Notes In A Nutshell: April 4 Plan & Zoning Commission

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Apr 042017

The Town Plan & Zoning Commission met at Town Hall on Tuesday, April 4 at 7:30 p.m.

  1. APPLICATION FOR MIXED USE DEVELOPMENT WITH AFFORDABLE HOUSING UNITS AS PER 8-30G OF THE CT GENERAL STATUTES – Submitted by Sixty Five Marsh Hill Road, LLC for property known as 65-69 Marsh Hill Road and 0 & 15 Salemme Lane.  The mixed use development has underground parking, commercial and residential components.  Sixty apartments are proposed.  There will be 18 Affordable Units.  A SITE PLAN APPLICATION has been submitted. (Continued from the February 21, 2017 meeting.)

(Definition of an 8-30G development)

This is a controversial proposal because there is disagreement whether or not it is ok to submit/pursue affordable housing in this zone.  It would be part of the TODD (train station) overlay but it IS a separate project.

A traffic engineer was first to take the podium. He read a list of traffic concerns that had previously been discussed and, in short noted that many factors depended upon what would happen when the Orange Train Station was up and running, which would change the timing of traffic light cycles etc. The Orange Police Traffic Commission would have to approve or deny right turn on red changes at existing business driveways on Marsh Hill Road.

Commission Chairman Beau Clark said he did not feel that there was enough information to consider the traffic study “complete.”

Jeff Gordon planner and engineer for the project then spoke on his area of expertise. He argued that the Commission’s take on Light Industrial and residential zones make it impossible for anyone to build in Orange. “We think this project stands on its own merits,” Gordon said.

Commissioner Ralph Aschettino said the building rendition says “Welcome to Manhattan,” to him. “That’s not Orange.”

Judy Smith said the building should either be residential with no retail, or Gordon should go through the TODD process if he want s to include retail in his plan.

The discussion on this project will be continued to the next TP&ZC meeting. The Commission considers the area a Light Industrial 2 Zone which would prohibit this type of development.

Clark said, “This commission works hard on its regulations and protecting the Light Industrial area. We learn from our experiences.”

He added that Orange is not against affordable housing.


Notes In A Nutshell: Town Plan & Zoning Meeting April 19

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Apr 192016

The Town Plan & Zoning Commission met at Town Hall, 617 Orange Center Road on Tuesday, April 19 at 7:30 p.m.

Screen Shot 2016-04-19 at 7.32.42 PM

Robin Pearson addresses the Commission

• As required by Section 8-24 of the CT General Statutes – Request for the  conveyance of land and Construction Easement on Salemme Lane.  For the widening of Salemme Lane.  Submitted by Robin Pearson, Esq. for 65 Marsh Hill Road, LLC.

Pearson’s client wants to donate 1,368 sq ft of land to the town so Salemme Lane can be widened making way for the proposed Orange Train Station.

Commission voted to send a favorable recommendation to the Board of Selectmen regarding this land donation. 

• As required by Section 8-24 of the CT General Statutes – Request to abandon the Town’s rights to “Christmas Tree Lane.” Submitted by Kenneth A. Votre, Esq.

Screen Shot 2016-04-19 at 8.06.59 PMVotre represents two residents on Cricket Lane who actually own title to the 50-foot strip of land which has been an issue since 1961.

Zoning enforcement officer Paul Dinice recommended that the Commission NOT approve this request as a matter of public safety.

First Selectman Jim Zeoli addressed the commission and gave a brief history of the situation and clarified that neither the TPZC nor the Board of Selectmen would make the decision to abandon or retain the property, but the residents would have the final say at the Town Meeting in May.

The Commissioners voted to send an unfavorable recommendation to the BOS [as a formality. ]


 7.  SPECIAL PERMIT APPLICATION for the conversion of a single family dwelling to accommodate an elderly apartment. For property known as 1026 Field Drive, Orange, CT.  Submitted by property owner Susan D. Abate.  To create an elderly apartment.

The applicant did not show up for the meeting, so it was continued to the next meeting. 

Screen Shot 2016-04-19 at 8.35.01 PM8.  PETITION TO AMEND the Orange Zoning Regulations.  Submitted by Orange Land Development LLC.  To amend Article XXIV Transit Oriented Development District Regulations. 

Screen Shot 2016-04-19 at 8.40.29 PMMany changes have been made to the original plans.

9.  PETITION TO AMEND the Orange Zoning Map.  Submitted by Orange Land Development LLC.  To change the zoning designation of the subject property from LI-2/TODD Overlay to TODD.  The submission includes a “concept plan” as required by the Orange Zoning Regulations.  The  subject property is an 8.091-acre site located beyond the eastern end of Salemme Lane.  It is bordered by Dichello Distributors to the south; CTDOT Railroad right-of-way to the east; Yale University West Campus to the north; and Salemme Lane/Town of Orange, N/F Salemme-Riccio, and N/F Sixty FiveMarsh Hill Road, LLC to the west.  The parcel is currently undeveloped.  The subject property is shown as “0 Marsh Hill Road,” containing 8.091 acres, on Map #2369 on file at the Orange Town Clerk’s office, and is designated by the Orange Assessor as Map/Block/Lot 3-1-1. 

Screen Shot 2016-04-19 at 9.42.50 PMZeoli spoke again stating that the town is committed to the train station and that the project is well planned out. Even though some residents my be frustrated by the slow process at least it will be a good project. Many large businesses support the train station, but we must get the message to the state and let them know that it is important.

[I suggest you watch Video on Demand on OGAT for the complete discussion, including Dichello’s Ed Crowley’s presentation]

Notes In A Nutshell: Orange Town Plan & Zoning Commission Meeting

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Jun 162015

The Orange Town Plan & Zoning Commission met on Tuesday, June 16.

Following is the agenda:

1. SUBDIVISION APPLICATION – “Subdivision of Assessor’s Lot 7 and Portion of Assessor’s Lot 8”. Submitted by property owner Racebrook Estates, LLC. Location 846 Racebrook Road (Assessor’s Map 90-1-7) and portion of lot 8. To subdivide 8.3 acres of RES Residential land into 2 lots.

2. Request by Saint Barbara Greek Orthodox Church to hold it’s annual Odyssey Festival September 4, 2015 to September 7, 2015.


Zoning enforcement officer will be going out to have “illegal” temporary signs removed from in front of businesses along the Boston Post Road.

158 Ohman Ave. difficulties continue, residents complaining. Frank Rogers’ son is living in the house, so it is “legal” Outside storage is a problem and will be addressed on Wednesday.

6. Report of the Zoning Enforcement Officer.

-Review of Zoning Activities Log.


Screen Shot 2015-06-16 at 8.03.07 PM7. *SPECIAL PERMIT APPLICATION For Outdoor Storage and Display – Submitted by Home Depot for property known as 440 Boston Post Road.For the outdoor storage and display of seasonal items & merchandise.

Mark Maltese from Home Depot said he couldn’t meet with the police commission until July.

Walter Clark said there is a portable bathroom in the fire lane, he showed Maltese photos he took of a port-a-potty, shingles and other items that were in the fire lane. Clark said the sidewalk has not been cleared since the last meeting, which is unacceptable.

Clark said there is a total disregard for the violations and he thinks the request should be denied and have a cease and desist order  on the plans immediately.

Screen Shot 2015-06-16 at 8.12.45 PMThere must be a 6-foot clearance on the sidewalk for public safety. The town has clear regulations that define this. the columns complicate the issue, but the store must comply with the regulations.

Judy Smith Morgan said the store should start from scratch and bring ALL merchandise inside the store and then bring items out in compliance with the regulations.

Ozzy Parente said the store should comply with the regulations… before anything else can be done.

Screen Shot 2015-06-16 at 8.23.41 PMRalph Aschettino also visited the store several times and photographed what he knew were violations, backing up everything Clark said.

Maltese insisted that he has complied with the commission’s instructions and as a manager, some of the issues did not come from him. He admitted that he did not understand some of the instructions he’d been given.

Clark said the application is incomplete. Paul Dinice would stop by and inspect the store Wednesday morning and if everything was not in compliance by Monday, June 22, a cease and desist order would be applied, and fines would begin.

The Commission granted an extension to the application until July 7.

Screen Shot 2015-06-16 at 8.31.47 PM8. *RE-SUBDIVISION APPLICATION – 831 Derby Milford Road. Submitted by Walter M. & Mary Ellen K. Bespuda Living Trust, for property known as 831 Derby Milford Road. The proposal is to create 2 lots from 34.6 acres. Zoned Residential RES.

Jeff Gordon speaking for the applicants. The Bespudas would construct a 2 bedroom ranch style home on a portion of their land.

An attorney representing a Rainbow Trail resident addressed some concerns regarding restrictions on their property from a prior sub-division.

These are the restrictions from 2011:

solely for single family residences

no satellite dishes or solar panels

no livestock or chickens

no sheds

only in ground swimming pools

no exterior clothes lines

The Attorney wanted the commission to impose these conditions for the new home.

The Commissioners stated they would not have the authority to do that.

The attorney’s argument continued that the driveway could not accommodate a fire truck in an emergency.

Gordon contested that the driveway has been used by school busses, tractors and other heavy farm equipment for many years.

Since the proposed house would be built more than 1,000 feet from any existing homes, all of the arguments listed above were pretty much meaningless and the subdivision would not lower property values of neighboring properties.

The applicant received ALL of the necessary signatures from town departments and the Commissioners said the plans complied with all regulations, therefore they had no reason not to approve it.

The subdivision was unanimously approved.