July 13, 2020
Attending: Robert Garrigan, John Kincart, John Savoca, William LaScala, Rich Fon, Aaron Bock
Correspondence and announcements
Conduct of public hearings
In response to correspondence he received criticizing how public comments were handled at last month’s Atlantic Appliance public hearing, Mr. Fon said that the board was correct in how it handled the hearing but that a discussion was needed on how hearings should be conducted in the future. Mr. Bock said that balance was needed between the need for the board to move things along and the ability of the public to express their opinion. The board appeared to agree that there should be a five (5) minute time limit on the ability of the public to speak and that if a member of the public wanted to make additional comments, it should be in written form after the hearing was closed. Also, that if a speaker wanted to agree or disagree with the comments of a previous speaker, they shouldn’t repeat the comments but simply say that they agree or disagree with the previous comments. The board asked Mr. Tegeder to work with the board’s attorney to draft some guidelines that would be adopted by the board at a future meeting.
Mr. Fon repeated comments made at the previous meeting that it is not the board’s responsibility to suggest where applicants should locate their businesses.
Mr. Tegeder advised the board that the Town Board has proposed a revised Solar Law and that he would send them a redline version for their review. As the board would not be meeting againt until August, he suggested that the members email him their comments and that he would prepare a memo for the board. (Note: the Town Board public hearing on the law is scheduled for July21.)
1. 387 Granite Springs Road
(See Planning Board 6-22-2020.) Without any discussion, the board approved the subdivision plan and related permits.
2. Atlantic Appliance, Maple Hill Street
Prior to voting to approve the project, the board had the following discussion. On behalf of the applicant, Steve Marino said that at the request of the Planning Department he had submitted a letter summarizing the proposed tree and wetland mitigation plan; his letter, which identified how many new trees and shrubs were to be planted and in what locations, was read out loud and shared online. The letter also noted that the woodland was located on the fringe of a larger, more well preserved woodland.
Mr. Fon read out loud, and also displayed online, a written comment submitted by Linda Miller that questioned whether the board had taken the required “hard, professionally driven data look” at issues involving the woodlands that was needed in order to determine appropriate woodland mitigation measures. She also distinguished between the need for wetland mitigation and woodland mitigation. While Mr. Fon noted Ms. Miller’s expertise in the area, Mr. Kincart said he resented what he considered her “offensive” and “dismissive” comments, which he said accused the board of having bought in to Mr. Marino’s “snow job.” Several board members noted that wetlands and woodlands should be looked at together in an holistic approach, as opposed to being looked at separately, and they were satisfied with the proposed mitigation plan and the project of providing benefits to the town.
The board noted that while the plan covers two abutting parcels, the approval will be based on the two lots being combined. The board also agreed with Mr. Bock’s suggestion that the rear parcel abutting Greenwood Street be designated a conservation easement; in response to the suggestion, Mr. Riina contacted the applicant by phone and then advised the board that the applicant has no problem with the conservation easement designation.
With some minor edits to the text of the approval resolution, the board approved the site plan and all the related permits.
3. Taco Bell, Route 202/Public hearing
The applicant explained the project. There were no comments from the public. The only comments from the board dealt with the reopening of the second driveway to Route 202 that would be for right turns only. The applicant said that he has been in discussions with the DOT regarding the reopening and believes that the agency is likely to approve the reopening. Mr. Tegeder noted that even though the DOT’s general policy has been to limit new driveway cuts on Route 202, this driveway already existed and there is adequate sight distance for safe right turns. The Planning Department is still working with the applicant on the justification to reduce the required number of parking spaces based on anticipated needs for a fast food establishment.
The hearing was closed with a 10 day written comment period.
4. Nantucket Sound, 385 Kear Street
Mr. Riina explained that in response to comments from John Flynn at the Public Informational Hearing, the site plan has been revised to reflect an easement Caremount has from Kear St. The revised plan changes the parking, truck loading and dumpster location. To address the loss of two parking spaces, the revised plan adds one parking space on the Caremount site and repositions a second parking space. The applicant has also submitted an updated landscape and lighting plan.
Mr. Riina said he had responded to an earlier memo from the TCAC noting that 93 trees and 93 shrubs would be planted. He had not received a subsequent interim TCAC memo that the Planning Department received earlier that day that was based on a revised submission.
Mr. Tegeder questioned the on site relocated parking place and suggested that there be off line discussions related to possible changes in the Caremount easement. Mr. Fon suggested that Mr. Tegeder work off line with the TCAC on tree mitigation issues.
A public hearing will be held in August.
5. Crystal Court minor subdivision
(See Planning Board 5-18-2020.) Mr. Tegeder advised the board that the applicant has not yet provided information requested by the board. There was no further discussion of the application.
6. Con Edison Wetland and Stormwater permit/Town Board referral
The board had no issue with the application.
7. 2013 Crompond Road (Crompond Corners at outes 118/35/202)/ZBA referral for outdoor storage
The new tenant, a fencing contractor, wants to construct an outside storage area for equipment storage. It was noted that the tenant had already started constructing the storage area but was stopped by the Building Department. The board had no objections to the permit.