Planning & Zoning Meeting Minutes Dec. 10, 2019

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Present: Mark Lockwood (Chair), Jonathan Boardman, Christine Chinni, Paula Johnson, Eric Lukingbeal, Eric Myers, Brennan Sheahan. Also present was Abby Kenyon, Director of Community Development

Paula Johnson was seated for Margaret Chapple.

Mark Lockwood requested an amendment to the agenda.

ON A MOTION by Christine Chinni seconded by Eric Lukingbeal the commission voted (7-0-0) to amend the agenda to add application acceptance and schedule public hearings.

Action on the minutes of Nov. 26, 2019

ON A MOTION by Eric Myers seconded by Eric Lukingbeal the commission voted (6-0-1) to approve the minutes of November 26, 2019 with the following change: under section “Review and discuss the Plan of Conservation and Development Implementation Tasks” in addition to the Agricultural Commission, the Development Commission should also review proposed changes to the Zoning Regulations. Paula Johnson abstained. 

Public Hearing

Application seeking a Site Plan modification for an emergency gate for property located at Windmill Springs, Windmill Drive and Salmon Brook Street. File Z-20-19.

Michael Bourgoin, 30 Windmill Drive, addressed the commission. Bourgoin explained the Windmill Springs condominium development is accessed by two driveways, one off Hartford Avenue and the other off Salmon Brook Street. The Hartford Avenue driveway allows two-way traffic while the Salmon Brook Street driveway is designated as a one-way-only to allow vehicles to enter the development from Salmon Brook Street. The complex has seen increased traffic and speed as vehicles use the road as a cut-through.  Therefore, the Windmill Springs Board recommends closing the Salmon Brook Street entrance with a chain. Emergency responders have commented on the application and while none have a notable objection, they have stated response time may be affected with the closure.  The commission discussed other barriers that may be used, noting the proposed chain was not in keeping with the aesthetics of the Historic Overlay District and suggested another method of closing the driveway should be explored. The proposed locking mechanism and placement of the barrier were also discussed. Bourgoin noted that the decision to close the entrance, if approved by the commission, will be brought up at the Windmill Springs annual meeting later this month. 

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

ON A MOTION by Eric Lukingbeal seconded by Eric Myers the commission voted (7-0-0) to approve closing the entrance located on Salmon Brook Street with a barrier that must be approved by the Director of Community Development considering both safety and the aesthetics of the Town Center and Historic Area. 

Receive applications and set public hearing

Application seeking a Special Permit under Zoning Regulations Section for a garage in excess of 1,000 square feet for property at 70R Day Street. File Z-22-19. 

Application seeking a site plan modification and Special Permit under Zoning Regulations Section to place two additional 30,000 gallon propane tanks underground for property located at 500 Salmon Brook Street. File Z-23-19. 

The public hearings have been scheduled for January 28.

Review and discuss the Plan of Conservation and Development Implementation Tasks

In response to questions that were raised at the last meeting regarding the Plan of Conservation and Development Implementation Tasks, Abby Kenyon, Director of Community Development, reported she is unable to locate a copy of the Conservation Commission’s Natural Diversity Database but she has contacted the chair to see if someone on the commission has a copy.  Regarding native vegetation, DEEP has a list of native plants, that may be used when evaluating landscaping plans; and with regards to the farm store and agritourism regulations, the Development Commission will be noted on the table as a partner and member of the subcommittee. The commission had no other changes to the tasks that were assigned to them. The revised tabled will be sent to the Plan of Conservation and Development Implementation Committee for its consideration. 

Review and discuss Zoning Regulations Section 8.25 Utility Use and solar arrays

As a follow up to the discussion regarding solar arrays and utility uses from the last meeting, Kenyon noted CRCOG and surrounding communities have solar regulations that can be used as a model for the commission when drafting its own. The commission agreed solar arrays should have their own section in the Zoning Regulations, separate from other utility uses. It was also suggested wind turbines be addressed with a specific regulation. In the meantime, the commission will review the existing utility use regulation and will make minor modifications to correct cross references and clarify what is permitted by right and what requires special permit approval. The commission will look at this in more detail at its February meeting.

Staff Report and Correspondence

Kenyon stated the DOT will soon begin test pits in Granby Center as part of the intersection improvement project.

Respectfully submitted,

Patricia Tappenden, Recording Secretary