BELGRADE — Selectmen will take a second look at a proposed traffic control and parking ordinance on Aug. 15.

The Board of Selectpersons voted 3-2 Tuesday night to reconsider the ordinance draft that was defeated two weeks ago because of a 2-2 vote. Selectman Ernst Merckens, who was absent from the previous meeting, cast the deciding vote in favor of reconsideration Tuesday night.

Selectman Michael Barrett formally requested reconsideration of the issue.

“In my opinion, nothing was really solved,” he said. “I would like the ordinance as proposed (on July 18) brought before the board again.”

The proposal addresses temporary street closings; sidewalk use, including snow removal; and parking, as well as parking enforcement, largely in the village area. A copy of the proposed ordinance is on the town’s website.

Selectman Ernie Rice, who previously voted against the ordinance, objected to the reconsideration of it as well.


“Most of the residents in this town don’t like new ordinances,” Rice said. “They don’t like new regulations.”

He said the town has been able to have parades and shut down roads for various functions without an ordinance. “I think it should be killed right here tonight,” Rice said.

Rice also said there have been few parking complaints.

“I feel it’s very inappropriate for this board to do an ordinance when we don’t have a serious problem,” Rice said.

He added that unintended consequences resulted from the adoption of a mass-gathering ordinance, which ended up affecting other events in the town.

Selectman Rick Damren said he visited an area near Long Pond several times where there had been a parking complaint, but he did not see a vehicle there. He also raised a question about enforcement.


Barrett countered by discussing parking problems along Main Street in the center of Belgrade Lakes.

“All it takes is a trip Sunday morning down in the village to know there’s a need,” he said. “Some days you couldn’t get an emergency vehicle down that road. We wanted something on the books.”

Rice said Maine State Police or the Kennebec County Sheriff’s Office could be contacted to handle parking problems along Main Street, which is state Route 27.

He also noted that there will be designated parking spaces after the state’s road reconstruction project in that area, which is to begin next spring. Barrett noted that the public will be able to weigh in on the proposed “Traffic Control and Parking Ordinance” at that time.

Barrett, Merckens and board Chairman Gary Mahler voted in favor of reconsideration; Rice and Damren opposed it,

In other business Tuesday night, selectmen reset the priorities for the town’s Planning Board, putting revisions to the Shoreland Zoning Ordinance at the forefront, and moving sign ordinance work to a back burner.


Planning Board Chairman Peter Rushton said it could be ready for a vote by next March if the all-volunteer board was given time to work on it.

The re-ordering of priorities came after requests by two property owners, Peter Sargent, who is also a Planning Board member but was speaking as an owner of shoreland property only.

Sargent said two other towns within the Belgrade Lakes watershed have revised their Shoreland Zoning Ordinances to make them compatible with state law and that he’s anxious for Belgrade to do the same

“It’s going at a snail’s pace,” Sargent said. “I’m looking for a timeline.”

Another property owner, Richard Samson, said he’s owned a small, 720-square-foot camp on Great Pond for eight years and has four children. “It’s been a tight squeeze for eight years,” Sampson told the board, adding that he’s hoping to enlarge it as allowed under the revised state law.

Betty Adams — 621-5631

Twitter: @betadams

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