January 11, 2013

Benton Planning Board to consider major developments ordinance

Rules would be aimed at big-box retailers and control appearance, parking, landscaping, lighting and insurance

By Matt Hongoltz-Hetling mhhetling@centralmaine.com
Staff Writer

BENTON -- Town leaders will meet Monday to discuss a proposed ordinance that would regulate large-scale development in the town among other items.

Town Clerk Pat Turlo said the planning board developed the proposed ordinance to make sure that rules are in place in case a large retailer, such as Walmart, decides to establish a location in town limits. He said that there is no large-scale development project pending before the town.

The proposed law addresses things such as building appearance, parking, landscaping, lighting and bonds.

"They have to meet these requirements so that they can't come in at will," Turlo said. "They're just basic rules, like that it wouldn't interfere with the roadway."

Turlo said that the board will likely set a public hearing to allow residents to comment on the ordinance.

Much of the language in the ordinance was taken from existing laws across the state and is not specific to Benton, he said.

The ordinance won't take effect unless it is approved by voters at the annual Town Meeting in March.

The agenda for Monday's board meeting also notes that the town's budget committee will meet on Wednesday to discuss the budget, which will also go to voters in March.

Other items on the agenda include a general assistance audit that will take place later in the week, a Tuesday, Jan. 22, deadline for nomination papers for an open selectman position and committee reports.

Matt Hongoltz-Hetling -- 861-9287

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