DOVER-FOXCROFT, Maine — A proposed moratorium on subdivisions and mobile home parks will be decided by residents at a special town meeting next month.
That action was taken Monday at the request of the planning board, which has been working to craft a new land use ordinance consistent with the town’s comprehensive plan. The planning board asked selectmen to consider a moratorium on any new subdivisions or mobile home parks until the new land use ordinance goes to voters in November.
The existing land use ordinance allows development to occur any place in town with few restrictions. In comparison, the comprehensive plan encourages growth areas, planning board member George Barton said Monday.
Town Manager Jack Clukey asked board members whether they wanted to permit major projects now knowing there may be major changes in the ordinance if it is adopted later.
Resident James Loring told selectmen that the move for the moratorium came three days after he met with the planning board to discuss his proposal to develop a mobile home park. Loring owns about 28 acres in a rural zone on Route 7, also known as Dexter Road.
“I just don’t feel it’s right I can be jammed with this moratorium,” Loring told selectmen Monday. “I’ve done everything by the books.” He said he met with the town’s code enforcement officer to get the local regulations and then met with the planning board to ensure he was following the proper procedures. Loring said he spent considerable funds for the purchase of the property 11 months ago and for engineering. “It’s going to stop me dead in the tracks.”
Barton said Loring gave the board an application for the development of a motor home sales lot that required some changes and he shared his vision for the remainder of his property.
Since the adoption of an ordinance requires a town meeting vote, Clukey told selectmen they had two options: hold a referendum at a cost of at least $1,000 or hold a special town meeting at a cost of about $100.
Selectmen opted for the special town meeting and voted to hold it at 6:30 p.m. July 13, at the Morton Avenue municipal building.
Selectmen also voted on Monday to deed the Moosehead Manufacturing property over to the Pine Crest Development Committee so that organization can apply for a $250,000 Community Development Block Grant. The board also voted to include an option in which the town could repurchase the property for $1 at a later date. Clukey said the development committee has no interest in owning the property but hopes to help the town acquire the grant. The move is only a “paper transaction,” he said. The town would work with Pine Crest in the redevelopment, according to Clukey.
Sue Mackey Andrews of Senior Network, an organization for senior citizens that meets once a month in the summer and twice a month in the winter, asked selectmen about the possibility of using a room in the municipal building for the meetings.
Andrews said the meetings have been held at the Piscataquis Regional YMCA but space and heat are issues. The popular program which collaborates with Meals for Me provides a place for fellowship, information, and enrichment programs, she said.
Selectmen agreed to send her request to the board’s promotion and development committee for discussion.