May 12, 2020
Present: Mark Lockwood (Chair), Jonathan Boardman, Margaret Chapple, Christine Chinni, Eric Lukingbeal, Eric Myers, Brennan Sheahan. Also present was Dominick Caruso, acting on behalf of the Director of Community Development.
Per Executive Order, this meeting shall be held remotely; commission members who speak shall introduce themselves each time they speak; members of the public who wish to speak shall introduce themselves and state their address.
Action on the minutes of April 28
On A Motion by C. Chinni seconded by E. Lukingbeal, the commission voted (7-0-0) to approve the minutes of April 28.
Commission discussion regarding seasonal outdoor dining. Zoning Section 8.16 et al.
M. Lockwood opened discussion. The Governor’s office has announced a temporary reopening phase for restaurants effective May 20 permitting outdoor dining with new criteria. In support of assisting Granby restaurants, without causing them any additional burden, he asked the commission members if current Zoning Regulation, Section 8.16 would require temporary modifications. Lockwood asked Chapple to share her insights with the anticipated Governor’s Executive Order.
Chapple said the Executive Order, which would expedite Municipal Zoning Amendments, should soon be issued by the governor. She shared it is expected that it will expedite modifications to municipal laws, ordinances, and regulations to ensure greater flexibility for local governments to respond to COVID-19, Section 8-3b. She said a draft document will cover areas of modification for permitting and the approval processes for outdoor activities; expedite municipal review of outdoor dining; parking; application process; approval and regulated conditions; appeal process and authority of the Zoning Enforcement Officer and more.
During the meeting, Lockwood received notification and announced the governor’s Executive Order JJ had just been released. Lockwood displayed the Executive Order JJ for members and the public to briefly scan.
Lockwood stated that members should read the Executive Order in detail independently. Chinni added from perusing it, the Executive Order appears to cover the topics members were planning on discussing that evening. D. Caruso commented that he would discuss this with the Zoning Enforcement Officer and keep the commission updated.
B. Sheahan expressed a deep concern over the Executive Order, he believes it does not go far enough to support restaurants. Lockwood stated that the commission cannot overrule an Executive Order.
Lockwood stated the next scheduled commission meeting is May 26, however, should the need arise for a Special Meeting beforehand, that could be arranged.
It was noted members of the public had a desire to speak.
On A Motion by Chinni seconded by Lukingbeal the commission voted (7-0-0) to reopen the Public Session.
Paula Johnson, 289 Simsbury Road, West Granby is encouraged by the Executive Order noting it is a good start. Scott Riley, Cambridge Brew House, added outdoor dining is a good thing, that he has multiple concerns—from losing money to keeping the public safe. Jamie Chan and Kristin Garcia, doing business at 10 Hartford Ave, raised specific questions about outdoor seating/dining. M. Higby, Freshies Café, was concerned with the time it would take to get approval.
Chinni noted that the commission cannot do more than what the governor’s order permits. Caruso recommended that restaurants can give a narrative and sketch out their proposed outdoor dining plan and turn it into the town office for review. The Development Department is creating guidelines to provide to the restaurant owners.
Lockwood noted the commission does not have control over the Fire Marshal or Farmington Valley Health District. He stressed the commission wants to support restaurants quickly, efficiently and for the safety of all, adding the commission will not add roadblocks to the process.
It is assumed the Executive Order does not include wineries or breweries.
The Public Session closed.
Commissioner Reports and
After reviewing the Governor’s new Executive Order, Lockwood will work with Caruso should there be a need for a Special Meeting of the Planning and Zoning Commission, noting there is flexibility to do so.
On A Motion by Chinni and seconded by Chapple, the commission voted (7-0-0) to adjourn the meeting.
May 26, 2020
Present: Mark Lockwood (Chair), Jonathan Boardman, Paula Johnson, Eric Lukingbeal (arriving late), Eric Myers, Brennan Sheahan. Also present Interim Town Planner Dominick Caruso.
Per Executive Order this meeting shall be held remotely; commission members who speak shall introduce themselves each time they speak; members of the public who wish to speak shall introduce themselves and state their address.
Seating of alternates, if applicable.
P. Johnson was seated for C. Chinni
M. Lockwood confirmed a quorum and asked the commission to add an item to the agenda—Receive an Application and Set Public Hearing (item 5.b) for property located at 80R Donahue Road for a 1,320 sq ft residential-use garage.
On A Motion by Johnson, seconded by E. Myers, the commission voted (5-0-0) to add item 5.b under section Receive Applications and Set Public Hearings for property located at 80R Donahue Road.
Action on the minutes of May 12
On A Motion by Myers seconded by J. Boardman, the commission voted (4-0-1) to approve the minutes of May 12, with one correction: governor’s Executive Order JJ should read governor’s Executive Order MM. P. Johnson abstained.
Re-subdivision application of Jeffrey and Cheryl Bliss proposing one additional building lot at 103 Petersen Road in an R-50 zone. File P-2-20.
D. Caruso shared background information of this application. The application is to re-subdivide a 2.6 acre lot with 420’ frontage on the west side of Petersen Road in a R50 (Rural Residential) Zone. A single-family home occupies the 2.6 acres lot. The proposal would create two lots. The existing home will remain on 103 Petersen Road, which will become a 1.45 acre lot with 210’ frontage. The second home will become a 1.15 acre lot with 210’ of frontage. Both lots conform to zoning. This is the third application to re-subdivide this lot. The two former approvals (2011 and 2015) were never filed with the Town Clerk and are therefore null and void. Per FVHD, retesting of the soil is not necessary; the septic system is approved as in the last two applications. He noted the only remaining issue is the dedication of Open Space per Section 3.1.3. Prior to the filing of the final mylar(s) the applicant shall either submit the Fee in Lieu of Open Space to the Town or file a document, suitable to the commission that requires the payment of the Fee in Lieu of Open Space at such time the lot is sold. The Fee in Lieu of Open Space is $4,242.
Applicant, Cheryl Bliss, 103 Petersen Road, addressed the commission. She stated the 2011 and 2015 deals fell through. She has a new buyer. Answering commission questions, Bliss stated she will file the mylar(s) this time and that there have been no other changes affecting this application. Bliss formally requested to be allowed to utilize the “fee in lieu of open space dedication” procedure (Section 126.96.36.199 of the Subdivision Regulations) to satisfy the open space requirements.
The hearing was opened for Public Comment. There was none.
Caruso commented he is okay with this application and reiterated that the applicant will need to file a mylar(s). Answering a question, Bliss stated, as directed by a prior commission approval, a shed had been removed.
Lockwood declared that the Public Hearing will remain open and be continued to the next meeting of June 23, 2020.
Receive applications and set public hearings
Special Permit and Site Plan application of Borghesi Building and Engineering Co. proposing a bank with drive-thru facilities at 12 East Granby Road in a CC Zone. File Z-12-20.
There were initial comments made about windows, parking and retention pond. The application is set for Public Hearing on June 23.
Application seeking a Special Permit for property located at 80R Donahue Road for a proposed 1,320 sqft garage. File Z-13-20.
Caruso noted this is a simple application for a residential-use garage storing 4-5 vehicles. The application is set for Public Hearing on June 23.
Consideration of the above application, where the commission has concluded the public hearing.
The Public Hearing remains open for the 103 Petersen re-subdivision application.
Staff Report and Correspondence
Lockwood asked Caruso to update the commission with the new temporary outdoor dining measures. Caruso noted a form with guidelines was developed and sent to restaurants before the May 20 deadline. Six (Han Asian, @the Barn, Verdura Tapas, La Figata, Freshies and Cambridge Brew Pub) outdoor dining permits have been approved by the town and the FVHD. Restaurants are required to erect a wall or fence, plantings, some type of barrier. Boardman had a concern with Han and Verdura outdoor seating arrangements occupying sidewalk space making handicap access unattainable. Caruso will look into those concerns.
Commissioner Reports and
Lockwood noted the next meeting is June 23. He appreciates the commission’s flexibility if called upon to include another meeting prior to that should the need arise.
On A Motion by Johnson seconded by Boardman the commission voted (6-0-0) to adjourn the meeting.
Patricia Tappenden, Recording Secretary