May 17, 2022

Tonight, Old Lyme Holds Special Town Meeting with Five-Item Agenda

OLD LYME — This evening, Monday, March 21, the Town of Old Lyme will hold a Special Town Meeting at 7:30 p.m. in the Meeting Hall of Memorial Town Hall, 52 Lyme St., in Old Lyme.

The following agenda items will be discussed and may be taken to a vote:

1.         To approve the appropriation of an amount not to exceed $45,000 to fund the preparation of a Local Transportation Capital Improvement Plan grant application, to prepare easement documentation for a pedestrian bridge and a walking trail to the Florence Griswold Museum and to fund engineering and legal services to prepare a Village District Zoning Overlay. See Appendices 1 and 2 at the foot of this article for more information.

2.         To approve the utilization of the Standard Allowance for American Rescue Plan Act funding reporting purposes.

3.         To approve the funding of a request from the Ledge Light Health District in the amount of $21,622.15 (1% of Old Lyme’s American Rescue Plan funding) to help the District respond to the COVID-19 public health emergency.  The funding will be paid from American Rescue Plan (ARP) funds received by the Town.

4.         To approve the funding of an amount not to exceed $20,000 to retain the services of George E. Krivda, Jr. to administer the Town of Old Lyme’s small business and non-profit American Rescue Plan grant program.  The funding will be paid from ARP funds received by the Town.

5.         To approve an AMENDED AND RESTATED DEED OF CONSERVATION RESTRICTION 311.50-ACRE PARCEL, which amends a Deed of Conservation Restriction from David Sears McCulloch and Jean Adair McCulloch to The Nature Conservancy of Connecticut, Inc., its successors or assigns, dated on or about December 29, 1999 and recorded at Book 260, Page 1007 of the said Land Records, subsequently assigned to Jean A. McCulloch Farm LLC, having been approved by a judgment of the Superior Court on June 4, 2021, providing for the following specific amendments:

a.         Paragraphs 3.3 (a), (b) and (c) of the Deed of Conservation Restriction are hereby amended by adding the following at the end of each section:  “except as required to construct parking in the three areas shown on the maps in Exhibit B, such parking to be made of permeable surface material and designed in consultation with the Conservancy.”

b.         Paragraph 3.3 (e) is hereby amended by adding the following at the end of the section: “except for the placement of sanitary garbage pails or bins and to erect environmentally sound composting toilets as required for the responsible management and in order to protect the conservation values of the property.”

To authorize and empower the First Selectman to sign, execute, receive, deliver and record, on behalf of the Town, the AMENDED AND RESTATED DEED OF CONSERVATION RESTRICTION 311.50-ACRE PARCEL, and such other instruments and agreements as are required to carry out the foregoing resolution.

A copy of the AMENDED AND RESTATED DEED OF CONSERVATION RESTRICTION 311.50-ACRE PARCEL may be examined at the office of the Town Clerk of the Town of Old Lyme during the Town Clerk’s ordinary business hours.

Appendix 1:

HALLS ROAD Improvements COMMITTEE
Short-term Financing Needs March 21, 2022
Approved by Board of Selectmen & Board of Finance: January 18, 2022

  1. LOTCIP Grant – Application for grant $13,500 (BSC Group)
    To assist in preparing LOTCIP Grant for sidewalk and other streetscape improvements. Proposal includes engineering drawings to show where and how new streetscape & safety improvements are to occur along Halls Road. These documents will also be used to provide specific direction for any future Construction Documentation. This grant application is the first formal submission of plans to CT DOT, and the first chance to receive official approval / disapproval for each plan element.
  2. Graybill Easement /survey     $7,000 (BSC Group, not to exceed)
    To secure an easement on the east bank of the Lieutenant. James Graybill has generously offered to grant an easement to the Town of Old Lyme to provide access to the old Lieutenant River bridge abutment on his property for a future pedestrian bridge. A pedestrian bridge over the Lieutenant has consistently been among the most favored potential improvements in public discussions and town-wide surveys. It will allow safe pedestrian and bicycle travel between Lyme Street and the Halls Road district, with views of a beautiful stretch of the Lieutenant River. Mr Graybill has also offered to include in the easement the path of a future trail to the Florence Griswold Museum. Such connections are great opportunities to integrate Old Lyme’s business district with its Arts District, one of Old Lyme’s definitive assets. It is important to secure this easement now, both to ensure future access to the bridge abutment and to make it possible to apply for grants to defray the costs of building the bridge and trails on the east side of the river.
  3. Halls Road Overlay District  – Zoning Attorney $10,000 (TCORS Bill Sweeney)
                                                    – Planning Consultant $ 9,000 (BSC Group, not to exceed)
    To complete the work of creating new zoning supporting the recommendations of the Hall Road Master Plan. The previous Village District approach to new zoning created un-looked-for burdens for existing property owners. The new approach is to allow the old C-30s zoning to remain, and to create a Halls Road Overlay District (HROD) as an alternative. Those who wish to can use the HROD to pursue different, and more profitable, new developments in line with the Master Plan. These include mixed use (commercial & residential), apartments and townhomes. The HROD also brings retail development up to the street to create a walkable town center along Halls Road. The change simplifies the new zoning regulations to some degree, but it is important that they be complete, accurate, and legally correct before submission to the Zoning Commission. This requires professional help, which this allocation will pay for. It should be noted that some of this work has already begun on a good faith basis.

$39,500   Total of 1 – 3 above
Contingency Allowance $  5,500
$45,000  Total Request

Appendix 2:

HALLS ROAD Improvements COMMITTEE
March 2022       NEXT STEPS

  • Halls Road Overlay District – prepare documents for town’s application to Zoning Commission 
    • Target Date April 2022 with final approvals possible by July 2022
    • Overlay District to provide new opportunities to property owners and future developers aimed at bringing commercial up to Halls Road and allowing apartments and town homes. 
    • C-30S Zone remains, unless an applicant choses to use the Overlay District.
  • Grant Applications – to help fund Public Improvements along Halls Road. Timeframe for grant process can be 2 – 4 years.

    Public Improvements include: Sidewalks, Pedestrian Lighting, Landscaping, Crosswalks, Pathways, and a new bridge over the Lieutenant River allowing pedestrians and cyclists to avoid the motorway bridge.

    Grant opportunities currently seeking: 

    • October 2022 – Local Transportation Capital Improvement Program (LOTCIP) Grant – BSC to assist in preparation. Application to include engineering drawings that will define and detail scope of streetscape improvements. CT DOT formally considers our design concept with this grant. 
      • Possible funding of $2.5 million. 
      • The LOTCIP Grant program is currently 2 years out from application. We are aiming to apply for this in fall 2022 to get into the application queue with a goal to be awarded funding by 2024/25.
    • Additional grants that would contribute funds toward the sidewalks and pedestrian bridge not likely to be covered by the LOTCIP Grant: 
      • November 2022 – CT Trails Program.
      • January 2023 – CT Community Challenge Grant. 

Seek other grants available for multi-modal connectivity and trails.

  • Design Drawings – With Grants Awarded the town can engage professionals to create final construction documents. Timeframe: 1 year from RFQ to final documentation.

Implementation – Seek and receive bids for construction, award project, and begin construction of roadway improvements. Requires prior grant funding and town-funded design documents (as above) and town approval of total funding package. Timeframe: TBD.

Comments

  1. Howard Margules says

    Old Lyme residents have the opportunity on Monday to vote in favor of a $45,000 investment in revitalising Halls Road and ensuring the future viability of our central commercial center. This Halls Road spending request was approved by the BOF and the BOS, was supposed to be included in the town budget but was not, and now requires a special town meeting.
    Our project consultant has not been paid and the town’s credibility is on the line. If the Halls Road project plan fails, we could wind up with multiple gas stations and other businesses our residents will not be pleased with.
    We have a choice of having Halls Road ultimately look like East Lyme’s hodge podge four corners or look more like Niantic which has been carefully planned including a village setting, shops lining the streets and multi-family housing that meets the needs of its residents.
    Please make sure you attend the Town Hall meeting Monday March 21st at 7:30 PM and vote in favor of these modest expenditures. Please pass this on and encourage others to attend.

    Howard Margules

  2. Charlotte Scot says

    Let’s hope, rather than gas stations, Halls Road will include some fast charging-stations to accommodate the growing number of electric and hybrid vehicles in town. Providing fast chargers may very well offer a bonus by attracting customers for our restaurants and shops.
    Visit E-Cool (Electric cars of Old Lyme) on FB.

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