Town of Buxton Planning Board
Monday, May 13, 2013 at 7 pm
Recorded by - Krystal Dyer
Members in attendance: Keith Emery, David Savage, Christopher Carroll, Nichols Murray, Larry Curtis, John Vedral.
Members not in attendance: None.
Other in attendance: Henry Huntley and Cliff Thomas.
Chairman Keith Emery called the meeting to order at 7 p.m. with the Pledge of allegiance
Review Animal Husbandry Ordinance with Animal Control Officer Adam Ricci:
Adam Ricci, Animal Control Officer was approached through the Code Enforcement Office to speak with the Board relating to the Animal Husbandry section of the ordinance. Due to some upcoming changes that could affect livestock and would like to develop a working relationship between Animal Control with the Planning Board for these types of conditional use permits. From the conversation with the Code Office there was limited dialogue with the description through the state law that does not cover the aspect that he looks for as an animal control officer. In order to make sure the animals are properly cared for in accordance with the "Best Management Practices". Adam previously submitted a list of the State's Best Management Practices for the Board review.
John asked Adam if he was proposing the definition sheet to be used as a working document for ordinance amendments. John added this is exactly what does not need to be in the ordinance. The zoning ordinance deals with the welfare of the residents and the public not animal welfare. We are a judicial body, dealing with updating the zoning ordinance document. The state gives authority to the municipality for the Animal Control Officer to deal with animal welfare. The items on this are criminal violations through the animal control office.
Adam stated this when people come through the planning Board requesting a conditional use permit for animal husbandry, There are state laws that they are not aware of and they are not referenced with their permit. Adam would like to create a working environment with the planning Board, so when the applicant is aware of the state laws and regulations. Society has changed, what is livestock and what is a domestic animal? Rabbits, pot belly pigs, miniature goats, hamster some definitions do not always line up.
David feels that we do have some of this in our ordinance, but agrees with John that these items are beyond our scope. David would like Adam to attend the planning Board meetings when an animal husbandry application is before the board. Adam would be more than happy to attend the future meetings and site walks.
Christopher questioned if there was a specific problem that generated this discussion. Adam said "we have had issues in the livestock area, based on the way state laws are defined and handled through the Best management practices. Adam has collected definitions from Vermont and New Hampshire who are similar with Maine's weather conditions, to use as guidelines. A few specific problems with animals in town are animal trespass with livestock. Adam has concerns with horses that have no pasture, no paddock, but per state law they have shelter, food, water and clean conditions. As a town, he suggests there are things we can do to improve the ordinance beyond what the state law has. The Planning Board issues the permit and conditions but it is not approved to the specific animal the
applicant is caring for. Adam would like to work with the Board to button up issues prior to issuance of the permit. The applicant has invested in fencing, structure and paddock and then the ACO makes corrections; this puts more of a financial strain on the applicant to have to amend the situation.
David likes the idea of having the ACO's advice the Board and attending the site walks.
Larry would like Adam to point out what is lacking between the handout and the current ordinance. The hand out is actions that the Board would not hold any authority over. Is this a planning issue, but would be specific where the Board can help. This is a great start and going forward the Board would like specifics of what would be changed. Larry added that Adam will be our first resource for Animal Husbandry applications.
Nick thanked Adam for his contribution and added that going forward it will be helpful having his input on animal husbandry applications.
Keith agreed with John that the Board is here for the public, but we are also here for the neighbors and making sure applicant is housing the animal properly. By looking at some of the paper work it is common sense, but many applicants do not know this. John said we are here to protect the neighbor's water source.
There was further discussion on the Boards position of animal welfare, the ordinance and animal husbandry.
CEO Report: Not in attendance
Approval of Minutes:
April 8, 2013
" Motioned by Larry, seconded by Nicholas, to approve as amended. Having no discussion, the motion passed with a 4 - 0 and 2 abstentions by John and Christopher.
April 22, 2013
" Motioned by Nichols seconded by Larry to approve as amended. Having no discussion, the motion passed with a 6 - 0 vote.
Approval of Bills:
Portland Press Herald in the amount of $50.60 for the public hearing on the proposed ordinance amendments.
Larry moved to approve to pay $50.60 to Portland Press Herald for the ordinance amendments public hearing, seconded by David. Approved with a 6 - 0 vote.
SMRPC - climate change and flood pain management workshop
MMA - Boards workshops
MDEP - email suggesting that municipalities receive documents through email.
SMRPC - budgets
Pipeline Safety - June 6th
SMRPC - Green open space subdivision workshop
" Motioned by John, seconded by David to not hold a meeting on May 27th Memorial Day, The motion passed with a unanimous vote.
John discussed the amendment to Article 7.2 ordinance amendments change notification with the state law, only addresses half the issue. The ballot is for Ordinance amendments only, but what was taken out was to do with public hearings conditional use permits. Should re-address this has the most effect on the general public.
There was discussion of shoreland maps and SMRPC. In summary John stated if we fail to produce an ordinance and maps we will violate a section of the state statutes. The Board will request a map with only the shoreland zones on the map. Larry will create email and forward to Board.
Attendees may address the Board on the evening's business:
Henry Huntley agrees with the last proposal, having the single layer. Did something come through about not mapping the resource protection area? John stated we would like to leave as a separate issue. Henry confirms, that the town voted and approved for a 250 foot buffer on the Saco River and Bonny Eagle Pond, and for streams to have a 75 foot buffer. Henry continues, 'once we have this map we can be approved through the DEP and be in compliance with the State'. John agreed.
Henry commented on Adam's statement about the State not having any Best Management Practices or offering any guideline information. Does the ACO have the authority to fine someone if they witness animal abuse or mistreatment or is it handled by the State? Adam does have that Authority, but have not been able to press criminal charges. Even though he has the authority, the case gets dropped. Larger cities develop ways to improve the dog licensing by installing limitations on leash laws and the number of animals allowed. In the more rural towns they just utilize state law. Buxton falls in the middle. Henry likes the idea of Adam attending site inspections.
There was further discussion with the ACO.
" Motioned by David, seconded by John to adjourn. A unanimous vote.
Keith Emery, Chair Signature Date