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Planning Board Public Hearing and Regular Meeting Minutes 07/07/2009

July 7, 2009
7:00 PM


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

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


Chair Dionne called the Public Hearing to order at 7:00 pm.

Public Attendees: 20

MSP#08-02; Our Lady of Angels Parish Church

Chair Dionne opened the Public Hearing at 7:00 PM.

Tom Harmon (Civil Consultants), Rob Teague (Architect), Father John Sheehan and David Vachon (Building Committee Chair).

Tom Harmon gave a brief presentation of the proposed church building on ten-acre parcel to be purchased from Owens Stevens. Mr. Harmon discussed proposed entrances, parking lots, building envelopes, Stormwater/filtration discharge systems, power/utility sources/water/sewer, future rectory and vegetated buffers on the site, which will be well wooded with minimal clearing. Further discussed erosion control notes per MeDEP Stormwater Plan, the Landscaping Plan with different varieties of shrubs/trees and the Lighting Plan for site with photometrics to show lighting intensity. There will be no wall-pack on building, only entry lighting. He stated that a MDOT permit is needed for anything generating over 100 trips in any hour, and they recently submitted a traffic movement permit to MDOT. Mr. Harmon concluded that he would like to see an affirmative action from the Board at this meeting.

Robert Teague, Architect from Great Works Architecture, discussed the new parish for both North and South Berwick. There will be a 16,000 sq. footprint, and will have a sanctuary and office/classroom/meeting space. Most functions will occur on the first floor. He discussed building details/aesthetics/layout/materials. They propose to use low energy, efficient mechanical systems. Mr. Teague noted they had been working on this project for a while now starting with the request for amendment to the building code for the church tower height.

Chairman Dionne opened up the discussion for public input.

Ken Tuttle, 4 Emery's Bridge Road, inquired to runoff water. Tom Harmon responded with details from the runoff plan and drainage areas, and noted that water currently runs across land owned by Mr. Tuttle. Mr. Tuttle stated that he remains concerned about runoff onto his land. Mr. Harmon noted no more water will flow to Mr. Tuttle's land even after full construction, and any type of oil spill will flow first into outlets. Robert Teague responded to Mr. Tuttle's inquiry of type and rational for the proposed asphalt roof by noting he did consider metal roofing but there could be a serious issue with snow slide, runoff and the steep pitch that makes this difficult. Mr. Teague preferred the asphalt roof to the metal roof.

Sue Letourneau, 38 Tamarack Drive, questioned and confirmed her property location in relation to property.

Suzanne Roberge, property abutter with address 9 Berwick Road, discussed the following issues:
1. Proposed building is to be built on a natural aquifer that affects their two properties. Proposed site plan does not show additional rectory that could further affect their land. As previously stated, they fear this project could adversely affect their properties. Ms. Roberge would like the record to show that she is concerned about potential impacts if this project were to be built. She inquired if the Planning Board could write a letter to confirm there will be no be any future issues.
2. Inquired about the test boring that was conducted during the winter. Tom Harmon responded that test results from the geotechnical consultant are at Civil Consultants.
3. Questioned who is responsible for the storm drains. Tom Harmon responded that the church is required to maintain the Stormwater system per the DEP permit as will be on file.
4. Wondered if the public hearing was premature in consideration that the DEP paperwork had not been filed until June 30, 2009. Tom Harmon stated that MDOT is a separate process and Chairman Dionne confirmed a public hearing could be held at any time.
5. Discussed potential traffic and peak trips with 227 trips generated at peak times on Sunday. How many masses are intended? Tom Harmon discussed masses taking place on Saturday at 4pm and Sunday at both 9am and 11am. Peak hours include one mass, and he does not think 227 trips will occur.
6. Expressed concern regarding the proposed entrance location, the sweep of glare in the fall and winter months, and its affects on their two properties located directly across from the entrance. Questioned why the entrance could not be moved further down as it was previously. She stated she does not want to see fencing and/or shrubbery.
7. There is no language/picture in the application addressing signage and lighting. Questioned when she will be able to see the final project. Robert Teague stated that in the interest of recycling, they would be using the existing sign. Mr. Teague provided the public and Board members with several photocopies of the existing sign. He said a task light will point in at the sign so no light spills over and can be replaced if necessary.
8. Stated that it is clear the plan calls for a wooded buffer to the left and right of the entrance, but the property she is concerned about is a straight shot across the street to a lit building. She noted this is a rural area that they have owned for 10 years, and would like the Planning Board to look closely at buffering issues. Ms. Roberge concluded that at the previous meeting water runoff was her prime concern, however, with additional information she now has even more concerns.

The Public Hearing was closed by Chairman Dionne at 7:38.

Chairman Dionne called the regular Planning Board meeting to order at 7:39 PM.


May 19, 2009 - Planning Board Regular Meeting: Motion by Mr. Stirling, second by Mrs. Demers to accept minutes as amended, passed with Mr. Clough in abstention.

June 16, 2009 - Planning Board Regular Meeting: Motion by Mrs. Demers, second by Mr. Clough to accept minutes as amended, passed unanimously.


- Suzanne Roberge, 9 Berwick Road, requested to speak under Old Business, MSP#08-02.

1. Email from Josephine Collins per John B. Schempf dated June 3, 2009.

The Planning Board discussed the email from Joesephine Collins regarding the zoning of property located at 45 Agamenticus Road within the R2 Zone, Map 29 Lot 27.

The Board discussed the request from Mrs. Collins to review the way in which this parcel, owned by her mother, is currently zoned. The Board acknowledged the way in which the zoning of the above noted property differs from surrounding properties, and questioned whether this issue has previously been brought before the Zoning Board of Appeals.

The Planning Board appreciates and sympathizes with property owners who may encounter potential conflicts in relation to the zoning ordinance. However, the Board feels strongly that it cannot respond to individual requests for the rezoning of a particular property, and recommends this matter be forwarded to the ZBA for further review.
Per directive, Mrs. Scott will draft a letter of response for Chairman Dionne's review to be forwarded to the Town Manager.

Mrs. Demers will place zoning issue on the Planning Board ongoing list of review items. The Planning Board does intend to continue their review of potential zoning changes in hopes of creating a more consistent and equitable zoning ordinance.


1. Our Lady of the Angels Parish Church - MSP#08-02 (Greater Portland Diocese) - Major Site Plan Application.

Chairman Dionne noted receipt of the revised materials as provided by Tom Harmon.

Mr. Straub clarified to audience members that with the Board's recommendation and Council's approval, the Zoning Ordinance was recently amended with regard to church steeple height. He confirmed with Mr. Harmon that the foundation drain/trench located at the rear lot buffer is supposed to be re-wooded. In discussing the overall drainage plan, Mr. Straub requested Tom Harmon clarify if this area could be characterized as an aquifer as deemed by an abutter. Mr. Harmon responded that this area is not a recharge area, therefore, the aquifer term does not apply. Mr. Harmon further stated that the DEP permit has demonstrated that the total runoff will remain the same when developed although the DEP did not study runoff quantity, only quality. Mr. Harmon state the detention of water will equalize runoff solely causing minimal increase in water runoff although he cannot state there will be no increase due to a variety factors. In response to Mr. Straub, he confirmed that water runoff does not cross Agamenticus Road and that all runoff to Agamenticus runs to the river and not North.

Mr. Christo stated that questions posed by Mr. Straub addressed his concerns. Mr. Christo did question issues concerning granite curbing. Mr. Harmon responded that granite curbing would be around the building, adjacent to the sidewalks and the main island with traffic flow.

Mrs. Demers discussed the wood buffer as thin. Mr. Harmon noted he was not sure what would be left when completed, and the buffer could be sparse during the winter. Mrs. Demers corrected past comments about invasive planting varieties.

Mr. Straub questioned whether this buffer could be designated a "not-cut" area, for which Mr. Harmon did not object to the "no cut" condition. There would be greater wetland impacts by using any other locations for the entrance.

Mr. Clough further discussed the wooded buffer in relation to the drainage concern, and questioned whether the project engineer could provide a letter of guarantee of no increase in water runoff.

Mr. Straub noted that there could be other sources of water runoff unrelated to the proposed project, and that drainage calculations could address this issue. Mr. Harmon noted that insurance companies never allow companies to guarantee no increased water runoff because of outside forces, however, Mr. Harmon stated he will review the report for not only water quality but water quantity.

Mr. Clough inquired if the applicant would have to come back for further site plan approval for the rectory since it has not fully shown on the final plans. He further questioned the test boring results in relation to Stormwater runoff. Mr. Fisk noted the application was pending until adopted, and the applicant can address the rectory on this plan. Mr. Fisk stated it is up to the DEP to verify Stormwater drainage.

In response to Mr. Clough, Robert Teague, confirmed that spot lighting from the ground will light the steeple. Site conditions will determine the sign location, which will be visible from both ends of the street. When asked by Mr. Clough about changing the entrance location, Mr. Harmon said it might be possible but they have previously analyzed different locations.

Mr. Stirling questioned the timing of the lighting of the sign. In relation to properties located on the other side of the road, Mr. Harmon said the lighting could be lessened and placed on a timer. Site lighting would be on a security load to be set by the church, and more plantings could be located at the edge along the property to reduce concerns of glare.

In response to Chairman Dionne's concern, Mr. Harmon stated that he could put another type of evergreen behind the hard woods to minimize the glare of car lights. How is light to be situated.

Mrs. Demers questioned ways to lessen the light shining from the steeple. Mr. Teague discussed issues of light absorption, and noted they would make a concerted effort to address the site lighting to have the least obtrusive effect.

Chairman Dionne questioned whether there was other entrance lighting, and whether the lights could be turned off unless there was a function. Father John responded that the lights could be turned off unless needed for a function.

Mr. Christo recommended the wooded buffers be designated as such in the deed. Mr. Harmon will provided language to address issue.

Chairman Dionne summarized items for applicant follow up:
- Buffers to be shown on plan.
- Rectory elevations.
- Written language to address the lighting of both the steeple and sign. Light timing to be provided for on the plan.
- Further review of water quantity issues per DEP Stormwater application - pre/post construction.
- Test borings results.
- Revise landscaping plan at bio-retention areas.

Suzanne Roberge, abutter, stated her concern for water runoff and the exemption of this site plan with regard to the new Stormwater Ordinance. She inquired to the maintenance of these drains. Ms. Roberge clarified that the terming of this area as a natural aquifer was directly related to discussions she had with the recently deceased Water District Superintendent. She expressed concern specific to light in large areas within rural sections of town. The proposal is for a large project, and does not think the Planning Board has had enough information to review nor have they had enough time to review it. Ms. Roberge requested the reasoning behind the entryway location, and the Board discusses the pros and cons of entryway.

Mr. Christo clarified that the applicant was not exempted from the Stormwater Ordinance because they filed their application prior to the Ordinance adoption deeming it a pending application. The site plan with the entryway location is the outcome of the site walk. The location of the entry, driveway and parking lot mitigate Stormwater runoff. If the entry was relocated further west, there would be more disturbance and runoff, and he feels confident with the site plan and commends the applicant for their work and for providing ample information. Mr. Christo noted that public hearings are held for this very reason of addressing public concerns.

Chairman Dionne confirmed the applicant has to comply with the DEP permit, and all drainage must be checked on a yearly basis by an engineer with submittal of a final report. Although the applicant does not report to the Town but to the DEP, it is of the applicant's best interest to keep their drainage systems maintained.

Mr. Clough stated that not only was it the duty of the Planning Board to work with the developers but to also assure abutters will not be adversely affected. He further discussed alternate driveway locations.

Tom Harmon stated that if lighting was really an issue, plantings could be planted on other side of road. The abutter or applicant can add any type of shrubbery or fencing to alleviate concerns.

Mr. Christo confirmed that as an area within the R2 Zone, the Comprehensive Plan designates this very section of town as an infill area, and that it is not really designated rural.

Mr. Straub agreed that this was an appropriate area for this project.

Mr. Stirling stated that short plantings or fencing could be provided to alleviate lighting issues.

Suzanne Roberge, abutter, stated that she and Kevin Emery did not think there was no easy fix to the entrance location as proposed. She requested the same considerations be taken for her as with others, and stated that infill will begin since water and sewer utilities are servicing this property.

Chairman Dionne stressed the importance of the applicant working with concerned abutters with any issues.

Mr. Clough stated he would like to see the entrance location to be further addressed.

Major Site Plan Application MSP#08-02 will be placed on the July 21, 2009 Planning Board agenda for further review.

The Planning Board took a 5-minute recess.

The Planning Board meeting resumed at 8:47 pm.
2. Shoreland Zoning: Follow Up to Joint Workshop with Town Council.

The Planning Board completed another review of the proposed Chapter 110, Shoreland Zoning and made the following changes:

1. § 110-11. Definitions. "Limited Residential Shoreland District"- Delete the words "…the following…" from the second sentence.
2. § 110-13.B. Nonconforming Structures Within…"- Include the words "…within one (1) year…" to the last sentence in paragraph three so as to read, "Replanting shall be required within one (1) year as follows:".
3. § 110-17.C. Overlay Zones. "Limited Residential Shoreland District"- Delete the words "…the following…" so the sentence shall read, " This district shall include areas when they occur within the limits of Shoreland Zones …"
4. § 110-18.B. District Boundaries. "Shoreland and Slope District - SP"- Edit (q) to read "Unnamed Stream 1" instead of "Tatnic Brook", edit (r) to read "Unnamed Stream 2" instead of "Hilton Brook", and add (s), "Hilton Brook".
5. Table C, Shoreland Dimensional Requirements. Add section reference to the end of note (5) so as to read, "See Section 110-18.A(3)(g)".

Mr. Fisk discussed the naming of the new unnamed streams. He will follow up on this item.

Mr. Clough noted his concern that only one councilor gave input at the June workshop.

The Planning Board requested the following items be provided to them prior to the upcoming public hearing on July 27, 2009: Revised map with LRS, proposed Ordinance v9a and strikeout memo.

The Planning Board agreed that all property owners to be affected with increased setbacks of 100' to 200' along with those with new Resource Protection and Limited Residential designations should be notified for the July 27, 2009 joint Public Hearing for Shoreland Zoning.
3. Shoreland Zoning: Schedule Joint Public Hearing for July 27, 2009 at 6:30 PM.
Motion by Mr. Christo, second by Mr. Stirling to schedule a joint Public Hearing with the Town Council on July 27, 2009 at 6:30 PM regarding creation of a Shoreland Zoning Ordinance and amendments to the existing Shoreland Zoning map and Zoning Ordinance, passed unanimously.

- none.
Election of Officers: Scheduled for the August 4, 2009 Planning Board meeting.
- Chairman Dionne discussed the Town Council and the appointment of a new Planning Board alternate.
- Mr. Stirling recommended "Thank you" letters be sent with regard to the Stormwater Center visit.
- Mrs. Demers noted that the EDC has not met in a while, and that the Committee may be reorganized as an all citizen group.
- Mr. Christo stated that he will not be present for the July 21st Planning Board meeting.

Dates & Times for Upcoming Meetings:
July 21, 2009 @ 7:00 PM Regular Meeting
July 27, 2009 @ 6:30 PM Joint Public Hearing w/Town Council re: Shoreland Zoning
August 4, 2009 @ 7:00 PM Regular Meeting
August 18, 2009 @ 7:00 PM Regular Meeting

Motion by Mr. Clough, second by Mr. Stirling to adjourn the meeting. The meeting was adjourned without objection at 9:35 PM.

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