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Lamoine Planning Board

Minutes of May 7, 2013

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 S. Wuorinen, L. Tscheiller, S. Workman, A. Workman, J. Moore, T. Moore, L. Roiphe, S. Roiphe, C. de Tuede, C. Korty, J. Wuorinen, L. Lovett, T. Gott, S. Salsbury, D. Herrick, J. Herrick, V. Sprague, R. Emery Members of the Press J. Weaver, Ellsworth American

Public Hearings 

Public Hearing on Gravel Permit and Site Plan permit applications from Doug Gott and Sons (Maps 3, Lots 6&8)

There being no other public comments, Chair Holt closed the public hearing at 6:50 p.m.

Public Hearing on SW Boatworks applications for Site Plan permit and Commercial Use permit (Building and Land Use Ordinance), Map 9 Lot 14.

Chair Holt opened the hearing at 6:51 p.m.

There being no other public comments, Chair Holt closed the public hearing at 6:53 p.m.

Monthly Meeting

  1. Chair Holt called the meeting to order at 6:53.p.m.
  2. Consideration of Minutes - Bamman (Gallagher) moved to approve the minutes of the April 2 meeting as printed. Approved 5-0.
  3. Code Enforcement Officer's Report - Board members noted the increase in permits issued. Bamman inquired about the enforcement issue (Map 7 Lot 3-2) which Jordan reported as closed.
  4. Conservation Commission - C. Korty inquired about the town's procedures for monitoring operations in gravel pits, with a particular emphasis on potential danger to water quality and quantity (citing RF Jordan's recent practice of hauling materials into the old King pit as fill). CEO Jordan reported that he'd received questions about this and had looked into it. RF Jordan is “bringing in approved materials” and has increased the depth of materials in the floor of the pit to provide “5 or 6 feet” above the water table. (The pit floor had been “grandfathered” at 2 feet.) Holt invited members of the public to bring their concerns to the Code Enforcement Officer. Donaldson noted that the town has a process in place to file written complaints that should be followed.
  5. Old Business
    1. Gravel Permit and Site Plan permit applications from Doug Gott and Sons (Map 3, Lots 6&8)

    Site Plan Review, Doug Gott and Sons (Map 3 Lots 6&8). Holt surveyed the Board to see if members were informed and ready to act on these applications. All were. The Board proceeded to consider review standards in the Site Plan Review Ordinance.

    Results of the Board's findings are summarized on the “Site Plan Review Criteria Record of Findings”. Notes from the discussion on criteria where there was substantive discussion:

    RC #1 Preserve and Enhance the Landscape : Holt expressed concern that the application included insufficient information regarding the location of the water table under Lot 8 (proposed area of expansion from Lot 6). Noting the S.W. Cole study from 2010, it seems there is a gradient in the water table sloping down from east to west. It would “be prudent…to install a monitoring well on the ‘high side' [east]” in order to know whether the proposed extraction would endanger the water table. “Preservation of the aquifer” was “the major concern”, he said.

    Tadema-Wielandt raised a procedural question regarding whether the applicant needed to “amend” the permit he currently holds for Lot 6. The issue was resolved.

    Tadema-Wielandt (Bamman) moved that the application meets RC #1. Vote: 4-1 (Tadema-Wielandt)

    RC #6 Buffering and Screening. Donaldson raised concerns about the adequacy of the berm, given that the buffer zones to the north and east are clearcut. Holt felt the “berm will work” but wanted assurance that “there would be no more cutting in any of the buffers. Bamman felt that the berm will provide “essential screening”. Gallagher noted that many speakers at the public hearing voiced worries; he will find it difficult to support the application if “the probability” that this proposal will adhere to the performance criteria turns out to be wrong.

    Donaldson (Tadema-Wielandt) moved that the applications meets RC #6. Vote: 3 – 2 (Donaldson, Gallagher)

    RC #10 Groundwater Protection. Holt returned to the concern about insufficient information to locate the water table (see “RC #1” above). Gallagher expressed concern that we also have insufficient information regarding the impacts to water quality of “removal of cover” (overburden). He pointed out that, with the extensive acreage in this region that lacks soils and vegetation, further removal of overburden will further weaken filtration of water as it descends to the aquifer. “The geology is bothersome”, he noted, given “the removal of the esker over the years”.

    Donaldson (Bamman) moved to find the application meets RC #10. After discussion regarding the consequences of a negative vote on the motion, Bamman and Donaldson agreed to withdraw the motion.

    Tadema-Wielandt noted that monitoring well PW4 indicates that the water table is two (2) feet below the existing, permitted pit's floor (Lot 6). Would it be possible to place a condition on the future permit requiring that it be brought to five (5) feet?

    T. Gott declared that “I will fill that up anyway” regardless of the outcome of this application.

    Donaldson (Gallagher) moved to table action on RC #10 until the applicant provides information that:

    a) determines the depth of the water table at the northeasterly corner of the area of proposed excavation on Lot 8;

    b) is a scientific/professional assessment of the effects of removing soil overburden from Lot 8, taking into consideration the existing exposure in this region of the town.

    Vote: 5-0

    RC #11 Air Pollution. Moved to find the application meets RC #11. Vote: 4-1 (Tadema-Wielandt)

    RC #13 Noise. In response to questions from the Board referring to public-hearing comments about noise, T. Gott stated “there will no crushing” in this pit; there will be screening. Gott offered not to use his screening machinery on this property.

    Donaldson (Tadema-Wielandt) moved to find the application meets RC #13. Vote: 3-2 (Donaldson, Gallagher)

    RC #16 Comprehensive Plan. Holt stated that, even though gravel extraction is permitted in the Rural Agricultural Zone, Lamoine's Comprehensive Plan requires that such uses be balanced with residential and other uses. Referencing the 2010-11 application for this same expansion, Holt described the Stephens Lot (8) as a “buffer piece” of land between existing gravel operations and residences. Noting the absence of gravel in Lot 8, as reported by S. Salsbury during the 2010-11 application proceedings, Holt argued that the benefits of granting this permit are not worth the costs of further imbalancing the residential/industrial use of land in this region of town and the threat this poses to residential property values and quality of life. Other Board members concurred. Gallagher noted the number of speakers at the public hearing who provided evidence for this finding.

    Tadema-Wielandt (Donaldson) moved to find the application meets RC #16. Vote: 0-5.

    After considering the Board's findings on all 20 Review Criteria, Donaldson (Gallagher) moved to table the Site Plan Review application until such time as the information required for Review Criteria #10 is received and reviewed by the Board. Vote: 5-0.

    Gravel Extraction (Doug Gott and Sons (Map 3, Lots 6&8) Tadema-Wielandt inquired whether there was any point to reviewing the Gravel application, given the outcome of the SPR review. T. Gott requested that the Board complete this review.

    The Board proceeded to consider review standards in the Gravel Ordinance.

    Results of the Board's findings are summarized on the “Gravel Permit Findings & Facts & Decision”. Notes from the discussion on criteria where there was substantive discussion:

    RC #3 Will not unreasonably result in water pollution, nor affect adversely existing ground water, springs, or ponds. Board members cited similar concerns to those noted in the SPR review under Review Criterion #10. Holt (Gallagher) moved to table action on RC #3 until the applicant provides information that:

    a) determines the depth of the water table at the northeasterly corner of the area of proposed excavation on Lot 8;

    b) is a scientific/professional assessment of the effects of removing soil overburden from Lot 8, taking into consideration the existing exposure in this region of the town.

    Vote:5-0.

    RC #6 Will not adversely affect surrounding properties. Gallagher argued that the proposed use will adversely affect surrounding properties, again citing testimony at the public hearing that this expansion would devalue properties adjacent to and in the neighborhood of the proposed use. Others concurred.

    Tadema-Wielandt (Gallagher) moved to find the application meets RC #6 Vote: 0-4 (Holt, Tadema-Wielandt, Gallagher, Donaldson) (Abstaining: Bamman)

    RC #8H Noise. Donaldson noted the same concerns raised during the SPR review. Bamman (Tadema-Wielandt) moved to find the application meets RC #8H. Vote: 2-3 (Tadema-Wielandt, Donaldson, Gallagher) Holt noted that this vote was inconsistent with the Board's finding on “noise” in the SPR review. Tadema-Wielandt (Gallagher) moved to reconsider. Vote: 5-0.

    Donaldson (Bamman) moved to find the application meets RC #8H. Vote: 3-2 (Donaldson, Gallagher)

    After reviewing the findings on all Review Criteria, Bamman (Gallagher) moved to table the Gravel permit application until such time as the information required for Review Criteria #10 is received and reviewed by the Board. Vote: 5-0.

    1. SW Boatworks applications for Site Plan permit and Commercial Use permit (Building and Land Use Ordinance), Map 9 Lot 14.

    Site Plan Permit Review.

    The Board's findings are summarized on “Site Plan Review Criteria Record of Findings”. The application was found in compliance with all criteria, with the following considerations raised:

    RC #1 Preserve and Enhance the Landscape.

    Holt and Donaldson raised concerns about the visibility of the total SW Boatworks operation from Rte 184 and surrounding properties, noting from this review criterion the obligation of the applicant to “define, soften, or screen the appearance of the development and minimize encroachment on neighboring land uses”. Holt pointed out how the large, brightly colored, and numerous the fiberglass molds are.

    Holt also voiced a concern about “environmental impacts” of the project, noting that “a fair amount of wetlands has been filled in” during the first phase. Salsbury contended that SWB's filling of wetlands was “within the limits of state requirements”. When asked what additional filling the new application would require, Salsbury stated “about 200 square feet” in the vicinity of the southwest corner of the new building.

    Donaldson (Gallagher) moved to find the application meets RC # 1. Vote: 4-1 (Donaldson)

    RC #6 Buffering and Screening. Noting the concern about the visibility of the project (see RC #1 above), Bamman suggested requriging screening from residences and the public way. Holt, Donaldson, and Gallagher agreed. Tadema-Wielandt observed that the application is for a new building, not for the “offending molds”.

    S. Workman volunteered that he will plant spruce trees to screen the operation from Rte 184.

    Bamman (Gallagher) moved to find the application meets RC #6 with the condition that the planting of conifer trees (or other suitable trees) occur by October in order to screen the operation from Rte. 184 and that the applicant ensure that this screening remains effective in the future.

    RC #16 Comprehensive Plan. Donaldson commented that the expansion of this heavy commercial use is occurring in a neighborhood that is essential residential, even though it is zoned Rural Agricultural. It is further imbalancing two land uses which, in his opinion, are increasingly incompatible, particularly given the hazardous materials used in the boatworks.

    Bamman (Holt) moved to find the application meets RC #16. Vote: 3-2. (Donaldson, Tadema-Wielandt)

    Finding that the application meets all review criteria, the application for a Site Plan permit was approved with the condition that the planting of conifer trees (or other suitable trees) occur by October in order to screen the operation from Rte. 184 and that the applicant ensure that this screening remains effective in the future.

    SW Boatworks Commercial Use Application (BLUO) Review

    The Board's findings are summarized on “Town of Lamoine – Planning Board; Review Criteria – Commercial Building Permit” and here below:

    In addition to the standard Building and Land Use criteria stated on the form above, the Board is obligated to apply the following criteria to Commercial and Industrial Use applications (See “Review Criteria for Commercial/Industrial Structures” BLUO Section 15F.) The Board found the application in compliance with all applicable criteria by votes of 5-0. (Criteria found “not applicable” were #7 Erosion Control, #11 Flood Protection, #13 Subsurface Waste/Water Disposal, #14 Other On-Site Waste Water Disposal Systems, and #16 Signs and Billboards.)

    Discussion of Review Criterion #8, Setbacks and Screening, raised the same concern voiced during the SPR review regarding the visibility of the operation from Rte. 184. The Board's approval on this criterion carried the same condition regarding screening that is attached to the Site Plan Review permit.

    Discussion on Review Criterion #15, Land Use, repeated concerns raised during the Site Plan Review procedure regarding the boat yard's exposure to Rte. 184 and surrounding properties and possible incompatibilities of this use with residential uses

    Finding that the application meets all review criteria, the application for a Building and Land Use Commercial Structure permit was approved with the condition that the planting of conifer trees (or other suitable trees) occur by October in order to screen the operation from Rte. 184 and that the applicant ensure that this screening remains effective in the future.

    Chairperson Holt reminded the applicant to notify the Board of any changes that might occur in the construction, filling of wetlands, placement of screening, or implementation of other aspects of the proposed use.

  6. New Business -None
  7. Other Public Matters - None
  8. Ordinance Matters – None discussed.
  9. Next Meetings: May 21, 2013 MacQuinn, June 4, 2013 Regular Meeting
  10. Adjourned at 9:52 p.m.

Respectfully Submitted,

Gordon Donaldson, Secretary