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Planning Board Minutes 05/10/2016
I       Call to Order

Chairman Paul White called the Public Hearing to order at 7:00 p.m.  

Present: Jim Jansz, Phil Lowe, Joe McMahon, Tina Vanasse, Paul White, Code Enforcement Officer Brandon Woolley, Recorder Maureen Scanlon.

Guests present: Steve Girardin, Ron Flexon, Rebecca Day, Erik Brinkman, Chad Thompson (from the Portland Water District), Don Gruden, Ben Bowditch, Richard & Sarah Bianculli, Jason Robitaille, Leona & Robert Shaw, Marcia Christensen, David Hague, Phil & Edie Harnden, Matthew Gliniak, Sandy Francoeur

II      Public Hearing #1 – Site Plan Review – Proposed Use of Property is for Auto/Marine Repair & Restoration – (Property owned by Steve & Tammy Girardin) (20 Stormy Brooke Road) – Map 2, Lot 34-E
Paul White asked if Mr. & Mrs. Shaw’s attorney Mary Costigan was present at tonight’s meeting.  He was informed that she was not present.  He informed Mr. & Mrs. Shaw that he had reviewed her letter to the Planning Board (dated May 6, 2016).  Leona Shaw asked to read a statement to the Board.  She was allowed to read her statement which addressed her and her husband’s concerns about the proposed project on the property that abuts their property.  A copy of her statement was submitted for inclusion in the Planning Board file for this proposed project.  

Marcia Christensen stated that the house in front of that property is for sale and no one is going to want to buy it.  Paul White stated that he understands the concerns and that he has read the correspondences submitted by all parties.  Most of the objections are straight forward and to the point; people are concerned about property values and how it will affect their assets, proper buffers and water (private wells) quality.  

The letter that was received from Mary Costigan basically raises the legal question as to the non-conformance of the property.  Paul suggested to the Board that this letter be referred to the town’s attorney for review and legal input on the town’s behalf regarding this matter.  

Matt Gliniak expressed concerns regarding the (drinking water) wells in the area and air quality if painting is allowed to be done in this location.  There was some discussion on this subject.  

Chad Thompson, the Source Protection Coordinator at the Portland Water District expressed his concerns regarding the significant sand and gravel aquifer in this area and the relative closeness to Sebago Lake.  He explained that a significant sand and gravel aquifer is a big overlay of sand and gravel on top of the ground water and it is not dissimilar to a gravel pit in its ability for contaminates to pull right through into the groundwater.  They understand that this is not an industrial situation with vats and vats of chemicals; however they would want to see some attention given to any potential leaks and spills in regards to storage and proper handling of chemicals on site and any vehicles that are stored inside or outside on the property.  He agreed to provide a letter to guide the Board in addressing their protection concerns.  He stated that the biggest issue with these kind of projects in general is the follow-up after the approval process has been completed and no one is really responsible for checking up to assure continued compliance with any conditions of the approval.  Paul asked Brandon Woolley if this is part of his duties.  He stated that it is and mentioned that he distributed copies of a map depicting the area of the sand and gravel aquifer at the start of the meeting.  He explained that this aquifer already contains a full service marina, a full service auto repair, a 42 acre gravel pit and the town garage and salt shed.  A copy of this map will be included in the Planning Board file for this proposed project.  Brandon stated that he has an appointment with the Department of Environmental Protection next Wednesday to identify any concerns they may have regarding this business being located in the aquifer area.  Brandon will report back to the Board with their findings.  

Leona Shaw asked if the Board will consider her request in her aforementioned statement for a second public hearing.  Paul White responded, “Yes, I’m fully aware of it.  I’m aware of your attorney’s letter.  I’m of the opinion that we have to seek our own attorney’s input.”  Brandon stated, “We did”.  NOTE: Mrs. Shaw’s request for a second public hearing in her aforementioned statement reads as follows;

“Please note – the Notice of this hearing was received on May 3, 2016 – we did not receive ten days notice as I believe is required under Section 7 of the Sebago Site Plan Review at Paragraph 7, Public Hearings.  As such, I would ask the Town to consider scheduling a second public hearing thereby allowing our legal counsel to be present.”

Brandon further explained that the town’s attorney stated that our notifications were appropriate and we’ve met the ten day requirement.  We sent the notifications out twelve days prior to the hearing.  We can’t control when the notifications are delivered or accepted or when they are picked up.  Paul White explained that that is not specifically what he is concerned about.  They raise some very technical questions about non-conforming use and continuation of use.  The idea of holding a second public hearing because of this issue will be further discussed in the deliberative portion of this meeting.         
The Public Hearing was closed at 7:16 p.m.
III     Public Hearing #2 – Site Plan Review – Proposed Use of Property is for an Event Venue/ Rental Hall (Garden Gate at Haley Farm) – (Property owned by Richard Bianculli Jr. & Sarah Parrott) (432 Convene Rd.) – Map 10, Lot  12

Chairman Paul White called the Public Hearing to order at 7:17 p.m.

David Hague stated that he is an abutter to this property and has concerns regarding the parking situation because when funerals are held at the abutting cemetery there is a problem with vehicles being parked along the sides of the road.  Mr. Bianculli reviewed the parking area design and explained that the vehicles will be parked by valets, not the guests of the event.  No vehicles will be allowed to park along the roadside.  

David asked if there will be any overnight guests and was told that there will be none.  This property is where Mr. and Mrs. Bianculli live with their young son and they are expecting their second child soon.  Therefore there will be no “late night parties” going on at the property.  

Mr. Bianculli reviewed the scope of this proposed project for the members of the audience.  

Erik Brinkman stated that he is an abutter to this property and has several concerns regarding this proposed project.  First of all he shares a common driveway with two other property owners and it is located directly across the street from the property being discussed tonight.  It is a wide driveway and he is concerned that it is going to be the first place that people will want to turn their vehicle around in, which could potentially cause abuse to their driveway.  He submitted a typed list of his concerns.  A copy of this submittal has been included in the Planning Board file for this proposed project.  He proceeded to review his list of concerns.  

Rebecca Day expressed concerns regarding the fact that her property is also located directly across the street from the property being discussed tonight.  Her concerns were in regards to noise levels, privacy, personal safety and sufficient parking spaces so people are not parking in her driveway or on the roadway.  She is also concerned that this may have a negative effect on her property value.             

The Public Hearing was closed at 7:37 p.m.

        Chairman Paul White called the regular meeting to order at 7:38 p.m.

IV      Correspondence
        Maureen Scanlon informed the Board that Tina Vanasse has been re-appointed to the Planning Board by the Board of Selectmen.  Her new term will expire on June 30, 2021.

        Maureen Scanlon reminded the Planning Board that the June 14, 2016 meeting will be held at either Fire Station 1 or the lower level of the Town Hall building in order to accommodate the State Primary Election that will be held at the Town Office building on that date.  The location will be determined at a later date according the meeting agenda items.  The agenda with the meeting location will be posted on the town’s website as usual and will be included in the Board member’s meeting information packets.
Maureen Scanlon reported that the following correspondences were submitted to the Planning Board in their meeting information packets prior to the meeting date.

  • A correspondence dated April 15, 2016 from Susan Tappan in reference to “Old Business” agenda item a.
  • A correspondence dated May 2, 2016 from Matthew Gliniak in reference to “Old Business” agenda item a.  
Prior to the start of the meeting Maureen Scanlon distributed copies of additional correspondences as follows:

  • A correspondence dated April 18, 2016 from Susan Tappan in reference to “Old Business” agenda item a.
(NOTE: This correspondence was inadvertently not included in the Planning Board meeting information packets that were mailed out prior to the meeting date.)

  • A correspondence dated May 6, 2016 from Attorney Mary E. Costigan from Bernstein, Shur, Sawyer & Nelson, P.A. on behalf of Leona & Robert Shaw in reference to “Old Business” agenda item a.  
(NOTE: A copy of this letter was also received via e-mail and will be attached to the “hard copy” of this letter when included in the Planning Board file for this proposed project.)

  • Two e-mail correspondences dated May 8, 2016 from Carolyn Calarese in reference to “Old Business” agenda item a.
Copies of all of the aforementioned correspondences will be included in the Planning Board file for this proposed project.

V       Open to Public Questions

Paul White reminded the audience members that this is for “general” questions only, not pertaining to either of tonight’s agenda items.  There were none.

VI      Review of Minutes (April 12, 2016)

Tina Vanasse made a motion to approve the minutes from April 12, 2016 as presented.  It was seconded by Phil Lowe.  Motion carried with all in favor.

VII     Old Business    

  • Site Plan Review – Proposed Use of Property is for Auto/Marine Repair & Restoration – (Property owned by Steve & Tammy Girardin)
(20 Stormy Brooke Road) – Map 2, Lot 34-E
Paul White reviewed the issues that were brought up during the Public Hearing that need to be addressed by the Board.  Tina Vanasse stated that during the Site Walk she observed that there isn’t enough room to work on more than two vehicles at a time in this location, therefore this is not going to be a major business.  She mentioned a few other items that she had observed at that time and stated that she felt that what the Board saw was very much acceptable because the scope of the project is not that big.  Phil Lowe agreed that he had the same impression.  

Phil Lowe proceeded to explain what an easement road is to the members of the audience, as opposed to public versus private roads.  He stated that Northwest River Road is considered an easement road which allows for open public access.  Brandon Woolley stated that the Deed from Arthur & Anita Crowe to Steven & Tammy Girardin in 2007 shows the “granting of an easement to this property for all purposes for which a public or private way may be used (either now or in the future)”.  This clause carried forward and did not change after the amendment modification was made by the Shaws.

Paul White addressed the issue of non-conforming use that was brought up in attorney Mary Costigan’s letter.  Brandon Woolley stated that he thinks that what they are trying to do is apply Land Use Standards that were adopted in 2010 to a building that was built in 2006, and completed in 2009.  He stated that there is a letter in the property file from a previous Code Enforcement Officer stating that all permits and inspections had been completed.  He mentioned that it is vague; however, all of our permits were vague back then.  Typically when a permit was previously written for a garage there was no distinction between a private garage and a commercial garage.  There was no zoning or separate districts prior to 2010, it was just considered all one land mass.  Therefore it is understandable that all this information wasn’t included in all of the previous permits.  Brandon stated that this building meets all of the applicable building codes for separation of use and contains all of the items (such as equipment) that you would expect to find in a (repair) garage.  We know that Mr. Girardin used this garage for his contracting business for his own repairs which is allowed by the ordinance.  It allows for a change of use of this building that was used as a commercial garage.  Mr. Girardin is asking to transfer his own personal commercial use to a repair facility.  Phil Lowe stated that it appears as though the non-conformity issue was created by the ordinance after the fact, after the building was constructed.  Brandon stated that it’s a matter of history and evolution, any time things change it causes some confusion.  Phil mentioned that you can’t create an ordinance and then go back and change what is already in place before the ordinance was created.  Brandon pointed out that we are talking about continued use of a facility and that there is a difference between vacancy and occupancy.  If you had a restaurant that was up for sale and it took two years before the restaurant sold, but it was still fully turn-key operational, this would not be considered a vacant restaurant.  It would be considered un-occupied.  It is the same thing with a garage.  If you’ve got a garage that may not have been used but all of the equipment and tooling is still in place, it is still operational as a garage.  

There was some discussion on: the potential volume of work; the types of repairs that will be performed; any paint or fiberglass that may be used for repairs that cause chemical odors; and what requirements would need to be in place and met in order to allow commercial repairs at this location.  It was noted that this property is located in the Village District which is designated as a combination of residences and businesses.  

Paul White made a motion to have the town’s attorney review (they can review all the correspondence) specifically the letter from Bernstein, Shur and give the Board their opinion.  

There was some discussion as to whether or not this is necessary because the town has a Code Enforcement Officer that does his homework and it is the Planning Board’s job to interpret their ordinances for the town.  

Brandon reported that the Department of Environmental Protection will be meeting with him next Wednesday to address the proximity of private wells and that the closest one, not on the property, is 340 ft. away from the outside of the building.  The “Wellhead Protection Act” addresses private drinking water wells within 300 ft.  He also stated that another area of concern to the DEP would be the aquifer.  The question about the aquifer is whether it is reviewable because there are exceptions to the aquifer limitations and one of the exceptions is, when the garage was built and used.  If it was in existence or under construction on September 30, 2008, then it is considered exempt and not reviewable.  Phil Lowe stated that it appears that this was in place prior to the enactment of this ordinance which means it is “grandfathered”.  He understands that this is not what a lot of people want to hear and he certainly understands their concerns but this Board can only enforce the ordinance; they can’t enforce anything prior to the ordinance’s existence.  That is what “grandfathering” is, it is so the parties that have something already (in place) are not injured by the creation of another ordinance.

There was further discussion that having the town’s attorney review the issues that have been raised would put the Planning Board in a stronger position when they make their final determination.  

Jim Jansz seconded Paul White’s motion (stated above).  Motion carried with all in favor to have the town’s attorneys from Drummond Woodsum perform a professional review of the items raised in the submitted correspondences, specifically the one from Bernstein, Shur.                                    

Paul White stated that in addition to the town’s attorneys reviewing the aforementioned correspondences the Board would like to review the report from the DEP and the letter from the Portland Water District that Chad Thompson agreed to provide in order to guide the Board in addressing their protection concerns.  

Paul White addressed Leona Shaw’s question from the public hearing portion of this meeting as to whether this Board would consider requiring a second public hearing on this proposed project.  The Board determined that if any substantial changes in the situation are found by the town’s attorneys they may choose to vote on proceeding with a second public hearing.    

This proposed project will be included on the agenda for the June 14, 2016 Planning Board meeting.

  • Site Plan Review – Proposed Use of Property is for an Event Venue/ Rental Hall (Garden Gate at Haley Farm) – (Property owned by Richard Bianculli Jr. & Sarah Parrott) (432 Convene Rd.) – Map 10, Lot 12
Tina Vanasse stated that from her own experience she has lived in the Long Beach area of town for sixty-three years.  She lives immediately next to the property that houses a restaurant with a service bar.  Over the years, through several ownerships, it has always been well maintained, and contained, and has never caused a problem to the quality of her life.  Change happens, traffic has certainly increased over the years but overall it has not had a negative impact to the community.  
The Board addressed the concerns that were raised during the Public Hearing portion of this meeting which ranged from hours of operation, noise levels, parking issues, smoking and fireworks.  Brandon Woolley mentioned that there are provisions in the design plans for future parking area expansions if required.  It was noted that music will be provided by Disc Jockeys as opposed to live bands which would allow more control over the noise level.  

The Board proceeded to review the Site Plan Review checklist items to determine this proposed project’s compliance with them.  It was noted that Mr. Bianculli submitted the information that the Board had requested in regards to the “Luxury Loo” portable restrooms.  Mr. Bianculli mentioned that the front door of the barn will be closed during any events and access to the outside will be on the side of the building which will cut down on the noise level leaving the venue location.  Event attendees will pull up to the circle in front of the house where Valets will then move their vehicles to the parking area.  The Valets will then proceed back to the venue location via a pathway located away from the roadway and will use this same pathway to retrieve the vehicles at the end of the event.  

Paul White made a motion to approve this project with the following conditions:

  • Hours of Operation will be limited to Fridays and Saturdays from Noon to 10:30 p.m.
  • A fence will be installed to sufficiently screen the portable restrooms from the street view.  This fence will act as a visual and sound barrier.     
  • A pathway located away from the roadway to accommodate the foot traffic of the Valets back and forth to the parking area will be maintained.  No “on street” parking is allowed.
  • No fireworks or outdoor displays will be allowed.  
  • A change of property ownership requires a re-application for use to the Planning Board.             
The motion was seconded by Joe McMahon.  Motion carried with all in favor.  

  • CEO Updates
Nothing reported
  • Goal Setting Items
  • Voting Matrix (finalizing process)
No discussion

  • Review of Escrow Funds for “Outstanding” Subdivisions
No discussion

VIII    New Business – None  

VIIII   Adjournment

Tina Vanasse made a motion to adjourn at 9:00 p.m.  It was seconded by Phil Lowe.  Motion carried with all in favor.

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