Town of Frye Island - Planning Board Meeting
Saturday, July 24, 1999, 8:30 am

     Location:  Community Center

     Present:       Bob Hannah, Marge Hommel, Ed Johnson, Patty Meyer, Ed Charrette,

     Officials:      Selectman Oleg Svetlichny,  Selectman Jim Kuiken,, Selectman Joe Potts,
                       
Town Manager Vic Richards

     Islanders:  noted as they spoke at the meeting      

The  Chairman, Bob Hannah, called the meeting to order at 8:40 am.  He announced that this was a general meeting of the Planning Board.  The first item on the agenda was a discussion of the Island Roads. The July 4 meeting of FII and of the Town of Frye Island combined to make the Town of Frye Island Roads into public easement roads..  He explained that one of the main reasons for making the roads public, in some form, is to limit the Townís liability under Maine State Law.  Also, there is  an increased ability of the Sheriff to enforce traffic laws.  However, we are awaiting a legal opinion on what steps the Town can take, under Maine Law,  to regulate unregistered vehicles,  although golf carts and ATVís are expressly permitted in the Town Charter.  He asked that all comments by the public be directed to the Chair, and that speakers give their name and Lot number.

Warren Eastman, lot 245, asked if the State Law is available.

John Crosby, lot 307, made the following suggestions:

1.      Put the Lot # on the golf cart.

2.      Golf carts should have a rear view mirror.

3.      Golf carts should yield to automobiles on the roads.

4.      Any vehicle driven from dusk to dawn requires head lights and rear lights.

5.      Underage drivers should be required to take a safety course.

6.      The Town should improve some of the roads, which are currently very narrow.

Bob Noble, lot 1892 requested that all drivers have a drivers license, or have a licensed driver along side of them.  He stated that the number of people riding a golf cart should be limited to 3 on the front seat, and 5 if there is a back seat.  He feels that autos overtaking golf carts should blow their horn.

Ellen Hart, lot 1778, spoke of the need for a height requirement for driving a golf cart, rather than a specific age.  She feels that drivers should know hand signals, as they do for driving a car.  She stated that Section 24 of the ATV law has loopholes, but is of limited duration.  Can we make that duration the 5 months that the Island is open?

Vic Richards, the Town Manager, said that we are in the process of getting a legal opinion,  but have had no reply, yet.   Great Diamond Island allows golf carts on its roads, and he is trying to find out what their legal basis is. 

Selectman Joe Potts  asked for the following regulations:

1.      Number of  Passengers.  A normal golf cart or ATV should be limited to two passengers; anything more than two should have a special decal indicating the number of approved passengers.  Motorbikes/cycles should be limited to one passenger.

2.      Front & Rear Lights.  Any of the above vehicles should be required to have headlights and tail lights if it is to be used from Dusk to dawn.

3.      Speed of Travel.  The limit of the golf carts and ATVís should be limited to a fixed speed, something less than the speed limit for cars.  Golf carts should be equipped with speed governours.

4.      Age of Driver.  The age of the driver of the above vehicles should not be less than the State of Maine specifications.

5.      Island Registration.  All of the above vehicles should be registered.  This should be by either normal State of Maine registration rules or by local Island rules.

Paul Bourque, lot 1682, asks that owners check on their insurance.  If the vehicle is not insured under a Homeowners Policy, then it should be insured separately.  He stated an instance where an ATV was stolen, and the Insurance Company said it was not covered under the Homeowners Policy.

Ken Farnsworth, Lot 9 stated that he is a new owner.  He said that age limits on drivers would take away from the appeal of the Island.  But he would like to see speed limits enforced, and feels that there must be some restrictions on unregistered vehicle use.

Bob Hannah stated that speed limits can be enforced, now that the Town Roads are Public.  However, the State of Maine must set the speed limits.  Until they do, the Town effectively has NO speed limits.

Mary Hunt, lot 1620, asked what can be done right now?

Bob Noble stated that golf cart steering is not the same as automobile steering, and spoke of an accident in front of his house where a young driver lost control of a golf cart, and overturned.

Andy Lapati, Lot 50,  stated that the problem is becoming worse.  In the 20 years that he has been here, there are more and more golf carts, with more and more children driving them.  He says that parents should be required to sign a waiver that their child can drive that particular golf cart.  The parents must take responsibility.

Anne Rogers, lot 313, stated that there are now no regulations.  She stated that we need consequences for wrong behavior.

Bob Hannah stated that ordinances can set fines, but that the State Department of Transportation must set the speed limits.

Vic Richards explained that the State of Maine has to set the speed limits.  There is only one person assigned to Cumberland County, and that person has 20 other roads to inspect, first.  Vic said that the procedure requires a study of each road and the traffic patterns before a speed limit can be set.  He has asked that our roads be inspected as soon as possible, as the traffic on them is very different in season from off season.

Ernie Wrzesinsky Lot 285, stated that safety is our most important concern.

Paul Bourque asked if there was a speed limit, now.  The State ways that it is 55mph if not posted.

Ellen Hart, Lot 1778 asked whey we canít do our own speed limits.

Bob Noble proposed the following regulations:

1.      All vehicles should be licensed at the office, if not licensed elsewhere.

2.      At the time of registration, owners should be required to hold Frye Island not responsible for conditions of the unpaved roads which might have contributed to the cause of an accident.

Anne Rogers stated that the Sheriff can give warnings, and is doing so.

Michelle Liming, Lot 344 asked people to put their lot number on their golf cart.

Vic Richards stated that we could have stickers available at the office, just as we have boat stickers now.

Lonnie Ehlich, Lot 1554, thought that kids must take a safety course.  Children 13 - 16 should have a certificate, and should lose their driving privileges if they mess up.

Anne Rogers agreed that there should be a safety course available.  There should be a notice in the Fins that the course is for Golf Carts and for young people.  She did not realize that the current ATV Education course was open to children.

John Crosby stated that a course could be mandatory before driving.

Winifred Rogers, Lot 1668, said we should let the Real Estate agents know of our regulations, since they are new.  She says that kids should be taught emergency first aid, and how to call for help if there is an accident.

Ken Doloff, Lot 1222, stated that according to Maine Moderator Laws, hearings such as this one can be informal, and that we are doing it correctly.

John La Farrell asked if it is a possibility that the State will say that golf carts are not legal on Town Roads?

Bob Hannah said that there is a slight chance that this might happen.

The Board then went on to talk about Land Use.   Bobbi Aranyi, Lot 271, thought that the Planning Board should not be too liberal when changing the setback requirements.  She felt that a 15 foot side setback should remain, but had no problems with a 30 or 35 foot setback from the road for an accessory building.  Other cases should come before the Appeals Board, which can add landscaping requirements.

Bob Hannah stated that he thinks that the Town may not have obtained a permit for the gravel pit.  It may be grandfathered.  It is not being operated, but needs fencing and grading.

Bob Hannah stated that  the Town must have a Comprehensive Plan in order to justify any zoning ordinances.   He had obtained  the Standish Plan from Vic Richards.  It includes Frye Island, but very briefly.   He stated that we need to work in several areas, and asked for reports at the next meeting.

1.      Shoreland Zoning - Ed Charrette

2.      Comprehensive Plan = Patty Meyer

3.      Land Use - Marge Hommel

Other members will work on each of the above.

The meeting was adjourned at 10:25 am.

Marge Hommel, Secy