December 16, 2009

Acton Comprehensive Plan Implementation Committee

DECEMBER 16, 2009



Members present: Thomas Cashin – Chairman

John Moore – Vice-Chairman

Rob Meyer

Roy Trafton

Virginia DeBoer

Gregory Martin


December 2, 2009 – A Motion was made and seconded to approve the Minutes of December 2, 2009 as amended. Moore/Meyer – 5/1 Abstention (Ms DeBoer as she wasn’t present for that Meeting).


1. Discussion of June 10, 2008 – Ms DeBoer explained that one of the reasons there has been so much controversy with this Committee’s work is because the map that was submitted for a vote on June 10, 2008 is not the same map that was included in the 2005 Comprehensive Plan which was approved by the voters that year. She indicated the differences between the two maps. She mentioned what is indicated on the 2008 map as Critical Rural is only Rural in the 2005 map and doing so extended the frontage for the Critical Rural district to the H Road. She felt doing so was not appropriate since most of that area is already developed and is not in need of protection from development. She indicated on the 2008 map the area being discussed. She stated she simply wants to go by the approved 2005 which goes to the Horn property.Mr. Moore advised that the Committee made the changes because no one thought it was important or noticed it until it was brought to their attention. He said the 2008 map extends the Critical Rural district to the east side of H Road up to the vicinity of Acton Ridge Road.

Mr. Cashin stated as per the April 15, 2009 Minutes of this Committee, this group previously considered this same proposal, but there was a different membership then. At that time, a motion was made and was withdrawn following a discussion. He said after that withdrawal, Mr. Moore made an alternate Motion concerning another area in the vicinity of H Road and Acton Ridge Road area which passed with a five to two vote.

Ms DeBoer stated when the Town voted in 2008, the voters didn’t realize what they were voting for and probably thought what was being submitted was the map contained in the 2005 Comprehensive Plan.

Mr. Moore advised he didn’t see that any damage would be done by designating the area being discussed as Rural from Critical Rural because that is how it is on the other side of the road, therefore, it would make it consistent.

To Mr. Cashin’s question of what goal or policy of the Comprehensive Plan supports that change, Mr. Moore said it makes sense.

Ms DeBoer pointed again that it is based on what is developed and what isn’t. She referenced a parcel that she owns as an example and reiterated that is the way it was approved in 2005. She felt that the 2008 map is an oversight.

Mr. Cashin stated he doesn’t think it was an error because the reason for designating that as Critical Rural was due to the fact that the east side of that road is forested land and the Committee wanted to keep that intact and not take the chance that it will end up as developed as other areas of Town. He mentioned that the area of North Shapleigh Road receives no winter maintenance and minimal summer maintenance. He felt for ecological reasons developing that area would not be good. He mentioned that along with the ecological impact of development, the slopes are very steep on the east side of H Road which could increase the potential for run off in the Green East Basin on the west side of H Road.

To Mr. Moore’s comment that the line Mr. Cashin is referencing was created in 2008 and not 2005, Mr. Cashin reiterated that he would not like to see growth in that area of Town especially with the condition of the road. He stated that Ms DeBoer is talking about her property so how can the Committee ethically change the zoning designation.

Ms. DeBoer stated she is simply proposing what was approved on the 2005 map which is what she thought she was voting for in 2008.

To Mr. Trafton’s question why wouldn’t it make sense to have both sides of the road designated the same, Mr. Cashin said he didn’t see how that would matter and pointed out that most of that area is designated tree growth.

To Mr. Moore’s comment that isn’t the case with Ms DeBoer’s property, Mr. Cashin again mentioned that he feels the Committee’s support of this proposal would appear to be showing favoritism to a Committee Member.

Mr. Meyer felt that since whatever is revised has to be approved by the voters, both Ms DeBoer and Mr. Cashin will have an opportunity to explain their respective positions at any public hearings that will be conducted. He stated the economy drives development and in the current economy development is not likely to occur any time soon. He pointed out that any request for changes to the Zoning Map or Ordinance have to be submitted to the Board of Selectmen for inclusion in a Warrant.

Mr. Cashin didn’t think that was good planning especially since at some point, the economy will more than likely rebound and it will be too late then to protect the area being discussed.

Mr. Trafton reiterated his comment that the Committee can justify the change by pointing out that they thought it would be better if both sides of the road are zoned the same.

Mr. Cashin asked that Ms DeBoer abstain from voting on any Motion associated with this subject because, in his estimation, her voting would create a conflict of interest because an affirmative vote to change the zoning designation would affect her property.

A Motion was made and seconded that Ms DeBoer abstain from voting on this proposal. Meyer/Trafton – 5/1 – Abstention (Ms DeBoer).

A Motion was made and seconded to create a new rural designation from the centerline of H Road and Old Shapleigh Road by delineating a 500’ swathe extending easterly from the center line of H Road and running parallel to the H Road in a northerly direction to a terminus of the easterly extension of the southern lot line of the Moose Pond development, i.e. Lot 207.1. Trafton/Moore – 4/1 (Mr. Cashin)/1 – Abstention (Ms DeBoer)

It was noted that the Land Use Chart that was revised on November 4, 2009 is incorrect with regard to “Kennels and Animal Care Facilities” in the Critical Rural Zone as it should be “S”. The Committee requested that the secretary advise the Code Enforcement Office of the need to make that revision.

2. Boundary DesignationsThe Committee reviewed the amended Boundary Designations for the Village and Transition Districts.

A Motion was made and seconded to accept the amended Boundary Designations for the Village and Transition Districts and to forward the same to the Code Enforcement Office. Moore/Meyer – Unanimous.


There was no new business to come before the Committee.


Agenda for January 6, 2010 Meeting – The Committee agreed to work on designating the State’s recommended changes to the Shoreland Zone and Resource Protection District from the Committee’s recommendations.


The Meeting was adjourned at .

Respectfully submitted,


Recording Secretary