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Planning Board Minutes 07/14/2009
7:00 p.m.
Tuesday, July 14, 2009

I       Call to Order
        Paul White called the meeting to order at 7:07 p.m.
        Present: Steve Burgess, Jim Libby, Phil Lowe, Paul White, Code Enforcement
Officer, Bob DeVilleneuve, and Recorder, Maureen Scanlon.

        Absent: Joe McMahon

Guests present: Louise Wharton Pistell, James Lowery from Sebago Technics, and Town Manager, Jim Smith.

II      Review of Minutes (April 21, 2009 Shoreland Zoning Ordinance Workshop & April 28, 2009 Shoreland Zoning Ordinance & Warming Hut Public Hearings)
        Steve Burgess made a motion to accept the April 21, 2009 Shoreland Zoning Ordinance Workshop and the April 28, 2009 Shoreland Zoning Ordinance & Warming Hut Public Hearings minutes.  It was seconded by Jim Libby.  Motion carried with all in favor.

III     Correspondence – None

IV      Open to Public Questions – None

V       Old Business

a.      Planning Board Vacancies (2 positions) & Appoint a New  Planning Board Chair
Paul White agreed to Chair tonight’s meeting.  

NOTE: No formal motion was made on the appointment of a permanent Chair; this will be readdressed at the next meeting.  

In regards to the two Planning Board vacant positions, Jim Smith stated that Cathy Greene previously told him that she intends to rejoin the Planning Board after she has completed a course that she is taking for the Fire Department.  This course is ending soon and therefore he expects that she will be back on the Board shortly, possibly even by the August meeting.  Jim also mentioned that two other individuals have expressed an interest in joining the Board, but have not gotten back to him with a definite answer as of yet.  He will check with them both to see if either of them is planning on joining the Board.  Once a commitment is made, Jim will ask the Selectmen to officially appoint the new members of the Planning Board.  
b.      State Standards for Condominium Laws
(Title 33, Chapter 31, Maine Condominium Act)
Copies of the Maine Revised Statute Title 33, Chapter 31: Maine Condominium Act document were distributed to all Planning Board members prior to this meeting.  Code Enforcement Officer, Bob DeVilleneuve contacted Maine Municipal Association’s legal department to seek advice on the town’s legal standing on this matter.   Essentially, due to the fact that the Town of Sebago does not currently have a Condominium Ordinance in place, one would have to be developed and accepted/adopted by the citizens of Sebago at a Town Meeting before a condominium project can be developed.  There was quite a bit of discussion on this matter in regards to the town’s current ordinances which may possibly be used to proceed with Dean Palli’s request to renovate existing structures that were formally used as seasonal rental units in order to make them year round condominium units.  It was noted that the proposed Land Use Ordinance would address the concept of cluster developments.  However, the Land Use Ordinance has not been adopted by the town’s citizens yet.  According to the MMA legal department the Subdivision Ordinance actually defines “subdivision” to include condominiums, however, this can not be applied to condominium conversions, because the subdivision law, 30-A M.R.S.A. 4401(4)(H-1) would not allow an ordinance to expand the definition of “subdivision” to include conversions.  The town’s Site Plan Ordinance would not apply to a condo conversion.  Although the ordinance does say that it applies to “development” in the town, it does not define that term.  Significant physical work on the lot would need to be proposed on the lot before it would be classified as a “development” subject to site plan review.  Unless the conversion plan is reviewable as a subdivision as mentioned above, there is no authority for the Planning Board to review it under Sebago’s current ordinances.  The Maine Condominium Act (33 M.R.S.A. Ch. 31) does apply to all condominium conversions in the State, but does not give municipal planning boards any authority to review conversions or to apply any particular standards to them.  The only exception would be if these cabins were used commercially as transient rentals and they are now being converted into residential condos, since this would arguably create new dwelling units (because of the change of use) and would therefore qualify as a subdivision.  In such a case involving a change of use, any land use requirements pertaining to the new residential use could also be applied.  This is the standing that the Planning Board has chosen to apply to this situation.  The Condominium Act does allow for municipalities to enact ordinances providing for review and application of certain standards, but town meeting would have to vote to enact an ordinance.  One way to do this might be to specifically include condominiums as a type of development reviewed under the site plan review ordinance, or the Town could instead enact a standalone ordinance.  However, if the conversion takes place prior to enactment of the ordinance, it will be too late to apply the ordinance to this project.  

After further discussion on this matter, it was decided to refer this item through the Town Manager to the Board of Selectmen to see if they would like the Planning Board to develop a Condominium Ordinance.  

It was noted that Dean Palli’s proposed Condominium conversion project will be an agenda item at the August 11, 2009 Planning Board meeting.   

c.      Site Plan Review – Transfer Station Expansion Project –                                                                                                                                                                           Map 2, Lots 24 & 25
James Lowery from Sebago Technics was here to follow-up on items pertaining to the Transfer Station Expansion project such as fieldwork that was done, and DEP requirements that have been addressed.  Some of the DEP requirements address items such as the size of construction debris disposal areas for collection of materials, and an area of “till” will be developed for any spillage issues.  Storm water (run-off) issues were described in detail with some discussion following on this subject.  The logistics of running this facility were questioned with Jim Smith providing answers for the Board’s concerns.  The possibility of eventually paving the gravel access road was addressed and the water run-off was taken into consideration.  This will not pose a problem if paving is desired down the road.  Buffers were discussed with the Board requesting that a line of site buffer be installed so that the site is not visible from Long Hill Road.  Specifically, the lower access road to the site should have a stockade type gate/fence installed at the entranceway.  It was noted that this entranceway will not be accessible to residents gaining entry to the site; it will be used by the contractor to remove the materials from the site as needed.  The submitted Site Plan Application was reviewed, in detail, by Mr. Lowery who answered questions from the Board.  It was mentioned that the Public Works crew will continue to perform the site work required for this project.  

A Public Hearing on this project will be held on Tuesday, August 11, 2009 at 7:00 p.m. followed by the regular Planning Board meeting.   A Site Walk was scheduled for August 8, 2009 at 8:00 a.m. at the site location.  

Steve Burgess made a motion to accept the Site Plan Application for the Transfer Station Expansion project as presented.  It was seconded by Phil Lowe.  Motion carried with all in favor.      
d.      Shoreland Zoning Ordinance
Discussion ensued on the Shoreland Zoning Ordinance and where we stand at this point since the proposed ordinance was not officially adopted at the Annual Town Meeting on June 6, 2009.  Jim Smith explained that the assumption that if this ordinance was not adopted by July 1, 2009 that the State’s version of the Shoreland Zoning Ordinance would automatically become the governing ordinance, is accurate to a point.  A memo received from Maine Municipal’s legal department states that the Department of Environmental Protection “has the right” to force the town to enforce their version of the ordinance.  The Board of Selectmen feel that he should speak to the DEP to see where they are heading with this since the Town of Sebago is one of many towns that still have not officially adopted a Shoreland Zoning Ordinance and it is now past the deadline date of July 1, 2009.  Jim is looking into this matter and will advise the Planning Board as to what information he receives from the DEP.  It was noted that the proposed ordinance was not adopted by the citizens at the Annual Town Meeting due to a problem with the wording of the article in the warrant and not because of a problem with the document itself.  With this in mind, the Planning Board feels as though the town’s version of this ordinance is completed and would be in place if there were not a discrepancy with the article wording, therefore, perhaps a special Town Meeting should be held to adopt this ordinance and we can move forward.  It was noted that this document was not sent to the DEP for their approval prior to being presented to the citizens for adoption.  The plan was to send it to the DEP as a complete and adopted document since the DEP guidelines were followed during the development process.  Basically, this means that until the proposed ordinance is adopted, the Town’s current Shoreland Zoning Ordinance that was adopted by the municipal legislative body on March 2, 1991 is still in place, and the State’s version of the ordinance has not been “enforced” by the DEP as of this date.  Further research will be done on this matter.  It was suggested to include wording in the proposed Shoreland Zoning Ordinance that states that the official (large scale) map is on file at the Town Office since the smaller map included in the document is a bit difficult to read because of the size.  This will be taken into consideration.  

VI      New Business

a.      Site Plan Review – Sebago Fire Station #2 Project –  
Map 21, Lot 1
Jim Smith stated that a grant to build a Public Safety Building/Fire Station on the existing Fire Station #2 location has been applied for through the Federal Government.  He asked the Planning Board to review the rough draft information on this project with the understanding that the town may not move forward on this project if funding is not provided from the grant.  There are a limited number of fire stations throughout the entire country that will actually receive grant funding.  Some discussion ensued on the design criteria and potential benefits to the town’s residents.     

b.      Work on Standardized Process for Site Plan Review Applications
Paul White stated that the Submission Requirements are located in the Site Plan Ordinance Regulations (Section IV) which spells out the process to be followed when submitting an application.  Maureen Scanlon reminded the Board that while working on the Land Use Ordinance there were items identified that would help to fine tune the process and hopefully result in a more complete application being submitted for approval, which may also lead to resolving the need for additional follow-up at future meetings.  There was some discussion on this matter.  The Board agreed that some fine tuning of the process would help to make it more efficient, however a fine line needs to be observed not to take on too much responsibility for the property owner.  

c.      Miscellaneous Item
The Board asked that the Land Use Ordinance be included as the last agenda item for next month’s meeting in order to readdress it for finalization and subsequent adoption by the legislative body at a special Town Meeting if necessary.    

VII      Adjournment
Paul White made a motion to adjourn at 9:15 p.m.  It was seconded by Steve  
 Burgess.  Motion carried with all in favor.

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