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May 13, 2008 Minutes
TOWN OF EAST WINDSOR
PLANNING AND ZONING COMMISSION

Public Hearing #1528
May 13, 2008

***** Draft Document - Subject to Commission Review *****



The Meeting was called to order by Chairman Ouellette at 7:02 P. M. in the Town Hall Meeting Room, 11 Rye Street, Broad Brook, CT.

ESTABLISHMENT OF QUORUM:

A quorum was established as four Regular Members (Devanney, Farmer, Gowdy, and Ouellette) and two Alternate Members (Matthews and Thurz) were present.  Alternate Member Tyler was absent.  The Commission currently carries one vacancy for a Regular Member.  Chairman Ouellette noted Alternate Commissioners Matthews would sit in on decisions/votes this evening.  Also present was Town Planner Whitten.

ADDED AGENDA ITEMS:     None

RECEIPT OF APPLICATIONS:

Chairman Ouellette noted receipt of the following Application:

1)      Application of Herb Holden Trucking, Inc. for a Special Use Permit/Excavation to        allow earth products removal on property located on the west side of Wapping    Road, owned by Northern Capital Region Disposal Facility.  [A-1 & M-1 Zones;    Map 41, Block 65, Lot 31.

LEGAL NOTICE:

The following Legal Notice, which appeared in the Journal Inquirer on Thursday, May 1, 2008, and Thursday, May 8, 2008, was read by Chairman Ouellette:

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].

2)      Application of Southern Auto Sales, Inc. for Text Amendments - to allow Inventory Storage Areas in B-2, M-1, TZ5 & A-1 zoning districts.  Amed:  Sec. 203, Sec. 402 and Sec. 502; and new Sec. 815.


NEW HEARING:  David Monaco - 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]  (Deadline to close hearing 6/17/08):

Chairman Ouellette read the Hearing description.  Appearing to discuss this Application was Dennis Denovio, owner of Sam Buca’s Restaurant.

Mr. Denovio reported the proposal is for an outdoor patio approximately 23’ x 20 for use 6 months of the year for the service of food and alcohol.  The patio will be enclosed in a wrought iron fence; umbrellas, which will be taken down at night, will provide shade for the tables.  In order to install the patio the present handicapped parking spaces will be relocated across from their current location to the west side of the parking lot adjacent to Main Street.  Chairman Ouellette noted the pitch of  the lot at that location.   Town Planner Whitten indicated handicapped accessibility is a Building Code issue rather than a PZC determination for design standards.  Building Official Stanley has reviewed the proposal and feels the existing pitch is ok.  There is an existing handicapped ramp in front of Building 2; the handicapped space for that building is also across the lot in front of Main Street.  Mr. Denovio noted a new handicapped ramp will be constructed in close proximity to his front door.  Chairman Ouellette noted business at the restaurant is good, especially on the weekends; he suggested parking is already tight.  Mr. Denovio reported the help parks in the back lot, and he works with the adjacent business owner.  He’s never really had any parking problems up to this point.

Chairman Ouellette questioned what was driving this request?   Mr. Denovio felt the addition of the patio would dress up the center; he also has many diners who are smokers and dining outside would be beneficial to them.  Many people like to dine outside; many people have requested the patio.  

Commissioner Gowdy questioned if bollards would be installed to protect the diners?  Mr. Denovio replied he is working with Building Inspector Stanley to determine how many will be needed.  

Commissioner Devanney questioned if any additional lighting would be installed?   Mr. Denovio indicated he may add some lighting to the building; he has also asked Mr. Monaco to install more lighting in the parking lot.    Mr. Denovio suggested he could also have lights on the bollards.

Commissioner Devanney returned discussion to the relocation of the handicapped parking spaces; she questioned if they could be moved to the left of the restaurant?   Mr. Denovio replied that would be possible but then they would have to use the handicapped ramp close to building 2.  He also noted the wrought iron fence will go up to the building; service will come directly out from inside the restaurant.  They may need to change the location of the doors a bit.


Commissioner Matthews questioned if there would be any music or a sound system for the patio?  Mr. Denovio indicated he hadn’t thought about it at this point; he felt more people liked the tv to view sports events.  Town Planner Whitten noted in the past the Commission has stated in conditions for other similar businesses with outside patios that there would be no live entertainment, or any public address system.  Mr. Denovio indicated he would be agreeable to the additional condition of approval.  

Commissioner Farmer questioned why use was proposed for only 6 months?  Mr. Denovio indicated the patio wouldn’t be enclosed; people wouldn’t be able to use the patio in the winter.  Chairman Ouellette clarified that the application was for the full year; the discussion of the 6 month use was in regard to the practicability of use for the restaurant.  

Discussion returned again to the relocation of the handicapped parking.   Commissioner Thurz noted turning into the plaza is tight already; he felt people will have problems with the relocation as the plaza is busy and it could be difficult to cross traffic.   Commissioner Farmer felt the handicapped parking spaces should abut the building, especially in the winter.   Chairman Ouellette questioned if the wrought iron fence would restrict sightline visibility for vehicles backing out of parking spaces?  Mr. Denovio suggested it will be an ornamental fence 4’ high; he noted a similar fence already exists in the rear of the building in the proximity of a picnic area.

Chairman Ouellette opened discussion to the audience:

Blaine Simpkins: indicated he was speaking as the Town Fire Marshal, he has reviewed the plans and has no problems with the plans as proposed.  The building itself contains a double sprinkler system, one above and one below the ceiling.  Emergency access from the patio isn’t an issue due to the sort travel distance to the nearest building.

John Burnham, 178 Scantic Road:  felt this proposal is a terrific idea; it’s well thought out.  Anything that can be done to jazz up the center of Broad Brook is wonderful.

MOTION: To CLOSE the Public Hearing on the 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]  

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

Chairman Ouellette noted that the approval, if granted, runs with the Site Plan; he questioned if the patio would remain with a change of owners?   Town Planner Whitten indicated his assumption was correct, but a change in ownership would require a transfer of the Liquor Permit to the new owner.

MOTION TO APPROVE the Application of David Monaco d/b/a Sam Buca’s, and owner David Monaco requesting a Special Use Permit for a Revised Liquor Permit and modified site plan for premises located at 110 Main Street, Broad Brook, Zoned B-1, Assessors Map 37, Block 37, Lot 82.  Said permit is subject to the following conditions:

Conditions of Approval:

1)      The Full Liquor License is permitted as accessory and incidental to the restaurant use.

2)      By granting a Full Liquor License the Commission is not permitting a bar and the use must remain as a restaurant.

3)      The full restaurant menu must be available at all times alcohol is being served and wait staff service to tables must be available at all times alcohol is being served.

4)      The condition of this approval shall be binding upon the applicant, land owners, and their successors and assigns.

5)      A copy of the final approved motion shall be filed by the applicant on the Land Records.

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

6)      The Fire Marshall shall review and approve the plans.  The total occupancy for the restaurant and patio shall be established by the Fire Marshal.

Conditions that must be met prior to certificates of compliance:

7)      A Zoning and Building Permit shall be obtained prior to the commencement of any work.

8)      All public health, safety and building code compliance components of the project must be satisfactorily completed prior to occupancy.

General Conditions:

9)      No live entertainment or public address system shall be used outside.  

10)     Applicant shall be responsible to maintain adequate security on the premises at their own expense.

11)     All fire lanes shall be posted as such and no parking shall be permitted in those d     designated areas.

12)     The Permit and premises shall be operated in conformance with all applicable State and Local Laws.

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)     This permit shall not become effective until a copy is filed on the Land Records for the        subject property.

15)     This project shall be constructed and maintained in accordance with the referenced plan.  Minor modifications to the approved plans that result in lesser impacts may be allowed subject to staff review and approval.  The Full Liquor License is permitted as accessory and incidental to the restaurant use.

16)     The condition of this approval shall be binding upon the applicant, land owners, and their successors and assigns.

17)     A copy of the final approved motion shall be filed, by the applicant on the Land Records.

18)     A final mylar with any final revisions inclusive of new parking layout and study shall be submitted for filing on the town records, and one for filing with the Planning Office.

DISCUSSION:  It was noted Staff will work with the Applicant with regard to the final location of the handicapped parking spaces.

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

NEW HEARING:  Southern Auto Sales, Inc. - Text Amendments - to allow Inventory Storage Areas in B-2, M-1, TZ5 & A-1 zoning districts.   Amend:  Sec. 203, Sec. 402, and Sec. 502; and new Sec. 815.  (Deadline to close hearing 6/17/08):

Chairman Ouellette read the Hearing description.   Appearing to discuss this Application was Attorney T. Mark Barbieri, representing the Applicant, Southern Auto Sales, Inc.; Don Poland, of Connecticut Planning & Development, LLC; and Jay Ussery, of J. R. Russo & Associates.  Also available in the audience was Rick Nadeau of Southern Auto Sales, Inc.

Attorney Barbieri offered a brief history of the growth of Southern Auto Sales, Inc. (SAS), noting they began auto auctions in front of the high school before moving to their  present location on the east side and west side of Route 5.  In 1985 the operation had 8 auction lanes on the east side property; that operation has grown to 20 lanes and a couple of additional lanes are added every couple of years.  SAS is the largest independent dealer in the nation; if East Windsor lost SAS there are many other auctions that would be interested in their holdings.  Attorney Barbieri noted the Tribbles have been in East Windsor since before World War II.   

Attorney Barbieri recalled that the dissatisfaction for the board has been that every time SAS comes in they are asking for a zone change to a B-2 for an inventory holding area.  They must have a place to put inventory; if GM calls to tell them 1000 cars are coming off lease they must have space to store those vehicles.  When the Commission revised the regulations they didn’t add any B-2 zones nearby that SAS could use for future expansion.   Attorney Barbieri noted Mr. Poland was a consultant who assisted with the regulation revisions; they have asked him to look for a remedy that would be acceptable to the Board, SAS, and the neighbors which would give the Commission flexibility and control regarding potential expansion.  Attorney Barbieri indicated Mr. Poland has suggested this proposed text change which limits the B-2 zone change for inventory holding areas to review under the Special Use Permit process  

Mr. Poland introduced himself, noting he recognizes the past concerns of the Commission regarding continued expansion of zones.  The intent of this proposal offers alternatives to the Commission.

Mr. Poland noted that he also teaches college-level economic geography.  Within that discipline is the concept of agglomeration theory which is the natural clustering of similar businesses in a general area, all feeding off each other.  In East Windsor there are other automotive oriented businesses clustered around SAS; they are there because SAS is there.  With SAS as the core business encouraging the growth and expansion of SAS will provide a beneficial environment that will encourage the growth and expansion of those clustered businesses, and attract new businesses as well.  

Mr. Poland reported benefits of SAS for East Windsor:  1)  it is one of the largest employers in town, employing 174 full-time employees, 175 part-time employees, and 500 temporary employees each week to assist on auction day.  2) SAS is one of the largest tax payers in East Windsor. 3)  SAS attracts a large number of people into the community - buyers and sellers of the vehicles - all of whom rent hotel rooms, eat at local restaurants, and visit other business and retail businesses.  4)  SAS subcontracts with approximately 150 businesses on a regular basis, and another 100 businesses on a less frequent basis - many of which are East Windsor based businesses.  Examples of these contract services are various contractors such as plumbing, heating, electrical companies, landscaping services, etc.  Many of these companies employ East Windsor residents.  Mr. Poland suggested he realized the Commission is struggling with SAS being such a large business and tax payer, but he offered this information to illustrate that SAS does have a significant economic benefit to many other businesses based within East Windsor as well as those businesses coming into the community for the auctions.  Attorney Barbieri suggested there is no question that SAS is a business hub for East Windsor.

Mr. Poland reported that SAS owns 281+/- acres but occupies only 1.7 percent of the total land area in East Windsor.  

Mr. Poland suggested that the Southern Business Corridor in East Windsor (Tromley Road to the South Windsor town line) is geographically challenged in that it contains land furthest away from the interstate highway system,  The further a business is away from the highway system the less times people pass by it; it does not generate as much activity as the Northern Business Corridor located around Newberry Road.  Mr. Poland suggested there is a natural clustering of like (auto-related) businesses in this area which really doesn’t support other business uses.  He cited an earlier approval for a retail center at 205 South Main Street which was never built because there wasn’t the demographics or traffic to support a retail center.  

Mr. Poland then referenced the appendix of his planning report, noting that the proposed text amendment would allow for expansion of the expansion of SAS under specific criteria but not open up all B-2 parcels for other B-2 permitted uses.  Mr. Poland suggested the following components of the proposed text amendment:  1)  creation of new definition of Inventory Holding Area under a Section 203; 2)  amend Section 402 permitted uses in an agricultural zone by adding Inventory Holding Areas by Special Use Permit, conditions to include the stipulation that any use in that area must meet specific requirements outlined in new Section 815 for Inventory Holding Areas; 3) Requirements under Section 815 to include - a) parcel must be located on a State Highway [i.e. Route 5] with 100 foot of frontage, b) lot area must be a minimum of 6 acres, unless in an area less than 6 acres being combined  with an existing auto use, c) parcel must be partially bordered by zones B-2, M-1, or TZ5, d) parcel not to be located within an Aquifer Protection Area, Open Space Corridor, or Scenic Road Area as defined/specified in the 2004 Plan of Conservation and Development.  Mr. Poland clarified that the proposal limits the areas for approval; not just any A-1 parcel could be considered - the proposal limits the areas to selected locations.  Mr. Poland also noted the text amendment would allow Inventory Holding Areas under Section 502 [Permitted Uses in Business and Industrial Districts] in B-2 and M-1 Zones and in TZ5 Zones under the Special Use Permit process.  He clarified that should an Inventory Holding Area be approved in the B-2 or M-1 Zones then the bulk and area requirements of those zone apply to the use, while if the use is approved in a TZ5 Zone the bulk and area requirements of Section 815 apply.

Mr. Poland noted the proposed text amendment  is consistent with the goals and recommendations of the Regional Plan of Conservation and Development.  He understands the Commission’s concerns regarding creating additional B-2 land, and their concern for what then happens to that land if SAS is no longer using it.  Mr. Poland felt the proposed text amendment addresses the Commission’s concerns; he recommended approval.  

In response to Commissioner Gowdy’s question as to what this proposed text amendment does for the Town, other than SAS, Mr. Poland indicated it allows for economic expansion for other auto related business, and it allows for expansion of SAS without rezoning other land for B-2.   Commissioner Gowdy suggested SAS always has the opportunity to come in and request a zone change.  He cited his concern is not that the business requesting this zone change is SAS,  his concern is that the text amendment becomes a regulation specific for one business.  Mr. Poland recalled that there had been previous applications for zone changes, which had been rejected.  In response to the concerns associated with those applications he is offering an alternative proposal.  He suggested inventory holding areas are similar to the self-storage facilities.  The inventory holding areas have no structures associated with them; the cars move in and out.  This proposal allows the Commission not to expand additional B-2 zoned land.  SAS is relatively confined to a geographic area; there isn’t much space to expand but they need as much space near the existing facilities to move the cars.  This amendment removes the need to make more B-2 zoned land which would be open to all the permitted B-2 uses, while it allows SAS and the other auto-related businesses to expand as the market allows.

Attorney Barbieri suggested perhaps the question was were they spot zoning?  He suggested the inventory holding area could apply to the lumber business on Route 5 but they purposely limited it to any auto uses, including the second auto auction on Newberry Road.  He suggested they could broaden the uses but felt the limitation was preferable.    As an example of what other businesses could benefit from this proposal Mr. Ussery referenced a business that started out in East Windsor and wanted to expand and be as near SAS as possible, but couldn’t find anything locally.   They purchased 12 acres in South Windsor and moved the business there and now employ a number of people.   South Windsor was happy to get the business.  If this amendment had been place at that time that business could have looked at other land in East Windsor.  Mr. Ussery also noted SAS is the parent company for Eastern Power Auction located at the old Railroad Salvage Building.  They started 3 - 4 years ago with auctions 1 day/month and have grown to multiple days.  This amendment would allow them to grow and remain in East Windsor.  Mr. Ussery referenced Attorney Barbieri’s mention of Insurance Auto Auction, he noted they came to East Windsor in part because they felt the Town knew how to handle the auction business well.  They are doing well and will have the need to grow in the future; this amendment gives them the ability to expand and also gives the Commission the ability to control how that expansion occurs.  Attorney Barbieri suggested this amendment applies to any front line auto business in Town, including brokers who buy and sell vehicles - often for people in other countries.  Mr. Poland noted that if there is an existing B-2 zoned piece of land and SAS goes there the development is via a Site Plan administrative process.  With the proposed amendment and applying it to the zones specified, an application falls under the Special Use Permit process with 26+/- requirements as specified in Chapter 7 of the Zoning Regulations, and the application would be subject to the additional criteria of the proposed amendment.

Chairman Ouellette questioned the rationale for the 100’ frontage on a highway, noting the Town encompasses 4 highways.  He questioned if the proposal would apply to all of

those highways, or specifically Route 5?  Mr. Poland indicated they specified the 6 acre requirement so many small parcels drop out of consideration.  A parcel must also be adjacent to an existing B-2, M-1 or TZ5 Zone which locks locations pretty much into “this” side of town; nothing will go into an M-1 Zone in Windsorville.  Mr. Poland reiterated they are not considering any parcels in Windsorville.  He had not thought of limiting the proposal to a specific area by name as the proposal had been created as a general concept.  Mr. Poland suggested that with SAS Phelps Road is a geographic option.  The aquifer protection areas and scenic roads limit various locations.   They tried to tie the potential locations to the Southern and Central Business Corridors.  

Chairman Ouellette questioned if there were a potential number of cars that could be parked in an inventory holding?   Mr. Ussery noted that the standard parking configuration for a retail plaza would support approximately 150 cars/acre; vehicle storage lots typically park cars in 3 row configurations which could support 250 cars/acre.  

Chairman Ouellette suggested that one of the positive things he has heard over the years is that most of the inventory holding lots are contiguous, if this amendment were approved some of the sites might not be contiguous - which would get back to traffic and shuttling vehicles and car carriers, etc.  Mr. Poland suggested under the Special Use Permit the Commission has the ability to control traffic trip generation, etc.  Attorney Barbieri consulted Mr. Nadeau in the audience and confirmed that with the remote lots, such as the one near Harkens Market, a small number of cars go on the trucks but most are moved by people driving them.   Attorney Barbieri indicated those are fleet/leased vehicles owned by companies such as Avis Rental; many of those vehicles will be held at the lot all Winter.  The companies, many of which have offices in SAS facilities, are the ones who decide the number of vehicles going to auction, and when.  Mr. Nadeau suggested perhaps 100 cars/week per account are moved to auction; the numbers aren’t that large.  

Mr. Poland clarified that the Commission has the ability through it’s regulations to limit access to a business use through a residential zone. If there was a parcel located in an A-1 Zone part of the reason for having a B-2 parcel located adjacent to another B-2, or M-1 or TZ5 Zone was that the use must already exist in that area.  With regard to Phelps Road, access wouldn’t be through Phelps Road, it would be through the main parcel on Route 5.  

MOTION: To TAKE A FIVE MINUTE BREAK.

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

Commission Matthews questioned if a super majority was required for a zone change?   Mr. Poland clarified that a zone change is approved by a normal majority, unless a petition signed by a specific percentage of landowners within a certain distance of the zone change is presented; the validity of the ownership must be certified by the Town Clerk.  He noted a super majority is a Statutory requirement; it is not in the Town’s regulations.  

Commissioner Matthews questioned if a Town’s regulations over-ride Statutory requirements?   Mr. Poland suggested a Town can’t make a regulation for a super majority for a zone change.  Commissioner Matthews questioned if this amendment would make it easier?   Mr. Poland replied affirmatively, noting if someone files a petition that forces a super majority then this text amendment would be easier because there is no super majority for an existing inventory holding lot under a B-2 Zone under a Site Plan Application.  The vote would stay a normal majority but the Special Use Permit gives the Commission more control than a Zone Change Application.  

Commissioner Devanney questioned where the information for the bulk and area requirements came from?  Mr. Poland and Mr. Ussery reported they came out of the parking section of the regulations and the existing bulk and area requirements for the B-2 Zone; they stayed within those parameters.  They suggested they bulk and area requirements for the existing A-1 Zone didn’t work in terms of coverage.  

Chairman Ouellette opened discussion to the audience:

Sonia Morell, Phelps Road:  she noted a couple of years ago the Commission denied a zone change for Phelps Road; she felt this is just another sneaky way of paving that land on Phelps Road.   Since that denial they have put in a berm, and taken down a barn, and put in a pump house.  This is just another way of paving that area.  The State and nearly every other town is trying to preserve farmland; Suffield recently spent significant money to preserve land and we will be paving in East Windsor.   She felt it isn’t right.

Debbie Bartlett, 76 Phelps Road:  reported she lives next to the Southern Auto parcel.  She suggested that since they put in that berm her parcel is more wet, the trees in the back come down.   If they pave that area over there she’ll have more water because she is at the bottom of the hill.   This will give them another opportunity to pave that parcel.

Robert Williams, 86 Phelps Road:  questioned how many areas on Phelps Road were they talking about?  Chairman Ouellette clarified they are not talking about any specific parcel.   Mr. Williams suggested they were talking about Phelps Road specifically; he wanted them to calculate the number of cars/acre.  Everyone is calling it a holding area, but it’s a parking lot to them.  If SAS sells in the future what will happen; will someone else be able to come in and do that?  Chairman Ouellette replied affirmatively.  Mr. Williams referenced the business on Newberry Road; it’s a junkyard.   Could they come in here?  Chairman Ouellette suggested that business was a similar use; they might be able to use these parcels.  Mr. Williams suggested that was a consideration for the Commission.

Mr. Williams suggested there were no signs posted for a Public Hearing; if that had been done there would be more people present.   Town Planner Whitten explained that this proposal is for a text amendment, because there is no specific business parcel referenced there is no place to put a sign.  She suggested if this text amendment is approved then they would have to submit applications for specific parcels/businesses and then signs could be posted.  Town Planner Whitten noted this Application was published as a legal notice.  Mr. Williams cited it appeared in the classified section of the paper.

Scott Stanton, 105 Main Street, owner of the John Deere dealership:  he is in favor of the proposal; an applicant would still need a Special Use Permit approval.  The proposal would make it easier for people like himself to have more room to park the tractors he sells.   He doesn’t like to see destruction of farmland but East Windsor and Somers are number one in the State for purchasing land under development rights.   He is a farmer but he is also a strong believer that people should be able to do something on their property.

John Burnham, 178 Scantic Road:  He is sensitive to the destruction of farmland but in a commercial corridor, like Route 5 and Route 140, this is a reasonable proposal.  He is in favor of the text amendment.  Phelps Road is beautiful and SAS does a terrific job of keeping it that way; people can’t see what he does there.   This is a reasonable amendment.

Sonia Morell, Phelps Road:  We are not making any more farmland, and once you pave it it’s gone.  We need to consider our children and grandchildren.

Commissioner Gowdy suggested that someone owned that land and they sold it and they had the right and opportunity to keep it farmland.  Mrs. Morell suggested they had no control over the people who sold it.   There is still farmland and all they have to do is say         no.  Suffield just spent millions; all you have to do is say no.  Commissioner Gowdy wished the Commission had money to buy farmland.  Mrs. Morell suggested the Commission could deny the text amendment and it would still be farmland.  Commissioner Gowdy suggested the people who own the property might want something else.  

Diane Williams, 86 Phelps Road:   questioned if the amendment were granted do they still have to come before the Board with the Special Use Permit?  Chairman Ouellette replied affirmatively.  Mrs. Williams questioned if they still could be denied?  Commissioner Gowdy replied affirmatively.  Mrs. Williams reported all the other berms are beautiful, that one isn’t; she would like to have grass.

Commissioner Farmer suggested Mr. Poland made good arguments; SAS could expand without making it a B-2 Zone.  It never will go back to farmland.  He has no problem with SAS expanding as long as it’s in a reasonable way; this does have its merits.


Commissioner Gowdy indicated he had been concerned about spot zoning, but he now felt that many of his concerns had been addressed.

Commissioner Matthews indicated SAS is an excellent business, and is a real asset to the town; they make an effort to buffer between residential and business land and install required landscaping.  He suggested that in an A-1 Zone the Commission has discretion under the Special Use Permit process, but that ability isn’t there for the B-2 Zone because it’s allowed.  Chairman Ouellette suggested the Commission couldn’t ask for anything above and beyond what’s in the regulations unless the applicant agrees.  Mr. Poland cited Section 610 of the regulations relative to landscaping, he noted a 100’ buffer is required between residential and commercial/industrial land.   An inventory holding area is commercial so the 100’ buffer applies.   He also suggested that in some cases the Commission can recommend more than what is specified.  Attorney Barbieri also noted they must deal with the Conservation Commission as well.   They have been looking into the monetary value of restoring an inventory holding area to another use.  He suggested dealing with an inventory holding area is easier than dealing with a retail mall, such as Evergreen Walk, which has an anticipated 20 - 30 year life until the trend changes.  Mr. Ussery concurred there are ways to bring the land back.  

Chairman Ouellette suggested the text amendment is looking for a reasonable way to expand inventory holding areas.  Regarding available land along Route 5, does it provide for reasonable growth in the Southern Business District?   Mr. Ussery suggested they reviewed the Assessor’s Maps to see what’s suitable or available on Route 5 for expansion, and also considering the acreage limitation, they didn’t think there was much land to work with.  That’s the reason for this text amendment.  He suggested if the Commission felt comfortable modifying the amendment to just Route 5 they would have to live with that.  He cited that on the west side especially when you get back 100’ much of the agricultural land is in the flood plain or the Connecticut River encroachment channel.  Chairman Ouellette questioned if the land along Phelps Road could be considered?   Attorney Barbieri suggested they can’t go back much further as much of the land is wetlands approximately one-third of the land is useable.  While the other side of the road might be useable it would be too difficult to cross the road.  

Commissioner Gowdy felt the 6 acre requirement could be achieved as smaller parcels could be combined. Mr. Poland indicated that the success of SAS has attracted other businesses that typically wouldn’t be in those locations; there is a demand for other auto uses near SAS.  He cited Stoughton Road has many residential parcels along it.  This text amendment allows more expansion where you allow these uses already under the Special Use Permit process.   Commissioner Gowdy questioned if Phelps Road was excluded why is this text amendment needed?   Chairman Ouellette suggested there are a number of agricultural pieces towards South Windsor.   Mr. Poland suggested the text amendment avoids zoning additional land B-2, yet opens opportunities that don’t currently exist while not opening the uses to everything allowable under a B-2 Zone.

Commissioner Thurz felt the text amendment was opening up a lot of properties; he

would like to see what businesses it would affect.  Mr. Ussery felt he could highlight other potential properties on a map.  Commissioner Devanney questioned what other parcels this would help?  Mr. Poland suggested any parcel of land zoned A-1 that’s
adjacent to an existing TZ5, B-2, or M-1 parcel in the Southern Business Corridor could be a potential property under this amendment.  However, many of those parcels are in private ownership or are residential presently but could become available in the future.  He noted the condominiums in Winton Park will never be subject to this amendment.  Commissioner Devanney questioned if the text amendment would be putting those parcels in jeopardy?   Mr. Poland suggested any undeveloped land is open for development.  Much of the land owned by SAS would be subject to development if not already owned by SAS.  Chairman Ouellette suggested it would be helpful to him to have a list of potential properties and zones affected by this amendment.  Mr. Poland concurred, noting to Mrs. Morell that the information would be available to the public.   Town Planner Whitten clarified that everything is public information and is available in the Planning Office.   Chairman Ouellette also noted that the information for tonight regarding this proposed text amendment was available in the Town Clerk’s Office.

Commissioner Matthews cited the exclusion of scenic roads under this proposal; he questioned if Phelps Road was a scenic road?   Mr. Poland indicated it had not been designated as such under the Plan of Conservation and Development.  Chairman Ouellette clarified that Phelps Road is not a Town road; it would have to be designated as a scenic road by the State.  

Attorney Barbieri suggested the parcel Mrs. Morell is talking about had been purchased by a developer who intended to construct condos, which would have been allowable as there are sewers in the area.  Mr. Ussery cited that one of the things the Commission and Staff has been struggling with is the Planned Residential Development Regulations and the Sewer Service Area.  He noted that Phelps Road is already in the Sewer Service Area and could be developed under the present regulations as it meets the current regulation requirements.

John Burnham, 178 Scantic Road, requested to speak again.   He noted he picked squash on the Winn farm when he was a kid.  We aren’t getting people to come to East Windsor to farm.   If Mr. Dingus pulls his cows off Phelps Road the land will be overgrown.  People call East Windsor a farm town but most people who farm will be selling their land as they can’t live off it.  

Mr. Poland requested what information the Commission needed to help them in their deliberations?   Chairman Ouellette requested a map indicating potential land affected by this proposal.  

MOTION: To CONTINUE the Public Hearing on the Application of Southern Auto Sales, Inc. for a Text Amendment to allow Inventory Storage Areas in B-2,    M-1, TZ5 & A-1 zoning districts.   Amend:  Sec. 203, Sec. 402, and Sec. 502; and new Sec. 815.  Public Hearing to be continued until the Commission’s next regularly scheduled Meeting on May 27, 2008 at 7:00 p.m. in the Town Hall Meeting Room, 11 Rye Street, Broad Brook, CT.

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

Chairman Ouellette advised the public that the Public Hearing is still open and discussion will continue two weeks from tonight at the same time.

NEW BUSINESS:  Southern Auto Sales, Inc. - Modification of Approved Site Plan to allow construction of a 792+/- sq. ft. addition to 187 South Main Street, owned by LCC Partnership.  [B-2 & A-1 Zones; Map 34, Block 22, Lots 4, 52, & 53].   (Deadline for decision 5/29/08):

Chairman Ouellette noted the Commission has a request from the Applicant to continue this Application until the next meeting.

MOTION: To TABLE the Application of Southern Auto Sales, Inc. for a Modification of Approve Site Plan to allow construction of a 792+/- sq. ft. addition to 187 South Main Street, owned by LCC Partnership.  [B-2 & A-1 Zones; Map 34,         Block 22, Lots 4, 52, & 53].   Application to be continued until the Commission’s next regularly scheduled Meeting on May 27, 2008 at 7:00 p.m. in the Town Hall Meeting Room, 11 Rye Street, Broad Brook, CT.

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

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 & 10A]   (Deadline for decision 6/12/08):

Chairman Ouellette read the description of this Item of Business.   Appearing to discuss the Application was John Burnham, representing Scout Hall.

Mr. Burnham reported the property is leased from the Town to Scout Hall for $1/year.   The proposal is for the construction of a covered pavilion and two portable 10’ x 16’ lean-tos. The pavilion is a Scout Hall project, and will be built adjacent to an existing concrete sidewalk.   There is an approximate 1’ grade differentiation from the sidewalk to the pavilion area.  The lean-tos are an Eagle Scout project.

Town Planner Whitten noted the Application has been filed for construction of the pavilion only; she suggested the Commission consider the pavilion tonight and Mr. Burnham can return regarding the lean-tos.  The Commission suggested in the past Eagle Scouts has appeared before the Commission to present their projects.  Town Planner Whitten also noted any improvements on Town property require an 8-24 referral.  

Scott Stanton, District Chair for the Scout organization agreed the Eagle Scouts
should be involved in the presentation.

MOTION: To APPROVE the site plan for a 12’ x 16’ pavilion to be constructed at 28 Abbe Road.  Map 39, Blk 23, Lot 8 & 10A.

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

MOTION: To RECOMMEND to the Board of Selectmen to allow the construction of a 12’ x 16’ pavilion at property occupied by Scout Hall, 28 Abbe Road.

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

BUSINESS MEETING/(1) Discussion  - Sewer Service Area:

Chairman Ouellette noted receipt of communications from attorneys for developers regarding proposals for specific changes to the proposed Sewer Service Map.  Discussion followed regarding the ability of individuals and developers to request changes themselves rather than seek intersession by the Commission.   

The Commission then discussed areas of concern.  Commissioner Farmer submitted a map containing parcels he has highlighted which concern him; Town Planner Whitten to discuss this map with Mr. Leslie of the WPCA.  

BUSINESS MEETING/(2)  Fee Schedule - Tabled.

BUSINESS MEETING/(3) Correspondence:

1)      Town Planner Whitten cited the Commission has been asked to send a volunteer to attend CRCOG meetings.

        2)      Commissioner Matthews cited appointment of a new Charter Revision                       Commission, and noted they have sent out a letter seeking input in writing                      from various Boards and Commissions.    

3)      Town Planner Whitten noted the East Windsor Economic Development Commission has scheduled a workshop meeting on Thursday, June 5th at 6:00 p.m. at Scout Hall to discuss community development.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES/April 22, 2008:

MOTION: To APPROVE the Minutes of Public Hearing #1527 dated April 22,

        2008 as written.

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

SIGNING OF MYLARS/PLANS, MOTIONS:       None.

ADJOURNMENT:

MOTION: To ADJOURN this Meeting at 10:27 p.m.

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



Respectfully submitted,

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