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Planning Board Minutes 10/20/2010

SOUTH BERWICK PLANNING BOARD
REGULAR MEETING MINUTES
October 20, 2010

ROLL CALL
Present: John Stirling – Chairman, Mimi Demers - Secretary, Bill Straub – Vice Chairman, Joel Moulton, Terrence Parker, Warren Spencer and Kate Pelletier, Planning Coordinator.

CALL TO ORDER
Chair John Stirling called the Planning Board meeting to order at 7:03 P.M.

MINUTES APPROVAL
October 6, 2010 – Planning Board regular Meeting: Motion by Ms. Demers, second by Mr. Straub to approve meeting minutes as amended, passed unanimously.

PUBLIC AUDIENCE

None.

CORRESPONDENCE
The Board reviewed the following correspondence:
Letter from Chief Deputy Attorney General regarding the Freedom of Access Act dated October 1, 2010
Mr. Stirling stated that he believed the letter was a result of a complaint the Board received some time ago. Mr. Straub agreed and stated that the Board received a legal opinion from attorney Suzanne Pilgrim from the Maine Municipal Association who indicated that the Planning Board is in compliance with the Freedom of Access Act and should continue on the same path.

Appropriations Control Report – October 1, 2010
OLD BUSINESS
MNS #10-02 – Continued review of an application for a minor three-lot subdivision to be located at 584 Emery’s Bridge Road. Applicants/owners are Irving & Lorene Patterson (mailing address: 12 Huckleberry Lane, Kennebunk ME 04043). 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, leaving 10 acres of remaining land, which was sold to Irving Patterson who wishes to divide it into two additional lots. Since the last meeting he added the R4/R5 zoning line to the plan as well as a setback around the cemetery. He also added driveway locations to the revised plan and revised the deed references for lots two and three. Lastly, he added William Renaud III to the list of abutters, which had been overlooked on the previous submittal. He stated that Public Works Director, Jon St. Pierre, met with Mr. Patterson concerning the driveway locations. Mr. Lodge stated that he also sent a crew down to the property to look at and certify site distances, which are now in excess of 400’.

Mr. Stirling stated that according to the minutes of the last meeting there was a question about the building envelope on lot #3 being somewhat limited. He asked Mr. Lodge to elaborate.
Mr. Lodge explained that lot #3 contains an area of somewhat poorly drained soils, however, that designation does not make the area unbuildable.

Mr. Straub asked if the .58 acres deducted from the net residential acreage calculations included the F1 soils. Mr. Lodge stated that it did and that the South Berwick code only requires a portion of poorly drained soils to be deducted from the acreage calculations.

Ms. Demers stated that it appeared there was just barely enough road frontage for each lot on Emery’s Bridge Road. Mr. Lodge stated that was correct and that each lot had just a few feet over the required 300’ road frontage.

Mr. Stirling asked Kate Pelletier what the procedure was from this point. Ms. Pelletier stated that the Board approved the sketch plan at the last meeting and can now review the preliminary plan under Section 121-31. If the Board believes those requirements have been met then they may schedule the public hearing and site walk.

The Board reviewed Section 121-31. Mr. Straub stated that the only requirement that had not met was subsection m, which states, “In order to ensure maximum objectivity and thoroughness in determining on-site soil conditions, a Planning Board member and/or the Board’s technical consultant shall be present when all test pits are being dug and examined by the applicant’s licensed evaluator.” He stated that he would be comfortable waiving that provision. Mr. Lodge stated that the test pits were dug by Toothaker & Associates who are fully licensed site evaluators. The Board agreed by consensus that subsection m could be waived.

Mr. Straub stated that it appeared all requirements of Section 121-31 had been met and that the preliminary plan was complete. The Board agreed that the preliminary plan was complete.

MOTION:
Mr. Straub made the motion to accept the preliminary plan as complete under Section 121-30 and 31 noting that subsection m, which requires a Planning Board member to be present at the time test pits are dug, be waived.
Second by Ms. Demers, passed unanimously.

The Board scheduled a site walk for Friday, October 29th at 8:00 AM and the public hearing for November 3rd at 7:00 PM.

(Old Business continued later in the meeting)

NEW BUSINESS

MNS #10-05 – Application for a minor site plan for Katherine Adams Gary (mailing address: 818 Lebanon Rd., North Berwick, ME). Applicant proposes to offer art classes in an existing retail store located at 438 Main Street. Property can be identified as Assessor’s Map 31, Lot 39 and is located in the B1 zoning district.
Ms. Adams-Gary stated that she recently opened a stained glass studio with an art gallery at 438 Main Street and had relocated from another space in North Berwick. She stated that she would like to start offering art classes in the evenings at the studio.

Ms. Demers stated that she was confused by the application for a special use permit. Ms. Pelletier stated that the application was simply to amend a previously approved special use permit by adding art classes to the use. The principal use, “retail”, had already received full site review in 2006 but the approval did not include classes like the applicant is proposing. Art classes would be incidental to the principal use and would not require separate approvals. It would be similar to a dog kennel selling dog collars or leashes.

Mr. Stirling asked what the hours of operation would be. Ms. Adams-Gary stated that classes would be held no more than two nights per week, no later than 9:00 PM.

Mr. Stirling asked how many students Ms. Adams-Gary expected in a typical class. Ms. Adams-Gary stated that she anticipated no more than 4-6 students per class.

Mr. Stirling asked if there was any offsite parking available. Ms. Adams-Gary stated that all off-street parking was dedicated to the building’s other tenants, but that there was plenty of street parking available. The Board agreed that the available offsite parking was adequate to support the proposed use, especially since classes would be held after normal business hours.

Mr. Straub asked how long the applicant had been in her new studio. Ms. Adams-Gary stated that she had been there for approximately three weeks. Mr. Straub asked what the name of the studio was. Ms. Adams-Gary stated it was called Stained Images.

Ms. Demers asked if there would be any kilns used at the studio. Ms. Adams-Gary stated that the only kilns she uses are the small, tabletop variety, which she uses to heat up jewelry and glass.

Mr. Parker asked if the lighting on the sign would be changed at all. Ms. Adams-Gary stated it would not.

MOTION:
Mr. Straub made the motion to approve the request in the form of a special use permit (MNS#10-05) as an amendment to SP#06-10 to extend the retail use to art classes related to the use and with the expectation of 10 or fewer students subject to the following condition of approval:
The hours of operation shall be before 9:00 PM.
Second by Ms. Demers, passed unanimously.

OLD BUSINESS (Cont’d)

Continued discussion on amending zoning district boundaries.
Mr. Straub stated that at the last meeting the Board essentially came to the agreement that the only changes that would make sense and be in accordance with the comprehensive plan would be the R2 to R1 zoning change. He stated that the comprehensive plan calls both zones out as being areas of medium to high density whereas the other zones call for low density, preservation of rural character and natural resources, etc. Ms. Demers added that if the boundary was changed the only additional use would be sludge spreading

Mr. Straub stated that if he recalled, the two examples code enforcement officer, Joe Rousselle gave about people in the area requesting variances was on Academy Street and Agamenticus Road, which are both in the R2 and R1 zones.

The Board agreed to pursue the extension of the R1 zone into the R2 zone 300’ or to the rear lot line (whichever is greater) in the area of Beaver Dam Road and Agamenticus Road. The Board also agreed to plan a workshop with the Council to discuss this and the issues surrounding private road acceptance. Ms. Pelletier stated that she was planning on having a draft ordinance ready for November 3rd to discuss clarifying the issue of private road regulations.

OTHER

None.

MEMBER COMMENTS

Mr. Straub stated that regarding the email from Roberta Orsini about Freedom of Access online training he would like to know if Planning Board members are considered “municipal officers” and therefore required to participate in training. Ms. Pelletier stated that she had posed the question to Roberta Orsini but had not yet heard back.

Ms. Demers asked Kate Pelletier to let Pat Robinson and the Conservation Commission know about the Maine NEMO presentation on November 3rd. Ms. Pelletier stated that she would let them know.

Motion by Ms. Demers, second by Mr. Straub to adjourn the regular meeting. The meeting was adjourned without objection at 8:25 PM.