SOUTH WINDSOR — The Planning and Zoning Commission will hold public hearings Tuesday on amendments to zoning regulations regarding re-filing applications, cannabis establishments, and the town’s Affordable Housing Plan.
One of the text amendments would establish criteria for the resubmission of applications within one year of PZC action.
IF YOU GO
WHEN: 7 pm Tuesday.
WHERE: Town Hall. The meeting will also be viewable on Cox Cable, Channel 16, via the town’s Facebook page, or at gmedia.swagit.com/live
The proposed amendment states that no application previously acted upon may be resubmitted within one year “unless based on facts presented in writing, that a material change in the situation justifies a new hearing.”
The restriction would not apply to applications withdrawn prior to the PZC taking action.
The Inland Wetlands Commission, which hears many of the same development proposals, has a similar provision in place.
The PZC recently rejected an application for a 360,000-square-foot warehouse on Talbot Lane and Governor’s Highway in December 2021. The developers resubmitted a highly similar application later that month, which was ultimately rejected in March.
The PZC faces two lawsuits from the developer appealing the separate rejection.
Another regulation change to be heard Tuesday would end the one-year moratorium on retail cannabis establishments, put into effect in December 2021, and establish regulations for types of marijuana dispensary and production facilities.
Under the rule-change, hybrid-use marijuana dispensary facilities would be permitted by special exception in the general commercial zone, with no other permitted dispensary uses.
Hybrid-use marijuana dispensary facilities are defined as businesses where marijuana may be dispensed or sold for medical purposes and to adult-use consumers. The number of such facilities in town would be limited to one, in line with state guidance.
No dispensary would be allowed within 500 feet of a park, municipal building, daycare center, rehab facility, or place of worship, nor within 1,000 feet of a private or public school.
Marijuana production facilities would be permitted in the industrial zone, subject to site plan approval.
Operators of any marijuana facility would require an applicable license from the state Department of Consumer Protection.
A third regulation change would have the town opt out of the state law that requires the town to approve accessory dwelling units by right in every residential zone and revise the definitions in the regulations for accessory apartments.
Accessory apartments would require an approved application and be limited by a number of criteria. The amendment would require that either the primary dwelling or accessory apartment would be owner-occupied.
Accessory apartments would also have no more than two bedrooms and not be allowed for use as short-term rental properties.
A hearing on the town’s affordable housing plan for 2022-27 is also on the agenda.
The Planning Department presented the plan to Town Council on March 21, and the PZC is required to hold a public hearing on the matter before adopting it.
Per state law, municipalities are required to submit a plan every five years detailing the state of affordable housing in town and a vision to expand such offerings.
The plan states that 739 units, or 6.84% of the town’s housing stock, are to be price-protected to be affordable. Municipalities with less than 10% of its housing stock considered as affordable are subject to the state Affordable Housing Appeals Procedure.
Municipalities subject to the procedure must have a number of “housing unit-equivalent points,” as determined by the state, or it can be subject to applications for affordable housing developments that can supercede local zoning regulations.
Joseph covers East Hartford and South Windsor. He joined the JI in July 2021. Joseph graduated from the University of Connecticut and he is an avid guitarist and coffee enthusiast.
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