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Present: Paula Johnson (chairman), Jonathan Boardman, Margaret Chapple, Eric Lukingbeal, Eric Myers, James Sansone and Brennan Sheahan. Also present: Abby Kenyon, director of community development. 

Seating of alternates, if applicable: Brennan Sheahan was seated for Mark Lockwood.

Action on the minutes of July 23, 2019

ON A MOTION by E. Lukingbeal seconded by J. Boardman, the commission voted (7-0-0) to approve the minutes of July 23, 2019 with two corrections. Under Public Hearing, paragraph two should read, “at the July 9, 2019 public session” and under Staff Reports and Correspondence, the first line should read, “submitted a site plan modification.”

Public Hearing

Application seeking to modify a Special Permit for an existing farm store under Zoning Regulations Section 8.15.17 to allow special events for property located at 29 Bushy Hill Road.

Continued from July 23, 2019

Representing the applicant, Attorney Carl Landolina of Fahey and Landolina Attorneys, LLC, addressed the commission and answered questions that were raised July 23. Clark Farms received conditional approval from the State of Connecticut Department of Agriculture to hold agricultural events, educational farm tours, summer church services and up to six weddings/farm-to-table events for up to 150 people each year under the tent; there are 74 parking spaces on the site with an additional 35 spaces near the tent; and cones or parking staff to be used to assist with parking. Becky Clark of Clark Farms noted natural barriers, slopes and pine trees assist with common sense parking. 

Per the Commission’s request, the applicant has defined several terms with regards to use of the tent. “Everyday use” is defined as use of the tent during regular business hours for educational tours, use by people picking apples, people sitting to enjoy hard cider or wine and use by church groups. There would be no amplified music with everyday use of the tent. “Events” is defined as six after-hours events per year, such as, but not limited to, weddings, farm-to-table dinners, or catered events with amplified music ending at 9 p.m., for 125 to 150 guests. “Special occasions” is defined as birthday parties, bridal showers, retirement parties with no amplified music, which may be held during regular business hours with up to 75 guests. The applicant is requesting up to 35 special occasion gatherings per year. 

In response to a question regarding the location of the tent, Clark explained the previous location was in close proximity to the tractor route, which created a lot of dust. The tent was moved to minimize the impact from dust. It was also noted the tent would have to be moved about 80 feet closer to the building to ensure compliance with proximity to restroom facilities. However, for convenience, Port-o-lets could still be used for the duration of the event then removed after the event. 

Ronald Lewis, 28 Bushy Hill Road, stated he lives directly across the street from Clark Farms and he has never seen a parking issue at the farm. He supports the application.

Christopher Strapp, 10 Indian Hill Drive, noted concerns regarding noise and compatibility with the neighborhood.

Lisa Bennett, 27 Mechanicsville Road, stated for the record that all events and amplified music will end by 9 p.m., noting other residents host loud parties well past midnight. 

Ann Carey, 11 Strawberry Fields, emphasized the need to honor the intent of the purchase of development rights agreement and to limit the commercial use of the property outside the commercial envelope. 

Eric Lukingbeal requested to enter into the record the following documents: the current Plan of Conservation and Development and the prior two Plans of Conservation and Development.

The public hearing closed at 7:53 p.m.

Application seeking to renew a Special Permit under Zoning Regulations Sections and for an automotive repair facility in the Aquifer Protection Overlay Zone for property at 352 Salmon Brook Street.

Applicant Tim Lyons addressed the commission. He noted compliance with all previous conditions of approval. He stated the arborvitaes have been replaced and additional plantings will be installed to further screen the property from the neighbor to the north. Regarding the parking of vehicles, Lyons stated people park their cars where they can. However, he is trying to keep the vehicles off the grass and is exploring options for additional parking for employees to the rear of the building or on adjacent property.

Kenyon mentioned there is outstanding site work to the rear of the building; the town is holding a performance bond until all work is completed. She also noted that the commission approved the previous Special Permit with a condition that a farm gate be installed to separate the front parking lot from the rear. Shaun Levesque, property owner, noted that the farm gate, when opened, would block several parking spaces. Instead of the gate, a stockade fence has been installed and a chain separates the automotive repair business in the front from the landscaping yard to the rear. The commission agreed this new treatment was preferred.

Kenyon visited the site and noted all containers are marked and off the floor so spills could easily be seen and addressed and there have been no reports of spills over the past year. There are no concerns with the renewal of the Special Permit.

Receive applications and set public hearing

Application seeking a Special Permit under Zoning Regulations Section 8.5 for an accessory apartment for property located at 14 Spring Glen Drive. File Z-12-19. The public hearing has been set for Sept. 24. 

Application seeking a 1-lot re-subdivision for property at 142 Case Street. File P-1-19. The public hearing has been set for Sept. 24. 

Application seeking a Special Permit under Zoning Regulations Section for a garage within 100 feet of the street line and in excess of 600 square feet for property located at 4 Powder Mill Lane. File Z-14-19. The public hearing has been set for Oct. 8. 

Application seeking a Special Permit under Zoning Regulations Section 8.3 for the sale of alcoholic beverages for property at 4 Park Place, Deep Roots Street Food. File Z-15-19. The public hearing has been set for Oct. 8. 

Consideration of the above applications, where the commission has concluded the public hearing.

Regarding the application seeking to modify a Special Permit for an existing farm store for property located at 29 Bushy Hill Road, Paula Johnson noted all information should be reviewed and the commission would consider the application at a later meeting. 

ON A MOTION by Eric Myers seconded by Jonathan Boardman, the commission voted (7-0-0) to approve the renewal of a Special Permit under Zoning Regulations Sections and for an automotive repair facility in the Aquifer Protection Overlay Zone for property at 352 Salmon Brook Street subject to modifications as proposed during public session.

Staff Reports and Correspondence

Kenyon noted the Department of Transportation held a utility meeting for the roundabout project. Utility work will start this fall and construction will begin in spring 2020 and is expected to be complete by fall 2020. Addressing a question regarding a home on the northwest corner of the roundabout, Kenyon explained the state has been working with affected property owners to make proper acquisitions.

At the next meeting, Kenyon anticipates there will be an informal discussion about Mill Pond Drive and the potential expansion for Greenway Village apartments.

A Special Meeting workshop regarding restaurant drive-thru windows is scheduled for Monday, Sept. 16, at the Granby Senior Center, Activity Room 2. Kenyon will distribute draft regulations and mapping for commission review beforehand.

Commissioner Reports and Correspondence

Two commission members are unavailable to attend the Sept. 24 meeting. Johnson recommended all commission members be present for discussing File Z-10-19, Special Permit to allow special events for 29 Bushy Hill Road, and suggested moving the decision to Oct. 8, when all commission members will be present.

Respectfully submitted,

Patricia Tappenden