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Planning Board Minutes 10/06/2010

SOUTH BERWICK PLANNING BOARD
REGULAR MEETING MINUTES
October 6, 2010
ROLL CALL
Present: Mimi Demers - Secretary, Bill Straub – Vice Chairman, Joel Moulton, Terrence Parker, and Kate Pelletier, Planning Coordinator.

Absent: John Stirling – Chairman

Vice Chairman Bill Straub acted as Chair in John Stirling’s absence.

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

MINUTES APPROVAL
September 15, 2010 – Planning Board regular Meeting: Motion by Ms. Demers, second by Mr. Moulton to approve meeting minutes as amended, passed unanimously.

PUBLIC AUDIENCE

Carl Pehrsson, 548 Emery’s Bridge Rd., asked to reserve time to speak during the review of the Irving & Lorene Paterson subdivision.

NEW BUSINESS

MNS #10-02 – Application for a minor three-lot subdivision to be located at 556 Emery’s Bridge Road. Applicant is Irving & Lorene Patterson (mailing address: 12 Huckleberry Lane, Kennebunk, ME 04043. Owner is Hazel Stevens (mailing address: 289 North Village Rd., Wells, ME 04090). Property can be identified as Assessor’s Map 10, Lot 71 and is located in the R4 zoning district.
Brad Lodge of Middle Branch Professional Land Surveyors represented the applicant. He stated the applicant is proposing a three lot subdivision of a 41 acre parcel on Emery’s Bridge Road. In 2008 approximately 31 acres were conveyed to Will Renaud which left 10 acres of remaining land. That 10 acres was sold to Irving Patterson who wishes to divide it into three lots. He stated that wetlands delineation and soils analysis had already been done on the 10 acres. There are suitable soils on each lot as illustrated in the test logs.

Mr. Parker asked why the Renaud’s were not on the abutter’s list. Mr. Lodge stated that he thought Mr. Renaud was considered part of the subdivision but should have notified him. Mr. Parker asked if he was aware of the subdivision plans. Mr. Lodge stated that he was sure that he had been notified. Mr. Parker asked who notified Mr. Renaud. Mr. Lodge stated that he wasn’t sure.

Mr. Straub asked if each abutter on the provided list had been sent a letter. Kate Pelletier stated that they had. Mr. Straub asked if that was usually the town’s responsibility. Ms. Pelletier stated that it was.

Mr. Straub stated that he wasn’t sure if the Board could proceed without notifying all abutters. Ms. Pelletier stated that this was simply a sketch plan and not a public hearing. She stated that she is required to notify abutters upon receipt of any subdivision application and then again when a public hearing is scheduled. The ordinance does specifically say that failure to notify abutters does not negate the process.

Mr. Straub stated that he would be comfortable proceeding with questions and answers without making any decisions tonight. The Board agreed.

Mr. Parker asked if the building setbacks had been delineated on the plans. Mr. Lodge stated they had. Mr. Parker asked if there was any buildable land on lot #3. Mr. Lodge stated that the area shown as “somewhat poorly drained soils” is buildable and is actually a field. The owner would not be able to put a septic system in that area, however, a building could be located there.

Mr. Straub asked if that area of poorly drained soils was considered wetlands. Mr. Lodge stated it was not.

Mr. Parker stated that the symbols indicating the area of poorly drained soils appears to be the same symbol used to identify wetlands. Mr. Lodge stated that he could change that.

Ms. Demers asked Ms. Pelletier if the plan should have identified where the buildings will be located. Ms. Pelletier stated that building envelopes are typically shown on plans but exact locations are not usually known until someone purchases the lot.

Ms. Demers stated that she wasn’t clear as to what was required for subdivision review. Ms. Pelletier stated that typically a sketch plan or conceptual plan is submitted. If that meets the basic sketch plan requirements the applicant moves on to preliminary review, which is more detailed and then a public hearing is scheduled and final plans are submitted.

Ms. Demers asked if there was any setback to a cemetery. Mr. Lodge stated that there are no local setback requirements to cemeteries but the state typically uses a 25’setback. The area shown on the plan is the raised area in the earth. There are no corner posts or true bounds so it was difficult to delineate.

Mr. Straub asked if the property was located in the R4 or R5 zone. Mr. Lodge stated that it was in the R4 zone. Upon further investigation it was found that the majority of the property is actually located in the R5 zone. Mr. Lodge stated that he would change the zoning on the plans. Mr. Straub stated that frontage and setbacks are the same for each zone so that wouldn’t be affected.

Mr. Straub asked if F1 soils had to be shown on a map. Mr. Lodge stated that it was necessary but a portion of it has to be deducted from the gross lot area.

Mr. Straub stated that it would be helpful to know where the applicant is in the subdivision review process. Mr. Lodge stated that he thought he was well beyond sketch plan review. Ms. Pelletier stated that she believed the plans as presented could be approved as a sketch plan, but not a preliminary plan.

Mr. Straub asked if it would be useful to locate the driveways on the plan. Mr. Lodge stated that the owner already has some idea as to where the driveways will go and could show that on the next plan submission. Mr. Moulton suggested that the owner discuss driveway locations with Jon St. Pierre, the Public Works Director.

Ms. Demers asked if the fact that there were poorly drained soils had any affect on the houses’ basements. Mr. Lodge stated that would be a question for the soils scientist and that he wasn’t sure why the area was classified as poorly drained. Mr. Straub stated that really wasn’t an issue for this Board and could be discussed with the Code Enforcement Officer upon permitting.

Carl Pehrsson, 548 Emery’s Bridge Road, asked how often land could be subdivided. He stated that he understood that this property had already been subdivided in 2008. Mr. Straub stated that in family subdivisions a lot can be split off once every five years without Planning Board review. If someone wants to then split off another lot within five years Planning Board review is required. Ms. Pelletier added that there is no limitation as to how often land can be subdivided so long as it meets the dimensional standards in the ordinance.

Mr. Parker asked if the applicant was required to submit septic designs. Mr. Straub stated that septic designs were not required until the time of building permitting.

Mr. Straub stated, to summarize, that the application had been reviewed under the sketch plan requirements of Chapter 121 and the Board would await the preliminary plan submission at a later date.

CORRESPONDENCE
The Board reviewed the following correspondence:
Workshop notification – “Working Beyond Borders to Protect Water in the Salmon Falls Watershed”
Appropriations Control Report – September 1, 2010
Ms. Pelletier stated that someone had requested the Planning Department’s budget at a prior meeting so she provided the appropriations control report that shows the department’s appropriations and expenditures.

OLD BUSINESS

Continued discussion on amending zoning district boundaries.
Mr. Straub stated that the Board left off with several follow up questions from the last meeting including the unintended consequences of these changes in terms of wetlands and topography. The Board also went through the land use table comparison at the last meeting.

Ms. Pelletier stated that she cleaned up the land use table based on the most recent land use ordinance and zoomed in on the proposed R4 to R3 and R5 to R3 changes to show the orthophotography, contours, wetlands, etc. The package of five individual maps that are each 11” x 17” are simply a blown up version of the larger map from the last meeting.

Ms. Demers stated that she looked through the comprehensive plan and found that the R5 zone is called the Agamenticus Resource District and the goals of the zone are to protect the Mt. A area in accordance with the goals and strategies of the comprehensive plan to allow for low density housing while creating a contiguous area of important natural resource systems of scenic beauty and recreational opportunity and to minimize and prevent those uses that could prove detrimental to the environment of the Mt. A area. She stated that the town had made some changes to the R5 zone somewhat recently and allowed some uses that weren’t previously allowed and are now talking about allowing even more uses. However, these changes would only apply to the edge of the R5 zone and that keeping that “contiguous area of important natural resource systems” is still accomplished if the zoning district boundary is changed.

Mr. Straub stated that he didn’t have a strong opinion on these changes either way. The suggestion was made by Code Enforcement Officer, Joe Rousselle as something he thought would make sense based on the applications he has had to deny or send to the Board of Appeals. The change from R4 to R5 (shown in blue) does not allow any greater density – it only allows more uses. Ms. Pelletier added that particular change only affected three lots on Tufts Road.

Mr. Straub stated that on the other hand, the R5 to R3 change (shown in purple) would allow smaller lots, less frontage and decreased setbacks. He stated that he didn’t have any strong feelings about it one way or another but could see how some might feel differently. Mr. Parker agreed, especially when it concerns automobile junkyards.

The Board agreed that they were not comfortable recommending a change in zoning district boundaries from R5 to R3 in the Belle Marsh Road area.

Mr. Parker stated that the same argument could be made for the change from R5 to R4 (shown in blue), which would now allow automobile junkyards, kennels, etc.

Mr. Straub stated that the R4 to R3 (shown in yellow) changes would allow only multifamily dwellings and mobile home parks as additional uses. Dimensionally, the setbacks are decreased at the side and rear and smaller lot sizes would be allowed – 80,000 sq. ft. as opposed to 120,000 sq. ft.

Ms. Demers stated that the comprehensive plan recommends discouraging density in the R4 zone. Mr. Parker stated that a change from R4 to R3 would seem to contradict the comprehensive plan.

Mr. Straub asked Ms. Demers what the comprehensive plan said about the R3 and R2A zones. Ms. Demers stated that R3 is the Transitional Residential District and the goals are to “retain the rural residential character of an area of the town by encouraging low density uses and the maximum number of uses consistent with controlling nuisances and unsafe and unhealthy conditions; to provide an area where agricultural and conservation uses are encouraged; to direct growth where it can be planned for the most reasonable use of community services.” She stated that R2A is the Suburban Growth District and its goal is “to provide an additional area for future suburban growth contingent upon the provision of water and sewer services.”

Mr. Straub stated that was interesting because R2A is more restrictive in land use and the lot sizes are the same unless you have sewer. Mr. Parker stated this change seemed more reasonable. Mr. Straub stated that it does become more restrictive in terms of uses though.

Mr. Straub stated that the final change was from R2 to R1 (shown in green). He stated that sludge spreading was the only additional use added. Dimensionally, the lot sizes would remain the same without sewer and would have somewhat less frontage and somewhat decreased setbacks. He stated that this was the only change that really made sense to him since it’s all part of the village district.

Ms. Demers stated that R2 is the Developing Residential District and its goals are, “to provide areas of suburban and medium density development in locations relatively close to village service area compatible with existing development and to direct growth into areas where extension of community services is likely to become economically feasible.” R1 is the Village Residential District and its goals are, “to provide areas of medium to high density residential development in locations compatible with existing development and in a manner appropriate to the economical provision of community services and utilities.”

Mr. Straub stated that R2 and R1 sounded very similar and did not seem to contradict the recommendations of the comprehensive plan.

The Board agreed to wait until John Stirling returned before making any official recommendations.

OTHER

None.

MEMBER COMMENTS

None.

Motion by Ms. Demers, second by Mr. Moulton to adjourn the regular meeting. The meeting was adjourned without objection at 8:59 PM.