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July 27, 2010
TOWN OF EAST WINDSOR
PLANNING AND ZONING COMMISSION

Public Hearing #1575
July 27, 2010


The Meeting was called to order in the Town Hall Meeting Room, 11 Rye Street, Broad Brook, CT. at 7:05 P. M. 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.  Chairman 0uellette noted all Regular Members would sit in, and vote, on all Items of Business this evening.  Chairman Ouellette noted Alternate Member O’Brien would fill in for any member who might need to step down from service.  Also present was Town Planner Whitten.

DISCUSSION:     With Milone and MacBroom, Inc. – IHZ Consultants:

Town Planner Whitten reported that after going through due process the Commission chose Milone and MacBroom, Inc. as consultants for the Incentive Housing Zone study.  She introduced Michael Looney and Rebecca Augur, who gave the following synopsis of the project scope.

Mr. Looney reported their services will include:
v       A feasibility study of the Warehouse Point area and the Route 140 Corridor, which will include consideration of the existing zoning and land uses, existing development patterns, topographical constraints, and character of the area to propose where such a zone would fit in.
v       Identify conceptual issues within the areas
v       Hold first public hearing/seek public input
v       Develop zoning regulations to implement the IHZ, including design guidelines such as architectural features, landscaping elements, etc.
v       Hold second public hearing/seek public input
v       Submit final report

Mr. Looney anticipates the project will take 9 to 12 months from start to finish.

Chairman Ouellette questioned if the Town’s GIS mapping would be utilized for this project?  Mr. Looney indicated they knew there were considerable GIS resources available; he anticipates they will build on that information and integrate it with what they develop.   Ms. Augur reported whatever they produce during the project will be turned over to the Town.  

Commissioner Devanney questioned what the frequency of contact with this Commission would be?  Mr. Looney felt they would provide weekly updates to Town Planner Whitten; Ms. Augur noted they would meet with the Commission prior to each workshop to discuss the material to be presented.

Chairman Ouellette suggested there exists within the public a misconception regarding the type of housing this area could be zoned for; it’s important that the study be clear and present the goals of the study clearly.  Commissioner Farmer questioned if the study would be contingent on the sewers being approved; Town Planner Whitten replied affirmatively, noting the grant/study would have to be revamped if the sewer proposal fails.  

Town Planner Whitten advised the Commission she will provide copies of the consultant’s proposal for further reference.

ADDED AGENDA ITEMS:

Nothing was presented at the beginning of the Meeting.  See additional discussion under the BUSINESS MEETING.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES/July 13, 2010:

LET THE RECORD SHOW Commissioner Gowdy stepped down from service regarding the approval of the July, 2010 Minutes.   Commissioner O’Brien joined the Board for this Item of Business.

MOTION: To APPROVE the Minutes of Public Hearing #1574 dated July 13, 2010 as written.

Devanney moved/Farmer seconded/
VOTE:   In Favor:  Devanney/Farmer/Thurz
                Opposed:  No one
                Abstained:  O’Brien/Ouellette

RECEIPT OF APPLICATIONS:

Chairman Ouellette noted receipt of the following Applications:

1.      Application of T-Mobile Northeast LLC for Site Plan Approval to add 6 panel antennas on existing water tank, along with associated ground equipment, at 104 Prospect Hill Road, owned by the Connecticut Water Company  [R-3 Zone; Map 5, 17, Lot 38]

PERFORMANCE BONDS – ACTIONS; PERMIT EXTENSIONS; ROAD ACCEPTANCE:  Hillside FarmsRequest from James Ussery, Jr. of J. R. Russo & Associates, for release of the bonds for Hillside Farms Active Adult Community, Hillside Farms Drive:

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

Chairman Ouellette noted receipt of letter from James Ussery of J. R. Russo & Associates requesting release of bonds being held on the Hillside Farms Active Adult Community.  

Appearing to discuss this request was James Ussery, of J. R. Russo & Associates, and Jason Ziegler, project developer.  

Town Planner Whitten reported that there were issues with the catch basins and the asphalt used to shim the basin tops.  The area was inspected by Town Engineer Norton and Assistant Town Planner/Zoning Enforcement Officer Newton; their recommendation is to retain $20,000 of the existing Performance Bond in case any additional work needs to be done.  Town Planner Whitten reported that the Performance Bond in the amount of $549,000 was reduced to $200,000 in March, 2010.  Planning Assistant Bauer had also advised Staff that the Town is also holding a $6,000 Erosion Control Bond on this project.  

Mr. Ussery indicated they had been unaware of the retention of the $6,000 cash Erosion Control Bond at the time he made his request under letter dated July 22nd; they would now be requesting release of the Erosion Control Bond as well as the issues of concern to Town Engineer Norton and Assistant Town Planner/Zoning Enforcement Officer Newton involve pavement rather than erosion issues.  Town Planner Whitten referenced the last two sentences of Assistant Town Planner/Zoning Enforcement Officer Newton’s memo; she is comfortable releasing the Erosion Control Bond.

Mr. Ussery reported that they replaced 6 concrete catch basin tops.  They had to saw cut around the tops and then do some work upstream.  Town Engineer Norton’s concern is to see how the structures sustain their durability over the Winter.

Commissioner O’Brien questioned Town Engineer Norton’s comments about the hot asphalt?  Mr. Ussery indicated that work was done by Boutin about 3 weeks ago; it felt the material would have been hot asphalt.  Commissioner Mulkern questioned the comments about the tack coat.  Mr. Ussery reported that work would have been done under the top coat; it’s a binding agent.  He indicated he wasn’t there when the work was done, but noted Boutin is a professional businessman in East Windsor.  Town Planner Whitten suggested that if either treatment failed the $20,000 being retained would cover the cost if any of that work needs to be done.  Mr. Ussery suggested the area under discussion is small, probably about half the size of the conference table everyone is sitting at.  He estimated the cost of that work to be $2 - $3,000; Mr. Ziegler suggested $7,000 at the most.

MOTION: To APPROVE a partial release of the $200,000 Performance Bond while retaining $20,000 to cover items noted in Town Engineer Norton’s memo dated July 26, 2010.
Devanney moved/Farmer seconded/

Discussion:  Commissioner Gowdy suggested that when reading Town Engineer Norton’s comments Commissioner Gowdy had serious doubts that the items referenced in memo dated July 26, 2010 had actually been done.  Chairman Ouellette questioned if there was a way to tell if that work had been completed without tearing up the existing pavement?  Mr. Ziegler suggested tearing out the existing work wouldn’t tell anything as the items referenced relate to binding agents.  Town Planner Whitten suggested the question was whether the $20,000 would be enough to cover the expense of any additional work which might be needed.  Mr. Ussery indicated the area under question was small – less than half the size of the table in the Meeting Room - and could be replaced at a cost of $2 - $3,000.

AMENDED MOTION: To APPROVE a partial release of the $200,000 Performance Bond while retaining $20,000 to cover items noted in Town Engineer Norton’s memo dated July 26, 2010, AND to release the $6,000 Erosion Control Bond.

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

PERFORMANCE BONDS – ACTIONS; PERMIT EXTENSIONS; ROAD ACCEPTANCE:  Coleman Farms – Request from Atty. Leonard Jacobs for an extension of the Special Use Permit for Coleman Farms, Tromley Road.  (Previous extension granted through 8/31/2010):

Chairman Ouellette read the description of the Item of Business.  Appearing to discuss this request was Attorney Len Jacobs, representing the developer, Sebastian Testa.  

Attorney Jacobs reported the current permit extension runs through August 31, 2010; they are requesting an extension to August 31, 2011.  He noted the submission of letter from Attorney Hal Cummings, representing the homeowners association, which supports this extension request.  Attorney Jacobs also noted the agreement executed last year between the homeowners association and the developer remains in place.  

Commissioner Thurz questioned what work had been accomplished within the last year?  Attorney Jacobs reported the clubhouse is pretty far along; the clubhouse will be completed by the end of 2010 even if the money comes out of the developer’s pocket.  Mr. Testa reported the sheet rock has been installed, and painted, inside the clubhouse, the ductwork is also in but the unit needs to be tied in, the doors and trim are in, the tiles have been ordered and are going in.  Commissioner Thurz questioned the status of sales?  Attorney Jacobs indicated there is much interest but they haven’t sold a unit this year.   Commissioner Thurz questioned that the final coat had not yet been installed on the road?  Attorney Jacobs replied negatively, noting as they sell units the money goes into escrow for completion of the road.  Commissioner O’Brien questioned at what point would the road be paved?  Attorney Jacobs reported it would be paved towards the end of the project.  The Town is holding a bond, and they have money in escrow from the sales; there is no doubt that the road will be completed.  Commissioner Gowdy questioned if the units would sell better if the road were completed?  Attorney Jacobs didn’t think that would make a difference.  Commissioner O’Brien questioned how many units remain to be sold?  Attorney Jacobs reported two units are built and are being marketed, and there are another 6 vacant lots; the number of units remaining he has in mind is 9.  Commissioner O’Brien questioned if they would complete the road if they had only a couple of units left? Attorney Jacobs suggested if the time had run out they would have to come up with the money to complete the road.  Commissioner O’Brien questioned if the delay was to protect the road or do they need the money from the sales?  Attorney Jacobs felt it was probably a combination of both reasons, but if this were a boom time for sales they would want to do the road at the end of the project rather than have it damaged during construction.   Attorney Jacobs suggested he felt the Commission can only allow one more extension; they know time is running out on the project.  

Chairman Ouellette indicated he isn’t opposed to the extension but going to next year - this sort of suggests the project would be finished by that time.  Attorney Jacobs indicated the clubhouse will be completed, and they will put in more landscaping. Chairman Ouellette noted he understood that under the State Statutes the permits are only good for a year at a time.  Attorney Jacobs suggested they could ask for a 5 year extension but when they did that there was concern for the uncompleted work, so they worked out the agreement so the developer couldn’t complete a unit and go away.  Everyone, including the developer, hopes to sell units.  He hopes they don’t have to come back next year; no one likes coming back every year and apologizing.  Chairman Ouellette suggested the attorney representing the homeowners association wouldn’t offer his letter if he had concerns.

Commissioner Farmer referenced comments from the Minutes of last year’s meeting where it was suggested the extension should run in concurrence with the Inland/Wetlands Permit.  Town Planner Whitten felt that extension had been acquired; she will check with Wetlands Agent Newton who was involved in the review last year.  She didn’t feel the status of the Inland/Wetlands Permit affected this request.  

The Commission considered their options for approval, or denial.  Town Planner Whitten noted the developer continues to work on the project at a time when a lot of developers have left the State.  The developer is making good on his promise, and a bond is still in place.

MOTION TO APPROVE the extension of the Application of Coleman Farms East Windsor, LLC for a Special Use Permit to allow up to 65 units of active adult housing development and associated improvements on a 14.5 acre parcel located on the north side of Tromley Road, East Windsor, Connecticut, on property owned by Coleman Tromley, LLC, presently zoned Age Restricted Housing District (ARHD) as shown on Assessor’s Map 28, Block 19, Lot 67 & 86.  The current approval expiring on August 31, 2010 is subject to the following conditions of approval:

1.      Permit extension is to August 31, 2011.

2.      Road overlay for project is included in site work Performance Bond.

3.      All aspects of this project must be completed and inspected, and a Certificate of Occupancy must be obtained for the clubhouse and all structures prior to request for any bond release.  As-built shall include, but is not limited to roadway, catch basins, all landscaping, and all structures.

4.      All items in Agreement as presented by developer and homeowners association are part of these conditions signed on August 11, 2009.

5.      Planning staff will work with homeowners association in issuing Certificates of Occupancy if failure of agreement arises.

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

OLD BUSINESS:  All American Products Corp. – Modification of Approved Site Plan including an area of fill over Phase II for Armster Reclaimed Lumber Co. located at 232 & 244 – 246 South Main Street.  [M-1, B-2 and A-2 Zones; Maps 33/38, Block 5, Lots 84-1 & 87]  (Deadline for decision extended to 9/13/2010):

Appearing to discuss this Application was James Ussery, Jr., of J. R. Russo & Associates.  Mr. Ussery reported Mr. Balch has not yet reached agreement with Armster Lumber regarding the location of the placement of this fill.  Mr. Balch is presently out of town; progress on the agreement appears stymied.  

Chairman Ouellette questioned the window of opportunity for this proposal? Mr. Ussery suggested the work is dependent on the nesting season of resident eagles; work could occur during July, August, or September.  Chairman Ouellette noted if the Application continues through September it would only allow approximately 2 weeks for the work to be completed.  Mr. Ussery felt the work could be done within that timeframe, as there are only 6,000 cubic yards of material to be moved, however a contractor must be hired, etc.  He also noted Mr. Balch is under Order from the Department of Environmental Protection; he feels the work must be completed by October, 2010.  

Discussion followed regarding the complexity of the Application.

MOTION: To CONTINUE the Application of All American Products Corp. for a Modification of Approved Site Plan including an area of fill over Phase II for Armster Reclaimed Lumber Co. located at 232 & 244 – 246 South Main Street.  [M-1, B-2 and A-2 Zones; Maps 33/38, Block 5, Lots 84-1 & 87] until the Commission’s next regularly scheduled Meeting to be held on August 10, 2010 at 7:00 p.m. in the Town Hall Meeting Room, 11 Rye Street, Broad Brook, CT.

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

BUSINESS MEETING:  ADDED AGENDA ITEM:  USA Hauling:

Town Planner Whitten noted this is a request for a field modification of an Application for expansion of a holding area for USA Hauling.  The wetlands issues have been taken care of.  Mr. Shoham, an abutting property owner, had appeared before the Commission during the Application presentation citing concerns about noise, odor, and debris from the storage area blowing into his property.  To address those issues the Applicant said they would install a 6’ fence as well as a row of arborvitae and a row of jersey barriers.  

The Applicant is ready to pave the site, but found they need to cut down existing trees to go in to install the fence and arborvitae.  Mr. Ussery submitted photos showing existing vegetation, which is comprised of mature trees and heavy vegetation.  He suggested the subject site can’t be seen through the existing vegetation from the Shoham property which is below the USA Hauling location.  USA would like to eliminate the fence and arborvitae where the hill, and existing vegetation, blocks the subject site.   They would also like to replace the jersey barriers with metal guard rails. Mr. Ussery suggested it makes no sense to cut down mature trees to plant new landscaping; he felt the area of concern for Mr. Shoham was along the roadway where the fence will be going in.

Town Planner Whitten suggested this is a field change/modification; she has no problem with the proposal, including the change from jersey barriers to metal guard rails.  The Commission concurred with the proposal.

BUSINESS MEETING/(1)  Discussion of Farm Regulations:

Town Planner Whitten reported she will be meeting with Joan Nichols, of the Farm Bureau, within the next week.

BUSINESS MEETING/(2)  Discussion on Route 140 Sewers:

Town Planner Whitten reported multiple Town departments, Staff, and others have been working collaboratively on the presentation scheduled for tomorrow, Wednesday, July 28th at 7:00 p.m. in the Town Hall Meeting Room.  Town Planner Whitten noted the expansion of the Route 140 sewers has been a recommendation made in the Comprehensive Plans of Development since 1986.  Discussion will include the intent to rezone portions of the Route 140 corridor.  Chairman Ouellette pointed out there are currently no zones within East Windsor where development of apartments is permitted.  Public input is being sought during this Workshop/informational meeting.

Previous WPCA Workshops have been well attended.

A Town Meeting will be held on Wednesday, August 11, 2010.

BUSINESS MEETING/(3)  Correspondence:   None.

BUSINESS MEETING/(4)  Staff Reports:            None.

SIGNING OF MYLARS/PLANS, MOTIONS:

·       Motion – G-III Holdings, Resubdivision, 58 Winkler Road, Lot 19-1

ADJOURNMENT:

MOTION: To ADJOURN this Meeting at 8:27 p.m.

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

Respectfully submitted,

Peg Hoffman, Recording Secretary, East Windsor Planning and Zoning Commission