Planning board continues review of definitions

by Mary Grow

China Planning Board members continued reviewing the definitions section of the land use ordinance at their Oct. 24 meeting, going through the third and fourth letters of the alphabet.

Retiring Chairman James Wilkens again shared definitions from four other Maine town for comparison. Fairfield, Readfield, Windham and Winthrop all list definitions that are not in the China ordinance – “communications tower” and “demolition,” for example; and China’s ordinance includes definitions not found in the other four ordinances, like “condominium” and “conversion.”

“Campground” generated considerable discussion, with board members distinguishing among public campgrounds that charge a fee, private campgrounds where landowners let visiting friends and relatives park recreational vehicles and storage areas where people keep their campers when they’re not in use.

Board members found most of the definitions satisfactory. A few need to be updated or perhaps revised after board members look more closely at where the terms are used in the ordinance.

Resident Linda O’Connor proposed they reconsider their two-weeks’-ago discussion of whether a definition of “Airbandb” should be added, since to her the term means a marketing or advertising system, not a physical property. Board members agreed with her view.

At the end of the meeting, the other board members thanked Wilkens for his 13 years of service on the board. Wilkens thanked them for making the job pleasant and secretary Tracy Cunningham for her excellent minutes.

The next planning board meeting is scheduled for Tuesday evening, Nov. 14. On November 7, China will voters will choose between two candidates for the District 1 Planning Board seat that Wilkens is leaving, Steven Hadsell and Kevin Michaud.

There are no names on the ballot for the District 3 seat currently held by Milton Dudley or the alternate position elected from the town at large and currently held by Ralph Howe. Dudley has said he is running as a write-in candidate. Howe is on the ballot as a candidate for the one-year term on the Board of Selectmen.

China’s polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Nov. 7 in the portable classroom behind the town office on Lakeview Drive.

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