WOODSTOCK — Selectmen are considering a request for a recreational marijuana ordinance and whether the town should adopt the Maine Uniform Building and Energy Code.

At a meeting this month, resident Chandler Simpkins asked the board to consider a recreational marijuana ordinance that would allow growing and wholesale selling, according to the meeting minutes. He operates a small farm and said he would like to have the opportunity to grow marijuana as a crop to complement his planned maple syrup, firewood/lumber and vegetable sales.

Earlier this year voters adopted a moratorium to allow time to develop an ordinance to guide development of marijuana facilities. A committee is preparing an ordinance for a vote at the March 2021 town meeting.

Simpkins is the first resident to bring the recreational marijuana request to selectmen for consideration, Town Manager Vern Maxfield said.

The issue is expected to be discussed at the January board meeting.

The board is also considering adopting the Maine Uniform Building and Energy Code.

Code Enforcement Officer Kingston Brown supports it, according to the minutes.

Advantages cited included standardized inspection regulations and help for insurance premiums.

On the downside, it would slow the building process for the contractor/property owner waiting for inspections, increase expenses from more CEO visits and make more work for the Planning Board, town officials said.

Additional regulations could also hamper some homeowners because they would have to hire more outside work.

Fire Chief Kyle Hopps described advantages, noting all builders do not build to code. For example, he said, fire alarms are not always hard-wired in homes and some have no alarms at all. He said a basic requirement for smoke alarms to get a certificate of occupancy would help. He also said that too often two wood stoves are connected to one chimney.

Resident Bob McQueeney, a retired contractor, agreed, according to the minutes. He said shortcuts are often taken because of time and labor constraints, diminishing quality control. The only recourse some homeowners then have is small claims court.

Selectmen speculated the state code would be difficult for townspeople to support.

One suggestion was that extra costs to the town could be covered with higher building fees.

Chairman Ron Deegan requested a list of all building permits issued, by category, over the past few years to see how much might be collected through increased fees. That information will be discussed in January.


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