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Nov 20

Planning Board
November 20, 2019

The November Planning Board was called to order at 7:00 p.m. In attendance were Bruce Sanborn, Ray Merrill, Charles Tarbell, Recording Secretary Cindy Kimball, Chairman Colin Holme and Code Enforcement Officer Bill Haynes.

The first item on the agenda was a review of the October minutes. Bruce made a motion to accept the minutes as presented. Ray seconded the motion and the vote was 4-0 in favor.

The second item on the agenda was Seth Bell regarding a home occupation on Mill Hill Road. His plans include a maple sugar shack and a seasonal roadside stand to sell produce and fresh eggs. Colin reviewed the home occupation standards and the PB agreed that the proposal met the criteria without a site plan review. There was a discussion regarding size of signage, and although his is larger than the eight square feet allowed, the PB determined since it was set back away out of the highway right-of-way and does not obstruct traffic, it was allowable. Colin noted that sign limitations are currently being reviewed.

With no other formal business on the agenda, board members discussed several possible changes and minor revisions to ordinances:

  1. To create a standard for accessory apartments (such as garage apartments) outside of SLZ on lots with less than the required road frontage or acreage for a second dwelling. Septic and parking requirements would for these "mother in law' apartments would need to be satisfied. Colin said he would like AVCOG to draft the wording for the PB to review before putting it on the Town Warrant.
  2. To draft a provision that no site walks for subdivisions take place if there is one foot or more of snow on the ground. It may defer a subdivision for approval but the PB needs access to the land to make informed and appropriate decisions.
  3. Registered letters that need to be sent to the fire chief, public works director and school superintendent as part of a subdivision review should be done by the applicant, not the PB. Colin noted that AVCOG should draft the language for this change as well.
  4. For subdivision application preliminary plans, the applicant should send out notification letters to abutting property owners, not the PB. Again, Colin noted AVCOG should draft this.
  5. Require a minimum of seven copies of the pre-application and site plan application instead of five and that the copies be provided at least two weeks in advance of the meeting.
  6. Change the size of home occupation signs to not exceed 16 square feet and located outside of the right-of-way. Colin noted AVCOG should draft this wording.
  7. The PB discussed regulating Air B-and-B and Vacation Rentals by Owner on lakes and in town. There have been reported concerns about noise, nuisance, parking and possible overload of septic systems. No action was recommended this year but AVCOG will be consulted for some ideas and suggestions.
  8. Finally, it was proposed that the amount of a fine for an after-the-fact building permit fee in land use be increased from two to five times the original fee and left to the discretion of the code enforcement officer.

All of the above items will be reviewed at the Dec. 18 meeting with an eye toward a Jan. 15 public hearing.

Finally, the board resumed its discussion on docks. Charlie summarized discussion from a recent selectmen’s meeting and provided a worksheet showing pros and cons:

  1. Keeping things as they are
  2. Amending the current ordinance
  3. Creating a new ordinance.

The PB felt this subject needs to be developed over time with considerable thought put into it. Because Ted was not in attendance, the PB will continue this discussion next month.  The board will also review draft wording on all of the proposed additions and changes.

Colin reported that he, Bill, Charlie and Ted went to the daylong fall AVCOG Planning Day in Bethel, which included a summary and discussion of the state’s status on marijuana. With changes to the law, town must vote to “opt-in” to allow retail sales and other uses, which Waterford has not done.

Bruce made a motion to adjourn at 8:03 p.m. Charles seconded the motion and the vote was 4-0 in favor.

Respectfully submitted,
Cindy Kimball