Planning & Zoning meeting Minutes

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February 26, 2019 

Informal Discussion

Stanley Kardys, owner of 186 Case Street, addressed the commission and gave a brief description of his family’s history with the property. Kardys explained he has been researching the possible subdivision and open space/farmland preservation of his property. A developer is interested in purchasing approximately 40 acres with the intent of subdividing the land. Kardys would like to retain approximately eight acres so he can continue to farm. He has contacted the state and town to ask if they are interested in purchasing the development rights to the farm. Kardys said he would like the fee in lieu of open space for the property to be used to purchase the development rights. 

Director of Community Development Abby Kenyon explained the Subdivision Regulations require 20 percent of the subdivided property be dedicated open space unless no party is willing to accept the open space, in which case the Planning and Zoning Commission may accept a fee in lieu of open space. If a fee is collected, it is deposited into the open space fund, which can be used to preserve open space elsewhere in town. However, when the commission accepts a fee in lieu of open space, it is unable to earmark the collected funds for a specific purchase. Such a purchase would have to be approved by other boards and commissions and, depending on the cost, possibly a town meeting. Kardys suggested perhaps McLean Game Refuge would consider purchasing a portion of the property, as it is adjacent to 186 Case Street to the east. The commission discussed open space properties and preservation of farmland. Kenyon will follow up with the state regarding the farmland preservation program that Kardys has indicated he is interested in applying to. 

Receive Application and Set Public Hearing

Kenyon reported two applications have been submitted, including an application seeking an accessory apartment at 29 Notch Road and an application seeking an amendment to Zoning Regulations Sections 1.4, and 8.17.4, which would allow gas stations in the Industrial Zone by Special Permit and would increase the building height of self-storage facilities to 40 feet. The public hearings have been scheduled for March 26.

Kenyon reported the Plan of Conservation and Development Implementation Committee has met several times over the past few months and has created a table with all tasks outlined in the Plan of Conservation and Development. The committee is working to assign a lead entity to complete the tasks and a timeline for completion. Kenyon noted the Planning and Zoning Commission has been identified as a lead entity for several tasks, including revisions to the zoning regulations pertaining to housing options and site plan review elements. She said after the Plan of Conservation and Development Implementation Committee finishes its review of the plan, the Planning and Zoning Commission can assess the assigned tasks and prioritize their completion. Paula Johnson commented that residential accessory use is a topic that the commission may want to consider a priority.

Commission discussion of items of interest or concern

Paula Johnson suggested that the commission create a policy for how seating of an alternate commission member is handled to ensure consistency. It was suggested if an alternate is seated for a public hearing that is continued to the next meeting, the alternate should remain seated to finish the public hearing and then vote on the application. The commission will consider this and will discuss further.

Charles Kraiza asked Eric Lukingbeal about the plan to create an arboretum at Holcomb Farm. Eric reported the Friends of Holcomb Farm obtained grant funding to plant and label trees for a Holcomb Tree Trail.

March 12, 2019

Public Session 

Bill Scheel, 93 Silkey Road, addressed the commission. He asked the commission what interaction had taken place between themselves and the Kearns Community Center Steering Committee. He commented the Kearns Committee had proposed activities and he asked about possible Zoning Regulation implications. A. Kenyon replied that town property is exempt from the Zoning Regulations. 

Referral regarding Capital Projects – Connecticut General Statute, Section 8-24

Director of Community Development Abby Kenyon addressed the commission. She explained Section 8-24 of the Connecticut General Statutes requires that municipal improvements be referred to the Planning and Zoning Commission for a report before any local action is taken. The role of the commission is to evaluate projects for consistency with the Plan of Conservation and Development. She said the commission’s review of the projects is very early in the process. There will be public information sessions on the projects.

Kenyon briefly highlighted each of the proposed projects including five bridges; work at the high school  including cafeteria improvements, science, career and technology education space renovations, performing arts improvements, library media center project, parking lot reconfiguration and repaving, athletic facility improvements; roofs and/or HVAC system upgrades and/or replacement at all schools and a solar array behind Wells Road School. Paula Johnson noted the Plan of Conservation and Development contains information about well-maintained infrastructure and roads to provide for safety of residents and also maintaining the standard of education. Eric Myers highlighted a few considerations the commission must contemplate when evaluating these projects and their consistency with the Plan of Conservation and Development, including the adoption of and maintaining a capital improvement plan, encouraging volunteer participation, seeking alternative sources of revenues, and anticipating future needs of the town with changing demographics. Myers noted concerns with how the different projects are packaged. Kenyon reminded the commission that its evaluation of the projects is in relation to the Plan of Conservation and Development only. A determination of how the projects are packaged for a town vote is beyond the scope of the Planning and Zoning Commission.

Eric Lukingbeal stated he would like to attend one or more of the information sessions before voting. Kenyon said that they could vote at the next meeting. Margaret Chapple asked Kenyon to confirm that the commission is not being asked to endorse these projects. Kenyon said the commission’s review is for consistency with the Plan of Conservation and Development. P. Johnson recommended that the Commission members attend one of the several upcoming public information sessions being held within the next week. She also noted residents should have received a Capital Program Priority Advisory Committee Information Session postcard in the mail. The information sessions were: Thursday, March 14, 2019 at the Granby Police Department Community Room at 2 p.m.; Saturday, March 16, 2019 at the Granby Police Department Community Room at 10 a.m.; and Tuesday, March 19, 2019 at the Granby Senior Center Community Room at 7 p.m.

Commission discussion of items of interest or concern

Johnson read the procedure for seating of alternates. In the event a regular commission member cannot attend a meeting, that member notifies the Office of Community Development as soon as possible. The Office of Community Development will contact an alternate to fill in. Alternate members will be contacted on a rotating basis. If a hearing matter is continued, the alternate who served on the original hearing will return until the matter is concluded. Alternate members are encouraged to attend all meetings should a regular member need to disqualify him or herself from participating on an active application.

-—Patricia Tappenden, Recording Secretary