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CC minutes 12/11/07


Conservation Commission
Regular Meeting
December 11, 2007, 6:00 p.m.
31 Pecks Lane, Newtown, Connecticut

Commissioners Present: Hovious, Ferguson, Barkman, Cramer and Kaley.
Staff Present: Rob Sibley, Deputy Director and Tammy Hazen, Clerk.

Executive session to discuss potential purchases of properties convened at 5:00 p.m. and adjourned at 5:50 p.m.

The public hearing was called to order at 6:00 p.m.

I.      Public Participation

Mary Wilson, who was nominated and approved by the Town Committee as a new Commissioner, was present as an observer.  She will contact the First Selectman’s office to request a swearing in date by the Town Clerk.  Two Commissioners terms are coming up.  They also need to contact the First Selectman’s office to schedule being sworn in.

II.     Minutes

Minutes of November 13, 2007.  Commissioner Ferguson motioned to approve minutes.  Seconded by Commissioner Kaley.  Minutes approved.

III.    Old Business

1.      Update on Implementation of 2007-2008 Budget.

Mr. Sibley stated there is nothing to report regarding the surveying.  

GIS Training:  Commissioner Kaley researched options and cost on GIS training.  Instructor-led classes provided by ArcView were found to be $950 per person.  For an instructor to come here to teach a classroom would cost $7,300.00.  She recommends ArcView’s self-paced study modules (prices begin at $125.00).  Commissioner Kaley will research courses offered at UConn.  Mr. Sibley will provide an introduction and basic overview of the GIS system for the Commissioners on Thursday.  

2.      Status of 2008-09 Budget Proposal

Mr. Sibley discussed the budget.  The Conservation Commission is now under the Land Use Agency budget.  Office Supplies, Training, Educational materials will come put of the Land Use Agency.  The Open Space Indexing budget of $14,400.00 is under an individual account under Land Use.  Ms. Hazen will order memory sticks for the Commissioners.

3.      Commerce Road Economic Development/Open Space Discussion.

Commissioner Hovious received and read a response letter from Chet Hopper dated 11/19/07 regarding the study conducted on the stability of slopes.

4.      Action on Recommendation to P & Z to Clarify Open Space Definition.

Mr. Sibley will give the Conservation Commission a draft of the Open Space definition by the next meeting for recommendation and approval by Planning & Zoning.  

5.      Vernal Pool Study Updated.

Alicia Messier presented an update on the vernal pool study.  Due to a change in her Thesis proposal, the vernal pool study has been placed on temporary hold.  Ms. Messier discussed the Upper Susquehanna Coalition’s (USC) creation of a vernal pool catalog extension on the GIS database system.  Aerial analysis and field recognition of vernal pools were also discussed.  Her Thesis will focus on impervious surfaces and the watershed.  She will share her analysis and gathered information with the Commission.

6.      Transition Planning Update.

Mr. Sibley has not had an opportunity to meet with the new First Selectman.

IV.     New Business

1.      Discussion of Open Space Options for John Hayden Subdivision, 12 Botsford Hill Road.

Larry Edwards, 227 Stepney Road, Easton, representing applicant, reviewed maps and presented applicant’s plans for a subdivision and its lack of suitability for open space.  They propose providing a fee in lieu of open space.  There is no other contiguous open space adjoining this property.  The Conservation Commission will take action on this when it is referred by Planning & Zoning.

2.      Referral from Planning & Zoning on Moyle lot re-subdivision, 18 Osborne Hill Road.

Mr. Sibley provided the commissioners with background on the Moyle property.  He discussed two separate letters from P & Z requesting the Commission’s recommendations and comments.  Commissioner Barkman moved that the Conservation Commission adopt a fee-in-lieu-of for 18 Osborne Hill Road, Moyle re-subdivision property.  Seconded by Commissioner Kaley.  Motion carried.  Commissioner Hovious will send a letter as soon as possible.  

3.      Conservation Commission Draft Presentation Discussion.

Commissioner Barkman presented a draft presentation (designed to represent the Commission’s background and charter) and asked for discussion and suggestions.  The presentation will be updated with the Commissioner’s suggestions.  

Mr. Sibley projected the GIS system for the Commissioners to view.  

Commissioner Barkman motioned to adjourn at 8:00 p.m..  Seconded by Commissioner Kaley.