No agenda items, so P&Z cancels first meeting of 2018

With no items on its Jan. 2 agenda, the Planning and Zoning Board canceled its first meeting of 2018. The two public hearings scheduled for that night 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 2,200 square foot house also built in 1935.

The other application requires a special exception and site plan view 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, and would be required to have a sprinkler system installed, which is part of the plans. The project would have eight parking spaces.

When it meets on Jan. 16, the board’s first order of business will be electing 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 a vacancy left by the resignation of Richard Lutz, who resigned the board before moving to Orange, and Kaligian for 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 dynamic for electing a chairman, since in the past year when the board was split evenly between the two parties, members would usually vote along party lines, leaving a deadlock for the chairman and vice chairman vote.

The conflict would ultimately be 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, and then they would switch for the other year.

The board also changes from nine men and one woman to seven men and three women; prior to Austin’s appointment, the most recent board had been all men.