6 May 2015 | Approved: 3 June 2015
Chairman Challstrom called the meeting to order at 7:30 p.m. In attendance were commissioners Brenda Gumula, David Hix, Peter Nagrod, and Steve Werts. Also in attendance was Councilor Georgette Cole. Historic Preservation Commission Chair Bob Booher arrived at 7:45 p.m.
Approval of Agenda
Peter Nagrod moved to approve the agenda. Brenda Gumula seconded the motion. Brenda asked for the addition of discussions about Town parking control plans (specifically Daylily Lane, Boundary Street and Railroad Street) and boundary encroachments thus far.
Approved: 5-0, as amended.
Approval of the Minutes
Steve Werts moved to approve the April minutes. David Hix seconded the motion. Approved: 5-0.
There were none.
Public Ways & Property Permit Applications
203 2nd Avenue – Charlie Challstrom gave a brief history of this property and explained a meeting with the contractor, property owner and two (2) Town representatives (Steve Werts and Charlie Challstrom) had recently taken place. Charlie Challstrom presented a draft of conditions for this work. The Commission discussed the following:
- Restoration of Grove Avenue from Center Street to Miller Drive
- Restoration of 2nd Avenue from Grove Avenue to the Circle
- Type of gravel
- Potential tree damage
- Placement of a dumpster (on Miller Drive)
- Type of dumpster – trailer on wheels
- Parking restrictions – where and when
- Placement of Porta Potty
- Surveyor’s on interior area in Block 11
- Little Free Library/corner of Ridge Rd. & Brown St. – Chairman Challstrom reviewed the proposal from Shelley Winkler and Wendy Harris. This would be a public amenity on public space. There was a discussion about placement and about the potential for bees’ nests in the structure. David Hix suggested the use of a sunset review for this project. Brenda Gumula moved to approve this permit for one year at which time a review to check the conditions will take place. David Hix seconded the motion. Approval: 5-0.
Permanent Easement Request
409 5th Avenue – Bud and Carolyn presented copies of a boundary survey for use with their Public Ways & Property Permit. The Commission discussed the following:
- Meets and bounds requirement
- Surveying costs
- Inclusion of the encroaching steps
- Squaring off the area in the drawing to simplify things
- Before and after pictures
- Insurance benefits
Bud and Carolyn will present a completed application in the near future.
Parking Control Plan
The Commission acknowledged what a difficult and challenging subject this is. The most recent work produced language about a Town Parking Policy for the 2009 Town Master Plan.
- Boundary Street – presents a unique set of issues because of dual ownership of the road. There was a discussion about Town parking stickers, signs (“No Parking of Commercial Vehicles”) and asking Montgomery County DOT for assistance.
- Daylily Lane – A member reported a new graveled area on Town land across the road from #3 Daylily Lane. This is an approximately 8 ft. X 30 ft. strip that was installed with no notice to the Town. There was a discussion about enforcement, reasonable solutions to allow for additional parking in the area, volunteer gravel spreading, potential for tree damage and the current conditions of the road. In conclusion; the Commission will recommend a letter be written by the Mayor about the restrictions of placing gravel on Town land and the Commission will continue to consider a long-term fix which could include widening.
Boundary Encroachments Thus Far
John McClelland was doing follow-up with the Jackson’s in Saybrooke and Mayor McCathran was going to do the other encroachments. At the time of this meeting, it was unclear if any further action had taken place.
Harrison Property Subdivision – status report: Bob Booher presented a revised plan for the property. The Commission discussed the following:
- Garages and potential setback violations
- Porches and potential setback violations
- Allowance for open porches only
- The need for flexibility
- The RR-4 Cluster Zoning process – conditions and exceptions
- Sending Bob’s plan with a letter to the Harrison’s and Mr. McKee
- Cluster requirements – understanding the details in Article VII, Section 9.2
- Potential problems with selling the lots individually
- Establishing what the current owner must do before the sale; dedication of a public easement for the walkway (gravel path), construction of the walkway, driveway (ingress and egress) to serve all four homes.
Brenda Gumula moved to endorse communication with Shirl Harrison concerning the temporary denial of the Subdivision Plan as submitted in March 2015 specifying conditions for re-filling with no additional fee. Peter Nagrod seconded the motion. Approval: 5-0.
House Files: Status Report
Brenda Gumula reported three (3) more homes have been completed and are ready to go to Georgette Cole for finalizing. Three (3) more complicated homes are nearly finished and the Circle clean-up will be next. The completion of the inner areas in Block 11 will aid in the Circle work.
Charlie Challstrom reported the Annual Planning Commission Report for Town Meeting is ready.
- Charlie Challstrom expressed concern with the inequities in the handling of new fencing at 118 and 114 Grove Avenue. The residents at 118 got a building permit application, corrected problems with the old fence on Town land and lowered the portion facing the road by four (4) feet as the Ordinance requires. The resident at 114 did not get a building permit and replaced two (2) 6-foot sections in kind but on the property line. These two (2) sections should be 4-feet tall just like the neighboring new fence. Charlie also mentioned the same problem with the “repaired” fence at 206 Chestnut Avenue. There was a discussion about enforcement and fixing vs. repairing fences.
- A permit application for a fence at 127 Grove Avenue will be addressed at the June meeting.
The meeting was adjourned at 10:30 p.m.