Planning & Zoning Commission minutes Sept. 11, 2018

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Receive Application and Set Public Hearing

A Public Hearing has been set for September 25, 2018 for an application seeking a Special Permit for an illuminated freestanding sign and two additional freestanding signs for property at 4 East Granby Road.

Consider request for a second, 90-day extension to file mylar for one-lot re-subdivision for property located at 33 Moose Horn Road.

Commission members briefly discussed the request for a second, 90-day extension noting that by state statute, this is the last time the applicant can apply for an extension. On a motion by Eric Lukingbeal, seconded by Jonathan Boardman, the commission voted (6-0-0) to grant a second, 90-day extension for a one-lot re-subdivision for property located at 33 Moose Horn Road.

Informal Discussions

Discuss possible application for 100 Salmon Brook Street, a self-storage facility in the Economic Development and Aquifer Protection Overlay Zones.

Wilson Alford Jr, PE of Alford Associates, Inc. approached the commission to discuss a proposed self-storage facility at 100 Salmon Brook Street. He explained access to the site would be from a driveway on Mill Pond Drive, east of Dunkin Donuts and it would not be seen from the road. Abby Kenyon, Director of Community Development, noted the commission would have to consider two regulation changes in order to proceed because under the current regulations self-storage facilities are prohibited in the aquifer protection overlay zone and are only allowed by Special Permit in the industrial zone. 

James Sansone stated that with the new apartments, this type of facility is needed as storage space in apartments is limited. Margaret Chapple commented that there is no control over what people will store, which is a concern in the aquifer zone. Kenyon noted the Economic Development Zone comprises 300 acres and is the primary area remaining for economic development within Granby.

Discuss possible change to Zoning Regulations regarding drive-through windows.

The commission discussed a possible change to the zoning regulations regarding drive-through windows. Some commissioners expressed concern with the potential impact of noise and increased traffic on nearby residential properties.

Eric Myers commented that technology has improved and modern drive-through windows are much quieter. He noted under the current regulations, a restaurant drive-through window within 1,000 feet of a residential use is prohibited but another establishment, such as a pharmacy, could install a drive-through without commission approval. Requiring Special Permit approval for all drive-through windows would allow the commission to consider all drive-through windows on a site-by-site basis. Other commissioners noted there is a difference between a restaurant drive-through window and a pharmacy drive-through window; noting restaurants have the potential to generate more trash, traffic, and noise. The commission decided not to move forward with the proposed regulation change. If an applicant approaches them with a need in the future, a change would be considered at that time.

Discuss possible change to Zoning Regulations regarding outdoor dining.

Kenyon introduced the proposed regulation regarding outdoor dining. She noted the commission had reviewed a draft earlier in the summer and made suggestions regarding the provision of lighting, required separation from parking spaces, sidewalk clearance requirements for ADA accessibility, and the provision of background music for dining. She explained she made changes based on commission feedback and, under the draft regulation, all applications for outdoor dining would require Special Permit approval through the commission. Jonathan Boardman expressed a concern with Farmer’s Kitchen and the use of the sidewalk space. Kenyon responded she would look into it to be sure ADA accessibility is maintained. She also noted existing outdoor dining may have been part of the initial approval for restaurants and any other dining areas may be grandfathered as they were viewed as accessory.

Eric Lukingbeal questioned zoning regulation and asked what defines light music. It was determined a specific decibel level should be added to the regulation. In response to a question from the commission, it was noted the outdoor dining regulation pertains to restaurants only so it will not conflict with other regulations regarding outdoor music. Abby Kenyon said she would make the changes to the regulation and refer the application to CRCOG as required under State Statute. She noted additional revisions may be made to the regulation following the public hearing, which will be scheduled for a later date.

On a motion by Margaret Chapple seconded by Eric Lukingbeal, the commission voted (6-0-0) to submit the regulation to CRCOG.

CGS 8-24 Referral, Eversource Electrical Easement, 83 Salmon Brook Street

Kenyon explained that under Connecticut General Statute Section 8-24, in order for Eversource to proceed with installation of electrical service to the Ridgewood Development, the town must first grant an easement to Eversource. She explained there is a current utility pole located on 83 Salmon Brook Street that provides service to site of the former Peppermill Deli. The electric service will run from that pole underground to the apartments to the rear. The utility pole at Peppermill will remain. She noted aboveground utility lines were once located in this area. However, they were removed when the structures were demolished as part of the Ridgewood Development.

On a motion by James Sansone seconded by Jonathan Boardman, the commission voted (6-0-0) to recommend approval of the Eversource Easement at 83 Salmon Brook Street under CGS 8-24.

Staff Reports and Correspondence

Staff approval of Modification to an Approved Site Plan for 4 Park Place, mechanical equipment, fence, and sidewalk.

Kenyon reported the applicant submitted minor changes to the approved site plan, including changes to the sidewalk, installation of mechanical equipment where a walk-in cooler had previously been shown, and a fence to screen the equipment. She noted the split rail fence separating the property from the neighbor has been installed.

Commission discussion of items of interest or concern

Paula Johnson thanked Margaret Chapple and Eric Myers for their participation as subcommittee members for the Plan of Conservation and Development Implementation Committee. Kenyon will follow up with the committee in the coming weeks to schedule the first meeting.

Kenyon reported she anticipates an application will be submitted to propose a change to the zoning regulations regarding short-term rentals. She noted she will work with the applicant in developing the regulation.