Chairman vote tops tonight's P&Z meeting
The Planning and Zoning Board (P&Z) has a light agenda at its Jan. 2 meeting, since the two public hearings scheduled for tonight have been postponed to the board’s Jan. 16 meeting at the request of the applicants.
The first hearing is for a subdivision at 622 Gulf St., which requires a coastal area management site plan review and approval. George Ward, trustee, and his successors own the 3.9-acre property in the R-18 zone. There are three houses on the property: a 4,325-square-foot house dating to 1870, a 3,800-square-foot house built in 1935, and a 2,200-square-foot house also built in 1935.
The other application requires a special exception and site plan review to convert a two-family dwelling to a three-family dwelling. Devon Properties 265 LLC is the owner. John and Aileen O’Connell of Milford are listed as members. The 0.14-acre property is located in the Corridor Design Development District 2 (CDD-2). The 1,800-square-foot house dates to 1930.
With the postponement of these hearings, this leaves the only real order of business the need to elect a board chairperson and vice chairperson.
The board will welcome its new members, as a result of election changes that shifted the board from five Democrats and five Republicans to seven Democrats and three Republicans.
In the First District, newcomer and Democrat Peg Kearney defeated incumbent board member and Republican Thomas Nichol. In the Second District, Democrat Denise Doucette-Ginese ran unopposed, filling the seat left open by Democrat Michael Dolan who did not run for re-election.
In the Third District Democrat Jim Quish was re-elected, and newcomer and Democrat Robert Satti defeated incumbent Rick Varrone. Varrone had previously been appointed to fill the vacancy of Edward Mead, who had resigned when he moved from the Third District to the Fifth District.
In the Fourth District, Democrats Nancy Austin and Brian Kaligian were elected to their seats, having previously been appointed by the Board of Aldermen. Austin was appointed in August 2017 to fill vacancies left by the resignation of Richard Lutz, who resigned from the board before moving to Orange. Kaligian replaced Anthony Sutton in September when Sutton was appointed to the Board of Aldermen.
In the Fifth District, Democrat Carl Moore kept his seat, fending off a challenge from former board member and Republican Edward Mead, running in his new district.
This changes the dynamics for the board, since in the past year when the board was split evenly between the two parties, members would usually vote along party lines. This left a deadlock for the chairman and vice chairman vote.
The conflict has in the past been resolved by an agreement the board adopted by which each party would have a chairperson for one year in a two-year period, and the member of the opposite party would serve as vice chairman for the other year.