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2011-11-02 P&Z Reg Mtg Minutes








November 2, 2011

Clifford B. Green Memorial Center

69 South Main Street

7:00 p.m.



I. Call to Order:  The meeting was called to order at 7:00 p.m.


II. Roll Call: Tom Doherty, Don Francis, Paul Camara, Deane Rettig, Carlene Kelleher, Henry Moses and Al Sandholm.


Absent: Barbara Repko and David Fuss with notice.


Staff Present:  Jim Larkin, NECCOG Planner, Audrey Cross-Lussier Secretary.


Also Present:  Public in attendance.


III. Seating of Alternates:  None.


IV. Adoption of Minutes:


1. Regular meeting Minutes October 5, 2011.


A motion was made by Don Francis to approve the meeting minutes of October 5, 2011. Henry Moses seconds this motion. Discussion held. Chairman Kelleher commented on page 7, 4th paragraph Lisa Arends comment – clarified that the committee was not an EDC/P and Z partnership but an initiative of the First Selectman.  Vote was taken: All in favor. Paul Camara and Craig Dunlop abstain.


V. Public Commentary: 


Don Nash, resident of Wauregan Road, addresses the Brooklyn Sand and Gravel application. Chairman Kelleher stated that no comments can be taken until the public hearing is opened.


Ron Ventura, Ventura Drive, Economic Development Member, stated that at the last Economic Development meeting it was the general consensus to bring forth to the Planning and Zoning Commission an existing condition that exists on South Main Street.  There are presently two zones from approximately Ventura Drive easterly towards the Quinebaug River.

The North side of South Main Street is NC (neighborhood commercial) and the South side of South Main Street is R-10 (residential zone).


The Economic Development Commission would like to approach the Planning and Zoning Commission to encourage them to look into this situation to see if both sides of the street could be zoned the same NC (neighborhood commercial). This would help to preserve some of the older nicer Victorian homes that could be used for professional offices, such as accountants, engineers, etc., in these existing buildings.  These services would be beneficial to the Town and the region. Mr. Ventura commented on an individual who is interested in locating a professional office on South Main Street.  Discussion held.


A motion was made by Henry Moses to add onto the agenda under #2 of Other New Business discussion of Mr. Ventura’s topic with regards to Zone Change on South Main Street. Deane Rettig seconds this motion. All in favor. The motion passes unanimously.


VI. Unfinished Business: 


a. Reading of the Legal Notice:  Al Sandholm read the legal notice into the record.


b. Continued Public Hearings:  None.


c. New Public Hearings:


1. SPG11-001 Brooklyn Sand and Gravel, 574 Wauregan Road, Map 30, Lot 97, RA Zone; Expansion of gravel removal operation.


Chairman Kelleher read into the record a letter from KWP Associates dated November 2, 2011, requesting the opening of the public hearing on application SPG11-001 be postponed to the December 2011 meeting.


A motion was made by Deane Rettig to postpone the opening of the public hearing for application SPG11-001 until December 7, 2011 meeting. Al Sandholm seconds this motion. Discussion held. All in favor. The motion passes unanimously.


d. Other Unfinished Business:


1. SPG11-001 Brooklyn Sand and Gravel, 574 Wauregan Road, Map 30, Lot 97, RA Zone; Expansion of gravel removal operation.


A motion was made by Deane Rettig to table application SPG11-001 to December 7, 2011. Al Sandholm seconds this motion. No discussion held. All in favor. The motion passes unanimously.


VII. New Business:


a. Applications:


1. HB11-002 Henry Moses, 196 Spaulding Road, Map 37, Lot 1, RA Zone, NRA Basic Pistol Instruction Indoor Classroom.


Henry Moses recuses himself from the table.


Henry Moses, property owner of 196 Spaulding Road, represents application HB11-002. Mr. Moses’ property is located on the Brooklyn/Pomfret Town line with a total of 14 acres.  Mr. Moses teaches an NRA basic pistol course for concealed weapons. Mr. Moses has certification from the National Rifle Association of America and has a State of Connecticut State Permit to Carry Pistol and Revolvers.  Mr. Moses is proposing to have a teaching classroom within his home in Brooklyn. The student room will not have more than 4-6 students at a time, one day per week. There is ample parking for six cars. The shooting range is located in Pomfret. 


Deane Rettig asked if this is just text-book teaching or is it also hands on shooting.  Mr. Moses stated that the shooting is done on his property located in Pomfret, not in Brooklyn.  The closest neighbor is 1500 feet away in any direction. Mr. Moses stated the State of Connecticut mandates 115 decibels at the border of the property and Mr. Moses is not over 75 decibels on any of his weapons.  Mr. Moses stated that they are shooting 22, 380 and 38 caliber pistols/revolvers.  Mr. Moses has spoken with all of his neighbors who have no issues.  Mr. Moses also stated that a letter dated November 1, 2011 was received from the Town of Pomfret ZCEO, Ryan Brais, who has no objection to the application.  Mr. Moses discusses the site plan with Commission members.


Tom Doherty asked Mr. Moses how long he has been in business. Mr. Moses stated almost a year and has had no complaints.


Don Francis asked Mr. Moses if he is state certified. Mr. Moses stated yes.


A motion was made by Don Francis to approve application HB11-002 and to waive the Class A2 Survey.  Deane Rettig seconds this motion. Discussion held. All in favor. The motion passes unanimously. Henry Moses recuses.


Tom Doherty requests Mr. Moses supply his certifications for the record. Mr. Moses will do so.


Mr. Moses returns to the table.


b. Other New Business:


1. Review of Green Energy Draft:


Jim Larkin discussed with Commission Members the Citing Council and where their jurisdiction lies.  Mr. Larkin discussed with Commission Members Public Act No. 11-245, an act requiring the adoption of regulations for the citing of wind projects. At the present time the Citing Council does not have regulations for the citing of a wind farm or wind project.  This will have to be incorporated by July 1, 2012.


Mr. Larkin spoke with a contact from a non-profit organization that promotes clean energy in Connecticut with regards to give backs from the clean energy funds, i.e., the selling back of electricity.  Mr. Larkin is working on gathering more information from the Citing Council and CL&P with regards to this issue and will bring forward at the next meeting.


Mr. Larkin discussed with Commission Members small wind energy systems. Mr. Larkin is working on gathering more information and will bring forward at the next meeting. 

Mr. Larkin suggest having a contractor come to a meeting and discuss how a resident would initially install this type of a system.


Mr. Larkin discussed with Commission Members the net metering process.


Mr. Larkin discussed with Commission Members the changes that were made to the Green Energy Draft Regulations-On-Site Solar Energy Facilities and Small Wind Energy Systems. Discussion held.  


Mr. Larkin will make the new changes/corrections noted by the Commission.


2. Discussion of Zone Change of South Main Street to Neighborhood Commercial:


Deane Rettig questioned why this was originally divided.  Don Francis stated that one of the rationales of the Planning Commission at that time was the depth of the lots on the left side of South Main Street which run all the way to Route 6. A second reason was the number of commercial units on the left side of South Main Street as opposed to the opposite side of the street which years ago had a market/grocery store which changed to a paint store then the Laundromat. Mr. Francis feels that a zone change is definitely worth taking a look at.


Henry Moses agrees with Mr. Francis on this issue. Discussion held.


Chairman Kelleher suggests forming a small subcommittee to look at this Zone Change and come up with a recommendation to the Commission whether to proceed with a public hearing or not.  Discussion held. Don Francis, Craig Dunlop and Henry Moses offered to work on this subcommittee. Chairman Kelleher will ask ZEO Chuck Dobrowski for his input.


VIII. Reports of Officers and Committees:


1. Zoning Enforcement Officer’s Report: 


In the absence of Mr. Dobrowski, Chairman Kelleher reviewed the report with Commission Members.


2. Regulations Subcommittee:


Chairman Kelleher stated that a meeting was held and the first draft of the sign regulations has been completed.  The next meeting will be November 16th.


3. Budget:


The budget information was provided in the packet for Commission members to review.


4. Chairman’s Report:


Chairman Kelleher commented the PZC will be having a special meeting on November 15th and Mr. Doherty has arranged with Holly Drinkuth, Conservation member, to come and give a ½ hour presentation on the POCD maps. The rest of the meeting will be reviewing the POCD Implementation Matrix.


Ms. Cross-Lussier updated the Commission with regards to the printing of the POCD document.


IX. Public Commentary:


Jules D’Agostino, 6 Barrett Hill Road, thanked the Commission for having the public commentary at the beginning and end of the meeting.  Mr. D’Agostino updated the Commission that the New England Art Center sign has been removed.


Mr. D’Agostino commented that the copy of the Green Energy Regulation Draft that he had picked up at Town Hall are not the same as what the Commission had before them at tonight’s meeting. Mr. D’Agostino encourages copies of the most recent edition of the draft be available to the public. Mr. D’Agostino also asked if there were copies of other Town’s Green Energy Regulations available for the public to read. Mr. D’Agostino asked when the next Green Energy subcommittee meeting would be held. Chairman Kelleher addressed Mr. D’Agostino’s concerns.


Lisa Arends, Allen Hill Road, commented that she heard today on WINY Radio the Economic Development Chairperson say that either she or the Commission were approached by someone who wanted an apartment upstairs and a business on the first floor in the Neighborhood Commercial Zone. This makes it sound like the EDC is asking for the Zone Change.  Ms. Arends brings this up as a question in protocol. If this is in fact for an individual who has approached EDC, and now the PZC may entertain a Zone Change, makes it seem like this is a “go around” to get something that other residents may have to pay for if they would like to get a Zone Change.  


Chairman Kelleher stated that to her knowledge there has not been any applicant approach Mr. Dobrowski or Mr. Larkin.  Mr. Ventura, member of the EDC, has approached the PCZ with this issue of a Zone Change. Ms. Kelleher recognizes Ms. Arends comment as a valid concern. Discussion held.


Paul Damiani, Westview Drive, voices his concern with regards to the Zone Change in the Neighborhood Commercial Zone. Mr. Damiani finds the process to be disconcerting.  Mr. Damiani thinks this is a fine idea had the Commission planned to look at this situation ahead of time, but he feels the perception that this issue came in at a different angle without the proper procedure to approach the Commission for full discussion is bothersome.


First Selectman Austin Tanner disagrees with Mr. Damiani and feels what was done was completely legitimate.


Don Francis voices his opinion with regards to this issue. Mr. Francis comments that at this point research will be done and is a fact finding mission.



X. Adjourn:


A motion was made by Deane Rettig to adjourn the meeting at 8:35 p.m. Paul Camara seconds this motion. No discussion held. All in favor. The motion passes unanimously.





Audrey Cross-Lussier

Recording Secretary

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