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January 22, 2008 Minutes
Town of East Windsor
Planning and Zoning Commission


Public Hearing #1521
January 22, 2008


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



The Meeting was called to Order at 7:02 p.m. by Chairman Ouellette in the Town Hall Meeting Room, 11 Rye Street, Broad Brook, CT. 06016

ESTABLISHMENT OF QUORUM:

A quorum was established as three Regular Members (Farmer, Gowdy, and Ouellette) and one Alternate Members (Matthews) was present.  Regular Member Guiliano and Alternate Member Tyler were absent.  Chairman Ouellette noted Alternate Member Matthews would join Regular Members Farmer, Gowdy, and Ouellette during discussions and votes on Applications this evening.  Also present was Town Planner Whitten; attending in the audience was Selectman Simmons.

Chairman Ouellette advised the audience that at the previous Meeting the Commission discussed the Sewer Service Area Map; continued discussion will occur on that subject at the Commission’s February 12th Meeting.

ADDED AGENDA ITEMS:     None.

RECEIPT OF APPLICATIONS:

Chairman Ouellette noted receipt of the following Applications:

1.      Application of MLS Ventures (Mahesh Patel) for Site Plan Approval for construction of new swimming pool, modify building entrances, relocate dumpster and add new storage shed, at Holiday Inn Express, 260 Main Street, East Windsor [B-2 zone, Map 11, Block 15, Lot 5A]

2.      Application of Calafiore Enterprises, LLC for a Zone Change from B-1 to B-2 for property located at 276 Main Street, East Windsor [Map 11, Block 15, Lot 8]

3.      Application of Calafiore Enterprises, LLC for Site Plan Approval to allow a Used Car Dealership at 276 Main Street, East Windsor [Map 11, Block 15, Lot 8]


LEGAL NOTICE:

The following Legal Notice, which appeared in the Journal Inquirer on Thursday, January 10, 2008, and Thursday, January 17, 2008, was read by Chairman Ouellette:

1)      Application of NRT Realty, LLC - Zone Change from R-1, R-2 & M-1 to B-2 for the following:

        Map  Block      Lot     Property                        Owner

        1        12     4       125 Bridge Street               Joseph N. Lata, Jr.

        1        12     8       South side Bridge Street        Joseph N. Lata, Jr.

       1       12      9       South side Bridge Street        Joseph N. Lata, Jr.

       1       12      10      131 Bridge Street               Debra A. Morell

       1       12      11      133 Bridge Street               Anthony & Dorothy M.                                                                            Dimastrantonio

PERFORMANCE BONDS - ACTIONS; PERMIT EXTENSIONS:  Hemlock Court Subdivision - Phase II - Request from Atty. Bruce P. Fader (on behalf of Melrose Hemlock Court, LLC) for reduction of bond and acceptance of Aspen Drive as a Town Road.

Chairman Ouellette read the description of this Item of Business.  He noted receipt of the following:  1)       Letter from Attorney Bruce Fader requesting the reduction of the original bond posted by Melrose Court, LLC with regard to the construction of Aspen Drive.  Attorney Fader further requested the acceptance of Aspen Drive as a Town Road; and 2)  Memo from Town Engineer Norton noting the existence of minor erosion within the detention basin during his site inspection.  Based on his inspection he has made a recommendation for the bond reduction as requested.

Town Planner Whitten recalled the subdivision, Hemlock Court, was done in phases.  Aspen Drive, also known as Hemlock Court North, has been completed; As-Built Plans have been reviewed and accepted by the Town Engineer.  It was noted the amount of the original bond was $244,000; the Commission has been requested to reduce the bond to a $24,000 Maintenance Bond.

MOTION: To RELEASE the bond of $244, 000 to a $24,000 Maintenance Bond to be retained by the Town, and the Planning and Zoning Commission accepts Aspen Drive, formerly known as Hemlock Court North, as a Town road.

Gowdy moved/Matthews/VOTE:  In Favor:  Unanimous

MOTION: To GO OUT OF ORDER to hear, under NEW BUSINESS, the Application of  MLS Ventures (Mahesh Patel) - Site Plan Approval    for new swimming pool, modify building entrances, relocate dumpster and add new storage shed, at Holiday Inn Express, 260 Main Street,  East Windsor.  [B-2 Zone, Map 11, Block 15, Lot 5A].

Gowdy moved/Matthews/VOTE:  In Favor:  Unanimous

NEW BUSINESS:  MLS Ventures (Mahesh Patel) - Site Plan Approval for new swimming pool, modify building entrances, relocate dumpster and add new storage shed, at Holiday Inn Express, 260 Main Street, East Windsor.  [B-2 Zone, Map 11, Block 15, Lot 5A].  (Deadline for decision 3/27/08):

Chairman Ouellette read the description of this Item of Business.   Appearing to discuss the Application was Art Hall, of Dan Wright & Associates, Architects, and Nat Sreenath, of Sreenath Associates.  

Mr. Hall advised the Commission that as part of the franchise the owner has been required to make various renovations to the hotel, including:  1)  permanent gables over the entrances rather than canvas canopies, 2) the addition of an elevator tower, and 3) the addition of an indoor swimming pool.  Mr. Hall referenced an elevation drawing of the proposed changes.  He noted the building is L-shaped; their original intent was to put the pool to the rear but that location would have impacted existing wetlands.   On advisement of the Wetlands Commission the pool has been relocated to an inside corner of the building near the 2-story elevator addition.  The elevator tower will also connect to existing guest room wings.   Mr. Hall noted they will be going into a bit of the existing paved area but will not be eliminating any parking spaces.  

Mr. Sreenath referenced the wetlands to the rear of the property.  They will also be adding a storage shed to the end of the building, and a dumpster.  Mr. Sreenath reiterated they are not eliminating any parking spaces; there will be no changes to the existing drainage system.  Silt fencing/sacks will be installed during construction.

Chairman Ouellette questioned if the Applicant is proposing any new exterior lighting?  Mr. Hall replied negatively, noting the only additional lighting will be under the new canopies over the entranceway.  Chairman Ouellette questioned if any new security lighting would be required for the shed; Mr. Hall replied negatively.  

Chairman Ouellette noted he rode through the site, which is already well under construction, today.  He noted he observed existing access to the site at the far south end of the building; one point appears to be an easement while the other is just there.  He questioned if the second access is part of the building; he questioned if any additional curb cuts were added to the site?  Mr. Sreenath indicated it’s the same drawing which

was used for 20 years; nothing has been added.  Chairman Ouellette indicated it appears you need to drive through the building to get to some of the rooms.  Mr. Hall indicated one access is an easement; Mr. Sreenath felt the second access is not an easement but is rather a driveway.

Commissioner Matthews questioned if the dumpster would be visible from the road; he would like to see arborvitae around the area.   Mr. Sreenath agreed to the addition of landscaping.

Commissioner Gowdy questioned the percentage of impervious coverage for the proposal.  Town Planner Whitten calculated a total of 46% of impervious coverage where 65% is allowed, although she didn’t see a breakout for the building specifically.  

MOTION TO APPROVE the application of owner MLS Ventures, LLC requesting a Site Plan Modification per Section 900.4 of the Zoning Regulations, for a new swimming pool, elevator, building modifications, and associated site changes at Holiday Inn Express, located at 260 Main Street, B-2 Zone, Assessor Map 11, Blk 15, Lot 5-A. This approval is granted subject to conformance with the referenced plans (as may be modified by the Conditions)

Referenced Plans:

·       SP-1 -Cover Sheet Proposed Site Plan, Holiday Inn Express, 260 Main Street, East Windsor, CT scale 1” = 40’ prepared by Sreenath Associates, 11 Royal Manor, Somers, CT 06071, dated 11/18/07, revised through 12/27/07

·       Set Includes:

·       Sheet Sp-2 – Map showing proposed additions
·       Sheet SP-3 – Site Plan 1” = 20’
·       Sheet SP-4 &5 – Erosion and Sediment Control Plan, 1” = 20’
·       Sheet 1 – Zoning Location survey, 1” = 40’ dated 10/4/07

·       Sheet A1A – Elevator & Pool Addition Part First Floor Plan for Holiday Inn Express, 260 Main St, East Windsor, CT prepared by Dan Wright & Assoc., 49 Hartford Turnpike, Vernon CT 06066 (860) 646-3269, dated 12/27/07 scale 1/8” = 1’
·       Sheet A-2A – Part Second Floor Plan
·       Sheet A-3 Elevator and Pool Addition Exterior elevation

Conditions which must be met prior to signing of mylars:

1.      A paper copy of the final approved plans (revisions included) shall be submitted to the Town Planner for review and comment prior to the submission of final plans.

2.      All final plans submitted for signature shall require the seal and live signature of the appropriate professional(s) responsible for preparation of the plans.  
3.      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 which must be met prior to the issuance of any permits:

4.      One set of final mylars, with any required revisions incorporated on the sheets shall be submitted for signature of the Commission. Mylars must be filed in the Planning and Zoning Department.

5.      A cash (escrow) or passbook bond shall be submitted for sedimentation and erosion control maintenance and site restoration during the construction of the project.  Any funds that may be withdrawn by the Town for such maintenance or restoration shall be replaced within five (5) days or this permit shall be rendered null and void. The applicant's engineer shall submit an estimated cost of the E & S controls to the Town Engineer.  The amount of said bond shall be determined by the Town Engineer.

6.      A zoning permit shall be obtained prior to the commencement of any site work

Conditions which must be met prior to certificates of compliance:

7.      Final grading and seeding shall be in place or a bond for the unfinished work submitted.

8.      Final as-built survey showing all structures, pins, driveways and final floor elevations as well as spot grades shall be submitted.

General Conditions:

9.      In accordance with Section 13.5.4 of the Zoning Regulations, any approval of a site plan application 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, otherwise the approval shall become null and void, unless an extension is granted by the Commission.

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

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

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

13.     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

14.     All/any required landscaping shall be maintained.

DISCUSSION:  Chairman Ouellette noted the request for the addition of Condition #15 regarding landscaping around the dumpster.

AMENDED MOTION TO APPROVE the application of owner MLS Ventures, LLC requesting a Site Plan Modification per Section 900.4 of the Zoning Regulations, for a new swimming pool, elevator, building modifications, and associated site changes at Holiday Inn Express, located at 260 Main Street, B-2 Zone, Assessor Map 11, Blk 15, Lot 5-A. This approval is granted subject to conformance with the referenced plans (as may be modified by the Conditions)

Referenced Plans:

·       SP-1 -Cover Sheet Proposed Site Plan, Holiday Inn Express, 260 Main Street, East Windsor, CT scale 1” = 40’ prepared by Sreenath Associates, 11 Royal Manor, Somers, CT 06071, dated 11/18/07, revised through 12/27/07

·       Set Includes:

·       Sheet Sp-2 – Map showing proposed additions
·       Sheet SP-3 – Site Plan 1” = 20’
·       Sheet SP-4 &5 – Erosion and Sediment Control Plan, 1” = 20’
·       Sheet 1 – Zoning Location survey, 1” = 40’ dated 10/4/07

·       Sheet A1A – Elevator & Pool Addition Part First Floor Plan for Holiday Inn Express, 260 Main St, East Windsor, CT prepared by Dan Wright & Assoc., 49 Hartford Turnpike, Vernon CT 06066 (860) 646-3269, dated 12/27/07 scale 1/8” = 1’
·       Sheet A-2A – Part Second Floor Plan
·       Sheet A-3 Elevator and Pool Addition Exterior elevation

Conditions which must be met prior to signing of mylars:

1.      A paper copy of the final approved plans (revisions included) shall be submitted to the Town Planner for review and comment prior to the submission of final plans.

2.      All final plans submitted for signature shall require the seal and live signature of the appropriate professional(s) responsible for preparation of the plans.  

3.      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 which must be met prior to the issuance of any permits:

4.      One set of final mylars, with any required revisions incorporated on the sheets shall be submitted for signature of the Commission. Mylars must be filed in the Planning and Zoning Department.

5.      A cash (escrow) or passbook bond shall be submitted for sedimentation and erosion control maintenance and site restoration during the construction of the project.  Any funds that may be withdrawn by the Town for such maintenance or restoration shall be replaced within five (5) days or this permit shall be rendered null and void. The applicant's engineer shall submit an estimated cost of the E & S controls to the Town Engineer.  The amount of said bond shall be determined by the Town Engineer.

6.      A zoning permit shall be obtained prior to the commencement of any site work

Conditions which must be met prior to certificates of compliance:

7.      Final grading and seeding shall be in place or a bond for the unfinished work submitted.

8.      Final as-built survey showing all structures, pins, driveways and final floor elevations as well as spot grades shall be submitted.

General Conditions:

9.      In accordance with Section 13.5.4 of the Zoning Regulations, any approval of a site plan application 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, otherwise the approval shall become null and void, unless an extension is granted by the Commission.

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

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

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

13.     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

14.     All/any required landscaping shall be maintained.

(Additional Condition):

15.     Landscaping will be required around the dumpster and will be approved by Staff.

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

NEW HEARINGS:  NRT Realty, LLC - Zone Change from R-1, R-2 & M-1 to B-2 for the following:

Map     Block   Lot     Property                        Owner

1       12      4       125 Bridge Street               Joseph N. Lata, Jr.
1       12      8       South side Bridge Street        Joseph N. Lata, Jr.
1       12      9       South side Bridge Street        Joseph N. Lata, Jr.
1       12      10      131 Bridge Street               Debra A. Morell
1       12      11      133 Bridge Street               Anthony & Dorothy M.                                                                            Dimastrantonio

(Deadline to close hearing 2/26/08):

Chairman Ouellette read the Hearing description.   Appearing to discuss this Application were Attorney T. Mark Barbieri, representing NRT Realty; Jay Ussery, Professional Engineer, of J. R. Russo & Associates; Don Poland, Planning Consultant, of Connecticut Planning & Development, LLC; and N. Robert Trigg, owner of NRT Realty.  Attorney Barbieri noted also present in the audience were Attorney Paul Smith, representing Joseph Lata, Jr., and Attorney Louis Flynn, representing Tony Dimastrantonio.

Attorney Barbieri described the site as being located to the west of and behind the Ramada Inn and continues up to Scott Avenue and Holcomb Terrace.  The property is currently zoned mostly M-1 (Industrial), as well as R-1 and R-2 (Residential).   The proposal is to rezone the entire parcel to B-2 (Business).  Attorney Barbieri introduced N. Robert Trigg, owner of NRT Realty, noting his past development/project experience.  The B-2 Zone would allow retail development of a single 100,000 square foot “big box” use, which meets with the Town’s 2004 Plan of Conservation and Development.

Chairman Ouellette questioned if the Planning Department has received affidavits regarding posting of the property, and written notification of abutters?  Mr. Ussery indicated both have been done, but submitted additional copies of the documentation to the Commission.  Town Planner Whitten concurred, noting the department file contains copies of the Certified Mailings to abutters.  Mr. Ussery also submitted photos of the signs as posted, noting signs have been posted on every parcel which contains frontage.  

Mr. Ussery identified the subject parcel, noting the surrounding development, and street locations, as follows:  Bridge Street is to the north, Main Street is located to the west, Maple Street-Scott Avenue-Spring Street-and Holcomb Terrace (which is a cul-de-sac) are located to the south, Interstate Route 91 is located to the east.  A gas station is located on the corner of Bridge Street and the southbound ramp for I-91, the Hartfield Business Park and a new Auto Zone is located across Bridge Street to the north, the State Receiving Home/The Children’s Place is located on the corner of Bridge Street and Gardner Street, the new Geissler’s Business Office and Geissler’s Plaza is across Bridge Street further west, on the south side of Bridge Street further west of this parcel is the recently approved Benson commercial/residential project, then the fire house, Bank of America, and its associated parking to the corner of Bridge Street and Main Street.  Going down Main Street to the south is the library, across from the Town Hall Annex is Keystone Box Company - which is surrounded by Maple Street, Scott Avenue and Spring Street, and further south is Holcomb Terrace.  Mr. Ussery referenced the various locations on the Site Map used during the presentation, noting the various zone indicated by different colors - pink/B-1, yellow/R-2, brown/R-1.  

Mr. Ussery then referenced the various properties comprising the subject parcel, noting #4, #8, and #9 are owned by Mr. Lata; two single family homes - #131 owned by Debra Morrell, and #133 owned by Tony Dimastrantonio - are also included the in Zone Change.  All properties are served by utilities available in Bridge Street - including sanitary sewer, water, electrical, and gas.  Mr. Ussery indicated the largest portion of the parcel is presently in an agricultural use; the remainder is wooded, with some wetlands.  The biggest part of the land drains south and southeast towards the back corner of the parcel, eventually traveling into Blue Ditch behind Holcomb Terrace and on to the Connecticut River.  A small amount of run off flows towards Bridge Street.  Mr. Ussery indicated they would keep the drainage pattern the same and are not proposing any changes to drainage outlets.

Mr. Poland continued discussion while referencing various portions of his report.  He noted most of the parcel considered for a Zone Change is currently zoned M-1 (Industrial).  He suggested there is very little interest for industrial development of this parcel, partly due to the current weak economy and also the success of East Windsor’s Industrial Park on Thompson Road, and Newberry Road.  Mr. Poland suggested that the greater visibility of Bridge Street lends itself better to B-2 (Business uses), which allows 30% maximum building coverage and 65% maximum lot/impervious coverage, and lower (2 1/2 stories) building heights.  He indicated that the M-1 uses allow greater maximum building and lot/impervious coverage - 35% and 75% respectively - and greater building heights (4 stories).  Possible M-1 uses would be warehousing, distribution centers, and light manufacturing, while the B-2 uses include light office and business, retail, and other services.  

Mr. Poland then referenced Section 2 of his report, noting the State defines the Comprehensive Plan of Zoning to include the zoning regulations and zoning map as a collective document which sets forth the future development of the town.  He suggested the proposed Zone Change is a reasonable amendment to the town’s current plan in that: 1) the B-2 use is less intense than the potential current M-1 uses; 2) the general character of the area - including the Interstate access ramps and the State Route 140 - make rezoning the small residential uses reasonable; and 3) the existing M-1 zone makes it a reasonable expectation that this area will experience commercial development.    Mr. Poland further felt that the East Windsor Comprehensive Plan of Conservation and Development, although a guidance document, includes policy statements and land use maps that support the proposed Zone Change, including:  1) a map called “Proposed East Windsor Business Corridor Zoning (page 3-21) which includes the area of the proposed Zone Change in an area called the Northern Business Corridor (page 3-24) and is recommended in the Future Land Use Plan (page 6-2) - which include retail and service establishments, including regional scale retail/large scale development; 2)  sites the importance of economic development and the need for commercial developmental growth; 3) the importance of developing along existing infrastructure - recognizing Route 5 and Route 140/Bridge Street as an area for commercial development and the Industrial Park and Newberry Road as the area for industrial development; and 4) the proposed Zone Change is not inconsistent with conservation strategies for preservation of open space and agricultural land.  Mr. Poland suggested the proposed Zone Change is also consistent with the planning policies of the Regional Plan of Conservation and Development, and is consistent with the land use categories designated as growth areas in the State Plan of Conservation and Development - both advisory documents for local planning policies.  

Mr. Poland noted the area surrounding and including the proposed Zone Change is currently a mixed use encompassing commercial, institutional, and residential uses.  The Commission’s 2004 Plan of Conservation and Development recognized changes would occur, and developed strategies to encourage commercial development of the North Business Corridor, while developing strategies to protect and conserve open space - including agricultural land.  

Chairman Ouellette acknowledged that the Plan of Conservation and Development identifies the Northern Business Corridor but doesn’t specify if development should be under B-1 or B-2 zones.  Mr. Poland suggested that regional scale retail isn’t B-1 development because B-1 zones don’t allow large scale development; large scale development infers a B-2 zone.  Commissioner Gowdy felt that was Mr. Poland’s interpretation, as the zone designation wasn’t specific.  

Attorney Barbieri suggested Mr. Poland’s report indicates this would be a good use for
this parcel, and this is the time for it due to the limited availability of land along the highway.  This use would utilize the services in town and provide tax revenue the Town could use.  Attorney Barbieri indicated they have also studied the traffic in this area; they can solve the problems that have been occurring in this area for many years and that need improvement.

MOTION: To TAKE A FIVE MINUTE BREAK

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

The Commission RECESSED at 7:55 p.m. and RECONVENED at 8:04 p.m.

Mr. Ussery began discussion by noting that where a B-2 Zone abuts a residential zone it is required that a minimum 100’ buffer be established.  This would include the parcels along Scott Avenue, Maple Street, and Spring Street.  He also noted that along the west side adjacent to Scott Avenue the existing topography along the back of the lot is a steep hill; in this area they would have to maintain the natural topography of the hill as well as the 100’ buffer plantings.

Mr. Ussery also referenced the concern that this Zone Change would cause the Town to lose potential for a M-1 use.  He recalled that he was previously before the Commission with the application for East Windsor Limited Partnership for a 6-lot industrial development with the potential for 500,000 square feet of M-1 industrial use.  That project is in excess of the acreage involved in this proposal, and it is in a more appropriate location.  

Attorney Barbieri indicated the conceptual plans for this project would locate a building on the east side of the site - away from the residential uses.  Chairman Ouellette suggested the building could be located anywhere.  Attorney Barbieri concurred but noted because of the topography of the site a building would be located on the east side; Mr. Ussery concurred with Attorney Barbieri’s statement.  Commissioner Matthews questioned if this would be the only building on the parcel, or could it be several smaller buildings?  Attorney Barbieri indicated that an M-1 use would be much more intensive, and could be other things than business uses.  Attorney Barbieri noted it could not be an adult establishment; Town Planner Whitten concurred.  Commissioner Gowdy suggested the B-2 Zone allows many auto uses, while a B-1 Zone doesn’t.  Attorney Barbieri indicated that isn’t the intent here.  Discussion continued regarding the B-1 vs. the B-2 zone uses.

Chairman Ouellette opened discussion to the audience:

        Attorney Lewis Flynn:  reported he is appearing for himself, at 17 Spring Street,       and his client, Tony Dimastrantonio, owner of 133 Bridge Street.  He suggested  to say this area won’t change is kidding ourselves; Route 140 is a busy road; the       Commission has recently approved a 4 unit use near the firehouse.  The B-2 Zone         allows only a 2 1/2 story building height while the M-1 Zone allows 4 stories; it       also seems better to have mercantile rather than manufacturing uses which cause         fumes, and noises, etc.  The B-2 use would be a better transition from the village;    he cited other commercial uses up the hill - the theater, Walmart, Big Y; this use      does no violence to the character of the village.

        David Chiocone, Holcomb Terrace:  he is a registered nurse at Hartford  Hospital and just moved here recently.  He owns Porter’s Pond and has animals   and farms part-time.  He is concerned about pollution to the pond from run-off  being dumped downhill to Blue Ditch and his property.  He is concerned about a  factory allowed in an  M-1 Zone; he will have to look at it.  He suggested we talk      about the actual use; it’s going to be a Lowe’s.  He cited the 1992 battle with         Walmart.  Changing his property from farmland to residential changes his taxes;         he has clean water that feeds 5 houses.  Mr. Chiocone referenced the location on the Smartboard; Commissioner Gowdy indicated the wooded area Mr. Chiocone was pointing to was not part of isn’t part of this zone change. Mr. Chiocone cited         concern that if this parcel goes so will the other.  Chairman Ouellette noted even if this Zone Change doesn’t occur    there is still the potential for an industrial use on the parcel.

        John Rothwell, owner of 43 Spring Street:  Mr. Rothwell reported he owns 43     Spring  Street, his father-in-law owns 18 Holcomb Terrace, and his aunt owns 26         Holcomb Terrace; he is speaking for everyone.  Mr. Rothwell indicated the       location of these properties relative to Blue Ditch on the Smartboard.  His concern is that part of the plan is to change the R-2 Zone on the north side of Spring Street to B-2 which would leave one property residential.  He would prefer to keep both sides of Spring Street residential.  Another concern is the steep slope; if some of the parcel is paved and there is a large building the run off will cause a back up in Blue Ditch, which is already three-quarter’s filled in with silt; many of the houses flood every Spring because the farm dirt comes into Blue Ditch.   He is also concerned for the pond, which has already had problems with run off.   The proposed Zone Change moves the boundary of the R-2 Zone to Spring Street.  Commissioner Gowdy suggested if any proposed building goes into this area, with the proper engineering, it might alleviate the flooding problems.  Mr.      Rothwell questioned why the R-2 is being changed until you know what will go in there.   Chairman Ouellette noted several of those concerns are site development        issues which are beyond the scope of discussion this evening.

        Attorney Paul Smith, representing Joseph Lata, Jr.:  Attorney Smith indicated   the Lata’s have owned this property for over 60 years and have farmed it for that       time.   Over the years Mr. Lata has considered other uses; farming has become an        economical burden as from a farm standpoint this is a small farming parcel.  Mr.        Lata has been looking at other options; from a development standpoint more point        people saw this as a commercial use rather than an industrial use because of the residential parcels around it.  With Geissler’s and the other uses around it it’s become a commercial area.  They entered into discussion with Mr. Trigg, who is a person of integrity.  Mr. Lata is comfortable with the change to B-2; he is      sensitive his neighbors’ concerns.  Many issues raised are site plan issues and will be addressed; it’s a question of doing it right.  Mr. Lata is excited about this   proposal; he doesn’t feel it’s a negative for the neighborhood.  The parcel will be     developed at some time.         

        Greg Crowley, 154 Main Street:  cites the nursing home nearby, and small kids   in the neighborhood; he likes seeing Bambi and the black bear.  Mr. Crowley also had concerns about the traffic, and the affect on property values.  

        Mike Axelrod, 2 Scott Avenue:  his road is a dead end; there are little kids in the     area; he has concerns about the traffic, access, drainage, noise.

        Richard Pippin, Woolam Road:  felt the traffic will come off the highway and    won’t go through the residential area.  He noted they can’t add to the drainage.        This is a beautiful parcel.  It appears they are asking for a less intensive use than what could go there now.  He hopes we don’t miss the boat like South Windsor      and get all the problems and none of the tax benefits.

        Chairman Ouellette questioned Attorney Barbieri on his interpretation for       changing the R-2 Zone on the south side of the parcel?  Attorney Barbieri felt it is part of the parcel and gives them flexibility for the parcel.  Regarding the access,       it will be on Bridge Street.   If the fire department requires an emergency access they can do other things.

        John Rothwell, 43 Spring Street:  suggested if this area is zoned B rather than R it allows access out through this area by an access road because there is enough      room there, even with the 100’ buffer.  He would prefer to keep Spring Street residential.  Attorney Barbieri indicated the site plan regulations would control that.  The 100’ buffer between the residential and business use is a lot of distance.   They would be keeping the use as far as possible from the residences.  

Chairman Ouellette indicated he might personally be receptive to the change from M-1 to B, but the intensity of development from a B-1 to a B-2 could be like night and day.  A B-1 use allows 30,000 square foot, or smaller, retail.  He is concerned about the transportation infrastructure.  He questioned if anyone has run the numbers; could the roadway accommodate this?  Attorney Barbieri indicated that Hesketh & Associates has said the road could accommodate the B-1, B-2, or M-1 uses.  Improvements would be made to the north side of Bridge Street.  Citing the Commission’s responsibilities regarding safety, etc. Chairman Ouellette questioned that the current infrastructure couldn’t support this change?  Mr. Poland noted that any large scale development, even two 30,000 square foot buildings with associated parking, would trigger State Traffic Commission
approval.  If it isn’t feasible than nothing would happen.  

Scott Hesketh, of F. A. Hesketh & Associates, joined the discussion.  He indicated that some roadway improvements would be required, such as widening for dedicated lanes into the site; he felt the highway ramps would be sufficient.  Mr. Hesketh felt the improvements would be localized at the site driveway as would be the case with industrial development.  Any off-site improvements would have to be made by the developer, right-of-ways would have to be  acquired; if not the development couldn’t go forward.  

Chairman Ouellette indicated he was still struggling with the potential size of the building under the B-1 or B-2 Zones.  Under the B-1 Zone there could be multiple buildings vs. the larger scale building.  Mr. Ussery noted there are wetlands on the site to the east of the property which are currently being farmed; it’s not likely those would be developed.  He felt the site lent itself better to one large building in the center rather than many buildings spread out with their associated parking.  Commissioner Farmer questioned where the wetlands were on the parcel?  Attorney Barbieri noted the Commission’s regulations limit what the applicant can say with regard to a zone change, but they are willing to provide whatever information the Commission needs.   They will accommodate to the extent that the Commission feels is necessary.  Mr. Poland noted there are discrepancies between the State and the Town wetlands maps with regard to the scale and location of the wetlands; they do seem to wander based on which map is being reviewed.  The actual flagging by a soil scientist will define the wetlands, and determine their quality.   If they’ve been farmed for many years their quality may have been changed.  Attorney Barbieri indicated they realize they must stay 150’ away from any wetlands.  Mr. Ussery noted the soil scientist will also view the aerials with regard to the color of the soils; the higher and dryer areas of light soil would be the area for development.         

Mr. Ussery cited Mr. Rothwell’s concerns regarding Spring Street.  He referenced a buffer line he sketched on the site map to indicate where the buffer would occur and the distance it would encompass.  He noted there is one lot that sticks into the parcel which creates a large buffer zone.  The nearest part of the development would be 250’ back from Spring Street because they must stay 100’ away from the back of that lot that sticks into the parcel.  Chairman Ouellette questioned if Mr. Ussery felt a driveway could be carved out on Spring Street?  Mr. Ussery indicated in his opinion - no; he would not bring a proposal to service a commercial property through a residential zone to the Commission.  They might be required to provide an emergency access for the fire department but they aren’t proposing any development in that area.  He also noted the right-of-way on Spring Street is only 40’ vs. the usual 50’.

        Town Planner Whitten referenced page 3-24 of the East Windsor Comprehensive     Plan of Conservation and Development, noting under the Action Plan to expand the business plan on Route 140 it cites some potential uses, including regional retail.  She felt that pushed the recommendation towards B-2 rather than B-1 as regional retail is large scale development.  Town Planner Whitten indicated the statement was made in the Comprehensive Plan, which was reviewed by the Commission and the Town’s people.  She noted that if the Lata’s sold the property today someone could come in today with an industrial use, which could include a trucking terminal.  That use could happen without any rezone; it would be industrial development with more impervious coverage and truck traffic vs. vehicle traffic.  

Commissioner Farmer continued to cite concern with regard to the type of run off that might occur.  While the proposed use might be better than industrial or manufacturing he is still concerned where the wetlands are and where the building would be located.  Commissioner Farmer cited he is also concerned about the people on Spring Street; he questioned if the Commission could require that the whole residential zone be the buffer?  Discussion continued regarding potential drainage/run-off.   Attorney Barbieri cited current stricter regulations which require better water quality.  There is no control on the run off now as it’s being farmed.  Mr. Poland referenced Section 600 - landscape regulations, noting he felt the Commission had the descretion to consider and approve a modification of the buffer requirements.  

Chairman Ouellette noted he wants to visit the site.  He queried the                     Commissioners for additional information requests.  Commissioner Gowdy requested additional information regarding the feasibility of widening Bridge Street, and more traffic information.   Commissioner Matthews wanted more information regarding access on Bridge Street or any other properties.  Commissioner Farmer wanted maps depicting the wetlands and topography.

Speaking from the audience, Bill Loos, Melrose, questioned if apartments are allowed in a B-2 Zone.   Chairman Ouellette replied negatively.  Town Planner Whitten suggested it could be residential over commercial, like Pasco’s.   Mr. Loos questioned that it could be commercial with apartments above; they could be large apartments like on North Road?  Chairman Ouellette clarified the apartments on North Road are studio apartments not to exceed 900 square feet.  Town Planner Whitten clarified someone would not be able to put in a housing complex; it would have to be associated with commercial business.

        Greg Crowley:  cited existing traffic in the afternoon or Saturday, or at 4 o’clock     with the school buses.

MOTION: To CONTINUE until the Commission’s regularly scheduled meeting on February 12th, 2008 at 7:00 p.m. in the Town Hall Meeting Room, 11 Rye Street, Broad Brook, CT., the Application of NRT Realty, LLC - Zone Change from R-1, R-2 & M-1 to B-2 for the following:

Map     Block   Lot     Property                        Owner

1       12      4       125 Bridge Street               Joseph N. Lata, Jr.
1       12      8       South side Bridge Street        Joseph N. Lata, Jr.
1       12      9       South side Bridge Street        Joseph N. Lata, Jr.
1       12      10      131 Bridge Street               Debra A. Morell
1       12      11      133 Bridge Street               Anthony & Dorothy M.                                                                            Dimastrantonio
Gowdy moved/Matthews seconded/VOTE:  In Favor:  Unanimous

MOTION: To TAKE A FIVE MINUTE BREAK

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

The Commission RECESSED at 9:30 p.m. and RECONVENED at 9:40 p.m.

BUSINESS MEETING/(1) Fee Schedule:  Discussion postponed.

BUSINESS MEETING/(2)  Correspondence:  None

BUSINESS MEETING/(3)  Staff Reports:  None

APPROVAL OF MINUTES/January 8, 2008:

MOTION: To APPROVE the Minutes of the Planning and Zoning Commission                    Public  Hearing #1520 dated January 8th, 2008 as written.

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

SIGNING OF MYLARS/PLANS; MOTIONS:

        *       Motion:  Balch Bridge Street, Special Use Permit/Excavation

ADJOURNMENT:

MOTION: To ADJOURN this Meeting at 9:47 P. M.

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

Respectfully submitted,

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