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Planning Board Minutes 04/04/2012

South Berwick Planning Board
Regular Meeting Minutes
April 4, 2012

Roll Call:
Present: John Stirling-Chair, Bill Straub-Vice-chair, Mimi Demers-Secretary, Terrence Parker, Joel Moulton, Warren Spencer-Alternate
Call to Order:
Mr. Stirling called the meeting to order at 7:12 (following the public hearing).
Minutes Approval:
March 21, 2012-Planning Board regular meeting: Motion by Mr. Straub, second by Mr. Moulton to approve the minutes as amended, passed unanimously.
Old Business:
Continued review MSN#12-01, 4 lot subdivision off Stacy Lane for Andrew Patterson. Tom Harmon, civil engineer on the project, was present.
Mr. Stirling explained that JT Lockman of the Southern Maine Regional Planning Commission had been asked to come to this meeting to discuss questions the Board has about the project, including extending the cul de sac further than the 6oo foot limit in the ordinance. Mr. Lockman stated he reviewed the cluster subdivision requirements in the ordinance, and he found the definition to be quite broad, allowing alternate dimensional requirements in order to preserve open space. He suggested Mr. Harmon submit another sketch plan, using a cluster design. Mr. Straub asked about requirements in zoning and how they fit with subdivision requirements: does 140-47, A-1 conflict with 140-47, C-1? Mr. Lockman stated most towns use language from A-1. He explained towns use either zoning regulations with more flexible dimensional requirements, or subdivision regulations with waivers to make a cluster. Mr. Straub stated he was asking in order to understand how the Board might ultimately structure their decision.
Cul-de-sac length was discussed; language regulating that is found in 121-44, H. Mr. Lockman stated dead end road length requirements often relate to fire truck hose lengths, applicable when using public water. In the rural areas, this issue is sometimes addressed by having a water source located near the subdivision. Having another way out in case of emergency is another issue. He stated sometimes towns look not at road length, but at how many houses are on the road, calculating trips per day. He said it was hard for him to make detailed recommendations without seeing a detailed sketch plan. Mr. Straub said he understands the intentions of the owner are for more than 4 lots, and the Board should understand this and be able to look at the project as a whole. Mr. Lockman agreed, and suggested if the Board likes the idea of a Stacy Lane cluster development, they should indicate that to Mr. Harmon, who won’t want to design a cluster if the road is going to be a problem. Mr. Straub stated he supports the concept. Mrs. Demers stated she has concerns about road length and asked to hear more about trips per day requirements some towns use. Mr. Lockman explained towns often estimate 10 trips per day per dwelling, and require a second connection when trips per day exceed 150. Mrs. Demers asked how many houses are up there now? Mr. Lockman suggested a count might best be started from the beginning of Stacy Lane, not the beginning of Earl’s Road. He said developments in Maine often back up to a huge wetland, making connectivity is hard to achieve.
Mr. Harmon suggested the Town Council be lobbied to support the project, as the town owns an adjacent piece of land which could be included.
Mr. Harmon stated he thinks he’s heard what he needs, and indicated he would return at a later date.
Public Audience:
Phil Kendrick, 22 Pine St., stated he is a former Planning Board member and Chair, and said he had three things on his mind:
He stated the shack on the corner of Rt 236 and Rt 91 is grossly non-conforming, that expanding a non-conforming use goes against the ordinance, so he didn’t understand how the BBQ vending wagon that was parked there last year could be allowed. Mr. Kendrick was told by the code enforcement officer that mobile vending is unregulated, but he feels the vehicle was non-mobile since it had no license plate. He is concerned about public safety as that is already a dangerous intersection. There followed some discussion. Mr. Straub said his understanding of a mobile vehicle is one that comes and leaves every day. Mr. Parker suggested we ask Mr. Lockman’s opinion; the Board agreed by consensus, and will place it on the next agenda.
Mr. Kendrick would like to see the one mile section of Rt 236 in South Berwick that is currently 55 mph dropped to 45 mph. He said when he was on the Board, there was an understanding that if an industrial park went in off Rt 236, the town council would recommend to the state highway department the speed limit be dropped. He asked the Board to address this issue, perhaps take it up with the Council. No action was taken.
Mr. Kendrick stated he feels the Vine Street bridge should be repaired for reasons of connectivity and public safety. The state tells him there is no money; the town says it can do nothing as it doesn’t own the bridge. Mr. Kendrick suggested the town buy the dam then lease it back to the current owner to operate, as it currently does, as a hydro plant. The town could then fix the bridge. There was some discussion. It was suggested the Board be a squeaky wheel with the state and the town; the town manager can be asked to be assertive with the state. No action was taken.
Member Comments:
Mrs. Demers asked that Mr. Lockman be asked to review with the Board its responsibilities concerning compliance with the Comprehensive Plan. Is the Board required to be taking action on implementation strategies? Mr. Stirling said he would ask Mr. Lockman to address this.
Mr. Straub asked that Mr. Lockman be asked about the protocol around having the Board review a final draft of a permit before a final vote is taken. He suggests it should be attached to the minutes. In the past, the Board has sometimes made changes to a permit, such as adding conditions, then approved the permit without knowing for sure that the changes became part of the approved document. Mr. Stirling said he would ask Mr. Lockman to address this.
Motion by Mr. Parker, second by Mr. Straub to adjourn the meeting, passed unanimously at 8:29 P.M.