Town of Buxton Planning Board
March 28, 2011, at 7 pm
Recorded by Hilda Lynch
Board Members Present: David Savage, Sr.; Jeremiah Ross, III; Harry Kavouksorian; James Logan, and David Anderson
Board Members Absent: Scott Havu, Caroline Segalla
Others Present: Fred Farnham, Henry Huntley, Jack Chase
Chairman Harry Kavouksorian called the March 28, 2011, meeting of the Buxton Planning Board to order at 7:07 p.m.
Pledge of allegiance
Jack Chase is requesting a subdivision amendment to Chase’s Place located on Memory Lane; Tax Map 7, Lot 49.
Jack Chase spoke about his subdivision on Memory Lane. He’s requesting an amendment since he was required to have a dumpster when the subdivision was originally approved. There are individual lots, and the road has been accepted by the Town. Originally, he proposed a multifamily subdivision. The density calculations changed, so he changed it to a residential subdivision. Towards the end, it was close to being approved; and the Planning Board decided that he, as the owner, should be responsible for the trash pickup.
Jim asked what year it was. Jack said it was approved in 2003.
Jere asked if he owned all of the lots in the subdivision. Jack said that he did, and he rents out all of the homes in the subdivision. Jere thinks this is why he was required to have the dumpster for trash because his subdivision was considered a commercial business.
Jack said there are only two residences per lot. He said he could sell one building at any time. If he were to sell one building, will the new owners be required to have a dumpster?
Harry asked if there were five lots, and Jack said there were. There are two units per lot.
Jack said he is not getting any tax breaks. The mill rate he pays with his taxes, includes the waste management for the property plus he pays for a dumpster.
At the very end of the Buxton Solid Waste Ordinance (Section 1.3.C), Jere mentions any subdivision with more than three units…
Jack asked if any other subdivisions are required to have dumpsters.
Jere asked if any of them are owned by one owner. Jack says that every subdivision is owned by the owner until the lots are sold. He could sell a lot at any time. He said he felt he had to accept the condition at the time the subdivision was approved. Now, he’s asking for a change. Jere mentioned that Jack is paying taxes on each individual lot. Jim says that since this plan has been accepted as a subdivision, he thinks they should consider this. Harry asked Fred to weigh in on this. Fred hasn’t had much time to look into this at this time. Jere says, the question is that “yes” it is a subdivision. Is there any provision that lots have to be sold in a particular time? Jim says he thinks Mr. Chase makes a good case for the Town to cover the cost of waste pickup, and Greg (from Transfer Station) has agreed that this might be feasible. David S agrees. David A brings the Board’s attention to the specifics provided by the Solid Waste Mgmt. Plan. Mr. Chase
has individual lots with two units per lot. He thinks that he fits the requirements of the Solid Waste Mgmt. to have his own dumpster.
Mr. Chase provides two pages of rental properties within the town that have trash pickup.
Jim asked about a lot that wasn’t on the plan. Jack explained that they cut one lot out of the subdivision.
Jere said that he only wanted to explain the reasoning behind it in 2003. Jere thinks that if he’s paying taxes on each individual lot, he should be entitled to trash pickup.
- David A motioned, seconded by Jere, that they accept Mr. Chase’s application for a minor amendment change to the original subdivision Findings of Fact. Five voted in favor. The No. 5 condition states that he was responsible for his own waste disposal. There was discussion about whether this is a minor change. The Board members agree that this is a minor change. Jim read from the subdivision standards 13.4.E. From Greg’s letter, he doesn’t believe there’s any capacity problem for the waste from the subdivision.
No report at this time.
Approval of Minutes:
February 24, 2011
- Motioned by Jere, seconded by David S, to approve the minutes as amended. Three in favor; Harry and Jim abstained. (Quorum of those present)
March 14, 2011
- Motioned by David S, seconded by Jim, to approve the minutes as amended. Five voted in favor.
Approval of Bills: Portland Press Herald for a total of $25.40 to cover the legal ad of Matt Roy’s Public Hearing
- David A motioned, seconded by Jere, to pay the above bill for immediate payment. Five voted in favor.
David A wanted everyone to know that he and Harry presented their budget to the Budget Committee last week. It was a very positive presentation. David thanked Harry for helping him out. Harry asked when it might be approved. David said that without a challenge he believes the budget will go ahead as planned.
Jere asked if the Town or USM has made any progress towards digitizing the tax maps. David A doesn’t know if the Selectmen have discussed this, but he will look into it. Jere thinks if there is an offer from USM to do this for free, they should proceed immediately. Jere is not sure which budget it will come from if they‘ll need to pay for this. He thinks the process needs to be started soon. Harry says they should find out if what is being offered is something that will meet their needs.
Harry mentioned that several Board members met with the Selectmen last Wednesday. The Selectmen wanted to know why the Planning Board was requesting an item on the secret ballot regarding the changes to the shoreland zoning. The Board members explained that they wanted to make sure they could get as many voters involved as possible, as they think this is one of the bigger items coming before the town in several years.
A. Further discussion and review of Colonial Tree
Harry stated that they’d received a complaint from a resident that they weren’t living up to the Findings of Fact regarding Colonial Tree. After he reviewed the Findings, Item No. 5 clearly states the hours as Monday through Friday, and there would be no business involving the trucks on the week-end. He asked for the feelings of other Board members.
David S says he doesn’t have a problem with it. There’s no regulation on the public accessing the property. How would the public get in there? Harry thinks they either take the chain down or are driving around it. Harry asked if it was part of the conditions that no one could go in there. Is Mr. Stockwell living up to his conditions of approval or not?
David S thinks he is in favor of the business. Harry says Ira is responsible for all that happens there. David A read what it specifically says. Jere asked if it pertained to trucks unloading logs or chips. It does appear to be a little vague. Saturday hours are for previous Colonial Tree business only. He thinks this condition referred to logging trucks only. Jim agreed - the use of the site regarding wood chips was not part of their review per se. There was a limit on the size of the mulch pile. He thinks that was the only reference to the wood chips.
David A has it in his 6/14/2010 notes of the continuation of the public hearing that manufacturing and processing would be limited to 7 am to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday.
David S believes there is another issue - people going in there with front-end loaders. Jere sees trucks there ranging from 18-wheelers to people shoveling chips into the back of their station wagons. He’s seen people there every day. He’s seen people there with tractors. Is the use related to the logging portion of the business or the chip portion of the business. The chips were there originally. There are people there on the week-ends taking chips. He thinks the neighbor believes there should be nothing there on the week-ends.
Fred says he does see there are some problems. Part of the problem is having the property gated. This was talked about by the Board at one point but never voted on. There is no requirement there to have a gate, as far as he’s concerned. The other issue is the chips. There is a concern that the public doesn’t have access on the week-ends. If they’re limited to M-F, that’s when the logging trucks are there; and this could present a safety problem. He believes it is essential to have the chips available on the week-ends. He was down there several days this week. There was a truck there trying to bring the level of the chips down to where it should be. He believes it is essential to keep it open on the week-end.
How do they moderate it for abutters?
One of the things Fred sees is to have adequate screening. 10.10.A. - exposed storage areas…shall have sufficient setbacks and screening… This doesn’t even have to be a condition of the Board. He’d like to see where the fence is now on Justin Merrill Road - extend the fence across the access road and stop it at midpoint of the road, take the fence on the left side and continue it, curve it in so that they have a 12 ft. wide space for the trucks to come in off 202. It is very difficult for trucks to make a right-hand turn off 202. Visually, from the abutter’s side, it would be a solid fence going across there. It would eliminate the noise going on during the week-ends. The access off Justin Merrill would be limited to just the
trucks, not the public. If they need a gate for the week-ends, it should be on the Justin Merrill access. He thinks there is a solution that could meet the ordinance - the full screening along the Justin Merrill Rd., still providing access to the trucks going in, and allowing the chips to be accessed on the week-ends from 202.
Jere asked what his interpretation was from logging vs. chipping. Fred said he didn’t receive any complaints for the chipping business.
Jim referred to the applicant himself stating that the wood chip pile would be below 14’ in height and available to the public. When they make a condition, the standards are read. There are two different gates indicated on the Plan, and Ira refers to them in the key. He says that chips would be available seven days a week if gates are not required. Because he provided a Plan with gates shown on it, even though they didn’t make it a condition, the applicant made this a condition by having it on the Plan. He thinks they could maintain there is a requirement for gates there. Jere says there are two posts with a rope strung across. Jere says he would include that more diligent use of the gates would be indicated if Fred were to
write a letter to the owner. Harry said that, technically speaking, he thinks this is correct. The information that the applicant provides is part of the #1 Condition in the Standards for Conditional Use Permits, Jim states. Fred asked how the public would get onto the property on the week-ends. Fred asked if Harry sees a problem with having a gate on 202 open on week-ends? Jim says because it is shown on the plan, the gate should be there.
David S says his recollection was that this was not on the original application. It was a request by Caroline to have more detailed drawings. Jim reiterated what the conditions say. Jere thinks it is a question of degrees. Jere thinks that an abutter sees it as his duty if there’s any activity over there on the week-end to notify the police. Jim says they’ve already agreed that the wood chip operation was in existence before their review of the logging operation. If there’s a gate there, whether it is locked or not, the conditions would be met.
Jere thinks that Mr. Deister has a choice. He can seek legal counsel if he doesn’t think that the Conditions are being enforced. Jim would like him to re-consider what the Planning Board has done. Fred says that he believes they’ve established that the free chips are to be available on the week-ends; and if they can work this out for the access on the week-ends, he thinks they’ll be okay. Jere thinks that if the abutter sees any activity over there on the week-end, he will call to complain. If the chips are there and being taken away free by the public, there would be less need to have large trucks in there. Harry asked if Mr. Deister has seen the Findings of Fact. Mr.Deister has sent them to the Board. Jere asked if he’s had
any other complaints. Fred says he’s had no others. Jere says Mr. Deister is impacted because he lives right across the street. Fred says he will be in touch with Mr. Stockwell to see if they can get this worked out. Jim asked Fred if he would keep them posted, and Fred said he would.
B. Review Matt Roy’s Findings of Facts
- Harry motioned, Jere seconded, that they approve the Findings of Fact as amended. Five voted in favor.
Discussion of proposed changes of the Town of Buxton Zoning Ordinance, and vote to send to Selectmen to be printed in the Town Report.
- Motioned by Jere, seconded by Harry, that they approve sending the 2011 Zoning Ordinances to the printer providing they have the right to make any changes if needed. Five voted in favor.
Krystal went through the amendments and put in the cross-outs and underlines as required. Harry asked if anyone caught anything that they didn’t catch before. Jere asked about adding the zoning map as Article 2? They don’t see it. Perhaps this can be added. Anything that’s happened from June, 1999, would be reflected. 3.2.E. - Jere read - regarding the new zoning map. Jim noted that the zoning map is supposed to be signed by the Planning Board when it is changed. 3.2.B. - refers to amending the ordinance and changing the district boundaries. Jere said they spent roughly $2 - 3,000 to have it updated last year. David A said that this was the majority of the cost of the project because of the overlay of the
shoreland zoning. 3.2.D.2 - Jim reads this because this is another place where the 300’ would have to be purged if voters decide to go to 250‘ in the shoreland zone.
Continued discussion of the Shoreland Zoning and Shoreland Maps.
Harry reiterated the discussion with Selectmen that this question be placed on the secret ballot. Harry asked if there were any other comments, and there were none.
- Motioned by David S, seconded by Jere, to adjourn the meeting at 8:25 p.m. Five voted in favor.
Approval Date: _________
Harry Kavouksorian, Chairman Signature Date