Government at a glance

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Board: Lewiston City Council

Met: Tuesday night

Does downtown have a design theme?

Issue: City planners love to have design rules to guide future developments. Ideally, those rules help new buildings match the buildings that are already there. A planning committee drew up some guidelines last year, but their suggestions were never adopted by the City Council.

The scoop: December’s Lisbon Street fire left several lots of prime real estate wide open for future development. City councilors and planning board members are resurrecting the design guideline discussion before developers begin calling. The latest plan would focus on the area from Kennedy Park to the Androscoggin River.

Up next: The matter should show up on the planning board’s agenda in the next month.

Personnel board goes away

Issue: Voters approved a change to the City Charter in November doing a way with a special city committee to handle testing for police and firefighters.

The scoop: Councilors Tuesday accepted the vote, officially doing away with the personnel board.

Up next: The city’s human resources department handles board functions now.

Storm water rules updated

Issue: The Maine Department of Environmental Protection changed its rules in fall of 2005. Changes include standards for shore erosion, storm water run-off and some housekeeping measures.

The scoop: The city’s planning board voted to change the city’s rules to match the states’ rules. Councilors agreed Tuesday. The changes regulate where roads and drives can be built, where structures or ditches will be allowed and how storm run-off should be handled.

Pharmacy zoning change OK

Issue: Gendron Realty wanted to rezone two parcels of land along East Avenue to allow development of a pharmacy.

The scoop: The lots, in a triangle of land between East Avenue and Sabattus Street along Demi Circle, were zoned for neighborhood conservation, which doesn’t allow retail developments. The council agreed to change the zoning to community business and then to urban enterprise to allow the development.

Liquor licenses

Issue: Local restaurants and bars must reapply for liquor licenses and amusement permits each year. Liquor licenses let them serve alcohol; amusement permits let them play music, have a DJ or karaoke, or have games on site.

The scoop: Councilors approved a new liquor license for the Chick-A-Dee at 1472 Lisbon St.

They approved a special amusement permit for the Fraternal Order of Eagles at 1327 Sabattus St.

Contact government reporter Scott Taylor via e-mail at staylor@sunjournal.com or via phone at 689-2846.

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