PRESENT: Mark Lockwood (Chair), Jonathan Boardman, Margaret Chapple, Christine Chinni, Eric Lukingbeal, Eric Myers and Brennan Sheahan. Also present was Abby Kenyon, Director of Community Development.
Minutes of Dec. 10, 2019
ON A MOTION by Myers seconded by Lukingbeal, the commission voted (6-0-1) to approve the minutes of Dec. 10, 2019. M. Chapple abstained.
Application seeking Site Plan approval for a 235 unit multi-family development and associated site improvements for property located at 276 and 280 Salmon Brook Street. File Z-21-19.
Lockwood explained this application requires site plan approval only; Special Permit approval is not required. The commission is to evaluate the application to ensure compliance with site development criteria outlined in the Center Commons Zone and other applicable site development standards.
Jon Vosburgh, Roswell Development, LLC, Bloomfield, addressed the commission. The project includes the construction of 235 apartment units and site improvements at 276 and 280 Salmon Brook Street.
Proposed sidewalks and close proximity to Granby Center will connect the development to the center, encouraging residents to patronize local businesses. The site and building design will incorporate architectural details from nearby buildings and include different roofline heights, cornice details, and earth tones for siding. The development will have a sense of community and various amenities including a gym, pool, and common room.
Guy Hesketh, F. A. Hesketh and Associates, East Granby, addressed the commission and reiterated that they are looking for site plan approval this evening. The combined properties contain about 45.82 acres and are located north of Granby Center on Salmon Brook Street. The properties are located in the Center Commons and R-30 Zones; the development will be located on the Center Commons portion only. The rear portion of the property also falls within the Aquifer Protection Overlay Zone; no work is proposed within this Zone. The proposed development includes the construction of seven apartment buildings, six garage buildings, and associated site improvements. The buildings will be three stories, with a height of 37 feet. There will also be a pool, pavilion and dog park to serve the development. There will be a total of 451 parking spaces. Landscaping will be installed along Salmon Brook Street and throughout the development. Storm water management and erosion controls for the site were explained. It was noted the applicant has worked with the Inland Wetlands and Watercourses Commission and the Town Engineer. A photometric plan was presented, showing that lighting levels are low and will not cause a nuisance. Public water and sewer and natural gas are available on the site. The town has reviewed the project and the sewer capacity is able to accommodate this proposal; formal approval from the Water Pollution Control Authority will be obtained at a later time. Salmon Brook District Water has reviewed the project and issued a letter stating that they will be able to serve the development.
G. Hesketh noted as shown on Plan Sheet MA-1, the proposed development complies with all applicable zoning regulations, including required lot area, setback, coverage, density, and consolidated open space. The applicant is requesting a reduction to the required front yard to accommodate parking within the front yard. A letter outlining the request to reduce the front yard to 40 feet was submitted to the commission for its consideration that included information regarding existing buildings located within 400 feet of the site, per the Zoning Regulations. Hesketh emphasized other buildings and their parking areas are less than or about 40 feet from the front property line and indicated this project is in keeping with neighboring properties.
The landscaping plan was reviewed, which proposes more trees for the site than what are required under the Zoning Regulations. The landscaped area along Salmon Brook Street will also include a low stone wall and trees and the parking area will be set lower than the road. Trees and shrubs will also be planted to screen the sewer pump station and compactor area. There will also be trees planted on the southern edge of the property to provide screening to the neighbor.
G. Hesketh described phase one of construction, which will include the front three buildings, parking areas along Salmon Brook Street, installation of the storm water management system and pool area. Phase two will include the last four buildings, dog park and garages.
Scott Hesketh, F. A. Hesketh and Associates, East Granby, addressed the commission. Hesketh noted a traffic study was completed and the findings indicate the increase in traffic from this development will not be significant; the existing road network can accommodate the traffic volumes without any significant impact on the level of service.
Mark Marzi, architect, Don Hammerberg Associates, Farmington, addressed the commission. Marzi noted the building design provides a third story but minimizes the height by utilizing a mansard roof. Marzi provided an overview of the architectural details, including balconies, cornices and building materials to be used. The distance between horizontal offsets complies with the Zoning Regulations. The floor area for one, two and three bedroom units also complies with the minimum area required under the Zoning Regulations.
Eric Brown, partner with Jon Vosburgh, addressed the commission. This development targets millennials and those who may be downsizing. He stated Granby is aging and enrollment in school has declined—a new development would bring the necessary vitality to the town. Various permits alone for this project would generate approximately half a million dollars.
The public hearing was opened.
Paula Johnson, 289 Simsbury Road; Peggy Lareau, 17R Reed Hill Road; Mike Joyce, 4 Brendans Way; Robert Flanigan, 24 Woodcliff Drive; Kristen Porter, 7 Moosehorn Road; John Flint, 54 Barndoor Hills Road; Bill Ross, 239 Salmon Brook Street; and Michael Ware, 45 Hungary Road spoke. Questions/comments included, handicap accessibility and affordable units; additional trees and landscaping; the project is too big for Granby; there are concerns about density; additional market analysis is needed; the sidewalk should be extended to the north; and how trash is handled is a concern. Gary Kevorkian, 18 Hartford Ave, noted density is important and the proposal will increase pedestrian traffic in the center, which is needed.
Answering several questions, Vosburgh stated the first floor units could be considered accessible; they have not considered affordable units; they are aware of the importance of landscaping; and wells may be an option for irrigation.
At 9:10 p.m. Lockwood recommended a 10-minute recess.
Fran Armentano, 204 Mountain Road, noted the proposed development is consistent with the Plan of Conservation and Development’s Granby Center Goal to obtain a greater mix of new housing units, particularly multi-family and rental units. The project will create a walkable community and will add to the tax base.
The commission asked about pedestrian access and how children will walk to school, noting sidewalks should be extended along the entire frontage per the Zoning Regulations; if elevators will be provided; how the type and number of trees were selected, it was requested the landscape architect be present at the next meeting; what the impact on schools will be; if the applicant has considered green building methods; how recycling will be handled; if more recent traffic data is available; and how to ensure garage spaces will be used for parking vehicles and not storage.
In response to questions the applicant noted children would walk south to the main intersection to the signalized crosswalk; not all the buildings will have elevators; the landscape architect will be present; it is anticipated there will not be many children but more information can be provided on this; solar panels are not proposed for the development; recycling will be addressed at the next meeting; and the DOT will be consulted to determine if more recent data is available, however the 2019 data may not yet be published.
Kenyon said she and the town engineer have met with the applicant and most of their comments have been addressed on the revised plan set. She will be reviewing the revised plans and will issue any additional comments prior to the next meeting.
This Public Hearing will continue on Jan. 28, 2020.
Receive application and set public hearing
An application seeking a change of zone from Center Edge (CE) and Center Commons (CC) to Commercial Center (COCE) for property located at 37 Hartford Ave. File Z-03-20.
This application is scheduled for public hearing on Feb. 11, 2020.
Patricia Tappenden, Recording Secretary