Glenburn weighs options after land use code update defeated

Posted June 28, 2011, at 7:44 p.m.

GLENBURN, Maine — Among the topics town councilors will discuss during their next regularly scheduled meeting is what to do about the recent defeat of a land use ordinance update.

The updated version of the land use ordinance was rejected in a 67-58 vote during local elections on June 14, Town Manager Michael Crooker said Tuesday in a telephone interview.

The outcome of the land use ordinance referendum is among the matters town councilors are slated to take up during their meeting at 7 p.m. Thursday, June 30, at the municipal building. Ron Harriman, the town’s economic development consultant, is expected to be on hand for the discussion.

It was not clear Tuesday if the council will take any action during the meeting.

The 12-page update of the land use ordinance represented a major overhaul of the original version, which was adopted in 1987, Crooker said. Given the defeat of the updated version, the old version remains in effect, he said.

Crooker said there appeared to be little opposition to an updated ordinance in the years leading up to the recent vote. The update, which was developed over the past several years, was the focus of three public hearings, he said, “which is more than what was required.”

Among other things, the new version seeks to establish a village district in the part of town that includes the town office and elementary school, a residential-commercial district, an industrial district and a rural district, along with a list of activities allowed and prohibited within each or allowed with code enforcement or planning board approval.

Recently, however, the document has draw opposition from residents who say that it limits most major commercial and industrial activity to the section of town that runs along Route 15, also known as outer Broadway.

“It definitely has been generating interest among the people,” Crooker said Tuesday. “What I’m hearing is that it’s too restrictive because most of the town was designated residential-commercial or village.”

Crooker said that area was earmarked for such activity by members of the Glenburn Land Use Committee, the local group charged with updating the 1987 ordinance, because it offered better access to needed infrastructure.

Voters who went to the polls June 14 also re-elected Richard Cookson and Michael O’Connor to the Town Council. Two openings on the Riverside RSU board of directors went to incumbent John Higgins and Susan O’Roak.

Though Glenburn voters defeated the RSU’s education budget 68-58, the budget ultimately passed once votes from Orono and Veazie, the other two member towns, were factored in.

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