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Planning Board Minutes 04/21/2009
7:00 p.m.
Tuesday, April 21, 2009

I       Call to Order
        Paul White called the meeting to order at 7:02 p.m.

        Present: Jim Libby, Phil Lowe, Paul White, and Recorder, Maureen Scanlon.
Guests present: H. Mark Tidgwell, Claudia Lowe, Roger Jr. & Gwen Mercaldi,      
          Roger & Donna Jones, Roger Mercaldi Sr.

II      Shoreland Zoning Ordinance Workshop
Paul White explained the purpose of tonight’s meeting.  He mentioned that because of a State Statute the Shoreland Zoning Ordinance is going to be mandatorily updated for all towns.  The deadline for completing this task is in July 2009.  Either the town can adopt an ordinance in conformance with the requirements of the State Act, or the State will act on its own to enforce the ordinance that it imposes on the Town.  The Planning Board has been reviewing the current Shoreland Zoning Ordinance and comparing it to the State’s version.  They will be making recommendations to either make changes in the current ordinance to adopt the State’s version of specific sections, or to keep a section “as is” when appropriate.    

Phil Lowe explained that the handout information that is available consists of the existing Shoreland Zoning Ordinance for the Town of Sebago, the State’s version with their edits and suggestions, and a handbook on Shoreland Zoning for property owners.  He stated that several items have been addressed already, but there are still a couple of items that need to be explored further in order to complete this task.  Basically, the process to date has been to review the Town’s version and compare it to the State’s version in order to meld together the two documents to make one complete document.  He explained that if the town does not approve the new proposed ordinance by July 1, 2009 then it will automatically default to the State’s version of the Shoreland Zoning Ordinance “as is” and making changes after that point will be more difficult.  

Phil reminded everyone present that this is actually a workshop and that the Public Hearing on the Shoreland Zoning Ordinance is scheduled for next Tuesday, April 28, 2009.

The Board members reviewed the following items that still need to be addressed as of this date.  
Timber Harvesting – The three options for the town’s ordinance under this category are as follows;

1.      Adoption of Standards identical to the State’s which would be enforced locally with State assistance.
2.      A complete repeal of this provision which means that it will be enforced by the Bureau of Forestry as soon as the State is ready to provide this service.
3.      Retain the current Standards which would be enforced entirely locally and would be equal to or more restrictive than the State’s provision.

It was decided to leave the Timber Harvesting enforcement to the State because of their expertise in this area.

Structures On, Over, or Abutting a Dock – The town may choose to either regulate these items or choose not to regulate them and let it default to the State for enforcement.  The Board has decided to default to the State on this item.  

Alternative to the 30% Expansion Rule – Basically this limits the amount that any building can be expanded within 100 ft. of the shoreland to 30% of the existing square footage.  The choice was between using the State’s formula or to retain the existing 30% Expansion Rule.  It was preliminarily decided to retain the existing 30% Expansion Rule.  

Accessory Structure Set-back on Non-conforming Lot – The decision was made to adopt the State’s more restrictive regulation and add new language to the ordinance.

Clearing or Removal of Vegetation in the Shoreland Zone – There are a few different formulas that are being researched on this item.  Phil Lowe explained the schedule of tree sizes that would need to be planted as replacements when existing trees are removed, for any reason, in a specific size lot/area.  Phil reviewed this information with former Code Enforcement Officer, Jim Smith and they both agree that basically this new standard is a relaxation of the current standard by approximately 38%.  They both recommend going with the new language as suggested by the State.

Permit Application – This item pertains to language that states who is actually entitled to apply for a permit.  The current language states that permits may be applied for by the owner or owner’s agent.  The State’s suggested language states that it would be an individual who can show interest of right, title, or interest that may apply for a permit.  The Board previously decided to retain the current language pertaining to this item, but there seemed to be a conflict in interpretation by some individuals.  Therefore the Board has decided to adopt the language set forth by the State in their version of this ordinance.  Specifically the owner(s) are the only ones that can apply for a permit.  Having an “interest” in property must be explicit of ownership.  There was some discussion on this matter.  

Paul White displayed and reviewed the Shoreland Zoning Map that has been provided by the State.  Copies of this map were distributed.  Paul explained that this Shoreland Zoning Map is considered an overlay of any other maps such as the Land Use Ordinance District Map, and that this map would take precedence over any other map and district regulations.

Mark Tidgwell asked if Sebago is considering developing an ordinance to control boat moorings.  Paul White stated that this would be a question that should be directed to the Board of Selectmen and would not fall under the authority of the Planning Board.  Jim Libby and Phil Lowe each commented on this issue and reported that there is a committee looking into the possibility of developing a “Harbor Master” ordinance which would address these types of issues however, they do not know what way they will be proceeding at this point.  
        No further items were brought up for discussion.

        Adjournment: 7:40 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,
Maureen F. Scanlon
Administrative Assistant/Deputy Clerk