NEW GLOUCESTER —The Planning Board on Tuesday whittled away at amending the town’s shoreland zoning ordinance and maps to comply with Maine law that took effect July 1.

The board agreed to compare changes in the current lake district requirements to the state’s recommended guideline for a limited residential shoreland district. The board agreed that no changes would be made until the comparisons are completed. The board agreed that a standalone ordinance would be easier than including provisions within the town’s zoning ordinance.

Resident Lillian Nayder said, “I reiterate, to put a good word in for (protecting) the lake district maps instead of combining them into rural residential areas.”

The mapped changes call for placing a limited residential shoreland district to 250 feet from the high water mark of the lake, rivers, and wetlands and 75 feet from streams and forested wetlands. Currently the boundaries of the lake district in some cases are wider than 250 feet.

A public hearing in mid-July raised numerous questions from a standing-room-only crowd. They expressed concern about the restrictions placed on private land, especially in mapped areas that are considered forested wetlands.

The Planning Board agreed to go back to the drawing board and work with the public to protect additional areas beyond a 250-foot setback from Sabbathday Lake.

Over the past decade, two watershed surveys of the 345-acre lake resulted in grants from state and federal agencies to prevent pollutants carried by stormwater from entering the lake.

The board will hold a workshop on the issue at 7 p.m. Sept. 22 at the New Gloucester Meeting House.


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