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Minutes of Planning Commission, 01/26/2021

AGENDA: Planning Commission

RECEIVED 02/03/2021 4:19pm
Michele R. Grande – Redding Town Clerk

Redding Planning Commission
P.O. Box 1028
Redding Center, Connecticut 06875-1028


Tuesday, January 26, 2021
7:30 p.m. – VIA ZOOM

Present: Toby Welles, Chairman; Dan Barrett; Chuck Cilo, Alt.; Anda Cumings; Steve Gagnon; Regina O’Brien; James Bacon, Alt.; members of the public.

Also present: Aimee Pardee, Land Use Director
Julia Pemberton, First Selectwoman
Peg O’Donnell, Selectwoman

The Chairman called the meeting to order at 7:30 p.m.

I. APPROVAL OF MINUTES – Meeting of January 12, 2021

On the motion of S. Gagnon and the second of A. Cumings, the Commission voted unanimously to approve the 1/12/21 Meeting Minutes.


1. Kenneth Swenson & Robin Lamont Swenson, 36 Cross Highway. Request for modification of scenic road to install fence along right of way. Discussion 1/12/2021. Discussion to continue.

Mr. Swenson was present via ZOOM. Chairman Welles reviewed observations noted on individual site walks.

On the motion of D. Barrett and the second of S. Gagnon, the Commission voted unanimously to approve the request to erect a fence along a designated scenic road.

2. Referral from Board of Selectmen: Proposed Blight Ordinance. Discussion 1/12/2021. Discussion to continue.

Members of Enhancing Redding’s Future (ERF) were present via ZOOM. Chairman Welles noted receipt of a modified proposed ordinance. Land Use Director Aimee Pardee requested submission of new materials be sent to the Land Use Office prior to a meeting so that the office can meet the requirement of posting the documents to the town website at least 24 hours before a meeting. The email address is

First Selectwoman Pemberton reported that Counsel reviewed the proposed ordinance and noted that the procedural aspect is “overly complicated”. Counsel has been requested to pause review pending receipt of new comments.

Mr. Welles noted his ongoing concerns regarding language and fairness. Due to the profound implications on the town, Mr. Welles suggested postponing a public discussion until after COVID-19-related orders have ended so a public forum can be held to hear out the populace.

J. Pemberton noted that the building department is concerned with structural issues rather than aesthetic. She provided an example of a reported blight concern that after review was noted to be structurally deficient and needed to be demolished or repaired.

James Bacon stated that the proposed ordinance is “overkill”. Anda Cumings reiterated the need to include non-town officials on a review board and noted the need to also provide assistance when necessary. C. Cilo questioned what is considered “exempt” in the proposed language and T. Welles noted the danger in using “elastic language” such as “becoming dilapidated.” D. Barrett stated that an appeals board is overkill and J. Pemberton noted the need to have an appeal method. R. O’Brien noted her concerns relating to the use of “community standards” that are subject to interpretation.

Mr. Welles read an email from Susan Clark opposing the ordinance and requesting a town meeting.

J. Pemberton questioned if commercial vs. residential cases are differentiated. She also noted that municipal properties are exempt.

Land Use Director Pardee stated that a citation ordinance could provide more resources to enforce the Zoning Regulations that already exist.

Peter Bonfanti spoke to the condition of The Redding Pilot building. Howard Sherman noted that the intent of the ordinance was not punitive but rather to help the town address egregious situations. Nancy Pelz-Paget stated that the reason Redding fell down the list of best little towns in Connecticut was due to blight. J. Pemberton clarified that the identified blight is due to Gilbert & Bennett.

On the motion of T. Welles and the second of R. O’Brien, the Commission voted unanimously to: 1) Table discussion of the proposed Blight Ordinance until after COVID-19 has abated and the establishment of a date for an in-person public forum in order for the townspeople at large to gather and discuss the ordinance; 2) Direct Aimee Pardee to re-examine with the relevant parties the establishment of a new citation capability in the zoning code to address egregious violations within the context of current zoning regulations.


T. Welles’ final meeting with John Hayes to review mapping re: Town Plan of Conservation & Development is pending. Final mapping from WestCOG is due within two weeks.

On the motion of S. Gagnon and the second of A. Cumings, the Commission voted unanimously to adjourn the meeting at 8:38 p.m.

Submitted by,
Kristi Reilly






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