At Tuesday’s meeting, Planning Board members discussed the legality of the town’s comprehensive building plan, which was written by a committee independent from the selectmen and Planning Board and adopted by the town in 1993. However, the plan hasn’t been used for the past 13 years, and as a result, Planning Board members are questioning whether or not the document is still legal.

This issue came to light because of the proposed 10-lot subdivision on Porter Lake. Co-owner Scott Hall adhered to the state’s 20-point criterion for subdivisions and local ordinances when applying. However, the application was withdrawn July 11 after the Planning Board held a public hearing to address any additional concerns regarding the application, which is being redrafted to comply with the board’s recommendations.

If the comprehensive plan in question is deemed legal, it would further restrict the original plan for the subdivision in a number of ways, including the number of lots that could be developed.

The board is going to seek legal advice from Maine Municipal Association, Androscoggin Valley Council of Governments, and the state’s Comprehensive Planning Bureau before taking any further action on the matter. Also, the board will contact the town’s selectmen to solicit advice.

– David Farady
Rangeley: Second stove store OK’d

The Planning Board approved an application for Northern Lights Hearth and Stove to open up a store in town. Northern Lights is located on Wilton Road in Farmington, and will open its second store on Main Street where Stone’s Throw Restaurant was located.

Blue Flame Gas also submitted an application to convert its storage space on Loon Lake Road into an office and showroom. The Planning Board has accepted the application for review and will hold a public hearing regarding the matter at the next meeting Aug. 23.

– David Farady
Strong: Harness the Wealth application done

On Thursday, the community submitted an application to become a member of Maine Rural Partner’s revitalization program Harness the Wealth. An eight-member committee, including selectmen and Strong Area Business and Civic Alliance members put together the application and compiled 19 letters of support from businesses, educators, doctors, and others. They also put together potential resources for the project including a bookkeeper, office space at Foster Memorial Building, access to office equipment, a Web designer and an executive secretary, Selectwoman Becky Croteau.

In a phone interview, SABACA President Eileen Miazga said, “The more work we’ve done on the application, the more interest we’ve gotten in town.”

Harness the Wealth is a new program that provides technical assistance and resources with the goal of helping a community define a vision for its future, draw up a strategic economic plan, provide leadership development with a focus on entrepreneurship and create a community investment fund to help finance the plan. If chosen, Strong would be one of two communities in Maine to work with a community coach for two years.

On Tuesday evening, the Strong Water District applied for a $4,500 increase in revenue during Tuesday’s selectmen meeting. The payments will come on a quarterly basis and will begin to take affect for this year’s final quarter. A town meeting will be held later to discuss the reallocation of money to cover the expense.

– David Farady
Weld: Building, tree-removal requests granted

The Planning Board approved seven applications during Wednesday’s meeting. Three called for removal of dead trees within the shoreland zone and two requested building auxiliary storage structures.

In order to have the Planning Board look at an application, it must be submitted a week in advance so the code enforcement officer can review it and create an agenda. The Planning Board meets the second Wednesday of each month.

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