Planning board reaffirms Sept. 8 BHWP approvals with more findings

Shoreland zone, building apps approved
Thu, 11/18/2021 - 5:15pm

The Boothbay Harbor planning board reaffirmed findings of fact from a Sept. 8 decision Nov. 17. The board's September approval for Boothbay Harbor Waterfront Preservation's site plan revision at 65 Atlantic Ave. was appealed by abutters Joseph and Jill Doyle Oct. 28. The appeals board remanded the matter to the planning board for more detailed information on its findings.

“Our role tonight is to review a decision we made and not to reconsider that decision, but to simply document how we arrived at it,” said Chair Tom Churchill.

The revision was for a 670-square-foot reduction of a brick paver gathering area and walkway and a diametrical increase of one foot for a splashpad. The increase of impervious surfaces from 28.87% to 29.47% was approved by Maine Department of Environmental Protection and Army Corps of Engineers before the planning board’s Sept. 8 approval.

With guidance from Town Attorney John Cunningham the board went back through the findings to specify how the revisions meet the criteria of the ordinance. Churchill said the reduction in surface area from the pavers seemed to be a visual improvement. “The change in impervious surface is compliant because it's a modest increase in stormwater runoff.”

Member Bill Hamblen said he thought the splashpad’s 26-foot diameter is also a minor change and “need not be considered principally because our prior approval was for a splashpad approximately 25 feet.”

In addition to the pad's increase in diameter, the amended site plan added a retaining wall for seating to make the splashpad compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act. Hamblen said the wall complies with the ordinance because it is 75 feet or more from the high water mark and is more than the side-yard setback. “As a structure it is permitted under our ordinances.”

Churchill, Hamblen and members Jon Dunsford and John Hochstein voted in favor of each additional finding and member Margaret Perritt abstained citing her absence from the Sept. 8 meeting.

The board also approved BHWP's shoreland zone and building permit applications which were tabled Nov. 10 after most findings of fact were established. The only missing detail was whether or not the pavilion on the park’s pier complies with shoreland zoning. Members voted unanimously the building complies because it is an accessory structure and not subject to elevation requirements.