JUNE 23, 2020
Present: Mark Lockwood (Chair), Jonathan Boardman, Margaret Chapple, Christine Chinni, Eric Lukingbeal, Eric Myers, Brennan Sheahan. Paula Johnson. Also present, Interim Town Planner Dominick Caruso.
Per Executive Order, this meeting was held remotely; commission members who spoke introduced themselves each time they spoke, members of the public who spoke introduced themselves and stated their address.
On A Motion by Eric Lukingbeal, seconded by Jonathan Boardman, the commission voted (5-0-2) to approve the minutes of May 26. Margaret Chapple and Christine Chinni abstained because of their absence at last meeting.
Mark Lockwood announced Public Hearing notices are in line with Executive Orders. Chapple read the Public Hearing notice.
Application seeking a re-subdivision for property located at 103 Petersen Road that proposes to create one additional building lot, continued from the May 26 meeting. File P-2-20.
This item is an open file continued from the last meeting. Lockwood asked if the applicant was present. With no response from the applicant or the public and no other comments from the commission the Public Hearing closed.
Application seeking a Special Permit and Site Plan approval for a bank for property located at 12 East Granby Road. File Z-12-20.
Allan Borghesi, PE, 2155 East Main St, Torrington addressed the commission. This application seeks to replace the existing single-family residential structure with a branch bank with drive thru facilities at 12 East Granby Road in the Center Commons (CC) Zone. The proposal is for a single story 3,150 square foot building with canopy over three drive-up lanes. Borghesi noted comments made by the Town Engineer, Kevin Clark and Interim Town Planner have been addressed. The infiltration pond has been eliminated from the front yard. He noted the rear infiltration pond has been enlarged to accommodate the extra drainage directed to the former front pond. Dominick Caruso recommends shifting the longer dimension of the pond from North/South to East/West, keeping the pond at least 30’ from the northern property line. It was recommended shrinking the pond to at least 15’/ 20’ from north property line and reinforcing existing buffer with more plantings. Borghesi stated there will be three drive-up bays and a bypass area. The question was raised if having three drive-up bays was necessary. It was agreed banking needs have changed to demand an increase in outdoor convenience. Borghesi noted the building will be white hardy board; bottom foundation brownstone. There was discussion which Norway spruce cultivar would be planted. Lukingbeal will offer suggestions. Two spruces will be added along the northern curb line for definition. Signage will need to meet Zoning Regulations.
S. Hesketh of FA Hesketh and Associates addressed the commission. He reiterated that banking has changed over the years. Based on state traffic data/study from September/October 2019 he concluded that any additional traffic will not add much of a delay, noting there will be very little impact to traffic with this proposed facility. It was his professional opinion that the traffic volumes associated with this project will not have a negative impact.
Borghesi brought up adding a sidewalk running east/west and possibly extending to Route 20 might be unnecessary. Caruso suggested, and the commission agreed, that the applicant shall install the sidewalks as it is a pedestrian oriented zone and area.
The Public Hearing was opened to the public at 7:49 p.m. There were no public comments or written communications.
Caruso asked Hesketh to explain the recommendation for 5’ easement from the easterly property owner across the front of their property to insure proper site distance. Applicant will require such an easement. Caruso suggested to the commission a performance bond be made part of the condition.
The Public Hearing closed at 7:58 p.m. The Commission has 65 days to render its decision and any extension allowed by Executive Order.
Application seeking a Special Permit to construct a garage in excess of 1,000 square feet for property located at 80R Donahue Road. File Z-13-20.
Applicant, Anthony King, 80R Donahue Road addressed the commission. The garage use will be non-commercial only, for storage of personal cars, truck, tractors and various tools. The proposed garage is to be located to the east of the existing house and driveway and within 50ft side yard line. Answering a commission member’s question, King noted there is a new property line that is marked on the illustrated diagram. He noted the exterior will be vertical shiplap; lighting will be minimal – above overhead entry doors, and garage bay doors. Caruso added the commission should add as a condition of approval an erosion control plan to the rear of the new garage.
This Public Hearing was opened to the public at 8:06 p.m. There were no comments. This Public Hearing closed at 8:07 p.m.
The commission has 65 days to render its decision which may include an extension by Executive Order.
Consideration of above applications, where the commission has concluded the public hearing.
Application seeking a re-subdivision for property located at 103 Petersen Road that proposes to create one additional building lot.
It was noted for the record the applicant requested to file a Fee in Lieu of Open Space in the amount of $4,242. Funds will be submitted prior to selling the new lot. (An agreement for “Fee in Lieu of Open Space” must be filed with the town clerk when the mylar is filed.)
Chapple was recused. Paula Johnson sat in for Chapple.
On A Motion by E. Myers and seconded by P. Johnson the Commission voted (7-0-0) to approve an application seeking a re-subdivision for property located at 103 Petersen Road that proposes to create one additional building lot with the following two conditions:
The applicant shall pay a Fee in Lieu of Open Space as outlined within Section 3.1.3 of the Subdivision Regulations as proposed. 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 as the lot is sold. The Fee in Lieu of Open Space is $4,242. A note which references the required Fee in Lieu of Open Space shall be added to the mylar(s).
A mylar copy of the approved re-subdivision must be prepared and signed by the commission and filed in the Office of the Town Clerk within 90 days of approval. The mylar will not be filed until condition #1. Fee in Lieu of Open Space, is filed.
Application seeking a Special Permit and Site Plan approval for a bank for property located at 12 East Granby Road. File Z-12-20.
On A Motion by Myers and seconded by Chinni the commission voted (7-0-0) to approve a Special Permit and Site Plan Application, Sections 4 and 3.12.2 of the Zoning Regulations proposing a bank with drive-thru facilities for property located at 12 East Granby Road, in a Center Commons (CC) Zone, File Z-12-20, with the following conditions:
The planting of two additional Norway spruce trees along the northerly curb-line. The cultivars of the three (3) Norway spruce trees must be noted and located on the revised landscaping plans;
The site and landscaping plans must show the shrinking of the infiltration pond to create an additional 15’–20’ buffer between the pond edge and the abutting residential property to the north;
The above buffer must be enhanced with additional plantings to be approved by staff;
The applicant must obtain a Site Distance Easement from the easterly property owner as recommended by the applicant’s Traffic Engineer;
The architectural plans must be revised changing the foundation skirt from brick to stone;
Further revisions to the plans must be made per the Town Engineer’s recommendation of June 22, following:
Key map at least 1”= 400’ showing the locations of building and facilities on abutting land, driveway entrances on both sides of the street or streets within 500-feet of the site and zoning designation. (126.96.36.199). This is noted as being on sheet SP-4 in the response letter but there is no sheet SP-4.
The infiltration basin needs to be shown on the landscape plan.
A list of prescribed stormwater management system operation and maintenance procedures along with a check off list needs to be added to the plan.
Recommended reorienting the infiltration basin to move it further from the west and north property lines.
Recommend having the design engineer review the size and depth of the proposed infiltration basin. It appears to be significantly oversized even allowing for future expansion.
All signs must comply with the Sign Regulations, Section 8.6 of the Zoning Regulations.
Submittal of a performance bond per Section 4.2.7 of the Zoning Regulations. Amount to be determined by the staff.
On A Motion by Chapple and seconded by Boardman the commission voted (7-0-0) to approve an application seeking a Special Permit to construct a garage in excess of 1,000 square feet for property located at 80R Donahue Road with the following condition;
An erosion control plan for the area rear of the garage must be submitted prior to the issuance of a Building Permit. File Z-13-20.
Staff Report and Correspondence
Caruso brought to the attention of the commission a complaint by a neighbor of 37 Cider Mill Heights. The homeowners were in front of the commission in March. They had cut down more trees than permitted. A Special Permit was granted with a condition they hire a Licensed Landscape Architect to prepare a landscape plan (replace trees). The homeowners had 90 days to complete this task. The town staff has not heard from homeowner since April. Caruso will reach out to the homeowner to ask if the plan has been done. If so, the Landscape Plan must be submitted to the town. The commission discussed if the current COVID-19 situation is a factor with the delay. It was discussed that Executive Orders do not encompass an extension for a matter such as this. Per regulations, should the Special Permit not be filed within 90 days it will be deemed null and void and the homeowners will need to reapply. If needed to, the homeowners could always write their opinion and submit it to the commission.
Commissioner Reports and Correspondence
Myers heard that an East Street property purchase proposal may have been submitted to the town. He asked Caruso to look into this.
The first meeting in July has been cancelled. The next meeting will be July 28.
Caruso noted per Executive Order MM, temporary outdoor dining permit process, which allowed an extension of outdoor dining, ceased May 20. These permits are valid through Aug. 31. A restaurant seeking outdoor dining after June 20 will now have to go through the regular Special Permit process.
On A Motion by Lukingbeal seconded by Boardman the commission voted (7-0-0) to adjourn the meeting.
Patricia Tappenden, Recording Secretary
JULY 28, 2020
Present: Mark Lockwood, Chairman; Jonathan Boardman, Margaret Chapple, Christine Chinni, Paula Johnson, Alternate; Eric Lukingbeal, Eric Myers, Matt Peters, Alternate; Brennan Sheahan. Also present, Abigail Kenyon, Director of Community Development; Dominick Caruso, Interim Town Planner
Paula Johnson, 289 Simsbury Road, West Granby, inquired if restaurants will still have outdoor seating during August and into September.
Mark Lockwood welcomed Abigail Kenyon back and noted it is good to have Dominick Caruso present for the transition.
On A Motion by Christine Chinni, seconded by Jonathan Boardman, the commission voted (7-0- 0) to approve the minutes of June 23, as written.
Kenyon was notified by the applicant they would like to postpone the Public Hearing for a Special Permit for outside commercial activity to sell/store sheds at 541 Salmon Brook Street until the Sept. 8 meeting. The applicant will be preparing a revised site plan, which will be distributed to the commission prior to the meeting.
Receive Applications and Set Public Hearings
Kenyon reported an application was submitted yesterday for a Special Permit and site plan application for a self-storage facility at 508 Salmon Brook Street. The commission scheduled the public hearing for Sept. 8.
Staff Reports and Correspondence
Caruso noted that on Oct. 8, 2019 the commission approved a Special Permit modification for a farm store at Clark Farms, 19 Bushy Hill Road. A condition of approval stated the applicant was to install landscaping to screen the tent by July 1, 2020. The Clarks sent an email to Kenyon on July 4 asking for an extension to Nov. 1. The commission agreed to an extension citing the current circumstances and the fact the tent has not been erected for this season. Kenyon will notify the applicant.
Caruso provided an update on 107 East Street. He has spoken to Town Manager John Ward about an offer that has come in from Agbotic, a farming company located in Sackets Harbor, N.Y. The firm grows organic vegetables in greenhouses and sells its products to Whole Foods, as well as other vendors. Agbotic is looking to expand its farms across North America. At the Board of Selectmen meeting on July 20, the board asked staff to get additional information on the offer. Caruso noted the project would be in line with the Plan of Conservation and Development. No action is needed by this commission at this time.
Lockwood inquired if there was an update on the conditions of the approved bank application at 12 East Granby Road. Caruso reported the applicant dropped off revised plans last week and there are still some remaining items to be taken care of. He is in touch with the engineers and they are close to completing those plan revisions.
In response to Johnson’s comment in public session, Lockwood noted the Executive Order expires on Sept. 9. The commission is supportive of outdoor dining and a special meeting could be held if necessary to extend outdoor dining. The staff and chairman are aware of this issue and will stay up-to-date on the matter.
Chappell inquired about the trees cut down on the property at 37 Cider Mill Heights. Caruso approved the landscaping plan they submitted yesterday and he will ask Kenyon to forward it to the commission.
Chinni thanked Caruso for his help and guidance during the time Kenyon was away. Caruso noted that the meetings went well and everyone he worked with in town was wonderful, including the applicants. Lockwood thanked Caruso as well. He also stated he would like to get back to having packets for the meetings, including site plans.
On a motion by Myers, seconded by Chapple, the meeting was adjourned.
Kathy Kane, Acting Recording Secretary