WATERTOWN — The Planning and Zoning Commission, meeting at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, August 7, hosted public hearings and approved various applications.

A representative from Henry Osowiecki and Sons, Inc. went before the commission to request permission to build 24 parking spaces for Albea Metal Real Estate at 91 Park Rd.

The commission approved the application for the 24 parking spaces.

John Lombard went before the commission to request a site plan modification for the Starbucks located at 882 Main St.

Mr. Lombard is looking to add foliage to the property to beautify the area. As part of his site improvement plan he wants to plant several trees and bushes around the front and side of the property. 

He also wants to add tall grass at the back of the property, behind a retaining wall.

“We do want this site to be a premier site on Main Street,” said Commission Chair Richard Antonetti, supporting the idea.

After some discussion, the commission approved Mr. Lombard’s site plan modification.

Representatives from Green Skies Renewable, LLC went before the commission to seek permission to install solar panels at Swift Middle School and Judson Elementary School.

The Board of Education approved the use of solar panels at the schools earlier this year.

The school district is expecting to save more than $2 million in energy costs over the next 25 years, once the panels are installed.

Green Skies requested permission from the Planning and Zoning Commission to erect the panels and fencing on the school properties. The solar panels at Swift will be at ground level and some of the solar panels at Judson will be at ground level with the rest being on the roof.

After some discussion and questions, the commission approved the applications for both schools.

The Board of Education and Green Skies are looking to install solar panels at Watertown High School. They will go before the commission when they have a more solid plan on where the panels will be placed.

Administrator of Land Use Mark Massoud gave his report, stating that the refueling infrastructure for USA Hauling and Recycling’s truck station located in town has begun construction and will be completed in the coming months.

The refueling infrastructure will be used for new dump trucks that will run on natural gas.

The commission then hosted two public hearings.

The public hearing regarding a proposed text amendment to zoning regulations to allow a dog daycare center on Main Street was tabled as the person requesting the hearing was not present. 

The commission held a second public hearing on the division of a property on the border of town near Bethlehem.

The hearing for this application was brief, the commission approved the application.

The commission hosted an informal discussion on the subject of the MRCO complex at 127 Porter St.

Steven Shappy, the owner of the property, is looking to install two dwelling units on the second floor of his building.

“It is something to consider,” said Mr. Antonetti.

The commission invited Mr. Shappy to bring forward an official application and have more detailed plans on the idea and to make sure the property is safe for potential residents.

Those seeking additional information on the meeting may view the minutes at http://www.watertownct.org/content/10290/4445/34498.aspx.

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