Town of Buxton Planning Board
August 27, 2012 at 7 p.m.
Recorded by Hilda Lynch
Members Present: John Vedral, David Savage, Christopher Carroll, Keith Emery, Nicholas Murray and Lawrence Curtis
Others in attendance: Jason & Shannon Grant, Ashley & Mike Brown, Henry Huntley, Cliff Thomas
Keith Emery called the August 27, 2012, meeting of the Buxton Planning Board together at 7 p.m.
Pledge of allegiance:
Review site walk for Jason & Shannon Grant of 27 Highpoint Circle, who are requesting a Conditional Use Permit for Animal Husbandry to allow for one calf; located on Tax Map 1A, lot 66-7.
Keith asked the Board for any comments. John says his general observation is that the layout is pretty good. He asked for information about the wells. There is a map showing the wells, which John reviewed.
David asked if Jason got all of his neighbors to write statements. Jason says that he did, except for one of the lots, which is vacant. David asked about a particular neighbor, but Jason says he is not an abutter.
Nick says that there are only four neighbors who've signed a letter. Nick LaVallee has not signed. Jason says they couldn't get hold of him.
Larry said the Grants had the pen for the calf marked out with tape when they were on the site walk. He asked about a trail that cuts across the corner. Jason says it is only one of their trails. Section 9.8.C - it appeared that there was some concern about the minimum lot size. Larry says that Jason lives in a residential zone in a cluster development, so he doesn't see that 9.8.C is violated in any way.
Keith says it is a nice flat lot with plenty of trees, so the pen would be out of sight He thinks it needs to be a 3-acre lot. That section of the ordinance doesn't clarify cluster vs. regular. Nick believes they are a conforming lot; Chris concurs. David is a little concerned about the deed restriction. Keith says they have no control over this. They look at the ordinances only. The court would be the enforcer for this. David believes they'd have to have an exception for this. John believes they do need minimum lot size for a cluster subdivision. They have some other small animals, which are of concern to him. The total numbers are of concern to him. Jason says they've gotten rid of most of the rabbits, and they're
down to about five now.
Keith asked if anyone was looking for more information. Nick asked if there is more of a solid plan on waste disposal. Jason says they're going to haul their trailer down here (to the Transfer Station) when it is full. They'll leave the trailer where it is and cover it.
Keith asked if the Board wished to set a public hearing.
" John motioned, seconded by David, that they set a public hearing on the above on September 10, 2012, at 7 p.m. All voted in favor.
Ashley & Mike Brown of 281 Skip Road are requesting a Conditional Use Permit for an In-home Daycare; located on Tax Map 1, Lot 145A.
Ashley is hoping to open a family child care facility on the bottom level of their split-level home.
John mentions their lot size of .9 acres in the rural zone. John mentions that 9.8.C would be a big issue for them.
Nick asked about the waste water system. They indicated their plan for their home should be sufficient. Nick asked how many children they would have. Ashley said they thought they could have 8, but she doesn't see herself having more than 6. They believe the State's numbers are too generous. Ashley has all of the certifications for a daycare. Mike says they thought they'd finished everything, when they learned they would have to go before the Town. They'd been through the State's website and thought their $6,000 investment in upgrading their home was all they'd have to have.
Nick asked about the total square footage of their home. What would be dedicated to the business and which part for their family. Mike says they've only lived in the upstairs, but they've put a lot of work into the downstairs over the summer. He believes it is around 1800 - 1900 sq. ft. Nick recommended they take a look at Section 11.10. He is concerned about the refuse disposal. Curb side pickup would not be allowed. Mike asked why this would be? Nick thinks they would actually have to subscribe to their own trash service.
Keith is concerned about the visibility and the lot size. Mike says they're probably considered as rural as they can get. The land behind them is owned by the Beagle's club. Across the street, land is owned by a lumber company. To the left is marsh land. The only home is to the right but pretty much out of sight. They've cleaned out behind the house and are ready to go with a chain-link fence. Keith says the lot size itself is of concern. He says the lot size depends upon the zone they're in. This is a conditional use in the rural zone. For a permitted use, they would just have to go before the Code Enforcement office. Keith reviewed why this ordinance has been put in - to look out for their well-being as well as the children's.
Mike spoke about a daycare that their child went to, and he surmised that they may have been grandfathered. Mike says they've been almost five months trying to get the State licensed person to meet with them.
Keith says that the way they approached this is fine, but he thinks most people go to the Code office first. Mike says he felt they should have gotten direction from the State. Larry says that the Board members are just volunteers, so don't know the ordinances verbatim. They approach each case separately. They all want them to have a successful business, but they are bound by their elected office to look at the ordinances and see that they're met. If their application is denied, they could go to the Board of Appeals.
Ashley asked if the rules were developed because they were concerned about bothering neighbors? Larry says the townspeople have wanted to keep some of the rural character of the Town, thus the zoning regulations. The Board is bound by the ordinances in the book. As it stands now, their lot is a nonconforming lot in the rural zone. John says they can be individually sued. Mike says they would make no change to the neighborhood. Is this something that could be changed in the Town ordinances? If this wasn't going to affect the area adversely, could this be signed off on? Mike asked. John clarified that the whole ordinance would need to be changed. He sees changing the ordinance as the only option. John says he'd love to see them
have it, but he couldn't vote for it because of the ordinance. Mike says they don't mind taking extra steps to make it happen. Keith didn't like the way this ordinance went in to begin with, so he doesn't have a problem making some wording changes. He can see this fitting for large animals on small lots.
Ashley talked about this daycare being her dream for a long time. They bought this house with this in mind. There was considerable discussion about daycare facilities, hours, traveling from Portland, etc. Mike says there must be some way to make it work. Keith says this wouldn't be able to be looked at until June unless there is a special town meeting.
John says they could set a site walk and follow the steps. Keith will have the Code Enforcement secretary contact the attorney for the Board to see if he'll give them some guidance. Mike says the house was built in 1972 - before zoning. Keith says the house and lot are grandfathered, but the conditional use is not covered.
" Motioned by John, seconded by Larry, to set a site walk for the above on August 30, 2012,, at 6 p.m.
Approval of Minutes:
August 13, 2012 -
David motioned, seconded by Larry, to approve the minutes as amended. Six voted in favor.
Approval of Bills:
Reminder of public hearing on the land-use ordinance they're fixing - September 10, 2012, at 7 p.m. There is a copy by the Code Enforcement Office, and they'll have copies.
*Sign By-Laws - needed to date it - someone noticed this - signed
Attendees may address the Board on the evening's business:
None this evening.
" Motioned by John, seconded by David, to adjourn the meeting at 8:01 p.m.
Keith Emery, Chairman Signature Date