Falmouth council to hear input on sex offender restrictions; sign, mooring rules also to be aired

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FALMOUTH — The Town Council’s only meeting in December could lead to several changes for the town.

The meeting on Monday, Dec. 12, at 7 p.m. will invite the public to comment on a proposed sex offender ordinance that would require people convicted of sex crimes against children under the age of 14 to live more than 750 feet from a school, day care or any place children frequent.

The ordinance was proposed by Police Chief Edward Tolan, who said in his presentation that it would utilize a 2009 state law that allows local residency limits.

It would not force offenders who already live within 750 feet of the designated places to move, but would prevent others from moving into those areas. Tolan has said that there are no sex offenders already living within the proposed areas.

Also next week, the Falmouth Economic Improvement Committee will ask the council to consider changes to Route 1 sign rules.

The committee is hoping to create a temporary ordinance that would allow businesses to put out temporary signs advertising specials or deals.

“We met with eight local businesses and this was their biggest issue,” FEIC Chairman Dave Libby said.

Libby said there were businesses that already place these signs, but that technically the signs are illegal.

He said the plan is to create an ordinance with a sunset date, perhaps for a year from the date of adoption, so businesses could start putting signs out now and the change would not interfere with the council’s plan to revise planning in the Route 1 business corridor.

“We don’t want to circumvent that process,” Libby said.

The council will also hear comments on a proposed change to the way the town handles applications for moorings at Town Landing. Currently, anyone can be put on the waiting list for a mooring.

The change would allow the town to charge $10 per year to remain on the waiting list, and require that once a person receives a mooring, he or she must pay the full mooring fee within 15 days and have a boat on the mooring within a year.

The $10 fee would be applied toward the total mooring fee of $57 per year for residents ($257 for non-residents).

The ordinance also establishes a hierarchy of those who will receive moorings when they become available, beginning with resident fishermen, followed by resident recreational, commercial passenger boat, resident commercial marine enterprise, resident with an additional mooring, non-resident recreational, and several more categories.

The council will also vote on Dec. 12 whether to approve changes to the land use ordinance that would allow poultry in all residential and village mixed use zones. It would also eliminate lot size restrictions for keeping poultry in the VMU, residential B and farm zones.

Additionally, the council will open all the bids for the Plummer-Motz and Lunt school properties in an executive session before the Dec. 12 meeting. It is likely the councilors will meet several times in executive session before a winning bid is announced.

Emily Parkhurst can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 125 or eparkhurst@theforecaster.net. Follow her on Twitter: @emilyparkhurst.