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February 26, 2008 Minutes
TOWN OF EAST WINDSOR
PLANNING AND ZONING COMMISSION

Public Hearing #1523
February 26, 2008

***** 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 7:04 P. M. by Chairman Ouellette.

ESTABLISHMENT OF QUORUM:

A quorum was established as three Regular Members (Farmer, Gowdy, and Ouellette) and three Alternate Members (Matthews, Thurz, and Tyler) were present.  Regular Member Guiliano was absent.  Chairman 0ullette noted various members, with the exception of newly appointed Alternate Thurz, will sit in on  Items of Business this evening; the voting membership will be noted at each specific application.   Also present was Town Planner Whitten; Selectman Mark Simmons; Kevin Leslie, Supervisor of the Water Pollution Control Authority (WPCA), and Paul Anderson, Chairman of the WPCA.

Chairman Ouellette welcomed Alternate Member Thurz to the Board.

ADDED AGENDA ITEMS:             None.

RECEIPT OF APPLICATIONS:

1.      Application of Ray Fahey for a Special Use Permit to allow greater than a small number of saddle or riding horses and greater than a small flock of poultry at 96 Depot Street, owned by Ray and Tracey Fahey.  [R-2 zone;  Map 23, Block 54, Lot 7]

2.      Application of Herb Holden Trucking, Inc. for a Special Use Permit (under Sec. 302) for a modification to Sec. 814.3n to allow the entrance/exit of a gravel removal operation at 4,050’ ± from another operation where 5,280’ is required.  Property located on the east side of Wapping Road, owned by Northern Capital Region Disposal Facility.  [A-1 & M-1 zones;  Map 41, Blocks 65 & 49, Lots 30 & 31]

3.      Application of Apothecaries Hall Enterprises, LLC for a Special Use Permit/Excavation for the Charbonneau gravel removal operation, new Phases 11, 12 and 13, located on the south side of Apothecaries Hall Road. [M-1, R-3 & A-1 zones; Map 36, Block 65, Lots 1 & 7]

4.      Application of Mark Hajowyj for a Special Use Permit for a change of use to retail sales of nutritional supplements for property at 123 South Main Street, owned by John Burnham.  [TZ5 zone; Map 28, Block 20, Lot 60]

OTHER BUSINESS:  WPCA - Sewer Service Area Map Discussion:

Chairman Ouellette read the description of this Item of Business.   Joining the Commission in this discussion were Kevin Leslie, Supervisor of the Water Pollution Control Authority (WPCA), and Paul Anderson, Chairman of the WPCA.

Mr. Leslie opened discussion noting that the WPCA has been working on updating the Sewer Service Area Map for 18+/- months and have included input from many different sources, including - but not limited to - Town Engineer Norton, Mike Coronna of the North Central Health District, Bill Hogan of the Department of Environmental Protection, Town Planner Laurie Whitten.  The goal is to bring the Sewer Service Area Map for East Windsor more in line with the State’s Comprehensive Plan of Regional Development.  The WPCA is trying to get all boards in agreement with the proposed map, and then take the map to a Town Meeting to get everyone on the same page with regard to sewer service for planned growth.  

The State’s map includes various areas shown in green, which are areas designated for conservation and preservation; these areas are prohibited for sewer expansion/installation.  Mr. Leslie indicated a town can petition the DEP and OPM to amend the map but the town must be able to document the need for the proposed amendment.   Mr. Leslie gave an example of a subdivision suffering failed septic systems; the town could petition for installation of a sewer system but that system could only be large enough to service the existing subdivision - no additional expansion would be considered.  

Mr. Leslie indicated that a consequence of lack of compliance with the State’s plan is the possibility of jeopardizing  State funding for future projects.

Mr. Leslie and Mr. Anderson provided a hand-out which included various stages of the Town’s Sewer Service Maps (including an earlier Sewer Avoidance Area Map), the OPM Conservation and Development Map, and support documentation explaining OPM policies.  

Chairman Ouellette noted the Commission has areas where they intended to promote cluster developments (Planned Residential Developments); many of the areas selected by the Commission are outside the areas of growth promoted by the OPM.  Mr. Leslie and Mr. Anderson suggested the Commission would have to provide documentation to support sewer expansion in these areas.  They noted that the areas currently reflected on the Sewer Service Area Map before the Commission includes backup documentation from the North Central Health District (NCHD) noting failed septic systems.  Commissioner Gowdy cited the Commission’s new regulations which specify areas for Planned Residential Developments, which require sewers.  Under this map those regulations couldn’t be used.  Commissioner Tyler suggested the OPM puts huge restrictions on the town for areas that they can’t develop; he felt the State was dictating to towns how development would occur.  Mr. Leslie noted these comments will be revisited at the Town/Public Meeting.   The Town can say where they want to put sewers but we must understand it may be jeopardizing State funding.  Mr. Leslie explained how the State reviews potential development of a parcel, and it’s proximity to shopping, mail services, and transit resources, etc.   

Chairman Ouellette questioned if there is enough capacity in the existing WPCA treatment facility to service the areas under discussion?  Mr. Leslie indicated that the current flow is under the full capacity of the existing facility.

Discussion returned to the loss of State funding; to what degree was that factor considered in the development of this map?  Mr. Anderson indicated the Town must have a reasonable plan in place to sell the State on an amendment to the proposed map.  He suggested the goal is to develop a meeting of the minds between the OPM and the town regarding a reasonable plan; when the Town then goes outside that plan the funding can be jeopardized.  Mr. Leslie referred to various areas on the map, indicating that the gray areas are areas of conservation or State land which will never be sewered, while the sewer service area includes areas where sewers are already in the ground.  Commissioner Farmer felt the OPM/WPCA has taken development rights from private property owners; Mr. Leslie and Mr. Anderson suggested those development rights were never there in those areas in the first place.   Mr. Leslie suggested the 1992 map was as accurate a map as the Town could develop; it was used to get money to build the sewer treatment plant.  When that sewer service area was established the OPM looked at the flow if the plant was fully built out  (2.5 million gallons/day); the OPM has now gotten stricter with compliance with that map.  Previously this Commission didn’t approve a project which was outside the sewer service area because there were no sewers to service the project.  That decision was sort of the beginning of the map before the Commission this evening.  The WPCA went to the Board of Selectmen and talked about jeopardizing State funding, and the BOS decided they didn’t want to do that.  Mr. Leslie suggested the Town as a whole needs to decide where it wants to go with the OPM map.  

Discussion returned again to the types of State funding which could be jeopardized?  Town Planner Whitten suggested those funds could include Open Space Grants and Agriculture Viability Grants as an example.  Commissioner Gowdy questioned if the State funding in question included funding for education costs or just funding for sewer lines?  Mr. Leslie and Mr. Anderson suggested it would be funding if the Town were to consider building a school or library.  Town Planner Whitten suggested it seems that the WPCA worked under a directive from the BOS to preserve the potential for funding, and that’s the way the map has been developed.  If the Town has a development that should have sewers installed there is a way for the WPCA to petition the State for change.  Commissioner Farmer indicated he didn’t want to see people losing development rights; he felt staff should research how many properties contained within the gray areas are private properties.  Mr. Leslie indicated he didn’t feel there were any private properties in the gray areas.
The Commission decided to review the map further before offering suggestions to the WPCA.

NEW BUSINESS:  Armster Reclaimed Lumber Co. – Site Plan Approval to allow storage of lumber at 246 South Main Street, owned by All American Products Co.  [M-1, B-2 & A-2 Zones; Map 33 & 38, Block 5, Lots 84-1 & 87]  (Deadline for decision 3/13/08):

Chairman Ouellette read the description of this Item of Business.   Appearing to discuss this Application was Klaus Armster, owner of Armster Reclaimed Lumber; Jay Ussery of J. R. Russo & Associates, and James Balch, owner of All American Products Co.

Chairman Ouellette noted the following Commissioners would sit in on this Item of Business:  Commissioners Tyler, Matthews, Farmer, Gowdy, and Ouellette.

Mr. Ussery gave a description of the Application as a Change of Use for property located at 244 - 246 South Main Street, which is owned by All American Products Co./(James Balch).   The property is south of Hotcakes Restaurant; Armster Reclaimed Lumber occupies a building to the west of Route 5 and below the bank of the property as it extends towards the Connecticut River.  Mr. Ussery indicated the building was built in the 50s or 60s as part of the Balch (Auto) dealership, and contained many uses, including a body shop.  Mr. Armster now operates a reclaimed lumber business; the proposed plans show an outside storage area for his materials - much of which is adjacent to the building and to the north and west below Route 5 and much of the materials are stored in front of the building on a paved area most recently used for Nation’s Auto’s vehicles.  

Mr. Ussery cited one of  the concerns is that the business is taking materials from demolished buildings and reusing the wood.  After discussion with staff and the Warehouse Point Fire Marshal this plan shows areas for proper access for emergency vehicles.   There is a 20’ wide main drive aisle through to the rear of the property for emergency access; the main drive will be comprised of 8” of bank-run gravel and 4” of aggregate on top to support Mr. Armster’s vehicles and emergency vehicles. There are also 15’ wide aisles between the storage areas.  In the storage areas in front of the building - facing Route 5 - they are showing the drive aisles between stockpiles of materials, and a 7’ 10” wooden/board screening fence across the front of the property and 200’ back from Route 5 for visual screening.  The maximum height of the storage piles will be 7’ to keep them below the level of the fence.  The installation of the fence and the relocation/reconfiguration of the wood piles will be done in two phases:  Phase I - the area in front of the building, and Phase II - the area adjacent to Hotcakes and in front of the cell tower over to Baggott’s Farm.  

Commissioner Gowdy questioned that without the 20’ access road, could emergency vehicles get down to the building tomorrow if a fire occurred?   Mr. Ussery felt not but because of the current weather conditions the Applicant can’t get in there to make the changes.  Discussion followed regarding a reasonable timeframe.  Town Planner Whitten recommended that the wood stockpiles be relocated within 3 months and the fencing completed a month after that.  She noted the reason this Application is before the Commission is that the Applicant was in non-compliance with the regulations; she felt Mr. Armster was in agreement with her timeframe recommendation.  Mr. Armster reported he has been working on moving the materials back; maybe 75% of the materials have been moved with 25% still to be moved.  Town Planner Whitten noted the Warehouse Point Fire Marshal is in agreement with the plan, as it will then bring this operation into compliance with fire codes.  

Chairman Ouellette referenced the plans, noting it appears the access road crosses someone else’s property.   Mr. Ussery clarified the common owner of both properties is James Balch/All American Products Co.  Chairman Ouellette questioned if any tracking of dirt would reach Route 5?   Mr. Ussery indicated the main access will be through the main driveway which is existing bituminous paving.  Chairman Ouellette questioned if the fence is installed how would they get to the other side of the property?  Mr. Ussery suggested the whole area around the dealership is paved; there will be a break in the fence.  

Chairman Ouellette questioned where in the current regulations is the storage of lumber allowed?  Town Planner Whitten suggested this situation started when the Commission was working with the previous regulations, which allowed a lumber yard in B-2 and M-1 Zones.  It was thought that this whole area was B-2 but the zone line falls above the A-2 Zone line.  It was thought the zone stopped at the channel encroachment line and the B-2 Zone would have extended back to that but there was a drafting error.   The new regulations don’t allow any similar use; he is recycling lumber but he sells it off-site.   Mr. Armster gave a brief description of his business, noting he cleans up old wood and resells it to others off-site through building contractors; many are floor installers located in other states.  People come to the property by appointment and usually drive away with samples; materials are later shipped to the buyer’s site.  Town Planner Whitten suggested she would like to see the whole site rezoned to B-2; theoretically there shouldn’t be anything in an A-2 Zone as it’s flood plain.  However, this building has been there for some time.

Chairman Ouellette questioned clarification of Condition 7 - no storage of hazardous materials in the building?  Mr. Ussery indicated that condition is the result of the Applicant’s appearance before the Inland/Wetlands Commission.  When this situation was brought to the attention of the Planning staff they had concerns as to what type of wood was being used and stored; did it contain creosote or lead paint?  The sawdust, which is sold to an outside party to make biobricks for heating, was stored outside; the concern for the storage of sawdust generated that note.

Commissioner Farmer noted the proposal indicates no storage allowed to the side of the fence, but it doesn’t say there is no storage allowed in front of the fence along Route 5.   Mr. Ussery indicated he would make a revision in the notation - no storage of lumber in front of the fence.
Chairman Ouellette revisited the timeframe requirement for stockpile relocation and installation of fence.  Town Planner Whitten reiterated that the storage area relocation could be completed in 3 months, with installation of the fence in another month.  She felt everything could be completed by the end of May, but would like to see the front cleaned up quickly.  The Commission compromised on a 6 month timeframe for completion of all work discussed.  

Commissioner Farmer questioned if people going north up Route 5 would be able to see the wood stockpiles because there was no jog in the fence?   Mr. Balch approached the meeting table to discuss the issue.  Mr. Ussery felt the building would block most of that visibility.  

Commissioner Matthews suggested the plans indicate that towards the back of the site there will be a significant height for the wood stockpiles - perhaps 20’.  He felt precariously stacked piles of random thickness lumber would be a safety hazard; he suggested a height limitation of no more than 4 of the 3’ cubes, or 12’.  Mr. Armster indicated he preferred 14’ because of the blocking between the cubes but he would be ok with 12’.  

MOTION TO APPROVE  Site Plan Modification - Application of Armster Reclaimed lumber Co, and owner All American Products Corp. requesting a site plan modification/change of use application for a reclaimed lumber company to be located at 246 South Main Street -  Assessor’s Map 33/38, Block 5, Lot 84-1 & 87 – M-1, B-2 and A-2 zones.  This approval is granted subject to conformance with the referenced plans (as may be modified by the Conditions)

        Referenced Plans:
Compilation Plan  – prepared for Armster Reclaimed Lumber Co, 232 & 244-246 South Main Street, East Windsor CT Zone B2, A2, & M1, Map 38, Blk 5 Lot 84-1&87 prepared by JR Russo and Associates, 1 Shoham Rd, East Windsor CT 06088 860/0569, 623-2485 fax dated 11/30/07, rev 12/27/08 , scale 1” = 100’
Sheet 2 - Improvement Location Plan, last revised 1/18/08

-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 full set of final mylars, with any required revisions incorporated on the sheets shall be submitted for signature of the Commission. Set shall be filed in the Planning and Zoning Department.

5.      A cash (escrow) or passbook bond (made out to the applicant AND the Town of East Windsor) 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.      Re-location of all lumber stockpiles shall be completed within 45 days from date of this approval or the applicant and/or owner may be cited and fined for a zoning violation.

8.      Wood stacks must be kept to below maximum heights per the approved plan.  Drive aisles among the stacks must be kept clear AT ALL TIMES for fire safety and proper access.  

9.      Wood stacks in the front may not exceed the height of the fencing that is erected.

10.     A building permit is required for any fencing over the height of 6 feet.  

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

12.     Final as-built survey showing all structures, pins, driveways, access drives, storage areas, and grading shall be submitted.

13.     All public health and safety components of the project must be satisfactorily completed prior to occupancy. In cases where all of these 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:

14.     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.

15.     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.

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

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

18.     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

19.     All required landscaping shall be maintained.

(Additional Conditions):

20.     Maximum height of wood storage to rear not to exceed 14’

21.     All wood storage shall be re-located to the approved areas with 6 months.

22.     No wood storage in front of fence.

Gowdy moved/Matthews seconded/
VOTE:   In Favor:       Farmer/Gowdy /Matthews/Ouellette/ Tyler
                        Opposed:        No one         
                        Abstained:      No one.

MOTION: To TAKE A FIVE MINUTE BREAK.

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

The Commission RECESSED at 8:43 p.m. and RECONVENED at 8:48 p.m.


CONTINUED 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 was T. Mark Barbieri, representing the Applicant NRT Realty, LLC; Don Poland, Planning Consultant; N. Robert Trigg, owner of NRT Realty, LLC; Jay Ussery of J. R. Russo & Associates, professional engineer; and Scott Hesketh, of F. A. Hesketh & Associates, traffic engineer.

Also present in the audience were Attorney Paul Smith, representing the Lata family, and Attorney Louis Flynn, representing Tony Dimastrantonio.

Chairman Ouellette noted the following Commissioners would sit in on this Application:  Commissioners Gowdy, Ouellette, Farmer, Matthews, and Tyler (who had familiarized himself with the previous minutes).

Attorney Barbieri opened discussion by summarizing the Commission had requested clarification and expanded discussion on the following items:  1)  a general idea on the location of the wetlands; 2) show the various uses for the site, contrasting what could be built there now under the current zoning and what could be built under the rezone; and 3) the effects of this development on traffic.  

With regard to the traffic issue Attorney Barbieri indicated there is someone at the State Traffic Commission working on this subject; if the zone change were granted they would have to widen Bridge Street on the north side, and make road improvements - including change the electrical poles and utilities - on the south side.  

With regard to the wetlands, they reside primarily on the south east part of the property.

Regarding the business uses, Attorney Barbieri indicated the use discussed previously would suit this zone very well.  

Mr. Ussery stepped forward to present a conceptual use plan showing a 70,000 square foot retail use, with 800+/- associated parking spaces, located in the center of the parcel.  This layout shows a building with loading dock at the rear and a turning radius for trucks and access to Bridge Street.  The wetlands, topography, and drainage would apply to the site plan for this use, or others, whether the site is rezoned B-2 or remains M-1.  Mr. Ussery indicated that an M zone would allow more impervious coverage than a B-2 Zone, which could cause more drainage coming off the site. Access to the parcel, whether under the B-2 of M-1 Zone, would come off Bridge Street; an emergency access with break-away gate would occur only if required by the police, fire department or fire marshal.  

Mr. Ussery indicated that with regard to the wetlands this developer looked at this parcel 10 to 12 years ago and had the wetlands flagged at that time.  He noted that should this proposal go forward the wetlands would have to be delineated again.  Both the Town Wetlands Map and the Hartford County Soil Maps concur that the wetlands are located to the south east corner of the parcel; they are not showing any development in that area.   A second area of wetlands is located on the west side of the property line backing up with Scott Avenue and carries water to the Blue Ditch.  That area of wetlands also goes north to Bridge Street/Route 140 and borders the west side of the Benson property.   This wetlands picks up all water from Bridge Street, most of Geissler’s Plaza, the Receiving Home (The Children’s Place), and Gardner Street.  There is a State drainage system in Bridge Street.  Mr. Ussery indicated the ditch needs maintenance; the culverts on Holcombe Terrace and Spring Street need to be looked at as well.   This maintenance needs to be looked at for any development that takes place on this parcel, whether under a B-2 or M-1 Zone.  

With regard to the topography, the middle of the property is an elevation 80, which is the high point of the parcel.  You then have gradients going west and northwest and southeast.  A developer would put in a storm drainage system and detention basin with water quality treatment functions.   All the water from this parcel, however it flows, goes through the Blue Ditch.  Currently this entire parcel is under an agricultural use of growth crops with no permanent cover crops.  Mr. Ussery indicated that last week, with the rain storm, silt and sediment was leaving the site and running down to Blue Ditch.  If this parcel is developed, whether under a B-2 or M-1 use, the area will have a better drainage situation because there will be a reduction from the current flow after development.  The developer of the site will improve the current drainage situation.

Chairman Ouellette noted it was suggested during previous discussion that the site lends itself to a single use; he questioned why that would be?  Mr. Ussery suggested that the way the site has been laid out, with a structure in the middle of the developable area, wetlands on both sides, and some lowering of the center of the site for access and parking on all sides of the building, potential uses are single uses; it would not lend itself to a strip mall.  Mr. Ussery indicated that if this zone change goes through and the future development goes forward they should be looking at consolidating curb cuts for access to this parcel, and any future development of the parcel to the east and/or the hotel parcel as well.  Mr. Ussery reiterated that any development, whether under the B-2 Zone or M-1 Zone, should consider all these issues.  He further noted that development under the M-1 uses would be more intense than this proposal.  

Commissioner Farmer questioned why this application wasn’t considered for the Highway Interchange Floating Zone (HIFZ)?  Chairman Ouellette noted this parcel just misses the distance originally set by the Commission when considering HIFZ proposals; Town Planner Whitten noted the distance is literally at the edge of this parcel.  Commissioner Farmer felt the HIFZ deals with this type of development.   Discussion followed for some time regarding the HIFZ Zone.  Planning Consultant Poland gave a history of the creation of the HIFZ, and the Commission’s reserve of continuing the zone down Bridge Street further until its affect could be considered.  The Showcase Cinemas and Walmart were developed prior to the creation of the HIFZ; it was originally adopted for the development of the Wendy’s parcel.  Mr. Poland noted it isn’t typical to show site plans for zone change proposals; this applicant has done so to address the concerns of the Commission and the public.  Discussion continued regarding the probability of this proposal going forward, other possible uses under either the M-1 or B-1 or B-2 Zones, protection/control under the Special Use Permit or HIFZ proposal for development as proposed, required amendments to site plans/general plans if changes in use occur, and discussion of other zoning processes.  Mr. Poland noted he did look at the HIFZ when working up this proposal but the HIFZ doesn’t extend this far down Bridge Street as the Commission didn’t want to go that far down into the center of Warehouse Point.  Mr. Poland reiterated that the larger retail use is the best use when considering the regional plan.  Commissioner Farmer indicated he still felt this site/development fits the HIFZ

Scott Hesketh, of F. A. Hesketh & Associates, stepped forward to discuss the potential traffic generation for this development.  Under the M-1 Zone potential uses could be manufacturing, light industrial, or general office.  A 256,000 square foot manufacturing building would generate 185 - 200 peak hour trips; a 240,000 square foot 4 story general office use (which would require more parking than a manufacturing use) would generate 350 - 380 peak hour trips.  Under the B (Business) Zone uses a general office would generate the same trip generation as under an M-1 Zone; a 170,000 square foot retail use would generate 600 - 900 peak hour trips - depending on the retail use.  If the retail use allowed outside sales - like Lowes or Home Depot - it would generate 630 - 900 peak hour trips; general retail use would generate 900 peak hour trips, and upwards to 1300 peak hour trips on a Saturday.  Mr. Hesketh suggested the roadways - Route 5, Interstate 91 north and south, Route 140 - would operate on a Level of Service D, the ramps would operate on a Level of Service C or D, and the site driveway would operate on a Level of Service B or C.   Mr. Hesketh suggested acceptable levels of service could be retained at all intersections.  He noted they are proposing to widen Route 140 and would be acquiring rights-of-way to do so.

Chairman Ouellette noted the big box retail uses appear to generate 4 times as much traffic as the manufacturing; Mr. Hesketh concurred.  Chairman Ouellette suggested that these uses would be adding to levels of traffic not utilized during that time; was he speaking of during the day or Saturday?   Mr. Hesketh indicated both weekdays and on Saturdays.  Commissioner Tyler questioned if this additional traffic would cause traffic jams, or back ups to Route 5 or Route 159?   Mr. Hesketh suggested Levels of Service C and D would not cause traffic jams; they were not looking at Levels of Service F.  There would be no back up of traffic to Route 5 or Route 159.  Mr. Hesketh concurred that Route 140 is a heavily traveled road; there were large volumes of traffic but they seemed to be moving all the time.   He indicated he did the counts personally; the calculations were much better than he anticipated they would be.   He was surprised at how well the traffic moved; the queues and the delays were not excessive.  Mr. Hesketh noted that everyone is assuming all the traffic is due to this development; much of the traffic is already going by to get to other locations.  This development will be adding traffic at some time.  After having done the counts and run the models the counts look good.  Whatever development goes here you will still need to do the site improvements at the driveway.   This type of development will have the ability to do those improvements when other types of development might not.  Mr. Hesketh felt they can come up with a traffic plan acceptable to both the DOT and the town.  

Chairman Ouellette questioned if the rights-of-way needed for the improvements were public or private?  He questioned if there was ample room to widen the road?  Mr. Hesketh indicated the improvements outside of the right-of-way would be at the site driveway but he understood discussions are underway with that owner.  Attorney Barbieri suggested he understood the improvements would be required on the north side of the road within a public right-of-way that the State owns; there is one improvement needed that isn’t within the control of the Applicant but will be when they come back with a site plan.  Chairman Ouellette suggested that if the zone change were approved then the site plan application would be eminent; because of the magnitude of the development other permits would be required.  He suggested Attorney Barbieri had said there was adequate capacity for development; if a problem was identified a half a mile from the site the State would ram that problem area down East Windsor’s throat.  A statement was made at the previous hearing that the State would turn the project down if it would cause traffic problems.  Chairman Ouellette indicated that was an untrue statement; if this land use board approves this zone change/use the State won’t turn it down; he’s seen it happen many times.  Attorney Barbieri suggested the same problems are there now; we know a general industrial use - warehousing or auto uses - could generate much traffic but those could come in now under the M-1 Zone.  Discussion continued regarding the State’s position on the road improvements, the location of those improvements, and the need to acquire additional rights-of-ways.

Commissioner Matthews questioned the viability of the project actually happening if the zone change goes through; he felt the developer needs to know he is at risk of being denied at the site plan level.   

Commissioner Matthews also cited that water accumulates in the Blue Ditch upstream of the sewer treatment plant.  He has seen water reside there for 24 hours.  Commissioner Matthews felt any increase in drainage would only add to that problem.  Mr. Ussery concurred, noting the area of the Blue Ditch, South Water Street, and the sewer treatment plant all are within the 100 year flood zone; that flooding is the result of the Connecticut River rising and falling.  Mr. Ussery noted that Kevin Leslie of the WPCA noted that over the past couple of years they get water overflow from the Blue Ditch even when the Connecticut River doesn’t back up.  Whatever development occurs they will need to investigate why that happens and solve the problem.  Commissioner Matthews suggested that’s another element going forward with this project; the Applicant may need to put in a detention basin.  Mr. Ussery noted that requirement is in the regulations; all those requirements apply whether this parcel is zoned B-2 or M-1.  Commissioner Matthews felt the M-1 Zone has been there for years and nothing has happened; the B-2 Zone will be different.   Mr. Ussery indicated the parcel is in a worse condition now as an agricultural use than it would be under development.  Attorney Barbieri suggested most or all of these issues discussed can be solved but the information isn’t usually available under Zone Change Application.

MOTION: To TAKE A FIVE MINUTE BREAK.

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

The Commission RECESSED at 9:55 p.m. and RECONVENED at 10:09 p.m.

Attorney Barbieri requested to clarify that the land across the street is owned by the State of Connecticut; they are essentially the private owner.  He READ FOR THE RECORD an excerpt from a letter to Robert Trigg indicating that the State has signed off on the easement from the DCF.  Mr. Trigg noted this land is in addition to the land contained under the State right-of-way.

Chairman Ouellette opened discussion to the public:

        John Rothwell, noted his wife is the owner of 46 Spring Street:  cited the      conceptual drawing shows a 40’ drop over 300’; parking would require a high     retaining wall.  He questioned if no access is proposed on Spring Street why    change the residential zone to B-2?  If it stays residential they would still have a 100’ buffer from the residence.   He also suggested the culverts on Holcombe Terrace and Spring Street need to be replaced as they are not adequate; he questioned who would be responsible for that replacement?  Chairman Ouellette indicated it would be the responsibility of the applicant during site plan   development.

        Attorney Louis Flynn, representing Tony Dimastrantonio and himself as a         resident:  Attorney Flynn suggested he has heard nothing tonight that doesn’t   make this zone change reasonable as a transition from Warehouse Point.   He     shakes in his boots when he hears talk of a truck terminal; he is hearing everyone fearing a monolithic building but someone could do that now.  This makes all the sense in the world as a transition to the village. Attorney Flynn suggested the Blue Ditch is the lower watercourse; the reason it was called the Blue Ditch is the because the silk mill in Warehouse Point dumped their dye in the water and one  day it was purple and another blue.  He felt the watercourse near Holcombe Terrace may be the result of the rising of the Connecticut River; the culverts may be silted up.  Attorney Flynn felt this proposal was a sensible use of the property     and urged approval of the Zone Change.

        George Tartsinis:  is in favor of the Zone Change.

        Bill Loos:  is in favor of the Zone Change; he felt the Town needs another industry as he has heard the theater is closing.  He felt a B-2 Zone in that area    would help that area a lot.

Jim Balch:  is in favor of the Zone Change; he felt if you have to get development in town these are the type of people to get.  

Commissioner Farmer questioned if the developer’s goal would still be accomplished if the proposed change to B-2 near the Spring Street property stayed residential?  Town Planner Whitten indicated that because of the set back issues that area would never be developed.  Mr. Ussery indicated that whether that parcel is zoned residential or as proposed the buffer probably wouldn’t change, and it couldn’t be developed because of the proximity to the wetlands.  It’s not likely that there would be an emergency access there because of the proximity of the wetlands.  Attorney Barbieri suggested that with that one piece of property they would get a much deeper buffer; Mr. Ussery concurred, noting the area of buffer on the plan.  There would be more than 200’ of buffer from the street.  He noted that if that land isn’t zoned B-2 then it can’t be included in the development calculations, but because of the buffer there is no ability to develop that area.  

Chairman Ouellette noted he is still struggling with a B-1 or B-2 zone for this area based on the intensity of use and the traffic perspective.  He also noted the Plan of Conservation and Development (page 3-24) refers to a Northern Business District.  Mr. Poland agreed there was special consideration given to the North Road east of Shoham Road related to the sewer expansion so much of the discussion focused on that but the map on page 3-21 illustrates a conceptual map delineating the Northern Business District; but it doesn’t go over to this area.  He also noted the POD is an advisory document.

MOTION: To EXTEND THE MEETING UNTIL 11 O’CLOCK.

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

Commissioner Gowdy felt the general concept was a good fit for the community.  He noted he does have some concerns regarding traffic but felt Attorney Barbieri has said it appears to be resolved.   The theater is going out; something will go in this location; this is probably the best fit for the parcel.  If anything the drainage definitely will be improved, and that’s the responsibility of the developer.   Commissioner Tyler felt this is an excellent fit for the retail in the area.   This area will get developed and he would rather see retail or business than industrial which would cause as much traffic and cars.  He felt this was a good fit and is something that’s needed in the Town.  Development of the site will reduce the drainage because they are required to have a zero increase in flow and there is no control of the flow from the property now.

John Rothwell requested to speak again; he suggested it wasn’t his intention to appear negative; if it’s rezoned retail it isn’t a concern to him.  His only concern was keeping Spring Street residential.

MOTION: To CLOSE the Public Hearing on 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 APPROVE the Petition for Zone Change by N.R. T. Realty, LLC requesting a zone change/zone map amendment  from R-1, R-2 and M-1 to B2 at properties located at Map 1, Block 12, Lots 4,8,9,10 & 11, all located on the south side of Bridge Street..  This approval is granted subject to conformance with the referenced plans (as may be modified by the Conditions) and the following conditions:


Referenced Plans:

-       Sheet 1 of 1:Zone Change Map R-1. R-2 & M-1 Zone to B-2 Zone, prepared for NRT Realty, LLC, Bridge Street – Rte 140, East Windsor CT, prepared by J.R. Russo & Assoc. 1 Shoham Rd., East Windsor, CT 06088, 860/623-0569, 860/623-2485, scale 1” = 200”, dated 12/10/07

Conditions

1.      This approval does not constitute approval of a site development plan or permit for any construction or use of the subject parcel.

2.      One mylar and one paper copy of the approved zone change map must be delivered to the Planning and Zoning Department to be signed by the Chairman and one member of the Planning and Zoning Commission. The mylar shall be returned to the applicant for recording on the Town of East Windsor Land Records, while the paper copy shall be placed in the permanent file in the Planning Office.

3.      A copy of this motion shall be recorded on the Town of East Windsor Land Records.

VOTE:   In Favor:       Farmer/Gowdy /Matthews/Tyler
                Opposed:        Ouellette
                Abstained:      No one.

BUSINESS MEETING/(3)  Fee Schedule:             Tabled.

BUSINESS MEETING/(4) Correspondence:    None.

BUSINESS MEETING/(5) Staff Reports:             None.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES/January 22, 2008:

MOTION: To ACCEPT the Minutes of Public Hearing #1521 dated January 22, 2008 as written.

Gowdy moved/Matthews seconded/
VOTE:   In Favor:       Farmer/Gowdy/Matthews/Ouellette/Tyler

SIGNING OF MYLARS/PLANS, MOTIONS:       None.

ADJOURNMENT:

MOTION: To ADJOURN this Meeting at 10:42 p.m.

Gowdy moved/Tyler seconded/
VOTE:   In Favor:       Farmer/Gowdy/Matthews/Ouellette/Tyler

Respectfully submitted,

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