Vassalboro News: Planners accept applications under revised ordinance

by Mary Grow

At their July 11 meeting, Vassalboro Planning Board members tried out the revised Shoreland Zoning Ordinance voters accepted at the June town meeting. They were able to approve two applications and tell one couple an application for additional work would probably be acceptable.

The change most relevant to the July 11 applications was the increase in allowed expansions of buildings in the shoreland, from 15 percent of the 1989 size to 30 percent. The way size is measured has also changed; now only the footprint of the building – the number of square feet it covers on the ground – counts.

The trick, veteran board member Douglas Phillips commented, will be knowing how things were in 1989. The two buildings in question had been previously expanded by 15 percent, and Codes Officer Richard Dolby had found the records.

Consequently, board members were able to approve permits for Don and Linda Lathrop to add a small roof over an entry stairway on the side of their camp at 138 Park Lane, on Three Mile Pond, and for Charles Backenstose to add a room on his camp at 59 Berry Road, on Webber Pond.

The Lathrop camp is just over 25 feet from the water, significant because the new ordinance divides shoreland into sub-zones with boundaries at 25 feet and 75 feet. Backenstose said the front of his camp is 30 feet from the water and the side of the camp 15 feet because of a cove that curves in beside it.

Dolby and board members were uncertain whether the Lathrop project even needed planning board action, or whether it could be categorized as maintenance and repair. They approved it anyway.

Dolby said the Lathrops can also apply for another 15 percent expansion, for example to add a porch, as long as they do not expand toward the water. (ep)

Backenstose intends to use the newly-allowed 15 percent to add a room on the opposite side of his camp from the cove, behind an existing deck. He is allowed a 10- by 12-foot addition; he plans, he said, to take 18 inches off the deck to add another foot and a half to the new room without enlarging the total footprint.


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