Town of Lamoine, Maine
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Lamoine Board of Appeals
Minutes of August 11, 2008
Chairman Griff Fenton called the meeting to order at 6:32 PM
Present were: Appeals Board members Reggie McDevitt, John Wuorinen, Griff Fenton, Jay Fowler, Jim Crotteau, Merle Bragdon (Alt), Secretary Stu Marckoon, Planning Board members Michael Jordan , John Holt (arrived 6:50 PM), Applicant Wayne Wright and Applicant's representative Steve Salsbury. Board Member Nicholas Pappas was absent and had informed the Board of his absence prior to the meeting.
The meeting was televised and recorded by Lamoine CTV channel 7.
Minutes of June 23, 2008 – Mr. McDevitt moved for approval as presented. Mr. Wuorinen 2 nd . Vote in favor was 5-0.
Application for Variance – Wayne Wright The Board of Appeals reviewed various preliminary aspects as follows:
Jurisdiction – Chairman Fenton noted the applicant presented a subdivision and site plan application to the Planning Board which denied the application. He said that an application to the Board of Appeals has been made. No problems were noted that the Board of Appeals has jurisdiction in this matter.
Standing – The Board agreed by assent that the applicant has standing in this matter.
Timeliness of the Appeal – Chairman Fenton noted there was a problem with the 2 nd page of the application which lacked both a signature and a date. He said there are so many days from the date of the Planning Board action for the applicant to file the appeal. Secretary Marckoon said the submission date would be indicated on a treasurer's receipt. He looked up the receipt and determined the filing date was July 28, 2008. Chairman Fenton said that would fall within the 30-day period. Applicant Wayne Wright signed the file copy of the application and noted on the date line that it was filed on 7/28/08. The Board agreed that the application was now timely filed.
Conflicts of Board Members – Mr. Bragdon said he has a conflict as he is a listed abutter, and has had discussions with the applicant in the past. He said he wished to excuse himself, and is an alternate member. Mr. Fowler noted that his wife has property within 500-feet of the proposed area. Applicant Wright and Mr. Salsbury both said they had no problem with Mr. Fowler serving on the hearing panel. No other conflicts were noted.
Quorum – The Board determined that members McDevitt, Wuorinen, Fenton, Fowler and Crotteau constituted a quorum to hear the matter.
Type of Hearing – Chairman Fenton asked what the feeling of the Board was. Mr. Crotteau asked the applicants if they had requested a variance from the Planning Board. Mr. Salsbury said the Planning Board said they had to go to the Appeals Board. Mr. Crotteau said his inkling was that a de novo hearing is in order. Chairman Fenton said they were and they were claiming a hardship, and the only issue is the road width. He said the Board could agree not to discuss certain issues. Secretary Marckoon advised that the sides could stipulate to various facts.
Chairman Fenton said he has an issue if there were changes. He said the DEP made determination about the wetlands, and that would be important in this issue. He said it may come down to determining where the wetlands are and how they are administered within the lots as defined on the plan. He gave an example of how that might come into play. Mr. Salsbury agreed the matter should be heard de novo.
Procedure – Chairman Fenton said the applicant and Appeals Board might want to come to an understanding as to what has been agreed to. Secretary Marckoon asked who should draw that up, and offered to help. Mr. Salsbury said he would be glad to work with Mr. Marckoon. The Board had no objection.
Mr. Fenton said the time and location of the hearing would be the next matter. Mr. Fowler asked if this was going ahead tonight. Secretary Marckoon said this was just the preliminary meeting – there has been no notification of the abutters. Mr. Crotteau asked for the notice requirements. Secretary Marckoon asked for at least two weeks and recommended after Labor Day. Mr. Wright said he was in no hurry. The Board said Monday was preferable. The hearing date was set at September 8, 2008 at 7:00 PM at the Town Hall.
Other – Secretary Marckoon suggested a site visit might be in order. Mr. Fowler asked if this was a continuation of the road that is there now. Mr. Salsbury said they're asking for approval of the road that is there. Mr. Fowler said he was bothered that the Board has previously approved a non-conforming road on Old Schoolhouse Lane , which is an 18-foot road, and wondered if that set a precedent. Mr. Salsbury said that's what they were looking at when they decided to move forward with the variance request. He said the Planning Board told them they didn't have the jurisdiction to approve the narrower road. Mr. Fowler said they were pretty sure the Old Schoolhouse Road was 9-feet wide for the travel lanes. Mr. Wuorinen said the general criterion has been to make sure fire trucks can pass.
Mr. Wright said he didn't think there would be a problem with their road being 9-foot travel lanes with 1-foot shoulders. Mr. Fowler said he was impressed with the road's size when he saw the 9-foot lanes and 1-foot shoulder. Mr. Crotteau said he wanted to hear information in regard to other places with similar size roads. He said if there were others, it would be hard for him to say no to this variance. He asked if the applicant could help walk the board through the wetlands protection issue and the minimization of the impact on the wetlands.
Chairman Fenton asked if there ought to be a site review prior to the hearing. Mr. Salsbury said there should. Mr. Fenton asked if the applicant would be willing to walk the board through the subdivision. Mr. Wright said yes, and said it was interesting what happened. He said the town approved the first subdivision, but the Army Corps of Engineers said no. He explained that vernal pools were found and said the process has been a nightmare. He said he was trying to come through this without losing too much money.
After a brief discussion it was felt that this evening would be a good time to hold the site visit, and the Board agreed to go to the site after adjourning the meeting.
Chairman Fenton requested that Mr. Salsbury bring a bigger, more detailed map for the hearing. Mr. Salsbury said he would. Secretary Marckoon said the Planning Board file is available. Mr. Salsbury explained some wetland issues to Mr. Crotteau.
Mr. McDevitt asked when the Army Corps of Engineers started paying attention to inland areas. Mr. Salsbury said it was with the Clean Water Act of 1972. Mr. Fowler noted there was a beaver dam and flowage near the subdivision road. Mr. Wright said the Army Corps didn't seem to care about that.
The next meeting will be on September 8, 2008 at 7PM. Mr. Crotteau moved to adjourn the meeting and conduct the site visit at 6:56 PM. There was no objection. The meeting adjourned and Board members accompanied Mr. Salsbury to the site to view what exists now in relation to the plans.
Stuart Marckoon, Secretary - Lamoine Board of Appeals