Vassalboro Planning Board
Minutes of November 13, 2007
Planning Board: Virginia Bracket, George Gould, Gary Coull, Sally Butler
CEO: Paul Mitnik,
Public: Olin Charette, Jeff Lacasse, Jim Heckman, Greg O Halloren
The meeting opened at 7:00 PM.
Review of October 2 Minutes: George motioned to accept the October 2 Minutes. Sally seconded. All in favor.
Major Site Review
Auto Repair and Sales
Tax Map 2, Lot 86
Olin Charette has been operating a business at the former Lucas Junkyard site off Route 201 without authorization from the Planning Board. The current business involves doing automotive state safety inspections and minor repairs needed to pass the inspections. Olin is also applying for a recycling license and a dealership license from the state which will expand his current business. The site is also has been involved in a environmental cleanup being ovverwatched by DEP as a result of mismanagement of this site by the former owner.
Olin explained the history of the site and cleanup responding to queries from Planning Board members. The site was purchased from Border Trust Bank five years ago. Scrap metal and other junk such as large fishnets and furniture are buried at the site. DEP is requiring digging up of the soil at the site down to bedrock which is located at a depth of four to six feet. The dirt is then sifted and the scrap metal is recovered. About 100 tons of steel have been recovered this year. The soil will have to be hauled off and treated to have the pollutants removed.
Ginny asked who was paying for the cleanup. Olin explained that he is paying for most of the cleanup, but is hoping to obtain EPA grant money for treating the soil. George asked about the pollutants of concern. Olin said that most concern is for lead followed by chromium. He said that so far DEP groundwater monitoring wells have indicated that pollutants have not reached harmful levels.
Olin explained that he could no longer operate the junkyard unless he is a business. Paul confirmed that state law changes in 2005 now require automobile graveyards to be a business connected to motor vehicles. Ginny inquired about the recycling part of the business. Olin explained that he will not be taking in large quantities of scrap metal similar to the former Lucas business. The recycling is primarily from the vehicles on the property which will be supplying used parts to running vehicles. There are approximately twenty-five vehicles on the site, some of which are running vehicles, and others only parts vehicles. Olin’s primary business is apartments in Augusta and the business in Vassalboro is secondary to that. Olin stated that he does not plan to take in more junk or vehicles.
Both George and Ginny asked why the cleanup was taking so long. Olin explained that the sifting operation was difficult during wet weather and could only be done seasonally when weather is warm. He recently hired a contractor from Boothbay to help with the excavation operations of the cleanup.
Gary suggested that maybe the business could be permitted with a number of conditions, the first being that no more junk could be taken in. George thought that there needed to be more commitment for cleaning up the site on a timetable before a business could be permitted, since five years have already passed.
Ginny went through the process of first considering completeness of the application. The site plan was first reviewed. The scale was omitted but is 1” = 50’. George indicated that the actual location of the site was indicated wrong on the USGS quad. It should be south of the Lewis Rd. Olin confirmed that there is one entrance and that the fence providing screening will be maintained. The condition of the fence and unauthorized vehicles that were not screened from view from Route 201 have been an issue here until recently corrected as requirements of the automobile graveyard license issued in October of this year. The sign for Olin Charette’s business is located at the entrance and is of dimensions 3’ X 3’ which meets the Ordinance. Olin indicated that the Phil Lucas sign will be whited out.
The storm drains were discussed. There is a treatment system which separates oil. The collection basins are on the other side of the road in the right of way. Evidently DOT cleans them out. The oil from the junkyard site is minimal and more oil actually comes from vehicles driving on Route 201.
Fencing extends from the road to the back of the building. In the back of the lot a berm and plantings of trees on the berm provide screening.
Ginny indicated that Vassalboro’s Site Review Ordinance requires narrative responses to the Performance Criteria. This material was lacking so the application was not complete. George indicated that a representative from DEP should be at the next Planning Board meeting. Paul said that he would contact DEP. The Planning Board also wanted to visit the site. A site visit is scheduled for Tuesday November 20 at 2:00 PM. The Board voted to table the decision until the next Planning Board meeting scheduled for December 4.
Kennebec Water District
Minor Subdivision Sketch Plan
Tax Map 11, Lot 54
The Kennebec Water District is considering creating a three lot subdivision near China Lake and off of Route 32. A plot of land near the lake would be maintained by KWD and not built upon. The land nearer to Route 32 consisting of five acres would be divided into two lots. This would be a three lot subdivision requiring Planning Board approval, even though the lot nearer to the lake will probably never be developed. There is a possibility that an abutter will buy one of the lots or the five acres will be sold off as one lot. If either results, a subdivision would no longer be created and no formal approval from the Planning Board would be necessary.
Jeff asked about the detail of mapping wetlands. Ginny indicated that all wetlands had to be mapped no matter how small. Jeff indicated that he did not expect the application to be ready by the next Planning Board meeting and the KWD may wait to see what develops with the sale of the land.
Peter Bragdon Subdivision
Tax Map 9, Lot 31
Although not on the scheduled agenda, the Board allowed questions from Greg OHalloran for a major subdivision proposed at the intersection of Stone Rd and Mudgett Hill Rd. Greg asked if soil profiles would satisfy Vassalboro’s Subdivision Ordinance requirement for HHE-200 forms (the septic design) for each lot. Ginny replied no, the entire HHE-200 is needed for each lot. Although it is not known how many bedrooms will be in each home, Ginny indicated three bedrooms homes are typically used and could be used in this situation.
Subdivision Road Inspection Procedure
Paul prepared a form that the Road Commissioner would use when inspecting roads. The form is preliminary and subject to change after review by the Planning Board and Gene Field, the Road Commissioner. Although not present, Doug indicated in an email that he thought that the section on Road Construction should be further divided and the final form should be adopted by the Selectmen with a letter of recommendation from the Planning Board. Ginny had similar questions on the number of visits needed to the site and recommended a sign off for each. Gary indicated that the sheet didn’t necessarily have to be fit on one page. Paul indicated that he would try to have a final form available for the next meeting in December.
The schedule for revising the Vassalboro’s Shoreland Zoning Ordinance was briefly discussed. Ginny proposed that a minimum of ½ hour be spent each Planning Board meeting on Shoreland Zoning. This should be from 7:00 to 7:30 to assure that it gets done. George indicated that it may be necessary to devote a whole meeting entirely to Shoreland Zoning that would be on a different date than the regularly scheduled Planning Board Meeting. There is a time schedule indicated in the State Guidelines that will have to be followed. It was agreed that a scheduled would be derived in December based upon the available meetings between now and the derived deadlines. Since Doug is taking the lead in the Shoreland Zoning, others thought it was important that he be present for this discussion. Paul prepared a summary of the differences between the state guidelines and Vassalboro’s current Ordinance last wintered and offered to resend this to Planning Board members.
The meeting adjourned at 8:30 PM.