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October 13, 2009 Minutes
TOWN OF EAST WINDSOR
PLANNING AND ZONING COMMISSION

Public Hearing #1557
October 13, 2009


The Meeting was called to order at 7:02 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 two Alternate Members (Mulkern and O’Brien) were present.    Alternate Member Matthews was absent.  All Regular Members will sit in on all Items of Business this evening.  

Also present was Town Planner Whitten.

Guests present in the audience were Selectmen Richard Pippin and Mark Simmons, and Jim Richards, Executive Director of the Chamber of Commerce.

FARM REGULATIONS WORKSHOP:

Town Planner Whitten summarized the origin of the proposed Farm Regulations, noting that they were developed in response to a condition of a Farm Viability Grant.  The Town will receive the Farm Viability Grant when Town Planner Whitten and the Natural Resources Preservation Commission (NRPC) complete several requirements.  Two of the requirements were:  1)  identifying farm properties and ranking each on its suitability for acquisition for preservation, and, 2) development of farm-friendly regulations.   Before you tonight is a draft of the farm-friendly regulations.

Town Planner Whitten noted she used as source material a recent publication entitled “Planning for Agriculture - A Guide for Connecticut Municipalities” prepared by the American Farmland Trust and Connecticut Conference for Municipalities.  Town Planner Whitten read an excerpt from the publication which summarized guidelines for development of regulations.   She also went to the Planners’ List Server, which is an on-line information sharing symposium, and took information from other (Town) Planners throughout the state.  The draft regulations before you this evening is a compilation of many of the recommendations made in “Planning for Agriculture - A Guide for Connecticut Municipalities” and planners suggestions, which were incorporated into existing regulations.   This draft has been reviewed by the NRPC, and the Planning and Zoning Commission (PZC); the public has been invited to this workshop to offer meaningful and reasonable input with regard to possible revisions.   Town Planner Whitten indicated there are still a lot of questions with regard to these proposed regulations; she is looking for feedback from the farmers.

Chairman Ouellette questioned the process for adoption?   Town Planner Whitten indicated that once the regulations have been decided on they would go to a Public Hearing at a future PZC Meeting.   Prior to setting the Public Hearing the regulations must be referred to CRCOG (Capitol Region Council of Governments), which require a 30 day referral period before sending recommendations back to the Town.  Should everything go well it’s possible the Public Hearing might be held on December 8th.  Town Planner Whitten noted completion of the grant requirements was supposed to be done by the end of the year but she will see if she can get a slight extension if necessary.  

Chairman Ouellette explained the process for discussion this evening.   He noted it may not be possible for everyone to reach a consensus but he requested that people offer alternate suggestions.  Chairman Ouellette opened discussion to the audience.

(Please note:  Discussion was lengthy; remarks have been summarized for clarity.  Audience questions are shown in underlined type.)

David Tyler, 9 Cemetery Road:  questioned what is the grant?  Town Planner Whitten reiterated it’s a Farm Viability Grant designed to enable a town to analyze its farm properties for possible preservation.  There were a number of conditions which must be met to acquire the grant.  Among them was the NRPC’s need to categorize all the farms in town and prioritize them, and open space, with regard to preservation via purchase by the Town.  The results of that analysis will be posted on the Town’s website.   Another condition of the grant was to hold a workshop, as is being held this evening.   Development of farm-friendly regulations was also another requirement of the grant.  Mr. Tyler questioned what the money will go for?   Town Planner Whitten indicated the money goes into a Town’s General Fund; the Town also had to match staff time to acquire the grant.  Chairman Ouellette suggested the goal was to work up farm-friendly regulations; Town Planner Whitten noted the current regulations were updated somewhat during the recent revision of the Plan of Conservation and Development but it has been some time since the regulations were reviewed/revised previously.  The proposed draft presented tonight is more comprehensive; she has tried to address some of the “gray” areas in the regulations and make them more clear.   Town Planner Whitten advised that the agricultural farms are the larger farms containing greater than 4 acres, while the small farms, containing up to 4 acres, can be located within residential zones but must meet the specifications listed in this draft.  Town Planner Whitten noted one of the major problems was addressing manure control; a person needs to have 1 acre of useable farm area within the 4 acres to manage manure control.  Land located on steep slopes, and septic areas, must be removed from the 1 acre allocation; the useable area must be located in the upland, and must be somewhat flat.  The regulations then rely on the owner to practice proper animal husbandry, and to monitor themselves with regard to control measures.  Town Planner Whitten indicated the issue of manure control was the only area of complaints she is aware of.  Town Planner Whitten noted the A-1 (Agricultural) Zone is less restrictive and is  relatively open regarding the number of animals allowable on a farm.


Jim Von Oppen, Harrington Road:  questioned if the grants from the Town are for the farmers?   Town Planner Whitten replied negatively, noting the grants are from the State.  The regulations allow the farms to be located in certain zones.

Tom Juknis, Rockville Road:  had 3 questions:  how long is “temporary” for directional signs; what is the process and how would they be authorized; and there can only be one sign per location?  Town Planner Whitten referenced Section 305.b - Off Site Directional Signage - Temporary:  she suggested this section relates to the issue that the State puts up directional signs along the highway but when you get off the highway farmers often put up “trailblazer” signs that further direct someone to the farm.  Such signs must be on State property; Town Engineer Norton liked that the signs would not be more than 3’ in height.  Commissioner Devanney questioned if the Town would designate the location for the signs?    Town Planner Whitten took the recommendation of only one sign per location from the List Server information; perhaps at an intersection something else could be worked out.  Regarding the timing, Town Planner Whitten indicated that if the farm is not operating, or selling - such as during the Winter - she would like farmers to take down the signs, and to check with the Planning Office.   The process for signage would be simple, and cost a small fee.  

Jim Richards, 43B Rockville Road:    with regard to Town property, many farmers use corners of private property now but the regulations say they can put a sign there.  He suggested there is really no Town property in Broad Brook, so farmers may need to put signs on private property.  How do the regulations address that issue?  Town Planner Whitten suggested that even if people think they are putting signs on private property they are probably being located on the right-of-way, but she can revisit that issue.

Bob Lyke, 80 Rye Street:  you indicated you did an elaborate survey in Town, what did you find with regard to farms available for purchase?  Town Planner Whitten indicated there are a couple of farms available currently, but she noted there is much to discuss tonight regarding regulations.   She would rather discuss the issue of availability of farms at an NRPC Meeting.  The next NRPC Meeting is tomorrow, Wednesday, October 14th, in Town Hall at 7:00 p.m.  
Chairman Ouellette suggested if people would rather not speak they could mark recommendations on the draft regulations and leave them for Town Planner Whitten after the Meeting.

Don Grant, 114 Broad Brook Road:  referenced page 2, (Section 305.1) Livestock, he noted in a residential zone there is a set back requirement, but livestock is simply allowed in an agricultural zone.  Town Planner Whitten noted that when the farm is out of the A-1 (Agricultural) Zone you get out of the general requirements.  Mr. Grant questioned if all these requirements are applicable to all farms in Town?  He referenced that the regulations say barns can’t be located within 500’ of a property line; he can’t comply with that requirement.  Mr. Grant felt he would be told today he couldn’t have pigs, and tomorrow he couldn’t have horses.   His farm is on an intersection; are you telling him he can’t raise pigs in his current barns?  Town Planner Whitten suggested that if  Mr. Grant were currently raising pigs, and these regulations went into effect, then you could continue to raise pigs.  Mr. Grant suggested then he would go out and buy a pig tonight.  Mr. Tyler, 9 Cemetery Road, questioned why pigs were being singled out?  Town Planner Whitten suggested they tend to smell, and people complain about them.  Mr. Grant suggested farming has changed over the years; these regulations are hard to take.  Mr. Grant questioned who would be the “fly and smell police,” and would you notify the Health Department?    Town Planner Whitten suggested the Planning Department would make inspections first; the Health Department would only be notified if necessary.

Commissioner Devanney questioned how far the existing barns are from the roads; are they 100’?  Mr. Grant indicated they are not; he had to seek a variance to build the newest barn in the 60s.  Town Planner Whitten indicated by case law Mr. Grant would be grandfathered.  

Town Planner Whitten noted that with regard to recommendations for standards there are no existing guidelines; the Department of Agriculture won’t give recommendations because situations vary so much.   To develop the regulations she needed to generalize, but you also need specifications to be clear; she is seeking suggestions to make the regulations better.

Richard Pippin, 37 Woolam Road:  felt changing the zoning to what the land is today is bordering on criminal; there is agricultural land in Windsorville that is zoned residential - that’s not good.   He suggested they tried to buy land around themselves to make themselves legal but.......; the farm has been in the family for 5 generations.  Town Planner Whitten questioned if the land is being farmed today?   Mr. Pippin said “it was now, but they don’t have 4 acres.”  Town Planner Whitten suggested you are legal as you are non-conforming.  

Mr. Pippin offered the following suggestions:  Regarding Section 305.1 - Livestock:  he referenced “a small number of saddle horses or milk cows”; he suggested eliminating “milk” cows.  Manure Storage - “must be 150’ from an abutting house structure” - sometimes that can’t be done.  And “visually screening” - how do you get in to clean it?  It’s stored flat for half a mile now but how do you screen it?  And paddocks - “5’ from the property line” - everything he knew was you set things on the property line, shook hands, and one person took care of the area on the right and the other person took care of everything on the left.  Town Planner Whitten questioned if Mr. Pippin thought this was a requirement that could be used in a residential zone?  She indicated that requirement really was designed for the farms in residential zones; the department has had complaints about horses nibbling on the neighbor’s prize rose bushes.  She suggested people must realize not everyone likes an animal next to them.  Mr. Pippin returned to his suggestions, noting the reference to “livestock must have appropriate shelter”; he suggested that isn’t normal for a small pasture - you normally don’t construct a shelter.   Don Grant interjected that putting livestock under pine trees is considered an appropriate shelter.

Steve Dearborn, Newberry Road:  Mr. Dearborn had several strong comments, the most publishable of which follow: he has been a life-long resident of town, if you people put these regulations through you’re crazy, this isn’t Hollywood, the whole thing is ridiculous.  Who’s idea was this? Did they come to us or did you invite them to regulate the town?  This is a joke.

Town Planner Whitten indicated the regulations are geared towards farms in residential zones.  Commissioner Devanney noted the information highlighted in green on the draft is already in the regulations; the Commission is trying to fix them.   Mr. Dearborn questioned what was next after tonight?  Town Planner Whitten suggested the Commission will work on the regulations based on the comments made tonight.   She reiterated that when the Commission votes to go forward to a Public Hearing the regulations are referred to CRCOG (Capitol Region Council of Government) for a 30 day review/referral period; when the referral is returned to the Commission they will vote on the regulations.  Mr. Dearborn questioned that this (vote) is based on the people sitting up there, not the people in town who own the farms; that’s bullshit!!!

John Burnham:  questioned that this isn’t a Town ordinance?  Chairman Ouellette replied affirmatively, noting the language already exists in the regulations, the Commission is changing and revamping the regulations.  Commissioners Gowdy and Thurz suggested the Commission is trying to make the regulations better.  

Albert Grant, 120 Melrose Road:  indicated that in the NRPC they have dealt with some of this; many of these comments (in the regulations) have been added to make these farm-friendly regulations.   They also identified farms for preservation.    This is more than just farm regulations.  Chairman Ouellette questioned where all the research is located?   Mr. Grant suggested it’s in the GIS; they have been doing research based on the map/block/lot of each parcel.  Mr. Pippin questioned if all farms were reviewed, or just those containing 26 acres or more?   Town Planner Whitten suggested they reviewed all the farms, but if you own property classified as a farm the purpose behind the 30 acres is that most grants won’t  consider a farm less than 30 acres.

John Durand, 243 Melrose Road:  questioned if anyone has looked at the maps to see where these regulations affect people/parcels?  He felt with the GIS we can identify the 4 acre parcels.  He felt the regulations were confusing without seeing a map; this is everyone’s guess to see if the regulations affect them.  He suggested starting with the maps.

Rachel Thompson Durand:  cited their land is in 2 towns and is probably in a minimum of 4 zones; they are always wondering how they are affected.

Jim Von Oppen, Harrington Road:  with regard to the people on the Board making the decision; is this how everything is done?   Chairman Ouellette replied yes, with regard to zoning issues.   Mr. Von Oppen questioned that the people affected don’t have any say in making the decision?  Chairman Ouellette indicated that when a change is considered you people have the ability to offer input, as you are tonight; you don’t have a vote, but you do have a voice.  

Jim Richards, 43B Rockville Road:  suggested the PZC is listening to what you people are saying.  They are adjusting the zoning map, maybe not to everyone’s liking but most of this (language) exists already.  A lot of what you people are not liking is already on the books, and they are asking for input and maybe can make a differentiation between residential farms and farms.  It’s the same with signage; there are rules in Town already and they are trying to adjust them .  Some directional signs are not on Town property, and if  that needs to change you must come to these meetings and make suggestions, but the PZC must follow the regulations.   Don’t make this an adversarial situation; they are looking for input and what needs to be grandfathered and they are making recommendations.   This meeting is for communication, for working with the PZC.  There are many things to consider, and they must find the middle of the road.  The language in the dark green is already in affect.

Jim Von Oppen, Harrington Road:  questioned the December 8th date?  Town Planner Whitten suggested that’s a PZC Meeting date, a date when the Commission could vote on these regulations.  Mr. Von Oppen suggested December 8th is less than 6 weeks away.  Town Planner Whitten noted the Commissions have been working on this for awhile.  Chairman Ouellette encouraged people to take these regulations back with them, make recommendations, and send them back to the Planning Department.

Bob Lyke, 80 Rye Street: suggested farming is a big business; he encouraged everyone to take part in the process.  Everyone here tonight won’t be satisfied, but don’t end there.   The “manure police” is one person doing 3 jobs; think about that during the budget.  They are also under-funded, as is the EDC (Economic Development Commission).  People must think about getting more money into the budget so people can be pro-business.

Mike Dzen, 33 Norton Road:  referenced Section 305.1 - Livestock, page 2:  he liked the idea of the map; he felt people were confused if this affected them; he questioned what the “non-agricultural zones” meant?   Town Planner Whitten suggested the Zones are B-1 (Business), A-1 (Agricultural), R-1 (Residential), and M-1 (Industrial), but farms are allowed in all zones.   She suggested she felt the regulations needed to be specific for residential zones, and need to be more clear and clarified.

David Tyler, 9 Cemetery Road:    questioned what about a residential zone with 10 or 20 acres; will you still limit the number of animals?  He felt a size needs to be clarified where the maximum number of animals doesn’t apply.  Town Planner Whitten questioned if Mr. Tyler felt that 10 acres in a residential zone should be classified as a big farm; would anything over 4 acres not qualify?  Mr. Tyler suggested not 4 acres but maybe 10 acres.

Mr. Dzen, 37 South Main Street:  cited he has a farm at 67 South Main Street, formerly owned by Frank Coleman, he is using one building for storage; how would that affect him?  Chairman Ouellette suggested that would be a grandfathered issue that needs to be addressed.  Commissioner Farmer questioned if the grandfathering issue is part of the State Statutes; if so then they need to be brought into the regulations so everyone understands.  

Don Grant, 114 Broad Brook Road:  regarding the person who would be making the decisions as to the disagreement of the horses reaching over a fence, you said it was the Planning Department for now, what’s your read for the long term?  He cited there are best management practices established by UCONN, if you do this under the best management practices maybe that needs to be referred to regarding the disagreements, otherwise you have an arbitrary situation and people don’t know your reference point.

Also, Mr. Grant felt the fences should be on the property line and not leave a “no man’s land” in between, which could reduce someone’s acreage.  If it’s another farm you expect people to share a fence/property line but he understood the issue with someone with a hydrangea bush.

John Durand, 243 Melrose Road:   questioned if Connecticut has a definition regarding the “right-to-farm”?  Chairman Ouellette and Town Planner Whitten both replied affirmatively.  Mr. Durand questioned if that would address the neighbor issue?  Town Planner Whitten noted the Commission has required such a note be added to several subdivision maps.  Mr. Durand suggested they have homeowners who take down their stone fences and throw brush on the Durand land; maybe the regulations need a “right-to-farm” definition.

Mike Dzen, Jr.:  questioned who makes the decision as to what’s annoying and what’s a problem?  He cited he owns a roofing business in East Hartford, sometimes if they bring materials back to the business they get calls from the Zoning Office regarding an excessive smell.  He felt the regulations needs to have a more specific definition as to what’s excessive.  

Dick Pippin, 37 Woolam Road:  suggested the Commission did a heck of a job telling people about this; it wasn’t published in the Courant where no one reads it.  He liked this green thing (advisement notice mailed to farmers prior to this workshop) arriving on his table.  He felt the Courant isn’t working.

John Burnham:  questioned what happens now?  Chairman Ouellette reiterated the Commission is giving people an opportunity to give more comments; then there will be a future meeting at which this will be a discussion item on the agenda.  Then the Commission needs to set a Public Hearing date, with the 30 day referral to CRCOG.  Mr. Burnham questioned that this could be kicked around for awhile?  He suggested sometimes slow is good.  Chairman Ouellette suggested the Commission has been discussing this regulation proposal for some time.  Town Planner Whitten suggested a Public Hearing must be noticed in the Courant.  She anticipated doing another mailing, although it is costly, but the money comes out of the grant.  

Steve Dearborn:  questioned the cost; he will give the Department the money tonight.

David Tyler, 9 Cemetery Road:  suggested advisement via e-mail.  Town Planner Whitten requested those wishing to be advised via e-mail to provide her with their e-mail address.

Town Planner Whitten summarized the following major comments made during this meeting:  1)  
clarify residential vs. large farms; 2) clarify “grandfathering”; and 3) clarify a “right-to-farm” definition.

Chairman Ouellette noted that December 8th is just a target date.

Rachel Thompson Durand:  suggested maybe the regulations should say any new house should be 100’ from an existing farm.  

David Tyler, 9 Cemetery Road:  maybe 500’.

Town Planner Whitten thanked everyone for attending; she noted she appreciated everyone’s comments.  She indicated she realizes this is a part of your life and is in your heart; she and the Commission want to do the right thing.  

John Burnham:  suggested that any time a Town agency wants to make something easier for them it seems to cost money.  Town Planner Whitten suggested the department also has to enforce the regulations so the regulations must be written so they are enforceable and understandable.  Part of the planning process is trying to reach that balance; it isn’t easy.

MOTION:  To TAKE A FIVE MINUTE BREAK.

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

The Commission RECESSED at 8:20 p.m. and RECONVENED at 8:30 p.m.

ADDED AGENDA ITEM:  Southern Auto Sales, Inc. - 205 South Main Street:

Chairman Ouellette noted receipt of letter dated October 7, 2009 from Jay Ussery, of J. R. Russo, requesting a one (1) year extension of Site Plan Approval for property at 205 South Main Street owned by Southern Auto Sales, Inc.  

Mr. Ussery stepped forward to speak, noting this property was formerly owned by Doug King; a strip mall was approved 20 years ago.  A couple of years ago Southern Auto Sales (SAS) received approval for a building/shed extension for one of two barns located on this parcel.   The intent was to use the addition for preparing pre-owned Honda vehicles for auction.  Due to the economy SAS doesn’t need that addition at present, but would like to keep the approval in place.

MOTION: To GRANT a one (1) year extension through October 14, 2010 for Site Plan Approval for 205 South Main Street; current approval expires October 14, 2009.

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

RECEIPT OF APPLICATIONS:

Chairman Ouellette noted the receipt of the following Applications:

1)      Application of Heavy’s Automotive for Site Plan Approval to allow auto repair, used vehicle sales and U-Haul rental at 38 Prospect Hill Road, owned by Dean A. & Caren E. Rasmussen.  [M-1 Zone; Map 12, Block 17, Lot 32]

2)      Application of USA Hauling & Recycling, Inc. for Site Plan Approval for a covered container wash bay at 38 North Road, owned by 38 North Road, LLC.  [M-1 Zone; Map 3, Block 17, Lot 6].

3)      Application of USA Hauling & Recycling, Inc. for Site Plan Approval for a Change of Use, expansion of gravel storage area and drainage improvements at 3 & 5 Shoham Road, owned by Laird Building, LLC.  Proposed Use at 3 Shoham Road is the manufacture, maintenance and storage of empty containers.  [M-1 Zone; Map 3, Block 17, Lot S3].

4)      Application of USA Hauling & Recycling, Inc. for Site Plan Approval for a Change of Use, expansion of gravel storage area and drainage improvements at 3 & 5 Shoham Road, owned by Laird Building, LLC.   Proposed Use at 5 Shoham Road is a dispatch center, truck repair and parking and empty container storage.   [M-1 Zone; Map 3, Block 17, Lot S4].

PERFORMANCE BONDS - ACTIONS; EXTENSION; ROAD ACCEPTANCE:  Metro North - Request from Mark W. Friend of Megson & Heagle (on behalf of White Diamond) for final release of the erosion control bond for the parking lot expansion at Metro North, One Corporate Road, Enfield.  (2.2 acres in East Windsor):

Town Planner Whitten noted that Zoning Enforcement Officer (ZEO) Newton visited the site today.   She found that everything has been stabilized, but the vegetation is weeds.   ZEO Newton has recommended a condition to release the bond which would require the Applicant to replant the slope with seed.

Chairman Ouellette questioned the amount of the bond; Commissioner Thurz questioned the size of the area?  Town Planner Whitten indicated the bond is an Erosion and Sediment Control Bond for $2500; the size of the area is 30’ x 10’.   Chairman Ouellette noted the Applicant has been aware of Town Engineer Norton’s comments since September but the slope appears to still be an issue today.  Commissioner Gowdy felt the release of the bond should be postponed until the area is stabilized properly; he didn’t consider weeds to be stabilization.   Commissioner Devanney agreed, noting the Applicant has known of the issue for several weeks.   Chairman Ouellette and Commissioner Thurz were not in favor of the bond release.  Commissioner O’Brien questioned what the requirement was; Town Planner Whitten indicated the area was to be stabilized.  Commissioner Gowdy suggested it’s common practice that stabilization isn’t weeds.          

MOTION: To TABLE the request from Mark W. Friend of Megson & Heagle (on behalf of White Diamond) for final release of the erosion control bond of $2,500 for the parking lot expansion at Metro North, one Corporate Road, Enfield until they stabilize the slope are in accordance with the Site Plan.

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

NEW BUSINESS:  USA Hauling & Recycling, Inc. - Site Plan Approval for a covered container wash bay at 38 North Road, owned by 38 North Road, LLC.  [M-1 Zone; Map 3, Block 17, Lot 6]  (Deadline for decision 12/17/09):

Chairman Ouellette read the description of this Item of Business.  Appearing to discuss the Application was Jay Ussery, of J. R. Russo & Associates.

Mr. Ussery described the property as being located on the southwest corner of the intersection of Shoham and North Road; the building was formerly occupied by Tanner Ford Tractor.  USA Hauling purchased the property 10 to 12 years ago, and the property became involved in the operation as an area for storage, maintenance, and repair/fabrication of dumpster containers.  

Mr. Ussery reported that during the Application for 10 Shoham Road it was decided that it would be beneficial to develop a site plan for all properties owned by USA, and identify the use of each parcel.  

Mr. Ussery noted this Application is to allow them to use the area for container storage and repair, and to add an area to pressure and power wash these containers.   While that function is done outside a roof needs to be built over the area, and oil/water separators need to be added and connected to the sanitary sewer system.  This is similar to what would be done in a vehicle repair garage.  Mr. Ussery noted that as part of the Application they have developed a key map identifying each of the USA properties under all of their different entities.  The site plan identifies the existing conditions on the parcels - the drainage system, the paving, the building locations; the shaded area is the area for the canopy roof and the wash area.  Mr. Ussery reported they will acquire a DOT encroachment certificate because they will be working within the State right-of-way; they will also appear before the WPCA with regard to the oil/water separator.  

Commissioner Thurz questioned if this operation was being done presently?   Mr. Ussery replied affirmatively, but noted the drainage presently goes into the drainage system; they will be revising that to go into the sanitary sewer system via the oil/water separator.  Commissioner Thurz questioned if there were any complaints about smells?   Mr. Ussery indicated none that he was aware of.  

Commissioner Devanney questioned if they would be seeking DEP permits?  Mr. Ussery replied affirmatively.  Commissioner Devanney questioned if there is a fire lane on the site?   Mr. Ussery indicated there is one in place but it’s not shown on the plan.  He also noted the signage for a one-way driveway - entrance only and no exit allowed - will be installed. Town Planner Whitten suggested that it’s difficult to see the location of the fire lane when visiting the site because of the location of the dumpsters.   Mr. Ussery indicated he will modify the final Site Plan to show the fire lane location, appropriate signage associated with the fire lane, and stripe the area on site as well.

Chairman Ouellette questioned if procedurally they should go to the WPCA first?  Mr. Ussery indicated there are no records in the WPCA office regarding the connection.  They are making a new connection, and will go back to the WPCA for approval after receipt of approval from this

Commission.  Mr. Ussery noted that before the Building Permit is issued they need to show a DEP registration, and the WPCA approval.

Chairman Ouellette questioned if the impervious coverage includes the canopy?   Mr. Ussery indicated the area underneath the proposed canopy is included as impervious coverage now; the addition of the canopy doesn’t change the amount of impervious coverage.  

MOTION TO APPROVE the Application of USA Hauling & Recycling, Inc, and owner 38 North Rd, LLC, requesting a site plan approval to add a wash bay area for empty containers in conjunction with the existing manufacture, maintenance, and storage of trash containers at 38 North Road, Map 3, Blk. 17, Lot 6, in the M-1 zone.   This approval is granted subject to conformance with the referenced plans (as may be modified by the Conditions)

Referenced Plans:

Sheet 1 of 2:   Site Plan , USA Hauling & Recycling Inc., 38 North Road, East Windsor, CT Map 3, Block 17, Lot 6, M! Zone, prepared by JR Russo & Assoc, LLC, 1 Shoham Rd, East Windsor, CT 06088, 860/623-0569, Fax 860/623-2485, scale 1” = 20’ dated 9/11/09 rev 10/05/09
Sheet 2 of 2    -   Detail Sheet

-Conditions which must be met prior to signing of mylars:

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

2.      The conditions of this approval shall be binding upon the applicant, land owners, and their successors and assigns.  A copy of this approval motion shall be filed in the land records prior to the signing of the final plans.

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

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

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

Conditions which must be met prior to certificates of compliance:

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

7.      All public health and safety components of the project must be satisfactorily completed prior to occupancy. In cases where all of these components have been completed, the Zoning Official may issue a Certificate of Zoning Compliance provided a suitable bond is retained for any remaining site work.  

General Conditions:

8.      In accordance with Section 900.3.h of the Zoning Regulations, any approval of a site plan application shall commence the construction of buildings within one year from the date of approval and complete all improvements within five years of the date of approval, otherwise the approval shall become null and void, unless an extension is granted by the Commission.

9.      A Zoning Permit shall be obtained prior to the commencement of any site work.

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

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

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

13.     By acceptance of this approval and conditions, the applicant, owner and/or their successors and assigns acknowledge the right of Town staff to periodically enter upon the subject property for the purpose of determining compliance with the terms of this approval

Additional Conditions:

14.     Add required signage for 10 Shoham Road to the approved plan.

15.     Fire lane shall be shown on plans on striped on site.

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

NEW BUSINESS:  Heavy’s Automotive, Inc. - Site Plan approval to allow auto repair, used vehicle sales & U-Haul rental at 38 Prospect Hill Road, owned by Dean A. & Caren E. Rasmussen.  [M-1 Zone; Map 12, Block 17, Lot 32]   (Deadline for decision 12/17/09):

Chairman Ouellette read the description of this Item of Business.  Appearing to discuss this Application was Attorney Tom Fahey, and Jay Ussery, of J. R. Russo & Associates.   Also present was Dean Rasmussen, owner of the property, and David, Daniel, and Samuel Mikalonis, potential tenant and operators of Heavy’s Automotive, Inc.

Attorney Fahey described the property which is located at 38 Prospect Hill Road, noting it is currently occupied by a number of tenants.  He noted there is an empty spot on the northeast corner containing approximately 3100 square feet of space; that area is the subject of discussion this evening.  The Mikolonis’ received approval from the Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) in September, 2009 for auto repairs and service; they are also proposing to provide a drop-off and pick-up location for U-Haul trailers and trucks.  This property is a good location because of its proximity to and access to I-91.  Attorney Fahey noted David Mikolonis has owned several businesses in Windsor Locks; Daniel and Samuel are employed by U-Haul.

Attorney Fahey indicated that the Town had requested the submission of  a Site Plan showing all the tenants, and the parking for the various tenants.  He reported the Mikolonis’ would not be doing any body work; they are seeking to sell a small number of used cars.  The number of cars offered for sale will be limited by the number of parking spaces.  Attorney Fahey suggested 3 to 4 to 5; probably no more than that because there is no place to put them.  The parking lot would also be striped to show the parking locations.

Mr. Ussery noted that the property is located 100’+/- back from the State right-of-way.  While that area can’t really be used to develop the parking calculations the number of spaces can be looked at from the perspective of the amount of square footage utilized by each tenant.  Using that approach 34 parking spaces are required.  Broken out by tenants, the parking requirements to be provided are as follows:  1)  Litco Plumbing:  has a small retail area (250 square feet) and a larger amount of warehouse space, 6 employees = 7 spaces in front for Litco employees and customers plus 2 additional spaces (in an area referenced on the plan by Mr. Ussery) to accommodate a service area in the rear; 2) Racers Auto: 1200 square feet of retail area, 2300 square feet of storage in the back, 2 employees = 7 spaces; 3) Classic Landscaping:  5 office employees, 1 full time mechanic, 3 field people who take the trucks out to the job sites = 3 spaces in front plus 2 handicapped spaces, then 3 more in back for parking equipment trailers, a 24’ aisle is maintained around the building; 4) Heavy’s Auto:  10 spaces are required, they will be located along the back and side of the building (including a handicapped space), 3 display spaces will be in front - one for U-Hauls and 2 for other cars.   Mr. Ussery indicated they will stripe the parking spaces to designate everyone’s locations, and will keep the 24’ width of the aisle to maintain the two-way traffic around the building.  

Mr. Ussery indicated the sign will contain 32 square feet of area, and will be placed near Prospect Hill Road; they may be looking for an additional sign for the building but will work that out with the office.  

Chairman Ouellette noted he had visited the site at 4 o’clock today; 15 vehicles were parked out front using all of the asphalt area outside the property line.  He indicated he is excited about a new business moving into Town; the Town needs more of that.  He questioned if the State had been approached regarding a land lease to provide more parking?  Chairman Ouellette noted he also tried to drive around the building but was blocked by 2 landscaping vehicles.  He also noted that the curb cut at Newberry Road is very wide; if that were narrower could you get a couple of more parking spaces in that area?   Mr. Ussery noted Town Planner Whitten had the same concerns.  He suggested he is pretty confident that the striping will help alleviate those problems.  He noted that Classic Landscaping had parked in the middle of the driveway and didn’t make any attempt to park where anyone else could get by; Mr. Rasmussen has spoken to them.  Mr. Rasmussen reported that the haphazard parking in the back is sometimes done on purpose, as the students from Baran Institute don’t like to go through the traffic light and cut through this property.  Chairman Ouellette reiterated his suggestion is to restrict that entrance.  Attorney Fahey concurred that the Mikolonis’ and Mr. Rasmussen have spoken to Classic Landscaping, who has pledged to cooperate.  Attorney Rasmussen noted they welcomed the suggestion to narrow the entrance.  The owner will also pursue a lease with the State.  

Commissioner Thurz questioned that Classic Landscaping has room for only 3 trailers?   Attorney Fahey suggested Mr. Rasmussen can control that via the lease.   Mr. Rasmussen noted Classic Landscaping has more room at the farm in Melrose for overflow vehicles but likes this location because of the visibility.  

Commissioner Devanney questioned what type of automotive business will occur at this site?   Dan Mikolonis indicated it would be oil changes, tires, etc.  Commissioner Devanney questioned if there would be any left over equipment or cars?  Dan Mikolonis suggested there are 4 junk cars on the site now, which will be removed.  Town Planner Whitten noted the entrance on Newberry Road will still provide accessibility for the students from Baran to race through; the area will be wide open.   Mr. Rasmussen suggested perhaps installation of a speed bump would help.

Commissioner O’Brien questioned if the parking lot has already been expanded?   Mr. Rasmussen suggested they have cleaned up in front, and put in drainage, but it’s the same as it was.  

Chairman Ouellette questioned the amount of impervious coverage?   Mr. Ussery noted it’s over the allowable amount, but that’s an existing condition.  Chairman Ouellette questioned if they closed the Newberry Road entrance, how would that affect the condition?   Mr. Ussery suggested most of that area is in the Town right-of-way; he felt they might be pushing the area around rather than getting more parking spaces.  

Commissioner O’Brien suggested if the lease is acquired from the State then this plan is moot.  Mr. Usury felt the spaces in the front probably would stay but the parking might be reconfigured; he suggested delaying striping the parking spaces until they deal with the State.  They would return with an alternate plan after acquisition of the lease from the State.  Commissioner Thurz felt Classic Landscaping had more than 3 employees for the trucks; if they organized their area better there would be more room. Town Planner Whitten suggested that Mr. Ussery had said the State requires that the striping be shown on the plans to acquire the license.  Mr. Ussery concurred, noting the State requires the striping be shown, and the spaces must be identified as being for employees or customers; he couldn’t say if it’s required that the actual striping be done on the land.  Town Planner Whitten suggested striping everything except the area in front of Litco’s; she felt the parking in the back would remain as shown on the plan.  Chairman Ouellette queried if conditions could be added to pursue the lease acquisition?   Attorney Fahey objected, noting his concern is that the DMV might not grant the Mikolonis’ license if such conditions were imposed.  Mr. Rasmussen noted he has considered closing the area of the building occupied by Advanced Coating; if he needs to do so he will.   He felt that by completing this Application it will be a more organized operation.  Attorney Fahey suggested it’s the intent of the Mikolonis’ and the owner to make this work for everyone; he suggested at 8 in the morning it may be tight but he felt it would work generally.  Mr. Ussery referenced a section of the regulations which seems to give the Commission latitude with regard to parking.   Chairman Ouellette questioned if that would be considered a waiver?   After reviewing Section 601.02 on page 45 Town Planner Whitten noted the language is “a modification”, which she interpreted to not be a waiver.  

Town Planner Whitten questioned if the proposed handicapped stalls, at 9’ x 15’, meet the minimum State requirements?  Chairman Ouellette suggested the size of the space depends on if it’s for a van, or a car; he also questioned that the proposed spaces will meet the State standards.

Mr. Ussery suggested he anticipates returning to the Commission after they go to the DOT.  At that point they could look at the ingress/egress on Newberry Road.   Chairman Ouellette indicated he liked the plan but he still had issues with regard to the parking.  Other Commissioners concurred with Chairman Ouellette.

MOTION TO APPROVE the Application of Heavy’s Automotive, Inc and owners Dean & Caren Rasmussen requesting site plan approval for a used vehicle sales, auto repair and U-Haul rental facility to be located at  38 Prospect Hill Road, in the M-1 Zone. Map 12, Block 17, Lot 32 .  This approval is granted subject to conformance with the referenced plans (as may be modified by the Conditions)

Referenced Plans:

Sheet 1 of 1:  Location and Layout Plan prepared for Heavy’s Automotive Inc, 38 Prospect Hill Rd – Rte 5, East Windsor, CT Map 12, Blk 17 Lot 32, Zone M-1 prepared by JR  Russo and Assoc. LLC, 1 Shoham Rd, East Windsor CT, 06088 860/623-0569, Fax 860/623-2485, scale 1” = 30’, dated 8/27/09

-Conditions which must be met prior to signing of mylars:

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

2.      The conditions of this approval shall be binding upon the applicant, land owners, and their successors and assigns.  A copy of this approval motion shall be filed in the land records prior to the signing of the final plans.

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

3.      Two sets of final plans, with any required revisions incorporated on the sheets shall be submitted for signature of the Commission.  Both sets shall be filed in the Planning and Zoning Department.

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

Conditions which must be met prior to certificates of compliance:

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

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

7.      All public health and safety components of the project must be satisfactorily completed prior to occupancy. In cases where all of these components have been completed, the Zoning Official may issue a Certificate of Zoning Compliance provided a suitable bond is retained for any remaining site work.  

General Conditions:

8.      In accordance with Section 900.3.h of the Zoning Regulations, any approval of a site plan application shall commence the construction of buildings within one year from the date of approval and complete all improvements within five years of the date of approval, otherwise the approval shall become null and void, unless an extension is granted by the Commission.

9.      A Zoning Permit shall be obtained prior to the commencement of any site work.

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

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

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

13.     By acceptance of this approval and conditions, the applicant, owner and/or their successors and assigns acknowledge the right of Town staff to periodically enter upon the subject property for the purpose of determining compliance with the terms of this approval.

14.     Cars may not be parked at any time off site or on any grassed area.

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

LET THE RECORD SHOW Chairman Ouellette indicated he is in favor of this business coming to town but he is concerned with the parking arrangement and the adequacy of the number of spaces; he is concerned that the location of display vehicles will be adequate for the businessowners needs.

MOTION: TO TAKE A FIVE MINUTE BREAK.

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

The Commission RECESSED at 10:00 p.m. and RECONVENED at 10:06 p.m.

BUSINESS MEETING/(1)  Temporary Sign Regulations - Discussion:

Chairman Ouellette polled the Commission as to their preference to advance the proposed regulation to a Public Hearing, or stay with the status quo?  Commissioner Thurz cited the lack of involvement of businessowners during the workshop discussion; he joined Commissioner Gowdy and Chairman Ouellette in opposing advancement to a Public Hearing.  Commissioners Devanney, Farmer, O’Brien, and Mulkern favored going forward with the Public Hearing.

Town Planner Whitten noted the submission tonight is a newer draft, incorporating comments made by the businessowners who did attend the workshop.   The Commission reviewed the regulation point by point.

MOTION: To EXTEND the Meeting until 11 o’clock.

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

The Commission cited concerns with sightline issues, and reduced the proposed fee slightly.

MOTION: To SEND THE DRAFT TEMPORARY SIGN REGULATIONS TO PUBLIC HEARING ON NOVEMBER 24, 2009.

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

BUSINESS MEETING/(2)  Election of Officers/Review of Bylaws:   Postponed.

BUSINESS MEETING/(3) Correspondence:  None.

BUSINESS MEETING/(4)  Staff Reports:  None.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES/September 8, 2009/September 22, 2009/September 24, 2009:

MOTION: To ACCEPT the Minutes of Special Meeting #1556 dated September 24, 2009 as amended:  CONTINUED HEARING:  Shoham Road Transfer, LLC, Page 1, third paragraph, first sentence, “Jonathan Murray noted the firm HMB did n an engineering analysis......”    and to ACCEPT the Minutes of  Public Hearing #1555 dated September 22, 2009 as amended: DISCUSSION OF TEMPORARY BUSINESS SIGNS, Page 2, Brian, of Broad Brook:  third line, “......Planner Whitten indicated hose those specifics.......”, and to ACCEPT the Minutes of Public Hearing #1554 dated September 8, 2009 as written.

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

SIGNING OF MYLARS/PLANS, MOTIONS:

*       Shoham Road Transfer, LLC - Plans and motion.

*       DSE Properties, LLC - Motion for 5-lot subdivision

ADJOURNMENT:

MOTION: To ADJOURN this Meeting at 10:55 p.m.

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

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