Town of Buxton Planning Board
Minutes for October 17, 2011 at 7 pm
Located at 185 Portland Road, Buxton, Maine 04093
Respectfully submitted by Krystal Dyer
Members in attendance: John Vedral, David Savage, Jeremiah Ross, James Logan, Sue Schaller and David Anderson.
Not in Attendance: Harry Kavouksorian
Call to Order: Vice Chair Jeremiah Ross open the meeting at 7:oo pm with the pledge of allegiance.
- Motioned by Jim, seconded by David S. to open the public hearing for secret ballot ordinance changes. The motion passed with a 5 – 0 vote to open.
Ordinance amendments entitled “An act to bring the Town’s zoning ordinance into compliance with the State’s Mandatory Shoreland Zoning Act” and “An act to reduce the buffer of the Shoreland Zone to match the DEP’s minimum guidelines”.
Vice Chair Jere Ross gives overview of the proposed ordinance amendments for the secret ballot items for the special town meeting on November 8th, 2011. At the town meeting this past June, we amended the regulations on shoreland zoning. A few areas are still not in compliance with the States Shoreland Regulations and these amendments will correct the problem. There were no questions from the Board or the public.
- Jim motioned to close the public hearing, seconded by David A. The motion passed with a 5 – 0 vote. (Only five members were present for the public hearing.)
(The Sixth Board member joined deliberations seven minutes into the meeting).
Discussion of wetland delineation for Fogg Brook Subdivision, Normand Berube Builders proposed subdivision located off Narragansett Trail; Tax Map 9, lot 15.
Bill Thomson with BH2M Engineers submitted new letter on Oct. 11th with plans showing the results of reflagging of the existing wetlands. There have been two site walks, since the original flagging. The first site walk, the Planning Board asked the Applicants consultant to go back out and test some areas. Additional areas where documented. The Board suggested that DEP go out and check the wetland mapping done by Mark Hampton. This resulted in a second site walk on Monday October 3rd, which was attended by two members of DEP, Board members (Harry, Sue, Jim and David S.), Fred Farnham and Mark Hampton. They found other areas brought up in question by the Board. DEP also said there were areas that needed to be looked at again and perhaps adjust the
wetland delineation. At this site walk, Board members suggested a peer review. Bill asked by email if they could continue forward with the third party review, but was told they could, but the Board would be discussing at the next meeting and they may chose a different firm to do the testing. Bill feels the plan submitted on October 11th represents the conditions on the site and hope the Board will work towards some other items and move the plan forward and not involve a third party review.
Comment from the Board: David A. said after reviewing the changes, there were not real significant changes, having been reviewed again by the original planner as well as by DEP, feels we are solid in what was provided and to move forward at this time.
Sue is not comfortable with the wetlands as we saw them and as they were mapped. In order to see them with the additional areas flagged, because edges were not flagged, interior wetlands did not have the boundaries delineated. When asked, the delineator could not identify the type of fern by the stream. How can you determine if it is a wetland fern, if you can’t identify the plant. Sue would like to see a peer review/independent delineation.
Jim would like to consider what the peer review might consist of. A re-delineation of wetlands, which might be outside the scope of a peer review. Jim does recommend a peer review to take place. He would like to expand on Sue’s comment to include a review on the soils suitability for septic.
Sue said at the time, the wetland edge on the other side of the brook was not delineated and therefore, not included in the density calculations, according to Mark Hampton’s statements. There were changes between the first and second plan in the wetland area, there was no change in the notes, number twelve on the density calculations. Between these three iterations, there has been no change in the number of poorly drained or somewhat poorly drained soils. Bill explains it is because there has been no change in the numbers in those areas. The deduction has already been made for poorly drained and somewhat poorly drained soils. The soils changed on the other side of the stream from a somewhat poorly drained to a poorly drained and the subtraction was the same for ether
soil type. Having no net loss. Sue reiterated Mark’s statement at the site walk, the note had not been changed. Bill explains he was not aware of the density calculation and he was in error and apologized after. Sue added that the DEP staff said the flagging does not represent the extent of the wetlands.
Jim explains how the soil map is a high intensity map with poorly drained soil immediately adjacent to a Buxton moderately well drained map unit, which is not the way it exists on the face of the earth. Jim is expressing his skepticism to the qualitiy of the map. He is not comfortable with the mapping when there are 40,000 sq. ft. lots with wells and septic proposed. He would like to see the wetlands soils mapping and site evaluation done again.
Sue said she reviewed the information submitted, which states that on some of the sites, there were limited areas where you could put a well. Bill said the well location is in the shaded area and meets the state standards, he compared the lot with the subdivision across the street. Jim said there is no comparison with the subdivision across the street, that one is up high on a ledge.
John asked, what lot or roadway changes have been made between the two plans. Pointing at the map, Bill explains that through the re-delineation, there is one area of wetland that comes into the road. It will need a DEP tier-one wetland alteration permit. There were a few small wetland crossings that did not require a permit, but now with the wetlands coming into the center of the road, there will be about a 7,500 sq. ft. total wetland impact. John asked if Seeve and Maher are qualified to do the work and if they are licensed. Bill said they are very well qualified and respected in the State. John is concerned with the issues that are coming up, it seems there are a lot of questions about the quality of their work and he is having hard time accepting the statements
without further information. If it just an interpretation issue and he has to take no changes to the actual layout of the permit, leads him to believe if these people are qualified technically and they have a good reputation, than he has to take their work for what the layouts are. John accepts what has been submitted without any further investigation because it has already been evaluated by qualified engineers, who are licensed by the State.
Jere explains that the Sevee & Maher’s report refers to drinking water standards, the issue that some board members have, is the wetland delineation (which determins the number of lots and location of the septic and well) by Mark Hampton Associates. There is no formal licensing process to become a wetland delineator in the State of Maine. The question is, if the wetland delineation, depicted on the map, was accurate enough.
Jim has many questions about the quality of the work and is having difficulty accepting the findings.
John asked, if a lot was removed from the plan, would the project still be viable and continue to proceed. Bill did not know how to answer that, he explains they have done the evaluation survey, soils, topography, and nitrates study by qualified engineers and geologists and believe that this number of lots can be supported on this 50-acre parcel of land.
David S. would like to see a peer review on the site.
Jere suggests having the information provided to the applicant and the two reviewers and then submit the final proposal. Bill said the two consultants will work together to form an agreement. Bill feels using the three parameters are easy enough to agree on. Bill added Mr. Hampton flagged with a combination of GPS and surveyed in some of the flagged locations to give it, location if you will.
Sue believes that GPS must be base-station corrected.
In section 13.5 of the ordinance may request independent study if deemed necessary ………. “The Board may also request independent review of some or all of the application and its supporting documentation. The developer shall be responsible for all costs associated with the review.”
Would like the peer reviewer to do wetland delineation, soil mapping and soil suitability.
- Sue moved to request an independent review of the wetlands delineation and mapping, the soils mapping and soils suitability mapped per septic and wells. Jim amended the motion by adding that the reviewer get all applicable sections of our ordinance relating to cluster subdivision, high intensity, wastewater and included in the report.
Seconded by Jim;
Discussion: John would like to say he will be voting against the motion and does not see the value involving another unlicensed engineer who is unqualified/qualified who wouldn’t contribute enough additional information to make a proper decision.
- The motion passed with a 4 – 2 vote.
Jere suggested that in the future, as more of these marginal sites are being developed near a wetlands – the Board should consider automatically requiring a peer review no matter where they are in town.
Who to review: A year ago, the Board selected three engineering firms for peer reviews. Unfortunately, two of them do not do wetland delineation in house and the third has a potential conflict of interest due to having worked with the applicant. - Jim would like to recommend triple certified wetland scientists of good reputation but who are also soils scientists.
Jennifer West of Normandeau – highly recommendation but not a license site evaluator, Boyle Associates - only wetlands, Mike Cuomo – York or Joe Noel - South Berwick.
The Board agreed to let the applicant decide between the three – John more comfortable with the applicant choosing.
Jim and Sue would like to go on record that they do not know any of the three consultants personally.
Other issues discussed: Fire tank location, homeowners and have the recommendations made by Sevee & Maher noted on the plan.
Seeve and Mahar report recommended soil borings at each of the septic system concerns during constructions. Jim asked if Fred had accepted any of these septic designs for any of the boring reference. Jim would like to see the exact wording on the final plan, to ensure the safe drinking water for the people purchasing the homes.
Review site walk for Cindy LaPointe is requesting a Conditional Use permit to operate a Day Care Facility at 757 Narragansett Trail. Located in the business/commercial district on Tax Map 6, Lot 26.
Cindy gave an overview of her plan since the site walk, she made sure there was enough parking indicated by the highlighted spaces. Jere said on September 27th at 5:30pm the board held a site walk. They walked around and saw adequate parking for 10 spaces on the site, along with overflow parking.
Comments: David A. has no issues. John’s only concern was the third driveway and the diagram shows “granite already in place”, his question has been answered. David S. was all set too.
Jere asked if the daycare was open now. Cindy stated she had started moving stuff in with the two children she cares for now. Cindy adds site walk with DHS will be the second week of November. Notification rules will be on November 14th DHS the 2nd week of November.
- John motioned to have the public hearing on this application on November 14th, 2011 at 7 pm, seconded by David S. The motion passed with a 6 – 0 vote.
CEO Report: Fred would like an endorsement of the Planning Board to reduce the speed limit in the area of Portland Road near Broadturn corner. He displayed a map showing the intersection of Sun Rise Ridge subdivision and the proposed Fogg Brook Estates. Fred gave an overview of his proposal to extend the 35 mph further past the new subdivisions toward Rte 202. The Board unanimously agreed to endorse Fred’s idea and asked that a copy of the letter be sent to Bill Thompson at BH2M. John believes this is only the first step and would like to see all of Portland Road reduced from Hannaford’s to the Route 22 intersection. The Board discussed possibly having DOT install warning signs before the intersection and reduce the 50 mph areas of Portland Road down to 45 mph. David A. said he
believes a DOT speed survey was done a few years ago, which indicated an average of 55 mph on Portland Road. Jim adds the DOT impact study submitted for Fogg Brook Estates says “no impact” for the area. Fred hopes this will get DOT thinking.
- David Savage motioned in support for Fred’s suggestion to reduce the speed limit from 50 to 35mph along the stretch of road designated on the map he provided, seconded by Sue The motion passed with a 6 – 0 vote.
At this time, Fred would like to have the 35 mph signs moved and then maybe they will look at other aspect of Portland Road.
Inform Excavators of a workshop on Erosion and Sediment Control Practices within the shoreland zone at the Acton Town Hall Tuesday, November 29, 2011. Hosted by DEP.
Approval of Minutes:
September 12, 2011 –
- Sue moved to approve the minutes as amended, seconded by Jere, the motion passed with a 4 – 0 – 2, Jim and John abstained.
September 26, 2011 -
- Sue moved to accept the minutes as amended, seconded by David S., the motion passed with a 5 – 0 – 1, Jim abstains.
Approval of Bills:
Jere motioned to pay Portland Press Herald $24.50 for the St. Pierre legal ad, seconded by John, the motion passed with a 6 – 0 vote.
David A. adds that he sent a request to the Board of Selectmen for carryovers for mapping.
GIS discussion – Sue handed out copies of the standards for GOS mapping from the maine office of GIS. The Buxton tax maps contain 3,825 parcels, more or less. SMRPC does not digitize maps. Mapping standards range from level one to level four. Level one is where you take paper maps and digitize all the map and lot references on it. Level four is survey quality data, meaning they have surveyed control points though out the town that are tied to the deed of each lot. JT Lockman from SMRPC estimates a price of $4 per parcel for level one mapping, equaling $15,000 to $20,000.
Krystal informed the Board that two weeks ago a Student from USM started collecting data from the office to begin the level one mapping process. Jim explains to the public how the new maps would be beneficial to the town, the public and the assessors, if accessed from the web site.
Review findings of facts for Belinda St. Pierre –
- Sue moved, seconded by David A. to approve as amended, the motion passed with a 6 – 0 vote.
Approve and sign amended by-laws – Sue said there are formatting issues and section 2 pledge of allegiance does not belong in this area.
- Jere votes to approve as amended, John seconded
Discussion – Sue will make formatting and punctual amendments and change from Chairperson to chair throughout the by-laws and re-submit.
Selectmen are requesting that Board members be available on October 26, at 7pm for the public hearing on the secret ballot items.
- Sue moved, seconded by John to forgo the next meeting and meet next on November 14th at 7pm. Motion passed with a 6 – 0 vote.
- Motioned by David S., seconded by Jere to adjourn at 8:58 pm. A unanimous vote.
Approval Date: ________
Jeremiah Ross, III, Vice Chair Signature Date