Georgetown voters pass amendment to relax shoreland zoning restrictions

Posted June 10, 2013, at 11:08 a.m.

GEORGETOWN, Maine — With virtually no discussion, voters at Saturday’s annual town meeting passed an amendment to the shoreland zoning ordinance that relaxes standards, in accordance with new state statutes.

Mary McDonald, assistant to the Board of Selectmen, said that all 43 articles passed. Residents voted in municipal elections June 4.

The shoreland zoning amendment removes land once mandated from that category if voters approve amendments to the town’s shoreland zoning ordinance. The state has reversed a law that once required the resource protection, which critics say devalues their property.

Landowners will have more options on establishing setbacks that would allow building in previously prohibited areas.

McDonald said that Rick Freeman, chairman of the Planning Board, made a presentation on the ordinance change.

Article 46, which outlined regional service expenses including Patten Free Library in Bath, did generate debate, McDonald said. In the end, voters approved $16,689 for the library.

“They discussed whether to fund all of the request, or just for the children, and let the adults take care of themselves,” McDonald said.

Residents also discussed spending $20,000 for new security measures at Georgetown Central School, McDonald said. A motion to eliminate that segment of a spending article was defeated, she said.