Limington Planning Board Minutes
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TUESDAY AUGUST 29, 2000 AT 7:00 P.M.


[Official agenda not available]

Public Hearing on citizen petition for a gravel pit ordinance
Approval for Stephen Emma for paintball course on North Road
Approval for Michael York for four cell towers
Public Hearing on technical issues on the Websters Mills Low-Income Housing Project
Discuss agenda for 9/9/00 meeting.

These minutes were approved at the October 26, 2000 Planning Board meeting with no changes.



The meeting was called to order by Wendy Walker, Chairperson, at 7:00 P.M. on Tuesday, August 29, 2000 at the Limington Town Hall.

Regular members present: Wendy Walker, Chairperson; Kreg Rose, Vice-Chairperson; Raymond Coffin; Diane Hubbard; Harold Jordan.

Regular members absent: Stanley Blake, Jr.; Chris Clark.

Alternate member present: Ronald Perkins.

Also attending the meeting: Freeman Abbott, C.E.O. The secretary, Priscilla Tucker, was absent.

The meeting was videotaped.

The Chairperson reviewed the agenda for the evening which included the a decision on the Gravel Pit Petition; Firestorm Paintball application; Cell Tower applications; Webster Mills application for multi-family, low income housing and agenda for September 9, 2000 meeting,

The first item which required action by the Board was the Gravel Pit Petition.

There is one outstanding piece of material from the Town Attorney on the petition. There was an outstanding question on the "de novo" and it's legality because two years ago it was ruled illegal. It was determined by the attorney to be a legal statement in the petition so would not hold things up. The only other change that caused the attorney legal concern was the requirement that pits with existing permits renew their permit with the Planning Board one year after submitting the reports that will be required under proposed Section 8.8.E.2. He was concerned for two reasons. First it is not clear what the words "renew their permit with the Planning Board" means. Do they mean that the owners of the pits will be required fourteen months or so after the adoption of these amendments to go through the entire review process again or does the renewal suggest something less involved. It would be easy enough to specify what is intended but as it stands it is not clear.

Richard Jarrett stated that right now the pit owners have to renew the permit every year with the C.E.O. This would require a one time renewal with the Planning Board. Since it is not specified it gives the Planning Board latitude of how they want to interpret it. Sometimes it is nice to re-address things but sometimes it is better to go with what you have instead of keep refining or dragging things out.

Planning Board Minutes
August 29, 2000 Meeting
Page 2

The attorney's second concern about the section is legal effect if these existing pits with permits do have to come back in and get a new permit under a more restrictive permitting criteria. When they got the permits they hold no such restrictions applied. It is possible that some pit owners made financial investments in their properties relying on the permits that they were granted with the reasonable expectation that they would not be required to submit new applications and risk having their permits revoked. I am not sure that the proposed amendment as applied to any hypothetical landowner would constitute an unconstitutional taking without just compensation. I would have to say that there is a reasonable argument to be made that it would.

In addition to these legal issues, you will probably want to consider that as a matter of policy you want to make amendments with retroactive effects. In this case the retroactive effect is really two fold. First, there is an express provision that would make the amendment applicable to every application in which there was no final action as of the date the petition was filed. In other words if the amendments were enacted and permits were granted between June 24 and the effective date of the amendment, those would be retroactively revoked. Second, as I have already mentioned, existing permits of all other gravel pits would expire no later than fourteen (14) months after the effective date of these amendments if they were passed. Yet, depending on the meaning of renew, even pits that had valid permits before the petition was filed may be ultimately required to conform to the new requirements or close.

Wendy Walker said that these were the attorney's comments and she would give copies to anyone who requested them.

Ron Dearborn asked what effect this would have on his pit which was just permitted.

Wendy Walker said that even though he had his permit he would be required to meet the conditions of the petition.

Ron Dearborn said that was a taking of land. Wendy Walker said that was legally what the Board was informed. Kreg was concerned that the ordinance was not being read correctly. In Zoning Ordinance under 11.23, it says that within thirty days of receiving an amendment proposal the Planning Board shall hold a Public Hearing on the proposed amendment and unless the amendment has been submitted by the Municipal Officers or by a petition, the Board shall vote whether to forward the amendment to the Municipal Officers. The Board shall make a written recommendation regarding passage to the Municipal Officers and legislative body prior to any action by the Municipal Officers."

Wendy Walker said that the Board has no decision making process as far as forwarding or not only whether or not we want to recommend. This is going on the ballot if the Selectmen decide it is going on the ballot.

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August 29, 2000 Meeting
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Kreg Rose then said that if the Selectmen drafted the ordinance then the Board would be required to recommend or not recommend.

Wendy Walker then poled the Board members regarding their feelings and concerns about the petition.

Ron Perkins felt that there were some good parts but feels that there are too many things things that are unfair to gravel pit owners. He felt that if he had a gravel pit, this petition would be very taxing on him as he tried to make a living. He, therefore, would have to reject the petition.

Kreg Rose felt that given the input from the attorney the petition would open up lawsuits. He would reject the petition.

Diane Hubbard said that the Town has a good Ordinance but it does need little changes in it but the way the petition reads it is certainly detrimental to the industry. She has a problem of the effect it will have on other industries. She would recommend non acceptance of the petition.

Ray Coffin agreed with the prior members. He felt that the petition was too restrictive. Harold Jordan felt that the petition was too restrictive and made it to hard on the gravel pit owners. I would vote against.

Wendy Walker said that she was more in line with Ron Perkins. There were parts that she especially liked such as a potential abutting landowner to a gravel pit. There are portions such as grandfathering which would be difficult to enforce. It is just putting too much on the current gravel pit permit holders. I would vote not to recommend the petition.

Kreg Rose made the following motion:

MOTION: To vote whether to recommend or not recommend the petition.

Diane Hubbard seconded the motion. The Board voted unanimously not to recommend the petition.

The next order of business was the application for permit by Stephen Emma for Firestorm Paintball.

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August 29, 2000 Meeting
Page 4

Wendy Walker said that there was run-off. One of the abutting landowners concern was that it might be damaged by playing paintball. The Firestorm representatives stated that they would be willing to place a buffer zone around that soggy ground. There is no run-off right now but the buffer zone would protect from any run-off.

Wendy Walker said that there is a Code Enforcement Ordinance in effect that says no permits can be issued if you are in violation of Building Codes. That means can't even approve a permit. She would have asked the Selectmen if they would there is can the Board approve an application. Kathy Maddock, Selectmen, can we vote to approve the application by Firestorm. Kathy Maddock said that they are two separate issues.

Stephen Emma said that the buffer zone will be twenty (20) feet from the wet area. There will be netting along the area. If the seasonal water gets higher they will move the netting in. Freeman Abbott, C.E.O. said that it was important, he felt, to make the buffer where the established high water mark is located as determined by a Soil Analyst or an Engineer.

Wendy Walker said that this would be an important item to establish.

Kreg Rose questioned the slope. Cal Lewis, Road Commissioner said that the driveway is coming further down the North Road. There is 350 feet of visibility in the new driveway location.

Wendy Walker said that there are three cabins on the map which are marked to be demolished. She was told that the roof on each cabin was going to be taken down and some of the walls would be left standing. She asked the C.E.O. if this met with his approval. Freeman Abbott said they would have to meet Building Codes. Wendy Walker asked which building had been moved. Stephen Emma said it was the building marked storage shed. Wendy Walker asked Freeman Abbott if moving the building was o.k. with him. Freeman Abbott said he wants the building moved back because it is in violation, they moved it without a permit. If they want they can get a permit and move it where they want it. This is a C.E.O. decision and not the Planning Board.

The parking area Will be enough for about forty (40) people.

Harold Jordan asked about the noise and echo from the Firestorm shots and it's potential problems. Stephen Emma stated that the guns don't make enough noise to echo just a pop. It's like a rifle shot. The operation will use biodegradable tape. The hours will be Saturday all day, 8:00 A.M. to 6:00 P.M. and by appointment during the week. They will not operate on Sunday. They asked whether they would close during hunting season. Mr. Emma said no but they would take all precautions during this time.

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August 29, 2000 Meeting
Page 5

The safety issue on backfield 3 and 4 was expressed. The hunters may not be on the property but the bullets can enter the area. Wendy Walker said that fields 1 and 2 are far enough away so they would not be affected. Mr. Emma said they would attempt to stay away from the area as much as possible in November. He did not want anything specific stated regarding this.

Michael Turcotte was concerned about the safety of the players. He suggested they wear an orange hat and vest. Wendy Walker said that during the month of November an orange banner be placed on the netting and each player must wear an orange hat and orange vest. Still need high water mark. Then Firestorm will have to net twenty (20) feet outside that mark.

Harold Jordan said that he felt if the noise echoes and causes a disturbance for neighbors down to the lake property the firing shall stop. There is a noise ordinance. Mr. Emma agreed to this. The wording shall be "The folks in the immediate neighborhood who have repeatedly reported incidents."

Kreg Rose made the following motion:

MOTION: To accept the application of Stephen Emma for Firestorm Paintball as complete.

Motion was seconded by Diane Hubbard and carried unanimously.

Ron Perkins made the following motion:

MOTION: To approve the application of Stephen Emma for Firestorm Paintball with the conditions of approval.

The motion was seconded by Kreg Rose and carried unanimously.

The next item before the Planning Board was the Public Hearing on the four applications for Cell Towers by Michael York.

Wendy Walker said that the actual plans for the sites. Michael York distributed copies of the information and pertinent wildlife information. He also had digital mapping. He then said that he proposes four sites. They are network, digital communication towers. These are restricted to wireless telephones but can be used for wireless internet. These are digital types of equipment. With digital equipment you need towers fairly close. They service approximately two (2) miles each. The plan including the tower that he already has will cover the Town of Limington.

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August 29, 2000 Meeting
Page 6

He has done more than what is required by the Town to comply. The map he provided shows no wildelife habitat in the areas. He had a letter from Thomas Hart, wildlife biologist, from the State of Maine which speaks of his approval for their project. He detailed what he wanted done but it has already been completed.

He said that this project would help the Town of Limington in the respect that this would provide low impact, high tax gains for Town. These are unmanned sites. All they do for the Town is provide service. He said he had provided the fact sheet from FCC and a report from FAA previously to the Board. He also had a letter from the Limington Hannon Airport which stated that they did not have a problem with the towers.

Michael York presented a copy of insurance in the amount of ten million ($ 10,000,000.) dollars.

Copies of SIMS was made available for the public to review but must return them.

Norma Noyes asked how low the airplanes fly. Michael York said that the planes had to fly at above 1,000 feet of ground level. Michael York said that the towers would not be lit.

Diane Arbor of River Road expressed concern about the traffic on the dirt road to the tower which abuts her property. Michael York said that there should not be problem, that the access road is beyond her home and the traffic will be minimal. They will only be using it once a month to check the site. The road will be brought up to spec.

Phillip Cressey was concerned about the closeness of the tower to his home because of the radiation. Also Nancy Philiphose had similar concerns for health. Michael York had a letter from a physician which stated that the towers were safe. She was still concerned about the long term effects. Wendy Walker stated that the FCC is very clear about the reasons the cell towers can be declined.

Denise Microp asked how tall the tower was going to be. Michael York said 190 feet, and the compound will be made of concrete and 100' x 100' is all it encompasses. There will be a chain link fence around it. This will not interrupt any trails or paths. Denise was concerned about the re-sale value of her home.

Norma Noyes asked how it will effect her radio and television reception. Michael York said that the FCC controls this. There will be no overlap because they each have dedicated bands.

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August 29, 2000 Meeting
Page 7

Richard Jarrett asked about putting conditions on towers. First, property values are a real concern. He commended Mr. York for keeping the lights off of the towers. He suggested that the Board consider a condition of approval that the towers remain unlighted. The same conditions as on the first tower. Secondly, he did not feel that the Board should not rush headlong into populating the Town with a lot of tall cell towers. This proposal is for four cell towers 190 feet tall. Standish already has tower limitations. They prohibit towers in residential areas, rural residential areas, They do allow them in the rural zone but do limit them to 125 feet. Limington is a lot more rural than Standish and he questioned whether Limington needed that many towers so closely spaced. He said that there is a citizen petition to amend the Zoning Ordinance related to cell towers. He asked Michael York if he would postpone his action on these towers. Mr. York replied negatively. Put a condition of approval on these four applications that these will be subject to the regulations specified in the personal wireless services ordinance if it is enacted by the voters. That means that Mr. York would have to follow the same rules as everyone else. If York puts these towers in it will create a problem because the next person who comes in will say he got special consideration. One of the things the FCC does not allow is favoritism in these cell tower applications. Even if the voters do pass the petition, if he is not subject to it then the Town could be in for a legal battle.

Diane Hubbard said this would be going against grandfathering. That we would be saying you were approved but now we are going to change the rules of the game. You lost your grandfathering.

Richard Jarrett said the petition was turned into the Town before the applications were approved.

Wendy Walker asked two questions. One, the reason these sites are located where they are and why they have to be close together. Michael York responded, one, he could spread the towers out. Number two, digital towers are fairly new. ECS is new technology. Analog towers use different equipment. FCC has already licensed throughout York County. That equipment will require power sites in two mile circles. It will cover the Town of Limington. Michael York said that Richard Jarrett has it wrong that he submitted his applications after he found out about the proposed cell tower petition.

Wendy Walker said, secondly, these are going to be co-located towers. How many carriers can be put on a tower? Mr. York answered that these towers come through set up for five (5) but there is no reason that if a sixth carrier wanted to come on and he had the availability to pick up another tenant that he couldn't have an engineer design a tower reinforcement to carry another.

Planning Board Minutes
August 29, 2000 Meeting
Page 8

Lorraine Libby asked why three towers clustered between the Joe Joy Road and South Road. It is a combination of location and construction answered Mr. York. She questioned why Standish only needed 125 foot towers. Mr. York said they will probably have only two carriers. It's a matter of money. She asked where else in the Town he was going to put towers. Mr. York said he had no plans for any more towers in the Town unless something went wrong with one of the present towers. He said that basically this is a network of towers that will stretch from Route 114 and 22 intersection up through the Route 25 corridor clear through to New Hampshire as well as Limington. Michael York said that it has already been discussed with the Selectmen that the Town will have free hanging space on the tower. This will mean that if the Town wants a repeater and purchases the equipment, we will install the repeater at our cost.

Cal Lewis, Road Commissioner, stated that when they are out sanding there are many areas of the Town that they can't get out communication. Hopefully, these towers will take care of this.

Mike Turcotte asked if the repeater on the tower would cover the entire Town. Mr. York said it would. Most Towns though would not hang a repeater on all towers. It would provide much better coverage for the Town. This is technology that is going to come.

Lorraine Libby said her concern is that why does he need so many towers and secondly, that there will be a condition on the permit for no lights.

Donna Hawkes asked how many carriers were on the Standish tower. Mr. York said only two. Will these towers go higher? Mr. York said they would not go higher and this would require coming back before the Planning Board.

Wendy Walker read a letter from Nancy Bozenhart in which she stated that she was in favor of the cell towers. The letter will be part of the file.

Diane Hubbard made the following motion:

MOTION: To close the Public Hearing on the four applications by Michael York for cell towers.

The motion was seconded by Kreg Rose and carried unanimously.

The Performance Standards were reviewed. All of the Standards were asked and answered by Michael York in the package he presented to the Board.

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August 29, 2000 Meeting
Page 9

The following conditions were to be part of the approval of the four applications:

To reduce the negative impact upon wildlife and wildlife habitat, to reduce glare and to reduce adverse visual impact, the Board requires as a condition of approval of approval that the tower shall not be lighted. Therefore, the height of the tower must be limited so that no lighting will be required by the FAA or other regulatory bodies.

The Board finds that electronic emissions from the tower must stay within FAA mandated guidelines to prevent unsafe or unhealthful conditions (reference zoning section 9.7.G.1.M). The Board further finds that it must place conditions upon the application to satisfy this section of the zoning ordinance.

There shall be free municipal hanging space available.

No operation shall begin without a permit issued by the C.E.O.

Diane Hubbard made the following motion:

MOTION: To vote to approve the Jo Joy Road (Map R1, Lot 13) application for cell tower with the conditions which were previously read.

Harold Jordan seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

Findings of Fact shall include that the Hanscomb School Road tower is not in the aquifer protection zone. This tower shall be subject to the same conditions as Jo Joy Road plus a revised map showing new location must be provided to the Board.

Kreg Rose made the following motion:

MOTION: To vote to approve the Hanscomb School Road (Map R16, Lot 30) application with the same conditions as Jo Joy Road with the additional condition that we need a revised map showing the new location of the tower previously stated.

The motion was seconded by Ron Perkins and carried unanimously.

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August 29, 2000 Meeting
Page 10

Kreg Rose made the following motion:

MOTION: To vote approval of the application for the River Road (Map R14, Lot 67) tower with the same conditions as those on the Jo Joy Road tower.

The motion was seconded by Raymond Coffin and carried unanimously.

Diane Hubbard made the following motion:

MOTION: To vote approval of the application for the South Road (Map R10, Lot 48) tower with the same conditions as those on the Jo Joy Road tower.

The motion was seconded by Harold Jordan and carried unanimously.

The Webster Mill Place application was next discussed. Richard Jarrett had several technical issues he Wished to raise.

Has the application fee been submitted. It is not a trivial amount. The application fee was paid in the amount of $150. For a sub-division though it should be at the rate per lot of $200. Has the Board determined how many lots there are? Wendy Walker answered that there are twenty (20) lots. She had discussion today with the Town Attorney and every dwelling unit counts as a lot. The Board might want to make sure the fee does get paid as it is substantial amount, $20,000.

Concerned about the lots 1 and 2 as shown on the map and should be a part of the sub-division.

He noted that there was a for sale sign on lot 2. What does the sub-division consist of? Let's just review the sub-division Webster Mills for now stated Wendy Walker. If it gets bigger it just gets worse. Richard Jarrett said that there are a lot of concerns about the entrances. He would not address those tonight. Wendy Walker stated that she had spoken to the attorney about entrances because the Board thought there had to be two roads. The feedback was that two entrances might better suit the sub-division. The Comprehensive Plan calls for minimal impact on major routes which means we might want to lean back to one entrance and exit. Wendy Walker said that we have to look into this issue.

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August 29, 2000 Meeting
Page 11

He then noted that according to Section of the sub-division ordinance they do not have the frontage on Route 25 to allow two entrances. Section 7.20.D.3 of the Zoning Ordinance states that if you are creating a new lot as they are doing here then the entranceway must be shared in common With the adjacent lots. So the same problem exists that he can have only one entrance into the property. Currently there is a right-of-way to the Boston property. Since that entrance is not being used, you must provide some method for them to get to their right-of-way. They could make a through road to Route 11 and make this a one-way road. There are ways of solving the problem.

The lot size calculation is not correct. The applicant provided copies of the definition of multi-family development which this is. It is a development of multifamily dwellings. It is definied as four family houses. So there are five multi-family dwellings in this development. The zoning table, Section 6.3, states very specifically that the first unit in each multi-family dwelling takes 60,000 square feet, each additional unit takes 40,000 square feet. Each multi-family dwelling takes 180,000 square feet. There are five of these buildings which makes 900,000 square feet. In their calculations there is only 871,826 square feet available for these buildings. This is on the revised calculations. The mistake was made when he figured 60,000 square feet for first dwelling unit of the twenty (20) and then for the remaining nineteen (19) he figured 40,000.

There is another building located on the property and no space has been allocated for this building. It is a community center and is not a dwelling. Planning Board does decide how much space in commercial zone is required for such buildings. The Board could require a minimum of one and a half acres. This would be about three acres short.

Nitrate calculations were then discussed. Richard had two considerations. Nitrates are part of the septic waste that leaves the leech field. They are diluted as they spread out. The other consideration is the overall quantity of nitrates on this leech field. This is called the mass balance calculation. The nitrates that are generated in the sub-division are diluted by water that soaks into the ground_ The more water that soaks into the around the more it is diluted. The Town standard is it has to be diluted to five (5) milligrams per liter for the whole area. The amount that soaks into the ground and does not run-off varies. D.E.P has guidelines and the absolute maximum amount of water in their guidelines to soak into the ground is fifty (50%) percent. He felt that an independent opinion should be sought at the expense of the sub-division applicant. They are calculated that 50% will soak into the soil because they feel that they have good soil. There is a great deal of ledge on the back of the lot so it is questionable.

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August 29, 2000 Meeting
Page 12

Wendy Walker said there were twenty-five acres in the sub-division. Richard said that there was about a two and a half acre deficit. Wendy questioned how the Board could consider the application if they did not meet the minimum lot requirements.

Richard Jarrett said that there could be a problem if the application was rejected on one little ground.

Wendy Walker said that the Public Hearing for Webster Mills would be continued on September 14th. She needs an answer to the question on lot 2. Wendy Walker will e-mail her findings to Tom Greer, Lloyd Boston and Richard Jarrett.

Lorraine Libby questioned continuing the process. Wendy Walker said the application has been determined to be complete so the process can proceed. The problems have now arisen and will be addressed. The Hearing will continue as long as is necessary.

Mr. Tom Greer requested the acreage that would be required for the Community Building so they can figure this in their calculations. Wendy Walker said the minimum would be one and a half acres. Mr. Boston asked if there would be bathrooms in the building. There would be a laundromat and computer room. Richard Jarrett said that if there was a laundromat and bathrooms there would be changes in the nitrate calculations.

Wendy Walker said that she had spoken to the Attorney today regarding the acreage. It is the same as what Richard Jarrett stated. Wendy Walker said she would e-mail copies of the attorney' s letter to Mr. Greer, Lloyd Boston and Richard Jarrett.

Wendy Walker spoke with Mr. John Egan and gave a brief overview of what was discussed, i.e., letters that were generated in support of the project, crime rate associated with low income housing, proximity and how it was determined that the project was located near anything. Mr. Egan answered as much as he could. He is sending, via mail, any studies that he can turn up as they relate to crime. Also, asked him how they affected schools, costs of schools. Point was that these units were suppose to be taxed at the school rate so that the units were paying for the school. Need to know if the taxes will be on twenty individual family units.

Wendy Walker reviewed a letter from the Town Attorney, Jim Haddow regarding the letter written by Ralph Libby on behalf of the Planning Board supporting the Webster Mills Place being located in Limington. It basically states that the Planning Board was not wholeheartedly in support of the project.

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August 29, 2000 Meeting
Page 13

Tom Greer again asked Wendy Walker how many acres would be necessary for the Community Center. She would not commit to the acreage because the nitrate issue was going on. She wanted to wait until all of the information is in. She said that three (3) acres was the standard house lot for building a house in Limington. She recommended that he consider three (3) acres but it would not be definite until all of the information Was in.

The September 9, 2000 meeting was discussed. An Agenda was prepared for the meeting.

Richard Jarrett asked if the Board was going to consider the changes that D.E.P. wanted the Town to make to the Zoning Ordinance. Wendy Walker stated that the Board would consider this.

Kreg Rose made the following motion:

MOTION: To adjourn the August 29, 2000 meeting of the Planning Board.

The motion was seconded by Raymond Coffin and carried unanimously.

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