By Megan Krementowski
SOUTH WINDSOR — The Planning and Zoning Commission unanimously approved the Wood Memorial Library’s proposed Native American exhibit Tuesday, and continued a public hearing on a planned assisted living facility in the Evergreen Walk area.
The temporary, two-year outdoor exhibit was approved with additional conditions from Town Planner Michele Lipe — the fire chief must be notified of the fire pit location and its use at the exhibit, and any free-standing signs at the site are required to have permits.
The original proposal’s plan of a 4-foot-wide pathway was also increased to 5 feet wide, and the exhibit would be open for limited hours.
The “exhibit is allowed to be open two to three days a week with operating hours from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. for a six-week period in the fall, from late September through October, and a six-week period in the spring, from late April through May,” Lipe said.
Onsite parking is limited to handicapped parking and there will be bus drop-off at Main Street in front of the library.
The Indian village exhibit, which will be located at the rear of the library, will feature trails, gardens, and encampment structures of indigenous people from the Northeast. Funding is coming from a $75,000 matching state grant.
Before the regular monthly PZC meeting at Town Hall on Tuesday, a public hearing continued on HarborChase, a proposed 111,976-square-foot assisted living facility at 151 Buckland Road that includes a new building with 111 units, recreation areas, walking trails, a driveway, parking lots, and landscaping.
HarborChase assisted living communities are managed by Harbor Retirement Associates LLC of Vero Beach, Florida.
Richard Baummer of HarborChase spoke at a previous meeting, telling the commission that South Windsor needs another facility for the elderly, adding that the people who move into these homes are mostly in their early 80s.
Baummer said the facility would be a for-profit organization paying property taxes, and that it would bring a small amount of traffic to the area, along with well-paying jobs.
On Tuesday, the commission still had questions, however, regarding parking at the facility. Specifically, they asked how the facility would accommodate more visitors than usual during special events such as Mother’s Day and Father’s Day.
Representatives from Fuss & O’Neill, a Manchester consulting firm, said that there have been preliminary conversations about creating agreements with neighboring businesses, such as LA Fitness and ECHN, for overflow parking in cases of special events when those businesses are not at peak use.
The commission extended the public hearing portion on the project to continue discussing parking and corresponding sidewalks so that residents would not have to walk far to the building at any time.
The public hearing will be continued before the commission’s next regular meeting on July 24 in the Town Council Chambers. The regular monthly meeting will follow in the Madden Room.
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