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Cumberland council OKs no-parking area, accepts $20K donation

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Cumberland council OKs no-parking area, accepts $20K donation

CUMBERLAND — The Town Council on Monday enacted a no-parking area on Tuttle Road in front of the Mabel I. Wilson School, and accepted a $20,000 anonymous donation toward food and fuel assistance.

The panel also approved conversion of an eight-acre parcel near Knight's Pond from Resource Protection zoning to Limited Residential.

The parking restriction comes after parents frequently parked along the shoulder of Tuttle Road to pick up and drop off their children from the school last year, making it difficult for other vehicles to pass. Councilors enacted an emergency parking ban last month.

Since then, the school has moved its pick-up and drop-off area further away from the road, Town Manager Bill Shane said. Still, the council voted 5-2, with Councilors Tom Gruber and Mike Perfetti opposed, to enact a year-round ban for a portion of the road stretching about 400 feet.

With Tuttle Road one of the busiest roads in town, "it just wasn't the safest place to park and load children," Shane said.

Food, fuel donation

Half of the anonymously donated funds are going to Cumberland-North Yarmouth food pantry at Town Hall, raising the food bank's funds to $16,000. The pantry services people in Cumberland, North Yarmouth, Pownal and New Gloucester.

"Donations have been coming in fairly regularly," Shane said, noting that they "help us prepare for that slow period of time, typically the spring and the summer when donations do drop off."

The pantry was at about 75 percent capacity early this week, he estimated.

"We are in excellent shape after three months," Shane said, praising the community's support. "We are serving about 85 families, or about 250 people."

The other $10,000 of the donation goes toward the town's fuel fund, bringing its total to about $18,000.

"We've had dozens of requests (for fuel assistance) so far, and it really hasn't been that severe of a winter yet," Shane said, noting that the town has gone through about $7,500 in assistance so far this winter, about 35 percent more than last year.

Zoning change

The council voted 6-1, with Gruber opposed, to change zoning of about eight acres on the east side of Knight's Pond from Resource Protection zoning to its previous Limited Residential designation.

The change allows John Paynter more flexibility for any development on the revised section, which is part of about 22 acres he owns, although he is planning no development, Shane said.

Any development would have to occur in the open field area of the property, toward Greely Road Extension, Shane said. The zoning change reduces the shoreland protection setback on that section from 250 to 100 feet.

Alex Lear can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 113 or alear@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @learics.