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Planning Board Minutes 12/01/2010

December 1, 2010
Present: John Stirling – Chairman, Mimi Demers - Secretary, Bill Straub – Vice Chairman, Joel Moulton, Terrence Parker, Warren Spencer, and Kate Pelletier, Planning Coordinator.

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

November 17, 2010 – Planning Board regular Meeting: Motion by Mr. Straub, second by Ms. Demers to approve meeting minutes as amended, passed unanimously.


No comments from the public.

The Board reviewed the following correspondence:

November 1st, 2010 Appropriations Control Report
Email from Barbara Bennett, Town Clerk, regarding ordinance codification

SP #10-06 – Minor site plan application to amend the use of property located at 245 Main Street by establishing a video production company also offering classes. Applicant is Pip Clews, d/b/a Pip Productions (mailing address: PO Box 194, Rollinsford, NH 03869). Owner is Russell Tarason (mailing address: 248 Main St., South Berwick, ME 03908). Property can be identified as Map 28, Lot 7 and is located in the B-1 zoning district.
Tanna Clews, applicant, stated that she is moving her video production business to South Berwick, which would provide a range of video production and multimedia design services. She stated that the business would also hold occasional workshops and provide space for local artists, musicians and filmmakers to showcase their work. She stated that if approved she would be open for business on Friday evening for Home for the Holidays.

Ms. Demers stated that she wasn’t sure what the use would be classified as. Ms. Pelletier stated that Joe Rousselle indicated that “retail” would still be appropriate for the proposal. Mr. Stirling added that it could also be called a professional office.

Ms. Clews stated that there will be office space and the walls could be pushed aside to accommodate art exhibits and screenings of independent films once or twice a month.

Mr. Stirling asked if the applicant anticipated a lot of foot traffic. Ms. Clews stated that she hoped so but couldn’t tell yet.

Mr. Straub asked what kind of seating there would be. Ms. Clews stated that the space can hold up to 100 people per the Fire Code, but it would depend on the level of interest from people.

Mr. Spencer asked if any kind of inappropriate movies would be shown. Ms. Clews stated that they may not all be PG rated, but that she would not be showing anything inappropriate.

Ms. Demers stated that the Board usually gets an interior drawing of the space with the application. Ms. Clews stated that Joe Rousselle told her that was not necessary because it was a minor use change.

Mr. Parker asked if the projection would be visible from the street. Ms. Clews stated that if the shades were open anyone outside would be able to see the screen but that she intended to keep the curtains drawn for film screenings.

Ms. Demers asked the Board if they were concerned about the hours of operation like they were for the recently approved stained glass business. Mr. Spencer stated that the stained glass business was in more of a residential area where this one was located in a more commercial area so he wasn’t concerned about it. The Board agreed.

Ms. Demers asked if anyone lived above the storefront. Ms. Clews stated that there were some apartments above.

Mr. Straub asked if there was parking available behind the building. Ms. Clews stated there wasn’t any assigned parking but there were plenty of spaces to use behind the building.

Mr. Straub made the motion to approve Planning Board application SP10-06 as proposed, second by Ms. Demers, passed unanimously.

Review amendments to Chapters 140 (Zoning) and 121 (Subdivision of Land) to increase the number of plans required for site plan and subdivision submissions.
The Board reviewed the amendment to require 10 sets of plans with each site plan and subdivision plan and had no changes. They agreed to present the draft to the Council at the joint workshop on December 7th.

Review amendments to Chapter 140 (Zoning) to require a progress schedule of construction for all major site plan applications.
Ms. Demers suggested that the ordinance be a little more specific than just saying, “An estimated progress schedule of construction.” Mr. Parker suggested, “An estimated progress schedule for construction” instead.

Mr. Straub stated that leaving it somewhat vague gives the Planning Board some leeway to require more or less depending on the application. Mr. Parker stated that he would like to see a bulleted list of deadlines or schedules so that the town can avoid another scenario like the one on Academy Street. Ms. Demers agreed stating that requiring a more detailed schedule gets the conversation into the record so if there’s ever an issue the code enforcement officer can go back and look at what the Planning Board required.

Mr. Straub suggested, “An estimated sequence of and schedule for construction.” The Board agreed on this wording and planned to present it to the Council on December 7th.

Review new site plan application form.
Mr. Straub stated that he liked the new application and suggested adding a line about whether or not the property is located in one of the overlay districts like the Rural overlay district as an example. The Board agreed.

Ms. Pelletier stated that once the Council approves the amendment about increasing the number of plans to be submitted with any application she would change the application form. She stated that she would also add the progress schedule requirement if the Council approves it. She also stated that she would start working on revising the subdivision application and possibly creating a form to handle all miscellaneous Planning Board requests like amendments to final plans or lot line adjustments, as an example.

Discuss amendments to Chapters 140 and 121 concerning private roads –Draft #3
Mr. Stirling stated that Kate Pelletier had put together a second draft of the proposed amendment based on discussions at the last meeting. Ms. Pelletier stated that anything that had changed from the last draft was highlighted in yellow.

Mr. Straub stated that the key things the Board needed to relate to the council at the workshop is the Catch-22 about a private road with five lots that doesn’t get accepted by the council as a public road for whatever reason. He stated that that seems to be the heart of the matter. The ordinance also establishes a protocol for private roads that don’t get accepted by the council in that it requires the developer to assume the responsibility of maintenance or a homeowner’s association must be established.

Ms. Demers stated that the terms “road”, “street” and “public way” all seem to be used interchangeably, which can be confusing for the reader. Ms. Pelletier stated that she would add those terms to the existing definition of “street” and clarify that they are synonymous.

The Board had no other suggestions or comments on the draft and agreed to discuss it once more following the council workshop before scheduling a pubic hearing.

John Stirling reminded the Board that there would be a public hearing on the Maine Uniform Building and Energy Code on December 15th and that everyone should have received the draft amendment.

Ms. Demers stated that in Section 140-70 it says, “Section 140-70 is amended by adding the following underscored language to subsection E(12), as shown below,” however, there is no underscored language or anything stricken from the existing ordinance. Mr. Straub stated that it appeared the existing paragraph should be stricken and this new language should replace it.

Ms. Pelletier stated that the language came directly from the town’s attorney and that she would correct it prior to the public hearing. She also noted that the new standards took effect today, December 1st.

Mr. Spencer asked if the new code would apply to all new structures including garages and things like that. Ms. Pelletier stated that it did apply to all new structures.

Ms. Demers stated that regarding low impact development standards, she found some information on the Kennebec Valley Council of Governments (KVCOG) website and printed it out. Mr. Stirling asked Ms. Demers if she would present it to the Council next week. Ms. Demers agreed.

Ms. Pelletier stated that she would try to find some additional information on low impact development standards for the Council to look at as well.


Ms. Demers stated that she, John Stirling and Terrence Parker attended the Planning Board workshop put on by the Maine Municipal Association on November 18th. Becky Seel, an attorney for the Maine Municipal Association was the presenter. She stated that many issues were discussed and that it was helpful.

Ms. Demers reminded the Board that minutes needed to be prepared for the Patterson site walk. Ms. Pelletier stated that she would put something together for the next meeting.

Motion by Ms. Demers, second by Mr. Parker to adjourn the regular meeting. The meeting was adjourned without objection at 8:05 PM.

Attested by:________________________________ Date:____________