2007-11-20 Select Board Meeting Minutes

Town of Bowdoinham
Minutes from the Public Hearings
November 20, 2007

 

Hearing #1: to extend for an additional One Hundred and Eighty (180) day period the Moratorium Ordinance Prohibiting certain uses in the Highway Overlay District as established on June 14, 2006 at the Annual Town Meeting in accordance with the provisions of 30-A M.R.S.A. Section 4356(3).

Chair Dorr opened the public hearing at 5:30 pm. All members of the Board were present: Chair Dorr, Selectperson Ciembroniewicz and Selectperson Whittlesey. Residents in attendance: Brant Miller, Paul Beltramini, Tony Cox, Dotty Baker, Todd Woofenden, Andrew Fiori, and Kathy Durgin-Leighton, Town Manager. Non resident: Nicole Briand, Town Planner/CEO

Brant Miller, Post Road resident and member of the Land Use Group, stated that speaking on his own behalf and not for the Land Use Group. He urges the Select Board not to extend the moratorium as it has been extended many times and has lost its credibility. Also, he believes that there will not be a solution at the end of another 180 days should the Select Board extend it again.

Chair Dorr read a memo from the Land Use Group regarding its position on extending the moratorium.

Todd Woofenden, Chair of the Land Use Group and River Road resident, stated that he believes there has been substantial progress toward addressing the highway district uses. The Group is pursuing what the best type of use is for the area. Todd reported that the Land Use Group has identified several different ways to address the highway district area and believes that substantial work will be done in the next six months.

Andrew Fiori, Fisher Road resident, read a statement to the Board on his opinion regarding the moratorium. He stated that if the moratorium is giving the Town time to make better decisions, then “what’s wrong with that”?

Tony Cox, River Road resident and Community & Economic Development Director, reported that with four lots going up for sale along the highway district, the Town is at a pivotal point. It is clear, Tony stated, that growth is coming and it’s coming fast. He stated that the Land Use Group is closer to solving the issue. He believes that while residents want economic growth, people are concerned about the size, feel and the scale of the area.

Brant Miller stated that the moratorium does not address the size, etc; it only addresses convenience stores and gas stations. He stated that the any other business could be built in the district and still be “big and ugly”.

Paul Beltramini, Carding Machine Road resident and member of the Land Use Group, stated that the moratorium was originally introduced as it was believed that gas stations and convenience stores were the two types of businesses considered for the highway district and the Town was concerned that this type of development would alter the character of the town’s village area. He further stated that a more comprehensive moratorium identifying the scale, size, etc of businesses was not a reasonable solution. He further stated that it was the Planning Board’s intent that planned growth would bring businesses into the area that would provide good paying jobs and have less impact on the area such as lights, noise, etc would be the outcome.

With no other comments from the public, Chair Dorr closed the public hearing at 5:55 pm.

 

Hearing # 2: to adopt revised General Assistance Ordinance – Appendix A-C for the period of October 1, 2007 – October 1, 2008 as well as Appendix F (Maximum for Personal Care and Household Supplies), as revised September 2007. These appendices are filed with the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) in compliance with Title 22 M.R.S.A. §4305(4).

Chair Dorr opened the public hearing at 5:55 pm.

Residents in attendance: Brant Miller, Paul Beltramini, Tony Cox, Dotty Baker, Todd Woofenden, Andrew Fiori. Non resident: Nicole Briand, Town Planner/CEO

Chair Dorr asked the Town Manager to give a brief synopsis of the revised General Assistance Ordinance. After brief discussion, Chair Dorr closed the public hearing at 6:00 pm.


Selectperson’s Agenda

Item 1: Call the regular meeting to order – Chair Dorr called the regular meeting to order at 6:03 pm. All members were present: Chair Dorr, Selectperson Ciembroniewicz, and Selectperson Whittlesey.

Item 2: Consideration of the minutes from November 6, 2007 meeting – The Board reviewed the minutes. Selectperson Ciembroniewicz moved to accept the minutes as written, Selectperson Whittlesey seconded. The vote was 3-0 in favor.

Item 3: Comments from the Public – There were no comments from the public.

Item 4: New Business

A. Consideration to extend existing moratorium prohibiting certain uses as established on June 14, 2006 at the Annual Town Meeting in accordance with the provisions of 30-A M.R.S.A. Section 4356(3) for an additional One Hundred and Eighty (180) days –

Selectperson Ciembroniewicz move to extend the moratorium for an additional One Hundred and Eighty days, Selectperson Whittlesey seconded.

Discussion:

Selectperson Whittlesey stated that five extensions to a moratorium is not healthy and prolongs the indecision to the problem. He further stated that the Land Use Group is doing a great deal of good work and from the letter presented by the Group, it appears that substantial progress has been made and will continue to be made. As the Group has stated, a step by step approach is being taken and at the same time, the Board is asking the Group to look at a smaller piece of the project (Highway District). He stated that it would be unfortunate to make a decision that might undercut the Land Use Group’s work prematurely. He acknowledged, however, the need for the Group to address the Highway District in order to end the need for a moratorium.

Selectperson Ciembroniewicz asked Nicole Briand, Town Planner, if moratoriums are seen as a fruitful tool. Ms. Briand stated that towns don’t use them very often and that they are used usually to get a town time to respond to a problem. She acknowledged that the Land Use Group is actively working on the Highway District problem by looking at developing development standards for commercial development in all areas of the town and not just the highway area. Selectperson Ciembroniewicz asked Ms. Briand if she felt the town presently had the tools necessary to address the problem at the highway area. Ms. Briand reported that the current standard, “preserve and enhance the landscape” in the town’s site plan review is not specific enough and that a new standard is needed that would be more inclusive as to how to meet the standard.

Selectperson Ciembroniewicz stated that the issue is complex and the fact that the moratorium was before the Select Board for another extension was not a reflection of the outstanding work that is going on by the Land Use Group. He further acknowledge that a moratorium is not a planning tool but an instrument to bide time for the Land Use Group to address the problem. He further stated that there needed to be trust that extending the moratorium, the Board was looking out for the Town’s future.

Selectperson Whittlesey stated that he believed that the town was moving in a positive direction in the last six months that did not exist before. He further stated that he believed that there was momentum and energy that he did not want to see interrupted. He stated that he was therefore in favor of an extension of the moratorium and that he was hopeful that the Land Use Group would be successful in presenting a solution to the highway district in time for the June 2008 Annual Town Meeting.

Chair Dorr stated that he agreed with the characterization of the problem as provide by both Selectperson Ciembroniewicz and Selectperson Whittlesey but he was also cognizant that the present moratorium took away an individual’s ability to do what he/she could do with the land and this was a sensitive matter.

The Select Board agreed to present to the Land Use Group its sentiment and encouragement to continue its good work toward a thoughtful solution of control growth through its land use ordinances and further encourage that the conditions that led to a moratorium at the highway district would be addressed in time for the 2008 Annual Town Meeting in June.

Motion: To extend the moratorium on the Highway District for an additional One Hundred and Eighty days (Ciembroniewicz/Whittlesey). Vote: 3-0 in favor.

B. Consideration to adopt revised General Assistance Ordinance – Appendix A-C for the period of October 1, 2007 – October 1, 2008 as well as Appendix F (Maximum for Personal Care and Household Supplies), as revised September 2007. These appendices are filed with the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) in compliance with Title 22 M.R.S.A. §4305(4).

Selectperson Ciembroniewicz moved to adopt the revised General Assistance Ordinance – appendix A-C for the period of October 1, 2007 – October 1, 2008 as well as Appendix F (Maximum for Personal Care and Household Supplies), as revised September 2007, seconded by Selectperson Whittlesey. The vote was 3-0 in favor.

C. Ordinance Update – Nicole Briand, CEO/Planner – Ms. Briand gave an update on the proposed amendments to the Land Use and Building Permit Ordinances for the January 8, 2008 Special Town Meeting.


Item 5: Town Manager’s Report – Kathy Durgin-Leighton, Town Manager

A. Christmas Tree – The Town Manager gave a brief history of the Town’s holiday festivities and asked for Board approval to continue having a lighted tree outside of the town office for the holiday season. Selectperson Ciembroniewicz stated that the tree was a positive seasonal custom and expressed his desire to continue the tradition. The Board agreed to have a tree lit outside of the town office with caroling scheduled for Friday, November 30th.

B. Worthy Poor Trust Fund update – The Town Manager gave an update on the Town’s Worthy Poor Trust fund.

C. Audit Report – The Town Manager presented the audit report for the fiscal year July 1, 2006 through June 30, 2007.

Item 6: Selectperson’s Request for Agenda Items for next meeting (December 11, 2007) – Cool Communities, Workshop for establishing a teen gathering place in Bowdoinham.

Item 7: Consent Items - There were no consent items.

Item 8: Consideration of Treasurer’s Warrants #20 & #21. The Board reviewed the Treasurer’s Warrants.

Selectperson Whittlesey moved to approve Treasurer’s Warrant # 20, seconded by Selectperson Ciembroniewicz. The vote was 3-0 in favor.

Selectperson Ciembroniewicz moved to approve Treasurer’s Warrant #21, seconded by Selectperson Whittlesey. The vote was 3-0 in favor.

Item 9: Announce Future Meetings, Workshops, Events

· November 28th @ 6:30 pm – Solid Waste Committee, Coombs Building
· December 6th @ 6:30 pm – Finance Meeting, Coombs Building
· December 7th & 8th – Bowdoinham Guild of Artisans Show & Sale
· December 11 @ 5:30 pm – Select Board meeting, Coombs Building
· January 8 @ 5:30 pm – Select Board meeting
· January 8 @ 7:00 pm – Special Town meeting

Item 10: Adjournment – Chair Dorr adjourned the meeting at 7:45 pm.