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Lamoine Planning Board

Minutes of October 2, 2012

Planning Board Members Present: Holt, Bamman, Gallagher, Donaldson, Tadema-Wielandt, Weber (alt) Absent: Fowler (alt)

Code Enforcement Officer Present: M. Jordan

Members of the Public P. MacQuinn, S. Salsbury, Ed Bearor (Rudman-Winchell, representing MacQuinn), C. Korty, R. Pulver

Public Hearing on Doug Gott and Sons, Inc. applications for three gravel pits (Map 3 Lot 2, “Smith” pit; Map 3 Lot 6 “B&H” pit; Map 9 Lot 7 (“Little B&H” pit).

Chair Holt called a Public Hearing to order at 6:30 p.m.

C. Korty inquired about the duration of the permit and whether any restoration was proposed. The permits will be a maximum of three years. C. Korty asked S. Salsbury what the anticipated life of the pit was; he replied, “indefinite”. No restoration has been proposed and the applicant will pay into an escrow account for restoration purposes as is required by the ordinance.

There being no other questions or comments, Chair Holt closed the public hearing at 6:35 p.m.

October Planning Board Meeting

Chair Holt called the regular Planning Board Meeting to order at 6:36 p.m.

  1. Consideration of Minutes - Gallagher moved (Tadema-Wielandt) to approve the minutes of the September meeting as amended. Approved by vote of 3-0 (Hold, Tadema-Wielandt, Donaldson).
  2. Chair Holt introduced Charles Weber, Jr., the new alternate member of the Lamoine Planning Board and briefly explained the role of an alternate.
  3. Code Enforcement Officer's Report
    1. Permits Issued. CEO Jordan reported that the past month has been “relatively busy”.
    2. Enforcement Actions. Members of the Board asked the CEO if he had inspected the plumbing system at the Chickadee Lane residence noted last month. He has not. The Board urged him to do so, as this issue has been unresolved since 2010.

Reports accepted.

  1. Conservation Commission - R. Pulver and C. Korty reported that the open space study is “almost complete”. Donaldson and Holt urged the Conservation Commission to provide the Board with the report so we might hold a public discussion about it.
  2. Old Business
    1. Gravel Permit Application from Doug Gott & Sons, Inc. Map 3 Lot 2 (“Smith” pit) - The applicant was required, at the September meeting, to provide additional information for this application. The Board found that all such information was present except for a clear designation on the map of the “extraction activity over the period of the previous permit” (Section 7 C 5 (a) i). Mr. Salsbury will submit a final map with this clearly marked. Donaldson moved (Gallagher) that the missing information was present. Approved by vote of 4-1 (Tadema-Wielandt)  The Board evaluated the permit application against the criteria listed in the Lamoine Gravel Ordinance (see copy of “Gravel Pit Findings of Fact and Decision” on file).  Donaldson moved (Gallagher) to approve the permit for a period of three years. Approved by vote of 5-0.
    2. Gravel Permit Application from Doug Gott & Sons, Inc. Map 3 Lot 6 (“B&H” pit) - The applicant was required, at the September meeting, to provide additional information for this application. The Board found that all such information was present except for a clear designation on the map of the “extraction activity over the period of the previous permit” (Section 7 C 5 (a) i). Mr. Salsbury will submit a final map with this clearly marked. Holt moved (Gallagher) that the missing information was present. Approved by vote of 4-1 (Tadema-Wielandt). The Board evaluated the permit application against the criteria listed in the Lamoine Gravel Ordinance (see copy of “Gravel Pit Findings of Fact and Decision” on file).Donaldson moved (Gallagher) to approve the permit for a period of three years. Approved by vote of 5-0.
    3. Gravel Permit Application from Doug Gott & Sons, Inc. Map 9 Lot 7 (“Little B&H” pit) - Secretary's Note : The Board overlooked the step of reviewing this application to verify that additional information required at the September meeting was present or not. The applicant did not supply a revised map. The Board evaluated the permit application against the criteria listed in the Lamoine Gravel Ordinance (see copy of “Gravel Pit Findings of Fact and Decision” on file). This review created extensive discussion regarding the application's compliance with the following criteria: Performance Standard 8A: Excavation . Holt questioned whether the past history of excavation “up to the property line” on the northerly side of the parcel, particularly in the absence of any written boundary agreement, permitted the operator to observe a 10-foot setback on that boundary. Mr. Salsbury averred that “this is grandfathered” and thus there is a de facto property agreement, acknowledging as well that no written agreement exists. CEO Jordan was of the opinion that a 10-foot setback can be considered legitimate but that no excavation can occur within a 50-foot setback that would create a slope greater than 2.5:1. After discussion, Holt moved (Gallagher) to waive the 50-foot setback requirement in Performance Standard 8A and a) to permit the applicant to remove material between the 10-foot and 50-foot lines only to the extent that a 2.5:1 slope will be maintained and b) to require the applicant to bring all slopes steeper than 2.5:1 to the required slope of 2.5:1; and c) to restore all slopes after they have been properly graded. Approved by vote of 5-0. The CEO was requested to visit the site and assess which portions of this boundary area were in need of “filling in” because they were “too steep”. Performance Standard 8I: Required Reports. Bamman noted, based on the Board's site walk, that it did not appear that 200 cubic yards of material had been removed from this pit, raising a question about possible discontinuation. The application reports that 781 cubic yards were removed in 2011 (page 32). Other members questioned whether new material may have been hauled into this pit and noted that 781 cubic yards would have necessitated some 35 or 40 truck trips. The site bears little evidence of such travel. Bamman moved (Tadema-Wielandt) that the Planning Board obtain verification in the form of truck logs that the operator removed 781 cubic yards of material from this pit in 2011. Approved by vote of 5-0. Gallagher moved (Donaldson) that the Board find that Performance Criterion 8I has been met. Motion failed by vote of 0-5. Donaldson observed that this permit, if it is issued by the Board, should carry at least one condition as per Holt's motion above pertaining to 8A.
  3. New Business - Harold MacQuinn, Inc. Site Plan Review Application, “Expansion of Kittredge Pit” (Map 3 Lots 31 and 33) and Harold MacQuinn, Inc. Gravel Permit Application, “Expansion of Kittredge Pit” (Map 3 Lots 31 and 33)

S. Salsbury described the proposed expansion, indicating that the permitted area for gravel extraction would increase from the current 65 acres to 110 acres. The applicant's intention is to begin extraction operations along the southern boundary of Lot 31 and work northward “down to the permitted slope”; the operation would then “work east” along that southern boundary. The proposed pit will maintain a 150-foot setback from Rte. 184 and a 50-foot setback from all other boundaries, save for a section on the northern boundary where there is a line agreement with Manring. The applicant plans not to excavate closer than 1,000 feet from the Cold Spring Water Company well.

E. Bearor spoke for the applicant to raise a question regarding possible bias brought to this application by the Board Chair, John Holt. Noting that Holt serves as Treasurer of the Cold Spring Water Company (CSWC) which abuts this project, Bearor opined that Holt's participation in decisions about these applications was subject to real and/or perceived bias. Bearor suggested that Holt recuse himself from the Board on the matter of these two applications. Holt indicated that he had no intention of doing so, noting that he had “no pecuniary interest” in the CSWC and thus has no “conflict of interest”. Bearor agreed that he did not, strictly speaking, have a “conflict of interest” as described in Maine statute, but that nevertheless his position as officer of the CSWC created a “bias” toward this project.

Tadema-Wielandt inquired of Bearor whether, if Holt was simply a member of the CSWC, receiving water from it, that would constitute a similar bias. Bearer thought it would not.

Tadema-Wielandt moved (Bamman) to table these applications until November 13, 2012 in order that the Planning Board can seek counsel on the matter of Holt's eligibility to participate. Approved by vote of 4 – 0 – 1 (Holt abstaining).

Vice Chair Bamman will seek counsel from the Maine Municipal Association and, if necessary, other sources.

  1. Other Public Matters None
  2. Ordinance Matters - The Board agreed to hold a workshop to work on the final stages of revisions to the Lamoine Gravel Ordinance Tuesday October 23, 2012 at 6:30 p.m.
  3. Next Meetings:
  1. Adjourned at 8:27 p.m.

Respectfully Submitted,

Gordon Donaldson, Secretary