Planning Board - Minutes: September 24, 2014


On September 16 the Board held a special work session at the Town House to consider Linwood Meader Jr.'s proposal to convey most of his large lot in the Erma Currier Subdivision on Town House Road (tax Map 2 Lot 13-D) to his abutter and grandson, Josh Meader. Linwood would like to retain a small parcel of approximately 2 acres on which his house currently lies. A bank had requested written proof that this would conform with local requirements, and the Board was concerned that Note 4 on the original subdivision plan requires Board approval for further division of any lot. Present for the work session were regular Board members Waine Whittier, Ed Lawless, Alan Williams, Austin Harrell and Creston Gaither. As the land surveyor for the project Creston recused himself from the Board's deliberations.

The Board noted that this would be a transfer to an abutter and that it has been more than 5 years since the most recent conveyance within the subdivision and that the proposed conveyance would not constitute a subdivision as defined by M.R.S.A. Title 30-A, § 4401, and concluded that its approval would not be required if the aforesaid Note 4 did not appear on the plan.

It was noted that the lot Linwood would retain would be 1.81 acre and thus very close to the 2 acre minimum which would be required in a subdivision and that its road frontage will remain unchanged. The Board voted unanimously to approve the proposal and signed the mylar survey plan Creston provided to indicate its approval.

On September 24 Creston and Austin met with builder Neal Schulze on the Kirchner property on Flying Pond (Map 10 Lot 00-VA) to discuss his proposal to build a 2 bedroom bunkhouse with 1 bathroom and storage space on the parcel. Neal said that site evaluator Bill Brown has been talking with Plumbing Inspector John Archard about revising the existing septic system. Neal has a new permit for this part of the project. The project also includes a retaining wall toward the pond. Neal said that the proposed construction would lie only 9 to 11 feet from the parcel's common boundary with abutter Colin Neal, a 15 foot setback being required by the Shoreland Zoning Ordinance (SZO). He said Mr. Neal has given him a notarized letter stating his approval of the proposal.

The Board's regular meeting convened at the Town House at 7:00 PM where Creston and Austin were joined by  Alan Williams who was elected Acting Chairman in Waine Whittier's absence.

Mark Rains, who had also appeared at the Board's August meeting, appeared and outlined his proposal to build a 10' x 10' second floor deck with stairs and a 3' x 3'  landing  at the bottom of the stairs. He presented a sketch of the proposal and said it lies about 180 feet from the Mill Pond; SZO review is therefore required. Because the Board is familiar with the site the usual site visit was waived. No plumbing is involved, and soil disturbance will be minimal. Based on Mark's sketch and his verbal representations, and its familiarity with the site, The Board determined that the project:

(1) Will maintain safe and healthful conditions;

(2) Will not result in water pollution, erosion, or sedimentation to surface waters;

(3) Will adequately provide for the disposal of all wastewater;

(4) Will not have an adverse impact on spawning grounds, fish, aquatic life, bird or other wildlife habitat;

(5) Will conserve shore cover and visual, as well as actual, points of access to inland waters;

(6) Will protect archaeological and historic resources as designated in the comprehensive plan;

(7) Will avoid problems associated with floodplain development and use; and

(8) Is in conformance with the provisions of Section 15, Land Use Standards.

The Board then voted 3 - 0 to authorize Creston to issue the usual permit by letter for the project.

Neal Schulze then appeared  on behalf of the Kirchners (see above). A  variance from the SZO 15 foot sideline setback requirement would be necessary for the proposal as presented. SZO Section H. was reviewed. It appears that such a variance could only be granted by the Board of Appeals; Neal was advised that Vienna does not currently have a Board of Appeals. He said that it is not feasible to redesign the proposed construction. He does not know whether additional land could be obtained. The Board agreed that under the current SZO it could not issue a permit for the proposal. It advised Neal that denial of the permit would not likely constitute a "hardship" as required for a variance and as defined by Statute.

The Board generally discussed amending the SZO to allow a waiver from setback requirements where the affected abutter is willing to grant an easement for the proposed use.

Neal's documentation was returned to him and no formal application was made and no formal action was taken by the Board.

The meeting adjourned at 8:00 PM.

 Creston Gaither, secretary

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