Council to vote on zoning, salt shed next weekClosed-door meeting planned on secret land development
Rockland — The City Council will hold a public hearing and vote on proposed zoning changes west of Old County Road next week. It is also deciding whether to put a $586,000 salt and sand shed on the November ballot.
The council is scheduled to meet Sept. 3, at 6:30 p.m. to set the agenda for next week's meeting.
A public hearing and final vote on zoning will be held Monday, Sept. 9, at City Hall.
The council previously approved on first reading a new Rural Residential 2 Zone in a large section of the city west of Old County Road. The area affected includes West Meadow Road. The city's Comprehensive Planning Commission has been working on the zone, which has the goal of protecting the rural, agricultural character of the area as well as protecting natural resources.
Permitted uses in the area under the new zoning include farming, farm stands, riding stables, home occupations and bed and breakfasts. The new zoning changes the minimum lot size from one to two acres.
Prohibited in the new zoning will be drive-up windows, large wind turbine operations (though smaller windmills for powering farms or homes will be allowed as conditional uses) and flag lots.
City Manager James Smith said he expects an update on the zoning at the Sept. 3 meeting, but no action until Sept. 9.
The council will also decide on whether to put forward a bond ordinance for the proposed 9,100-square-foot salt and sand shed to be built near the city transfer station off Pleasant Street. Smith said the city loses sand and salt each year because it is stored outside and the city does not have a shed for its storage.
Also on the agenda for the Sept. 3 meeting is a closed-door meeting on land development.
Smith said it is an economic development matter and that can be discussed behind closed doors when public knowledge would put the city at a disadvantage in financial bargaining or negotiations. He would not disclose any more information about the project in question.
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Daniel Dunkle is editor of The Courier-Gazette and news director for Courier Publications. He lives in Rockland with his wife, Christine, who also works for Courier Publications, and two children.
Dunkle has previously served as editor of The Republican Journal in Belfast. He has worked as a reporter and photographer in the Midcoast for 15 years.
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