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ACTON PLANNING BOARD MEETING
November 5, 2009
A. ROLL CALL – 7:00
Members present were:
Chip Venell – Chairman
Thomas Cashin – Vice Chairman
Jessica Donnell – 1st Alternate (Voting in place of Mr. Goodwin)
Members absent were: Randy Goodwin
David Jones- 2nd Alternate
Also present were Kenneth Paul, Code Enforcement Officer; members of the Acton-Wakefield Watersheds Alliance, Forest Bell who is working with the Alliance; Melanie Brown, Chairperson of the Trustees of the Acton Congregational Church; James Fiske; Donald Winslow and Scott Day.
October 15, 2009 – A Motion was made and seconded to approve the Minutes of the
October 15, 2009 Meeting as submitted. Davis/Cashin – Unanimous.
C. PRESENTATION REGARDING THE LAKES SHARED BY ACTON and WAKEFIELD
Forest Bell advised that he has been working with the Acton-Wakefield Watersheds Alliance regarding the potential for phosphates in the lakes and waterways shared by the towns of Acton, Maine and Wakefield, New Hampshire. He stated they have been working for approximately a year to develop a plan to protect the lakes which he mentioned that he did for Moussam Lake. He advised that this area has high water quality lakes and the intention is to protect them rather than attempting to clean them up should they become polluted. He said after all the data is collected he will develop a plan that should assist both towns in protecting the lakes. He stated there are a number of factors that contribute to contamination of the lakes one of which is economic growth. He distributed a report entitled “A Summary of the Buildout Analysis Conducted for the Acton Wakefield Watersheds Alliance – Specific to the Town of Acton, Maine” which indicated the ramifications of the projected 2054 full buildout.
At this time, Mr. Bell made a lengthy Power Point presentation which included the location of the lakes in question and how they flow in both States, the location of the watershed and the smaller rivers into which the lakes flow. He mentioned that there are
generally very small amounts of phosphates in the water and a large amount in the soil. He advised that phosphates are necessary for plant growth. One of the slides indicated
how quickly phosphates grew in a lake in Canada. He advised that phosphates come from the sky, the trees as well as other sources and indicated in a slide how the waters change with the increase of phosphates. He stated that with every three feet of loss of water quality, property values decline 20%. He said the goal is to protect and maintain the high quality of the waters and displayed a slide indicating that water quality, if not protected, will decrease by 36% by 2025. He referenced the analysis of the water quality data that has been done. He stated when all the data has been compiled, he will write a report that will assist the towns in maintaining the quality of the lakes. He continued with the presentation and answered any questions from the Board and the audience.
Mr. Venell thanked Mr. Bell for his efforts and confirmed that members of the Town of Acton would be present when the members of the Wakefield Alliance host a workshop to review Mr. Bell’s report when it is submitted.
D. UNFINISHED BUSINESS
There was no unfinished business to come before the Board.
F. NEW BUSINESS
1. Acton Congregational Church – Conditional Use Permit for a Sign -
Melanie Brown advised she is the Chairperson of the Trustees for the Acton Congregational Church and is here for a Conditional Use Permit to erect a sign.
Mr. Paul stated that even though the Board of Selectmen have waived the fee for this application, the Planning Board must still review it.
Mr. Venell explained the process to Ms Brown which he said could include a site walk of the location of the sign and a public hearing. He stated that the application indicates that the applicant wishes to erect a 6’ x 4’ sign.
Ms Brown advised that they are proposing a sign with black lettering. The sign will be erected on the back of the other sign near the memorial stone on the other driveway. She said at present there is nothing there but a small sign which is in a deteriorated condition.
It was noted that the abutters’ list has been submitted.
A Motion was made and seconded to accept the application of the Acton Congregational Church. Davis/Cashin – Unanimous.
A public hearing on this application was scheduled for 7:00 PM on Thursday, December 3, 2009.
2. James Fiske – Discussion Regarding Proposed Subdivision of Land on Goding Road – At this time Mr. Fiske submitted a plot plan which he and the Board discussed regarding to the potential for it to be subdivided.
3. Pauline Bragg – Conditional Use Permit Application – Map224/L022 - Donald Winslow advised that he is a forester representing the property owner, Pauline Bragg, who owns property off H Road and she has engaged the services of a timber harvester. He mentioned that the harvesting has already begun, but there is a small strip of land that is located in the Resource Protection District which is why he is here this evening. He stated that he is only involved in that portion of the application.
Mr. Cashin mentioned that under the proposed zoning amendments, the Comprehensive Plan Implementation Committee has suggested that if a property owner engages a forester then most of the criteria for timber harvesting can be waived.
After a further discussion which included an approximate time line for the permit to be issued, Scott Day, the timber harvester, advised that he will be finish with the job by that time, therefore, he will simply not go into the strip of the property located in the Resource Protection District.
Mr. Winslow advised given Mr. Day’s comments, he would like to withdraw the application.
G. OTHER BUSINESS - There was no other business to come before the Board.
H. ADJOURNMENT - The Meeting was adjourned at 8:45 PM.
______________________________ ANNA M. WILLIAMS,