WEST GARDINER — Elected officials in West Gardiner are continuing to work on four proposed ordinances sidelined at the Town Meeting in April.

To do that, on Thursday the Board of Selectmen is expected to hold a public hearing on extending the six-month ban they put in place in December on building solar energy systems, self-storage units, medical cannabis retail stores, and on medical cannabis cultivation operations.

Following that public hearing, the selectmen are expected to vote to extend the moratorium for six more months.

Greg Couture, chairman of the West Gardiner Board of Selectmen, said the extension is needed because new drafts of the four proposals have not yet been completed.

Initially, selectmen had planned to bring updated versions of the four proposals to a public hearing June 1 and to hold a special town meeting for residents to vote on them June 8. That timeline had been established to take action before the current moratorium expires this month.

“We’ve got three rough (drafts), and we haven’t gotten the other one,” Couture said Saturday. We’ll do the extension and wait for the fourth one, so we can get them all done at the same time.”


Historically, West Gardiner residents have rejected mechanisms that would limit growth. The town has no zoning other that what state law requires. It has no Planning Board, nor does it require building permits. But development pressures are causing residents to seek controls over some activities.

Following a contentious public hearing in March when more than 200 people packed the truck bays of the West Gardiner Fire Station, selectmen opted to pass over the two medical cannabis-related proposals; a resident had pointed out what officials were proposing was contrary to state medical cannabis laws.

As a result of the public hearing, the self-storage facility and solar energy system proposals had been amended to bans on adding more of either and prohibiting existing operations from expanding.

But at Town Meeting, which drew more than 300 residents to the fire station, those ordinances were passed over and no votes were taken on them. At the time, Couture said they posed problems in drafting that would require more work and consultations with subject matter experts.

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