Redding Zoning Commission
Public Hearing & Regular Meeting Minutes
October 13, 2021 – 7:30 p.m.
Present: Matt Lecher, Chairman; Commissioner Ted Ogonek; Commissioner Bill Whitehead; Alternate Diana Carlino-Coffey; alternate Gary Miyashiro.
Also Present: Julia Pemberton, First Selectman; Aimee Pardee, Zoning Officer; applicants and members of the public.
The Chairman called the meeting to order at 7:34, seating Ms. Carlino-Coffey for Commissioner Atamian and seating Mr. Miyashiro for the open seat on the commission.
Public Hearing: Application #21-12Z – 130 Picketts Ridge Road (Assessor’s Map and Lot 11 – 3): Owner John Carlson. In accordance with Section 5.14.4 (c), request for a Special Use Permit for a shade/green house in excess of 2000 square feet of ground coverage. Received 9/8/21.
Ms. Pardee read the call for the hearing. On the motion of Mr. Ogonek and the second of Ms. Carlino-Coffey, the commission voted unanimously to accept the call and open the hearing.
The applicant, John Carlson, explained that he wishes to extend the growing season on an existing garden by adding a cover to the garden. He said that the supports for the cover would be permanent but that a plastic cover would be removed during the winter. Maureen Decker, an adjoining property owner, asked for clarification regarding the location of the new greenhouse structure and the size. Mr. Carlson shared his screen and showed the structure, which he said was proposed to be 30’ x 80’. Mr. Miyashiro stated that the height, as shown on the plans, would be 13’8” at the peak. The commission discussed Section 15.14.4 of the regulations, which required the public hearing. Ms. Decker expressed concern about her well and also asked if the applicant could screen the greenhouse with trees.
Adjoining neighbor Sandra Comas spoke and described the farm operation at 130 Picketts Ridge Road as a source of distress for her family. She introduced her attorney, Neil Marcus, who spoke regarding the application and the farm operation. He stated that the map submitted with the application is not complete. He also spoke regarding an existing greenhouse on site suggesting that fans in the greenhouse should conform to setbacks in Section 5.14.6 (b) of the regulations. He further said that he has reviewed the files in the Zoning Office for the previous approvals and feels that the parking plan is not being adhered to. Lastly, he stated that he felt that the farm buildings, as a whole, constitute a “group” which should meet the setbacks that appear in Section 5.14.6 (c) of the regulations. Mr. Carlson noted that he had installed trees between the existing greenhouse and the Comas property but both Mr. and Mrs. Comas disputed who had planted the trees, then said they are not adequate.
The Chairman stated that he would like to see a revised site plan with the greenhouse shown to scale, and also showing contour lines in the area of the greenhouse and any proposed screening. Ms. Pardee noted that she would refer the concerns regarding the existing structures on site to Town Counsel. The Commission decided to continue the hearing to the next regularly scheduled meeting of October 27, 2021. There was discussion as to if the commission should schedule a site walk; it was decided that individual commissioners would take a drive by the property before the next meeting.
1. Approval of Regular Meeting Minutes of September 22, 2021.
On the motion of Mr. Ogonek and the second of Ms. Carlino-Coffey, the commission voted unanimously to accept the minutes as written.
2. Application #21-12Z – 130 Picketts Ridge Road (Assessor’s Map and Lot 11 – 3): Owner John Carlson. In accordance with Redding Zoning Regulations Section 5.14.4 (c), request for a Special Use Permit for a shade/green house in excess of 2000 square feet of ground coverage.
Discussion of this agenda item was tabled as the public hearing regarding this application was kept open.
3. Application #21-14Z – 614 Redding Road (Assessor’s Map and Lot 13 – 81) – Brett Stafford, Owner – In accordance with Redding Zoning Regulations Section 5.10: request for a Site Plan Approval for a Residential Home Enterprise within existing accessory building approval for a well pump and water treatment service company.
The commission reviewed the discussion they had at the September 22, 2021 meeting regarding this application and their consensus that the garage on the property would not count towards the total floor area of the home enterprise if it is strictly being used for storage. They returned to the discussion of the amount of area of the house on site that may be used for the business. Ms. Pardee reviewed the field card for the property, which shows the living space of the house to be 1547 square feet. Since 25% of the house floor area could be used for the proposed business, the amount that could be used would be limited to 387 square feet. The applicant, Mr. Stafford, stated that he wished to use a 144 square foot bedroom for the home enterprise, as well as a portion of the basement.
After a discussion, Mr. Ogonek moved that the commission approved the application with the condition that the applicant can use no more than 243 square feet of the basement of the house for the business. Mr. Whitehead seconded the motion and it was carried unanimously.
4. Application #21-15Z – 37 Lonetown Road (Assessor’s Map and Lot 21 – 42A) – Town of Redding, Owner : First Selectman Julia Pemberton; Steve Trinkaus P.E., Agent. In accordance with Redding Zoning Regulations Section 5.2, request for Site Plan Amendment for installation of pre-school playground at the Redding Community Center.
First Selectman Julia Pemberton briefly introduced the application. She stated that having a pre-school playground in town had been in the planning for several years and that money had been allocated for the project in the current budget. Steve Trinkaus, P.E., spoke regarding the project. He shared his screen and oriented the commissioners to the portion of the Community Center property where the playground is proposed. He said that the area will be graded by the town highway department and that woodchips will be put in the space, although trees in the area will be protected and not removed. The playground equipment will be installed by the company providing the equipment. Mr. Trinkaus showed the location of an existing accessible parking space and sidewalks, and proposed fencing. Ms. Pemberton clarified that, although the fence will be split rail, it will have a mesh lining for safety.
After a discussion, Mr. Whitehead moved that the application does not require a public hearing. Mr. Ogonek seconded the motion and it was carried unanimously.
After further discussion, Mr. Miyashiro moved that the commission approved the application. Mr. Ogonek seconded the motion and it was carried unanimously.
5. Application #21-16Z – 37 Lonetown Road (Assessor’s Map and Lot 21 – 42A) – Town of Redding, Owner : Rob Blick, Agent. In accordance with Redding Zoning Regulations Section 5.2, request for Site Plan Amendment for installation of pavilion at the Redding Community Center.
Rob Blick, Director of Park & Rec, spoke to the commission. He stated that, like the previous playground application, a having a pavilion at the community center has been in the works for several years and that funding had been allocated. The pavilion is proposed to be located to the north of the Community Center building, just north of an existing storage building. Ms. Carlino-Coffey asked about the composition of the structure; Mr. Blick said it would be wood with a cement floor. He said that it would be open air with picnic tables, and also lights and power outlets.
After a discussion, the commission decided that this would be considered a new structure and that, therefore, a public hearing on this application will need to held. They set the public hearing date for November 10, 2021.
Mr. Ogonek noted that the current term will be his last on the commission and asked when his last meeting would be. Ms. Pardee said she would check with the Town Clerk.
7. Future Agenda Items:
October 26, 2021: Continuation of hearing for Application 21-12Z – 130 Picketts Ridge Road.
November 10, 2021: Public Hearing for Application 21-16Z – 37 Lonetown road.
There was no discussion under this agenda item.
On the motion of Mr. Ogonek and the second of Ms. Carlino-Coffey, the commission voted unanimously to adjourn the meeting at 9:06 p.m.