Skip Navigation
Sebago Maine Town Seal
This table is used for column layout.
Planning Board Minutes 04/28/2009
7:00 p.m.
Tuesday, April 28, 2009

I       Call to Order
        Rick Viles called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m.

Present: Steve Burgess, Jim Libby, Phil Lowe, Joe McMahon, Rick Viles, Paul White, Code Enforcement Officer, Bob DeVilleneuve, and Recorder, Maureen Scanlon.

Guests present: Arlene Clow, Ted Greene, John Swanson, Ann Farley, Mike & Jane Borsetti, Abe Parker, Ramona Sleeper, Ernie Burnell, Claudia Lowe, Roger & Donna Jones, Roger & Gwen Mercaldi, Anne McMahon, Claire O’Shea, Ken Williams, Larry Landry, Dave & Cindy Wilson, Les & Bev White, Richard & Gretchen Terhune, Linda & Jim Panzera, Joe & Sherry Miller.

II      Correspondence – None

III     Open to Public Questions – None

IV      Shoreland Zoning Ordinance Public Hearing
        Rick Viles called the Shoreland Zoning Ordinance Public Hearing to order at
7:01 p.m.

Rick Viles explained that the State has adopted new guidelines for Shoreland Zoning.  There are not a lot of changes from the town’s existing ordinance, however there are six items that are being addressed as areas of concern in adopting the State’s version.  

Sherry Miller asked if Section 16 C (Administration/Permit Application) is going to be the same as the State’s version.  The Board stated that they gave this item careful consideration and confirmed for Mrs. Miller that the language in this section will be the same as the State’s version.  

        Phil Lowe reviewed each of the six aforementioned items in detail as follows;  

Structures On, Over, or Abutting a Dock – Upon initial review it was thought that the town had the option of either keeping this section of the ordinance, or not.  After further review it was determined that we already had most of this ordinance in our current version of the ordinance.  Therefore, not having it included would constitute a major change.  It was decided to keep this section and adopt the new State language.

Alternative to the 30% Expansion Rule – The alternative method to the existing rule was found to be much more confusing whereas the town’s current 30% Expansion Rule is pretty clear to understand.  It was 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 by adding new language to the ordinance.

Timber Harvesting (in the Shoreland Zone) – The three options for this item 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.

There is a complex formula for ascertaining what is allowable for Timber Harvesting in the Shoreland Zone; therefore it was decided to proceed with option #2 and leave this task to the State because of their expertise in this area.

Clearing or Removal of Vegetation (in the Shoreland Zone – other than Timber Harvesting) – There are a few different formulas that can be used in determining what is allowable for harvesting under this category.  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 Lowe consulted with Code Enforcement Officer, Jim Smith and they both agree that basically this new standard is a relaxation of the current standard by approximately 38%.  After careful consideration by the Board of the different formula options it was decided to adopt 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.  The Board has decided to adopt the language set forth by the State in their version of this ordinance which is what other towns are also doing.  Specifically the owner(s) are the only ones that can apply for a permit.  Phil explained the issue of the correct language in regards to having an “interest” in a property being explicit of ownership as determined by the Attorney General’s office.  Once again, there was some discussion on this matter.   

Rick Viles explained that if the town’s proposed ordinance has not been approved and adopted by July 1, 2009 the Shoreland Zoning Ordinance will default to the State’s version.  However, the town may formally approve and adopt a more restrictive version at a later date.  

Rick Viles explained that the official Shoreland Zoning Map was developed by the State.  At this time it is a difficult map to follow when looking at some areas and certainly could use some “fine tuning”.  This is something that will be addressed by the State and is not done by the town.  

Joe Miller asked if by restricting the 30% rule doesn’t that basically lead to a lot of small camps being around the lake instead of larger nicer homes?  The Board explained that the whole idea of the document is to protect the resource, which in this case means Sebago Lake.  The idea of this document is not to restrict growth, but to control growth within the area of a water resource.  Discussion ensued regarding this matter.  It was noted that the 30% Expansion Rule is a rule that has already been in place and is not a new standard.  

Abe Parker asked if the Warrant Article wording will be available for review before the Annual Town Meeting.  It was explained that if this document is ready to be an article to be voted on at Town Meeting, it will be included on the Warrant that is posted for a minimum of seven days prior to the meeting in conspicuous locations throughout the town.  Discussion also ensued regarding this matter.

Ted Greene asked how the designations are created on this map.  Specifically, he noted that there are some streams that are delineated as Shoreland Protection areas that have water running through them for approximately 10 months out of the year, yet there are others that also have water running through them for approximately 10 months out of the year that are not identified as Shoreland Protection areas.  Therefore, if errors are found in the map, how changeable is it?  It was explained that this map was developed by the State of Maine’s Department of Environmental Protection, not the town.  Steve Burgess explained that all the information has been downloaded from the Maine GIS (Geological Information System).  They maintain different layers of information and this layer of information is provided to them as State identified streams in Shoreland Protection with a seventy-five foot set-back.  Steve proceeded to review this map information in detail.  Basically, if a property owner wishes to dispute the status of a State identified Shoreland Protected area, it is up to the property owner to contact the Department of Environmental Protection for further review and subsequent correction if necessary.  It is not feasible for the town to pay for a major survey for fine tuning of the map that is considered general information in nature and is not considered an exact tool as of this date.  Phil Lowe stated that the DEP understands that it is almost impossible to have a perfect map.  There was quite a bit of further discussion on this matter.     
John Swanson asked if the new Shoreland Zoning or Land Use Ordinances have any changes that will affect the back lots having access to the lake via easements or right-of-ways.  Rick Viles stated that the Planning Board does not regulate easements or right-of-ways.  The Shoreland Zoning Ordinance would not change any existing rights; however, the Land Use Ordinance addresses a back lot provision which assures that existing deeded rights stay the same.

There was some discussion on the definition of what is considered a “structure”.  The definition for a structure is located on page 61 of the proposed Shoreland Zoning Ordinance (page 40 of the current ordinance).    

There was some discussion on whether or not a permit is required for a dock that is installed at the end of a right-of-way.  The Board explained that the determination of the need for a permit would be a Code Enforcement issue and does not fall under the authority of the Planning Board.  In regards to a right-of-way or easement issue, this is something that would be determined by a court of law.   

With no further items brought up for discussion the Shoreland Zoning Ordinance Public Hearing was adjourned at 8:15 p.m.    

V       Warming Hut Public Hearing
        Rick Viles called the Warming Hut Public Hearing to order at 8:20 p.m.

Jim Libby represented the Warming Hut Committee as the Clerk of Works/Project Manager, for this project, at tonight’s meeting.  Jim made note of the fact that as a Planning Board member he would be abstaining from any voting that takes place regarding this project.  He then proceeded to describe, in detail, the proposed project.  Basically this is a 36’ x 24’ modular unit that is currently located behind the Sebago Elementary School and is used as their Music building.  This building has recently been acquired by the Town of Sebago from the school system and will be leased on a yearly basis to the committee by the town for a minimal fee.  A grant has been obtained in the amount of $36,500.00 with additional funds and labor being donated by local individuals in order to complete this project.  The building is going to be relocated on the current site of the Nazarene Church on Route 114 (Sebago Road) and renovated in order to not only relocate the existing Food Pantry but also to accommodate a Clothes Closet which will provide clothing to those in need.  The design includes a handicapped accessible bathroom, a small kitchenette, and plumbing for (one each) washer and dryer units (donated clothing will be cleaned before distribution).  Jim reviewed additional items such as parking plans, the water supply and septic system design, and the intended hours of operation.  Jim thanked the dedicated members of the community that have donated their time, efforts, and funding over the past years in lending a helping hand to the community.   

With no further items brought up for discussion the Warming Hut Public Hearing was adjourned at 8:35 p.m.

Adjournment: 8:35 p.m.

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