September 18, 2019
The September meeting was called to order at 7:00 p.m. Members in attendance were Bruce Sanborn, Charles Tarbell, Ted Gerber, Ray Merrill, Recording Secretary Cindy Kimball and Chairman Colin Holme along with Code Enforcement Officer Bill Haynes.
The first item on the agenda was a review of the August minutes. Two minor changes were made and Bruce made a motion to accept them with the revisions. Ted seconded the motion and the vote was 5-0 in favor.
Next on the agenda was Elizabeth Roth of Bridgton, new owner of the Bear Mountain Music Hall, formerly the Bear Mountain Grange Hall. She reviewed her intentions to run a coffee house and music venue at the hall a few mornings a week offering coffee, tea, pie and cake and chowder. She hopes to have different music events including jam nights, open mic and acoustic music on the first floor with possible concert type events and dances upstairs. Bill noted that the previous use of the grange hall was for their meetings, suppers, dances, skits and plays and children's programs. Colin led a discussion regarding the lack of an appropriate septic system and limited parking issue. The Graney's, who live across the road and own the property adjacent to the hall, are agreeable d to an easement for a septic system, Elizabeth said. They have not agreed to cut trees to increase parking. The PB noted that the building is out of SLZ and Elizabeth will not reside there. The board agreed that her plans were a continued use but stressed the septic and parking definitely need to be addressed.
Next on the agenda was a discussion of dock standards. There were several residents and lake property owners in the audience. Highlights were:
Jim and Diane Flynn distributed pictures and data of their property on Keoka Lake. The future position of their dock would be approximately 30-40' to the right of the current placement, which would give the Jacobsons more room to access the lake. The property owner to the right has been consulted and although he asked to not have the Flynn’s dock too close to his property line, he is otherwise okay with the change.
Kathy and Alan Souza asked Colin what his experiences, if any, have been with other lakes and docks issues. He said smaller lots occasionally have this problem but Waterford adopted basic guidelines of dock provisions from the state SZ requirements. The Flynn's obtained a permit in 2016 for a 100-foot dock. Colin noted that docks are temporary structures over water and are to be removed by November 1 each year. The same dock is allowed to be replaced annually under the original permit, but any changes would require a new permit. Because docks are temporary structures, they are not grandfathered, a fact backed by both AVCOG and Maine Municipal Legal.
Elizabeth Jacobson, representing the family that owns the neighboring property to the Flynn's, passed out Harrison's ordinances for docks. She noted that the Flynn's dock is longer than the original permit and the angle was changed, too. It was noted that Keoka Lake has had a shallow depth this season due to the replacement of the boat launch at the Town Beach and low rainfall.
Ray Merrill said his position is that the PB has no jurisdiction in this dispute: the CEO issued a permit, the land was sold with intent to use the water for recreational purposes and the buyer and seller are not at fault. He said the property owners should come to a reasonable solution to correct the situation. Since this is a one-time problem, there should be no reason to change any current ordinances.
Colin noted that lakes and ponds are public resources and property owners do not own into the body of water their property sits next to. He is more in favor of incorporating setbacks and property line extensions into the current ordinance. But, he noted that more research is needed before any decision is made to change what is currently in place since any change could impact many property owners. A straw vote showed PB members were divided so Colin said the PB members should spend the next meeting looking at tax maps and possible scenarios of dock placements on Waterford lakes. Any changes to the current ordinance or a new ordinance would require a public hearing before going to vote at a town meeting.
Bruce made a motion to adjourn at 8:22 p.m. Ray seconded the motion and the vote was 5-0 in favor.