VASSALBORO — Three dozen people appeared at Tuesday’s Planning Board meeting about the proposed Riverside MX motorbike track off Cushnoc Road.

Those who spoke expressed friendly feelings toward the Petito and Shorey families, who built the motorbike track on the Petitos’ land for their children to use, and who now seek to open it to the public.
But neighbors hate the noise.

Jane Cloutier said the “the revving, and the noise going around and around and around” prevents her and her ill husband from enjoying their house.

Bobbi Farrell, a teacher, said she dreads coming home from school and listening to “people going around the track” until dusk.

She figured she could stand the family use “until the boys grew up,” but does not look forward to an extended life for the track.

Lisa Soucie is not happy about more use of the track on weekends, when her family enjoys being outside.

Graydon “Jake” Shorey and Michael and Denise Petito said they need to measure noise output as part of the application process.  Because they are not sure they can get the measurements before the May 3 Planning Board meeting, they did not commit to presenting a complete application by that time.

Planning Board members pointed out several other pieces of information the applicants need to add before the board can find the application complete.

Once the application is complete, board members decide whether the project meets Vassalboro’s ordinance criteria for a business.

Board Chairwoman Virginia Brackett explained that because Vassalboro lacks strict ordinances, the two families could building the track for private use. By intending to allow others to use it and charge a fee, however, they would create a commercial enterprise that requires town approval.

Shorey said other people have asked to use the track and been turned away.  If the Planning Board approves, he and the Petitos could accommodate them. 

There will be no races, which are apt to draw large crowds. The goal, he said, is “just providing a safe place for kids to learn.”

Practice periods typically attract fewer than two dozen people, Shorey said, and there will not be more than 10 bikes on the track at a time.

In addition to noise, neighbors were concerned about strangers in their rural neighborhood, about bikers riding on public roads and nearby properties and about future expansion of the business.

Planning Board members unanimously approved two other applications on Tuesday’s agenda. They postponed a fourth one for lack of information.

In other business:

• Ann Dube and partners Lois Kenney and Michael Pomerleau got approval for Two Hogs Winery on Mudget Hill Road, with little debate.  Pomerleau said if the state and federal permitting processes go as smoothly, they would like to open by Memorial Day.

• Todd Overlock got a permit for the auto repair garage he has been running for 18 months in part of the mill complex in North Vassalboro. 

At Code Enforcement Officer Daniel Feeney’s suggestion, board members limited Overlock to 12 vehicles on the property at a time and prohibited him from storing parts outdoors or blocking the right of way on the property.

• A shoreland zoning application from the Tess and Kelly families on Sandy Point Road on Three Mile Pond was tabled for more details on the size of the proposed enlargement.

The Planning Board meeting began with short public hearings on two ordinance amendments to be presented at the Town Meeting in June. 

One makes minor changes to the shoreland map; the other updates the floodplain ordinance.

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