January 26, 2021
Present: Chair Mark Lockwood, Margaret Chapple, Jonathan Boardman, Christine Chinni, Eric Lukingbeal, Eric Myers, Brennan Sheahan. Also present: Director of Community Development Abigail Kenyon, Alternates Paula Johnson, Matthew Peters. Per Executive Order, this meeting was held remotely.
Application seeking to amend Zoning Regulations Section 5.2.7 pertaining to placement of lot square and Subdivision Regulations Sections 1.4, 3.2.6, 220.127.116.11 and 4.8.1 to define loop street, placement of lot square, culmination of dead-end streets and road curve design speeds. File Z-1-21.
Applicant Guy Hesketh, of Hesketh and Associates, and Attorney David Sherwood, of Moriarty, Paetzold and Sherwood, were present. Addressing the commission, Hesketh explained the proposed changes. Current Zoning Regulation Section 5.2.7 requires a lot square to be placed along the required lot frontage. The proposed change to this regulation would allow the lot square to be placed along the reduced front yard when the commission approves the reduction.
Other changes include adding a definition of loop street to clarify it is considered a dead-end street and to state a dead-end street can culminate in a cul-de-sac or be designed as a loop street. Lastly, the applicant proposes changing the design speed for a dead-end street from 30 miles per hour to 25 miles per hour. Sherwood added this proposal is consistent with the Plan of Conservation and Development, citing several sections pertaining to the design of roads.
Answering questions, Kenyon stated that while the application is needed to allow the applicant to move forward with a loop-road-design configuration for a proposed subdivision at 76 West Granby Road, the regulation changes will apply to future applications. She has reviewed all proposed changes with the town engineer and no unintended consequences have been identified. Staff is comfortable with the changes as presented by the applicant.
With no public comment, the public hearing closed. The commission has 65 days to render its decision plus any extension granted by Executive Order.
Receive applications and set public hearings
Kenyon reported that an application for 33 Moose Horn Road, which was scheduled for public hearing on Feb. 9 has been rescheduled to March 9 at the request of the applicant.
Consideration of above applications, where the commission has concluded the public hearing.
On A Motion by Myers, and seconded by Chapple, the commission voted (7-0-0) to approve an application seeking to amend Zoning Regulations Section 5.2.7 pertaining to placement of lot square and Subdivisions Regulations Sections 1.4, 3.2.6, 18.104.22.168 and 4.8.1 to define loop street, placement of lot square, culmination of dead-end streets and road curve design speeds, File Z-1-21, as proposed, finding the application is consistent with Plan of Conservation and Development.
Discuss Alternative Energy and Utility Zoning Regulations
Kenyon presented an overview of Zoning Regulations Section 8.25 Utility Uses. She suggested the commission consider minor changes to the existing regulation and draft a new section to address alternative energy systems, including solar, wind and geothermal.
The commission agreed, discussed the systems in more detail and what should be considered when drafting a new regulation. Members agreed ground mount solar should be allowed by right if certain criteria are met; anything that does not comply could be handled through a Special Permit. Wind turbines could be approached similarly, with some being allowed by right and others through a Special Permit depending on the conditions. It was noted geothermal systems may warrant a different approach as such systems are typically discrete, with little equipment visible above ground. Kenyon noted that the regulations should address decommissioning procedures for all three systems. She will draft language for the commission’s review at the next meeting.
Staff Report and Correspondence
The DOT Granby Center project is on schedule. Kenyon noted utility cost estimates and finalizing property acquisitions are underway.
Patricia Tappenden, Recording Secretary