Alna ramp replacement loses twice more

Tue, 07/28/2020 - 7:15am

Jeff Spinney was considering all options after Alna’s planning board again rejected his Sheepscot River ramp replacement request Monday night. Two new votes went the same way as the June 29 one: Jim Amaral and Laurie Hiestand rejected the argument the ramp is grandfathered from the town’s 1993 shoreland rules and Tom Albee and Taylor McGraw voted it is grandfathered; then each voted the same on the ramp as an accessory to an approved dock.

In a phone interview later, Spinney said he was not surprised. “I’m not too happy that the Alna planning board can’t seem to fathom what’s a proper reading of the ordinance and what’s not.”

A consultant, former Lincoln County planner Bob Faunce, predicted during the meeting, the outcome, whatever it was, would be appealed. And in the interview, Spinney said he was not sure he would continue with his recent, separate request to do earthwork. “I don’t know what’s going to happen right now with that. I’m looking at every option,” including a possible zoning board appeal of the votes on the first proposal.

After hearing from residents Mike Trask and Toby Stockford about their and others’ years of using the ramp, Albee and McGraw were satisfied the ramp is grandfathered. Amaral and Hiestand were unsure the ramp was getting maintained. Responding to board questions, Trask said he thought people applied dirt as needed to get in and out.

Board members noted a past owner of the property reported the ramp was not maintained. “The conflicting information is what’s making this so hard for us,” Hiestand said.