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THESE MINUTES ARE PRESENTED IN DRAFT FORM AND HAVE NOT

BEEN FORMALLY APPROVED BY THE ENFIELD PLANNING AND

ZONING COMMISSION.  OFFICIAL COPIES OF MINUTES, WHEN APPROVED,

CAN BE OBTAINED FROM THE TOWN CLERK OR PLANNING OFFICE.

 

ENFIELD PLANNING AND ZONING COMMISSION

MINUTES OF A REGULAR MEETING

DECEMBER 1, 2011

 

A Regular Meeting of the Enfield Planning and Zoning Commission was held on Thursday, December 1, 2011 in the Council Chambers, Enfield Town Hall, 820 Enfield Street, Enfield, Connecticut.  Chairman Duren called the meeting to order at 7:10 p.m.  The Pledge of Allegiance was recited earlier.

PRESENT: Chairman Charles Duren and Commissioners Kathleen Sarno, Lori Longhi, Nicles Lefakis, Charles Ladd, Jr., Elizabeth Ballard, Ronald Gregory, Sr., and Alan Drinan.         

ABSENT:  Commissioner Peter Falk

ALSO PRESENT:  José Giner, AICP, Director of Planning, and Kathleen DeGray, Recording Secretary.

Commissioner Gregory is sitting in for the absent Commissioner Falk.       

FIRE EVACUATION ANNOUNCEMENT

Chairman Duren read the fire evacuation announcement at the Aquifer Protection Meeting immediately preceding this meeting.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES

November 17, 2011 Regular Meeting – Commissioner Ballard made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Sarno, to approve the minutes of November 17, 2011 as corrected.

Corrections are as follows:  Page 1, third paragraph, change absent Commissioner Ballard to absent Commissioner Longhi; Page 2, paragraph 6, line 5, change the to to; Page 6, paragraph 2, change Commissioner Drinan to Chairman Duren; Page 16, paragraph 3.02, this paragraph should read as follows: Tenant shall occupy leased premises and conduct the business as stated and described in Paragraph 3.01 of the lease.  Tenant will not use or permit or suffer the use of the leased premises for any other business purpose.  Page 17, last paragraph, line 5, this physician’s for should be changed to this physician’s letter for; Page 18, paragraph 2, line 2, change business to businesses; Page 20, paragraph 3, last line, add that Mr. Bolduc discussed putting up a new coffee shop on his Connecticut property once the existing structure was taken down.

Commissioner Longhi mentioned that she was absent from the November 17th meeting and that nowhere in the minutes was Commissioner Gregory’s presence or absence noted.  An “ABSENT” section will be added to all future minutes.

The motion was carried with a 7–0–0 vote. 

STAFF COMMENTS

a.           Town Attorney (In Writing)

Chairman Duren mentioned the addition of a new appeal, Guerriero v. ZBA, and asked Mr. Giner where this location was.  Mr. Giner said it was on O’Hear Avenue and that there was a history predating his tenure as Director of Planning.  Chairman Duren stated that this was a ZBA matter, not one of PZC’s.

Chairman Duren asked if there were any questions for the Town Attorney through Mr. Giner.  There were none.

b.           Zoning Enforcement Officer (In Writing)

Chairman Duren referenced the ZEO’s report and asked if anyone had any questions for the ZEO through Mr. Giner.

Commissioner Longhi asked about 139 Hazard Avenue, the violation regarding the clothing bin on this property.  Chairman Duren said that there was correspondence about this matter and that it would be discussed during the CORRESPONDENCE portion of the meeting.

c.            Property Maintenance (In Writing)

There was no Property Maintenance report available for tonight’s meeting.

Chairman Duren asked Mr. Giner why the Commission did not receive a Property Maintenance report.  Mr. Giner explained that it was a short week and as a result the Commissioners’ packets went out early.  Ms. Huhtanen, due to her part-time schedule and the holiday, was not able to prepare a Property Maintenance report in time.

Commissioner Ladd said that he had another site that he would like Property Management to re-inspect.  He referenced an inspection that was done on School Street.  The number on the front is 5, but he does not think that is the right number for the house.  This location used to be Bridge Insurance.  The bank that has the property now has not touched the trees and it is littered.

Mr. Giner asked what is there on the property now.  Commissioner Ladd said that this is an abandoned property that the bank has.  Chairman Duren asked if this is the big yellow house.  Commissioner Ladd said it is the second one up on the left, he isn’t sure if it is yellow.  He said that the yard is littered with tree litter and that it hasn’t been touched.

Mr. Giner confirmed that it was the second house on the left coming up from Hazard Avenue, so he can provide Ms. Huhtanen with the correct address. Commissioner Ladd stated that Ms. Huhtanen knows where it is because she has already been there a couple times before.

d.           Director of Planning

Mr. Giner said that the Commissioners should have received in their packets a printed copy of the Plan of Conservation Development.  Chairman Duren asked if the Council received a copy.  Mr. Giner said that the Council has been given a set.  He stated that there were approximately 150 copies printed and they just came in.  He said he would be sure that whoever needs a set would receive one.

Chairman Duren said that Zoning Board of Appeals should have a set.  Mr. Giner also mentioned a set for the Conservation Commission and any land use boards.  He said that he would talk to Mr. Bryanton to see how many sets are needed for Community Development.

Chairman Duren commented that Community Development is a large group. Mr. Giner explained that there are not enough copies to give a set to everybody. He said he would work on an executive summary that contains the goals section with the matrix that can be more widely distributed.

Mr. Giner said the chairs of the other boards should each get a set, and he also pointed out that the plan is available both in the public library and on the Town of Enfield web page.  He stated that this is a very large document and it was very expensive to reproduce in color; that is why the number of copies produced was limited to 150.

Mr. Giner next discussed work that has been completed on the building at 29 Weymouth Road.  He said that this just happened this week and that is why it was not updated on the Town Attorney’s report.  He said that the building has been lowered substantially and yesterday a letter was produced signed by a surveyor stating that they had come into compliance on the height.  Mr. Giner said the height now is 11.83 feet, with 12 feet being the maximum.  Chairman Duren commented that this made quite a difference.  Mr. Giner agreed that visually there was a significant difference.

Mr. Giner said that this matter was supposed to go to court on Tuesday, but that a continuance will be requested because of the work that has been completed.  He said that the Building Department was still looking at everything just to be sure that all Building Code issues have been addressed.  Mr. Giner stated that once this was completed, this would finally be in compliance with the regulations and could be closed out.

Chairman Duren said that this involved Zoning Board of Appeals too.  Mr. Giner explained the history, stating it was a Zoning Enforcement case that was appealed to the ZBA.  The ZBA upheld the ZEO’s decision and order.  This was then appealed to the courts, and the courts sided with the Town.  The Town then brought action to have the ZEO’s order enforced. 

Mr. Giner next referenced a conversation he had today with Kevin Dineen, Town Attorne, that he would discuss in more detail under OTHER BUSINESS.

Mr. Giner went on to reference the November 28, 2011 letter from Kathy Barron, Executive Director of The Network Against Domestic Abuse.  It was decided that this would be discussed under CORRESPONDENCE.

Mr. Giner talked about the recent storm and the trees that were damaged in buffer areas.  He said that he has been asked to take a look at the damage.  He stated that this is a very sensitive subject on Pheasant Hill Drive.  He said that up against Meadow, some of the trees have either been damaged or are overgrown, and the concern is that if there is another storm, some of these trees could come down on area houses.

Mr. Giner said that he is going to go out and look at the area and use his judgment as to what action needs to be taken.  He referenced an opinion from the Town Attorney that states that anything in the buffer area that is damaged or in need of maintenance is the Town’s responsibility.  Mr. Giner said that it is possible that some of the trees can be trimmed back and saved, and he will know more once he looks at the area and talks with the homeowners.

Chairman Duren said that in this area it is not individual owners but rather a condo association.  Mr. Giner said that it is a condo association where the owners have their own agreements between themselves and the condo association where there are exclusive use areas.  In exclusive use areas, the owner, not the association, is responsible for maintaining the area.  Mr. Giner said he was not an attorney and was not going to attempt to get into the legality issues regarding who was responsible for the maintenance of which areas.  He stated at this time he is responding to individual homeowners that have been calling him regarding maintaining and/or replacing damaged trees.

Chairman Duren stated that this should not be Mr. Giner’s responsibility, but rather that of the condo association.  Commissioner Sarno said that it would be the Town’s responsibility in the buffer zone. 

Mr. Giner said it depends on where the trees are.  He said there are some areas that are exclusively common interest areas and others that are exclusive use areas for individual owners.  He said he was going to take each call individually and go out and look at the area.  He said he would take pictures and keep the Commission informed on the status.

Mr. Giner next said that he has been working on the Solar Regulations.  He said he has not been able to get too much from the State of Connecticut because this technology is so new to the state and there is not a lot of experience.  He said that Massachusetts does have a model regulation and that a lot of towns have been adopting it.  He also has regulations from other states around the country and is using all of this information to compile draft regulations for the Commission to review.  He hopes to have something ready for the Commission at the next meeting.

Chairman Duren asked Mr. Giner if he has written a paragraph to insert into the regulations regarding new and/or significantly renovated gasoline stations being required to have generators.  Mr. Giner said that he is doing this in conjunction with the solar power regulations.

Chairman Duren asked if he could also include information from Commissioner Drinan’s email correspondence regarding sign regulation revisions designed to correct typos and provide clarification.  Chairman Duren stated that any proposed regulation changes or the addition of new regulations had to be advertised to the public, and he would like to cover them all at once.

Commissioner Drinan said that he believed the proposed changes to the sign regulations were ready, but that he and Commissioners Longhi and Falk may want to look at them one more time before they are submitted.  Chairman Duren asked Commissioner Drinan to get this information to Mr. Giner so that it can be included in the advertisement for the other proposed changes (solar regulations and the generators for gas stations).  The plan is to have all changes advertised and ready for discussion at the January 19, 2012 PZC meeting.  Commissioner Drinan asked that anything highlighted in yellow within his email correspondence be disregarded.

Mr. Giner said he would send a draft of the gas station generator regulations, the solar regulations and the sign regulation changes around for the Commissioners to look at before the January 19th meeting.

Commissioner Lefakis asked if there was going to be any follow up regarding the trees and shrubbery that was lost in various parking lost during Storm Albert.  He said that this landscaping was part of the original approvals and wondered if it was going to be replaced.  Mr. Giner said that this was a tough one because there are so many and it would be difficult to find the time to go out and inspect every single one. 

Chairman Duren mentioned the beautiful Bartlett pear trees up by the state line that were destroyed.  He also mentioned that the red berry trees that were planted in Hazardville by the Beautification Committee were significantly damaged.  Mr. Giner said that if any of the Commissioners sees anything specific to bring it to his attention and he will make sure it gets looked at.  He also said that some of the trees are bent and broken and whether or not they will survive and come back next year cannot be determined until the spring.

Mr. Giner said that the Town is being more aggressive about what they trim and don’t put back up around power lines.  He remembered an issue when there was a big human cry when CL&P went down Hazard Avenue and cut a bunch of big trees.  Everybody was upset and stopped them from doing so.  Now after the last storm, people are having a change of heart on some of those issues as to trees near the power lines.

Commissioner Ladd said that the red berry trees that Chairman Duren was talking about are the ones that CL&P paid for and they are all lower than the power lines, but they are still broken.  Mr. Giner said that those are the trees that CL&P agreed to replace after the issue discussed above regarding the trees they cut down. Chairman Ladd said that they had planted about 80 trees around town and that a good portion of those is broken.  He said his isn’t sure whose responsibility it is to replace them.  Mr. Giner said it might be the state’s jurisdiction, but that he would find out. 

Mr. Giner said that there would be a lot of similar issues.  He said that when he is going out to do landscaping inspections it will be somewhat of a double- edged sword.  People who are ready to have their landscaping inspections done would have been fine a month or two ago, but now after the storm, there are issues.  He said that in any case, there is a prior precedent.  He referenced the Pheasant Hill file and the legal opinions that went back and forth.  Mr. Giner said he remembers the Town Attorney saying that if there is something that is shown on the plan as being part of a buffer or landscape plan, there is an obligation to maintain that and to replace trees if they somehow become damaged.  Mr. Giner said he was going to try to get out there on a case-by-case basis and make the proper judgment as to whether things need to be replaced. 

Chairman Duren asked Mr. Giner if there was any word on the Eli Lilly towers.  Mr. Giner said that he did talk to Mr. Warren again and Mr. Warren will be getting together with Eli Lilly to come up with a plan to resolve this issue.

Chairman Duren next brought up the World War II monument and the issue of adding a flagpole.  He mentioned that this item was not on tonight’s agenda.  Mr. Giner said that he thought there was some misunderstanding/misspeaking at the last meeting.  He explained that the PZC approved the monument.  Flagpoles themselves are not defined as structures in the regulations and they don’t require permits.  He went on to say that the flagpole is already there and has been for some time.  The monument itself is not really changing.

He explained that the committee asked the Building Official and Mr. Giner for an opinion back in the spring as to whether any additional permits were needed to add a flagpole to the existing monument.  Both Mr. Giner and the Building Official said that flagpoles were not structures under the regulations and that the regulations specifically exclude them under the definition of structures if they are American flagpoles. 

PUBLIC PARTICIPATION

Chairman Duren opened the floor for public participation.  There was no one present who wanted to address the Commission.

CORRESPONDENCE

Chairman Duren referenced the following correspondence that was provided to the Commission: 

A letter from NADA (Network Against Domestic Abuse) dated November 28, 2011, regarding a special permit to keep a clothing bin on the premises at 139 Hazard Avenue.  The letter is a response to Notice of Violation #166 order sent to NADA by Virginia Higley, Zoning Enforcement Officer, on the same date.  Chairman Duren said that this was the second notice that has gone out to NADA regarding this violation.

In the letter, Kathleen Barron, Executive Director of NADA, states she met with Matt Coppler, Town Manager, and Jose Giner, Director of Planning, asking for a special zoning permit to allow NADA to keep its clothing bin.  Chairman Duren said that Mr. Giner explained the bin is used to collect clothing which is then sold to obtain money to help fund NADA’s program. 

Mr. Giner clarified that the clothing is not sold.  What they do is they allow another non-profit agency to put the clothing bin on the property and they get a $75.00 per month payment from that agency.  The money from this monthly payment goes toward funding NADA’s programs. 

Mr. Giner further explained that during the meeting referenced in the letter, he and the Town Manager explained the history of clothing bins and that the Commission had ruled that they were not allowed under the current regulations.  Ms. Barron asked if there was any way to change this, and Mr. Giner suggested that she contact the Commission to see if they were amenable to changing the regulations to allow this bin under very limited circumstances. 

He said that discussion was that this particular bin and others like it in town are on private property and are not really visible from a public road.  The hope was that the Commission would consider under those very limited circumstances allowing bins that weren’t visible from any public road if the property owners didn’t mind. 

Commissioner Longhi stated that her opinion would be no.  She went on to say that the regulations say that they are not allowed and that the Commission makes everyone else, non-profits included, get rid of them.  So how does the Commission then say that it is okay for certain non-profits as long as they are hidden, but not for others.  Commissioner Longhi said that if they want to have a clothing bin they could put it inside their own garage, open the garage during the day and then shut it at night.  She said that this would not be in the Commission’s basic purview because it would be inside their building.  When the bins are outside, they are unsightly.  She said that they pop up on occasion, and when they do, the Commission requires everyone to get rid of them.  She said that non-profit or not, it just isn’t right.

Mr. Giner said he explained to Ms. Barron that the Commission regulates the use, not the user.  He told her that a regulation could not be written that would specifically allow one category of people, non-profits, to do something that was not allowed for the general public or any commercial entity.  He said that what Ms. Barron wanted was for them to be allowed for anybody as long as they were not visible and as long as the property owner was agreeable. 

Mr. Giner said the he explained to Ms. Barron that the Commission has been asked previously for this consideration and that they have said no, but she still wanted an opportunity to come in and discuss it with the hope of having the Commission allow this type of use.

Commissioner Ladd said he thought this particular property was condos and in that case wouldn’t the area where the bins were be condo property, not Ms. Barron’s?  Mr. Giner said that regardless it was privately owned and that the owner was allowing her to have the bin there. 

Chairman Duren said that even if it is private property, even if the property owner is to put up a shed or something, he would still have to come in for approval because it would be a structure.  Mr. Giner said that yes, they would have to come in, and Ms. Barron would like the regulations changed to allow that to happen. 

Commissioner Longhi said that if the bin is inside a building, for example if the property owner wanted to put a Kloter Farms shed there, and put the bin inside it and open the doors during the day and shut them at night, the Commission couldn’t regulate that because the bin would be inside a building.  She again said that if bins are outside, the Commission has historically found them to be unsightly and has not allowed them. 

Chairman Duren stated that if you allow one and make an exception, then who else do you have to allow this for. 

Commission Drinan said that his other concern is that in this case where we are talking about allowing a non-conforming structure on private property because a non-profit is sponsoring it.  He said that this would open up the door to any private property owner putting up any non-conforming structure on their property and justifying it because it was allowed for this non-profit agency. 

Mr. Giner said it would depend on how the regulation was written and that certainly that could happen.  He gave a hypothetical example of someone wanting to put clothing bins on State Line Plaza property.  He said if that if they hid the bins behind the buildings, they would not be visible and would therefore be allowed if the regulations were changed.  He also said that this was suggested in the past, and people placing these bins want them to be visible to traffic.  Because of this, it is not likely that applications of this nature would be brought before the Commission.

Chairman Duren stated that NADA was getting traffic from the health club.  Mr. Giner said that they are getting traffic because it is a private condominium development and people coming to the health club would make donations to the clothing bin.

Chairman Duren said that to him it is almost like saying it is all right to break the law, as long as you don’t get caught.  Mr. Giner said that they are not asking to break the law.  He said they are asking to change the law so that they don’t have to break it.  He went on to say that they are asking for an opinion – would the Commission would be amenable to changing the regulations.

The Commission was unanimous in stating that no, it was not amenable to making these changes.

Chairman Duren next referenced correspondence from Capitol Region Council of Governments (CROG) regarding actions of other towns and the minutes from the November 15th meeting of the Inland Wetlands and Watercourses Agency.

COMMISSIONERS’ CORRESPONDENCE

There was no Commissioners’ correspondence.

BOND RELEASES

a.      PH #2678 – Request for release of $14,526.05 Engineering Bond for site work related to expansion of the Twin Rinks skating facility located at One Prior Road, Map 68, Lot 92, The Hillbrecht Group, owners.

Commissioner Longhi referenced a memo from John Cabibbo.  Chairman Duren said this was an email, dated November 16th, that went back and forth between Mr. Cabibbo and Barbra Galovich stating that everything was okay and that all problems with the subject sidewalk had been corrected to Mr. Cabibbo’s satisfaction.  He recommends the release of the subject site bond. Commissioner Longhi made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Ladd, to release PH #2678 – Request for release of $14,526.05 Engineering Bond for site work related to expansion of the Twin Rinks skating facility located at One Prior Road, Map 68, Lot 92, The Hillbrecht Group, owners, as recommended by John Cabibbo, Assistant Town Engineer, in his November 16, 2011, E-mail to Barbara Galovich and Mr. Jose Giner, Director of Planning.

The motion was carried with a 7-0-0 vote.

PUBLIC HEARINGS – NEW

a.   PH #2731 – Special Use Permit for a Place of Worship to be located at 195 North Maple Street in a Residential-33 District, Map 81, Lot 42; Sean Pagram, applicant/owner.

Chairman Duren asked Vice Chairperson Sarno to read the legal notice and take the roll.

Present:  Chairman Duren and Commissioners Ballard, Sarno, Longhi, Lefakis, Ladd, Gregory, and Drinan.

Absent:  Commissioner Falk.

Chairman Gregory is sitting in for absent Commissioner Falk.

Chairman Duren opened PH #2731.

Chairman Duren asked the applicant to come forward and make their presentation.

Chairman Duren asked Mr. Giner if we had the IRS.  Mr. Giner said that we did not have anything in the file; he did not get anything back.  He said that hopefully the applicants would be able to address this.  He said he did not have any further correspondence since his November 23rd memo. 

Vice Chairperson Sarno read the legal notice.

Bishop Martin, Bishop for the Catholic Charismatic Church, and Father Bill Bradley for the Catholic Charismatic Church were present for the applicant.

Bishop Martin stated that Mr. Pagram was not present and that he did not know where he was.  Chairman Duren said that Mr. Pagram had given his permission for Bishop Martin to make the presentation for him and had signed a paper stating so.

Bishop Martin said that he had looked at the paperwork regarding this application and is wondering what some of these things represent.  He said that some of the things described do not look anything like what they have in mind.  He said what he reviewed made it look like there was an enormous congregation coming, and they only have 10-15 people.  He also said that part of it looks like they are building a spa.  He stated that this was a small chapel where he and the Archbishop live.  He said that Father Bradley comes in from time to time with his family and that some neighbors come by from time to time, but it is not a great big thing.  Bishop Martin said there were several codes that he did not understand and that he was confused by a lot of this.

Chairman Duren said he thought the first problem was with fire codes, which the Commission does not enforce.  That is up to the fire departments, state and local.  He also referenced the Public Health Department, which has codes for places of assembly. 

Mr. Giner said that he thought what Bishop Martin was referring to was Exhibit 10, which are the Building Code issues.  He said that these really need to be discussed with the Building Department.  He asked Bishop Martin if he had had a chance to do this yet. 

Bishop Martin said that he had just received the relative correspondence two days ago.  He referenced medical issues that prevented him from taking care of this sooner.  He said he just started to read this information late this afternoon and it made him question what it is that is being proposed.  He said this is all very confusing to him.

Mr. Giner said that he did not know who the Building Department had sent this correspondence to.  He said it was done back on October 17th and he asked if it was sent to Reverend Walzer.  Bishop Martin said that Reverend Walzer had received the correspondence.  He explained that Reverend Walzer was in the hospital and has had some back issues that have left him partially paralyzed and that Bishop Martin has had to take over for him.

Chairman Duren said that the Commission needs an IRS Certification to be on file.  He said he did not know if the applicant has that or not, but it does need to be on file.  Chairman Duren went on to say that the hand drawings are a problem.  They aren’t to scale, which prevents the Commission from scaling out anything.  In particular, Chairman Duren referenced the parking arrangement and said that the fire department will not accept it.  He also said that based on some of the written information that some of the parking is going to be on grass, which is not allowed unless it is on pavers on grass.  In any case, it is too difficult to tell because the plans are not to scale.

Chairman Duren said that what we are up against in this case is an incomplete application in his opinion, and he wasn’t sure how the other Commissioners felt about it.

Commissioner Longhi said she agreed about the drawings.  Nothing is to scale and she can’t figure out where things are because nothing is drawn with measurements on them.  All it says is 22 feet with an arrow, 24 feet with arrows.  The description of the building and specific measurements are needed.  Chairman Duren agreed stating that the Commission could not tell much from the submitted drawings.

Bishop Martin said he had never seen the submitted drawings.  Mr. Giner stated that they were submitted by Reverend Walzer as part of the file submitted with the application.  Bishop Martin again stated that he had never seen them. 

Mr. Giner said that he did not know when the Reverend went into the hospital, and Bishop Martin said it was around Halloween.  Bishop Martin went on to describe the issues Reverend Walzer had regarding his back and the treatment that he received.  Bishop Martin said that the Reverend would remain in special care until he is able to walk again.

Mr. Giner said that unfortunately Reverend Walzer was the only contact point that was available, as he put himself as the contact person on the application and provided his email.  Mr. Giner explained that normally an administrative meeting is held (called an ART) where staff members from all involved departments get together with the applicant to explain what all the codes are and what needs to be done to be in compliance.  Mr. Giner sent a notice of this meeting to the email address on the application, and no response from the applicant was received.

Chairman Duren said that another problem facing the applicant is with the Health Department.  He asked the applicant if the premises is serviced with a well.  Bishop Martin said that the samples of the water are in the environmental tech lab being tested.  He thought that a report of the results would be available tomorrow.

Chairman Duren summarized by saying that the applicant has problems with the Fire Department, the Health Department, the Building Department, and the Engineering Department.  He further said the Commission also has a problem with the submitted hand-drawn plans and that the Commission cannot work with them. 

Commissioner Ladd suggested that the applicant ask for an extension to allow time to get everything together and provide a complete application.  Chairman Duren said that that is what he was getting at, especially due to all of the health issues experienced by the applicants.

Chairman Duren asked Mr. Giner if there was time to keep the hearing open or if an immediate extension is necessary.  Mr. Giner explained that the hearing could be kept open for another two weeks without the need for an extension, but that it would have to be on the agenda for the January 5th PZC meeting, which is normally organizational only.  Chairman Duren said that hearings have been scheduled during organizational-only meetings before and could be again if necessary.  None of the Commissioners had a problem with continuing this hearing to the January 5th meeting.

Chairman Duren said that the Commission would hear more on this application at the January 5th PZC meeting, after elections and other organizational matters were completed.

Bishop Martin asked if he could please have an extension beyond January 5th.  Chairman Duren said that would be possible at the applicant’s request.  Mr. Giner said that the applicant could sign a sheet tonight requesting the extension.  Chairman Duren said that this would be better for both the applicant and the Commission.

Commissioner Drinan asked the applicant how much of an extension he would like to have.  Bishop Martin said he did not know and would have to find out when they could be ready.  Chairman Duren said we do not need a specific date tonight; the hearing can be put on the January 5th agenda, and between now and then the applicant can formally file for the extension.

Chairman Duren explained the importance of either being ready to go forward on January 5th or formally requesting an extension on the 5th or beforehand.  He told the applicant that if that didn’t happen, the Commission would have no choice but to close the hearing.

Mr. Giner said he would give Bishop Martin the form for an extension tonight and then he can get it filled out, signed and returned on or before January 5th.

At this time, Chairman opened Public Hearing #2731 to the public and asked if there was anyone present who wanted to speak for or against this matter.  

Melanie Kulpeksa, 200 North Maple Street, came forward to address the Commission. 

Ms. Kulpeksa read a prepared statement into the record.

Ms. Kulpeksa said that after reviewing the application for this project, she had many concerns regarding safety, zoning, and changing the tenor of a residential neighborhood. 

Regarding parking and safety, Ms. Kulpeksa stated that if people used the existing paved areas as suggested in the application, there would be no room for emergency vehicles when needed, especially in the winter months.  Ms. Kulpeksa pointed that the fire marshal noted the same concern in his report.

Ms. Kulpeksa said that the applicant states the need for only 7 parking spaces to accommodate 18 people plus staff.  She finds it unrealistic to assume that all people attending services or meetings will car pool, and this leaves open the real possibility for even more vehicles to be parked on the lot at any given time, violating Zoning Regulations. 

Ms. Kulpeksa is concerned that the existing paved area would have to be expanded to accommodate necessary parking and once the pavement is there it is a permanent fixture and she does not feel it would be an attractive addition to the residential neighborhood.

She went on to say that both driveways from this property exit on to very busy roads and this additional in and out traffic could pose a safety concern.  Also, as these exits are on to state roads, will there be a need for additional approval or hearings on this matter?

Ms. Kulpeksa moved on to Zoning and other issues.  Ms. Kulpeksa stated that according to the file she reviewed, the submitted plans do not comply with current requirements, and the Building and Engineering Departments have many questions about this project as well. 

She said that if this change in use were granted, it would be for the property, not just for the current resident.  There is no way to predict who will own or rent this property in the future.  As such, any changes should be carefully considered.

Ms. Kulpeksa again referenced the file, saying that that town staff continually attempted to contact the applicant via email and telephone with no response.  She said that to her, this lack of response does not bode well regarding the level of cooperation that the town or residents can be expect from this applicant regarding any future questions or concerns.

She went on to say that the applicant’s own narrative indicates times for Mass, Bible Study, and Rosary meetings, each with the indication that if needed, additional services or meetings will be added to accommodate increased interest.  This leaves the door wide open for as many meetings and services on as many evenings as they deem necessary.  Ms. Kulpeksa said that she definitely has a big concern about this in a residential neighborhood, considering the lighting, noise, and increased traffic that this could create.

Ms. Kulpeksa asked that the Commission think very carefully about their decision before they grant any of the requests in this application.

Ms. Kulpeksa thanked the Commission for their time.

Thomas Brocuglio, 202 North Maple Street, came forward to address the Commission.

Mr. Brocuglio said that he agreed with many of Ms. Kulpeksa’s concerns.  He said regarding traffic and safety, that this is a very busy intersection.  He said he bought his house 26 years ago, and before there was a traffic light installed, there was an accident there almost daily.  He said even with the traffic light there are still accidents.

Mr. Brocuglio said that his concern is that after masses or meetings, all the cars coming and going, as well as vehicles parking on the street, is going to cause even more accidents in this area.  He said that this and the hindrance to emergency vehicles are his primary concerns.

Mr. Brocuglio thanked the Commission for its time.

Chairman Duren asked if anyone else would like to come forward and address the commission.

No one else from the audience came forward.

Commissioner Ladd made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Lefakis, to continue PH #2731 - Special Use Permit for a Place of Worship to be located at 195 North Maple Street in a Residential-33 District, Map 81, Lot 42; Sean Pagram, applicant/owner, until the January 5, 2011 PZC meeting.

Chairman Duren asked Mr. Giner to send a memo to the applicant stating that if he is not going to be prepared on the 5th, he needs to get the letter in requesting an extension. 

The motion was carried with a 7-0-0 vote.

b.   PH #2732 – Special Use Permit for a Class 1 Restaurant Liquor Permit for a proposed new restaurant at the former Friendly’s restaurant located at 89 Enfield Street in a Business Local District within the Enfield Street Design Overlay, Map 35, Lot 218, Louis Masaschi, applicant, Robert and Sylvia Nuger Family, LLC, owner.

Chairman Duren asked Vice Chairperson Sarno to read the legal notice and take the roll.

Present:  Chairman Duren and Commissioners Ballard, Sarno, Longhi, Lefakis, Ladd, Gregory, and Drinan.

Absent:  Commissioner Falk.

Commissioner Gregory is sitting in for absent Commissioner Falk.

Vice Chairperson Sarno read the legal notice.

Chairman Duren opened PH #2732.

Chairman Duren invited the applicant to come forward and present their application to the Commission.

Louis Masaschi, 166 Hillcrest Avenue, Longmeadow, MA came forward to address the Commission.

Mr. Giner stated for the record and the audience that the application is for a restaurant liquor permit; the restaurant use does not require approval, as it is already a restaurant and there is no proposed change in use. 

Mr. Masaschi explained that he is planning to open up a family restaurant at the former Friendly’s location on Enfield Street.  He passed out to the Commissioners a folder with some of his marketing ideas and his proposed menu. 

Mr. Masaschi said that he has gone back and forth on the name and that it has changed many times.  The name decided on is Backyard Grill. 

Mr. Masaschi said that his goal is to purchase this property, pending various approvals.  He intends to open a family-type bar and grill.  He intends to paint the outside of the building and re-seal and re-stripe the parking lot.  In general he plans to clean up the property.

He said the majority of the work would be inside, where he plans to do cosmetic work, add a bar, and give the building a whole new look inside.  He wants to get rid of the Friendly’s look and give it a family tavern dining atmosphere. 

Commissioner Sarno asked if he would be keeping the same square footage.  Mr. Masaschi said yes, that there would be no structural changes to the outside; all of the changes would be on the inside of the existing structure.

Commissioner Drinan asked if there would be any changes to the outside other than painting, such as changes to the roofline or other structural changes.  Mr. Masaschi said that there would be no structural changes, just the painting, re-striping the parking lot, and fixing some of the existing poles that are currently leaning over.

Mr. Masaschi brought paint samples with him to show the Commission.  Mr. Giner said that this wasn’t necessary, as the Commission is only being asked to approve the liquor permit.  Chairman Duren said that if he is changing the color of the building, this property is in the Design Overlay District, and the Commission would want to know what the change in color would be.  Chairman Duren also said that this property was a gateway, and the color is important.

Mr. Masaschi explained that the soffits will be painted a dark reddish color, the trim will be antique beige, and the now white bricks will be painted a light golden brown.  He showed samples of the colors to the Commission.

Chairman Duren again emphasized that this is a gateway and that you don’t want some wild color like bright purple. 

Mr. Masaschi said it was important to him to have a nice looking property that fit in with area, as this is an investment for him.

Commissioner Ballard asked what the definition of a Class One Liquor License is.  Mr. Giner said that it is defined as a restaurant permit for the sale of beer, wine, and liquor during restaurant hours and only when food is still being served.  It is not a tavern permit that allows the serving of alcohol after food is done being served. 

Commissioner Ladd asked what the distance requirement was from other similar establishments.  Mr. Giner said that with a Class One permit, there were no distance requirements.  You can have another restaurant right next door that serves liquor.  The only distance requirement is from a protected land use, such as public schools, playgrounds, churches, or buildings used as places of worship.  Mr. Giner said that he does not believe that any of these exist within the regulated distances.

Chairman Duren said that he thought the application was for a sports bar based on the drawings that were submitted.  Mr. Masaschi explained that his plans have changed and that the actual bar is going to be a lot smaller.  He said that they have gone through a lot of different things that they want to do.  He said if you see the plans now, the bar is going to be much smaller and there will be more seating.  He said that the plans the Commission has now were preliminary plans that were put together as part of the purchase and sale agreement.  He has since gotten a designer involved and his plans have changed considerably.

Commissioner Longhi asked Mr. Masaschi what his hours of operation would be.  He said that his plan is to serve lunch and dinner and that he will most likely start at 11:30 for lunch and server dinner up until 11:00 or 12:00 at night. 

Mr. Giner said that normally in an application for a liquor permit the specific hour of operation must be stated.  Mr. Masaschi originally said he would want the liquor license from 11:00 a.m. until 2:00 a.m.  Commissioner Ballard asked if it would be from 11:00 until midnight, as those are the hours that food will be served.  Mr. Masaschi agreed with 11:00 a.m. until midnight, seven days a week.

Chairman Duren asked if there were any further questions or anything additional before he opened the hearing to the public.  There was not.

At this time, Chairman Duren opened Public Hearing #2732 to the public and asked if there was anyone in the audience who would like to come forward to speak for or against this application. 

Nick Perakos (phonetic), owner of The Pizza Palace restaurant, came forward to address the Commission.

Mr. Perakos said that the way he sees the drawings, this looks more like a bar than a restaurant.  He said that there are too many bars in this same line on Route 5.  He said that the proposed hours of operation are bar time hours, it does not look like a fine dining establishment. 

Mr. Perakos said that there are enough problems already with the existing bars and that adding another one to this area will only make things worse.

Mr. Perakos thanked the Commission for its time.

Andrew Siana, 22 Prior Road, owner of the Cloverleaf Café cam forward to address the Commission.

Mr. Siana said he has owned the Cloverleaf Café for 45 years.  He said that there are five bars from the American Legion down to Jiggy’s in a one-mile stretch of road.  He mentioned Mr. Giner’s previous statement about required distances, and he asked if there was no longer a distance requirement between bars.  Mr. Giner explained that if this application were for a tavern license, there would be a distance requirement.  Because it is for a Class One liquor license, there are not distance requirements.  There are no separation requirements for restaurants.  Mr. Siana said that there always used to be.  Mr. Giner explained that there are for bars, but not for restaurants serving alcohol. 

Mr. Giner further clarified by saying that a Class Two liquor permit would be a tavern and/or café license.  If this is what an establishment is operating under, then there is a 1,000-foot separation distance requirement.  This is not what the applicant is asking for.

Mr. Giner explained that many of the liquor licenses have the 1,000-foot separation requirement, but the Class One does not.  Mr. Jacien asked what Jiggys was considered.  Mr. Giner said that they must have a tavern or a café license.  Mr. Siana said that Jiggy’s has a restaurant. 

Chairman Duren said that they may serve food, but that doesn’t necessarily make them a restaurant.  Mr. Giner said that a restaurant serving alcohol with a Class One liquor permit has no separation distance requirement.

Mr. Siana said again that he thought there were too many bars in this one small area.  He said that he saw the plans and also thought that the proposal was for a sports bar.  Now all of a sudden that applicant says that his plans have changed.  Mr. Siana asked if they have really changed and if there was a copy of the new plans showing the smaller bar.

Mr. Siana commented that on the submitted plans there were 30 seats at the bar.  In his eyes, that’s a sports bar, not a restaurant. 

Chairman Duren said that the applicant says he has changed his plans, and that the issue before the Commission is the liquor permit, not the design of the restaurant.

Mr. Siana went to the Building Department and said, this is a sports bar.  He was told it is not a sports bar, it is a restaurant.  Mr. Siana said you have to be blind not to see 30 seats at a bar.

Mr. Siana returned to his seat.

Dan Dineen, 161 Enfield Street, owner of the Cloverleaf Café, came forward to address the commission.

Mr. Dineen agreed with the Commission that this area is the gateway into Enfield.  He said there is already Jiggy’s and the Holiday Inn, which has a restaurant bar, right there.  Next there is the Cloverleaf, Jimmy’s Pub and then the American Legion all within about a mile.  Mr. Dineen said he doesn’t know how many more you can put on this strip and he thinks that one is too many right now.  He said that the way business is and the way the times are, he just thinks there are enough in that little area. 

Mr. Dineen said that’s all he had to say.

Chairman Duren asked if anyone else wanted to address the Commission.

No one else from the audience came forward.

Chairman Duren asked Mr. Giner how the Commission could approve a Class One liquor permit for a restaurant when the plans submitted clearly indicate something much more like a sports bar than a restaurant. 

Chairman Duren said when you look at the plans submitted; the bar is the main thing on the diagram.  Mr. Giner said that we don’t have definitions for restaurants, sports bars versus Italian pizza; we regulate a type of use, which is a restaurant use with a liquor permit.  The only thing you can really do is you can say, Okay, you can only serve liquor while the restaurant is open.  That way it does not become a tavern or café.  The Liquor Control Commission enforces that. 

Mr. Giner said that while he can sympathize with the business owners, the Commissions job is not to regulate competition.  It is there to put reasonable conditions on licenses.  If a gentleman wants to have a restaurant and wants to have televisions and show sports, there really isn’t anything in the regulations or standards that would prohibit him from doing so.

Commissioner Ladd asked when the applicant goes before the state for a liquor license, how does the state determine whether it should be a type one, type two, or tavern.  Does the state look at the arrangement inside to determine whether it qualifies from the state’s view as a restaurant or as a bar?

Mr. Giner said the food issue is what they consider and the times during which the kitchen is open.  Commissioner Ladd said so the state regulates what type of license is valid given their schedule.  Mr. Giner explained that we regulate also; both the town and the state have jurisdiction.  The state cannot override the town’s jurisdiction.  If the town says that it wants a certain class license and a certain separation distance, the state cannot override that.

Mr. Giner compared it to auto repair.  You can get an auto repair license from the state that qualifies you to do many things; the town, however, regulates whether or not auto bodywork is allowed in a certain zone.  He said that liquor permits are the same way.  There is dual jurisdiction and the state has its own regulations and the town has its own regulations.  The state cannot override the town’s regulations.

Chairman Duren asked Mr. Giner about his Condition Number 5 in his November 23, 2011 memo to the Commission.  Condition 5 reads as follows: 

The approval is for the Class One restaurant liquor permit only.  Alcoholic beverages can only be served during the hours that the kitchen is open.  Any changes to the interior layout or functions of the space shall require an amendment to the Special Use Permit.

Chairman Duren is concerned that the Commission is not having any say regarding the interior layout.  Mr. Giner said that this condition is to prevent the applicant from adding a stage or equipment for a band.  Chairman Duren said that he is putting in a bar that did not exist in the building previously.  There was no bar in Friendly’s.  Mr. Giner said that we are not talking about approving the layout submitted.  If the Commission wants the applicant to come in with a revised layout, he will have to come back.

Mr. Masaschi said that the plans have been changed and that what was submitted is not what he will be doing.  Chairman Duren said that he is going to continue the hearing because he does not want to approve the bar shown in the submitted plans that has 30 seats. Mr. Giner said that the plans are not what that Commission is approving it is the request for the liquor permit. 

Chairman Duren said that according to the above-referenced Condition 5, the Commission is approving the plans.  Commissioner Longhi also expressed confusion with this issue. Mr. Giner said that we don’t prevent the applicant from changing the inside of the restaurant.  What Mr. Masaschi submitted to the Commission is what he is asking the Commission to approve.  If he needs to change it, there are two options.  The hearing can be continued until the next PZC meeting and the applicant can submit revised plans; or the special use permit for the liquor license can be approved with modified conditions that will require the applicant to come back at a later date to amend the special use approval.

Mr. Masaschi said that he is under time constraints because he has a purchase and sale agreement that is contingent upon getting the liquor license.  If he doesn’t get approval, he doesn’t buy the property and the property stays as it is.  He explained that he is under contract; if he doesn’t get approval, he doesn’t get the property.

Chairman Duren said he has no problem with the liquor permit for the restaurant, but he does have a problem when the plans submitted place the major emphasis on the bar.  Commissioner Sarno said that the Commission needs to see a true site plan of what is actually going to be there and how it is going to look.

Mr. Giner asked the applicant if he had a specific number of bar seats in his revised plan.  Mr. Masaschi said that what was submitted was a plan that was done by an engineer who had never been inside the building.  He said that many people looked at it and told him that the layout with the large bar was not a good idea, and he had a design person come in to re-design the layout. 

Mr. Masaschi said what he is looking for tonight is approval for the liquor so that he can apply to the state, as that takes some time.  He said that then he can come back before the Commission with his revised site plan.  Mr. Masaschi explained some of his revised ideas to the Commissioners, pointing them out on the current layout what will be different. 

Mr. Masashi said that the bar will be in a different location than the plan shows, and it will be much smaller.  He said that the bar would be over where the take-out area for Friendly’s was.  He said he is keeping the existing seating.  He is putting the bar off to the side because he wants to be seen as a restaurant for family dining.  He stated that he would have a hard time attracting families with the submitted layout showing such a large bar area. 

Chairman Duren asked if he as going to have only a service bar.  Mr. Masaschi said he was going to have a regular bar where the take-out area was, not just a service bar.  Chairman Duren asked how many seats Mr. Masaschi planned to have at the bar.  Mr. Masaschi said he was planning on a ten-seat bar and that the bar shown in the submitted plans will be scaled down considerably.  He again stated that what he was looking to provide was a restaurant that serves alcohol, not a bar that serves food.

Chairman Duren said, so what do we do?  Commissioner Ladd said, we approve a ten-seat bar. Mr. Giner said that you could modify a permit and approve it according to the statutes.  He said that if time is of the issue for Mr. Masaschi and he is agreeable to the Commissions modifications, that this might be a good solution.

Chairman Duren asked for clarification.  Mr. Giner explained that the Commission would approve the liquor license subject to the bar having a maximum of ten seats and the applicant submitting final interior layout plans for Commission approval prior to the issuance of the building permit.

Mr. Giner explained that Condition 5 was written to prevent any significant changes to the site plan submitted for approval of the special use permit.  Because the applicant is significantly changing the submitted plans, that can be handled by revising the conditions as discussed above.

Chairman Duren stated that he has no problem approving a liquor permit for a restaurant that serves alcohol.  He does not want to approve one for a bar that serves food.  Mr. Masaschi said that his submitted plans might have misled the Commission.  What he is proposing is indeed a restaurant, not a bar.  He is aware of the similar business along the Route 5 strip, and he is trying to offer something different.

Commissioner Longhi said the Condition 5 would need to be changed to include wording that specified a bar with a maximum of ten seats and that the applicant has to submit a final site plan for Commission approval.  Mr. Giner revised Condition 5 to read as follows:

The approval is for the Class One restaurant liquor permit only, with a maximum of ten bar seats.  Alcoholic beverages can only be served during the hours that the kitchen is open. The applicant shall submit final interior layout plans for Commission approval prior to the issuance of a building permit.

Commissioner Drinan asked if that would meet the applicant’s needs, to have approval for a liquor license today given the above-stated conditions.  Mr. Masaschi said that it would.  He said that without the liquor permit, he was not going to go through with the deal.

Chairman Duren asked Mr. Giner to read again to the applicant his revised Condition 5 to be sure the applicant was in agreement. 

Commissioner Gregory said that he feels the state is going to look very closely at this before issuing a liquor license.  He said that even if the Commission approves it, that doesn’t mean the state would. Mr. Masaschi agreed with Commissioner Gregory that there was no guarantee.

Commissioner Gregory shared that he has 25 years of experience with the food service business and that when you go before the state for a liquor license there are a significant amount of regulations governing what you can serve and when you can serve it.  There are rules that say under-age patrons cannot sit at the bar, etcetera.  Commissioner Gregory said that even if the Commission approves this, the state can decide not to. 

Mr. Masaschi agreed and explained that this is why he wants to take the next step to be able to apply to the state for a liquor license.  He said it takes 45 days for the state to either grant or not grant a license, and he wants to get the process started.  He again stated that if he does not get approval for the liquor license, he would not purchase the property. 

Chairman Duren asked how soon Mr. Masaschi could have revised plans for the Commission.  He said that the hearing would have to be re-advertised and asked Mr. Giner for confirmation.  Commissioner Longhi said that this would be after he gets the liquor permit.  Mr. Masaschi said it could be a month or more before that happens.  This would be a whole separate advertisement.

Chairman Duren confirmed that what the Commission would be approving tonight would be the application for the liquor permit, not the submitted site plan.

At this time, Chairman Duren again opened that hearing up to the public and asked if any one would like to address the Commission.

Nick Perakos, owner of Pizza Palace restaurant again came forward to address the Commission.

Mr. Perakos said that with a ten-seat bar, a six-foot wall is required to separate the dining area from the bar area by the law.  He said this is to keep diners from having to view the bar area while eating.  Mr. Perakos asked if the applicant is willing to do that, because that is not what the plans show. 

Andrew Siana, owner of The Cloverleaf Café, came forward again to address the Commission.

Mr. Siana said that the Commission is smart enough to know that the applicant can wait two weeks to submit a final site plan to the Commission before the special use permit is approved, instead of having the applicant say he is under tight time constraints and needs approval before a final site plan is submitted or he can’t buy the property.

Mr. Siana said if the Commission believes that, they would believe a lot of goofy things.  He suggests that the Commission make the applicant come back in two weeks with a final site plan before approving the liquor permit.

Commissioner Gregory said that he doesn’t believe that the applicant needs to show a plan.  He said that all he is applying for is the Class One liquor permit and that he doesn’t need to show a plan.  Mr. Jacien said that the plan submitted has 30 bar stools.

Chairman Duren explained to Mr. Siana that before the applicant can open, he has to come back before the Commission with his final plans.  Even if he gets a liquor permit from the state, it won’t do him any good if the Commission does not like his final plans.

Mr. Siana said he does not believe that the applicant has to have this approval right away.  He thanked the Commission.

Chairman Duren again asked Mr. Giner for clarification that what the Commission was doing was authorizing the applicant to seek a liquor permit.  Mr. Giner said that yes, it would be the sign off on the state application for a Class One liquor permit.  Chairman Duren confirmed that the applicant would have to come back with final site plans, and Mr. Giner said that he would or he would not be able to get a building permit.

Chairman Duren asked Mr. Giner if he was going to be sure that no one signed off on a building permit without the Commission having approved final site plans.  Mr. Giner said that there would be no sign off before the Commission agrees to the final site plan.  He said that that’s the way the system works, and nothing would be different this time.

Commissioner Longhi said that typically for a special use permit you need to have the interior drawings, so why would we be approving something if we don’t have the interior drawings.

Mr. Giner said that this is for the liquor permit, not the site plan.  In these cases, we typically do not get involved in what the applicant does with layout of the establishment.

Commissioner Longhi said that when the Commission approved the permit for the convenience store that wanted to sell beer a while back, they wanted to know where the coolers would be and how the interior of the store was laid out.  She said the same was true of Sylvia’s Restaurant, and Chairman Duren agreed.  She wants to know what makes this different.

Mr. Giner said that many of the issues requiring the layout of the convenience store were Health Department issues.

Chairman Duren said that the Commission has always required final site plans for this type of approval. Mr. Giner said it was up to the Commission what they wanted to do.  Commissioner Longhi said that she just wanted to do what was right. 

Commissioner Sarno said that the applicant was probably in a purchase and sales agreement where he has dates he has to meet.  However, he can ask for an extension, but the sellers don’t have to grant it.  She went on to say that she doesn’t think that there are people lined up to buy this property and that an extension would likely be granted.

Commissioner Drinan asked if this was a “chicken and egg situation”.  The applicant needs approval of the liquor permit to go to the state.  When he goes to the state, they will affect the layout.  Then he has to come back to the Commission to get approval of the state-approved layout.  So, if the Commission approves a liquor permit now subject to the conditions for the layout, it is likely going to be changed by the state and the applicant will have to come back anyway with any changes that the state made.  Where do we break this chain?

Commissioner Sarno again said that the applicant could ask for an extension of his purchase and sales agreement.  She asked Mr. Giner if he needed an extension from the Commission, and he said that he did not.  There was still plenty of time.  Commissioner Sarno said that if he gets an extension on the purchase and sales agreement, he could come back before the Commission with a final site plan and everything can be approved at once.

Commissioner Drinan asked if the applicant could go to the state to apply for the liquor permit before the Commission approves the application. Several Commissioners stated, along with Mr. Giner, that he couldn’t go before the state without Commission approval of the application.

Mr. Masaschi explained to the Commission that what he does is real estate development.  He loves real estate and has several office buildings in downtown Springfield and throughout the northeast, as well as restaurants in New York that he owns with his brother.  He likes the property. His money is not going to be made on the restaurant.  His money is going to be made in getting the property up and running, doing the right thing for the Town of Enfield, and then moving on to the next project.  He said he has a big deposit on the property and that this whole process has been going on for a long time, and that money is just sitting there doing nothing.

Mr. Masaschi told the Commissioners that if he says he is going to do something, he would do it.  He was not concerned about submitting a revised plan, because he said he spoke with the Zoning Enforcement Officer and she told him plans were not required to get approval for a liquor permit.  He said had he known a final site plan was needed he would have come prepared with one to tonight’s meeting.  Mr. Masaschi again stated what he plans to open is a restaurant, not a bar.

Commissioner Longhi said she understands that.  She went on to reference the regulations for the site plan and special use permit standards, and read the following into the record:

Floor plans for each floor level of each proposed structure with plans shall indicate the arrangement, use, occupancy, seating arrangement and ingress and egress.

Commissioner Longhi said that without the seating arrangement and site layout, she does not see how the Commission can approve the special use.  This information has been required on other applications, and it isn’t right not to require it now. 

Chairman Duren said to Mr. Giner that the Commission has never done this before.  Mr. Giner said that the Commission does have a seating arrangement; it just isn’t the one that will be in the final plans.  He said that the applicant can come in in two weeks with at least a preliminary plan that shows the bar with only ten seats, the Commission can approve that, but it may have to be modified based on the state’s requirements.

Mr. Masaschi asked if the Commission would approve what was submitted tonight.  Mr. Giner explained that the Commission does not want to approve the 30 seats, and that is the problem with what was submitted tonight.  Mr. Giner said if the floor plan submitted had included only ten bar seats, there would not be an issue.

Mr. Masaschi said he was not told that a formal site plan was needed for approval.

Chairman Duren said that the plan that has been submitted is more of a bar than a restaurant.  Commissioner Sarno asked the applicant for clarification of what Ms. Higley told him regarding the need for a site plan.  Mr. Masaschi said that Ms. Higley told him that the plans were not important for approval.

 

Commissioner Sarno said that this was unfortunate and that the regulations are confusing.  She said that the applicant would have had time to submit the right site plan if he had known it was needed.  The applicant said he absolutely would have come prepared with a revised site plan.  Commissioner Sarno said that the applicant was misled by the information he received and that is unfortunate.

Chairman Duren asked what was going to be done.  He asked if we would continue the hearing for two weeks to give the applicant time to submit a preliminary plan.  Chairman Duren said that there has to be a preliminary plan because that is what the state is going to approve. 

Mr. Masaschi said that the state would approve his plans as submitted.  He said it was the Commission that controls the town. 

Chairman Duren told the applicant to prepare and submit a to-scale plan (not hand drawn) showing the proposed layout.  Commissioner Drinan suggested that the applicant show whatever may be necessary on the revised plan, for example the six-foot wall referenced earlier, and to be sure the plan was to scale.

Chairman Duren asked Mr. Masaschi if he can be ready in two weeks, and Mr. Masaschi said he had to be and he would be.

Commissioner Ladd made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Sarno, to continue PH #2732 – Special Use Permit for a Class 1 Restaurant Liquor Permit for a proposed new restaurant at the former Friendly’s restaurant located at 89 Enfield Street in a Business Local District within the Enfield Street Design Overlay, Map 35, Lot 218, Louis Masaschi, applicant, Robert and Sylvia Nuger Family, LLC, owner, until the December 15, 2011 PZC Meeting.

Commissioner Longhi asked for discussion.  She said that she would be willing to come in for an odd time if the applicant could get the revised plans ready sooner.  She says she does not want to see the building stay vacant forever, and she would be willing to come in for a non-meeting to get this done sooner. 

Chairman Duren told the applicant that all the Commission needed was to see the revised plans.  He said that there should be no problem with approval, provided they are what is expected.

Commissioner Sarno said that the Commissioner wants to work with Mr. Masaschi and that she does not want to see the building remain vacant either.

Mr. Giner asked Mr. Masaschi to call him early next week to discuss the revised plans, which Mr. Giner will need by the end of the week to include in the Commissioners’ packets.

The motion was carried with a 7-0-0 vote.

 

 

OLD BUSINESS

There was no old business to discuss.

NEW BUSINESS

a.  SPR #1539 – Site Plan Review for a temporary storage container at the existing CVS Pharmacy located at 875 Enfield Street in a Business Local District within the Enfield Street Design Overlay, Map 26, Lot 73, CVS Pharmacy #750, Applicant; Harvest Moon, LLC, Owner.

Chairman Duren asked the applicant to come forward to address the Commission.  There was no applicant present.

Chairman Duren said to Mr. Giner that the trailer was gone; the applicant was not present, so how should the Commission proceed?  Should the application be denied?  The Commissioners seemed to be in agreement about denying this application.

Mr. Giner said that at this point the Commission should deny the application without prejudice because there was no applicant present.

Commissioner Longhi made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Sarno to deny SPR #1539 – Site Plan Review for a temporary storage container at the existing CVS Pharmacy located at 875 Enfield Street in a Business Local District within the Enfield Street Design Overlay, Map 26, Lot 73, CVS Pharmacy #750, Applicant; Harvest Moon, LLC, Owner, without prejudice.

The motion was carried with a 7-0-0 vote.

OTHER BUSINESS

a.        Approval of Commission Meeting Schedule for 2012.

The Commission unanimously agreed to accept the proposed 2012 PCZC meeting schedule, keeping July meeting dates as the 5th and the 19th.

b.          Discussion of Ray Warren’s 9/26/11 memo to the Commission.

Mr. Giner said that he did send out another email to the Town Attorney just reminding him that we were waiting for some action.  He spoke to the Town Attorney this afternoon on another matter and The Town Attorney said he would look into it, and that he did not recall Mr. Giner’s previous emails on this subject. 

Commissioner Drinan asked about the list the Commission requested of things that have been approved since the time of Mr. Warren’s 9/26/11 memo.  Mr. Giner said he does not yet have that list available and that he has to go back in to MUNIS to look at every application in order to compile it.

Commissioner Drinan said the reason for the list request was that the number of sign-offs done by the ZEO has dropped considerably and the Commission wants to be sure that this is not because someone else is signing off on things that the ZEO should be signing off on.

 

c.       Discussion of Farm Animal Regulations

Commissioner Longhi said that she and Ms. Higley have not had a chance to meet yet because of the storm and other scheduling conflicts but they will very soon.

d.        Discussion of Alternative Energy Regulations

Mr. Giner said that he would have something to give the Commission at the next meeting.  This topic was discussed Mayor’s hearing at Barnard School.  People do watch these meetings on TV.

e.        Discussion of Agricultural Uses in Industrial Districts

Mr. Giner explained that he sent the Commission something regarding minor changes to the agricultural use regulations.  Primarily, these changes would involve restating the same verbiage used in the residential regulations for agricultural use, but changing “Residential” to “Industrial”.  The change would allow farm stands and those types of uses in industrial areas the same way they are allowed in residential.

Commissioner Longhi asked if there was a need for this, and Mr. Giner explained that there are several people who would like to see this done and who would benefit from the changes.  This way, farm owners could sell what they grow in industrial zones, as they are already allowed to do in residential zones.

Chairman Duren asked how this came about, and Mr. Giner said there was a gentleman who was inquiring about the regulations because he was planning to buy some property that was in an industrial zone.

Chairman Duren told Mr. Giner to include this with the other regulation changes that were discussed earlier.

f.      Discussion of Tag Sale Regulations

This has not been started yet.

g.        Discussion of Sign Regulations

There was nothing on this tonight.

The Commissioners briefly discussed the roofing materials brought up last meeting on Taylor Road.  Commissioner Gregory said that he knows the person, and that the materials should have been placed within the yard, not on the tree belt.  The issue has been resolved; the roofing materials are no longer there.

APPLICATIONS TO BE RECEIVED

There were no applications to be received.

Mr. Giner said that he did get an application from Dairy Queen to put out four picnic tables in the front of their establishment.  The regulations have been written to allow for Mr. Giner to approve this without bringing it before the Commission, as long as there are no more than four tables and sixteen chairs.  Mr. Giner is just waiting for approval from the Fire Marshal and the Town Engineer.

ADJOURNMENT

Commissioner Gregory made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Ballard, to adjourn.  Following a unanimous vote, the Commission adjourned at 8:50 p.m. 

The next regular meeting is Thursday, December 15, 2011.

 

 

                                                Respectfully submitted,

 

 

                                                __________________________

                                                Peter Falk, Secretary                                                                                    Enfield Planning and Zoning Commission

Kcd

 

 

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