Redding Zoning Commission
Regular Meeting Minutes
July 14, 2021 – 7:30 p.m.
Present: Matt Lecher, Chairman; Amy Atamian, Secretary; Commissioner Ted Ogonek; Commissioner Bill Whitehead; Alternate Gary Miyashiro.
Also Present: Aimee Pardee, Zoning Officer.
The Chairman called the meeting to order at 7:32 p.m., seating Mr. Miyashiro for the vacant seat on the commission.
1. Approval of Public Hearing Minutes and Regular Meeting Minutes of June 23, 2021.
Ms. Atamian noted a misspelling of her name in the minutes. She also asked about a reference to 241 Ethan Allen Highway that called the existing building on site a former manufacturing facility. Ms. Pardee stated that her husband had worked in the building in the 1980s at which time the building was an electronics manufacturing facility.
On the motion of Ms. Atamian and the second of Mr. Ogonek, the Commission voted unanimously to accept the minutes with the correction to Ms. Atamian’s name.
2. Application #21-07Z – 241 Ethan Allan Highway (Assessor’s Map and Lot 35 – 63): Owner Dominick A. Pagano – Agent: Andy Soumelidis P.E./Landtech. In accordance with Redding Zoning Regulations Section 5.2 request for a Site Plan approval for renovation and addition onto existing building and associated site work.
The Chairman noted that a report from the Commission’s peer review engineer has been received and the applicant has requested time to respond to the report. Further discussion was tabled until the July 28, 2021 meeting.
3. Application #21-08Z – 5 Umpawaug Road (Assessor’s Map and Lot 42 – 60): Owner Yvonne Bregman – Applicant William Harding/Harding Builders. In accordance with Section 5.12, application for Special Permit for attached residential apartment and, in accordance with Section 5.10, application for Site Plan Approval for home occupation/professional office.
After a brief review, Mr. Ogonek moved that the Commission accept the application and set a public hearing date for August 11, 2021. Ms. Atamian seconded the motion and it was carried unanimously.
4. Item #21-09Z. Land Use Director initiated proposal to amend Section 5.19 of the Redding Zoning Regulations to put in place a moratorium on the acceptance of applications, amendments, petitions or issuance of Zoning Permits for or related to Cannabis Establishments with new definitions.
Ms. Pardee stated that new legislation has been passed regarding the legalization of cannabis sales in the state. She said that she had attended a webinar organized by CAZEO and the Connecticut APA that discussed the new legislation and how it may impact towns. She said that the advice given was for towns to put a moratorium in place regarding cannabis sales until the details regarding sales were worked out by the state but that, since that webinar, she had heard conflicting advice regarding how towns should prepare for upcoming state guidelines. She noted that she had shared the Office of Legislative Research summary of the legislation with the Commission as well as Danbury’s proposed zoning regulation amendments relating to this issue.
Ms. Atamian asked about the timing for implementation of the new legislation while noting that details regarding sales and banking issues are still being worked out. The Chairman suggested that the commission would benefit from a review of the issue by Town Counsel. Ms. Pardee said she would ask Counsel to report to the commission regarding the new legislation and possibly appear at the July 28, 2021 meeting to take part in a discussion.
The Chairman noted that the First Selectman had held a meeting regarding the former Gilbert and Bennett property that Ms. Atamian and Ms. Pardee attended. Ms. Atamian spoke regarding the meeting: she said that the town has obtained a $200,000 grant: the grant will be used to conduct a Phase I assessment of the property, which is estimated to cost $25,000, and the remainder of the money can be used to further assess the site and also look into the planning process for the ultimate use of the property.
Ms. Pardee mentioned that another aspect of the grant may be the assessment of the work needed to raise the river walls on site. She noted that the walls along the river must be raised in order to raise the entire historic portion of the mill property out of the flood zone. The reconstruction of the walls would also involve removal of contaminated material used as fill behind the original walls.
6. Future Agenda Items
July 28th: Continuation of Application 21-17Z.
Discussion of the town’s response to Connecticut SB 1201 regarding cannabis.
There was no discussion under this agenda item.
On the motion of Ms. Atamian, and the second of Mr. Ogonek, the Commission voted unanimously to adjourn the meeting at 7:50 p.m.