Town of Buxton Planning Board
Monday, June 9, 2008 at 7 pm
Recorded by Hilda Lynch
Board Members Present: Keith Emery; Jeremiah Ross, III; James Logan; Caroline Segalla; and David Anderson
Board Members Absent: Harry Kavouksorian, Barbara Elwell
Others Present: Steve Retalic, Doris Heimburg, Robin Tannenbaum, Roberta & Dan Aceto, Mel Howard, Donald Doyle, Robert Libby, Jr (BH2M), Steve Bradstreet, Francoise Paradis, L, Knell, Trevor L. Meenis, Ruth Richards, Dan Riley, Patrick & Paulette Langevin, Gordon Lane, Sharon Elwell, Marie Clements, Tim Clements, Paul Jordan, Nancy Kneeland, Malcolm Worst, Paul Lurvey, Zachary Lurvey, Joyce Lurvey, Brandon Lurvey, P. Holloway, Elizabeth White, Peter Pinkham, Betsey Roy, Andy Lord, J. Gagne, Jonathan Mapes, Linda Caouette
The June 9, 2008, meeting of the Buxton Planning Board was called to order by Chairman Jeremiah Ross, III, at 7 p.m.
Daniel & Roberta Aceto have submitted an application for a warehouse & outside storage facility located at the intersection of Narragansett Trail and Atkinson Road; Tax Map 8, 20A-35.
- Keith motioned, seconded by David, to open the public hearing. All voted in favor.
Bob Libby, BH2M Engineers, representing the Aceto’s, spoke about the location, the building with a gravel parking area and with a paved entrance, with a gravel area in the back to stockpile materials. Their septic design will be in the rear of the building, drainage is going to flow along Narragansett Trail by the entrance along the sides to a culvert into the wetland area. They have a DOT permit for the entrance. They’ve had a site walk, and the site was laid out showing the limits of the building and cutting.
The Board conducted a site walk on the 19th of May. The 25-year storm water management plan was the only item needed, which was provided. David believes they’ve met all of the requirements set forth in the ordinances. Caroline mentioned a concern that there’s a slight increase of water going towards the Dearborn property. She wondered about minimizing storm water on site. She wondered if it could be mitigated through landscaping at the edge of the property, rain barrels coming off the roof. Jim and Keith are fine with the information as submitted.
Jere asked for comments from the abutters and the general public. A member of the public asked what they were going to be storing in the building. Bob mentioned loam or gravel on site. They do small construction jobs. Jere asked for any other comments from the public.
- Motioned by Keith, seconded by David, to close the public hearing. All voted in favor.
Jere read the four standard conditions of approval and asked for any additional conditions. Keith mentioned hours of operation and number of employees. He thought that the hours should be the same as Dearborn’s. Dan stated that they’d probably leave about 6 or 6:30 and return about 4:30 p.m. They start work at 7 a.m. on site. Jere asked if 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. would be okay, and Dan said they would. Caroline asked about the idling of vehicles to disturb the neighbors and thought that 6 o’clock would be sufficient. Dan mentioned the plowing in the winter; hours would depend on the storm. He would like to have Saturday hours although they don’t work Saturdays, as a rule. Dave asked if the Board had the power to
impose the number of employees and/or hours of operation. Caroline mentioned linking it to parking. There was some discussion about whether this could be done. Caroline said that there were conditions they could set around hours. Jere asked about Saturday 6 a.m. to noon. It’s under 8.3.A. for the record, Caroline found. Keith didn’t think there were any restrictions on any other company as far as employees. Jim concurred with Caroline about a limit by the number of parking spaces on the plan, and there are six. Dan says they have eight employees right now. Jere asked if they wanted to set a limit of 10, and Jim thought it sounded reasonable. Dan mentions that there is room for future expansion. Jim said they would just have to come back for changes if needed. Jere reviewed the hours of operation as weekdays from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday from 6 a.m. to 12-noon. The maximum number of employees would be
10. David doesn’t think the Board should be setting these limits. David doesn’t think they should be limiting hours or employees. Caroline mentioned consideration of the residents. Dan asked about having an emergency job which would require 24 hours, and Keith thought it would be no problem as long as there were no more than 10 in the parking lot at one time. A question was raised about the policing of this. Jere asked if they wanted to strike the limit on employees, and the Board was in agreement. Jim mentioned the employees being limited to the leach bed. Bob mentioned that employees wouldn’t be there during the day. They’ll leave the number of employees alone. Caroline asked if they had the MDOT permit, and Bob said that they had received it from the Board. Caroline was still concerned about the runoff. Bob believed that the runoff was insignificant. Caroline asked Fred what he thought.
Fred didn’t think it was a problem.
~Keith motioned, Jim seconded, to waive the reading of 8.2.B. and 10. All voted in favor.
~Keith motioned, Caroline seconded, based on previous discussions that they find the application in agreement with articles 8.2.B, 10 and 11. All voted in favor.
- Keith motioned, Jim seconded, to approve the application with conditions stated this evening and previous meetings. All voted in favor.
- Jim moved, Keith seconded, to adjourn for 5 minutes. All voted in favor.
Dan asked about when he would be required to start, and Jere stated that they would need to start within a year.
Francoise Paradis is proposing a Co-housing Community plan, categorized under Section 11.17 as a Multi-Family Unit, located off Marshall Lane; Tax Map 10, Lot 147.
Jim Logan recused himself as he’s done some work for the applicant.
- Motion by David, seconded by Keith, to open the public hearing. All voted in favor.
Francoise said that her lot is 29+ acres, and they’re proposing a co-housing community, which would comprise 9 to 10 acres. The rest will remain natural with walking paths. Co-housing (a style of living) was developed in Denmark in the 1970s, and there are many in the U.S. now (over 900)—one in Brunswick which has been there 30 years. They have national conferences, and she is going to one in New Jersey. It involves having individual homes and a common house where people can get together and share meals--typically between one and three meals per week. The common house is kind of an extension of the home so the homes don’t have to be as large. There’s a playroom for children, game room, quiet room, exercise room; and they will also have some home offices and extra space – the basement of
the common house. They’re proposing 20 condominiums—five buildings with four units in each. They’ll have space for an in-law apt. and/or office space. They’re using the U.S. Green Building Council guidelines. They’ll be applying for this certification and the Dept of Energy Star Program, which means the construction will be monitored from start to finish making sure everything meets their standards. This will be fossil free and using geo thermal and solar hot water heat—collectors to be added to individual houses. They hope to have the common house independent of the grid by using wind power and photo… They’re using a highly insulated building envelope and insulated concrete so the homes will last for a long time. They’ll be using all native plantings, which use little water. Eco grass will be used, which is very hardy and doesn’t need watering or chemicals. She has five units sold and five others very interested.
They’re planning to build two buildings/eight units and the common house, trails and the landscaping at the beginning. She feels confident that in two years they’ll fill up the community. The last time, the Board requested a list of additional information, which they have provided.
Steve Bradstreet, from Oak Engineers, stated that they received a three-page checklist of items that have and have not been provided. Troy Beaulieu is their contractor, and Robin Tannebaum is one of the architects. The items have been provided and are on the plan. A couple of items came in afterwards--one from the Fire Chief and from Larry Owen regarding the hammerhead through Fred. A number of things were added to the plan—lot coverage, net residential density calculations, parking requirements, where loading requirements are, and general notes about dimensions that needed to be on the plan, mail distribution (in the community bldg), sign design done at permitting level, trail system throughout the back, showed the buffer between us
and existing Marshall Lane right-of-way, darkened so they could see dimension offsets from wells to property lines, setbacks have been dimensioned and provided in the development standards, the setback from the shore land zone—650’ and 740’ from the nearest point on any house.
The major change that was requested was in regards to the hammerhead design. Where it comes into the corner of the property, Steve showed a 50 ft. right-of-way that goes around the hammerhead and goes out on Marshall Lane. He shows a solution he feels will be a better one. He shows two areas where trucks could turn so they wouldn’t be plowing into the private right-of-way, and he shows some additional land for storage on each side to stockpile snow in the winter. He’d like the Board and Fred to consider this. He tried to show the intent that Fred and Larry had.
The second fax from the Fire Chief was in regards to the dry hydrant to the pond, and they’ve provided a detail on the last sheet. The suction line has a minimum of 4 ft. of cover. The elbow at the dry hydrant would be lower than the rest of the pipe so it would maintain a water volume in it so he can connect his truck to it and get water. He shows the dry hydrant which pumps from the pond. There was a comment from Fred about the location of the septic field. The setback from that kind of system would be 28-30 ft. They’ve provided 30 ft. in a revised sketch they received from Jim’s office today, which shows the three systems. The area of concern was that one bed was too close to the right-of-way. They’ve
redesigned one field: Instead of 127 x 125; it is now 35 x 80. He talked with Brady Frick today and Jim Logan, and they’ve determined that this field can be relocated and meet the setback requirements. If another field had to be moved, they would have room to move the pond and meet the setbacks. He believed these things addressed Fred’s comments.
There are a number of miscellaneous changes in response to the checklist—dimensions on all the buildings and labels on all the buildings. He believes everything has been addressed and shown on the plan that he’s reviewed tonight. They’ll have solar lights, pole mounted; and some, building mounted. The primary entrance will have one and one at the ends of the road’s hammerheads. The rest will be on the garages or units themselves, which will be solar. There will be photo sensors for them to go on and off.
Jere asked for comments from the Board. The members agreed to open it to the public. Jere took comments from the abutters. Lucy Gorham owns the 10-acre piece this side of the septic (to the northwest). How will the leaching impact her property? The system is designed to be maintained so that nitrates going across property lines do not exceed State standards. It has been designed by Frick Assoc. Lucy asked who would be responsible if there were problems, and Jere stated that the applicant will be responsible. She asked about the snow melt runoff. This will be handled by the public roads, which will be contained in the Town ditches and swales. The entire Marshall Lane will be rebuilt and raised.
There will be ditches on both sides. The culvert at the entrance will be replaced per Larry Owen’s request. The flow will be maintained through new ditches. How will it impact her entering and exiting her property? Jere said she’d have to apply for a culvert to the Public Works Director. Lucy stated that she exited the property now, and Jere talked about Marshall Lane becoming a Town road. Keith asked if they’ve talked with the State about the size of the culvert that would need to be in there. This would be a State issue, he thought. Lately, the contractor has put in the culverts. How many units will there be, Lucy asked. There would be 20 – 4 units in 5 buildings. Lucy stated that there would be 20 families. The other gray areas are garages and the community building. She’s concerned that she’s being cut off along Marshall Lane to her property. Jere says this will be a Town road when it’s
accepted. Keith partly agrees with Lucy. If a culvert is put in, it should be at the applicant’s expense, he stated. Steve, speaking on behalf of the client, doesn’t see this as an issue. Steve didn’t see any existing access right now; but if there’s need for a culvert, he doesn’t see this as an issue. Lucy showed on the plan where she’s had a couple of access entrances for logging—four entrances. She showed where there was a landing site, and normally she keeps it bushhogged but hasn’t been able to because of wetness. She wants one access on each side of the road. Caroline asked if there was a distance requirement. The Public Works Director will decide size, and Lucy will decide where she wants it to go.
Joyce Lurvey lives on Marshall Lane right now—just beyond where the road will be built. As far as the offices go, do the people have to live in one of these houses in order to have an office there. Francoise said there would be three, not five; and they would only be for people who live there. Joyce asked if the road has to be built up prior to the buildings being built. Keith stated that the base of the road has to be put down when 50 percent of the project is completed. He thinks the surface layer should be put down after the whole complex is built. It’s a 50 ft. right-of-way before she gets a certificate of occupancy for the buildings. The road would not necessarily have to be built first. The document comes
from Code Enforcement saying that the building meets the standards of the Town of Buxton and the code of the State of Maine. No one can live there until the road is done. Their concern is having any heavy equipment on their property and up their way, and they want to be able to get in and out when the road is being built. The applicant will post a $250,000 bond for the road and fire pond, which will be released when completed. Francoise stated that the road is in terrible condition right now, and she’s sure heavy equipment will make it worse. For widening, it will depend on what the bank funds at the start, and they will make it comfortably passable. The road inside will be built right away so no need for equipment to go further up Marshall Lane. They’ll be sure there’s access at all times. Keith talked about starting the road right at Rt 117 so the trucks would help with the compacting she would need. Jere assumes the Public
Works Director will make a recommendation at Town meeting before it is accepted.
Pat and Paulette Langevin (wife) purchased an assisted-living home for the elderly. He believes the project will totally change the character of the road. He’s concerned about the traffic and the peace and quiet. He’s against the project. Mrs. Langevin asked about where the road is going to go and where the pond would go. She was told there would be underground tanks. Steve showed the existing right-of-way; the proposed public road will be improved up to the hammerhead, and the pond will be located between two septic fields--approx 300 ft from the existing driveway. Pat asked whether there will be a dead-end sign, as the traffic upsets the old folks. Paulette said that Francoise’s walking trails were right next
to their property. The distance from the trail to the property line is at least 50 ft. The only thing in front of her house is the road or driveway, and they’re proposing a landscaped buffer. They’re going to plant things that will maintain their bottom branches. Francoise offered the walking paths for the Langevin’s residents. The Langevin’s stated they had a resident who wanted to walk down to Rt. 117. He’s concerned about the traffic. There will be a dead-end sign, and the Langevin’s said that people have been turning around in their driveway which upsets their residents. Francoise stated that it will be quiet. Paulette mentioned that there was a tractor in front of their house the other day. There’s no place to go into the property until they build that road, so there will be no need then to go to the end of the road. Pat stated that he was against it.
Joyce asked who has the right of way when coming out of their properties. Steve explained a 90- degree area that would be a stop sign for the current residents. Joyce thought that people in the development should be required to stop. Steve says that, in general, the property with the highest vehicle count would have the right of way. Jere said this was an issue for the Public Works Director. The Langevin’s feel that they’re now like on Rt. 117. Jere stated that it was her property, and she has the right to do what she wants with it.
Don Doyle, an abutter, thinks that Francoise is deceiving the Planning Board and public of Buxton. He received a letter from Oak Engineers stating that she had 29.5 acres of land with 10 acres harvested. He says that all of it has been clear cut. Francoise agrees. He thinks she talks about putting walking paths through the woods when there are no woods there. He thinks she’s misleading people. Francoise agreed that there was no wood yet. Steve asked about the date of the letter and stated that there would be a DEP storm water permit which requires a public informational meeting to be held at Town Hall on the 17th. 29 acres have been harvested, but they’re only “disturbing” the front 10 acres with the
development leaving the rest natural except for the trails. That was the intent. Don thinks the geothermal concept is great but very costly. Jere stated that he would have to stick with things pertaining to the ordinance. He thought the heating pertained to what she said she was going to do with the development. He asked who it would affect if not the Planning Board. Jere stated that it would affect the people who would live in the units. Don says you don’t see any geothermal units because of the cost. Steve knows that it is an expensive proposition but wants to use it because it is “green.” The University of Maine at Farmington just opened up a new dorm with it. It is available in the State. Francoise said that the reason they’re building the way they are—four units in each building--is because it will be less costly. There’ll be one system for each building. People will not have a heating bill.
The system will not be much more than the cost of a regular heating system and well, the geothermal system won’t be much more. Don said they’re going to have solar panels, and he talked with Maine Solar. A family of two requires four solar panels at a cost of $7,000 apiece not including the plumbing. He thinks she has this big dream, and he doesn’t think she’s going to do it. Francoise says that she’s planning to do it. The system is being designed, and they have estimates. She thinks it’s doable. It will be a great cost savings for the residents. She’s hired professionals, and the systems will be guaranteed. She hopes it will be a model for other developers.
Keith asked about how they sold these units without Planning Board approval. Francoise stated that no money has changed hands, but she has five people who have made commitments. She wouldn’t do this until approved by the Board and DEP. Lucy asked about the natural drain which goes down to the brook. Are they going to do anything to cut that off? Francoise said they’re trying not to disturb any of the wetlands. They have landscape designers developing that.
Mel Howard lives right across the road. He thinks the process has been quite swift and secret. Jere says that we’ve been working on it since November. Jere mentioned that the meetings have been on the public access channel, and Francoise mentioned that it had been in the newspaper a couple of times. Mel thinks that it has been settled. He has great concerns. Keith stated that it was not settled and that there was a possibility she wouldn’t get enough votes. Jere stated that the applicant has the right to do what she wants with her property within the zoning ordinances. Regardless of how we feel personally, as long as they meet the conditions of the ordinance, then they will get the permit. Mel asked about
her motivation. Francoise said her motivation was to find a place to live; she took two years to look for a home that was built to “green” standards. She didn’t find anything because developers have an idea that it would cost too much. She’s trying to have as little impact on the land as possible. She did harvest the land a few years ago, and they massacred it which she regrets. Now she is trying to reclaim the land. Mel asked what about those who live there and the traffic that is going to be there. Caroline spoke about some experiences she’s had and things that could be done for open space plans and such. Mel felt that it was too late.
Paulette Langevin asked if it would upset her if this was going in front of her house. Caroline said that maybe some work could be done on open space and preserving some of the corridors that are out there. She appreciates that people would be able to visit the site and walk the trails. Jere gave an example of something that has happened with his property.
Joyce says that initially she was not in favor of it. Something like this should be put on more acreage to work the way they want it. She knows it will be a totally different type of environment than the way they live. She’s afraid that might be a problem although she hopes it will work out. She says that a lot of these are on 100 acres. Francoise said they’ll have as good a buffer as they can, and she expects them to live their lifestyle.
Mel asked what the criteria are for selecting the residents. The intention of the community is to live mindfully on the earth, preserve natural resources and to live in community. These communities provide closeness that doesn’t exist any more.
Mr. Lurvey asked about wind power. Francoise says they’re going to try one wind spire. Jere mentioned that the town has an ordinance about height.
Joyce asked how much the units are going to cost. Francoise said they haven’t come to a final figure. A one bedroom will be under $200,000. There will be various numbers of bedrooms per unit. Generally, it is a condo with fees - $100 for 1-bedroom; $120 for 2; $140 for 3, etc. There will be additional fees for the use of offices.
Mr. Doyle said that the original estimates would be between $175,000 and $300,000. He doesn’t believe she’ll be able to build them for that amount.
Jere asked Fred if he had any additional comments. He wanted to know which building each septic system was going to serve. On the road turnaround, the top corner was going to cross the property line. Steve has shifted the hammerhead line, and David clarified that they are still meeting the dimensions. Fred asked about the profile from the dry hydrant to the pond. The Fire Chief wanted the water to be high enough so they wouldn’t have to suck air. The constant water elevation would be 170.4 – 2.5 ft higher than his pipe. The water in the pond will always be above the line on the drawing. Lucy asked what feeds the pond. Steve said that groundwater would feed it, and he explained it. The storm runoff
will also feed the pond. Lucy asked how deep the pond was. The pond will be 11 ft. which is required by fire pond design. About five or six acres will drain directly into the pond. Lucy referred to a cellar hole and says she’s never seen a drop of water there.
Patrick asked if this project would devalue his property. Jere says that it is up to interpretation.
Joyce asked if they had a place for pets at one time. They will have a fenced in dog park. The owners will be responsible for building and maintaining it.
Jere solicited comments from the Board. Dave puts a lot of stock in what Mrs. Gorham says about the fire safety. Where would we be if that pond doesn’t maintain its level, David asked? Is there another plan? Francoise said that she thinks they could pipe one of the wells into it. Steve says what they’ve done with other projects is to line the pond with a clay layer so water doesn’t leach out. The homeowner would be responsible for maintaining it. It might require a tank truck full of water. They have the ability to use a well if needed. Lucy asked if it would take away from their water if a well were used, and Steve says he has no way of knowing this. Is the pond going to be inspected every year? Fred says they would. Fred doesn’t know what the agreement would be; it would be determined when an easement is given for it. Jere wanted to know if any pond had gone dry, and Fred said they’d have to ask the Fire Chief. Maybe they’d need to make a condition of
approval that they keep the water level as they’ve stated in the pond. Steve stated that they got away from the underground tanks because of water quality.
One of the abutters has a pond and hydrant. It has gone down low but not dry.
David agrees with Lucy that she should have access to her property, and they should make that a condition of approval that she have multiple entrances. Is everyone comfortable with the newest revision of the hammerhead? He thinks it is a good revision—the layout and the functionality. Lucy asked how many feet would it be? The depth of the hammerhead on either side is 40 ft., which is what the Public Works Director says it should be. David mentioned that Francoise has provided them with a plan for snow. Lucy is only concerned about salt leaching into her 10-acre piece from the road.
Caroline asked if the rain gardens by the hammerhead be diverted to the pond? Steve says they cannot because of the design of the road and layout. They’ve over designed for what they couldn’t capture in the Marshall Lane upgrade. She asked about lights with people across the road – would any shine on their property. Steve showed where the rain gardens are on the plan from questions Caroline had about plowing. The existing Marshall Lane driveway can be buffered somewhat, Steve says. She wonders if the nitrate level can be tested after occupancy since it is near Ms. Gorham’s property. Keith thought it would take more than a year. She doesn’t know what the time frame would be. Does the wind spire have to be shown now before the
Planning Board? Would they have to amend the plan, or would it just require a building permit. Fred says it would just require a building Permit. She asked if all letters have been received regarding the hammerhead. Jere asked if they’d spoken with the Public Works Director. Steve says he addressed the comments that he received from Fred. He hasn’t spoken with Larry Owen and the acting Fire Chief. Jere asked if the Board wanted other letters from them, and they thought they would. Caroline asked if they would get a revised HH200, and Steve said he spoke with Frick Assoc. today and they would get that. Jere clarified that he meant moving the septic field from the hammerhead. Fred has no issue with it. Fred is a licensed plumbing inspector for the State of Maine so he will inspect them and sign off on them. Lucy asked what the reason was that they didn’t put it further back on the property. Steve said that
it had to do with the soils. Caroline asked about parking being delineated; she knows people who live there will know where to park. There will be signs showing people where they can park, Francoise stated. Jere asked Caroline if she was satisfied with the number of parking spaces, and she said she was. She appreciated that everything had been addressed in their checklist.
Keith spoke about the hammerhead. He thinks it should stay 50 ft around like it is on all the other roads. He thinks it should stay square. Jere pointed out that Lary Owen didn’t say that. Keith’s opinion is that it has to be square. He wanted to know how wide the final surface of the road would be. Twenty feet, Steve says, and 24 in the public way. Marshall Lane would be 20 ft. paved and gravel shoulders on either side. Keith disagrees with the width of the road inside. Fred spoke with Bill Plouffe, the Town Attorney, regarding the road from Joy Valley to the property has to be built to town specs. Once on the property, it is an access road which does have to be built to a standard that the Public Works Director
agrees with. Keith thinks that in serving four units in a building, the road should be to town standards. He disagrees with what the Public Works Director is saying.
Sharon Elwell (a former Road Commissioner) agrees with Keith on that. With five places, it should be the same as Marshall Lane, he thinks. Not according to the Town Counsel, Jere says, as long as it meets the access for the Fire Chief and the Road Commissioner. It’s one lot, Jere says; but Keith says you’re accessing 20 units. Jere is going on the conversation Fred had with the town counsel.
- Caroline motioned to close the public hearing at 8:55 p.m., seconded by Keith. All voted in favor.
Jere asked about moving on to conditions of approval. Jere read the standard conditions. Additional conditions Jere had were: 1. the fire pond must be maintained to 11 ft (170.4 as noted on plans). 2. the applicant must provide access to either side of Marshall Lane for the Gorham properties.
Caroline asked about having two driveways on the same road. Jere thought they would leave it this way for now. 3. letter from Larry Owen stating that the hammerheads are okay and access to the property is sufficient. 4. letter from Fire Chief that the access roads within the development are sufficient for emergency apparatus and that the fire pond be inspected yearly. Caroline mentioned, If the fire pond is not maintained, an outside source of water needs to be brought in other than well water. Jere asked about the reading of 8.2.B and Article 11. Caroline thinks they should because there are things they don’t all agree on.
~8.2.B.1. Motioned by Keith, seconded by Caroline, to find them in compliance. 3 in favor,
~8.2.B.2 Motioned by Caroline, seconded by Keith, to find them in compliance. 4 in favor.
~8.2.B.3 Motioned by Keith, seconded by David, to find them in compliance. 4 in favor.
~8.2.B.B.4 Motioned by David, seconded by Caroline. 4 in favor.
~8.2.B.5 Motioned by Caroline, seconded by Keith. 4 in favor.
~8.2.B.6 Motioned by David, seconded by Keith. 4 in favor.
~8.2.B.7 Motioned by Keith, seconded by David. 4 in favor.
~8.2.B.8 There was some deliberation by Board members on this one.
- Motioned by David, based on the fact that it will be an extra condition, seconded by Jere. 3 in favor, Keith opposed. Caroline asked about changing her vote on this one. She didn’t think there was adequate information. Jere spoke about continuing the public hearing. Caroline decided to leave her vote as it was.
~8.2.B.9 Motioned by David, seconded by Jere. 3 in favor, Keith opposed.
~11.17.A. Motioned by Caroline, seconded by Keith, to approve. 4 in favor.
~11.17.C. Motioned by David, seconded by Keith. 4 in favor.
~11.17.D. Motioned by Caroline, seconded by David. All in favor.
~11.17.E. Motioned by David, based on an additional condition (base level of pond be required), seconded by Jere. 2 in favor, Keith and Caroline opposed. Jere thought they needed to stop, but Keith thought they needed to continue on to see if there was anything else they needed to come back to the Board.
~11.17.F. Motioned by David, seconded by Caroline. All voted in favor.
Keith asked who peer reviewed this. Jere said that no one had because they didn’t send it out. Jere asked if they wanted more from the applicant or would they vote it up or down. There was a discussion about how they would handle this from here. Caroline asked about the water for the domestic purposes. Is it sufficient to come back with more particulars on water. Steve said they’ve kept below the State requirement of 2,000 gal per day. Once drilled, they’re tested for quality and gallons per minute. Caroline asked about further procedure. Caroline asked if she could amend her vote on 11.17.E. Jere said they should tell the applicant exactly what they need. Jere asked if Fred had any issues with the domestic wells. Fred
felt that there wasn’t a problem with people getting water in that area. Caroline would like to amend her vote on 11.17.E. An abutter mentioned that his well is 150’ down.
- Caroline moved to amend or have the Board reconsider the vote on 11.17.E, seconded by David. 3 in favor, Keith opposed.
- David moved, Jere seconded, to approve 11.17.E. 3 in favor, Keith opposed.
- Jere moved that the application is in compliance with all articles of 8.2.B., 10 and 11,
- Caroline moved, David seconded, that applicant is in compliance. 3 in favor, Keith opposed.
To approve the application with conditions from tonight and previous meetings and with additional conditions stated;
- David moved to approve with special conditions stated, Caroline seconded. 3 in favor, Keith opposed.
Jere told Francoise that she was all set.
Meeting adjourned briefly and was called back to order by Jere.
H. A. Mapes has submitted an application to re-develop the existing JD Variety located at 222 Narragansett Trail into a gas station/convenience store that includes a drive-through donut franchise and a take-out fast food franchise; Tax Map 10, Lot 81B & 81A.
- Keith motioned to open the public hearing, seconded by David. All voted in favor.
Dan Riley, representing H.A. Mapes, from Sebago Technics spoke for the redevelopment of JD Variety. He’s here with Jonathan Mapes and Joanne Gagnon. They went on a site walk on May 19th; and on May 27, they followed up with a discussion of the site. The proposal is for a 750 sq. ft. convenient store, with a drive-through donut franchise and a walk-in deli franchise. The project replaces a 1900 sq. ft. convenient store on the site and the former site of Buxton Computers. The project is in the business/commercial zone. The new building will be located behind the existing store on the site. There will be four new gas fueling positions under a canopy, new parking spaces and wrap around. There will be a
new diesel fueling site behind the building to accommodate diesel trucks. The existing underground storage will serve the new gas dispensers. The proposed hours of operation are from 5 a.m. to 11 p.m. A revised septic system has been done to match the building footprint. They’ve added the distances from abutters’ wells. From the septic field, it is 327 ft. to the Roy well and 523 ft. from the Jordan well. It is 745 ft. to the White’s well site. That well is a little over 800 ft. from the septic field. There are some additional storm water treatment measures. The concrete pads under the canopies that cover the fuel dispensing islands will have what is referred to as a limiting barrier—grooves cut into the pavement to provide containment for minor spills. There are catch basins downstream and a hood to trap floating materials or small quantities of gas or oil. They’ve submitted a copy of the facilities spill control
plan and that’s included in the application. The site layout has not changed from the previous plan. The proposed crosswalk is shown, and the project has received a traffic movement permit from the DOT. The DOT requires a left turn lane into the site and will serve as a left turn lane for traffic traveling north onto 112. The lane would be shadowed and protected by a stamped pavement installation. This lane configuration would be mirrored on the north side of 112. The existing pavement width is adequate. One of the concerns was having a sidewalk on site. They’ve added a tipped down curve and sidewalk where that crosswalk crosses Rt. 202, and they’ve provided something to further delineate walking. They’ve revised the plan to provide an 8’ stockade fence on the north side of the property, abutting the Jordan property to a point beyond the truck parking area. It’s intended to exceed the requirements of section 10.10.A. They’ve revised some of the landscaping to amend some
of the plantings along this area. They’ve added trees along the road frontage to provide visual screening from Rt. 112 and 202. They’ve moved some of the plantings since the screen is accomplished by the fence. They’ve provided four trees in the parking lot area as required by the ordinance. They’ve pulled the propane tank further off the curb to avoid a guard rail being needed, and they’ve provided some planting to screen this. They’ve added a lot coverage table and a parking summary table to the site plan. They’ve provided the top of the wall elevation. They’ve submitted a photometric plan with demonstrations of the lighting level. They’ve eliminated one fixture, and Dan explained why.
Jere asked if the Board wanted to ask questions or proceed to public comment. The Board decided to take public comment.
Betsy Roy showed where she lived on the site. She asked what would be accomplished by having the fence. Dan stated that it was to provide visual screening to her property and some noise attenuation. The ordinance requires something—either a 6’ fence or solid evergreen planting screen. At the last meeting, the Board asked if they could provide something taller than a 6’ fence. She asked if they could provide a 13.5 ft. fence, which would need to be as high as the mufflers for any effective noise deadening. Would it be out of line to test the noise level with a section of stockade put up for experimental purposes? Jere asked who she’d want to measure the noise. She’d want Fred to do the testing. She
thinks the noise is going to be significant, and she thinks the degradation of the air quality will get worse and worse. She doesn’t think anyone will have to pay one cent for the degradation of the air quality, which will get worse and worse. She doesn’t think that the idling of the trucks is going to be the major part of the noise. The business is only going to grow, and trucks could queue up--as many as 8. Will they turn off their vehicles while waiting to get gas? Dan mentioned the Town noise ordinance, and the Code Enforcement officer can enforce it. They’re not providing the fence specifically for noise. It’s not intended to be a sound wall. The site doesn’t see that number of trucks on site currently. It’s possible that multiple trucks could be on the site, but the majority of the truck traffic is from local contractor trucks. He thought the vehicles were further from abutting properties than they are today.
Since the air quality will go down, do they have a problem with putting up a stockade piece for testing, Betsy asked. Dave asked Jonathan if they would consider a higher fence; he went above the standard 6 ft by 2 ft. They’ve exceeded those requirements, which may not satisfy all of the needs but satisfies the ordinance. Jim mentioned the sloping site, which will change the elevation. She questioned the slope where the parking for the trucks would be. Jim thought they would be somewhat down slope from her property. She knows that the value of her property will go down. Jim thinks Jonathan is taking a not so good situation and improving it. He’s viewing her desire to take care of past problems, but the Board can’t hold him to a higher standard other than judiciously listening to her concerns. DEP controls air quality. Suppose a stockade fence is put up now, but the noise goes up to exceed town ordinances.
Caroline mentions the peak times of the traffic (7 to 9 a.m. and 4 to 6 p.m.), so she wondered if the gas attendant could stop the vehicles at a certain point to wait. Since the stockade fence would have to be 13.6 to cut the noise; and if they find out it doesn’t work and they have to spend more money, why not build a stone wall 13.5 ft high one time. Jim says they’d want to have an engineer discuss the safety of this. She’s interested in talking about co-existing—not about getting rid of the truck stop.
Elizabeth White, of 188 Narragansett Trail, lives in the first house down the hill from the store. The plans need to be reviewed Maine Historic Preservation Commission and by the Buxton-Hollis Historical Society. The church got a notice as an abutter. Jere said they’re not an abutter. Jim said they send letters to neighbors beyond the abutter range, so the neighbors have a chance to speak about the project. She didn’t get a notice to the first meeting. She asked if Helen Bruce Park abutted. Jere said it didn’t. She and a few other people from the church were in attendance. Caroline read from the ordinance about historical buildings. Keith asked if it abutted the cemetery, which it does. He said
that was part of the church property. Caroline and Jere thought they might need a sign off. Jim asked questions about the archeological needs at the site, and Dan said they weren’t filling any wetlands so wouldn’t need permits. Jere asked for a letter from the Buxton-Hollis Historical Society stating that they’ve reviewed this and that there are no problems. Keith mentioned that they’d have to have something from the State. Dan asked if the cemetery is a registered historical place. Jere said it’s the South Buxton Cemetery Assn.—not the church. Is the park not an abutter because of the street between it, and they said this was correct. The Jordan and Roy properties were between it. The church owns part of the Jordan property, Elizabeth stated. Jere said the church is not considered an abutter. The Board asked for a letter from the Buxton-Hollis Historical Society. Keith said the letter has to come from the
State, but other Board members said it read “either.” 10.15 of the ordinance, p. 10.14, Jere referred to. Jere read that it would have to be submitted to both the Maine Historic Preservation Comm. and the Buxton-Hollis Historical Society. Jere asked if the feeling on the Board was that they have to do this or not. They discussed the meaning of “adjacent.” David asked if the monument is considered an historic site. Jim thinks it is intending to address construction very close to the project, but he thinks it’s stretching it to consider the church. Jere asked Fred for his interpretation. Fred calls adjacent “next to or touching.” Caroline mentioned the design of that area--the look. Jere asked about a straw vote. All were in favor of having something from the State and Buxton-Hollis Historical Society. Three were in favor, Jere and David were opposed. Jere mentioned that they could make it a
condition of approval—to see a letter. Jere doesn’t think he’s ever seen a project stopped in the 12 years he’s been on the Board. Elizabeth’s next point is that the application states that there will be no overnight parking or idling. Is this going to be a condition and who would enforce it? Jere thinks the applicant would have to have a policy as it is private property. After hours and in the evening, abutters’ complaints can cause them to have to do something. Jere stated that Mr. Mapes could contact the Buxton Police Chief in advance about asking people to leave if parked on his property after hours. He currently has it posted. Elizabeth is concerned about water quality – plan is only for spills over 5 gal. She’s concerned about 4.5 gals. She’s asking for a condition regarding a spill of any kind. David says that they’ve called Buxton Fire for a gallon spill. They’re not afraid to call; they’ve done
everything they’re supposed to do. Jim asks if they could amend that page to say “spills.” They said they could. The owner has to maintain records for five years of the storm water permit. They’re available from DEP if wanted. They would ask the applicant to copy the Code Enforcement Office. Landscaping – what does the fence on top of the retaining wall look like. Dan said it’s intended to be a picket-type fence with a maximum of 4” spaces and at least 42” tall. Can there be landscaping to block the lights from the drive through? She asked about the waiving of the visual screen in front. She wasn’t sure why that was. The screening was from Rt. 202 towards the store. They’ve done away from that so that trees don’t block the view from people exiting the site in the commercial zone. If soccer parking continues to be allowed, where would that be? Will it be allowed to have parking on 202? She
asked about a crosswalk on the side from the soccer field to the store. Keith mentioned putting a sign up for pedestrian crossing. Jonathan spoke about the things that Fred said were important when they first talked. He says the parking will be very similar to where they park now. Elizabeth’s concerned about the hours of operation. She thinks the noise is going to be an issue—quite early and quite late. She tried to find some noise readings about trucks, which seems that they’re already over the limit. Jim thinks it’s not what it would be for an idling truck. It’s typically from 60 to 78 decibels, Dan says. They talked about two trucks only being three decibels over one truck, which attenuates over distance. Jere talked about atmospheric changes making a difference. The noise being generated is already present on the site today. Elizabeth wondered if the Board talks with anyone from the DOT. Keith said
that they had a meeting with them about a year ago. Elizabeth says that the area is considered a high crash zone. She contacted the DOT, and they lowered the speed to 40. She doesn’t think that is low enough and wonders who is responsible for addressing this. She wants to know if she can prevent engine breaking in front of her house, and Keith doesn’t believe she can. Jim says the neighbors get together and go to the Selectmen and get their support to address the DOT. Peter Pinkham thought an ordinance would have to be made. Jere said that we have no ordinance for this. Our ordinance regarding safety, etc. isn’t applicable, she asked? Does DOT know that there are 300 trucks going by every day, she asked? Caroline mentioned that DOT had reviewed everything. What about fire protection, Elizabeth asked? She thought that adding all of those islands would mean that there would be something they have to do?
There’s already a fog spray released when they sense heat. She asked about the signs, and Caroline pointed out the signs on the plan. She was hoping that under 10.2 something would be done about the idling. Jim thinks the applicant has attempted this. She wonders when the Board decides to do a peer review or not. She thinks this is a large project with a history of water problems. Jere says they look at each application and the scope. Individually, they then make a decision.
The DEP is reviewing all of the storm water on the site. Elizabeth mentions a “conservative” estimate, which Jim says they’ve been conscious about their numbers. Dan says they were underestimating pre-development runoff. If they design to that level, they’ll be handling more of the water than they have to. Jere mentioned it being an existing business, and he personally didn’t think it was worthy of peer review. Jere thought they were reducing pavement, but Dan said they’re actually increasing.
Betsy asked about when they’d vote on this, and Jere said that it would be this evening. She asked about them voting without the letter from Historic Preservation, and Jere said they’d make it a condition. She asked about making the fence 13.5 ft. tall. Then she asked about an appeal, and Jere said it could be appealed in district court. This was explained by Board members. Caroline said she believed that there could be a balance here; she also felt it shouldn’t be a hardship on the applicant. She wondered if the 8 ft. fence would alleviate the condition. She mentions the noise meter test and finding out if it meets the requirement. She thinks a 13.6’ stone wall would be too much. Jim doesn’t think it will
be the big increase that she thinks it will be. He thinks 13.6 would not be reasonable. Fred has the ability to use the noise meter. Jonathan said that if they don’t do anything, the noise will be there for a long time. Jim thinks they’re kind of grandfathered just the way it sits. Jere thinks that the storm water runoff will be improved greatly.
Caroline asked about the trucks coming in and backing up. She’s asked about a change, which it doesn’t appear could happen. The fueling positions are placed so the vehicles can get safely around. They’ve tried various places for the building on the site. Dan said they looked at a number of options. Dan explained the traffic flow.
Betsy asked when the noise would be tested. What if they find that it’s too high when the fence is put up? Then, they would have to look at something else, Jere stated. Jere doesn’t think Fred goes out unless an abutter complains. He would cite them if the noise level was too high.
Robert Elwell lives about a .5 mi from Tory Hill. He thinks they have a good plan and that it is improved tonight.
Jere stated that 10.6 does have specific decibel readings, and she could have Fred go out if needed.
Jim asked if they wanted to talk about peer review. Jim doesn’t see it as necessary as this is not a huge change from what exists. Keith thinks it is too late for peer review. Caroline stated that the decision was done at the beginning. David would not suggest peer review in this situation.
Keith asked about the stacking at the drive through. He thought he read somewhere it needed to be 12. Dan said they have seven from the drive through window. The DOT does have guidelines. They want to see 12 cars queued up from the menu board before it would have any impact on people entering the site from a State road. Dave feels they’ve addressed all of the ordinances, and he doesn’t see a problem with their plan. He thinks they’re only going to improve this corner. Jere asked Fred if he had any comments, and he didn’t.
- David motioned, Keith seconded, to close the public hearing. All voted in favor.
Caroline addressed Ms. White’s comments about the crosswalk coming from the soccer field, there might be something there. She mentioned people parking in front and how they’re going to get over to the area they need to. She mentioned snow storage and adding a note on the plan. The solid wood fence and signpost to the fields could be indicated on the plan. She appreciated the photometric plan and would like a note on the plan about lights turned off an hour after closing with minimal lighting on for security, the hours will be 5 a.m. to 11 p.m., and no overnight parking and no extended idling would be allowed. She would like to see more landscaping as long as they’re not impacting the view coming in and out. Is that something they can
waive? What about the screen for lights from tractor-trailers? Dan said it was a very difficult spot to maintain landscaping in. She thought it would help with the noise and stacking.
Jere asked if they were ready to move on to conditions of approval. He read the standard four conditions. Others: 5) letter from Maine Historic Preservation Commission and the Buxton-Hollis Historical Society for their review and comment. 6) The copies of the inspection reports for storm water to be copied to Code Enforcement. 7) The noise test be done at full occupancy. 8) No overnight parking or idling. Jere stated that this was up to the applicant. Neighbors could call the Police Dept. if there is a problem. Betsy thinks they’re confused about what they should do. Jim says that the ordinance is not clear.
Caroline would like to show the access to the soccer parking. Jere thanks Peter Pinkham for allowing the community to use his field. He asked if Caroline wanted to show access to the parking. Dan showed on the plan where the access would be. Keith asked about taking the guard rails out from in front of the propane tanks, and Jonathan said propane companies require it. Peter said that every time he’s called them, they’ve come down and moved them when he’s had to plow. Betsy thinks the police are confused about whether they can do anything.
Caroline asked to have the lights turned off an hour after closing, and it was agreeable to the applicant. She asked if there were any seats at the restaurant, and Dan said there were still 12 seats and explained how they affected parking.
Jere asked if they wanted to read through 8.2.B, and they thought they would.
8.2.B.1 Keith moved, Jim seconded, to accept.. 4 in favor, David opposed.
8.2.B.2. Keith moved, Jim seconded, to accept. 4 in favor, Caroline opposed.
8.2.B.3. Keith moved, Caroline seconded, to accept. All in favor.
8.2.B.4. Jim moved, David seconded, to accept. All in favor.
8.2.B.5. David moved, Keith seconded, to accept. All in favor.
8.2.B.6. David moved, Jim seconded, to accept. All in favor.
8.2.B.7. David moved, Keith seconded, to accept. All in favor.
8.2.B.8. David moved, Keith seconded, to accept. All in favor.
8.2.B.9. David moved, Keith seconded, to accept. All in favor.
10.7.F. – Jere asked for a motion to waive the landscaping required.
- Keith moved, David seconded, to waive. 4 in favor, Caroline opposed.
- Keith moved that based on previous discussions, we find the applicant in compliance with all applicable conditions of 8.2.B., 10 and 11 if applicable, seconded by Jim. All voted in favor.
- Keith moved to approve with conditions stated this evening and from prior meetings, seconded by Jim. All voted in favor.
Jere stated that they have 30 days from the Findings of Fact to appeal the decision. The decision could be appealed at Superior Fact, and those should be ready in two weeks.
- Keith moved to waive the rest of the agenda, Jim seconded. All voted in favor.
- Keith moved, seconded by Caroline, to adjourn at 11:30 pm. All voted in favor.
Chairperson: ________________________________ Signature Date: ____________