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February 23, 2010
TOWN OF EAST WINDSOR
PLANNING AND ZONING COMMISSION

Public Hearing #1565
February 23, 2010


The Meeting was called to order at 7:03 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, Gowdy, Ouellette, and Thurz), and one Alternate Member (Mulkern) were present.    Regular Member Farmer and Alternate Members Matthews and O’Brien were absent.  Alternate Member Mulkern joined the Regular Members on all Items of Business this evening.    

Also present was Town Planner Whitten.

ADDED AGENDA ITEMS:             None.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES/February 9, 2010:

MOTION:  To APPROVE the Minutes of Public Hearing #1564 dated February 9, 2010 as amended:  CONTINUED HEARING:  Herb Holden Trucking, Inc., Page 3, last paragraph, Sentence 5:  “…….that information has been presented in a graft GRAPH……”; NEW BUSINESS:  Racers Performance, Page15, MOTION, Revise Condition #14:  “Storage of cars on site for RACERS PERFORMANCE is strictly forbidden.  Only internet sales of vehicles is permitted from this site/tenant space.

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

RECEIPT OF APPLICATIONS:        None.

LEGAL NOTICE:

The following Legal Notice, which appeared in the Hartford Courant on Friday, February 12, 2010, and Friday, February 19, 2010, was read by Chairman Ouellette:

1.      Application of Emil J. Demikat for a 2-lot Resubdivision of property located at 93 Rockville Road, owned by Emil J., Carl L., and Linda A. Demikat.   [A-1 Zone; Map 42, Block 64, Lot 10].

NEW HEARING:  Emil J. Demikat – 2-lot Resubdivision of property located at 93 Rockville Road, owned by Emil J., Carl L., and Linda A. Demikat.   [A-1 Zone; Map 42, Block 64, Lot 10]   (Deadline to close hearing 3/30/2010):     

Chairman Ouellette read the Hearing description.  Appearing to discuss this Application was Todd Clark, of Aeschliman Land Surveying, PC, representing the Applicant, Emil Demikat.  Mr. Demikat was present in the audience.

Mr. Clark reported that in March of 2008 the Applicant received approval for a 3 lot subdivision at 93 Rockville Road.  The Applicant retained a 3 acre parcel, which he is proposing be split into two lots – one containing the existing house, shed, and barn, and a second rear lot.  Mr. Clark reported they did both a deep test and a perc test, and found acceptable levels to provide water for the new house as well.    Both proposed lots meet all Zoning requirements.  There is 175’ frontage for the new lot, which will cross the existing driveway.   They are proposing a driveway easement for #93 Rockville Road.  

Town Planner Whitten requested to clarify that the new lot is on public water rather than a private well as was referenced in her memo dated February 11, 2010.  

Mr. Clark indicated the Applicant is proposing to provide a Fee-In-Lieu of Open Space in the amount of $2,000 for the new lot.  

Mr. Clark noted they are requesting waivers for the following:  1)  Section 6.3 – Sidewalks, as there are no sidewalks in proximity to the subject parcel.  Mr. Demikat suggested he is proposing a Fee-In-Lieu of sidewalks at $8/linear foot; Town Planner Whitten clarified the amount of the Fee-In-Lieu is a recommendation made by the Town Engineer.  2)  Section 6-5 – Street Lights, as there are several street lights in the area presently.  

Mr. Demikat suggested the existing farmhouse will remain on a private well, while the new house will be served by public water.   Commissioner Devanney noted a comment made by the Health Department indicating if contamination were found with the private well at the existing dwelling then the Applicant would need to tie into public water.  Mr. Demikat indicated he had discussed these issues with the Health Department; the land hasn’t been farmed in over 40 years, and no eDBs have been found at this location.  Town Planner Whitten clarified any connection for the existing dwelling comes under the purview of the North Central Health District rather than the Planning and Zoning Commission.

Chairman Ouellette referenced the plans, noting the property to the south seems to include a right-of-way between neighboring properties.  Town Planner Whitten noted that is a right-of-way to the two double frontage approved in the earlier subdivision; the lots have frontage on both East Road and Rockville Road.   There is no access available on East Road; access is being provided via Rockville Road.  

Chairman Ouellette noted the plans show a buffer plan; he questioned if the buffer would be installed on the frontage lots?  Town Planner Whitten indicated the buffer would be installed on the adjacent access driveway.  

Mr. Clark referenced the recommendations made by Town Engineer Norton under his memo dated February 12, 2010.  All recommendations are being addressed.  

Mr. Clark clarified that the existing barn near the existing dwelling will remain, while the older barn to the rear will be removed.  

Chairman Ouellette opened discussion to the audience; no one requested to speak.  

Chairman Ouellette queried the Commission regarding the proposed waivers.  Commissioner Mulkern noted that no sidewalks presently exist along Rockville Road.  Commissioner Devanney noted that there are several street lights in the proximity of the subject lot; nothing additional seems necessary.

Chairman Ouellette requested clarification that the rules regarding selling the lot to a family member applies in this situation?  Town Planner Whitten concurred, noting that if the second lot is sold to a family member within the next five years then the Fee-In-Lieu of Open Space is waived.

MOTION: To CLOSE THE PUBLIC HEARING on the Application of Emil J. Demikat for a 2-lot Resubdivision of property located at 93 Rockville Road, owned by Emil J., Carl L., and Linda A. Demikat.   [A-1 Zone; Map 42, Block 64, Lot 10].

Devanney moved/Gowdy seconded/
        VOTE:   In Favor:  Devanney/Gowdy/Mulkern/Ouellette/Thurz

MOTION TO APPROVE OPEN SPACE:  in the form fee in lieu of open space in the amount of $2,000 per new lot
Devanney moved/Gowdy seconded/
        VOTE:   In Favor:  Devanney/Gowdy/Mulkern/Ouellette/Thurz

MOTION TO APPROVE WAIVERS in accordance with Section 8-26 of the Connecticut General Statutes and Section 2.15 of the East Windsor Subdivision Regulations for the 2 lot re-subdivision for Emil Demikat

1.      A waiver of section 6.3 requiring sidewalks. A fee in Lieu will be provided for the 382 linear feet along Rockville Road..
2.      A waiver of Section 6.5 requiring street lights.

DISCUSSION:  Reasons for granting waivers:  Installation of sidewalks was waived in favor of payment of a fee in lieu of sidewalks because there is no network of sidewalks in the immediate area; and installation of a street light was waived as street lights already exist in the vicinity of the new  lot.
Devanney moved/Gowdy seconded/
        VOTE:   In Favor:  Devanney/Gowdy/Mulkern/Ouellette/Thurz

MOTION TO APPROVE application of Emil Demikat requesting a two lot re-subdivision of property located at 93 Rockville Road in the A-1 zone, as shown on assessors map 42, Blk. 64, Lot 10. This approval is granted subject to conformance with the referenced plans (as may be modified by the Commission) and the following conditions:
Referenced Plans:

Cover sheet –Re-Subdivision Plan, Demikat Resubdivision II, 93 Rockville Road –prepared for Emil Demikat, East Windsor CT, scale 1” = 40’, dated 12/23/09,  Zone A-1, Map 42, Blk 64. Lot 10 prepared by Aeschliman Land Surveying, PC 1379 Main Street, East Hartford, CT 06108 860/528-4881(map # 207130-1A)

        Sheet 2 Topographic Plan/ Soil Erosion & Sedimentation Control Plan (map # 207130-1A-II)

Conditions that must be met prior to signing of mylars:

1.      The applicant shall submit a paper copy of the final approved plans to the Town Planner for review and comment prior to the submission of the final mylars.
2.      All mylars submitted for signature shall require the seal and live signature of the appropriate professional(s) responsible for preparation of the plans.
3.      The final mylars shall contain the street numbers assigned by the East Windsor Assessor’s Departments and the Map, Block and Lot numbers assigned by the Assessor's Office.
4.      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 mylars.
5.      Two Street Trees with details shall be shown on the plans for Lot 4.
6.      The shed on parcel 4 shall have a note on the plans stating “TO BE REMOVED”. Shed shall be removed prior to building permit being issued

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

7.      The lots shall comply with the requirements of the North Central District Health Department requirements for on-site septic systems.
8.      When conservation and drainage easements exist, the deeds must be approved by the Town and filed on the Land Records prior to any permits being issued.  For Conservation Easements, all markers shall be installed in accordance with the easement requirements prior to the issuance of any permits.  
9.      Conservation Easement markers shall be installed along the actual conservation boundary.  Said markers shall be installed every 50 feet on 4” x 4” pressure treated posts, set in concrete (markers are available in the Planning Department)
10.     Two sets of final mylars, with any required revisions incorporated on the sheets shall be submitted for signature of the Commission.  One set of signed mylars, Sheets 1 & 2 shall be filed with the town clerk by the applicant, no later than 90 days after the 15 day appeal period from date of publication of decision has elapsed or this approval shall be considered null and void unless an extension is granted by the Commission.  One set, sheets 1 & 2 shall be filed in the Planning and Zoning Department.
11.     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 and the final amount of said bond shall be determined by the Town Engineer. (This bond covers public improvements, not individual lots.)
12.     A bond, suitable to the Town, shall be submitted for any/all public improvements. The applicant's engineer shall submit an estimated cost of the public improvements to the Town Engineer and the final amount of the bond shall be determined by the Town Engineer.

Conditions which must be met prior to certificates of compliance:

13.     Iron pins must be in place at all lot corners and angle points.
14.     Final Health District approval of the drinking water supply must be demonstrated.
15.     Each driveway must have a 15' paved apron or a bond for such submitted.
16.     Final grading and seeding shall be in place or a bond for the unfinished work   submitted.
17.     All required landscaping shall be in place, or if weather does not permit, a bond for the required plantings shall be submitted.
18.     Final as-built survey showing all structures, pins, driveways and final floor elevations as well as spot grades shall be submitted.
19.     All public health and safety components of the project must be satisfactorily completed prior to occupancy. In cases where all public health and safety components have been completed, the Zoning Officer may issue a Certificate of Zoning Compliance provided a suitable bond is retained for any remaining site work.  

General Conditions:

20.     All deeds for public land and easements shall be submitted at the time the applicant makes application for street acceptance.  All deeds shall first be submitted in draft form and approved by the Town Attorney.  Final bond release for public improvements shall not be approved until all public improvements are complete, accepted by the Town, and all deeds and maps have been filed on the Land Records.  
21.     Three copies of a final as-built map, for all public improvements, shall be submitted to the Planning and Zoning Department, along with an application for street acceptance.  Once approved by the Town Planner and Town Engineer, and provided that all other requirements are met, the application will be scheduled for acceptance by the Board of Selectmen and Town Meeting.  Two mylar copies of the final as-built mapping are required after acceptance.  One copy filed in the Planning Department and the other on the Land Records.  
22.     This subdivision approval shall expire five years from date of approval.  Failure to complete all required improvements within that time shall invalidate the subdivision. The developer may request an extension of time to complete the subdivision improvements from the Commission. Such extension shall not exceed the time limits as provided for in the Connecticut General Statutes, Section 8-26c, as amended. The Commission shall require proper bonding be in place prior to the approval of any such extension.
23.     A Zoning Permit shall be obtained prior to the commencement of any site work.
24.     This project shall be constructed and maintained in accordance with the referenced plans.  Minor modifications to the approved plans that result in lesser impacts may be allowed subject to staff review and approval.
25.     Any modifications to the proposed drainage or grading for the resubdivision is subject to the approval of the town engineer.
26.     Additional erosion control measures are to be installed as directed by town staff if field conditions necessitate.
27.     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.
28.     Should the property transfer ownership prior to completion of all required work, or before a certificate of completeness/occupancy is issued, the new owner must place new bonds in their name, at which time the original bond may be released.

Devanney moved/Gowdy seconded/
        VOTE:   In Favor:  Devanney/Gowdy/Mulkern/Ouellette/Thurz

BUSINESS MEETING/(1)  Discussion on Farm Regulations with guest Joan Nichols, CT Farm Bureau:

Joining the Commission to discuss proposed changes to the Farm Regulations was Joan Nichols, of the Connecticut Farm Bureau.

Town Planner Whitten provided the Commission members with the following:  1) latest reiteration of the draft regulations, 2) a copy of Farm Regulations from the Town of Guilford, and 3) Recommendations submitted by local Connecticut Farm Bureau Members as a result of their independent meeting with Joan Nichols.  

Town Planner Whitten suggested the biggest difference of opinions involve the following issues:  1)  animals, number allowed vs. acreage proposed, 2) definition of “residential limited farm” vs. non-commercial farms, and 3)  acreage which defines a farm.

Chairman Ouellette requested Ms. Nichols to tell the Commission what the Connecticut Farm Bureau (CFB) is.  Ms. Nichols reported the CFB is a private non-profit agency; they are not a State or government agency and receive no funding from the Federal government.  The CFB was created approximately 90 years ago in New York; currently every state has a CFB.  Each CBF operates as a 501.c5.  Connecticut has approximately 5,000 members; the largest membership occurs in Tennessee with approximately 626,000 members.  There are 6.2 million members nationwide.  While other agencies deal with specific issues of the farming industry the CFB deals with all aspects of farming operations and dairy farming.  The CFB has 2 lobbyists; they were able to pull off emergency funding for the dairy industry last year.   The Federal Farm Bureau employs 18 lobbyists.

Chairman Ouellette questioned if the CFB was actively involved in the booklet used by Town Planner Whitten to develop the proposed farm regulation?  Town Planner Whitten suggested the CFB assisted; Ms. Nichols concurred, but noted she came in at the end of the booklet’s creation.  Town Planner Whitten suggested the booklet was a good manual; Ms. Nichols agreed – it’s a great Bible.  Chairman Ouellette recalled the Commission received much criticism for using the booklet to craft the proposed document.  Town Planner Whitten felt there were many people speaking during previous Commission meetings who hadn’t read the proposed regulations, as she used recommendations from the booklet extensively in her draft regulations.  She also felt there was a misunderstanding regarding the Commission’s intent for the proposed regulations.   Town Planner Whitten suggested she felt those people who felt there was some worth to the proposed regulations were the people that met with Ms. Nichols and made the recommendations submitted to the Commission.  Town Planner Whitten noted the latest revision of the proposed farm regulations submitted to the Commission this evening does not yet include any of the recommendations made by those who met with Ms. Nichols.  
Ms. Nichols recalled that Chairman Ouellette had called for input from the farmers.  As a result the farmers listened, as did the CFB.  Local farmers met at Bill Symes house; they looked at Guilford’s regulations which were regulations which the farmers seemed to like.  Guilford was one of the first towns to form an Agricultural Commission, which was staffed by farmers who were instrumental in drafting those regulations.  

Ms. Nichols agreed she felt the biggest issues were setting a minimum acreage for farms, and livestock.  

Town Planner Whitten reported the Commission must look at both sides of the issue – the limited residential farm and the larger farms.  People in residential zones must be considered as well as the farming operations.

Ms. Nichols indicated an issue is Public Act 490 (created in 1963) – a use tax – which does not include a minimum acreage requirement.  An Assessor needs to look at the use – whether raising poultry or growing plants in a greenhouse – and the equipment used but acreage isn’t a consideration.  Ms. Nichols indicated she could see conflicts if people meet the requirements for PA 490 but the use might not be allowed under the Zoning Regulations.  

Discussion followed regarding the various uses of PA 490 relative to the tax liability and value of the acreage involved, as well as the qualifications for use of PA 490.  Ms. Nichols suggested there is 40 years of case law which defines the issue of productivity of the acreage under PA 490.   A municipality can also call the Commissioner of Agriculture regarding the qualification of land held under PA 490.  

Discussion returned to the issue of acreage.  Commissioner Devanney questioned if some part of the land held under PA 490 is defined as a building lot?  Ms. Nichols noted that while the statutes don’t include definitive language it has been long understood there is an exclusion of the zoned lot size.  Town Planner Whitten noted the guide recommends 3 acres.  Ms. Nichols questioned how the Commission would address a person who owns just 3 acres which doesn’t include a residence; the cutting out of the house lot wouldn’t apply but the land could apply under PA 490.

Ms. Nichols suggested another issue was the keeping of livestock, and associated issues.  She noted UCONN had created recommendations for animal density, but those suggestions also became controversial – perhaps because they didn’t consider the breed of animals, such as miniature horses vs. Clydesdales.  The State Department of Agriculture doesn’t like to get into the issue of animal density as it gets into types of site locations and animal husbandry issues; they would rather address individual issues, and consider the right-to-farm law.  

Chairman Ouellette queried what was wrong with the existing regulations?   Town Planner Whitten noted they don’t allow 90% of what’s happening now.   The Commission and Ms. Nichols discussed the current regulations.  Chairman Ouellette noted Section 8.13 currently talks about minimum acreage in certain zones.  Town Planner Whitten suggested the problem seems to arise regarding the specified acreage relative to the limited residential farm.  Ms. Nichols suggested Section 8.13 doesn’t look too bad.  Town Planner Whitten clarified Section 8.13 was used in conjunction with the recommendations for the proposed draft.  She suggested perhaps if someone had a 1 acre parcel containing an upland area then perhaps 1 horse could be allowed.   Ms. Nichols explained the need for herd animals – whether chickens, horses, or goats, etc. – to be part of a group of animals, as they don’t really do well by themselves.  Discussion followed regarding examples of inappropriate keeping of animals and associated poor husbandry; Ms. Nichols suggested calling the Department of Agriculture to seek resolution.  

Discussion continued regarding the proposed acreage vs. the amount of acreage needed to support various types of animals.   Ms. Nichols suggested a 3 to 4 acre requirement to keep 6 goats was excessive.   She gave examples of acreage or land area vs. various numbers of animals and how those scenarios would work under the proposed regulations.  Ms. Nichols suggested the Commission review Guilford’s regulations.  

Town Planner Whitten noted Guilford’s regulations have only been in existence for one year.  She referenced several aspects of those regulations, noting that kids who want to do 4-H projects must come in for a Special Use Permit, for which a fee is charged.  Should this Commission consider a waiver of fees for 4-H projects the Town would also loose  the cost of advertisement of the application as a public hearing – which would allow abutters to comment on the proposed use - and the State fees would still have to be paid by the Applicant.  

Discussion returned to the issue of larger farms vs. smaller parcels interspersed within residential neighborhoods.  Ms. Nichols suggested adding language regarding site suitability to the regulations, which would address the issue of fencing relative to farms vs. fencing in residential areas.  

Commissioner Gowdy noted Don Grant, of Park Farm/Grant Farm, which is the earliest existing business in town, was present in the audience.   Mr. Grant had joined Ms. Nichols at the meeting at Bill Symes property regarding discussion of the proposed regulations.  Commissioner Gowdy queried Mr. Grant what he thought of the Guilford regulations?  Mr. Grant felt the Guilford regulations was a good jumping off place; he felt they considered a lot of the things this Commission is talking about.  He felt Guilford also wanted to give people as much leeway as possible but didn’t want to get into issues.  Mr. Grant indicated there were a few things the farmers who met with Ms. Nichols didn’t like, such as the permitting process for Future Farmers of America.  The farming community doesn’t consider that activity farming; it’s an educational process.   He likened it to Tupperware parties, suggesting no one regulates those.  Town Planner Whitten noted home businesses are regulated.  She also noted that the regulations being proposed in East Windsor actually allow much more than the Guilford regulations – the farm stores, etc.  

Discussion followed regarding the documents required for commercial farming.  Mr. Grant offered examples of some of the documents, such as the IRS Farm Profit and Loss Statement, and Schedule F for State tax purposes.  

Mr. Grant applauded the Commission for undertaking the sign regulations, noting that is an issue which needs to be addressed.  

Town Planner Whitten suggested she will review the Guilford regulations and rework the proposed regulations for review by the Commission at a future meeting.  

The Commission thanked Ms. Nichols and Mr. Grant for attending, and offering input.

BUSINESS MEETING/(2)  Correspondence:   None.

BUSINESS MEETING/(3)  Staff Reports:

Town Planner Whitten advised the Commission of the following issues:

·       Zoning Violations will be filed for the property at 68 Newberry Road.

·       Regulations regarding the agricultural signage will be included in the revised draft of the  proposed Farm Regulations.

·       Application is being submitted for the workforce housing grant; money received would be used for a RFQ and hiring a consultant.

SIGNING OF MYLARS/PLANS, MOTIONS:

·       O’Donnell subdivision

ADJOURNMENT:

MOTION: To ADJOURN this Meeting at 9:10 p.m.

Gowdy moved/Devanney seconded/
VOTE:   In Favor:  Devanney/Gowdy/Mulkern/Ouellette/Thurz


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