Voters in the five towns will face a statewide ballot, and in some towns will take on local items at the polls Tuesday, Nov. 2. Here is a look at what will be on the ballot.

State Ballot

Question 1: “Do you want to ban the construction of high-impact electric transmission lines in the Upper Kennebec Region and to require the Legislature to approve all other such projects anywhere in Maine, both retroactively to 2020, and to require the Legislature, retroactively to 2014, to approve by a two-thirds vote such projects using public land?”

A “Yes” vote supports a ban on the construction of high-impact electric transmission lines and would require the state Legislature to approve such projects through a two-thirds majority vote.

A “No” vote supports allowing the construction of the corridor project.

This is a citizen initiative driven by a group that collected more than 80,000 signatures.

Those who support a “yes” vote argue the so-called CMP Corridor would clearcut a 53-mile line through an environmentally significant forest and wildlife habitat to serve the needs of out-of-state ratepayers and companies, while doing nearly nothing to help Mainers.

Those supporting a “no” vote have shifted their focus from the project itself to the ballot wording, arguing this endangers the future of business investment in Maine by allowing for retroactive legislation.

Projects that alter the use of Maine’s public lands such as this should go to the Legislature already, due to a provision in the Maine Constitution, and those who favor banning the CMP Corridor argue the “retroactive” argument is misleading because this project should never have gained approval in the first place. Their opponents argue a “no” vote sends a clear message that Mainer’s oppose retroactivity in lawmaking.

On Nov. 2, Mainers will decide.

Question 2 is a bond issue asking, “Do you favor a $100,000,000 bond issue to build or improve roads, bridges, railroads, airports, transit facilities and ports and make other transportation investments, to be used to leverage an estimated $253,000,000 in federal and other funds?”

Question 3 seeks a Constitutional Amendment dealing with the issue of food sovereignty.

It asks: “Do you favor amending the Constitution of Maine to declare that all individuals have a natural, inherent and unalienable right to grow, raise, harvest, produce and consume the food of their own choosing for their own nourishment, sustenance, bodily health and well-being?”

Making this amendment would ensure the right to save and exchange seeds, according to Ballotpedia.

“I am in support of question 3,” said Rep. Bill Pluecker, I-Warren. “It makes sense that the right to grow and produce food receives the same level of protection in our State Constitution as religious freedom, freedom of speech, and freedom from discrimination. We are seeing our rural way of life coming under attack in many ways in our state as our land is developed and people from urban areas move in.”

According to Ballotpedia, this is a legislatively referred constitutional amendment, which “is a proposed constitutional amendment that has been passed by a state’s legislature and appears on the statewide ballot for voter ratification.”

Appleton

Residents will vote on a state ballot.

The Select Board considered adding a question for Appleton residents on whether they want to spend up to $80,000 for a Sherman’s Mill Pond property that would provide freshwater access and fire hydrant service. Town residents have offered services and donations to keep costs down. However, the deadline for ballot items has passed, so the board will place this on the warrant for a special town meeting to be announced.

Camden

Article 2 proposes changes to Zoning Ordinance Off-Street Parking and Loading Standards to exempt many types of downtown business from the requirement to secure off-street parking for customers. The exemption is for retail, restaurants, business and professional offices, medical offices, personal service and banks, sports and fitness centers and dwelling units and rooming houses in the Downtown Business and Transitional Harbor Business districts. Hotels, motels and schools are not exempted from off-street parking requirements.

The ballot explanation states the proposed zoning change “will address outdated off-street parking requirements, which can negatively impact economic activity and development opportunities in the downtown core, where ample parking currently exists on-street and in existing public and private parking lots.”

Article 3 seeks to amend Open Space Zoning General Standards to “provide for more flexible and affordable open space development.”

The amendment would reduce minimum lot sizes in Open Space subdivisions with three or more lots or for condominiums or cooperatives with three or more dwelling units.

For such subdivisions, minimum lot size in the Rural 1 district will be reduced from from 7 acres to 1.4 acres — and in the Rural 2 District — from 4 acres to 1.4 acres. In R1, 60 percent of the subdivision must remain open space; in R2, 50 percent. These minimum lot sizes are also the existing minimums for single lots in both districts.

The proposal contains numerous other specifications for developments.

The Select Board voted 4 to 1 to place this zoning change on the ballot. Vice Chair Alison McKellar voted against it, saying she would support the zoning change only if it was limited to affordable housing development.

Article 4 asks voters to approve changes to the Town Charter.

The Charter Commission has proposed changes including:

–          Select Board members could be forced to forfeit office for three unexcused absences within a 6-month period

–          Budget Committee would be cut from the current 21-25 members to 11

–          New guidelines for establishing and discontinuing advisory committees

–          Reviewing the Charter every five years

–          Required review by the town attorney of all articles for the warrant

–          A new section on growth management and long-range planning has been added

Article 5 asks voters to authorize the town manager to arrange for sewer easements with property owners along Sea Street and part of Atlantic Avenue. The purpose of the easements is for construction of an overland sewer main that will replace a sewer main that runs across the bottom of Camden Harbor.

Article 6 is a non-binding question. “Do you favor changing the method of voting on the annual town budget to paper ballot (referendum) instead of the current method of voting in person by show of hands at the open town meetings?”

The note explains that due to the state of emergency caused by the pandemic, the town’s citizens have voted on the annual budget appropriations and borrowing by paper ballot, either by absentee or at the Camden Public Safety building, for two consecutive years.

A change to the method of voting would require public hearings and a referendum vote and would be updated in the Town Charter.

Hope

Residents in the town will be voting on the state ballot.

Lincolnville

Residents will vote on the state ballot.

Rockport

Rockport residents will vote on a special town meeting ballot as follows:

Article 2. “Shall the Town authorize the Select Board to enter into a contract with engineering and design professionals to prepare documents for future consideration of a new fire station in West Rockport on terms and conditions that the Select Board determine to be in the best interests of the Town?”

Article 3. “Shall the Town authorize the Select Board, for a sum not to exceed $35,000 from the Town’s unassigned fund balance, to enter into an agreement with NewHeight Group for the purposes of providing a market survey to evaluate development feasibility, develop a conceptual site program, and to work with professionals to create conceptual renderings for the former Rockport Elementary School site on terms and conditions that the Select Board determine to be in the best interests of the Town to maximize the value of the property to benefit Rockport taxpayers?”

Article 4. Shall the following amendment to Section 405 of the Town’s Land Use Ordinance be enacted? Section 405 is amended to read: “No land use regulation or amendment thereof shall be adopted until after the Select Board of the Town of Rockport has held a public hearing thereon at least ten (10) days before it is submitted to the legislative body for consideration.  Public notice of the hearing shall be made at least seven (7) days prior to the hearing.  Amendments to this Ordinance shall be considered following a citizen petition pursuant to Article II § 14 of the Rockport Town Charter, recommendation of the Planning Board or motion of the Select Board.  Petitioners are encouraged to work with and request assistance from the Planning Board so that proposed changes and amendments can be of greatest benefit to the citizens of Rockport.  Petitioners shall be responsible for paying for all required advertisements and notifications.”

Article 5. Shall an Ordinance amending the Town of Rockport Land Use Ordinance in Section 700 Zoning Board of Appeals be enacted? A copy of the ordinance is on file with the Town Clerk.

The changes proposed by this last question are designed to clarify the Zoning Board of Appeal’s process and procedures. Some of the items appear to be housekeeping, but some may be worth noting. The Zoning Board recently went through several lengthy meetings concerning appeals of the hotel project in Rockport.

The Ordinance Review committee sent a document explaining the changes to members of the Planning Board and Select Board. According to this document, one current subsection “allows ‘every party’ to participate in the appeal. The intent, obviously, is to focus on the participants involved in the dispute but others might read it to include any busybody who is seeking a forum. Suggested language is added to section 702(3) making it consistent with limiting the participation to the petitioner…”