1 August 2012 | Approved: 5 September 2012
Chairman Challstrom called the meeting to order at 7:30 p.m. In attendance were commissioners Brenda Gumula, Peter Nagrod, and Steve Werts.
Approval of Agenda
Peter Nagrod moved, Brenda Gumula seconded that the agenda be approved. Chairman Challstrom added the letter from Barbara Hawk regarding a parcel adjacent to her property.
Approval of the Minutes
Brenda Gumula moved, Steve Werts seconded that the Planning Commission minutes for July 11, 2012 be approved. A clarifying phrase for the second hearing for 201 Maple Road was added. Words were added for 411 Washington Grove Lane to clarify the Temporary Use Permit is for a dumpster. Edits were made for Towne Crest re meeting and hearing. Approved: 5-0.
There were no public appearances.
Building Permit Applications
No permit applications received.
Chairman Challstrom reported the Bridge Advisory Group is working on a draft agreement with CSX regarding their proposal.
Barbara Hawk Letter
As requested by Mayor Georgette Cole, the Commission addressed the issues associated with the June 20, 2012, letter from Barbara Hawk requesting purchase of a Town-owned parcel on the south side of her property at 416 Fifth Avenue. The Commission reviewed details of this area in Block 14 using an enlarged portion of Plat 20 done in 1898. Barbara’s property is Lot 9, and the subject parcel is shown on Plat 20 as an alley between Lot 9 and Wade Park. There are many other alleys shown on this Plat.
The Commission reviewed the 1964 Equity Case memo regarding the abandonment of Town-owned property. This Equity Case dealt with 18 alleys declared abandoned and conveyed to adjacent property owners. These abandoned alleys are between other privately-owned parcels, not along the edge of a Park which adds to the effective public use area of a Park. The parcel requested by Barbara Hawk is not among those identified in this Equity Case memo, and the requested parcel has never been declared abandoned by the Town.
Based on survey monuments set with the 2007 Block 14 Survey, Charlie Challstrom and Steve Werts visited the property to review an approximate corner of Lot 9 and its relationship to the brick patio and the edge of the house. They reported to the Commission the house does not appear to encroach onto Town property, but the brick patio extends substantially beyond the limits of Lot 9 and onto Town property.
The Commission reviewed a 1987 letter from Barbara Hawk to the Mayor and Town Council urging establishment of "some policy guidelines for the sale of public land, rather than to continue to handle such an important issue on a case by case basis." The Commission then reviewed the resulting 1987 Policy for Sale of Surplus Parcels, noting this proposed sale would involve a parcel that is along the edge of Wade Park and effectively adds to the public use area of that park.
The Commission also reviewed the applicable portion of the 2009 Master Plan which states: "Any sale of public land would be considered only after analysis and determination that such sale would be consistent with the Town’s Policy for Sale of Surplus Parcels…" This reinforces the established Policy and the ongoing need to handle such requests on an equitable basis.
To conclude its examination of the issues associated with the parcel on the south side of the property at 416 Fifth Avenue, Brenda Gumula moved, Peter Nagrod seconded — "The proposed sale would be inconsistent with: the precedent of alleys between private properties that were sold to those adjacent property owners; the Policy for Sale of Surplus Parcels, specifically with regard to public use of this parcel; and the 2009 Master Plan." Vote: 4-0.
There is required training for planning commissioners; however, we will wait for a session that is closer to the Grove or take an online session. There may be a course in October. There is no penalty for not taking the course but it is highly recommended.
Washington Grove Lane Sidewalk
Peter Nagrod will have an update at the next meeting.
Towne Crest Redevelopment Update
Townhouses that have setback problems (too near West Woods/Daylily Lane) have been modified to 20 feet the wrong way in the recent update, they are now 50 feet too close to the West Woods. Green space has been increased by 18% with no change to building size…this needs to be explained.
The meeting was adjourned at 8:20 p.m.