Planning & Zoning HIGHLIGHTS

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March 28, 2023

Public Comment

Neighborhood and Commercial Transition Zone (T1) proposed regulation changes

Community Development Director Abigail Kenyon provided an overview of the T1 zone, and challenges to development since its creation in 2006. The commission is seeking modifications to allow for development, while maintaining integrity and balance. Commission member Mark Lockwood reiterated that this was not a public hearing, but an opportunity for the commission to hear comments and suggestions from the public to assist with potential regulation amendments.

The meeting was well attended by the public and many shared their opinions. Of that number 10 simply expressed opposition or concerns with the changes and three said they agreed with the proposed changes. Others were more specific in their opinions:

Katherine Bogli, 198R Salmon Brook Street, expressed the need for cohesiveness between the intersection of Route 10 and Floydville Road up to Granby Center. As the first section of town when people approach from the south, developments should not have parking lots upfront and instead buildings could be closer to the road, as long as the architectural design is well done.

Attorney John Knuff of Hurwitz, Sagarin, Slossberg and Knuff, LLC, spoke on behalf of his client who is interested in developing the property at 137 Salmon Brook Street. The development potential for this property is quite limited once all setback requirements are implemented, and the farther the building is set back from the street, the closer it comes to the abutting residential zone. Knuff spoke in favor of the proposed changes and encourages the commission to consider drive-through facilities.

Glen Ballard, 289 Granville Road, stated that the T1 zone should be discussed as part of the Granby Center Study and regulations shouldn’t be amended for one potential developer.

John Morgan, 221 Salmon Brook Street, referenced regulations among neighboring towns and expressed concerns with curb-cuts, traffic and landscape berms.

Public Hearing

Application seeking a Special Permit modification to allow outdoor storage for an external freezer for an existing restaurant for property located at 4 Park Place.

Applicants Mark Sproule and Brandon Pappalardo, owners of Grass Roots Ice-Cream and Deep Roots Street Food, are seeking permission to utilize a 320 square foot external freezer for temporary ice-cream storage until they are able to acquire a more suitable and permanent location off-site. The existing storage is inadequate due to expansion of ice-cream production and distribution. The freezer would be for no more than nine months. The freezer is electric and underground conduit already exists. Kenyon said the proposed location conforms to required setbacks and an expiration date can be a condition of a Special Permit approval. The commission was concerned about loss of greenspace, proper screening, and noise generated from the freezer.

The public hearing was continued to the next regular meeting for the applicants to provide information on noise and to clarify setting timeframes as part of a Special Permit approval.

Informal Discussion

Possible self-storage facility on Mill Pond Drive in the C2 and Aquifer Protection Overlay Zones

David Ziaks of F. A. Hesketh and Associates, Inc. was present on behalf of his client Anthony Maulucci, who is exploring the development a self-storage facility on Mill Pond Drive. The use is permitted in the C2 zone however, Mill Pond Drive is within the Aquifer Protection zone, which prohibits self-storage facilities of any kind. Ziaks is looking to amend the zoning regulations to allow self-storage facilities that are multi-story, climate controlled and self-contained with access from inside the building. The proposed structure would be sprinkled and have pitched concrete floors with floor drains that tie into the public sewer. Lavitt and Chinni had questions regarding security measures and how contracts are enforced. Myers liked the idea of the facility being self-contained and the client’s willingness to work with the town on design.

Commissioner Reports

Commissioner Brennan Sheahan raised concerns over the small engine repair facility located at 369-371 North Granby Road, as the business appears to have expanded beyond their original approval.

April 11, 2023

Commission Discussion

Neighborhood and Commercial Transition Zone (T1) proposed regulation changes

The Commission noted its appreciation for public input. This discussion will resume after the Granby Center Study has begun.

Public Hearings

Application seeking public storage for outdoor restaurant freezer

Community Development Director Abigail Kenyon said that town counsel confirmed that a time limit may be imposed on special permits. Applicant Mark Sproule seeks a nine-month approval for a freezer generating noise not exceeding 75 decibels and cycles every three hours for 10 minutes. He offered to plant vegetation around the freezer once installed.The Commission expressed concerns over aesthetics and M. Sproule stated he is willing to add vegetation around the freezer once installed.

Application seeking an amendment allowing farm stores to sell alcoholic beverages produced off site.

Applicants Allen and Rebecca Clark of Clark Farms seek an amendment to town regulations allowing Craft Café License holders to cross-sell Connecticut made products, mirroring state law. Christopher Strapp, 10 Indian Hill Drive, voiced potential issues, including noise, parking, traffic and events in a residential neighborhood.Margaret Lareau, 17R Reed Hill Road, challenged allowing expansion of retail offerings on farms, especially alcohol.

Application seeking a special permit allowing two detached accessory apartments at 249 Granville Road

Brian Michaud, who bought the property in 2022 under the condition that tenants residing for more than a decade in two apartments in an outbuilding be allowed to remain remain, was granted a variance, but should one of the tenants leave, that unit may not be rented. Only one rental unit is legally permitted on the property.