Board Members Present: Robert Hiscox, Donald Pomeroy, Thomas Galvin and Alan Havican Alternates Present: None Others Present: Bill Donovan, Land Use Inspector Members Absent: Gill Graveline, Francis Carpentier (Alt.) and Anthony Parrella (Alt.)
Chairman R. Hiscox called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m. The meeting was taped.
Approval of Minutes: Motion by T. Galvin, seconded by D. Pomeroy to approve the minutes of the May 4, 2005 meeting as presented. Three votes in favor with one abstention.Motion carried.
Correspondence: 1. Waterbury Regional Chamber - Announcement for Forum on Environmental Issues.
Motion by D. Pomeroy, seconded by A. Havican to accept the correspondence.
Public Participation:Glen Noble, President of the Prospect Lions Club. Mr. Noble informed the Commission that the Lions Club will be placing a 4-sided lighted clock at 60 Waterbury Road near the triangular intersection with Route 69. The clock will be donated to the Town of Prospect. The land on which the clock is located will also be donated to the Town. The Commission agreed to have a notation of the donation placed on the approved site plan for 60 Waterbury Road as a site plan modification and waive all fees. Motion by D. Pomeroy, seconded by A. Havican to approve a site plan modification for property located at 60 Waterbury Road to allow for the placement of a four-sided clock to be donated by the Prospect Lions Club to the Town of Prospect, noting compliance with lighting and signage regulations and to waive application fees. Unanimous.
Old Business: See page 3
New Business: a. Richard Ricci, 9 Gramar Avenue. Application for a Special Permit including Aquifer Protection Approval for an Automotive Repair Facility. Mr. Ricci described the business as a motor vehicle repair facility. There is no proposed body work included in this application. Chairman Hiscox reviewed with the applicant the topics the Commission will likely be asking at the public hearing such as number of employees, hours of operation, parking, storage and disposal of waste products and outside storage of materials. Motion by D. Pomeroy, seconded by A. Havican to accept the application for a Special Permit including aquifer protection approval for an automotive repair facility for property located at 9 Gramar Avenue and set a public hearing for June 1, 2005 at 7:15 p.m. Unanimous.
Public Hearings: 7:17 p.m. - Diane Hamelin, 192 Straitsville Road. Petition to Amend the Zoning Regulations to add “Canine Day Care” as a Permitted Use in a Business Zone. Chairman Hiscox read into the record the “Notice of PublicHearings” as it appeared in the Republican American on May 6 & 13, 2005. Chairman Hiscox noted receipt from the Council of Governments, Lower Naugatuck Valley of their receiving notice of this zone change petition. Ms. Hamelin defined a Canine Day Care as “A supplementary care service that may include grooming services provided for sociable, vaccinated, spayed and/or neutered canine pets over the age of four (4) months at a premise other than their own home where in a safe, supervised environment they can socialize, play, exercise and receive training on a regular basis for one or more days in the week”. Ms. Hamlin stated the CT State Department of Agriculture requires a State kennel license for this type of operation. The Dept. of Agriculture also requires a facility to have a minimum 16 square feet of available area for each dog on site. Total number of dogs is limited to the total area of the facility. Dogs would not be placed in individual runs or otherwise physically separated. Chairman Hiscox stated his concern with the noise disruption generated from continual barking dogs within a business zone. Ms. Hamlin stated this issue would likely be addressed under the special permit conditions. She did remark that dogs separated in kennels tend to bark more than dogs allowed to socialize in the environment she would be creating. Chairman Hiscox noted that if this use is approved, other individuals would then also have equal opportunity to apply for additional dog care facilities within the business zone. Chairman Hiscox asked if there are other such facilities in neighboring towns. Ms. Hamlin stated Cheshire and Southington have existing dog care facilities. Traffic would be limited to the dog owners dropping off and picking up their pets. Sanitary waste storage and disposal are regulated by the State. D. Pomeroy asked if State regulations require a minimum number of persons on site for a certain number of dogs on site. Ms. Hamlin stated there are no such requirements at this time. Chairman Hiscox confirmed that this business is for daylight hours only with no overnight boarding of animals. D. Pomeroy asked for the names and addresses of the other dog day care facilities mentioned so that he and other commissioners would have the opportunity to personally visit and inspect these locations. There were no comments from the public. Chairman Hiscox continued this public hearing to June 1, 2005 at 7:30 p.m.
New Business (cont): Prospect Resource Group, Hamden, CT. Petition to Amend the Plan of Conservation & Development – Extension of Sanitary Sewer Service. Richard Harrall of Harrall-Michalowski Assoc. represented the applicant. He presented a hand-out entitled “Summary of Proposed Amendment To Prospect Plan of Conservation and Development” to the Commission and members of the public. The amendment would clarify what the Town policy is on extending a sewer connection to a proposed elderly housing development on Route 69, and also what is Prospect’s policy on allowing additional properties along the route of the sewer extension to connect into the system. Mr. Harrall also stated the Commission must consider the size and location of any sewer service district which may be created along the route of the proposed sanitary sewer line extension. Further, there would need to be consultation with the Water Pollution Control Authority as to their policies and requirements for connections to the line. Mr. Harrall stated the Commission would need to determine if the proposed sewer extension is consistent with the current Plan of Development or if amendments to the Plan would need to be introduced that would provide the desired consistency. Chairman Hiscox questioned Mr. Harrall on when the applicant would provide suggested amendments to the Plan of Development. Mr. Harrall stated the Commission, whether through workshops or other process, has to determine if they wish to consider looking at the Town’s policy on sewer extensions for future planning purposes. Mr. Harrall stated there is no formal application process to amend the Plan of Development, which is an advisory document, and the applicant is not proposing to amend the Plan solely for their project. However, the Commission needs to determine what changes in the Town’s policy regarding sewer extensions and connections should be considered if there is a potential to allow additional users to connect into the system. D. Pomeroy questioned what are the “edges of Town” for sewer service as described in the Plan? His interpretation suggests the place of connection into the sanitary system (Naugatuck) may be the ‘edge of Town”. Chairman Hiscox stated we never envisioned such an extensive sanitary extension into Prospect or the potential impacts to the Town at the time the Commission was working on the Plan of Development; therefore, he sees inconsistency with the current Plan. Mr. Harrall suggested the Commission hold public workshops to receive public input on the future policy concerning sewer extensions and individual connections. Any discussion on connection fees or sewer rates would be the responsibility of the WPCA. Chairman Hiscox stated any associated costs for advertising, engineering reviews, etc. must be the responsibility of Prospect Resource Group. B. Donovan stated the Town’s zoning and subdivision fee schedule has a section on consultant expenses. Mr. Harrall stated he is quite sure Prospect Resource Group would agree to pay for any reasonable costs associated with this matter. The Commission agreed to hold the public workshop on a night other than during a Planning & Zoning scheduled meeting. A date was set for June 8th at 7:00 p.m. c. Andrew Adames, 41 Punkup Road, Oxford, CT. Change of Zone Designation from Residential (RA1) to Business District for a portion of 124 Waterbury Road. Attorney Robert Uskevich represented the applicant. Attorney Uskevich presented a map showing the proposed change from Residential (RA1) to Business District within the westerly portion of 124 Waterbury Road. The proposed new Business zone abuts to the existing Business zone designation for 126 Waterbury Road. Chairman Hiscox asked if this zone change effectively creates a land-locked lot at 124 Waterbury Road. Attorney Uskevich stated per the zoning map 124 Waterbury Road is already land-locked. If approved, the applicant/owner would provide an easement for 124 Waterbury Road over 126 Waterbury Road to access the public roadway. He would also adjust the property boundaries to have the Business zone exclusive within 126 Waterbury Road and keep 124 Waterbury Road as residential. Motionby D. Pomeroy, seconded by T. Galvin to accept the application for a change of zone designation for a portion of 124 Waterbury Road from Residential to Business and set a public hearing for June 1, 2005 at 7:45 p.m. Unanimous.
Old Business: a. Toll Brothers, Inc. Petition to Amend the Zoning Regulations-Section 4.1-Elderly Housing. Diane Lauber informed the Commission that those regulation changes approved at the prior meeting need to have an effective date of approval. Chairman Hiscox asked for a discussion on the remaining item not yet approved which is to reduce the minimum percentage of affordable units within a development from 30% to 15% of the total proposed units. The Commission asked B. Donovan for clarification on “set-aside” developments. B. Donovan first described an “affordable housing development’ as one that is planned with the primary intention of providing at least 30% of total units as “affordable” as defined by the Statutes. A “set-aside” development has a provision to set-aside a certain percentage of units for affordable housing, but the description of this development is defined by other terms such as “Elderly Housing” “Congregate or Cluster Development.” There is no legal requirement to have any affordable housing in a set-aside development, nor is there a statutory mandate to provide a certain percentage of affordable units. The advantage or goal of having a larger percentage deemed “affordable” is to more rapidly satisfy the State’s requirement that each town in Connecticut shall have at least 30 % or more of their total housing as “affordable”. Until a town achieves this 30% figure, there is the potential for a developer to force a town to accept an affordable housing development even when that development conflicts with the Plan of Development or is not a permitted use per the zoning regulations. After discussion, Chairman Hiscox called for a vote on this matter. Motion by D. Pomeroy, seconded by T. Galvin to approve the petition to amend Prospect’s Zoning Regulations, Section 4.1 to reduce the percentage of affordable housing units to 15% of the total units and to determine qualifying median income utilizing the Waterbury Primary Metropolitan Statistical Area. Unanimous. Motion by A. Havican, seconded by D. Pomeroy to set the effective date of the amendments to the Zoning Regulations, Section 4.1 as June 17, 2005. Unanimous. Chairman Hiscox called for a motion to set an effective date for those amendments approved at the May 4th meeting. Motion by D. Pomeroy, seconded by T. Galvin to reaffirm the motion made at the May 4, 2005 meeting to approve the petition to amend Prospect’s Zoning Regulations, Section 4.1, to increase the allowed number of three bedroom units not to exceed 50% of the total units and to reduce exterior wall offsets from at least ten feet to at least two feet and set an effective date as June 17, 2005. Unanimous.
Land Use Inspector’s Report: Bill Donovan stated he has received complaints of activity occurring at 145A Summit Road which is the property owned by Robert & Mark Capanna that was denied a subdivision and industrial use approval last year and also has a “Cease & Desist” enforcement order restricting the storage of vehicles or equipment. The Capannas have approached Bill asking for approval to process existing stockpiles of earthen material on the property. Bill is suggesting they apply for an Earth Excavation Permit under Section 4.11 of the regulations. Chairman Hiscox reviewed the history of this property that was previously zoned industrial and residential and the prior subdivision and industrial use application by the Capannas that was denied by the Commission. That denial is currently under appeal. Chairman Hiscox stated the property is now zoned all residential, and under the regulations a residential property owner with at least three or more contiguous acres of land may apply for an Earth Excavation Permit. Chairman Hiscox stated he would accept an application from the Capannas under Section 4.11 and consider that application with other business at a scheduled Planning & Zoning meeting. B. Donovan brought the Commission up to date on the status of various enforcement matters. McLean at 59 Plank Road has been issued a Cease & Desist order; Buffinton at 74 Plank Road has been sent two letters for outside storage of unregistered vehicles and a boat in the front parking area; Dorman, 14 Plank Road has relocated his large recreational trailer to the rear of his house; Peach at 37 Plank Road is removing one car, registering another and is to perform a general clean-up of his property. Chairman Hiscox brought up other issues: 368 Matthew Street has a black dump truck on site; 170 Summit Road has a dump truck parked on the property; 88 Matthew Street may be running a paving business out of the house with potential ground contamination; 40 Summit Road has multiple used cars parked on site. B. Donovan questioned with the Commission the wording in the regulations that seems to allow several used cars on a property at one time if there is no restoration work being performed or if they are all road worthy. Chairman Hiscox stated that is not the intention of the regulations, and if the regulation needs to be amended to place limits on the total number of unregistered vehicles allowed on a property at one time, then we need to go forward with that amendment. Chairman Hiscox stated there has to be a more aggressive plan to pursue violations, including further action after the issuance of a Cease & Desist order. He also asked Bill to take action on the storage tank stored outside that is associated with the Service Master Home Occupation on Amber Court, and investigate other home-based businesses that have placed adds in local papers. Bill questioned the commission on the 1,500 foot separation distance requirement in the regulations for restaurants selling alcohol. He has been approached by individuals who are considering opening a restaurant in town and are asking Bill why Prospect has this distance limitation in the regulations. The commissioners stated they have no immediate need to change this regulation but would receive an application for such an amendment and discuss the matter at the public hearing. Bill also stated it his belief that the Planning & Zoning Commission is not the controlling authority on confirmation of the availability of water for future homes being proposed in a residential subdivision. He made this statement based on the current issue taking place within the College Farms subdivision where several of those properties are experiencing poor well yields. Bill stated the Department of Health, with the local authority being the Chesprocott Health District, has full responsibility for verifying that well yields and water quality comply with the standards detailed in the State Public Health Code. Commissioners also mentioned several properties, both residential and commercial, that are stockpiling and splitting cord wood. Motion by A. Havican, seconded by D. Pomeroy to accept the Land Use Inspector’s report. Unanimous.
Public Participation: a. Steven Sackter, 192 Cook Road questioned the regulation weight limitations of commercial trucks saying certain new pick-up trucks for personal use may exceed the 11,000 pound gross weight limit. B. Donovan stated the regulations also say the vehicle would need to be utilized in a commercial activity to come under the regulations.
Motion by A. Havican, seconded by D. Pomeroy to adjourn at 9:35 p.m. Unanimous.
Robert Hiscox Chairman