NORWAY — A prohibition on retail marijuana and amendments to the town’s Site Plan Review Ordinance are among the referendum questions on which residents will vote on Tuesday, June 13.

Polls will be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the Norway Fire Station at 26 Danforth St.

Town Manager David Holt said that residents will vote at the June 13 ballot on three questions related to ordinances or ordinance amendments.

Residents will also vote to elect town officers, including selectmen and a School Administrative District 17 director.

The rest of the budget articles will be decided at the town’s annual town meeting at 7 p.m. Monday, June 19, at the Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School community forum.

Town officers

• Incumbent Warren Sessions Jr. is running for another three-year term, while Mike Twitchell, who previously served on the board from 2010 to 2016, is running for incumbent Bill Damon’s seat. Damon, who has served off and on since 1987, did not take out nomination papers for another three-year term.

• SAD 17 Director Michael Marshall is running unopposed for another three-year term.

• David I. Porter and Thomas C. Webster are seeking two seats on the Norway Memorial Library board of trustees.

Referendum questions

Residents will vote on the following three referendum questions at the polls:

Retail marijuana

The first question asks residents if they favor passage of an ordinance prohibiting retail recreational marijuana establishments, social clubs and commercial growing of recreational marijuana in the town of Norway.

Recreational use of marijuana became legal Jan. 30, though a moratorium signed by Gov. Paul LePage will delay certain provisions of the law until February 2018.

In November 2016, Norway voters said no to the marijuana ballot question by a tally of 1,311 to 1,341, a difference of 30 votes.

Since the vote, some residents have pushed for the town to put an outright prohibition on retail marijuana establishments and social clubs until the state finishes crafting rules and regulations to the law.

Town Manager David Holt clarified that a prohibition would not ban people from privately using marijuana.

Rural villages

The second question asks residents if they wish to approve amendments to the town’s Site Plan Review Ordinance that would implement the Comprehensive Plan Policy for Rural Village Areas.

In an email to the Board of Selectmen in December 2016, then-Code Enforcement Officer Joelle Corey-Whitman said that the additions to the ordinance would “keep commercial and large-scale home business or industrial and manufacturing businesses from being operated in the Rural Village areas.”

The four Rural Village areas affected are:

• Swift’s Corner, the area around the four-way intersection of Morse Road, Norway Center Road, Patch Mountain Road and Round the Pond Road;

• Noble’s Corner, the area around the intersection of Greenwood Road and Round the Pond Road;

• Norway Center, the area around the intersection of Norway Center Road and Morrill Road; and 

• Chapel District, the area around the four-way intersection of Wiley, French, Dunn and Morse roads.

Corey-Whitman added that the amendments would allow “signage, lighting and noise” to be “kept to a more minimum standard versus other areas of town.”

Recycling

The third question asks if the town should discontinue the Oxford County Regional Recycling Corp. and terminate the agreement for joint recycling.

Holt explained that the board of directors for the Oxford County Regional Recycling Corp. have already voted to dissolve the corporation.

If residents were to approve the question on June 13, he said recycling for Norway and Paris would “not be affected” and would continue to be carried out by Norway-Paris Solid Waste.

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The four North Norway villages addressed in the proposed Site Plan Review Ordinance amendment are indicated in the Norway Comprehensive Plan map. Residents will vote on whether to approve the amendment during the Tuesday, June 13, referendum ballot.


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