Present: Gerry Casiello, Chair; Joe Ventricelli, Vice Chairman; Ben Gordon, Secretary; Michael Hoffman, Ted Ogonek and alternates Matthew Lecher and Gary Miyashiro
Also present: Robert M. Flanagan, CZEO; First Selectman Natalie Ketcham; seven members of the public and a representative of the Redding Pilot.
Mr. Casiello called the meeting to order at 7:30 pm.
ELECTION OF OFFICERS
Mr. Ventricelli nominated Gerry Casiello for the position of Chairman and the nomination was Approved unanimously.
Mr. Casiello nominated Joe Ventricelli for the position of Vice Chairman and the nomination was Approved unanimously.
Mr. Casiello nominated Ben Gordon for the position of Secretary and the nomination was Approved unanimously.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
Motion: move to accept the minutes of the Regular Meeting of September 12, 2012 as submitted. Ventricelli, Ogonek. Approved unanimously
APPLICATION 13-01-New Pond Farm, 101 Marchant Road (Assessors Map 12 & Lot 79)
The application is a renewal of a Limited Duration Special Permit for “A Run for the Cows”, a 5k & 7 mile Run to be held on May 3, 2013 starting at 7:00 am and ending approximately 12:00 pm.
Mr. Flanagan noted the Health Department found the Application to be acceptable and Police Chief Fuchs has had conversations with the organizer regarding police presence for the event. There were no problems with the event last year.
The Chairman noted that tonight’s meeting agenda called for a 5k run when in actuality the event is a half marathon and a 7 mile run. This change was also noted by members of the commission and staff.
Motion: move that the Redding Zoning Commission approve Application 13-01, a Limited Duration Special Permit for the New Pond Farm “Run for the Cows” event on May 5, 2013. Gordon, Ventricelli. Approved unanimously.
DISCUSSION OF REQUEST FOR INTERPRETATION OF A REGULATION
The First Selectman’s office requested an interpretation of the Redding Zoning Regulations, Section 5.9. Signs. First Selectman Ketcham noted that during the reconstruction of the Simpaug Bridge, temporary directional signs for the West Redding Business District were posted.
There were no complaints about the signs and the business operators found the signs to be very helpful. The signs were erected by the traffic authority, the Police Chief, as traffic signs associated with the Simpaug Bridge detour. Now that the bridge project has been completed, the signs have been removed. The business operators in West Redding have requested that the signs be allowed to remain.
Mr. Casiello noted that Zoning Regulation Section 5.9.2(c) specifies “essential traffic control, emergency information, construction, road name, and directional signs erected by State and Town traffic authorities” and questioned whether the business district directional signs were essential. After discussion, the Commission members were in agreement that the business district directional signs were not essential. Casiello, Ventricelli. Approved unanimously.
Further discussion of Section 5.9.6 (3), Municipal Signs followed. Following the discussion, the Commission members were in agreement that business district directional signs were not included in the regulation as it is written. Casiello, Ventricelli. Approved unanimously.
Mr. Casiello allowed members of the public to speak.
Dottie DeLuca, a business owner in the West Redding Business District, spoke about how helpful the signs were. She noted that many people, even local residents, have difficulty finding the West Redding Business District. In addition, the signs are helpful to those looking for the Post Office and the Train Station.
Following discussion, the Commission agreed that a text amendment to the zoning regulations could be submitted from the West Redding Business District group.
2013 MEETING SCHEDULE
The proposed meeting schedule for 2013 was reviewed.
Motion: move that the Zoning Commission approve the 2013 Meeting Schedule as proposed. Ogonek, Ventricelli. Approved unanimously.
CZEO Flanagan stated that the Zoning Department budget would be discussed at the Budget Workshop on Friday, January 11, 2013. The proposed budget has an expenditure decrease of 2% over the current year budget. He is also projecting a 30% increase in revenue over the FY 2011/2012 budget year. CZEO Flanagan also commented that the number of permits issued has been increasing steadily over the past 18 months, keeping the zoning office very busy.
The Connecticut Bar Association, Planning and Zoning Section will be conducting an all-day Land Use Seminar on March 16, 2013 at Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT. New commission members were encouraged to attend. Mr. Flanagan will handle arrangements for those who will attend.
Motion: move to adjourn the meeting. Gordon, Hoffman. Approved unanimously.
The meeting adjourned at 8:07 pm.
Mary Maday, Recording Secretary