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Town Seal
Planning Board Minutes 05/09/2011
Town of Buxton Planning Board
        May 9, 2011 at 7 pm

Recorded by Hilda Lynch

Board Members Present:  David Savage, Sr.; Jeremiah Ross, III; Harry Kavouksorian; James Logan; Caroline Segalla; David Anderson

Board Members Absent:  None

Others Present:  Fred Farnham, Penny Booker, Henry Huntley, Cliff Thomas

Public Hearing:  The Town of Buxton Planning Board will hold a public hearing to review the proposed amendments, additions or deletions to the Town of Buxton Zoning Ordinance, Town of Buxton Shoreland Zoning and The Official Town of Buxton Zoning Map.

Chairman Harry Kavouksorian called the May 9, 2011, meeting of the Buxton Planning Board together at 7 p.m.

Pledge of allegiance

Public Hearing: The Town of Buxton Planning Board will hold a public hearing to review the proposed amendments, additions or deletions to the Town of Buxton Zoning Ordinance, Town of Buxton Shoreland Zoning and The Official Town of Buxton Zoning Map.

Motioned by Jere, seconded by David A, to open the public hearing.  All voted in favor.

        Harry asked if anyone had questions.  The first question on the secret ballot will be to reduce the shoreland zone from 300’ to 250’, which would remove Duck Pond, Little River, Stroudwater River, The Bog (Groveville), McKenney Brook, Stackpole Creek, and Deering Brook.  David A clarified the reduction from 300’ to 250’.  The second question asks if the Town should amend the buffer from 300’ to 250’, which would take out the tributaries or streams mentioned previously.  The first question has to do with the definition, and the second amends the ordinance itself.  Jere clarified that DEP doesn’t require the protection of the seven streams or tributaries.  Caroline further clarified that the other water bodies would only require the 75’ setback but would not be included in the shoreland zone.  David A asked the Chair to clarify so everyone in the audience will understand.  If you want to decrease from 300’ to 250’ but do not want to take out spawning grounds of other species, you could vote “yes” on No. 1 and “no” on No. 2.  Jim asked a question for clarity and mentioned that there is a way to protect other streams although DEP doesn’t require this.  Caroline asked if there would be a contradiction if people voted “yes” to No. 1 and “no” to No. 2.  Harry doesn’t think this is the case if the zone is reduced to 250’ in No. 1.  Caroline asked if they received info from the Town Attorney on this?  She said that she didn’t think those items (about the streams) needed to be crossed out but believes it is already done.  She referred to 9.4.a.  The changes are twofold, Jim says.  He thinks Caroline makes a good point.  If No. 2 should not pass, some housekeeping might have to be done.  Jere stated that the DEP doesn’t supersede Buxton’s ordinance; the DEP would keep Buxton’s 300 ft. if that is what the townspeople wanted.  
        In the 70s, people thought these areas were where habitat exists that needed to be protected.  Jere thinks to be more restrictive in the long run will be a plus for everyone.  Harry stated that the DEP is giving us minimums.  If people feel we need a little more protection than minimums, then that can be set up.  
        Harry asked if anyone from the public wanted to speak.
        Henry Huntley would like to clarify that if they approve both of these articles, they don’t remove anything from protection?  Some of the streams that wouldn’t have 300 ft. protection would still have 75’?  
        Jim says that there would be a loss of a greater shoreland zone were they to deregulate some of those areas…tree clearing comes to mind for him.  There is slightly more oversight in a 300’ buffer.  Henry mentioned that there would still be oversight with 75’.  Henry asked if there has been any problems?  Jim asked Fred if he was aware of any.  Henry stated that he doesn’t think there are other towns that have this 300’ around certain water bodies like Buxton does.  Jim says that Dayton and Biddeford have some greater protections.  Jim says that he doesn’t think there are any towns that have the 300’ protection.  Henry believes that most towns have gone with the DEP minimums.  Jim agrees with Henry about this.  Jere mentioned the 5-acre lot size, and he doesn’t believe he knows of any other town that has this.  Henry would favor the two items on the secret ballot because he knows the State minimum standards have not changed for decades.  He doesn’t think it would be detrimental to keep them as they are and would help property owners have better use of their land.
        Harry asked if there were any further comments from the public or Board.  Jim says that what he knows of legislative changes in Augusta is that in committee meetings there haven’t been any major changes made to shoreland or major wildlife habitat.  The result of numerous meetings would not result in any major changes.  The numbers would remain the same.  There’s no more talk of changing the shoreland zone from a 250 to 75’ zone.
        Penny Booker asked for clarification on “yes” on No. 1 and “no” on No. 2.  If you vote “yes” on No. 1, wouldn’t you have a shoreland zone on the Saco River and Bonny Eagle Pond?  She asked about the other brooks.  If you were to amend the shoreland zone, aren’t you only talking about the Saco River and Bonny Eagle Pond?  Jere clarified the shoreland “district.”  David A agrees with Ms. Booker that it is very confusing to see water bodies crossed out.  He believes it should be either a “yes” or a “no” to both.  His intent when they were being developed was to say “yes” to both of these.  David S. says that if they go to 250‘, the State automatically takes the seven other protected water bodies off the list.  Jim doesn’t agree.  The difficulty is that it doesn’t separate the two issues out in No. 2.  Caroline says that this should be shoreland residential district.  Jere tried to further clarify.  Jim says that question 2 should be worded to say, …furthermore, do you want to continue to protect these streams or water bodies that are in our ordinance?  He thinks the 300’ number is left in No. 2 if it is voted down.  Jere thinks question 1 will apply to question 2.  David A believes that people should have an option in the second question.  
        Penny says that seems like the way it is written:  if you say “yes” to No. 1, it makes sense to say “yes” to No. 2.  Jim thinks question No. 2 should be worded more clearly.  The 75’ is not defined in here; it just refers to the minimum.  Caroline asked if it is too late to change this.  The consensus is that it has already gone to print.  
        Penny’s only other comment is that she thinks the 250’ and 75’ are acceptable because she’d like to see the landowners with more protection who are paying taxes on the land.  Caroline thinks it comes down to education - removing certain places from the zone - if this does pass.
        Cliff Thomas asks about question 1.  It says the Saco River and its tributaries.  Does this mean that any stream that flows into or out of the Saco would be included?  Caroline thinks that little brooks would still be a part of the shoreland zone.  Jim clarifies that he doesn’t think the brooks themselves would create a new shoreland zone.  Cliff gives an example of a brook that comes out of Bonny Eagle Pond and flows into the Saco River.  Jim says that these are words that have been in the ordinance and weren’t struck.  Jim says it is a little late to make a change now because these can’t be changed.  Jere says that if these tributaries are not included in DEP guidelines, they wouldn’t have the 250’ shoreland zone.  Caroline clarified:  if the tributary is way out of the zone, it wouldn’t apply.  Cliff thinks that once they leave Buxton, they would be subjected to the 75’ only.  He would recommend “yes” on 1 and 2.
        Harry moves on to the zoning ordinance and the zoning map itself.  Jere says that these are all items on the floor of Town meeting except for the first question which will be on the secret ballot.  Caroline thanked whoever put in the explanation of buildable area.  Jim says that a general overview is that most of these changes are what the Planning Board thinks are housekeeping changes.  There was an attempt to streamline the subdivision process.  It is an overall improvement to the ordinance.  Jere says that what they wanted to do was adopt a new zoning map because it has been many years since this has been done.  They’re not proposing any new additions or deletions.  It just updates the map.
        Henry Huntley says one part is where they decreased the amount of land that could be included as a building lot - a buildable lot.  Jim says that it was only in cluster subdivisions.  With poorly drained soils, they were given credit for 10%; it was changed to 0%.  Fred says this refers only to cluster subdivisions.  
        Jim says that “buildable area” is a change of the definition.  Caroline says that it was referred to but they didn’t have a definition.  They’re adding it to the definitions.  David A clarified that it was in there but now being included in the definitions’ section.  Caroline says that they’re removing the “contiguous area.”   Harry mentioned that the definition for “forested wetland” is in there.  Because there was no definition, it made some areas newly regulated in Buxton.  
        The old maps for cluster subdivisions had mapping requirements that would only go down to three acres.  It wouldn’t work for larger subdivisions.  This made things clearer, Caroline said.  
        Jere asked about another definition on high density soils.  He asked about net residential being applied to clusters and subdivisions.  Jim doesn’t believe it applies to subdivisions.  Caroline referred to 13.3.C.2.e. - Harry asked if this represented a change?   Jim asked about standard subdivisions - have they deducted wetlands from lot areas?  Fred said they haven’t.  Fred said that forested wetlands have been included in the past.  For clusters, Jim says they’ve subtracted this out.  The way the proposed change appears is very consistent with most towns he’s worked in, although very few towns have 5-acre lots.  13.3.C.2 procedurally changes the way the Board does subdivisions.  Jim feels that it is a much better change because it is very clear.  
        Henry refers to p. 11.13.A.4.b - Does this apply to all subdivisions?  Jim says that this is required in any subdivision now.  He asked about the deduction of wetlands and the intent of the Board.  Caroline asked if this could be changed on the floor of Town Meeting?  Caroline thinks this may have been an oversight and could be discussed on the floor of the Town Meeting:  13.3.C.2.e.  Jim doesn’t think you should count an easement if you can’t do anything with it or use it.  Henry believes he doesn’t have much say on what is going on with his property.  Jim says that most towns won’t let you count an easement or access because it has been dedicated to another use.  Henry mentioned paying taxes on land that may have been designated for another use, such as, an easement for a neighbor’s septic.  Jere mentioned deeding something to someone vs. allowing someone to use a piece of his land.  P. 3 - net residential acreage, no. 6 - Caroline clarified this for cluster subdivisions.  On p. 4, Henry asked about “borrow pits” being a change.  It has always been this way.  
        Jim mentioned the hammerhead and bulk fuel storage.  The Land Use table change would be to take Auto Repair Garages right out of the rural zone.  Changes to the road acceptance have come out of the Code Enforcement office.  Caroline says that most of this is the same, but verbiage has been changed and things have been better organized.  A section on the final plan was not in existing ordinance, these changes will just clearify the process for developers.  She’d recommend that in the future not to have specific fees in the ordinance so they can be amended without having to go to an ordinance change.  
        Jere thanks Caroline for going through this whole section; he feels they are very lucky to have someone persevere and go through this to make it a lot easier for applicants.  Jim agrees with Jere on this.  He would suggest that at such time as a Board position comes available, that they re-process Caroline for that slot.  Jere says that they’re very lucky to have someone with professional experience as a planner.  She should be commended for spending the effort to do this.  Harry says that the way it looks now there will be two vacant seats even after the election.  Have people write in your name or talk with the Board of Selectmen to appoint him/her.
        Penny thanked all of the Board since they’ve worked very hard all winter on this.  She appreciates their effort.
        Henry echoes Penny’s sentiments.  He thanks the Board and hopes people will vote “yes” on 3 and 4.  Caroline says that nothing is set in stone.  There are changes that can be made by the Comp Plan Committee and recommended to the Planning Board.  She invites him to attend those meetings.  

Caroline motioned, Jim seconded, to close the public hearing at 8:18 p.m.  All voted in favor.       

CEO Report:
        None this evening.  

Approval of Minutes:
        April 25, 2011
Motioned by Jere, seconded by David S, to accept the minutes as written.  Four in favor; Jim and Caroline abstained.

Approval of Bills:
        Nothing this evening.


Other Business:

Motioned by Jim, seconded by David S, to adjourn the meeting at 8:20 p.m.  All voted in favor.

Approval Date:  __8/22/11_______

_________________________________           _______________
               Harry Kavouksorian, Chairman                    Signature Date

Town of Buxton
  185 Portland Road, Buxton, ME 04093 (207) 929-5191
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