TOWN OF BUXTON PLANNING BOARD
November 24, 2008
Recorded by Hilda Lynch
Board Members Present: David Savage, Sr.; Jeremiah Ross, III; Keith Emery; Harry Kavouksorian; David Anderson
Board Members Absent: James Logan, Emily Walsh
Others Present: William Thompson, Steven Joffe, Patricia Leavitt, and Fred Farnham
Chairman Harry Kavouksorian called the Monday, November 24, 2008, meeting of the Buxton Planning Board together at 7:01 p.m.
Discussion of site walk for Blueberry Ridge subdivision located off Church Hill and Webster Roads; Tax Map 7, Lot 30.
Bill Thompson of BH2M Engineers spoke for Steve Joffe, the applicant. He mentioned the site walk and that there were seven lots in Buxton, and he does have copies of the soils tests with him tonight. There are sandy, gravelly soils in the Buxton end of the site. He doesn’t think there are any issues. He mentioned that they would still need to come up with a road name, off Church Hill Rd. They’d like to eliminate the unknown (road names) and complete a set of plans. He’s hopeful they will come up with names after Thanksgiving. They’ve submitted an amended plan to show the test pits. He mentioned Jim Logan being there and thinking that everything looked good. Harry mentioned that Jim was there as a member of the Board. Harry asked about the amended plan.
The Board did a site walk on Sunday, November 16, 2008, with Jim Logan, David Savage, Jere Ross, and Harry Kavouksorian. David S mentioned that he saw a lot of water and a lot of raspberry bushes. He wasn’t sure where he was on the site. There was some water on Lot B-7, Jere stated. Harry didn’t think that the water was a real issue there; it didn’t appear to be a wetland where they looked at the lot. They checked the site lines on the access roads on Webster and Church Hill Roads, Jere stated. Jim Logan did attend, and Harry said they did pay particular attention to Lot B-7, and Jim was comfortable as the rest were that the lot would be okay. Jere mentioned needing a homeowner’s agreement and a performance bond for both roads.
Bill asked if they just needed the amounts established now since they still need to go through DEP. Jere stated that they’d need the amounts for the road construction. Bill asked if they’d be needed before final approval, and Jere stated that was correct. Jere stated that they still needed a road name for the access that comes out on Church Hill Rd. and a copy of the homeowner’s agreement. Jere asked if Bill wanted to go through the ordinance of 11.6 to see if they’re in compliance? Bill said he would submit them in writing. 11.6.C.1 speaks to the open space and 10 articles relate to the open space. David A. asked if it had to do with property taxes being levied. Jere said, “Yes and no.” If they’re applying under a cluster subdivision, they’re responsible for all of those articles as well as the subdivision ordinances. The majority is done. Jere asked if they were going with a sprinkler system, and Bill stated
that they were. Bill has sent a set of plans with a cover letter to the fire chief but hasn’t seen his response yet. The chief has had the letter for two weeks now, Bill thought. Jere thought they should have the items in writing dealing with the subdivision—12.1 to 13.5. Jere believes the majority has been done on the plan but having them in writing would become a part of the record. Bill said he’s submitted everything except Article 11.6.A. through 11.6.C.7. Jere stated that they’ve gotten several revisions so they’d like to have one final submission in one packet. Bill said he would provide that along with Section 11. Keith asked if he were going to use the same road name for Gorham and Buxton, and Bill said they were planning to. Bill said they’d like to avoid having a name change at the town line.
Keith said he didn’t want to have any problems with the open space for tax purposes. David A mentioned that they have 15 acres that would need to be divided among the 7 lots. Jere said it was an issue between the Town and the owner of that space. David A mentioned the issues that have arisen prior to this one. Steven J spoke about the assessor assessing the lots including a portion of the open space. David A said there would be two tax bills, and he feels that needs to be very clear to the homeowners. Jere asked if David A. wanted that on the plan, and David didn’t think that was a bad idea so it doesn’t get missed. Jere mentioned a problem that they’ve encountered with a previous development. David A doesn’t know how Gorham is
going to handle it and wouldn’t want to interfere with their process. Jere asked about the process for making a homeowner’s association, and Harry stated that it is his understanding that the developer forms the association. Jere asked Fred if he could withhold building permits for the last 30 percent of the lots, and Fred thought it might be a possibility. Jere stated that the issue is that once the plan has been approved, he wants to know how it can be prevented in the future—the lack of formation of the homeowner’s association. Jere thought they might have to look into this and may have to contact Town Counsel. He thought the ordinance might need to be changed. Fred said that this should be stated in the deed. Bill said they could submit a sample deed description. Jere mentioned the problem with the previous development corporation. David A said they wouldn’t have a problem if people get two bills—one for their home and one
for the open space. He thinks this would be the simplest and easiest solution. Jere asked what happens if the subdivision is only partially built? David A says that then the homeowner would pay 1/7 of the taxes. Bill clarified whether they’d want a note on the plan, and the Board agreed that they’d like it for at least the seven Buxton lots. Jere mentioned the plan being a legal document at the Registry of Deeds. Bill says that each homeowner should also receive one of the copies of the plan, according to the agent of the DEP. This doesn’t always happen. This helps Fred monitor any conditions that he needs to be aware of. David S asked if there would be any defined open land per homeowner, and Bill said there wouldn’t.
Harry asked if there was enough information to set a public hearing. Jere said he’d like to get the information to get in to SMRPC for a review. Keith said he’d like to see the paperwork and then vote to go to SMRPC. Bill said it would go to DEP the middle of Dec. If they’re reviewing at the same time, it shouldn’t delay them. They’ll get it to the Board as quickly as they can. The Board members reminded Bill that they only met once on December 8th.
Patricia Leavitt of Access Health, Inc., is requesting to relocate the existing Leavitt’s Mill Free Health Center to 63 Main Street, Tax Map 12, Lot 22.
Patricia Leavitt spoke about the packet the Board has on relocating the health center. They wish to move there in order to gain more space. Leavitt’s Mill Free Health Center is a nonprofit health center run by volunteers including her, and they provide primary care health services for folks who do not have health insurance. They provide medical visits, checkups, on-site dental hygiene, physical therapy, mental health services, and free medication assistance. They refer people out as well. They’ve seen about 1,000 patients since they’ve been in existence. Jere asked if there were any income guidelines? Patricia said the person cannot have health insurance.
David S asked how many people work there. Patricia said there were about 30 volunteers and two half-time staffers; and at any given time, there will be 4-5 staffers on duty. The clinic hours are twice a week. On other days, there might be two volunteers. She looked at the criteria as far as the parking. She thought the parking would be similar to a regular medical office. There is basically one practitioner, so there would be 10 spaces allotted. Since it is a volunteer thing and having students, there are parking spots in front of the entrance and around back, there is a large parking lot. Harry said they’d look at parking on the site walk. They’re looking at the same location as the Can Do Driving School. The hours
are 9 – 4 on Thursdays, alternate Saturday mornings, and Wednesday evenings from 5 to about 8 p.m. He was wondering about the hours in relation to other tenants in the building. This is the old Saco River Communications building on Main Street in Bar Mills. It is upstairs at street level. Keith says this saves the handicapped accessibility problem. Patricia said that because of a three-step entry, the landlord is planning to put in an adequate ramp for one of the openings.
Jere asked about the Sterile Safe Co. that will take away the biohazard waste. She said that this company takes it away. Patricia stated the landlord would provide an adequate dumpster out back. Harry asked if the Board were ready to set a site walk.
- Motioned by Jere, seconded by Keith, to hold a site walk for Patricia Leavitt of Access Health on the Leavitt’s Mill Free Health Center on Sunday, November 30, 2008, at 12 p.m. All voted in favor.
The Board members didn’t think they’d need to get into the building. Patricia said she’d have a key if they needed it.
Approval of Minutes: November 10, 2008
- Motioned by Jere, seconded by David S, to approve the minutes as written. All voted in favor.
Approval of Bills:
The bill for the public announcement for Dodge, Goulet, and Cote public hearings in the Portland Press Herald amounted to $67.86.
- Motioned by Jere, seconded by Keith to pay Portland Press Herald $67.86. All voted in favor.
A bill from SMRPC has been received for three hours of time for $105, a piece of the total discussed at previous meetings.
- Keith motioned, Jere seconded, to pay SMRPC $105 for planning assistance. All voted in favor.
~ Letter from Kelly Weymouth regarding the problems with the noise at the new elementary school construction site. Harry believes it is a law enforcement issue. She has contacted the local police and MSAD 6. The letter was addressed to the Board but copies have been sent to others who would be in authority over this. The Board is in sympathy but believes that she would need to contact the Police Dept.
~Article from the Kennebec Journal talking about wind power and potential for energy generation.
~Letter from Dearborn Construction endorsing an application that is currently before the Board.
~A copy of The Maine Townsman
~Letter from Comprehensive Environmental, Inc., to let the Board know about a seminar on December 3rd in Concord, NH, at 1:30 p.m. regarding low impact development.
~Board of Appeals workshop on March 13 in Saco from 6-9 p.m., sponsored by the Maine Municipal Assn. There is a $40 fee.
Harry has not received a letter of resignation from Emily Walsh, but he believes she intends to submit one. He will contact her to see what her intentions are, and they could go before the Board of Selectmen. Harry emailed Caroline Segalla to see if she has any interest, and she said she would get back to him.
Update on Shoreland Mapping workshop held on November 17th.
The Board held a workshop on November 17th with SMRPC and decided to go with them for the mapping. SMRPC would get back to the Board. David S asked if they should have all of the shoreland zoning info in one place rather than throughout the ordinances. Jere thought that J.T. said that he would leave it the way it is as he’s worked with it both ways. He was going to leave the setback at 300 ft. as in our ordinances as the State has 250 ft. unless told differently. They would change the zoning so any approvals would be based on the shoreland zone rather than rural so keeping the zones separate. Jere encourages the public to keep abreast of these changes as the process is just starting now. J.T. thinks it would be
March before he would have anything ready for the Board. This might make it very close to the June meeting. DEP has to review all of these changes. If all towns submit changes around the same time to SMRPC, this would be difficult. As long as the Town was showing due diligence, there wouldn’t be any fining by the State, Harry stated. Jere thought there might need to be a special town meeting after June if necessary; they might have to talk with the Selectmen. J.T. might send up a piece as he gets it done so it wouldn’t hold them up later down the road.
Jere asked if the aerial work is done. It was thought that it was nearly done. He wondered if he could view this work at home, and David A. said he could find out. Jere said there was an aerial survey done around November of last year. Once the Town has it, it would be available to residents, Code Enforcement, etc. to look at each piece of property as an overhead view.
Sign findings for the following:
- Katherine Cady - Krystal - For the record, it still states 149 for the address on the Findings (near the beginning on the first page) for the garage. It should state 145.
Discussion of proposed ordinance changes:
Harry asked if there was anything to add to the list at this time. Jere wants to add something to the ordinance regarding 70 percent of the lots being sold regarding not issuing any further building permits for cluster subdivisions until a homeowner’s association has been formed. Jere doesn’t see the 70 percent in the ordinance, either. He checked the ordinance to see where Bill Plouffe got that figure. 11.6.C.7 – should be here – Jere would work on the wording. Keith thought they might want to keep it in line with regular subdivisions, which is 50 percent. Jere and Harry mentioned that Bill Plouffe mentions 70 percent in his letter. Harry mentions the declaration of the title and deed for the land. Keith thinks they’re
missing another piece – there isn’t anything about the paving after 50 percent. Cluster subdivision goes on top of regular subdivisions, Harry stated. In Bill’s letter, the association determines when the open space would be taken over. Jere thought they needed to make sure that the applicants’ submittal for the open space has that in it so wouldn’t have to be in the ordinances. Clusters have to meet all of the requirements of a subdivision. 11.6.B.1 references to have everything meeting subdivision regulations. The Board felt they needed to make sure that they send the association agreements to legal counsel for review or make it a condition of approval that they get legal input on these agreements. Things could be added to make it enforceable, Harry stated. Jere doesn’t remember seeing one for a previous subdivision, but the legalese in these would mean that it would need to be reviewed by the town attorney. It would
protect the Town and the taxpayers. It says in the ordinance that it does need to be written on the plan.
Jere thinks everyone needs to make a master list of ordinance changes they would like to see, and then they should start working on them in Feb or March. Krystal has provided them with the kennel ordinance; they talked about the Board having the right to waive some requirements or just vote through those sections; something on wind energy systems needs to be added. Harry thought they should talk about the impact on the value of the land (8.2.B.1) – there is no standard by which this should be reviewed. Harry thinks this needs to be paid some attention so the ordinance would spell out what is required of abutters, what would constitute evidence that a person’s land would be impacted. Jere said that everyone has brought in their list in the past, and
they’ve gone through these, eliminated some, and added some. Jere thought Krystal could start to get all of the things together in a packet for the Board in Jan or Feb. They have info on kennels, wind power, etc. They’re open to any suggestions from the public. The public could go through the Code Enforcement Office to send a letter regarding a change or meet with the Board.
- Jere motioned to adjourn, seconded by David A, at 8:04 p.m.
Approval Date: __________________
Harry Kavouksorian, Chairman Signature Date