VASSALBORO: Two applications approved by planners

by Mary Grow

Vassalboro Planning Board members unanimously approved both applications on their Sept. 6 agenda, a new business and an extension of a solar development permit.

Elijah Bunten has approval to open a diesel mechanic shop in the smallest of several barns near his home at 203 Dunham Road, between Dunham Road and Riverside Drive, provided he gets any other necessary permits.

The business might need a Maine Department of Transportation highway entrance permit to continue using the Riverside Drive end of the driveway that runs through the property from one road to the other, because Riverside Drive is state Route 201.

Bunten might also need a DOT permit for the business sign he intends to put on the highway.

Because the business is close to his house, Bunten said he does not intend to accumulate vehicles in the yard. Planning board members approved a limit of 10 operating vehicles and two unregistered. Most will be diesel pick-up trucks, Bunten said, with a few tractors and similar small to medium-size vehicles.

Operating hours will be from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Waste oil and other fluids will be stored inside the building and disposed of properly. Bunten plans to have no employees “in the foreseeable future”; he does not intend to add a waiting room or plumbing.

The second application was from Sun Vest Solar for a six-month extension of its permit for a solar farm on Webber Pond Road. Board chairman Virginia Brackett said Sun Vest’s project, like others, was waiting for approval to connect to Central Maine Power Company’s grid.

Board members talked briefly about the proposed solar moratorium ordinance that select board members are scheduled to discuss at their Sept. 15 meeting, with the intention of asking voters to approve it at the polls Nov. 8. Planners agreed that until they see the wording of the draft ordinance, they cannot tell whether it will affect requests to extend previously-approved permits.

The next regular Vassalboro Planning Board meeting will be at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 4. Paul Mitnik, temporarily reverting from board member to his former job as Vassalboro codes officer, said the agenda is likely to include applications for commercial solar developments.


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