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Planning Board Minutes 07/14/04

Joint Meeting of Zoning Bylaw Review Committee, Planning Board and Zoning Board of Appeals
July 14, 2004

Meeting Called to Order at 6:40 p.m. by Zoning Bylaw Review Committee Chair, Gloria Gery

Zoning Bylaw Review Cttee Members: Gert McKay, Jeffery Parrette, Jim Joyce, Susan Voudren, Eric Munson, Jr.
Planning Board Members: Jim Deming, Steve McAlister, Jim Joyce, Gert McKay and Jason Smith
Zoning Board of Appeals Chair Steve Bartels

Objective:  Continued review of proposals to Planning Board by Zoning Bylaw Review Committee and to obtain input on whether the Review Committee should pursue discussions about Back Lot development and Flexible Development with Open Space Restrictions.

Old Business: The status of the Zoning Bylaw Review Committee’s work was discussed with next steps and remaining work clarified.~ The Committee’s goal is to complete their work and hold Town meetings (with possible adoption) by year-end 2004.

New Business:

1.Table of Land Use.~ The proposed changes in the Table of Land Use were discussed in detail.~ Sawmills will now be permitted by Special Permit with Site Plan Approval.~ Other modifications will be incorporated into the proposed Table and submitted for additional review.

2. Driveways. Length of Common Driveways was discussed.~ Jim Deming questioned the proposed 1500 foot limitation.~ Discussion was deferred until back lot development and flexible development with open space is discussed.~ Gert McKay pointed out that safety issues require a limitation of driveway length to assure emergency vehicle access.~ She also pointed out the risks in common or shared driveways with owners in conflict~ about issues such as maintenance.~ Participants questioned whether this was of concern to the town or only to joint owners.

3. Use of Primary Residence as Business:~ Several issues relating to the use of primary residences as businesses were discussed including whether warehouses would be permitted as an incidental use. ~~The difference between Home Occupation (i.e. business conducted largely within a home) vs. operating a business from a home were explored and clarified.~ Questions about whether there can be more than one~primary use on a property will be evaluated."

4.  Back Lot Development and Flexible Development with Open Space or Conservation Restrictions. ~Given the goal or preserving the rural character of Tolland, a detailed discussion of Planning Board and Zoning Board of Appeals desire to have alternatives to “bacon strip” or splitting off Approval Not Required lots with~minimum road frontage were discussed.~ Flag lots (with two driveways on the minimum frontage) and a house behind the primary residence were graphically depicted.~ Consensus was reached that this, in fact, makes the problem worse.~ Back lot development (permitting one additional residence on a deep lot with at least minimum frontage was explored as a possibility.~ This is of interest to landowners who wish to build homes for their children or increase the economic value of their land. Alternatives included establishing minimum parcel limits, sharing driveways, etc.~ Flexible Development including establishment of restricted Open Space or Conservation restrictions along the road was explored.~ The Committee was charged with exploring this alternative with the goal of proposing specifics to the joint committees.~ Incentives to make this attractive to developers will be required.~~ These will be explored following completion of proposals for the traditional elements of the zoning bylaw.

5. Lighting: Lighting regulations were discussed as something to pursue given both the size of new homes and the penchant for architectural and landscape lighting that could emerge.~ The complexity of doing this was briefly discussed and Jeff Parrette agreed to explore the possibilities.

Next Steps: Refinements will be made at the direction of the participants and the next version of revised and new sections will be distributed to all participants when ready.

Meeting Adjourned:  9:30 p.m.

Respectfully submitted: Gloria Gery

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