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Zoning Commission Minutes Public Hearing 06/13/2016

Monday, June 13, 2016

The Old Lyme Zoning Commission held a Public Hearing on Monday, June 13, 2016, at 7:30 p.m. in the Auditorium of Memorial Town Hall.  Those present and voting were:  Jane Cable, Chairman, John Johnson, Vice Chairman, Jane Marsh, Secretary, Alan Todd, Gil Soucie and Stacy Winchell, (Alternate).

Also present:  Kim Barrows, Certified Zoning Enforcement Technician

1.      Special Permit Application and Municipal Coastal Site Plan Review       Application for construction of a 40’ x 60’ garage to store and repair paving       equipment, also an office and bathroom will be in the garage as well on         property located at 224 Shore Road, J. Robert Pfanner, applicant, Peter         Lodi, Sr., owner.  

Chairman Cable noted that this item was continued from the May Regular Meeting.  Ms. Marsh read the list of Exhibits.  Ms. Marsh read the referral response from George Calkins.

Mr. Pfanner was present representing the applicant.  He explained that he received a letter from Keith Rosenfeld and he has tried to address all his concerns.  Mr. Pfanner noted that they applied the number of vehicles to the site plan and they have all been drawn to scale.  He noted that there is a 20 foot container shown on the plans, along with a tractor and beach rake.  He noted that there are ten trucks and two pieces of equipment.  

Mr. Pfanner noted the public wells are shown on the site plan and noted that the garage is outside the required two hundred foot required radius.  He explained that they do not do repairs of equipment in the garage.  Chairman Cable noted that she believes the application states repairs.  Mr. Anton stated that he intends to store equipment in the garage.  He stated that he may do a minor repair or pump up tires; daily inspections and that type of thing.  Mr. Pfanner stated that the garage will have a concrete floor and no drains.  He noted that there are two garage doors on the front of the garage and one on the left side.  He stated that there will be a walk in door on the right side near the house.  Mr. Anton noted that they will install an eight foot fence so that the vehicles and construction equipment will not be seen.  He indicated that he has run his business at this location for a very long time.  

Mr. Pfanner stated that the building will have lights on three corners that will be shielded.  He noted that the lights are for safety.  He explained that the lot is very flat and the soil is sandy with a stone surface.  Mr. Pfanner stated that there is some junk that needs to be removed from the site and he will fill the potholes.  He explained that the required stopping sight distance is 250 feet and they have 1,300 feet in each direction.

Mr. Pfanner addressed screening and noted that they have evergreens and a mafia block to the rear of the property and an eight foot cedar fence proposed in the front over to the right-of-way.  He stated that the trucks will enter through the right-of-way.  Mr. Pfanner presented photographs of the right side of the property noting that they were not able to put anything there because of the two existing right-of-ways.  Mr. Johnson stated that the western side of the property, as shown in the photographs, is buffered already.  Mr. Anton noted that they will be removing the debris and cleaning up the area by the wall.  He noted that the trucks do not always come back at night, many times they stay at the job site.  Mr. Johnson questioned whether there would be any mixing of material on the site.  Mr. Anton replied that there would not be.  He indicated that he has five employees, three of which are his sons.  Chairman Cable stated that she has heard that the road crews are storing asphalt on this property.  Mr. Anton explained that they had the opportunity to get free material from the highway project in East Lyme/Waterford.  He noted that for a two nights he sent his three sons out with trucks and they were hauling the millings in.  Mr. Anton stated that they are going to use the material on the site as it is nice and clean.  He noted that Mr. Rosenfeld came to the site after a complaint and said he could do it for one more night and that is what he did.  

Mr. Pfanner stated that it is typical to hook a building up to an existing on-site septic with approval from the State, although they do have room for a system between the wells, if required.  He noted that Mr. Calkin’s letter notes the well radius, which they have complied with.  He acknowledged that they will have a toilet and a sink in the building.  Chairman Cable stated that it is a problem that new things keep showing up on the plan.  Mr. Pfanner noted that they have not added water to the plan.  Mr. Johnson agreed they talked about having a toilet and sink before.  Mr. Pfanner pointed out the water and sanitary lines on the plan.  

Ms. Barrows stated that the Special Permit Application was submitted to the Zoning Commission because of a letter sent by Mr. Rosenfeld stating this was the avenue to take for approval.  She noted that the Zoning Compliance Application process was skipped and the Special Permit was subsequently reviewed by the interim Sanitarian.  Mr. Anton noted that they have been working this through the Town since November.  

Mr. Johnson questioned whether they would be storing asphalt on the site.  Mr. Anton stated that they do every once in a while.  He indicated that they dumped some on the site today, a very small amount, about a backhoe bucket full.  

Thor Holt, Attorney from New London, stated that he is present representing Salvatore Capasso who owns property on 5 Robbins Avenue, just south of this site.  He stated that Mr. Capasso contacted him after he was awoken, along with his neighbors, during the night time dumping activity.  Attorney Holt presented a petition signed by 80 residents in opposition to this proposal.  He indicated that there are concerns of noise, dust and chemical pollutions as noted in his letter.  Attorney Holt noted that it is Exhibit N.  He stated that the project is directly overlapping a public water supply.  Attorney Holt stated that there is no written description of the proposed activity, other than the map.  He noted that the core of this has not been addressed and that is that the trucks will be coated with chemicals and asphalt from job sites.  Attorney Holt stated that there will be run-off from these vehicles into the sandy soil and this is a significant risk.  He stated that he included a list of three chemicals that are hazardous and questioned whether the trucks would be cleaned on site.  He questioned what chemicals would be used and no description of protections.  Attorney Holt noted that there was testimony that they would be changing oil on site and no indication as to the disposal of the oil.  

Attorney Holt noted that the project is within the Water Resource Zone and there is different criteria that comes into play.  He noted that the storage of more than 10 trucks is not allowed.  Attorney Holt stated that there could be several hundred gallons of fuel on site in the trucks and that would be a problem if one of the tanks ruptured.  He noted that there have been no studies of the soil.  Attorney Holt stated that the Regulations trigger the Old Lyme Municipal Code that requires the applicant to meet State and Local codes and Mr. Capasso described contaminants in the water running into the culvert and through catch basins after the storm last week.  He noted that they did not have time to test it as it takes eight days.  He noted that the Regulations also have a noise limitation which restricts, in a Commercial Zone, no more than 55 decibels during the day that carries into a Residential Zone and at night it is limited to no more than 45 decibels.  Attorney Holt stated that the applicant has not addressed those limits except to say there will be an air compressor.  

Attorney Holt stated that any more than one inch of rain will drain off the site through the drainage ditch but there has been no testimony regarding water separator wells or catch basins that will treat the water on site before it goes into the drainage ditch.  

Attorney Holt stated that the screening on the west side is provided by the neighboring property and there is nothing in the Zoning Regulations that allows an applicant to use vegetation on a neighboring property to meet their screening requirement.  He noted that the truck sizes and types of chemicals they will be hauling have not been addressed.  Attorney Holt stated that if there is a change to the curb cut it will have to be approved by DOT.

Attorney Holt stated that the Regulations require approval for outside storage and Mr. Calkins has expressed that the existence of mafia blocks infers that there will be storage of material on site.  He stated that based on what has not been provided and the fact that materials have been brought on site, he is asking the Commission to deny the application.  

Ms. Barrows stated that she emailed the plans and Mr. Calkins letter to the Connecticut Water Company this afternoon.  She stated that she also left a phone message and has not received a response.  

Salvatore Capasso, 5 Robbins Avenue, stated that he collected the signatures from neighbors at Hawks Nest Beach over the last week.  He stated that the trucks hauled material for five nights, from 9:00 p.m. to 4:15 p.m.  Mr. Capasso submitted photographs that he took during this time and noted that there are dates on them.

Paul Jarvis, 3 Robbins Avenue, submitted notes from when they monitored the property.

Mr. Capasso stated that the trucks were turning their lights off when they entered the property.  He noted that he called the police station to report the activity.  He noted that the policeman came out and asked for a copy of the ordinance that prohibits the activity.  Mr. Capasso stated that he went to the Town Hall the next day and spoke to Mr. Rosenfeld who went to the site and the activity continued that evening.  He stated that it is a residential area and people sleep at night.

Mr. Jarvis questioned who will be monitoring the property.  He indicated that the Town cannot be there all the time, especially at night.

Jeff Montanaro, owns the 20 acres next door with his family, and they are working on putting in a beautiful neighborhood there.  He stated that he thought the trucks would all be parked in the garage, not outside.  Mr. Montanaro stated that he is concerned about building beautiful homes with little control on this property.  He stated that the trucks should be in the garage and he wants to be sure there is no disposal of gas and oil; and that there will be no smell of tar.  Mr. Montanaro stated that he cannot sell homes if they are looking at trucks.  He stated that he knows the Anton’s and the Lodi’s and would like to see them get approval but wants to make sure it doesn’t hurt his family’s project.  

Peter Lodi, owner of the property, stated that the Town contacted the water company to get their opinion of the project.  Chairman Cable corrected Mr. Lodi and stated that the Water Company was notified because they are an abutter.   Mr. Lodi stated that if the Water Company had a problem they would have had a representative here this evening to address their concerns.  He indicated that he has owned the land for 20 years and when it rains water does not run-off his property onto the road.  Mr. Lodi stated that the land is zoned commercial and they are requesting approval for an approved use.  He noted, addressing the night hauling, that Mr. Anton had the opportunity to get free material to cover the property.  He explained that it was a one-time event to get free material.  He noted that the only contaminants that they are going to bring back other than those that any vehicle could pick up on the roadway.  Mr. Lodi stated that there are no chemicals used in paving.  He indicated that when he did paving years ago they put a solvent inside the truck so that the asphalt did not stick to the truck.

Mr. Lodi stated that it is a family business that employs a few people in Town and the property is zoned for what they are planning.  He noted that the trucks leave every morning and are gone all day; sometimes they don’t even come back at night but rather stay on the work site.  Mr. Lodi reiterated that if the Water Company was concerned they would be present.

Mark DiMarco, speaking for his father Dominic, stated that they bought their property on Shore Road in 1980.  He indicated that they are concerned about the water because they live across the street and have a private well.  Mr. DiMarco stated that in 1980 there was a landscaping business at the site and it is much bigger now.  He indicated that this belongs in an industrial area.  Mr. DiMarco stated that he runs a construction company in Middletown and trucks and material go in and out all day long.  He stated that if the applicant gets more free millings that he decides to sell, who is going to control it?

Chairman Cable read a letter from the Connecticut Water Company stating that they were notified of a building to store paving equipment in January and listed requests for controls.

Mr. Pfanner stated they are not storing any hazardous materials or waste.  He stated that they are not a few feet from Hawks Nest Beach; he noted they are a few hundred feet and across the highway.  Mr. Pfanner stated that they could add trees instead of the fence if that would make people happier.  Mr. Johnston stated that the fence is not an issue but trees might be better on the west side of the property where there is no proposed landscaping.  Mr. Pfanner stated that the mafia blocks are there to protect the Water Company’s property.

Chairman Cable stated that the container is five feet from the property line.  Mr. Pfanner stated that if they cannot park within the buffer, they will move the container.  Chairman Cable questioned whether they proposed a method for collecting, cleaning or filtering the run-off.  Mr. Pfanner explained that there is no run-off.  

Mr. Johnson suggested that they might require an oil storage tank inside the garage and then it is pumped out and hauled away.  Mr. Pfanner stated that they will install a tank such as that if it is a requirement.  He stated that the only area not protected is the area to the west and noted an area on the plan on the west side (from the fence back) where they will plant trees at 20 foot intervals; a tree of the Commission’s choice.  Mr. Johnson stated that he prefers arborvitae to white pines.

Ms. Marsh questioned whether they are going to hold the hearing open to wait for septic approval.  Ms. Barrows indicated that they cannot hold the hearing open any longer.  Mr. Pfanner stated that if they have to they will bring in a port-o-let and not put in a bathroom.  Chairman Cable stated that they cannot approve the application contingent upon Health Department approval.  

Ms. Marsh read the statement of use that was submitted as part of the application.  Ms. Winchell noted that it states they will be storing and repairing their equipment in the garage.  Ms. Barrows suggested that the legal notice be read for the record.  Ms. Marsh read the legal notice.  Ms. Marsh noted that the legal notice does not indicate that the trucks will be stored outside.  

A motion was made by John Johnson, seconded by Jane Marsh and voted unanimously to close the Public Hearing on the Special Permit for 224 Shore Road.

2.      Special Permit Application in order to purchase adjacent land at 31-2 Library Lane in order to expand existing cemetery under Sections 5.2 and 5.2.3 of the Zoning Regulations, for Old Lyme Cemetery Association Inc., 31-1 Library Lane, applicant; record owner of 31-2 Library Lane, Mr. & Mrs. W. Alan Froggatt, Jr.

Ms. Marsh read the legal notice for tonight’s new Public Hearings, as published in the New London Day on Tuesday, May 31, 2016 and Tuesday, June 7, 2016.

Ms. Barrows noted that the legal notice for this Public Hearing was read in May, although the hearing was not opened.  Ms. Marsh recused herself and Mr. Johnson read the Exhibit List for the record.  Ms. Winchell was seated.

Attorney McGarry was present to represent the applicant.  He explained that the Old Lyme Cemetery Association has a contract to purchase the property.  He indicated that the Wetlands Commission has walked the property and approved the application.  Attorney McGarry stated that Mr. Rosenfeld requested that they put conditions on the plan and indicated that when the cemetery completes the plan they will add those notes and put up whatever barriers the Town requests.  He explained that there will be minimal cutting of trees.  Chairman Cable questioned whether they applied for a Special Exception Waivers.  Attorney McGarry stated that this is the first time he is seeing Mr. Rosenfeld’s comments but noted that there will be no parking except for an occasional visitor.  Chairman Cable stated that the things listed are the basis for requesting a waiver.  Attorney McGarry stated that then they would ask for a waiver.

No one present spoke in favor or against this application.  Hearing no further comments, Chairman Cable asked for a motion to close the Public Hearing.

A motion was made by John Johnson, seconded by Gil Soucie and voted unanimously to close the Public Hearing on the Special Permit for 31-1/31-2 Library Lane.  

3.      Special Permit Application in order to allow the enlargement of an existing structure on a non-conforming lot for the purpose of meeting Old Lyme Flood Hazard and FEMA regulations under Sections and of the Zoning Regulations on property located at 45  Gorton Avenue, Richard Hyne, owner/applicant.

Ms. Marsh rejoined the Commission and Ms. Winchell was no longer seated.  Ms. Marsh read the Exhibit List for the record.  Ms. Marsh read the referral response from George Calkins, Interim Sanitarian.

Chairman Cable paraphrased Mr. Calkins’ letter, noting that he is stating that they can raise the house, but they cannot increase it at all and they must repair the septic system.  

Sabrina Folke and Katie Scanlon from Point One Architects and Don Gerwick were present to explain the application.  Don Gerwick stated that the plans dated May 31, 2016 are the plans that Mr. Calkins reviewed; he submitted these plans for the record (Exhibit J).  Mr. Gerwick noted that one of the primary concerns was the building conversion and the plans were sent to Bob Scully at the State to make the final determination.  He noted that the plan calls for adding a master bedroom on the first floor and combining two of the bedrooms on the second floor as to not increase the number of bedrooms.  Mr. Gerwick stated that there is an existing basement and the health code is concerned about areas that could become bedrooms.  He explained that the changes made to the plan include:  a minor change to the shape of the septic system, moving the septic system and to spell out the elevations of the crawl space to make it clear that it is a four foot crawl space and will not become a room down the road.  Mr. Gerwick stated that the first floor and the elevation drawings were done by Point One Architects.  

Chairman Cable questioned how much higher the house would be.  Ms. Scanlon noted that the house will be 2.1 feet higher which will bring the total height to 28’ 8”.  Chairman Cable questioned what variances were granted for this project by the Zoning Board of Appeals.  Ms. Scanlon stated that they received a variance for height and a variance for coverage.  She noted that they had to add a few more steps to get down to grade which was why they required a variance for coverage.  Ms. Scanlon stated that there will be smart vents for access to the crawl space and noted that the mechanicals will be located in the attic.

Ms. Barrows stated that Mr. Calkins and she reviewed a plan, but she cannot say whether it is the plan before the Commission this evening.  Chairman Cable stated that she feels they may want to confirm which plan was reviewed by Mr. Calkins.  Mr. Gerwick noted that Mr. Calkins states in his letter that he reviewed the plan dated May 31, 2016 in his letter and it is the same plan.  Ms. Scanlon reiterated that Mr. Calkins had the plans dated May 31, 2016 as he states in his letter.

Ms. Scanlon stated that they have revised the interior plan since the Zoning Board of Appeals approval but noted that the interior was not within their purview.  She noted that the client wants to keep the bedroom on the first floor and what was originally a four bedroom home is still a four bedroom home as one of the upstairs bedrooms has been eliminated.  Ms. Scanlon stated that a variance was approved for lot coverage with the shed and the shed has now been removed.  She noted that the homeowner would like to add a small, conforming shed.  Chairman Cable noted that the area is very congested.  Ms. Scanlon stated that the crawl space will be filled with 1.5 to 2 feet of stone which will preclude storage.

Ms. Scanlon stated that the homeowner purchased the property and immediately after the original homeowner was notified of septic failure.  She stated that in April of this year the homeowner found this out.

Ms. Scanlon submitted a letter dated June 10 from an abutter noting his support of the application.

No one present spoke in favor of or against the application.  Hearing no further comments, Chairman Cable asked for a motion to close this Public Hearing.

A motion was made by John Johnson, seconded by Gil Soucie and voted unanimously to close the Public Hearing on the Special Permit for 45 Gorton Avenue.  

4.      Special Permit Application in order to make renovations to existing structure and comply with FEMA under Sections 9.1.3, and of the  Zoning Regulations on property located at 40 Pond Road, Lee Ferguson, owner/applicant.

Ms. Barrows noted that the agent for the applicant has requested that the opening of this public hearing be postponed to the July 11, 2016, Regular Meeting.

A motion was made by John Johnson, seconded by Jane Marsh and voted unanimously to postpone the opening of the Public Hearing on the Special Permit for 40 Pond Road to the July 11, 2016 Regular meeting per letter from Jeff Flower, agent for the applicant dated June 13, 2016.  

5.      Special Permit Application in order to demolish existing structure and construct a new structure eliminating two existing nonconformities and reducing one nonconformity under Section 8.2.3 of the Zoning Regulations on property located at 22 Sea Spray Road, Patricia Hooper, owner, Gerry Karpuska, applicant.

Chairman Cable noted that this application has been withdrawn.  Chairman Cable adjourned the Public Hearing at 9:39 p.m.


Susan J. Bartlett
Recording Secretary

52 Lyme St, Old Lyme, CT 06371  (860) 434-1605

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