safewise logo
78 Sunny

Planning Board Public Hearings and Regular Meeting Minutes 04/21/2009

SOUTH BERWICK PLANNING BOARD
PUBLIC HEARINGS and REGULAR MEETING MINUTES
April 21, 2009
7:00 PM

ROLL CALL

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

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

CALL TO ORDER

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

Public Attendees: 9

PUBLIC HEARING #1:
Recommendation to Address Post Construction Requirements, Stormwater Phase II Program, and to Incorporate Road Cross-sections into Town Design Standards.

Chair Dionne opened the Public Hearing at 7:01 PM.

Mark Bergeron, consultant with Sevee & Maher, gave a brief synopsis with Stormwater ordinance changes. S & M has being working with the towns of Kittery, Eliot and Berwick, and is trying to dovetail the proposed South Berwick language with both EPA and DEP mandates so as to have a stand-alone Chapter 108, Shoreland Ordinance.

Mr. Clough requested the Chairman describe how this will affect individual homeowners.

Chairman Dionne stated that all drainage on public, private and subdivision roads would be subject to these new mandates. Single-family homeowners will be directly affected if they are to disturb more than one-acre of land on their property. The one-acre land disturbance triggers the need for a DEP Stormwater permit, and fees later to be set by the Town Council.

Chairman Dionne asked if the public would like to speak on this item. No public audience members spoke.

The Public Hearing was closed by Chairman Dionne at 7:06 PM.

CALL TO ORDER

Chairman Dionne called the regular Planning Board meeting to order at 7:07 PM so as to proceed with the regularly scheduled meeting prior to the advertised 8:00 PM Public Hearing for the proposed Shoreland Zoning Ordinance.

MINUTES APPROVAL

April 7, 2009 - Regular Meeting: Minutes are pending.

PUBLIC AUDIENCE

- Kirk Estes, 26 Waterside Lane, requested to speak under New Business, SP#09-02, Timber Harvesting.
CORRESPONDENCE

Chairman Dionne stated that items under Correspondence would be reviewed at a later time.
1. Email from Bill Straub dated 4/14/09 re: Shoreland Zoning.
2. Email from Bruce Whitney dated 4/13/09 re: Thoughts for Tuesday to be passed along.
3. Email forwarded from Susie Scott dated 4/08/09 re: Dolores Leonard and CWP Manual.
NEW BUSINESS

Chairman Dionne requested New Business be moved ahead of Old Business, and prior to second Public Hearing as time allows. Planning Board agreed.
1. SP#09-02; Richard & Ralph Holmes - Parker Forestry (Map 15 Lot 19) - Timber Harvest.

Licensed Forester, David Parker, presented his application for timber harvesting.

Abutter, Kirk Estes, 26 Waterside Lane welcomed the timber harvesting project, inquired to the boundary markers and whether any of the dead or fallen trees would be removed.

Mr. Parker responded that a fair amount of the fallen trees would either be shredded or crushed and left to rot.

Motion by Mr. Christo, second by Mr. Stirling to approve site plan SP#09-02 with the conditions the Hours of Operation be Monday-Friday, 7AM - 7PM with an occasional Saturday, passed unanimously.
2. MSP#09-03; Roxanne Roberge - 170 Main Street (Map 28 Lot 171) - Proposed addition of Neighborhood Convenience Store to the Gas Station.
Bruce Whitney recused himself from review of this application.

The applicant, Roxanne Roberge gave a brief presentation describing her intent to remove the existing service station in order to add a convenience store that will provide drive-up items for call-ahead ordering. There will be no seating available in the store. There will be one-way traffic flow within property site, and signage will include dormer letters. Landscaping will include bushes by the sign, and the "Kelly" tire sign will either be updated or taken down. Hours of Operation will be 5:30 AM to 9:00 PM, 7 days a week.

Mr. Fisk, Town Planner, stated that all application fees had been met, parking needs have been exceeded and none are directly adjacent to the building as well as there is adequate area for vehicular circulation.
Motion by Mr. Clough, second by Mrs. Demers to approve site plan MSP#09-03 with the conditions that the applicant is in compliance with all applicable conditions from the permit granted in October 2006, directional striping will be provided for store parking and drive-up and travel ways, and Hours of Operation are as listed, passed unanimously.

Chairman Dionne noted the 30-day appeal process period, and thanked the applicant.
OLD BUSINESS

1. Proposed Stormwater Ordinance: Discussion of Public Input. Discuss and/or take action.

The Board discussed the following changes:
" Attachment 6, pg. 4: Change 6 months to 12 months.
" §121-7.H Performance Guaranties. Zoning Ordinance to refer to "H" so the Town reserves the right not to accept roads built to Town standards.
" He/She language.
" Appendix 2: Stamped/signed MYLAR.
" Appendix 6.C(2): Change and add a new (d) so the sections read C (1) (a-d).
" All Definitions to be tied into Shoreland Zoning.
" Mark Bergeron to draft language for "Qualified Post-Construction Inspector".
" Fee structure to be established by the Town Council - fee structure will address costs associated with an inspector.
" Letter certifying approval from DPW, Terry Oliver.

Chairman Dionne thanked Mark Bergeron for his work, and looked forward to reviewing future changes.

Motion by Mr. Clough, second by Mr. Christo to forward the proposed Stormwater Ordinance with above-noted changes to the Town Council, passed unanimously.

Chairman Dionne confirmed that Susie Scott would write and forward a letter of recommendation to the Chairman for review and approval.

Chairman Dionne recessed the Regular Meeting to start the second Public Hearing regarding Shoreland Zoning at the advertised time of 8:00 PM.

PUBLIC HEARING #2:
Shoreland Zoning.
- Document: Updated Proposed Ordinance per April 14, 2009 Planning Board workshop.

Chair Dionne opened the Public Hearing at 8:00 PM.

Chairman Dionne read a memo from Thomas Campbell, 4 Tufts Road, who recommended the Town adopt the 100-foot setback for significantly developed areas as consistent with State mandates.

Mr. Fisk gave a brief synopsis of the State mandates, and noted that the Town was well ahead of State requirements. He explained the error of omission pertaining to the one time expansion of no more than 30%. There is a newly identified unnamed brook. Wetlands associated with great ponds and rivers now are to be included with the IWWF for those properties/areas identified. Property owners with property to be affected were notified. DEP understands effects of 250-foot setbacks, and identified the appeal process for which residents can request the regional biologist from IW&F to survey individual sites. The Town will request the regional biologist complete a survey for July 2009. Mr. Fisk recommends that Town adopt the Shoreland Ordinance as is and make changes as needed in the future.

Michael Gallo, 8 Tara Lane, described frustration with the DEP in his 22 years of land ownership. He questioned whether he could receive an abatement for any loss of value related the appraisal of his land.

Mr. Fisk responded yes but at his own expense. He has already discussed this area with the DEP, and a biologist could survey the wetlands he created in relation to the IWWFH. Mr. Fisk will ask Mike Morse, DEP, if there are any cut off dates specific to wetlands as for vernal pools and July 15th. He will also follow up on the procedure for the appeal process.

Dana Hughes, who spoke on behalf of Aaron Rousseau of Map 8 Lot 38 located off Witchtrot Road, questioned if the State will overrule any lesser regulations specific to Shoreland Zoning. The DEP legislates.

Suzanne Roberge, 9 Berwick Road, questioned whether all property owners to be affected had been notified, and whether the notice specifically made the point to property owners about the potential loss of property.

Mr. Fisk responded that notices went out to those who would be affected by the new standards, and the notice informed residents to the Public Hearing, and that their properties would be affected. He will publish maps of affected areas on the Town website for viewing purposes. He noted the Board could recommend the State minimum setback of 75 feet.

Bill Bolevic, 604 Emery's Bridge Road, stated it was disconcerting to learn about the new standards, and questioned whether the eroding road that runs from the Ogunquit River and directly through the setback can be expanded or maintained.

The Board responded that he would not be able to expand the road but would be allowed to maintain it as needed.

Michael Gallo stated that the State could close any road down as it so deemed. He stated that unless the Town as a whole takes a stand and presents these problems related to these mandates as a "package", individual homeowners had little to no recourse.

Christine Magruder, 39 Flynns Lane, inquired if there would be provisions specific to existing agriculture uses or whether as a homeowner, she could add a greenhouse to her property.

The Board noted that yes, she would be able to add a greenhouse so long as it was attached to an existing structure and it followed the one-time expansion rule.

Mr. Fisk stated that property owners would be allowed to mow and/or till their fields and other specific activities as specified.

Jack Kareckas, 15 Parent Street, discussed the proposed 250-foot setback as being presented scarier than actually is, and how agricultural uses will continue to be allowed.

Mr. Christo further noted that existing operations could continue per the new standards.

Michael Gallo stated his concerns twofold: Maintaining current operations is important but more importantly, as a developer with a desire to possibly subdivide his land at some future point, he would see a significant lessening of value for his land.

Mr. Christo expressed concern for property owners but noted there remained flexibility within these new standards.

Jack Kareckas noted that referenced Conservation Plans were undefined.

Mr. Fisk discussed State approval of proposed language and specific lots could be listed as a Limited Residential District.

Chairman Dionne questioned the Board as to how they felt about the ordinance as currently written.

Mr. Clough discussed timeframe for Town and State approval, and noted concern toward possibly relaxing standards for specific owners as opposed to a town wide ordinance applicable to all properties. He discussed tax implications in relation to land deemed nonbuildable due to new standards. He questioned what criteria was used to designate these areas of significance, and stated it would not be good if the proposed ordinance was forwarded to the Town Council as presently written.

Mr. Stirling noted concern for restrictions, and felt property owners needed to know more information.

Mrs. Demers stated that the restrictions did seem tough, but that these standards were not arbitrary and noted the science behind their creation.

Mr. Christo stated that the Board had not fully reviewed this new ordinance, the Public Hearing was helpful for input, and did not recommend the Board forward the ordinance to the Council as proposed.

Mr. Straub stated the ordinance review was proceeding too quickly, and enough information has not been presented to the Board nor does the Board know how the ordinance is to operate once adopted. Since the Board has been told that the July 1 date it not hard and fast, and the Board is not prepared, it is critical for further analysis with legal review as to the flexibility within these standards.

Chairman Dionne stated that it was helpful to receive public comment in order to incorporate those concerns, and the Board was not prepared to forward this on. She noted the Town Council would hold their own Public Hearing at some point in the future.

Bill Bolevic discussed his hopes and dreams relating to his future for starting a family and having land for his children. He recommended the Board consider relaxing the 250-foot standards in areas of development.

Jack Kareckas strongly urged the Planning Board to hold another Public Hearing.

The Public Hearing was closed by Chairman Dionne at 9:10 PM with the Regular Meeting to resume.
OLD BUSINESS - continued.
2. Proposed Shoreland Zoning Ordinance: Discussion of Public Input. Discuss and/or take action.

Mr. Christo requested confirmation regarding the July 1 deadline.

Mr. Fisk responded that although the deadline is July 1, he has been told by Mike Morse of the DEP that "no" the DEP will not penalize the Town if their ordinance had not been adopted, and stated "I wouldn't worry about it" specific to concern of being penalized. However, Mike Morse will not give this statement in written form for Town review.

Mr. Straub reiterated the point the Board must know how this ordinance is to work, and once again requested legal review.

Mr. Christo felt there remained issues to be addressed, and questioned the Conservation Plan as referenced in the ordinance.

Mr. Clough requested the State appeal process.

Mr. Straub felt the Board does not fully understand the options available to respond to public concerns.

Mr. Fisk stated that discretion was not written into law but provided in a 1991 DEP newsletter regarding Limited Residential areas. He will forward this policy statement to the Board.

Chairman Dionne requested Mr. Fisk provide a FAQ sheet at the upcoming May 5 Planning Board meeting along with a map depicting areas to be affected to be included with mailers.

Mr. Whitney noted it was not the charge of the Board to address abatement issues, and the Board should not advise the public to such matters. He recommended the Board have a specific list of concerns for legal review.

Mr. Christo questioned whether one set of criteria could be applied for affected properties and whether there could be a limit to the percentage of properties this ordinance could affect.

Charles Wing, 91 Witchtrot, stated to Mr. Fisk that he did not want to see a reduction in IF&W standards related to the IWWF.

The Planning Board requested 13 new areas of significant development be defined and surveyed on the ground for accuracy. A question for a legal review could address whether the Town could refuse to adopt these new standards until a ground survey is completed.

Mr. Fisk discussed researching potential grants for surveying, and the need for better data and field verification. He noted that the towns of Eliot and Sanford are currently negotiating with the DEP in relation to their concerns.
OTHER
- None.
MEMBER COMMENTS
- None.

Dates & Times for Upcoming Meetings:
May 5, 2009 Regular Meeting
May 19, 2009 Regular Meeting

Motion by Mr. Clough, second by Mr. Christo 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