OLD LYME PLANNING COMMISSION
MONDAY, FEBRUARY 13, 2017
PRESENT WERE: Harold Thompson, Chris Kerr, Alternate Barbara Gaudio seated for Steven Ross and Alternate Todd Machnik seated for Edgar Butcher. Also present were Ed Cassella, Keith Rosenfeld, and Kim Groves.
PRELIMINARY DISCUSSION – CO-APPLICANTS – GRAYBILL PROPERTIES, LLC AND HOPE Partnership – 16 NECK ROAD – 4 LOT SUBDIVISION
Joe Wren, PE of Indigo Land Design presented the preliminary proposal. Wren stated the property is located just off of I-95 north on the right hand side in an R-40 zone. HOPE Partnership is a non-profit organization dedicated to developing affordable workforce housing on the shoreline. He stated the property is 12.6 acres and runs from the Connecticut River to Route 156. He stated there is a large stone house on the property with a newer addition attached to it and a stone pool which has been filled in for safety reasons. He noted they did soil testing on the property and the soils are good. He stated there are a small area of wetlands along the Connecticut River as well as a pocket of wetlands out in front by the roadway. He said currently HOPE is under contract with Jim Graybill to enter
into a four lot subdivision. He stated that Graybill Properties would retain the two residential lots and HOPE would acquire the two lots closes to the street for a total of 6 acres. HOPE is not sure what they would do with the second parcel at this point but their intent would be to develop the front parcel into multi-family affordable housing. Wren pointed out the flagship lot to the rear as well as the access strip to the abutting rear lot. Therefore there are three frontage lots and one rear lot. Wren stated he was looking for recommendations from the commission before the project moves forward.
Ed Cassella noted for the record that he was on the Board of Directors for HOPE Partnership for 6 years and termed off last October and therefore would be unable to participate in any of the discussion. Chris Kerr also stated that he had worked previously for Jim Graybill so he also would not be participating in tonight’s discussion.
Wren stated that HOPE falls under the Connecticut General Statute 8-30g. He stated a formal application for a 4 lot subdivision would probably come before the commission within the next month or so and then onto the Zoning Commission for a site plan review. Rosenfeld noted that a wetlands application would also be required and stated it could run concurrently with the subdivision application.
Wren stated he felt the maximum units on the site would be between 16 and 24 with a mix of bedrooms. He said they could also exceed that amount of units if they wanted to go through the DEEP. He noted that this can often be a lengthy and expensive process.
Thompson stated the Plan of Conservation and Development has a section stating that the town promotes the development of affordable housing development.
Barbara Gaudio stated she was unsure how the Town of Old Lyme would react to this type of project but noted she was in favor of it. Thompson also stated that he was in favor of it as well.
Wren also noted due to the wetlands in the front it would serve as a natural buffer to the project.
Machnik asked Wren to explain the reason for the bell shaped entrance. Machnik also suggested that the developer be mindful of a right-turn only out of the development. Wren stated the 75 ft. thing is under Section 2.34 of the Subdivision Regulations “states that a lot in which the width measured at the road line is less than fifty percent (50%) of the required minimum dimension of a square on the lot, as set forth in the Old Lyme Zoning Regulations”. He stated the minimum dimension of the square is 150 in the R40 zone so half of that are 75.
Therefore any lot that has less than 75’ feet of frontage is a rear lot. So if it is provided 75’ it is no longer a rear lot. Wren stated there is a percentage of restriction on rear lots proposed. Todd Machnik stated with a 50 ft. right of way you could do a full subdivision. Wren stated that is correct but the idea is to just have two single family lots. He noted there is an existing driveway that comes through the site with utility poles and Mr. Graybill is trying to contact the owner of the adjacent property to obtain an easement over his driveway to access both of the lots eliminating the need for any more road cuts.
Rosenfeld asked if the applicant would be willing to submit some sort of traffic study. Wren stated that HOPE would have to hire a traffic engineer to conduct the study. Rosenfeld clarified that basically the rules of the state overrule the rules of the town for these types of project.
Barbara Gaudio asked if they anticipated any problems with drainage. Wren stated it was all deep sand and gravel so anything that hits the ground just soaks right into the ground.
DISCUSSION – PLAN OF CONSERVATION & DEVELOPMENT – SALT MARSH ADVANCEMENT & SEA LEVEL RISE.
The Planning Commission is in the process of reviewing comments from the workshop. No actions or decisions were taken.
READING AND APPROVAL OF THE JANUARY MEETING AND FEBRUARY WORKSHOP MINUTES.
Todd Machnik made a motion to waive the reading and approve the minutes as submitted. Barbara Gaudio seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.