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November 14, 2006 Minutes
TOWN OF EAST WINDSOR
PLANNING AND ZONING COMMISSION

Public Hearing #1494
November 14, 2006


**** Draft Document – Subject to Commission Approval *****



The Meeting was called to order in the Town Hall Meeting Room, 11 Rye Street, Broad Brook, CT. at 7:07 P. M. by Chairman Guiliano.

ESTABLISHMENT OF QUORUM:

A quorum was established as four Regular Members (Gowdy, Guiliano, Ouellette, and Saunders) and one Alternate Member (Matthews) were present.  Regular Member Rodrigue and Alternate Members Kehoe and Tyler were absent.  Chairman Guiliano noted Alternate Member Matthews would sit in on all Items of Business this evening.   (The Commission presently carries two vacancies.)  Also present was Town Planner Whitten.

ADDED AGENDA ITEMS:             None.

RECEIPT OF APPLICATIONS:        

Chairman Guiliano acknowledged receipt of the following Application:

        1.      Application of Infoshred LLC for a Special Use Permit to allow a volume                         reduction center at 3 Craftsman Road, owned by 3 Craftsman Road LLC.    [M1 Zone; Map 15, Block 19, Lot 12A].

LEGAL NOTICE:

The following Legal Notice, which appeared in the Journal Inquirer on Thursday, November 2, 2006, and Thursday, November 9, 2006, was read by Secretary Saunders:

        1.      Application of Apothecaries Hall Enterprises, LLC for a Special Use Permit to allow the continued excavation and removal of earth products, screening and crushing of products, and the grinding of stumps on property located on the south side of Apothecaries Hall Road.  [M-1, R-3 & A-1 Zones; Map 36, Block 65, Lots 1 & 7].

PERFORMANCE BONDS – ACTIONS; PERMIT EXTENSIONS:  Timothy A. Coon, J. R. Russo & Associates – Request for reduction of Erosion Control Bond for BT Properties, LLC, 130 Newberry Road.

Chairman Guiliano read the description of this Item of Business.  He noted receipt of the following:  1)  letter dated 10/27/2006 from Timothy A. Coon, P. E. of J. R. Russo & Associates requesting reduction of the Erosion Control Bond for B. T. Properties, LLC, 130 Newberry Road to $7,380; and 2)  memo dated 10/30/2006 from Town Engineer Norton to Nancy Rudek, Zoning Enforcement Officer recommending reduction of the bond to $7,380 as requested.

Chairman Guiliano queried the Board for comments, and then called for a motion.

MOTION: To REDUCE the Erosion Control Bond to $7,380 for BT Properties,                         LLC, 130 Newberry Road.

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

NEW HEARING:  Apothecaries Hall Enterprises, LLC – Special Use Permit to allow the continued excavation and removal of earth products, screening and crushing of products, and the grinding of stumps on property located on the south side of Apothecaries Hall Road.  [M-1, R-2 & A-1 Zones; Map 36, Block 65, Lots 1 & 7].  (Deadline to close hearing 12/19/06):

Chairman Guiliano read the Hearing description, and noted Town Planner Whitten had requested additional information be provided for this evening’s meeting which was not on the plans originally submitted.  Appearing to discuss this Application was Jay Urssey, P. E., of J. R. Russo & Associates, representing the Applicant; Kevin Charbonneau, and Andre Charbonneau, owner, was available in the audience.

Mr. Ussery referenced the 100 scale plan, noting it showed all phases in the project.  He described the area of the project as being located to the west and southwest corner of the property; the entrance is located off Windsorville Road near (and opposite) the entrance of the cemetery.  Mr. Ussery noted the parcel was previously owned and excavated by the former Manchester Sand and Gravel.  This Application is to renew the Special Use Permit originally granted to Manchester Sand and Gravel and subsequently renewed by Charbonneau, who continues to mine the sand and gravel product.  

Mr. Ussery noted Town Planner Whitten requested the addition of the proposed reclamation areas, noting the anticipated date of completion.   They are as follows:  1) a  4 acre area on the west side along the railroad tracks; anticipated completion date of 6/15/2007 to grade, loam, and seed; 2)  6.1 acre floor area to the east of the previous area; anticipated completion date of 8/31/2007 to grade, loam, and seed; 3) a 3 acre floor area; anticipated completion date of 11/7/2007 to grade, loam, and seed.  Total area of reclamation is 13+/- acres.  

Mr. Ussery also referenced an area at the most southeast corner of the parcel which bears the notation “future wash plant”.   He advised the Commission the Applicant is in the process of working on an application for a Special Use Permit for another product – the wash plant.   Mr. Ussery suggested if the Applicant could process the sand through the wash plant they could sell to another market.  

Mr. Ussery indicated the most northern end of the operation includes Phases 5, 6, 7, and 10; everything north of the power line is a higher elevation.  They are not close to the floor grade.  Phase 10, containing 6.7 acres, is a new phase which was not included in the last Application  2 years ago; the end of that phase would be about 800’ from Apothecaries Hall Road.  Mr. Ussery suggested the windrow across the field is in the middle of Phase 10.

Chairman Guiliano questioned if any work had begun in Phase 10?   Mr. Ussery replied affirmatively.  Chairman Guiliano questioned why that occurred; why can’t they stay within the boundaries approved for excavation?   He suggested the same situation has occurred before with this operation.   Mr. Ussery and Mr. Charbonneau disagreed.  Mr. Ussery suggested it’s difficult to tell where you are working in the field; it’s an error of judgment.  He suggested regulations in other towns tell applicants what needs to be put on the ground to delineate what’s being done.   Mr. Ussery cited criteria required in Ellington as a good example; he noted those criteria are not presently in East Windsor’s Regulations but they could be added as conditions of approval for this Application.  Mr. Ussery also suggested the Commission could require interim as-built plans to advise the Commission of the status of completion of the work.  

Mr. Ussery noted receipt of memo dated 10/30/2006 from Town Engineer Norton which recommended two additional items: 1) erosion control methods, notes and details be added to the plans; and 2) regulate the tracking of mud from the site onto Town roads.  Mr. Ussery suggested additional erosion control notes have been added to the plans, and they have added another 150’ of stone to the anti-tracking pad, the paved entry is now 500+/- feet, and they now own their own sweeper and will sweep the debris carried out into the roads more frequently.   Mr. Ussery noted receipt of Town Engineer Norton’s memo dated 11/14/2006 noting the plans revised to 11/13/2006 have been reviewed and his comments have been adequately addressed.

Chairman Guiliano suggested if they are not close to being done in Phases 4 – 7, which appears it is the case, then why start another phase?   Mr. Ussery suggested one reason Phase 10 has been added to the plans is that they had begun excavation in that section without it being part of the plan so they have added it to this renewal because the excavation is occurring.  Also, in future years their intention might be to go further into that area; it’s a large site at 200 acres and there are a lot of acres that haven’t been touched yet.  Chairman Guiliano suggested that at some point this Board might not want to extend further excavation.   Mr. Ussery agreed, but noted he’s heard that gravel, etc. is a resource that’s needed; unfortunately it creates dust and truck traffic.  
Commissioner Matthews questioned if they were monitoring the water table depth?  Mr. Ussery suggested the regulations require that they be 8’ above the water table and they are at that point.  Chairman Guiliano questioned if they can’t monitor where they go with the excavation within the phases how can they monitor how deep they go if it’s the same operator?  Mr. Ussery suggested they have benchmark controls, and he assumes they are checking those when they excavate.  Chairman Guiliano suggested the Commission also assumes the Applicant and their operators are checking and it doesn’t appear to be working.   He has real concerns as to how deep you are excavating relative to the water table.  

Commissioner Ouellette questioned how much material was estimated to be in Phase 10?  Mr. Ussery responded 108,000 cubic yards.   Commissioner Ouellette questioned how close is this activity is to the nearest gravel pit with similar activity; do you think you are within one mile?  Mr. Ussery suggested the regulation Commission Ouellette was alluding to might not apply to this operation as it’s an existing operation that’s been around for 30 years.  Commissioner Ouellette read the regulation referencing the mile radius between operating pits; he got the feeling that something has to be substantially completed before starting another area.  He questioned if they were in violation of the previous permit by starting Phase 10?  Mr. Ussery agreed that the way Commissioner Ouellette was reading the regulation they might be.  Chairman Guiliano suggested that the way excavation was going there are no phases; it’s all one continuous phase.  Mr. Ussery indicated there are some phases that have been completed, reseeded, and trees planted; there is an area that was over-dug by Manchester Sand and Gravel that has been refilled.  Mr. Ussery cited he understands the Commission’s concerns and frustration.

Commissioner Ouellette cited Section 12.10.8 of the Zoning Regulations, suggesting he didn’t understand why it didn’t apply to this operation.  He read an excerpt of the regulation regarding new permits.   Mr. Ussery felt this was not a new permit but an extension; he suggested this was a business doing business in town and if the Commission denied the extension they would be in court.   He did feel the Commission could put conditions on the extension.   Chairman Guiliano felt the Commission could deny any further boundaries.   Commissioner Ouellette questioned Town Planner Whitten for her interpretation on this regulation in relation to the new area of excavation, Phase 10?  Mr. Ussery felt the Commission had granted other new areas in the past, and he wasn’t sure there was another pit within the mile.   Town Planner Whitten indicated she couldn’t tell at this time how Phase 10 fit in with other gravel pits within the 1 mile radius as she didn’t have a map available.  She questioned if there was another pit within the 1 mile radius?   Chairman Guiliano questioned if there was one, how does this application, including Phase 10, apply?   Town Planner Whitten read the regulation, and felt the reference to the entrance/exit helped to define the location of the 1 mile radius.  

Town Planner Whitten felt the Commission had asked if the Applicant has Phases 4, 5, 6, and 7 open then why do you need to continue into Phase 10; why do you need them all open?  Mr. Ussery suggested if this was a 30 acre site the products would run in Phase 1 – 7 successively.   When you run out of a product you need to move to another area to meet your client’s needs.   To run a large operation successfully you need to move around and chase the veins of product; they seldom stay in the phases consistently.  This site has been in existence for a long time and the product is scattered so they need to move around.   Commissioner Gowdy questioned if that were the case how can you come in with the proposed completion dates?  Mr. Ussery suggested those areas are all near completion of the excavation; he felt the areas stated can be completed within the next year.  Chairman Guiliano questioned what’s so different about the product in Phase 10 as the other phases?  Mr. Ussery suggested Phases 7 and 5 are areas of gravel; they excavated 6 – 8’ below the surface material and excavated all of that and kept going; they went too far from the limit.   Commissioner Gowdy questioned how far; Mr. Ussery replied 150’.   Commissioner Gowdy questioned how much material?   Mr. Ussery estimated 50,000 cubic yards.   Commissioner Gowdy suggested to him it’s a lot of material; Mr. Ussery suggested to a pit operator with millions of yards of material 50,000 cubic yards isn’t that much.   To put it in context it equals 2700 truckloads.  

Town Planner Whitten questioned if the intensity of the operation will lessen?  Mr. Ussery suggested it’s a matter of looking at different areas of product.   Town Planner Whitten questioned if 2 years is a realistic number?   Mr. Ussery replied affirmatively.   Commissioner Gowdy questioned if it’s still 5 days/week?   Mr. Ussery replied affirmatively; he questioned if there had been any complaints?   Town Planner Whitten replied negatively.  Mr. Ussery suggested this couldn’t be any better location; it’s away from the road.  Discussion continued as to possible resolutions, including filling in the area excavated without permit, or pulling back the operation to the top of the slope.

Chairman Guiliano opened discussion to the audience:

Bill Loos, Melrose Road:  indicated he had been at the site today at 12:30 and the amount of gravel on Windsorville Road in both directions was considerable – from Boutin’s to where they’re working on the bridge.   He questioned if they could clean it?   Kevin Charbonneau suggested they were paving the entrance.  Town Planner Whitten suggested that’s the only complaint the Planning Office has received and it’s been mentioned by Town Engineer Norton.  Kevin Charbonneau suggested the gravel on the road is small pieces.  Mr. Loos suggested they would be large to him if they were thrown up onto his truck.

Chairman Guiliano suggested installing a fence around the property so they don’t go over the boundaries any longer.    Mr. Ussery concurred that could be done.  Further discussion indicated the current perimeter of the northern area could be staked at 100’ intervals with steel fence posts painted orange and noting the Phase lines and the elevation number on them.  Mr. Ussery suggested it works well in Ellington, although there is the liability issue for the owner if someone operating quads, etc. runs into them. Town Planner Whitten cited other liability issues, such as someone falling from a bike; there are liability issues with everything.  Chairman Guiliano felt the liability issues were the same for the Town of Ellington yet they chose to set these requirements.   

Karen Boutin, 159 Windsorville Road:  suggested they have never had a problem since they are there; they sweep twice a day; the truck traffic hasn’t been a problem.   They get more dirt from the new houses above their office, and it goes to their pond.   She would like the Commission to approve this operation; gravel is a commodity.   Chairman Guiliano noted the Commission isn’t looking to close this operation but it does need to put in safeguards for everyone.

Commissioner Matthews would like the Applicant to show the water table on the plans; Mr. Ussery suggested he can provide the boring tables.  Commissioner Matthews suggested he would like to see the 8’ level on the plans, and he would like to drive through the area.

Chairman Guiliano suggested the Commission table the Application until the additional information can be provided.

MOTION: To TABLE the Public Hearing for the Application of  Apothecaries Hall Enterprises, LLC for a Special Use Permit to allow the continued  excavation and removal of earth products, screening and crushing of products, and the grinding of stumps on property located on the south side of Apothecaries Hall Road.  [M-1, R-2 & A-1 Zones; Map 36,                       Block 65, Lots 1 & 7] until the Commission’s regularly scheduled meeting on November 28, 2006 at 7:00 P. M. in the Town Hall Meeting Room, 11 Rye Street, Broad Brook, CT. 06016.

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

BUSINESS MEETING/(1) Review of Bylaws:

Town Planner Whitten noted slight changes made to the bylaws, including revision of the meeting time from 7:30 to 7:00 p.m., and clarification of the voting requirement.  Discussion followed regarding the role of the alternate members; Commissioner Ouellette questioned if an alternate isn’t designated to take part in the votes can they still participate in discussion of applications?  Commissioner Ouellette and Commissioner Matthews referenced a court case regarding an alternate’s actions when he shouldn’t have been speaking, and how they affected the ultimate vote on the issue being discussed.     Discussion continued as to the Town’s bylaws in regard to actions allowable  by the alternate.   Commissioner Ouellette noted he is comfortable with the current bylaw wording; he was just raising the question.   No change was made to the Commission’s bylaws with regard to this issue.  

Commissioner Ouellette also referenced language regarding public hearings.   Chairman Guiliano indicated as Chairman he has never opened a non-public hearing to the public.   Town Planner Whitten suggested it would be illegal under the current bylaws.  She noted while it’s allowed under the Wetlands Commission if the Zoning Regulations don’t say a public hearing is required then the PZC can’t hold a public hearing.  

Commissioner Ouellette also referenced the language under the section for the Order of Business.  Town Planner Whitten suggested the language referenced is a generalization of a format to follow; she has followed the order set by the planner before her.  

Town Planner Whitten suggested she will research further some of the issues raised by the Commissioners.

MOTION: To TABLE review of the bylaws pending staff review until the Commission’s regularly scheduled meeting on November 28, 2006 at 7:00 P. M. in the Town Hall Meeting Room, 11 Rye Street, Broad Brook, CT. 06016.

Saunders/Ouellette/VOTE:  In Favor:   Unanimous

MOTION: TO TAKE A FIVE MINUTE BREAK.

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

The Commission RECESSED at 8:35 and RECONVENED at 8:45 P. M.

BUSINESS MEETING/(2) Election of Officers:

MOTION: To NOMINATE Joseph Ouellette as Chairman, Frank Gowdy as Vice                   Chairman, and Kevin Saunders as Secretary.

Commissioner Saunders declined renomination as Secretary but will continue on until new Board members are available for appointment.

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

BUSINESS MEETING/(3)  Discussion of Procedures for Bond Releases:

Town Planner Whitten questioned if the Commission wanted to see all requests for bond releases received in the Planning Office, or only those above $2,000 or $5,000?  All are reviewed by the Town Engineer and Zoning Officer before recommendations are made.  The Commission felt review enables the Commission to be advised on the status of projects; they would like to continue to see all bond release requests.   No motion was made.

BUSINESS MEETING/(4)  Discussion on Zoning Regulations – Definitions:

Town Planner Whitten advised the Commission she has submitted language from the State statutes; this same language has been adopted by the Inland/Wetlands Commission.  Rather than add this language to the regulations, they will reference these definitions.  Discussion continued regarding specifics of the farm regulations; the Commission decided to hold off until receipt of the model farm regulations before rewriting local regulations.

BUSINESS MEETING/(5) Correspondence:

Town Planner Whitten noted the Commission has been invited to tour Southern Auto Auction on November 22nd to see the auction operation.

BUSINESS MEETING/(6)  Staff Reports:            None

APPROVAL OF MINUTES/October 10, 2006 and October 24, 2006:

MOTION: To APPROVE the Minutes of Public Hearing #1492 dated October 10, 2006 and Public Hearing #1493 dated October 24, 2006 as written.

Gowdy moved/Ouellette seconded/
        VOTE:   In Favor:       Gowdy/Ouellette/Saunders/Matthews
                        Opposed:        No one
                        Abstained:      Guiliano

SIGNING OF MYLARS/PLANS, MOTIONS:

        1)      Prospect Hill, Town cell tower
        2)      Crane Properties
        3)      Rockville Bank
        4)      Bank of Western Massachusetts
        
ADJOURNMENT:

MOTION: To ADJOURN this Meeting at 9:36 P. M.

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

Respectfully submitted,


Peg Hoffman, Recording Secretary, East Windsor Planning and Zoning Commission