INFORMATION & STAFF COMMENTS
• Letter dated 7/12/2010 requesting a 90 day extension to file record mylars in connection with Ap#483, Founders Preserve, 332 Colonel Ledyard Highway; Current required filing date: August 13, 2010; Extension to November 11, 2010; Request For Extension Granted
• Notice of Tentative Determination, Office of Long Island Sound Programs, CTDEP, 28 Bluff Road West, Gales Ferry, CT; construction of a fixed pier, ramp and floating dock for private recreational boating use.
Ap# 514; Victoria S. Crawford, Applicant/Owner; Proposed 2 lot re-subdivision of 463 Pumpkin Hill Road, 7.69± acres, R-60 zone.
Date of Receipt: June 3, 2010
Hearing Continued Until August 5, 2010
In a letter dated May 6, 2010 concerning the previous Ap#513, Mr. James D. Contino raised several issues and it seems reasonable to attempt to address those concerns as they relate to the current Ap#514:
Section 4.2.2 of the Subdivision Regulations requires the coveyance of land to insure ROW width to conform with the Town Road Ordinance - Ap#514 addresses this issue and approximately 2,520 SF of land along the frontage of Pumpkin Hill Road is proposed to be conveyed to the Town.
Section 5.4.3 relating to monumentation - Plan Note 10 addresses this concern and the plans have been updated
Section 6.1 Open Space - The applicant has requested a waiver of open space requirements under CGS 8-25. The granting and conditions of the waiver are a Commission determination.
Section 7.1 Erosion and Sedimentation Control - Plan Note indicates the area of disturbance to be less than 0.5 acres
Section 8.1 - Plans and application titles have been revised
Section 8.4 - Index has been provided
Section 8.4.1 - Key map has been updated to indicate "land reserved for special use"
Section 8.4.2 - Survey is provided at 1 inch equals 100 feet
Section 8.4.1 d - applicant indicates area of disturbance less than 0.5 acres
Section 188.8.131.52 b & f - A note indicating the zone of the property is provided; no easements or ROW are indicated
Section 8.8 - the parcel history map is not provided to scale
Section 9.1 of Zoning Regulations: Lot width indiacted at 200 feet 3 inches
Referral From Zoning Commision Ap#3327 (83 Inch Cliff)
Overview: The Planning Commission has been referred a proposed text amendment to the Ledyard Zoning Regulations submitted by Mark K. Branse on behalf of Mark C. Coen. The proposal is being filed in accordance with CGS 8-30g and is aimed at providing affordable housing at 83 Inchcliff Drive. The modifications contained in the application include:
• increasing the maximum building height from 35 feet to 40 feet
Scope of Review: The Planning Commission’s review focuses on the consistency of the application with the Plan of Conservation and Development. This is somewhat complicated by the impacts of CGS 8-30g and the fact that the proposal is tied to a specific parcel of land.
General: The Plan of Conservation and Development supports the provision of diverse, affordable, quality housing in Ledyard and the Planning Commission has developed a draft Affordable Housing Strategy (AHS) and the regulatory rewrite committee is currently working on a proposal to create an “incentive housing zone”.
At the same time that the Plan recognizes the need for affordability, it, also, clearly, identifies the lack of public water and sewer services in much of the Town and environment issues, wetlands, ledge, steep slopes, … as prime constraints in the development of affordable housing. The goal of the Commission is to allow enhanced density and thereby enhanced affordability in areas which have the infrastructure and site assets to support it. These “strategies” have long been a part of the POCD and are in the draft AHS.
Maximum Building Height: Building heights are established for primarily public safety reasons. The ability of the Town to provide fire and emergency services and the requirements for those services is impacted by building height. As with all things, as time passes, both the Town’s capability and services provided change. However, in built-up areas, with established development patterns changing height requirements may have their own negative impacts on the overall quality and appearance of the neighborhood. While the five-foot increase in maximum building height may not be extreme, it will make a structure built under the amendment the highest structure in the neighborhood and the applicant has provided no basis for the increase. Can affordable housing be built with a maximum building height of 35 feet? Is there a technical reason to maintain 35 feet? In general, the zoning regulations allow a waiver with review by the Fire Marshall. Should the request apply throughout the town (ie should the max building height throughout Ledyard be increased to 40 feet)? Is 40 feet the “right number”? Is there a new technical reason for an adjusted height restriction?
Minimum Setback Line: In Ledyard the set back line is established from the centerline of the travel portion of the roadway. Again this is based on public safety considerations and the historical nature of the Town’s road system and is impacted by pavement width and location. Current standards call for ROW widths for local streets of 50 feet and road widths of 28 feet. The reduction of the minimum to 30 feet would in theory allow a setback line of 5 feet. This potentially raises safety concerns relating parking, provision of emergency services, sidewalks and traffic. In older, established neighborhood, this would represent a significant change in the character of the neighborhood. Again the applicant has provided no discussion as to the basis and justification for the request. Additionally, when the Torey Pines subdivision was initially approved and the road set and deeded to the town (early 60’s) the road ROW was 50 feet with a 30 foot setback from the edge of the ROW or 55 feet from centerline. The neighborhood was developed to this standard, what is the justification for change? The change in setback does not appear to be a factor in increasing density to enable more units and thus affordability but rather to permit developing a parcel that by the regs in place has no buildable area. This was addressed on the original plats and in the minutes from two Planning Commision meetings that said there was insufficient area to make this parcel a building lot.
Density Increase: The POCD recognizes the need to enhance density to provide diversity in housing. It clearly emphasizes the need to allow enhanced density where environmental and site conditions allow. However, the Town’s regulations currently have no requirement for the establishment of “build-able area”, areas which are not encumbered by ledge, slope or wetlands. These are important considerations when public sewer and water is not provided and by experience, the Town is currently faced with several challenges at older, R-20 single-family subdivisions where septic systems have failed or are failing and there is no room on the lot for new facilities. The Town must be exceedingly careful in enhancing density on small, environmentally constrained lots. The provision of affordable housing does not benefit anyone when the quality and viability of that housing becomes questionable. This is especially true on small lots.
Parking: The reduction in parking from 2 spaces per unit to 1.3 spaces per unit is supported by analyses based on relatively large housing complexes. This may be an issue when viewing the requirements for very small facilities. In a complex with 50 units, about 33% of the spaces could be available if one car households existed. This would mean that 13 spaces would be available for visitors or others at any given time. In a three-unit complex only one space would be available under the same circumstances. With narrow roads and no on street parking this could become a safety and traffic issue.
Suggestions: In pursuing the regulation, it would be prudent to consider the development pattern of the existing neighborhood. For setbacks and height, possibly the average of the existing homes or some compromise. Density must be tied to build-able area, where public water and sewer is not available. The safe provision of parking for guests, visitors, deliveries and maintenance must be considered
Acknowlege Receipt of Subdivision Applications
Proposed Resubdivision at 41 Iron Street (Via Verde- Phase 1), Via Verde LLC (owner/applicant), 10- lot resubdivision of 63.61 acres, an R-40 zone.
Proposed Conservation Resubdivision at 41 Iron Street (Via Verde- Phase 2), Via Verde LLC
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