FARMINGDALE — Proposed rules for consumer fireworks, changeable signs and underground utility work will be the subject of a public hearing next week.

The Planning Board has reviewed final drafts of three ordinances that will be presented at the hearing, which will be held at 7 p.m. Monday at the Town Office. Voters have the final say at a special town meeting set for 1 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 10, in the Little Theater at Hall-Dale High School on Maple Street.

The changeable sign ordinance aims to regulate the flashing electronic signs, imposing more lenient standards than state law on how frequently the signs may flash and in what way.

Officials say the rules promote highway safety while assisting local businesses to compete with other businesses in other towns and cities. In October, Melissa Potter, controller of DNK Motors, requested the board develop the sign ordinance with more flexibility than the state law.

“Safety was the number 1 priority,” said Bill Longfellow, chairman of Planning Board. “We want to maximize the use of the sign and still be safe.”

The sign ordinance would allow all of the surface area of a changeable sign to be used, though impose standards on its height and proximity to roads and other signs.

A permissible fireworks ordinance is also proposed in response to a state law that goes into effect Jan. 1. Residents would be able to shoot off fireworks between 9 a.m. and 10 p.m., seven days a week. Some cities , including Portland, have banned both the sale and use of consumer fireworks in anticipation of the new law.

Initially, the Board of Selectmen wanted to create an ordinance with a strict permitting process, but the Planning Board rejected that idea. Planning Board members talked to municipal leaders in a few New Hampshire towns about the same size as Farmingdale, who said they have had no permitting ordinances for consumer fireworks and have had few problems.

The proposed fireworks ordinance allows the use of fireworks but sets minimum standards, Longfellow said. The Planning Board wants a simple ordinance in place and review it in a year, if necessary.

Finally, an underground utility accommodation ordinance would require all installations of underground utilities under or on the surface of a public way to meet construction standards. Companies also must get a permit from the town.

Selectmen initiated drafting an ordinance several months ago after Portland-based Kennebec Valley Gas Co. proposed installing a natural gas line from Richmond to Madison, which would run through Farmingdale.


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