2006-11-16 Planning Board Meeting Minutes

TOWN OF BOWDOINHAM

PLANNING BOARD MINUTES

November 16, 2006

Members Present: Whitney, Baum, Beltramini, Oakes, Zachau

Members Absent:  Evans, McGee

Zachau will be a voting member for this meeting.

Item 1:              Call Regular Planning Board Meeting to Order

                        Meeting called to order at 7:00 pm

Item 2:              Consideration of the September 28, 2006 Meeting Minutes

Whitney motions to accept minutes, seconded by Baum.   

                        Vote 5-0 in favor

                        Consideration of the October 26, 2006 Meeting Minutes

                        Whitney motions to accept minutes, seconded by Beltramini.

                        Vote 4-0 in favor as Baum abstained due to absence at the October meeting.        

Item 3:              Close Planning Board Meeting

                        Whitney moves to close meeting at 7:04, Oakes seconds the motion

                        Vote 5-0 in favor.

Item 4:              Call Public Hearing to Order

                        Public hearing called to order at 7:05

Item 5:              Public Hearing

                        James Read                           

                        23 Fisher Road P.O. Box 95/ Tax Map U-6 Lot 7B

                        Residential & Agricultural Zoning

                        Application for Site Plan Review:

                        New Commercial Use: Mechanical Repair Garage & Auto Sales

11 people in attendance for this Public Hearing.

Mr. Read explains that he would like to run a commercial business in the garage that he has at

23 Fisher Road.  The business would include wrecker service, a repair garage, and the sale of used cars. 

Brendan Smith, the attorney for Stillwell’s Auto Sales who is an abutter, states that his client is concerned about the previous violations, and would like to urge the Board that he believes they should deny the permit for that reason.  Whitney states that the Town of Bowdoinham cited Mr. Read today with violation of the Junkyard permit.  Currently Mr. Read is in violation of the state junkyard laws. 

Mr. Read states that he has had a junkyard permit in the past, at the property now owned by Brett Stillwell, and does not intend to get another at this time, instead he is trying to remove all material that is in violation.  Whitney explains that the discussion tonight is not about the junkyard violation, only the application for a commercial use garage. 

Mr. Belanger, Mr. Read’s grandson, explains that the used car license cannot be applied for until the lot is commercialized, according to Maine State Law.

Elaine Buck, a neighbor, would like to voice her support for the application and Mr. Read. 

Scott Allen, a neighbor across the road, would like to request a visual site improvement in the form of a low fence or shrubs.  If a visual barrier is not an option due to the cars for sale along the road then he would like to see that the site is strictly managed so that it maintains a visual esthetic. 

Baum would like to know if used cars will mostly be sold to drive-by customers or people who seek out the lot due to other sort of advertising done by Mr. Read.  Mr. Read states that he will be advertising in Uncle Henry’s and also hopes to get business from drive by customers. 

Jen Foley, Chair of the Bowdoinham Board of Selectpersons, would like to explain that she has been made aware of people that are opposed to the application before the Board, however they would not attend tonight due to fear of publicly speaking out against the applicant. 

Mr. Belanger presents the Board with three letters of support from neighbors who were unable to attend.  They will be placed in the file being kept by the Town.

Item 6:             Close Public Hearing

                        Public hearing closed at 7:39

Item 7:             Open Planning Board Meeting

                        Planning Board meeting opened at 7:40

Item 8:              Old Business   

                        A. James Read                                  

                        23 Fisher Road P.O. Box 95/ Tax Map U-6 Lot 7B

                        Residential & Agricultural Zoning

                        Application for Site Plan Review:

                        New Commercial Use: Mechanical Repair Garage & Auto Sales

The Code Enforcement Officer is asked about the state law regarding the sale of automobiles.  The Code Enforcement Officer states that there is not a limit on the number of used cars that can be sold, only that a person needs a license if you sell more than two cars per year and that all VIN numbers need to be tracked with the State of Maine. 

The Code Enforcement Officer explains the violation that was served tonight regarding the junkyard violation and the Land Use Ordinance.

Baum would like to clarify if any business is currently being conducted at this location.  Code Enforcement Officer explains that he has been there on site visits and has witnessed what he believes to be commercial activity taking place.  The Code Enforcement Officer has also received complaints about commercial activity taking place on the site.  Mr. Read explains that the activity was very minor.  Baum would like to know what kind of impact the violation has on the vote before the board in regard to this application. 

Oakes proposes low-growing shrubs along the road for a visual barrier.  Mr. Read states that he would like to put a tall fence on the property with a gate, which will attach to the side and rear of the garage in order to create a secure area to store cars that have been towed to the property.  He would also like to add a cement pad within the enclosed area of the property so that towed cars can be placed on it when fluids are leaking.  This will make cleaning up the fluids much quicker and safer. 

The Code Enforcement Officer will check the culvert to make sure that it is the right size for water flow.  The Code Enforcement Officer will also update the site plan with the location of the septic holding tank after it has been put in place.

The Code Enforcement Officer explains that any pile of used car parts may only remain on the property for up to 6 months.  There is currently a pile of scrap metal on the rear of the property that Whitney would like to see have a fence around on three sides.

No additional trees will be cut.  This site is served by public water and will not have a significant increase in water usage.  The Fire Chief has submitted a letter stating no problems with this application.  The sign ordinance must be complied with.  The garage has a waste oil furnace.  There will not be any onsite disposal of other fluids. 

Conditions proposed for this permit:

  1. Only one row of cars for sale will be permitted along Fisher Road.
  2. The Code Enforcement Officer will visit the site and take a series of baseline photos.
  3. A fence will be placed around three sides of the junk pile on the rear of the property so that the pile is not visible from the front of the property.  The pile and fence must meet the 10 foot setback requirement. 
  4. The trailer bodies must remain in a fixed location, and must be maintained, painted and leveled. They will not be allowed to be replaced by a larger structure without the applicant returning to the Planning Board for approval. 
  5. A fence will be constructed to create a secure location for towed cars to placed in.  The location of the fence will be arranged by the applicant and the Code Enforcement Officer.  The construction of the fence will take place this year and if the ground freezes before completion a date of June 1, 2007 will be enforced.  The fence is intended to be a visual barrier, made of wood, and at least 8 feet tall. 

Whitney proposes that the vote be delayed until the next regular Planning Board meeting in order to give the applicant time to comply with the State Junkyard Laws by the deadline set by the Board of Selectpersons of December 14, 2006.  The septic holding tank should also be in place by that time.  Mr. Read agrees to delay the vote.  The next regular Planning Board meeting is December 21, 2006. 

The applicant should come to the meeting with the proposed placement of the cement pad and area for the fence. 

Item 9:             New Business       

  1. Larry Carr

1419 River Road/ Tax Map R12 Lot 16

Residential & Agricultural Zoning

Application for Site Plan Review

Seasonal Antiques Shop

Mr. and Mrs. Carr would like to open a small antiques shop on their property on River Road. They do not intend to have set hours of operation.  They plan on placing a flag along the road to announce when they will be open.  They have a small building that was built this spring that will house the shop.  He also has a building permit to add a 6 foot porch along the front of the building to display antiques.  The porch will be built at a later date.

Currently the building is 12x24 feet and they have parking for up to 4 cars. 

The applicant submits a waiver request for a survey and soil condition study.   The Fire Chief has submitted a letter of approval.  Outdoor lighting will be a porch light. 

The Board requests a sketch map of the property with the buildings and a statement about paint disposal. 

The applicant will go to the Registry of Deeds and get a copy of a survey done by a relative who is also a neighbor. 

The Town will notify all abutters about the application presented and ask that they notify the secretary of any objections to the antiques shop. 

Whitney motions to accept the application as complete with the condition that the sketch map, copy of neighbor’s survey that includes the Carr’s property survey and statement about paint disposal are obtained. 

Seconded by Baum

Vote 5-0 in favor

Whitney motions to conditionally approve this application until the next regular Planning Board meeting:

  1. The conditions of the complete application are met.
  2. The secretary does not receive any negative responses from the abutters.
  3. This application will only be valid for Mr. and Mrs. Carr, all future owners or proprietors will                     need to seek Planning Board approval.

The Carr’s will be able to operate their antiques shop while this application is before the Board.  Final approval will be voted on at the next regular Planning Board meeting. 

Seconded by Oakes

Vote 5-0 in favor

Item 10:            Other Business

Item 11:            Adjourn Meeting

Meeting is adjourned at 9:40 pm.