Staff Recommendation for Approval of Zoning Petition ZP 699 Cathance Shores, LLC No. 14 Twp., Maine July 12, 2006
Zoning Petition ZP 699Administrative History • Pre-Submission Meetings between petitioner and staff • Scope of proposal • Rezoning criteria • Petition received May 30, 2005 • Original proposal consisted of over 50 lots, linear shoreline development, and development greater than a mile by road from existing development • Additional discussions and meetings were held with petitioner up until May 2006 • Revised submittals in November ’05 and March ‘06 • Petition Complete May 11, 2006
Zoning Petition ZP 699Proposal • Rezone 155 acres (of 1,000+ owned) from M-GN and P-GP to D-RS for the purpose of proposing a residential subdivision. • 21 shoreline lots with 10 non-waterfront lots • 4 common lots for shore access, community center area, etc.
Zoning Petition ZP 699Existing Conditions and Background • Project Location/Access • No. 14 Twp., Washington County, south of the Town of Cooper • Southeasterly shore of Cathance Lake, between Gray Cove and Smith Cove • From Machias the site is accessed via Route 191 (13.9 miles) and existing land management roads (1.4 miles)
Zoning Petition ZP 699Existing Conditions and Background • Existing Uses and Development • Commercial timber harvest • Primitive recreation • Pre-Commission shorefront development to north • Small commercial to north (canoe outfitter, small store, public boat launch)
Zoning Petition ZP 699Review Criteria • Statutory and Chapter 10 Pursuant to Section 685-A,8-A of the Commission’s Statutes, and Section 10.08,A of the Commission’s Land Use Districts and Standards, “A land use district boundary may not be adopted or amended unless there is substantial evidence that: A. The proposed land use district is consistent with the standards for district boundaries in effect at the time, the comprehensive land use plan and the purpose, intent and provisions of this chapter; and B. The proposed land use district satisfies a demonstrated need in the community or area and has no undue adverse impact on existing uses or resources or a new district designation is more appropriate for the protection and management of existing uses and resources within the affected area.”
Zoning Petition ZP 699Review Criteria • Comprehensive Land Use Plan In accordance with the Commission’s Comprehensive Land Use Plan, Under Chapter 5, Section II, A, it is the Commission’s goal to guide the location of new development in order to protect and conserve forest, recreational, plant or animal habitat and other natural resources. Further it is the Commission’s policy in communities or areas without prospective development zoning to encourage orderly growth within and proximate to existing, compatibly developed areas (the so-called adjacency criterion) – i.e., existing development of similar type, use occupancy, scale and intensity to that being proposed. As stated under this particular standard of its Comprehensive Plan, the Commission has generally interpreted the adjacency criterion to mean that rezoning for development should be no more than a mile by road from existing compatible development.
Zoning Petition ZP 699Review Criteria • Chapter 10, Land Use Districts and Standards Under the provisions of Section 10.25, A, Review Standards for Structures Adjacent to Lakes, of the Commission’s Land Use Districts and Standards, “The standards set forth below must be met for all subdivisions and commercial, industrial, and other non-residential structures and uses proposed on land adjacent to lakes. These Standards must also be considered in applying criteria for adoption or amendment of land use district boundaries, as provided in Section 10.08, to proposed changes in subdistrict boundaries adjacent to lakes.
Zoning Petition ZP 699Review Criteria In applying the standards set forth below, the Commission shall consider all relevant information available including the Maine Wildlands Lake Assessment Findings (Appendix C of this chapter), and relevant provisions of the Comprehensive Land Use Plan. 1. Natural and cultural resource values: The proposal will not adversely affect natural and cultural resource values identified as significant or outstanding in the Wildland Lakes Assessment (Appendix C) of this chapter; 2. Water quality: The proposal will not, alone or in conjunction with other development, have an undue adverse impact on water quality;
Zoning Petition ZP 699Review Criteria • Chapter 10, Land Use Districts and Standards 3. Traditional Uses: The proposal will not have an undue adverse impact on traditional uses, including without limitation, non-intensive public recreation, sporting camp operations, timber harvesting, and agriculture; 4. Regional diversity: The proposal will not substantially alter the diversity of lake-related uses afforded within the region in which the activity is proposed; 5. Natural character: Adequate provision has been made to maintain the natural character of shoreland;
Zoning Petition ZP 699Review Criteria • Chapter 10, Land Use Districts and Standards 6. Lake management goals. The proposal is consistent with the management intent of the affected lake’s classification; and 7. Landowner equity. Where future development on a lake may be limited for water quality or other reasons, proposed development on each landownership does not exceed its proportionate share of total allowable development.”
Zoning Petition ZP 699Review/Public Comments • The Washington County Council of Governments stated its support of the project • The Dennys River Watershed Council stated its support of the project, provided there was no objection from Cathance Lake Association • The Cathance Lake Association stated its support of the proposal • 1st Selectman of the Town of Cooper, provided a letter supporting the project and its design • Washington County Commissioners, stated their support of the project
Zoning Petition ZP 699Review/Public Comments • May B. Bouchard, Ed.D., Superintendent of MSAD 77, stated her support of the proposal • The Maine Historic Preservation Commission expressed concerns that the area may contain prehistoric (Native American) archeological sites. The petitioner provided a Phase I survey that showed no archeological properties; the Maine Historic Preservation Commission concurred with the survey’s findings. • The Maine State Soil Scientist stated no concerns with the proposal • The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife stated no concerns
Zoning Petition ZP 699Review/Public Comments • The Commission’s Planning Division stated that the proposal is consistent with the goals and policies of the Commission’s Comprehensive Land Use Plan • The Quoddy Regional Land Trust, Maine Atlantic Salmon Commission, and Natural Resources Council of Maine expressed concerns related to elements of the petitioner’s preliminary subdivision design. These concerns will be considered during the anticipated Subdivision Permit application.
Zoning Petition ZP 699Conclusions • The petitioner demonstrated that the proposed rezoning is in compliance with Section 685-A,8-A of the Commission’s Statutes, and Section 10.08,A of the Commission’s Land Use Districts and Standards. Specifically: A. The petitioner has shown that the proposed land use district is consistent with the Comprehensive Land Use Plan, especially the policy to encourage orderly growth within and proximate to existing, compatibly developed areas (the so-called adjacency criterion) – i.e., existing development of similar type, use, occupancy, scale and intensity to that being proposed. As stated in the Plan, the adjacency criterion generally means that rezoning for development should be no more than one mile by road from existing, compatible development. The proposed location for this 31 lot subdivision is adjacent to a development of similar type, scale, or intensity of use in that it is within a mile by roadway of a development that consists of approximately over 100 dwellings
Zoning Petition ZP 699Conclusions B. The petitioner has submitted sufficient information to demonstrate that the proposed land use district is consistent with Chapter 5 of the Commission’s Comprehensive Land Use Plan, specifically with the Commission’s goals and policies to guide the location of new development in order to protect and conserve forest, recreational, plant or animal habitat and other natural resources. The proposed rezoning is located away from more remote areas of the petitioner’s ownership and is sited to avoid areas of significant natural resource values, including wetlands and portions of the shoreline. The configuration of the proposed rezoning would enable the petitioner to conform with the Commission’s design and cluster development standards for subdivisions adjacent to Management Class 4 lakes, thereby ensuring that existing uses (including forestry and recreation) and existing natural resources (including Cathance Lake’s fisheries, wildlife, physical and cultural resources) would not be unduly harmed. In addition, the petitioner will continue to conduct timber harvesting on the undeveloped portion of the property and will allow public primitive recreation within its holdings.
Zoning Petition ZP 699Conclusions C. The petitioner has submitted sufficient information to demonstrate a need for the proposed rezoning in the community or area as related to the Commission’s Guidelines on Demonstrated Need, Specifically; (1) Community Support – The petitioner has provided many letters of support for the project. Letters were received from private citizens, community leaders, local business people, and members of the state legislature. The letters reflected the importance of this type of a proposal to the local community and to the economic development of Washington County
Zoning Petition ZP 699Conclusions (2) Compatibility with Community Character – The proposal is consistent with community character, in that the type of proposed residential development (seasonal and year-round) is like that in close proximity to the northwest, the type of infrastructure required (utility service, access roads) already exists, and the proposal will not significantly alter the community’s character. (3) Availability of Vacant Lots/Units –There is currently only one available and developable property in No. 14 Township. In addition there are also very few areas available for development in the surrounding communities. (4) Impact on Community Services – The petitioner has provided letters from Marion Transfer Station, Inc., Dennys River Volunteer Fire Department, and Washington County Sheriff’s Department indicating their ability to provide services to the proposal.
Zoning Petition ZP 699Conclusions • The petitioner has demonstrated that the project will not have an undue adverse impact on existing uses or resources. Specifically, the area proposed for rezoning is located close to existing, compatible development, as well as existing roads and utility lines, thereby minimizing impacts upon public services and infrastructure.
Zoning Petition ZP 699Conclusions • Section 10.25, A of the Commission’s Standards must be considered in applying the criteria for proposed changes in subdistrict boundaries adjacent to lakes. In this regard, the petitioner has shown that the proposed rezoning is in compliance with the pertinent provisions of Section 10.25, A: A. The significant cultural resources of Cathance Lake would not be adversely affected. The petitioner has adequately addressed the concern raised by the Maine Historic Preservation Commission and demonstrated no archeological properties will be impacted by the proposal B. The outstanding fisheries, wildlife, and physical resources of Cathance Lake would not be adversely affected. The petitioner has adequately shown that, in a subsequent subdivision permit application, these resources could be protected via proposed implementation of effective construction practices, sedimentation and erosion control, use of existing tote roads to extent practical, a clustered subdivision lot design, and maintenance of a large portion of the property being undeveloped.
Zoning Petition ZP 699Staff Recommendation • Based upon the above information, staff recommends that Zoning Petition, ZP 699 as proposed by Cathance Shores, LLC be approved