Survey Results

As most readers of this web site know, the main objective of Friends of Lamoine for the last six years has been to give voice to Lamoiners wanting a broad emphasis on preserving Lamoine’s natural resources and beauty.  After successfully promoting a referendum to limit any further expansion of unpermitted gravel mining, we turned our efforts to preventing Harold MacQuinn, Inc. from removing gravel comprising the rest of Cousins Hill at Lamoine Corner. FOL went to court to reverse Lamoine Board of Appeals’ order to the Planning Board to issue MacQuinn a mining permit.  Our case was twice heard in Business Court, and finally in May, 2020, the Maine Supreme Court ruled in our favor, supporting the Planning Board’s original denial of a mining permit. The protracted legal proceedings were expensive and could not have happened without generous donations from our supporters.

Buoyed by winning our case, the question then became: what do we do now? Disband or continue?  And, if continue, with what projects? These questions led us to create a survey to determine the will of our supporters, and just as importantly, whether they would continue to support the effort financially.  In late November, 2020, we sent them a three page questionaire. The results were encouraging — 37% of those receiving the questionaire responded in detail.  (The average return rate is 10% for surveys.) Respondents rejected the idea of disbanding, thereby agreeing to continue to fund the efforts of Friends of Lamoine.

By far the most important take-away from the survey was for FOL to protect the aquifer, which lies under the glacial formation of gravel in Lamoine. This mirrored the high priority given it in Lamoine’s recently re-written Comprehensive Plan.  There were many ideas for how to do this.  If you would like to work with Friends of Lamoine — in addition to reading our web site — please let us know by e-mailing friendsoflamoine@gmail.com. Fortunately we’ve learned, in this age of Zoom, that we can work remotely – whether from our home in Lamoine or anywhere else in the country!  We look forward to hearing from you.

3 Comments

  1. Alan Moldawer January 30, 2021 10:50 am Reply

    Thank you for the work you do and for your interest in finding a cause or causes for continuing the work of Friends of Lamoine.

    There is an issue that I believe it important to Lamoine that could well be a cause for Friends of Lamoine. There is an ongoing process of Code reform, involving the Shoreland Zone, Building and Land Use Ordinance and Site Plan Ordinance that is haphazard, special interest driven and largely beyond the understanding of most Lamoine residents. Right now the Planning Board is proposing another change to the BLUO that would have a negative impact upon our town. With little understanding of the impact it will have on neighborhoods, they are proposing the change the definition of Building Height to allow property owners to increase the original grade of any lot to any height before construction and then measuring building height only from the top of the house to the finished grade–not the original grade as the law for many years has provided. This would allow someone to raise their lot 50 feet and put a 35 foot house on top of it, to tower over neighbors and block the vistas and views of others. This idea is abhorred by the residents of Marlboro and would make Lamoine a standout from other towns that limit residential building heights to 35 from original grade, but the Planning Board wants the change. My point is not just this change. My point is that there is a process whereby a few, poorly informed individuals can propose changes to these important Codes and get them summarily passed at Town meetings without much debate, input or understanding by the public. Friends of Lamoine could do a service by being involved as a public advocate to review proposed changes to the Shoreland, Building and Site Plan Codes that could have a negative impact on protecting our neighborhoods and environment. Its happening right now! Next Town Meeting in March!!

  2. Elaine Neske February 5, 2021 7:05 pm Reply

    I agree with Alan. The problems he has pointed out are are reasonable and very important to explore and act upon.

  3. Alan Moldawer February 16, 2021 1:51 pm Reply

    I am pleased to report that the Planning Board has backed away from proposing the substantive change to the definition of Building Height that posed a problem for the Town going forward. This one issue is no longer a concern. However, Code enforcement and how the Shoreland Zoning Ordinance and Building and Land Use Code is interpreted and consistently (or inconsistently) applied remains a serious issue for the Town. The Town would benefit from common sense input an environmentally concerned organization like Friends of Lamoine.

Leave a Reply