May 10, 2022
Present: Mark Lockwood, Jonathan Boardman, Christine Chinni, Eric Lukingbeal, Eric Myers, Brennan Sheahan. Alternates: Paula Johnson and Matthew Peters. Building Official/Zoning Enforcement Joel Skilton.
Seating of Alternates
Johnson was seated for Margaret Chapple.
Public Session, items not on the agenda
Maier Reinhard, 138 Day Street, raised concerns about the approval for The Grand apartments and the requirement for affordable housing.
Glenn Ballard, 289 Granville Road, suggested the commission attend the Board of Selectman meeting on the Affordable Housing Plan.
Robert Flanigan, Jr., 24 Woodcliff Drive and John Morrone, 15 Maple Hill, both raised concerns regarding the Affordable Housing Plan.
In response to a question, Chinni, who chairs the Affordable Housing Plan Committee, replied The Grand calculation for affordable housing is based on Granby median income, not the state or area median income, and therefore does not meet the state definition of affordable housing.
Sheahan was recused and Peters was seated.
Application seeking a site plan and Special Permit under Zoning Regulations Sections 220.127.116.11 and 8.21.4 for a commercial building and outdoor storage for landscaping materials in the Aquifer Protection Overlay Zone for property located at 18 Mill Pond Drive, C2 Zone. File Z-4-22. (Continued from April 12)
Biff Schechinger, Jr. ASLA, representing the applicant, Steven Briggs, noted the site plan has been revised to address all staff comments and the Town Engineer’s comments in the memo dated May 3. Skilton added the Town Engineer has not had a chance to review the revised plans. It was noted a draft approval letter was included in the packet recommending approval subject to review and resolution of any outstanding comments. The conditions include the following:
1) Erosion and sedimentation control measures must be installed as depicted on the subject plans and maintained during the construction period and until such time that the soil is permanently stabilized. An erosion and sediment control bond of $2,000 in the form of cash or check shall be deposited with the Town prior to the execution of the mylars.
2) The applicant shall reimburse the Town of Granby for all payments made to the Town Engineer for monitoring the development for compliance with this approval. The applicant shall reimburse the Town at a rate of $120 per hour for the services of the Town Engineer. The applicant shall deposit with the Town of Granby the sum of $1,500 in the form of cash or check to be applied to the costs as described herein prior to the execution of the mylars. Should the costs exceed this amount, the applicant will be billed the difference. Any funds not used for this project will be remitted to the applicant at the conclusion of the project. The term Town Engineer includes any person or firm so designated by the Town Engineer or the Director of Community Development.
3) Prior to the start of construction, the applicant shall attend a pre-construction meeting with the Town Engineer and Director of Community Development to review the process.
4) Upon completion of the development and prior to Certificate of Occupancy, an Improvement Location Survey of the site utilities, structures, and hard surfaces as-built shall be prepared, approved by the Town Engineer, and filed with the Town Clerk.
5) All outstanding site work must be completed or bonded prior to Certificate of Occupancy.
6) The development is within the Town’s sewer service area and the Town has sufficient capacity to accommodate the proposal. However, the final mylars shall not be filed until such time that the Granby Water Pollution Control Authority approves the sewer allocation.
7) There shall be no outside storage beyond the two material storage bins shown on the approved plans.
8) The two material storage bins are limited to the size shown on the approved site plan and shall not be covered.
9) All equipment and vehicles for the garden center business shall be stored and parked inside the building.
10) The illuminated freestanding sign is approved as presented.
11) The hours of operation for the garden center shall be determined.
12) Special Permit approval may be required for the two other retail spaces depending on the proposed use.
13) Resolution of the outstanding items on the Town Engineer’s memo dated May 3, 2022.
Schechinger stated the hours of operation (item 11) are proposed as 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The hearing was opened for Public Comment at 7:23 p.m.
Robert Flanigan, Jr., 24 Woodcliff Drive, asked what the business is. Schechinger stated the business is a garden center primarily for mulch and supplies. Two smaller retail businesses, to be determined, will occupy the building as well.
There were no further comments. The public hearing closed at 7:25 p.m.
The commission discussed the proposed conditions of approval. It was noted other businesses along Mill Pond Drive and in the area, such as Stop and Shop and Dunkin Donuts, do not have restrictions to hours of operation. It was decided item 11 would be removed from the conditions. The commission noted all other concerns have been addressed and all other conditions would remain unchanged. The commission voted unanimously to approve the application subject to all conditions outlined in the staff memo with the exception of #11, hours of operation, which is to be removed.
Sheahan was re-seated.
Receive applications and schedule public hearings
Application seeking an amendment to Zoning Regulations Section 8.30 Temporary and Limited Moratorium on Cannabis Establishments. File Z-9-22.
The above application is scheduled for public hearing on June 14.
Informal Discussion: possible site development at 8 East Granby Road
Guy Hesketh, P.E., F.A. Hesketh and Associates, Inc addressed the commission. In March, the commission reviewed a preliminary development plan for 8 East Granby Road for the construction of housing. At that time, the proposal would have required several changes to the zoning regulations, including changes to the allowable density and the minimum lot size of a multi-family use. Since that meeting, the proposal has been revised.
Under the revised proposal, the development would comply with the allowable density in the zone. However, it would require a change to the zoning regulations to allow a multi-family use on a lot smaller than five acres. It is proposed the lot size reduction would be applicable only to parcels in the Center Commons (CC) Zone with minimum required frontage on East Granby Road or Hartford Avenue and either directly abutting or directly across the street from the Commercial Center (COCE) Zone. The reduced lot size may require a Special Permit. The current house on the property would be historically restored and used as part of the site.
Hesketh stressed the proposed text changes would limit this development to areas immediately adjacent to the COCE Zone, meeting the intent of integrating the housing with the amenities in the center of town. He added other considerations including a reduction in front yard from 50 feet to 30 feet and side yard parking set back from 15 feet to 10 feet, which the commission is able to consider under the current regulation.
The commission raised concerns with not only increased traffic but specifically the narrow/poor visibility at the Hungary and East Granby Road intersection. Hesketh believes there would not be a significant increase in traffic.
Johnson asked Hesketh if he considered a connector road further north. Chinni stated it seemed as if there were many significant changes that would have to be made to accommodate this one project. The commission was in favor of a more comprehensive approach to any regulation changes in Granby Center.
Informal Discussion: possible site development at 137 Salmon Brook Street
Mark DePecol, developer and Mark Lancor, P.E., DyMar Inc. Southbury, presented a possible site development at 137 Salmon Brook Street in the Neighborhood and Commercial Transition Zone (T1) on the corner of Salmon Brook Street and Canton Road.
The property is 5.12 acres. M. DePecol is exploring the potential to construct three buildings on the site, including a restaurant with drive-thru and two other retail buildings, one of which would include a second restaurant/coffee shop with a drive-thru. The existing single-family house would be demolished. He stated the Zoning Regulations do not currently allow a drive-thru restaurant in the T1 Zone. This proposal would either require a zone change to the C2 Zone or a change to the Zoning Regulations to allow the use in the T1 Zone.
Some commissioners noted they are not in favor of changing the regulations to accommodate one plan. Other commission members stated it may be time to revisit the drive-thru regulations.
Staff Report and Correspondence
Skilton stated Annemarie Winsor, the administrative assistant for the Community Development/Building Department for many years, retired on May 6.
Trish Tappenden, Interim Recording Secretary
May 24, 2022
Present: Mark Lockwood, Jonathan Boardman, Margaret Chapple, Christine Chinni, Eric Lukingbeal, and Brennan Sheahan. Alternate: Matthew Peters. Director of Community Development Abby Kenyon, and Renee Deltenre, land use coordinator.
Seating of Alternates
Peters was seated for Myers.
Receive applications and schedule public hearings
Application seeking a modification to a Special Permit under Zoning Regulations Section 18.104.22.168 for a ground-mount solar array for property located at 121 Day Street, R50 Zone. File Z- 10-22.
Application seeking a Special Permit under Zoning Regulations Section 22.214.171.124 for a garage over 1,000 square feet for property located at 70R Bushy Hill Road, R30 Zone. File Z-11-22.
Application seeking a Special Permit under Zoning Regulations Section 126.96.36.199 for a garage over 1,000 square feet located at 2 Apple Tree Lane, R2A Zone. File Z-12-22
The above applications have been scheduled for a public hearing on June 14, at 7 p.m.
Neighborhood and Commercial Transition Zone (T1)
The commission discussed at length the need to re-visit current zoning regulations pertaining to the T1 Zone and take into consideration recent approvals and/or changes that have occurred since the creation of the zone in 2006.
Kenyon touched upon previous informal discussions with realtors and/or developers who have concerns regarding proposed uses that are not permitted or welcomed in the zone at this time. Primary issues expressed by developers are separating distances, curb cut limitations, special use limitations, and drive-throughs. She stated that it might be time to reevaluate the regulations and recommended that discussion on this matter be referred to the Development Commission, as they played an instrumental role in the zone’s establishment.
Lockwood stated that the commission needs to look at the Strategic Plan to create a vision for the area in order to increase commercial development strategically. Consideration must also be given to the vacant school located at 5 Canton Road, which is currently zoned R30 and should be considered part of a comprehensive plan for the area. There followed a discussion of the limitation of curb cuts along Salmon Brook Street and the possibility of a service road to access parcels that cannot meet separation distances from the YMCA. Chapple, Lukingbeal and Chinni shared concerns regarding drive-through restaurants and big box stores.
As a transitional zone, the commission is seeking light commercial development, such as medical office buildings, restaurants, veterinary services, etc. as a buffer between residential and commercial properties. Sheahan and Chinni expressed concern over the current vacancies in Granby Center commercial blocks and questioned what can be done to bring new business in that area. Lockwood suggested that the commission also look at the current zoning regulations for the three Granby Center Zones to see if amendments would be beneficial. There was a consensus among the commission to continue and refer discussion of the T1 Zone, inclusive of the Kearns School property, to the Development Commission and have them report back in the fall.
Staff Report and Correspondence
Kenyon provided an update on the approved housing development at 76 West Granby Road, noting site work will begin soon and town staff will conduct an erosion and sediment control inspection next week.
She also said there are a few outstanding items that need to be addressed prior to construction of the Station 280 apartment complex.
Commissioner Reports and Correspondence
Boardman raised a question regarding the parking lot at 83 Salmon Brook Street, known as Freshie’s Café, and whether the business can limit the amount of public parking for trail use. Kenyon said that the parking lot is dedicated to the business but will revisit the conditions of the agreement. Lockwood asked how the state road project was progressing; Kenyon said they are on schedule, and it should be completed within two construction seasons.
Renee Deltenre, Land Use Coordinator
To access the packets referred to in the above applications, visit: granby-ct.gov/home/pages/public-documents