REDDING ZONING COMMISSION
WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 9, 2019 – 7:30PM
TOWN HALL HEARING ROOM
Present: Gerry Casiello, Chairman; Matt Lecher, Vice Chairman; Amy Atamian, Secretary; Commissioners Paul Scholl and Ted Ogonek; and Alternate Gary Miyashiro.
Also Present: Aimee Pardee, Zoning Officer; Applicants; Members of the Public.
The Chairman called the meeting to order at 7:30PM.
PUBLIC HEARING: APPLICATION #18-22Z – 39 ORCHARD DRIVE (ASSESSOR’S Map #37 & LOT #40) DEBORAH AND PETER MYGATT –
Request for a Special Use Permit, in accordance with Redding Regulations Sections 4.2.3 (b) and 5.1m to use an existing building to conduct church services. Received December 12, 2018: Public Hearing January 9, 2019.
Mr. Ogonek made a motion to accept the call for public hearing. Mr. Lecher seconded the motion. The vote was unanimous and the motion passed.
Debbie Mygatt applied for a Special Use Permit for the theater building on her property. She leads a small congregation in worship on Saturdays. She has no intention of expanding or modifying the structure. Her church is non-denominational. She said there is precedent in Redding for allowing places of worship. She stated that 4 to 16 people attend every Saturday. She stated that 12 cars can park, and the maximum that have is 10. Her website shows more attendees than is usual. She addressed the property value concerns of her neighbors with a study. She said the size of her church is perfect.
Chairman Casiello asked about the number of parking spaces. He stated that town regulations state that 1 parking spot is required for every four seats. The commission cannot limit the size of a church. Chairman Casiello asked about the maximum occupancy of the church. Ms. Mygatt responded that forty people is her estimated maximum occupancy.
Ms. Atamian asked if Ms. Mygatt anticipates any other activities happening on site on other days of the week. Ms. Mygatt responded by saying that Tuesdays have a bible study in the morning. She said that she would like to be able to have other events happen during the week.
Mr. Scholl asked if the congregation is comprised of Ridgefield citizens or Redding citizens. Ms. Mygatt said Ridgefield, Redding, and Danbury citizens attend her congregation.
Tom Bouchier, 24 Deer Spring Road, stated his support for the Special Use Permit. He said the average attendance on Saturdays is 15 people. He said the church is out of sight.
Jeff McDougal, 332 Black Rock Turnpike, said he is a land surveyor and is familiar with the property. The size of the property restricts the functions of the space. He said the space was formerly a tryout space for Broadway shows. The building may have been built in 1917. He said that the traffic is not a concern. He is in favor of the application.
Danielle Frenzel, 19 Orchard Drive, is concerned about how the traffic will be managed. She stated that the application is for seven cars with a maximum of ten cars allowed. She is concerned that the traffic will increase daily if activities on the property increase to 7 days a week. Chairman Casiello explained that the commission can limit the use and the intensity of the permit, thus regulating the number of cars and days the church can operate.
Ms. Mygatt stated that there are two entrances to the property (Orchard Drive and Glen Hill Road). Chairman Casiello stated that the application is only for Orchard Drive.
Tom Kelly, 58 Orchard Drive, stated his concern that the church will grow like the Grange. He doesn’t want any traffic on the road. Chairman Casiello said that a cease and desist can be issued if the Special Use Permit is abused.
Anthony Duncan, 53 Orchard Drive, said that he purchased his home on Orchard Drive based on the zoning of the neighborhood. He is concerned about the traffic that would be created by the church. He is also concerned about who the church members are.
Michael Lyons, 22 Orchard Drive, opposes the Special Use Permit. He said the application is not appropriate. The neighborhood is very residential, and the church is in complete juxtaposition to this. He said that almost all of Orchard Drive is opposed to the application. He discussed the Levine Tract purchase. He asked the commission to consider an environmental impact review of the church.
Sharon Giannicchi, 69 Orchard Drive, asked Ms. Mygatt the size of the Theater and the seating capacity of the room. Ms. Mygatt stated that the Theater is a little smaller than the Town Hall Hearing Room. Ms. Giannicchi asked the commission how an expansion application would work. She stated that Mr. Mygatt is a builder and may want to lower his tax burden.
Jennifer Salkin, 63 Orchard Drive, stated that she is concerned about maintaining the freedom of movement that children on Orchard Drive currently have. She is concerned how the traffic would be monitored and regulated.
Steven Montano, 38 Glen Hill Road, stated that the easement moves through his property, and that his road is also a cul-de-sac.
Mary Pat Cieri, 35 Orchard Drive, said her home abuts the property. She discussed the history of the road and what it is like. Her concern is that there are strangers coming into the neighborhood. Ms. Cieri asked the commission if there is a way to regulate the traffic, strangers, and noise.
Rochelle Williston, 59 Orchard Drive, is concerned that a change in zoning would affect the traffic on Orchard Drive. She is concerned that this church would change the character of the neighborhood and the quality of life there.
Mindy Kannon, 26 Lee Lane, asked why Ms. Mygatt is asking for a Special Use Permit now. Ms. Mygatt said that an anonymous complaint motivated her to to apply for a Special Use Permit. Ms. Kannon stated her confusion about how this church operated for over a year without a Special Use Permit.
Jim Costenbader, 68 Orchard Drive, stated that his concern is the growth of the Church. He also stated his concern about compliance with the Special Use Permit if it is granted.
Clemens Taeuber, 55 Orchard Drive, stated that there are shared concerns concerning traffic and strangers. He said that the traffic flow should be limited.
Roger Van Ausdal, 21 Orchard Drive, stated his concern about traffic and growth of the church.
Tina Tennant, 49 Orchard Drive, is concerned that the residential neighborhood is going to change. She asked about the septic tank on the property and its ability to handle the volume of church members visiting the property. She also brought up the “No Trespassing” sign currently on the property.
Garson Kannon, 26 Lee Lane, asked Mr. and Mrs. Mygatt why the Special Use Permit was not applied for earlier.
Judy Kelly, 58 Orchard Drive, stated that she is concerned for the elderly population and their safety.
Michael Lyons, 22 Orchard Drive, said that the neighborhood did notice that something was going on.
Mary Pat Cieri, 35 Orchard Drive, said that there is construction and renting happening on the property.
Sharon Sniffen, 30 Orchard Drive, said that Mr. Mygatt’s white van did not belong in the neighborhood. She said that she purchased her home on Orchard Drive because she saw it as a place to raise a family. She said that the Mygatts are strangers who have not reached out to the neighborhood.
Rich Giannicchi, 69 Orchard Drive, asked if the commission considers if the church will serve the community, and how compliance would be ensured. Chairman Casiello said that the commission is independent of the application. He said that there is a zoning enforcement officer that will enforce the regulations. Mr. Giannicchi asked that the commission denies the application.
Tina Tennant, 49 Orchard Drive, asked about the zoning of churches. Chairman Casiello stated that the commission cannot write a regulation that prevents churches from being established in any zone. Ms. Tennant also asked about legal notices. The commission explained how legal notices are distributed.
John Ordigon, 28 Glen Hill Road, is opposed to the Special Use Permit.
Clemens Taeuber, 55 Orchard Drive, asked the applicants to consider withdrawing their Special Use Permit application and move their congregation to another location.
Chairman Casiello suggested to the Commission that public hearing should be kept open. He stated that the Commission has 60 days to complete the public hearing.
Mindy Kannon, 26 Lee Lane, asked the Commission if the church services can continue while the Special Use Permit is considered. Chairman Casiello said that the church cannot operate during this period.
Chairman Casiello read Doug Hartline’s statement concerning the septic tank on the property. It was designed for a two-bedroom home. However, the church services do not require any modifications to be made to the septic system.
Chairman Casiello addressed the 100 signature petition to deny the Special Use Permit.
Chairman Casiello read Mike D’Agostino’s letter in opposition to the Special Use Permit.
Chairman Casiello read Emmett Bassett’s Letter in opposition to the Special Use Permit.
Chariman Casiello read Raymond Richardi’s letter in opposition to the Special Use Permit.
Chairman Casiello read Russell Catalano’s letter in support of the Special Use Permit.
Ms. Atamian made a motion to continue the public hearing on Wednesday, 1/23/2019. Mr. Ogonek seconded the motion. The vote was unanimous, and the motion passed.
1. APPROVAL OF MINUTES: REGULAR MEETING MINUTES OF WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 12, 2018.
Mr. Ogonek made a motion to approve the minutes of the Wednesday, December 12, 2018 meeting. Mr. Lecher seconded the motion. The vote was unanimous, and the motion carried.
2. APPLICATION 18-22Z – 39 ORCHARD DRIVE (ASSESSOR’S MAP #37 & LOT #40) DEBORAH AND PETER MYGATT –
Request for a Special Use Permit, in accordance with Redding Regulations Sections 4.2.3 (b) and 5.1m to use an existing building to conduct church services. If public hearing is closed, for discussion/action.
Chairman Casiello discussed the regulations concerning churches.
Discussion on the Special Use Permit has been delayed.
4. FUTURE AGENDA ITEMS
No future agenda items were discussed.
There was no communication to be discussed
Ms. Atamian made a motion to adjourn the meeting. Mr. Ogonek seconded the motion. The vote was unanimous, and the motion passed.
The meeting was adjourned at 9:03PM.
Submitted by Zachary Smith.