The Belgrade selectmen will hold a public hearing at 6:30 p.m. Monday on a series of items that will be voted on at the polls March 17 as part of Town Meeting.

Other articles will be considered in open session March 18.

The warrant articles are available on the town’s website at

One article indicates selectmen recommend approval of amendments to the town’s Commercial Development Review Ordinance.

Planning Board member George Seel said the basic objective was to make the ordinance consistent with the 2014 Comprehensive Plan and recommendations of that plan, many of which were specific to the ordinance.

Seel said other objectives including making the ordinance “more user-friendly both for applicants and the Planning Board and to eliminate some of the areas of ambiguity and vagueness in standards.”

While many of the changes are simple updates, the proposed amendments include a new section about wind energy facilities as well as a standard regarding visual impact of those and cell towers.

It says, “Any development to be placed on a lakeshore or a hilltop may be required to prepare a visual impact assessment to provide evidence that it will not significantly impact the quality of Belgrade’s scenic resource.”

Seel said the board is aware of what was happening in neighboring Rome, which is embroiled in a protracted legal battle over a proposal to build a 190-foot cell tower on the Mountain, which overlooks Great and Long ponds.

Other changes would restore standards for errant lighting or light pollution. Those exterior lighting standards had been deleted, apparently by accident.

Seel said the ordinance upgraded requirements for phosphorous control and storm water — which he said are particularly important to Belgrade — and incorporated recommendations by the Maine Department of Environmental Protection.

The Planning Board previously held both a public hearing and a public informational meeting on the ordinance and considered the suggestions received.

“Obviously when you’re addressing an ordinance like this, there’s a fair amount of compromise involved,” Seel said.

The Planning Board has been working on updating the ordinance for more than two years.

Other warrant article items to be considered at the public hearing include funding for various entities, including $155,551 for the town’s Recreation Department and $58,370 for the library. There are also requests for funding from various nonprofit agencies, including $1,500 for Hospice Volunteers of Waterville Area; $2,041 for the Central Maine Area (Agency) on Aging, also known as Spectrum Generations; and a request for $1,000 from Literacy Volunteers.

Another article asks whether voters want to spend $40,000 for lake water quality programs that include erosion control and invasive plant removal. That is the same amount budgeted in 2016.

The money would be split among various groups: $16,000 for the Belgrade Lakes Association for Great Pond milfoil removal, $8,400 for the Belgrade Regional Conservation Alliance’s Courtesy Boat Inspection, Youth Conservation Corps; $13,100 for Friends of Messalonskee-Belgrade Stream milfoil removal; and $2,500 for McGrath Pond-Salmon Lake Association Courtesy Boat Inspection, Youth Conservation Corps, Port-O-Let.

Selectmen voted 3-1 against recommending the money; the Budget Committee recommended approval 4-0, with one member abstaining.

Selectmen Gary Mahler, one of those voting against it, said Friday, “My problem is they come back every year and ask for $40,000. I keep beating the drum for a water conservation district.”

He said Belgrade still would pay taxes toward that, but it would be funded differently and probably require an overall plan for the lakes area.

“We all want to protect the lakes. The discussion concerns how,” Mahler said.

While that article is on the secret ballot, a “contingency article” on the regular Town Meeting warrant asks whether voters want to take the $9,950 collected in boat excise tax and $9,950 from the Water Quality Fund to support the Belgrade Lakes Resource Center, which would then distribute the money.

Betty Adams — 621-5631

[email protected]

Twitter: @betadams