Town of Buxton Planning Board Meeting
Minutes of September 24, 2007
Prepared by: Hilda Lynch
Members Present: Harry Kavouksorian, Barbara Elwell, Keith Emery, Jeremiah Ross, III, Jim Logan, and David Anderson
Others Present: Fred Farnham; Francoise Paradis, Sharon Elwell, Lary Owen, Debra Holloway, Troy Beaulieu, Lucy Gorham & Friend
Call to Order
Chairman Jeremiah Ross, III, called the meeting to order at 7:31 p.m.
Francoise Paradis is proposing a Co-housing Community plan to be located on Marshall Lane. Tax Map 10, Lot 147.
Francoise thanks the Board for hearing her again, as she was before the Board last April. Since then, she has looked at various kinds of housing projects, and she spoke about co-housing and how it is relatively new. There is one other in Maine—two others being talked about--although none of those are “green.” “Green” refers to homes that use little or no fossil fuels and take advantage of all the solar possibilities, geothermal heat, and do other things that are sustainable.
Jere stated that Jim Logan has been retained for professional services by Francoise: for soils analysis and wetlands delineation. Jim asked to officially excuse himself from any deliberations. Barbara Elwell, a Board member, is a direct abutter so will excuse herself from voting on this proposal.
Jere stated that they would have to see how this falls in the Land Use Table for the Town of Buxton. Francoise has applied for a conditional use for a co-housing community. This is not an official use listed in the Land Use Table for the town, so Jere stated that it will need to be determined whether the units will be multi- family or a cluster subdivision. Jere asked if she were going to sell individual lots. Francoise stated that there will be condominiums and a few individual homes. Jere stated that if she were to build individual homes – more than two lots – she would be creating a subdivision and would have to come before them with an application for a subdivision review. Those lots would have to meet the dimensional requirements
of the ordinance in a residential zone. Cluster subdivisions are individual lots which are sold to individuals; and depending upon the kinds of soils, she could be granted relief of the dimensional requirements in that zone. Whereas a multifamily application, you would build four or five buildings, and those would be sold as condominiums so she would fall under the multifamily provision of the ordinance. If you divide the property more than twice, you would be creating a subdivision. Francoise stated that she doesn’t want to do that. If she had three or four individual and four or five multifamily homes, she would fall under the subdivision part of the ordinance. Francoise wanted to know if she had four multifamily homes if that would qualify as a subdivision. Jere stated, “No.” He went on to explain how every owner would have an interest in the common property. This would fall under the multifamily part of the ordinance.
Francoise wanted to know if it was possible to combine two singles and some multi’s. Jere stated that his interpretation is that if she divided the property more than twice within a five-year period, she would be creating a subdivision. Keith clarifies his thoughts on whether the land for the individual homes would remain as part of the land with the multifamily homes.
Francoise mentioned her interpretation of the ordinance regarding having no more than six in one unit. In the cluster, it said that you could have individuals; and it didn’t matter whether you had individual and multi’s, there were just so many units permitted on so many acres. Jere stated that the soil type would determine how many units could be placed on the property, and engineering would have to prove density for that. Francoise referred to p. 11.27 – she didn’t think it would matter whether units were individual or multi’s as long as they could be supported by the soil type. Jere gave a rough estimate on the number of units that could be allowed on the property – 17. Francoise thought that some changes had been made that would
allow additional units for a co-housing unit such as the one she’s requesting. She asks if 17 is the maximum or would more be considered if the soil is appropriate. Jere stated again that they would need to know whether they’re going to have a multifamily or a cluster. He wasn’t sure whether the two could be combined, and he would need clarification from the town attorney. He believes the soil type is still the critical factor in determining the number of units she could have. Francoise says she doesn’t want to spend $20,000 to get all of this information unless the Board is open to having this type of community and being open to being creative with her. Jere stated that it didn’t matter how they personally felt, but the Board is required to go by the town ordinances.
Jim Logan spoke as a rep for Francoise. The cluster provisions of the ordinance would apply to either a multi-unit family or single family dwelling project. He thought if the soils would allow it, the ordinance would allow down to 40,000 per dwelling unit providing that the common area is available for everyone. Jim talked about his experience as a consultant, which indicates that if there are three condominium units, it would still meet subdivision requirements; and it would need to be reviewed as a subdivision. Jere agrees with his determination, but he would like confirmation from town counsel.
Keith asks Fred about the low income housing on Rt. 112. Was it considered as a cluster or multifamily? Fred stated that he would have to go back and look at that. Keith stated that another issue she’d have to consider is the amount of hot top, having the road widened and paved - being up to town standards. She understands that as it was the issue last year. Dave was concerned about where to direct the provisions to start. Jere stated that they would need some professional engineering plans from Francoise. Jere gave a brief list - placement of the buildings, parking, storm water management, wells, subsurface wastewater disposal, covenants, conditions of ownership for an association, etc. He thought the best thing to do
would be to get all of that done and get back on the agenda.
Keith mentioned the need to have a site walk before the snow flies so they wouldn’t have to wait until spring for this. Francoise is hoping to get this done this fall, architectural work done over the winter, and start in the spring if possible to go that fast. Materials for the buildings would have no relationship to the Planning Board, Jere stated, but would have to meet codes as Fred would be concerned with. Jere asked about shoreland zoning if her property abuts the shoreland.
One person wanted to make a comment, but Jere stated that no public comments were being taken now. Keith mentioned that people would need to make concerns known to Fred for the Planning Board to review. Jere stated the approval for this project doesn’t rest with the ownership of the road and that this is a private concern. Another member of the public asked how a person could build three or four houses without a 50 ft. right of way, and it wouldn’t make sense to approve a plan when there is no 50 ft. right of way. Jere stated that it says on the plan that she has a 50 ft. right of way. Francoise stated that this was the issue last year and that she and Lucy had negotiated a trade. She had signed her deed, but Lucy had not. She
agreed that it was something she and Lucy needed to talk about. Jere stated that the Board would need something in writing from anyone who has evidence that refutes what the owner has given the Planning Board. The Board goes on evidence that is presented. Jim stated that she has retained an attorney and does have a letter in the application. Jere stated that anyone could have a copy of the proposal for a nominal fee if they just stopped by the Code Enforcement office.
Approval of Minutes: September 10, 2007
Keith stated that the changes don’t need to be listed as part of the minutes but could be on a separate sheet of paper.
Motion by Keith, seconded by David, to accept the minutes as amended. 6 in favor – 0 - 1 (Barbara abstained - absent)
Approval of Bills: Portland Press Herald in the amount of $49.30 for Josh Jewett subdivision amendment.
Motion by Keith, seconded by Harry, to pay the above bill. The vote was unanimously in favor.
Jere, Keith and Dave met with the Selectmen last Wednesday evening with respect to carryover of funds, mapping and printing funds. The Selectmen understand the need to have maps updated on a very regular basis. The budget has not fully funded the re-mapping every three or four years, so they have allowed the carryover from 2007 to 2008; and the Board will specifically ask for increases in the budget every three or four years in order to have money available for the updating of maps. Jere will work on a letter soliciting proposals to update the zoning maps. Keith mentioned having someone on retainer in order to have them update them each year as needed. The Selectmen weren’t in favor of the suggestion that Barbara made to have a
warrant article each year, as they don’t want to have an account to just dump money into each year. Dave doesn’t see any problem with future budget requests if the need is identified clearly at the time of budget review.
Communications: Letter to Selectmen and posted notice of the meeting time change to 7 p.m.
Jere gave a reminder that the next meeting will begin at 7 p.m. He may have Krystal e-mail everyone, and he believes she has sent out letters notifying the appropriate people.
He received an e-mail from Ed Newell regarding the sound system. Jere would like everyone to speak directly into the microphone.
He had a letter from the Board of Selectmen that they’ve installed a speaker so everyone can hear.
He had a letter from the DEP regarding recent changes to significant wildlife habitat for shore land and inland bird habitats and zoning for inland bird habitats – anyone interested can look at the materials he has. There’s a map included, showing some inland bird habitat in Buxton. Jim believes that the DEP would like these habitats to be added to the official zoning maps, and this would create some new shore land-like zones. They would have 250 ft. buffers attached to them. We would want to incorporate these most recent changes on the maps. Keith mentioned using a map and having clear overlays as mentioned by the Selectmen. Jim suggested that the July 1, 2008, date for which the DEP suggests having these on the maps could be
mentioned in a letter being thought about to go out to consultants.
a. Sign the Woodlands amended subdivision plans – if available – not available tonight.
b. The Captain’s Way Development – Dave has received comments from Chief Graves dated 9/21/07 regarding the fire storage system. It has been painted as requested, but no signs have been provided yet to mark and identify the water supply as well as parking restrictions in front of the water supply, and the area in front of and adjacent to it has not yet been paved. Dave has the “sign off” for the roadway from Lary Owen. They’ve requested that 80 percent of funds for roadway and fire tank be released, as well as other completed items such as the underground utility trenching, transformer base storm drainage, erosion sediment control. They’d like to reduce the $120,210 to a revised total of $61,400. Dave would recommend going forward after discussion and approving that. Keith doesn’t think that 80 percent of the fire tank money should be released—the signs aren’t up and paving isn’t done. A new sign may need to be made stating that no trash cans should be in front, Keith
stated. Dave knows that the signs have been ordered. Jere stated we’re waiting on signs, paint, and blacktop. Keith thought the amount of blacktop was bigger than 12’ x 15’. Jim wondered how big an area would need to be hot topped and wondered if holding back 20 percent would be enough. Keith said there was supposed to be a 50 ft. buffer completely around the subdivision; but on the other side of the road, they took the trees. Jere stated that this is a Code Enforcement issue, and Fred would have to look into this.
Motion by Dave that following comments by Chief Graves and Larry Own to decrease the outstanding bond funded by Norway Savings Bank for the Woodlands area, reducing it from $121,210 to $61,400 based on percentages completed or 100 percent completed line items.
Keith stated that $2,000 wouldn’t cover the hot topping. Some discussion was held about how much of a percentage could be allowed for the blacktopping.
Amendment to the motion – …reduces the percentage with respect to the fire tank and, in particular, to the blacktop down to 60 percent and reduces it to a remainder of $4,000, which would bring the total to $65,400. Seconded by Harry. The vote was– 4 in favor – 1 (Keith opposed) - 1 (Barbara abstaining).
Adjourned at 8:17 p.m. to go to a workshop session. Motion by Keith, seconded by Harry. The vote was unanimously in favor.
The Board members when into a workshop session to discuss proposals for ordinance changes.
Hilda E. Lynch
Approval Date: __________________
Jeremiah Ross, III, Chairman Signature Date