Town of Buxton Planning Board
March 23, 2009 Minutes
Recorded by Hilda Lynch
Board Members Present: David Savage, Sr.; Jeremiah Ross, III; Keith Emery; Harry Kavouksorian; James Logan; and Caroline Segalla
Board Members Absent: David Anderson
Others Present: Ethan Owens, Stephanie Keene, Bill Thompson, Bob Lowell (American Journal), Patsy Leavitt, Walter Stinson, Brian Gaines, Charles Altenbern, Neal Morrison, Richard Deister, Barbara Deister
Chairman Harry Kavouksorian called the March 23, 2009, meeting of the Buxton Planning Board together at 7:05 p.m.
Pledge of Allegiance
Discussion of Southern Maine Regional Planning’s peer review of Blueberry Ridge subdivision located off Church Hill and Webster Roads; Tax Map 7, Lot 30.
Bill Thompson, Project Manager of BH2M Engineers, addressed the Blueberry Ridge subdivision. They’ve been before the Buxton Planning Board multiple times and have been before the Gorham Planning Board, which has granted preliminary approval to the above project. They’ve had an onsite public informational meeting which the DEP requires, a pre-submission meeting with DEP last week, and the applications are ready to submit tomorrow for the DEP to start their site location review and storm water permitting. They have two stream crossings and a small amount of wetland impact on a Tier One Permit. All of the permits are assembled. DEP indicated everything looked complete. DEP can take up to 180 days to review the project. They’ve indicated that they
might be a little quicker than the 185 [as stated] days they’re allowed. The site walk has been held, and they’ve come before the Buxton Planning Board to review the site walk. Seven of the lots are in Buxton. There was a willingness of the Planning Board to have them come back in prior to the Gorham vote.
The agenda item tonight is to talk about the review from SMRPC. It is included in Bill’s submission dated 3/17/09. Item No. 1 is a revised nitrate study which reflects the new entrance road and how two lots would play into the development. Steve Mahar’s analysis comes back stating everything works with wells and septics. Sheet 4 in the packet does have the wells indicated. The SMRPC review dated March 4th included two items: one under the section on roads where they wanted a note embellished to cover some language. It is Note 34 on the Buxton plans – added that all streets must be built under the supervision of the Road Commissioner in conformance with the regulations. The next item in Bill’s response was under performance guarantees.
Note 35 indicates that in lieu of a performance guarantee, no lot can be conveyed or building permits be issued until all streets, utilities, and public improvements are completed. If the applicant wishes to convey a lot, there must be a performance guarantee equal to 125% of the cost of the remaining improvements, which shall be approved by the Town Manager and Attorney (out of our ordinances). They’re requesting that this be allowed in lieu of a performance guarantee. For Phase One, the estimate is $135,000. The assessment would have to be done on what needs to be completed and placed with the town to protect the new homeowner. Where it is an allowable Condition of Approval, they’d like to have that considered. Item 4, there was some final grading on the detention pond opposite Lot 4. DEP wanted it a little wider for a better treatment. He has draft copies of covenants and restrictions and bylaws of the homeowner’s association in
his submission. The things that have been requested at the last meeting have been submitted.
Harry asked Board members for any questions. Caroline asked about the building placement. She is concerned about Lot #1 because of its closeness to the Webster Rd. Bill responded that Gorham had requested that building placements be put on the plan. The consensus of the Buxton Board after the site walk was that they weren’t going to dictate where the houses would go. They purposely kept a 50 ft. buffer along the Webster Rd. on Lot 1 so the house wouldn’t be located too close to the road. Caroline asked if the house and driveway placement would help Fred. Bill did let the Gorham people know that these were suggested placements. Bill stated they could do the same thing for Buxton.
Caroline asked about the existing trees off from Webster and open space along Churchill Rds. Will they be kept? Bill pointed out that there are buffers indicating trees that would be kept. Bill stated that they wanted to make some decisions about this during the construction. Harry asked Fred if he was satisfied about the placements. Fred thought that as long as they had the test pits, he was okay. Caroline asked if they had received a letter from the Fire Chief. Bill hasn’t received one yet although it was requested some time ago. He wasn’t sure if the Fire Chief had responded to the Code office. Caroline asked if there is a need for a note on the plan that any changes would be reviewed by Gorham and Buxton Planning Boards. She
mentioned the reserved right of ways. She wondered what this was about. The ordinance requires it for Gorham, Bill stated. Jim suggests that they only come back if there’s something revised on the Buxton side of the plan. Caroline mentioned drainage or other things like that must warrant review. Jim stated that once a subdivision is approved, any changes to a municipal subdivision would have to come before the Board. Caroline asked if this would be needed for both Boards. Keith thinks that Gorham would notify Buxton anyway as an abutter. Bill thinks they would do this as a courtesy anyway. Jere mentions that it is a Condition of Approval anyway.
Caroline asked about the Road Commissioner approving? She wondered if ours would inspect just up to the Gorham line. Bill stated that Gorham was very specific in their ordinances about the roads. Keith talked about how the subdivision would likely be plowed. Jere asked if the road names were the same in both towns. He thought there might be a need for a letter stating that in the case of emergencies, people would have to specify which town they lived in. There was some discussion about this. Bill mentioned that both towns approved the names. Bill stated that Gorham has already assigned numbers to all of the lots. Keith and Jere mentioned the 911 system and how the numbering of the lots would affect this. David S mentioned the
draft of the covenants. He stated that on p. 4, Blueberry Lane needs to be changed to Spirit Wood. Bill stated he would take care of this.
Regarding the ownership of the open space, Caroline asked about the ownership and management of the open space in our ordinances. She referred to Items 27 & 28 referencing the open space. Looking at the declaration on p. 4, it says it’s not for municipal use - #15. Should something in the notes refer to management and ownership? Page 1 and 2 of the declaration was referred to by Bill. He asked if this additional direction was sufficient. Caroline said it made it a little clearer. On the storm water plan, Caroline noticed an analysis point which increases significantly in the two-year storm. Bill says that a two-year storm is kind of a minor storm. He believes DEP will issue an exemption for the increase. It is the only one
that has that kind of spike. Caroline was curious about it. They reviewed downstream, and there were no impacts.
Is there any lighting proposed, Caroline asked? No, Bill said.
Jim had two points. Jim didn’t see a note making a provision for the water supply and the wells being the developer’s responsibility. Bill mentioned #38. Jim doesn’t see the reference he’s looking for, as this refers to location, plumes, and septic system standards. The groundwater analysis showing the plumes for background nitrates makes the assumption of three bedrooms per lot. He’d like to see a note about additional review & being required for a four-bedroom home. Harry asked about the last letter. He believed that there was an agreement that the two Boards wouldn’t have to meet jointly. Jim believes that it was voted on and was in the official minutes of the meeting. They did meet jointly and did decide among both Boards
that they didn’t have to meet jointly for each meeting. On October 20, 2008, there was a motion regarding joint meetings being held as needed. Jere asked if this would constitute an agreement. Caroline thought they could copy the minutes and send a letter to them. Jim thought this might be a quick question for Bill Plouffe. Jere didn’t think it would hurt to send a letter anyway. Jere asked if they agreed to meet together for the final approval. Keith said that was agreed.
Keith mentioned that there should be no trees in the 50 ft. right of way so they could do ditching. He specified keeping the mailbox posts back 3 ft. from the tar, the face 2 ft. from the tar and 43 in. off the ground.
Harry asked if they expected a response from DEP. Bill said it would be in July or August. Harry asked about setting a public hearing. Caroline asked about the performance guarantee. Should that be discussed?
Fred wants to be clear on a few things. Note No 29 refers to all driveways having a paved apron with bituminous concrete. This is a Gorham standard. Is the material similar to blacktop? Bill agreed. On No. 20 and No. 35, Fred wants to be clear on this. Will this be developed in three phases? Board members said that was correct, as well as Bill. The phases are shown on the plan, Caroline stated. Will Fred get the first permit? He’ll get the first 4 or 5, Jim stated. Will the lots be developed from the Webster Rd, Fred asked? Jere asked if there was going to be a T, a turnaround there. Yes, Bill stated. Fred asked if the road all the way to the T would have to be built before he issues the first permit.
Yes, Jim stated. Jere confirmed that it would have to be built to Town standards for the portion that is in Buxton. Keith agreed it would. Jim asked if they were going to have different engineering standards for the road in each town. Bill stated that they would build to the specifications in each town. Bill stated that the biggest difference is the gravel depth is greater in Gorham. Caroline mentioned that they could make recommendations or suggestions that are above our performance standards. Jim would like to see this even though he doesn’t know if it could be done. Harry said that more can’t be required than we have in our ordinances. Board members asked Fred what his feeling was on the road standards. Because of the traffic, Jim wonders if we were going to be taking on a bigger share of the maintenance when the Town takes on the road. Bill thinks this standard must be working or the ordinance would have
been changed. Jim asked if there are any other situations like this around town. Keith states that it was a minimum standard so thinks they could request more. This could be looked at further.
Jim asked Fred what he would like to discuss on Note 35.
Bill stated that the ordinance says that “no less than 12 in. of gravel and not more than 24 ft. in width.” Jim would make a recommendation that for the 1400 ft. of road in Buxton that the gravel base be the same as in Gorham. Caroline agrees as does David S. Jere stated that it could be made a Condition of Approval. Harry asked if it could be made a Condition of Approval or a recommendation. Jere stated that a Condition of Approval would be in the notes but wonders about the enforcement. Caroline asked about checking with legal counsel. Jere thought that counsel might think that they might be overstepping. Jim mentioned that they should recommend it to get a certain number of positive votes. If the Board were to reject based on the
applicant not exceeding the standard, Jere doesn’t think it would be legal. Jim and Caroline thought it should be checked by legal counsel. Since the majority of traffic would be going through Buxton, they thought the road should be done to Gorham standards.
Fred asked if the performance guarantee would have to happen prior to issuing the first building permit. Before the first house gets its first occupancy permit, he would have to get a drawing of the improvements from the applicant’s engineer. From there on, he could issue the other permits. He could issue the permits once the first road is approved, Keith clarified. Fred asked if the same process would have to be repeated in Phase Two. Jim asked if the notes could reflect that. Jere asked if Fred was comfortable with this procedure. Fred said he felt he understood the process.
Fred asked how the roads would get approved. He asked if both towns would have to approve the roads. Keith assumed that we would have to approve the Buxton section. Keith wouldn’t vote for approval if Gorham wasn’t approving. He stated that the Gorham section needs to be completed before Buxton should approve. Jim asked if there was a need for the note on the plan. Bill feels the system should work the way it works. Jere thinks the Road Commissioner would make the decision ultimately as far as his recommendation. Bill stated that it would cost $135,590 for the first 800 ft. of road. Caroline had additional questions about the performance guarantee. Jim thought they would get some insight from the Town counsel.
Harry asked if the Board was ready to schedule a public hearing. Bill reviews tonight’s requests: the Board wants an expansion on the note about the wells being the developer’s expense, a review of the nitrate study for more than a three-bedroom home. Jim thought that Note 38 could cover that. Other items were that trees be kept out of the right of way, road gravel for the Buxton road to be equal to the Gorham standard, and bituminous concrete be changed to blacktop. Bill doesn’t have any other questions.
Jim motioned, Keith seconded, to set a public hearing for the Blueberry Ridge subdivision for the lots proposed on the Buxton side for April 13. All voted in favor.
Keith thought it would be beneficial to send a note to Gorham. Ask Krystal to send a notice, Harry stated. Jere wanted the abutters in Gorham notified, so the note sent should ask that the abutters be notified.
Bill asked if these things should be tweaked before the public hearing and the sheet brought in before the hearing. Jim thought that the one sheet with changes would be sufficient. Bill will provide one page to the Code office.
Narragansett Business Park, LLC, pre-application sketch plan for an industrial business park off Route 202 (across from Waterman Road); Tax Map 8, Lot 20A.
Walter Stinson, Civil Engineer, represented Patsy Leavitt as a representative of the Narragansett Business Park. They’ve made a pre-application sketch plan. The Board requested some additional information which is reflected on the drawings tonight.
Walter confirmed April 6 as the date of the site walk. It will be at 6 p.m. He would like to respond to any additional information on the plan as it is now or any additional information submitted. He requested this be considered a complete application.
The total parcel is about 25.8 acres across from the Waterman Rd. The first 500 ft. is business/commercial. It is on this portion that they’re planning for three business/commercial lots. The remaining land located behind the zone line will remain as retained by the developers. The Board requested several items. The first was that they would be assured that there would be 40,000 sq. ft. of developable land for each lot – these areas are shown as Lot 1 having 51,660 sq ft., Lot 2 having 56,580 sq. ft., and Lot 3 having 68,270 sq. ft. All exceed the minimum. The soil scientist addresses the issue of vernal pools, and they’ve submitted a letter from him. They will be looking at this further during vernal pool season, which is the first of
April. There was one potential vernal pool more than 250 ft from any proposed lots. The Board requested that the existing tree line be shown on the plan, and that is now shown. The Board asked to have the wetland impact shown. They’ve shown five areas, for a total of 11,869 sq. ft. so it would be a Tier 1 wetlands alteration permit. The fire tank location is shown on sheet 4, well exclusion zones are shown on sheet 4 (exclusion being 100 ft. setbacks from proposed septic systems and is so noted), well locations on sheet 4 (preliminary depending on potential uses of the lots), setbacks with dimensions on the subdivision plan which is on sheet 2. They were asked to consider extending the road for the turnaround, which is shown on this drawing... He believes they have addressed questions made during the last meeting, and they’ve made a complete re-submission in accordance with the ordinance. There are two test pits on those lots that
have a limiting factor less than 24 in. That applied to Lot 3, and they have gotten another test pit on that lot, and they’ve shown the 1000 ft. reserve area. The driveway location, which was of concern because of crossing the wetland, is shown on sheet 4.
Caroline asked what the total wetland was on the existing property. Walter doesn’t know exactly. She asked for a box showing the 11,869 that has been indicated. Caroline reviewed the numbers for the five wetland square footages. She thought it would be easier if it is laid out. She would like to see the total impact. Jim and Caroline discussed the need for the wetland totals. She asked Fred about a connection with the Stroudwater and a small stream. Jim asked about the short segment stream. He assumes that someone from DEP has looked at this. Walter said it would require a Permit by Rule for the road crossing. Jim thinks a significant vernal pool might not be a simple Tier 1. Caroline asked if there has been any
consideration of lots 2 and 3 sharing a driveway. The less impact the better, she thought. Is this going to be business/commercial or light commercial? She illustrated a loop she was thinking about to Walter. Harry stated that this item is not to discuss a zone change, so Caroline agreed to wait until later. If there’s further development in the rear, how would that impact the drainage in this portion of the site, she wondered? Walter stated that they’ve submitted a drainage study and areas of storm water control along the road—just what is happening here now.
Caroline asked if Walter knows the limits of clearing. Coming off Waterman, she asked about trees being kept in this area. Will there be further cutting? Anything within the wetlands will be retained, Walter stated. Anything in the light green shows areas for potential building. She asked if the small area to the left of the entrance driveway would be kept. He doesn’t want to say that those trees would never be cut. She recommends that they keep some buffer for the residential properties in front. Is it unreasonable to leave what is along Rt. 202, Jim asked? They would consider this but the buildable areas are limited. Walter assumes that businesses would come back to the Board. Jim said that wouldn’t happen in all
cases—only if a large enough building were to be constructed on a lot. Caroline asked about parking on 202. It was only mentioned in the minutes for the site walk, Jim clarified.
She’s seen some of the parcels, and she thinks it would be nice to see some buffering for the residents along a portion of it. She thinks they should take special care with this one. Harry asked if they should request a landscaping plan. Caroline would like to see one. Harry agreed that one should be requested. Walter asked if it would be appropriate to wait for a site walk. Some Board members agreed. She wanted to preserve as much of the wetland, and it seems like they’ve done their best on placement of the lots in the upland area. Are they reviewing this as a subdivision for three lots? She asked if this could come back once something is being proposed to be built. They’ll only review if a building over 2,000 sq. ft. will be
built. A note should be added that all light fixtures be full cutoff, Caroline thought, in case the lots don’t come up for the Board’s review again.
Jim applauds the consultants for making the changes they requested. He’s happy with the wetland report. His only problem is with the little developable portion in the front left corner. He believes they need to plan for a wetland impact to connect two areas. Jim asked Fred how he felt about this piece. How could one get to it? Fred thought it was maybe where the sign should go. Walter agrees with what Jim said. Walter doesn’t know what potential use might be done with this piece of land. He would hate to write it off now. He knows the challenges they’d have. The plan doesn’t show any setbacks from these forested wetlands. The Town doesn’t require anything. He would like to see a note on the plan which would say
that no additional wetland impacts can occur on any of these lots without prior DEP review and approval and a return to the Planning Board. He would like to see it spelled out for Lot 1. It would become an enforcement issue for Fred. Jim thinks someone might want to sneak a little wetland fill into this area. He wouldn’t suggest that the developer take that off the usable portion of the plan. He would like to have a clear note somewhere calling attention to Lot 1.
Keith’s comment would have been about the hammerhead, but now that it has been moved, he’s okay.
Jere asked where the potential vernal pool is. Walter will point it out on the site walk. Jere mentioned they’d only review the plan that is before them. He asked about the well locations of the abutters: A.J. Trailer Sales, Monihan, and Fitz. Jere mentioned that any of this information is available to the public and can be obtained from the Code Enforcement Office for a nominal fee. Caroline asked about the investigation of the abutting wells and wastewater disposal areas—an hydro geologic analysis? Walter stated they would be locating the wells on the abutters’ properties. Jim asked if they were planning a hydro geologic analysis. It doesn’t appear that this is planned. Jere asked about
two test pits, and Jim said that only when the limiting factor is less than 24 in. Jim referred to the ordinance as requiring a pretty good area of suitability (about 1,000 sq. ft). He commended them for showing boxes of representative size on the plan.
Walter is planning to stake the center line of the road for the site walk. Could the approximate lines coming out from the road be flagged, Jim asked. Walter stated they could. Walter asked what the process would be, and he was told that the next meeting would be for a discussion of the site walk, and they would set a public hearing if everything was okay. Jere mentioned that the site walk was open to the public...
Pat Leavitt is proposing to expand the existing Business/Commercial zone back to the property line with designated green space. Tax Map 8, Lots 20A, 20A-31, 20A-32 and 20A-33.
Harry mentioned a procedural issue that he would have to consult with the town attorney on before this request could be brought back. He’s asking to have this postponed.
Patsy asked for an explanation. Harry stated that she came before the Board asking to have a zone issue approved, which it wasn’t. This was declined. It can be a year before this can be re-heard in some instances. Based on the plan being changed, even though a minor change, there is some question as to who on the Board has to suggest that they re-hear the proposal and who would second it. There has to be a majority member to make the motion. Can any of the five present make the second? When they spoke to the office staff and they were informed that they would be on the agenda, was the Board aware that this would be an issue? Neither Jere nor Harry was aware that this would be an issue. Jim stated that he doesn’t think this is
common so asked her to bear with them. Keith clarified an issue that had happened a couple of years ago. They need to know whether a member in the majority would have to second the motion. In terms of time management, will this prevent them from getting their petition done, Patsy wondered? Harry said that they always have the right to put out the petition. Regarding the zone change, Patsy thinks that a very appealing idea would be for them to come up with a solution that might be “neat” for the Town concerning this piece of property. Jere felt they could proceed tonight if one of the two people here tonight could make the motion. If the motion were to fail, they’d be back to where they were two weeks ago. Patsy clarified.
Caroline asked that if they reviewed it, would the deadline be “now” to get onto the town vote. Jere stated that the petition would have to be in on April 27 or a vote in favor of placing the request on the warrant. Patsy stated that after conversations with staff, they withheld the development of a petition when they came up with an idea they thought would be quite appealing. If they get the green light, could this be discussed at the next meeting, Caroline asked? Board members agreed. Caroline apologized. Caroline stated that there are certain procedures that have to be followed according to the Charter. Patsy said that these are things that she doesn’t have knowledge of. Jim clarified Harry’s statement and added the “material difference”
as part of the request. Patsy said that this was a different request because there was no initial application. One of the three people has to be convinced to make a motion to reconsider the process. Once a motion is made, who makes the second is the question. If the motion is made, then all members of the Board could vote. If the re-consideration passes, then she may present her proposal. Jere clarified. Patsy asked for clarification – the two who are here who voted against are not feeling they would want to re-consider? Are they waiting for the third person or could another person second it. Keith says they know who can make the motion, but who has to make the second is the question. Jere thought maybe Bill could come to the next meeting; he mentioned a prior application. Patsy asked if she could be notified of the decision; she stated that Krystal has her e-mail. Harry stated that he would let the Attorney
know that there is a time crunch. The proposal could be discussed at the next meeting. Jere explained how he thought it could go. She is confused about why the motion can’t be made this evening but guesses that they just aren’t comfortable with it.
Jere asked to re-define what they would ask Town Counsel. The question is how to proceed with a motion to re-consider, who can make that motion, who can second that motion, and who of the standing members could vote on it, and what constitutes a majority (a 3-2 vote). Caroline asked about what constitutes a change in the plan that warrants a motion to re-consider. Keith believes that all of the members could vote on a new motion. Patsy asked if one member was absent, could this be delayed further. Jere thought that as long as a quorum was present, it could be considered. Jere stated that she should feel free to contact Krystal, and she can let Patsy know as soon as she hears from Bill. Keith says usually advice from Bill is requested and received
in writing. Whatever comes to Harry comes to the Code Enforcement Office.
Caroline thinks it is unfair that the applicant came in tonight thinking that she could proceed with her agenda item. She thought a call would be in order to expedite things. Jere knows that Krystal wouldn’t be aware of the legal issues so didn’t know that there might be a legal issue on a discussion this evening. He’s glad it was put on the agenda so some information could be obtained.
CEO Report: None.
Approval of Minutes: March 9, 2009
See corrections as noted on the minutes.
Motioned by Jim, seconded by Harry, to accept the minutes as amended. Five in favor; Keith abstained.
Approval of Bills: To pay Portland Press Herald in the amount of $30.45 for the Roy and Randall Applications.
Jere motioned, seconded by David S, to pay the above bill. All voted in favor.
Environmental newsletter from Sebago Technics
Maine floodplain management and mapping news
Request to support funding for Land for Maine’s Future program – email from Caroline – Jim asked if action were needed. Caroline stated that this was from a representative from Buxton who is supporting legislation for open space which she wanted to copy them in on to let them know. Jere stated that the competition for this money was very strong. He mentioned some farms that were approved.
Review and sign Finding of Facts for:
Jill & Gregory Roy
Motioned by Jere, Jim seconded, to accept the Findings of Fact as amended. Five in favor; Keith abstained.
Pam & Shawn Randall
Caroline motioned, seconded by Jere, to approve the Findings of Fact as written.
Five in favor; Keith abstained.
An error was noticed on the Roy Findings, which should also be changed on the Randall Findings (No 7 – between August 1st and August 31st).
Caroline moved, Jim seconded, to amend the Randall Findings of Fact as stated. Five in favor; Keith abstained.
Review proposed Draft copy of zoning map and Shoreland Ordinance changes from SMRPC.
Jim suggests waiting until responses have been received from changes that have not been reviewed by Bill as yet. Board members are in agreement. The deadlines were reviewed. This may be a time when a special meeting may need to be held to go over these items. May 25th would be the absolute last date for the public hearing. Jere mentioned the Selectmen need to sign the warrant by April 15. Keith doesn’t think the Shoreland Zoning will make this town meeting. Board members felt that it should. Jere doesn’t think there will be many changes. Jim thinks they should go over it at the end of the next meeting. Jere would like Krystal to get this out to Town Counsel and request it back before the next meeting for the Board to
David S wanted to say that he was pleased that the small energy systems passed all the tests for legal with few changes. Caroline wants to comment on how wind turbines impacts subdivisions. David S says this is not small energy systems. Caroline wants to know if they would need to create an ordinance for that. David S says the Governor’s Task force has already addressed this. Jere said that in year’s past, they’ve all gotten 8 x 11 copies of the maps as well as large copies. Keith comments about the new town garage being occupied last Friday – a project this Board has approved that has come full circle.
Review proposed ordinance comments from Town Council.
Motioned by Caroline, seconded by Jim, to adjourn at 9:16 p.m. All voted in favor.
Approval Date: __________________
Harry Kavouksorian, Chairman Signature Date