Town of Buxton Planning Board
Monday, July 23, 2012 at 7 p.m.
Recorded by Hilda Lynch
Board Members Present: John Vedral, David Savage, Sr.; Christopher Carroll; Harry Kavouksorian; Keith Emery; Nicholas Murray; and Lawrence Curtis
Others Present: Henry Huntley, Ron Dearborn, Stacy Robidas, Shawna Lauziere, Rich Chaisson, Bud Hegarty, Shawna Lauziere, Brian Murray, Stephen Joffe, Julia Colpitts, Cliff Thomas, Allan Hague, Code Officer Fred Farnham
Public Hearing: Dearborn Brothers, LLC, is requesting an amendment to the operation start time from 7 a.m. to 6 a.m. at the 249 Webster Road gravel pit; located in the Rural District on Tax Map 7, Lot 28D.
Chairman Harry Kavouksorian opened the Buxton Planning Board meeting of July 23, 2012, at 7 p.m.
Pledge of Allegiance
Public hearing for Dearborn Brothers, LLC
Motioned by Keith, seconded by Harry, to open the public hearing. All voted in favor.
Ron Dearborn has come before the Board to see if his pit on the Webster Road could be opened earlier in the morning so they can get their materials earlier.
Harry says this is a previously approved application so they are here this evening only to discuss the above.
John said he had some other questions regarding other pits in the area and their times of opening. John said that he was told that two pits opened at 6:30 a.m. and 6 a.m. respectively. They are in the vicinity of the Dearborn pit. Harry referred to 11.7.D.7. There was a period of time when the pits were grandfathered. Harry mentioned that any people who have issues with a pit need to contact the Code Enforcement Office for enforcement, as the Board doesn't have any authority to enforce.
David wanted to verify any change of the Saturday hours. They're currently 8 a.m. to 12 noon, and Ron is asking for 6 a.m. to 12 noon. Ron mentioned this when he was here before the Board at the previous meeting. John says the ordinance only addresses the weekday operations. David says Monday to Friday, including Saturday, were 6 a.m. John clarified that for the Dearborn pit the weekdays were 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday, 8 a.m. to 12 noon. Larry referred to the motion from the previous meeting which states 6 a.m. is requested for Saturdays.
Keith is in favor of the weekday hours but will not agree with the Saturday request.
Harry asked Fred to come before the public. Fred started a trip around town at 6 a.m. this morning due to some calls he's received. He gave the Board a list of pits that were open and closed. Gorham Sand & Gravel was open at 6:05 a.m., and the Church Hill Pit was open with a bucket loader at 6:32 a.m. Fred will verify the times for the Church Hill Pit.
Harry reiterated that people need to contact the Code Enforcement Office if any issues.
Harry asked for any abutters. None appeared. He asked for members of the public.
Julie Colpitts lives on Webster Road. She believes that Keith is the only one who goes back to 2005. She asked about the concept of grandfathering. She questions whether the "grandfather" phrase applies to it at all. Harry says it does not. She said they spent months working out a compromise in 2005. The pit was going to be located in an already residential area. The former Board took very seriously the concerns of the neighbors; they hammered out a compromise. They are living with it because of the compromise. A couple of things important to mention. They are impacted by the pit. She thinks Mr. Dearborn wants a work around. She doesn't think making it financially more agreeable really is a benefit to the
neighbors. She mentions the concerns about it getting darker and children waiting for the bus. She thinks that when they start allowing the erosion of that hard-won agreement, this will negatively affect the neighborhood. Consistency has to be looked at with the larger good of the neighborhood. Throughout the Code, things are treated differently depending upon the location. She thinks prior agreements shouldn't be tossed out due to consistency. She is also speaking for one of her neighbors who couldn't be here tonight.
Stephen Joffe, the spouse of Julie, also addressed the Board. The original hours were done over strenuous objections of neighbors at that time. Those he has talked with do not want extra noise and the infringement on their lives any further. The applicant knew at the time of the conditions. The applicant has been treated fairly by the Board and neighbors. He does not know how Mr. Dearborn can say that there will be minimal impact. The Vaughn's have lived there a very long time and being subjected to noise and dust is not good. There are kids out playing, so he mentions additional traffic, dust, noise. He says the Attorney believes the burden of proof is on the applicant. He thinks there is no basis for change being made to the Board.
He would urge that they keep things the way they are and honor the current agreement. He thinks that conditions for an industrial situation would impact a much wider range of people than immediate abutters. He recommends future consideration of that. Harry says that would be an ordinance change and recommends that be submitted to the Selectmen.
Shawna Lauziere lives on Captain's Way. She agrees with Julie and Stephen - especially as far as safety for their children. At 6 a.m., there would be kids out at the bus stop. David asks if it is on a daily basis that trucks are being run there. She thinks it is. Keith says that it is not just Dearborn coming through there. Other pits are also in the area. Harry mentions contacting the Code Enforcement Office if they think people are operating outside of the established hours.
Stacy Robida lives right on the corner. She says there is a consistent flow of traffic any time after 6:30 a.m. She thinks that further negatively impacting their quality of life is not a fair decision for them. Children wait on the corner of Webster and Captain's Way and additional traffic has an impact.
Warren Hegarty lives on the corner of Flaggy Meadow and Webster Roads. If Mr. Dearborn is granted a variance, how long is this good for? Harry stated that it would continue as long as the pit is there. Warren asked if there are penalties involved. Fred says he would issue a "stop work" order. Warren says he hears things even in the middle of the night. There is no "good neighbor policy" involved.
Rich Chaisson of Dearborn says the gravel pit opened in the 1970s and has no start times. There are no operating hours on this particular pit. Harry says it reverts back to an ordinance that was adopted after that. Any gravel pit, unless they come back before the Board, would be limited to 7 a.m. - 8 p.m. and no weekend hours. Unless the operator comes back to get hours outside of these, this is what they are. He says this pit has been operating from the 1960s and 1970s. Another pit opened in the 80s and has no specified hours, Rich says. Harry says that as of 1996, there was a 5-year period in which pit owners could come in to talk about any hours outside of those permitted in the ordinance. Because other pits are operating earlier is not really a
reason to grant different hours. Harry says they are here asking to amend their Conditional Use Permit.
Allan Hague was a dairy farmer and had a gravel pit. They had an ending period, but these people do not. He says Mr. Dearborn says he just wants to make a few more bucks. He does not think this should be allowed. We have this pit surrounded by houses. His pit turned into a processing plant for material, which is what this one has turned into. There are two pits operating right next to Dearborn's. He asked if Keith remembers what went on. Both pits are over eight acres apiece, and they're supposed to be kept to five acres. It is enough of a nuisance for them to have them there at all. He's had issues with the Planning Board in the past. There are issues with trucks on Sundays. They've had a couple of near accidents and no
one seems to care, he says. Harry says that if he's talking about people operating outside of the hours, he needs to talk with the Code Enforcement Officer. Allan says it doesn't do any good. He says Dearborn's going to be there forever, and he wants a thousand more hours a year. Allan thinks Keith should excuse himself because he believes he is prejudiced towards supporting Mr. Dearborn.
Keith doesn't believe he is prejudiced.
John makes a motion, David seconds, that Keith should abstain from voting because of a conflict of interest. None in favor; Five voted against; Christopher and Keith abstained.
Julie says that in 2005 they came out with an agreement that works. She hopes unresolved feelings will not color the way things go here. Keith does not believe they'll be digging in the winter, so it would be only 6-7 months a year they'd be affected. Stephen says that a decision was made in 2005, hard fought, and many in the neighborhood are absolutely opposed to changing any hours because of traffic, safety, dust, and noise. They're not interested in compromising further; the impact is much greater today. There should be no change to the conditional use.
Ron says that Captain's Way went in after the pit and another development is due to be built. He questioned how often Mrs. Colpitts is in town. Board members cautioned against personal attacks. Ron says they're traveling 22 miles every morning with 10 trucks; they need to get to their jobs. He mentions the economy. Part of the business he's in means long hours.
Warren says he doesn't have a problem with Ron making a living. If it is set at 7 a.m., that's the way it should stay.
Keith motioned, seconded by Larry, to close the public hearing. All voted in favor.
John motioned, seconded by David, to waive the reading 8.2.B and 10. All voted in favor. Keith says they're really only looking at Article 11 - 11.D.7. John thinks that 8.2.B does apply.
John motioned that the Board approve the amendment to the operating start time. John withdraws the motion.
David motioned that they allow the amendment to the weekday hours but not change the Saturday hours. There was no second.
John motioned, Larry seconds, that the Board approves the request for the operating start times: 6 a.m. weekdays and weekends. 0 in favor; 7 opposed. The motion fails.
Discussion: Keith thinks the motion can be made to amend the weekday hours and leave the Saturday hours alone. Ron Dearborn's original request was for the weekdays. Larry says the written application only indicates Monday through Friday, but the minutes of the last meeting included Saturday. Keith thinks it can be voted to change weekday and leave Saturdays the way they are. John says they can take up another motion if this one is defeated. He doesn't think the applicant has proven the extenuating circumstances since 2005. He'd like to see the Board stand by what has been decided in 2005.
Keith motions, David seconds, that they approve the 6 a.m. start period Monday through Friday and leave Saturdays as they are. Keith in favor; six opposed. The application is denied.
Discussion: John stands by his earlier comments. He doesn't think there's a strong enough reason to deviate.
Fred gave out a drawing concerning Forever Farm. They're making good progress. The last
thing the Board approved was the parking area. The original parking area is where it is supposed
to be. The area that was set aside for deliveries and folks needing assistance had to be moved.
The proposed septic system would have fallen within the parking area. The parking area had to
be shifted to the four parking spaces closer to the road. It brings the deliveries and people closer
to the barn, still leaving enough space between the parking and the entrance. He didn't think it
was enough of a change to ask them to come back. The spaces were moved 18 ft. This shows
the plan for a replacement septic system.
David asked about the material being used for the parking area - is it all gravel? Where would
you be able to push a wheelchair. John says that people would be dropped off at the ramp
leading into the barn. Fred says it will be accessible.
Larry asks if the Planning Board has jurisdiction over handicapped spaces for businesses in
town. There are regulations for this. Harry says that would be ADA compliance. As long
as there is an ADA approved ramp going into the barn, there shouldn't be a problem. John says
it is in the ordinance. They don't have parking spaces, per se, but managed parking.
Keith asked if it was easier to move the parking spaces or move the leach bed site back.
Keith asks if the bed could go back 10 ft. This plan is from the engineering work, so believe it is
a good compromise. Larry asked if they had brought in the gravel yet. Fred says they're building
a base for it right now. Harry asks if Fred has been down around the culvert. He has and says
they have bark mulch all around. David asks if this impacts the total parking spaces. It doesn't
change the number just relocates these four spaces.
The Board agreed that it was a minor enough change to not warrant the applicant coming
back before the Board.
Approval of Minutes:
July 9, 2012 - Hilda mentioned that Krystal had asked her to go over minutes, which she had
not yet done - postponed.
Approval of Bills:
Workshop on October 10 for Planning Boards - typically there's one in Sanford and Saco.
Buxton is an MMA member so they should be taking advantage of this.
Review finding for Gail Landry
Motioned by Keith, seconded by Larry, to approve the Findings as amended. 7 voted in favor.
John gave a proposed amendment to the Board. See an addition of No. 9. Harry thought they should consider some ground rules. David asked what they would do if personal attacks were made like those that happened this evening. In tonight's case, Larry thinks if things got really bad, they could make a motion to close the public hearing. John thinks it would be helpful to have input prior to things getting further along in an application.
Motioned by Keith, seconded by David, to adjourn the meeting at 8:26 p.m. All in favor.
Approval Date: 8/13/12
Keith Emery, Chairman Signature Date