Town of Lamoine, Maine
The Official Website of Lamoine's Town Government
Lamoine Planning Board
Minutes of July 2, 2013
Planning Board Members Present: Holt, Bamman, Gallagher, Donaldson, Tadema-Wielandt, Weber (alt), Fowler (alt)
Code Enforcement OfficerPresent: M. Jordan
Members of the Public A. LaBossiere
Members of the Press (none)
Ann LaBossiere reported that the new Chairperson of the Commission is Larry Libby and that the Commission has engaged two UMaine professors to assist in examining how Lamoine's location on the shore shapes its economy. The purpose of this latter initiative is to provide the town with information about the opportunities and responsibilities it faces that affect our economic prosperity now and into the future. The Commission is also developing an archive of its documents to put on the town website to inform the public of footpaths and other resources.
i. Procedures for the Escrow Account. - Holt has asked Stu to submit his recommendations to the Board. Fowler reported on various ways the Town could verify the volume of materials extracted each year (which is the basis for determining the funds to be deposited in escrow for restoration). Discussion of this matter revealed how difficult it is to get a definitive measurement of material either disturbed, removed, and/or hauled into the pit area over the course of a year. The Board agreed that it will be important to document at each annual inspection of each pit that location and general dimensions of active extraction and to compare these observations from year to year. The Board discussed the possibility that the CEO could make linear measurements from fixed data points to provide some information in this regard. No decision was reached.
ii. Setbacks and Buffers - Holt presented draft language that would add a sub-section #6 to Section 8A (see draft) that would give the Planning Board authority to reduce the buffer area to not less than 50 feet in cases where it judged that this reduction of the setback would not encroach on a residence or commercial building and not violate sub-sections 2, 3, or 4.
Jordan suggested simply grandfathering all pits in existence on March 13, 2013, permitting them to dig to the old setback of 50 feet.
Fowler supported this idea, pointing out that all these pits had passed through Site Plan Review to extract within defined (mapped) areas. He suggested that any Gravel Extraction permits issued for new areas (beyond those mapped and permitted as of 3/13/13) would need to abide by the current ordinance setback and buffer requirements.
Donaldson presented draft language that would link extraction to the 50 foot setback for permitted pits as of 3/13/13 to immediate restoration requirements and depth-of-extraction limits (see draft language).
Discussion of these ideas generated the following observations:
- linking restoration to a permit to extract within the buffer zone within a fixed time period (the permit cycle) will “force plans to be thought out well” by the applicant. A revision could state that any planned extraction not completed within the time period could no longer be permitted;
- the ordinance should require that the extraction AND the restoration steps be completed within the fixed time period;
- could stipulate that, if the restoration plan has not been executed by the time-limit, no further permitting of the pit would be granted;
- the benefit of Donaldson's proposal is that the town will get immediate restoration within the 100 foot buffer zone;
- relating to proposed #6, the ordinance could require that the abutting property owner must agree with allowing extraction to the 50 foot setback (giving abutters a “veto” authority);
- Holt's concept and Donaldson's concept are not incompatible with one another; both could be accepted in some form;
Donaldson asked if the Board agreed that any revisions we recommend should apply only to permit holders as of March 13, 2013 and only to the areas permitted on the SPR and Gravel maps then in existence. Holt expressed some doubts about this position. Tadema-Wielandt and Gallagher wondered why we should not stand by a 100 foot setback for everyone. At the end of this discussion, it appeared that everyone present agreed with the grandfathering principle articulated by Donaldson. The Board's thinking appeared to be:
The current 100 foot setback stands. An applicant can seek an exception to it to dig to 50 feet if:
- The applicant has an SPR permit as of 3/13/13
- No residence or commercial building lies within 100' of the 50' setback
- The abutter gives permission
- Extraction activities are linked to restoration activities within a fixed time period (see Donaldson draft).
The Board discussed problems of enforcement of these provisions, agreeing that it will require more oversight by the CEO.
Bamman also asked if there was a deadline for the Board to recommend revisions to the Select Board. There seemed to be a consensus that we should move forward deliberately but with due speed as members of the community are deeply concerned about this matter.
Tadema-Wielandt wondered if the ordinance needs to include sub-section 8A1 (last sentence) relating to stormwater run-off. Several members felt we could eliminate it.
iii. Appeals Process
Holt will prepare a draft to provide for an administrative appeals process instead of a de novo process. We will take this up in August.
10. Adjourned at 8:59 p.m.
Gordon Donaldson, Secretary