JUNE 2, 2020
7:00 P.M.

Board Members Present: Ginny Bracket, Chair, Doug Phillips, Sally Butler, Betsy Poulin,
Staff: Paul Mitnik, CEO, LPI, BI, AO
Public: Al Copping, Nate Niles Revision Energy; Bernie and Jody Welch; Steve Jones; Mary Grow, Town Line Reporter

Note: The meeting was held in the Vassalboro Community School located at 1116 Webber Pond Rd so that social distancing requirements of six feet could be maintained per executive order of Governor Janet Mills for public meetings during the Corona Virus Pandemic. All attendees were masked.

Call meeting to order.

1.) May 5, 2020 Minutes
The Minutes were approved by motion of Doug Phillips, seconded by Betsy Poulin 4-0.

2.) A. Applicant Name: Revision Energy
Project Type: Major Site Plan Review
Shoreland Zoning Limited Residential / Commercial District
Location 505 Main St
Map 12, Lot 4-A

A proposal for a 0.78 Mw ground mounted solar array encompassing 4 acres and surrounded by a seven (7) foot high fence.
Planning Board Review

Open discussion of proposal

• Nate indicated that Revision has received approval for two driveway entrances to Main St (Route 32).
• No buildings are proposed
• No lighting is proposed.
• No signs are proposed
• Trees will be removed to promote lighting needed for the solar array. A fifty four foot wide swath will be removed alongside Main St.
• Not within the wellhead protection district.
• Wetlands were mapped by wetland scientists and shown in blue arrowheads.

Project Completeness

Motion to: X Approve; __ Deny
Motion by: BP
Seconded By: SB
Approved; 4-0



Performance Standards Revision Energy

SECTION X. PERFORMANCE STANDARDS – Major A. The Site Plan shall be approved, unless the Planning Board makes a written finding that the applicant is not able to meet one or more of these standards. In all instances, the burden of proof shall be on the applicant and such burden of proof shall include the production of evidence necessary to complete the application.

Revision Energy responses are in italic print. Boldface print are the Board’s findings.

1. The provisions for vehicular loading and unloading and parking and for vehicular and pedestrian circulation on the site and onto adjacent public streets and ways will create no hazards to safety and will conform to the following:

Access to the Site

a. Any driveway or proposed street must be designed so as to provide the minimum sight distance according to the Maine Department of Transportation standards, to the maximum extent possible.
Our driveway locations have been approved by the Maine Department of Transportation (MDOT) and have met MDOT’s sight distance requirements.

b. Points of access and egress must be located to avoid hazardous conflicts with existing turning movements and traffic flows
Our semi-circular driveway was designed to allow for access/egress from both ends. The nearest intersection is with Mineral Springs Rd., which is 550’ south of the southern entrance. This segment of Route 32 is straight and flat, which provides for long visibility distance. Therefore, we don’t expect any conflict with existing traffic patterns.
A discussion ensued concerning the existence of two driveway entrances to a state road which is not ordinarily allowed. It was decided that the two driveway entrances could be allowed as a temporary measure during construction of the project. After completion of construction on entrance shall be permanently terminated and the other allowed to remain.
c. The grade of any proposed drive or street must be not more than +3% for a minimum of two (2) car lengths, or forty feet, from the intersection.
As shown in the site plan, the driveway area is very flat; there is < 2’ of elevation change in this area.
d. The intersection of any access/egress drive or proposed street must function at a level which will allow for safe access into and out of the project if at least one thousand (1,000) trips are generated.
Not applicable – we expect fewer than 1,000 trips. Although, as discussed above, the intersections provide adequate distance both north/south along Route 32 for safe access/egress.
e. Where a lot has frontage on two (2) or more streets, the primary access to and egress from the lot must be provided from the street where there is less potential for traffic congestion and for traffic and pedestrians hazards. Access from other streets may be allowed if is safe and does not promote shortcutting through the site.
Not applicable – there is frontage on only one street.
f. Where it is necessary to safeguard against hazards to traffic and pedestrians and/or to avoid traffic congestion, the applicant shall be responsible for providing turning lanes, traffic directional islands, and traffic controls within public streets.
Not applicable – given the low traffic to the project site and minimal pedestrian traffic, we don’t anticipate turning lanes or controls to be necessary.

g. Access ways must be designed and have sufficient capacity to avoid queuing of entering vehicles on any public street.
Given the low traffic to the project site, queueing in Route 32 is not anticipated to be an issue. Moreover, the driveway length and provision for large vehicle turning radii, should prevent any turning congestion.
h. The following criteria must be used to limit the number of driveways serving a proposed project:

a. No use that generates less than one hundred (100) vehicle trips per day shall have more than one (1) two-way driveway onto a single roadway. Such driveway must be no greater than thirty (30) feet wide.
b. No use which generates one hundred (100) or more vehicle trips per day shall have more than two (2) points of entry from and two (2) points of egress to a single roadway. The combined width of all access ways must not exceed sixty (60) feet.

There will be fewer than 100 vehicle trips per day. Due to the site dimensions, we determined that a semi-circular, two-way pull-out would be the safest possible driveway configuration. This would allow for large vehicles (including emergency vehicles) to access the site without needing to back into traffic.

Access way Location and Spacing:
Access ways must meet the following standards:
a. Private entrance/exits must be located at least fifty (50) feet from the closest un-signalized intersection and one hundred fifty (150) feet from the closest signalized intersection, as measured from the point of tangency for the corner to the point of tangency for the access way. This requirement may be reduced if the shape of the site does not allow conformance with this standard.
We are 550’ from the nearest intersection, which is unsignalized (Mineral Springs Rd., to the south).
b. Private access ways in or out of a development must be separated by a minimum of seventy five (75) feet where possible.
Our two driveway locations are approximately 75’ apart.

Internal Vehicular Circulation
a. The layout of the site must provide for the safe movement of passenger, service, and emergency vehicles through the site.

Yes, the two-way pull out provides easy access to the site gate and along the fence line. Vehicle traffic is not required throughout the site, though the approx.. 17’ inter-row spacing of solar panels will allow for vehicle access.

b. Nonresidential projects that will be served by delivery vehicles must provide a clear route for such vehicles with appropriate geometric design to allow turning and backing for a minimum of a vehicle with a wheelbase of 40 feet.

The driveway’s width and radius has been designed to accommodate large service vehicles and tractor trailer trucks.

c. Clear routes of access must be provided and maintained for emergency vehicles to and around buildings and must be posted with appropriate signage (fire lane - no parking).

The driveway will be kept clear for emergency access during the project’s operation. Adequate signage will be posted at the gate.

d. The layout and design of parking areas must provide for safe and convenient circulation of vehicles throughout the lot.

The driveway is designed to be two-way to allow for easy circulation in and out of the site. Vehicles will not need to back up (especially not into traffic) in order to exit the site.

e. All roadways must be designed to harmonize with the topographic and natural features of the site insofar as practical by minimizing filling, grading, excavation, or other similar activities which result in unstable soil conditions and soil erosion, by fitting the development to the natural contour of the land and avoiding substantial areas of excessive grade and tree removal, and by retaining existing vegetation during construction. The road network must provide for vehicular, pedestrian, and cyclist safety, all season emergency access, snow storage, and delivery and collection services.

As discussed above, the driveway area is practically flat and will require virtually no fill or grading. Trees along Route 32 will need to be removed prior to construction. The shape of the driveway will provide plenty of room for snow removal/storage space and will not impede vehicle/pedestrian/cyclist use along Route 32.

Standard 1
X Met __ Not Met
Motion by DP
Seconded by BP
Vote 4-0
Conditioned to terminating one driveway entrance permanently after construction of the project is completed.

2. The location or height of proposed structures and the proposed uses thereof will not be detrimental to other public or private development in the neighborhood.

Except for two new, standard utility poles, the maximum height of the project’s components will be the peak of the solar panels approximately 12 ft above grade. Therefore, the rows of solar panels are shorter than a standard one-story building and will not have a material impact on the surrounding neighborhood. Although vegetation within and surrounding the array must be maintained at a height to avoid shading on the panels, natural vegetation outside the array’s fence may be allowed to grow back to a reasonable height (4-10 ft). The fence is no closer than 15 ft from any property line, and the arrays are at least 30 ft from the closest property line. Moreover, the project will not produce harmful sound, glare, or safety concerns for the neighborhood.

Standard 2
X Met __ Not Met
Motion by DP
Seconded by SB
Vote 4-0

3. The provision for on-site landscaping provides adequate protection to neighboring properties from detrimental features of the development. The development must provide for the buffering of adjacent uses where there is a transition from one type of use to another use and for screening of mechanical equipment and service and storage areas.
Buffering must be designed to provide a year-round visual screen in order to minimize adverse impacts. It may consist of fencing, evergreens, berms, rocks, boulders, mounds, or a combination thereof.

A development must provide sufficient buffering when topographical or other barriers do not provide reasonable screening and where there is a need to:

Standard 4
X Met __ Not Met
Motion by BP
Seconded by SB
Vote 4-0

5. The Site Plan provides sufficient information to show that storm water will be adequately drained from the site with no adverse impact on other property or publicly owned drainage systems.

The project will not require grading or the addition of a substantial amount of impervious area. The entire array area, except for the transformer pad and driveway, will be re-vegetated postconstruction. Therefore, run-off characteristics will not be altered. We are in the process of obtaining a stormwater permit-by-rule from the MDEP.

Standard 5
X Met __ Not Met
Motion by DP
Seconded by BP
Vote 4-0

6. Soil erosion and all other adverse impacts on the soil, ground water, and surface water shall be prevented. Ground water shall not be adversely impacted in quality or quantity. Adequate provisions must be made for the collection and disposal of all storm water that runs off from proposed streets, parking areas, roofs and other surfaces, through a storm water drainage system and maintenance plan, which must not have adverse impacts on abutting or downstream properties.

See 5 above. The project will not create a significant amount of new impervious area or alter the site topography. We will obtain a stormwater permit-by-rule from the MDEP. During construction we will utilize silt screens/fences and other BMPs to avoid adverse impacts from stormwater run-off. Following construction, the site will be re-seeded for stabilization.

Standard 6
X Met __ Not Met
Motion by BP
Seconded by DP
Vote 4-0

7. The provisions for exterior lighting do not create hazards to motorists traveling on adjacent public streets and are adequate for the safety of occupants or users of the site and such provisions will not damage the value and diminish the usability of adjacent properties.

Exterior Lighting - The proposed development must have adequate exterior lighting to provide for its safe use during nighttime hours, if such use is contemplated.

Lighting may be used which serves security, safety and operational needs but which does not directly or indirectly produce deleterious effects on abutting properties or which would impair the vision of a vehicle operator on adjacent roadways. Lighting fixtures must be shielded or hooded so that the lighting elements are not exposed to normal view by motorists, pedestrians, or from adjacent dwellings and so that they do not unnecessarily light the night sky. Direct or indirect illumination must not exceed 0.5 foot-candles at the lot line or upon abutting residential properties.

All exterior lighting, except security lighting, must be turned off between 11 P.M. and 6 A.M. unless located on the site of a commercial or industrial use that is open for business during that period. Wiring to light poles and standards must be underground.

Not applicable – no exterior lighting is proposed as part of the project.

Standard 7
X Met __ Not Met
Motion by BP
Seconded by SB
Vote 4-0

8. An applicant for Site Plan approval has provided evidence of his financial capability to complete the development as planned. This could include a letter of support from an accredited financial institution or some other means of documenting financial solvency.

See letter from Bangor Savings Bank attached as part of the application.

Standard 8
X Met __ Not Met
Motion by DP
Seconded by BP
Vote 4-0

9. The proposed development will not create safety hazards and will provide adequate access for emergency vehicles to the site, and to all buildings on the site.

The project will contain a 7 ft perimeter chain-link fence surrounding the entire array. This is a requirement of the NEC. The fence will be gated and have a KnoxBox for 24/7 emergency access. Additionally, the driveway pull-out will allow for visits from emergency vehicles.

Standard 9
X Met __ Not Met
Motion by BP
Seconded by SB
Vote 4-0

10. The proposed development will not adversely affect the use and enjoyment of abutting property as a result of noise, vibrations, fumes, odor, dust, glare, or other cause.

The maximum permissible sound pressure level of any continuous, regular or frequent or intermittent source of sound produced by any activity on the site shall be limited by the time period and by the abutting land use as listed below. Sound levels shall be measured at least four (4) feet above ground at the property boundary of the source.

Sound Pressure Level Limits Using the Sound Equivalent Level of One Minute (leq 1) (Measured in dB(a)Scale)

Abutting Use 7 am- 10pm 10pm - 7am
Residential 55 45
Residential in a commercial area 65 55
Public, semipublic and institutional 60 55
Vacant or rural 60 55
Commercial 65 55
Industrial 70 60

Noise shall be measured by a meter set on the A-weighted response scale, fast response. The meter shall meet the American National Standards Institute (ANSI S1 4-1961) 'American Standards Specification for General Purpose Sound Level Meters.'

The project is not expected to ever produce impactful fumes, odor, or dust. During the 60-90 day construction period, there will be noise and vibrations generated during regular business hours. Once construction is complete, the only sound will be a slight hum from the standard utility transformer. The transformer used will be a standard utility 1,000 kVa pad-mounted transformer (exactly the same as would be used for a business), which by NEMA ST-20 code will produce no more than 64 dB at the point source. The transformer will be approximately 30 ft from the nearest property line, so sound levels will be well within the ordinance requirements on adjacent properties (the passing traffic on Route 32 will be substantially louder than the transformer). Lastly, modern solar panels are coated in anti-glare coatings, and given the aspect of the array we don’t expect glare will be an issue for any adjacent properties.

Standard 10
X Met __ Not Met
Motion by DP
Seconded by BP
Vote 4-0

Project Approval
Motion to: X Approve; __ Deny
Motion by: DP
Seconded By: SB
Approved; 4-0

Conditioned to eliminating one of the two driveway entrances after construction is completed and providing a buffering plan to the Board for approval by September of 2020 as described previously in Minutes.

Shoreland Zoning Review

The project falls within the Shoreland Zone of the China Lake Outlet Stream in the Limited Residential / Commercial District. Light commercial development such as what is proposed is allowed in this zone. The solar panels are a minimum of 130 feet from the high water mark of Outlet Stream, meeting the 100 foot water setback requirement of Vassalboro’s Shoreland Zoning Ordinance. This was approved by motion of Doug Phillips seconded by Betsy Poulin by a 4-0 vote.

3.) CEO Report

Paul discussed the property located at 276 Dunham Rd (Map 3 Lot 24) which is a catering business that is opened as a restaurant one day per week. This was formerly approved by the Planning Board. The property owner, Lorilee Dumont is unable to continue the restaurant and provide the social distancing of six feet between tables required during the Corona Virus pandemic while still maintain the six tables that were formerly authorized.

She is proposing to add on a porch of dimensions 14 x 32 to the back of the existing structure. Tables would be moved into the porch to meet the social distancing requirement. This expansion is 32% of the existing building footprint which would normally require Planning Board review under the substantial enlargement provision (> 25% of existing footprint). However the current number of tables would remain at six. It was decided that a building permit could be issued conditioned to obtaining Planning Board approval in the future if the amount of tables were to increase and immediate Planning Board approval could be waived due to the unusual circumstances that now occur with the Virus.
Adjourn 8:45 PM
Respectfully submitted Paul Mitnik, CEO, LPI, BI, AO