The Waldoboro Planning Board on May 11 held a public hearing on proposed ordinances that would regulate methadone clinics, marijuana dispensaries and cultivation facilities.

One resident raised several questions, including why security cameras were not required at a methadone clinic, as they are at the marijuana-related operations.

“There are some things in the dispensary ordinance that aren’t in the methadone ordinance,” said Robert Butler, a selectman and Friendship Road resident. “For example, you require video cameras in the marijuana dispensary but not the methadone clinic. I thought it would have been useful in both types of facilities.”

Planning board members and the code enforcement officer noted that cameras were not required in a methadone clinic because of patient confidentiality. It was noted that cameras are required for the marijuana operations because medical marijuana may be legal in Maine, but is illegal on the federal level.

The planning board members at the meeting were Chairman Charles Campbell, Barbara Boardman, Abden Simmons, Charles Flint, Carlo Bianchi and Jonathan “Jody” Perry. Misty Gorski, the town’s planning and development director and code enforcement officer, helped to describe the proposed ordinances and answered questions.

Butler asked about the consequences if the ordinances were violated. “If they violate the ordinance, oughtn’t there be something in the ordinance that says if you violate it we’re withdrawing your occupancy permit until you cure the problem,” Butler said. “I feel in these particular situations there ought to be consequences for actions taken that violate the intent of the ordinance.”

Campbell, the planning board chairman, said the land use ordinance has penalties, including fines, for violations. “I feel there is something in the ordinance right now that would take care of that,” Campbell said.

Planning board member Flint also noted that enforcement was defined in the land use ordinance.

Butler asked about allowing treatment outside the methadone clinic — both dispensing and a walk outside by a patient and counselor. “It says you can’t wait in line, but it doesn’t say you can’t receive the treatment outside the building itself,” Butler said.

Campbell said, “In terms of treatment outside, I’m not sure, and this is my personal feeling, that we would want to tell them that after the treatment if a counselor wants to take a walk with somebody to discuss how things are going, I’m not sure we should restrict that to inside the office building. I don’t see where the harm in that would be, in my opinion.”

Campbell said the town would look at the state regulations to see if dispensing methadone was restricted to inside the building. “It might warrant some more investigation but I can’t imagine the dispensary doing this outside,” Campbell said.

Flint said if that is not regulated by the state, the town could consider that restriction in its ordinance.

Campbell said, “I’ve never been in a methadone clinic myself. I have seen a couple plans for some. The plans that I have seen, the way that it appears to work is there is basically a locked room where the methadone is kept, and then there are treatment rooms abutting that. And there is a pass-through window that you can pass your methadone, and that’s where you take the methadone.”

Butler also questioned whether the town could regulate the type and number of employees for these operations. Campbell said the planning board would look into the state licensing rules.

The planning board did not amend the proposed ordinances on May 11, but did decide to do some further research. To go into effect, the ordinance amendments would have to be approved by voters. Another step before that vote would be for the planning board to send the proposed ordinances to the Board of Selectmen for review and another public hearing before a vote is scheduled.

The planning board has been working on these ordinances since the town voted for a 180-day moratorium for those operations at a special town meeting on Jan. 11.

The proposed methadone clinic ordinance would restrict clinics to the Route 1 Commercial A District, which covers the edges of town along Route 1, and does not include the central area around the town office. For security, licensed methadone clinics must have door and window intrusion alarms with audible and police-notification components.

Inside seating in waiting areas must be available for scheduled patients at all times, according to the methadone clinic ordinance. “Waiting or queuing of patients outside of the clinic building will not be tolerated,” the proposed ordinance says.

Marijuana dispensaries and cultivation facilities are also only allowed in the Route 1 Commercial A District. The ordinance would allow only one cultivation facility and one dispensary in Waldoboro.

Alarms are also required, as well as video surveillance for both dispensaries and cultivation facilities. Video surveillance would be required 24 hours a day, seven days a week for a cultivation facility. Surveillance for a dispensary, at a minimum, would be required when the facility is closed.

For a full copy of the proposed ordinances, go to waldoboromaine.org.

Following the 15-minute public hearing, the planning board held a site plan review session for a wireless broadband Internet tower proposed by Midcoast Internet Solutions for 21 Flanders Corner Road. This is part of the project to bring high-speed Internet to underserved areas. The site plan was approved, though concerns were raised about the power level of the devices on the 120-foot tower and the general road condition.