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April 14, 2009 Minutes

TOWN OF EAST WINDSOR
PLANNING AND ZONING COMMISSION

Public Hearing #1545
April 14, 2009


The Meeting was called to order at 7:00 p.m. in the Town Hall Meeting Room, 11 Rye Street, Broad Brook, CT. by Chairman Ouellette

ESTABLISHMENT OF QUORUM:

A quorum was established as five Regular Members (Devanney, Farmer, Gowdy, Ouellette, and Thurz), and one Alternate Member (O’Brien) were present.    Alternate Member Matthews was absent. The Commission currently carries one vacancy for an Alternate Member.   Chairman Ouellette noted all Regular Members would sit in on all Items of Business this evening.  

Also present was Town Planner Whitten.

ADDED AGENDA ITEMS:  None.

RECEIPT OF APPLICATIONS:

Chairman Ouellette noted the receipt of the following Applications:

1)      Application of Recycled Concrete Products of CT for a Special Use Permit to allow a Volume Reduction Facility at 33 Apothecaries Hall Road, owned by Herb Holden Trucking, Inc.  [M-1 Zone; Map 36, Block 48, Lot 38]

2)      Application of USA Hauling & Recycling, Inc. for Site Plan Approval for drainage improvements to container storage area at 10 Shoham Road, owned by 10 Shoham Road, LLC.  [M-1 Zone; Map 3, Block 17, Lots 6A & J].

3)      Application of Apothecaries Hall Enterprises, LLC for a Special Use Permit for renewal of gravel removal operation & wash plant and addition of Phase 14 for property located on the south side of Apothecaries Hall Road.  [M-1, R-3 & A-1 Zones; Map 36, Block 65, Lots 1 & 7].

LEGAL NOTICE:

The following Legal Notice, which appeared in the Journal Inquirer on Thursday, April 2, 2009, and Thursday, April 9, 2009, was read by Chairman Ouellette:

1)      Application of Recycled Concrete Products of CT for a Special Use Permit to allow a Volume Reduction Facility at 33 Apothecaries Hall Road, owned by Herb Holden Trucking, Inc.  [M-1 Zone; Map 36, Block 48, Lot 38]

PERFORMANCE BONDS - ACTIONS; EXTENSION; ROAD ACCEPTANCE, - Melrose-Hemlock Court, LLC - Request for release of Maintenance Bond for Aspen Drive:

Chairman Ouellette read the description of this Agenda item.

Town Planner Whitten reported Town Engineer Norton has recommended that this request be tabled, as there are too many items that need to be fixed at the site.  Chairman Ouellette questioned if the Applicant was aware of these issues?   Town Planner Whitten indicated notification was standard practice.  Commissioner Gowdy, referencing site photos attached to Town Engineer Norton’s memo dated 4/08/09, noted that the photos tell the story.

MOTION: To RECOMMEND that the Maintenance Bond be retained until such time that these areas (as referenced in Town Engineer Norton’s memo dated 4/8/2009) have been repaired and stabilized.

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

PERFORMANCE BONDS - ACTIONS; EXTENSION; ROAD ACCEPTANCE - Coleman Farms - Request from Leonard Jacobs for a 2-year extension of the Special Use Permit for Coleman Farms, Tromley Road.  (Previous extension expires on 5/9/09):

Chairman Ouellette read the description of this Item of Business.   Appearing to represent the Applicant was Attorney Len Jacobs; also present was the Applicant, Sebbie Testa.

Attorney Jacobs advised the Commission they have applied for a two year extension, but are not tied to that specific number.  He suggested he realized that everyone understands the construction industry has been in a decline for some time.  This situation is happening all over Connecticut; developers are appearing before boards all over the State requesting extensions.  Attorney Jacobs indicated his clients are not walking away from this project.

The Applicant has finally signed a contract on the model, but has not sold a unit in several months prior to this sale.  Because they are losing the model home they intend to complete the duplex  unit in front of the property which has been sitting there - just framed - for some time.   In addition, the Applicant has poured concrete for the patio located outside of the clubhouse, and they plan to complete the landscaping for the clubhouse in the Spring.  The Applicant also plans to finish the outside of the clubhouse, but presently does not have the funds to complete the inside.

Attorney Jacobs recalled the Applicant has reached agreement with the condo association that guarantees the developer will complete the project.   (Several benchmark items are included in the agreement.)  Attorney Jacobs indicated that as units are sold the developer must take the proceeds and put them in escrow to guarantee completion of the project.  The agreement notes the roadway will not be completed until the last unit is sold.

Attorney Jacobs reported he knows  the people are upset, but if they could have sold units they would have completed more of the items.  His client has been paying the interest on the notes so he wouldn’t default on the loans; there is no profit left after the sales.  Attorney Jacobs suggested his clients want to honor their commitment to complete this project.  If the extension isn’t granted then someone will have to come back for a re-application, which will take more time.  If this one sale that’s occurring is saying maybe there is a market out there the Applicant will lose those possible sales without the extension.  Attorney Jacobs indicated he is representing clients in Hebron, and Berlin; everyone is having problems closing on sales.

Attorney Jacobs referenced Schedule A of the agreement between the Applicant, and the condo association, noting the status of each item.  He clarified during discussion that he did not personally inspect the site.  He had reviewed this list with his client, who reported the following status of work:

*       Complete and repair ponds:  Three of the four ponds have been completed.  The Applicant’s engineer inspected the fourth pond, and reported it was constructed properly.  Attorney Jacobs suggested the homeowners may not agree with that assessment.

*       Complete the installation of the irrigation system for all units for which a Certificate of Occupancy (CO) has been issued:  Work completed.

*       Build community center:  Most of the exterior work has been done; the patio has been poured and the landscaping will be done shortly.  The interior has not been completed.

*       Road overlay:  Attorney Jacobs referenced paragraph 5 of the agreement, which reads “........the road overlay does not need to be completed until after a CO has been issued for the last unit.”  Attorney Jacobs suggested this is so the road wouldn’t be damaged by vehicles coming into the project.

*       Install missing curbing for all units for which a CO has been issued (except curbing damaged by unitowners, replacement for which would be the responsibility of the condo association.)  The Applicant has replaced curbing which would be his responsibility; Attorney Jacobs didn’t know if the condo association had made any repairs which would fall under their responsibility.

*       Sidewalks replaced and concrete failure:  Attorney Jacobs reported the condo association and the Applicant disagree on the need to replace pitted sidewalks.

*       Owner specifically notes they have repaired  or replaced the sidewalk/concrete with regard to unit #59; no such repairs are required for unit 51.
*       Community walking trails:  Two-thirds of the walking trail has been completed; one-third is not yet completed.  (Mr. Testa later reported it is the middle third - the area adjacent to the clubhouse - that is not completed.)

*       Complete landscape work as indicated on the landscape design plan for all units for which a CO has been issued:  Work completed.

*       Remove white fence at project entrance:  Work completed.

*       Waterfall/needs fill near electric box/shrubs need relocation:  Attorney Jacobs felt that work had been done, or was substantially completed.

*       Reseed washed out lawn areas:  Work completed.

*       Drainage issue/erosion of lawn areas/standing water in driveways or roadways:
a) 20 Old Barn - regrade back of unit to eliminate ponding of water:  Work completed.
        b) 15 Steeplechase - repair erosion - rear of building:  Work is NOT done.
c) 1 Old Barn - address drainage between sidewalk and curb:  Work is NOT done.

*       The owner and the association disagree with respect to the Owner’s obligation to install three wells to support the sprinkler system.

Chairman Ouellette questioned if Attorney Jacobs had spoken with the association spokesperson?   Attorney Jacobs indicated he had at times, but has not spoken with the person who has been his contact in three or more months.  

Chairman Ouellette noted the agreement isn’t tied in any way to the extension granted by the Town two years ago.  Attorney Jacobs concurred but suggested the Town agreed they would support the extension by the essence of the agreement.  The agreement was drafted to make sure that at the end of the day the association didn’t end up without everything being done.  Everything is tied to sales; as certain units were sold then the developer would do certain things.  Someone could say it’s this client but the same situation is happening to many developers.  The four or five projects he represents are all in the same spot.   Attorney Jacobs suggested that taking away the extension will only cause a new application to be filed so they will end up in the same place.  By losing the extension they lose sales in the meantime.  Town Planner Whitten suggested that although the agreement was made between these two parties the Town sort of adopted it as a guideline.   Attorney Jacob recalled that the Town won’t issue COs unless the money has been put in escrow.  

Town Planner Whitten suggested it’s her understanding the Town is holding $175,700 for a Site Plan Bond, and  a $10,700 Erosion & Sedimentation Bond.   Chairman Ouellette questioned if the applicant were to walk away from the project is that sufficient money to complete the topcoat of asphalt and the other outstanding items?   Town Planner Whitten didn’t believe it was.   She noted the Town doesn’t typically bond for private roads, which is the reason there is no bond for that item.  The money being held is for erosion control, etc.  If the roadway were not included in the completion requirements then perhaps the funds being held might be enough to complete the outstanding items.

Commissioner Devanney questioned what number the model unit was out of the number of units being sold?   Attorney Jacobs suggested it was unit 21.   Commissioner Devanny then questioned what the number would be for the new model home?   Mr. Testa reported the new model would be units 2 and 3.   Attorney Jacobs noted there are 11 unsold units, 4 units started, and 7 other units that could be started.  

Commissioner Devanney noted she had been through the project some time ago, and also recently; she didn’t see any change.  She questioned if this unit were sold could the Applicant fix up some landscaping items?  Commissioner Thurz noted the job trailer, which is unsightly, remains on site.   Commissioner Devanney suggested the developer needs to spruce up the project to entice people to purchase units.  Commissioner Gowdy suggested other projects units are selling as fast as the developer can build them; he suggested the owner should ask himself why these units are not selling.  Is it the dead trees, or site appeal?   He suggested that when this project first came before the Commission it looked gorgeous on paper, but it hasn’t panned out.  

Commissioner O’Brien questioned if the developer had a punchlist of items in a priority order?   He felt the clubhouse should have been done much sooner so people could enjoy it while they are living there, and not have to wait until the end of the project.  Mr. Testa indicated he didn’t have a timeframe for completion of the clubhouse.  He suggested completion wouldn’t be delayed until the last unit was sold, but there have been issues with money coming in.  

Commissioner Gowdy questioned if the ponds were a health issue; he felt there might be a problem with mosquitoes.   Mr. Testa reported they were built by the other developer; they’ve been checked for structural correctness.  Attorney Jacobs noted they have been checked by H. A. Hesketh.  Chairman Ouellette felt the current homeowners would be the best ambassadors to tell everyone what a great project this is.  Commissioner Gowdy questioned if there are any units up for resale?   Attorney Jacobs replied affirmatively.  

Commissioner Thurz questioned what prevents the developer from completing the last 8 units but not completing the road?   Attorney Jacobs referenced the agreement between the developer and the association, noting that various paragraphs address the issue of putting money from sales in escrow and making payments on the mortgages with that income.  Also, COs for the last 4 units can’t be issued until certain other requirements can be fulfilled; the developer can’t take the money and run.    At this point they just don’t know when the last units will be sold and the project can be completed.  In response to Commissioner Devanney’s questions regarding the number of recent sales and the walking path Mr. Testa noted two units have been sold since November.  The major items to be completed are the inside of the clubhouse, and the roadway.  The uncompleted third of the walking path, which is the middle third, was tied into the patio of the clubhouse.  The patio for the clubhouse was recently poured; they should now be able to complete the walking path.  

Chairman Ouellette noted this Item of Business was not a Public Hearing, but he welcomed input from a spokesperson for the homeowners.  

Donald Norton:  identified himself as the current homeowners association president, and the person who had provided written communication to the Commission.   He requested the past homeowners association president, Ron Morin, be the spokesperson for the homeowners.

Ron Morin, Skyline View Road:  reported he is here to support the extension request.   Mr. Morin suggested money has been made on the units sold, but he felt many of the things outlined in the agreement have not been completed.   The homeowners (and homeowners association) concern is that the outstanding items won’t be completed if they finish the last 4 units.  The homeowners association is especially concerned: 1) that the community center/clubhouse won’t be completed - that it will remain a shell; 2) that the irrigation system won’t be completed and tied into the homes; and 3) that the overlay won’t be completed and repairs made to the first course of the road.  They are also concerned that the bond requirements be updated, as the current requirements are 7 or 8 years old.  Mr. Morin cited some of their concern is due to the developer not showing up for a meeting to finalize the bookkeeping.  The homeowners association is looking for the Commission to support them in dealings with the developer.  Mr. Morin submitted photos to the Commission of the community center/clubhouse and conditions around the site 6 months ago.  

Mr. Morin noted several units at “9 o’clock” on his layout map submitted to the Commission have not been completed.   The snow removal contractor is having problems with the raised manholes causing equipment damage.  Landscaping, as depicted on plans on file, has not been completed.  Many trees that have been planted have died.  People see ponds that look like swamps.  Mr. Morin reiterated the homeowners association supports the extension but no later than October, 2009.    Chairman Ouellette questioned if any existing conditions were health and safety issues?   Mr. Morin suggested leaving some foundations open might attract nuisance animals; the construction trailer is in disrepair; people may fall when they walk on the uncompleted road.  Attorney Jacobs indicated the developer would accept an extension to 10/2009.  

Attorney Jacobs countered that what Mr. Morin said about the money isn’t correct.  It’s true that the developer makes money on every unit but all the money in the beginning is taken by the bank because the developer must pay back what the bank advances to him.    The money that comes to the developer comes at the end of the project.  The idea that someone is sitting there with a profit isn’t true.  No one has taken any money out; the mortgage must be paid down and is now smaller.   It there was a meeting that he didn’t attend he wasn’t aware that it had been scheduled.  

Commissioner Gowdy questioned what the Commission could expect from the developer? Mr. Testa replied it depends on cash flow; he would like to know the Commission’s priorities.  Chairman Ouellette suggested the developer meet with the homeowners association and return to the Commission with proposed resolutions.  Mr. Testa suggested the meeting be held on site, including people from the Town, the Commission, and the homeowners association.   He thought the ponds were ok based on the Wetlands permits.  

Commissioner Farmer suggested he wants to see another agreement; he didn’t see a lot of money in the current agreement for the homeowners.   He felt there couldn’t be a significant amount left on the mortgage; he’s afraid they will take the money and run.  Attorney Jacobs took objection to that comment; the current agreement was heavily negotiated.  Commissioner Farmer wanted to see an itemized cost of the items remaining to be done.   Town Planner Whitter noted that request was not within the purview of the Commission.  Part of the problem is you don’t know the cost of the road today vs. the cost in 3 months.  The agreement is based on COs and sales, which would bring in money.  It’s difficult to put a number on it because the numbers don’t stay static.   

Chairman Ouellette requested the Applicant to return in two weeks to report on their progress.  Mr. Testa extended an invitation to the PZC and the Inland/Wetlands Commission to meet with them on site.  Chairman Ouellette noted again that this Item of Business is not a Public Hearing but he would like one spokesperson to communicate for the homeowners association again in two weeks.

MOTION: To CONTINUE the Application for Coleman Farms - Request from Leonard Jacobs for a 2-year extension of the Special Use Permit for Coleman Farms, Tromley Road -  (Previous extension expires on 5/9/09) until the Commission’s next regularly scheduled Meeting to be held on April 28, 2009 at 7:00 p.m. in the Town Hall Meeting Room, 11 Rye Street, Broad Brook, CT.

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

MOTION: TO TAKE A TEN MINUTE BREAK.

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

The Commission RECESSED at 8:06 p.m. and RECONVENED at 8:15 p.m.

NEW HEARING:  Recycled Concrete Products of CT - Special Use Permit to allow a Volume Reduction Facility at 33 Apothecaries Hall Road, owned by Herb Holden Trucking, Inc. [M-1 Zone; Map 36, Block 48, Lot 38] - (Deadline to close hearing 5/19/09):

Chairman Ouellette read the Hearing description.   Appearing to discuss this Application was Jay Ussery, of J. R. Russo and Associates; Herb Holden, Sr., and Herb Holden, Jr.    Mr. Ussery submitted a signed affidavit for the file.  

Mr. Ussery reported this Application is for a volume reduction facility.   RCPC (Recycled Concrete Products of CT) has been in business for 20 years and is a recycling facility for concrete, bituminous, sidewalks slabs, etc.   They crush stone and rock to make a variety of earth products.   The property, which is located within an M-1 Zone, is the location of the former Firestone Gravel Pit.   RCPC was approved under Section 11 - Excavation - of the Regulations because that was the only section that talked about crushing materials.  The Applicant would now like to modify the permit with regard to hours of operation so they can cater to the small commercial customer like landscapers.  The proposal has been discussed with Town Planner Whitten, who felt it would fall under a volume reduction facility.  Similar approvals have been granted to Somers Sanitation and Steve Dearborn on Newberry Road.  

Mr. Ussery described the location of the property on Apothecaries Hall Road, and noted properties and landmarks nearby.  Much of the northern portion of this property is in agricultural use as a corn crop.   Most of the time a portable crusher - which is much quieter -  is brought into the site from other locations.  The Applicant would like to put in bins close to the scales; the only modification to the site is the construction of the bins.  This material would be for the small landscape contractors, pool contractors, or the small site contractor.  This operation would be similar to Mr. Dearborn’s property on Route 5.  

Mr. Ussery indicated that along with the site modifications the Applicant would like to talk about the hours of operation.  The current hours for operation of the crusher are 7:30 - 4:00 Monday through Friday; no operation on holidays.  The Applicant is not asking to change the hours for the crushing operation, but would like to open earlier and close later and be open weekends to service the small commercial users who often work weekends.  The additional hours would also allow the Applicant to service the snow contractors.  Mr. Ussery reported that many M-1 operations are open 24 hours per day, but the Applicant is looking for something in between.   Mr. Holden, Sr. explained that with the downturn of the recession and decline of the construction business they need to come up with other entities to survive through the bad years.  

Mr. Ussery noted the Applicant would also be asking for two waivers.  The buffer for a volume reduction facility on the west side of the property adjacent to the Burnham property must be 100’.  The current buffer is 50’, including a high berm with heavy vegetation.  The only visibility to the Applicant’s site is through the gate.   The Applicant would like to retain the 50’ buffer.

Mr. Ussery indicated that retail sales requires a paved surface, which is not really conducive to this type of operation.   The Applicant would like to request a waiver of the paving requirement.

Commissioner Thurz questioned if the operation would be open to the general public?  If he wanted to purchase a yard of mulch would he be able to?   Mr. Ussery replied affirmatively.

Chairman Ouellette noted that with a volume reduction facility the Applicant would need to identify the items being brought in.  Mr. Holden, Sr. reported they currently bring into one area concrete, bituminous materials, etc. which is crushed to a smaller product used for driveway repairs or backfilling foundations.  The also bring in gravel which is crushed and screened for road sand.  Topsoil is manufactured at another location because of the limited hours of operation for this site.  The goal is to be a one-stop operation for stone, mulch, landscape materials.  Mr. Holden, Sr. reported they are trying to organize the site.   They have been living under a gravel extraction permit but have never pulled any gravel out of the site as there is no gravel material left.  They also own several quarries in Connecticut, and are trying to develop a centralized sales location to serve Hartford area clients.  

Commissioner Gowdy felt the proposal sounded like a retail operation.  Town Planner Whitten suggested this proposal is more of an accessory to what they are already doing.  They want to open up the business to the smaller contractor.   Mr. Holden, Sr. reported they are not asking to add anything new.   Mr. Holden, Jr. reported they are not going to sell to Home Depot so they can sell unbagged topsoil.  

Commissioner Devanney noted the larger trucks would be moving around with the smaller trucks; she questioned the traffic circulation.  Mr. Holden, Jr. noted they have identified the locations on the plans.  People purchasing small stones, etc. should be able to park in front and not mix with the larger trucks located in the back of the property.  Some of the products would require the smaller contractor going though the scale area.  Mr. Ussery suggested the proposal would be comparable to Crop Production nearby, which brings in a different type of material and then makes different blends.  They basically serve the larger farmer but could also cater to the small farmer who can pick up a few bags.  The Holdens would like to do the same thing - to serve the pool contractor who wants material when he has a job down the street.  

Commissioner Devanney questioned the proposed hours of operation.  Mr. Holden, Sr. reported 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. with the crusher working only 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, no holidays.  They are not looking to be open on Sunday but they have a contract with the Connecticut Water Company and would like to be able to serve them if a water break occurs on the weekend.  Also, snow contractors don’t purchase sand ahead of time; they would like to be able to serve those contractors if a storm occurs on Friday/Saturday.  They don’t want to be open 24 hours per day but would like the flexibility to serve contractor requiring these materials.  

Chairman Ouellette suggested this proposal would require a traffic study.  Town Planner Whitten suggested she didn’t think the traffic would change.  To maintain consistency of requirements for similar applications Chairman Ouellette felt the Applicant would have to ask for a waiver if they didn’t plan to provide a traffic study.  Mr. Ussery felt they had some information they could provide.

Commissioner Devanney questioned if the site has lighting?   Mr. Holden, Jr. indicated there is some lighting there now; they would adjust the lighting if necessary.  


Commissioner Gowdy suggested it seemed to him that if the Applicant opened at 7 and a contractor had a job in Hartford that started at 8 it would be nice to get their trucks in there at 7 to start their project.  Mr. Holden, Sr. noted they have other sites - NORCAP, Ellington, Union - to load trucks.  

Chairman Ouellette opened discussion to the public:

Scott Novak, 184 Rye Street:  the original permit was done with restrictions because of the truck traffic.  When you make a right hand turn you’re in a residential area.  The hours that were permitted wasn’t just because of the 60 trucks per day but to keep traffic off the road after 6 p.m.   Mr. Novak has a problem with extending the hours; he felt that if you open the door for contractors you will also be expanding the operation not only for pick-up trucks but for large dump trucks also.  After 4 o’clock school is out and the kids are on the streets.   He realizes times are tough but.................  Mr. Novak wouldn’t compare the operation to Crop Production as they don’t have 60 tri-axle trucks coming in and out of their facility all day.  

Commissioner Gowdy indicated one of the problems he has is the operation is located in an M-1 Zone and if someone developed the property around it knowing an M-1 Zone was there........ Mr. Novak felt the proposal expands the operation.  

Steve Dearborn, 144 East Road:  felt the Holdens are trying to diversify and trying to go to retail similar to his own property on Route 5.   Mr. Dearborn indicated he never has a tri-axle truck coming in to buy mulch - maybe a tri-axle dump truck but............He has small trucks moving around with large trucks and has never had a problem.  Mr. Dearborn cited times are tough.   The proposal that’s being presented is a good set up; it’s good for the area and good for the Holdens.  Mr. Dearborn indicated he didn’t understand why you can’t add a retail operation to what he’s doing now.

Scott Novak, 184 Rye Street:   noted it’s not putting in additional materials that’s the concern; it’s the hours of operation.  Chairman Ouellette requested clarification that Mr. Novak opposed the part of the Application that extends the hours of operation as well as the weekend hours?   Mr. Novak replied affirmatively.

Jim Richards:  if the concern is large trucks Mr. Richards noted he lives on Rockville Road and it’s a speedway.  He recalled there are restrictions on the hours of operation for the stone crushing, which he felt caused the truck traffic.   Mr. Richards suggested a compromise that limits the tri-axles but allowed the smaller contractors.  

Commissioner O’Brien questioned what would happen on weekends?   Mr. Holden, Jr. replied they typically run until 1 o’clock, but if they could serve the small contractor they would usually be wrapping up their work by 1 o’clock.  They are not hoping to sell a lot of mulch because they don’t manufacture the product; they would like to have the flexibility but are not pushing to sell the mulch.

Discussion continued regarding the conditions of a Special Use Permit, the hours of operation vs. the type of vehicle which could be expected to be utilizing those hours, can other activities (loading materials on company vehicles for morning delivery) occur after the close of the evening hour, and what type of emergency situations could be expected to require larger vehicles over the weekend?

The Holdens clarified that work being done on Saturdays from 7:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. would be for company tri-axle trucks only, and retail sales for smaller contractors.  Commissioners Gowdy and Devanney felt the current hours should be continued for Herb Holden Trucking (8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. for crushing operation Monday through Friday, no holidays); they would consider 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 7:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. on Saturday to serve small contractors.   Commissioner Farmer requested clarification of emergency situations; Chairman Ouellette suggested the Applicant return to the Commission’s next meeting with suggestions.  Commissioner Thurz indicated he understood the need for the Applicant to diversify.

Scott Novak, 184 Rye Street:  suggested the way the operation is run is fine; the only thing for him is the hours of operation.  He felt that would be opening doors; there is no way to control it.

MOTION: To CONTINUE the Application of  Recycled Concrete Products of CT - Special Use Permit to allow a Volume Reduction Facility at 33 Apothecaries Hall Road, owned by Herb Holden Trucking, Inc. [M-1 Zone; Map 36, Block 48, Lot 38] until the Commission’s next regularly         scheduled Meeting to be held on April 28, 2009 at 7:00 p.m. in the Town Hall Meeting Room, 11 Rye Street, Broad Brook, CT.

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

MOTION: TO TAKE A FIVE MINUTE BREAK.

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

The Commission RECESSED at 9:25 p.m. and RECONVENED at 9:33 p.m.

BUSINESS MEETING/(1)  Steve & Noreen Farmer  Rezone of 247/249 South Water Street:

LET THE RECORD SHOW Commissioner Farmer stepped down from service; Alternate Commissioner O’Brien replaced him on the Board.

Appearing to discuss this Application was Noreen Farmer, property owner.

Mrs. Farmer indicated she and Steve Farmer own 247 (main house) and 249 (small house) South Water Street.   Both houses are located on one parcel, and are taxed together.  Recent review of current maps found a portion of this property has been rezoned; no one is sure why that rezone occurred.  Part of the parcel is zoned R-3, while another portion which runs along the Connecticut River and then jets out to South Water Street, is zoned A-2.  

Town Planner Whitten suggested the A-2 Zone should follow the flood zone.  If the current A-2 zone line were extended behind the condos it would make sense because the condos have been constructed above the flood line.  Town Planner Whitten felt the change was a drafting error.  She indicated the Farmers feel this is an error and would like the Town to take the inititive to change it.  The change can be petitioned by the applicant, or the Town can propose the change via a Public Hearing and referral to CRCOG.    Chairman Ouellette noted the change would occur at no expense to the Applicant if the Town proposed the change.   He requested clarification that if another person approached the Town the same process would occur?  Town Planner Whitten replied affirmatively.

Chairman Ouellette queried Mrs. Farmer what was the reason for the request?   Mrs. Farmer suggested they realized the change when reviewing the recent sewer maps.  They have a main trunk line which takes sewer from the Broad Brook area running through their property; to suggest that area is a sewer avoidance area is ridiculous.  Commissioner Devanney noted the change of zone would also affect the resale value of the property; Mrs. Farmer concurred.   

MOTION: That the Town of East Windsor correct the apparent zone line mistake on property owned by Steve and Noreen Farmer at 247 and 249 South Water Street, East Windsor, CT.

Gowdy moved/Devanney seconded/
VOTE:  In Favor:  Unanimous (Devanney/Gowdy/O’Brien/Ouellette/Thurz)

LET THE RECORD SHOW Commissioner Farmer returned to service on the Board.

BUSINESS MEETING/(2)  Jim Richards, East Windsor Chamber of Commerce - Discussion on temporary business signs:

Mr. Richards returned to the Commission to present information he received while conducting an independent/informal survey of the affect of temporary sale signage on business revenue.  Mr. Richards reported he visited most plazas in Warehouse Point and Broad Brook for which he received permission to visit the tenants.  He also included businesses located along Route 5, Boutin’s and Mulnite Farms.  All businesses agreed safety was a concern.   Mr. Richards received 40 signatures in favor of temporary signage; many people were afraid to sign the documentation due to fear of retribution.  Mr. Richards reiterated this is an informal survey, not a petition.  Many people questioned why enforcement was now an issue.  Several businesses along Route 5 suggested the Board of Selectmen contact the State to request an exemption (from the prohibition of placing signage within the State right-of-way).  Mr. Richards recommended the Commission consider putting enforcement of signage compliance on hold until the economy improves, or until something more advantageous could be worked out.  He suggested enforcement could continue on A-frame signs but banners couple be allowed; businessowners need relief.  

Commissioner Gowdy questioned what an A-frame sign does for these businesses?  Discussion continued regarding the businessowners belief that A-frame signs draw attention to sales and specials vs. proof of actual increased business.  Mr. Richards reported the businessowners are upset because they think the Town doesn’t understand they are having problems because of the economy.   Commissioner Thurz suggested retail businesses should consider advertisement in the JI.  

Chairman Ouellette thanked Mr. Richards for providing this information, and suggested further discussion should be scheduled as a future agenda item.

BUSINESS MEETING/(3)  Vote to approve Zoning Officers:

Town Planner Whitten referenced her memo of April 14, 2009 regarding Statutory requirements that the Commission appoint a Zoning Enforcement officer/ZEO (Robin Newton).  In addition, Marlene Bauer also acts as Zoning Technician by signing zoning permits for signs and accessory structures, and should be officially appointed as well.

MOTION: To APPOINT Robin Newton as East Windsor’s Zoning Enforcement Officer, and Marlene Bauer as the Zoning Enforcement Technician/Assistant, effective immediately.

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

BUSINESS MEETING/(4)  CRCOG Regional Planning Commission:

Town Planner Whitten noted the Commission needs to send a volunteer to attend monthly CRCOG meetings which are held at 7:00 p.m. on the third Thursday in West Hartford.  Commissioners Farmer, Devanney and Gowdy are unable to attend.  Chairman Ouellette agreed to continue as an Alternate Member but is not able to attend the meetings due to family commitments.  Item to be scheduled for a future meeting for further discussion.

BUSINESS MEETING/(5)  Fee Schedule:  

Tabled until the April 28th Meeting; no formal motion made.

BUSINESS MEETING/(6)  Sidewalks:

Discussion postponed.

BUSINESS MEETING/(7)  Correspondence:

Jay Ussery, of J. R. Russo & Associates, and Herb Holden, of Herb Holden Trucking, appeared to discuss a site plan modification for the NORCAP property on Wapping Road.  They have just started in Phase I and have constructed the earthen berm; the current plans require planting white pines.   The Applicant would like to substitute arborvitae and hemlocks as the landscaping materials.    Town Planner Whitten suggested she can sign off on this minor change administratively, and note the change on the plans.   The Commission concurred with Town Planner Whitten’s recommendation.

BUSINESS MEETING/(8)  Staff Reports:

Inland/Wetlands Agent/Zoning Enforcement Officer Newton submitted a Violations Report.

BUSINESS MEETING/(9)  8-24 Referral - Prospect Hill Drive:

Town Planner Whitten advised the Commission the Town is applying for a Small Cities Block Grant for roadway and drainage improvements for Prospect Hill Drive, Broadview Lane, and Button Lane.  The Commission is asked to offer support of the project via an 8-24 Referral.

MOTION: To APPROVE the Town to seek funding and provide services for roadway and drainage improvements for Prospect Hill Drive, Broadview Lane, and Button Lane.

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

APPROVAL OF MINUTES/March 10, 2009:

MOTION:  To APPROVE the Minutes of Public Hearing #1544 dated March 10, 2009 as presented.

Farmer moved/Devanney seconded/
        VOTE:   In Favor:  Devanney/Farmer/Ouellette/Thurz
                        Opposed:  No one
                        Abstained:  Gowdy

SIGNING OF MYLARS/PLANS, MOTIONS:

ADJOURNMENT:

MOTION: To ADJOURN this Meeting at 10:24 p.m.

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

Respectfully submitted,
________________________________________________________________
Peg Hoffman, Recording Secretary, East Windsor Planning and Zoning Commission