OWL HEAD — The Owls Head Selectboard is scheduled to meet Aug. 2 to consider a petition to place an ordinance amendment on the Aug. 30 annual town meeting warrant to allow events center on properties of more than 15 acres.

The issue stems from the request by Christina and Jeff Woodman to have an event/gathering center at Ash Point Farm at 35 Ash Point Drive.

The petition was submitted to the town office this week. The petition was signed by 106 residents — more than the 95 required to have items placed on a town meeting warrant.

The town received an opinion July 29 from attorney Richard Flewelling from the Maine Municipal Association.

“It appears to me to satisfy all applicable legal requirements as to form and content. In addition, the petitioned ordinance amendments appear to me to be a lawful proposal.

“Inasmuch as you have confirmed that the petition has been signed by the requisite number of voters, I recommend, in accordance with the petitioners’ explicit request, that the selectmen place the petitioned article on the warrant for the August 30, 2021 annual town meeting. An annual town meeting vote is likely to be more representative of the voters’ collective will than a special town meeting,” Flewelling stated.

The couple’s attorney, Kristin Collins, contends in a July 27 letter accompanying the petition that the proposed ordinance conforms to the town’s comprehensive plan. She maintains that an existing ordinance makes it clear that events are allowed on larger farms to allow them to stay afloat financially. She said in the letter that the ordinance amendment would broaden the uses.

Collins notes the request is time sensitive, because approval would be needed at the town meeting for the couple to book events for next summer.

The property is 32 acres.

The Selectboard is expected to finalize the annual town meeting warrant at its Monday, Aug. 2 meeting.

The Planning Board must also hold a public hearing prior to the town meeting.

Russell Wolfertz Jr., the chair of the Planning Board, said July 30 that no hearing was scheduled. Wolfertz said the Planning Board did not negotiate this proposed ordinance with the couple or their attorney.

He voiced concern that the proposed ordinance does not include a farm to table requirement for events and that it would open up an estimated 36 properties across town to commercial development.

The couple originally requested last year a waiver to allow them to have events such as weddings on the farm, which is located in a rural residential zone.

Minutes from an Aug. 10, 2020, Planning Board meeting showed they planned to be open from June until the first weekend of November. The capacity would be no more than 125 people. All weddings would be on Saturdays, with reception times from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.

In August 2020, the board voted 3-2 — with Ken Wexler and Wolfertz voting against — to approve the Woodmans’ requests.

Wexler, however, appealed that approval to the town’s Zoning Board of Appeals, which upheld his appeal.

Since then, the Woodmans sought to get the zoning adjusted.