May 20, 2018
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Rockland City Council to review proposed rural zoning laws

Stephen Betts | BDN
Stephen Betts | BDN
Rockland City Councilor Larry Pritchett
By Stephen Betts, BDN Staff

ROCKLAND, Maine — The Rockland City Council will meet Wednesday evening to consider a package of proposed zoning laws that critics have vigorously attacked.

The changes would make some land uses that are now allowed conditional, meaning that future proposals would have to go before the planning board for review and approval. Among the uses that would require board approval are riding stables, cemeteries, veterinarians and commercial outdoor recreation facilities.

Commercial-scale wind farms would be prohibited.

Minimum lot sizes also would increase from one to two acres and would require 200 feet of road frontage to be developed for the proposed rural residential zone that would encompass much of Rockland west of Old County Road.

Councilor Elizabeth Dickerson said Monday evening that the amount of regulations included in the proposed package of zoning laws are astounding.

“This ordinance scares the heck out of me,” Dickerson said.

Resident Beverly Cowan voiced concerns that the proposed zoning laws were part of a movement started at the United Nations to take away personal property rights.

The council is not scheduled to vote at the 6:30 p.m. Wednesday workshop but wanted to set aside a meeting with only the zoning issue on the agenda.

Councilor Larry Pritchett said at Monday night’s council meeting that the package will affect much of the land that is located west of Old County Road. He said that the goal of the comprehensive planning committee was to craft something that reflects what goes on in this area and what has historically occurred. The Wednesday evening meeting, he said, will give the city council an opportunity to review the proposed package and listen to concerns.

The zoning changes have been in the works for a couple years and have been revised following public hearings.

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