North Yarmouth to hold runoff election, special Town Meeting

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NORTH YARMOUTH — The town faces a pair of decisions next week: a runoff election for a seat on the Board of Selectmen on Tuesday, Aug. 2, and a vote on a contract zoning agreement Thursday, Aug. 4, for a proposed housing project on Walnut Hill Road.

Incumbent Selectman Jim Moulton and challenger Peter Lacy each received 408 votes in the June 14 election. A recount on June 24, which included previously uncounted ballots, produced another tie: 409-409.

Lacy and Moulton trailed Anne Graham, who received 796 votes June 14, and has been sworn in along with uncontested candidate Paul Napolitano. Lacy and Moulton were among five candidates running for two, three-year terms on the board; Nelson Smith received 299 votes, and Paul Metevier, 164.

With Moulton’s position unresolved, he has not sat on the board since June 30, the last day of the 2016 fiscal year.

Moulton has served 13 years on the Board of Selectmen – most recently from 2005-2008, before being elected again last year to complete an unexpired term – and was on the School Board from 2002-2005 and 2012-2015.

The owner of Jim’s Auto Repair, Moulton has also served six years on the Cumberland County Budget Advisory Committee and several years on the Zoning Board of Appeals. He served on the Policy Committee during his time on the SAD 51 board.

Lacy is an attorney with the state. He serves on the town’s Zoning Board of Appeals, and sat on the Conservation Commission when he lived in Lisbon.

Voting will take place at the former North Yarmouth Memorial School, 120 Memorial Highway, from 8 a.m.-8 p.m.

Contract zoning

Next week’s second decision will come during a special Town Meeting, with residents voting by a show of hands. The gathering will be held at North Yarmouth Memorial School at 7 p.m.

Developer Jim Guidi is seeking a contract zone agreement with the town to build the seven-lot Stone Post housing subdivision across the street from Stone’s Cafe & Bakery. The lots would range in size from about 15,000 to nearly 32,000 square feet, according to Code Enforcement Officer Ryan Keith.

Because the minimum lot size in that zone – the Village Center/Groundwater Protection overlay district – is 1 acre (43,560 square feet), and all but one of the lots would be about half that size, Guidi needs a contract zone to permit the development.

Guidi has already has an agreement in place to purchase the 4-acre parcel.

The Planning Board in June recommended the contract zone application be rejected, calling for the single lots to be at least 20,000 square feet, except for the common lot of approximately 15,000 square foot that would be shared by the subdivision and house the community septic system.

The panel also recommended that an additional public benefit be required besides creation of more density in the center of town: open space or affordable housing, for example.

But selectmen on July 5 approved the application, ruling that a public benefit requirement is up to them, and is not a requirement, Town Manager Rosemary Roy said in an interview July 14.

According to North Yarmouth’s land use ordinance, when considering “a request for a change in zoning classification for a particular property or group of properties under this section, the Board of Selectmen may impose certain conditions and restrictions on the use of the property where it finds that such conditions and restrictions are necessary to protect the public health, safety, and general welfare and when the Board of Selectmen seek to advance desired land use objectives consistent with the Comprehensive Plan, and where such uses provide a public purpose or benefit.”

Because North Yarmouth’s charter mandates that contract zones be approved by voters, the final decision now goes to next week’s special Town Meeting.

According to the contract zone agreement, the seven lots can each have no more than one residential unit, and the square footage above grade for the living space can be no more than 2,400 square feet. Each dwelling unit can have no more than three bedrooms.

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

Lacy, left, and Moulton.

A Maine native and Colby College graduate, Alex has been covering coastal communities since 2001, and currently handles Bath, Topsham, Cumberland, and North Yarmouth. He and his wife, Lauren, live in the Portland area, and Alex recently released his third album of original music.