Thomaston Board of Appeals allows happy rooster, selling of farm products, fuel storage
Thomaston — The Thomaston Board of Appeals considered cases requesting conditional usage approval, including allowing farm animals, a neighborhood store and fuel storage for Fabian Oil.
Resident Robert Nedderman asked for a conditional use to keep large animals and poultry on his property on Toll Bridge Road. He is interested in raising additional chickens to accompany his 21-bird flock and keeping sheep or goats. Nedderman lives in a rural-residential zone and poultry are allowed in town.
A neighbor of Nedderman's said he was concerned about the allowance, wanting to ensure that granting a conditional use for livestock did not grant a free reign to have, for example, a water buffalo herd. He added he was "super conscious of the hazards of raising animals" and said keeping chickens could lead to "vermin" and traffic problems — if a bird or larger animal, such as the proposed sheep or goat was to escape. Chair Anita Knowlton confirmed that the board imposes limits of what is allowable.
The board voted unanimously to allow Nedderman to raise 25 chickens, including "one happy rooster," keep two sheep or two goats, or one sheep and one goat — allowing the fencing is sufficient to contain the livestock to his property.
Nedderman would have to receive an additional conditional permit to sell eggs or poultry.
Brian Smith and Cheryl Denz, of Oyster River Wine Growers and Terra Optima Farm, asked for a conditional use of a neighborhood store, located at 12 Oyster River Road. The store is already in operation, selling cheeses, meats, wine and bread.
There was a misunderstanding of the original permit issued that restricted sale items to be produce and food grown or made by the owners. The request was unanimously granted, allowing the store to sell additional items produced in the area.
Several residents at the meeting spoke in support of the store, praising local business as the backbone of the community.
William Gartley, of Gartley & Dorsky Engineering & Surveying, and agent for Fabian Oil, Inc. requested approval of a transportation storage facility to house motor and heating fuels at 58 Butler Road. The property is owned by Steel Pro Land LLC and the zone is industrial.
The plan is to have two underground 20,000-gallon tanks to hold liquid fuel, and one above ground 30,000-gallon propane tank.
Knowlton reiterated that the board of appeals grants permission to have the business, not the permit to have the business. The proposal still requires a site plan review by the planning board and Department of Environmental Protection inspection.
The storage unit was approved.
An ongoing dispute over the issuance of a permit by the planning board for a dwelling in February was also heard at the meeting. Attorney Joseph Baiungo, representing Bryan Marshall of Bryan's Body and Fender in Thomaston, was present at the meeting and agreed with the appeals board that it had no jurisdiction to act on the case.
The contention is from a building in construction that could serve as both a business and residence, with the residence portion over the business.
The permit issued is for a residential dwelling.
The board of appeals suggested Marshall return to the planning board immediately to have a site plan review, fire department inspection and other common practices. The inspections and reviews are completed before a commercial permit is issued to a building larger than 1,000-square-feet in size. Marshall's building is more than 4,000-square-feet in size. The board said although there was approval by the board of appeals, there was no permit allowing the business portion.
The business portion is for an auto body garage, said Assessors' Agent David Martucci.
The property of the said building is owned by Brenan and Bryce Black, but Marshall has the permit. The property is located in the Mill Stream subdivision on Old County Road in Thomaston.
Martucci said the planning board will interpret the rules of the subdivision to see if the proposed building will meet those requirements, but that is not a step the board has come to yet.
Martucci said Marshall could amend the permit or get another permit from the planning board after the site plan review.
Courier Publications reporter Juliette Laaka can be reached at 594-4401 ext. 118 or via email at JLaaka@courierpublicationsllc.com.