TPZC expects to vote July 18 on JCC pool, toolate for swim season

WOODBRIDGE >> The Town Plan and Zoning Commission is expected to decide July 18 whether to allow the Jewish Community Center of Greater New Haven to open a member pool club, but JCC Chief Operating and Financial Officer Scott Cohen said even if approved it will be too late for this summer’s swim season.

The JCC came to the TPZC in the spring seeking to expand use of its children’s day camp pool to evenings and weekends. A dozen neighbors of the JCC property railed against the plan at a public hearing that went on for months.

Neighbors have complained that noise from the weekday camp is unbearable, compromises their quality of life and is decreasing their property values.

Both sides eventually hired attorneys.

After several sessions, TPZC Chairman Jeffrey Kaufman determined noise was the neighbors’ main issue and asked the JCC to come back with a mitigation plan.

Marc Cote, of Cote Acoustical Consulting LLC, which was hired by the JCC to mitigate noise in the pool area, recommended extending and improving the barriers, including fencing and trees.

Cote said his recommendations will reduce sound levels throughout the neighborhood to the west by at least 5 decibels.

Among the recommendations in Cote’s report:

• Relocate the tables in the picnic area.

• Provide a 9-foot wrap-around fence to the north and south of the newly defined picnic area.

• Raise the fence to 9 feet.

Cote’s report states that the face of the barrier should be tongue-and-groove plywood or equivalent.

Cote also made recommendations for the pool area, where there is a 6-foot stockade fence on earth berm at the western property line.

“As the pool is at a relatively low elevation, the existing fence effectively blocks the line of sight to the nearest neighbor at Shady Lane immediately to the west of the pool as well as other neighbors along the west property line,” Cote’s report states.

To decrease sound, Cote recommends raising the the fence to 10 feet.

Also, to avoid a reflection off the corner façade of the pool house, Cote recommends installing exterior-grade sound-absorptive panels.

Cohen said the sound remedies are expensive, so money would have to be raised before they even think about starting the work.

The JCC wants to open the pool on weekends to families who would pay a membership fee that would more affordable than a country club. It wants to extend weekday hours to 7 p.m.; open on weekends 10 a.m.-7 p.m.; and operate the weekend pool club June 15 to Labor Day.

JCC officials have said they would have a 200-person maximum for the 60-foot-by-77-foot pool.