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PROJECT REVIEW BOARD

Date: August 13, 2008
Time: 6:30 p.m.
Location: Town Council Chambers



Minutes:
FREEPORT PROJECT REVIEW BOARD MINUTES
FREEPORT TOWN HALL COUNCIL CHAMBERS
WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 13, 2008
6:30p.m.

PRESENT: David Marstaller (Chairperson), Erik Anderson, Ralph Dean, James Gorman, Alan Tracy, Dale Whitmore and Donna Larson (Town Planner). Cliff Goodall was excused.

CALL TO ORDER: The meeting was called to order at 6:34 p.m.

Mr. Marstaller welcomed Ralph Dean as the newest Board member. Mr. Dean has lived in Freeport for three years and has a background in civil engineering and the Navy.

ITEM I: Approval of the minutes from the July 9, 2008 Project Review Board meeting.
Mr. Anderson / Mr. Gorman moved to waive the reading of the minutes from the July 9, 2008 Project Review Board meeting and to accept them as printed. Vote: 4 Ayes / 0 Nays / 2 Abstentions (Dean, Whitmore)

ITEM II: Informational Exchange
Ms. Larson informed the Board that the Town has received a Canopy Grant for tree planting on Main Street. The location of the trees is not final and some may be in the right-of-way and others on private land. Some will be planted in the downtown area.

Ms. Larson has done a Staff Approval for Wilbur’s of Maine (new location on Lower Main Street) to add more pavement at the new entrance due to the angle. She also approved the relocation of some trees at the former Econo Lodge building on Route One and the removal of a sidewalk connection between Classic Convertibles and Air and Water Quality.

ITEM III: Reviews
Covered Porch – 194 Main Street
The applicant is seeking Design Review approval to replace an existing porch with a larger covered porch. Design Review District I- Class B Property. Tax Assessor Map 15, Lot 20. Eric Huemme, applicant and owner.

Ms. Larson explained that the porch will be made of pressure treated wood (to be stained) with asphalt shingles on the roof. The balusters will be flat as oppose to the spindled look of the existing. The lattice below will be composite material. The applicant will replace the shingles on the portion of the roof above the porch with standard three tab shingles. This will also match the new roof added over the porch. The applicant is also proposing to add a ramp to the left side of the deck which will be designed as a continuation of the deck.

Eric Huemme, applicant, stated that the wood will be pressure treated and stained white. He thinks that there was previously a ramp in this location as there are already frost tubes. Mr. Anderson stated that it seems like the design picks up on the lines in the building and he has no issues with it.

Design Review Ordinance: Chapter 22 Section VII.C.
1. Scale of the Building.
The scale of the building will not be altered.

2. Height.
The height of the building will not be altered.

3. Proportion of Building's Front Facade.
The covered porch will be added on the side of the building. There is already a porch in this location, it is just being expanded and a roof is being added. The relationship of the width to the height of the front façade will not be significantly altered.

4. Rhythm of Solids to Voids in Front Facades.
The porch will be open and the rhythm of solids to voids in the façade behind will be retained.

5. Proportions of Opening within the Facility.
No proportions of openings within the facility are being altered.

6. Roof Shapes.
The roof over the porch will be lower than the existing and will be at a different pitch than the main house, but will blend with the building.

7. Relationship of Facade Materials.
The deck will be made of pressure treated wood which will be stained. The roof shingles will be three tab, asphalt shingles. There will be composite lattice covering the bottom of the porch.

8. Rhythm of Spaces to Building on Streets.
The site is already being developed and there is an existing deck in the same location.

9. Site Features.
There is an existing porch on the side of the building. The new porch will be larger but in the same location. There is adequate space on the site for setbacks to be met.

10. Signs.
No signs are proposed.

Conclusion: Based on these facts the Board finds that this project meets the criteria and standards of the Design Review Ordinance.

Mr. Anderson / Mr. Whitmore moved to order that the Freeport Project Review Board approve the printed Findings of Fact and a Design Review Certificate for RC Emerson for a new covered porch at 194 Main Street, to be built substantially as proposed, submission dated 07/23/08, finding that it meets the standards of the Freeport Design Review Ordinance with the following Conditions of Approval:
1) This approval incorporates by reference all supporting plans that amend the previously approved plans submitted by the applicant and his/her representatives at Project Review Board meetings and hearings on the subject application to the extent that they are not in conflict with other stated conditions.
2) Prior to construction, the applicant obtain a building permit from the Freeport Codes Enforcement Officer.
Vote: 6 Ayes / 0 Nays

New Sign – 554 US Route One
The applicant is seeking approval of a Site Plan Amendment to add a kiosk with lighting at their property on Route One. No other site changes are proposed at this time. Tax Assessor Map 22, Lot 29B. Flying Frog, applicant and owner; Mark Dorsey, representative.

Ms. Larson explained that there is one existing ground sign already on the property near the first entrance and this new sign will be located near the second entrance. The sign will be made of wood and will be painted. The sign will be aligned with the other signs on the property and will be on the applicant’s property. Ground lighting is proposed and will be screened with existing vegetation. No other site changes are proposed at this time.

Mark Dorsey, applicant, stated that they want to add the sign as there are multiple tenants on the property. Only having one sign was not an issue before as there was only one tenant. The sign will be set back from the road about the same distance (35 feet) as the existing Buck’s sign. There is already electricity and plantings there. They will also add some higher landscaping for screening and used the screening at Bath Savings as a model. The sign will coordinate with the colors of the building.

Mr. Tracy asked about the base of the sign. Mr. Dorsey stated that the posts will go up in to the sign and won’t show except for below it. The sign will be about four feet off the ground. It will be the same dimensions as the Buck’s sign.

Section 602.g. Advertising Features.
The applicant is proposing a new kiosk sign with space for four tenants. The location of the sign is shown on the plan. The sign face will be under the 50 s.f. permitted by the Ordinance. The sign will be made of wood and will be painted. The sign will be illuminated with ground lighting which will be screened with existing vegetation.

Conclusion: Based on these facts the Board finds that this project meets the criteria and standards of Section 602 Site Plan Review.

Mr. Tracy / Mr. Whitmore moved to order that the Freeport Project Review Board approve a site plan amendment for Flying Frog LLC, for a new kiosk sign at 554 US Route One, to be built substantially as proposed, application dated 07/30/08, finding that it meets the standards of Section 602 of the Freeport Zoning Ordinance, with the following Conditions of Approval:
1) This approval incorporates by reference all supporting plans that amend the previously approved plans submitted by the applicant and his/her representatives at Project Review Board meetings and hearings on the subject application to the extent that they are not in conflict with other stated conditions.
2) Prior to installation, the applicant obtain a Sign Permit from the Freeport Codes Enforcement Officer.
Vote: 6 Ayes / 0 Nays

Bow Street Realty LLC – Site Plan Amendment – 10 Bow Street
The applicant is presenting conceptual plans for site alterations including a pedestrian plaza and a 15’x60’ building addition. Design Review and Site Plan Review Required. Design Review District I – Class C property. Tax Assessor Map 11, Lot 118-ETC. Bow Street Realty, LLC, applicant and owner; William Conway, RLA, Sebago Technics, representative.

This item was tabled at the applicant’s request.

LL Bean – Main Street Campus - Gateway Plaza and Parking Lot Configuration
The applicant is seeking approval to create a pedestrian plaza on Main Street, extend a sidewalk along Justin’s Way and reconfigure existing parking lots. Design Review and Site Plan Review are required. Design Review District I – Class B and C Properties. Tax Assessor Map 11, Lots 24, 25, 28, 31, 36-ETC, 40-ETC, and 64-ETC. LL Bean, applicant; LL Bean, Ruby’s Choice, Town of Freeport and Down East Energy, owners; Kylie Mason, RLA, Sebago Technics, representative.

The applicant is proposing changes to their downtown campus resulting from the closing of Morse Street and the extension of Cross Street. Parking lot reconfiguration, a pedestrian plaza, and a sidewalk extension are proposed. The changes have already been approved by the Town Council and the Traffic and Parking Committee and the Town Council is scheduled to take action on the discontinuance of Morse Street at their August 19th meeting. The changes will improve traffic circulation in this part of town with the parking lot entrance realignment and establishing a route to get through the lots. The Town is working with the applicant on parking lot counts and the applicant is working with the Town Engineer on the Stormwater Plans.

Kylie Mason, representative, stated that the Bear Lot is being reconfigured to move the handicap parking and provide pedestrian access connecting to the ramp system or plaza. They are also creating a drop-off and pedestrian area. The lot behind the LL Bean Boat, Bike, and Ski Store will be closed, as will Morse Street and they will be making a plaza at the lot on Main Street. They will add additional green space later; the whole Campus will be a walkable area.

The municipal lot will be reconfigured where Cross Street will go through and the municipal lot and Cross Street parking lot will be connected. There will be straight through circulation with all of the lots. The sidewalk on Justin’s Way will be extended due to the requirements of the Traffic and Parking Committee. The sidewalk will be partially on Bean’s property and partially in the right-of-way. Some existing trees will be removed.

Mr. Dean stated that he walked the site and it seems like the changes will be an improvement. He is concerned about the improvements on Justin’s Way, but if the Traffic and Parking Committee has looked at them and feels it will be an enhancement, then that it great. The Justin’s Way façade of the building is broken down by the trees, and he wondered if they will do something else there to enhance it.

Ms. Larson noted that they still need to work out the details, such as the species, but they will be incorporating street trees. She questioned if something with height may be appropriate. Ms. Mason stated that there are some smaller species they can plant there that would be up rights. They can also add some lower species. It is not a problem to add more landscaping.

Mr. Marstaller asked about the time frame. Ms. Mason stated that they will close Morse Street in early spring as the parking is finished. They would keep the parking functional during the holiday and hope to open the same time as the Berenson project.

Mr. Tracy asked about traffic flow and what streets are being impacted. Ms. Mason stated that they expect circulation to be up two streets and the parking lots connecting people to the drop off area. Based upon the VHB (Vanasse Hangen Brustlin Inc.) study they are trying to keep traffic out of Main Street and the Campus, and have traffic travel behind instead. Cross Street is being extended and Morse Street will be closed. Morse Street will be kept as is for now (paved) but will work as a pedestrian way. They are still working on the Master Plan for the rest of the Campus and the Morse Street area will become green space later.

Mr. Marstaller stated that the improvements will help traffic flow. Mr. Whitmore stated that when the garage opens traffic to the highway will be redirected and come out near Justin’s Way. In regards to traffic flow, when the garage opens traffic coming in to town will be directed down West Street and then down Depot Street. When leaving, people will go down Depot Street and up Bow Street. Ms. Larson clarified that traffic will go from Bow Street to Middle Street and then up School Street to get to 295.

Mr. Whitmore asked if on-street parking on Middle Street would be limited and noted that School Street is clustered. Ms. Larson stated that she is not aware of plans to limit parking. Mr. Marstaller noted that it is hard to imagine more traffic on Main Street coming from Justin’s Way. Mr. Tracy stated that this may change the traffic going south due to people turning down Justin’s Way. Ms. Mason stated that they will try to get people coming from the South to turn left on to Howard’s Place to get them to the Campus. The plan is that this will alleviate traffic circling from the middle area near the LL Bean Boat, Bike, and Ski Store. Ms. Larson stated that traffic coming from the south will turn down Howard’s Place and traffic from the north will turn down Justin’s Way. Mr. Tracy stated that the key will be signage. Ms. Mason noted that traffic will be pulled off of Main Street and down West Street to park in the garage, so there will be less traffic in town because they will already be going to parking.

Mr. Anderson stated that as far as the changes in front of the Board tonight, he agrees with the idea to add screening on the side of the building. The construction plans seen very straight forward and a benefit to the Campus and the Town.

Mr. Tracy asked if there is a timeline for Phase Two. Ms. Mason stated that is in not a long way off, but she is not sure of the timeline. It will be seasonally related due scheduling around peak season and trying not to impact the holiday and summer visiting season. Ms. Larson stated that this is the time to have this done, so it is not all being done at one time, and there is the lease amount of disruption. Mr. Marstaller asked when the garage is scheduled to open. Ms. Mason stated April or June of 2009.

Design Review Ordinance: Chapter 22 Section VII.C.
1. Scale of the Building.
No changes to any buildings are proposed.

2. Height.
No changes to any buildings are proposed.

3. Proportion of Building's Front Facade.
No changes to any buildings are proposed.

4. Rhythm of Solids to Voids in Front Facades.
The rhythm of solids to voids will not be altered.

5. Proportions of Opening within the Facility.
No proportions of openings within the facility are being altered.

6. Roof Shapes.
The roof shape will not be altered.

7. Relationship of Facade Materials.
No changes to the building façade are proposed.

8. Rhythm of Spaces to Building on Streets.
No changes to the buildings are proposed. Some areas are changing from paving to landscaping or vice versa.

9. Site Features.
The downtown LL Bean Campus is being reconfigured due in part to the closing of Morse Street and the extension of Cross Street. Parking lots are being reorganized to accommodate the changes to the road, but the layout, lighting, and landscaping features will be maintained to blend with the remainder of the campus. The parking lot behind the Boat, Bike, and Ski building will be closed and no changes will be made to it at this time. The parking lot between the Boat, Bike, and Ski Building and the Library will be closed and a pedestrian plaza connecting to the rest of the campus will be constructed.

10. Signs.
No signs are proposed.

Conclusion: Based on these facts the Board finds that this project meets the criteria and standards of the Design Review Ordinance.

Proposed Findings of Fact: (Section 602.F. of the Freeport Zoning Ordinance)
a. Preservation of Landscape.
The site is already developed. No changes to the building are proposed. Additional green space and plantings will be added.

b. Relation of Proposed Buildings to the Environment.
No new structures are proposed. The properties are in Design Review District I and are Class B and C.

c. Vehicular Access.
The parking lot on Main Street between the LL Bean Boat, Bike, and Ski Store and the Library is being closed and a pedestrian plaza will be constructed.. In association with the parking lot reconfigurations, connections between lots are being added where appropriate. A drop off area is being added and connecting to the brick plaza leading to the store entrance.

d. Parking and Circulation.
One access point to parking is being eliminated from Main Street. Connections between parking lots area being added where appropriate. A drop off area and handicap parking are being added near the extended brick plaza near the store entrance.

e. Surface Water Drainage.
A revised stormwater management and erosion control plan has not been submitted. These plans will need to be submitted and reviewed and approved by the Town Engineer prior to any site work. There will not be a significant increase in impervious area. The applicant will be required to amend their Site Location Permit with the Maine DEP.

f. Utilities.
No changes to water and sewer utilities are proposed.

g. Advertising Features.
No signs are proposed.

h. Special Features.
There are no special features associated with this project.

i. Exterior Lighting.
Some lighting fixtures will be relocated on the site due to the reconfiguration of parking lots. Additional lighting is not being added.

j. Emergency Vehicle Access.
All Public Safety Department Heads have reviewed the plans.

k. Landscaping.
Additional landscaping will be added to the site. Plantings are proposed for the area of the pedestrian plaza and in the reconfigured parking lots. Plantings will also be added along the side of the building abutting Justin’s Way. New landscaping will be consistent with the remainder of the LL Bean Campus.

l. Environmental Consideration.
This parcel is not within the Marine Waterfront District or the Shoreland Zone. The properties are already connected to the public sewer systems. This parcel is within the Design Review District.

Conclusion: Based on these facts the Board finds that this project meets the criteria and standards of Section 602 Site Plan Review.

Mr. Anderson / Mr. Whitmore moved to order that the Freeport Project Review Board approve the printed Findings of Fact, a Design Review Certificate, and a Site Plan Amendment for LL Bean, for the parking lot reconfiguration and Gateway Plaza in the downtown area, site plan dated July 2008, to be built substantially as proposed, finding that it meets the standards of Section 602 of the Freeport Zoning and the standards of the Freeport Design Review Ordinance, with the following Conditions of Approval:
1) This approval incorporates by reference all supporting plans that amend the previously approved plans submitted by the applicant and his/her representatives at Project Review Board meetings and hearings on the subject application to the extent that they are not in conflict with other stated conditions.
2) Prior to any site work, the Freeport Town Council approve the discontinuance of Morse Street.
3) Prior to any site work, the applicant do the following:
a) The applicant establish a performance guarantee, in the amount of $TBD, to cover the cost of all site work, in a form acceptable to the Town Attorney. The performance guarantee shall cover the cost of all site work, including the driveway, parking areas, landscaping, erosion control, and stormwater management. Along with the performance guarantee, a non-refundable administrative fee of 2% of the performance guarantee, in the amount of $TBD.
b) Establish a review and inspection account, in the amount of $TBD, for inspection
of the site improvements prior to construction.
c) The applicant submit stormwater management and erosion control plans to be reviewed and approved by the Town Engineer.
d) The applicant work with the Town of Freeport to come to an agreement on an accurate count of parking spaces and enter into a parking lease, if additional spaces are required. The applicant is required to meet the parking requirements of the Ordinance, even during times of construction.
e) The landscaping plan is to include species and a distribution pattern to screen the building when travelling from north to south.
Vote: 5 Ayes / 0 Nays / 1 Abstention (Gorman)

Bennett Property Subdivision – 81 South Freeport Road
The applicant is presenting conceptual plans for a three lot minor subdivision on South Freeport Road. No open space is required. Tax Assessor Map 2, Lot 27. William S. Bennett, applicant and owner; Pat Carroll, Carroll Associates, representative.

Ms. Larson explained that the site is mostly a mowed field now which slopes down towards the water. There is a gully on the western side of the property with a stream running along the bottom. The applicant and the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) have met at the site to determine where on the property the stream starts. Any work done within 75 feet of the stream will require a NRPA permit. The site also contains steep slopes, bird habitat and a flood plain.

Access to the site will be from a 30 right-of-way along the side of the property. This will require the applicant to obtain Board of Appeals approval for the garage on Lot One since it will become non-conforming due to the right-of-way. The applicant would need to obtain this approval prior to returning to this Board for final subdivision approval. There will also be a pedestrian easement along the side Lot 3 to allow all of the lots to have access to the water. The lot will be connected to public utilities; written approval from the utility providers is required.

Pat Carroll, representative from Carroll Associates, stated that the land has been in the family for a while. The parcel is three acres and is long and narrows near the water. There is a culvert and gulley on the side and it discharges to the bay. They walked the site with a representative from the DEP to look at the stream on the property. The Town does not recognize this as a stream though and there is no Resource Protection zoning on the property. A portion of the stream is regulated by the DEP and they have jurisdiction over anything done within 75 feet of that portion of the stream.

Mr. Carroll gave a summary of the existing features of the site, noting the developed areas, existing structures, Shoreland Zone, and Waterfowl Habitat. There is a 65 foot grade change on the site but it is gentle. The proposed layout is for three lots with a private 30-foot right-of-way on the side. Lot 3 is on the lower portion of the property and the building envelope will be established with setbacks from the stream and the property lines. The building envelopes will be skewed to protect the views from the existing house. There will be a pedestrian easement to the water over Lot 3, for the benefit of the owners of Lots 1 & 2. The net residential acreage calculation would allow for 3.8 lots, or 6 duplex units.

Mr. Marstaller asked about the area on the plan that is shaded red. Mr. Carroll stated that it indicates the area on Lot 3, that if they build, a DEP Permit by Rule would be required. The Permit is pretty much a notification process. They could get the permit approval before they come back to the Board for final approval if the Board prefers. Outside of this area, there is a really narrow building envelope. The value of the property is to build down low near the water.

Mr. Tracy asked about issue of the garage being too close to the proposed right-of-way. Mr. Carroll stated that the garage would be an encroachment in the right-of-way due to the need to meet the 25-foot front setback and the garage would only be 19 feet from the line. A setback reduction from the Board of Appeals would be required, but he feels that this is a reasonable request. The dwelling is also non-conforming since it is in the front setback. It will remain in the same location, but Board of Appeals approval is not required. Another option may be to tear down the garage. They will take care of the issue before returning for final approval.

Mr. Marstaller asked if the properties would be connected to the public water and sewer systems and noted that the site is mostly field now. Mr. Carroll stated that the properties would be connected to public utilities and the lines were recently upgraded. The site is mostly a mowed lot which has recently been left to grow. The large trees along the gully have been located by a surveyor.

Mr. Marstaller asked about soils. Mr. Carroll stated that they have soils information based upon the Soil and Conservation Map for Cumberland County. A high intensity soil survey has not been done since there is no septic system.

The Board discussed a site walk and agreed to hold a site walk on Wednesday, September 10, 2008 at 5:30 p.m. meeting at the existing house on the property. Parking is available on site.

Donald Bitterman, abutter, stated that he has concerns for Lot 3. He has met with the DEP in Portland about the Permit by Rule and there needs to be no greater than a 3:1 slope. He is not sure if that requirement can be met. He understands that the property falls in to the Village II Zoning. When the Board looks at the site in person, they will see that it is quite narrow.

Mr. Tracy noted that the submission presents this as being one parcel, but the deed indicates that there are two parcels. Mr. Carroll stated that there was originally more land and some was already carved off, but the two parcels are all one lot. They are doing a survey of the lot and it is almost complete.

Mr. Anderson stated that he would like the applicant to pursue obtaining the DEP Permit by Rule and to have things in order since this is a tight site. It would be helpful for the Board to have this information to make a decision. Mr. Carroll noted that they have also talked about including deed restrictions to guide a building design to fit with the land.

ITEM IV: Persons wishing to address the Board on non-agenda items.
None.

ITEM V: Adjournment.
Meeting adjourned at 7:45pm


Recorded by Caroline Crean Pelletier