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Minutes of Zoning Commission, 09/27/2017

AGENDA: Zoning Commission

RECEIVED 10/02/2017 4:24pm
Michele R. Grande – Redding Town Clerk

Zoning Commission
Public Hearing and Regular Meeting Minutes
September 27, 2017 – 7:30 p.m.
Town Hall Hearing Room
 

Present:  Gerry Casiello, Chairman; Amy Atamian, Secretary; Commissioner Ted Ogonek; Commissioner Paul Scholl, Alternate Gary Miyashiro, Alternate Bill Whitehead.

Also Present:  Aimee Pardee, Zoning Enforcement Officer; Sandra Fox, The Redding Pilot

PUBLIC HEARING
The Chairman called the meeting to order at 7:30 p.m. and seated Mr. Miyashiro for Commissioner Matt Lecher.

Discussion regarding Public Act 17-155: An Act Concerning Temporary Health Care Structures (“the act”) including subsection (j) of Section 1 of the act, allowing for a municipality to opt out of the provisions of the act and of Section 8-2 (a) of the Connecticut General Statutes as amended by the act.
Received September 13, 2017: Public Hearing September 27, 2017.

Ms. Atamian read the call for the hearing.  On the motion of Mr. Ogonek and the second of Mr. Miyashiro, the commission voted unanimously to open the public hearing at 7:30 p.m.

The Chairman summarized the provisions of Public Act 17-155.  He then read into the record correspondence from the Redding Health Department and from the Redding Planning Commission regarding the Public Act.

The Chairman noted that the correspondence from the Health Department gives some idea of the complexity of the act which he described as well-intentioned but ill conceived.  He went over a number of concerns that he has with the act, noting that the regulations currently do not allow the type of temporary health care structure defined in the act.  He also suggested that the current, and recently revised, apartment regulations adequately address providing housing for persons requiring temporary home aid.

The Commission reviewed the act.  Mr. Ogonek expressed concern that the provisions of the act could be open to abuse as the wording of the act seems vague.  Mr. Scholl also expressed concern regarding the relationship between the caregiver and the occupant of the temporary structure, which also brought up the fact that there is no prohibition on renting the structures out.  The commission also discussed enforcement of provisions of the act; the Chairman reading a memo from the town’s former Zoning Enforcement Officer Robert Flanagan suggesting “unprecedented enforcement challenges”. After continued discussion, Mr. Casiello reviewed the mechanism for the town to opt out of the provisions of the act.

Hearing no additional comments, Mr. Ogonek moved to close the public hearing.  Ms. Atamian seconded the motion and the commission voted unanimously to close the public hearing at 7:44 p.m.

REGULAR MEETING
The Chairman opened the regular meeting at 7:45 p.m. and seated Mr. Miyashiro for Commissioner Matt Lecher.

  1. Approval of Minutes:
    Regular Meeting Minutes of  September 13, 2017:  On the motion of Ms. Atamian and the second of Mr. Ogonek, the Commission voted by majority to accept the minutes; Mr. Scholl abstained as he was not present at the meeting.
  1. Discussion regarding Public Act 17-155: An Act Concerning Temporary Health Care Structures (“the act”) including subsection (j) of Section 1 of the act, allowing for a municipality to opt out of the provisions of the act and of Section 8-2 (a) of the Connecticut General Statutes as amended by the act.
    Received September 13, 2017: Public Hearing September 27, 2017.

The Chairman briefly reviewed the points raised during the public hearing and suggested that there be a motion to recommend opting out.  After a discussion, Ms. Atamian moved that the Commission recommend to the Board of Selectmen that the town opt out of the provisions of Public Act 17-155 and the provisions of subsection (a) of section 8-2 of the Connecticut General Statutes as amended by the act.  The reasons for the recommendation were stated for the record and are as follows:

  1. It is the position of the Redding Zoning Commission that the current Zoning Regulations regarding Accessory Residential Apartments adequately address the need for housing for persons requiring temporary healthcare accommodations.
  1. The Commission found that enforcement of provisions of PA 17-155 could represent a challenge and enforcement mechanisms were not clearly defined.
  2. The Commission noted that Section 3.8 (f) of the Redding Zoning Regulations currently prohibits the residential occupancy of a trailer or other vehicle.
  1. The Commission noted multiple provisions of PA 17-155 where, do to vague wording, there is the potential for abuse.
  1. Reference was made to the letter from the Redding Planning Commission dated September 27, 2017 recommending that Redding opt-out of the provisions of the act.

Mr. Ogonek seconded the motion and the Commission voted unanimously to recommend opting out to the Board of Selectmen.

  1. Discussion
    The Chairman briefly raised enforcement actions as he stated there has been public interest in the number of goats at 147 Cross Highway. 
  1. Future Agenda Items
    There was no discussion under this agenda item.  
  1. Communication
    There was no discussion under this agenda item. 
  1. Adjournment
    On the motion of Mr. Scholl and the second of Mr. Miyashiro, the Commission voted unanimously to adjourn the meeting at 7:52 p.m.

Submitted by:
Aimee Pardee

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