all swamps.  Commissioner Gowdy also noted Southern Auto Auction is a gateway property coming into East Windsor from the south and it isn’t residential.  Attorney Barbieri suggested maybe M-1 fits there because that’s what is there.  Commissioner Saunders indicated he didn’t know the history of this property as it was before his time on the Commission but he questioned that just because it’s zoned M-1 means that it’s right.  Commissioner Gowdy felt the problem with this land is the drainage.  Attorney Barbieri suggested the land isn’t conducive to any big building; you have clay under the soil and then you have a high water table.  They can do residential and drain it fine with this plan but the land that’s there isn’t conducive to a heavy building.  Mr. Heagle suggested it becomes an issue with foundations, which isn’t so much a problem with residential homes.  

Town Planner Whitten reported that about a year ago Mr. Rodrigue came to her with his concern that he was trying to sell the property to a trucking business; they loved the property but were concerned with so much residential property around it.  They felt they would get many complaints from the residents with the trucks going up and down the

roads.  Chairman Guiliano suggested that was another problem with Wagner Lane being 18’ wide, and when it’s plowed you don’t have 18’ left; Commissioner Saunders concurred. Attorney Barbieri recalled that you have the right-of-way.   Even if this property is developed to the fullest you would have 3 ways in and out of the property and you wouldn’t have a lot of traffic in and out; he also noted the roads within the project are proposed for 24’.  Commissioner Saunders questioned if the developer would do something along that roadway?   Attorney Barbieri questioned if it would be economically feasible in the first phase.   Chairman Guiliano agreed it was a nice concept but reiterated his concern with giving up commercial property.   Attorney Barbieri suggested trucks and residences don’t work.

Jim Carroll, speaking from the audience again, recalled that Commissioner Gowdy had said the land had been for sale as M-1 industrial for years and no one has tried to buy it, and if the Farmers weren’t living there the next person might give an easement for commercial; he felt it was just as likely someone new there wouldn’t give it.   Commissioner Gowdy reiterated he doesn’t feel he should base his decision on someone giving an easement through their property.  Mr. Carroll agreed, noting he was addressing the history of the property; there hasn’t been a buyer for the industrial.

Discussion continued regarding the inconsistency of the various maps contained in the POCD.

Bill Loos, speaking from the audience again, felt that area should be kept M-1; that whole area will be residential; there won’t be any industrial left.   People were talking about putting in a sewer on North Road but that land has so much water.  

Mike Howell, William Pitt/Sotheby’s International Realty:  when doing research on this property as M-1 he found that the Route 5 area going into South Water Street has been turned into residential; it’s a prime location but what will happen to the residents when you have trucks going through there?  The town also has much property available on Newberry Road.

At the opportunity of the tape change the Recording Secretary requested a break.

MOTION: To TAKE A FIVE MINUTE BREAK.

Gowdy moved/Saunders seconded/
VOTE:  In Favor:  Unanimous (Gowdy/Guiliano/Kehoe/Ouellette/Saunders)

The Commission RECESSED at 8:40 P. M. and RECONVENED at 8:47 P. M.

Mike Howell, William Pitt/Sotheby’s International Realty: (continued his comments): starting out at the subject site he looked at the industrial land in East Windsor, he cited there are 27 properties available for B-2 or industrial uses, and many have been on the market for a long time.  Mr. Howell gave various examples.  He also felt the problem on

Route 5 is the traffic; the Tromley Road light is sequenced for the high school.   The light pattern has been changed so it helps some but traffic is backed up for some distance and after the high school it opens up again.  People don’t want to go in and out of traffic; you can only go one way when the traffic is available.  The Newberry Road land isn’t being sold; people have looked at it and don’t want it.   Big industrial companies aren’t suitable for here; they are going to Windsor.  There is a lot of land on Newberry Road not being used.  There has been talk of keeping Warehouse Point for industrial and use the other side of town for residential, but you need water and sewer; without that they are limited to bigger homes.  The demand for single family detached houses are there; people don’t want to do the lawn or snow plowing or landscaping.   This parcel has been up for sale as M-1 land for many years, and before that it was a tobacco farm.  Now there are condos and other residential developments around it; if you put industrial in there it will create truck traffic trying to go to Windsor Locks.   It’s feasible for residential development because it’s backed up against other residential.  From Phelps Road down there is the business uses of car dealerships, eventually business will be the other alternative for industrial.   The other business area is the corridor of Route 140.   The big industrial use in this area isn’t going to happen.

Attorney Barbieri questioned if there was a big inventory of industrial land in surrounding towns?   Mr. Howell suggested East Windsor has traffic problems.  He noted Pasco’s Commons is a mixed used community with businesses on the bottom and residential above but sometimes people have trouble getting into the complex.   People like the residential because the small businesses feed off of the people living around there.   You also have the mushroom plant which is 200 acres but there is a problem building on it.  Are there other areas better?  Yes.   Does East Windsor market their industrial properties well?  After putting in the industrial park they haven’t done much.

Nancy Haas, River Ridge Condominiums:  has lived in the area for several years and originally fought the golf driving range and other things.   She has been at other meetings, but is in favor of this project.  She knows Al Rodrigue and he has been trying to do things for some time and hasn’t been able to.   She is for this project.

Attorney Barbieri advised the Commission Mr. Jacques wanted to make one additional comment.   When he spoke of people coming to him asking what’s available for East Windsor people; these are available for East Windsor people.   He has been getting a good number of people from town looking at his current project and then hearing about this project and maybe East Windsor people will buy them.

Hearing no further requests for discussion Chairman Guiliano called for a motion to close the Public Hearing.

MOTION: To CLOSE the Public Hearing on the Application of White Pine, LLC - SDD, Site Plan Approval and Special Use Permit for 12 single-family condominiums at 22 Wagner Lane, owned by TJL Investment Trust, LLC (Phase I, Wagner Terrace).  [M-1 & B-1 Zone; Map 13, Block 11, Lots 2 & 3].  

Gowdy moved/Saunders seconded/
VOTE:  In Favor:  Unanimous (Gowdy/Guiliano/Kehoe/Ouellette/Saunders)

The Commission decided to table this Hearing until the March 28th Meeting; no motion necessary.

LET THE RECORD SHOW Commissioner Rodrigue returned to service on the Board.

NEW HEARING:  David Flynn & Robert Daddario - Special Use Permit/Location Approval to allow car sales (Northeast Vehicle Distributors) at 84 South Main Street, owned by Vito Cortese.  [TZ-5 Zone; Map 28, Block 5, Lot 44].  (Deadline to close hearing 4/4/06):

Chairman Guiliano read the Hearing description.   Appearing to discuss this Application was David Flynn; his partner, Robert Daddario, was present in the audience.  

Mr. Flynn advised the Commission he and Mr. Daddario started out with an Internet based vehicles service business and now have an Internet business selling high end vehicles all over the country.  They need a location to do this business; they have spent 3 months looking around  the Greater Hartford and came across Vito’s property.  Mr. Flynn suggested there are many auto related businesses on Route 5; Dave Mason of North Bay Imports - also an Internet business, is across the street.  Mr. Flynn suggested this is an awesome location.

Chairman Guiliano noted this location is within a TZ-5 Zone; auto sales are not allowed in the TZ-5 Zone.  He recalled the Commission changed the zone to TZ-5 instead of a business zone so the Town could have more control of the uses because of the proximity to the high school.  The original intent for the use of the property when Vito purchased it was for him to operate a small engine sales business; the Commission took a lot of flack for that approval.  The Commission’s intent was to keep the location/use low key for something like a doctor’s or lawyer’s office.

Mr. Flynn suggested they are not the typical used car lot with 15 cars out front and neon signs and flags and banners.   Chairman Guiliano suggested the Commission has heard that same speech many times before; the applicants won’t be using banners, etc.   Once the use is approved the use changes.   Mr. Flynn suggested there is limited display space.   Chairman Guiliano noted there is also lawn space available.   Mr. Flynn thought they were not supposed to do that.   Chairman Guiliano noted the other uses along Route 5, many of them with parking on grassed areas.  He reiterated that this location was changed to a TZ-5 Zone because of the proximity to the school.  Mr. Flynn questioned how this use would hurt the school?   Chairman Guiliano noted it’s in front of Town property.  Mr. Flynn questioned how is that negative?   Chairman Guiliano suggested if they kept their cars in the building it might be a different story but you know that won’t happen.   Commissioner Gowdy thought the TZ-5 Zone would allow this use now; Chairman Guiliano suggested it required the Commission’s permission.

Commissioner Gowdy cited 11 parking spaces shown; at any given time 11 would be the maximum vehicles on display?  Mr. Flynn indicated that if you tell me 11 vehicles and I don’t abide by that....... Chairman Guiliano noted it’s been difficult to enforce the display vehicles.  Commissioner Gowdy suggested they would be more expensive vehicles; Mr. Flynn suggested they sell mostly BMWs.   Commissioner Gowdy questioned that they would be in good condition?   Mr. Flynn indicated they are meticulous in everything they do.  Commissioner Gowdy questioned that they want to have 11 spaces and also vehicles inside?   Mr. Flynn suggested they want to have 5 vehicles inside.   Commissioner Gowdy noted that when Vito got this property to put in a small engine repair business he then built an 8,000 square foot building.   Mr. Flynn suggested Vito’s engine repair business is in the back.  Discussion followed regarding the original intent of the business use of this parcel and the owner’s divergence from that plan.

Commissioner Saunders noted he was not in favor of parking cars on grassed areas.   Mr. Flynn indicated they planned to add gravel to that area.  

Town Planner Whitten noted that any use that goes on this property is by Special Use Permit; nothing is by right.  Vito came in starting to ask for permitted uses and this is one of them.  In reviewing his history it dawned on her that something didn’t look right and that was because there was no parking on the site; no one ever designed parking spaces for the new building and no one ever caught it.   The parking spaces that exist cover parking for the whole building.   She asked Vito to redefine his parking area with gravel and they could then allow for some parking for the retail building.  When Mr. Flynn came in with this proposal she advised him this parking on the grass and banners was of great concern to the Commission; he would have to be very convincing to the Commission that he will be a good tenant.  Mr. Flynn has a right to apply and the Commission has a right to do what it needs to do.  Town Planner Whitten thought this might be a good use as it won’t generate a lot of traffic but the parking is tight.  

Mr. Flynn suggested there is a lot of vehicle shipping; they bring the vehicles to Southern Auto Auction.   They will not do any body work at this site.  Discussion continued regarding the intent of the original application, the Commission’s preference for light/subdued business uses in proximity to the high school, and the affect of the proposed business.

Chairman Guiliano opened discussion to the audience:

Ed Filipone, 22 Scantic Road:  if you approve this use make a condition that they sell high end cars so the use doesn’t become a used car lot.  Town Planner Whitten felt there was no way to enforce that condition.

Bill Loos, Melrose Road:  there is a gas station down the road in the “v” of the road that would be perfect for this business.  Mr. Flynn suggested there is no indoor space.  Mr. Loos suggested they could build indoor space; that location is right off I-91.  Mr. Flynn suggested they looked at it and didn’t like it.  Town Planner Whitten noted that property
is contaminated.

Robert Daddario, co-owner/co-applicant:  suggested this is mostly an on-line business.   He personally doesn’t like the flags and banners of a used car business either and wants to stay away from their use.  He is the driving force behind the Internet use; 70% of the people who buy cars go on the Internet and 54% of the cars sold come from Internet leads.  Most of the business will be done over the Internet but they need a location for their license.   

Commissioner Gowdy questioned if they could run the business without having display space for the cars?   Mr. Daddario reiterated that 54% of the car sales are from the Internet so there will be drive-by people who want to buy; it’s a nice, well kept building.  Vito’s shop inside is spotless; he likes having someone who expects the same from him.  Commissioner Gowdy suggested he got the feeling from the Commission that if they didn’t have the cars there it wouldn’t be a problem; it wouldn’t be intrusive to the high school people.  Customers would come in through appointments on the Internet and then you would ship the cars from Southern Auto Auction.   He questions if they expect traffic coming up and down Route 5 seeing those cars?  Mr. Flynn replied not really; that’s more of a bonus.   If it pleased the Commission they could have less parking out front; they would be open to that because they like the building.   He gave his word there would no neon signs or flags.  Commissioner Gowdy noted the Commission could put that in the conditions but the problem is enforcement.  Town Planner Whitten noted that flags are not allowed anywhere but it doesn’t appear to matter.   Commissioner Gowdy suggested reducing the amount of outside display area.   Town Planner Whitten noted there are 5 spaces on the pavement now; they are proposing 6 in the gravel area as well.  

Commissioner Tyler suggested he has been trying to think of a better, more suitable business to go in there.   This doesn’t have high traffic and they don’t have a lot of parking.  He can’t come up with another business use.  He recalled why the Z-5 Zone was put in there and he recalled that the Commission tried to regulate what goes near the high school

Chairman Guiliano suggested the Commission didn’t ask Vito to build the building; he didn’t recall the site plan review, suggesting it must have come through when he wasn’t able to attend meetings.   Commissioner Tyler indicated he didn’t recall the site plan review either.   Town Planner Whitten suggested it was passed in 2003.  Chairman Guiliano questioned if the minutes from this approval were available; he questioned the explanation for why the building was built.   Commissioner Tyler felt the intent was for Vito’s business and a small rental business.  Town Planner Whitten suggested part of what changed is the office didn’t have elevation drawings of this building but there are garage bays shown; but when the parking spaces were approve it was designed for a building without doors in it.  

Commissioner Gowdy felt it would help him to make his decision if they could cut down the display area to 5 cars and get cars off the grass.   Commissioner Tyler felt he would
be more comfortable if they moved the cars up to the building during the night.   Commissioner Kehoe commended the Applicants for their business approach but he felt they would move on and the Commission would have to deal with these same problems in the future.   Commissioner Gowdy noted this use is a Special Use Permit.   Commissioner Kehoe concurred, but reiterated that when they move on the Commission will have to deal with these issues again.   He can see the points being made by his fellow Commissioners; what’s the big deal, but it is a big deal.  The Commission needs to make a decision on what to do with this location; we’re setting a precedent.  

Commissioner Saunders suggested the problem was with the owner, not the Applicants.  Chairman Guiliano recalled the history of this site; the owner was to move in and get another small tenant and he hasn’t done that.   The Commission has tried to be careful with this property while the owner built up his business and he hasn’t done that.  

Commissioner Kehoe indicated he would like to see a copy of the minutes from the approval of this building as well.  Mr. Flynn suggested they don’t have an endless supply of money, and have waited a long time for this.  He requested a decision as soon as possible.  Chairman Guiliano suggested the Commission could make a decision in 2 weeks.   Mr. Flynn suggested that puts a hardship on them.  The Commission discussed the options of making a decision as presented or waiting for additional information.  Chairman Guiliano noted what was originally proposed by the owner is totally different than what’s being proposed now.

MOTION: To TABLE  the Public Hearing for the Application of David Flynn & Robert Daddario - Special Use Permit/Location Approval to allow car sales (Northeast Vehicle Distributors) at 84 South Main Street, owned by Vito Cortese.  [TZ-5 Zone; Map 28, Block 5, Lot 44].  until the Commission’s regularly scheduled meeting on 3/14/2006 at 7:00 P. M. in the Town Hall Meeting Room, 11 Rye Street, Broad Brook, CT.

Gowdy moved/Rodrigue seconded/
VOTE:  In Favor:  Unanimous (Gowdy/Guiliano/Ouellette/Rodrigue/Saunders)

NEW BUSINESS:  Benson Enterprises, Inc. - Modification of Approved Site Plan to add office above garage at 11-B Pasco Drive (Village at Pasco Common).  [B-1 Zone; Map 28, Block 96, Lot 19].  (Deadline for decision 4/20/06):

Chairman Guiliano read the description of this Item of Business.  Appearing to present the Application was Paul Benson, of Benson Enterprises.  

Mr. Benson noted that he previously came before the Commission for approval of the garage; now he has 1,500 square feet of space above the garage he would like to utilize.  He would like to continue the garage below for storage of condominium association equipment and use the space above for the office for his business.  He noted he pays $5,000 in sewer fees and just under $1,600 in taxes.

Chairman Guiliano questioned if he was proposing to change the roof line?   Mr. Benson replied negatively.  

Commissioner Ouellette recalled that many years ago Mr. Benson had acquired a STC Permit for the entire complex; he noted that if you go 1 square foot above what was approved you need to go back for a reapproval.  Mr. Benson felt he had not gone above that number, nor generated any more traffic.  Commissioner Ouellette questioned if he felt he had exceeded the square footage for the entire complex?   Mr. Benson replied negatively.  Commissioner Gowdy requested Commissioner Ouellette explain his question.   Commissioner Ouellette suggested that any development with 200 parking spaces or 100,000 square feet of space requires review by the STC.   This project was to be built in phases; Mr. Benson wanted to be certified for a large number and build as the conditions warranted.   For years a couple of small buildings have been erected as he went along; he didn’t know if that number exceeded the threshold.  Mr. Benson suggested the proposed project was more dense than what was developed.  Commissioner Ouellette questioned that the project is less dense than the certificate Town Planner Whitten is holding?  Chairman Guiliano felt it was.  Commissioner Ouellette indicated he wasn’t suggesting there was a problem; he didn’t want the Applicant to be unknowingly in violation of the State law.  Mr. Benson suggested he was near the end of the project.  

MOTION TO APPROVE the application of Benson Enterprises, Inc. (Paul Benson) for Amendment to Site Plan Approval to allow office space over a 3 bay garage in building #11B  at Pasco Common, South Main Street, East Windsor, Connecticut. Property owned by Benson Enterprises, Inc. zoned B-2 as shown on Assessors’ Map 28, Block 19, Lot 96.  This approval is granted subject to conformance with the referenced plans (as may be modified by the Commission) and the following conditions:

Referenced Plans:

“Parking Layout” Prepared for Benson Enterprises, Inc., Parcel “C” , South Main Street, (Conn Rte 5), East Windsor, CT”. (Scale: 1” = 40”). Prepared by Gary B. LeClair, Licensed Land Surveyor, 36 Suffield St., Ste 2,  Windsor Locks, CT 06096. Dated 9/20/04 and revised to 5/9/05. Sheet 1 of 1.

Conditions that must be met prior to signing of mylars:

1.      Final plans submitted for signature shall require the seal and live signature of the appropriate professional(s) responsible for preparation of the plans.

2.      The conditions of this approval shall be binding upon the applicant, land owners, and their successors and assigns. A copy of this approval motion shall be filed in the land records prior to the signing of the final plans.

Conditions that must be met prior to the issuance of any permits:

3.      One full sets of paper plans, with any required revisions incorporated on the sheets shall be submitted for signature of the Commission.  Both sets shall be filed in the Planning & Development Department.

4.      A Zoning Permit shall be obtained prior to the commencement of any site work.

Conditions that must be met prior to Certificates of Zoning Compliance:

5.      Final as-built survey (paper copy) showing all structures, pins, driveways, parking, improvements, and final floor elevations as well as spot grades shall be submitted for acceptance.

6.      After the final as-built is approved, the applicant shall submit a final as-built mylar to the Planning & Zoning Department.  No Certificate of Occupancy shall be issued until said mylar is received.

7.      All public health and safety components of the project must be satisfactorily completed prior to occupancy. In cases where all public health and safety components have been completed, the Zoning Official may issue a Certificate of Zoning Compliance provided a suitable bond is retained for any remaining site work.  

General Conditions:

8.      In accordance with Section 13.5.4 of the Zoning Regulations, an approved site plan shall commence the construction of buildings within one year from the date of approval and complete all improvements within five years of the date of approval. Failure to me these requirements shall make the approved site plan null and void, unless an extension is granted by the Commission.

9.      This project shall be constructed and maintained in accordance with the filed plans. Minor modifications to the approved plan that result in lesser impacts may be allowed subject to staff review and approval.

10.     Any modifications to the proposed drainage or grading for the site plan is subject to the approval of the town engineer.

11.     Additional erosion control measures are to be installed as directed by town staff if field conditions necessitate.

12.     By acceptance of this approval and conditions, the applicant, owner and/or their successors and assigns acknowledge the right of Town staff to periodically enter upon the subject property for the purpose of determining compliance with the terms of this approval.

Gowdy moved/Saunders seconded/
VOTE:  In Favor:  Unanimous (Gowdy/Guiliano/Ouellette/Rodrigue/Saunders)

MOTION: To TAKE A FIVE MINUTE BREAK.

Gowdy moved/Saunders seconded/
VOTE:  In Favor:  Unanimous (Gowdy/Guiliano/Ouellette/Rodrigue/Saunders)

The Commission RECESSED at 10:00 P. M. and RECONVENED at 10:07 P. M.

INFORMAL DISCUSSION:  David Monaco - Preliminary Discussion for condo development at Adam’s Den, Main Street, Broad Brook:

Chairman Guiliano read the description of this Item of Business.  Appearing to discuss this Application was Angelo Sevarino; Jay Ussery, of J. R. Russo & Associates, and David Monaco.  

Mr. Ussery indicated they are presenting a conceptual proposal for the property currently occupied by Adam’s Den.   The property contains 2.7 acres, most of which is wetlands with a pond at one time and dam behind the Adam’s Den building.    The wetlands/pond area is not useable.   They are proposing to remove the existing Adam’s Den building and build additional condominium units on the property within the existing building and parking area.  The back of the proposed buildings would be close to the rear of the parking lot, which drops off into the wetlands.   There is a bump in the topography out into the pond; that would be the area of the second building.  There would be no encroachment into the wetlands.  

Mr. Ussery suggested to do this development they need to create a village type development closer to the road than is allowed in the existing regulations, but it would be similar to what’s there; he cited Elaine’s Pizza as an example of existing construction.  Mr. Ussery suggested they would have some landscaping that falls within the Town’s roadway, as they are proposing street trees along the road, and a planting bed along the sidewalks.   He suggested the architectural style isn’t nailed down yet; they want to keep in keeping with Broad Brook Village style, citing the Opera House in Broad Brook, the Scantic Academy in Scantic, and the church in Windsorville.  They are proposing multiple buildings with attached garages below the condominiums; parking for the Adam’s Den building would go in from Highland Avenue.  Mr. Ussery reiterated there would be on site parking for the units and 9 visitor parking spaces for the entire complex of 11 units.  He passed around a photo of similar development in Meriden.  

Chairman Guiliano suggested that designwise there is a lot to be desired; you’re putting this development in the middle of town.  Mr. Ussery suggested they are looking for an understanding of if the Commission would entertain a regulation change.  Chairman Guiliano suggested the Commission would be looking for a Village District Regulation.  

Town Planner Whitten indicated there needs to be clarification of the type of construction that would be allowed in the district, and the type of architecture, etc.   Mr. Ussery questioned if it could be an overlay zone?   Town Planner Whitten suggested there are problems creating a Village District as it requires an architect to review the drawings, which is a problem in town.

Chairman Guiliano queried the Commission for comments.  Commissioner Rodrigue suggested the area was due for change and upgrading.  Chairman Guiliano felt the idea was pretty sound but the proposal needs a lot of consideration regarding architectural styles, etc.   It would also be nice to have one visitor space for each condo unit.  Commissioner Gowdy liked the concept where people could commute by foot to stores, etc.  Chairman Guiliano noted the photo and concept submitted involves 3 stories while the current regulations allow 2 or 2 1/2 stories.  Mr. Ussery suggested they could write into the regulations that it’s an exposed 3 story building but it’s really not any different than a Colonial home on Perri Lane.   Chairman Guiliano noted it would not be living space.  Town Planner Whitten indicated she liked the idea of the village type component to bring the facade up to the street; with a village concept you usually have on-street parking and have shared parking.  Mr. Ussery suggested that with this layout he would anticipate because of the grade of the property it would be at the same elevation and they would have a retaining wall cut into the hill, which would be better than looking at the parking lot.  

Chairman Guiliano wanted the applicant to understand that this needs to be something that fits in with the Opera House, not aluminum siding.  Mr. Ussery suggested it would probably be a brick facade; if they used aluminum siding it wouldn’t be visible from the street.  

Chairman Guiliano advised the applicant that this was not something that could happen overnight; you need to do the Village District Regulation, etc.  Mr. Ussery indicated they would work with Town Planner Whitten and put together a draft regulation for the Commission’s review, tweak same, and get something that would work for all of us and then develop this site.   Chairman Guiliano also noted they need to consider site lighting.   Mr. Ussery suggested that the architectural style is very important in this location and all the landscaping and lighting will be important.  Commissioner Ouellette noted there is an island there now, which is an odd configuration; it will be an obstacle to get into the units.  Mr. Ussery suggested it’s an oddball intersection.  Town Planner Whitten suggested she felt it was a nice concept for higher end housing in the center; it isn’t allowed now and we would need to work with new regulations and tweak them.  Commissioner Ouellette suggested he is kind of tapped out with condos and apartments.  Chairman Guiliano felt it was a step to bring up the center of town; it’s an improvement.

BUSINESS MEETING/(1)  Correspondence:   None.

BUSINESS MEETING/(2)  Staff Reports:     None.


APPROVAL OF MINUTES/September 13, 2005, and February 14, 2006:

MOTION: To ACCEPT the Minutes of Public Hearing #1461 dated September 13, 2005, and Public Hearing #1476 dated February 14, 2006 as written.

Gowdy moved/Saunders seconded/
VOTE:  In Favor:  Unanimous (Gowdy/Guiliano/Ouellette/Rodrigue/Saunders)

EXECUTIVE SESSION:  Acquisition of Property - In accordance with Connecticut General Statute Section 1-200 (6)(d) and to Discuss Pending Litigation:

MOTION: TO GO INTO EXECUTIVE SESSION to Discuss Acquisition of Property - In accordance with Connecticut General Statute Section 1-200 (6)(d) and to Discuss Pending Litigation at 10:30 P. M.  Attending were Chairman Guiliano, Commissioners Gowdy, Kehoe, Ouellette, Rodrigue, Saunders, and Tyler, and Town Planner Whitten.

Gowdy moved/Saunders seconded/
VOTE:  In Favor:  Unanimous (Gowdy/Guiliano/Ouellette/Rodrigue/Saunders)

MOTION: To EXTEND THIS MEETING for another half hour.

Gowdy moved/Saunders seconded/
VOTE:  In Favor:  Unanimous (Gowdy/Guiliano/Ouellette/Rodrigue/Saunders}

MOTION: To COME OUT OF EXECUTIVE SESSION at 11:00 P. M.

Gowdy moved/Saunders seconded/
VOTE:  In Favor:  Unanimous (Gowdy/Guiliano/Ouellette/Rodrigue/Saunders

SIGNING OF MYLARS/PLANS:

        *       Quarry Meadows

ADJOURNMENT:

MOTION: To ADJOURN this Meeting at 11:00 P. M.

Gowdy moved/Saunders seconded/
VOTE:  In Favor:  Unanimous (Gowdy/Guiliano/Ouellette/Rodrigue/Saunders

Respectfully submitted,

____________________________________________________
Peg Hoffman, Recording Secretary, Planning and Zoning Commission