ROCKPORT — The Rockport Select Board has a lengthy agenda in front of it Tuesday, Oct. 11, including several public hearings on proposed changes to to the town’s land use, harbor and general assistance ordinances, its governing charter, and the creation of a new tax increment financing district along Route 90 to help fund the town’s Economic Development Project, and extend the life of the existing Downtown TIF in Rockport Village. If all are approved at the Oct. 11 public hearings, they will appear before voters on the Nov. 8 town warrant at the polls.
The Select Board is to convene at 6 p.m. in the Geoffrey C. Parker Meeting Room. The meeting will be streamed at vimeo.com/rockportmaine
In addition to a public hearing on proposed amendments to the General Assistance Ordinance, there will be three more public hearings to start off the meeting. They are:
1) Downtown Tax Increment Financing Amendment. This would extend the terms of the existing TIF District in Rockport Village to 30 years, and add broadband infrastructure and environmental improvement projects to the project costs.
2) Public Hearing on the creation of a Route 90 TIF District. The goal of this TIF District, which would include 230 acres, is to financially support several projects totaling $29 million. They are, according to the town’s Economic Development Project, are:
• Sewer Line Extension, $ 9 million. Costs related to extending the sewer lines in order to increase economic development opportunities along Route 90 from the Camden Hills Regional High School to the intersection of Route 17. Costs include but are not limited to engineering, site work and preparation, and construction. “The existing zoning already promotes commercial and light industrial development,” the Program said. “Sewer allows these lots to have increase density.”
• Sidewalk extension. $3 million. Costs associated with construction of sidewalks. Sidewalks will connect the downtown to the schools, Marge Jones park, and to Route 17. “This amenity will increase opportunities for economic development,” the Program said.
• Fiber extension: $500,000. Costs associated with broadband and fiber optics expansion projects, including preparation, planning, engineering and other related costs in addition to the construction costs of those projects. The District is primarily commercial, with demand and growth opportunity for Fiber internet.
• Public Infrastructure Streetscape Improvement: $500,000. Costs associated with improving streetscapes in the District, examples would include down lighting lamp posts for sidewalk extensions. To the extent the streetscape project is not located in the District, it is made necessary by or directly related to the District development.
• Water Resource Recovery Facility, $16 million. All costs associated with environmental improvement projects related to commercial activity within the Town. This includes but is not limited to the construction, engineering, site work, and planning for stormwater and wastewater improvements which are made necessary by violations of the Maine Department of Environmental Protection’s sanitary sewer overflow (SSO) regulations by the Town of Camden, where Rockport’s water resource recovery process is currently undertaken. The current system cannot handle the volume of flows that are generated by both Rockport and Camden. A large portion of the additional need for treatment results from activity in the Route 90 District.
3) A public hearing on the remaining proposed Nov. 8 warrant articles. There are:
• Adding language to the Harbor Ordinance that stipulates: Vessels of forty feet (40’ LOA) or greater will not be assigned a mooring location in the Inner Harbor. Vessels of fifty feet (50’ LOA) or greater will not be assigned a mooring location in the Middle Harbor.
• Amending the language concerning parking in the Land Use Ordinance. Changes include adding:
To assist in considering these factors related to off-street parking, the CEO or Planning Board may order a study of such factors, paid for by the applicant, pursuant to Section 1302.
Amendment to 5. Parking Location. No off-site or shared parking, or waiver of parking requirements, shall be approved unless it is supported by an independent traffic study prepared by a qualified professional, hired by the reviewing authority, and paid for by the applicant, which establishes that the parking facility is adequate for the proposed use and any shared use(s) will not cause undue burdens on traffic or parking in the vicinity, and will not cause safety concerns. Notwithstanding 1 M.R.S. section 302, this amendment shall apply to all land uses and all off-site parking facilities that have not received final approval as of 45 days prior to the enactment of this amendment.
• Amending the Land Use Ordinance concerning the number of hotel rooms in the Downtown district. The changes propose striking some language that limited the number of rooms to 20 in a given hotel, as follows:
No more than 40 (forty) rooms, in the aggregate, shall be permitted at Inns/Hotels in the 913 zoning district. No single inn or hotel, nor any combination of such uses located on the same lot, shall have more than 20 guest rooms.(Notwithstanding 1 M.R.S. Section 302, subsection G. Notes 9 shall apply to all hotels and inns that have not received Planning Board approval and all required building permits as of March 1, 2020)
• Amending the Subdivision Ordinance so that any proposed subdivision comply with the town sewer ordinance.
• Amending the Land Use Ordinance with new language that reads:
Within fourteen (14) days of receiving an application, the Planning and Development Director shall review the application for completeness. If found incomplete, the applicant shall be notified of the specific material needed to make the application complete. The Planning and Development Director may
conduct a site visit of the proposed activity before deeming the application is complete. The applicant shall be responsible for providing the additional material to make the application complete. In no case shall a complete application take longer than 60 days to be placed on the Planning Board agenda.
• Amending the subdivision ordinance with language that reduces the number of review days for project application completeness from 30 to 14 days.
• Amend the Rockport Town Charter that references the town manager appointment process with new language. This would allow the Select Board to decide if it wants to establish a Search Committee of five residents to review applications. The existing charter stipulates that a search committee is mandatory.
The new language is:
The procedure leading to the appointment of a Town Manager shall be as follows:
- The Select Board shall circulate an advertisement for no less than fourteen (14) days to seek applicants for the position of Town Manager.
- The Select Board may establish a Search Committee consisting of five (5) residents to review the applications and provide a group of finalists for the Select Board to interview. All meetings of the Search Committee shall be held within Executive Sessions and all information and discussions are confidential to the extent
- allowed by law.
- executive session, each of the finalists for the position of Town Manager.
- Appointment of a Town Manager requires a majority plus one vote of the Select Board, all members being present
- If the office of Town Manager becomes vacant for any reason within one year of the appointment of the Town Manager, the Select Board may choose a new Town Manager from the list of finalists in the previous search.
The existing language would be eliminated:
- The procedure leading to the appointment of a Town Manager shall be as follows:
- The Select Board shall consult with the Maine Municipal Association regarding recruiting procedures and may make use of any services the Maine Municipal Association might have available. This information shall be made available to the Search Committee.
- A Search Committee of not less than five (5) and not more than seven (7) Town residents shall be appointed by the Select Board within 30 days of the office of Town Manager becoming vacant or within 30 days notice to the Select Board that the office of Town Manager will become vacant. One member of the Select Board shall serve as an ex-officio member of the search committee.
- All meetings of the Search Committee shall be conducted as Executive Sessions and all information and discussions are confidential to the extent allowed by law.
- The Search Committee shall choose from its members a chairman who is responsible for running the meetings and conveying to the Select Board the progress of the search.
The Select Board shall present to the Search Committee a job description for the position of Town Manager.
The Search Committee shall review all applications received for Town Manager, assuring that the minimum standards set out in state law are met and that the applications meet the requirements of the job description. A copy of each application for Town Manager shall be given to each member of the Select Board.
The Search Committee shall present to the Select Board a semi-final list of candidates for the position of Town Manager. By a majority vote the Select Board may add to the list of semi- finalists, the name of one or more applicants taken from the list of all applicants.
The Search Committee and the Select Board together shall prepare a questionnaire which all semi-finalists must complete in writing and return to the Town Office. Responses to the questionnaire shall be distributed to both the Search Committee and the Select Board.
After reviewing the questionnaires, the Search Committee shall present to the Select Board a list of finalists, not to exceed five.
By a simple majority vote, the Select Board may add to the list of finalists additional finalists from the original list of semi-finalists, not to exceed two.
The Select Board shall, as a group, interview in person in executive session, each of the finalist for the position of Town Manager.
Appointment of a Town Manager requires a majority plus one vote of the Select Board, all members being present.
12. In the event the Select Board is unable to meet the requirements for appointing a Town Manager, the position shall be advertised again and the search re-started.
If the office of Town Manager becomes vacant for any reason within 90 days of the appointment of the Town Manager, the Select Board may choose a new Town Manager from the list of finalists in the previous search.
• Additional proposed charter changes include amending the secant concerning election results and adding language for write-in candidates. The proposed language is:
- Write-In Candidacy. Write-In candidates for municipal and school offices must file their intention to serve for the office they are elected to in writing to the Town Clerk prior to the opening of polls on the day of the election. Failure to provide a timely written intention results in ballots cast in that candidate’s name to be null and void.
The Oct. 11 full agenda follows.
- Call Meeting to Order
- Public Hearing
- diPublic Hearing to give interested members of the public an opportunity to comment on the Amendments to the General Assistance Ordinance and Appendices A-H effective October 1, 2022
- Public Hearing for Downtown TIF Amendment
- Public Hearing for Route 90 TIF Approval
- Public Hearing for all other items on November 7, 2022, Referendum Election
- Town Manager’s Report/Update
- Public Input on Non-Agenda Items
- Amendments to the Agenda
- Consent Agenda
- Committee Resignation
- ➢ Rick Cowan – Parks and Beautification
- ➢ Andrea Hungerford – Parks and Beautification
- Approve Meeting Minute(s):
- Committee Resignation
➢ September 6, 2022
- Action Items
- Act on Committee Workplan(s): ➢ ORC
- Act on Committee Appointment(s):
- ➢ Geoff Parker – Budget Committee
- ➢ Lynn Rutter – Alternate, Parks and Beautification
- Act on GA Ordinance and Appendices
- Act on School Warrant
- Act on Peddlers Permit Extension – Native Sauna
- Act on Tricia Dixon, and Sally Cook to move from Alternate to Regular Members
- on the Rockport Parks and Beautification Committee
- Discussion Items
- Discuss EMS Provider Update - North East Mobile Health Services
- Discuss Utility Easement Authorization – Special Town Meeting
- Thank our Deputy Harbormasters for the summer
- Discuss Traffic Ordinance Updates
- Discuss Route 90 Sewer Project
- Discuss RES Site Progress in June vote
- Discuss Winter/Summer maintenance new Rt.1 sidewalk.
- Discuss ARPA Fund Availability
- Discuss Route 17 Foreclosure
- Discuss Maine DOT lot
- Discuss Reduction in Mowing/Alternate Landscaping
- Discuss Salary Surveys/Incentive Plans
- Discuss Environmental Issues/Storms
- Select Board Liaison Reports
Future Meetings, Office Closures, Etc.
Tuesday, November 8, 2022 – Election Day – Town Office Closed for Business Thursday, November 11, 2022 – Veterans’ Day
Monday, November 14, 2022 – Select Board Meeting
Thursday, November 24, 2022 – Thanksgiving Day
Friday, November 25, 2022 – Thanksgiving Friday