FARMINGTON — By a unanimous vote, residents at Tuesday’s special town meeting once again rejected an amended version of the shoreland zoning ordinance.

Adopted in 2007, the ordinance was amended to include changes to meet current state requirements.
Voters did not approve the new version during the March town meeting because it needed revising and was missing some things, Tom Eastler said. Since then, nobody has gotten together to work on it, he added. Eastler relayed his concern over three items that he felt were not ready and needed to be revised. One pertains to the wording of an item for individual-private campsites that allows one site per lot or 30,000 square feet of lot within the shoreland zone. The wording needs to be rewritten, he said, but he was also concerned about the town passing laws unless they intend to enforce them.

The revisions will be worked on by Kaiser and interested citizens before being presented to the Planning Board, Code Enforcement Officer Steve Kaiser said Wednesday. Although many towns are amending their ordinances by July, Kaiser was
confident the town could continue to work on it. As long as the state
knows we’re working on it, they’ll work with us,” he said.

 A second issue stated only one recreational vehicle is allowed on a campsite. What if someone has three adult children who all come to visit with RVs, they become a law breaker, he said.
His third concern was the definition of individual campsite. As worded, it is one developed for repeated camping by only one group not to exceed 10 individuals, he said. What does “repeated camping mean?” he asked.
Although the Planning Board and selectmen had reviewed the ordinance more than once and a public hearing was held, Code Enforcement Officer Steve Kaiser told the gathering he’d rather see it “not passed till everyone is happy.” Although the town needs to start with the state model, he thought these were reasonable differences that could be resolved.
In other business, voters were split on an article that allows town employees to serve on the Budget Committee. With a vote of 26-24, town employees,  such as firefighter Clyde Ross, can once again serve on the committee, although he must abstain from voting on the Fire Department budget.
The perception of influence by town employees and conflicts of interest were noted as reasons to not allow employees to serve.

The committee is  comprised of 11 regular members and four alternates, but currently it has only nine members. The article would allow only two employees to serve at a time.
While the committee and selectmen only make recommendations, voters decide what amounts are appropriated during town meeting, Ross said.
“I can’t sit on the Budget Committee because I’m a fireman. It takes away my ability to participate,” he said.
Planning Board members abstain if there is an appearance of conflict of interest on what the board is deciding, Eastler said. This takes away the right of a resident of Farmington to participate.
Other articles approved included capital improvement projects for upgrading wastewater pumps and sewer main replacement work, and the exchange of quit-claim deeds with Jon and Lois Bubier for property on Front Street. The exchange will redefine the western edge of the street in front of property the Bubiers intend to develop for commercial use.

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