The Waldoboro Planning Board set Wednesday, March 24 as the date for a public hearing on seven proposed changes to the town’s land use ordinance. The public hearing will be held at 7 p.m. at the town office.

The planning board members at the Feb. 24 meeting were Chairman Charles Campbell, Ed Karkow, JoAnn Myers and Abden Simmons.

Board members heard from Jason Philbrook of Midcoast Internet Solutions about a wireless broadband plan. One of the ordinance changes would address height restrictions for the towers needed to bring wireless broadband access to parts of town that are not currently served. The proposed ordinance change would allow wireless Internet service providers to construct towers up to 120 feet in height anywhere in town, with the exception of the historic village district.

The town of Waldoboro is working with Midcoast Internet Solutions to get a grant from the ConnectME program, which aims to bring broadband service to unserved areas. Philbrook said the plan would include three towers in Waldoboro. He said Midcoast Internet Solutions has identified potential sites for the towers, which are less than 2 feet in diameter and go straight up like a pole, and the company will work with property owners to get access to a small amount of land. The towers to beam out the wireless Internet access are much smaller — in total size and footprint on the ground — than cell phone towers.

Height restrictions are the subject of another proposed land use ordinance amendment, which would allow poles for electrical transmission lines to exceed the current 42-foot height limit. The amendment is needed for Central Maine Power to upgrade its transmission lines for its $1.5 billion region-wide project.

The third proposed land use ordinance change — for resource protection zones — has been the subject of much debate, and revision, during the past year. The planning board is now proposing a change to shoreland zoning maps to meet state minimum guidelines to protect high-value wetlands. For details on this proposed change, see the town’s explanation at waldoboromaine.org/planningdevelopment/shoreland.html.

In the debate on resource protection zones for high-value wetlands, a resident asked the planning board to change zoning requirements for low-value wetlands. The planning board has endorsed that idea, and is proposing an amendment to allow a structure to be built within 75 feet of the upland edge of a low-value wetland. The current setback is 100 feet.

Another shoreland zoning change relates to septic tanks. The proposed amendment would allow for new and replacement septic systems to be constructed in the shoreland zone if the owner agreed to have the septic tank pumped every two years for at least 10 years.

The planning board has also proposed a change for subdivisions. The amendment would require planning board approval for changes to an approved subdivision. According to the town’s summary, “This would include ‘lot splits’ created within a subdivision approved after [the election on] June 8, 2010.”

The final proposed amendment clarifies the responsibility for fire protection ponds. The amendment would require developers to provide and maintain firefighting infrastructure, if needed.

To go into effect, each land use ordinance amendment must be approved by Waldoboro voters at the polls. The planning board’s public hearing on Wednesday, March 24 is just one part of the process. After the hearing, the planning board will consider any changes based on public input, and then vote to send the proposals to the Board of Selectmen. Selectmen will then review the amendments and decide whether to put them on the June ballot.