Planning & Zoning Meeting Minutes Nov. 26, 2019

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Present: Jonathan Boardman, Margaret Chapple, Christine Chinni, Mark Lockwood, Eric Lukingbeal, Eric Myers, Brennan Sheahan. Also present was William Volovski, Building Official/Zoning Enforcement Officer.

Election of Officers

Mark Lockwood nominated Eric Myers as Chair Pro Tem of tonight’s meeting. Jonathan Boardman seconded the nomination. The commission voted (7-0-0).

Brennan Sheahan nominated Mark Lockwood as Planning and Zoning Commission Chair.  Jonathan Boardman seconded the nomination. The commission voted (7-0-0).

Christine Chinni nominated Margaret Chapple as Planning and Zoning Commission Vice Chair. Mark Lockwood seconded the nomination. The commission voted (7-0-0).

Mark Lockwood and Margaret Chapple thanked the commission for electing them as Chair and Vice Chair.

Action on the minutes of Nov. 12, 2019

ON A MOTION by Jonathan Boardman seconded by Eric Lukingbeal the Commission voted (5-0-2) to approve the minutes of November 12, 2019. Margaret Chapple and Christine Chinni abstained. 

Public Hearing

Application seeking a Special Permit under Zoning Regulations Section 8.5 for an accessory apartment for property located at 15 Barkhamsted Road. File Z-19-19.

Sean Sabella, owner of 15 Barkhamsted Road, addressed the commission. Sabella would like to construct an in-law apartment in the basement of 15 Barkhamsted Road. The proposed apartment will be 564 square feet and will contain a kitchen, living room, one bedroom and one bathroom. There will be two means of egress to outside. A driveway provides access to the property. Answering questions, Sabella stated there is space for four vehicles in the driveway; the main entrance of the accessory apartment would be behind the garage; the driveway is to the right of the garage with a walkway along the garage to the front of the house; there will be exterior lighting on either side of the door to the apartment and motion sensors at the garage. Sabella stated he will be living on the property. W. Volovski commented as Building Official that there are no issues. 

The public hearing closed at 7:08 p.m.

Receive application and set 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-21-19. 

The commission is not required to hold a public hearing for a site plan modification, however, the Commission agreed it would be in the best interest for Windmill Springs residents for the commission to hold a public hearing. 

The public hearing has been set for December 10, 2019.

Application seeking Site Plan approval for a 235 unit multi-family development for property located at 276 and 280 Salmon Brook Street. File Z-21-19.

The public hearing has been set for Jan. 14. 

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

ON A MOTION by Eric Myers seconded by Margaret Chapple the commission voted (7-0-0) to approve a Special Permit under Zoning Regulations Section 8.5 for an accessory apartment for property located at 15 Barkhamsted Road. File Z-19-19.

An audience member asked to address the commission. Lockwood asked the Commission to reopen Public Session.

Guy Hesketh, of F. A. Hesketh and Associates, East Granby and resident at 36 Granby Farms Road, addressed the commission. Hesketh asked for clarification regarding the scheduling of the public hearing for the application seeking Site Plan approval for 276 and 280 Salmon Brook Street. The commission stated since the application contains an abundance of information to review, the public hearing has been set for January 14 to allow ample time to review the materials. Hesketh is not required to attend the December meeting. 

Review and discuss the Plan of Conservation and Development Implementation Tasks

Lockwood opened the discussion. The Conservation and Development Committee developed a comprehensive task list, identifying, outlining, prioritizing and sub-prioritizing goals. Each task was assigned a priority category. The commission reviewed and discussed its thoughts on the plan schedule. Items recognized as a top priority are marked “A” and are a 0-3 year priority; items marked “B” are 3-6 year; “C” are 6-10 year; “O” is ongoing; “G” is goal/general principle; “F” for further consideration and lastly “E” as Education. 

Lukingbeal commented that task item B.4 Utilize the Conservation Commission’s Natural Diversity Database, currently classified as a “C” priority, should be a higher priority. Lockwood suggested reclassifying B.4 as “O”/ongoing. Lockwood suggested tapping into other committees for their expertise.

Moving forward, the commission identified the following steps: Make item I.6 ‘Reviewing all proposed regulations for any negative impact on the farming community’ a top priority and include expertise from the Agricultural Commission; review all “A” priorities and advertise for sub-committees to review any proposed changes to the Zoning Regulations; look at the environmental database and other bodies in town; item B.10, clarify the definition of “native vegetation”; and include input from Kenyon. 

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

The Community Development Department recently received an inquiry regarding a ground-mounted solar array as primary use on a property. Abby Kenyon’s memo requested feedback from the commission of Section 8.25.  Currently, ground-mounted solar arrays are treated as an accessory use. Zoning regulations Section 8.25 Utility Use was adopted by the commission in 1999 and the definition as it is written is open ended. The commission recognizes the increase in popularity of solar use and the need to update Section 8.25 Utility Use and solar array regulations. Eric Myers suggested commencing work immediately with regards to permits, setbacks, screening and other issues. Commission members suggested handling the discussion at a separate special meeting as was done for drive-thru regulations. The commission agreed wind power should be included in this discussion. 

Staff Report and Correspondence

W. Volovski stated he will be retiring in January.

Commissioner Reports and Correspondence

A comment was made that the roundabout project preliminary work is in progress with construction starting in the spring of 2020. 

Respectfully submitted,

Patricia Tappenden, Recording Secretary