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Resident's complaints to be discussed between town boards
CONCERN— Resident Walter Jasniewski presents the board different town ordinances to aid them in understanding his concern with the placement of homes in the town.
SUMNER— At the selectboard's meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 8, resident Walter Jasniewski presented the board with concerns about homes in the town that do not meet the town's ordinances.
The Comprehensive Plan for the town of Sumner is to "encourage and promote decent housing for all Maine citizens."
The Comprehensive Plan's town goal is to "promote housing construction which supports Sumner and will improve the property tax base."
"I say that the town is too free in letting some manufactured housing units in town that have little or no taxable value," said Jasniewski.
He said that someone in town has multiple manufactured mobile homes that are valued at $2,000 to $4,000.
"I'm not against mobile homes. But the Comprehensive Plan says that 'we will promote housing and construction which supports Sumner and will improve the property tax base'," he said. "If we bring in garbage that doesn't improve the tax base, it puts the responsibility to pay taxes on everybody else in town."
Jasniewski's next question was about set backs in the town's building and road ordinances.
The Building Notification Notice for Requirements is a document that includes a checklist for anyone with the intent of building or remodeling a home. The checklist must be completely filled out and brought back to Sumner's Planning Board before any construction can start.
As Jasniewski continued, he read where the checklist said that all buildings must be 75 feet from the center of the road. He quoted the town's Road Ordinance, saying that "all structures shall be back at least 35 feet from all property lines and at least 75 feet from the center line of streets, roads and rights-of-way."
After Jasniewski brought this problem to the board at the selectmen's last meeting, he said he went to the Planning Board to get with answers, but with no luck.
Selectwoman Mary Ann Haxton interjected.
"As I said last time, these comments are to be sent to the Planning Board," said Haxton.
Jasniewski said that the Planning Board didn't have any solid answers for him.
Haxton was still confused by what Jasniewski was looking for from the board.
According to Jasniewski, Sumner's Road Ordinance imposes a greater restriction upon the use of land or structures. This is stated in Article 9 of the Sumner Road Ordinance.
"A trailer is going to go up on a lot, and can be put 35 feet from the center of the road, but the state said that since the town has a more restrictive ordinance, we will go by the restrictive setback, " said Jasniewski. The more restrictive setting is 75 feet from the center of the road, as the Building Notification and Subdivision Ordinance state.
Jasniewski doesn't understand why this trailer is the exception.
"I think we're going a little easy on some people," said Jasniewski. "It's not a thing about people having money or not, it's about going by what the law says."
"From my perspective, if you believe these people are not following the ordinance, you would need to go to them and say that you disagree and at that point it needs to be the person from the Planning Board that comes to us so we can address the discrepancy," said Haxton.
Haxton said that if there is no age restriction on mobile homes coming in to the town, then the selectboard is abiding by the law.
"Your issue with mobile homes and the roads are two separate issues," Haxton continued.
Haxton said that what Jasniewski needs to do is go back to the Planning Board and discuss the problems, and the members from the Planning Board would then sort everything out with the selectboard.