2008-05-06 Select Board Meeting Minutes

Town of Bowdoinham
Minutes of Select Board Meeting
May 6, 2008

Residents present: Dan Billings, Todd Woofenden, Paul Beltramini, Brian Smith, Richard Morin, George Christopher, Fank Connors, Brent Zachau and Kathy Durgin-Leighton, Town Manager

Non residents present: Nicole Briand, Town Planner/CEO

Item 1: Call the meeting to order – Chair Dorr called the meeting to order at 5:30 pm. All members were present: Chair Dorr, Selectperson Whittlesey, and Selectperson Ciembroniewicz

Item 2: Consideration of the minutes from April 29, 2008 meeting – The Board reviewed the minutes. Selectperson Ciembroniewicz moved to accept the minutes, seconded by Selectperson Whittlesey. The vote was 2-0 in favor.

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

Item 3: New Business

A. Growth Ordinance Discussion – Dan Billings – (At the April 29th meeting when Mr. Billings asked the Board to consider a warrant article at the town meeting that would repeal the Town’s 2003 Growth Ordinance, there were no Land Use Group members present. The Board therefore tabled further discussion to this meeting.)

Mr. Billings gave the following reasons for his request:

1. Growth ordinances are discouraged by state law.
2. Growth ordinances are not planning tools and should not be used as such.
3. Growth ordinances are arbitrary and can be restrictive to landowners even when they have gone through the proper application process.
4. Bowdoinham’s growth ordinance was passed when there were growth pressures on the town.
5. Bowdoinham’s growth ordinance was passed due to a sub-par subdivision ordinance and is not needed now that a new subdivision is in place (town meeting June 2007)
6. If a sunset provision was added to the growth ordinance, it would put pressure on the Land Use Group to get the land use ordinance updates done by June 2009

Todd Woofenden, Chair of the Land Use Group, spoke against the request to repeal or amend the Growth Ordinance based on the following:

1. The intent of the ordinance is still valid – to protect the town against unmanaged growth.
2. If the ordinance is amended with a sunset provision, a new ordinance will need to be adopted at the same time that the growth ordinance will expire, and what if the new ordinance is not passed?
3. There is momentum with the Land Use Group when there wasn’t at the time the Growth Ordinance was enacted.
4. Dealing with the growth ordinance at the present time brings distraction to the Land Use Group. The growth ordinance will be taken up by the Land Use Group in its logical progression.
5. It provides a cap until a growth management ordinance is in place and therefore it is premature to amend or repeal the growth ordinance.

Members of the Select Board asked the following questions –

Selectperson Ciembroniewicz asked the Code Officer how many permits are available right now.
The Code Officer stated that it is difficult to determine the amount due to the lack of record keeping however she estimated that there are approximately 52 available permits. Permits for subdivisions are treated differently according to the ordinance. Selectperson Ciembroniewicz expressed concern that given the~heightened focus on this particular issue, not proposing an amendment or a repeal of the growth ordinance could create a distraction at the town meeting as well as erode some of the support for what the Land Use Group proposes.
Selectperson Whittlesey stated that he saw this issue somewhat similar to the Highway Moratorium issue however he did not want a sunset provision to the ordinance to be seen as unsupportive of the Land Use Group. He also stated that when the Land Use Group looks at it holistically, it will probably be repealed as part of the land use changes.
Chair Dorr asked the Code Officer what protections are in place without the growth ordinance. The Code Officer stated that the current subdivision ordinance has performance and design standards but does not limit the number of permits. Chair Dorr agreed that the growth ordinance language was unclear but was not inclined to bring forth a warrant article at the town meeting.
Selectperson Ciembroniewicz agreed that the ordinance should eventually be repealed and that it was a matter of timing.

Selectperson Whittlesey moved to maintain the Growth Ordinance with the understanding that the Land Use Group will continue its work, seconded by Selectperson Ciembroniewicz. The vote was 3-0 in favor. The Board’s sentiment is that the Land Use Group will have its work completed by June 2009. The Board will review its status in November 2008.

B. Proposed Land Use Ordinances for inclusion in Town Meeting Warrant – Nicole Briand – Ms. Briand reviewed the land use ordinance articles with the Board.

C. Failed Septic System Notification – Map R06 Lot 005 – Nicole Briand. Ms. Briand, the Code Enforcement Officer, reported that she had completed an onsite inspection on April 30, 2008 with Doug Marble, Bowdoinham’s former CEO and present CEO of Richmond. They found the system to have failed to the degree that material was coming up out of the distribution box cover. She wrote up a violation order and delivered it to the homeowners. They have until May 13 to install a new septic system. Knowing that the homeowners will not be able to pay for the installation of a new system and given the extent of the malfunction, Ms. Briand asked the Board for authorization to begin the bid process. Selectperson Ciembroniewicz moved to complete the bid documents and have the septic installed by May 23, 2008, seconded by Selectperson Whittlesey. The vote was 3-0 in favor.

D. Consideration to authorize Public Works Department to assist in digging grave sites – Frank Connors, Town Sexton. Mr. Connors proposed that the Public Works Department assist in digging the graves in the town cemeteries. The number of graves per year averages approximately 8-10. Mr. Connors stated that when the Public Works Department was first formed, it did dig the graves but eventually the work went to a private contractor. The private contractor is not available this year due to the cost to insure the backhoe as well as the cost of diesel. Mr. Connors met with the Town Manager and the Public Works Director last week to determine the feasibility of his proposal. Both the Town Manager and the Public Works Director see no problem with the request. The Town will be paid approximately $225 - $250 per grave depending on the time that it takes for the Public Works crew to complete the work. The graves will most likely be at the Village Cemetery (town owned) and Bay View Cemetery. Selectperson Whittlesey moved to give authorization to the Public Works Department to dig graves in coordination with the Cemetery Sexton, Frank Connors, for the next 6 months with the understanding that the arrangement would be reviewed at the end of the season, seconded by Selectperson Ciembroniewicz. The vote was 3-0 in favor.

Item 4: Selectperson’s Request for Agenda Items for next meeting (May 20, 2008) – Community &
Economic Development Report – Tony Cox

Item 5: Executive Session pursuant to 1 M.R.S.A. § 405(6)(A) to discuss the contract of the Town Manager – Selectperson Whittlesey moved to enter Executive Session pursuant to 1 M.R.S.A. §405(6)(A) to discuss the contract of the Town Manager, seconded by Selectperson Ciembroniewicz. The vote was 3-0 in favor. Selectperson Ciembroniewicz moved to exit from the above mentioned Executive Session, seconded by Selectperson Whittlesey. The vote was 3-0 in favor. There was no decision or action taken during the Executive Session.

Item 6: Announce Future Meetings, Workshops, Events

· May 13 @ 5:30 pm – Select Board Meeting
· May 13 @ 7:00 pm – Public Hearing – Town Meeting Warrant Articles
· May 17 @ 9:00 am – Library Plant Sale
· May 27 @ 5:30 pm – Select Board Meeting
· June 7 @ 2:00 pm – SAD District Budget vote
· June 10 – Election Day!
· June 11 @ 7:00 pm – Town Meeting 7:00 pm

Item 7: Adjournment – Chair Dorr adjourned the meeting at 9:30 pm.