Paperwork filed with Camden town office, but no Fox Hill petition currently circulating

Fri, 02/14/2014 - 5:00pm

    CAMDEN — Camden attorney Paul Gibbons, who represents Fox Hill LLC, said Feb. 13 that no citizens’ petition requesting a zoning amendment be placed on the June Town Meeting Warrant for Camden voters is currently circulating. However, he did officially take out such a petition with the Camden Town Office, saying it would be ready to go, should his clients decide to circulate one.

    Fox Hill LLC investor Tom Rodman confirmed Feb. 13 that Gibbons filed the paperwork.

    Since the Camden Select Board voted 3 to 2 on Feb. 4 against putting the Fox Hill amendment before voters, rumors have been floating around Camden and on Facebook that a petition is circulating.

    “Nothing has been decided,” Rodman said.

    “It’s sitting on my desk,” said Gibbons.

    Camden Town Clerk Katrina Oakes said Feb. 13 that Gibbons had taken out a petition earlier in the week.

    If a petition does circulate and is returned, it must have the signatures of at least 279 valid Camden voters, or represent 10 percent of the total number of voters who cast ballots in the last gubernatorial election.

    The deadline is April 28.

    It still remains up to the Select Board if it gets onto the ballot, however.

    Oakes said that in her tenure of seven years as town clerk and 13 years working in the Camden Town Office, she has yet to see a citizen petition not get on the ballot. She remembers three or four instances when residents successfully got petition language onto the ballot.


    The petition reads as follows:


    We, the registered voters of the Town of Camden, pursuant to Maine Revised Statutes Annotated Title 30-A, Section 2528(5) petition the Select Board to place the following article on the next Town of Camden printed ballot in June 2014 to be voted on by secret ballot at the polls:

    Shall a zoning ordinance amendment entitled "A Private Residential Treatment Facility in the Coastal Residential Zone" be enacted as follows:

    Add to Article III Section 2 entitled Definitions to include the following three definitions:

    An operator of a Private Residential Treatment Facility must be accredited by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare and must also either own or lease the facility. The operator of a Private Residential Treatment Facility must obtain a license from the State of Maine that is limited to the operation of a residential treatment facility and be authorized to do business in the State of Maine.

    The term "Outpatient Care" refers to therapeutic services provided to clients in a non-residential setting that do not require overnight stays.

    A Private Residential Treatment Facility is a treatment facility that provides a comprehensive recovery program for alcohol and other substance abuse disorders along with concurrent treatment for associated mental health issues appropriate for the level of care provided. The facility must solely be utilized for private residential rehabilitation that requires overnight care. A Private Residential Treatment Facility will not apply for or hold any State of Maine outpatient care license.

    All clients served by the Private Residential Treatment Facility must reside full-time on-site at the facility for a minimum stay of 21 days. All services offered at the facility are to be paid for privately by the client.

    The facility shall not accept clients that have been c o ur t mandated to attend rehabilitation treatment. All clients residing at the facility must be there on a voluntary basis and, prior to admission, must agree to sign a written contract with the operator of the facility that indicates the client's willingness to actively participate in the rehabilitative services provided. In addition, the operator shall carefully screen and evaluate all potential clients to determine that their rehabilitative needs are appropriate for the services provided by the facility. A Private Residential Rehabilitation Facility shall not offer any outpatient services.

    Add to Article VII Section 4 a new subsection 5 and to renumber the remaining sections.

    (5) Additional Standards for a Private Residential Treatment Facility

    Alcohol addiction is an acknowledged public health issue and a disability that poses significant problems for individuals and families. It is a complex health problem that requires comprehensive treatment to address the multiple components of this disease. A Private Residential Treatment Facility provides specialized treatment methods designed to help clients recover from their alcohol addiction and any associated mental health issues.

    A successful Private Residential Treatment Facility requires a setting that is private, quiet, safe and serene. A Private Residential Treatment Facility shall preserve the residential character of the building and preserve open space.

    In the Coastal Residential Zone, a Private Residential Treatment Facility must meet the following criteria:

    (a) The facility must be located on a single parcel of land created before the enactment of this Ordinance Amendment that is at least 10 acres in size and containing at least one building with at least 5 bedrooms that were in existence before the enactment of this Ordinance Amendment. The existing building shall be preserved by using the building as a Private Residential Treatment Facility.

    (b) The Private Residential Treatment Facility shall contain one building that will serve as the clients' only residence, which has at least 8 single-occupancy bedrooms and a maximum of 14 single-occupancy bedrooms, each with a private bathroom reserved for client use. The combined space of the private bathroom and bedroom area for each client shall be a minimum of 225 square feet in size. The building shall provide a minimum of 3,500 square feet of common space for the clients in the building.

    (c) All buildings occupied in part or in whole for residential dwelling purposes within the facility shall be set back from the road a minimum of 100 feet and set back from side lines a minimum of 50 feet.

    (d) All accessory structures built after the enactment of this Amendment to the Ordinance shall be set back a minimum of 100 feet from the road and 25 feet from the side lines except for grandfathered structures.

    (e) Any expansion, demolition, substantial exterior alteration, or replacement of any structure will retain the appearance of and reflect the existing residential character of the district and require additional Planning Board Site Plan Approval.

    (f) Clients at the facility must be at least 18 years of age or older. Clients are not permitted to have cars at the facility except in unusual circumstances.

    (g) Traffic flow shall have a daily maximum trip generation per passenger car equivalent per bedroom of four (4) trip ends per day, meaning to say, two (2) round trips per day per bedroom. For a 12-bedroom facility, this would generate forty-eight (48) trip ends per day or twenty-four (24) round trips per day. Other permitted uses on site must comply with trip generation based on the Trip Generation Manual, in current edition, published by the Institute of Transportation Engineers.

    (h) The Private Residential Treatment Facility must meet the standards for Site Plan Review set forth in this Ordinance as determined by the Planning Board.

    (i) The Private Residential Treatment Facility must meet the requirements of a Special Exception as determined by the Zoning Board of Appeals.

    (j) Any new operator will be required to complete a new application and to receive approval from the Planning Board before commencing to operate the facility. The Planning Board must find that all of the above requirements have been met and that the facility and operator meet the definition of a Private Residential Treatment Facility and the definition of an operator of a Private Residential Treatment Facility as set forth in this Ordinance.

    (k) The rehabilitation facility shall provide care and supervision with a staff on site 24 hours a day, all year. The facility must employ a minimum of:

    (i) State of Maine licensed Psychiatrist;

    (ii) State of Maine licensed LICSW or PhD Clinical Director;

    (iii) State of Maine licensed LICSW or PhD Clinician;

    (iv) State of Maine licensed R.N.;

    (v) Two Counselors per eight hour shift (CRCs);

    (vi) State of Maine licensed Occupational Therapists.


    Add to Article VIII Section C entitled Uses Permitted as Special Exceptions to include as a second commercial use.

    (8) Private Residential Treatment Facility. See Article VII Section 4 (5) for additional requirements for approval.


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    Camden’s Fox Hill changes hands, its future under consideration

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     Camden's Fox Hill rehab deal nixed by landowner, buyer mystified

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    Camden Planning Board listens to more Fox Hill testimony; tables deliberations until Jan. 2

    Camden Planning Board agrees town citizenry should vote on Fox Hill amendment language

    Camden Select Board considers Fox Hill zoning amendment at public hearing Feb. 4

    Editorial Director Lynda Clancy can be reached at; 706-6657.