December 19, 2014  8:36 AM 
November 12, 2014
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November 12, 2014
November 10, 2014
September 17, 2014

SHAPLEIGH PLANNING BOARD

MINUTES

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Members in attendance: Vice Chair Maggie Moody, Madge Baker, Roland Legere, new Alternate member Ann Harris, as well as Barbara Felong, Land Use Secretary. Code Enforcement Officer Steven McDonough was also in attendance. Chairman Roger Allaire, Diane Srebnick, and Alternate Stephen Foglio were unable to attend.

Note: The minutes are not verbatim unless in quotes.

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We want to welcome Ann Harris as a new alternate member of the board. We know Ann’s expertise in the home insurance industry, as well as interest in the building trade will help aid the board in their decision making process.

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Planning board meeting began at 7:30 p.m.

The minutes from Tuesday, September 9, 2014, were accepted as read.

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Review Proposed Ordinance Changes to §105-31 ‘Preservation of Landscape…’; §105-15, Definition of Building Height; §89-19 ‘Submissions’; and the required 3 year review of the Growth Ordinance

The board reviewed the following proposed ordinance changes:

§105-32. Preservation of Landscape; landscaping of parking and storage areas.

A. The landscape shall be preserved in its natural state, insofar as practicable as determined by the PB, by minimizing tree natural vegetation removal, and any grade changes shall be in keeping with the general appearance of neighboring developed areas. Parking lots shall be landscaped with shrubbery along all lot lines (except for street entrances) to prevent erosion and stormwater runoff onto neighboring properties and streets. Boundaries with existing residential properties shall be screened according to the buffering standards in sec. 105-28 An effective visual screen of native vegetation, including evergreens, shall be established and maintained between the parking or storage area and any abutting residential property. The PB may require additional trees planted in and around large parking lots. shall be provided with at least one tree (of two –inch caliper) for every 35 car spaces (four trees per acre), to be located at representative points throughout such lots

B. All parking or outdoor storage areas shall be separated from any public road by a landscaped buffer strip at least 15 feet wide. The PB may require that within the buffer strip a visual screen of plantings be established and maintained. Planted with shade trees (minimum two-inch caliper, planted at least every 50 feet along the road frontage) and dense, medium-height shrubs (three feet in height) to screen parked vehicles. All such plantings shall be maintained as an effective visual screen. Shrubs or trees which die shall be replaced within one growing season.

Madge B. explained to Ann H. that the Planning Board found that the ordinance as written was not being enforced as it should be, because in certain circumstances it is not useful, applicable or suitable. She said, therefore, the board tried to come up with changes that made sense. Barbara F. noted that in places the word mandatory does not work as there is no flexibility, such as screening between a business and roadway that may not be appropriate, as you couldn’t see the storefront and this could lead to possible vandalism.

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Barbara F. noted the board would still want a screen between a business and neighboring properties but again not along the road. Also, it could be an issue with being able to see to pull out. CEO McDonough stated it also applied to parking lots and Maggie M. noted the Town Sand/Salt shed, the fact the board didn’t want that screened off from the road, so it would be visible.

Barbara F. explained that the board had discussed most of the changes being noted this evening at prior meetings. She said there would be a public hearing held before the end of the year because these are zoning changes and they would have to be voted on by the townspeople of Shapleigh. She said if there are any changes the board needs to address, those changes can be discussed at the first Public Hearing. She also stated there would be a second Public Hearing in late January, or early February but at that time no changes could be made. This process allows the public the ability to ask questions at the first public hearing and voice concerns. Barbara also noted Executive Secretary Karla Bergeron had to have the proposed changes by the end of January, so they can be published prior to town meeting which is where they will be voted on.

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Maggie M. stated the next proposed change is as follows:

Current definition:

§105-15. Definitions.

BUILDING HEIGHT – The vertical distance between the highest point of the roof and the average grade of ground adjoining the building.

Proposed definition:

BUILDING HEIGHT – The vertical distance between the highest point of the roof and the mean original grade at the downhill side of the structure.

(Taken in part from §105-19.H)

Roland L. asked CEO McDonough if he would draw an example for him, so he understood what it meant.

CEO McDonough stated, “Sure, but the reason we are changing this ordinance is because I just became aware that building height is defined in two separate places in the ordinance and they are not the same.” He added that he didn’t care how it was defined but he wanted to be sure in both sections it was the same. Roland said, “Right.”

CEO McDonough drew a sketch of what the mean original grade would be. He stated it is the average of the low side. Roland asked if it would be used for raising a building? CEO McDonough stated, yes or constructing a new building. CEO McDonough stated he wasn’t a fan of the word ‘mean original’ grade, he was fine with lowest ground grade. Maggie M. thought the mean and the average were too different things. Maggie said that CEO McDonough stated you would use only the low side. CEO McDonough asked what the definition said? Maggie said, “The mean of the down side, so you aren’t taking the whole mean, just that section.” CEO McDonough, “Of the low side.” Maggie believed the average and the mean were two different things. Roland L. noted it was being changed from average to ‘mean’. CEO McDonough stated again in the book its defined two different ways, the board has to pick one. Both definitions have to match. Barbara F. noted that the mean original grade was taken from Shoreland zoning which is mandatory. Barbara said it may not necessarily be the best but it is why we chose it. Maggie thought the mean was best.

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Steve stated that he would rather use lowest ground grade but again this was chosen because it was how the State wanted it defined. Madge B. agreed.

Madge B. asked if the board should call the State to see if they had an issue with it. Maggie M. stated the board could be stricter than the State but has to be at least as strict. CEO McDonough agreed to contact the DEP to get their opinion and he noted they have to approve the change.

CEO McDonough agreed to call Mike Morse to see if the definition could be changed to the lowest ground grade.

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§89-19. Submissions.

A. The final plan shall consist of one or more maps or drawings drawn to a scale of not more than 100 feet to the inch. Plans for subdivisions containing more than 75 acres may be drawn at a scale of not more than 200 feet to the inch. Plans shall be no larger than 24 inches by 36 inches in size, and shall have a margin of two inches outside of the border line on the left side of the binding and a one-inch margin outside the border along the remaining sides. Space shall be reserved thereon for endorsement by the Board. Two reproducible, stable based transparent originals, one to be recorded at the Registry of Deeds, the other to be filed at the municipal offices, and three copies of the plan shall be submitted. The subdivider may instead submit one reproducible stable based transparent original of the final plan and one recording plan with three copies of the final plan. In addition, one copy of the final plan, reduced to a size of 8 ½ inches by 11 inches, and all accompanying information shall be mailed to each Board member no less than seven days prior to the meeting.

Barbara noted that the highlighted section of this ordinance gave the applicant two choices as to what to submit as a final plan. She stated a recent applicant, because the board did not specifically state that they wanted ‘two reproducible, stable based transparent originals’, did not feel he had to submit a second one, only a paper copy. She said based on this example, what did the board feel they wanted an applicant to submit, what was indicated in the first sentence or the second sentence? She felt the board should make a choice, then if during the review process they forgot to ask for the number or type of copies required, the ordinance would dictate what should be submitted.

Barbara F. asked, “Should we choose one or the other or leave it up to the applicant?” She believed it would be best to simplify the ordinance. Madge B. agreed. Roland L. asked if Barbara had a preference. Madge thought the Mylar’s are harder to keep. Barbara agreed and noted the Town Hall did not have a machine that could copy the Mylar’s so anyone wanting a copy had to go to the Registry of Deeds in Alfred regardless. Barbara had no issue with a recorded paper copy.

Madge B. thought the board should ask Roger A. if he had an opinion. Barbara F. agreed and would bring it up at the next meeting.

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Barbara F. noted the change to the Growth Ordinance was only to the figures with respect to the cost of the school to the Town of Shapleigh. She stated she didn’t change the section with respect to the census, as there has not been another census since the last revision, so there could be no relevant change to that section,

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therefore, she actually removed the section. Barbara also stated that she did not change the number of Growth Permits allowed, because she did not see a reason to increase them based on current building trends, nor did she feel the board should reduce the number, as either change would not be beneficial at this time. She felt the numbers should remain unchanged but wanted the board’s opinion.

The proposed change to the Growth Ordinance is as follows:

Growth Ordinance

(f) To allow growth of the residential population of the town at a rate which would not impose an undue burden upon the provision of community services (including education, fire protection, road maintenance, waste disposal, health services and welfare) and which would be compatible with the orderly and gradual expansion of said services.

(1) During the most current review of the tax base for 2013, the Education system accounts for 67.47% of the cost to taxpayers. The figure calculated per child per year for 2012-2013 in RSU #57 is $10,388. Although the number of children enrolled in the school system is not expected to rise in the next several years, the cost to Shapleigh taxpayers continues to have a slight increase each year. The most recent figures of cost increase to taxpayers projected for the year 2014-2015 is 3.72%, creating a cost per child of $10,774. With this figure it is apparent that any household with even one child would be an impact since there are not enough property taxes derived from the average house to generate enough money to pay for one child’s education. Therefore, the Growth Ordinance system must calculate growth in such a way as to assure the town can fund education at the current levels and those of the future.

(g) To guide Shapleigh’s expansion so that the annual increase in population and dwelling units shall not exceed the average rate of population and housing growth which occurred within the sub-region. During this time period, 2010 thru 2014, there is no census data but the number of single family dwellings permitted in the town has steadily increased from (3) in 2010, (5) in 2011, (7) in 2012 to (15) in 2013. With the current projected need for housing, the maximum annual number of Growth Permits should remain unchanged at 35 dwelling units.

(h) To guide Shapleigh’s expansion so that the increases in education costs are predictable and manageable.

Roland L. asked if the number of unclaimed permits rolled over to the following year? Barbara F. stated, “It does not.” Maggie M. asked if we were in the teens yet? Barbara said, yes, we were up to 13 as of tonight.

Roland L. asked if this was something that has to be voted on? Barbara F. stated that yes, this is something that would be voted on at Town Meeting in March. She noted that the State required the Town review the ordinance every 3 years and present it to the voters.

CEO McDonough noted that nothing is limited to the board’s authority, it all has to be voted on.

Nothing further was discussed.

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Maggie M. asked about the letter received regarding Earthworks Landscaping and Signage. Barbara F. stated she received a Conditional Use Permit application which states that the business is still in the same location as the Soup Shack that it never moved, therefore, they can keep their sign. The Town is contending the business received a permit to move to another location and the Soup Shack was approved to move into the existing building and location. This will be brought before the board at the next meeting.

Nothing further was discussed.

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Growth Permits

• Map 23, Lot 10 (37 Starboard Lane) – Seasonal Conversion – Growth Permit #11-14

The property had a Planning Board approval to rebuild the existing structure and a State approved septic design.

• Map 12, Lot 29C (23 North Shore Road) – New Home – Growth Permit #12-14

The property is a legal lot by the Town of Shapleigh’s standards.

• Map 34, Lot 40 (31 Chestnut Road) – Seasonal Conversion – Growth Permit #13-14

There is a State approved septic design on file for this property and the system has been put in.

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All supporting documentation, applications, etc. can be reviewed at the Town Hall during regular operating hours.

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Planning Board meeting adjourned at 8:15 p.m.

Respectively submitted,

Barbara Felong, Land Use Secretary

planningboard@shapleigh.net