AUGUST 17, 2022
Morgan Ellis, Chair called the meeting to order at 7:30 p.m. In attendance were Commission members Owen Bailey, Tony D’Elia, Jeff Grotsky and John Hutchison, Kees de Mooy (Zoning Administrator), and guests.
Ms. Ellis asked for a motion to approve the minutes of the February 16, 2022 meeting of the Planning Commission. Mr. D’Elia moved to approve the minutes of the meeting of February 16, 2021, was seconded by Mr. Bailey and carried unanimously.
LOT LINE ADJUSTMENT – HAVEMEYER, 107 S. CROSS AND 237 CANNON STREET
Mr. Hutchison asked the reasoning behind the lot line adjustment. Mr. de Mooy stated that he did not know why the change was requested. There was nobody present for the application. Mr. Hutchison stated that the garage would now be located on the same property as the building. Mr. de Mooy stated that was correct and the easements would remain in place. Mr. de Mooy stated that this simplifies two disjointed properties into one parcel. Mr. D’Elia moved approval as presented, was seconded by Mr. Hutchison and carried unanimously.
WASHINGTON COLLEGE – INDOOR TENNIS FACILITY – CONCEPT PLAN
Mr. Kevin Shearon of DMS & Associates and Mr. Stan Yeakel, Facilities Director at Washington College, were present for the application. Mr. Shearon stated that this was a concept plan for an indoor tennis facility, which would be USTA (United States Tennis Association) certified. He said that the building would be 53,000 sq.ft. and have a total of six (6) courts. Mr. Shearon stated that they looked at three different options for the court on the property where the existing courts are located, but due to setback and building restrictions the College settled on the location presented tonight, across the rail-trail, and away from public view, with access from Morgnec Road. He said that the travel lanes were large enough to accommodate circulation of buses and ample parking. A pedestrian connection via an at-grade sidewalk over the rail trail will be provided between the existing outdoor tennis courts and the proposed indoor courts.
Mr. Shearon stated that an ADA-compliant sidewalk will be added along Morgnec Road to the crossover of the rail-trail and onto the site. The plan showed parking for one hundred sixty-five (165) cars. Areas for stormwater management have been identified and they are working on the details.
Mr. Shearon stated that the College was working with architects to develop a façade for the building, and they would return to the Planning Commission for review as they move forward. Mr. de Mooy stated that the façade along the rail trail will be as important as the front façade of the building.
Mr. Hutchison asked if a building this size needed emergency access all the way around the building. Mr. Shearon stated that he did not think that was the case as the building would be unsprinklered and they provided the 450’ fire hose reach required by law, but he has not met with the Fire Marshal to review the plans. He said if all-around access was required there was room to shift the building to allow for it.
Mr. Grotsky asked the timeline for the project. Mr. Yeakel stated that this building would be funded by donations, and they did not have a firm timeline to date.
Mr. D’Elia asked if this was a scheduled phase of a long term comprehensive plan for the College. He said that there were already four indoor tennis courts on campus. Mr. Yeakel stated that there was a master plan for this parcel, and it was originally going to be a parking lot. He said that there were other parcels proposed for fields and other activities in the future around this land, which was part of the College’s master plan.
Mr. D’Elia asked if the building would be used for anything other than tennis. Mr. Yeakel stated that this will be a draw for regional tennis events, and he did not know that they would use the building for anything else. Mr. de Mooy stated that this would elevate the College’s Division 3 tennis program and it would be a big draw for tournaments.
Mr. D’Elia asked if not having the building would hurt the tennis program at the College, as he did not want to see it displace other sports teams. Mr. de Mooy stated that the indoor tennis courts at the fitness center were not USTA courts. Mr. Yeakel stated that no other teams are being displaced with the buildout of this site.
Mr. Bailey stated that a full length sidewalk along Morgnec Road would be beneficial to the entire community.
Ms. Ellis stated that on the next iteration they would like to see façade and landscape design. She said that lighting on the rail trail side should be reviewed as well.
Ms. Ellis stated that Elizabeth Watson was not able to make the meeting this evening but there would be a survey forthcoming for the Strategic Plan. She said that the Commission could discuss it in more detail at the September 21st meeting.
Mr. Jim Gatto was present, and he said that he had some comments on the site plan for the indoor tennis facility. He said that the pedestrian bridge could be made to be a cut-through rather than a bridge. He said that parking may be needed a few times a year, but he thought it was too much and that half of the spaces could be made porous with treatments to look like grass or gravel. Mr. Gatto stated that the use of a stormwater management pond next to the trail was not a good idea because it becomes an attractive nuisance. He said that he thought the driveway could be narrower as well. Mr. Gatto stated that this should be a conditional use as they have not seen an outlined plan for the entirety of the College. Mr. Gatto stated that the Planning Commission should review the College’s Master Plan so they knew what the College’s future plans were and it would eliminate the need for conditional use approvals.
There being no further business, Mr. D’Elia moved to adjourn the meeting at 8:05 p.m., was seconded by Mr. Hutchison and carried unanimously.
Submitted by: Approved by:
Jennifer McCann Morgan Ellis
Town Clerk Chair
AUGUST 17, 2022
7:30 p.m. Regular Meeting
- Minutes of Planning Commission Meetings of February 16, 2022
- Lot Line Adjustment – Havemeyer, 107 S. Cross and 237 Cannon Street
- Washington College – Indoor Tennis Facility – Concept Plan
- Elizabeth Watson – Strategic Planner