1 PLANNING _ ZONING COMMISSION TOLLAND_ CONNECTICUT by wangnianwu

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									                           PLANNING & ZONING COMMISSION
                               TOLLAND, CONNECTICUT
                       REGULAR MEETING MINUTES OF MAY 18, 2009


MEMBERS PRESENT:             Richard Knight, Chair
                             Michael Cardin, Regular
                             Sue Errickson, Regular
                             Jack Scavone, Alternate

MEMBERS ABSENT:              Roseann Gottier, Vice Chair
                             Gael Stapleton, Secretary
                             Marilee Beebe-Kostrun, Alternate

OTHERS PRESENT:              Linda Farmer, Director of Planning & Community Development
                             David Sousa, CHA & Associates
                             Applicants and their representatives
                             Public

1. Call to Order. Richard Knight, Chair, called the meeting to order at 7:00PM in Council chambers.
   He seated Jack Scavone for Gael Stapleton.

2. Public Comment. None.

3. Public Hearing(s)

   3.1 P&Z App. #598 – Sean Kunzli – Special Permit/Site Plan request to erect a 30’ x 60’ fabric
       storage building to house construction vehicles and request for a waiver of the 50’ front setback
       to be 25’ from the streetline at Tolland Stage Road. Location: 24 Hartford Tpke. Continue
       Public Hearing which commenced on April 27, 2009. Ms. Farmer read the legal notice into the
       record. Cardin/Scavone motion to open the Public Hearing. Motion was unanimously approved.
       Ms. Farmer read her May 18, 2009 letter to Richard Knight into the record, which she said she
       wrote after consulting with the town attorney. Ms. Farmer also read the May 14, 2009 legal
       opinion from Attorney Conti, in which he said the proposed use to store construction vehicles is
       not an accessory to the residential or motor vehicle use. Ms. Farmer read the note from Sean
       Kunzli regarding the equipment he plans to store at the proposed location. Mr. Knight read the
       April 8, 2009 letter from Robert Stewart, Chair of the Economic Development Commission
       (EDC) recommending approving the application.

       Mark Peterson of Gardner and Peterson and Sean Kunzli of 24 Hartford Turnpike in Tolland
       were present. Mr. Peterson provided a map delineating the location of the three-acre parcel
       which houses Jakes Motor Sports, Colonial Gardens, and Mr. Kunzli’s residence. Mr. Peterson
        also providing a drawing showing an enlarged view of the easterly portion of the parcel, the
       topography, and where they wish to place the temporary canopy. There is an access drive
       coming off of Route 74 and Mr. Peterson noted that many trees will aid in the screening of the
       canopy. Mr. Kunzli provided several pictures (Exhibits A-I) showing the screening of the
       camper and trailer. He said he inherited this equipment from his father, who died in December
       of 2008. He said he bought the cover in 1992 and had it replaced about five years ago. Mr.
       Kunzli said he does use the dump truck and trailer to occasionally move vehicles at Jakes
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Motor Sports and that two pieces of equipment are registered to the business. He noted he is not
in the construction business and has no plans to get into that business. He would like to put up
the canopy to protect them against weather damage, against vandalism, and to have them out of
view from the neighbors. He plans to lock, key and chain them to be secure. The enclosure has
two slider doors in the front made of the same canopy material. Mr. Kunzli said he would also
be very willing to sign a bond that would require he take the temporary structure down when
the town wants him to. He would like to just stake it down with steel rods and could get a
certified letter that indicates how big the rods need to be.

Ms. Errickson noted that Mr. Kunzli has said he would like to eventually replace the canopy
with a barn and asked how he would propose doing it while the temporary structure is up. Mr.
Kunzli said he would take it down and then erect the barn. Ms. Errickson also asked if bringing
in the bulldozer and bobcat on a 12-ton trailer might leave deep grooves in the accessway that
could impact drainage on the site. Mr. Kunzli said he had the accessway over-engineered so it
is more than strong enough to handle this weight.

Mr. Knight noted that they already had two pictures submitted previously showing the canopy
as it appears currently at 8 Lakeview Heights. These were included in the record. Mr. Kunzli
said the apex of the canopy is 18’, the top of the house is 20’ and the top of the chimney is 24’.
Mr. Cardin asked if all of the vehicles Mr. Kunzli listed will fit under the canopy. Mr. Kunzli
said they will.

Ms. Errickson asked Ms. Farmer for the town’s definition of a “temporary structure.” Ms.
Farmer said they don’t have guidelines to evaluate that yet. They don’t have a finite time;
however, if a structure is in place over 180 days, then the town requires a building permit. Mr.
Cardin asked what the process was when Rockville Bank was across the street. Ms. Farmer said
the bank applied for a finite period of time of two years. She said the record notes provisions
that they made such as revegetation and removal of footings. Mr. Knight asked if the drawing
submitted to them by Gardner and Peterson reflects what they have told them today. Mr.
Peterson said it does. He asked how they would address the attorney’s comment. Mr. Peterson
said they feel Mr. Kunzli’s canopy is an accessory structure to their current uses adding he does
not feel it should need a special permit if it is an accessory to his residence. Regarding the
waiver, Mr. Peterson said they feel the proposed location for the canopy would provide much
better buffering.

Mr. Cardin asked how someone could have a dump truck on their site if they are not in the
construction business. Ms. Farmer said sometimes property owners have construction type
vehicles as an accessory use to move snow, if they have a large garden, or are a farm use. The
measure comes with whether the resident uses the equipment on their property.

The Public Hearing was opened to public comment. Lois Query of 199 Tolland Stage Road
said she lives directly across the street from the proposed temporary structure. She questioned
why the EDC would be concerned about this issue as the canopy is being proposed for storage
and not for economic development. She said economic development is usually concerning
property that will come onto the tax rolls, but this being a temporary structure will not. She said
she is also not sure that the driveway entrance onto Route 74 is approved by the State. She
expects that if this application is approved, this minor driveway entrance will get more use. Ms.
Query said minor trees and shrubs will be screening this canopy, but they can easily come
down, and that she feels Colonial Garden has lately become an eyesore. Ms. Query said
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requesting a variance is generally due to a hardship and she does not see the hardship. She said
this does not seem like a good use of the property and asked the Commission to deny the
application.

Kathy Bach of 255 Tolland Stage Road said she appreciates the time and effort the applicant
put into trying to screen the canopy, but erecting a tent in this location would still be
unattractive. She said allowing Mr. Kunzli to put up this structure would not be fair to residents
who play by the rules and pay their taxes on business related equipment and structures. She
said the three most affected properties to this application, one of which is hers, do not appear
on the applicant’s map. She said the applicant’s proposal for the proximity to the road of the
canopy is excessively non-compliant. Ms. Bach also said some of the information provided is
confusing, such as whether the canopy will be staked or put on a concrete slab, or whether it
will be a temporary or permanent structure. She also said she does not understand why the EDC
would see this application as part of their purview. She said she read their minutes, which she
submitted, and said she found them disconcerting, because she said they determined that the
construction equipment was private property, but then wrote the memo recommending approval
anyway. On a broader note, Ms. Bach said down the road, the PZC will likely start to see more
of these structures coming before them, and they will need to find a way to regulate them. She
said they will need to address what happens if the fabric starts to deteriorate and the structures
appear blighted. She said they may need to determine at what point they might be taxed. She
provided her comments in written form (Exhibit J).

Mr. Kunzli clarified that he pays his taxes and has never been delinquent. Mr. Knight
questioned if it is relevant to them if this is a taxable structure or not. Mr. Kunzli also said the
entrance on Route 74 is a legal curb cut that was already approved by the State. He said he does
not see the proposed structure being up more than four years, and would be surprised if he had
it up more than two. He said he needs to square away his father’s estate and so just wants to
store these away temporarily undercover to protect them from the elements and vandalism and
where they won’t be an eyesore to neighbors. He said economics right now make it impractical
for him to sell the equipment right now. He reiterated that he is willing to sign a bond that will
require him to take down the structures when the town deems he should. He added that he has
no plans to take down the trees as he wants them to help screen the canopy. Mr. Peterson said
the only trees that would come down are two birches in the canopy rectangle. Mr. Scavone
asked Mr. Kunzli if he could put the construction equipment down below his residence. Mr.
Kunzli said he cannot because the septic is there.

Mr. Cardin asked Mr. Knight to clarify the EDC’s role. He asked if it is not their charge to
advocate for businesses in the community, adding that the applicant said on the record that he
uses at least two pieces of the equipment for his business. Mr. Knight said the EDC is an
advisory board and that the PZC can consider their recommendation and take it for what it is
worth. Ms. Farmer said she does not know their specific charge, but understands their role as
guiding business owners and prospective business owners through the process of operating a
business in Tolland. Mr. Knight started to read the portion of the EDC’s meeting minutes that
pertain to their discussion and subsequent recommendation on this application. The minutes
were submitted earlier by Ms. Bach as Item K. Both Mr. Cardin and Ms. Errickson said they
should go by the April 8 memo from the EDC. Mr. Cardin said there appears to be some
ambiguity in terms of what role the EDC plays and if an applicant has a business on his
property, then it seems common sense for him to go to the EDC for assistance.


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       Mr. Kunzli said that regarding concerns about potential deterioration of the canopy that he has
       a ten-year warranty on it and he will be getting a whole new canopy because it is under
       warranty. Mr. Peterson asked if the Commission is in agreement that the equipment is an
       accessory use to both Mr. Kunzli’s residence and Jake’s Motor Sports. Mr. Knight said they
       will deliberate on this after the Public Hearing is closed. Ms. Farmer said she was not told
       earlier that this was an accessory to Jakes Motor Sports, rather it was presented as personal
       equipment. Both Mr. Peterson and Mr. Kunzli said they would not lease out the equipment to
       others.

       Ms. Farmer said they have to go back to the actual and accessory uses of the property and if it
       doesn’t fit, then they need to look at what is allowed in other zones. In this case, she said staff
       found the application was for commercial storage, a use that is permitted in the industrial zone.
       The application says the temporary structure is to store personal equipment which aligns with
       residential uses, but now they are hearing that this equipment is for Jake’s, which is
       commercial property. Therefore staff feels this is not permitted in a Neighborhood Commercial
       Zone. Ms. Bach said if the applicant has property, he needs to declare it as either personal
       property or business property as that impacts the amount of tax one must pay on it. Ms. Query
       said Colonial Gardens leases property from Mr. Kunzli and they have a lot of their own
       equipment already. She said she does not feel this structure has anything to do with Colonial
       Gardens.

       Ms. Errickson noted that they have not had much discussion on the requested variance to allow
       the structure to be located 25’ closer to the road than is permitted. Ms. Bach said she feels
       allowing that variance is extraordinarily egregious. Mr. Kunzli reiterated that he was trying to
       be a good neighbor by following the rules and getting the proper permissions to put up a
       temporary structure. He noted also that the canopy is green, which also helps to screen it in the
       trees. Mr. Cardin clarified that for this application to be approved, they need to have three votes
       in favor and four concurring votes in favor on the requested waiver. Mr. Scavone asked if they
       can approve the application with a time limitation for when it would need to come down. Ms.
       Farmer said they have no mechanism for contingencies. Mr. Cardin asked why they cannot
       make a motion with a set time limit as was done with Rockville Bank. Ms. Farmer said they
       could continue the Public Hearing, but the applicant could not come up with a temporary plan
       with a time line, bonding, and reclamation once the Public Hearing is closed. Mr. Kunzli said
       he would be willing to sign a 3-year limit now before they close the hearing.

       Mr. Cardin asked if the applicant would need a permit to put the equipment in the front of his
       house. Ms. Farmer said he would as all new uses in the NCZ are special permit uses.
       Errickson/Cardin motion to close the Public Hearing for P&Z App. #598. Motion was
       unanimously approved.

4. Action on Public Hearing(s)

   4.1 P&Z App. #598 – Sean Kunzli – Special Permit/Site Plan request to erect a 30’ x 60’ fabric
       storage building to house construction vehicles and request a waiver of the 50’ front setback to
       be 25’ from the streetline at Tolland Stage Road. Location: 24 Hartford Turnpike. Take action
       on April 27, 2009 and May 18, 2009 Public Hearing items.

       Errickson/Cardin motion to deny the application as the vehicles are for construction, which
       according to the legal opinion are not allowed. She also called for the motion to deny because
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      the use would intensify the site, the existing shrubbery would not provide year-round screening,
      the architecture of the structure is not complementary to the existing ranch house, and because
      any approval would go with the property which might create a drainage issue if the business
      changed hands.

      Mr. Knight invited discussion on the application. Mr. Cardin asked if the storage or siting of
      construction vehicles is not allowed. Ms. Farmer said the regulations do limit commercial
      vehicles in residential zones, but they often have to rely on customary practices to determine
      when it can be allowed. Ms. Farmer said regulating construction vehicles on commercial
      property is not a new practice. She said whether such equipment can be located in a
      Neighborhood Commercial Zone is subject to by use review such as a special permit. The
      policy of requiring a special permit for all new uses has been in effect for one or two years.
      Mr. Scavone clarified that Mr. Kunzli could not park the equipment on his personal property.

      The Commission voted on the earlier motion to deny. Ms. Errickson and Mr. Knight voted to
      deny the application. Mr. Cardin and Mr. Scavone voted to approve the application. Without a
      majority vote, the application was denied.

5. Other Agenda Items

   5.1 P&Z App. #441 – Burgundy Hill Quarry – Consider request to apply for permit extension
       without additional mapping or documentation. The applicant, Bud Smallwood, was present for
       the discussion. Ms. Farmer provided some background and provided copies of the November 6,
       2008 report from Gary Robbins from the University of Connecticut and the May 13, 2009 letter
       to Steve Lowrey from Bill Warzecha from the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP).

      Ms. Farmer said she does not feel they have enough information to make a decision on this
      request this evening. For example, she does not know how much yardage of material has been
      quarried in the past year. She would also like Rob Miller from the Eastern Highlands Health
      District to weigh in on Gary Robbins report. Ms. Farmer said for a number of years the
      Commission did renew the permit without a substantial review because of low activity at the
      quarry. She said there are two items of concern from the reports—the stockpiling of fine
      material that might create manganese problems and blasting that could cause contaminations.

      Mr. Scavone said that at a minimum they should have the sixteen evaluation criteria in front of
      them to see if the quarry is complying. Mr. Knight suggested they continue this to the June 22
      meeting to allow Ms. Farmer to do due diligence on the sixteen criteria. Mr. Cardin suggested
      they skip the 16 criteria in favor of reopening only those items that are relevant for 2009. Ms.
      Farmer said they would have to reopen the public hearing if they want to amend the conditions
      of approval.

      Mr. Smallwood said that about 300 cubic yards of material has been taken out in the past year,
      about 15’ x 20’ x 20’ deep. He said the blast in July was the smallest one they have ever done,
      and that the reason for the request from his attorney, Peter Alter, is because the mapping
      change would be very minimal. Mr. Smallwood also said he checked with the fire marshal and
      overall there haven’t been complaints about the quarry operation. He said Bourgess and Shaw
      Company has hauled a fair amount of material out in the past year. Mr. Smallwood’s major
      concern was that the Commission had wanted him to hire professionals about four years ago
      and came up with a procedure and plan to dig monitor wells. He said the testing is not
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       inexpensive, and he did this for three years, only to learn that they did not have any way of
       knowing if the information gathered was useful or pertinent. Mr. Smallwood said that then the
       PZC hired another person to interpret the tests and found what he was doing was useless. He
       said much of this type of work is opinion and speculation because even the professionals
       cannot say for certain what is going on underground. In the end, he feels about $100,000 was a
       wasteful imposition he’d prefer not to repeat. The problem is that the nearest neighbor is about
       2,000 feet away. Constance Chambers was the only resident who had a problem and he
       questions why he on the one hand would be held responsible for her well problems, but then on
       the other hand when a new well was dug about 40 feet away that is good, he is not responsible
       for that good well water. He said the dilemma is to find the best early warning sign if harm is
       being caused to a neighbor’s well.

       Ms. Errickson said both documents refer to 500’ to 600’ from neighbors’ wells, but the closest
       neighbor is much further away. She said she feels mapping is the biggest issue now, but if the
       quarrying has been minimal in the past year, it might not be an issue this year. Ms. Farmer
       said the PZC has a few options to consider. They can ask for a report with the input that has
       been gathered, have a public hearing on June 22 with wholesale modifications to the 16 criteria,
       or they can approve it for another year as is. Mr. Knight said everything is secondary to water
       quality and he would want to have before and after blasting water sampling done on two to
       three neighbors willing to have this done. Ms. Farmer said they could grant a year’s extension
       with this caveat. They could set a public hearing for June 8. Mr. Smallwood said he would be
       good with opening up this avenue. Scavone/Cardin motion to grant a one-year permit
       extension to Burgundy Hill Quarry subject to a review of the 16 conditions of approval with
       both parties agreeing to drop those criteria that do not pertain to 2009 and for both parties to
       mutually agree upon water quality measurements to be done pre- and post-blast at selected
       residents’ wells outside the quarry. Motion was unanimously approved.

A brief recess was taken at 9:22p.m. and the meeting resumed at 9:25p.m.

   5.2 South Green/Gateway Concept Plan – Review Concept Plans and Planning Study with David
       Sousa, CHA & Associates. Mr. Sousa said they have been hired to complete a strategic plan
       and advance with a key block, and this evening he is presenting two versions of the same plan
       with some subtle variations. The versions show the network of streets using a new urbanism
       model such as can be found in Stonington and in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Concepts I and
       II have some commonalities such as higher intensity development around the interchange
       which scales down to lower intensity in the Green area. He said there is a need to create a
       critical mass of the mixed use component. The idea is to treat Merrow Road (Route 195) as a
       Main Street. However, right now, Merrow Road does not function as a Main Street because
       people drive at higher speeds and the area is not conducive for pedestrians to cross the street.
       He suggested they take a look at www.completestreets.org. He said angled intersections are not
       good for pedestrian traffic and they would want to square off. He discussed the need for buffer
       buildings such as a hotel or corporate office that would become anchor buildings along I-84.
        Mr. Sousa reviewed the range of transects as part of smart code or form-based code, which
       moves from very rural T1 to very urban T6. Mr. Sousa also discussed the need to integrate
       other roads such as Cider Mill Road, to tie them in so they alleviate traffic.

       Mr. Sousa reviewed the density of dwelling units per acre in each transsect. Mr. Scavone asked
       how they can make form-based code actionable. Mr. Sousa suggested either incentivizing this
       type of code or creating a transition code as they move toward it. He said it may be worthwhile
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       to hire a preferred developer who would handle the whole thing. Ms. Farmer said the commuter
       lot could be a good site for a hotel which could potentially jumpstart other development, and
       the commuter lot could be moved.

       Mr. Sousa said that to convert Merrow Road into a Main Street, they would need to narrow the
       traffic lanes, allow for on-street parking, add trees and add numerous intersecting streets with
       no shoulders unless they are for bike paths. He said Concept #1 has a roundabout at the
       interchange that would serve to calm traffic as well as disperse it. Ms. Farmer asked if there is a
       benefit in trying to incorporate the best of each of the two concepts into one. Mr. Sousa said he
       would want to know what they see as best as it will be helpful when the do the key block.
       There was consensus that Concept II was preferred.

       Mr. Knight said it is important to sell this concept to some key landowners and key political
       people in town. Mr. Cardin said he feels this proposal will give landowners more choices to do
       what they want. He suggested showing both concepts to the public. Mr. Knight suggested they
       first show the stakeholders to get a consensus if they are pleased with this idea. Ms. Farmer
       asked if they would want the stakeholders at a PZC meeting. Mr. Cardin said he felt that was a
       good idea, but that they should cast the net wider to include the public at large as well. Ms.
       Errickson suggested holding a meeting at the Arts of Tolland building. Mr. Knight said he
       would want to give the major stakeholders a heads up first and Ms. Farmer said she could take
       care of that. Mr. Sousa suggested doing some press releases and putting information on new
       urbanism up on their web site.

6. Approval of Minutes – Approve minutes of April 27, 2009 and May 11, 2009 Regular Meetings.
   Ms. Farmer reported that she got a legal opinion on when the April 27 meeting ended, and the town
   attorney said it was when the quorum was lost. Mr. Cardin said he would like it on record that he
   disagrees. Ms. Errickson said the minutes need to be amended to note that she had asked if Jack
   Scavone would be seated for the meeting before Mr. Cardin made the same request. The
   Commission also discussed amending the April 27 minutes to include only the first three
   paragraphs, striking the rest, and then just adding a sentence: “The meeting ended as the quorum
   was lost,” – however, no vote could be taken on the minutes this evening because there was not a
   quorum of members that were present at the April 27 meeting to vote. Mr. Knight asked how
   amended meeting minutes are handled. Ms. Farmer said the practice has been to leave minutes as
   is, and people referring back to meeting minutes must look at the next meeting minutes to verify if
   any details were amended. Approval of the minutes of this meeting was tabled to the next meeting.

   Ms. Errickson said the minutes of the May 11, 2009 meeting need to be amended to note that Ms.
   Stapleton left the meeting at 9:12 that evening. Cardin/Scavone motion to approve the minutes as
   amended. Motion was unanimously approved.

7. Activities and Updates

   7.1 Plan of Conservation and Development – Ms. Farmer said the draft plan is being distributed to
       Boards and Commissions.

   7.2 Gateway/South Green Area Concept Plan – Draft plan ideas. This was reviewed with Mr.
       Sousa.



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   7.3 HOME CT – Incentive Housing Grant – Draft Scope of Services and timeline is completed. A
       contract has been executed and is going to the Office of Policy and Management on May 19,
       2009.

   7.4 State Route 195 Widening Project – no update.

   7.5 Route 195 Corridor Update – Ms. Farmer said the committee held a meeting on May 7 and two
       motions were made, but neither passed. It is unclear what the next step will be.

   7.6 Future Special Meetings are Monday, June 15 at 7:00pm, the Public Information Meeting on
       the POCD plan at the Lodge and the Monday, June 29 meeting at 7:00pm on the POCD
       revision.

   7.7 Other Activities: None.

8. Town Staff Comments. None.

9. Reading of Correspondence. None.

10. Communications and Petitions from Commission Members – Ms. Errickson requested that a
    discussion on developing a policy for the seating of alternates be placed on the next agenda.

11. Public Participation. None.

12. Adjournment. Errickson/Cardin motion to adjourn the meeting and pay the clerk at 10:35pm.
    Motion was unanimously approved.

Respectfully submitted,



Annie Gentile
Clerk




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