PARIS – After three attempts, selectmen chose two representatives Monday to attend a panel discussion on reforms to the town’s embattled subdivision ordinance.

Chairman Ray Glover and Selectman David Ivey were chosen to attend the discussion on April 21. Other panelists have been chosen from the Planning Board and a group of petitioners who have backed a revised ordinance.

Last month, Glover proposed holding the meeting as a way of coming to an agreement on how to amend the subdivision ordinance, which passed in June 2007 in a 487-468 vote.

“What we’re trying to do is break a stalemate between the so-called petitioners and the rest of the citizens of the town,” Glover said. “We’re seeking a compromise that will satisfy everybody.”

Selectman Glen Young motioned to appoint Ivey and Selectman Lloyd “Skip” Herrick to the panel. Herrick asked that Glover be appointed instead, saying he was more knowledgeable of the issues regarding the ordinance. Ivey opposed the move, saying that Glover had become “too close” to the topic.

“It would be nice to get some other selectmen involved besides Ray and I,” Ivey said.

Young’s motion was defeated in a 3-2 vote, with Young and Ivey supporting it.

Ivey then motioned to appoint Selectman Gerald Kilgore to the panel, which did not gain a second.

A motion by Herrick to appoint Glover and Ivey to the panel drew protests from Young and Ivey, who said their suggestions had been stonewalled until a three-member majority on the board could select the appointees. Glover replied that similar actions had taken place on the board last year, when he and Kilgore were in a minority position.

“When it comes right down to it, we do have a 3-2 split on this board,” he said.

Herrick’s motion passed 4-1, with Glover opposed. Glover said he would prefer Herrick to serve on the panel.

The Planning Board chose Vice Chairman Bob Kirchherr and alternate Rick McAlister to take part in the discussion. Residents Ron Fitts and Troy Ripley will participate on behalf of the petitioners.

The first public move to revise the subdivision ordinance occurred in January 2008, when Fitts presented selectmen with a list of proposed amendments. The board later voted 3-2 to establish a committee to review the proposals and make a recommendation to the selectmen. However, the committee dissolved after a resident filed suit against Young and former Chairman Ernest Fitts III, Ron’s brother, charging them with a conflict of interest in their votes to establish the committee.

In December, petitioners presented the revised document to selectmen. Changes included several of those initially proposed by Ron Fitts, including having subdivision roads meet gravel road standards instead of paved road standards, allowing the Board of Appeals to hear appeals on subdivision matters, and allowing the Planning Board to grant waivers.

The revised ordinance will replace the existing one if voters approve it at a June referendum.


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