Town of Buxton Planning Board
Monday, April 22, 2013 at 7 pm
Members in attendance: Keith Emery, David Savage, Christopher Carroll, Nichols Murray, Larry Curtis, John Vedral.
Members not in attendance: None.
Other in attendance: Bruce & Nancy Steadman, Joshua Merry, Tauny Farley, Ryan Farley, Crystal Wheeler, Mark Wheeler, Henry Huntley, Cliff Thomas.
Chairman Keith Emery called the meeting to order at 7 p.m. with the Pledge of allegiance
Site walk review of the Daniel & Roberta Aceto's held on April 16th, 2013 at 6 p.m. They are requesting an expansion of their Conditional Use permit for a warehouse & outdoor storage facility. Aceto Construction is located at 1027 Narragansett Trail on Tax Map 8, Lot 20A-35.
The site walk was performed on April 16th, but the applicant has requested to wait a few weeks before they come back to the Board. They are waiting for a DEP report before they return.
Bruce & Nancy Steadman of 160 Turkey Lane are seeking a conditional use permit for campgrounds (Section 11.4) to allow a kids camp & agriculture and events. Tax Map 3, Lots 3, 4 & 5.
Bruce and Nancy Steadman began by saying this proposal is a little more than Article 11 requires. This is for a kid's camp, a tenting day camp for 8 to 10 week programs. Enter into a long term lease with Camp Sole-Fide. The directors of the House of David are here to answer any questions. The board of directors Mark & Crystal Wheeler, Brian, Ryan and Tauny Farley is the secretary for the House of David.
Mark wheeler introduced himself and said his forte is working with teenagers. My wife and I have taken in many Foster children. I feel kids should have the opportunity to thrive, survive and reach their full potential. We use surfing to help kids reach their full potential at "The House of David Surfiders" located in Old Orchard Beach for eight years. When I was younger I remember the friendships I made at camp. Things I learned comer artery, confidence. The kids have great thumbs, but no skills to socialize. This program will bring nature back to the forefront; we want kids to learn about nature. Learn how to fish and teach them something sustainable like farming. To be able to grow gardens, grow thrive and survive. We have opportunities for summer, after school, winter
programs. We have an extensive community of friends in the music industry, well known sports people, to help build them up. Help them understand their worth. This is our first adventure into the camping industry. We are willing to go to training or whatever we have to do to make this work.
Ryan Farley said this is more than just a campground, we want community involvement. Our goal is for seventh and eighth grade kids who have no place to go; they will be able to come here to do homework or just hangout. We encourage parent involvement; they can join in on weekends and work with the kids.
Mr. Steadman said we have wanted to develop trails further so people can come and enjoy the land as it is and use it with very low impact. We want to preserve and use the land as it is the wetland, the river, just the remote aspect of enjoying the solitude. The camp area is a mile back from Turkey lane. We will not hold the summer camp this year; we would like the approval so we can start moving infrastructure in. We have a host of people willing to volunteer the equipment time and resources to utilize to make this happen. We want to build the road up to code, but as a dirt road. Bill Hoffman from Deluca Hoffman volunteered his time to create this plan and making it fit with Buxton's ordinance.
Questions from the Board:
John - This whole discussion is centered around it being a summer camp and not a campground. Our ordinance does not have provisions for a summer camp. The closest item is a camp ground; you should accept that and not insist on it being a summer camp. We need to work under the campground rules listed in Article 11.4. Bruce agreed it is a campground. Many sections of the ordinance are not applicable. John instructed them to say why it is not applicable.
David does not see it fitting in exactly as a camp ground either, due to the common building and the remote camp sites. Mr. Wheeler replied "The last camp ground was a seasonal campground, which had a main building and the surrounding tents were within walking distance. We will have a similar setup. David confirmed that there will be platforms for the tents. Mr. Steadman added "there will also be cabins on the site, they have been donated. There will have shower facility buildings and remote camp sites further out. We are currently working with the historical society, for their remote buildings, these will be converted for the shower facilities. The camp site location is 200-feet from any other existing abutting houses in the area. Our plan is to locate most of the project on the
other side of the river. We still hold events up near the house and gardens with our previously approved conditional use permit. The main roads are on top of ridges, 12 feet high berms, which will have enough material to build the road to code. We will be working with DEP for the bridges to cross the Little River and Moody Brook. We would like to keep the road furthest out an ATV road. The road will access carry in and carry out overnight tent sites.
Larry counted 12 cabins and 25 tent sites, having 8 in the front area and 17 in the remote area. Are there plans for bathroom facilities in this area? Port-o-potty will be rented for the summer. Larry questioned if you get port-o-potties down an ATV road?" Mr. Steadman said "the road will be 12-feet wide gravel road, wide enough to move tractors and emergency vehicles."
Nicholas asked what size are the cabins and how many campers per cabin? Mr. Wheeler explained, the cabins are all different sizes with the average size being around 11'x 20'. Each one will house 15 campers per cabin. What is the total capacity of campers and ages? We hope to have approximately 150 to 300 campers throughout the whole summer. The campers are tweens and teens, ages 11 to 18 years old. As the older campers go through the program they can come back as leaders and counselors. Anyone over 18 is required to a background check. The main building is a proposed Steel 40' x 100' multi-use building. At meal time we will rotate the younger kids first and then the older kids. It will include boys and girls bathrooms with shower stalls and toilets.
Keith asked if the Fire Chief has reviewed the plans or if the Fire Marshall or other State Agencies will need to be involved before final approval. Mr. Steadman said they addressed that in the back of the pack, as far as they know, they have to meet for State and local fire and safety standards. They would like to use reclaim on the road, it's a hard compact surface and will not run off. There is a two million gallon pond on site for fire issues.
Mr. Steadman added that they want to dig a pond in middle of all cabins. Fire trucks will have access to this pond. The sports field will be a hard field and will be able to drive over it.
Christopher inquired if the daily activities would take place primarily on site or off site? Mr. Wheeler said about 90% of the time they will be on site. There may be a weekly excursion to Funtown, Sebago Lake or I am associated with people who have other activities available. In the outline you have indicated there will be swimming in the pond or off sight. Mr. Wheeler said both. Christopher asked with the remote camp sites and wild animals are there a security plan? Mr. Wheeler replied that every site will have trained counselor along with a CIT (counselor in training). Each counselor will be responsible for a number of kids. We have done this before I have taken kids to camp for twenty plus years. We have many volunteers ready to step up; all have had background checks
already. Every counselor, CIT, etc…is to know where there kids are 24/7. At night we have a night security. Christopher asked if camping with tents is a new trend and who their target audience would be. Yes, back in the '50's you would sleep in army canvas tents. It was great you could hear the crickets and frogs croaking, instead of fans blowing in the cabins. We are seeing this coming back, going back to nature camps rather than the sports camps. What we can do is to bring the kids back to their roots. We have a program where people will sponsor a tent. There will be mattresses on a wooden base. The mattresses and tents will be wrapped and kept in storage during the winter. Mr. Wheeler said we would love local kids; my wife and I are licensed foster parents. Our target audiences are Maine kids first and then expand to other states. We will be advertising with a group out of New Jersey and New York called the Giving
Group and they are underwriters. We would like kids that can't afford to go to camp; we offer a summer camp for $600 to $700.
Mr. Steadman added that there will be trash receptacles and picnic tables at each group of tent sights. Fire extinguishers will be in the utility sheds along with rakes, shovels and potable water. We will communicate with cell phones and walkie talkies. Mr. Steadman will contact the Fire Chief for approval of the fire rings and number of occupants per building.
The Board held further discussion on definition of campgrounds and the compatibility with the ordinance. This is a very interesting project that does not have a very well defined place in our ordinance.
Larry notes some challenges with the traffic on Turkey Lane for 150 to 300 campers throughout the summer and Article 11.4.C.1. Mr. Steadman said we will have staggered check in times it will be like the school bus traffic.
The timeframe is to open next spring. We plan to get the vernal pool and wetlands work with DEP done within the next month. There is a lot of ground work to be done and would like to start this summer. Our volunteers may be tenting, while clearing and working on the site.
The Board agreed to wait for the DEP wetlands report before scheduling a site walk and asked the applicants to review and resubmit answers to Article 11.4.
CEO Report: Not in attendance
Approval of Minutes:
March 25, 2013
" Larry motioned to amend review the draft minutes agenda to review the draft minutes of Town of Buxton Planning Board Monday March 25, 2013 not on the agenda, seconded by Nicholas. Having no discussion the motion passed with a 6 - 0 vote.
" Motioned by Larry to approve the minutes of March 25, 2013 as amended, seconded by David having no further discussion the motion passed with a 6 - 0 vote.
April 8, 2013 - not available
Approval of Bills: none at this time
Maine Townsman - April issue
SMRPC - 2 spring workshop for board members - they are very good and informative.
Selectman would like a board member to attend their public hearing on May 1st. - John, Chris and Larry will try to attend.
Quote for the shoreland zoning map from SMRPC - $750 for maps. The board will discuss at the next meeting.
Attendees may address the Board on the evening's business:
Henry Huntley said sounds pretty cool, he hopes they can go forward with it. Possibly change the definition to include primitive sites for just camps, rather than something with electricity and sewer etc.
I would like to talk as a citizen on the proposed Articles; Henry would like a little more information on the building code amendment. Krystal recommends attending the Selectmen's public hearing on May 1st at 7 p.m., Fred will be fielding questions.
On Article #6 we are adding the words "referenced in article 9" this will clarify the ordinance making it easier for people to maneuver through.
Henry suggests for the kids camp to look into Narragansett #one for camp funding for the under privileged.
Cliff Thomas asks to discuss the SMRPC map proposal; previously I submitted information on the proposal. Krystal will put in the packets for the next meeting. Cliff asked "Why are we brining back the same map?" They are resubmitting the same map, except for removing the two wetland areas. John MacClaine from DEP came out and spent 15 minutes and wrote a field determination. Originally that area was listed as having 23 acres of open water and emergent wetland. From that field determination there is only 20,000 square feet of wetland. This land went from 23 acres in open water and emergent wetland down to only half an acre, this is quite extensive when it's your land! So 80% of the resource protection on this map is actually forested
wetland. Cliff asked "who is responsible to make these maps accurate?" People will lose a lot property and value in their land. There is a man-made dam on the map, it does not come under shoreland zoning, it is exempt because it is not a natural area and should not be on the map. Flood plains and wetlands are only listed along the river; there are a lot of areas that need to be looked at before you spend money on it. SMRPC gets their information from the State. The State ddid not physically look at it. There should be more forested wetland areas removed. Larry asked Cliff if he is satisfied with the way the new map depicts his property. Yes, if they removed it, but what about all the other areas. No one from the State physically looked at the second area, they just removed it.
John state that one of the reasons I asked for this to be on the agenda was so I could prepare and look at the details or whether or not resource protection areas should be on the map at all. We talked about the layers and I think the resource protection layers should be removed. We are trying to address this. Cliff added you cannot find anyone accountable at SMRPC to DEP. John said there is no guarantee that everybody is going to be protected. If others are listed with the State as being in the resource protection area, they will have to deal with that separately.
Krystal will request a copy of the resource protection map from DEP before the next meeting.
" Motioned by David, seconded by Christopher to adjourn. A unanimous vote.
Approval Date: 5/13/13
Keith Emery, Chair Signature Date