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Lisbon Planning Board and Town Council prepare for meeting - time yet unset

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LISBON – The Planning Board and Town Council are looking for a suitable time to meet within the near future to discuss potential revisions to the mandate of the Planning Board.

Newly appointed co-liaison to the Planning Board Town Council Member Gary J. Jarvis said, “We all need to sit down and talk about it.”

Mr. Jarvis serves as liaison to the Planning Board along with Council Member Susan M. Duffy.

The Council requested Code Enforcement Officer Christopher J. Sherwin make recommendations about limiting the powers of the Planning Board in September.

Mr. Sherwin’s recommendations, presented in December, included placing the authority over granting residential building permits entirely within the jurisdiction of the code enforcement officer without Planning Board oversight, and removing the requirement that new building projects are begun on land that is at least an acre.

The Town Council decided to wait until they get a chance to meet with the Planning Board before voting on any of the proposals.

While Planning Board President Steven Wallace said he hasn’t “officially” seen Mr. Sherwin’s proposals, he is wary of changes that could potentially lead to increased housing density by removing the one acre minimum law.

“You start creating dense housing situations and you’ve got a problem,” Mr. Wallace said at Monday’s Board meeting. “You’re going to have to set up municipal water and sewer if you start putting up high density housing in certain areas.”

Mr. Wallace said he appreciates the Council’s desire to see the tax levy increased with new residents, but argued that Lisbon residents “don’t want a village.”

But Town Council Member Alan D. Dailey said, “The only way we can get taxes down is to try and increase the tax base. We have 3 choices every year: you either raise taxes, cut services, or increase the tax base.”

To that end Mr. Dailey is open to suggestions that would remove the one acre minimum law, but said he wants to hear from the Planning Board first hand at the meeting which is yet to be determined.

“The sooner the better,” Mr. Wallace said.

Planning Board Secretary Patrick M. Madlin’s official resignation was also confirmed by Town Council Member Gary J. Jarvis.

Mr. Madlin initially announced his resignation in November but the Town Council was unable to find a replacement because he failed to turn in official paperwork

. The Town Council will now begin looking to fill his position.

Planning Board Member Glen Harris had also signified his intention to resign through Mr. Madlin in October and stopped attending meetings. However, he has yet to turn in official paperwork to that end and Mr. Wallace said Mr. Harris may be reconsidering his decision.

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