Town of Buxton Planning Board
November 8, 2010
Recorded by Hilda Lynch
Board Members Present: Scott Havu, David Savage, Sr.; Jeremiah Ross, III; and James Logan
Board Members Absent: Harry Kavouksorian, Caroline Segalla, and David Anderson
Others Present: Henry Huntley, Cliff Thomas
Vice Chairman Jeremiah Ross called the November 8, 2010, meeting of the Buxton Planning Board together at 7 p.m.
Pledge of Allegiance
Approval of Minutes:
October 25, 2010 -
Motioned by Scott, seconded by David S, to approve the minutes as amended. Four in favor.
Approval of Bills:
Scott mentioned that Aerial Survey and Photo would come down to the next meeting. They’d like to have a projector set up with a computer attached. Scott is looking into this. If there isn’t one available, he’ll borrow one from the library. Jere suggested that Scott check with John Myers to see if he has any of this equipment. Aerial Survey and Photo will talk about the kinds of services they offer.
Motioned by Jere, seconded by David S, to adjourn to a workshop at 7:10 p.m. All voted in favor.
Discussion of proposed ordinance and map revisions.
Jere suggested they talk about the forested wetlands in the ordinance. David S mentioned the communication from Krystal. Jim thinks that p. 5 covers it. The Board attempted to make a change and then changed it back. The ordinance lacked the words, “other than forested wetlands.” 2.16 - the phrase missing is “other than forested wetlands.” Jim suggested striking our version completely and making it the same as the definition that occurs on p. 5 of the “Amendments to the Town of Buxton Zoning Ordinance To Comply With…”
Jere asked if there is a definition on p. 4 of the Amendments which should be added to the Town of Buxton Ordinance. This should go under definitions for forested wetlands.
Jim referred to Krystal’s research on forested wetlands. It only goes back to the DEP guidelines. At a minimum we’d like to change the words for wetlands to be consistent with the DEP’s guidelines. Forested would be included because it wasn’t in the ordinance prior to this.
Jere said the Board would draft a nonbinding question for the ballot. This is to reduce the 300’ shoreland zone to 250’ (around Bonny Eagle Pond and some other water bodies in town). Henry says he thinks the biggest resistance is making the new stuff 300’. David S. talked about maybe needing to recuse himself because of where he lives. The question is how to explain to the public the zones around the streams. Jim thinks there’s potential for a lot of confusion if it is done in some areas and not in others. Jim said he’s heard multiple people say they wanted our shoreland zone consistent with the State’s. He thinks this would be the simple question to put out. Henry said “consistent with the State’s minimum standards.”
Scott suggests a simple question, “Do the voters favor changing our shoreland zone to be consistent with the State’s guidelines?” Jere wants it to be simple and straightforward.
David S mentioned brooks coming out of the lake and there’s no mention of brooks going into it. Henry mentioned “after the confluence of two streams.” Jim thinks it appears that they maintain a 250’ zone around certain brooks. It has to do with other standards, like tree clearing. The setback would be 75’. They would be changing the 300’ zone to 250’. Henry points out something on a map to Jim. The zone is an overlay in which things are regulated. Jere clarified that you couldn’t do anything about the 75’ from the stream. Jere says he doesn’t understand how the 50’ would make a difference. Henry says it would affect timber harvesting. There would be more restrictions. He couldn’t have an accessory
dwelling in a limited residential shoreland zone. Low value could be as low as 75’, which would impact his property a lot less. Jere mentioned that some of the streams are in the floodplain which cannot be changed. Henry says the wetlands he owns are not in a floodplain. Jere points out a section of the ordinance on floodplain management which they worked on in 2004.
With the inclusion of the forested wetland and changing to the State minimum, Jere asked who was going to pay to have the maps changed. Cliff asked if the DEP is going to work on a program for Buxton. Mike Morse said they’re not providing Buxton any maps. Cliff asked if the DEP is planning to do any shoreland zoning for Buxton. Jere gave an example of how people might have to wait six months for DEP approval. Scott says that the map isn’t the ordinance. If the ordinance is consistent with DEP, one could ignore some of the things on the map. Jere says the map is the official record for surveyors and others who would need to use the map. The map cannot be changed until the ordinance is changed. Henry asked for
clarification from DEP on what they used for mapping. If the map had been adopted in June, they’re saying these are just general areas because no investigation has been done on the ground. If Fred gave the okay for building in the shoreland zone, it would be conditioned by DEP approval.
Cliff says that right now DEP is not looking to do a mandated map. Jim is not aware of any town in the State getting any such mapping. He doesn’t think there’s any publication coming from DEP saying that this is the official shoreland zone.
Jere thinks they’re going to get a letter saying that by law the shoreland zoning material they’ve passed will have to go into Buxton’s ordinance. Jim says that it would be sensible for them to put the definitions in the ordinance. No changes will be made to Buxton’s map until the change from 300 to 250’ is made. At that point, the map will have to be adjusted. Scott showed a map of the Town of Fayette created by Aerial Survey and Photo. He mentioned the legend and explained what people were seeing on the map, explaining the overlay of shoreland zoning. Scott says this was approved by DEP.
The Board will work on the writing for the voters. Scott suggests, “Do you support changing the current Town of Buxton shoreland zoning ordinance to be consistent with the DEP shoreland zoning?” Jim suggests mentioning the changing from 300 to 250’.
Cliff mentions the report he had at the last meeting. It had to do with DEP’s report to the legislature. It explains what DEP does in towns that don’t comply. They’re responsible for future mapping at their expense, he says. Cliff asked why not let DEP do the mapping. Jere doesn’t think they’re going to do it. Jim suggested sending a copy of this to Mike Morse to ask them why they aren’t doing this. Jere says there are only three shoreland zoning officers in the whole state, now down to two. Jim says that he heard a number of people state they didn’t have much confidence with DEP, yet tonight someone is saying to let DEP do this mapping. Henry says the concern is their accuracy. Scott clarified that they’re asking
if DEP is going to provide maps. If not, what do you use if it is imposed. Are they going to provide Buxton with a map as stated in their own brochures? When are they going to impose these ordinances?
Henry thinks that the nonbinding vote will carry a lot of weight with what this Board will do. Jere says that this would be done in June. Then, the changes will be voted on at the town meeting.
Jere says that if they have questions about their land before the vote, it may not be on the map. Henry says he’s going to hire someone to look at his property. Henry says people are asking the Board to back off on some of the square footage of the shoreland zone. In the event we go to the minimum protection levels for some brooks, such as Deering and Stackpole, we would have 75’ zones around them unless they’re in the shoreland zone. Jere says that they would have to amend these brooks, too.
Scott asked if there were any questions that they want to make sure to ask Aerial Survey that we might send to them in advance. Henry says they’re concerned about the cost and what would they use for a source. Jim questioned whether they would be more accurate. The motive for having them come would be for more accurate mapping. Jim’s questions would be more technical. Jere sees them going with J.T.’s maps and going with the shoreland wording as written as one option if the nonbinding question fails. Another option would be if the nonbinding question passes, we’d have to hire someone to change the map. The ordinance wording would have to be done. David S thought the 300’ was only around the lake. Others thought there were
other places around streams, also. Jere thought it might cost about $3,000. Another option would be to hire Aerial Survey after the June vote. There would still need to be someone to re-write the ordinance. Henry asked what Aerial Survey used for resources. Although some didn’t like J.T. and SMRPC, he does have some influence with DEP. If the question is approved in June, he would ask another vendor for a guarantee that their map would be approved. Scott thinks there’s one thing that is very important and that is to go on and look at Aerial Survey and Photo’s website. He thinks it would be useful to check this out. It doesn’t make sense to spend any more money until after the June vote.
The people who do these maps use the same standards that DEP tells them to use. Cliff doesn’t understand why the town is spending money on this. Jim is going to call Mike Morse to ask about what they’re saying about mapping. Jim suggests another option: for the PB to do nothing. He thinks it has some weight.
Jim motioned, seconded by David S, to adjourn the meeting at 8:20 p.m. All voted in favor.
Approval Date: __________
Jeremiah Ross, Vice Chairman Signature Date