Minutes of the Lamoine Planning Board

March 13, 2001

Chairman Doug Coleman called the meeting to order at 6:59 PM

Present were:  Planning Board members Joan Bragdon, Doug Coleman, Perry Fowler, Mary Ann Orzel, Alternate Mike Garrett, Alternate David Smallidge; CEO John Holdsworth, Administrative Assistant Stu Marckoon, Selectmen Jo Cooper, Tom Spruce; members of the public Andrew McCullough, Steve Salsbury, Richard Vander Zanden, John Wuorinen, Beverly Coleman, Denise Barbieri, Tim Gott, Gary Googins, Jay Barnes, Lynn Tscheiller, Tom Keenan, Susan Lara-Scott and Chris Tadema-Wielandt.

Doug began by thanking everyone for their work on the Site Plan Review Ordinance that passed at last week’s town meeting.  He said it is a step forward for the town.

Minutes – Mike moved to approve the minutes of February 13, 2001 as presented.  Joan 2nd.  Vote in favor was unanimous

Mike moved to approve the minutes of February 19, 2001 as presented.  Perry 2nd.  Vote in Favor was unanimous.

CEO’s Report – John Holdsworth said he passed out copies of the various notices he had issued in the past month   Mary Ann said she had never seen the state share amount on the plumbing permit report before.  John explained the State of Maine gets 25% of the plumbing permit fees, the rest stays in town.

John said he had issued some notices of violations.  He said he had a complaint from Susan Scott regarding a gas or oil container at a wood cutting operation.  He said he talked with the property owner and met with cutter Jeffrey Gordon on the site.  He said he told Mr. Gordon to remove the tank in question which he did that evening.   John said he issued a notice of violation to Doug Gott for his cable not being hooked up at the entrance to the Smith Pit upon a complaint from Mrs. Wuorinen.  He said that has been taken care of and he inspected it the day after he called.  He said he did the same thing with John Goodwin’s pit, but hadn’t had a chance to check it, but would tomorrow. He said he made that complaint.  Doug said it’s good to keep on top of the complaints, and people who have complaints should contact the CEO or Stu Marckoon.

Old Business

Stroobants Pier – (Map 17 Lot 9) – Doug reminded the board the application was ruled incomplete last month, and they have a more complete application, but there are still some problems to be cleared up. 

Joan asked if the sections have been tested for strength.  Richard Vander Zanden said the bearing timbers are 6” by 36.5” and were engineered by Uniden and reviewed by the University of Maine for weather and traffic loads.  Joan asked about railings.  Mr. Vander Zanden said the dock has no railings, but the ramp has 36” high railings made out of 5/4” x 6” top rails.  He said they would meet the load of 300-pounds of lateral force.  Joan asked about surfaces.  Mr. Vander Zanden said the dock is made of treated lumber, but no skid proofing is on the dock.  Joan asked if there should be.  Mr. Vander Zanden said no, they are used all over the country.  David asked if the portable ramps had anti-skid material.  Mr. Vander Zanden said they do.  Doug asked if the ramp has a railing.  Mr. Vander Zanden said it does, all aluminum.  Doug asked where the float and ramp go in the off-season.  Mr. Vander Zanden said to Southwest Harbor by water and boat.  Doug asked if the structure would withstand the tidal currant.  Mr. Vander Zanden said yes.  He said they will install the dock with a barge and that will be no problem, but he makes no guarantees about the applicant’s ability to utilize his boat. Doug asked about the size of the boat.  Mr. Vander Zanden said it’s a 30-foot powerboat.

Doug said the applicant had to provide information to the Department of Environmental Protection, but the Planning Board just deals with the Shoreland Ordinance.  Stu said the Planning Board had received a letter from Harbor Master Bill Pinkham regarding navigation.  Mr. Vander Zanden said the DEP is still taking comments, and the Army Corps of Engineers has given approval. 

Joan asked if two chains and weights would prevent the wind from picking up the dock.  Mr. Vander Zanden said yes, and that it’s actually a 3-point mooring.  He said its very standard construction and has proven the test of time, and will be periodically inspected. 

Doug said the Shoreland Zoning Ordinance does not address safety issues, though other ordinances do, so the Planning Board must be concerned with safety.  He said Mr. Vander Zanden has given assurances the structure is safe.  Mr. Vander Zanden said the applicant, Mr. Beal, has been in business for 30-years and the proposal will withstand any test of time.  Doug said the application used the word cement when it probably meant concrete.  Mr. Vander Zanden said concrete would be the correct word.  Doug said a professional engineer volunteered his comments that should be sent to the applicant and to the DEP.  Mr. Vander Zanden said the engineer did not see the plans, and they were provided to the planning board.  Joan said the connections were not noted, and asked where they are.  Mr. Vander Zanden said the connections were explained in his last communication to the Planning Board.  Joan asked what connects the ramp to the float.  Mr. Vander Zanden said an “L” shaped bracket.  Mary Ann said she’s adding up the 70’, 50’ and 12’ float and that doesn’t come out to less than 100’ into the channel.  Mr. Vander Zanden said it’s at an angle, and is no longer than they have to make it for cost reasons. 

Doug said the board should proceed for completeness of the application.  Perry read aloud the criteria one by one and moved to find the application complete.  Mike asked who’s eligible to vote on this application.  It was agreed that Mike would be the voting alternate in the absence of a regular member on this issue.  Mike 2nd.  Vote in favor was 5-0.

Mike then moved to approve the permit, pending DEP approval.  Perry 2nd.  Vote in favor was 5-0.   Doug signed the application as approved.

New Business

Gravel-Pit Expansion  (Map 1 Lot 58, 65) Doug said the application is grossly incomplete and chastised the applicants for wasting the Planning Board’s time.  He said the board could probably schedule a public hearing for next month, and will vote on completion next month.  Mary Ann asked if the Board had to consider the application on this basis, or should they wait until next month.  She said she has lots of questions. 

Steve Salsbury, the surveyor who put the initial draft together, said he felt this would be more of a scooping meeting to see what the Planning Board would be looking for.  There was a further discussion regarding the completeness of the application. 

Doug said the map doesn’t show where exactly the gravel is, and it doesn’t show the landfill, and there may have to be something from a hydrologist as this is a critical area.  Mr. Salsbury said S W Cole has completed an investigation of the site, and there is a monitoring well and the report is now complete.  He said he feels it will have no impact on the groundwater.  He said the well is marked on the map.  He and the members of the Planning Board and several members of the audience reviewed the map submissions.  He said only one well is needed to monitor that area and it was installed close to the town’s property line.  There was a discussion on how many wells are required.  The Planning Board requested better dimensions. 

Tim Gott said the submission was similar to their other submissions for permits.  He said they’ve been approved to purchase gravel from the town.  Mr. Wuorinen said the citizens have an interest in the laws being enforced, and past precedent is not important, and the gravel ordinance specifies that certain things be provided.  Mr. Gott suggested going down the application and reviewing the process, as that will be helpful to both the Board and the applicant.

Mr. Salsbury explained the purchase and the town’s permit proposal.  Joan Bragdon asked how much has been worked.  Mr. Salsbury said up to the buffer from the town property line.  Mary Ann asked if it’s done.  Mr. Salsbury said mostly.  He explained the map markings.  Mary Ann requested that the map and lot numbers be placed on the plan.

The Board opted to go through the ordinance and compare it with the application.  Lynn Tscheiller suggested to the Board that they review all the past applications and bring them up to ordinance standards.  Doug said he didn’t think there was a problem with past permits.  He praised Mr. Gott for the improvements by the Transfer Station and said he has done a good job at restoration.  There was a discussion regarding groundwater quality and the landfill.  Doug said the public hearing will be at a later date, possibly next month, and the Board would welcome written comments.

Perry then listed the criteria in the gravel ordinance aloud.  Problem areas with the submission included:

There was a great deal of discussion and map review during the completeness review regarding restoration, and it was decided a site visit would be in order prior to the next meeting.  The site visit was set for April 7, 2001 at 10:00 AM  (a Saturday). 

Joan moved to find the application complete.  Mary Ann 2nd.  Vote was 0-5; Perry declared a conflict and both alternates cast votes.  The application was found incomplete. 

The Planning Board said it would like to find the application complete at its April 10th meeting, and if so would schedule the public hearing and action for the May 8th meeting.  Mr. Salsbury said the Board would have a complete application two weeks before the April meeting. 

Other Business   Doug said he would like to continue with the Building and Land Use Ordinance and Aquifer Protection suggestions.  He said he’s taking all the comments and would like to set up a workshop to get a document ready for Stu to compile.

Susan Lara-Scott presented the Board with the Building and Land Use Ordinance map and land uses and said they are not compatible with what she considers rural and agricultural.  She asked what has to be done to change that.  Doug explained the zoning changes would have to be made through town meeting, and explained the approval process.  Denise Barbieri asked when the hearings would be.  Doug said he doesn’t know, but he’ll try to aim for the November election or a special town meeting.

Appeals Board Procedure – John Holdsworth said he read a disturbing article in the Maine Townsman regarding Appeals Boards having to hold a de novo hearing on all appeals unless there is language in the ordinance for appellate proceedings.  He said the problem is the Appeals Board would have to hear all the material from the start, much like the case of the gas pumps.  He said that takes authority away from the Planning Board, and he’s strongly against that, as it doesn’t seem logical.  He said wording could be put in the Land Use Ordinance to have the Appeals Board act in an appellate manner.  Mr. Wuorinen asked what the problem is with a de novo hearing.  John Holdsworth explained that in a case where a planning board erred in a specific area, when they act on a de novo case, they have to listen to all the evidence, even some the Planning Board may not have heard.  Last spring’s gas tank issue was often cited as an example.  Jo Cooper said she read the same article and was disturbed as well, and said an applicant can come with an entirely new plan, and the board of appeals essentially becomes a 2nd tier planning board.  Doug asked John Holdsworth to work up the wording to change the Building and Land Use Ordinance, and to include the language regarding road frontage and back lots. 

Digital Tax Maps – Mary Ann said the Selectmen gave the go ahead to have the tax map layering project done in this fiscal year and they’d repay from the next fiscal year.  Stu said the Selectmen were enthusiastic about the plan.

Denise Barbieri distributed a handout to select members of the Planning Board. 

David Smallidge asked about membership in the Hancock County Planning Commission.  It was reported town meeting approved $1,300 for the Planning Board Budget, but the extra funding was for the tax-mapping project.  It was discussed further that if the town needed the HCPC services, they could pay a non-member rate.

The next regular meeting will be April 10, 2001 at 7:00 PM.  A site visit will be made at the gravel pit proposal area on April 7, 2001 at 10:00 AM.

There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 8:43 PM.

Respectfully Submitted,

 

 

Stuart Marckoon, Adm. Asst. to the Selectmen