Town of Buxton Planning Board Minutes
Monday, January 26, 2009 at 7 pm
Recorded by Hilda Lynch
Board Members Present: David Savage, Sr.; Jeremiah Ross, III; Keith Emery; Harry Kavouksorian; James Logan; and David Anderson
Board Members Absent: Caroline Segalla
Others Present: Sue Stack, Robin Martin, and Francesca Latawiec ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Chairman Harry Kavouksorian called the January 26, 2008, meeting of the Buxton Planning Board together at 7:01 p.m. The meeting started with the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag.
Robin Martin of 142 Depot Street has submitted an application for an in home daycare care; Tax Map 15, Lot 37A.
Robin stated that she would like to have a child day care in her home for up to ten children. She’s going to have 2 ½ to 5-year-olds so this allows her to have ten. Keith asked if the State were going to limit her to ten. She can have eight of the 2 ½ to 5-year-olds and two of the five and older. David S. thought she might limit herself if she didn’t apply for 12. She thinks that if she were going to have children in the 2 ½ - 5 age group, she would only be allowed ten. Harry clarified that she might want to ask for 12 so she wouldn’t have to come back to the Board if she later had just older children. She thought that ten would be sufficient for her plan.
Jim talked about the septic requirements. He mentioned that she would get a design on paper to fix her system if the addition of ten extra children should cause problems for her system. Harry mentioned that they were still looking for her plan in the application. Jim would be happy with an inspection of the system to be sure there is a 1,000-gallon tank and it has been flushed recently. He suggested that she touch base with Fred Farnham. The Maine State Plumbing Code began in 1974, and her house was built in 1976. Plans from the earlier years may not be available. Jere asked if she had a 1,000-gallon tank and if she’s had it pumped recently. She said she’s had it pumped last summer. Jim mentioned that a receipt from that would be
something to enter into the record.
Jim thought she might want to have some idea what it might cost to replace the system. She could have someone design it and then present it to someone who could build it to determine the cost. The Board members thought a receipt would be okay with them. A step in between would be to hire someone to do a test of the field. Jere asked if her field appeared to be all right. She thought it was. She didn’t look for the paperwork on her field yet. Jim asked how long she’s owned the house. He wondered if there was paperwork that they could track down. Sometimes, people can do a record search in Augusta. Jim thought it might be $20-30. He wasn’t sure if the plan had been sent there in 1976. Jim thought if she could
satisfy Fred, he would be okay. David S. says that generally the field goes first.
Harry asked if they had enough information to set a site walk, and the Board members thought they did.
- Motioned by Jere, seconded by Keith, to hold a site walk for Tax Map 15, Lot 37A, for Robin Martin on Sunday, February 1, 2009, at 1 p.m. All voted in favor.
Fred was not in attendance this evening.
Approval of Minutes: January 12, 2009
On the next to the last page where it begins “Jim had asked for a better definition…,” where it begins 7.08, it should read, 7.08—the .08 lot area is 3,480 ft., and there is not a lot of room for error. Jim wanted clarification from BH2M on the lot.
- Jim motioned, Keith seconded, to accept the January 12, 2009, minutes as amended. All voted in favor.
Approval of Bills: None as of 1/20/09
$20.88 to the Portland Press Herald for the Leavitt notice
- Motioned by David A., seconded by Jere, to approve payment of $20.88 for the Leavitt hearing notice in the Portland Press Herald. All voted in favor.
Jim wanted to bring to the Board’s attention that he attended a meeting at the Portland office of the Maine Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). They were looking at broad changes to the Maine Site Location of Development law. Recently, they’ve only affected large projects, like the school. These changes will be brought before a legislative session at some point. One of the big things in this is that they’re going to change the size of developments and lower the level at which the law will be triggered. The DEP was only an environmental review agency and is now entering an area of planning, Jim thinks. They would tie environmental permitting of projects to planning by guiding certain projects to certain locations. They used the
term growth areas – a project going into an area not designated as a growth area by a zoning ordinance or by comprehensive plan would mean that all subdivisions would have to be in rural zones only. It didn’t accommodate current residential zones that were not in designated growth areas. As a comprehensive plan committee member, he didn’t recall many growth areas identified in this town. In the revised edition, they refer to the area that was re-zoned up near Plummer’s market to be a growth zone. That is why the zoning change would take place. The reason for his discussion is that the DEP is now going to tie where projects go—public and private—to growth areas. Buxton, as with many small towns, has no growth areas identified. They had a lot of performance standards for things like roads, infrastructure. They were going to limit subdivision roads to 20 ft. wide where we have 24 ft. in our ordinances. They were going to mandate
sidewalks at times and the width.
This is a good opportunity for several of the Board members to make clear that potential legislation is imminent and that they should go before the Selectmen and urge them to get going on the Comprehensive Plan for the Town. The DEP is kind of mandating comprehensive planning at the local level – or else. Certain projects that wouldn’t come under their purview now will in the future. The Hannaford and school projects never could have happened because they weren’t in growth areas. He thinks this is a springboard to go before the Selectmen to urge them to get work done on the Comprehensive Plan. If it’s tied to a DEP rule and is going to affect a lot of people in Buxton, it makes sense to get back to work on this.
Harry asked about the pending legislation. Jim was unclear when it will come before the legislature. The information is currently in draft form. It is currently on the DEP website under draft legislation. They’re going to regulate view, scenic, historic, etc. Harry asked if Jim knew of “view” taxes levied in some areas. Jim believes there is for some waterfront property. There was some discussion about the blocking of views. The DEP would have access to projects involving direct sunlight, greenhouse, solar, light pollution—some of the new factors. In the absence of a plan, a subdivision has to be located in an area of public sewer, which would be a problem in Buxton. They have a two-acre minimum for conservation subdivisions,
which is not consistent with our ordinances. There is no provision for a cluster subdivision. Jere felt that our ordinances could be stricter than theirs. Jim wants to impress the importance of this because it has been presented. In the new comprehensive plan he worked on, they were trying to make tough choices and designate growth areas. Growth areas would have to be accepted by the townspeople, which could be difficult. The DEP people were talking about big pieces of prime property. He thinks that rural is an important feature for a Town like Buxton. Jere pointed out that anything approved would affect landowner’s ability to market, use or sell their property. The information Jim is presenting has potential to be State law. The DEP would be taking on a different role—planning—that will be legislated. The people in Buxton could weigh in with the legislators now. Jim’s company has already contacted several
legislators to make them aware of this. Jere asked Jim to keep the Board posted on this. Jim stated that the Selectmen are in the process of beginning the appointments to the Comprehensive Plan Committee. Keith says that they’re still waiting for a couple more people potentially. Jim suggests they get the ball rolling. They might go before the Selectmen this evening after the meeting.
Harry mentioned that there is a road name request form. The first road name is from Paucek to Pleasant Ridge Rd. Blueberry Pines subdivision has been approved for two road names: Deacon’s Field Rd. and Spirit Wood Rd.
Harry reminded the public that the Planning Board would be holding a workshop meeting on Monday, February 2, 2009, to discuss ordinance changes. It is open to the public and anyone who wishes may attend. Krystal is planning to attend to take notes.
David A. asks if everyone were able to review the fiscal 2010 budget presented to them. He would like to submit a preliminary budget to the Selectmen this week if the Board approves. Since there would be a 0 funding increase, Jere has no problem with it. David A believes we have a solid budget now, which gives some flexibility but is not overbearing to the taxpayers. Harry asked about the mapping expenses. David A. stated that the two mappings that have been completed have been budgeted for and taken care of. He asked if Board members were okay with this new budget. Jere asked David A. to give info to Krystal to copy. David says it would be given to Keith tonight. Jere asked if the Selectmen were going to fund the aerial mapping,
and David A. says he believes they will. David A. took a very close look at historic expenses last year, and he believes they have adequate funds. David A. will allow Keith to review the budget. Keith says he’s okay if everyone else is fine with it. Jere thanked David A. for his efforts; he thought he’d done a nice job.
Harry mentioned contacting the Town attorney regarding some questions from the last meeting. He has forwarded the questions but has not yet gotten a response. As soon as he does, he will forward it along. Harry says that the bigger question is that when people do come in and ask for a zone change, he wonders what the Board’s responsibility is to the applicant and the responsibility to the residents and to the ordinances. Do they have to go through any potential uses of the land?
Jere’s interpretation is that it is up to the discretion of individual Planning Board members to put this on the ballot. If the majority of the Board is not in favor, then it doesn’t get placed on the ballot. Harry’s question comes around no specific use of the land being noted.
- Motioned by Keith, seconded by Jim, to adjourn the meeting at 7:47 p.m. All voted in favor.
Approval Date: _____2/9/09_____________
Harry Kavouksorian, Chairman Signature Date