Town of Lamoine, Maine
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Lamoine Planning Board
Minutes of Special Meeting - May 18, 2011
Planning Board Members
Present: Tadema-Wielandt, Holt, Bamman, Donaldson, and Jordan
CEO Present: none Members of the Public: none
Chairman Holt called the meeting to order at 7:03 p.m. and restated the purpose of this meeting: to discuss the Appeals Board “Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law”, dated May 10, 2011, regarding the Gott application for a new gravel pit (Map 3, Lots 6&8) and consider actions pertaining to it.
The Board's discussion elicited a number of observations and concerns:
1. A discrepancy between the Appeals Board's “instructions” to the Planning Board and the printed minutes and tape recording of the Appeals Board Meeting relating to the “conclusion” statement, SPR Section J1.
2. That the Appeals Board meeting failed to generate clear motions regarding these decisions so that the Appeals Board could understand what they were voting on. The secretary to the Board was repeatedly required to inquire about the details of the Board's meaning vis a vis the Planning Board's next steps.
3. Insufficient detail regarding the reasons for the Appeals Board's decisions concerning SPR Section J1 and SPR Section J16. Neither “findings” addresses specifically the Appellant's points-of-appeal or the Planning Board's initial rationale. Given such vagueness, it is difficult to evaluate the Appeals Board's judgment and thus the Planning Board's responsibilities going forward.
4. While the Appeals Board was very clear in its instruction to waive SPR standard J16, we have no evidence that the Appeals Board has legal jurisdiction either to judge the Comprehensive Plan to be “vague and confusing” or to order the Planning Board to waive a standard.
The Board found the Appeals Board's findings and conclusions on the two Gravel Ordinance questions to be clearer, more directly relevant to the Appellant's case, and logical than on the two Site Plan Review questions.
The Board explored “next steps” options and agreed that we should seek options that both adhere to our legal obligations as described in the Town's ordinances and avoid unnecessary conflict and animosity.
After considerable discussion about what steps the Planning Board could take, the Board agreed to seek guidance from the Maine Municipal Association on the points above. Chairman Holt will submit a copy of the Appeals Board “Findings” and a set of inquiries to MMA. Our intention is to discuss their response at our next regularly scheduled meeting.
Gordon Donaldson, Secretary