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April 22, 2008 Minutes
TOWN OF EAST WINDSOR
PLANNING AND ZONING COMMISSION

MEETING #1527
April 22, 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 7:03 P. M. by Vice Chairman Gowdy.

ESTABLISHMENT OF QUORUM:

A quorum was established as three Regular Members (Devanney, Farmer, and Gowdy) and two Alternate Members (Thurz and Tyler) were present at the beginning of the Meeting.   Alternate Member Matthews arrived at 7:05.  Regular Member Ouellette was absent.  Also present was Town Planner Whitten; guests included Kevin Leslie and Paul Anderson representing the Water Pollution Control Authority (WPCA); Bill Hogan of the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection Agency, Municipal Facilities Division; Edward Farrell, Selectman and WPCA member; and Len Norton, Supervisor, Public Works Department.

ADDED AGENDA ITEMS:     None.

LET THE RECORD SHOW Commissioner Matthews arrived at 7:05 p.m.

RECEIPT OF APPLICATIONS:

Receipt of the following Application was acknowledged:

1)      Application of David Monaco for a Special Use Permit/Sale of Alcohol and Modification of Approved Site Plan to allow an outdoor patio at Sam Buca’s Restaurant, 110 Main Street, Broad Brook.  [B-1 Zone; Map 22, Block 37, Lot 8A].

NEW BUSINESS:  Ronald Masters (East Windsor Scout Hall Building Committee) – Modification of Approved Site Plan and Sec. 8-24 Referral – for construction of a covered pavilion at Scout Hall property located at 28 Abbe Road, owned by the Town of East Windsor.  [A-1 Zone; Map 38, Block 23, Lots 8 & 1-A].

Town Planner Whitten noted this Application will not be heard tonight as the Applicant has not yet received a Wetlands Permit.

DISCUSSION:  Discussion of Sewer Service Area – with members from Water Pollution Control Authority and Bill Hogan with DEP:

Vice Chairman Gowdy read the description of this Item of Business.   Appearing for the discussion this evening were Kevin Leslie and Paul Anderson representing the Water
Pollution Control Authority (WPCA); Bill Hogan of the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection Agency, Municipal Facilities Division; Edward Farrell, Selectman and member of the  WPCA.  Also present in the audience was Len Norton, Supervisor, Public Works Department.

To expedite discussion Vice Chairman Gowdy requested Commission members to raise their questions one at a time and not to revisit the same question repeatedly, and to not raise questions of a personal nature with the assembled group.

Mr. Leslie, of the WPCA, opened discussion by giving a history of how the proposed Sewer Service Area Map was created.  It was noted they began with the 1989 Service Avoidance Map and upgraded same with zone and/or property lines after receiving input from the North Central Health District and the State, and Town Planner Whitten on a local level.  

Commissioner Tyler asked why the State of Connecticut or some bureaucrat in Hartford could dictate how the Town of East Windsor is developed.   Mr. Hogan, of the DEP, summarized his experience within the State, as well as having served on a local Planning and Zoning Commission; he indicated he understood the Commission’s concerns.  He noted Connecticut General Statute 16A-31 passed in 1991 indicates that any State agency giving grants or loans to a community must make sure the local plans are in compliance with the State standards and that the local projects for waste water treatment meets those  standards.  The State Plan of Conservation and Development was developed through the Office of Policy and Management, and is a regional development plan.  The State is saying that there is an incentive for State aid for local governments to follow the State/OPM plan.   A Town doesn’t need to follow the State/OPM plan, but if it does not then the State wouldn’t assist with funding for treatment plant upgrades; the Town can develop as it wants to but it would have to fund treatment plant upgrades via economic development, etc.  As an example the State Economic Development Commission shouldn’t be giving money for an industrial park development or expansion if the Town plan is not consistent with the State standards.  Education grants are not affected by compliance or non-compliance with the State standards regarding sewer service areas, but a loan program for a potable drinking water project would not receive any State assistance if the local plan was not in compliance with the State standards.  

Commissioner Tyler questioned that the State would rather a town pollute the ground with septic systems than provide sewers?  Mr. Hogan suggested that if the septic systems are built to today’s standards there should be no pollution.  There are many areas of the State that will never have sewers, and in those areas a town must develop the land as it can be via septic systems.  He noted East Windsor has a core area around the transportation hubs that provide sewers; the land to the east is the land where farms exist.  Mr. Leslie indicated Mike Carona of the North Central Health District (NCHD) reviewed the proposed map and provided significant input.   Many of the large grey areas are large lots with plenty of space for a reserve area for the septic system.  Mr. Hogan suggested engineered septic systems can be installed for property owners whose land is located in the areas which may suffer failed septic systems.  He noted repair of the septic systems under an engineered plan is more costly.

Vice Chairman Gowdy questioned who decides what areas of Town should and shouldn’t be sewered?  Mr. Hogan noted the OPM Plan of Conservation and Development has huge areas that contain significant wetlands, which are shown on the OPM map in green.   He
noted that prime farmland is also shown in green as it is generally an area for preservation.  The power for development – where sewers should, and more importantly, where sewers shouldn’t go - lies with the WPCA.  The authority for the development of the sewer service area with the WPCA, not the Economic Development Commission or the Planning and Zoning Commission.  Vice Chairman Gowdy questioned who specifically decides what should and shouldn’t be sewered?   Mr. Hogan replied the OPM.  He suggested that the green areas and the prime farmland should not be sewered.  When the OPM revises the State Plan of Conservation and Development it holds Public Hearings throughout the State, and will come to a specific town if requested.  The current plan has gone through 7 revisions, and will be revised in 2009, with adoption expected in 2010.  Many towns have not availed themselves of the opportunity to make comments to the OPM through the various revisions; the next opportunity to do so will be 2009.   Mr. Anderson, Chairman of the WPCA, indicated that the State Statutes say the WPCA will develop a plan to be submitted to the Commissioner of Environmental Protection.  Mr. Anderson and Mr. Hogan reiterated the PZC does not have the authority to determine the areas to be sewered, noting it’s been that way for some time.  Town Planner Whitten suggested it has been dictated by the State from day one.  Mr. Hogan noted the core industrial and business districts for East Windsor are on the regional plan.  

Town Planner Whitten suggested the Commission should be bringing its concerns to the OPM rather than to the WPCA.

It was noted there are several areas in East Windsor that are already developed that lie within the green areas on the OPM map.  Mr. Hogan noted that if there is an existing septic system problem the Town can provide sewers to take care of the water pollution  problem, but it can’t pick up people along the way.  

It was also noted the current waste water treatment plant is operating at about one half capacity.  The plant has been well taken care of; at the end of the 20 year period of the life of the plant upgrades should be minimal but there could be changes to the technology.  

Mr. Anderson suggested it’s a more recent development that the OPM is seeking to get the Towns to agree to the regional plan.  Mr. Leslie suggested the denial of the Norton Fields project brought the issue to light for East Windsor.  The project was approved by the WPCA but was located outside of the sewer service area; subsequently the PZC

denied the project.  Mr. Anderson indicated the denial of that project clarified who was the authority to decide were the Sewer Service Area would be.

Mr. Anderson suggested the original Town Sewer Avoidance Area Map contained no property lines; it was a general map which made it difficult to determine what the properties were.   The WPCA revised the map by adding the property lines.  If a property
was located in a split zone, such as A-1 and A-2, it was noted nothing should be done in an A-2 Zone.  Mr. Leslie noted the sewer plant was built in 1990; some small expansions, perhaps due to property densities, were make after that.  Every year he goes to the Board of Finance for money to develop sewers for Route 140 and is told no.  Last year, when
the Town could have gotten Route 140 sewered in conjunction with a development project, and even when Mr. Anderson advised the residents at the meeting that approving the sewers was not approving the project, the proposal was voted down.   Town Planner Whitten and Commissioner Tyler noted that the thought of the residents was that to vote down the sewers was a vote to deny the project.  

Mr. Hogan suggested the OPM prefers revisions to the sewer service areas during the updating of the 5 year plan.  A second option is a “interim change”, which is a 3- 6 month process which can be initiated by the Town or the developer at any time.  A decision would be made by the State, but the Town could still do what it wants but it must realize it could lose State funding for the project.  Mr. Hogan suggested the Commissioners review the OPM regional development plan on the OPM website prior to making decisions for change.  

The Commission considered a timeframe for developing its revisions.   Mr. Leslie indicated he needs input/agreement from the various boards, then the map goes to Public Hearing.   Town Planner Whitten noted the Commission had given the WPCA a list of comments which were not specific to specific parcels, but there has been no consensus among the Board members with regard to the overall map.   Mr. Anderson suggested the WPCA needs official feedback from the PZC with regard to the proposed map; anyone with questions regarding a specific parcel should be submitted to the WPCA in writing by the individual raising the question.  The Commission agreed to work on review/revision of the proposed Sewer Service Area Map at the next two Commission meetings, with the intent of submitting official input to the WPCA by the end of June.

MOTION: To TAKE A FIVE MINUTE BREAK.

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

The Commission RECESSED at 8:22 p.m. and RECONVENED at 8:30 p.m.

BUSINESS MEETING/(1)  Fee Schedule:             Tabled.

BUSINESS MEETING/(2)  Correspondence:

Anyone wishing to attend the Land Use Academy please advise the Planning Office as soon as possible.

BUSINESS MEETING/(3)  Staff Reports:            None.

SIGNING OF MYLARS/PLANS, MOTIONS:

·       Southern Auto Auction – car wash
·       Holiday Inn Express
·       Calafiore

APPROVAL OF MINUTES/April 8, 2008:

MOTION: To APPROVE the Minutes of Public Hearing #1526 dated April 8, 2008 as written.

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

ADJOURNMENT:

MOTION: To ADJOURN this Meeting at 8:34 p.m.

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


Respectfully submitted,

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