Town of Buxton Planning Board Meeting
Minutes of August 27, 2007
Prepared by: Hilda Lynch
Members Present: Harry Kavouksorian, Barbara Elwell, Keith Emery, Jeremiah Ross, III, Jim Logan, Caroline Segalla, and David Anderson
Others Present: Fred Farnham, Alexander Bacallao, Dan & Roberta Aceto, Joshua Jewett
Chairman Jeremiah Ross, III, called the meeting to order at 7:32 p.m.
Public Hearing: Custom Built Homes of Maine, Inc., have submitted an application to amend The Woodlands subdivision to allow individual mailboxes; Tax Map 7, Lot 31.
Alex Bacallao, representing Custom Built Homes, Inc, of Maine, stated that the residents of The Woodlands subdivision have requested an amendment to allow individual mailboxes rather than a cluster of mailboxes, and the Gorham Post Office is willing to deliver to individuals. Custom Built Homes has received a letter stating that it was okay. Jere asked if there were any questions or comments from abutters. Harry felt that if individual residents wanted separate boxes, they should be allowed to have them. Keith is sticking with his reasons in opposition that he stated last time – easier for plowing and to keep the subdivision looking as nice as can be. Jere asked for a motion from the planning board:
~Harry moved to amend the original subdivision application to allow individual mailboxes rather than the gang mailbox that was approved for the subdivision. Jim seconded the motion.
Harry asked if any subdivision had been declined a request such as this. Keith said that some subdivisions started with gang mailboxes and, as expanded, went to individual mailboxes. No one has been denied either way. Jere said that he thought the postal service was encouraging these cluster mailboxes to limit miles because it was easier for them to make deliveries but have more recently allowed individual mailboxes. David stated that all of the homeowners knew this when they went into the subdivision. Alex said they didn’t see the plan for the subdivision--only the layout. David thought this was something homeowners should have checked out in advance. Keith stated that it was a dead end road. Jere asked for a copy of the letter that
the postal service approved and asked for it to be handed in to the Code Enforcement Office. Alex read a letter from the postal service stating that although they preferred cluster mailboxes that must be maintained by the builder and homeowners, individual ones are allowed. The letter was signed by the Gorham postmaster. The motion passes 4 – 3 (Barbara, Keith and David opposed). Jere stated that new Mylar would have to be provided deleting cluster mailboxes on the plan and showing that the Planning Board has allowed individual mailboxes. The subdivision plan would need to be amended to reflect the change. Alex should check with Krystal to see how many copies would be needed, and copies of the subdivision plan would need to be signed by the Planning
Jere realized that the public hearing had not been officially opened, so ~Keith moved, David seconded, to open the public hearing. The vote was unanimous in favor of opening the hearing. The motion was remade and voted upon with the results as above. Keith moved to close the public hearing and David seconded. All were in favor.
There was some discussion about when to close a public hearing.
Discussion of peer review from Sweet Associates for Josh Jewett & Jennifer Granillo, who are requesting an amendment to Butternut Hill Estates; Tax Map 3, Lot 45.
Jere invited Josh Jewett to speak, stated that the PB had received the peer review report and asked if he had anything more for the Board. Josh said that he didn’t. Jere asked if Josh had reimbursed the town, and Josh stated that he gave Krystal a check last Friday.
David stated that he couldn’t see why this needed to be held up any further.
Carolyn asked about the lot not having been written into the original plan. She wondered if the residents bought into the subdivision thinking that this would be open space. In the plan, it talked about the space being used for drainage purposes but nothing about it being developed. She expressed concern about waterfowl and bird habitat. Was the land set aside for future development? Josh stated that originally it wasn’t. His grandparents deeded the land to his father, and his father got a permit to cross the wetlands. This is something that his father started, and Josh is finishing. Josh has plans to talk with the DEP and get the full NRPA; and he has the amount of land (60,000 square feet), which is what the town wants. Once he gets the okay from the DEP, he will proceed. He just wants to make sure it’s approved as a lot before he gets all of the permits for it. Carolyn asked if there were any plans for developing the land at the top. Josh says, “No.”
Jim asked if a garage would ever be proposed to attach to this house. Josh said that they would only be able to put a garage under it because of space. Jim verified that Josh was asking for the lot approval so he could get the permits. Jim verified that Josh would get a full NRPA and wondered if this would be a condition of approval. This was a DEP determination, and Jim explained what NRPA was. Some discussion of what would be involved was held. Josh said he doesn’t know what to do since he’s spoken with a woman at DEP over a year ago; he’s E-mailed them on two occasions. Jim suggested submitting a full application to get the request in process. There was some discussion about the time frame and cost of a full NRPA. Josh hasn’t been able to move the DEP regarding the permit. Jere asked if he needed a permit from DEP and Inland Fisheries, and Josh said he needed only a permit from DEP. Jere stated that they would make it a condition of approval that he has the
permit from DEP. Josh doesn’t mind coming back and handing in the paperwork when he has it altogether.
Barbara wanted to know if they’d ever decided if he could come off this hammerhead. Harry asked about the letter from the Road Commissioner and wondered if this could nullify the ordinance, and Keith stated that it couldn’t. Josh thought it would be a good idea to do a site walk because he says the pavement is wider than a normal road and thinks that on the newest plan there’s a curb cut to make it the right size because it actually comes off the side of it. He doesn’t think they should dig up and fill in another section of wetland. He thinks it’s all right where it is. Josh explained that it (the hammerhead?) doesn’t come directly off of the lot.
David understood that from a previous site walk that everything would be fine with the Road Commissioners’ approval. Keith stated that the Road Commissioner couldn’t supersede the ordinance. Jere said there would be no way to change an ordinance if it’s in there; the only option would be to amend the ordinance. There was some discussion about the hammerhead being approved as in the original plan.
Fred has a blown up copy of the plan which shows the right of way and the layout of the tar. The road (turnaround) is not located within the setbacks. If you apply the setbacks, Fred stated that indeed the driveway comes off the side of the right of way. Fred has drawn it out and has scales here and invited the Board to draw in the right of way. He thought that if the road is where it says it is on the plan, the driveway could stay where it is. Jim asked for clarification, and Jere and Fred discussed it with him. Section 10.1A6 could easily refer to the ends of the hammerhead, so perhaps the gravel access is not at the terminal end of the hammerhead. Fred stated that the idea was to keep the plowing from filling in driveways. Keith
talked about how they plow both ways with these hammerheads.
Jere asked if they were all set with the peer review of the wetlands. Jim was a little confused about it because it didn’t refer specifically to any delineation. He didn’t see this particular plan of June 28th anywhere in the packet. He and Josh clarified what had been done for surveys. Jim clarified how the plan referred to one that they didn’t have a copy of. Jere asked for a copy of the June 28th, 2007, plan. Josh said he would get a copy of the plan to them. Jere asked if the Board is ready for a public hearing. Keith stated he thought they could. It was explained that they could begin the hearing and don’t have to close it if something comes up. Jere stated that Josh would need to get the copy
of the June 28th plan to Krystal by Friday at the latest (since Monday is a holiday). Jim thinks the original plan would need to be amended, which would require another DEP permit. Josh would need a NRPA permit and a site location permit.
~Jim moved, Keith seconded, that a public hearing be held on September 10th. It was verified that they needed a copy of the June 28th plan. Jim asked if there had been a site walk, and Jere stated that there had and it has been ongoing for a year and a half to two years. Carolyn asked if any abutters approached the PB members when the previous site walk was done. David stated that it was done in the winter; it was about 20 degrees with about a foot of snow on the ground. Keith
suggested that the two new board members might want to go down and look. Carolyn has already been down. Jim knows the area and may drive by. The motion passes, 7 – 0. Jere told Josh that the meeting time might be changed to 7 p.m. If it is done tonight, Krystal would send him a letter notifying him of the time change. Abutters would be notified by registered mail.
Discussion of site walk for Dan & Roberta Aceto who are requesting a conditional use permit for a 30’ x 60’ construction company storage facility to be located off Cousins Road; Tax Map 8, Lot 10A.
Dan said that he was hoping to purchase land for his business. Jere said all of the Board members, but Barbara and Keith, had attempted to have the site walk of this land, but the engineers had not had time to stake the location of the proposed building, so they postponed it until this week. Dan said he’d checked it tonight, and the pins all appeared to be in place. Jim asked if they found those pins as they walked down through. Dan said he walked around most of the perimeter the other day. Jere said the Board received Article 10 from Dan, dated August 13 and Article 8.2B information. Jere asked if Dan had brought a copy of the purchase and sale agreement, and told him that he could give it to Hilda to get to Krystal.
Dan has gone in to see Krystal about anything else that was needed. Dan stated in answer to the question about the fuel tank size that the nearest he can figure is that the fuel tank is about a thousand gallons. Jere asked if he was planning to build a roof, and Dan said his current one has a roof and he is planning to bring this one and the necessary signs on it. Jere asked the Board if they could do a site walk some night this week. Some discussion was held about available nights.
~David motioned, Carolyn seconded, to re-schedule the Aceto site walk for Thursday, August 30, at 5:30 p.m... The motion was passed unanimously.
Dan said there was a space for several cars to park. Keith asked about the N.A.’s on Article 10 answers? Jere and Keith stated it should say “just a driveway” in 10.1.1.1. Jere asked if they should talk with the engineer on Thurs. to have items changed. A discussion of a timeline for the Aceto’s to be out of Gorham was held. Jere stated that if all goes well with the site walk, the hearing could possibly be held on September 24th. There was some discussion about the need to discuss the site walk officially prior to scheduling the public hearing. Dan said that the biggest problem was insurance in terms of his staying on the property until his new site is approved. If someone gets hurt, he wouldn’t own the land any more. Jere said that the Board would try their best to expedite the process since they know the situation he is in. Dan apologized for things not being ready when the Board tried to do their previous site walk.
Carolyn wondered if the engineer answered the wetlands question. Dan stated that he was supposed to answer those questions as it was the main reason for having him there. Jim said that there was some indication of the type of soil, but thought he’d wait until he actually walked the site. Dan talked about a couple of swales, and Jim suggested that Dan show them on the plan so that they could see accurately where those culverts would need to be in order to expedite things.
Discussion of site walk for Patrick & Cora Langevin of 50 Marshall Lane who have submitted an application for a conditional use permit to operate a Bed & Breakfast; Tax Map 10, Lot 118-1.
The Langevins were not in attendance. Everyone attended a site walk on Monday, except for Keith. Keith said he forgot all about the site walks since he’d been on vacation and had gotten busy. Jere stated that there was plenty of extra parking on the site. Jim said that the PB has the septic plan. Jere said he knew Dave spoke to the transportation manager. He thought the Board should make provision for solid waste disposal. When it deals with the ordinance, there needs to be some provision for the disposal of solid waste. Keith stated that he thought they should have a dumpster since they’re a business, and Carolyn wondered if that should be a condition of approval. Jere stated it would.
Jim wondered about the letter from the State Fire Marshall. Jere stated that this would also be needed as well as a license from the State for a bed and breakfast. Fred reported that Mr. Langevin came in a few days after the previous meeting; and after attending the PB meeting, his phone started ringing and he had several people wanting to apply for the assisted living. He said the
Langevin’s were going to drop his application. Fred said he expected an official letter to the Board, which would be in their packets when received. Jere reviewed that his business was Angel’s Retreat located on Marshall Lane, off 117 in Buxton. If anyone has any further questions, they could contact Fred who could relay the info to the Langevin’s.
The Board decided to wait for a letter from Mr. Langevin in order to close this item.
Jere asked about releasing funds to Captain’s Way (The Woodlands subdivision) for completion of the road. Keith stated that there wasn’t a letter from Larry (the Road Commissioner) and the Board does have a letter from the Fire Chief who is looking for some more things to be done. Jere suggested having the chief send a memo stating that the items were addressed from the letter of August 20, 2007. Then, the Board would consider releasing the funds. Dave has been contacted by Norway Savings Bank. He thinks Custom Built Homes’ letter of credit or funding is up, and it has to be renewed, which is where the pressure is coming from. They’d like to have it reduced to $59,810, based on their calculations supplied in a letter dated July 11.
There’s some pressure but also a need for some further documentation. Jere reviewed the need for a letter from the Road Commissioner stating that the road is up to a certain percentage as well as the questions answered by the Fire Chief. Keith talked about who the copies of the letters needed to go to. Jere stated that it was the responsibility of Custom Homes to get the info to the appropriate people so town staff is not spending time running around doing things for them. He said that nothing should be released until they have taken care of the things needing to be done. Keith talked about a sign off sheet in Krystal’s office that they could use. They need to be contacting the road commissioner and fire chief to get documentation that things are done to town standards.
Approval of Minutes: August 13, 2007
Carolyn reviewed a few typos: p. 3 – the third sentence from the end of the paragraph should read “Dan says” not “Dan say”. On p. 4, the second sentence on the page begins “Yes, it said it” should read “Yes, it was…” so delete “it said”. Under Approval of Minutes, the very last vote should read 6 in favor – 0 – 1 abstention (Caroline). The Board liked the amount of detail, especially if there should ever be any need to go to court.
~Keith moved to accept the minutes as printed with minor corrections, Jim seconded. The vote was unanimously in favor.
Approval of Bills:
To Sweet Associates in the amount of $500 to cover wetland mapping peer review for the Josh Jewett and Jennifer Granillo.
Dave said he received the $500 on Friday from Josh and it is being placed in an escrow account to reimburse Sweet Associates.
~Dave made a motion, seconded by Harry, to pay this bill. Jim asked if in the future this would be an established escrow account.
Dave explained how all monies would go into a non-interest escrow account so the monies from the Planning Board budget are not used inappropriately. He explained how the account has been set up. The motion was passed unanimously.
Jere stated that the Board had received a letter from David explaining the whole thing.
Jere reviewed a memo to the Selectmen regarding the Shoreland Zoning maps and an estimate that Krystal had received from Southern Maine Planning. Jere stated he had 100 percent confidence in Wanda Emery’s ability to do this, and it would save the town $6,000+. Wanda was the Code Secretary for three years, knows the town well, and has lived here all of her life. He wishes he could contribute as much as Wanda is doing for the town. Jim stated that there might be a need to pay some portion of the fee if Southern Maine Planning were to help Wanda.
David Anderson – Budget adjustment
David stated that he copied everyone on the Board as well as Fred and Krystal regarding the current budget – the uses and leftovers from the 2007 fiscal year and where we are in respect to 2008. He mentioned a consultant fee of $500 was deducted to pay Sweet Assoc. and that the $500 would come back. He would suggest that the Board consider requesting of the selectman a carryover of the printing and mapping costs from 2007 into 2008. Wanda is providing an extreme service, David says. At the same time, we’ve seen what it would cost if the town were to update the maps with Southern Maine Planning. He wants to try and build a fund for future mapping. He assumes that almost any time a change is made, maps would need to be updated. David
would prepare a letter (as treasurer) with a brief presentation to the selectman. Keith says that the map should be updated whenever a zoning change has been made. He said that this time we’ve gone beyond the usual amount of time. This is exactly the reason that David is suggesting that money be set aside for this or asking for a larger amount in January when presenting needs to the Budget Committee. Keith said that the Board of Selectmen would not allow the Planning Board to roll over money on a yearly basis, he’s been told, and explained why. He said that they would probably just have to ask for it and that the public would give it.
Barbara suggested a separate article be set up for this like they do for a new fire truck, rescue or large expenditure like that. $500 a year could be placed in this account; otherwise, a lot of money would have to be raised at once. Jere said that the shoreland zoning measures are rather major. Jim agrees that what Barbara is putting forward is a good point. He feels that it’s shortsighted not to address the mapping issue and the continued need for updating. David feels we should look towards the future, and he believes that with the proper presentation the Board of Selectmen will be in agreement and thinks Barbara’s suggestion is an excellent one. Keith talked about the official map of the town, which could create problems if the
maps are not updated... David feels that things need to be shown right away, and Jere agrees that by law it is necessary to have it done immediately. He said the last time the maps were updated was in 1999, eight years ago, and agrees with Barbara that we need a fund where we put $1000 a year or some such figure so the money will be there when needed. Keith asked if they’d consider putting a warrant article in on the town meeting each year. Jere thought that Dave could write a letter and request the carryover of an additional $500. Jere said he could have Krystal check on the money needed for the printing of the maps. Keith thought it was $30 per map. Jere stated that the approval of subdivisions and roads need to be depicted on these maps. From a public safety point of view, the maps should be updated. Carolyn thought the selectmen would be favorable since this is something coming from the DEP. Carolyn asked if the
town proposes to have GIS online capability? Keith didn’t think so. A former Board member gave some info to Wanda on new roads, which she plans to incorporate in her work.
Jim asked if she also plans to update zoning changes. Jere thought Sue Shyler did update some of this. Keith asked if Wanda should be invited to come in and explain what exactly she plans to do. Jere also suggested Wanda could write something up for the Board. In the meantime, David would like to put together a brief memo to let them know the Planning Board is working on something and would have something more official in a month or so. Keith suggested that the $500 be carried over from mapping and printing letting them know what Southern Maine Planning would charge. Does the Board want to approve or could David and Jere review it. Could they all look at it on Thurs night when they meet for the site walk? The Board was in
agreement. David will put something together to review on Thursday evening and copy everyone else.
Letter from Chief Graves
Perhaps Krystal would send him a letter inviting him to meet with the Planning Board to go over any changes to ordinances he would like made and set up a time for a workshop with him to go over ordinance issues.
Practical Guide to Zoning and Land Use Law
$369 fee – October 15th – all day – If anyone is interested, please see Jere or Krystal.
Orton Family Foundation
This is a 3-day event held on Lake Champlain in Burlington, VT – October 23-25 – use planning, place making and civil engagement – if anyone interested, contact Krystal to get more info – Jere doesn’t see a fee schedule
Antioch University – The Board will receive a survey designed to find out what planning board members think about wetlands for a master’s thesis and will examine planning board members reactions to State efforts to protect wetlands. Keith said that the Board has done them before. They will fill it out when received
a. Discussion of changing start time to 7 p.m. – Bylaws – Jere didn’t see anything regarding the time of the meetings in the bylaws. He saw only two a month except for July and only one meeting in Dec., which Keith confirmed. Keith reviewed and Jere formed the statement that a planning board member may not be a member of the board of appeals – strike out the rest. The Board would like to see a copy of the change and then will vote on it at the next meeting. Caroline read about dealing with amendments. The time does not appear in the bylaws.
~Moved by Keith, seconded by David, that meetings be moved to 7 p.m effective September 10. If passes, Krystal would need to send a letter to the Board of Selectmen, town newsletter, TV, any local papers, etc. David mentioned that it would be too late to get notification out prior to September. Amended by Keith, seconded by David, that the time change be affective October 8th. It passed unanimously. Jere asked to have Krystal receive a memo regarding this change so she could begin notification.
Can any notice be put in the Gazette? They may still have to go in the Portland Press Herald because of circulation and time. Keith stated that the Board of Selectmen would need to talk with the town attorney about this..
b. Sample abutter letter
Are there any comments or edits, Jere asked. This letter would be sent to residents or abutters giving forewarning or notice of things that are happening and where they can go to get information. Barbara asked if the only time they could speak was at a public hearing. Jere said it was at the discretion of the Board, and he feels that they should be able to speak whenever it relates to the task. They would still receive a registered letter prior to the hearing. Barbara said she thought the town got a letter from an abutter regarding the Aceto property. Jere hadn’t seen it and suggested she get the letter to Krystal for her to make copies for the Planning Board members. The abutter sent a copy of the letter to the town and a copy to his neighbors, stated Barbara. Jim asked if they could have a copy before Thursday. Barbara stated that there were a lot of pictures of their site up in Gorham, which were a lot different that those that Fred took. When asked by Jere how she got
a copy, she stated that one of the people who live on the road gave one to her. Jere felt that this is the reason he wants to give abutters advanced notice. Barbara wants to know if they can speak before the public hearing or do they have to wait. Keith stated that they could put it in writing before the public hearing, which Barbara said they have. She thought they might want to ask questions before the public hearing. Jim said they would get notification when the public hearing is official. The applicant should have a copy of this letter, Keith thought. Jere doesn’t know if he has gotten one. Jim thought the appropriate venue to officially speak would be the public hearing. Jere felt that something in writing would be beneficial to give them time to digest the info. Keith thought it would become part of their application. Caroline thought it would then become part of the record.
c. Brian Keezer – An e-mail was received regarding a workshop with SAD 6. Jere asked if a workshop could be held on the 10th after the public hearing. Krystal – please send a letter to Brian Keezer stating that the PB would meet with him regarding the new elementary school on September 10th.
Moved by David and seconded by Carolyn to Adjourn at 9:10 p.m. All voted unanimously.
Hilda E. Lynch
Approval Date: __________________
Jeremiah Ross, III, Chairman Signature Date