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January 26, 2010
TOWN OF EAST WINDSOR
PLANNING AND ZONING COMMISSION

Public Hearing #1563
January 26, 2010


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 four Regular Members (Devanney, Farmer, Ouellette, and Thurz), and two Alternate Members (Mulkern and O’Brien) were present.    Regular Member Gowdy and Alternate Member Matthews were absent.  Chairman Ouellette noted Alternate Member Mulkern would sit in on all Items of Business this evening.  

Also present was Town Planner Whitten.

ADDED AGENDA ITEMS:

Town Planner Whitten requested the addition of discussion of the following items under BUSINESS MEETING/(3)  Staff Reports:  a)  Grant for Incentive Housing Zone; b)  Herb Holden Trucking, Inc., Wapping Road, Windsorville, Public Hearing #1532 – Report on status of excavation; c)  Adoption of Sewer Service Area Map and consideration of inclusion of Hemlock Court, Phase 3; and d) Cost Saving Measures regarding the Planning and Zoning Commission.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES/January 12, 2010:

MOTION: To APPROVE the Minutes of Public Hearing #1562 dated January                    12, 2010 as AMENDED:  NEW HEARING:  Martha O’Donnell, Page                      2, Paragraph 3, third sentence:  “The parcel is bounded in the real                     rear by the Windsorville Cemetery.”

Devanney moved/Farmer seconded/
        VOTE:   In Favor:  Devanney/Farmer/Ouellette/Thurz/Mulkern
                        No opposition/no abstentions

RECEIPT OF APPLICATIONS:   None

LEGAL NOTICE:

The following Legal Notice, which appeared in the Hartford Courant on Friday, January 15, 2010, and Friday, January 22, 2010, was read by Chairman Ouellette:


1)      Application of Herb Holden Trucking, Inc., for a Special Use Permit for Earth Excavation Activities at property located to the rear of Wapping Road, owned by Northern Capital Region Disposal Facility, Inc., [M-1 & A-2 Zones; Map 41, Block 49, Lot 17C].

PERFORMANCE BONDS – ACTIONS; PERMIT EXTENSIONS; 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).  (Tabled from previous meeting):

Town Planner Whitten indicated there was nothing new to report on this request.  Chairman Ouellette suggested this Item of Business be removed from future Agendas, and to request the Applicant make a new request when they are ready.

PERFORMANCE BONDS – ACTIONS; PERMIT EXTENSIONS; ROAD ACCEPTANCE:  Norton Glen Condominiums – Request from Rejean Jacques for release of the performance bond and erosion control bond for the Norton Glen Condominiums:

Town Planner Whitten requested moving this Item of Business to the end of the Agenda to hear take the New Hearing for Herb Holden Trucking, Inc. first.

NEW HEARING: Herb Holden Trucking, Inc.  – Special Use Permit for Earth Excavation Activities at property located to the rear of Wapping Road, owned by Northern Capital Region Disposal Facility, Inc., [M-1 & A-2 Zones; Map 36, Block 49, Lot 17C]   (Deadline to close hearing 3/2/2010):

Chairman Ouellette read the Hearing description.   Appearing to discuss this Application was Attorney Allan Koerner; Jay Ussery, of J. R. Russo and Associates, LLC.; and Scott Atkin of Anchor Engineering Services, Inc.

Attorney Koerner submitted a signed affidavit for the Application file.

Attorney Koerner referenced a joint memo dated January 19, 2010 submitted by himself and Mr. Ussery which summarizes points of the Application.   Attorney Koerner noted the Applicant had previously submitted an application for a gravel operation on Wapping Road which received approval in 2008; they are proposing to use the same entrance which was approved in 2008 for this operation.  The access proposed is the existing driveway from the former NORCAP facility.  To reach the proposed location they will be crossing the railroad tracks via a temporary Right-Of-Entry Agreement issued by the Department of Transportation (DOT), Rail Unit.   Conditions of the Right-Of-Entry Agreement call for reconstruction/improvement of the crossing, and closing of the existing cattle crossing.  Attorney Koerner noted the Commission granted a waiver of its regulation requiring a 1 mile separation distance for gravel operation entrances during the

previous Application.  

Chairman Ouellette questioned if this present Application were denied would the Applicant still be required to fulfill the requirements of the Right-Of-Entry Agreement?  Attorney Koerner replied affirmatively, noting that DOT has agreed there is a right to cross and they want the crossing upgraded to modern standards.  

Mr. Ussery took the floor, noting the location of the proposed parcel as being west of the old NORCAP landfill.  The parcel, shown as the grey area on the area map, contains 86.5 total acres. Wapping Road is located to the south and east of the parcel; the railroad tracks follow the east side of the parcel out to Apothecaries Hall Road.  The proposed entrance for this parcel will be the old NORCAP landfill entrance, which is paved 600’ to 700’ in from Wapping Road.   The NORCAP entrance presently contains an anti-tracking pad, and a scale to weigh material as it leaves the site.  The entrance will come in around the back side of the previous landfill; they have a Right-of-Entry with DOT to cross the railroad tracks.  On the west side of the railroad tracks is an existing roadway which will require widening and improvements.  The proposed parcel has been under agricultural uses – corn and tobacco – for some time.  

Town Planner Whitten noted there is an existing gravel operation occurring presently; she questioned where the location of the current gravel pit is in relation to this proposal?    Mr. Ussery suggested that would be the former Gilson property, which comes out to the railroad but the excavation plans don’t go out that far.  

Commissioner Thurz questioned if the site is out in the woods?  Mr. Ussery suggested the parcel isn’t wooded, but it is out in the middle of nowhere; it’s actually quite remote.  The subject parcel can’t be seen from the roads.  He suggested there are not a lot of houses located nearby.  There is a group of houses in the area of the intersection of Wapping and Graham Roads; the closest of those houses to the subject parcel is 3000’ from the site.  There is also a house at Morris Road which is about 2000’ from the subject parcel, and two of the end lots of the Kingshire Subdivision are approximately 1700’ from the excavation site.  

Mr. Ussery indicated the subject parcel is a big, open field which is currently being used for a row crop; a band of woods runs along the railroad tracks.  The drainage area contains steep slopes which run down to Ketch Brook.  Due to the remoteness of the site it’s not expected that anyone around the parcel will be able to hear the equipment operating.  Mr. Ussery noted the total parcel contains 86.5 acres.  The gravel excavation will consist of approximately 46.7 acres, which they propose to divide into five (5) phases of approximately 10 acres each.  They would begin excavation with the phase closest to the railroad.  

Mr. Ussery indicated there is a high point within the parcel, which is shown as the blue line bisecting the parcel on the plans.  There are two drainage areas, one containing overland flow which drains to the south and east, and a second area draining north to the

Ketch Brook watershed.  They are proposing two sedimentation basins, one to serve each
drainage flow.  Phase I will contain one of the sedimentation basins, and direct flow back towards the high point.  Mr. Ussery noted Town Engineer Norton has recommended that they switch Phase II and Phase III so the second sedimentation basin would be built next.  There would be two additional phases to the east of the high point, which would include the area above the plume (which Mr. Atkin will discuss subsequently).

Mr. Ussery noted there is a wetlands area associated with Ketch Brook to the north.  The Applicant acquired an Inland/Wetlands Permit in 2007; that permit carries a five (5) year duration and is therefore still in affect.   He noted there was some concern for soil erosion due to the steep slopes in the proximity of Ketch Brook.   Mr. Ussery suggested that it is their opinion that there will not be any erosion, as everything is being graded back into the site; they are not making any cuts into the slopes.  Additionally, Mr. Ussery noted that to address the concerns of the Wetlands Commission (Dr.) Clarence Welti (PhD, P.E.) looked at the plans and has submitted a letter in which he agrees that based on the way the plans have been designed there are no issues with erosion of the Ketch Brook watershed.  The Inland/Wetlands Commission was comfortable with Dr. Welti’s findings and issued the permit in 2007.

Mr. Ussery reported they submitted a traffic study prepared by H. A. Hesketh with the previous excavation Application.  The Applicant is proposing a 60 load (truck)/day limit, which will include truck traffic for the pit currently operating and this proposed pit.  Mr. Ussery noted the traffic study indicates the entrance to the NORCAP landfill operates at a Level of Service A; sightlines for the entrance are ok in both directions.  Mr. Ussery suggested there really is no impact to the local road system because of the 60 trucks/day limit.

Mr. Ussery then noted the following changes to the plans:  1)  they have raised the finished grade elevation of the floor of the excavation as there was a concern for the seasonable level of the water table.  The current regulations require a minimum distance of 8’ from the groundwater.   Anchor Engineering has been monitoring the landfill site for many years.  They have found that there would be a distance of at least 10’, and in some places the distance would reach 20’ or more.  Mr. Ussery referenced the plans and noted various distances throughout the site.  

Town Planner Whitten questioned the volume of materials that could be anticipated to be excavated on a phase by phase basis?   Mr. Ussery indicated the following:  Phase 1 – 295,000 cubic yards; Phase 2 – 585,000 cubic yards; Phase 3 – 498,000 cubic yards, Phase 4 – 236,000 cubic yards; and Phase 5 – 275,000 cubic yards.  Total anticipated excavation for all phases would be approximately 1.8 million cubic yards.

Attorney Koerner suggested they have submitted this Application because they currently have an active pit on the other side of the tracks; that pit is primarily composed of sand and fill and they are not finding significant amounts of “good” gravel which is used for a road base.  The intent is to make what the market is demanding.  They are not proposing

to stop the other operation, but are proposing to make it and this operation as one
operation.   Attorney Koerner noted the limit of trucks/day would still apply to the combined operation.   Chairman Ouellette questioned how long the operation is anticipated to continue?  Attorney Koerner noted the regulations allow a one (1) year permit, but the real answer is that the duration of the activity depends on the market demand.  He further noted they are only permitted to have one phase open at a time, therefore the operation could take a long time.  Chairman Ouellette questioned that if what they need isn’t found in Phase I what’s the likelihood of going into another phase and of moving around the site?   Attorney Koerner noted the project is designed with the high point in the middle with the drainage going out to each sedimentation basin so he felt they could move that way, but questioned other movement.  Mr. Ussery noted that As-Built Plans are submitted at the end of each year, and quarterly reports are submitted to the Planning Office.  They visit the site and shoot benchmarks to substantiate the reports, which keeps everyone informed of where they are and where they are headed.  

Chairman Ouellette noted there is an existing access out to Plantation Road for agricultural use on the southwest corner of the parcel.  Mr. Ussery indicated that access, which is opposite the last tobacco shed on Plantation Road, has been in place since the parcel was cut off and sold to NORCAP; the access from Plantation Road has been allowed for agricultural use, and has been used that way for years.  Chairman Ouellette questioned that there is no intent to abandon that access?  Mr. Ussery replied negatively; Attorney Koerner also noted there is no intent to use that easement as it is only intended for agricultural use.  

Chairman Ouellette questioned the degree of slopes on the northeast corner of the site.  Mr. Ussery indicated that all slopes are 3:1; he referenced various locations throughout the site.  Mr. Ussery also noted that buffers in relation to the Nilsson property were a concern expressed previously.  For this proposal they are adding a vegetated berm with a 5:1 slope on the west side of the site; the degree of slope will allow the berm to be mowed.  Attorney Koerner noted that although the regulations require a 50’ buffer the Applicant is providing a 100’ buffer.  Town Planner Whitten noted the plan before the Commission shows a 50’ buffer.  Mr. Ussery clarified that there is another 50’ beyond the 50’ buffer.  Commissioner O’Brien questioned how far the distance is from the back of the Nilsson property to the berm?   Mr. Ussery estimated that the Nilsson houses are approximately 800’ to 900’ back from Rye Street; he suggested the berm is approximately 1400’ to 1500’ from the property line – which is the brook.  He noted that there is another 600’ to 700’ distance to where any activity would occur; therefore the total distance from the Nilsson houses to the activity is over 2000’.  Mr. Ussery noted much of the area is wooded; he suggested he has never been able to see any houses from the site.  Commissioner O’Brien questioned how far the sound of the crusher would travel?  Mr. Ussery noted the equipment will be set down into the excavation so you have a site which buffers the sound.  Mr. Ussery noted that the crusher used at the Charbonneau pit is probably closer to Apothecaries Hall Road than this crusher would be; you can’t hear anything from the Charbonneau pit.


Chairman Ouellette noted people often illegally use these types of sites, he questioned
how the Applicant would manage such trespassing?  Mr. Ussery agreed illegal use of a site is always a concern.  People on motorcycles and quads often use these sites.   Mr. Botticello has used tree stumps as a deterrent in the past but to add tree stumps all around this site would be difficult.   They (the Applicant) can knock down the site at the end of the day.  Mr. Ussery suggested people don’t pay much attention to signs; he has seen people drive by them on vehicles and wave in passing.

Commissioner Farmer questioned the proximity of this activity to the unique bog nearby?  Mr. Ussery indicated there is a black spruce bog at Wapping Road adjacent to the railroad tracks.   There was a concern when they proposed an access along the railroad near the Mitchell property, but this entrance is 1000’ away from the bog.  

Commissioner Devanney questioned if the Applicant was proposing operating hours for Monday through Friday, with no weekend operation?  Mr. Ussery replied affirmatively.

Scott Atkin, of Anchor Engineering introduced himself.  Mr. Atkin gave his credentials, which include a Bachelors in Civil Engineering from UMass, his over 20 year’s experience in environmental engineering in Connecticut , and his standing as a Licensed Environmental Professional through the Department of Environmental Protection who is authorized to investigates various sites.    

Mr. Atkin reported he has been working on inspecting the NORCAP site since 1989, and is therefore very familiar with the site.  In 1993 or 1994 NORCAP negotiated with the DEP to operate the site, conditions included the addition of monitoring wells to analyze the affect of the flow of water, which became the “zone of influence” where the groundwater might be impacted.  Mr. Atkin reported he has reviewed the booklet prepared by Mr. Ussery, and reviewed communication with Town Planner Whitten regarding the subject site.  He has determined that the soils to be excavated under the proposed operation will be 18’ to 20’ above the groundwater.  

One of Town Planner Whitten’s concerns was that during 2008 the area experienced higher levels of precipitation than average.  She questioned if that event would raise the maximum groundwater levels?   Mr. Atkin reported that based on his review of hydrological studies back to 1993 the maximum levels didn’t occur in the last two years; there the above average precipitation which occurred in 2008 didn’t raise the maximum groundwater levels.  The distance (of groundwater to excavation) remains at least 10’, and in some area up to 20’.  

Mr. Atkin reported that the groundwater flows toward Ketch Brook, but in the area of the proposed excavation it flows in a more northerly direction.  The blue line shown on the site map reflects the westerly limit of the zone of influence; they must make sure that line doesn’t move in either direction.  Mr. Atkin suggested they could get some mounding of the groundwater table due to infiltration of stormwater from the sedimentation basins but should that occur it would force the water to the east within the zone of influence.

Mr. Atkin reported it was noted the area of excavation has been used for agricultural purposes; the question of pesticides being present in the soil was raised.   As noted in his letter of January 26, 2010 the topsoil will not be removed from the site, but will be stockpiled for return to the site for vegetation purposes.  He noted the intent is to return the land to agricultural uses at the end of excavation.

Commissioner Farmer questioned if the zone of influence has fluctuated over the years?   Mr. Atkin reported the zone of influence was predicted previously.   The monitoring wells were put in in the 1990s, and the zone of influence is about where it was predicted.  Reports have been submitted since the landfill was capped.  Commissioner Mulkern reiterated Commission Farmers question regarding fluctuation of the zone of influence.  Mr. Atkin reported that at every well the levels were consistent.  The area experiences a seasonal fluctuation, and there are variations because the soil is coarse and the water flows through it quickly.  You would see a reaction in the brook more that at the wells, and if you get a lot of rainfall the water level comes up, but in the zone of influence it stays pretty much the same.  

Chairman Ouellette recapped that the Commission was hearing that Mr. Atkin didn’t expect the zone of influence to move or be greatly changed; he questioned that if that were to occur what could be done to remedy that?  Mr. Atkin suggested that the location of the culverts is important.  If an impact were noted they would have to find the cause.   The landfill has an obligation to control the zone of influence, either by owning it, or making sure no one else is using it.  Mr. Atkin reiterated they don’t expect the zone of influence to change.  Chairman Ouellette questioned if another expert were hired what would be the chance of that person having a different answer?   Mr. Atkin reiterated he is an engineer, while many of the other experts hired were geologists.

Town Planner Whitten noted Mr. Atkin has said there may be some mounding under phases 1, 2, and 3; Mr. Atkin clarified that would be the southwest corner of the site.  Town Planner Whitten questioned why he didn’t anticipate mounding under phases 4 and 5?  Mr. Atkin suggested the water in the sedimentation basin will percolation through the water table.  

Town Planner Whitten questioned where the flow of the plume goes from the northeast corner of the map; it seems to disappear.  Mr. Atkin reported that from the northeast corner  Ketch Brook is a well-defined channel but when you get to the railroad and the culvert over Ketch Brook you loose it, and then pick it up again.  They show the zone of influence on both sides of Ketch Brook, and there are wells on both sides; the plume flows under Ketch Brook.  Town Planner Whitten noted Mr. Atkin’s letter mentions that the operation of the Maslak pit didn’t “significantly affect the groundwater levels”, she felt that implied that the operation did affect the zone of influence somewhat; could he explain?  Mr. Atkin suggested they did find a little mounding; there is a well near the toe of the slope and the quality of water over four (4) or five (5) years has either remained consistent or relatively stable over that time.


Chairman Ouellette questioned what DEP does with the information sent to them on a quarterly basis; do they review it?   Mr. Atkin felt they review it very thoroughly.  The reports include information about the zone of influence, the wells, the trends over the last three (3) or more years.  He noted there are not a lot of wells for drinking water around the monitoring wells.  Mr. Atkin felt questions are raised when necessary.  Chairman Ouellette questioned how long the reports must be submitted?   Mr. Atkin replied the reports will be prepared through 2029 – thirty (30) years after the landfill was closed; NORCAP is bonded for thirty (30) years for monitoring the wells.  

Commissioner Farmer cited concern for potential impact on the excavation on the zone of influence; he thought input from another expert might be helpful.  Commissioner Farmer suggested they will be removing 50’ of soil off the area near the zone of influence; he questioned if there is a buffer between the groundwater and the zone of influence?  He felt “it” would get through quicker.  Mr. Atkin suggested the monitoring is a model for landfills used by the DEP, and they also looked at other landfills.  It’s an assumption that 22’ of water will get into the groundwater if they excavate or not; maybe it will be less because it will be drained where it’s being infiltrated now.  Mr. Atkin suggested the amount of water will be the same amount; maybe it will get there a little quicker but he didn’t expect it to affect the zone of influence.  Commissioner Farmer cited an example of pouring a cup of water on a sponge; if there were two sponges it would still come out on the other side of the sponges.  Town Planner Whitten suggested the lag time would be faster; Mr. Atkin suggested you are still talking about a 10’ buffer.   Town Planner Whitten suggested they will be draining a lot of that water off.

Attorney Koerner offered an explanation of the impact of the Maslak pit on the zone of influence; did it cause the zone of influence to expand?  He suggested the groundwater is still moving in the same direction, and under Commissioner Farmer’s example there is no impact on the zone of influence.  Mr. Atkin reiterated they didn’t see the flow of the groundwater changing.  Commissioner Farmer suggested the site will now be excavated.  Mr. Atkin suggested the water is going in the northeast direction and they really haven’t seen much of an influence.

The Recording Secretary requested a break before the Commission takes public comment.

MOTION: TO TAKE A FIVE MINUTE BREAK.

Devanney moved/Farmer seconded/
VOTE:  In Favor:  Unanimous  (Devanney/Farmer/Mulkern/Ouellette/Thurz)

The Commission RECESSED at 8:20 p.m. and RECONVENED at 8:28 p.m.

Chairman Ouellette picked up discussion with the Applicant’s representatives.  He questioned if the sedimentation basins must be installed prior to initiation of excavation; could they begin excavating Phase 5 first?   Mr. Ussery replied noted the basins must be

installed first.  As they grade into Phase I they would be grading into the slope and will be grading into the material and the water will be going back into the sedimentation basin.  If they go to the back they will also be grading up to the material at the high point at the middle of the site.  If they follow the proposed phasing, or go with Town Engineer Norton’s recommendation (to switch Phases 2 and 3), it’s important to get the basins in.  If they went into Phase 5 and just dug into the ground the water wouldn’t go anywhere but down but they couldn’t get to the material because they wouldn’t have the access so they need to do the excavation in the proposed, or recommended, phases.  Attorney Koerner noted that the text pits have indicated some of the best material is in Phase I.   He suggested there will also be extemporaneous data that will provide additional   information.   Chairman Ouellette suggested making the phasing a condition of approval.    Mr. Ussery also noted the first three (3) phases are outside the zone of influence so they will be getting information from the monitoring.

Commissioner Farmer questioned if the future use of the site could be housing?  What would the Commission be limiting the site to in the future; would septic systems be allowed.  Town Planner Whitten suggested they would have issues with access to the site.  Mr. Ussery noted 18’ of soil are allowed between groundwater and there have been numerous locations in East Windsor where septic systems have been allowed where the 18” distance exists, but he concurred there would the issue of access.

Chairman Ouellette noted there is a substantial erosion problem now where the water exits the site; this excavation project would also repair that problem.

Chairman Ouellette noted there is a note on the plans that indicates the access drive on the west side of the tracks will be widened to 20’; is there any need to widen it on the east side?  Mr. Ussery suggested the widening, which will be gravel, applies to both sides of the track.  He suggested fire trucks, dump trucks, or tractor trailers bringing in equipment to the site will be able to use the widened area.  Chairman Ouellette suggested they could also use the existing agricultural access is necessary.

Chairman Ouellette opened discussion to the audience:

Julie Thomas, State Department of Transportation, Rail Unit:  noted DOT has entered into a contract with Dennis Botticello regarding use of the rail line; she noted Articles 5 and  6 specifically address improving the grade crossing and close the cattle crossing.  Ms. Thomas suggested it has been mutually agreed that NORCAP will contract with the Central New England Railroad Company to relocate the railroad crossing and to close the cattle path.   Ms. Thomas suggested the department respectfully requests approval based on the completion of those requirements.  She noted that a Right-to-Entrance is typically granted for one year, and this document was executed on September 14, 2009; if the conditions were not completed by the expiration of a year they would have to enter into another Right-to-Enter Agreement.

Chairman Ouellette noted that Staff comments include a recommendation from Town

Engineer Norton that the anti-tracking pad be 300’ long.  Mr. Ussery clarified that the paved access area is currently 600’ to 700’; it needs to be maintained at 300’

Town Planner Whitten noted the Applicant needs a waiver for phases containing ten (10) acres, as the regulations currently allow phases of  five (5) acres.  Mr. Ussery recalled that they had proposed multiple phases in a previous application and Town Engineer Norton felt it should be done in northern and southern phases, so they tried to stay with that same size and keep away from the plume.  He suggested excavation could be done in smaller phases but they felt the ten (10) acres fit well on the west side of the plume; they could make it four (4) to seven (7) acre phases if necessary.

Town Planner Whitten noted that the Applicant had referenced an incorrect map number on the Application Form, and that reference was used in the Legal Notice for this Hearing and on the letters sent out to abutting property owners.  The map number referred to a property adjacent to this property rather than the parcel subject to the Application.  Town Planner Whitten felt the Legal Notice and notice to abutters should be completely re-done, therefore, the Hearing would not be closed this evening.

Julie Thomas, State Department of Transportation, Rail Unit:  questioned if the hydraulic data would be provided every year?  She suggested their concern would be the location of the detention ponds in the proximity of the tracks.  The Commission agreed provision of that data to the DOT, Rail Unit would be reasonable.

Chairman Ouellette noted that the Applicant is offering to limit the number of trucks per day using the access drive to Wapping Road to 60 trucks per day when they have the ability to go to 120 trucks per day for the combined operation; he questioned why they were offering the lesser number?  Attorney Koerner noted the Applicant realizes it’s two permits and two locations but it is the same owner; they didn’t want to appear as if they were over-reaching.  With this offering they can say the new operation isn’t impacting the traffic because it’s the same volume on the adjacent streets that has been there for some time.  Commissioner Devanney felt that two (2) gravel pits at 60 trucks per day wouldn’t be taken well by the people living around the site; she likes the offer of the lesser trucks per day.  

Commissioner Farmer questioned if the anti-tracking pad should be required on both sides of the railroad crossing?  A. J. Belliveau, President of the Central New England Railroad Company, Inc., requested to speak.  He noted mud on the tracks is a problem now; because of the elevation the water all goes towards the tracks, and the dirt bikes don’t help.   The new grade would direct the water away from the tracks.  The flangeways will get mucked up during the Winter because of the trucks crossing the tracks; anti-tracking pads probably would help.  Mr. Belliveau reported on public streets sand gets into the flanges.  Town Planner Whitten questioned if there is a Maintenance Agreement between the DOT and the Applicant?  Mr. Belliveau didn’t know, but noted they are presently moving fertilizer along the tracks; now the crew must stop to make sure the tracks are clean so the trains won’t derail.  

Commissioner O’Brien questioned what the new crossing will be made of?  Mr. Belliveau reported it would be similar to the crossing at Depot Street – rubber strips on each side of the rails, which makes a flexible joint between the asphalt and the tracks and makes the flanges for the wheels to run on.  Mr. Ussery felt it’s not a problem to install anti-track pads, and felt Mr. Holden would have no problem maintaining the crossing, and keeping it clean.  

Commissioner O’Brien questioned the volume of trains coming through per week now?   Mr. Belliveau indicated it depends on what cars are coming through; presently it’s usually three (3) per week.  Commissioner O’Brien questioned if Mr. Belliveau saw that number increasing?   Mr. Belliveau indicated it could, especially when they get the lines open through Enfield.   Commissioner Thurz questioned the speed of the trains?  Mr. Belliveau reported five (5) to ten (10) miles per hour.  Town Planner Whitten questioned how a truck driver would know a train was coming through?   Mr. Belliveau reported there are signs, etc., but the driver must look for the trains.   It’s a private “T-2” crossing (stop signs  and crossing signs); the train conductor needs to blow the whistle as the train  approaches.   Mr. Belliveau indicated he isn’t opposed to the gravel operation; both parties need to run a safe operation.

Commissioner Farmer reiterated his concern for the expansion of the zone of influence.  He felt the way this operation is set up all the excavation outside the zone of influence occurs first, the excavation into the zone of influence – which could expand the zone of influence – happens at the end of the project. He is concerned that when they excavate to the east it will push the zone of influence to the west.  Commissioner Devanney felt what happens in Phase 1 and 2 will give everyone an idea of what will happen in subsequent phases. Chairman Ouellette questioned if Commissioner Farmer was asking the Applicant to provide additional information for the next meeting?  Commissioner Farmer felt if you take 50’ of dirt out it will be hammering the water table with more water.  Chairman Ouellette cited the information from the Maslak pit; Commissioner Farmer questioned if that information was more opinion than fact?  

Commissioner Thurz questioned the hours of operation?  Town Planner Whitten requested clarification.  Attorney Koerner suggested they are stipulating a Monday through Friday operation.

Chairman Ouellette reiterated the Commission would not be closing the Public Hearing this evening.  Attorney Koerner thanked the Commission for their input.  He indicated while he felt the presentation had been complete they will amplify the information at the next meeting.                                                                                    

MOTION: To CONTINUE the Public Hearing on the Application of Herb Holden Trucking, Inc. for a Special Use Permit for Earth Excavation
Activities at property located to the rear of Wapping Road, owned by Northern Capital Region Disposal Facility, Inc., [M-1 & A-2 Zones; Map 36, Block 49, Lot 17C]  until the Commission’s next regularly

scheduled Meeting on February 9, 2010, at 7:00 p.m. in the Town Hall Meeting Room, 11 Rye Street, Broad Brook, CT.

Devanney moved/Farmer seconded/
VOTE:     In Favor:  Unanimous (Devanney/Farmer/Mulkern/Ouellette/Thurz)

PERFORMANCE BONDS - ACTIONS; EXTENSION; ROAD ACCEPTANCE – Norton Glen Condominiums:

Town Planner Whitten indicated the file regarding this request was not available; she requested tabling this Item of Business tonight.

MOTION: To TABLE the request from Rejean Jacques for release of the performance bond and erosion control bond for the Norton Glen Condominiums.
        
Devanney moved/Farmer seconded/
VOTE:  In Favor:  Unanimous (Devanney/Farmer/Mulkern/Ouellette/Thurz)

BUSINESS MEETING/(3)  Staff Reports/b) Herb Holden Trucking, Inc., Wapping Road, Windsorville, Public Hearing #1532 – Report on status of excavation:

Town Planner Whitten noted receipt of letter dated January 21, 2010 from J. R. Russo & Associates, LLC regarding the status of excavation at the operation of Herb Holden Trucking, Inc., at Wapping Road, Windsorville.  Town Planner Whitten suggested the letter is a report to keep the Commission apprised of activity at the site.  

Chairman Ouellette questioned if the Applicant was to submit a report on the vertical and horizontal controls, etc. at the site, and if any log was submitted to report the number of trucks going through the site per day?  Town Planner Whitten will review the material and report back to the Commission at the next meeting.

BUSINESS MEETING/(1)  Farm Regulations – Discussion:

Town Planner Whitten submitted a draft of the proposal for Agricultural Buffers as Open Space in Subdivision Regulations.  The intent is for a developer to provide a 100’ buffer between a new residential subdivision and an existing working farm.  

Chairman Ouellette questioned what constitutes a subdivision?  What if only one (1) or  two (2) lots were proposed, or three (3) lots as was proposed in the application recently before the Commission where only one (1) of the lots was an approved building lot?  Town Planner Whitten indicated three (3) or more lots is the definition of a subdivision, and the farm nearby must be an actively working farm.

The Commission discussed the definition of agriculture (crop vs. livestock), further clarification to better define farming for laypeople, what constitutes “proximity” in

subdivisions of larger numbers of lots, notification of the proximity of farming on lot deeds, clarification of buffer requirement being the responsibility of any new farming operations which begin after the construction of an abutting subdivision, size of buffer relative to type of farming activity, and other language refinements

Town Planner Whitten noted she believed representatives of the Department of Agricultural (DOA) would be willing to attend a Commission Meeting.  The Commission welcomed input from the DOA.

BUSINESS MEETING/(2)  Correspondence:    None.

BUSINESS MEETING/(3)  Staff Reports/c)  Adoption of Sewer Service Area Map and consideration of inclusion of Hemlock Court, Phase 3:

Town Planner Whitten reported Phase 3 of Hemlock was previously a gravel operation which was over-excavated; no native soils remain which would prohibit use of septic systems.  The Applicant is requesting to tie into the sewer line allowed for Quarry Meadows.  The Water Pollution Control Authority (WPCA) is re-opening review of the request regarding Hemlock Court.  Town Planner Whitten reported the Applicant for Hemlock Court is asking for the support of this Commission, and noted the Commission had supported the Applicant’s first request to the OPM.  She suggested that allowing hook up to the Quarry Meadow sewer line would be better for the environment and would also provide a better residential subdivision.

The Commission agreed to support the request of the Applicant for Hemlock Court to tie into the sewer line for Quarry Meadows.

BUSINESS MEETING/(3)  Staff Reports/a)  Grant for Incentive Housing Zone:

Town Planner Whitten reported she applied for a similar grant a year ago.  Such grants provide money to hire a consultant to do the research to consider the possibility of creating an Incentive Housing Zone in areas which are near sewers, public access, etc. and would provide housing for the work force.

The Commission agreed that Town Planner Whitten should continue to pursue this grant.

BUSINESS MEETING/(3)  Staff Reports/a) Herb Holden Trucking, Inc., Wapping Road, Windsorville, Public Hearing #1532 – Report on status of excavation:

See previous discussion, page 12.

BUSINESS MEETING/(3)  Staff Reports/d)  Cost Saving Measures regarding the Planning and Zoning Commission:

Town Planner Whitten noted the Planning Department has been requested to submit a

“no increase budget”.  To attain that goal the following cost saving measures are being undertaken:
1)      Using a digital recorder to tape meetings, thereby reducing the cost of purchasing tapes.
2)      Commission members are being asked to pick up meeting packets in the Planning Office the Thursday prior to each meeting, thereby reducing postage costs.  

Town Planner Whitten noted East Windsor has been requested to send a member to the CRCOG monthly meetings.   Chairman Ouellette volunteered to attend as he has done in the past.

SIGNING OF MYLARS/PLANS, MOTIONS:  

*       Martha O’Donnell – 1-lot subdivision
                                                             
ADJOURNMENT:

MOTION: To ADJOURN this Meeting at 10:18 p.m.

Devanney moved/Farmer seconded/
VOTE:  In Favor:  Unanimous (Devanney/Farmer/Mulkern/Ouellette/Thurz)




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