Plan And Zoning Commission Meeting Includes Neighbor Complaints

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Sep 182018

TP&Z Chair Ozzy Parente

The Town Plan and Zoning Commission meets at Town Hall on Thursday, Sept. 20 at 7 p.m.

Following is the agenda:

1. Request by Lawrence J. Greenberg, representing Mr. Pasquale Minore, to address the TPZC concerning lighting issues at Turkey Hill School.  A representative from the Orange Board of Education has also been invited.

2. SITE PLAN APPLICATION – Submitted by Craig Way for the HB Nitkin (property owner). For property known as 150 Boston Post Road; a.k.a. Assessor’s Map 44-4-6. The proposal is for a change of use from retail to
Automotive Repair. It includes minor parking lot modifications & restriping. There is no proposed additional pavement.

3. Review of the Minutes from the September 4, 2018 Meeting.

4. Report of the Zoning Enforcement Officer.

5. Old Business

6. New Business

7. Review of possible standards regulations concerning ‘trailers’, ‘notification of adjacent property owners’ and ‘prohibition of roosters’.

PUBLIC HEARINGS 7:30 p.m. *(1)

8. *SPECIAL PERMIT APPLICATION – Request for the reduction in the number of required parking spaces as per Section 383-175 of the Orange Zoning Regulations. For property known as 393 Derby Ave. Submitted by property owner Chinmaya Mission. Additional parking is required to utilize existing basement space. A SITE PLAN APPLICATION has also been submitted.

Thank You For Coming Out To Vote

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Sep 062018

Plenty of residents attended the Special Town Meeting at the High Plains Community Center on Wednesday, September 5, at 7:30 p.m.

The meeting was to consider and act on the purchase of property known as 28 Salemme Lane from Orange Land Development Holdings, LLC contingent on the receipt of a grant-in-aid in the amount of $6,143,250.00 from the State of Connecticut.

The town needed at least 100 registered voters to attend and vote on the matter, which was no problem.

The vote passed.


Short Agenda For Aug. 21 Town Plan And Zoning Commission Meeting

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Aug 172018

The Orange Town Plan And Zoning Commission will meet at Town Hall on Tuesday, Aug. 21 at 7 p.m.

Following is the Agenda. This will be a short meeting.

1. Review of the Minutes from the August 7, 2018 Meeting.

2. Request by Saint Barbara Greek Orthodox Church to hold the annual Odyssey Festival August 31, 2018 to September 3, 2018.

3. REQUEST FOR RELEASE OF BOND – URBAN AIR; For property known as 260 Bull Hill Lane. All site work has been completed and a Certificate of Occupancy issued. The request is to release $10,000 cash bond.

4. Report of the Zoning Enforcement Officer.

5. OldBusiness.

6. New Business.

Notes In A Nutshell: Orange Police Commission

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Aug 132018

The Orange Police Commission met at the Police Department on Monday, Aug. 13.

Following are notes from that meeting:

Mobile MRI

Jeff Gordon of Codespoti Associates made a presentation regarding a project at 330 Boston Post Road (Connecticut Orthopaedic Specialists).

The proposal is to have a Mobile MRI Unit in the parking lot about 3 days per week. The patient would be wheeled out to the parking lot to the trailer and placed on a lift that will get them up to the platform where the entrance door stands.

The MRI machine is inside the trailer and can move to whatever location it is needed.

NOTE: there is a mobile MRI that parks at Mount Desert Island Hospital in Maine a few days a week and it works out well. 

Gordon said the plans include removing a light pole, and an asphalt island from the parking lot. He said there is enough parking under the town regulations — there are 39 spaces when only 35 are required. The trailer would take up the excess parking spaces.

After a short discussion, the Commission unanimously approved the proposal.

Monthly Activity

The monthly activity log for July showed a total of 3,338 incidents, including 42 criminal arrests, 128 motor vehicle citations, 2 residential burglaries (backyard sheds where tools were reported missing), 6 commercial burglaries on the Boston Post Road (among them New England Ballet, Blue Moon Massage and Spa) 5 stolen motor vehicles, 88 motor vehicle accidents.

Records Revenue

Reports $397.18, Records Checks $20,  Fingerprints $5


• As of 9:15 a.m. Monday morning, the department’s Communications Room is completely renovated, the radio system is fully digital now. All radio transmissions are encrypted like may other towns for officer safety. (Scanners will not be able to pick them up anymore)

• When the phones are replaced, the phone contract is partially reimbursable by the town.

• One officer was sent to School Resource Officer training, and another to DARE training.

• The budget is in order and Overtime is in good shape.

• After a problem was discovered with the service pistols, the department ordered new ones. The US Army uses the same weapon, so the order was backlogged. Once they are delivered later this month, each officer will receive a replacement (the same model) and will be required to qualify with the new gun.

• The lobby of the OPD is now home to a new prescription drug disposal box. The BOW Drug / Alcohol Action Committee (BOWDAAC) donated the receptacle.  Bring your old, unused or unwanted prescription medications in and drop them into the box. The drugs will be disposed of properly along with collections from other police departments. Commissioner Christopher Carveth suggested circulating a flyer to the schools about it since children’s prescriptions expire quickly and shouldn’t be left around the house.

• The cell block project requested at the Board of Selectmen’s meeting last week, “forego the usual bid process for cell block improvement project — would improve suicide prevention and officer safety.

Other departments want to do the same thing and the work would be contracted together with them through a company that is an “expert” in police cellblock doors.”

Since the Selectmen approved the request, the work will begin soon.

• This Thursday, August 16, the Orange Police Department will be participating in the annual Tip-A-Cop event to benefit Special Olympics at Eli’s Restaurant, 285 Boston Post Road, from 5-9 p.m.

UPS Battery System

The Orange Police Department uses a UPS battery system to keep continuous power in the Communications Center in the event of a power outage. Since it takes time for the generator to power up, the battery system keeps everything running protecting the expensive equipment from being damaged by, for example, a power surge.

The current UPS is 10 years old and needs replacement and with the department adding more IT equipment the new unit will have to be bigger and have the ability to be expanded on in the future.

The unit may cost up to $30,000, but the exact cost for Orange has not yet been determined.

Annual Report

The town wants all municipal departments to submit their yearly reports by the end of the month.  The Orange Police report includes its yearly statistics, wants and needs. The OPD averages 100 requests for service per day, including 4.7 medical calls.

Letters and Communications

• Lt. Andrew Steinbrick filed papers for retirement, his last day was August 3. In his absence, Sgt. Mike Kosh has been serving as the interim commander of the Investigative Services Unit.

• Sheila Craw from the National Alliance for Law Enforcement Support delivered artwork from children who appreciate law enforcement. The pictures will be hung in the break room so officers can see them.

• Chief Gagne received a note from Deputy Chief Joseph Perno of the West Haven Police Department. Perno thanked the OPD for responding to the West Haven Beach on July 3 (along with several other departments) after a disturbance broke out during the annual fireworks show.

• Children from Camp Courant in Hartford sent a thank you card and drawings to K-9 Loki and Officer Chris Brown after they visited the camp.

• Chief Gagne sent thank you notes to Officer Paul Piscitelli for bringing and ATV to Camp Courant and to Officer Brown and K-9 Loki for their visit as well.

• Chief Gagne also Congratulated Brown and Loki on their first place win at the K-9 Olympics earlier this month.

• Loki and Officer Brown will be part of the K-9 demonstrations at the Milford Oyster Festival this weekend.

Notes In A Nutshell: Board Of Selectmen Wednesday, Aug. 8

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Aug 082018

The Orange Board of Selectmen met at Town Hall on Wednesday, Aug. 8.

Following are Notes from that meeting:

The first hour of the meeting was dedicated to the apparent Orange Community Nursery School displacement.

Orange Community Nursery School at High Plains were told on July 16th they’d have to vacate the location during building renovations and asbestos abatement.

The School administrator wants renovations to the classroom area and an extended lease for the preschool.

A parent said 1 in 5 children at Mary L come through OCNS and excel in school in the future.

She said they weren’t told soon enough that they would be displaced and it is not fair.

Another parent who signed his son up for September said he was shocked and disgusted with the way his and 54 other families have been treated regarding this matter.

He wants assurances that the school will be open at High Plains for the 2020-21 school year.

Yet another dad said these pre-school years are very important in a child’s formative years.

A tearful mom said the school has made arrangements to move temporarily to a space in Woodbridge, but it will be difficult to get to school events on work days.

The first selectman who took the brunt of the blame spoke next.

He said the reason they were not informed sooner was that the project had to go out to bid a second time and it did not come through or meet approval until last month’s selectmen’s meeting.

Many improvements to the two rooms used by the school had been planned.

He said the town granted the school a new lease and approved the 5-year lease at a very reasonable cost.

Zeoli’s belief was that the school would be displaced for a couple of weeks, but because of some of the work, it’s safer for the children not to be there. The school is more than welcome to return in 2019 through the end of their contract.

The school is not the only group that is being inconvenienced by the renovations. CERT, Scouts, Seniors and more also are being affected by the building work. It has to be done and there is no convenient time to do it.

Zeoli said he called several places in town to help out and nothing was available. In the audience the school’s administrator, Danielle, shook her head “no” and he called her out on it.

The Community Center renovations came up at the town meetings, a referendum and budget hearing at which everyone had an opportunity to voice their opinions and to vote.

Zeoli revealed that a new playground was going to be built on the other side of the basketball courts and if the nursery school did not like their private playground anymore they could take it down and use the new one.

Selectman Mitch Goldblatt, who is chairman of the bond oversight committee said the electricity will be disrupted and there are contaminant abatements that need to be done when the children are not present.

Selectman John Carangelo said he has small children and he is sad that everyone is so frustrated by this issue, but the town has entered into a contract and the work has to be done.

Danielle said she did not have any idea of what was going on until the week of Father’s Day. Furthermore, she said the Park and Rec Department ruins the school’s playground every summer and it costs her a fortune to keep it up to state standards when school begins.

The displacement has cost the school $40,000 and even though they found a space in Woodbridge, it will be very inconvenient for the parents.

The last mom at the podium said as the mother of small children, her nighttime schedule includes making dinner, doing homework, getting the kids bathed and ready for bed and there really isn’t time to attend meetings.

She also said that she wished she knew more about what was discussed at meetings and what was on the agendas of meetings so she could be better informed.

Agendas and Minutes can be found at https://www.orange-ct.gov/ and you can sign up for e-mail blasts with whatever information interests you.

Public Announcements

On Saturday, Oct. 13, from 9 a.m. to noon the free paper shredding, mattress disposal and Orange Community Women’s Collection drive will take place at High Plains Community Center.

On Monday, Sept. 3, Town Hall and the Transfer Station will be closed for Labor Day

The town went out for bonding maintained an AAA bond rating – the best you can get.

Fire Marshal requested a new vehicle for the fire marshal’s office “special services vehicle” 2006 SUV is worn out, need a new one to carry equipment need approval for a 2018 Chevy Tahoe (the least expensive vehicle) Unanimously approved

Police Chief Gagne requested forego the usual bid process for cell block improvement project — would improve suicide prevention and officer safety.

Other departments want to do the same thing and the work would be contracted together with them through a company that is an “expert” in police cellblock doors.

Unanimously approved


A large wet parcel behind Best Buy would be gifted to the town. It will put a nice buffer between the commercial and residential zones in the area. The Zoning Commission recommended approval and the “gift” was Unanimously approved by the Selectmen.

The property that was planned for the Orange Train Station, which came up at the Plan and Zoning Commission also was discussed. Click on the “On Demand” button at the upper left of this page to hear the lengthy discussion.



Notes In A Nutshell: Town Plan and Zoning Commission Aug. 7

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Aug 072018

The Orange Town Plan and Zoning Commission met at Town Hall on Tuesday, Aug. 7 at 7 p.m.

Following are notes from the meeting:

1. Review of the Minutes from the June 19, 2018 and July 3, 2018 Meetings.

There was some discussion about the wording in a couple of areas of the June 19 minutes.

2. 8-24 Referral Municipal Improvements – Request by the Town of Orange to acquire property known as 28 Salemme Lane.

The state has decided not to go forward with the Orange Train Station at this time due to financial difficulties. The state would pay for the town to acquire the land that was going to be used with the condition that if a station were to be built, a platform would be built on the property. The Commission voted unanimously to recommend the agreement to the Board of Selectmen.

3. 8-24 Referral Municipal Improvements – Proposed donation of land from Starwood Ceruzzi Meadows LLC to the Town of Orange. For properties known as Lot 55-06-02; Lot 55-06-13; Lot 56-01-02B; and Lot 56-01-09; 20.29 total acres.

A large wet parcel behind Best Buy would be gifted to the town. It will put a nice buffer between the commercial and residential zones in the area. The Commission voted unanimously to recommend the plan to the Board of Selectmen.

4. Request by the Orange Economic Development Commission for a Special Event known as the ‘Orange Stampede’ – the idea of using public art to draw awareness and traffic to the Retail Sector, by placing life-size 5×8 acrylic oxen in targeted locations along the Boston Post Road.

The oxen would be sponsored and displayed by different Orange businesses from June – Sept of 2019.

The commissioners aired safety concerns, such as sightline obstructions. The concept was approved pending the approval of the zoning enforcement officer for each location.

5. Report of the Zoning Enforcement Officer.

St. Barbara’s Greek Church should contact the Commission regarding their upcoming Labor Day weekend festival.


PUBLIC HEARINGS 7:30 p.m. *(2)

8. * SPECIAL PERMIT APPLICATION – For the sale and/or Processing of Agricultural Products. For property known as 870 Garden Road. Submitted by property owners Raymond and Maryellen Holden. The request is to construct a 20’ x 30’ addition to an existing barn. A request has been made for the waiver of the submission of a sealed site plan as per Section 383-117B (1).

The Holdens requested the larger space in which to host children’s parties and crafting events which they have been doing for many years. The farm is not open to the public, all activities are by appointment only as they always have been. The addition would blend in with the rest of the buildings on the property. No neighbors would be impacted by the addition.

Application unanimously approved.

9. *PETITION TO AMEND THE ORANGE ZONING REGULATIONS — Submitted by 32 Seniors, LLC. To amend the Planned Residential
Development zoning regulations to reduce the restricted age from 62 to 55. Changes to Section 383-103 A, 383-109 C(4), and 383-113 (C) are proposed.

Applicant was not present. The item was moved to the next meeting.

First Selectman Jim Zeoli chose to speak on the issue. He said he’s received many complaints from residents in the building. He said the current owners always have excuses and it is not acceptable.

He believes that the town needs MORE housing for people aged 62 and older. He asked the commission to keep the age restriction as it is.


Special Meeting Scheduled For June 27

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Jun 262018

The Orange Board of Selectmen will have a Special Meeting in the Lower Meeting Room at Town Hall on Wednesday, June 27 at 4 p.m.

The agenda includes one item: To consider and act on a bid recommendation for the Turkey Hill School ADA Project.


Notes In A Nutshell: Plan And Zoning June 19

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Jun 192018

TP&Z Chair Ozzy Parente

The Town Plan and Zoning Commission had a lengthy agenda on Tuesday, June 19. Following are brief notes of what was discussed.

Zoning enforcement: The Hotel on Marsh Hill Road is coming along well, there are a few things that still need to be discussed.

A home on Buttonball that had an issue with trailers is being dealt with.

Urban Air did some outdoor plantings and there is a matter of additional business coming in.

The architect spoke on the request for a larger occupancy in the amusement business originally 400, now requesting 700, which would mean an increase in parking.

The application was approved pending a letter from Fire Marshal Tim Smith.

• The Former Bear And Grill Building had a proposal for a virtual reality business “Spot VR Lounge”, to be open from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. The parking meets the regulations, no changes to the footprint of the building,

Unanimously approved. 

Public Hearings:

The Gherlones on 535 Highfield Road, requested an elderly apartment permit, received all the necessary signatures and meets all the town requirements.

Unanimously approved.

Special request by Chinmaya Mission on Derby Avenue for a 25% reduction in required parking spaces from 80 to 60 spaces. (use an existing basketball court that is not in use, for parking if needed)

This matter has been continued to the next meeting. 

Senior Housing on Turkey Hill Road. The room was filled with concerned citizens who opposed the application.

One concern is that the septic system could fail. The plan includes each building having its own septic system.

Department heads submitted their comments for the record. Sanitarian said soil testing has been done on the site since 2008, and there are areas of “special concern.”

Public Works Director said he also had concerns depending upon how many units there are and if there will be DEEP

Police Chief said the development would put a strain on police and emergency services, both of which already are overtaxed.

The attorney for the applicant said the following revisions have been made:

She clarified that there is no restaurant in the proposal.

The UNH Campus is NOT a part of the site plan.

Waste systems would be privately owned and not the town’s responsibility.

Reduced maximum building coverage from 30% to 15%

Several residents sent in letters expressing their opposition to the application, citing everything from traffic congestion to safety concerns and the idea that a zone change would open a can of worms that would negatively impact this and other areas in town.

The Attorney presented several letters of support (mostly copies of the same form letter) from residents, most of whom do not live in the immediate area of the proposed development.

Turkey Hill resident Mike DeVito, whose property abuts the proposed site. Initially, he didn’t oppose the plan, but as time went on and the site plan changed the idea became much less desirable. The traffic alone would be unacceptable.

His neighbor and her husband oppose the proposed amendment change.

A resident from Wheelers Farm Road, whose children attend Turkey Hill Road, said he is not opposed to smart growth, but why not put this development in an already approved zone instead of changing a zone to try and fit it in.

Dr. Mohammed from the Health Department said this is not an appropriate location for such a development.

One brave woman stood before the opposition crowd and said some people would actually like to live in a development like this.

The attorneys and other speakers later in the meeting were very chatty. Since I had other work to do, I stopped watching and suggest you click on the video on demand link under the OGAT button to the upper left side of this site and watch the remainder of the meeting.

Here’s Your Opportunity To Get The Answers You’ve Been Seeking

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May 202018


ORANGE LAND TRUST ANNUAL MEETING: Nuisance Wildlife! Problems and Solutions
The Orange Land Trust welcomes everyone to its Annual Meeting, on Tuesday, May 22, 2018, at High Plains Community Center, 525 Orange Center Road, at 7 pm.
Following a short business meeting, the program for the evening features a visit from Chris Vann, a nuisance wildlife biologist who just may have the answers to “critter issues” you may be struggling with around your home and property.

A fox, with a small animal in its mouth photographed on Derby Milford Road. (submitted photo)

Chris is a nuisance wildlife biologist with the CT DEEP Technical Assistance Program, Wildlife Division. This presentation on common wildlife, problems, and solutions, will provide an interesting and informative look at what you need to know and what measures you can take yourself. You will learn about squirrels, raccoons, foxes, coyotes, deer, and other wildlife that can become a problem when they take up residence in, or just visit, populated areas.

There are many other wildlife species that may cause conflicts, but for homeowners, these species are among those most frequently complained about.
He also discusses raccoon and bat rabies and rabies response guidelines. As the Nuisance Wildlife Control Operator (NWCO) Program Biologist he will provide info on this thirty-year-old program and its operation.
All animals require our respect. We will learn the basic precautions that could be taken to avoid or minimize what could possibly become a dangerous or tragic situation.
The Land Trust is anticipating an informative and educational evening for everyone. Plan to join them.
This program is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served.
Remember, the Orange Land Trust is always looking for new members and volunteers. For more information visit orangectlandtrust.org or call 203-799-7622.

March 14 First Selectmen’s Meeting Agenda

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Mar 132018

    Following is the AGENDA:
    Call to order
    Fire Exits
    Pledge of Allegiance
    (2 minutes per speaker)
    To consider and act on the approval of the minutes of the February 14, 2018
    Regular Meeting of the Board of Selectmen (enclosure)
    1. To consider and act on the resolution allowing the Town Clerk to apply for the
    2019 Historic Preservation Grant (enclosure) – Patrick O’Sullivan, Town Clerk
    2. To consider and act on the resolution with respect to the authorization,
    issuance and sale of not exceeding $4,000,000 Town of Orange general
    obligation refunding bonds (enclosure) – John Cifarelli, Finance Director
    3. To consider and act on the Greater Bridgeport Regional Recycling Interlocal
    Agreement (enclosure) – First Selectman Zeoli
    4. To consider and act on the Application for Recognition of Supplemental First
    Responders Status (enclosure) – First Selectman Zeoli
    5. To consider and act on the License Agreement Between the Town of Orange
    and Ed Oberg d/b/a Ashford Restoration of Connecticut and Daniel Shields
    d/b/a Olbords of Massachusetts (enclosure) – First Selectman Zeoli
    6. To consider and act on the request to approve the Tax Refunds for the month
    of March in the amount of $54,176.15 (enclosure)
    1. Pension Board – Selectman Goldblatt
    2. Capital Planning – Selectman Okenquist
    3. Bond Construction Oversight – Selectman Goldblatt
    4. Personnel – Selectmen Zeoli, Okenquist, Davis
    Approved Minutes of the January 10, 2018 Public Hearing Regarding a
    Massage Establishment Permit, Public Hearing on the Proposed Financing by
    the Orange Volunteer Fire Association and the Regular Meeting of the Board
    of Selectmen
    Revenue and Expenditure Reports