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Lamoine Planning Board

Ordinance Workshop Minutes - January 22, 2013

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

Code Enforcement Officer Present: M. Jordan

Members of the Public

C. de Tuede, C. Korty, L. Libby, S and J Wuorinen, W. Brutsaert, R. Pulver, V. Sprague, C. Gaianguest, P. MacQuinn, S. Salsbury, T. Gott and a reporter

  1. Chair Holt called the meeting to order at 6:31 p.m.
  2. J. Holt explained that the purpose of the meeting was to provide information regarding the draft Gravel Ordinance that will be presented to the town at Town Meeting, March 13, 2013. He distributed copies of the draft ordinance and a two-page summary of the purpose and significant changes. J. Holt and G. Donaldson orally noted the information on the summary, referring to the draft ordinance where necessary. The public was invited to comment or raise questions as each section or sub-section was described.
  3. Summary of suggestions from members of the public.

Section 1.2: should the document specifically mention the “aquifer”?

Section 7C2: should it specify that a land surveyor, professional engineer or landscape architect prepare the map and other relevant materials required in the application?

Section 7C2b: should it require a hydrogeologic study? Insert the word “mean” before “sea level”? [See W. Brutsaert's submission] should it specify one piezometer for every five acres, as per the state requirement?

Section 7D: new draft has omitted a sentence from the current draft. Should it?

Section 7E4: consider adding: “unless a longer period of time is mutually agreed to by the Planning Board and the applicant.”

Section 7H2c: does the PB have the authority to revoke a permit?

Section 7H4b: can the Town establish a fine? (vs. a judge)

Section 8C: in order to ensure the future usefulness of all Lamoine land, should all gravel extraction be limited to “no lower than public street level”? [This is not specifically related to groundwater protection, so may belong elsewhere.]

Section 8C: see specific suggestions and two questions on submission from W. Brutsaert related to requiring greater specificity in this performance standard.

Section 8C2: the word “metals” has been omitted; consider including the more comprehensive list of prohibited materials found in the Building and Land Use Ordinance, Section 3G.

Section 8D3: is there a more reliable method of determining yards-extracted than relying on the operator's record? Why not follow the DEP's procedure of requiring $4,500 per acre?

How does this section ensure that land will be returned to a condition which has some practical use in the future? Should the application require a projection of such uses?

Escrow Account: should it address the owner's responsibility if the land is sold and the balance in the Escrow is insufficient to pay for complete restoration?

Section 8F: consider moving the hours of operation to 6 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Section 8G: are the screening requirements (under 8A) sufficient to “buffer” the noise 100 feet away? Should “Screening” and “Buffering” sections address the purpose of these to include noise, not just “visual”?

Section 8K: should the requirement on this under Application require that the data on, for example, wildlife habitats be current and comprehensive?

Section 8L: how will the PB assess “adverse impact” on property values?

  1. Viewpoints expressed.

In addition to the specific suggestions above, members of the public raised, among others, the following points:

  1. requiring a hydrogeologic study would be very expensive; does the town have the right to require wells on lands adjacent to proposed pits?
  2. moving the setback to 100' from 50' (or 10') amounts to significant loss of revenue to operators/owners; does the Town have the right to do so?
  3. the ordinance must balance the interests of all citizens of Lamoine with the interests of gravel pit owners, operators, and abutters
  4. gravel operations change the land and community permanently; the ordinance must require sufficient study and information to permit the Planning Board to conclude that operations present little or no risk
  5. the presence of gravel extraction operations and their broad scope in certain areas of the town are, in and of themselves, “devaluing” all lands in town
  6. inconsistencies among the BLUO Table of Uses, the purposes of the Residential and Agricultural Zone, and the state's definition of sand and gravel extraction as “an industry” confuse the picture; is gravel extraction legitimately permissible in Lamoine's RAZ?

5. Clarifications of understanding made by the Board:

  1. there are no provisions for “grandfathering” in this ordinance
  2. each permit is a “new permit”, not a renewal
  3. if the draft is adopted, current permits will continue “under the current ordinances” until their expiration dates
  4. If this draft is adopted, the Site Plan Review ordinance will no longer apply to gravel operations (beyond the expiration date of current permits)
  5. the Escrow Account requirement pertains to all operations

J. Holt explained that the Planning Board will take the suggestions and viewpoints raised in the meeting under consideration. The Board will meet at 7 p.m. on January 30 to make final adjustments to the draft. It will be presented to the Board of Selectmen for inclusion on the Town Meeting warrant on February 7, 2013.

C. Korty suggested that a warrant article proposing a moratorium on all new gravel permit applications be presented to the Town Meeting. In the event that the new ordinance fails to garner sufficient votes, such a moratorium would provide time for the Planning Board to make further revisions and bring another draft back to the town. The Board and members of the public briefly discussed this scenario without reaching any conclusion.

Adjourned at 9:23 p.m.

Respectfully Submitted,

Gordon Donaldson, Secretary