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

Public Hearing #1566
March 23, 2010

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

ESTABLISHMENT OF QUORUM:

A quorum was established as four Regular Members (Devanney, Farmer, Gowdy, and Thurz), and two Alternate Members (Mulkern and O’Brien) were present.    Regular Member Ouellette and Alternate Member Matthews were absent.  Vice Chairman Gowdy  noted all Regular members and Alternate O’Brien 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 consideration of bond reduction for Hillside Farms Active Adult Community under PERFORMANCE BONDS - ACTIONS; EXTENSION; ROAD ACCEPTANCE.   The Commission concurred; no motion was made.  

APPROVAL OF MINUTES/February 23, 2010:

MOTION:  To APPROVE the Minutes of Public Hearing #1563 dated March 10, 2010 as presented.

Devanney moved/Farmer seconded/
        VOTE:   In Favor:  Devanney/Farmer/Gowdy/Thurz/O’Brien
                        No Oppositions, no abstentions

RECEIPT OF APPLICATONS:

Receipt of the following Applications was noted:

1.      Application of Coleman Tromley, LLC for Site Plan Approval and a Special Use Permit to allow retail use, including retail sale of storage space in a TZ5 Zone, at 67 South Main Street. [Map 28, Block 19, Lot 67]

2.      Application of TJL Investment Trust, LLC for a 2-lot commercial subdivision of property located at 22 Wagner Lane  [M-1 zone; Map 13, Block 11, Lots 2 & 3].


Town Planner Whitten reported the Application for TJL Investment Trust, LLC came in as a subdivision application; as the parcel was previously subdivided this Application is actually a resubdivision.   While the Commission can receive this Application this evening, the Application must be re-published for a Public Hearing.

LEGAL NOTICE:

Commissioner Devanney, Secretary for the Commission, read the following Legal Notice, which appeared in the Hartford Courant on Thursday, March 11, 2010, and Thursday, March 18, 2010:

1.      Application of Coleman Tromley, LLC for Site Plan Approval and a Special Use Permit to allow retail use, including retail sale of storage space in a TZ5 Zone, at 67 South Main Street.  [Map 28, Block 19, Lot 67].

PERFORMANCE BONDS - ACTIONS; EXTENSION; ROAD ACCEPTANCE:  Newberry Village – Request from James K. Giorgio for release of the bond for erosion control for Phase I of Newberry Village:

Town Planner Whitten noted the request is for a reduction of the Erosion Control Bond  on Phase I of Newberry Village from $8,000 to $1,200.  Phase I is completed, with the exception of one structure.   Town Planner Whitten referenced memos received from Assistant Town Planner Newton and Town Engineer Norton – both parties recommend reduction of the Erosion Control Bond to $1,200 as requested.

MOTION: TO  GRANT the request of James K. Giorgio to reduce the $8000 Erosion and Control Bond and to retain $1200 until Phase I at Newberry Village is completed.

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

PERFORMANCE BONDS - ACTIONS; EXTENSION; ROAD ACCEPTANCE:  Mitchell Property Group, LLC/Zuvic Associates, Inc. – Request from Wayne Christopher Gerlt for a 5-year extension of the site plan approval for property located on the west side of Wapping Road.  (Approved 5/24/05; expires 5/24/2010):

Vice Chairman Gowdy read the description of this Item of Business.   Appearing to represent the Applicant was Attorney Wayne Gerlt.  

Attorney Gerlt reported the Applicant received Site Plan Approval for this operation; all work has been done to the site, with the exception of the construction of the building, which has been delayed due to lack of funding.  Attorney Gerlt reported it had been brought to his attention that the Applicant should have come in to request an extension of the permit; under his letter dated February 26, 2010 he is requesting a five (5) year extension.

Town Planner Whitten reported the property under discussion is behind the NORCAP property.  The proposal for this operation was a storage container yard.  The Applicant should have come in for an extension of the existing permit, but they have been busy cleaning up the site.   Town Planner Whitten suggested the Commission consider a one (1) year extension to give the Applicant time to construct the building.

Vice Chairman Gowdy questioned if staff had visited the site recently; Town Planner Whitten indicate her last visit to this site was six (6) months ago.   Vice Chairman Gowdy questioned that the approval was for container storage?  Attorney Gerlt felt the materials are being stored in bays; Town Planner Whitten indicted the operation is essentially a glorified contractor’s yard.  Vice Chairman Gowdy indicated his question arose as he had thought concerns were raised during the original approval for storage of hazardous materials.  Attorney Gerlt suggested he felt the concern was raised because the owners operate a hazardous waste removal business, however, none of that material is stored at this site.

Town Planner Whitten explained the location of this site, which uses the NORCAP entrance but is located behind the NORCAP site.  

Commissioner Devanney questioned if a one (1) year extension is enough time to construct the building?  Town Planner Whitten suggested the one year extension gives the Applicant time to get back on track; the Commission can discuss subsequent extensions at the next renewal.

MOTION: To APPROVE A ONE-YEAR EXTENSION until 5/24/2011 on
property located on the west side of Wapping Road owned by Mitchell Property Group, LLC/Zuvic Associates, Inc.

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

PERFORMANCE BONDS - ACTIONS; EXTENSION; ROAD ACCEPTANCE:  Hillside Farms Active Adult Community – Request from J. R. Russo & Associates, LLS for bond reduction at Hillside Farms Active Adult Community, Hillside Farms Drive, Broad Brook:

Vice Chairman Gowdy read the description of this Item of Business.  

Town Planner Whitten reported a request has been made to release the $549,200  Performance Bond for Hillside Farms Active Adult Community.  She noted the site is substantially completed.  Assistant Town Planner Newton and Town Engineer Norton inspected the site, and found problems with the condition of the catch basin tops.  The recommendation has been made to reduce the $549,200 Performance Bond and to retain $200,000.

Attorney Wayne Gerlt stepped forward, and introduced himself as a representative for the Condo Association.  He recalled that perhaps a year ago they wrote a letter to the Town requesting that the bonds not be released due to the issues with the catch basins.  The cause of the damage is being studied by Anchor Engineering, but no recommendation has been made as yet.  

Town Planner Whitten concurred that the Condo Association had been in contact with the Town regarding the catch basin issue, and complaints that the curbs are being marked up by snow plows.  She saw no reason not to reduce the bond to the $200,000 recommended by Town Engineer Norton, as the amount being retained considers the issue regarding the catch basin tops.

Discussion followed regarding the advantage of retaining the full bond.   Town Planner Whitten reiterated the road has been paved.  The tops of several of the catch basins are disintegrating, and others look like they will deteriorate also.  The $200,000 retention figure should be enough to cover the catch basin issue.

Jay Ussery, professional engineer for J. R. Russo & Associates, requested to speak from the audience.  He advised the Commission J. R. Russo designed the project in 2000 or 2001; the surety bond in place covers the entire project, including the road, drainage, utilities, telephone, sewer, etc.  The project has been completed for five (5) years.  There was a change in leadership of the development firm; this is one of the things that has been pending.  Mr. Ussery indicated they has submitted as-built plans to the Town three (3) or four (4) weeks ago and have met with Town Planner Whitten; both Town Planner Whitten and Assistant Town Planner Newton have visited the site.   Mr. Ussery indicated that $200,000 is a substantial sum to address punch list items.    Town Planner Whitten concurred that the bond submitted was for the entire project.   Staff has taken into consideration comments made by the Condo Association; there was some question if the durability of the catch basin tops was actually under the purview of the Commission when considering this bond reduction.   

MOTION: To REDUCE THE $549,000 PERFORMANCE BOND TO $200,000 for Hillside Farms Active Adult Community, Hillside Farms Drive, Broad Brook.

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

NEW HEARING: Coleman Tromely, LLC – Site Plan Approval and a Special Use Permit to allow retail use, including retail sale of storage space in a TZ5 Zone, at 67 South Main Street.   [Map 28, Block 19, Lot 67]  (Deadline to close hearing 4/27/2010):

Vice Chairman Gowdy read the Hearing description.  Appearing to represent the Applicant was Attorney Hal Cummings; Mike Dzen, the Applicant and sole owner of Coleman Tromley, LLC, was present in the audience.  Also representing Mr. Dzen was Jay Ussery, professional engineer, of J. R. Russo & Associates.

Attorney Cummings submitted affidavits regarding this Application.  Attorney Cummings noted that Mr. Dzen has operated a storage facility at this location for several years.  The storage facility was an extension of a similar business operated by Frank Coleman, from whom Mr. Dzen purchased the property.  Mr. Dzen had received a letter from Assistant Town Planner Newton regarding his business sign; that request led to questions about the longevity of the business, and the possibility of the business being grandfathered.  As no records regarding equipment sales were available in the Assessor’s Office, Staff suggested Mr. Dzen apply for a Special Use Permit to allow retail sales and storage and legalize the operation that has been going on at this location for at least 26 years.  Attorney Cummings has submitted affidavits from residents who remember Mr. Coleman, and his business operations at this location going back to the early 1950s.  Attorney Cummings suggested there are no complaints on file from neighbors.  

Attorney Cummings noted only the portion of the parcel which is zoned TZ5 would be subject to this Special Use Permit; they are not proposing to change the remainder of the parcel.

Mr. Ussery described the location of the property, which is almost across the street from the Board of Education Offices on Route 5/South Main Street.  Tromley Road is to the south.  Mr. Ussery indicated everything in gray on the plan is the subject of this proposal.  At the front of the property is a multi-family home; a bituminous driveway enters the property and continues on to what was once a tobacco shed and is now the storage facility.  This location operates in much the same way as the storage facility owned by Mr. Rodrigue on Wagner Lane, and the Milkie Family on North Road.  The TZ5 Zone line is behind the tobacco shed/storage facility.

Mr. Ussery noted the Application packet includes photos of adjacent properties to show what’s in the neighborhood.  Current regulations require a buffer between businesses and residential properties.  To meet that requirement they are proposing to install a buffer of trees along the northwest property line.  The adjacent multi-family residential property owner has installed a fence around the side and rear of his property, so nothing is visible from the first floor but the operation would be visible from the second floor of the adjacent property.  Mr. Ussery indicated the house on the south east corner is also visible; they could install a buffer on that side as well.  

Commissioner Farmer questioned that there have been no neighbor complaints?  Town Planner Whitten indicated discussion occurred regarding the use, and the possibility of it being grandfathered as it appeared to be a retail operation for many years.  Vice Chairman Gowdy concurred that in the 50s Mr. Coleman put equipment out on the front lawn for sale; people put boats and all kinds of equipment in the shed.  Attorney Cummings suggested the submission of the affidavits and this Application made sense to clarify the use.  

Commissioner Devanney questioned that there have been no complaints from the tenants regarding traffic to the storage units?  Town Planner Whitten replied negatively, noting the issue started as a sign violation.  Commissioner Devanney noted she has visited the property and found it neat, and well kept.  Commissioner Farmer noted he passes the property every day and has never really noticed anyone going in or out.

The Commission discussed the location of the screening buffer.  A buffer was recommended along the south property line shared with the Fecteau family.  

Vice Chairman Gowdy opened discussion to the public.

Mr. Khatri, owner of 66 South Main Street to the north, requested to speak.    Mr. Khatri reported the property is a single family residence.  He installed the fence because of the business adjacent to it; he wanted his privacy.  He does not have a problem with the business going on there, although he doesn’t want more storage.  Mr. Khatri suggested Mr. Dzen works very hard on that property, and keeps it clean, but Mr. Khatri would like trees along the property line.

Town Planner Whitten advised the Commission to add a Condition #12 regarding installation of landscape buffers.  

Commissioner O’Brien questioned if the new sign part of this Application?   Attorney Cummings indicated he will work with the Planning Office regarding the new sign; the permitted sign is actually much larger than the sign Mr. Dzen previously used.

MOTION: To CLOSE THE PUBLIC HEARING on the Application of Coleman Tromley, LLC – Site Plan Approval and a Special Use Permit to allow retail use, including retail sale of storage space in a TZ5 Zone, at 67 South Main Street.   [Map 28, Block 19, Lot 67].

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

MOTION TO APPROVE the application of owner Coleman Tromley, LLC  for a Special Use Permit for a retail storage facility to be located at 67 South Main Street, [TZ5 zone – Map 28, Block 19, Lot 67]. This approval is granted subject to conformance with the referenced plans (as may be modified by the Conditions) and the following conditions:

Referenced Plans:

Site Plan, property of Coleman Tromley, LLC, 67 South Main Street, East Windsor, CT Map 28, Blk 19, Lot 67 , Zone TZ-5, R3 and A-1, prepared by J.R. Russo and Assoc. 1 Shoham Rd, East Windsor, CT 06088 860/623-0569 Fax: 860/623-2485 dated 2/24/10 scale 1” = 20’.
-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 final mylars, with any required revisions incorporated on the sheets shall be submitted for signature of the Commission.  One shall be filed on the Town Land Records, and  one filed with the Planning and Zoning Department

Conditions which must be met prior to certificates of compliance:

4.      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:

5.      In accordance with Section 900.2e 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.

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

7.      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.

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

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

10.     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

11.     All required landscaping shall be adequately maintained.
Additional Condition:

12.     A landscape buffer to be reviewed and approved by Town Planner shall be
planted along the southwest property line measuring approximately 132 feet and along the north side property line approximately 156 feet.

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

NEW BUSINESS:  TJL Investment Trust, LLC – 2-lot commercial subdivision of property located at 22 Wagner Lane.   [M-1 Zone; Map 13, Block 11, Lots 2  & 3]   (Deadline for decision 5/27/2010):

Tabled for re-advertisement; no motion.

BUSINESS MEETING/(1)  Discussion on Farm Regulations:

Town Planner Whitten advised the Commission she continues to work on revisions to draft regulations.

Tom and Sharon Muska were in attendance in the audience; they would like to offer the Commission their suggestions regarding sign regulations.  Town Planner Whitten acknowledged their previous correspondence, and welcomed additional information.  The Muskas were requested to submit their suggestions in writing so the Commission can consider the information prior to the next meeting.  When draft regulations are available another workshop will be held.

BUSINESS MEETING/(2)  Correspondence:   None.

BUSINESS MEETING/(3)  Staff Reports:

Town Planner Whitten noted receipt of a memo from Assistant Town Planner Newton regarding clarification of a business use at 61 Prospect Hill Road.   The owner sells wood carvings, which he produces at the property.  Under the previous Permitted Use Table an allowable use was a lumberyard; this is sort of an industrial use, but he is selling the carvings, which is retail.   The property is zoned M-1, which is a business zone.

The Commission considered several options, including light or heavy manufacturing, or retail.  After considerable discussion, the Commission considered this use light manufacturing; the owner will be requested to file a Site Plan Application, including parking requirements.

ADJOURNMENT:

MOTION: To ADJOURN this Meeting at 8:03 p.m.

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



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