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Planning Board Minutes 09/01/2010

SOUTH BERWICK PLANNING BOARD
REGULAR MEETING MINUTES
September 1, 2010

ROLL CALL
Present: John Stirling - Chairman, Mimi Demers - Secretary, Bill Straub – Vice Chairman, Joel Moulton, Terrence Parker, Joe Rousselle, Code Enforcement Officer, and Kate Pelletier, Planning Coordinator.

CALL TO ORDER
Chair John Stirling called the Planning Board meeting to order at 7:02 P.M.

MINUTES APPROVAL
August 18, 2010 – Planning Board regular Meeting: Motion by Ms. Demers, second by Mr. Straub to approve meeting minutes as written, passed unanimously.

PUBLIC AUDIENCE

Paul Roberts stated that he would be representing Scott Roberts during his application’s review.

NEW BUSINESS

1. 1. SP#09-04; Paul & Scott Roberts, Map 7, Lot 11 (Shoreland & Slope District) –Single-family dwelling in the Shoreland Zone Extension Request.

Mr. Stirling asked if anyone had any comments on the application.

Mr. Straub asked if there had been any changes in the proposal since it was first approved. Mr. Roberts stated that he had been looking at the newly adopted Shoreland Zoning standards and didn’t see anything that would affect his lot. He stated that, given the short construction season, it had been difficult to make any real progress. He stated that the forester has been down and had earmarked what he could cut, but he wasn’t sure if he would fall under the clear cutting regulations. He stated that he was going to move forward with upgrading the right of way and hoped to complete it by the end of the year.

Mr. Straub asked if there had been any changes in the land since the project was originally approved. Mr. Roberts stated that he was still the only vacant lot there and that nothing had changed.

Mr. Straub stated that if the Board voted to extend the permit then the ordinances in place at the time of approval would still apply. Joe Rousselle stated that nothing had changed that would affect this lot.

Mr. Straub asked if the new Shoreland zoning regulations applied to this lot. Joe Rousselle stated that Mr. Roberts would still be able to build on his property.

Ms. Demers stated that she wasn’t able to find where extension requests are addressed in the ordinance. Joe Rousselle stated that there isn’t anything actually written in the ordinance but the Board had typically allowed them in the past. He stated that as long as the applicant made the request prior to the expiration of the permit then he didn’t see an issue with it. Mr. Straub stated that the way it has been approached since he has been on the Board is that if the same conditions exist at the time of the request for the extension that did at the time of the original permit then it would be allowed. He stated that as long as there weren’t any changes in the code or in the land then he didn’t have an issue with it.

Joel Moulton stated that as long as nothing had changed then he wouldn’t have an issue approving it.

Mr. Straub stated that the way he understood it, the two years to complete the project would start now. So, construction would have to begin within a year from now and would have to be completed within two years. Mr. Rousselle stated that was correct.

Motion by Mr. Straub to approve the request dated August 8th, 2010 to extend the permit by one year, second by Mr. Moulton, approved unanimously.

CORRESPONDENCE

1. Letter from York County Soils & Water Conservation District concerning technical assistance, dated July 27th, 2010.

Mr. Stirling stated that everyone should have received the letter from York County Soils and Water Conservation District dated July 27th, 2010.

Mr. Straub stated that the letter indicates that a number of communities call on them to do stormwater reviews, which would come under erosion control and sediment plan. He stated that he believed Ken Wood of Attar Engineering was typically the person who does the review barring any conflicts.

OLD BUSINESS

1. Continued discussion with Code Enforcement Officer, Joe Rousselle on amending zoning district boundaries.

Mr. Stirling stated that this is a continuation of the discussion about extending zoning district boundaries. He stated that Joe Rousselle had made some changes to the text of the ordinance including that the boundary shall extend 300’ from the centerline of the road or to the rear lot line, whichever is closer. He stated that the intention is to make the zoning fairer by extending the zones across the street. He stated that he looked at the maps provided and that the changes weren’t affecting too many lots. Mr. Rousselle stated that was correct. He stated that before sending the changes to the Council he and Kate Pelletier would come up with a list of all people affected. He stated that there were four major roads affected – Belle Marsh, Hooper Sands, Agamenticus and Witchtrot. He stated that he amended the text at the Board’s request to limit the zones to 300’ or the rear lot line, whichever is closer. That way if someone purchased property behind their lot it wouldn’t extend the zone further than what was intended.

Mr. Straub stated that R5 borders on R4 and R3 to the south, which is Belle Marsh Road. He stated that Belle Marsh Road would have the R3 characteristics along the road. Mr. Rousselle stated that was correct.

Mr. Straub stated that it occurred to him that the extension of the R2, R2A, R3, R4, and R5 zones would not be very controversial, however the extension of the B1 zone may cause some controversy. Mr. Rousselle stated that it was only 3 lots on Young Street that would be affected by the change.

Mr. Straub stated that the expansion of the B1 zone would require some thought because it would allow business development in a residential area, which some abutters may not like. He asked what the difference was between R1A and R2A. Mr. Rousselle stated that R2A would require 80,000 square feet without sewer and 40,000 square feet with sewer where R1A would only require 20,000 with sewer.

Mr. Straub stated that, going back to the Young Street area, if the Board would consider not changing that area. The Board agreed not to extend the B1 zone across Young Street.

Ms. Demers stated that it looked to her that many properties would be affected by this change. She asked if all property owners affected as well as those across the street would be notified of a public hearing. Mr. Rousselle stated that the Board is only required to notify the lots affected by the change. He stated that it would be up to the Council to decide who to notify.

Mr. Straub stated that he’d like to know how often Mr. Rousselle encounters this problem where he would have to deny someone on one side of the road a permit because of the zoning. Mr. Rousselle stated that it probably happens four or five times per year. He stated that he discussed the property on Academy Street last time, but there was another property just a few houses up who wanted to put an addition on but couldn’t because the R2 zone where he lives requires a 25’ setback and R1 across the street only required a 15’ setback.

Ms. Demers stated that she lives on Belle Marsh Road in R3 zone. Right across the street is R5, which she likes living across from. She stated that she likes knowing that things like bed and breakfasts, churches, etc. won’t be able to locate there. However, she did feel the intention of the change was a good one. It’s more equitable and it still leaves the whole of R5 as wilderness and the intention of R5 zoning is maintained.

Mr. Parker stated that having a workshop prior to the formal public hearing would be a good opportunity for the Board to hear what the public thinks. Mr. Straub stated that floating the idea to the Council before any public input would a good opportunity to see if they’re on board with this change.

Ms. Demers stated that she noticed a portion of Tufts Road is still R5 as opposed to R4. Mr. Rousselle stated that he changed that in the description of the zones but not on the map.

Mr. Parker asked if zones are compatible across town lines. Mr. Rousselle stated that in most cases they were not.

Mr. Stirling stated that the next step in this process would be to put a letter together for Roberta Orsini so that the Board can alert the Council that they would like to move ahead with this change. He also stated that the maps should be corrected to reflect what the Board discussed tonight, particularly removing the three lots on Young Street from the B1 zone. He stated that another issue the Board should begin looking at is that of private roads. He stated that the Board could float this idea in the same letter to Roberta.

Mr. Straub stated that he would also like to take a look at the limitations of each zone in terms of what uses would and wouldn’t be allowed if these zoning districts changed.

Mr. Rousselle stated that regarding private roads, the definition of ‘private road’ limits them to five lots. Mr. Straub stated that was correct and that if a private road has six lots on it it’s technically in violation of the ordinance. He stated that either more houses should be allowed on private roads or language should be added to the ordinance about accepting them as town roads. He stated that Back Acres was the perfect example of this being an issue.

Mr. Stirling asked Kate Pelletier to ask Roberta Orsini what she thought the Council would like to do about this and if they want to accept private roads.

Mr. Straub asked Kate Pelletier if she would include in the next Planning Board packets the existing ordinances pertaining to private roads and some sample ordinances from other towns. Kate Pelletier agreed.

OTHER

MEMBER COMMENTS
Mr. Straub stated that he attended the Planning Board/Council joint public hearing on the Shoreland zoning changes. He stated that once some of the misconceptions were dispelled he thought everyone was satisfied. The ordinance was formally adopted last night.

Mr. Parker asked if there was a lot of public input. Mr. Straub stated that there was until most people figured out they wouldn’t be affected by the changes.

Motion by Ms. Demers, second by Mr. Straub to adjourn the regular meeting. The meeting was adjourned without objection at 8:19 PM.