Appeals Board, June 23, 2009



The Sedgwick Board of Appeals met at the Town Office as scheduled on June 23, 2009. Present were Board members Michael Rossney, Danny Weed, Steve Tobey, Tobey Woodward and Chairman Fred Marston.  Also present were CEO Duane Ford, Planning Board Vice Chair Victor Smith, Selectman Nelson Grindal, Attorneys Jim Patterson and Peter Roy, Richard Duffy, Jon & Jane Thomas from the Weekly Packet, Tom McKechnie, Pam Johnson, Parker Waite, Sidney Peck, Barbara Grindle.

The meeting was called to order at 7:05 pm with opening remarks by Chairman Fred Marston. 

            Mr. Duffy reiterated that he tried to get the best engineering firm he could; they have a reputation to uphold, and professional status to be concerned about, so he felt that they would do the job to the best of their corporate ability.  CES was the firm that he chose.  He has also worked with Mr. Roy for many years on several different projects so he felt that the engineering firm and the lawyer would combine to make a good, professional team.  Mr Roy is not oblivious to the abutter concerns and will do his best to alleviate them.  He had a copy of the 4 page plan that is registered at the Hancock Registry of Deeds.  The Town has a copy of the plans, but the appellants had not seen it when they were checking some of their concerns.  Last meeting was the first time they had had a chance to inspect the final plan, and they eliminated the parts of their motion concerning the incompleteness of the final plan (road placement, drainage plan, suggested house placement).

            Roads will be moved to avoid wetlands as much as possible.  They will review the roads for the canopy, but many things have to be considered when laying them out.  The technical information is going to be the same as was given to the Planning Board.  CES will give it again if requested by the Appeals Board and the appellants.  There are 13 lots on 42 acres of land with an average of 3+ acres on each lot.  This gives flexibility for positioning the houses to avoid restricted areas of possible vernal pools, brooks and wetlands.

            The appellants do not want tar on the access roads or driveways.  All agreed to this and Mr. Duffy will add it to the covenants.  Canopies vs roads:  The Ordinance calls for 60’ access. Duffy has cut approximately 40’ for the roads already and would like to keep it at that width.  The Ordinance calls for a 24’ road with 8’ shoulder.  It does not clarify if the shoulders are to be two 4’ shoulders, or two 8’ shoulders. DEP requires 18’ roadway and two 4’ shoulders.  The Board may give a variance for a smaller access than the 60’.  Discussion is centering around a 20 or 22’ road with 4’ shoulders.  

            Mr. Waite says that the timing of the road construction was damaging to the vernal pools.  The frogs, salamanders, etc. that have hatched should have been trying to get to the woods where they would live for the rest of the year. The trucks and heavy equipment could have disrupted that journey and would kill many of the creatures.  He asked that future construction timing be considered when building roads and homes to avoid the vernal pools during hatching times.  There really is no way to predict the exact time that this will happen because the weather determines the laying and hatching of the egg masses.  Development can be planned to avoid these pools, but the construction timing is critical to survival of the species involved.

            Mr. McKechnie was asked if he would write up some suggestions for addressing road construction for amending the Ordinance.  He replied that he would consider suggestions for amending several places in the Ordinance.

            Ms Peck asked if there is any language in the Ordinance regarding lighting.  Mr. McKechnie said that there is a requirement for lighting at intersections.  The Planning Board did not address this in their review.  She suggested encouraging lights that shine down on the private and public property rather than lighting the sky.  There are no lights planned for this subdivision.

            The question of toxic sprays on the blueberry land will be dealt with later.  The town was never involved in permitting spraying on the land, but state and federal agencies were.  Does this come under “affirmative powers” of the town? or does it become a responsibility of the lot owners?

            There is much information in the material passed out to the Board regarding the trout stream to Eggemoggin Court.  Setbacks are variable considering the lay of the land.  Mr. Roy will ask CES to determine the width of the setbacks.  This area will include a filter strip that is determined by the degree of the slope, the road width which is possibly 24’, the shoulders which could be  4’ on each side of the road width, and ditches.  Totaling these numbers gives the setback amount for the access road.  Mr. Duffy’s access road does not go as far as this area, but it needs to be considered before any driveways are built.  The Planning Board did require that an open bottom culvert, sized by the DEP, be installed for the brook. CES will be asked to look into the possibility of changing the access road location.  This filter strip is also the canopy for Eggemoggin Court.  Mr. Burr would be the source to be contacted regarding the canopy trees for the filter strip, i.e. does it have to be kept clear or can natural vegetation or trees be planted on it.

            There is also a feeder stream that is not on the plan at the end of Blueberry Lane.  It flows into Laundry Brook.  CES will be asked to check this out also.

After discussion of timing for the next meeting, Mr. Roy will ask CES to get the information to him as soon as possible, but he cannot promise it for June 30.  If there will not be any information by then, the June 30 meeting will be cancelled and the July 7 meeting will be the next one.  Hopefully deliberations will be able to start at least by July 7.

            The meeting was adjourned at 9:30 pm.

                                    Barbara Grindle, Assistant to the Selectmen