Vassalboro Planning Board
Minutes of February 5, 2008

Planning Board: George Gould, Gary Coull, Ginny Brackett, Doug Phillips
CEO: Paul Mitnik,
Public: Dana Sawtelle, April Sawtelle, Leon Dudley, Bridget Hutchinson, Laurie Connelly, Katherina Pooler, Brian Hutchinson

The meeting opened at 7:00 PM.

Review of January 8 Minutes: George motioned to accept the January 8 Minutes. Gary seconded. All in favor.

Building Permit Ordinance Revisions and Fees

The proposed revisions to the Building Permit Ordinance were briefly discussed. Paul explained some of the changes. Items that must currently be checked before issuing a building permit (but not in the current Ordinance) were added to the ordinance. The criteria that determine when you do and do not need a permit are better explained. Some additions included a setback requirement for structures from property lines and roads, inspecting that driveway entrances unto existing roads have adequate sight distances, and giving the CEO more authority to require erosion control measures. The current ordinance requires an inspection prior to occupancy but doesn’t explain what to inspect. The revisions within the ordinance list what should be inspected. A contradiction within the current ordinance concerning the requirement for a building permits within the Shoreland Zone was fixed indicating that you do need a building permit in addition to a Shoreland Zoning permit..

The proposed fee increases were discussed. Ginny indicated that Vassalboro attempted this a couple of years ago but to no avail, since the Selectmen would not support fee increases. Vassalboro’s fees were compared to three other towns and are still much lower, even with the proposed fee increases. Fees for new structures would increase from $35 to $60 and there are lesser increases for accessory structures and additions.. Paul explained that mandatory adoption of a statewide building and energy code is currently being considered by the State Legislature. This could require additional changes and fee increases in the future.

The Planning Board voted to support the proposed Ordinance changes and new fee structure by motion of George, and seconded by Doug. All in favor. The proposed changes will be presented to the Selectmen at their next meeting.

Leon Dudley
Shoreland Zoning – Three Mile Pond
Construction of Garage and Seasonal Residence
Tax Map 13, Lot 11

Leon Dudley is proposing to construct a garage with an upstairs that will serve as a seasonal residence at 124 Park Lane. The new structure will be 117 feet from the high water mark of Three Mile Pond. A new wastewater disposal system will be installed. A well has recently been installed. The new structure will have dimensions 28 X 36 feet and the garage doors will be on the back of the building facing away from the water and toward an existing driveway, which does not need to be extended. The application was determined to be complete by motion of George, and seconded by Doug. All in favor.

A discussion ensued about the existing structure on the lot which has been abandoned more than one year. Paul explained that the Ordinance requires that this building can no longer be used, without obtaining a variance. Ginny thought that obtaining a variance would be difficult, do to not being able to demonstrate undue hardship. Gary was reluctant to approve the permit for construction of the new structure without a condition to remove the current camp on the lot. Leon explained that the structure was in good shape and framed with large timbers and may be worth moving. The Board indicated that moving the structure outside of the 100 foot zone would be acceptable. Leon asked if the building was removed, whether or not a deck could be built to replace it. Paul indicated that the Ordinance does not allow this.

The application was determined to meet the Ordinance Performance Standards and be acceptable as a whole by motion of George, and seconded by Gary. All in favor, but subjected to the condition to remove the existing camp, or move it more than 100 feet away from the high water mark of Three Mile Pond within one year.

April Sawtelle
Minor Site Review
Real Estate Business
Tax Map 23, Lot 44-1

April Sawtelle is proposing to open a real estate office at 909 Main Street where one formerly existed under a different owner. The Site Review Ordinance does not allow permits to be transferred from a different owner. There are no changes being made to the building other than minor interior maintenance. The existing parking lot and egress to Main Street will not be changed. The application was determined to be complete by motion of George, seconded by Doug. All in favor.

Since the site was recently reviewed under Minor Site Review by the Planning Board for a real estate business, and nothing is being changed except the owner, the application was determined to meet the Ordinance Performance Standards for a minor project. The application was approved as a whole by motion of Doug, and seconded by George. All in favor.

Bridget Hutchinson
Minor Site Review
Expansion of Diner
Tax Map 8, Lot 117

Bridget Hutchinson is proposing to convert existing storage space attached to a diner named Bridget’s Place at 796 Main St into a pizzeria takeout. Paul interpretion of the ordinance language indicated that this expansion is a substantial enlargement requiring Planning Board review. The language within the Ordinance is open to interpretation. The Planning Board determined that the storage space was already approved in the original application and the footprint of the building was not being changed. Only minor interior renovations will be made to the building and no additional parking is needed. Hence no Planning Board review is necessary.

The meeting adjourned at 8:30 PM.