CAMDEN — Voters went to the polls in significant numbers to approve a major revision to the town charter, changes to off-street parking and open space zoning regulations and a non-binding question on changing the method of voting on the annual budget to paper ballot.

Voters approved Article 2 — 1,865 to 422.  This changes 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 exempt from off-street parking requirements.

Voters approved Article 3 — 1,702 to 598, to amend Open Space Zoning subdivisions to “provide for more flexible and affordable open space development.”

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

Minimum lot size in the Rural 1 district will be reduced 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.

Voters approved a revision of the Town Charter (Article 4) 1,737 to 297. Changes to the Charter  include: forfeiture for Select Board members for three unexcused absences within a 6-month period; reduction of the Budget Committee from the current 21-25 members to 11; new guidelines for establishing and discontinuing advisory committees; a requirement to review the Charter every five years; required review by the town attorney of all articles for the warrant and a new section on growth management and long-range planning.

Voters approved Article 5 — 1,903 to 213, authorizing 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.

Voters approved Article 6 — 1,689 to 425, a a non-binding question favoring changing the method of voting on the annual municipal budget to paper ballot instead of the current method of voting in person by show of hands at the open town meetings.

Changing the method of voting on the budget would require public hearings and a referendum vote and would be updated in the Town Charter.

 

On Nov. 2, Camden voters sign their names in support of a number of issues for future ballots, including stopping foreign funding of national elections, supporting restoration of the Megunticook River and dam removal, and a citizen petition to put the question of preserving Montgomery Dam to a public vote. Photo by Susan Mustapich