PARIS — Selectmen will wait to discuss proposed amendments to the town’s traffic ordinances and the proposed land-use management ordinance until all five board members can attend a meeting.

At Monday’s meeting, board Chairman Bob Kirchherr and members Gerald Kilgore and Ryan Lorrain tabled further discussion on revisions to the town’s road weight-restriction ordinance and scheduled an April 7 workshop to discuss changes to its lengthy traffic ordinance.

Selectmen Robert Wessels and Sam Elliot had scheduling conflicts and were not able to attend, Kirchherr said. This is the second consecutive meeting Elliot has not attended.

Proposed changes to the town’s dual traffic ordinances sparked a dispute between Selectmen Elliot and Kilgore and members of the Policy and Procedures Committee in September 2012. At the time, Elliot complained that aspects of the weight-restriction ordinance appeared to prohibit local business owners from using commercial trucks on the roads that led to their homes.

On Monday, Town Manager Amy Bernard said she and Elliot met with the town highway director and drafted clarifications about the ordinance, such as omitting the term “heavily laden vehicles” and replacing it with the more specific “vehicles that exceed 23,000 pounds.”

Bernard also suggested adding language from the Maine Department of Transportation that clarifies that unloaded commercial vehicles may pass over posted roads, hopefully eliminating conflict between the ordinance and owners of heavy vehicles in town.

Full discussion on town’s proposed land-use ordinance, which has been in the works for the past two years, was also delayed Monday. 

Selectmen held a public hearing on the zoning ordinance last month and asked for additional input from the public. The Town Office has since received two comments on the ordinance, both on the minimum two-acre lot size requirement it proposes in the town’s rural district.

Some residents believe two acres for a house lot is too large, Bernard said.

Kirchherr said the land use ordinance was being driven by the town’s comprehensive plan, which calls for parts of Paris to retain their rural character.

Selectman Lorrain, however, said he was unsure if the provision was right for the town and people clearly had problems with the requirement. He suggested looking into what it would take to amend the comprehensive plan and the ordinance.

Bernard said she would find out the process to revise the comprehensive plan. Selectmen plan to discuss the ordinance at their next meeting March 24.


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