1. Call to order: Called to order by Vice Chairman Stewart Cole at 6:11 pm. Commission members in attendance were Bell, Baldwin, Herbst and Swenarton. Chairman Simm arrived at 6:15 pm and took the chair. Members Lyons and Dewire were absent. Town Planner Brynes, Paul Lenihan and Dora Hill were present.
2. Review of Town Developments and Proposals.
2b. PZ0621SD United Congregational Church of Westerly - Subdivision Permit application for a 5-lot subdivision of a 5.2 acre parcel. Property located at 9 Castle Hill Rd., Pawcatuck, CT. Assessor’s Map 15 Block 9 Lot 1. Zone RA-20. Paul Lenihan presented the application and requested a fee in lieu of open space. The property is not adjacent to any open space, but is near the rear of the Pawcatuck Shopping Center; any pedestrian access would be difficult due to steep slopes. MOTION: CC recommends the fee in lieu of open space (Swenarton, Cole). Passed unanimously.
2c. PZ0613RA Town of Stonington – Zoning Regulation Amendment to ZR 4.1.1, 4.1.2, 4.1.3 Permitted Uses in the DB-5, CS-5 and LS-5 Zones, to modify the residential housing provisions; to ZR 4.1.3, 4.2.3, 4.3.3, 4.4.3. & 4.5.3 Special Uses in the DB-5, CS-5, LS-5, GC-60 and TC-80 Zones to modify the attached housing provisions; to ZR 6.6.15 to modify the attached housing special use permit criteria, and other amendments as necessary to implement these changes. Town Planner presented the proposal which restricts housing commercial districts and allows mixed use. Swenarton stated that the town should focus on priorities from the POCD instead. MOTION: Mixed use residential use should be allowed by special use permit only (Swenarton, Bell). Passed unanimously.
MOTION: to go to Item 2a (Bell, Baldwin). Passed unanimously.
2a. PZ0619SD & GPP James V. Goodrich (Copps Brook Properties) – Re-subdivision & Groundwater Protection Permit applications for a 4-lot resubdivision of a 118.9 acre parcel. Property located at 381 New London Turnpike, Stonington, CT. Assessor’s Map 117 Block 1 Lot 1. Zone RR-80. Art Hayward of Hayward Holbrook Engineers arrived and presented the application. About 21 acres of open space are provided consisting of about 9 acres of upland; 8.92 acres of upland are required. There was discussion of preservation strategies for the open space: easement vs. outright ownership and who should hold title: town, land trust or homeowners association. MOTION: We are in favor of the proposal as long as the open space is protected with proper easement or donation to preserve open space in perpetuity. We also recommend a conservation easement in a 200-foot width from the western boundary of Lots 3 and 4 to further protect Copps Brook (Cole, Swenarton). Passed unanimously.
2d. Any pending applications and new preliminary proposals: None.
3. Open Space Committee
3a. Open space plan update – discussion on parcels for preservation: Bonding plan should include parcels from all areas of town.
3b. Discussion on parcels for preservation in Pawcatuck – Ben: Will follow up with Mr. Verzillo and ask him if it is OK to use his name in regard to the bonding for open space discussions with the Boards of Selectmen and Finance.
3c. Discussion of Walsh Property: Herbst reported that Alicia Betty of TPL will be meeting soon with John Hamilton, the Walsh’s representative, to discuss tax benefits. No price has been set yet.
3d. Discussion of Montauk Ave. Subdivision open space set-aside accepted by Board of Selectmen: Cole read his letter to the Board of Selectman and Town Attorney asking about the status of the property now that both the land and its development rights in the form of a conservation easement are both held by the town. MOTION: Cole should send his letter (Herbst, Bell). Passed unanimously.
MOTION: To move to item 5, New Business (Cole, Bell). Passed unanimously.
5c. Chairman Simm said that he had received reports from Shaw Thacher (son of late former Chairman Peter Thacher) about sea level rise expected due to global warming and suggested to the town planner that the Planning Department take a holistic view of the coast.
Town planner Brynes departed.
5d. Swenarton reported receiving calls about the proposal for a dock in Quiambaug Cove from a property on Cove Road. The dock would extend about one-third the way across the cove. It appears that a public hearing will be held. MOTION: Swenarton shall email comments to DEP in opposition to the dock as presented (Cole, Herbst). Passed unanimously.
6. Review of February 27, 2006 meeting minutes: MOTION: Accept as amended with minor punctuation changes (Cole, Bell). Passed unanimously.
Swenarton departed. MOTION: Move to item 4a (Herbst, Cole).Passed unanimously.
4a. Report on PZC Open Space Subcommittee: Herbst reported that the group had been focusing on the open space subdivision regulation. Cole and Elena Pascarella had also been in attendance.
4b. Trust for public land feasibility study (Feasibility Study for Parks and Open Space Funding Options): Simm and Dora Hill stated that the results of the “2003 Community Survey” by Planimetrics as part of the POCD should be more prominently featured in the TPL feasibility study; perhaps include figures. Simm questioned how the annual costs per $100,000 of assessed value were calculated in Appendix A; he calculated much lower costs. Bell reported a FILOOS fund balance of approximately $70,000; he will update the figure shortly [$294,500 due; $134,214.32 collected, including "check in the mail" amount of $3,714.29, due for sale of Lot #5 of the Harris Fuller development on Greenhaven Road PZ0369SD]. The Feasibility Study should be presented to the combined Boards of Selectman and Finance; Herbst will contact the Board of Selectman’s office to set a date, possibly in mid-May. The study should be described as part of a “comprehensive plan to preserve the character of Stonington.” Herbst will also present the study to the PZC OS Subcommittee.
4c. Taugwonk Rd. Rezoning Application - LI-130 to GBR-130 Modified Plan: Saved for discussion until the next meeting.
5. New Business
5a. Mystic River Dam Committee: Simm will contact Steve Gephardt.
5b. Review of and application for change of use – LI-130 zone: Saved for discussion until the next meeting.
7. MOTION to adjourn (Cole). Meeting adjourned 10:18 pm.
Ben Baldwin, Acting Secretary
Approved at a regular meeting of the Conservation Commission 4/24/2006