Town of Lamoine, Maine
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Lamoine Planning Board
Minutes of Special Meeting - June 19, 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 -- K. Gaianguest, J. Fowler, P. MacQuinn, S. Roiphe
1. Chair Holt called the meeting to order at 7:20 p.m. and explained that this meeting was called in order to address a single issue: Are there aspects of the current Lamoine Gravel Ordinance that members of the Planning Board wish to consider amending? Holt indicated that the Board would not reach agreement on any revisions at this meeting. If there were aspects to be considered, they will be examined more fully by the Board at future meetings after a full opportunity to examine and research them.
Members of the Board presented the following possibilities for revision (NOTE: these were presented as concepts only , not as detailed proposals)
Discussion about these also raised the possibilities of individually tailoring permits to the circumstances of each pit and the presence or absence of abutting uses that might require more or less buffering.
Bamman also raised the possibility of limiting the acreage within a pit that can be “open” (cleared/under excavation) at one time, as the Lincolnville and Washington ordinances do.
Holt indicated that the appeals process in the LGO is “boilerplate” and, as such, would likely require the Appeals Board to conduct a de novo review. Since that would involve a full retracing of the Planning Board's procedures, such a review would often be unnecessary and unduly time consuming. We should revise to make the procedure an “administrative appeal” as is the case in most other Lamoine ordinances.
Holt noted that the Town Administrator has suggested better ways to structure the Escrow Accounts of operators in town and that we should review the language in the ordinance with these suggestions in mind. In this respect, Bamman raised questions about the procedures to document how much gravel is extracted, suggesting that they be made more specific in order to provide more verification of extraction amounts.
In other discussion, Gallagher expressed his deep concern that the pending lawsuit regarding the Gravel Ordinance and a proposed new gravel ordinance (and petition to support it) make the Board's work more difficult and politically charged. Fowler, who proposed the new ordinance and the circulation of the petition, said that “the fact that we are discussing this [ie. revisions] is very encouraging. This would make me not go in with the petition. I've gotten everyone's attention and that was really the intent.” Gallagher and other Board members expressed the opinion that the Board should consider any revisions solely on the merits of the revisions themselves and how they would affect the welfare of the town.
Donaldson asked if the Town had received any written criticism of the current Lamoine Gravel Ordinance. Nobody present knew of any, save for the lawsuit brought by some gravel pit operators. The only specific aspect of the ordinance that is mentioned in the suit is the setback review standard.
Donaldson also asked if anyone present had other areas of concern about the current ordinance to share with the Board. Nobody did.
Holt moved (Gallagher) that the Planning Board will examine further the three areas noted above (#1-#3) at the regular July meeting on July 2. Vote: 4-0-1 (Tadema-Wielandt) Holt encouraged those present to come to the meeting with specific proposals and information regarding these three areas.
Adjourned at 8:25 p.m.
Gordon Donaldson, Secretary
June 20, 2013