Minutes of Planning Board Meeting and Public Hearings
August 28, 2004
Frye Island Community Center
The meeting was called to order by Chairman Marge Hommel at 8:34 a.m.
Members present: Marge Hommel, Ed Johnson, Don Nolen, Kathy Potts, Dave Treacy, Paul Peterson.
1) Public Hearings
David Treacy recused himself, and Kathy Potts recorded the minutes for the duration of the Public Hearing and vote on the first 3 matters.
Public Hearing to Rezone Lot 501 from Water-Oriented Commercial to Residential
Comments and questions regarding the rezoning were received from those in attendance, with Planning Board members and Paul White, CEO of the Town of Frye Island, responding with answers and clarifications.
Questions included the timing of the rezoning, by the owners of Lot 1697. Attendees were reminded that the Town of Standish had rezoned the property from Residential to Commercial without Frye Island’s prior knowledge. Additionally, the owners of Lot 501 had requested that the property be rezoned a few years ago. This rezoning issue had, in fact, been tabled since September, 2001, pending resolution of a land-use issue between the owners and the operators of Frye’s Leap General Store and Café. The issue has since been resolved.
The owners of Lot 1698 asked for clarification of the differences between commercial and residential uses. Paul White responded that there are different committed uses – some allowed by the CEO, some by the Planning Board, and some by special exception. He later added that were the land to be zoned water-frontage residential, the lot could be split into three separate parcels; if zoned water-oriented commercial, it would remain as it currently appears.
The owners of Lot 501 restated their position that they wish the land to remain zoned Water-Oriented Commercial, and that they are displeased with the road traffic from Playground Lane as it currently occurs: through their property. An amount of time was spent discussing the impact upon Town services, should the now-zoned commercial property be developed as an actual commercial enterprise.
Public Hearing to Rezone Recreation Area from Water-Oriented Commercial to Residential
The owner of Lot 285 asked whether FII had requested the change in zoning. Frye Island Incorporated has not requested the change. Clarification was made that the property was rezoned from Residential to Commercial by the Town of Standish without foreknowledge by Frye Island, prior to secession. The Chair stated that this rezoning would place the Recreation Area in conformity with other recreation areas and beaches on the Land Use Map.
Public Hearing on Elimination of Buffer Zone Requirements Protecting Residential Areas
The owner of Lot 1633 asked if this proposed change would impact the beaches where they abut residential lots. Paul White clarified that a 50-foot vegetated buffer is required between new residential areas and other uses (commercial, recreational), however existing areas would remain as they are. He added that it is also possible to apply for a variance.
Discussion revolved around the current use of the Recreation Area. The owner of Lot 1697 stated that he has seen increased use of the area as a thoroughfare. A letter was read from the owner of Lot 1694, which stated his opposition of the elimination of a buffer area.
Board member Ed Johnson moved, and Kathy Potts seconded, that the Public Hearing be closed. The motion passed, with four voting members.
Ed Johnson moved to adopt rezoning Lot 501 from Water-Oriented Commercial to Residential. Kathy Potts seconded the motion. The motion passed with 3 for, 1 opposed.
Ed Johnson moved to adopt rezoning the Recreation Area from Commercial to Residential, with deed restrictions to remain intact. Don Nolan seconded the motion; the motion passed unanimously.
Ed Johnson moved, and Marge Hommel seconded, to eliminate the buffer zone requirements protecting residential zones. The motion failed unanimously.
Revision of Golf Cart Ordinance
This public hearing was opened at 9:53 a.m. Marge explained that the reason this revision has been proposed, limiting operation of golf carts on Frye Island roads to holders of a valid driving license, is to comply with revised Maine law. During a brief discussion it was suggested that a footnote be added referring to the Maine statute. This statute also refers to “low speed vehicles.” However, no such vehicles are used on Frye Island, and there seems to be no reason to refer to them in our ordinance. This public hearing was then closed.
It was moved by Ed Johnson, seconded by Don Nolen, and passed unanimously that an appropriate warrant article be prepared and forwarded to the Board of Selectmen.
2) Minutes and correspondence
It was moved by Don Nolen, seconded by Kathy Potts, and approved unanimously that the draft minutes for the July 17 meeting be accepted, except for a change on page 2 to refer to change “Waterfront” to “Water Oriented Commercial”.
The Secretary was instructed to send a copy, plus the agenda for the next meeting, to Joe Potts.
Marge read a letter from Paul White, CEO, asking clarification that the Land Use Ordinance provision regarding the 180 day time limit to start work under a building permit should not count the period that the island is closed. Ed Johnson said the Board should not have any interest in making this change because the CEO has authority to extend the period. The Board agreed informally to take no action.
Marge also reported an e-mail message from te CEO stating his opinion that a building permit is transferable upon sale of the underlying property. The new owner can get a replacement permit restarting the calendar for making a substantial start to, and then completing the work.
Regarding placing a notice about merger of lots in the records of the Registry of Deeds, MMA replied that there is no provision in Maine law to do this. It is up to the CEO to identify any deed which improperly splits a merged lot, and notify the new owner that the Town cannot recognize the deed. The former owners remain liable for taxes.
Letters from Paul White, CEO, regarding bunkhouses and splitting of privacy lots were set for consideration at the Aug. 28 meeting.
3) Old Business
It was noted that it is up to the BIT to recommend a replacement for Grace Morin.
Don Nolen read a letter from Mount Pleasant Memorials offering assistance in this matter. Nancy Fournier has formed a committee to investigate this proposal. The committee suggested lots 2027, 2028 and 2029 for this purpose. It was pointed out that the Maine cemetery statute requires a 5 acre plot, but this applies to conventional cemeteries. The CEO stated that the proposal sounded like something which would have to be approved as a cemetery. Bob Roberts suggested that we can obtain research on this matter from the Maine Law library.
4) New Business
The CEO stated that the Maine statute regarding shoreland zoning defines a bunkhouse as having a bedroom but no plumbing. It was moved by Dave Treacy, seconded by Ed Johnson, and passed unanimously that consideration of bunkhouses be put on the agenda for Sep. 11.
Splitting of a privacy lot
Bob Roberts explained that this question arose because he and the owner of an abutting waterfront lot each had owned a half interest in a privacy lot across the street from Bob’s “one-back” lot. The lot was then divided such that one portion of the privacy lot went to the abutter so that it would merge with the abutting lot, while Bob retained the remainder as a non-abutting privacy lot with water access.
Paul White, CEO, explained that he viewed this as an invalid transfer, because the new non-abutting privacy lot was more non-conforming than the previous lot. The present Shoreland Zone Ordinance does not allow making a lot more non-conforming, but the Land Use Ordinance does not clearly prohibit creating a less conforming lot.
It was agreed that this matter should be put on the agenda for Sep. 11.
At 11:34 it was moved by Ed Johnson and unanimously agreed to adjourn.
Paul White CEO
Carl Hommel 68
Eric Bedell 501
Mark and Denise Yurkofsky 501
Lois Treacy 501
Lance Yule 1697, 1887
Ernie Wrzesinsky 285
Bob and Jan Roberts 111
Joe Potts 1632
Ed Charrette 79
Diane Babineau 1305
Rick and Nelsa Philbrick 1698
Nancy Fournier 1113
Bob and Claire LaDow 17
Pat Karpacz 1620A