Town of Buxton Planning Board
August 8, 2011 at 7 pm
Recorded by Hilda Lynch
Board Members Present: John Vedral; David Savage, Sr.; Jeremiah Ross, III; Harry Kavouksorian; James Logan; Sue Schaller; David Anderson
Others Present: Belinda & Abbie St. Pierre, Raymond & Sally Pulsifer, Bill Thompson, Henry Huntley, Fred Farnham, Harvey Donald, Dylan Elderkin, Cheryl Huntley, Cliff Thomas, Brad Perkins
Chairman Harry Kavouksorian called the August 8, 2011, meeting of the Buxton Planning Board together at 7:01 p.m.
Pledge of allegiance
Belinda St. Pierre is applying for a Conditional Use Permit for Animal Husbandry to house one horse at 32 Line Road; Tax Map 2, Lot 35-1.
Belinda said that her plan is to have a one-stall barn. Currently, they’re boarding the horse; but due to cost increases, they’d like to have their horse at home. Harry asked her about their lot being a nonconforming lot. Jim asked about the lot being in the Village Zone and would this make a difference in lot size. Harry stated that the Board doesn’t have the authority to grant something if the lot is not conforming.
John called attention to Section 9.6 which states that 80,000 sq. ft. is the requirement in the Village Zone. Jim stated that she has a conforming lot, and this is the appropriate place to do this.
Belinda has one horse - eight years old. They’re planning on the upstairs of the barn for hay storage. To their left, they have a small sandy area where her husband was going to construct something in cement to store the manure. They plan to store for one month at a time and then have it hauled away. She pointed out where on their lot the small pit would be. Harry asked about the location of the well, which is in back of their house. Harry said they would ask eventually for the distances from the abutters’ wells.
David A asked about the closest resident. He believes the ordinance requires 100 ft. from the nearest dwelling to the manure pile. He would like the actual footage on her drawing. He would indicate that the manure pile is 150’ from the nearest abutter and 300’ from their well. He wants these to be indicated on the diagram.
Sue asked if there were any wetlands in this area. Belinda stated that there wasn’t. A prior pit now has tree growth.
Jim says that 11.3 is the section she really needs to pay attention to - performance standards. It doesn’t appear that the Board has been told what they’d do with feed and to protect it from rodents. Belinda said they will be storing feed in their home. He expressed concern about the supports for the storage of hay.
John asked if the ordinance has any distinction between dug and drilled wells. He doesn’t believe there will be an issue with that.
David S mentioned the 300’ from the nearest body of water or well; that’s for uncovered manure, he clarified. Belinda said they’d have a cement structure. She feels confident that the manure will be hauled away in winter, also. He mentioned a prior applicant who had a horse dropping manure everywhere, which meant it was uncovered. Belinda stated that her daughter will take care of this on a daily basis. Jim thought they made a distinction between a stockpile and manure droppings.
Harry asked if the Board was ready to set a site walk. They’d like the drawing complete so they can see that distances are adequate.
- Motioned by Jim, seconded by John, to hold a site walk on the above Thursday evening, August 11, 2011, at 6 p.m. All voted in favor. Harry clarified that they’d like the drawing ready by next Monday. David A. mentioned a correction needed on the application for 11.3.B.
Raymond & Sally Pulsifer are requesting a Conditional Use Permit to relocate Can-Do Driving School to 57 Sokokis Trail; Tax Map 1, Lot 213.
Ray said that he’d like to open another place closer to Bonny Eagle for driver ed. Harry clarified that this is an additional place they’ll have. Krystal supplied them with the Conditions of Approval for their Main St. site. He said they’d keep their current location for kids from other communities.
David A asked if this would be considered a school or business/commercial operation. It makes a difference in a Rural Zone. John has had experience with his daughter going to the Bar Mills location, and he is comfortable with it being considered a school. He doesn’t believe that there was a lot of traffic disrupting residences. Ray said that kids could walk to the facility near Bonny Eagle.
David A mentioned it having been a business/professional office, and could they consider it grandfathered. Sue read the definition for a school, and she believes it qualifies. David’s question was just how to classify the use.
Jim mentioned Jere’s comment about the 1-acre lot. Jim gives credit to Caroline Segalla for the checklist they now have to review. Krystal’s checklist mentions 200,000 ft. for a lot and also that the owner owns an abutting lot. Sue thought that two acres would be considered together. Jim mentioned the Snell farm. They had to break out a parcel to make it a conforming lot. If it’s not amenable to the owner to make it a conforming lot, could they consider the previous business unit. Section 4.2.D.3 applies, Jim thinks. He mentions Section 9.8.C - according to the interpretation of the connectivity of the two lots. He refers this to Fred for review. The application says Rural. John checked the map, and he found
that the zone is Residential. The requirement would be 120,000 sq. ft. Ray asked about it being grandfathered. The ordinance says that the Zoning Board of Appeals would review this. Jim wonders if Fred should review this, and the Board may want to table this for now.
Harry mentions that there has been an existing business. Harvey stated that it has been there for 22 years. For as long as he’s had the property, he’s always had a business there. Jim says that unless he were willing to go to a surveyor and have the lot size changed, they may want to go to the Zoning Board of Appeals. Jim says that there are specifics with a different Board; they meet once a month, the first Tuesday.
John says that this seems like an ideal use for this property, but he’s sorry he doesn’t have enough knowledge of the ordinances to make a decision. Jim referred to the appropriate part of the ordinance.
Jere asked about the type of sewage disposal and water on the property - no record as recorded by Krystal. Harvey says that both the well and septic are noted. The well was put in many years ago. Jere asked if he had any record of when the septic was put in. Harvey thought it was around ’68-70. Sue asked if there was a requirement for water testing. Ray said they’d have about 16 students - 3 hrs. a day, 3 days a wk.
David S asked about parking, although Ray has stated that the students would probably be walking. Jere asked if they should delineate the number of parking spaces. Sue thought it would be helpful.
Ray was hopeful to have this approved before school opens. Harry says they’d need a parking plan. David S asked how they would determine the kind of school it is. Section 11, p. 10-8, determines the number of parking spaces. Jere thought it might be a secondary school. Harry asked if they were having classes.
Harvey asked how much land would be needed. Jim clarified that it would be 3 acres in a Residential Zone. Jere said they have two options: add the necessary square footage to the lot or go to the Zoning Board of Appeals and ask for a change of use. In the interest of keeping expenses down, it would make sense to go to the Appeals Board. Jim thinks it would be completely their decision. If they rescind the application from the Planning Board, they would be restricted to one year before they could bring the proposal back again. Harvey asked about a letter of intent. Jim stated that it could be a Condition of Approval. Jim says that it looks like he’d need 76,000 extra feet. Harvey said that he could have Butch
Yarumian do this. David S doesn’t think he would need more than 8 spaces for parking. Jere says he’d like to see the parking lot with the designated 8 spaces. Jere mentioned the consistency with all applicants. Jere says if they take the plan they have and put 8 spaces on it, he would be okay with it. Sue mentioned they would have to be the standard size (9’ W x 10.5 L). Jim thinks he should blow up the current plan to put the parking on it. Jere says Butch could probably add the parking to the plan. Harvey asked if they’d need a new sketch. Jim asked them to bring a sketch to the Board, conceptually where the line would go.
John mentioned a different approach if the use hasn’t been out for more than a year. A real estate business could rent out space by the hour for a school. Jere asked if he was still operating a real estate office. Harvey said he wasn’t. Jim thinks that a change of use would require going before the Zoning Board of Appeals.
Jere mentions that if this is changed to a 5-acre lot, he wouldn’t be able to change it back. Jere thought he might want to talk with his surveyor and legal counsel to discuss options.
Fred knows it is not a conforming lot, but he questioned the zone. The map shows that it is a Residential Zone. Harvey says that it might be easier to merge the two lots together. Jere mentioned that later this could cause a problem for him.
Harry says that if it is his plan to go ahead with making the lot conforming, they should set a site walk.
Fred asked why it should have to go before the Zoning Board of Appeals because it is a nonconforming lot now and would become a conforming lot. Jim refers to 9.8.
Ray says they’re only talking about 9 hours a week. Some Board members expressed some concern about how to handle this.
Jim mentions Accessory use. How would a driving school be related to a real estate business, Sue asks. David S asked if the State has certain requirements about what they’d have to have for a real estate office. Harvey said that he’d have to have a license if he was selling houses. He’s sold his real estate business. David S asked if he is currently an independent contractor. He’s not required to have a license for rentals and selling mobile homes, which he does now. Real estate brokers can operate out of their homes.
Sue thinks that if they go to the Zoning Board of Appeals, there is the potential for being turned down. If they should decide to conform to the lot size, they’d see fewer obstacles. Harvey thinks the simplest thing would be for him to combine the two lots. The real estate business is a nonconforming use in that zone. If he’s locked into it only being a driving school, he doesn’t want that. He’d have to come back to the Board for a change of use.
Sue refers to the Residential Zone and what is allowed. A business/professional office is not allowed. The grandfathered nature of the business would be forfeited if it is not in use for a year. He’d have to look at the land use table to see what kind of a business he could have.
John says he should think carefully about what he wants to do because he could be losing other options of the land potentially. The building is 2400 sq. ft. - office is 400 sq. ft. David A clarified the square footage.
Harry summarized that the decision about what the applicant and landlord want to do will determine how to proceed.
Fred says that he believes the section refers to a lot going from a nonconforming use to another nonconforming use. Jim thinks they may want to have the Town attorney tell them how they should proceed with this. If he brings it up to the conforming lot size, he could proceed. Sue refers to page 9.5 - one sentence is the stumbling block. The Board agrees that if he brings the lot up to three acres he would be okay. If he comes back before the Board at some future date for another use, he would be limited to what is on the Residential Zone Conditional Use Table. He couldn’t have a business/professional office. Once 12 months go by and there’s no business in there, he would not be able to have another business/professional office in
Harry summarized the process from here if he decides to combine the lots. They’re looking at a minimum of four weeks if everything went perfectly from this point.
John asked about a nonconforming lot in a Residential Zone with a nonconforming use. Board members clarified that they’d need a conforming lot for the zone. Sue tried to clarify the elements: the lot size, land use (grandfathered), how the grandfathering would go away and referred to p. 4-4, Section 4.2.D.3; p. 10-8 - parking; p. 2-14, def. of a school; p. 9-5, and Section 9.8.C.
If we could re-consider this as a business/professional office that they’re trying to create, could Fred allow one business to change to another use. John mentions one nonconforming use to another nonconforming use. Jim asked if Fred was comfortable just going ahead and granting them a Permit. Harry asked if they considered his other driving school as a business or school. Others thought it was considered a school. Ray thought it was four years ago last April that they moved into their current location.
Sue mentioned a template issue with the Main St. location on the new location.
Harry polled the Board. David A mentioned encouraging business enterprise - an excellent opportunity for the high school students. He would be willing to go with the above.
Sue thinks a driving school would be fine. She thinks they’re on a slippery slope if they bend definitions to fit. She doesn’t see it as a school, but it is a school as defined by our ordinance. She thinks they’re trying to go through hoops to maintain a grandfathered business.
Jim sees two definitions and tends to think they could defer to the Code Officer. He doesn’t feel they’re bending the rules because both definitions have merits and are defendable. He thought they still might want the town attorney to weigh in. Jim asked how much training they do in a classroom. Ray said 30 hrs. in the classroom and 10 hrs in the car.
John says he may have been incorrect in the definition of a school - not being its principal use. He’s inclined to go with the business/professional office going to a business/professional use.
David S doesn’t see why they can’t keep another business going there for the foreseeable future. Are we agreeing or disagreeing about the business use and could the Code Officer issue the permit?
Jere and Harry think that Fred could make the decision on this. Jere trusts that Fred would take a look at any future business and bring it before the Board if necessary. Harry asked Fred if he was comfortable in changing one nonconforming use to another. Fred thinks he’s comfortable with it.
Sue asked about the 400 ft. for the business. She says that John’s interpretation is correct about the school not being the principal use of the building.
The applicant is withdrawing his application.
Normand Berube Builders of Saco has submitted an application for subdivision review. The proposed use is for a 10-lot cluster subdivision on a parcel of land between Portland and Broadturn Roads; Tax Map 9, Lot 15.
Bill Thompson of BH2M presented for Normand Berube Builders. He’s presenting for Fogg Brook Estates. He has previously submitted a concept plan, and the Board felt that a cluster was the direction to take. The 41.7 acres is located on the intersection of Broadturn and Portland Roads. The new road would be opposite the Sunrise Ridge road. There is 910 ft. of road, slope from north to south, 10 lots - each lot is over an acre with a minimum of 40,000 sq. ft. of upland area, with a septic and well. A “T” turnaround now goes to the right. His submission report goes down through the ordinance and responds to most of the items. They’re finishing up the storm water report. They’ll need a DEP Permit. They have an
open space around the project. There will be a 50-foot open space along the Portland Rd., crossing the Brook Drive. Lots 7 & 8 have a shared driveway, they will need fill to get into Lot #4. The road will be built to town standards, abutters listed, high intensity soils, wetland mapping done, soil narrative, test pits done, and a summary of articles 8, 11 and 13. There is no 100-yr. flood associated with the property, and it is not on an aquifer. There is a summary of traffic generation. They’ve written letters to all town depts. He has a letter back from historical - no issues - and a letter from the well driller who worked across the street, and a natural barriers map (a deer wintering area) - not proposing any development there. There is 50 ft. of access to the open space. There is a lot of flow down through the brook. They’ve had some contact with Scarborough; there’s almost 30 acres of open space and will be contiguous
with Scarborough conservation land. He was impressed with how well the brook is defined; they’ll stay away from it. He believes they have a pretty comprehensive set of plans now, and he would like to consider a site walk.
Harry asked if the property is staked out and test pits located.
Jim calls everyone’s attention to the first subdivision review with the new guideline. Are we still at sketch plan review? Have they gone on to preliminary plan review? Bill says he sees this as preliminary review - not preliminary approval.
Jim sees a discrepancy in the area of open space. Bill clarified that there’s another piece across the Broadturn Rd. he might not have seen. He questioned the net residential acreage for the 10.6 lots. He doesn’t see any allowance for easements. He calls the Board’s attention to the definition of net residential acreage. Is there 40,000 sq. ft. of usable area? John mentions the area up to the brook and across the brook. Bill asked what the 40,000 makes reference to. Jim refers to 11.6.B.5 and thinks this is okay. Jim says Bill’s including areas that can never be cut and will be deed restricted. They need to focus on the net residential acreage definition. Jim wants the calculations to be right.
There’s an area mapped on the other side of the brook; C and D are clumped together, he says. Bill says there’s nothing over 20% slope, but he’ll check it. Jim wants some confirmation that there aren’t any D slopes. Jim mentions some connectivity to Sunrise Ridge and would like to consider some kind of crosswalk. They talked about traffic. The ordinance allows for some level of traffic impact - peak traffic hours. Bill asked what he’s looking for. Jim says the traffic analysis might also look at connectivity. As far as the question about deer wintering, they would probably have to have something from Inland Fisheries & Wildlife as to the impact of the subdivision. Bill asked if they would select a wildlife biologist. Jim recommends someone from Inland Fisheries & Wildlife up in Gray. John asked if they were concerned about whether there would be enough area for the deer wintering. Jim says he’s
just addressing things that are in the ordinance. Initially, he questioned the wetland delineation - it was considerably different than the first one they’d been given. Bill explained that this is the real one.
John is impressed with the way they’ve laid out the plan and moved around the various obstacles. He still has some questions about the deer wintering. They’re not impacting that area with the building lots. If the Board is going to accept that line, he doesn’t see any need for anything more. Jere clarified that the ordinance says they have to. John questions whether there is something more needed since a State biologist has already put this area on the map. Sue clarified why she thought they should have someone according to the ordinance. Jim refers to the specific ordinance.
Jere asked Bill why he delineated the 150 ft. It is a requirement for storm water control. Jere asked about the 50’ buffer along Portland Rd. There’s no storm water going across it. Bill says it will be governed by the homeowner’s association. Article 6 of the net residential density calculations. - could you push it back so it goes further towards the brook? the 154’ forested buffer - could it be pushed back to the property lines? Bill doesn’t want to limit the activity there - people coming out and walking there. David S asked if the homeowner’s assn. has any plans for paths. Bill says the developer doesn’t. Jere asked if they have copies of the homeowners docs - not yet. The location of fire tank is on Lot 10. Is this project something they want to send out for review? They’ll wait until after the site walk.
Sue mentioned the cemetery setbacks. There are certain things that can’t be disturbed if you have a need for a septic system change. How can you have the 40,000 sq. ft. lot sizes if you have these easements that can’t be used. Bill says that if the septic fails, they might replace them in the same spot. He mentions that they could make the lot deeper if the 40,000 sq. ft. is not being met. It’s an acre lot which they felt works really well. Sue would like to have this addressed in their review.
Jim might suggest 13.5.H. refers to the septic sites - a 20 x 50 box designated,1,000 sq. ft. boxes to represent stone and pipe beds on the plan that won’t affect the forested buffers. All of the forested buffer areas are setback areas and property lines. Bill has asked for that interpretation.
Bill asked about the nitrate studies - 13.3.B.U. - average density. He would like the Board polled on this. Jim thought they required it across the street, but the soils are different. Jim might suggest with 10 lots of pretty tight “lotting,” he would like some assurance that wells and septics would be placed according to the topography of the land. He doesn’t think a hydro geo assessment would break the bank. Harry would like to see this included. Board members agree.
Bill mentions them bordering the Town of Scarborough. What involvement would they expect Scarborough to have? The Board would not expect any involvement of Scarborough. Jim thought Caroline might have wanted a connection between this development and the Scarborough Land Trust.
Harry asked if they were ready to take a site walk.
- Motioned by Jim, seconded by Jere, to hold a site walk for the above on Monday, August 15, at 6 p.m. All voted in favor.
Jere asked if any residents could attend. Bill doesn’t have a problem with that and suggests parking on East Wind Drive. Jim wants to know if the Board wants to discuss the net residential acreage tonight. The Board spends some time discussing this. They agree that what the developer has done for calculations is accurate for the forested areas. Each deed will include what can and cannot be done with their property, Bill says. Jim wants some more info on the slopes.
Approval of Minutes:
June 13, 2011 - set aside for now - needs some motions
June 27, 2011 -
Motioned by David S, seconded by Sue, to accept the minutes as amended. 6 Voted in favor; Jim abstained (absent)
Approval of Bills:
Blueberry Ridge granted a two-year extension by DEP.
Note from Maine DEP stating that a definition needs to be added - removing the stream names - replace it with DEP standards (75’ setbacks). This would need to go into ordinance revisions. It could be done at a Special Town Meeting. Harry is trying to have a discussion with Mike Morse about what exactly they want to see in our ordinance. Dylan Elderkin asked, “What if it gets voted down?” Jere mentioned it would have to go to secret ballot in November.
There was information about the Hollis/Bar Mills Bridge - No. 3333, two bridges. The Hollis Planning Board is holding a preliminary public meeting on Tues, September 13, at 6 p.m. at the Hollis Town Hall.
Review & discussion of Planning Board By-Laws
No. 2 - pledge of allegiance added
- Jere motioned, seconded by David S, to accept the By-Laws as amended. 6 voted in favor; David A. against.
At the last meeting, John Vedral mentioned that he thought amendments made on the floor of the town meeting were illegal. Harry read about the notification of the voters regarding what would be acted upon. It was Harry’s and the Town Attorney’s opinion that nothing new was added, but something was removed. John has contacted the Maine Attorney General’s office, and they are investigating it further.
- Motioned by David S, seconded by Sue, to adjourn the meeting at 9:45 p.m. All voted in favor.
Approval Date: __8/22/11_______
Harry Kavouksorian, Chairman Signature Date