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Planning Board Minutes 07/21/2009

SOUTH BERWICK PLANNING BOARD
REGULAR MEETING MINUTES
July 21, 2009

ROLL CALL

Present: Chair Cheryl Dionne, Richard Clough, John Stirling, Mimi Demers, Bill Straub and Jim Fisk (Planner).

Not Present: Brad Christo.

Susie Scott, Assistant to the Town Planner, was taking minutes.

Chairman Dionne will not be a voting member, as she has not renewed her oath. Mr. Straub will be a voting member.

CALL TO ORDER

Chairman Dionne called the Planning Board meeting to order at 7:03 PM.

MINUTES APPROVAL

July 7, 2009 - Regular Meeting: Minutes are pending.

PUBLIC AUDIENCE
- Suzanne Roberge, 175 Agamenticus Road, reserved time to speak to MSP#08-02, Our Lady of the Angels Parish Church.

- David Vachon, Flynn's Lane, reserved time to speak to MSP#08-02, Our Lady of the Angels Parish Church.
CORRESPONDENCE

Chairman Dionne requested Correspondence be tabled for review until the next meeting.

1. Letter from Suzanne Roberge and Kevin Emery dated July 13, 2009 re: MSP#08-02; Our Lady of Angels Parish.
2. MeDOT Letter dated July 17, 2009 re: MeDOT Scoping Meeting - Our Lady of Angels Church, South Berwick, Maine.
3. Memo from Joseph Rousselle dated July 21, 2009 re: Zoning Districts.
4. Memo from Jim Fisk dated July 17, 2009 re: Council Map Review.

OLD BUSINESS

1. Our Lady of the Angels Church MSP#08-02; Our Lady of the Angels Parish (Greater Portland Diocese) - Major Site Plan Application.
" Revised site plan materials provided by Thomas Harmon, Civil Consultants.

Jim Fisk, Town Planner, discussed the transmittal letter as provided by Tom Harmon, engineer for the applicant, dated July 14, 2009. Revised materials include a checklist, Stormwater Management application and the Geotechnical report, which Mr. Fisk reviewed and provided comments in his memo to the Planning Board. Mr. Fisk noted the following updates/concerns/recommendations:
- Dewatering of the site.
- Stockpiling of topsoil/organic materials: Recommends locations are noted on plan.
- Rectory elevation provided.
- Location of driveway will cause a glare across the street: Board could request peer review for this technical issue from a lighting specialist if the Board deems the glare has an adverse impact. He cannot make this determination.
- Termination of all illuminations at 9:00 PM unless of an ongoing event with plan note.
- Steeple lighting will be addressed further by Mr. Harmon.
- Landscape Plan: 10% rule has been met. Ineffective plant material selected; Board could consider financial assurances for landscaping.
- DOT scoping meeting scheduled for Friday, July 24, 2009. He is unsure if the certified mailers were sent as noted in the scoping letter.

Mr. Harmon, applicant engineer, stated the steeple would be sheathed in light, all four sides with the lights tucked under the eves with 26-watt bulbs. The steeple base will not be lit.

David Vachon clarified that the top of the spire or steeple will not be lit, there will only be lighting from below the roofline.

Mr. Harmon stated that the stockpiling of materials is regulated by the DEP restrictions, and would prefer to leave the stockpiling up to the contractor's discretion. Mr. Harmon requested a copy of the Planner's memo to the Planning Board, and stated some of Mr. Fisk's comments surprised him. Mr. Harmon noted that the landscaping could be changed to alleviate the issue of deer feeding. Mr. Harmon stated that Father John Sheehan spoke with the concerned abutters, Suzanne Roberge and Kevin Emery but Mr. Harmon has not heard back. One drainage path has a little more runoff rate than others do although the increase is small.

Mr. Fisk noted his concern that unless noted on a site plan, contractors most likely will not review a deed for buffer information. He strongly believes the information should be on the plan and if necessary, be flagged on site. Buffers are for Stormwater management.

Chairman Dionne noted and read Note #6 on the site plan that already addresses the need for ground markers.

Mr. Clough questioned whether the applicant was required to send notice or certified mailers to abutting owners regarding the DOT scoping meeting. He feels strongly this issue needs to be resolved with the concerned neighbors. He also wants to ensure issues of the buffer and stockpile are adequately noted in the site plan.

Mrs. Demers agreed with Mr. Clough. She noted the rectory drawing does not line up, and is disappointed that the rectory does not reflect the church better and the haste in which it was drawn. Agreed with Mr. Fisk that the buffers need to be carefully marked, and feels more work should be done with the abutters.

Mr. Straub stated he was not concerned about the rectory. He noted that the adequacy of the Stormwater plan has been reinforced, and the applicant has demonstrated that no impact whatsoever will occur to other side of the street. Agreed no-cut zones should be marked on the plan but agreed with Mr. Harmon allowing for contractor flexibility with regard to the stockpiling of materials. Mr. Straub noted that the proposed church is clearly allowable as a land use within the R2 Zone, and is an area designated for increasing growth over time. He agreed there will be an impact specific to lighting but is allowed and reasonable for this type of allowable activity. Any glare will be limited in time.

Mrs. Demers recommended the note regarding the buffer be added to the plan for the DEP, as well as a note for required DOT permits for traffic movement. She inquired if the applicant reviewed other driveway locations at night in relation to glare and concerned abutters.

Tom Harmon stated that the church offered to put in a buffer on the abutters property to lessen any effects of glare, and was willing to work with them.

Suzanne Roberge with Kevin Emery, 175 Agamenticus, discussed her concerns as firstly, the proposed site as a natural aquifer area, and secondly, the possible, future impact to their land due to the proposed church rectory covering three of the ten acres of impervious surfaces. No one can assure them in writing what will happen in future. Ms. Roberge believes glare caused by a 127-car parking area and roadway will have an adverse impact in relation to their property. She stated that the comment from Mr. Harmon about ongoing discussions with the church were not accurate. She spoke with Father Sheehan on July 15, 2009 at which time he offered a berm with shrubbery to reduce effects of glare. She did not feel this would mitigate the situation where as up to 3 lanes of traffic could be shining in her direction. She requested the Planning Board ensure that the proposed buffers meet all appropriate criteria. She stated that both Father Sheehan and Mr. Vachon have parked in the area and have confirmed lights do shine in her direction. Although, they currently do not live at this property, they choose to live there in five years. She welcomes the church, but is concerned of its size. The church can hold 350 people with an expandable area for another 100 people. She is trying to look beyond this application and the possible implications of a project this size. She requested the Planning Board consider the application review from this standpoint.

David Vachon, church building committee, stated that the original plan called for different driveway location, but that after conducting a site walk, the Planning Board was concerned about wetland disturbance and the need for more clearing which would make it almost impossible to shield the parking lot from road. He noted that they were concerned about the glare but noted they felt they had to choose between the lesser of two evils. He stated that there are very seldom large amounts of people, and it would only occur a minimal amount of time during the winter months.

Motion by Mr. Clough, second by Mrs. Demers to recess the regular meeting at 7:40 PM while Mr. Fisk, Town Planner, discussed an alternate driveway location to satisfy both the above needs. Meeting resumed at 7:47 PM.

Chairman Dionne noted Mr. Straub would be voting, as she is unable to vote at this meeting for reasons noted above.

Tom Harmon, in response to Chairman Dionne, stated the DOT was sending out invitations to their upcoming scoping meeting.

Mr. Clough was concerned the abutters were not notified for the DOT scoping meeting.

Chairman Dionne noted the Board could ask the applicant once again if there was any better driveway entrance to appease abutters' concerns. She questioned whether the Board was interested in requesting peer review for the issue of glare as discussed by Mr. Fisk. Chairman Dionne polled the Board for a for peer review for a glare specialist:
" Mr. Stirling is of the opinion that a berm is adequate.
" Mr. Clough noted the possibility of a large amount of cars and traffic occurring more than just a few months out of the year in reference to glare and time of day, and is in favor of a glare specialist to study this issue further. If the applicant proposes a solution of a berm, than the Board should be presented with a representation of how a berm would work in that situation as he previously requested two weeks prior.
" Mrs. Demers stated she thought it favorable if the applicant were to consider another driveway location.
" Mr. Straub stated the proposed use was not an unreasonable use, and urged the applicants and abutters to consider reasonable off-site improvements to address glare issues.

Chairman Dionne concluded the Board did not want to request peer review, and discussed the applicant note on the plan the required traffic permits, wooded buffer and the landscaping issue be resolved by a bond to ensure landscaping survival. She agreed with the applicant regarding the stockpile as long as buffers are marked and no cutting occurs.

The Board discussed the Church Diocese submitting a letter and or note with their ability to maintain landscaping for five years.

David Vachon, in response to Mr. Clough, noted several plans with different driveway/parking locations were considered. At this time, to change the driveway location would involve requiring another DEP permit. As a group, they determined that this was the least amount of impact on the largest amount of people.

Tom Harmon noted discussions of different driveway entrances took place at the Planning Board's site walk. There is a note referenced about wooded buffers.

Mr. Clough stated that any discussions that take place during a site walk are not legal.

Chairman Dionne stated the applicant had met all site plan criteria, and the Board must move ahead with project approval or denial.

Mr. Clough confirmed that the nine items discussed at the last meeting were now fully addressed. As a matter of record, Mr. Clough stated the site plan was great, and that he welcomed having the church. He stated that the definition of zoning includes that the proposal have no adverse effects to abutters, and he would like to see a resolution with the abutters. Mr. Clough stated he could not support the project knowing there is an issue with the abutter, and felt the example illustrated by Mr. Fisk provided a simple way to fix the issue with the abutter as well as would have less wetland impact.

Mr. Straub noted it was unfortunate there is a possible disagreement with the abutter but the impact is consistent with zoning in the area. Other access points for the driveway were considered, and the applicant chose the proposed location. He encouraged all parties to deal with any issues in a reasonable fashion, and would like the Board to address site plan conditions and vote on the matter.

Mrs. Demers questioned if the relocation of the driveway was considered.

Mr. Harmon responded by noting that the current site plan layout allows for traffic to move through the parking lot, and that if the layout were to be altered, it would make the parking lot visible which would be a major undertaking in regards to the Stormwater management. He noted they were remiss in not having contacted abutters earlier but they were not aware it was an issue until recently.

Mrs. Demers stated she likes the look of the plan.

Mr. Stirling stated the applicant met the criteria with a well-thought out plan, and thinks the Board should move ahead on plan approval.

Mrs. Scott was requested to forward meeting notes to Tom Harmon.
Motion by Mr. Straub, second by Mr. Stirling to approve Major Site Plan MSP#08-02, with the following Conditions of Approvals, passed 3:1 with Mr. Clough in opposition and Mrs. Dionne in abstention.
Conditions of Approval
1. Addition of plan Note #6: Wooded buffers to be staked prior to construction.
2. Addition of plan Note #7: Steeple illumination from soffit downwards as proposed.
3. Addition of plan Note #8: Approved MDOT Traffic Permit to be issued prior to issuance of any building permits.

Chairman Dionne noted the 30-day appeal process. She further stated she hopes the issues brought forth by the abutters could be resolved, and hopes this area of town changes for the better.

2. Shoreland Zoning:

Mr. Fisk discussed mapping all the data to create the Official Shoreland Zoning Map. The Town is working on converting the static CAD maps to GIS maps. However, this conversion will need updated information technology that is currently not available. Mr. Fisk made note of all map updates in his memo to the Board including the issue of Hooper's Brook. The Council Chairman had a different recollection of the designation that of a swamp as opposed to a brook; contradictory to the permit granted by the Planning Board in 2005. Mr. Fisk is in the process of researching grants for better data. State standards do require that all Shoreland Zoning data be illustrated on an official, signed map. The Town's ordinance does specify that the written description does prevail. A state level appeal process would include two separate appeals including one for the actual policy and another for a regional biologist to complete a ground-truthing study for correct designations. Mr. Fisk noted that he has not reviewed all the water district data but that all wellheads will be shown on the map. All Board members will receive a new map prior to Monday's joint Public Hearing.
NEW BUSINESS

- None.
OTHER
1. Memo from Joe Rousselle re: Zoning Districts. First meeting in August. Chairman Dionne stated a note would be sent to Mr. Rousselle clarifying that the Board will further address this issue as they do a more thorough ordinance review.
MEMBER COMMENTS

- none.

Dates & Times for Upcoming Meetings:
July 27, 2009 - 6:30 PM Jt. Public Hearing w/Town Council re: Shoreland Zoning
August 4, 2009 - 7:00 PM Planning Board Regular Meeting
August 18, 2009 - 7:00 PM Planning Board Regular Meeting

Motion by Mr. Straub, second by Mr. Clough to adjourn the meeting. The meeting was adjourned without objection at 8:47 PM.

ATTESTED: Susie Scott
Susie Scott,
Assistant to the Director of Planning & Economic Development