Land-use changes going to Poland voters

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POLAND — The Planning Board made no recommendation Tuesday night on whether to change the square-footage regulation for units in the multifamily dwellings section of the Comprehensive Land Use Code.

The change in the ordinance, which will go to voters at a special town meeting Thursday, Sept. 13, removes elderly housing from the requirement that buildings served by a public sewer system must equal or exceed 5,000 square feet per dwelling unit.

The change would also reduce the square footage in residential apartment housing to 5,000 square feet from 10,000.

Vice Chairman James Porter said if the 5,000-square-foot rule were adopted, it could create apartment buildings that would be a tax burden to the town.

“So take a 1-acre site, 43,000 square feet,” he said. “You can put in eight units, condos or an eight-unit apartment complex. Elderly housing is going to stretch our budget on the rescue side because of the age group. If you have eight units, how many kids?”

Porter said that would stretch the education costs for Poland.

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Board member George Greenwood disagreed. He said developers will not come into Poland “because the cost of investment doesn’t give them enough return to make it feasible.”

Porter said he believed the vote on whether to recommend would be tied 2-2, and the other three members in attendance agreed. 

The Planning Board did vote to recommend changing the display size of the electronic “changeable” signs from “no more than 50 percent” to the “display may comprise up to 100 percent of the surface area of a changeable sign.”

The third change to the ordinance, recommended by the board, would change a lot along Middle Range Pond from Resource Protection District to Limited Residential Zoning District.

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