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Lamoine Planning Board

Minutes of September 2, 2014

Planning Board Members   Present: Holt, Donaldson, Tadema-Wielandt, Legere (alternate, seated for      this meeting)

Code Enforcement Officer   Present: M. Jordan

Members of the Public M. Keene, J. Gatcomb, P. Nichols (Engineer for Keene), K. Rybarz, S. Salsbury, M. Deyling, C. de Tuede, C. Gaianguest, B. Haas, J. Jerabek

Members of the Press – None

Public Hearing: M. Keene Gravel Permit Application (Map 4 Lot 41A)

Chair Holt called the hearing to order at 6:35 p.m. and requested comments and questions from the floor.  There being none, he closed the hearing at 6:36 p.m.

September Planning Board Meeting

1. Chair Holt called the meeting to order at  6:36 p.m

2. Consideration of Minutes

Several corrections were made to the minutes of the August 13, 2014 meeting.  Tadema-Wielandt (Legere) moved to approve the minutes as amended.  Approved by vote of 4-0.

3. Code Enforcement Officer’s Report

            a. Permits Issued – report accepted

            b. Enforcement Actions

CEO Jordan noted that the Balach complaint (June 24) has been   resolved.  He further stated that the five gravel pits listed as not in compliance on the August report not subject to the Consent  Agreement are now in compliance as the operators have submitted  data on groundwater elevations and quality.  Members of the Board   questioned this conclusion. 

4. Conservation Commission – No report

5.  Old Business

a) M. Keene Application for Gravel Permit (Map 4 Lot 41A)

The Planning Board reviewed the application against the Performance Standards in the Gravel Ordinance.  The following matters were discussed during the review:

i. Clarification of the fact that the pit must conform to the 100 foot setback/buffer zone requirements of the ordinance.  The map shows a setback line at 25 feet.

ii. This change will reduce the total acreage of the pit from 8.7 acres.  The application will need amendment to reflect the actual acreage.

iii. Mr. Keene was asked to restore any areas within the 100 foot buffer that can no longer be excavated.  Mr. Keene said he could do so but would have to bring in fill to attain the required slopes. Holt stated that it was a requirement of the ordinance that areas that can no longer be excavated be restored within the three years of a permit.  Keene asked if this requirement could be waived.  Holt replied that the Planning Board has no authority to waive performance standards. 

iv.  The presence of ledge under the pit and the shallow gravel layer in the pit mean that Mr. Keene will remove a small amount of gravel during the life of the permit.  This raised questions regarding the necessity of monitoring water quality.  Holt (Donaldson) moved to waive the application requirement that water quality data be submitted.  Vote: Approved 2-1 (Tadema-Wielandt)  (Holt, Donaldson, and Tadema-Wielandt voting on this matter, as Legere was not a member of the Board when the application process began) 

Tadema-Wielandt (Holt) moved to approve the permit with two conditions:

1. That the application map be amended to show the 100-foot setback/buffer zone (and remove previous 25’ lines);

2. That the Restoration Plan be amended to indicate that restoration will occur throughout the 100-foot buffer zone during the 3-year life of the permit.

The permit will be valid when Mr. Keene has amended the application in writing and either the Chairperson or Secretary of the Planning Board has validated the amendments.  Vote: Approved 3-0.

b) Test Well Data – MacQuinn Pits

Response from Robert Gerber re: test well parameters

Holt recapitulated the situation, summarizing with the question, “Do the test well data submitted by Harold MacQuinn Inc. (in June, 2014) satisfy the requirements of the ordinance and the conditions placed on a new permit by the Planning Board?”  Holt invited Mike Deyling (Summit Environmental) to explain the procedures his firm used and why they meet the “industry standard” for valid water quality sampling.  Mr. Deyling described in detail his firm’s procedures and discussed how contaminants can enter a well.  He stressed that multiple samples are drawn until the quality “stabilizes” and stated that testing should be done at least annually and possibly more frequently where there is a higher flow rate of groundwater. 

 Holt asked, “A well every five acres is called for in the ordinance.  If an existing uncapped well is used for quality testing, can you trust it?”

Deyling responded, “Could be.”  He went on to describe some measures that would improve the reliability of such wells without drilling new ones: 1. Cap it with a secure cap; 2. Ensure that the samples have been “stabilized”; 3. Install a 2” screened casing inside the 4” PVC with the proper “screening intervals”.

Donaldson asked if one well is sufficient for valid water quality testing in an area as big as a gravel pit.  Deyling responded that the best way to document what is happening with water quality in such an area is to install at least two test wells, one up-gradient from the other, near the boundaries of the pit. 

Tadema-Wielandt asked if Mr. Deyling works for CES, Inc..  Mr. Deyling indicated that CES, Inc. has purchased his previous firm, Summit Environmental Consultants, Inc..

The Board also discussed the memorandum from Robert Gerber outlining “industry standards” for monitoring wells.  The Board agreed to take this information under advisement when it next discusses revisions to the Gravel Ordinance.

Holt (Tadema-Wielandt) moved that the Planning Board find that the groundwater quality and level data submitted by Summit Environmental on June 24, 2014 for three of Harold MacQuinn’s pits (Asher, Beal, and Jones) meets the requirements of the conditions placed on permits for these pits.  Vote: Approved 3-1 (Donaldson)

c. Attorney Use Request

Holt wrote to the Select Board following the last meeting requesting permission to consult with the Town Attorney on the matter of Appeals Board procedures and requesting assurances that Planning Board members would be represented by the town’s counsel in any court procedures.  He received back an email from the Town Administrative Assistant requesting more detail on the first request.  There has been no written response from the Board of Selectmen.

6.  New Business

Unscheduled Matter: A letter from Steve Salsbury dated August 18 2014 to the Board of Selectmen raising two complaints:

Complaint #1: That the Planning Board has no enforcement authority on matters pertaining to conditions placed on permits by the Planning Board

Members of the Board took issue with this claim, noting that the Planning Board has jurisdiction over the permitting procedure, which included the placement of conditions and the verification that the conditions have been met.  CEO Jordan expressed the opinion that it is within his jurisdiction to judge when such conditions have been met.  Holt reminded those present that “enforcement” takes place once the permit has been approved and affects whether the permit is “retained” or not.  [See written statement by Holt, attached.]

Complaint #2: That Mr. Salsbury had been improperly noticed that his clients’ pending permits would be discussed at the August 13, 2014 Planning Board meeting.  Holt read a statement quoting form the minutes of the July 8, 2014 meeting stating that discussion of the water quality reports would be “postponed until the August meeting.” 

a. Permit Amendment Requests:

         John W. Goodwin, Jr. (Map 1 Lot 75; E. Lamoine Pit)

         Harold MacQuinn, Inc (Map 3 Lots 31 & 33; Kittredge Pit)

         Harold MacQuiin, Inc. (Map 9 Lot 13; Sand Pit)

         Harold MacQuinn, Inc. (Map 20 Lot 12: Higgins Pit)

S. Salsbury presented amendments to the applications still pending for three pits that were subject to conditions.  [These pits are also subject to consent agreements between the Lamoine Board of Selectmen and each operator.]  Salsbury outlined new proposals for performing tests of groundwater quality and levels.

Holt clarified two matters related to these permit applications:

1. Each of these applications is subject to other conditions, as well as those relating to groundwater quality and levels;

2. The four pits in question are currently operating with only the permission of the Board of Selectmen, under the conditions of the consent agreement; it does not lie within the Planning Board’s jurisdiction to consider an amendment to a “binding agreement” between the gravel companies and the Board of Selectmen. 

Tadema-Wielandt suggested that the Planning Board could address amendments presented in the materials that relate to the “non-groundwater-related” conditions.  In this vein, the Planning Board made the following findings:

i. John Goodwin Jr. (Map 1 Lot 75 “East Lamoine”)

Holt (Tadema-Wielandt) moved to find that the new amendment materials meet Conditions #1, #3, and #4.  Vote: Approved 4-0.

ii. Harold MacQuinn, Inc. (Map 3 Lots 31 & 33 “Kittredge”)

Tadema-Wielandt (Legere) moved to find that the new amendment materials meet Condition #2.  Vote: Approved 4-0.

iii. Harold MacQuinn Inc.  (Map 9 Lot 13  “Sand”)  Donaldson (Legere) moved to find that the new amendment materials meet Conditions #2, #3, and #4.  Vote: Approved 4-0.

iv. Harold MacQuinn Inc. (Map 20 Lot 12 “Higgins”) Holt (Tadema-Wielandt) moved to find that the new amendment materials meeting Conditions #1, #3, #4, and #5.  Vote: Approved 3-1 (Donaldson)

Holt (Tadema-Wielandt) moved that the Planning Board has no authority to rule on matters that are subject to the binding Consent Agreements between the Lamoine Board of Selectmen and the two gravel companies in question.  Vote: Approved 4-0.

b. R. F. Jordan (Map 4 Lot 8)  Gravel Permit Application

The Planning Board reviewed the application for completeness and found it complete with two conditions:

1. That complete information for Item #3b be submitted (location, bearings and distances of the boundaries of the Gravel Pit);

2. That the Reclamation Plan (Item #12) be corrected to reflect the current gravel ordinance requirements (see page. 32 of the application.): a. add restoration of 50’ along Dudzinski boundary; b. correct the final paragraph concerning the Restoration Fund.

A site visit is scheduled for September 11, 2014 at 4:00 p.m.

Public Hearing: October 7 at 6:30 p.m.

7. Other Public Matters

8.  Ordinance Matters

Workshop September 17 at 6:30 p.m.  Please review materials handed out by Gordon in August.

9. Next Meetings:

            September 11, 2014  Site Walk; RF Jordan

            September 17, 2014 6:30  Ordinance Workshop

            October 7, 2014 6:30  Public Hearing, RF Jordan pit, followed by monthly      meeting

            November meeting TBD.

10.  Adjourned at 9:15 p.m.

Respectfully Submitted,

Gordon Donaldson, Secretary