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Planning Commission Minutes 07/13/2017



MINUTES
OLD LYME PLANNING COMMISSION
REGULAR MEETING
JULY 13, 2017


PRESENT WERE:  Harold Thompson, Steven Ross, Chris Kerr and Barbara Gaudio seated for Rob McCarthy.

The commission began the meeting with the Pledge of Allegiance.

DISCUSSION – PLAN OF CONSERVATION & DEVELOPMENT – SALT MARSH ADVANCEMENT AND SEA LEVEL RISE.

Harold Thompson stated that he and Steven Ross worked together taking sections of the previously proposed changes to the Plan of Conservation and Development (POCD) and drafted another revised proposed amendment.  He noted this revision was submitted to Attorney Cassella for his review.  

Attorney Cassella discussed his comments with the commission.  He noted the previous proposals were very specific and now this proposal is broader.  He stated the goal was to lessen the regulatory burden on people that voluntarily want to comply with FEMA and the second portion addresses sea level rise and coastal resiliency.   

Steven Ross made a motion to approve the revised wording:  

The Town of Old Lyme should encourage property owners to take at-risk flood prone structures and make them flood compliant. The Town should alleviate unnecessary administrative hurdles. Currently, a property owner can only elevate a legally non-conforming house by obtaining variances from the Zoning Board of Appeals.  Encouraging structures to be elevated will have a positive impact on health and safety – the new structure will be required to meet current
building and flood codes and therefore the new structure will be much more likely to remain intact during large storm events and not cause additional unnecessary damage to nearby properties.

The Town of Old Lyme is a coastal community that values the coastal resources of Long Island Sound, the Connecticut River, the Black Hall River and the Lieutenant River, and all other tributaries and tidally influenced areas.  We acknowledge that the responsibility and obligation we, as citizens, have to protect these natural resources as well as insuring that coastal properties are available for continued utilization and for water dependent uses.

However, changes in sea level and changes in frequency and severity of storms are expected to create issues in the future for coastal communities like Old Lyme.  The Planning Commission is working to identify climate related vulnerabilities along the shoreline and intercostal waterways, and to make recommendations for future mitigation measures.  Additionally, the Town should seek any opportunities to increase and fortify beaches, dunes and tidal wetlands which provide an outlet and buffer against sea level rise as well as assist and facilitate the same type of efforts by property owners.  

Barbara Gaudio seconded the motion.  The motion passed unanimously.

Steven Ross made a motion to schedule a Public Hearing for the proposed amendment to the Plan of Conservation and Development on October 12, 2017.  He noted the amendment would be placed under the Section: Critical Issues and  Opportunities with the heading of “Shoreline Erosion and Sea Level Rise”.

Barbara Gaudio seconded the motion.  The motion passed unanimously.

READING AND APPROVAL OF JUNE 8, 2017 REGULAR MEETING MINUTES

Steven Ross made a motion to waive the reading and approve the Regular Meeting Minutes dated June 8, 2017.   Barbara Gaudio seconded the motion.   The motion passed unanimously.

Respectfully submitted,
Kim Groves


 
 
52 Lyme St, Old Lyme, CT 06371  (860) 434-1605

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