WATERTOWN — The Planning and Zoning Commission, meeting on Wednesday, February 5, continued two public hearings and reviewed new business items.

The commission elected three officers: Richard Antonetti as chairman, Mark A. Raimo, Sr., as vice chairman and Raymond Antonacci as secretary.

The first public hearing was a continuation for Attorney Franklin Pilicy on behalf of Complete Services, for proposed text amendments to allow outdoor storage as an accessory to a principal building in the IR-80 and IR-200 district.

Mr. Pilicy did not have any additional information. The only comments from the public suggested that if approved, the amendments should include some limitations.

The commission closed the public hearing and approved the text amendments with the resolution provided by Land Use Administrator and Zoning Enforcement Officer Mark Massoud.

The conditions of approval include definitions for types of junk, screening, types of material, pollution and performance standards based on comments received by the commission.

The commission added a request for a site plan/special permit to the agenda for outside storage at Park and Callendar Roads at Mr. Pilicy’s request.

Mr. Pilicy told the commission that although an application had not been filed, he requested that they grant the applicant a public hearing for the next meeting. He said that an application would be filed within a week.

He presented a site plan similar to the one submitted.

Mr. Pilicy said that this site plan had been approved and this action was more of a modification. Mr. Massoud agreed that it could be considered as a previously approved site plan. According to Mr. Pilicy, the Inland Wetlands and Watercourses Commission approved the modification.

The commission reviewed the site plan and requested that an application should include a full address and intentions of the site. The commission approved a public hearing for the Wednesday, March 4 meeting.

The commission started the second public hearing for attorney Thomas Lynch on behalf of Grillo Services LLC of Park Road, to add a definition for an organic composting facility, allow organic composting facilities as an outdoor operation and add organic composting facilities site plans and special permit use in the IR-80 and IR-200 district.

Mr. Lynch attended the meeting with clients Michael and Lawrence Grillo and project engineer Fred Mascia of Tighe and Bond. Mr. Lynch told the commission that he and his clients reviewed the comments from the last public hearing and would like to come back in March with a final draft.

Mr. Massoud said he spoke with Mr. Lynch and requested a separate set of performance standards, unique to an organic composting facility, site-specific limitations and best/alternate uses of the site.

Mr. Mascia presented three drawings which showed the property map, the topographical baseline and a proposed plan of Grillo Services LLC.

He said that of a 66-acre property, the company would use approximately 11 acres. 

In opening the hearing to the public, members of the public and commission asked questions about truck debris, dust, soil pile heights, retail sales, odor, noise, traffic, site location, taxes, sanitation, insect infestations, colorants, topsoil, storm water and safety.

Gabe Rosa, global vice president of operations at Global Steering Systems LLC, a neighbor of the proposed Grillo site, asked many similar questions but specifically how Global Steering would be protected and affected by the Grillo site.

Members of Grillo Services said odor would not be a problem. Any odor from the piles would dissipate within approximately six hours. As to the colorant, it is natural and would not negatively affect the environment.

They added that there is a positive safety record and although there have been some fires, they have been controlled and they learned from them. They said that a truck traffic analysis was completed and wanted to note that the site is within an industrial park zone.

Finally, they said that regarding the concern of insects coming from other parts of the state and possible infestations, it would be non-existent because all brush goes through a grinder and once finished, nothing would survive.

The commission continued the public hearing to the March 4 meeting.

In moving to new business, Hawk Ridge Winery owners Jack McHugh and Vincent Giannetto requested a site plan approval of a 60 by 38-foot open air pavilion for Hidden Breeze Farm LLC on behalf of Hawk Ridge Winery.

The pavilion would be adjacent to the winery deck and provide shade. They said it would be made of steel columns with cedar to match the existing building.

The commission approved the application with the condition that parking spaces removed as a result of construction be relocated in an appropriate location. The applicant must obtain a zoning permit prior to occupying the property.

The applicant is to hold a pre-construction meeting with staff prior to activities and submit a built plan record plan for filing with land records upon completion of the project.

The applicants requested a special permit for approval of a private party event at a farm winery in excess of 250 people. 

The event will be a car show in June. 

The commission approved the request for the permit and set a public hearing for the next meeting. They asked that the applicant have details ready regarding traffic, parking, public safety and medical details. 

Town engineer Paul Bunevich requested the commission approve a positive referral to the town council regarding the municipal improvement referral of state Statute 8-24 and the Department of Public Works capital improvement plan for fiscal years 2020-2026, that he provided.

The next item was from Mr. Pilicy, who requested text amendments to the zoning regulations, amendment to Section 21.4 Table of Areas and Dimensional Requirements for the B-O district bulk and coverage maximum impervious surface coverage.

The commission set a public hearing for the March 4 meeting.

Mr. Pilicy requested a special permit to utilize property of less than five acres for a new and used automobile dealership on behalf of Hylie Products, Inc. 

This would permit new automobile sales and approve a site plan modification at 669 Straits Turnpike, located in the B-SC zoning district.

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