East Hampton Planning and Zoning Commission
June 4, 2008
Town Hall Meeting Room
1. Call to Order and Seating of Alternates: Chairman Philhower called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m.
Present: Chairman Mark Philhower, Vice-Chairman Ray Zatorski, Members Peter Aarrestad, Roy Gauthier, Kevin Reed, Rowland Rux, James Sennett, Alternate Members Michael Brogan, Richard Gosselin, and Darin Hurne. The Building, Planning, and Zoning Administrator, James Carey; Town Attorneys, Jean D’Aquila and Janet Brooks (7:26 p.m.) were also present.
Absent: All members were present.
No Alternate Members were seated at this time.
2. Approval of Minutes:
A. Regular Meeting of April 2, 2008: Mr. Sennett moved that the minutes of the Regular meeting of April 2, 2008 be approved as submitted. Mr. Rux seconded the motion. The motion carried unanimously.
3. Communications, Liaison Reports, and Public Comments:
Communications: Mr. Carey informed the Commission that 2008 schedule for the University of Connecticut Center for Land and Research (CLEAR) Connecticut Land Use Academy has been received by his office. The dates and locations are September 27, 2008 at UCONN in Torrington and November 15, 2008 at the Northeast Utilities Auditorium in Berlin. If anyone is interested in this course please let the Planning and Zoning Office know.
Mr. Carey announced that David Dodes has resigned from the Town of East Hampton effective on Friday, May 31, 2008. The town is in the process of replacing him.
Liaison Report: Mr. Aarrestad reported that the Water Development Task Force held a meeting on May 8, 2008. The minutes are available for review in the Town Clerk’s Office
Mr. Gauthier reported that he was unable to attend the most recent meeting of the EDC; however, the minutes are on file in the Town Clerk’s Office.
Mr. Brogan reported that the Conservation Commission’s meeting was held on May 8, 2008. The minutes are on file in the Town Clerk’s Office.
Mr. Zatorski reported that any IWWA information will be covered during the regular course of the meeting as the items come up during this meeting.
Mr. Sennett reported on the May 12, 2008 meeting of the ZBA. The minutes of this meeting may be reviewed in the East Hampton Town Clerk’s office.
Pubic Comments: The Chairman opened the meeting to the public for comments at this time.
Kyle Dostaler, 56 William Drive, expressed concern regarding the Skyline Estate, LLC v. East Hampton Planning & Zoning Commission, proposed stipulation.
Mary Ann Dostaler, 56 William Drive, questioned whether there should be a new legal notice for this proposed stipulation.
John Hines, 38 South Main Street, discussed his concerns regarding the HOD Regulations in general.
Rob Lazor, 40 South Main Street, discussed his concerns regarding the PZC ability to best serve the public welfare.
There being no further comments, the Chairman closed the Public Comments portion of the meeting at this time.
4. Set Public Hearing for July2, 2008:
5. Old Business:
A. Skyline Estates, LLC v. East Hampton Planning & Zoning Commission, New Britain Superior Court Docket Number HHB-CV-06-4012873S. Proposed Stipulation to settle this appeal of the October 4, 2006 decision of the Planning & Zoning Commission to adopt, with modifications, Plaintiff’s HOD regulation. If approved, the settlement would include adjusting the definition of “developable Land” within the HOD regulation to include land with slopes less than 25%. If land is within the Lake Watershed Protection Area, land with slopes 20% or steeper would be excluded from the definition of “developable land.” The maximum
number of units per building within a common interest ownership development would be adjusted from 6 to 8. Further, if the settlement is approved, the HOD regulation would be revised to allow for a majority vote of the Planning and Zoning Commission to modify sidewalk requirements, cul-de-sac length limits and/or road widths. For common interest ownership developments, private roads would not be required to conform to Town Road Standards, but the Commission could establish project-specific sidewalk requirements, cul-de-sac length limits and road widths to the extent that the public health and safety require. Land with slopes of 25% or more would have to be shown on the HOD concept plan.
Mr. Rux recused himself from this agenda item at this time.
The Chairman seated Mr. Hurne as voting member.
Mr. Aarrestad requested clarification on the maximum number of units per building within a common interest ownership development.
Attorney D’Aquila responded that there is a scribner’s error in the language and that the correct language should read, “…The maximum number of units per building within a common interest ownership development would be adjusted from 4 to 6. …”.
The Commission discussed the settlement. Mr. Zatorski stated that he supported this settlement. Mr. Sennett discussed his concerns regarding this settlement and referred to a similar case in the Town of Simsbury. Mr. Sennett described the outcome of the suit. The case was in court for nine years and he was unsure of the cost to the tax payers. Mr. Sennett is concerned about the changes being made to the allowable slope and developable land. Mr. Philhower discussed that regardless of how this settlement comes out a developer can come in at any time with another site and propose a whole new set of HOD regulations. He believes that if this settlement pertained directly to an application he would be more concerned about the outcome. He further stated that the
Town will not lose anything by agreeing to settle this way; however, if we do not settle the Town could spend years and thousands of dollars in court.
Mr. Sennett discussed the need to treat slopes as wetlands. He discussed violations of developers recently sited. Mr. Carey responded to Mr. Sennett’s concerns and discussed the recent violations which had nothing to do with slope. Mr. Carey discussed the burden of the PZC and the town staff to provide the information of the proposed HOD complies with health and safety and simultaneously with 8-30.g. He explained there is no way to provide that information on non-site specific regulation. Mr. Carey discussed the settlement as it pertains to base density and pointed out that as it pertains to 8-30.g welfare and property values are not a concern.
Attorney D’Aquila explained that this settlement cannot be addressed in pieces. This has been a negotiated package.
Mr. Sennett discussed private roads and safety concerns, which would fall under the purview of the Commission due to the roads effect on public safety.
Attorney D’Aquila explained that if the Commission should accept this settlement, the effective date will be no sooner than after publication. Before it can go to publication it must go back to the Court and be accepted by the Court. At which time a copy of the settlement must be provided to the Town Clerk and then published. She suggested that the effective date should therefore be one day after publication in the newspaper.
Mr. Gauthier discussed his concerns regarding the issues of majority vote and the town road standard. He indicated that he could not support this settlement as a result of these issues.
Mr. Aarrestad discussed the proposal to increase the density to 6 units per building. He believes that to be somewhat of a standard in the community and believes it appropriate.
Mr. Zatorski moved that the East Hampton Planning & Zoning Commission, on the matter of Skyline Estates, LLC v. East Hampton Planning & Zoning Commission, New Britain Superior Court Docket Number HHB-CV-06-4012873S, accept the proposed stipulation to settle this appeal of October 4, 2007 decision of the Planning & Zoning Commission to adopt with modification the plaintiff’s HOD regulation. If approve, the settlement would include adjusting the definition of “developable Land” within the HOD regulation to include land with slopes less than 25%. If land is within the Lake Watershed Protection Area, land with slopes 20% or steeper would be excluded from the definition of “developable land.” The maximum number of units per building within a common interest
ownership development would be adjusted from 4 to 6. Further, if the settlement is approved, the HOD regulation would be revised to allow for a majority vote of the Planning and Zoning Commission to modify sidewalk requirements, cul-de-sac length limits and/or road widths. For common interest ownership developments, private roads would not be required to conform to Town Road Standards, but the Commission could establish project-specific sidewalk requirements, cul-de-sac length limits and road widths to the extent that the public health and safety require. Land with slopes of 25% or more would have to be shown on the HOD concept plan. The effective date will be one day after publication in the newspaper. Mr. Reed seconded the motion. The motion carried 4-3-0. (Yes votes: Hurne, Philhower, Reed, and Zatorski. No votes: Aarrestad, Gauthier, and Sennett. Abstentions: None).
Mr. Rux returned to the meeting at this time.
The Chairman unseated Mr. Hurne.
B. Application of Pelletier Development LLC, 37 South Main Street, Belltown Place for an Amendment to Zoning Regulations.
C. Application of Pelletier Development, LLC, 37 South Main Street, Belltown Place for a Zone Change from R-2/R-4 to H.O.D.
D. Application of Pelletier Development, LLC, 37 South Main Street, Belltown Place for Site Plan Approval of a 129 unit HOD.
Mr. Carey reported that on May 12th the Commission received CLA Engineering’s review of the plan submitted at the close of the public hearing on April 2, 2008. To date there are still 28 items that are not in compliance with Site Plan Regulations. Many of the outstanding items are housekeeping matter. Yet they must be resolved. He further reported that the record does include commentary from the Fire Marshal indicating that revisions were made to the plan to shorten the length of the boulevard section of the roadways to allow for greater access by fire trucks and other emergency vehicles. The Fire Marshal also asked, and it was granted, that the temporary cul-de-sac that was planned after Phase 1 remain in the development to provide a staging area for firefighting
apparatus. All issues addressed by the Fire Marshal and Fire Department have been addressed by the applicant.
Mr. Carey would like to provide a code analysis of the building plans. Unfortunately the plans available to him are not enough to provide him with a comprehensive view of the construction and its safety. He did state that if the habitable stories do not exceed three, the application will fall under the International Residential Code as a townhouse development. If the application’s habitable stories exceed three, as referenced in the text change amendment, the application will fall under the International Building Code, which has a different set of standards. Regardless of which code the application falls under, any action by this Commission will be irrelevant as to the applicability of the codes and whether or not the applicant will be able to obtain building permits for those
buildings. Planning and Zoning decisions have no effect what so ever on whether or not building permits are granted. Building permits will not be granted with any violations of any code regardless of type.
Attorney Brooks asked the Commission if they had any questions regarding memos she provided in response to questions she received at the last meeting.
The Commission discussed the process they needed to follow to proceed, including the application of the Intervener. Mr. Zatorski discussed his views on the South Main Environmental Trust, the Intervener. He also reported that this application was approved by the IWWA with 29 separate conditions. Mr. Zatorski discussed the Intervener’s hydrologist’s report and the report on the water as it affects the wetlands. He indicated that impacts were alleged but not proven and no direct link was established between the water supply and the bedrock. Further, he believes that the Intervener’s allegation that there is a gap in knowledge and that the applicant has failed to account for impact on the wetlands and the aquifer from the hydrologic drawdown is not substantiated. He is
not sure there is evidence that there is a reasonable likelihood of unreasonable impairment. Further he discussed the health of the habitate due to sewering water runoff. Mr. Zatorski explained that in order to find in favor of these issue, the record must include evidence that the impairment is reasonably likely to be an unreasonable burden.
Mr. Zatorski moved that in accordance with §22a-19 the East Hampton Planning and Zoning Commission considered these allegation, reviewed the evidence presented by the Intervener, the evidence submitted by others and relied upon by the Intervener, and the record as a whole. The East Hampton Planning and Zoning Commission concludes that there is inadequate evidence in the record that the proposed text amendment, proposed zone change, and proposed site plan involve conduct that is reasonably likely to cause unreasonable harm to the natural resources as sited in Paragraph 4 of the application to Intervene filed by the South Main Street Environmental Trust. Mr. Rux seconded the motion.
Mr. Zatorski clarified at this time that stormwater peak flows have decreased by 32%, which means that there will actually be more water retained. This relates to the Intervener’s claim in Paragraph 4.d.
There being no further discussion, the Chairman called for the vote. The motion carried unanimously.
6. Legal Notice for Public Hearing: Mr. Dodes read the legal notice at this time.
7. Public Hearings for May 7, 2008:
A. Application of Peter Marlow Forest Products LLC, 162 East High Street, Special Permit for Timber Harvest – M 32/B 85/L 6 &6B. Mr. Peter Lesmerises, Licensed Forester of Guilford, Connecticut was present to represent the applicant. He explained that there are two landings proposed. One will be an existing driveway on East High Street and the other is an old landing from Bear Swamp Road. The Bear Swamp Road landing will be mulched and seeded at the completion of the harvest with a conservation mix. Trees will not be replanted. Water bars will be in place where needed. The trees have been marked.
There will be approximately 600 trees, 200,000 board feet, removed. All trees to be harvested will be greater than 14 inches. The timber will be removed by skidder. The operation will take place this summer. There is an intermittent stream running through the property with a wet area alongside it. By employing the two landings there will be no crossing of the wetlands. The landowner will be selling the tops for firewood. The tops will be stabilized and reduced to head level. The dominant species are different varieties of oak. This area was harvested before over twenty years ago. The IWWA did approve the application with conditions.
The Chairman opened the meeting to the public at this time. There was no public commentary.
Mr. Zatorski moved to close the public hearing. Mr. Sennett seconded the motion. The motion carried unanimously.
Mr. Zatorski moved to approve the Application of Peter Marlow Forest Products LLC, 162 East High Street, Special Permit for Timber Harvest, M 32/B 85/L 6 & 6B, with the following conditions:
1. Town staff must be notified prior to and upon completion of the harvest;
2. All appropriate best management practices must be utilized;
3. The landing pads must be reseeded according to best management practices and approved by Staff; and
4. All terms and conditions of the IWWA permit must be met.
Motion carried unanimously.
8. New Business:
A. Application of Michael Benard, 29 Skinner Street, CAB Skinner Development LLC, for a Site Plan Modification – M 32/B 50/L 1-5. Michael Benard was present to discuss the application. He explained that the intention of this application is to develop this parcel for outside storage. This parcel has not had a useful purpose for many years and there is a need for this type of operation in the area. The storage area would be fenced in and have video surveillance. There would be no allowance for on-sight maintenance or repair of vehicles. There would be on-sight management and no access after established business
Mr. Zatorski moved, and Mr. Rux seconded, to approve the Application of Michael Benard, 29 Skinner Street, CAB Skinner Development LLC, for a Site Plan Modification, M 32/B 50/L 1-5 with the condition that no on-sight maintenance or repairs be allowed on the premises.
B. Pre-Application Conference of Richard Hann & Newton Loos, White Birch Road Lots 1 & 3, Solar Farm. No one was present to represent this project.
9. Adjournment: Mr. Zatorski moved to adjourn the meeting. Mr. Sennett seconded the motion. The motion carried unanimously.
The meeting adjourned at 8:12 p.m.
Daphne C. Schaub