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Town Seal
Planning Board Minutes 10/22/2012
Town of Buxton
Planning Board

Monday, October 22, 2012 at 7 p.m.

Recorded by Hilda Lynch

Board Members Present:  John Vedral, Christopher Carroll; Keith Emery; and Lawrence Curtis

Board Members Absent:  David Savage, Sr.; Nicholas Murray  

Others Present:  Henry Huntley, Code Officer Fred Farnham, Robert Shepherd, April Shepherd, Lonn Mitchell, David Marsh & 2 children


Chairman Keith Emery opened the Buxton Planning Board meeting of October 22, 2012, at 7:01 p.m.

Pledge of Allegiance

Public Hearing for proposed Zone Change:  Shall the Town vote to change the zoning at the property located at Map 6, Lot 46, Parcel #0006-0046, Book #7806, Page 071, at 1301 Long Plains Road, Buxton, Maine 04093, from Rural to Business and Commercial District?  Property is the old Buxton Grange hall, presently The Buxton Tavern LLC, owned by Lonn Mitchell of 85 Deering Road, Gorham, Maine 04039.  (Inserted by Petition)  

"       Motioned by John, seconded by Larry, to open the public hearing for the above.  Four voted in favor.

        Robert Shepherd is involved in instituting this change.  He called attention to the map being incorrect.  He pointed out where the Rural zone exists on the map regarding the Rural and Commercial zones.  He's saying that the Commercial zone abuts up to his property. The reason they would like a zoning change is that the property has been operated for the past decade and a half, as well as being taxed, as Commercial.  Because of this and restrictions of operating in a nonconforming use area, they cannot operate as a business.  That's why they'd like a change.  
        If they win the zoning change, they'd like to purchase the property from the owner.  Since it is a nonconforming area, it doesn't make any kind of sense.  They would like to finish the upstairs.  It is an open hall.  There is a re-done stage with bathrooms on either side.  They'd like to offer it to catered functions or for whomever might want a hall.  They'd like to build a small, efficient kitchen and offer more food.  They'd like to make all of this pay.  When the zoning was done, they went a certain number of feet from Rt. 202.
        Keith asked Fred if he had any questions.  None at this time.
        John asked what things he's prevented from doing because of the zoning.  He said they were the things that he had just stated.  When it was originally approved for a tavern, the Zoning Board had a long list of restrictions, one of them being that they couldn't use the upstairs except for a bean supper.  The bean suppers are always held downstairs and dances upstairs.  If it were zoned Commercial, they could operate as a business.  Keith clarified for John.  
        John said he heard from people that they wanted to use the deck area.  Bob says that is no longer an issue.  They had problems when they started to build the deck, and it took them awhile to get it open.  He says it is a simple matter of 100 ft.  
        Chris wanted to know how he got the idea that the Commercial zone abuts his property.  Bob talked about the owner of the property on two sides.  Chris asked if he found this out from the Town that the tavern abuts commercial property.  Bob says that Dave (Marsh) told him his property is in the Commercial zone.  
        Larry asked what Bob understands are the operations that are permitted.  Bob says you can get alcohol, water, coffee, and hot dogs; and they have entertainment twice a week.
        Keith has no questions.  He was on the Board when this originally came to them.  They came up with a list of things which eventually went to Fred.
        Dave Marsh owns the property next to the Buxton Tavern.  When he built his house, he was aware of being within 1,000 ft. of the property line.  The line runs right down the tree line and goes right down to Aubuchon Hardware, he says.  He thinks it has been this way since the 1980s.  
        Keith says the law changed that allowed people to build a house in the Commercial zone.  Dave doesn't have any problem with the change but is here to hear what is going on.
        Keith has a letter from Stephen, the new owner on the other side of the Tavern.  Bob says he's spoken with Mr. Mitchell, and he's okay with the proposed zone change.  Bob says the fence is on his neighbor's property, he was recently told.  
        At the time, Bob put the fence up because the property owner on that side wanted it.  When they cut the trees, they thought they went by the line, which they didn't find out was incorrect until a couple of owners later.  The fence was to keep the headlights from shining in the neighbor's dooryard.  Come to find out, it is four or five feet off.  Bob will sell him the fence for a dollar, and he can do whatever he wants with it, he says.
        Keith asked Mr. Mitchell if he had anything to say.  He said he would go to the podium if there were questions.  There weren't any.
        Keith asked if there were any members of the public who wanted to comment.  None were present.
        John says it would make sense to make sure the zoning line is correct.
        Dave Marsh asks why it is okay to put the garage next to his house now.  John says that an auto repair garage is a conditional use in a rural zone.  At the time, Dave said he wasn't allowed to put his repair garage where he wanted to put it.  
        The Board cannot request zoning, but this was inserted by petition.  John suggested that they encompass Dave's land in the Commercial zone.  Dave says he had to move his house away from the Commercial line.  He wouldn't want his property to be commercial now because the taxes are higher.  
        Keith says that if it was a Planning Board proposal, they would have gone to see Dave to propose a change and square off the zone.  
        John says if it came to them, they couldn't do spot zoning.

"       John motioned, seconded by Larry, to close the public hearing.  Four voted in favor.
Keith says the Selectmen will have it on the ballot.    
CEO Report:  None

Approval of Minutes:
        October 8, 2012 -
"       John motioned, seconded by Keith, to accept the minutes as amended.  Three in favor; Larry abstained.  

"       The motion is tabled until enough are present to vote in favor.

Approval of Bills:

        Spectra Energy - high-pressure Natural Gas pipelines

Other Business:
        Discuss Ordinance Amendments

        John presented the zoning change ordinance to the Selectmen.  It will be on the ballot as written - to clarify language on lot sizes.  
        John says that after discussion they should just strike 9.8.C.  Chris asked if they wanted to invite Board members who were present at that time to attend a meeting.  John says they could, but the Attorney believes that other sections of the ordinance cover things in 9.8.C.  The Board could consider each issue as it comes up.  Keith says that by the time it gets to a public hearing, things are pretty well decided.  John didn't think the public hearing would stop something from going to ballot.  Keith says it could.  
        Keith mentioned the signage issue.  He wanted to know if the Board wanted them to state that they use a 12 ft. post, of which 4' go into the ground.  He says he will update it.
        Krystal asked if it should go in 13.5.F.1. John thought it could go in 12.17.  Keith thought it should go in under subdivisions, also.  John clarified that the language would be the same in both places.  John says he'll just modify the road acceptance regulations.  One place would take care of both situations.

Attendees may address the Board on the evening's business:  None

"       Motioned by Larry, seconded by Chris, to adjourn the meeting at 7:40 p.m.  Four voted in favor.

Approval Date:   ___________

________________________                                ________________
                Keith Emery, Chairman                                   Signature Date

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