Ordinance Review Committee
Meeting Minutes of July 23, 2018

Present: Charlie Sorenson, Lisa Anderson, Don Scott, Carol Ogilvie, Harry Wolhandler, Mary Ann Noyer

Agenda – approved

Minutes of Previous Meeting 7/2/18 – approved

Recommendations by Carol Ogilvie for potential zoning changes. Carol recommends clarifying or amending the following: Article V (see below), including definitions of non-conforming lots and hardship and clarifying rules for expansion of nonconforming buildings and lots; rules for lots divided by a zoning boundary; definition of impervious cover. She also recommended revisiting setbacks for each district as well as language on home-based businesses and home-based occupations (see below).

Following review of the Master Plan in relation to the ordinances, she recommends:

wetland setback and/or buffer for structures and parking areas; allowance for certain agricultural uses by right and incorporating statutory definition of Agriculture, which she will bring to next meeting; creating “cottage court” (her term) overlay district to provide opportunities for smaller houses in smaller lots, where conditions exist for installation of adequate septic/water.


Regarding Definitions section (see below), she notes that in-law apartments need to be consistent with ADU rules; definition of hardship is not consistent with state statutes; cluster development is no longer a use in zoning (now Conservations Subdivision); ‘comprehensive plan’ should be amended to read ‘master plan’; other definitions that are not allowable used and do not appear elsewhere in document include: alley, animal hospital, automobile repair shops (outside home-based business??), billboard, child care centers, dormitory, drive-in-use, essential service, healthcare facility, kennel, laundromat, motel, motor vehicle dealership, nursing home, riding academy, speculative dwelling.


From her review, Mary Ann noted potential irrelevance (only appear in Definitions) of the following: conversion apartment; garage public/private (just include “garage”); gas station; growth permit; mobile home park and mobile home; research and development laboratory. Recommended addition to Definitions section: Abutter, unnecessary hardship (others?).

Lisa asked if accessory structureis the same as accessory buildingas appears In Definitions section. She also noted that many of the definitions in Article XV either don’t appear in the back or vary from descriptions elsewhere in ordinance (e.g., impervious cover v. surface, building envelope, conservation subdivision, open space v. open space common and many others). Charlie noted typo on p. 52 (“filter” water v. infiltrate); abutterneeds to be added to main Definitions section.  Group generally agreed that general definitions should all be listed in Article XXVI and all others specific to individual articles (such as Conservation Subdivision or Shoreland) and not referenced elsewhere should be included within those specific articles.


For the next meeting Carol will compare Andrew Maneval’s draft to the current ordinances.

Article V  – Initial suggestions

5.2.2 – Language in last line about meeting“findings of fact and conditions for granting a special exception as outlined in Article XX” – Charlie recommends eliminating here or else adding elsewhere to make consistent.

5.3 NONCONFORMING BUILDING–Charlie pointed out language about yard requirements, setback requirements, and building separation requirements – doesn’t make sense given no related reference elsewhere. And subsequent language states that ZBA can virtually waive all of these.  Was noted that Andrew’s draft eliminates confusion but may eliminate too much.


In addition, the definition of nonconforming in Article XXVI refers to USE only. Perhaps, in definition section, replace with broader term, “nonconformities”.

Charlie noted intent is to address separate nonconforming uses, lots and structures separately.


5.3.3. Last sentence – “For the purposes of this ordinance, open decks are not considered expansions, however, roofed porches are.”  Charlie points out shoreland over ordinance (15.13…) addresses circumstances in which open decks allowed and conditions required. Also noted that definition of structure doesn’t include decks but does list patios – treatment is inconsistent.


5.4.1 – definition (referred to in this provision) needs fixing and should it be expanded to address size and setbacks, road frontage and water frontage, which is where nonconformities primarily come up.

5.4.2  – language confusing because, under Article XX, these are the conditions that can be waived so last line should possible be removed altogether.. Also, again, neither yard setbacks or separation, is defined elsewhere.

Home-based businesses and home-based occupations

Agreed that should remain separate, but definition in back needs clarifying. Also, anything that involves anything external should be reviewed. Group discussed that, depending on occupation or business, an occupation or business may involve more external disturbance/impact.


Given language in 4.1.10, 4.1.18 and (factors which nearly duplicate criteria under Article XX), Charlie recommended adding to  Any non-residential use “other than home occupations” requires site plan review.  Also, amend to state home-based businesses are subject to site plan review


For next time, Charlie will rewrite provisions with exact proposed language for Article IV and definitions (to split) and correspond to 6.1.6, addressing factors such as number of employees and externalities.


Impervious cover and decks
Group discussed factors related to technology and maintenance, which affect durability of impervious materials and thus language “unless designed to effectively absorb or filter water” remains an issue. Also, “filter” v. “infiltrate” needs to be addressed.


For presentation to Planning Board, Lisa and Carol will prepare report by email that incorporates all suggestions.

Next meeting of Ordinance Review Committee is August 13 @ 5:30 pm.  Meeting adjourned at 7:30 pm.