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Minutes of Zoning Commission, 01/22/2020

AGENDA: Zoning Commission

RECEIVED 01/23/2020 10:00am
Michele R. Grande – Redding Town Clerk

Redding Zoning Commission
Public Hearing & Regular Meeting Agenda
January 22, 2020 – 7:30 p.m.
Town Hall Hearing Room
100 Hill Road, Redding, Connecticut

Present: Matt Lecher, Chairman; Amy Atamian, Secretary; Commissioner Paul Scholl.

Also Present: Aimee Pardee, Zoning Officer; applicants.

Mr. Lecher called the meeting to order at 7:30 p.m.

PUBLIC HEARING:  Application #20 – 1Z – 115 Cross Highway (Assessor’s Map and Lot No. 22 – 81) : Jon and Jen Kerr (owners). Request for a Special Use Permit for an accessory apartment in accordance with Section 5.12 of the Redding Zoning Regulations. Received January 8, 2020: Public Hearing January 22, 2020.

Ms. Atamian read the call for the hearing. On the motion of Mr. Scholl and the second of Ms. Atamain, the Commission voted unanimously to accept the call and open the public hearing at 7:30 p.m.

The applicant was not present. The Commission reviewed the submitted materials and read into the record comments from both the Health Department and neighbors of the property. Ms. Pardee noted that the Planning Commission had given the application a positive referral. Hearing no further questions or comments, Ms. Atamian moved that the commission close the hearing. Mr. Scholl seconded the motion and it was carried unanimously, closing the hearing at 7:32 p.m.

REGULAR MEETING:
Mr. Lecher called the meeting to order at 7:32 p.m.

1.  Approval of Regular Meeting Minutes of January 8, 2020.

On the motion of Mr. Scholl, and the second of Ms. Atamian, the Commission voted unanimously to accept the minutes of the January 8, 2020 meeting as written.

2.  Application #20 – 1Z – 115 Cross Highway (Assessor’s Map and Lot No. 22 – 81): Jon and Jen Kerr (owners). Request for a Special Use Permit for an accessory apartment in accordance with Section 5.12 of the Redding Zoning Regulations. If public hearing is closed: for discussion/action.

After a brief discussion, Ms. Atamian moved that the Commission approve the application. Mr. Scholl seconded the motion and the Commission voted unanimously to approve application
#20 – 1Z.

3. Request by Neil Marcus, Esq., for discussion of interpretation of Zoning Regulations regarding ground mount solar arrays.

Attorney Marcus was not in attendance; the Chairman tabled discussion of this matter.

4. Application #20 – 2Z – 280 Ethan Allen Highway (Assessor’s Map and Lot No. 35 – 93): Arianit Krasniqi (owner). Request for Site Plan Approval, in accordance with Section 5.2, for demo of existing dwelling, construction of new commercial buildings, and expansion of parking area. For receipt and discussion.

The applicant, Mr. Krasniqi, spoke to the Commission. He explained that the submitted Site Plan for improvements to his property is the same as a plan that had been approved in 2006 but that he had not proceeded with the project at the time. He showed the Commission a map of existing conditions, which include a mixed use retail building with apartments, and two rental houses. He then displayed a map of his proposed use which calls for the removal of one of the houses, and the construction of a restaurant/banquet facility, construction of a separate warehouse building, and expanded parking. The Commission discussed the application: they reviewed the regulations and determined that, due to the request to construct new buildings and the expansion of developed area of the property, a public hearing was required by the Zoning Regulations.

On the motion of Ms. Atamian, and the second of Mr. Scholl, the Commission voted unanimously to accept the Site Plan Approval Application and set the date for the public hearing for February 26, 2020.

5.  Application #20 – 3Z – 65 Diamond Hill Road (Assessor’s Map and Lot No. 28 – 41): 65 Diamond Hill Road LLC (owner), Nazzaro Inc (Gene and Ross Nazzaro – Agents). Request for Special Permit for earth moving in excess of 300 cubic yards of material in accordance with Sections 5.1 and 5.5. For receipt and discussion.

The Commission reviewed the application and determined that a Special Permit application for earth moving requires a public hearing. On the motion of Ms. Atamian, and the second of Mr. Scholl, the Commission voted unanimously to accept the application and set the date for the public hearing for February 26, 2020.

Attorney Marcus arrived at the meeting so the Commission returned to:

3. Request by Neil Marcus, Esq., for discussion of interpretation of Zoning Regulations regarding ground mount solar arrays.

Attorney Marcus stated that he represents property owners on Sanfordtown Road whose application for construction of a ground mounted solar array had prompted Ms. Pardee to, in December of 2019, ask the Commission for an interpretation as to how, or if, the Zoning Regulations addressed them as an residential accessory use.

Mr. Marcus spoke regarding regulations in Bethel that address ground mounted solar arrays; he suggested that Redding’s regulations may already address them. He reviewed the definition of “structure” in the regulations, then reviewed Section 4.2.2 l. He read the minutes of the December meeting of the Commission, then disputed the Commission’s interpretation of the regulations based upon the reference to utility structures in the regulation’s definition of structures. He also noted that roof mounted solar arrays have been allowed. He discussed the approval of a ground mounted array at New Pond Farm via Special Permit and questioned that approval; he followed by suggesting that the New Pond Farm approval supports such installations throughout town.

Mr. Marcus requested that the Commission reconsider their decision of December, re-vote, and thereby allow the Zoning Officer to issue a permit to his clients. He noted that his clients keep their property in excellent condition and suggested that the solar array would not be particularly visible, but that his client would consider screening at ground level if that was requested. He asked the Commission to consider that Redding had adopted a policy of “solarize Redding” several years ago and asked the Commission to consider the future of solar power generation. He stated that he, working with his client, could consider drafting new regulations, appealing the Commission’s decision, or appealing the Zoning Officer’s decision but that he would prefer that the Commission reconsider their position.

Ms. Atamian stated that the Commission, in their December discussion, had been open to consideration of new regulations. Mr. Marcus replied that new regulations could be added to the outdated section of the regulations that address satellite dish antennas but that language about screening would need to be clear about what they would be screened from, noting that a case in Ridgefield was raised by a neighbor who complained about seeing the array from a second floor window.

Mr. Lecher thanked Mr. Marcus for his presentation and stated that the Commission would take the issue under advisement.

6.  Discussion.

There was no discussion under this agenda item.

7.  Future Agenda Items

Ms. Pardee noted the two scheduled public hearings on February 26, 2020.

8.  Communication

There was no discussion under this agenda item.

9.  Adjournment

On the motion of Ms. Atamian, and the second of Mr. Scholl, the Commission voted unanimously to adjourn the meeting at 8:15 p.m.

Submitted by:  Aimee Pardee

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