Vassalboro Planning Board
Minutes of March 6, 2007
Planning Board: Virginia Bracket, George Gould, Doug Phillips, Gary Coull, Jay Nutting,
CEO: Paul Mitnik,
Public: Verne D. Pinney, Al Hodsdon, Michael Letourneau, Jim Heckman, Jane B Wells, Joe Clauette; Eric Albee; Eric James, Harold James, Mary Grow
The meeting opened at 6:57.
Review of February Minutes: Gary motioned to accept the minutes as presented. Virginia seconded. All in favor.
Verne Pinney Surveyor Tax Map 2, Lot 21
Riverview Heights Major Subdivision
Preliminary and Final Plan
The proposal is a four lot subdivision with a total land area of 3.22 acres. Since a new road will provide access to all four lots, Vassalboro’s Ordinance classifies this as a major subdivision. The sketch plan of this proposal was presented at the last Planning Board meeting in February.
The land is owned EJJE Properties Inc. represented by Eric James. Verne Pinney of K&K Land Surveyors and Al Hodsdon provided the professional support for EJJE properties.
Verne started the hearing with the presentation of additional information received since the submittal of material to the Board ten days prior. This included the Driveway Entrance Permit from DOT; a letter from Maine Natural Areas program confirming that they had no concerns; a letter from Gardiner Savings Bank confirming financial capacity of the applicant; and green cards from two of the four abutters. All of the receipts of the certified mail indicate that notification to abutters was mailed February 21, 13 days prior to the Board meeting. This meets requirements of the Ordinance.
Virginia inquired about another Driveway Permit in the packet. Al indicated that the original access to the Subdivision was on the south end. The road access entering Route 201 was steep here requiring a lot of fill material. The newly permitted access point on the north end is a better location, since the land is not as steep here.
Doug inquired if the preliminary and final plan were both being presented. Paul and Verne jointly replied yes.
Next Virginia asked Paul to present information about the site visit of the Subdivision. Paul reported as follows:
The site visit occurred on February 8, 2007. Many of the trees have been removed from the site including all of the larger trees. Some of the smaller trees have been left standing. The under story vegetation density was sparse.
There was more slope than expected. When measured off the site plan, the slope for the site is about 15% for the front lots (1 and 3), about 25% in-between the stone walls on the back lots (2 and 4); and about 30% beyond the second stone wall. The site plan indicated that building is prohibited beyond the second stone wall.
A DEP Maine Construction General Permit or Stormwater Permit-By-Rule is needed due to more than 1 acre of land being disturbed (vegetation removed) on a construction site. K&K Surveyors was informed of this. A discussion ensued over this issue, since Al and Mike Letourneau were not in agreement. Paul explained that the exemptions for residential homes, driveways, and septic systems are for a complete Stormwater Permit for one acre of impervious area. This is not needed. These items are not exempted in the calculation of disturbed area for the Maine Construction General Permit. The total disturbed area of roads, homes and septic systems is about 1.2 acres not including private driveways.
Paul continued the report on the site visit. The subsurface septic systems all meet the plumbing code. The side slopes of all four disposal systems are 4:1 and just barely meet the Plumbing Code. Paul indicated that the fill extensions are long and more prone to breakout and short circuiting than sites with less slope.
If approved, the site will have to be visited frequently to assure all erosion controls measures are in place. Mulch will likely have to be held down with netting or jute twine and pegs on areas with less than 3:1 slope (proposed threshold slope for anchoring mulch), due to the likelihood of wind action at this site. This will be particularly important for septic system fill extensions.
The final issue mentioned in the site visit report was the potential for road salt contamination for lots 1 and 3 where the location of proposed private wells is very close to Route 201.
Virginia asked if anyone attending the meeting wanted to speak.. Eric Albee, an abutter indicated that he had no concerns and in general supported the project.
The Preliminary Plan was then checked for completeness. Virginia went through the list of items in the Ordinance. All items were presented, accept for the IF&W notification for significant wildlife areas. The letter to IF&W has already been sent and the applicant is waiting for their reply. After some discussion, it was indicated that this was acceptable.
Doug moved to accept the application as complete Seconded by George. All in favor.
Next completeness for the Final Plan was checked. Virginia indicated that most of the requirements were similar to the preliminary plan. The following differences were checked. The Final Plan requires a letter of approval from the Town Manager, Fire Chief, and Road Commissioner. Paul indicated that all three approved of the project, but Mike Vashon, the Town Manager indicated that he was concerned about the wastewater disposal systems being close to the proposed road and was of the opinion that the roads would have to remain private, since it was unlikely that they would be approved as town roads.
It was noted that the list and cost of construction items hadn’t been submitted. Eric James indicated that the roads and boundary surveys and any additional test pits for septic systems would be completed before the sale of any land. Virginia pointed out that the driveway entrance permit requires that Route 201 be widened in the north and south bound lane along the shoulder. Eric was aware of this. Al indicated this is being required in all mobility corridors to allow safer passage when vehicles are taking left hand turns. It was noted by Board members that this should be done prior to construction work within the subdivision.
George made a motion to accept the final plan as complete. Seconded by Doug. All in favor.
Next compliance of the performance standards in the Ordinance were checked.
A.Pollution - George made a motion to approve. Seconded by Doug. All in favor.
B.Sufficient Water. - A discussion ensued over the proximity of the private wells to Route 201 on lots 1 and 3 and the potential for road salt contamination. Doug and Gary asked if there was a standard setback for wells from roads in which this would not be an issue. Al indicated there isn’t. Gary indicated that he didn’t think there was any question that the snowmelt and salt would get to the wells due to their down gradient position from the road, despite the apparent distance from the pavement of 50 feet. Virginia asked if a motion could be made to conditionally approve with the requirement to move the wells back as far as practical. George made a motion to approve. Seconded by Jay. All in favor.
C.Soil Erosion. - Virginia noted that due to the steepness, silt fencing on the back lots (2 and 4) should be a condition. Virginia asked if a motion could be made to conditional approve with the requirement for the silt fencing. George made a motion to approve. Seconded by Jay. All in favor.
D.Traffic Conditions - Doug indicated that there should be condition to require widening of Route 201 before beginning construction in the subdivision and paving at the earliest opportunity. Doug made a motion to approve. Seconded by George. All in favor.
E.Sewage Disposal - Paul pointed out the requirement in the Ordinance to have a second disposal field design when the limiting factor is less than 24 inches as is the case on two of the lots. Al indicated that since concrete chambers are being used for septic disposal, they can be replaced at the same site. George made a motion to approve. Seconded by Jay. All in favor.
F.Solid Waste - George made a motion to approve. Seconded by Jay. All in favor.
G.Impact on Natural Beauty, Aesthetics, Historic Sites, Wildlife Habitat, Rare Natural Areas or Public Access to Shorelines – Conditioned on receiving the IF&W report that there is no significant wildlife habitat within the proposed subdivision.. George made a motion to approve. Seconded by Gary. All in favor.
H.Financial and Technical Capacity - George made a motion to approve. Seconded by Jay. All in favor.
I.Impact on Ground Water Quality and Quantity - George made a motion to approve. Seconded by Doug. All in favor.
J.Flood Plain Management - George made a motion to approve. Seconded by Jay. All in favor.
K.Identification of Freshwater Wetlands - George made a motion to approve. Seconded by Gary. All in favor.
L.Storm Water Management - Gary made a motion to approve. Seconded by George. All in favor.
Virginia asked if a motion could be made to approve the subdivision with the following conditions:
1.Move the private well back from Route 201 on Lots 1 and 3 as far as practical.
2.Require silt fencing on the down gradient end of Lots 2 and 4 prior to starting construction.
3.Widen Route 201 as required by the Driveway Entrance Permit prior to construction and paving at the earliest opportunity.
4.Receiving the report from IF&W that there is no significant wildlife habitat.
A motion was made by George to approve. Seconded by Gary. All in favor.
Verne Pinney added the conditions into the Town copy of the Subdivision Plan and it was signed by Planning Board members.
Robert and Karen Greig
Map 1 Lot 177-3
Although not on the Agenda, a new subdivision proposal received by Paul that morning was discussed briefly. Five lots are proposed with duplexes on each off of the south end of Church Hill Rd. Some of the land is in Augusta including some of the subsurface wastewater disposal fields. All of the duplexes appear to be in Vassalboro. Little specific information is available at this point. The City of Augusta will have to be involved to some extent. Paul will contact the Code Enforcement Officer of Augusta, George Soucy, to discuss how this should be handled. Jim Coffin representing the Greigs indicated to Paul that they want to be on the next Board Agenda with a Preliminary Plan.
The meeting adjourned at 8:40.