Wilson Lake in Wilton at sunset. Andrea Swiedom/Franklin Journal 2020 file photo

WILTON — The Planning Board on Thursday evening tabled a site plan review application for a marina on Wilson Lake and took steps to enact a six-month moratorium on future commercial development around the lake.

James Butler has applied to develop boat docks and rented boat slips on his lakefront property at 10 Rowell St.

The board set the application aside and passed a motion by Michael Parker to initiate a moratorium, which voters would have to approve at a special town meeting.

“The need for this moratorium, it is imperative, because the existing ordinances are inadequate to handle this proposed marina and any future lake development,” Parker said. “This will provide the Planning Board an opportunity to review and revise the current ordinances relevant to this limited residential and recreational zone surrounding the lake as well as the proposed additional ordinances if needed.

“The purpose of the moratorium, above all else, is to ensure that any new development is not deleterious to the health ecology and safety of the lake, and is in the best interest to the people and town of Wilton,” Parker said.

The motion, which passed, also stipulated that if voters pass a moratorium, it would include Butler’s site plan review application for the marina.


Code Enforcement Officer Charlie Lavin also notified the board that the application was missing a submerged land lease permit, which is required for structures erected in public bodies of water.

“Ideally, you would have that before coming to the town, because if you do not get that then there’s no point in the town going through this,” Lavin told two representatives from Main-Land Development Consultants of Livermore Falls who are representing Butler.

Lavin also brought up the application’s proposed construction of a fence and walkway on town land.

“We do have the alternative of working off of Stinchcomb Lane if we can’t come to an agreement with the town,” Main-Land engineer Tom Dubois said. “I would hope it wouldn’t be a stumbling block to moving this application forward.”

Main-Land Development Consultants provided a diagram of James Butler’s proposed seasonal boat docks in front of 10 Rowell Street in Wilton where boat slips would be rented out. The Planning Board tabled the site plan review and instead, initiated the process of enacting a moratorium on all commercial development surrounding Wilson Lake. Andrea Swiedom/Franklin Journal

The board also tabled discussion on amendments to the marijuana ordinance and scheduled a workshop for 7 p.m. March 25. A public hearing on the proposed amendments will take place April 1.

Rather than reviewing Tom McLaughlin’s shoreland zoning permit application for a lakefront camp to be rebuilt and expanded, the board will conduct a site visit first. McLaughlin is required to stake out the previous building and the proposed building’s perimeter and provide an overlay diagram of the property at 7 Pullo Road.

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