Minutes of Planning Board Public Hearing and Meeting
June 7, 2003
Frye Island Community Center
The meeting was called to order by Vice-Chairman Ed Charrette at 9:56 a.m.
Members present: Ed Charrette, Marge Hommel, Don Nolen, Dave Treacy. Visitors: Stephen Harvey, Pat Cayer, Bill Foye, and many Island residents.
Ed Charrette introduced himself, and stated that this is a quasi-judicial hearing and the
procedures which would be followed. The hearing is called to discuss issues concerned with a proposal to re-zone Lot 509 from Rural to Residential. Ed polled the Board members present to determine if there were any conflicts of interest. Each said "No", except that Dave Treacy said that he had visited the site with Mrs. Harvey because a relative had expressed an interest in purchasing one of the proposed lots, but had no further interest because of their cost.
Charrette gave a brief history of the 12 acre parcel and its zoning, and then gave applicant an opportunity to speak. The proposed subdivision will be referred to, so that Island residents will understand why the re-zoning is requested, but the purpose of this hearing is not to discuss the subdivision.
Pat Cayer: Referred to a pre-application appearance before the Board regarding the proposed subdivision, which cannot proceed unless the zoning is changed. Subdivision is proposed for 8 waterfront lots, each more than one acre in size, with access via an improved road, following generally the existing drive which is an extension of Shoreview Circle as shown on the subdivision drawing.
Charrette: This Board has jurisdiction over the subject of the hearing under the Town Charter, Art. 6, Sec. 2.
Treacy: The neighboring properties are, and for many years have been, zoned Residential, so this is not a matter of making things different from the neighbors.
Questioner (identity not clear): How does this compare with the rest of the Island or lot 506?
Treacy: Almost all the island is Residential. The adjoining McFarland/McLaughlin property is residential with a 30,000 sq. ft. requirement, other than any special requirements because it is waterfront.
Stephen Harvey: When I submitted the request for zoning change, there were conditions connected with the change. Do you have a copy of the letter submitted to the Town Manager?
Charrette: We haven't seen the letter.
Harvey: The conditions are that, if it is divided, lots will not be smaller than one acre, and will not be further subdividable in the future.
Burgess: Didn't we just receive an update from the State changing this type of area to 2 acres?
Hommel: I looked it up last week; State law says 40,000 sq.ft.
Burgess: Didn't this Rural zoning serve to fulfil a State requirement that the town have some place for campground or trailer parking?
Discussions: That is not required.
Treacy: I have heard that possible use as a campground was one of the reasons for the 1997 change from Residential to Rural.
Discussions: Most people agree that reduction in taxes was the reason.
Don Hadley: Has this been reviewed with Portland Water District? Answer, "Yes"
Hadley: I presume this will be served by the Frye island water system?
Dick Norris: When we streamlined the zoning ordinance, we eliminated many kinds of district, but had to keep the Rural zone because of this one parcel. If we re-zone this parcel we can take one more step in streamlining the ordinance by eliminating the Rural zone entirely.
Charrette: This concludes the formal hearing. Those interested should attend the next regular (not public hearing) meeting of the Planning Board on June 14.
Cayer: We had originally planned to be ready for a hearing on the Subdivision by June 14, but our engineering studies are not complete. We anticipate to be ready by June 28.
Treacy: We will change the notice regarding the June 14 meeting, then. The final decision on the subdivision proposal cannot be reached until the zoning has been changed.
Bill Foye, Code Enforcement Officer: It may be possible to have a conditional opinion.
Hommel: MMA said it desirable to make the final decision after the re-zoning.
Diane Babineau: What is the impact of this on the 750 septic system limit?
Charrette: We should leave this discussion to the later hearing. If there is no further discussion, we will move on to the next item.
Change in Land Use Ordinance.
Charrette: This may be best explained by Dick Norris.
Norris: These changes are basically to correct problems regarding when contiguous lots must be merged. The language of the current ordinance could be interpreted as saying that the zoning requirements date from the Town's formation in 1998, not the 1976 origin of the Standish zoning. Proposed corrections are on the third page of the handout. The change will also include a more complete history of the ordinance.
The proposed changes are based on the model state ordinance. Article 3 (Shoreland) has similar provision but with better language. If I had been aware of this difference 3 weeks ago, I would have simple suggested adopting the language of Article 3 for this provision in Article 1.
I suggest that we conform the two provisions.
We should carefully go through the language of the two articles, so that one change will suffice.
This results from a request from Maine DEP. The anomaly is that the Shoreland Zoning has a Stream Protection District, but as defined we have no streams on Frye Island. I propose that we relax the definition of stream to include the stream that we have. The Resource Protection Map shows two little streams merging to form one stream.
Charrette: After hearing this argument, I walked the area and saw a stream there. This solves the problem.
Change in Land Use Ordinance (continued discussion)
Bill Foye: Many people are concerned with the merger requirements, particularly with regarding inland lots.
Hommel: State law mandates merger of undeveloped lots. If one is developed and one is not, merger is not mandated by state law but it is by our ordinance ( and by Standish).. This was discussed by the Planning Board about 3 years ago, and we agreed to continue it as it is.
Charrette: People have looked at this and think they have found a loophole based on the ordinance date. We are trying to clarify that, and close this loophole.
Foye: Many people are concerned. Would the ordinance give people some time to change ownership to avoid merger?
Norris: This seems like a conflict between fairness and good planning. Should the change of the ordinance be put off until October?
Foye: I don't know how many situations we have on the Island where this may have an effect.
Norris: Desirable that Bob Tripp compile a list of affected properties, and we notify the owners.
Charrette: There are several different issues here. In fairness we should defer a decision.
Questioner: What about FII lots on which people bid?
Hommel: That is covered by state law, because they are undeveloped lots.. The only choices relate to merger of a developed lot with an undeveloped lot.
Hadley: We understand that the court order regarding the 750 septic system limit was not cast in stone. The court said that PWD could come back sooner if they found that the lake was being damaged; and if the 750 limit is reached without problem, the island people could come back seeking an increase.
Harvey: As part of my research for the subdivision, I discovered that both sides had agreed but never filed the agreement.
Babineau: What should FII do to avoid disenfranchising people who bought adjoining lots long ago and expected that they could be separately built or sold later if desirable?
Foye: The town may wish to consider an ordinance to place a development cap on the number of houses.
Norris: Perhaps we should propose to enact the ordinance July 5 but with an effectivity date later. This will give people time to clean up the problems before the assessment roll is completed. Can people give a statement of intent regarding future use or development to the assessor? Especially, privacy lots.
Burgess: Is such a statement of intent legally binding?
Charrette: Bill Foye, or Wayne, of if anyone else knows of any problem cases, please inform us what they are.
Babineau: What if someone buys one buildable lot from one owner, and an adjoining buildable lot from another?
Charrette: The can use different ownerships, like trusts.
Foye: Covenants can be attached to the title, and recorded.
Wayne Fournier: It is our intention that, if 2 lots are merged, we will assign one number to the merged lots.
Foye: Consecutive lot numbering is important to save confusion in emergencies.
Hadley: Suppose man and wife buy one lot in both names, and the adjoining lot in the wife's name, and the husband dies, what can be done to prevent merger?
Charrette: let's have a quick vote.
Marge: Moved to adopt all proposed changes re merger, but with October 1 effectivity for non-conforming lot changes. Seconded by Burgess. Voted unanimously
Moved, seconded and voted to adjourn at 10:57 a.m.