Camden voters approve list of zoning amendments, elect board members

Posted:  Wednesday, June 13, 2018 - 12:15am

CAMDEN — The temperamental ballot machines in both Camden and Rockport broke down June 12, voting day, tying up progress at the polls and testing the patience of Town Clerks Katrina Oakes and Linda Greenlaw. But by 11:30 p.m., the counting of ballots was almost done, and both towns were helped along by a contingent of dedicated volunteers, who kept the systems in motion.

In Camden, all amendments passed by a sizable margin, and the town elected Stephanie Griffin to the Personnel Board by 839 votes. Her opponent, Jonathan Beitler, received 241 votes.

The town also elect Patrick McCafferty to the School Administrative District 28 (Camden-Rockport K-8) school board with 1,295 votes, as well as the Five Town CSD School Board, which oversees Camden Hills Regional High School.

And, voters also elected two Select Board members, Jenna Lookner and Taylor Benzie, for a three-year term, with 1,391 and 767 votes, respectively. They had run unopposed for the board.

The town also approved the SAD 28 and Five Town CSD budgets:

SAD 28: yes, 1,394       no, 416

Five Town CSD: yes, 1,426.    no, 373


The following are the unofficial results of the municipal ballot articles.

Article 3: This article amends the definition of Food Service in Camden’s Zoning Ordinance to remove the definition of Fast Food Restaurants, Sit-Down Restaurants and Take Out Food Service to replace them with the new definitions of Restaurant and Market. Camden’s old food service definitions prevented many businesses from being able to legally serve take out to their customers. Changing these definitions will allow many food service establishments the flexibility to re- spond to the needs of their customers.

Yes: 1,067

No: 439


Article 4: This article amends the definition of Congregate Housing in Camden’s Zoning Ordinance to allow two unrelated/unmarried individuals to share living quarters.

Yes: 1,435

No: 214


Article 5: This amendment to the Camden Zoning Ordinance will add a defin tion for a Private Residential Treatment Facility. Currently the Americans with Disabilities Act allows State licensed residential treatment facilities for up to eight individuals in districts where residential uses are allowed. This new definition will allow for an additional four individuals.

Yes: 1,211

No: 384


Article 6: This amendment to the Camden Zoning Ordinance will allow Private Residential Treatment Facilities to be located in the Coastal Residential District and outlines two standards required for the permitting of these facilities.

yes: 1,079

No: 419



Article 7: This amendment to the Camden Zoning Ordinance will exclude signage for special events from the Sign Ordinance and give the Select Board authority to approve signs for special events.

Yes:  1,184

No: 351


Article 8: This amendment to the Hawking and Peddling Ordinance defines a process for the Select Board to license mobile food vendors for town sponsored events on town property.

Yes: 1,417

No: 211





Town Meeting, June 13, Camden Opera House, 7 p.m.

The Following Articles will be voted on at the June 13 Town Meeting:

Article 1: Election of the Moderator to preside at the Town MeetingThe polls will open as soon as the Moderator has been elected.

Articles 9-14 are Articles which need to be approved at each Annual Town Meeting.

Article 9: Sets the dates taxes are due: October 17 and April 17, and to fix the interest rate on unpaid taxes at 7% per year.

Article 10: Authorizes the Select Board to apply for and accept grants, gifts, etc. on behalf of the Town. This past year the Town has actively applied for grants and we have been very successful. An example is the EPA Brownfields Cleanup

Grant to finish remediating the Tannery property.

Article 11: Authorizes the Select Board to dispose of tax-acquired property. The Town rarely receives tax acquired property, but if it does, this Article authorizes the Select Board to dispose of it in the best interest of the Town. This Article contains specific lan- guage regarding the Apollo Tannery site and makes it clear that disposition of that property may only be done in accordance with the approved guidelines adopted at the 2008 Town Meeting. Those guidelines include: the use must be acceptable, the buyer must have financial capacity and professional competency to develop the site, the proposed use must be for jobs development, and the buyer must meet as many of the “Guiding Principles” described in the report of the Apollo Tannery Redevelopment Work Group (2008).

Article 12: Authorizes the disposal of personal property in accordance with the Town’s purchasing policy.

Article 13: Authorizes the Select Board to transfer funds be- tween budget categories not to exceed 10% on the unexpended balances after a public hearing in accordance with guidelines.

Article 14: Votes are asked to authorize the Town to bond $13,900,000 for improvements to the Camden Wastewater Treatment Plant and the pump stations at Norumbega Drive and Washington Street as well as the force sewer main that runs under the Harbor from the Sea Street to Bay View Street pump stations. These projects will not be included in the FY19 Budget. It is antici- pated that the projects authorized by the approval of this bond will start during the FY20 budget cycle.

Article 15: Voters are asked to authorize the Town to bond $310,000 for capital improvements consisting of repairs to the Sea- bright Dam and replacing the stormwater infrastructure on Bay View Street. The revenue and expenses for these projects are in- cluded in the FY19 Budget.

Article 16: Authorizes the Town to discontinue a portion of Arey Avenue that abuts the northwesterly bound of the Eaton Avenue public right of way. The Select Board approved the Discontinuance Order after a Public Hearing. A full copy of this order is available in the Town Office as well as a survey drawing prepared by Gartley and Dorsky Engineering.

Article 17: Authorizes the Town to use $310,000 of Tax Increment Financing revenue from the Downtown TIF District as a match to a MDOT Grant for pedestrian improvements along Main and Elm Streets, to finance the lease/purchase of parking lots at Knox Mill and Knowlton Street and engineering work for the boardwalk at the Public Landing.

Article 18: Voters are asked to approve $3,120,658 of non-property tax revenues proposed in the FY19 Budget (see the Town Website for information on the FY19 Budget). The non-property tax revenues reduce the amount of property taxes that need to be raised to cover the Town’s expenses. These revenues include: local road funding from the State, Tree Growth reimbursement, vehicle excise taxes, local fees such as building permits and plumb- ing fees and Harbor fees.

Article 19: This Article contains the Budget expenditures proposed for FY19. This Budget was developed with four principles in mind: develop a budget that is as close to a zero increase as possible; maintain current levels of services; continue to implement Camden’s capital improvement plan; and succession planning to ensure all Town Departments have the skills and expertise they will need into the future in order to continue delivering high quality services. The Budget Committee’s recommendation is $8,947,091. With the corresponding increase in revenue the net increase in property taxes is 0.48%. The Select Board ‘s recommendation is $9,010,091, which will be an increase of 0.7% over FY18.

Law if necessary.

Article 21: Elects a person to serve as a Trustee for the W.H Pascal Fund for three years.

Article 22: Elects nine members for three years terms each to serve on the Budget Committee.

Article 23: Elects three members and two alternate members to serve as a Budget Nominating Committee for a one year term.