The new chair of the Waldoboro Planning Board plans to reach out to his counterpart on the board of selectmen to discuss jointly sending town ordinances and planning board rules to the Maine Municipal Association for review.
Newly-elected planning board Chair Seth Hall has disagreed with Town Manager Linda-Jean Briggs on how both the town’s land use ordinance, appeals process, and the planning board’s obligations regarding meeting agendas and public notice should be interpreted.
Hall’s decision – not a formal action by the board, but supported by a consensus of members present at the board’s July 17 meeting – to approach Selectman Chair Clint Collamore about the possible review follows a recent hubbub over a sign permit for a proposed Family Dollar store in town.
Though the vote was later rescinded, the Waldoboro Board of Selectmen voted June 10 to “relax” the sign requirements in the land use ordinance after apparent worries that the store might have pulled out without getting a non-compliant sign approved.
The proposed sign would have been more than twice the square-footage allowed in the ordinance.
A Family Dollar spokesperson later said there were no discussions to relocate the store.
Further discussions on the issue has also drawn attention to other non-compliant signs already existing in Waldoboro.
Hall believes a review by the MMA could help find any holes in the town’s ordinances and, approaching it jointly with the board of selectmen, could help diffuse some of the tensions surrounding the issue.
Vice-Chair Barbara Boardman wondered at the meeting if the move would instead “keep the embers going” over the sign issue.
“I feel that would be good, it would give us some good footing,” said planning board member Devin Prock.
The planning board also supported Hall asking former Waldoboro town planner Bill Najpauer to come to a workshop specifically to discuss signs and what other area towns are doing.
The board plans to meet with Najpauer in a public workshop at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 13, followed by their regular monthly board meeting at 7 p.m.