Livermore voters approve ordinance amendments

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LIVERMORE — Following a public hearing, voters on Tuesday approved amendments to the town’s dog control and limited commercial zoning ordinances.

Administrative Assistant Amy Byron said the dog control ordinance didn’t include any penalties for violations. The amended version lists penalties for first, second and third offenses.

Resident Dwight Hines said there should be some way of measuring the intensity of noise mentioned in the ordinance’s section on disturbing the peace. 

Moderator Clint Boothby said amendments to the ordinances couldn’t be made.

Resident Dennis Sol said the incessant barking of beagles owned by neighbor Tom Wilson has affected his life.

“If there’s a property for sale near you, it could easily happen to you,” Sol said.

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Wilson said Sol’s wife walks by three times a day.

“Anyone that has dogs, if you go behind that house they’ll bark. There’s exaggeration going on here,” Wilson said.

One resident asked if there had been other complaints.

Selectperson Scott Richmond said the Planning Board was already looking at the ordinance before these complaints.

Another resident said the enforcement section wasn’t clear regarding the frequency of complaints and subsequent penalties.

Deputy Town Clerk Jean Tardif said if the ordinance is approved, there will be something for the animal control officer to work with.

“It can be changed later. We’d be further ahead,” she said.

Selectperson Megan Dion said voters have two options.

“You can approve the ordinance and then ask for later changes. Or vote it down and send it back to the Planning Board to work on,” she said.

When the vote was taken, there was confusion in the number of votes in opposition, so voters were asked to stand to be counted. The ordinance was approved by a vote of 12-11.

Byron said the Limited Commercial Zoning Ordinance was adopted in June at the town meeting and covered Dudley’s Corner to the Turner town line.

“Many residents came to us saying it was too small a zone,” Byron said. “The Planning Board and selectpersons have held many meetings since then. The ordinance applies to businesses where the owner doesn’t live on the property. People can locate a business elsewhere in town if they’re willing to live there.”

The proposed amendments would extend the zone the entire length of Route 4 and both sections of Route 108 within town limits.

“This town is a rural, idealistic, farming community.” Planning Board member Cliff Berry said. “There was no control. We wanted to have a say in what is built. This is a start.”

Byron said the amendments would not change anything for established businesses.

Hines said he would not support the amendment. “It puts a heck of a restriction on businesses,” he said.

One resident asked about the 250-foot requirement.

Berry said it was clarified so the zone is 250 feet deep from the center of the road.

“Most commercial properties don’t locate more than 250 feet from the road,” he said.

The vote was 24-1, with Hines opposed.

pharnden@sunmediagroup.net

Voters at a special town meeting in Livermore on Tuesday stand Thursday to show their vote on a dog control ordinance. The ordinance passed by a vote of 12-11. (Pam Harnden/Livermore Falls Advertiser).

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