Minutes • Planning and Zoning Commission Meeting, March 27, 2018

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Public Hearings

Pam Stevens, 31 Wells Road is requesting a Special Permit for a detached accessory apartment under the revised Zoning Regulations, Section 8.5. The apartment is part of a larger barn-style building and contains 850 square feet. It has electricity, plumbing and a septic system. The Building Official/Zoning Enforcement Officer has inspected the building and has no concerns. Katherine Slattery, 30 Wells Road, asked that the public hearing be continued as the revised regulations were not updated on the website. Another member of the public supported the approval. The public hearing will be continued April 10, 2018.

The public hearing for an application seeking approval of a Special Permit for a restaurant with alcoholic beverages and live entertainment at 261 Salmon Brook Street, was continued to April 10, 2018 because the applicant was unable to attend the meeting.

The public hearing for an application seeking approval of a Special Permit for a rear lot subdivision with proposed excavation in excess of 5,000 cubic yards of earth material for property at 292 Granville Road, opened with a presentation by Tim Coons, P.E., J. R. Russo and Associates Land Surveyors, which included a development plan and topography map for the 8.8 acre parcel that is in an R2A zone. Coons explained that the plan is to create an approximate 6.0 acre rear lot and leave approximately 2.8 acres with the existing frontage lot. The two lots will utilize a shared driveway.

The proposed grading to construct the shared driveway and expand the building area on the existing front lot is in accordance with the grading plan and will result in the excavation and export of approximately 29,000 cubic yards of earth materials from the site. Extensive tree removal will be required. The proposed lots have the approval from the Farmington Valley Health District for well and septic systems. The Inland/Watercourse Commission has approved the plan. The DOT has been contacted regarding the proposed curb cut.

After reviewing the preliminary plan, the proposed driveway was shifted to obtain the required sight distance in both directions. There will be minimal grading along the site frontage and tree clearing within the state right-of-way. The extensive grading plan would allow for more livable and safer space around the proposed homes as well as safer access to the site.

The proposed project could take as long as two years with three to four truckloads of material leaving the site a day. The excavation could be done more quickly, with a greater number of trucks per day. The applicant anticipates that most of the trucks would head north on Route 189 to Granville, Massachusetts.

The applicant proposes to pay a fee-in-lieu-of-open-space if approved. The fee in lieu of payment is $5,598.

Members of the public and neighbors expressed concern that this is not appropriate for an existing neighborhood, was for individual financial gain, would change the landscape, expressed concern for tree and rock removal, noise, wildlife, traffic, safety issues with the large equipment, impact on the water table and future bonding. Barbara Scott, 286 Granville Road, stated these improvements would improve the site for her driveway. Paul Scott, applicant, stated the improvements were not just for the financial gain as was stated. He would build on one of the lots to be near his mother and the sale of the second lot would help to cover the costs of the improvements to the site. Coons noted that when the project is completed there will be two more nice homes and the driveway will be significantly improved with a better site line for everyone.

The public hearing will be continued at the April 24, 2018, meeting to allow Coons time to address the comments in the Town Engineer’s memo and Armentano’s question concerning tree removal in state right-of-way.

Discussion and consideration of proposals, submitted under a Request for the Acquisition and Agricultural Use of the Town of Granby for the East Street Property as directed by the Granby Board of Selectmen on March 5, 2018. Two proposals considered: House of Hayes LLC and Westmeadow Farm

Acting Chairman Chapple stated this is not a public hearing. The commission members agreed to hear each applicant’s proposal.

Stanley Hayes, House of Hayes, 151 East Street, stated the Hayes Family has been farming at this location for many years. He leases this land to produce feed for his animals and to keep his farm operating. He proposed a 25-year lease.

Tom Vaughan, Westmeadow Farm, would purchase the property for $1,250,000 to establish a 90-acre dairy farm, construct a dairy barn of approximately 315’ x 75’, improve the access road, set up a robotic milking system in the barn for his organic farm. The addition of the land/building and equipment would add approximately $40,000 a year in taxes. Vaughan also stated that he is confident the State and Federal Government will purchase the development rights. This could also generate 22 additional jobs for Granby.

Members of the public spoke in favor of Vaughan, stating that the sale of the property would eliminate the use of herbicides and pesticides and the future is organic foods. References were made regarding the Plan of Conservation and Development. Speakers felt that the town should allow the property to be sold and the matter brought to a public vote. That the proposal would improve the tax base and be supportive of future residential and businesses growth.

Other comments addressed contamination, bonding and this type of farming.

Members of the public that spoke in favor of Stanley Hayes, House of Hayes, commented that many large farms in the state are going out of business, that the Hayes family has operated its farming operation in Granby for generations and that they should be allowed to continue to farm the town’s property. Eric Myers read a letter prepared by Brennan Sheahan in support of the Vaughan sale proposal.

Eric Lukingbeal apologized for any upset that was caused by Sally King reading his letter at the last meeting as he was unable to attend. The discussion will be continued to the next meeting to allow all commission members to be in attendance.

Receive Applications

The following applications were received. An application seeking approval of a Special Permit for the selling and serving of alcoholic beverages section 8.3 of the Zoning Regulations for the Farmers Garden restaurant formerly ABC Pizza, located at 10 Hartford Avenue..

An application seeking a special permit for a garage/barn in excess of 1,000 square feet for property located at 33 Strong Road.

Staff Reports

Armentano sought the commission’s comments on a possible amendment to the Aquifer Protection Overlay zone. The amendment would move the use of an automotive repair garage from a prohibited use to a special permit use. He explained the large area of the overlay zone and addressed the areas where a future public service might logically be placed.

He felt that it would be unlikely that a public supply well would be located in the area along Salmon Brook Street between the MeadowBrook Nursing home and Griffin Road, where numerous, long established auto service facilities are located. At present, an existing auto repair garage would like to re-locate to 352 Salmon Brook Street, in a portion of the Land Tec building, currently under construction, next to Cahill Motors. Some members were opposed to the idea, while others were willing to listen to the pros and cons of such an amendment.


The commission discussed the construction of the Ridgewood Development and status of the Peppermill Deli.

Dorcus S. Forsyth, Recording Secretary