Calais Planning Board Approves Jehovah Witness Hall

By Gwen Clark


The Calais Planning Board met on Monday evening March 18th. All Board members were in attendance Chairman Bill Barnett, Dick Ramsey, Gail Wahl, Butch Alexander, Bill Cody, Everett Libby, Herm Gadway and Code Enforcement Officer Jim Porter.   Facing a seemingly  short agenda that turned into a long evening.  Under the new business , representative  of the Calais congregation of Jehovah Witness’ Brett Markovitch  presented site plan approval  for the building  a new Jehovah Witness Hall on Odey Lane  Map 11 Lot 27.  The designer Aaron Hedifine and project coordinator  Brent Morris assisted with the plans presentation.  The project was approved unanimously.     

A small business operating out of their home  was also approved by the Board for Lynn and Josh Page owners of 26 High Street residence.   The business will deal with selling of craft items, native jewelry and glass beaded items and custom tees.

The Board then began the process of up-dating the Downtown Revitalization Ordinance under the Old Business on the agenda.  The public was given imput during the February 19th Meeting  and the City Council had requested that the Board review and make any necessary updates in the Ordinance.   The Board then began the process of reviewing the sixteen page ordinance page by page.  They wanted to make the ordinance easier to understand and read; easier for businesses to comply with and easier for the Code Enforcement Officer and Planning Board itself to enforce the ordinance.  A lot of repetition was found throughout the ordinance itself and Board worked to eliminate  the repetition and to compact its content in total.

In order to bring the ordinance into compliance and current the general purpose was consolidated, the powers and duties of both the Code Enforcement Officer and the Planning Board were redefined, application processes for permits were relaxed with some requiring more time within a limited time frame depending upon the project repairs, restorations, etc. that were deemed necessary and meeting the determined standard established by the Board.    

There was limited Public input  and the Board accepted all ideas and forged forward to complete their task at hand on re-writing the ordinance.