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Message from Dave Horn - PIC Committee

posted Sep 12, 2018, 8:07 AM by New Vineyard

SO WHY DOES NEW VINEYARD NEED A LAND USE ORDINANCE AND A SITE PLAN ORDINANCE NOW?

 

        The first settler came to New Vineyard in 1790. My ancestor, Solomon Luce, came in 1794 and my family has owned land in New Vineyard continuously since then. The Town has survived for well over 200 years without a Land Use Ordinance, which I’ll refer to as “LUO” and a Site Plan Review Ordinance, which I’ll refer to as “SPRO”. So why does the Town need them now? Well, “times are changing” as Bob Dylan might say. Constantly changing technology is a huge part of it. More and more people living in rural areas now have internet services and can work remotely. That, together with an increasing population in the United States looking for a less stressful lifestyle and less expensive land will push population to rural areas like New Vineyard. This means increasing pressure on the land and its uses.The LUO and the SPRO are designed to address that pressure. The ordinances are also designed to be responsive to: (a) the wish of the town’s citizens that New Vineyard remain primarily a rural area; (b) the town’s varied topography which present development issues; and (c) the objective of providing a responsible pathway for future development instead of an ad hoc approach.

 

      The LUO addresses issues that arise from land use that could:

 

1.    impact the health, safety, welfare, etc of the Town’s present and future citizens in a negative way. An example of this is requiring 40,000 sq. ft lots for new  development because of construction issues related to New Vineyard’s steep slopes, poor soils, and resource protection areas.

2.    impact the Town’s primarily rural character in an adverse way. The LUO does this by dividing the Town into 5 different areas and specifying uses allowed in each one. For example, while a single family dwelling would be allowed in a resource protection area subject to certain conditions, a light industrial structure would not be allowed.

3.    impact the Town’s natural resources from unacceptable adverse impacts and disturbances. The LUO is also designed to integrate new development harmoniously into the Town’s natural environment; and

4.     impact property rights and values negatively. The LUO does this by adopting land use practices that are respectful of all landowners. Most home owners would likely be unhappy to have their neighbour build a dump next door, which would very likely result in their properties’ values being depressed. The LUO prevents this from happening.

 

      In addition, the LUO establishes procedures to insure that land use decisions made by the Planning Board are reviewed against fair and reasonable standards and in the event a landowner disagrees with a decision, an appeals process has been established. IT ALSO “GRANDFATHERS” ALL CURRENT LOTS AND USES.

      The drafters of the LUO have attempted to balance both the collective rights of the Town’s landowners and an individual’s freedom to use their property relatively unfettered. They’ve listened to a lot of comments. I’ve been involved with this process and I can say that a lot of thought has been put into addressing the comments and the balance issue.

 

       The SPRO’s purposes are much the same as the LUC except it is only applicable to new development of commercial, industrial, educational, institutional and government uses in New Vineyard. IT DOES NOT APPLY TO RESIDENTIAL USES, WHICH INCLUDES HOME OCCUPATIONS and therefore likely will not effect many of New Vineyard’s citizens.

        The SPRO describes the pre-application and application process, specifies standards for construction like adequate solid waste disposal, parking, etc. In essence it is designed to ensure that non-residential development is done correctly. Most non-residential developers will be intimately familiar with processes and standards similar to those found in the SPRO. There is also a process for landowner appeals. The LUO and the SPRO are obviously closely linked.

      Another reason that New Vineyard needs both ordinances is that they are an integral part of implementing the Town’s approved comprehensive plan. If the plan is not implemented you do not really have a comprehensive plan and a pathway for future development. Most of the grant programs provided by the State and it’s agencies require a municipality to have a comprehensive plan as an incentive to get grants for municipal purposes. New Vineyard has benefited from grants in the past which allowed for the construction of deep wells and septic systems in the 1990’s and more recently, the library. New Vineyard is a town with limited tax revenues, declining State reimbursements, a substantial school commitment, and considerable current operating expenses. An aggressive approach to securing grants would be a big help on capital intensive projects identified in the comprehensive plan such as an adequate water supply for the fire department, a dam at the outlet of the Mill Pond to stabilize and raise water levels in the Mill and Lilly Ponds before there is just a stream in these areas, a park, a recreational facility for children, and the list goes on.

       I think the reasons referred to above make a compelling case for New Vineyard to have the LUO and the SPRO in place. Times are changing irrespective of whether we like or not. The Selectmen have also been involved with the development of both ordinances and recommend a “yes” vote at a Special Town Meeting in the early fall. I also urge you to vote “yes” too. These ordinances are important for the future development and management of New Vineyard.

 

Dave Horn                                                                                                                      

     

 

       

      

      

     

     

Important Message from New Vineyard Selectmen

posted Sep 7, 2018, 10:51 AM by New Vineyard   [ updated Sep 7, 2018, 12:53 PM ]

Dear Fellow Residents of New Vineyard,     

 

We want to provide you with the current status of the recently  proposed Land Use Ordinance and the proposed Site Plan Review Ordinance (applicable to Non-Residential Uses Only) and our plans going forward with these 2 ordinances.

 

The recent Public Hearing on June 14th, covering the above 2 ordinances and a Safety and Property Management Ordinance provided extensive feedback and discussion during the meeting and post meeting. The Safety and Property Maintenance Ordinance has been withdrawn from consideration at this time based on the feedback.

 

The Selectmen asked the Comprehensive Plan Implementation Committee (‘PIC”) to address the feedback from the Public Hearing by making any necessary changes to the above two Ordinances in response to the comments and concerns. Subsequently we have had 2 reviews of the documents with both residents and the Committee. As a result, there have been a number of changes that reflect the dialogues with the Town and which we feel will make the Ordinances acceptable to the Town.

 

To bring you up to date on the provisions of the two ordinances, we have scheduled 3 outreach meetings to be held in Smith Hall. We are inviting residents of:

 

· Barker Road and Herrick Mountain Road to the first meeting on Friday, September 14, 2018  at 6PM;

· Route 27, Route 234, and Brahamer Road to a second meeting on Saturday, September 15, 2018 at 9AM; and  

· Lake Street, Church Street, Taylor Hill Road, High Street, and Parlin Hill Road to the  third meeting on Friday, September 21, 2018 at 6PM; 

        

Other residents not living along these roads, streets, and routes can attend any of the scheduled meetings. If you have a conflict with your scheduled meeting, please feel free to attend another meeting. The PIC will be in attendance at all three meetings, Dave Horn will present and also answer any questions you might have.        

 

As there are changes in the Ordinances, we will also hold a public hearing to be held on Thursday, October 4, 2018 at 6:00 pm at Smith Hall. A Special Town Meeting on October 18, 2018 at 6:00 pm at Smith Hall will follow. The vote on the Ordinances at the Special Meeting will be by ballot.       

 

We recognize that there are different opinions on these Ordinances with some seeing them as protecting the present and future residents of the Town, their property values, giving a blueprint for future growth while protecting the rural nature of the Town, and giving the Town access to a variety of grants from the State and it’s agencies. An understanding that for a Town that has limited revenues, a significant school commitment, significant recurring operating expenses, and a population that is adverse to increased real estate taxes, grants will be important in the future to address capital expenses such as a reliable water supply for the fire department, a new dam on the Mill Pond Outlet before the Mill Pond and the Lilly Pond become just a stream, possibly a park, a recreational facility for children, etc.  While others believe their land is theirs to make their own decisions on what to do with it. Of course, with recognition that there are a number of current laws, rules and regulations that influence an individual’s use of their land already in place.

 

As the Selectmen for New Vineyard we feel that the proposed Ordinances will not significantly impact individuals in an adverse fashion, particularly as all lots in New Vineyard are “grandfathered” as of the effective date of the Ordinances. If passed, the Land Use Ordinance will be effective on the 90th day following the Town Meeting. This will give residents time to review the Ordinance and make any land transactions to address any of their concerns. Information and copies of the Ordinances are available at the Town Office and are posted on the Town’s web-site – www.newvineyardme.org  As well – information, opinion and discussion is on facebook at New Vineyard Community Forum.          

We feel that the passage of these Ordinances are important to have in place for New Vineyard’s future and we urge you to vote “Yes” at the upcoming Special Town Meeting on October 18, 2018.

 

Respectfully,

 

 

Jeff Allen-Selectman  Seth Webber-Selectman Frank Forster-Selectman

 

Public Hearing June 14, 2018 Smith Hall 6pm

posted Jun 5, 2018, 11:39 AM by Town Clerks

Ordinance Files Public Hearing for June 14, 2018 have been uploaded under Resources.

Untitled Post

posted Aug 17, 2017, 9:59 AM by New Vineyard

Selectmen's meeting for tonight (august 17) has been cancelled. Rescheduled for August 24, 2017. 6:30 Smith Hall

Untitled

posted Jun 9, 2017, 8:56 AM by New Vineyard   [ updated Jun 22, 2017, 9:49 AM ]

*****Selectmen's meeting date change****

posted May 18, 2017, 9:05 AM by New Vineyard

Selectmen's meeting will be held on Wednesday, May 24th instead of May 25th due to scheduling conflicts.

Phones are back working!

posted May 15, 2017, 8:44 AM by New Vineyard   [ updated May 15, 2017, 11:07 AM ]

Phones are back up at the Town Office.  Give us a call!

Patriots Day

posted Apr 14, 2017, 12:57 PM by New Vineyard

The Town Office is closed on Monday April 17th.

Town Office Hours - Late hours

posted Mar 23, 2017, 8:12 AM by New Vineyard

Did you know that the Town Office is open until 5:30 on Thursdays when the Selectmen are meeting?

Those dates are:
March 30th 2017
April 13th, 2017
April 27th, 2017

Come in and visit us!

Town Office Closed Tuesday March 14th

posted Mar 14, 2017, 5:52 AM by New Vineyard

Due to severe weather the Town Office will be closed today, Tuesday, March 14th.  Stay safe.

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