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.
Action on the minutes of Jan. 14, 2020
ON A MOTION by Lukingbeal seconded by Boardman, the commission voted (7-0-0) to approve the minutes of Jan. 14, 2020.
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. (Continued from the Jan. 14, 2020 meeting)
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.
Jonathan Vosburgh, Roswell Development, LLC, Bloomfield, introduced himself and his team. He explained comments and questions from the last meeting will be addressed this evening.
Guy Hesketh, F. A. Hesketh and Associates, East Granby, addressed the commission. He explained a revised plan dated Jan. 23, 2020 has been submitted, which addresses all comments received to date. Revisions include minor updates to the zoning compliance table; inclusion of carport elevations and a bike rack detail; a note regarding patio material; a note on the proposed decorative wall along Salmon Brook Street; the addition of fire hydrant symbols on the utility plan; revision to the phasing plan to note compliance with the minimum required parking for Phase I and list of proposed work during both phases; minor modifications to the lighting plan with lights now shown in the compactor area and a clarification on light details; a note showing distance of dog park from the upland review area; and the compactor area has been revised to show compartments for both trash and recycling.
The applicant also proposes to extend the sidewalk north to the cemetery property but not beyond, as grading would be required on adjacent properties and retaining walls would be needed. Furthermore, it is noted installation on other properties would be an off-site improvement. However, to address crossing concerns, the applicant has offered to work with the Connecticut Department of Transportation to install a sidewalk just north of the northern driveway entrance. They will propose a rapid flash beacon so students and other residents could safely cross Salmon Brook Street. As there are similar crossings in East Granby and in Simsbury, the applicant believes DOT will be open to the idea.
In response to other questions from the commission, it was noted the lease agreements with tenants will prohibit storage in the garage, which is enforced through management. In response to the impact on the school system, based on enrollment in similar developments in Simsbury, approximately 21 students may be expected to live in the development.
Scott Hesketh, F. A. Hesketh and Associates, East Granby, noted traffic count data from 2019 is now available. However the 2016 data was used in the traffic analysis previously submitted by the applicant, which is the same data DOT used for its design for the Granby Center intersection project. He pointed out the more recent 2019 average daily traffic is lower than the average daily traffic in 2016. He also explained the sidewalk crossing with the rapid flash beacon in more detail, noting the system is pedestrian activated.
Ken LaForge, Landscape Architect, F. A. Hesketh and Associates, East Granby, explained in detail the plantings proposed for the site are native to Connecticut and include canopy trees, ornamental trees, evergreens and shrubs. He explained such a vast variety has been selected so as not to create a monoculture and his aim is to create an excellence in design with the landscaping. The applicant is also proposing an increase in the size of the proposed trees along Salmon Brook Street.
LaForge concluded that all regulations have been met or surpassed in terms of both caliper of tree and number of required plantings. Lukingbeal asked several questions to which LaForge responded; the irrigation system will include bubbler type in mulch areas; there is water to support the irrigation; and the trees selected have a successful history in this area. Should any trees fail they will be replaced and should the specified trees not be available there is a multistep process for obtaining a substitution. LaForge has not had issues with dogwoods. He noted the soil quality consists of a lot of sand, topsoil will augment around trees to a depth they need, and soil testing has not been submitted to the UConn lab.
Answering commission questions, it was noted DOT approval for the proposed crosswalk has not been obtained but given similar crossings in nearby areas, DOT should be receptive to the proposal. Trash will be picked up on a set schedule and there is no exact count of the number of elevators to be installed at this time. It is expected the development will attract a slightly older demographic. Phase I could start in mid-2020 and take one and a half years to complete and Phase II would start after.
In response to a question about bonding, Kenyon noted under the Zoning Regulations, the commission can require a bond for all site improvements. If a development such as this one is approved in phases, a bond would be required to cover work shown within each phase.
John Flint, 54 Barn Door Hills Road; Anthony Cappelli, 9 Heather Lane; Bill Ross, 239 Salmon Brook Street; Michael Ware, 45 Hungary Road; Theresa Spak, 274 Salmon Brook Street; Carolyn Flint, 54 Barn Door Hills Road; and Fred Jones, 19 Copper Brook Circle, spoke. Questions/comments included: has a formal market study been conducted; has financing been obtained; does the developer have experience with similar projects; an audible component to the crosswalk flashing beacon should be explored; consider using solar; sustainable materials and wood from the house to be demolished should be incorporated into the site; town sidewalks need to be improved to encourage walkability; decrease the density of the project and move the buildings back from the road; offer some units for affordable housing; ensure dog park is outside the 100 foot upland review area; and Salmon Brook Water District is close to capacity.
In response the applicant noted Salmon Brook Water has provided a letter indicating there is adequate water capacity for the 235 units, however they have not committed to providing water for irrigation purposes. The Farmington Valley Health District has been contacted regarding a well should one be needed for landscaping.
In terms of setback from the road, the buildings are approximately 118 feet from the road, which is greater than the distance required under the Zoning Regulations. The applicant is requesting a modification to the front yard to allow parking within 40 feet of the front property line. It was noted parking and some buildings on surrounding properties are located closer than 40 feet from the road; the reduction would be consistent with the surrounding area. Furthermore, wetlands and floodplain to the rear and an escarpment were factors considered when designing the site layout. The proposed landscaping along Salmon Brook Street would soften the parking area and hide many of the cars, as the elevation of the parking lot is lower than the road.
The commission discussed next steps. Kenyon noted under state statute, a decision on a site plan must be rendered within 65 days of receipt. If the commission would like an extension to the February meeting, the applicant must agree to it. The applicant granted an extension.
ON A MOTION by Chinni seconded by Boardman, the commission voted (5-2-0) to close the public hearing for an 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, and to consider the application at the next meeting on Feb. 11, 2020. Lukingbeal and Chapple opposed.
Application seeking a Special Permit under Zoning Regulations section 18.104.22.168 for a garage in excess of 1,000 square feet for property at 70R Day Street. File Z-01-20.
This Public Hearing for this application was postponed to Feb. 25, 2020.
Application seeking a site plan modification and Special Permit under Zoning Regulation Section 22.214.171.124 to place two additional 30,000 gallon propane tanks underground for property located at 500 Salmon Brook Street. File Z-02-20.
Christian Alford, Alford and Associates, addressed the commission. He explained there are currently two 30,000 gal. underground tanks with smaller tanks at this location. The applicant is seeking a site plan modification and Special Permit under Zoning Regulation Section 126.96.36.199 to place two additional 30,000 gal. propane tanks underground. Applicant B. Guarco has met with the Fire Marshal. Answering commission questions, Guarco stated mutual aid in the event of a fire is a standard practice; underground tanks are much safer than aboveground tanks; and the addition of a fire hydrant was noted as a good thing for the community but not a condition specific to this project. There was no public comment. The public hearing was closed. The commission has 65 days to render their decision.
Receive application and set public hearing
Application seeking a Special Permit under Zoning Regulations Section 8.5 for an accessory apartment for property located at 155 Notch Road. File Z-04-20.
This application is scheduled for public hearing on Feb. 25, 2020.
Consideration of above applications, where the commission has concluded the public hearing.
Regarding Site Plan approval 276 and 280 Salmon Brook Street, Kenyon will draft a list of modifications to the plan, including sidewalk lighting, bonding, landscaping, and other items discussed, for the commission’s consideration at the Feb. 11 meeting.
ON A MOTION by Chapple seconded by Lukingbeal, the commission voted (7-0-0) to approve an application seeking a site plan modification and Special Permit under Zoning Regulation Section 188.8.131.52 to place two additional 30,000 gal. propane tanks underground for property located at 500 Salmon Brook Street.
Appointment to CRCOG Regional
Kenyon stated that CRCOG is requesting a representative and an alternate to serve on the Regional Planning Commission. Myers recommended divvying the quarterly meetings amongst them. Sheahan will attend the March meeting.
Staff Report and Correspondence
The Development Commission drafted a new Zoning Regulation pertaining to agritourism. It will be passed on to the Agricultural Commission for their input. The Planning & Zoning Commission can then consider the draft and make any necessary changes at a future meeting. It was also noted minor changes to the Utility Zoning Regulation have been made; Kenyon will schedule this for a future meeting. Work is currently underway on a solar regulation.
Commissioner Reports and
In response to a comment earlier in the evening, Myers stated one of the goals in the Plan of Conservation and Development is to make Granby Center more pedestrian friendly.
Patricia Tappenden, Recording Secretary