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SEPTEMBER 14, ATTENDANCE: Karen Destefanis, Chair (6:10 p.m..); Ed Holowinko; STAFF: Alexis Cherichetti; Senior Environmental Officer

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Conservation Commission 09/14/2004 Minutes NORWALK CONSERVATION COMMISSION MINUTES SEPTEMBER 14, 2004 ATTENDANCE: Karen Destefanis, Chair (6:10 p.m..); Ed Holowinko; Jane Corcillo; Ann Cagnina; Susan Llorca
Conservation Commission 09/14/2004 Minutes NORWALK CONSERVATION COMMISSION MINUTES SEPTEMBER 14, 2004 ATTENDANCE: Karen Destefanis, Chair (6:10 p.m..); Ed Holowinko; Jane Corcillo; Ann Cagnina; Susan Llorca (6:14 p.m..); Andy Kydes; Seeley Hubbard (6:35 p.m.); Marny Smith; Elizabeth Ackerman STAFF: Alexis Cherichetti; Senior Environmental Officer OTHER: Don Strait, Architect-Grumman Engineering; Attorney Robert Genuario; Judy Slayback Ms. Corcillo called the meeting to order at 6:05 p.m. Ms. Cherichetti called the roll. RECEIPT/DISCUSSION a) 130 Ponus Avenue- #SO4-194 Bell Proposed residence with driveway, drainage, utilities, plantings. Driveway crossing close to wetland. Ms. Cherichetti stated that this lot was recently approved by the Conservation Commission as part of a two-lot subdivision approved in late July of this year. The applicant has applied for a site development plan separately. Ms. Cherichetti said that the applicant never applied for a subdivision to the Planning Commission so the lot that the Commission is seeing does not officially exist yet. Ms. Cherichetti said that she had been trying to get in touch with the applicant but so far had been unsuccessful. She said that the applicant is preparing to apply to the Planning Commission but has not done so yet. Ms. Cherichetti said that the applicant could table this application while the subdivision application goes through the Planning Commission. Mr. Strait of Grumman Engineering representing the applicant stated that he did not have anything to present tonight because of the issue with zoning. He said he felt that it was best to go and get the subdivision approved by Zoning before coming back before the Conservation Commission. Ms. Cherichetti said that the Commission has 65 days from August 24, 2004 to make a decision or to have a public hearing on this application. This item was tabled. Ms. Cherichetti stated that she would keep the item off the agenda until the applicant is able to move forward. b) 85 Saugatuck Road - #SO4-195 Fuscaldo Construction of a new single-family residence with adjacent driveway to the wetlands. Ms. Cherichetti stated that this is an application to construct a single-family residence on a lot that is currently vacant. She said that an application was made because there are wetland soils on the property. Ms. Cherichetti, referring to her memorandum of August 17, 2004 stated that she agrees with the applicant that although there are wetland soils there are not any wetlands functioning on the property. Ms. Cherichetti introduced Beth Evans, Principal Evans Associates representing the applicant. Ms. Evans stated that Mr. Fuscaldo asked her to take a look at this property because wetlands had been delineated for this property 4 years ago as part of the sewer extension. She said there were two small areas as shown on the map that were submitted to the City of Norwalk as wetlands on the application. She said that as far as she can tell they are both areas that were wetland filled that was dumped on to the property at some time in the past. She said underneath those wetland soils there are relatively bright soils. Ms. Evans said that it appears to be a surface smoothing and landscaping effort. Ms. Cherichetti said that this item would be referred for further discussion and decision at the next meeting. c) 140 Rowayton Avenue #S Rowayton Associates, LLC Construction of a new multi-family residence and garage, and expansion of parking lot adjacent to a wetland and watercourse Ms. Cagnina stated that she would not be taking part in the discussion of this application. Ms. Cagnina was recused. Attorney Genuario with the law firm of Genuario and Conover, 94 East Avenue, Norwalk, Connecticut stated that he is representing the applicants, Kevin Conway and his wife Barbara owners of 140 Rowayton Associates, LLC, longtime residents of Rowayton. Attorney Genuario stated that also in attendance tonight is Mr. Don Strait, Grumman Engineering and Ms. Judy Slayback. Attorney Genuario said that the subject property is located on Rowayton Avenue just south of the intersection with Wilson Avenue. He said that adjoining the property is property that has been acquired by the Sixth Taxing District. Attorney Genuario then gave a brief background summary. He said the Sixth Taxing District has a companion application that would be heard a little later this evening represented by Attorney Suchy with Tierney, Zullo, Flagherty & Murphy, 134 East Avenue, Norwalk, Connecticut. Attorney Genuario said that the Sixth Taxing District acquired from the Ambler Estate, property located to the north of the subject property, as well as acres of property behind the subject property. He said that the applicants acquired this property for ample consideration but acquired the rear property for $1.00. The purpose of the acquisition by the Sixth Taxing District was to create parking. Attorney Genuario stated that there is a significant parking problem in Rowayton. Attorney Genuario stated that the Sixth Taxing District understood that this was the reason for the sale of the property and that the rear property was sold for $1.00 with the express condition in the Deed that if best efforts were not made to create a parking lot in the designated area, the property that contains the wetlands would revert back to the Ambler Estate. He said the Sixth Taxing District approached Mr. Conroy who also acquired 140 Rowayton Avenue from the Ambler Estate. He said the Sixth Taxing District realized that they could not effectively create a parking lot without altering an easement through the Conway property. He said that the Sixth Taxing District did not want to come to the Conservation Commission with an application that had its driveway going through the wetlands and out into its parking lot so they came to them. Attorney Genuario stated that at the same time, they went to the community and presented this plan in concept form and it was endorsed along with the modification of the easement, which is being modified in large part, to protect the wetlands in this area. Attorney Genuario stated that Mr. Conroy has an application before the Zoning Commission to modify the front building to the effect that where the Post Office and RiverCat Restaurant would remain, the older portions of the building would be replaced with new construction that would house a bank, the hardware store and some other business as well as a four-unit residential property constructed in the rear. He said that the plans were constructed with an eye toward the wetlands which are not on their property but are in proximity to it with a view to protecting the wetlands while at the same time utilizing the property in a manner that is expressly the intent of the village district regulations that govern this particular piece of property. Mr. Strait gave a brief walkthrough of the drainage and engineering aspects of the plan. He referred to a new plan. He stated that there is a 10-foot rear yard. He said parking is not allowed in the required rear yard in the RVD zone. Mr. Strait illustrated where the wall and driveway had to be pulled back from the wetlands. He said that the closest point from the parking lot to the wetland is over 40 feet at He said the closest point on the building is 39 feet and the closest point of disturbance is 18 feet. Mr. Strait said that all of the water and drainage that was going toward the wetlands is now going in the other direction. He said a lot of the water from the parking lot on the Sixth Taxing District is being put back into the wetlands so that there will be an equal amount before and after construction. Mr. Strait said that the buffer area would have a fence and heavily planted so that there will be a lot of separation of people from the wetlands. Ms. Smith asked if the rock near the shed would have to be blasted. Mr. Strait said that he did not know if it would have to be blasted but that it would all have to go. Attorney Genuario asked Ms. Slayback to give the Commission a description of the wetlands as they are now as well as her recommendation and determination of how they will be impacted by this project. Ms. Slayback said that the storm water runoff is not being treated now. She said that it would be treated before it gets discharged into the storm drain. Ms. Slayback said that the wetland is a wooded wetland, primarily a red maple swamp which has been disturbed over the years, encroached upon and filled. She said that there are wetland species growing there. Ms. Slayback said that Staff required a delineated pool area and that a good portion of the wetland floor is woodchips. She stated that there has been a lot of dumping on the site. Ms. Slayback stated that the project would not adversely impact the quality of the wetlands. There was discussion with regard to a flag area in the Soil Report. Ms. Smith said that she was not sure if what is flagged is correct. Mr. Strait confirmed that A through K refers to the ponding area. Mr. Strait stated that there would be stockpiling on the Sixth Taxing District property and that they plan to add another area before the next meeting. Mr. Holowinko stated that he would like to see a barrier/plantings placed in the parking lot area in order to prevent leaves from being blown into the wetlands. Mr. Strait confirmed that there would be plantings along the area. Ms. Smith asked if the City of Norwalk, the property owner or the Sixth Taxing District would be responsible for storm treatment. Attorney Genuario said that Mr. and Mrs. Conroy would service the stormdrains on their privately owned property and that it is presently extremely well maintained. He said that the Sixth Taxing District would maintain their portion. Ms. Cherichetti said that the Commission would let the applicant know if this is a plenary permit application or a summary application. Ms. Smith asked if the residents in the area have had a chance to see the plan. Attorney Genuario stated that a conceptual plan was presented over a year ago and that there would be a public hearing before the Zoning Commission. Ms. Cherichetti stated that the application poses a potentially significant impact to the wetlands because of the proximity to the wetlands. ** MS. CORCILLO MADE A MOTION THAT THE NORWALK CONSERVATION COMMISSION SCHEDULE A PUBLIC HEARING ON SEPTEMBER 28, 2004 FOR APPLICATION #S ROWAYTON AVENUE ASSOCIATES, LLC ** MS. ACKERMAN SECONDED THE MOTION. ** MOTION PASSED WITH 8 IN FAVOR, 1 RECUSED (MS. CAGNINA). Ms. Cherichetti asked that all additional information be submitted by the applicant as soon as possible before the end of this week. Ms. Cagnina returned to the meeting at 6:49 p.m. d) 23 Adams Lane - #S Couch Dredging of a pond in and adjacent to a watercourse Ms. Cherichetti stated that this application has to do with a pond dredging. She said that the Conservation Commission approved a dredging of this pond 8 years ago. She said it is a small pond made by a small dam along a small tributary to the Silvermine River. Ms. Cherichetti said that she would encourage it to be a plenary activity since it would be in a watercourse. She asked that the Commission make a decision as to whether this is a plenary application or not. She said that there is a 65-day window to deal with this application. Ms. Cherichetti stated that she would contact Mr. Couch before the next Commission meeting. Ms. Smith requested that the Conservation Commission have a session on ponds since there are a lot of applications involving ponds and it is not clear what the Commission should do as far as the environment is concerned. Ms. Cherichetti said that she would schedule a meeting and perhaps bring in a speaker. e) 15 Ferris Avenue - #S Pat J. Cutrone Builder, LLC Construction of a new 6-unit dwelling adjacent to a wetland and watercourse Ms. Cherichetti said that this applicant is proposing to construct a 6-unit residential building. She said that they are demolishing a single-family residence. Ms. Cherichetti said that there is a small wetland pocket in the southwestern corner of the lot and just off the rear of the lot is a watercourse. Ms. Cherichetti stated that the applicant is in Council Chambers this evening to see if they will go ahead with the construction contract for North Taylor Avenue as presented by D.P.W. She said the applicant is asking that any further discussion regarding this application be tabled until the next meeting. It was the consensus of the Commission to table this application until the next meeting. PUBLIC HEARING Ms. Destefanis called the Public Hearing to order at 7:00 p.m.. Ms. Cherichetti called the roll. a) 461 Newtown Avenue - #S Pugliese New single-family residence and associated landscaping in and adjacent to wetland Ms. Cherichetti said that this is a continuation of a public hearing for this application. She said that at the last meeting the applicant was requested by the Commission to submit additional information for the review of this application. The applicant has had continual delays in providing the information and has asked that the Commission accept his granting of an extension of time to complete the public hearing for an additional 42 days. Ms. Cherichetti said that would mean that the public hearing would be reconvened at the October 12, 2004 meeting. It was the consensus of the Conservation Commission to hold this hearing open and to reconvene on October 12, 2004. Ms. Destefanis called the Public Hearing to order at 7:10 p.m.. Ms. Cherichetti called the roll. b) 10 Peaceful Lane #S Kovach Corrective action restoration of wetland and watercourse Ms. Destefanis asked if there was anyone present to speak in favor of or against this application. Mr. Strait, Landscape Architect with Grumman Engineering stated that he was representing Mr. Kovach. He said that this is a residential backyard. He said the applicant was in the process of installing a 10-inch pipe. There is a stream that goes through the yard. Mr. Strait referred to a site plan with regard to removing 3 dead maple trees. He said that they would like to replace the trees with various wetland shrubs. There was discussion of the alternate plan with the same buffer area and uniform depth swale. Mr. Strait said that hay bales would be installed for erosion control. Mr. Kovach stated that a pipe was apparently installed in The pipe he installed earlier this year cost $4, He stated that he is interested in making the property safe. Ms. Corcillo stated that she is not sure that the pipe is the best solution for the problem. There was further discussion regarding the swale and plantings in the wetland area providing a deterrent for children from coming into the area. Ms. Cagnina said that she is not comfortable with a segment of open pipe being inserted among open swales. Ms. Cherichetti said that Staff s opinion is that there is concern that the pipe is not the most environmentally friendly solution to the problem. She said a wetland system and watercourse exist on this property. Ms. Cherichetti said that she is concerned with removing a portion of the hydrology of water system and having it exit via a pipe to the site. She said it is important to keep the area a working area during storm events. Ms. Cherichetti said that the alternate plan is a good plan and that she would encourage the applicant to consider extending a planting buffer. ** MS. SMITH MADE A MOTION TO CLOSE THE PUBLIC HEARING. ** MS. CORCILLO SECONDED THE MOTION. ** MOTION PASSED WITH 2 ABSTENSIONS, (MR. HUBBARD AND MS. LLORCA). The public hearing was closed at 7:44 p.m. It was the consensus of the Commission that Ms. Cherichetti would draft a resolution for the primary proposal as well as a draft resolution approving the alternate plan for the next meeting on September 28, f) 12 Allen Road - #S Frederick Canevari Two-lot subdivision of land in and adjacent to adjacent to a wetland and watercourse Ms. Cherichetti said that this application said that there is a team here tonight to present this application. Mr. Steve McAllister, McChord Engineering said that he is representing the applicant, Mr. Canevari. He said that the property represents two lots with one to be developed as a single-family residence served by city water and sewer services. The second lot is to be donated to the Norwalk Land Trust. There will be a shared driveway with a neighboring property. Mr. McAllister stated that the project would require disturbance of the wetlands in the order of 1,650 square feet. Mr. McAllister stated that two alternate plans were submitted, A and B and that they are essentially the same with a similar overall disturbance. Mr. McAllister, referring to the two plans, further noted the square footage of the house. There was discussion on the percentage of wetland area of the lot. Ms. Cherichetti said that it is a very large wetland area that makes up a very high percentage of the rear lot that is proposed. She said that the applicant has applied for concurrent subdivision and site development. Ms. Cherichetti asked that the Commission decide whether this application warrants a plenary permit application review or stays as a summary permit application. ** MS. CAGNINA MADE A MOTION THAT APPLICATION #S ALLEN ROAD CANEVARI BE HEARD AS A PLENARY APPLICATION. ** MS. ACKERMAN SECONDED THE MOTION. ** MOTION PASSED WITH 2 ABSTENSIONS (MS. LLORCA AND MR. HOLOWINKO). Ms. Cherichetti said that it has been determined that a public hearing needs to be held and asked if the applicant had any other information to submit before the public hearing begins. There was discussion with regard to the Soil Scientists used for both 6 and 8 Allen Road. It was the consensus of the Commission to hold a public hearing on September 28, 2004 in this matter. DISCUSSION/DECISION a) 2 & 8 Wilson Avenue 6th Taxing District - #S Installation of a 46-space parking lot and associated drainage and landscaping adjacent to a wetland and watercourse Ms. Cherichetti stated that Ms. Cagnina is recused and that Ms. Llorca and Mr. Holowinko would be able to vote. Ms. Cherichetti stated that at the last meeting the applicant presented the application for the first time. It was determined at that time that the applicant had some work to do as far as revising the information that was presented. Ms. Cherichetti said that it was determined that this would be a plenary application. There was a brief discussion with regard to the revisions made to the application by Attorney Suchy with the law firm of Tierney, Zullo, Flaherty and Murphy. Attorney Suchy said that she represents the 6th Taxing District which filed this application in July She stated that there have been modifications to the configuration of the plans. Attorney Suchy said that in doing so, the buffer was increased from 25 feet to 35 feet. She said the issue of parking in Rowayton has been one that has been discussed for many years. There was discussion with regard to restrictions and language in the deed to the property. Attorney Suchy said that a public hearing in this matter is scheduled for September 28, Mr. Strait, Landscape Architect with Grumman Engineering said that the plans that are now before the Commission shows a correct watercourse area on the plan. Mr. Strait pointed out the drainage outlet on the plans. b) 73 North Seir Hill Road - #S Hopkins Construction of a new garage and 2nd story addition and removal of existing asphalt adjacent to a wetland and watercourse Ms. Cagnina returned to the meeting at 8:25 p.m. Ms. Cherichetti stated that this application was received a while ago. She said the applicant was unable to attend because of the birth of a child. The applicant has now submitted the amended plans which include soil and erosion controls, silt fence and a designated stock pile area. Ms. Cherichetti said that the applicant is also proposing to remove a large portion of the existing asphalt driveway and construct a
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