Artwork to Come

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Planning and zoning for 3-11-14

By Elaine Jones

At the March 11 meeting, the Planning and Zoning Commission approved a modification of the site plan to construct a building addition of 660 square feet for Beman Hardware at 20 Hartford Ave. The addition will be to the right (east) of the current building and will be used primarily for storage. This will eliminate outdoor storage of materials along the left side property line and add 5 more parking spaces in the front. Tractor trailers delivery will travel along a one way access on the right (east) side to the rear of the building. No waiver on parking regulations was needed as the number and location of the spaces meets the goals of the Granby Commercial Center Zone. A waiver was approved for a reduction of the right (east) side landscaped area to 14 percent. This was less than the required 20 percent in the Center Zone but this requirement was added many years after the site was developed. The waiver recognizes the limited landscape areas. A freestanding sign will be located at 22 Hartford Avenue at the entrance to Bank Street and will meet all the requirements of the Center Zone.

Michelle Niedermeyer, owner of the Lost Acres Vineyard, presented the Commission with a detailed account of the various ways she was compliant with the special permit that allowed activities at the property. At issue is a complaint from neighbors on Lost Acres Road of excessive noise emanating from the site when activities are being held. She stated that music noise is mostly indoors and limited as the winery ends most activity around 6 p.m. In answer to the complaint that fireworks displays are a source of noise and danger, she replied that this display occurred once a year at the annual Harvest Dinner and that she was required to obtain a special permit from the town which included the approval of the police, the fire marshall and a fee of $100. When asked if she would use a fireworks display in the future, she replied, that she didn’t know.

Niedermeyer went on to state her commitment to the town’s emphasis on promoting agriculture and the various ways her business benefits this goal. She included the land deeded to the Land Trust, the passport work program, the hosting of local art exhibitions, the Farmers Market, the ‘sip and shop’ activity, the support to the school activities, the poetry group, the hiring of local part-time staffing and the use of local business in all activities.

The Plan of Development Subcommittee will be open to public input on April 15 at 7 p.m. at the Senior Center. See adjacent notice. The Earth Excavation and Removal Subcommitte will meet March 19 to discuss different plans on the amount of material that can be removed. An application proposal for a General Contractor business at 566 Salmon Brook Street will be heard at the next P&Z meeting on March 25.