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TOWN OF EDGECOMB MINUTES OF THE SELECTMEN'S MEETING
June 12, 2006

Attended: Frank Perkins, Jr., Jo Cameron, Stuart Smith; Barry Johnston, Fire/Safety Chief; Claudia Coffin, Town Clerk/Treasurer; Frank Chiarravalotti and Dale Doughty, Maine Department of Transportation; Eileen King, Superintendent, Boothbay Region school system; Peggy Pinkham, St. Andrews Hospital; June Finnegan, Edgecomb Eddy School nurse; Madeline Olney, social worker; Bob Zak; Bobbi Carleton; David Clifford; Jackie Lowell; Roger Bintliff, Edgecomb Development LLC; John Clifford, attorney; Bob Faunce, Lincoln County planner; Erin Cooperrider, chair, Edgecomb Planning Board; Katherine Braid, vice chair; Bruce Cameron, David Boucher, Lisa McSwain, PB members; Charlotte Boynton, press.

MINUTES of June 5, 2006 were approved as read.

  1. CORRESPONDENCE:
    1. MDEP ramp and float application: referred to Planning Board
    2. FrontierVision personal property reporting form: voted unanimously to accept FrontierVision's values; referred to Tax Collector
    3. Watershed Ceramics' invitation to Salad Days, annual fundraiser: noted
    4. MDOT, changes in utilities procedures: referred to Planning Board
    5. Lincoln County Registry of Deeds: Assessors' document images of probate notices to be incorporated into Assessors' records and referred to Tax Collector and Town Clerk
    6. MDOT, brush control schedule, to start June 12, 2006: noted
  1. OLD BUSINESS:
    1. Ferry Landing/Dock Permit: It was debated whether this particular location is adequate for a landing access point, with a privately-owned float already in place; further discussion of the several interpretations of the "abandoned road" status. Frank will pursue this issue further.
    2. PowerOptions: Frank reported on the confirmation of Edgecomb's participation in this County-led bulk heating fuel purchase plan. The new provider will be C.N. Brown.
    3. Adelphia: Several bankruptcy notices were received and filed with Adelphia materials.
    4. Abatement: Signed by all and referred to the Tax Collector.
    5. Lallis Property: Stuart has talked with Julie Lamy of the BRLT, Erv Snyder, attorney, and Dave Ferguson, an attorney with expertise in lien and tax law. He reported that a Right of Redemption will need to be established, and he will confer with Rodd Hopper about this. He has been advised by the Augusta IRS office to pursue this via the Boston IRS office.
    6. Fort Edgecomb Bicentennial: Jo presented text of a mailing piece and asked that it be sent out under the Town's mailing privilege. It was voted unanimously to allow her to do this.
  2. NEW BUSINESS:
    1. Appointment, Elections Warden: Claudia Coffin was voted unanimously to fill this position.
    2. Domestic Violence Policy: School Superintendent Eileen King, Peggy Pinkham of St. Andrews Hospital, June Finnegan and Madeline Olney presented a model policy about this issue for the Selectmen to review and consider for adoption. This policy provides not only for protection and care for victims of domestic violence, but also for counseling and other appropriate assistance for domestic abusers. The Selectmen and Chief Johnston will review this policy, recommend changes to the language, by the next Selectmen's meeting.
    3. Cross Point Cemetery: Rufus Caswell, President of this Cemetery Association, sent in a bill for mowing, to be paid on the next biweekly warrant.
    4. Workers' Compensation Fund: Frank presented the bill for the third installment on this MMA policy, to be paid on the next biweekly warrant.
    5. Deed from Wiscasset
    6. Citizens' Petition: The meeting was moved to the main downstairs room to accommodate the many persons addressing this issue.
      1. Lisa McSwain read a statement from the Planning Board, pertaining to the meeting of June 5, in defense of the Planning Board's work and ethical character over the past 5 years, and advising that the Edgecomb Land Use Ordinance had never been reviewed by a planning professional.
      2. Stuart Smith, on behalf of the Selectmen, expressed the Town's apologies for the rudeness experienced by several in attendance at the June 5 meeting.
      3. Lisa McSwain proposed that the $5,000 raised in the 2006 Town Meeting for partial support of a part-time planner be combined with a portion of the Planning Board's permitting fees to enable the hiring of a professional planner as soon as possible.
      4. Erin Cooperrider presented her research on the history of the Article 5, Section 4.8 issue, which will form an appendix to these minutes. Bruce Cameron asked if the appendix might be posted before the full minutes were available. The Selectmen voted unanimously to post the appendix on the Town's website directly following this meeting.

        In this appendix, one section reads: "Also in the 2001 Annual Report, the townspeople voted to approve the creation of three zoning districts along Route 1. Language about density with Town of Edgecomb sewer and water also appears in those warrant articles."

        In response to a question from the floor regarding this section, Ms. Cooperrider noted that this language indicates that solely in the Gateway District with Town of Edgecomb controlled sewer and water, density could be increased.

      5. Bob Zak presented a Citizens' Petition with 247 signatures for a Special Town Meeting to consider alternative wording of Article 5, Section 4.8, as he explained, to put "ownership" in the Town's hands. Its aim is to provide an error-free ordinance to be applied to the Town of Edgecomb as a whole, in the original intent to "Keep Edgecomb Rural." and to develop in a controlled fashion. Roger Bintliff requested that the petition be annotated as to the date and time of its acceptance. Stuart Smith, Selectman, so annotated the document with the date and time.
      6. Frank Perkins said that the Planning Board should be allowed time to put some alternative wording together; pending that, the date for a Special Town Meeting could be set.
      7. Bob Zak assured the meeting that there would be no consideration of a moratorium. However, he was concerned about timeliness.
      8. Erin Cooperrider cited the law concerning petitions, that the language appearing in a Town Meeting warrant must be identical to that appearing in the petition.
      9. Town Clerk Claudia Coffin said that warrant articles can be added to a Special Town Meeting warrant. Thus, alternative wordings may be presented for the Town's consideration.
      10. Stuart Smith expressed doubt that the wording as it appears on the petition is really what the petitioners want. He questioned in particular the phrase "in single ownership" as possibly opening a door to massive development by "single owners" with no interest in Edgecomb's own values.
      11. Bob Faunce maintained that the petition amendment was a bad one, and could be challenged in court. If Edgecomb were to lose the case, the state minimum would apply, acre, smaller with water/sewer available. Any amendment, he said, must be consistent with the current edition of Edgecomb's Comprehensive Plan. He commented further, that there are several overboard discharge points on Davis Island, and the Island's soil is very poor.
      12. Bobbi Carleton asked if the current ordinances could be challenged in court. Erin Cooperrider said the current ordinances had been amended by a Comprehensive Plan Task Force in 2001 when the entire Zoning Ordinance was amended, and complied with current standards. Before that time, Edgecomb had a 2-acre minimum lot size over the entire Town, but the Zoning was applied to prevent sprawl. Bobbi Carleton said residents thought they had the 5, 3, 2 and 1 acre zoning in place, but the ordinances do not track with the comprehensive plan.
      13. Bob Faunce said there cannot be a static situation in an area designated for growth; that "with water and sewer" means growth is implicit.
      14. Bob Zak said he thought the problem was an administrative error; it was never said, "only in three districts [Gateway, Thoroughfare and Commercial along Route 1]."
      15. Frank Perkins said the Planning Board would have three weeks to rework their language, for a third warrant article. Claudia Coffin said that after the petition had been filed and dated, she would have to validate the signatures. It was advised a lawyer should interpret the petition's proposed article wording, then get back to Bob Zak, "Is this your intent?" This would mean a new petition must be circulated, 61 required signatures.
      16. Erin Cooperrider announced that an application with accompanying fee was received from Edgecomb Development LLC by the Planning Board prior to the beginning of this Selectmen's meeting. Roger Bintliff described the project as 25 dwelling units and a clubhouse on 17 acres, designed for persons over 55; there will be a service road, but the development will not connect with Fort Road.
  3. OTHER BUSINESS:
    1. Set up Elections booths: Done
    2. Discussion of June 5 meeting: Much was incorporated into the meeting about the Citizens' Petition, see above.
    3. MMA nominations for Executive Board: None were made.
      1. MDOT, Wiscasset Bypass:
      2. Frank Chiaravalotti, consultant, and Dale Doughty, State Planning Office project director, explained that since Wiscasset had requested an informational update, they were here today so that Edgecomb should also have the benefit of it. They stated that the Draft Environmental Impact Statement is expected to be released by late July or early August, following which there will be a 6-month period for public comments, including a number of public hearings.
      3. At the end of the 6 months, these comments will be incorporated into the final Environmental Impact Statement. If consensus has been reached on one of the three route options, then MDOT will move forward toward getting federal approval for the funding, estimated to be $50-60 million. If no consensus is reached, MDOT will be forced to make its own route decision. Frank Chiaravalotti warned, federal funding will be easier to obtain if there is full regional agreement on the route.
      4. Dale Doughty said, once the route has been chosen, by spring of 2007 MDOT will start to acquire the rights of way needed. All three route options will include improvement of the intersection of Route 1 and Route 27.
      5. Chief Johnston reported that accidents at that intersection are down 20% over the course of a year; however, he warned that the northbound lane up the hill was still hazardous.
  4. WARRANT: None.

    Final warrant #25 signed and filed.
    There remain two warrants before the close of FY 2005-6. Since the Selectmen will not meet on July 3, when the first warrant of the new fiscal year will be due, it was agreed to enter the first warrant on July 17, and to re-establish the bi-weekly schedule from there on. Special arrangements may have to be made for the school warrants during this period.

  5. EXECUTIVE SESSION: None.
  6. ADJOURNMENT: Adjourned at 7:35 p.m .

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History of Ordinance Language

At the June 5, 2006 joint meeting of the Planning Board and Board of Selectmen, a member of the public asked how the language of Article V, Section 4.8 of the Town of Edgecomb Land Use Ordinance came to be in the document. The Planning Board was unable to answer the question at the time. It was a fair question, but the answer is not simple, and it would have been difficult for anyone to provide an accurate answer without first reviewing the record. I have found a review of the record very helpful, and have recounted it below for you. References have been included so that you may more easily review the record yourself.

When the Planning Board was unable to answer the question at the meeting, several members of the public offered their own version of events. Following this, members of the public alleged that 1) the language that appears in the Town of Edgecomb Land Use Ordinance is not what was voted upon by the townspeople, 2) the language that appears in the Town of Edgecomb Land Use Ordinance was not lawfully enacted, and 3) the provision for increased density with public water and sewer was limited to the three zoning districts along Route 1, and later expanded to include other areas of town without adequate explanation by the Planning Board.

These are very serious allegations, particularly given that some of them were made by former members of the Planning Board and the Board of Selectmen, and at least one was made by an attorney hired by 13 families living on Davis Island. I do not believe the record supports any one of these allegations.

The language in question was proposed and approved at the May 2002 Annual Town Meeting as a part of a stand alone ordinance, the Building Code, which applied to all of the Town of Edgecomb. From that date to this date, increased density with public water and sewer has been a possibility anywhere in the Town of Edgecomb.

Although three zones along Route 1 in Edgecomb were also proposed and approved at the May 2002 meeting, the Annual Report included a Summary of Findings for Sewer and Water Feasibility Study on pages 68 - 75, which concluded that the cost to bring sewer and water to Edgecomb would be $2.5 million, and says, "It is our recommendation that the Town of Edgecomb does not act on its desire to obtain sewer and water service at this time." This suggests that dialog about where in Edgecomb water and sewer might go did not occur at the same time the language of Article V, Section 4.8 was enacted.

At the annual town meetings in 2003 and 2004, the voters approved additional zoning, which by 2004 covered all of Edgecomb. Increased density with public water and sewer was a possibility anywhere in town both before and after the zoning was approved by the voters. The zoning had no impact on this provision of the Building Code.

The Building Code was incorporated, along with nine other existing land use ordinances, into one Town of Edgecomb Land Use Ordinance on May 21, 2005. After this compilation, the language in question continued to apply to all of the Town of Edgecomb.

The following tracks the language of Article V, Section 4.8 as it was amended and approved.

May 2002 Meeting

Planning Board Members: Robert Crink (Chair), Amanda Russell (Vice Chair), Ted Smith, Erin Cooperrider, Lisa McSwain, Duncan Slade, and Brian Bolduc.

At the time of the May 18, 2002 Town Meeting, the Building Code Ordinance was a stand alone ordinance that applies to all of the town of Edgecomb, and the language in question read as follows:

I. Lot Size for Multiple Residential Units

If more than one residential dwelling unit is constructed or located on a single lot, the minimum lot size must contain one acre per residential dwelling unit. Residential buildings must be separate by a minimum of thirty (30) feet." [sic]

At the May 18, 2002 Town Meeting, among many other warrant articles, the townspeople considered this:

ART. 34. Shall the Town vote to revise the Building Code Ordinance. A copy of the ordinance is posted together with this warrant and hereby incorporated into this warrant by reference. [Annual Report, Town of Edgecomb, Maine 2001, p. 116]

Building Code Ordinance Proposed Revisions are printed in the 2001 Annual Report, on pages 94 -99. The following text appears on pages 97 and 98:

"Page 4, under the heading SECTION 5. CRITERIA & STANDARDS, I. LOT SIZE FOR MULTIPLE RESIDENTIAL UNITS, insert

If more than one residential dwelling unit is constructed or located on a single lot, the minimum lot size must contain one acre per residential dwelling unit. For any residential unit above one, the lot must contain one additional acre per unit in addition to the minimum lot size required for that particular district. For any residential unit above one on a lot having Town of Edgecomb sewer and water, the lot must contain one-fourth acre per unit in addition to the minimum lot size required for that particular district. Residential buildings structures must be separated by a minimum of thirty (30) feet."

According to the 2002 Annual Report, page 68, the article was approved.

Also in the 2001 Annual Report, the townspeople voted to approve the creation of three zoning districts along Route 1. Language about density with Town of Edgecomb sewer and water also appears in those warrant articles. At this time, these are the only "zones" in Edgecomb, aside from Shoreland Districts ( stream protection, resource protection, general development, limited residential)

May 2003 Meeting

Planning Board Members: Robert Crink (Chair), Amanda Russell (Vice Chair), Stuart Smith, Erin Cooperrider, Lisa McSwain, Duncan Slade, and Brian Bolduc.

At the time of the May 17, 2003 meeting the Building Code Ordinance is a stand alone ordinance that applies to all of the town of Edgecomb, and the language in question reads as follows:

I. LOT SIZE FOR MULTIPLE RESIDENTIAL UNITS

For any residential unit above one, the lot must contain one additional acre per unit in addition to the minimum lot size required for that particular district. For any residential unit above one on a lot having Town of Edgecomb sewer and water, the lot must contain one-fourth acre per unit in addition to the minimum lot size required for that particular district. Residential structures must be separated by a minimum of thirty (30) feet.

At the May 17, 2003 Town Meeting, Article 36 proposed amendments to the Comprehensive Plan, and Building Code, Land Use and Site Plan Review Ordinances, but no changes were proposed to the language in question. Article 37 proposed amendments to definitions in six ordinances, including the Building Code. Article 38 proposed addition of a provision for back lots in the Building Code. Article 39 proposed adjustment of the fee schedule in the Building Code.

According to the 2003 Annual Report, pages 94 through 102, all the articles affecting the Building Code were approved.

May 2004 Meeting

Planning Board Members: Robert Crink (Chair), Amanda Russell (Vice Chair), Stuart Smith, Erin Cooperrider, Lisa McSwain, and Charles Olney.

At the time of the May 22, 2004 meeting the Building Code Ordinance is a stand alone ordinance that applies to all of the town of Edgecomb, and no changes to the language of I. LOT SIZE FOR MULTIPLE RESIDENTIAL UNITS have been made since May 18, 2002.

At the May 22, 2004 Town Meeting, among other warrant articles, the townspeople considered this:

ART. 41. Shall the following amendments to sections 4 and 5 of the Building Code Ordinance be enacted as follows:
(additions are underlined, deletions are indicated by strikethroughs}

"I. LOT SIZE FOR MULTIPLE RESIDENTIAL UNITS
For any residential unit above one, with the exception of an accessory apartment, the lot must contain one additional acre per unit in addition to the minimum lot size required for that particular district. For any residential unit above one on a lot having Town of Edgecomb sewer and water, the lot must contain one-fourth acre per unit in addition to the minimum lot size required for that particular district. Residential structures must be separated by a minimum of thirty (30) feet." [Annual Report, Town of Edgecomb, Maine 2003, p. 157]

According to the 2004 Annual Report, page 81, the article was approved.

May 2005 Meeting

Planning Board Members: Erin Cooperrider (Chair), Lisa McSwain (Vice Chair), Amanda Russell, Stuart Smith, Bruce Cameron, Brian Bolduc, and David Boucher.

At the May 21, 2005 Town Meeting, among other warrant articles, the townspeople considered this:

ART. 32. To see if the Town will vote to enact an ordinance entitled "Town of Edgecomb Land Use Ordinance." Note: This combined 10 stand alone land use ordinances into one document in accordance with Goal A, Stage 3, of the Comprehensive Plan of the Town of Edgecomb, pages 71 and 72.

According to the 2005 Annual Report, page 88, the article was approved.

May 2006 Meeting

Planning Board Members: Stuart Smith (Chair), Erin Cooperrider (Vice Chair), Lisa McSwain, Amanda Russell, Bruce Cameron, David Boucher, and Katharine Braid.

At the time of the May 20, 2006 Town Meeting, the Building Code has become Article V of the Town of Edgecomb Land Use Ordinance, which still applied to all of the town of Edgecomb, and the language in question has become Section 4.8 and it read as follows:

"4.8. Lot Size For Multiple Residential Units
For any residential unit above one, with the exception of an accessory apartment, the lot must contain one additional acre per unit in addition to the minimum lot size required for that particular district. For any residential unit above one on a lot having Town of Edgecomb sewer and water, the lot must contain one-fourth acre per unit in addition to the minimum lot size required for that particular district. Residential structures must be separated by a minimum of thirty (30) feet." [Town of Edgecomb Land Use Ordinance, p. 185 ]

At the May 20, 2006 Town Meeting, among other warrant articles, the townspeople considered this:

ART. 40. Shall the following amendment to Article V, Sections 4.1, 4.7, 4.8, 4.11, and 4.13 of the Town of Edgecomb Land Use Ordinance be enacted as follows:
(Strike-through indicates deletion, underscore indicates addition.)

"4.8. Lot Size For Multiple Residential Units
For any residential unit above one, with the exception of an accessory apartment, the lot must contain one additional acre per unit in addition to the minimum lot size required for that particular district. For any residential unit above one on a lot having Town of Edgecomb sewer and water, the lot must contain one-fourth acre per unit in addition to the minimum lot size required for that particular district except in Shoreland as provided for in Article III, Section 1.9.1.5. Residential structures must be separated by a minimum of thirty (30) feet." [Annual Report, Town of Edgecomb, Maine 2005, p. 99]

The article was approved. This is the language that appears in the Town of Edgecomb Land Use Ordinance as updated following the May 20, 2006 meeting.

VOTERS' PETITION PAPER FOR TOWN MEETING ON ARTICLES OF BUSINESS TITLE 30-A M.R.S.A. Section 2522

To the Municipal Officers for the Town of Edgecomb, Maine:

We, the undersigned, being registered voters of the Town of Edgecomb, request the municipal officers to place the following articles before the voters for their consideration at a special town meeting:

Article 1. Shall Article V, Section 4.8 of the Town of Edgecomb Land Use Ordinance be amended to read as follows:

4.8 Lot Size for Multiple Dwelling Units
The required minimum lot size for all Areas and Districts shall be met for each dwelling unit, with the exception of an accessory apartment, for the respective Area or District. For lots having Town of Edgecomb controlled water and sewer held in single ownership and located only within the Edgecomb Gateway District, or the Edgecomb Thoroughfare District or the Commercial Growth District upon which multiple dwelling units are proposed, the minimum lot size per dwelling unit shall be 1 acre for the first dwelling unit plus one-fourth acre for each additional dwelling unit over one. The required minimum lot sizes for all Shoreland Zones are provided for in Article III, section 1.9.1.5. There is no density bonus in the Shoreland Zone if sewer and water is connected to a lot within the Shoreland Zones. Residential Structures must be separated by a minimum of thirty (30) feet.

Article 2. If the Town accepts Article 1, shall the effective date of the Town of Edgecomb Land Use Ordinance Amendment adopted pursuant to Article 1 be the date of filing of this petition with the Town of Edgecomb Selectmen or Town of Edgecomb Clerk.

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