June 25, 2018
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Ordinances will dominate Blue Hill meeting

By Rich Hewitt, BDN Staff

BLUE HILL, Maine — Voters will tackle several proposed ordinances and amendments to existing ordinances when they gather on Saturday for the annual town meeting.

Discussion of the warrant articles will begin at 9 a.m. at the Blue Hill Consolidated School. Voters will decide whether to adopt a moratorium on industrial wind turbines and commercial communication towers. The moratoriums would last for 180 days and would give the town time to develop ordinances to regulate the devel-opment of both types of towers.

Selectman John Bannister said there has been some interest from companies that want to erect those types of towers. He pointed out that some neighboring towns also are considering regulations to dictate where wind and communications towers can be located in their towns.

“If we don’t do something, we could be the last option left for anyone who wants to put one of them up,” Bannister said Tuesday. “It would be good to get something in place so we won’t be wide open.”

Voters also will decide whether to adopt amendments to the town’s shoreland zoning ordinance. According to Bannister, the state has developed changes to the shoreland requirements, but the town opted to develop its own local changes to redefine the shoreland zone.

The planning board also has proposed a building permit ordinance to replace the existing “intent to build” notice process and according to Bannister, it anticipates the state enacting a state building code.

Proposed amendments to its E-911 addressing ordinance would enable the town to step up enforcement efforts and establish penalties for residents who do not display their address numbers where they can be seen by emergency responders.

“That makes it difficult for the ambulance or the firetruck to get to the right place,” Bannister said.

Enforcement also is a feature in the proposed shellfish ordinance, which will go before voters during Saturday’s session. The ordinance, which includes enforcement measures, is an effort to bring clams back to Blue Hill waters, the selectman said. Bannister said he expected the town to work with nearby towns to share the cost of a clam warden.

Voters also will consider two land issues. One article asks the town to appropriate $30,000 to settle a boundary line dispute at the town wharf in South Blue Hill. The article would authorize the selectmen to negotiate a line agreement to eliminate a neighbor’s claim to land on which the town’s ramp sits.

A second article asks if voters will authorize selectmen to negotiate for the sale of foreclosed property the town has taken for taxes. The request comes from the mortgage holder and the buyer at the foreclosure sale. According to Bannister, the request is counter to town policy on acquired property, which is either to keep the property if it benefits the town or to sell it at auction.

“The selectmen are asking the town if they want to deviate from the normal practice,” he said.

Voting for municipal officers will take place from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday at the Town Hall. There is only one contested race this year. William “Bill” Cousins is challenging incumbent David Cousins for the post of road commissioner.

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