Redding Zoning Commission
Regular Meeting Minutes
September 13, 2017 – 7:30 p.m.
Town Hall Hearing Room
100 Hill Road, Redding, Connecticut
Present: Gerry Casiello, Chairman; Amy Atamian, Secretary; Commissioner Matt Lecher; Commissioner Ted Ogonek; Alternate Bill Whitehead.
Also Present: Aimee Pardee, Zoning Enforcement Officer
The Chairman called the meeting to order at 7:30 p.m. and seated Mr. Whitehead for Commissioner Paul Scholl.
1. Approval of Minutes:
Public Hearing of July 12, 2017: On the motion of Ms. Atamian and the second of Mr. Ogonek, the Commission voted by majority to accept the minutes; Mr. Whitehead abstained as he was not present at the hearing.
Regular Meeting Minutes of July 12, 2017: On the motion of Ms. Atamian and the second of Mr. Ogonek, the Commission voted by majority to accept the minutes; Mr. Whitehead abstained as he was not present at the meeting.
2. Application 17-21Z –101 Marchant Road (Map and Lot #12 & 79) New Pond Farm. Request for a Limited Duration Special Use Permit in accordance with Section 5.11.2 of the Redding Zoning Regulations to hold its “Annual Harvest Festival” on October 14, 2017 from 11:00a.m to 4:00p.m. with a rain date of October 15, 2017 from 1:00p.m.4:00p.m. . Previously held on October 15, 2016. For discussion/action.
The Chairman briefly spoke regarding this event and noted that it has been successfully held for many years. On the motion of Mr. Lecher, and the second of Ms. Atamian, the Commission voted unanimously to grant the Limited Duration Special Use Permit.
3. Discussion regarding Public Act 17-155: An Act Concerning Temporary Health Care Structures.
The Chairman spoke regarding Public Act 17-155 which requires that towns allow so called “granny pods” under certain conditions. He stated that Planning had looked at this act and had given it a positive referral, but that the legislation allows for a town to opt out based upon a two-step action by, first, the Zoning Commission, then by the Board of Selectmen. He stated that, at first look, the legislation seems to address a need but further examination shows it to be poorly crafted and problematic. He said that he and Ms. Pardee had spoken to employees of other towns at a recent CAZEO (Connecticut Association of Zoning Enforcement Officers) meeting and many other towns were moving toward opting out.
The Chairman reviewed some of the provisions of the legislation. He noted that approval of an application must be within fifteen days although hooking up to a septic system might require a state waiver before the health department could approve. The Commission looked at the definition of “temporary health care structure” and raised concerns, suggesting that the definition is very vague and could allow all kinds of vehicles or structures. The Chairman followed by wondering what would be the enforcement method for having the structure removed. He made reference to a recent Danbury News Times article in which Richard Baldelli, Planning and Zoning Director for Ridgefield, raised similar concerns and suggested that their accessory apartment regulations were generous enough to address the need of family members that may need care at home. The Chairman stated that, similarly, Redding has recently revised the apartment regulations. Ms. Pardee noted that, in considering an opt out, there was no reason why, at a future date, the Commission could not recommend opting back in should regulations be crafted to address some of the concerns raised.
The Chairman stated that the legislation requires that, in order to consider an opt out, the Commission must hold a public hearing. Mr. Lecher moved that the Commission hold a hearing and set the date for September 27, 2017. Ms. Atamian seconded the motion and it was carried unanimously.
Ms. Pardee stated that she wished to review issues with two properties, just so the Commission is aware of the situation and she hopes will be supportive if legal action is required. The first property she discussed is 147 Cross Highway where she stated that the property owner has several inoperable vehicles, discarded items and equipment, and many more goats than are allowed by right. She has met with the property owner and she has been working with Animal Control, the Health Department, and Social Services to some up with a way to help the property owner. She stated that she is concerned that bringing the property into compliance may require a protracted legal action.
The next property she mentioned was 5 Topledge Road. She stated that this property has been before the Commission before, dating back into the late 1980s. She said that the owner has a horse farm and, at this time, a riding ring has been expanded up to the property line, paddocks have been extended on to a neighbor’s property, and there are unregistered trailers on sight. She said that the owner’s attorney, Neil Marcus, has been communicating with her.
5. Future Agenda Items
September 27, 2017 public hearing regarding “Temporary Health Care Structures”.
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 7:55 p.m.