9 July 2012 | Approved: 13 August 2012
Mayor Cole called the regular meeting of the Town Council to order at 7:32 p.m. In attendance were Councilors Joe Clark, Audrey Maskery, Joli McCathran, Bill Robertson, Greg Silber and David Young. Also present were Treasurer Mary Challstrom, Planning Commission Chairman Charlie Challstrom and residents Jenny Long, Marty Long, Liz Robertson and Jim Snyder.
Approval of Agenda
Joe Clark moved, Bill Robertson seconded that the agenda be approved. Mayor Cole added two (2) items; a letter from Barbara Hawk and a request to film in Washington Grove. Vote: 6-0.
There were no public appearances.
Approval of Minutes
Joli McCathran moved, Audrey Maskery seconded that the Town Council minutes for June 9, 2012 be approved as amended. There were a couple of grammatical errors to correct. Vote: 6-0.
- Joe Clark moved, Audrey Maskery seconded that the Treasurer’s Report for June 2012 be accepted. The Treasurer fielded a few questions from the Council. Vote: 6-0.
- Treasurers Report 2012-07 pdf
Jim Snyder BZA Appeal
Jim Snyder, whose building permit to expand and enclose his existing carport was denied by the Planning Commission and the Board of Zoning Appeals, presented his case to the Mayor and Town Council. He believes that the residents on his side of Maple Road are receiving unequal treatment by having to abide by the same setbacks in zoning code as those on the other side of the street. The unequal treatment he cites results from the fact that homes on the west side of Maple Road face Maple avenue (so Maple Road side is their back yard with a 7-foot setback for an accessory building) while homes on the east side face onto Maple Road (requiring a 50-foot setback from the front yard lot line for an accessory building) with their backs along Cherry Avenue. In addition, the Town owns a 25-foot strip of property along the east side of Maple Road thus making the distance an accessory building must be from Maple Road a total of 75 feet. On the west side of Maple Road the Town owns 6-8 feet. There is also the issue of his carport being a non-complying structure as the permit for a carport was incorrectly granted in 1983. There was a lengthy discussion about Jim’s possible solutions including a building alternative suggested by the Planning Commission, granting exceptions, moving the carport, sale of surplus property, quirks in the Town’s development and “equalizing the playing field” (as stated by Mr. Snyder). The Mayor asked Jim to send his presentation to her and the Town Council so that they could more thoroughly review his suggested solutions. She will put this on the August agenda for further discussion.
Update from Council Lighting Advisory Subcommittee
Mayor Cole began this discussion with a heartfelt thank you to Charlie Challstrom for a job well done. His hard work has brought us to a point where we are only waiting for new bulbs and we would be nowhere without his help. The Mayor then asked for comments about the lighting documents that were created by Joe Clark and Greg Silber, a charge to the Outdoor Lighting Advisory Committee (OLAC) and a
Council draft plan of action for future lighting matters. A discussion ensued and a few changes were made. The Clerk will incorporate the changes and send the amended documents to the Mayor and Council for further review. The Mayor and Council also discussed the need for representation from all areas of the Town (diversity on the OLAC), the benefits of having a lighting consultant’s ideas, a possible process for lighting alteration requests and the Fort Fairfield, Maine lighting information. The Clerk volunteered to call the Town of Garrett Park to see how they handle the addition and/or removal of streetlights and requests for shading. It was decided that when the new 23 watt bulbs arrive they will be placed in the following areas:
- Four (4) outages were recently reported to PEPCO (Johnson Alley @415 Grove Ave.,Grove Ave. @ 411, Hickory Rd. @ 302 Chestnut Ave. & Maple Rd. @ 115).
- Two (2) on McCauley Street near 419 4th Ave. – 1 with shield & 1 without.
- Two (2) on Chestnut Avenue near # 113 – 1 with shield & 1 without.
- Two (2) on Oak Street in the Woodward Park parking lot.
Report on the MML Annual Convention
Joli McCathran represented the Town at the Convention this year on a scholarship from WINGS (Women In Government Services). She reported that she attended several classes with the best one being about consensus building. She had an opportunity to socialize with our new Town attorney on two (2) occasions. The Convention was impressive, very educational and a great way to network with other municipalities.
- Joe Clark moved, Audrey Maskery seconded that the Council Reports for June 2012 be approved for posting on the Town website. There was a brief discussion about storm damage and replacement trees. Vote: 6-0.
- Town Council Reports – July 2012 pdf
- Deer Park Bridge Update – Nothing to report.
- Towne Crest Redevelopment – Mayor Cole reported that the property owners, through their attorneys, have asked for a three (3) week postponement of their appearance before the Office of Zoning and Administrative Hearing Board. That would move it from September 5th to the 25th. The Town legal representatives have advised us to oppose the postponement because there is no solid basis for the action. In addition, if the Planning Board hearing is also postponed, the short time frame between that and OZAH could be problematic for scheduling and our ability to present a proper defense.
- Mayor Cole reported that she is in receipt of a letter from property owner Barbara Hawk (416 5th Ave.) requesting to buy a piece of Town land that is between her property and Wade Park. A substantial portion of her brick patio is currently located on this land. This will be turned over to the Planning Commission for further research.
- Mayor Cole received a phone call from Becky Dodson of Siren Media asking if her company could do some filming in Zoe Wadsworth Park including use of the Gazebo. This would be a program for the Discovery Channel. The Mayor and Council would agree to this only if proper insurance coverage existed, if a signed use agreement was presented and if a deposit check could be obtained. Mayor Cole will contact Ms. Dodson.
- Mayor Cole was asked to write a special thank you in the next Town Bulletin for extraordinary efforts in storm clean up done by the Maintenance Crew and all of the volunteer workers.
The meeting was adjourned at 10:05 p.m.