WOODBURY — The Planning Commission discussed referrals from zoning, the Gray Fox subdivision, the Connectivity Grant awarded to the town and the Plan of Conservation and Development at its meeting on Wednesday, July 10.
Ken Faroni, representing O&G Industries, presented a zoning district boundary change from PI to EE at 144 Bacon Pond Rd. to extend the Park Road Quarry by 5.51 acres.
O&G owns the site at 144 Bacon Pond Rd.
Mr. Faroni said the primary reason for the boundary change would be to increase the mining operation. Mining the additional acreage could potentially increase the life of the quarry by 1.5 years.
The quarry’s life is an estimate based largely on the function of the market.
He added the increased acreage would not increase truck traffic or blast frequency for the quarry. He said even with the increased acreage, there would still be a significant buffer between the quarry and Bacon Pond Road.
Mr. Faroni noted the application is just for the zone change, not the work.
However, Mr. Faroni said, “we think, from a town benefit standpoint, it provides the opportunity to develop a more natural landform.”
He said the increased acreage would provide a larger footprint for the quarry, which could help with the end use, and would allow the face to be a more natural slope rather than a vertical wall.
“It gives increased flexibility to the town as to what end uses it could be,” he said.
Mr. Faroni provided the commission with two concept plans for the end use of the quarry.
“The purpose of the concept plan is to give the town and the neighbors some idea of what the end use could be, and again, the town controls the cards. It’s zoned EE and that’s the only thing we could do,” Mr. Faroni said.
He noted any end use of the quarry would have to be decided by the town and would require a zoning district boundary application from EE to whatever the town, neighbors and O&G decide the end use to be.
“As your [POCD] states, we want to build a cooperative effort between the town, the regulatory authority, O&G and the neighbors to come up with a concept plan or end use that is favorable to all,” Mr. Faroni said.
The concept plans he presented, which was only provided to illustrate some of the possibilities for end uses, included plans for an outdoor amphitheater, ball fields, storage warehouses and passive recreation parks.
“Here we’re showing theoretically what could be done,” Mr. Faroni said.
The commission requested staff provide a draft motion for next meeting and set a site walk for 6 p.m. Wednesday, July 24, at the quarry entrance on Bacon Pond Road.
John Holland, representing the Gray Fox subdivision, said the subdivision permits would expire Saturday, August 3.
Mr. Holland requested the commission authorize the land use staff to approve technical changes to the subdivision map and to add a motion to the minutes requesting future makeups of the Planning Commission to take into consideration the initial approval for the subdivision’s open space requirement.
Mr. Holland said the subdivision had three phases, and phase two and three require a road to be built.
“The cost of the road would be more than what the lots are worth once the road is complete,” Mr. Holland said, explaining he planned to return the phase two and three lots to a single lot.
He said the first phase, which will be completed before the subdivision permits expire, are nearly completed save for some miscellaneous remaining work.
The commission unanimously authorized staff to approve technical changes to a new map.
The commission also unanimously approved a statement to ask future commissions to consider that the previously dedicated open space satisfy open space requirements when considering future subdivision applications.
The second motion is not a legally binding motion, as a current commission cannot bind future commissioners’ decisions. However, it puts the request on the record for future commissioners to consider.
The commission discussed the Connectivity Grant that Town Planner Maryellen Edwards secured for the town.
The original plan for the grant was to repair the sidewalk in front of the Town Hall, however officials from the state Department of Transportation advised the town find a different sidewalk to repair, since the DOT plans to do much of the work proposed for the original grant proposal when it repaves Route 6.
Grant representatives said they would still honor the grant if the town found other sidewalks to build or maintain.
Ms. Edwards discussed possibly using the Shade, Tree and Sidewalk Committee’s sidewalk plan to build sidewalks connecting Mitchell Elementary School and Woodbury Middle School to existing sidewalks by going up Washington Avenue and School Street.
“That’s what I’m working on, drafting the language to submit back to DOT,” Ms. Edwards said.
The commission also discussed the POCD update.
The commission has received approximately half of the draft POCD from Fitzgerald and Halliday, Inc.
The commission sent in comments and questioned when it would receive revised versions of the drafts. It also questioned where each member disagreed on certain points. It asked staff to pass along their concerns to FHI.
The commission also discussed possibly of calling special meetings to ensure the commission is prepared for the next meeting with FHI, likely in September.
In other news, the commission unanimously found a referral from the Zoning Commission for a special permit to convert a one-family dwelling at 50 Main St. North to contain an accessory apartment as consistent with the POCD.