Town of Bethel, ME
Oxford County
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[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town of Bethel 8-25-1987, as amended through 12-3-2001. Subsequent amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Building construction — See Ch. 96.
Floodplain management — See Ch. 105.
Streets and sidewalks — See Ch. 125.
Shoreland zoning — See Ch. 132.
Subdivision — See Ch. 150.
The purposes of this chapter are to:
A. 
Protect property rights and values by balancing the rights of landowners to use their land with the corresponding rights of abutting and neighboring landowners to enjoy their property.
B. 
Promote the development of an economically sound and stable community.
C. 
Integrate new development harmoniously and safely into the existing environment.
D. 
Minimize adverse and irreversible impacts on natural resources.
A. 
Authority and title.
(1) 
This chapter is adopted pursuant to home rule powers as provided for in Article VIII, Part Second, of the Maine Constitution and 30-A M.R.S.A. §§ 3001 and 4352.
[Amended 6-11-2003]
(2) 
This chapter shall be known as the "Site Plan Review Ordinance" of the Town of Bethel, Maine, adopted and effective by vote of the Town Meeting.
B. 
Administration. The Planning Board of the Town of Bethel shall administer this chapter.
A. 
This chapter shall apply to all development proposals involving new construction, change of use, or substantial enlargement and/or alteration of the following:
(1) 
Commercial, retail, industrial, institutional and recreational buildings, structures and uses and accessory structures and their uses.
(2) 
Multifamily dwellings and accessory uses and structures.
(3) 
Campgrounds.
(4) 
Mobile home parks.
(5) 
Condominium development. All condominiums are created under 33 M.R.S.A. Chapter 31, known as the "Maine Condominium Act," and subject to the terms therein.
(6) 
Motels, hotels and inns.
(7) 
Bed-and-breakfast establishments, tourist homes, and rooming and boarding houses.
(8) 
Telecommunications towers and related facilities.
(9) 
Development inside the fenced perimeter of the Bethel Regional Airport not explicitly approved in the Master Plan or ancillary to airport operations.
[Added 6-9-2010]
B. 
Certain development proposals as defined by state subdivision law in 30-A M.R.S.A. § 4404 shall also require subdivision review as per Chapter 150, Subdivision of Land.
C. 
The following definitions shall be used to determine applicability:
(1) 
New construction shall occur when new or different material is used to build, rebuild, construct or erect a structure on a new or existing foundation or concrete pad or on the ground or to excavate, fill, grade, or otherwise prepare land for recreational uses.
(2) 
Change of use shall occur when either of the following occurs, as determined and documented by the Planning Board:
(a) 
The proposed use significantly affects the performance standards as defined in § 140-5; or
(b) 
Stricter standards as defined in § 140-7, Special regulations, apply to the proposed use.
(3) 
Substantial enlargement shall occur when the total footprint area of the structure as it existed at the time of the adoption of this chapter is increased by either 1,000 square feet or 20% in area, whichever is less, within any ten-year period. Enlargements of less than 1,000 square feet or 20% in area shall not be counted as substantial, provided that the cumulative sum of less than substantial enlargement within any ten-year period does not exceed 1,000 square feet or 20% of the total footprint area of the structure as it existed at the time of adoption of this chapter. A substantial enlargement shall occur when the use of an existing structure or site increases by 50% as measured by seating capacity or parking requirements within any ten-year period.
(4) 
Substantial alteration shall occur when there is a structural change, change of location or major modification which involves more than 50% of the total square footage of the area of use. Normal maintenance activities, such as painting, residing, reroofing, replacing trim, railings or other nonstructural architectural details, or adding or removing or changing the location of doors and windows, shall not be considered to be alterations under this chapter.
D. 
This chapter does not apply to:
(1) 
Construction of detached single-family and two-family dwellings and customary outbuildings for the use of the residents thereof.
(2) 
Construction of barns, stables, and other buildings for use in agriculture.
(3) 
The subdivision of land as defined by 30-A M.R.S.A. § 4404 and/or Chapter 150, Subdivision of Land.
(4) 
Nonstructural use of land for agriculture or forestry, including agricultural and forest management roads and gravel pits that include excavations for borrow, topsoil, clay, and silt. For operation of rock crushers see § 140-7, Special regulations, Subsection E(2), Heavy industrial.
(5) 
Existing buildings or premises legally established prior to the adoption of this chapter unless subject to review under the provisions of Subsection A to C of this section.
(6) 
Seasonal farm stands selling only agricultural products.
(7) 
Home occupations.
(8) 
Any structure damaged or destroyed by fire, explosion or natural disaster if it is rebuilt on the same or a rebuilt foundation of equal or lesser floor area for the same use at the time of destruction and if completed within two years of destruction.
(9) 
The construction of small structures necessary for the provision of utilities or services such as power, water and sewage. Exempted structures shall not exceed 100 square feet in area.
(10) 
The construction of any cabinets, dishes, radio units, platforms, ice bridges or other equipment located within the fenced ground compound of any previously approved telecommunications facility.
[Added 6-11-2014[1]]
[1]
Editor’s Note: This enactment also redesignated former Subsection D(10) as D(11).
(11) 
Change of use which does not affect the performance standards.
[Amended 6-11-2003; 6-15-2005; 6-14-2006; 6-13-2007; 6-9-2010]
A. 
Request for written determination of applicability by applicant.
(1) 
An applicant may submit a request for a written determination regarding the applicability of this chapter prior to submitting an application. The property owner, developer, or his/her authorized agent may appear at a regular meeting of the Planning Board to discuss a proposed development or change of use. A sketch plan and/or description of the proposed development or change of use may be presented at this time.
(2) 
No binding commitments shall be made, except for the applicability of this subsection, between the property owner, developer, or his/her authorized agent and the Planning Board at this stage.
(3) 
The request for a written determination of applicability shall not be considered the initiation of the review process.
B. 
Request for written determination of applicability by other than applicant.
(1) 
The Board of Selectmen, Code Enforcement Officer, or an abutter may submit a request for a written determination regarding the applicability of this chapter. The property owner, developer, or his/her authorized agent shall be informed of the request for determination and may participate at a regular meeting of the Planning Board to discuss a proposed development or change of use. A sketch plan and/or description of the proposed development or change of use may be presented at this time.
(2) 
No binding commitments shall be made, except for the applicability of this subsection, between the property owner, developer, or his/her authorized agent and the Planning Board at this stage.
(3) 
The request for a written determination of applicability shall not be considered the initiation of the review process.
C. 
Abutter notification. Upon receipt of a request for a determination of applicability, the Planning Assistant shall notify by mail all property owners abutting the parcel and across any street abutting the parcel.
[Amended 6-13-2007; 7-16-2008; 6-9-2010]
A. 
The site plan shall be drawn to a scale of not more than one inch equals 100 feet by a registered land surveyor, engineer, or other person deemed acceptable by the Planning Board. Ten copies shall be provided. Copies of the plan may be reduced to a size of 8 1/2 by 11 inches or 11 by 17 inches. If it is anticipated that the proposed subdivision will be connected to the public water and/or sewer systems, additional copies shall be provided to the Bethel Water District and/or the Bethel Wastewater Treatment Department.
B. 
Fees.
(1) 
All applications shall be accompanied by the required fees as set forth in the Town of Bethel Fee Schedule.
(2) 
Should the application and plans for the project necessitate retaining the services of outside professional expertise by the Planning Board to review the application and plans for the development, the cost shall be borne by the applicant.
C. 
Requirements for plans. Requirements for the plans are indicated on an application form supplied by the Planning Board/Planning Assistant and shall include the following:
(1) 
Information on the applicant.
(a) 
Name of owner, name of applicant (if other than owner), name of applicant's authorized representative.
(b) 
Address to which all correspondence from the Planning Board should be sent, including electronic mail and phone number where the applicant or applicant agent can be reached.
(c) 
If applicant is an entity other than an individual, state whether the entity is licensed to do business in Maine and attach a copy of the Secretary of State's registration and Certificate of Good Standing.
(d) 
(Reserved)
(e) 
Name and license number of registered professional engineer, land surveyor, or planner who prepared the plan.
(f) 
(Reserved)
(g) 
Right, title, or interest. The applicant must demonstrate sufficient right, title, or interest in the parcel to be developed (option, land purchase contract, record ownership, etc.).
(h) 
(Reserved)
(i) 
State whether the plan covers the entire contiguous holdings of the applicant or not; if there is contiguous property, show on plan.
(2) 
Information on project parcel.
(a) 
Title of property: book and page (from Registry of Deeds).
(b) 
Location of property: map and lot number (from Assessor's office).
(c) 
Map survey of tract to be developed, certified by a registered land surveyor, engineer, or other person acceptable to the Planning Board, tied to established reference points (attach to application).
(d) 
Current use of property.
(e) 
Acreage of parcel to be developed.
(f) 
(Reserved)
(g) 
Names and addresses of property owners abutting parcel to be developed and on opposite side of any road from parcel (show on plan). The current use of abutting properties shall also be indicated, but not limited to, agricultural land and managed forest land.
(h) 
Any easements, rights-of-way, or other encumbrances that exist on the parcel.
(i) 
(Reserved)
(j) 
Statement if parcel is classified as tree growth.
(k) 
State whether any portion of the parcel to be developed is located within the Shoreland Zone.
(l) 
State whether any portion of the parcel to be developed is located within the floodplain.
(3) 
Information on site plan.
(a) 
Proposed name of project (show on plan).
(b) 
Numbers of lots and approximate acreage of each lot (show on plan).
(c) 
Date, magnetic North point, and graphic map scale (show on plan).
(d) 
Proposed lot lines with approximate dimensions and building envelopes, with subsurface sewage test pits (show on plan).
(e) 
Location of markers adequately placed to enable the Planning Board to locate lots readily and appraise basic lot layout in the field (show on plan).
(f) 
Location and size of existing buildings within the project, the location of any river, stream, or brook within or abutting the project and other essential existing physical features (show on plan).
(g) 
Approximate location and size of any existing sewers and water mains, and culverts and drains, using the best available data (show on plan).
(h) 
Location and size of any proposed sewer and water mains and culverts and drains (show on plan).
(i) 
Location, names, and widths of existing and proposed streets, highways, rights-of-way, easements, building lines, parks, and other open spaces (show on plan). If a road or way is not to be built to the specifications of Chapter 125, Road Design and Construction, Article I, this fact must be so noted on the plan.
(j) 
Responsibility for the maintenance of roads and ways and the administrative structure for the perpetual funding of the private road and other improvements, show on plan and state in any restrictive covenants to be filed in the Registry of Deeds.
(k) 
Contour lines at an interval of not more than 20 feet in elevation, unless otherwise specified by the Planning Board, to refer to USGS bench marks if such exist within 500 feet of the subdivision (show on plan).
(l) 
Disturbed areas with a slope of 20% or greater must be specifically designated (show on plan).
(m) 
The location of any freshwater wetlands. All freshwater wetlands within the proposed project have been identified on any maps submitted as part of the application, regardless of the size of these wetlands (show on plan).
(n) 
If any portion of the subdivision is in a flood-prone area, the boundaries of any flood hazard area and the one-hundred-year flood elevation shall be delineated and shown on the plan
(o) 
The location of potentially sensitive archaeological sites identified by the Maine Historic Preservation Commission on the map dated December 2005, or the most current version. If the project falls in a potentially sensitive archaeological site, the applicant shall consult with the Maine Historical Preservation Commission regarding an archaeological survey.
(p) 
The location of any historic structures identified in the Bethel Comprehensive Plan dated June 1998, or the most current version. When a proposed development will include or abut an historic building the applicant will design the development to minimize the impacts on the historic building.
(q) 
The location of significant or rare plant or wildlife habitats, including fisheries, deer wintering areas, and inland waterfowl wading habitats identified by Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife on the map dated July 12, 2005, or most recent map or data released by the Maine Department of Environmental Protection, which may be in the area of the development. If there are significant plants or rare wildlife habitats, the applicant shall consult with Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife or Maine Natural Areas Program on measures to conserve the identified habitats.
(r) 
Location and dimensions of on-site pedestrian and vehicular access, parking areas, loading and unloading facilities, design of entrances and exits of vehicles to and from the site onto public streets, and curb and sidewalk lines. Sidewalks shall conform to the specifications of Chapter 125.
(s) 
Landscape plan showing location, type and approximate size of plantings, area lighting, signs, and open space; location, dimensions and description of all fencing and screening (may be a separate plan).
(t) 
Lighting plan; may be shown on plan or be separate plan.
(u) 
Existing and proposed locations and dimensions of buildings and other structures, roads and other paved areas, wells, any buried tanks and structures.
(v) 
Parking plan, showing all on-site parking, (show on plan) and including written agreements for shared parking.
(w) 
A description of the proposed uses to be located on the site, including quantity and type of residential units, if any.
(x) 
The location of any aquifers and recharge areas if there is to be significant proposed ground disturbance.
(y) 
If the project is proposing a public building as defined by the Office of the Maine State Fire Marshal, the applicant shall apply for a construction and/or barrier-free permit as required. No building permit shall be issued prior to receipt of the permit.
(z) 
An estimate of quantities of material to be excavated and a plan for on-site or legal off-site disposal thereof. No stumpage may be taken to the transfer station. Six cubic yards only of construction waste and debris, demolition debris, cleaning debris, masonry, sheetrock, and asphalt material may be taken to the transfer station from a single project.
(aa) 
Plan for storage and disposal of construction debris and of solid waste generated by the finished project.
(4) 
Accompanying documents required for site plan.
(a) 
Typical cross sections of proposed grading for roadways, sidewalks, and storm drainage facilities.
(b) 
For developments not to be connected to public sewers, a soils report prepared by a licensed soil scientist identifying soil types and location of soil test areas. Based on soil test results, certain modifications of the preliminary plan may be required. There shall be at least one soil test per lot.
(c) 
Maine Department of Transportation traffic, driveway or entrance permits, if required or Town of Bethel Street Opening or Driveway Entrance Permit, if required.
(d) 
(Reserved)
(e) 
If applicable, a statement from the Wastewater Superintendent, either a letter or an electronic communication, indicating that the Wastewater Treatment Department will permit an alteration or a new connection to the sewer system.
(f) 
If applicable, a statement from the Bethel Water District, either a letter or an electronic communication, indicating that the Water District will permit an alteration or a new connection to the water district system.
(g) 
Statement from the Fire Chief, either a letter or electronic communication, verifying his review of the plans, showing the availability of fire hydrants and/or fire ponds, or provision of fire-protection services, to include the accessibility of the road for fire equipment. Specific approval needs to be included for lessening side setbacks in projects with Town sewer.
(h) 
A soil erosion and sedimentation control plan for construction and for permanent control (attach). The plan will be in accordance with currently acceptable best management practices, such as Maine Erosion and Sediment Control Handbook for Construction: Best Management Practices.
(i) 
A location map, consisting of a United States Geological Survey (USGS) topographical map, showing the relation of the proposed development to adjacent properties and to the general surrounding area. The location map shall show all the area within 500 feet of any property line of the proposed development (attach to application).
[Amended 6-13-2012]
(j) 
Restrictive covenants to be filed in the Registry of Deeds stating any responsibility for the maintenance of roads and ways and the administrative structure for the perpetual funding of the private road and other improvements.
(k) 
If a portion of the site plan is located in the direct watershed of North, Songo or South Pond, a phosphorus impact analysis and control plan.
(l) 
Stormwater management plan, prepared in accordance with currently acceptable best management practices. The plan will address stormwater in terms of quantity, quality, resource protection, soil stability, and phosphorus, where necessary, and/or as requested by the Planning Board. The plan will be prepared in accordance with currently acceptable best management practices, such as, but not limited to, Stormwater Management for Maine: Best Management Practices. If the project is also being reviewed under Chapter 150, Subdivision of Land, the stormwater plan may be filed with the final subdivision application.
(m) 
Floor plans.
(n) 
Floor elevations and front elevations of buildings.
D. 
Planning Board action.
(1) 
Issuance of dated receipt and abutter notification. When the application is received, the Planning Board shall give a dated receipt to the applicant and shall notify by mail all property owners abutting the parcel and across any street abutting the parcel as listed in the most recently published commitment book.
(2) 
Site walk. In order for the Planning Board to be more fully informed about the site, it may arrange on-site inspections at any time.
(3) 
Public hearing. In the event that the Planning Board determines to hold a public hearing on the proposed project, it shall hold such public hearing within 30 days of having received a completed preliminary project application and shall cause notice of the date, time and place of such hearing to be published in a newspaper of general circulation in Bethel at least one time. The date of the publication shall be at least seven days prior to the hearing. The decision to hold a public hearing is discretionary, and in making its decision the Planning Board may consider the size and type of project, the community impact, and whether any written requests for such a hearing have been received. The Planning Board shall notify by mail all property owners abutting the parcel and across the street of the date, place and time of the public hearing. The applicant shall pay the costs of advertisement and notification at or before the time of the public hearing.
E. 
Complete application. Within 90 days of the date of issuance of the receipt, the Planning Board shall review the plan and shall notify the developer in writing either that:
(1) 
The application is a complete application; or
(2) 
There are a number of specific additional materials which will have to be submitted to make a complete application. The Planning Board shall list the specific additional items that must be submitted in order to make the application complete.
F. 
Decision of Planning Board.
(1) 
The Planning Board shall, within 120 days of issuance of the receipt, or within another time limit as may be otherwise mutually agreed to by the Board and the developer, make findings of fact on the application and approve, approve with conditions, or deny the plan. The Board shall specify in writing its findings of fact and reasons for any conditions or denial.
[Added 6-9-2010]
A. 
The final drawing shall include:
(1) 
Approval space.
(a) 
Suitable space to record on the plan the signatures of Planning Board members and the date of approval.
(b) 
Suitable space is to be made available on the plan for the listing of required notes and conditions of approval.
B. 
Accompanying documents. Unless otherwise indicated by the Planning Board, the following items shall be required as part of the final drawing submission:
(1) 
Site plan improvement guarantee. The conditional agreement will be endorsed by the Planning Board on the final plan and it will provide that no lot may be sold and no building permit will be issued for any building on any portion of the development until the completion of all streets, utilities, and any other improvements; or
(2) 
Performance guarantee. As a condition of final approval, the Planning Board may require the applicant to file a performance guarantee, payable to the municipality, in lieu of an improvement guarantee. The conditions, the form, and the amount of the performance guarantee shall be determined by the Board of Selectmen. A performance guarantee may take the form of:
(a) 
Security bond. The applicant may obtain a security bond from a surety bonding company authorized to do business in the state.
(b) 
Letter of credit. The applicant may provide an irrevocable letter of credit from a bank or other reputable lending institution authorized to do business in the state.
(c) 
Escrow account. The applicant may deposit cash or cash equivalents with the municipality or in escrow with a bank authorized to do business in the state.
(3) 
In order to be released from any guarantee, the applicant will furnish the Town Manager with a letter, stamped by an independent, third-party professional engineer acceptable to the Town Manager, certifying that the road and other improvements, as built, meet all Town ordinances and conditions of subdivision approval. The cost of the third-party improvement review shall be the obligation of the applicant.
(4) 
Land dedication. Written copies of any document of land dedication or other interests and written evidence that the Board of Selectmen is satisfied with the legal sufficiency of any document conveying such land dedication or other interest to the Town of Bethel. Without Town Meeting approval, the Board of Selectmen is authorized to accept land, easements, and infrastructure in conjunction with an approved subdivision plan with total value not exceeding $25,000 per approved plan.
(5) 
Statement of technical ability, the estimated cost of the project and evidence of financial capability to complete the project.
(6) 
Municipal facilities impact analysis. After receiving comments from the Bethel Wastewater Treatment Department, Bethel Board of Selectmen, Bethel Water District, Road Commissioner, Public Works Director, and others, the Planning Board may require the applicant to conduct an analysis of the impact of the proposed development upon public or municipal services. This analysis may include, but not be limited to, sewer, water, roads, solid waste, drainage, police and fire protection, rescue services, schools, open space, such as a parks, recreation programs and facilities and other municipal services and facilities. The analysis shall include estimated costs for upgrading services and facilities to compensate for the demands created by the development. Once completed, the analysis shall be submitted to the Planning Board and appropriate departments for review and comment. Depending upon the degree to which the development will exceed the capacity of municipal facilities or reduce the level of services provided, the Planning Board may require the applicant to upgrade, or pay for the upgrade of, the services expected to be deficient or to provide the acceptable equivalent improvements as a condition of plan approval.
[Amended 6-13-2012]
(7) 
Stormwater management plan, if not submitted with the original site plan.
(8) 
Traffic impact study if required by the Planning Board or the Maine Department of Transportation.
A. 
The Planning Board may modify or waive any of the above application requirements or performance standards or special regulations in § 140-7 when the Planning Board issues a written findings of fact documenting that because of the special circumstances of the site such application requirements or standards would not be applicable or would be an undue hardship, as defined under 30-A M.R.S.A. § 4353(4), on the applicant and, if modified, would not adversely affect the abutting landowners and the general health, safety and welfare of the Town.
[Amended 6-9-2004]
B. 
(Reserved)[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Former Subsection B, regarding performance guarantees, was repealed 6-14-2006.
C. 
All construction performed within the scope of this chapter shall be in conformance with the approved site plan. Any approval is dependent upon, and limited to, the proposals and plans contained in the application and supporting documents submitted and affirmed to by the applicant. Any variation from the plans, proposals, and supporting documents which may affect approval standards is subject to the review of the Planning Board prior to implementation. (See Subsection D below.)
D. 
Approved site plans may be amended for minor modifications to building size, location, or use or changes in utility layout with Planning Board approval. Changes of use as described in § 140-3C are not considered minor modifications. The Planning Board shall be the final authority regarding what constitutes minor modification. The Fire Chief will review all amendments.
E. 
Approval granted under this chapter shall expire if the work or change is not commenced within two years from the date approval is granted or if the work or change is not substantially completed within three years from the date approval is granted, unless other development scheduling is agreed to at the time of approval. “Substantially completed” is defined as the point at which the work or change (or a specified part thereof) has progressed to where, as determined by the Planning Board, it (or a specified part thereof) can be utilized for the purposes for which it is intended. In making a determination, the Planning Board may require evidence of substantial completion, such as, but not limited to, a report by a third-party professional engineer registered in the State of Maine. The cost of the third-party improvement review shall be the obligation of the applicant. The Planning Board shall review requests for renewals of expired approvals according to the following standards:
[Amended 6-13-2012]
(1) 
An extension of approval shall be granted if the Planning Board determines that no significant changes to the site and/or surrounding environment have occurred since the original approval was granted. Environmental considerations include, but are not limited to, traffic, floodplain, shoreland zoning, fire protection, infrastructure requirements, and any other applicable local, state, or federal regulations.
(2) 
If changes have occurred to the development site and/or surrounding environment, the request for renewal shall be evaluated by the Planning Board to determine if a new application is necessary. Conditional extensions of approval may be granted if the Planning Board determines that changes do not necessitate a new application.
F. 
If a single building has multiple uses, such building shall comply with cumulative restrictions for parking and the more stringent regulations of its other uses.
The following regulations shall be complied with, in addition to the performance standards contained in § 140-5 of this chapter. Please note that setback and open space requirements may not be applicable to changes of use of existing structures.
A. 
Multifamily dwelling requirements.
(1) 
Lot requirements and use.
(a) 
Developments with Town sewer.
[1] 
A minimum of 10% of the land area shall be held and utilized as open space.
[Amended 7-16-2008]
[2] 
There shall be no more than seven dwelling units per acre, or any smaller portion of an acre.
[Amended 7-16-2008]
[3] 
Setback requirements.
[a] 
Front: minimum requirement will reflect the setbacks of adjacent structures or 30 feet from the boundary of the public or private right-of-way, whichever is smaller.
[b] 
Side and rear: minimum requirement may reflect the existing adjacent setback with the written approval of the Fire Department, otherwise a minimum of 20 feet from boundary lines.
(b) 
Developments without Town sewer.
[1] 
A minimum of 40% of the land area shall be held and utilized as open space.
[2] 
The maximum number of dwelling units per acre shall be determined by the Minimum Lot Size Law, 12 M.R.S.A. § 4807-A, and the sanitary regulations embodied in the State of Maine Subsurface Wastewater Disposal Rules, but in no event shall the number of dwelling units exceed four per acre.
[3] 
Setback requirements.
[a] 
Front: a minimum of 30 feet from the boundary of the public or private right-of-way.
[b] 
Side and rear: a minimum of 40 feet from boundary lines.
(2) 
Parking requirements.
(a) 
General: two spaces per unit, plus one additional space per three units.
(b) 
Elderly/affordable: one space per unit, plus one additional space per three units.
(3) 
Building height. No multifamily dwelling shall exceed 2 1/2 stories or 35 feet above the average finished grade.
(4) 
Utilities.
(a) 
For all multifamily dwelling developments, lines for electricity, telephone and cable television shall be put underground.
(b) 
Underground utilities shall be installed prior to the installation of the final gravel base of the road.
B. 
Motel, hotel and inn requirements.
(1) 
Lot requirements and use.
(a) 
Developments with Town sewer.
[1] 
A minimum of 30% of the land area shall be held and utilized as open space.
[2] 
Setback requirements.
[a] 
Front: a minimum requirement will reflect the setbacks of adjacent structures or 30 feet from the boundary of the public or private right-of-way, whichever is smaller.
[b] 
Side and rear: a minimum requirement may reflect the existing adjacent setbacks with the written approval of the Fire Department, otherwise a minimum of 20 feet from the boundary lines.
(b) 
Developments without Town sewer.
[1] 
A minimum of 30% of the land area shall be held and utilized as open space.
[2] 
Setback requirements.
[a] 
Front: a minimum of 30 feet from the boundary of the public or private right-of-way.
[b] 
Side and rear: a minimum of 40 feet from boundary lines.
(2) 
Parking requirements. There shall be a minimum of one parking space for each guest room, plus one parking space for each employee expected per shift. Handicapped parking shall be provided in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act requirements.
(3) 
Building height. No new motel, hotel or inn shall exceed 2 1/2 stories or 35 feet above the average finished grade.
C. 
Bed-and-breakfast and tourist home requirements.
(1) 
Such lodging facilities shall not exceed six guest rooms.
(2) 
Parking requirements.
(a) 
There shall be a minimum of one parking space per guest room, two parking spaces for the residents and one parking space for each employee expected per shift. Handicapped parking shall be provided in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act requirements.
(b) 
Lodging facilities with dormitory rooms shall allow one parking space for every four sleeping spaces provided within each dormitory room provided either on site or in a shared parking arrangement that must be approved by the Planning Board. This is in addition to the other parking requirements of Subsection C(2)(a) above.
D. 
Commercial establishment requirements.
(1) 
Parking requirements. Handicapped parking will be provided in accordance with the Americans With Disabilities Act requirements. The Planning Board shall also consider tour bus parking, if applicable. In addition to off-street unloading areas and driveways, the following minimum parking areas shall be provided:
(a) 
Retail/office/service (ROS) establishments. One space per employee expected per shift, plus one space per 300 square feet of ROS space for customers, shall be provided. For ROS development in areas with Town-maintained on-street parking, the first 2,000 square feet do not count in determining the number of customer spaces necessary. The square footage of the entire floor area of the portion of a structure used for ROS space is considered when determining whether or not the limit of 2,000 square feet is exceeded.
[Amended 6-11-2003]
(b) 
Restaurants and drinking establishments. One parking space for each three seats, plus one space per employee expected per shift, shall be provided. For restaurants and drinking establishments with Town-maintained on-street parking, the first 12 seats do not count in determining the number of spaces required.
[Amended 6-11-2003]
(c) 
Commercial health facilities, commercial recreational facilities and conference buildings. One parking space for every three customers or expected users, with a minimum of five spaces, plus one space per employee expected per shift, shall be provided.
[Amended 6-11-2003]
(d) 
Churches. One space per four seats shall be provided.
(2) 
Trash. In any commercial establishment with a dumpster or other external facility for trash storage, such facility shall be visually screened.
(3) 
Setback requirements.
(a) 
Front:
[1] 
Without Town sewer: 30 feet as measured from the property line.
[2] 
With Town sewer: minimum requirement will reflect the setbacks of adjacent structures or 30 feet from the boundary of the public or private right-of-way, whichever is smaller.
(b) 
Rear and side:
[1] 
Without Town sewer: 20 feet as measured from the property line.
[2] 
With Town sewer: minimum requirement may reflect the existing adjacent setbacks with the written approval of the Fire Department, otherwise a minimum of 20 feet from the boundary lines.
(4) 
Height. Any newly constructed commercial establishment or structure converted to commercial use shall not exceed 2 1/2 stories or 35 feet above the average finished grade to the average height of the building.
(5) 
Lot requirements. A minimum of 10% of the land area shall be held and utilized as open space.
(6) 
Loading berths. Any commercial building with an area of 5,000 square feet or more shall have a minimum of one off-street loading berth 12 feet by 50 feet by 14 feet.
(7) 
Utilities. Utilities shall be underground and installed prior to the installation of the final gravel base.
(8) 
Groundwater protection.
(a) 
The proposed use must not adversely impact the quality of groundwater available to abutting properties or to public water supplies. Applicants whose projects involve on-site sewage disposal systems with a capacity of 2,000 gallons per day (gpd) or greater must demonstrate that their development will not cause the groundwater at the property line to fail compliance with the Primary and Secondary Standards for Drinking Water as established by the Maine Department of Human Services.
(b) 
The transportation, handling, storage, use, and disposal of petroleum products and all materials and wastes identified by the standards of a federal or state agency as hazardous must be done in accordance with the standards of these agencies. (Agencies include the United States Environmental Protection Agency, the Maine Department of Environmental Protection, the United States Department of Transportation, and the State of Maine Fire Marshal.)
E. 
Industrial establishment requirements.
(1) 
Light industrial.
(a) 
Parking. One parking space per employee expected per shift shall be provided. Handicapped parking shall be in accordance with the Americans With Disabilities Act requirements.
(b) 
Trash. In any light industrial establishment with a dumpster or other external facility for trash storage, such facility shall be visually screened.
(c) 
Setbacks for new construction or additions to existing buildings as measured from property lines shall be as follows:
[1] 
Front: 30 feet.
[2] 
Rear and side: 20 feet.
(d) 
Height. Any newly constructed light industrial establishment or structure converted to a light industrial use shall not exceed 35 feet from the average finished grade to the average height of the building.
(e) 
Lot requirements. A minimum of 10% of the land area shall be held and utilized as open space.
(f) 
Loading berths. Where applicable, any light industrial building with an area of 5,000 square feet or more shall have a minimum of one off-street loading berth 12 feet by 50 feet by 14 feet. Every building of less than 5,000 square feet shall have a minimum of one off-street loading berth of 10 feet by 25 feet.
(g) 
Groundwater protection.
[1] 
The proposed use must not adversely impact the quality of groundwater available to abutting properties or to public water supplies. Applicants whose projects involve on-site sewage disposal systems with a capacity of 2,000 gallons per day (gpd) or greater must demonstrate that their development will not cause the groundwater at the property line to fail compliance with the Primary and Secondary Standards for Drinking Water as established by the Maine Department of Human Services.
[2] 
The transportation, handling, storage, use, and disposal of petroleum products and all materials and wastes identified by the standards of a federal or state agency as hazardous must be done in accordance with the standards of these agencies. (Agencies include the United States Environmental Protection Agency, the Maine Department of Environmental Protection, the United States Department of Transportation, and the State of Maine Fire Marshal.)
(2) 
Heavy industrial.
(a) 
Parking. One parking space per employee expected per shift shall be provided. Handicapped parking shall be as required by the Americans With Disabilities Act.
(b) 
Setbacks.
[1] 
Height restrictions. No building used for heavy industrial manufacturing shall have a height that exceeds 20 feet at a point 50 feet from the edge of the highway right-of-way or 40 feet at a point 100 feet from the edge of the highway right-of-way. An additional 40 feet of height for each additional 50 feet of distance from the edge of said highway right-of-way is allowed. These heights are cumulative. All heights shall be measured from the average ground level around the building. In no case shall a building be nearer than 30 feet to the edge of the public right-of-way.
[2] 
Rear and side. There shall be no industrial structure within 25 feet of a property line, except that there shall be no required setback from the railroad property lines.
(c) 
Trash. In any heavy industrial establishment with a dumpster or other external facility for trash storage, such facility shall be visually screened.
(d) 
Lot requirements. A minimum of 10% of the land area shall be held and utilized as open space.
(e) 
Loading berths. Where applicable, every heavy industrial building with an area of 5,000 square feet or more shall have a minimum of one off-street loading berth of 12 feet by 50 feet by 14 feet. Any building of less than 5,000 square feet shall have a minimum of one off-street loading berth of 10 feet by 25 feet.
(f) 
Groundwater protection.
[1] 
The proposed use must not adversely impact the quality of groundwater available to abutting properties or to public water supplies. Applicants whose projects involve on-site sewage disposal systems with a capacity of 2,000 gallons per day (gpd) or greater must demonstrate that their development will not cause the groundwater at the property line to fail compliance with the Primary and Secondary Standards for Drinking Water as established by the Maine Department of Human Services.
[2] 
The transportation, handling, storage, use, and disposal of petroleum products and all materials and wastes identified by the standards of a federal or state agency as hazardous must be done in accordance with the standards of these agencies. (Agencies include the United States Environmental Protection Agency, the Maine Department of Environmental Protection, the United States Department of Transportation, and the State of Maine Fire Marshal.)
F. 
(Reserved)[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Former Subsection F, Exterior lighting, was deleted 6-11-2003.
G. 
Roads. Roads shall be constructed in accordance with the following:
(1) 
Those roads and streets constructed with the intent of being accepted as public roads and to be maintained by the Town of Bethel shall be constructed in accordance with all applicable Town road standards;[2] and
[2]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 125, Road Design and Construction.
(2) 
Roads constructed with the intent to remain in private ownership shall be designated as such on the site plan. Developments served by private ownership are required to have an association to maintain these roads. These roads will remain private until such time as the roads meet Town road standards and are accepted at Town Meeting. Private roads must conform to Chapter 125, Article II, Private Road Standards, if applicable.
H. 
Telecommunications towers and related facilities.
(1) 
Findings. The Town of Bethel finds that the regulation of the placement, spacing, installation, location and number of both wireless and conventional telecommunications towers and related facilities, consistent with federal and state policies and law, is in the public interest in order to:
(a) 
Reduce the potential adverse impacts of such towers and related facilities upon the unique natural assets of the Town of Bethel, including the scenic mountain views and its rural environment according to the Bethel Comprehensive Plan;
(b) 
Minimize the number and height of towers, avoid congestion in their location and lessen their intrusive effect;
(c) 
Conserve and enhance property values; and
(d) 
Ensure the optimum location of telecommunications towers and related facilities.
(2) 
Intent. In compliance with federal regulations and Subsection H(3) of this section, the Town of Bethel hereby states that it does not intend to create barriers to the ability to provide interstate or intrastate telecommunications services, and the Town of Bethel hereby states its intent not to discriminate against or favor providers of telecommunications facilities and services.
(3) 
Purposes. The purposes of this Subsection H, which shall serve as standards for guiding and its administration, are as follows:
(a) 
To preserve the authority of the Town of Bethel to regulate the siting of telecommunications towers and related facilities and to determine the optimum location for such towers and facilities in order to provide telecommunications services to the Town of Bethel effectively and efficiently;
(b) 
To enable the Town to take such steps as may be needed to reduce any adverse impacts such facilities may create, including but not limited to impacts upon aesthetics, scenic resources, environmentally sensitive areas, recreational uses, safety, property values, and areas or sites of historic significance;
(c) 
To encourage the use of innovative siting and configuration options, including siting possibilities beyond the municipal jurisdiction of the Town;
(d) 
To require cooperation and collocation between competitors and the exhaustion of all other reasonable alternatives before the construction of new towers is permitted;
(e) 
To ensure that there is an adequate assumption of responsibility for maintenance, repair, and safety inspections of operational facilities, for the prompt and safe removal of abandoned telecommunications towers and related facilities, and for the removal and upgrade of facilities that are technologically outdated; and
(f) 
To encourage personal wireless telecommunications services to provide a blanket of coverage for the Town of Bethel, not just nearby corridors, incorporating the goals listed above to ensure that the facilities constructed will provide the best possible service and benefits to the community.
(4) 
Regulations.
(a) 
Except to the extent of any inconsistency with federal or state law, and subject to the standards contained in this chapter, this chapter shall operate with regard to telecommunications structures, equipment and facilities as it does with regard to any other use to which it applies. The location, siting, establishment, erection, installation or operation of a telecommunications tower facility within the Town of Bethel is hereby declared to be a use, either a primary or accessory use, subject to this chapter.
[Amended 6-11-2003]
(b) 
Telecommunications towers and related facilities shall not be considered infrastructure, essential services or public utilities, and the siting of such facilities shall constitute a use of the land to be regulated by this chapter.
(c) 
The Bethel Planning Board may make and adopt special provisions of this chapter for the governing of such structures, equipment, or facilities.
(d) 
Unless such special provisions of this chapter explicitly provide otherwise:
[1] 
Towers, antennas or other telecommunications facilities shall be located and designed so as to preserve the ability of the public to enjoy the mountain scenery of the Town of Bethel according to the Bethel Comprehensive Plan detailed in Table I 30;
[2] 
Use of alternative technologies and of collocation shall be thoroughly studied and determined to be unfeasible before the construction of any new towers is approved;
[3] 
No telecommunications towers, including antennas, shall extend more than 80 feet above surrounding vegetation; in addition, it is preferable that no tower extend above the ridgeline of the adjacent viewscape;
[4] 
Telecommunications towers, antennas, and other electrical and mechanical equipment shall be made with a neutral finish or color or otherwise be treated so as to reduce visual impact;
[5] 
Towers shall only be lighted if required by the FAA, and such lighting shall be designed so as to cause the least impact upon the surrounding properties or abutting communities;
[6] 
Attendant utility lines shall be underground;
[7] 
Towers shall be located on sites where the topography and tree cover of the surrounding land shall be utilized to minimize any adverse visual impact;
[8] 
Existing mature vegetation and natural landforms on the site shall be preserved to the maximum extent possible;
[9] 
Towers shall not contain any permanent or temporary signs, writing, symbols or other graphic representation of any kind, except as may be allowed or required by the Bethel Planning Board in the interest of public safety;
[10] 
The minimum distance from a telecommunications tower to any property line, road, structure, dwelling, or recreational or institution use shall be 125% of the height of the facility, including any antennas or other appurtenances;
[11] 
Towers, guys, accessory structures and other telecommunications facilities and equipment shall comply with this chapter's lot setback requirements;
[12] 
Towers shall be enclosed by security chain link, vinyl-clad fencing a minimum of six feet in height and shall be equipped with appropriate anti-climbing devices;
[13] 
Access for motorized vehicles to the tower compound shall reflect the access performance standards of this chapter and minimize the impact upon the surrounding environment; and
[14] 
The tower compound shall be landscaped and maintained with a vegetative buffer that effectively screens the view of the tower base and support facilities.
(e) 
The installation or operation of telecommunications equipment or facilities shall not be considered, or permitted, as an extension of a nonconforming use.
(5) 
Performance standards and abandonment.
(a) 
All towers, antennas and other telecommunications facilities and equipment shall meet or exceed current standards and regulations of the FAA, FCC and any other agency of the federal or state government having controlling regulatory authority. If such standards or regulations are changed, the owners or operators of such facilities or equipment shall ensure that it complies with the revised standards or regulations within six months of the effective date of any revisions unless the controlling authority mandates a more stringent compliance schedule. Failure to comply in accordance with the applicable schedule shall constitute abandonment and shall be grounds for the removal of such facilities or equipment at the owner's expense through the execution of the posted security.
(b) 
The owner of a tower, antenna, or other telecommunications-related facilities and equipment shall be responsible for insuring that such facilities and equipment at all times conform to applicable industry standards, as such standards may be amended from time to time. If upon inspection the Planning Board or its designee determines that such regulations or standards are not being met or that the facilities or equipment poses a danger to persons, property, or the community it shall notify the owner of the facility in writing and the owner shall, within 30 days, remedy such defects. Failure to do so shall constitute abandonment and shall be grounds for the removal of the facilitates and equipment at the owner's expense through the execution of the posted security.
(c) 
Any antenna or tower that is not operated for a continuous period of 12 months shall be considered abandoned and hazardous to the public health and safety, and such antenna or tower shall be removed in accordance with the following procedure:
[1] 
The Planning Board shall hold a public hearing after due notice to abutters and to the last known owner/operator of the antenna or tower.
[2] 
If at such hearing the Planning Board determines that the antenna or tower is, in fact, abandoned, it shall issue a declaration of abandonment to the owner/operator.
[3] 
Within 90 days after issuance of such declaration, the owner shall remove the abandoned structure and, if the owner/operator shall not, the Town may execute the security and have the tower removed at the owner's expense.
(6) 
Security bonds.
(a) 
Before, and as a condition of, the approval of a site plan filed in connection with the installation of any telecommunications tower and related facilities, the Planning Board shall require the developer or installer to file with the Town a bond in an amount adequate to cover the costs of removing the facility, together with any structures or equipment appurtenant thereto, and of returning the site to its condition prior to such installation. This performance bond shall remain on file with the Town and shall not be released unless the installation has been decommissioned, dismantled, and removed.
(b) 
The Planning Board shall require the owner/operator of any antenna or tower to provide annually the Town Office proof that it is maintaining a certificate of liability insurance covering accident or damage.
I. 
Bethel Historic District.
[Added 6-11-2003]
(1) 
Purpose. The purpose of this district is to manage development and redevelopment in the recognized Bethel Historic District to conserve the District's unique architectural values and character.
(2) 
Definition of district boundaries: the general area referred to in the National Register of Historic Places as the "Broad Street Historic District" and the subsequent "Broad Street Historic District (Boundary Extension)."
(a) 
More specifically, for the purposes of administering this special regulation, the Historic District is defined in terms of boundaries in the Official Bethel Historic District Map and includes the following lots, or portions thereof, as depicted on the Town of Bethel Property Maps:
[1] 
Map 7 Lot 28 (dated 1 April 2002).
[2] 
Map 25 Lots 8 through 29, 34 through 39 and 164 through 170 (dated 1 April 2002).
[3] 
Map 26 Lots 17 through 26, 28 and 29 (dated 1 April 2002).
(b) 
If a lot is more than 200 feet deep, only that portion within 200 feet of the street, as measured from the edge of the right-of-way, shall be included in the District. If a lot is at the edge of the District (i.e., no registered property on one side) and the lot extends more than 50 feet beyond the side of the registered building, the boundary will be the line perpendicular to the street, 50 feet from the side of the building.
(c) 
Official Bethel Historic District Map. The area to which this subsection is applicable is as shown on the Official Bethel Historic District Map which is made a part of this chapter.
(d) 
Certification of Official Bethel Historic District Map. The Official Bethel Historic District Map shall be certified by the attested signature of the Municipal Clerk and shall be located in the Town offices of Bethel.
(e) 
Interpretation of district boundaries. Where uncertainty exists as to the exact location of district boundary lines, the Board of Appeals shall be the final authority as to location.
(3) 
Prohibited uses. The following uses are prohibited in the Bethel Historic District:
(a) 
Gasoline service stations.
(b) 
Auto repair/sales.
(c) 
Heavy industry.
(4) 
Development standards. In addition to the review standards contained in § 140-5, the Planning Board shall consider the following in its review of any application for site plan review approval that includes the construction of a new structure, an addition to an existing structure and/or exterior alterations to a structure:
(a) 
New structures, additions to existing structures and/or the exterior alteration of a structure shall be visually compatible with surrounding structures in terms of the following:
[1] 
The height of the proposed structure or addition to an existing structure shall be visually compatible with adjacent structures.
[2] 
The relationship of the width to the height of the front elevation shall be compatible with buildings, public ways and places to which it is visually related.
[3] 
The relationship of the width and height of windows shall be compatible with buildings, public ways and places to which it is visually related.
[4] 
The relationship of entrances and other projections to sidewalks shall be compatible with buildings, public ways and places to which it is visually related.
[5] 
The relationship of the materials, texture and color of the facade shall be visually compatible with the predominate material used in the structures to which it is visually related.
[6] 
The roof shape of the structure shall be visually compatible with the structures to which it is visually related.
[7] 
The size and mass of the structure in relation to open spaces, windows, door openings, porches, and balconies shall be visually compatible with the structures and public places to which they are visually connected
A. 
Violations and enforcement. The Code Enforcement Officer shall enforce the provisions of this chapter. Upon finding that any provision of this chapter or any condition of approval granted under this chapter is being violated, the Code Enforcement Officer shall notify the municipal officers. Upon finding that any provision of this chapter or any condition of approval issued under this chapter is being violated, the municipal officers, or their agent, may institute legal proceedings to enjoin violations of this chapter.
[Amended 7-16-2008]
B. 
Fines. A person who violates the provisions of this chapter or the conditions of a permit shall be guilty of a civil violation and, on conviction, shall be fined not less than $100 nor more than $2,500 as required by 30-A M.R.S.A. § 4452 (as amended). Each day such violation continues shall constitute a separate violation. Such person shall also be liable for court costs and reasonable attorney fees incurred by the municipality.
[Amended 6-11-2003; 6-14-2006; 6-13-2007; 6-9-2010]
A. 
The following standards are to be used by the Planning Board in judging the application for site plan review. The site plan shall be approved unless, in the judgment of the Planning Board, the applicant is not able to meet reasonably one or more of these performance standards. In all instances the burden of proof shall be on the applicant.
(1) 
Pollution: will not result in undue water or air pollution. In making this determination, the Board shall at least consider:
(a) 
The elevation of land above sea level and its relation to the floodplain;
(b) 
The nature of soils and subsoils and their ability to support waste disposal;
(c) 
The slope of the land and its effect on effluents;
(d) 
The availability of streams for disposal of surface runoff;
(e) 
The applicable state and local health and water resource rules.
(2) 
Sufficient water: has sufficient water available for the reasonably foreseeable needs of the site plan.
(3) 
Municipal water supply: will not cause an unreasonable burden on an existing water supply, if one is to be utilized.
(4) 
Erosion: Soil erosion shall be minimized to avoid sedimentation of watercourses and water bodies and to avoid reduction in the capacity of the land to hold water. Particular attention will be given to disturbed areas with a slope of 20% or greater. Erosion and sedimentation control will be addressed in accordance with currently acceptable best management practices such as Maine Erosion and Sediment Control Handbook for Construction: Best Management Practices.
(5) 
Traffic: will not cause unreasonable highway or public road congestion or unsafe conditions with respect to use of the highways or public roads, existing or proposed and, if the proposed site plan requires driveways or entrances onto a state or state aid highway the Department of Transportation has provided documentation indicating that the driveways or entrances conform to 23 M.R.S.A. § 704 and any rules adopted under that section.
(6) 
Sewage disposal: will provide for adequate sewage waste disposal and will not cause an unreasonable burden on municipal services if they are to be utilized.
(7) 
Municipal solid waste disposal: will not cause an unreasonable burden on the ability of the Town of Bethel to dispose of solid waste if municipal services are to be utilized.
(8) 
Aesthetic, cultural and natural values: will not have an undue adverse effect on the scenic or natural beauty of the area, aesthetics, historic sites, significant wildlife habitat identified by the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, or rare and irreplaceable natural areas or any public rights for physical or visual access to the shoreline.
(9) 
Conformity with local ordinances and plans: is in conformance with a duly adopted site plan regulation or ordinance, the Comprehensive Plan, state site plan and shoreland zoning regulations, development plan or land use plan, if any.
(10) 
Financial and technical capacity: The developer has adequate financial and technical capacity to meet the standards contained in this chapter.
(11) 
Surface waters; outstanding river segments: Whenever situated, in whole or in part, within the watershed of any pond or lake or within 250 feet of any wetland, pond, lake, or river, as defined in 38 M.R.S.A. Chapter 3, Subchapter 1, Article 2-B, will not adversely affect the quality of the body of water or unreasonably affect the shoreline of that body of water.
(12) 
Groundwater: will not alone, or in conjunction with existing activities, adversely affect the quality or quantity of groundwater.
(13) 
Flood areas: The developer will determine, based on the Federal Emergency Management Agency's Flood Boundary and Floodway Maps and Flood Insurance Rate Maps, whether the site plan is in a flood-prone area. The developer will determine the one-hundred-year flood elevation and flood hazard boundaries within the site plan. The proposed site plan must include a condition of plan approval requiring that principal structures within the site plan shall be constructed with their lowest floor, including the basement, at least one foot above the one-hundred-year flood elevation.
(14) 
Freshwater wetlands: All freshwater wetlands within the proposed site plan have been identified on any maps submitted as part of the application, regardless of the size of these wetlands. Any mapping of freshwater wetlands may be done with the help of the local soil and water conservation district.
(14.1) 
Farmland. All farmland within the proposed site plan has been identified on maps submitted as part of the application. Any mapping of farmlands may be done with the help of the local soil and water conservation district.
(15) 
River, stream, or brook: Any river, stream or brook within or abutting the site plan has been identified on any maps submitted as part of the application. For purposes of this section, "river, stream, or brook" has the same meaning as in 38 M.R.S.A. § 480-B, Subsection 9.
(16) 
Stormwater: will provide for satisfactory stormwater management.
(17) 
Spaghetti lots prohibited: If any lots in the proposed site plan have shore frontage on a river, stream, brook, great pond or coastal wetland as these features are defined in 38 M.R.S.A. § 480-B, none of the lots created within the site plan shall have a depth to shore frontage ratio greater than five to one.
(18) 
Lake phosphorus concentration: The long-term cumulative effects of the site plan will not unreasonably increase a great pond's phosphorus concentration during the construction phase and life of the site plan.
(19) 
Impact on adjoining municipality: For any proposed site plan that crosses municipal boundaries, the proposed site plan will not cause unreasonable traffic congestion or unsafe conditions with respect to the use of existing public ways in an adjoining municipality in which part of the site plan is located.
B. 
Specific standards.
(1) 
Conformance with other laws and regulations. If the proposed site plan meets the definition of "site plan" as defined in the Site Location Act, 38 M.R.S.A. § 482, the developer must secure the concurrent approval of the Board of Environmental Protection and the Bethel Planning Board before any construction activity may begin in the site plan.
(2) 
Stormwater management plan: The plan will address stormwater in terms of quantity, quality, resource protection, soil stability, and phosphorus, where necessary, and/or as requested by the Planning Board. The plan will be prepared in accordance with currently acceptable best management practices, such as, but not limited to, Stormwater Management for Maine: Best Management Practices.
(3) 
Easements. Easements across lots shall be provided where necessary for utilities or drainage.
(4) 
Buffer strip. The Planning Board may require a buffer strip of up to 50 feet between the activities located in a site plan and abutting agricultural land and managed woodland and other uses where the Planning Board deems that separation is desirable. The developer shall notify prospective buyers of the existence of these adjacent activities by noting them on the recorded plan.
(5) 
(Reserved)
(6) 
Land not suitable for development:
(a) 
Land which is situated below the normal high-water mark of any water body.
(b) 
Land which is part of a right-of-way or easement.
(c) 
Land that has been created by filling or draining a pond or wetland.
(7) 
Ditches, catch basins, and storm drains. The Planning Board may require the installation of ditches, catch basins, storm drains, and other devices for the conveyance, control or disposal of surface waters to provide adequate drainage so as to reduce the danger of flooding and erosion.
(8) 
Water supply. The Planning Board shall require that every site plan be assured an adequate supply in terms of quantity and quality of potable water.
(9) 
Sanitary sewage. The Planning Board, after notification to the Bethel Wastewater Treatment Department and the Bethel Water District and after allowing a reasonable time for comment by them and the applicant, shall determine whether connection to the public sewer system shall be required or, subject to soils reports, private subsurface sewage disposal systems or private sewer systems will be allowed.
(10) 
Roads and streets.
(a) 
All site plans must be serviced by either a private road or a public road or street which has been named and numbered according to regulations of the United States Postal Service and 911 Enhanced System Development.
(b) 
The developer shall be responsible for purchasing all street signs, including stop signs, meeting the specifications of the Town of Bethel for the project. Street signs which are not on a public road will be maintained by the developer or association.
(11) 
Sidewalks. Basing its decision on the location and the amount of current and future foot traffic, the Planning Board, with advice from the Road Commissioner, may require the installation of sidewalks. Where installed, sidewalks shall meet the requirements of Chapter 125, Road Design and Construction.
(12) 
Vehicular access.
(a) 
The proposed site layout shall consider existing traffic flow and safe vehicular access to and from state or local roads. Vehicular access to the site shall be on roads which have capacity to accommodate the additional traffic generated by the project. The applicant shall assume financial responsibility for the improvements, if necessary, to accommodate traffic. Road improvements shall be completed before any lot is sold.
(b) 
Where a lot has frontage on two or more streets, the access to the lot shall be provided to the lot across the frontage and to the street where there is lesser potential for traffic congestion and for hazards to traffic and pedestrians unless other factors make it not practical.
(13) 
Additional improvements. The Planning Board may require additional improvements, such as the installation of sidewalks, curbs, and gutters, etc. Any improvement thus required is to be stated in writing in the minutes of the Planning Board, with the reasoning on which the improvement was justified set forth.
(14) 
Archaeological sites. Any proposed site plan activity involving structural development or soil disturbance on a site identified to be sensitive for prehistoric occupation by the Maine Historic Preservation Commission on the map dated December 2005, or most recent map, shall be submitted by the applicant to the Maine Historic Preservation Commission for review and comment prior to approval by the Planning Board. The Planning Board shall consider comments and any recommendations concerning site protection received from the Commission prior to rendering a decision on the application.
(15) 
Monuments. Permanent markers (such as iron posts or pins) shall be located at all boundary lines where there is a change of direction, at all street intersections and at all lot corners.
(16) 
Historic buildings. The Planning Board shall consider a proposed site plan's impacts on historic buildings as identified in the Bethel Comprehensive Plan dated June 1998, or most recent version. When a proposed site plan will include an historic building, the applicant will design the site plan to minimize the impacts on the historic building.
(17) 
Preserve and enhance the landscape. The landscape, including existing earth forms and vegetation, shall be preserved in its natural state insofar as practicable by minimizing tree removal and disturbance of soil and by retaining existing vegetation during construction. Landscaping shall be designed and planted that will define, soften or screen the appearance of off-street parking areas from the public right-of-way and abutting properties and/or structures, enhance the physical design of the building or site, and minimize the encroachment of the proposed use on neighboring land uses. Landscaping shall be approved by the Planning Board during its review of the project and planted within one year of the start of construction and shall be maintained for the life of the project. The proposed development shall not adversely affect the adjoining neighborhood or change its historic character.
(18) 
Relationship of the proposed buildings to the environment. Proposed structures shall be related harmoniously to the terrain and to existing buildings in the vicinity which have a visual relationship to the proposed buildings. Special attention shall be paid to the bulk, location and height of the buildings and such natural features as slope, soil type and drainageways.
[Amended 6-12-2019]
(a) 
Pitched roofs with a minimum pitch of 5/12 may be required by the Planning Board to complement existing abutting buildings or otherwise maintain a particular esthetic objective.
(b) 
Building facade colors shall be compatible with other buildings in the vicinity. Standard corporate and trademark colors shall be permitted only on signage.
(c) 
Exterior building materials shall be of comparable aesthetic quality on all sides of the building.
(19) 
Parking and circulation.
(a) 
Required off-street parking for lots which cannot provide their own parking because of location, lot size or other existing development may be substituted by parking facilities which, in the public's interest, may be provided for by the Town of Bethel or private parking resources. No such public or private off-street parking shall be considered as a substitute unless located within 500 feet of the principal building or use as measured along lines of public access. If the required off-street parking is to be provided by off-site private parking, such areas shall be held in fee simple by the owner of the use served or in other tenure as assures continued availability for parking as long as the particular land will be needed for such use, provided that if the tenure is other than ownership in fee simple, the form of the tenure shall be approved by the Town Manager prior to final approval by the Planning Board.
(b) 
The joint use of a parking facility by two or more principal buildings or uses may be approved by the Planning Board where it is clearly demonstrated that said parking facilities would substantially meet the intent of the requirements by reason of variation in the probable time of maximum use by patrons or employees of such establishments.
(c) 
The use of an existing building for its current use shall be deemed to be in compliance with the off-street parking requirements of this section. However, any change in the use above the first floor or any renovation which increases the floor area shall be required to comply with the required off-street parking requirements for the increased floor area.
(20) 
Special features of the development. Exposed storage areas, exposed machinery installations, service areas, truck-loading areas, utility buildings, pad-mounted electric transformers and similar structures shall have setbacks, as outlined in § 140-7, and screening to provide an audiovisual buffer sufficient to minimize their adverse impact on other land uses within the development area and surrounding properties.
(21) 
Exterior lighting.
(a) 
Exterior lighting shall provide for security, safety and operational needs. Exterior lighting shall be nonflashing and designed to minimize glare that creates hazards to vehicle traffic, light trespass onto adjacent properties or night sky glow. Fully shielded or hooded exterior light fixtures shall be used.
(b) 
There shall be lighting of all parking areas, walkways and other such areas as may be designed for use after dark, with a minimum 1.5 footcandles and a maximum of five footcandles for such areas. The maximum illumination at an abutting property line shall be one footcandle.
(22) 
State Fire Marshal requirements. The development shall meet all applicable state and federal requirements for fire protection and conform to the Americans with Disabilities Act as required.
(23) 
Comprehensive Plan. No application for development shall be approved by the Planning Board which is not in conformity with the Comprehensive Plan for the Town of Bethel.
(24) 
Noise. When the Planning Board determines, based on the project's characteristics and location, that noise will be a concern, the following standards shall apply:
(a) 
The proposed development shall not raise noise levels to the extent that abutting and/or nearby residents are adversely affected. The Planning Board shall use the standards contained in Chapter 375.10C, Sound level limits, of the Maine Department of Environmental Protection Rules and as amended to make a determination of "adversely affected."
(b) 
Uses and activities identified in Chapter 375.10C(5) in the above-mentioned rules shall be exempt from the sound-pressure level regulations.
(25) 
Odors. When the Planning Board determines, based on the project's characteristics and location, that odors will be a concern, the Board shall find that the proposed development will not produce offensive or harmful odors perceptible beyond the lot lines, either at ground level or habitable elevation.
(26) 
Electromagnetic interference. The development shall not produce electromagnetic interference with radio, television, internet, or wireless communication reception.
Whenever the requirements of this chapter are inconsistent with the requirements of any other regulation, ordinance, code or statute, the more restrictive requirements shall apply.
[Amended 6-9-2004]
A. 
Administrative appeal:
(1) 
If the Planning Board disapproves an application or grants approval with objectionable conditions, or if it is claimed that the provisions of the ordinance do not apply or that the true intent and meaning of the ordinance has been misconstrued or wrongfully interpreted, the applicant, an abutting landowner, or other party who has participated before the Planning Board and/or can demonstrate particularized injury, may appeal the decision of the Planning Board in writing to the Board of Appeals within 30 days after the Planning Board has issued a written decision.
(2) 
The Board of Appeals shall consider the appeal at a meeting held within 30 days of receipt of the written request for an appeal and in accordance with the process established in the Board of Appeals Rules of Procedure adopted by the Board of Selectmen. The Board of Appeals shall publish the time, date, and place of the meeting in a newspaper of area-wide circulation a minimum of seven days prior to the meeting. The Chairman of the Board of Appeals or the Planning Assistant shall send notice of the meeting by first-class U.S. mail to all interested parties, including abutting landowners per current tax records, a minimum of 10 days prior to the meeting. The meeting is a public proceeding as defined by law.
(3) 
The Board of Appeals shall review the record of the proceedings before the Planning Board. If the Board of Appeals finds the Planning Board record to be insufficient, the Board of Appeals may remand the matter to the Planning Board for findings and conclusions or for further proceedings, findings and conclusions.
(4) 
The Board of Appeals may allow the parties to present their positions from the record of the proceedings before the Planning Board, as distinguished from allowing the parties to present new evidence, including testimony or exhibits.
(5) 
The Board of Appeals may reverse the decision of the Planning Board, in whole or in part, upon finding that the decision is contrary to the provisions of the Town Code or that the decision is unsupported by substantial evidence in the record.
(6) 
The decision of the Board of Appeals shall be in writing and shall contain findings and conclusions that clearly state, on all relevant factual and legal issues, the action taken by the Board and the reasons for such action. The Board of Appeals shall adopt its written decision within 21 days of the meeting, unless the Board makes a finding that it is unable to do so, or unless an extension has been agreed upon amongst the parties.
B. 
Variance. The Board of Appeals may grant a variance for a disability or from a setback or dimensional standard as defined under 30-A M.R.S.A. § 4353(4) only when strict application of the ordinance to the petitioner or to the petitioner’s property would cause undue hardship. The Board of Appeals shall hold a public hearing and follow the process established in the Board of Appeals Rules of Procedure adopted by the Board of Selectmen.
[Amended 6-14-2006]
This chapter may be amended by vote of a Town Meeting as provided in Chapter 5, Administration, Article VII, Amendments.
A. 
Unless specifically defined below, words and phrases used in this chapter shall have the same meaning as they have in common usage and shall be construed to give this chapter its most reasonable application. Words used in the present tense include the future; the singular number includes the plural, and the plural number includes the singular. The word "may" is permissive; "shall" is mandatory, not discretionary.
B. 
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
ACCESSORY USE OF STRUCTURE
A subordinate use of a building, other structure or land, or a subordinate building or other structure:
(1) 
Whose use is customary in connection with the principal building, other structure or land.
(2) 
Whose use is incidental to the use of the principal building, other structure or use of land.
(3) 
Which is located on the same lot with the principal building, other structure or use of land, or on a lot adjacent to such lot, if in the same ownership.
AGRICULTURE
Production of crops and livestock.
ANTENNA
Any system of poles, panels, rods, reflecting discs or similar devices used for the transmission or reception of radio or electromagnetic frequency signals.
AUTO REPAIR
An establishment primarily engaged in major maintenance and repair of automobiles.
[Added 6-11-2003]
AUTO SALES
An establishment primarily engaged in the sale of new or used automobiles together with accessory repair and service facilities which are incidental to the sales operation.
[Added 6-11-2003]
BASEMENT
That space of a building that is partly below grade which has more than half of its height, measured from floor to ceiling, below the average established curb level or finished grade of the ground adjoining the building.
BED-AND-BREAKFAST ESTABLISHMENT
A private home in which one to six rooms are rented and a meal is provided.
BUILDING
Any structure having a roof or partial roof supported by columns or walls used for the shelter or enclosure of persons, animals, goods or property of any kind.
CAMPGROUND
An area devoted to overnight recreational or educational use, where the land area is divided into sites or lots for which a charge is made, either on a short-term or a long-term basis, by sale, rent or lease or by means of condominium-type financing. This term does not include campgrounds which qualify as subdivisions under 30-A M.R.S.A. §§ 4401 to 4407 or Chapter 150, Subdivision of Land.
CELLAR
See "basement" above.
CHANGE OF USE
Change of use shall be considered when the proposed project is in conflict with the performance standards.
COLLOCATION
The use of a wireless telecommunications facility by more than one wireless telecommunications provider.
COMMERCIAL
Connected with the buying or selling of goods or services or the provision of facilities for a fee. Commercial uses shall include but not be limited to professional and business offices; retail outlets; services such as barber or beauty shops; tailors; laundromats; dry cleaners; restaurants; parking lots; service stations or repair garages; hotels, motels or inns; storage and selling of farm, dairy, orchard, or forest products; horticultural activities; and athletic or recreational facilities for hire.
CONDOMINIUM
Real estate, portions of which are designated for separate ownership and the remainder of which is designated for common ownership solely by the owners of those portions under a declaration, or an amendment to a declaration, duly recorded pursuant to the Maine Condominium Act (33 M.R.S.A. Chapter 31). Real estate is not a condominium unless the undivided interests in the common elements are vested in the unit owners. Any real estate development consisting exclusively of clustered, detached, single-family residences is not a condominium unless so designated in the declaration.
CONGREGATE HOUSING
Residential housing consisting of private apartments and central dining facilities within which a congregate housing supportive services program serves functionally impaired and/or elderly occupants who are unable to live independently yet do not require the constant supervision or intensive health care available at intermediate care or skilled nursing facilities. "Congregate housing" includes only those facilities certified by the State of Maine as meeting the standards and guidelines for congregate housing by the Department of Human Services.
DEVELOPMENT
Any alteration of existing land or structures.
DORMITORY
A room, building, or part of a building with more than four single sleeping spaces in one room.
(1) 
Low-volume driveway: 50 or fewer peak hour trips per day.
(2) 
Medium-volume driveway: More than 50 but fewer than 200 peak hour trips per day.
(3) 
High-volume driveway: over 200 peak hour trips per day.
DWELLING UNIT
Any part of a structure which, through sale or lease, is intended for human habitation, including single-family and multi-family housing, condominiums, apartments and time-share units.
[Amended 6-13-2012]
FAA
The Federal Aviation Administration, or its lawful successor.
FAMILY
One or more persons occupying a premises and living as a single housekeeping unit.
[Amended 6-11-2003]
FCC
The Federal Communications Commission, or its lawful successor.
FOOTPRINT
The outside measurements of the first floor area of a structure which is enclosed and/or set on a foundation or concrete pad, but not including open porches or walkways.
FOREST MANAGEMENT ACTIVITIES
Timber cruising and other forest resource evaluation activities, pesticide application, timber stand improvement, pruning, timber harvesting and other forest harvesting, regeneration of forest stands, and similar associated activities and the construction, creation or maintenance of land management roads.
FORESTRY
Growing and harvesting trees.
FRESHWATER WETLAND
Freshwater swamps, marshes, bogs and similar areas which are:
[Added 7-16-2008]
(1) 
Inundated or saturated by surface or ground water at a frequency and for a duration sufficient to support, and which under normal circumstances do support, a prevalence of wetland vegetation typically adopted for life in saturated soils; and
(2) 
Not considered part of a great pond, coastal wetland, river, stream, or brook.
GASOLINE SERVICE STATION
Any place of business at which gasoline and/or other motor fuels are sold to the public for use in a motor vehicle, regardless of any other business on the premises.
[Added 6-11-2003]
HANDICAPPED PARKING SPACE
One for every 25 public spaces to be 14 feet wide by 18 feet long. The first space shall be van accessible and every eighth space thereafter shall be van accessible (16 feet wide by 18 feet long).
[Amended 6-11-2003]
HEIGHT OF BUILDING
The vertical distance measured from average grade level to the highest level of a flat or mansard roof or to the average height of a pitched, gabled, hip or gambrel roof, excluding bulkheads, towers, and similar constructions not intended for human occupancy or necessary mechanical equipment carried above roof level.
HOME OCCUPATION
An occupation incidental to and subordinate to residential use, carried on in what is customarily a dwelling unit or in a structure accessory to a dwelling unit. Home occupations shall employ only residents of the dwelling unit.
HOTEL/MOTEL/INN
A structure consisting of more than three guest rooms or suites of rooms providing lodging facilities for a fee. Accessory uses may include restaurants, meeting rooms, function halls, and associated recreation facilities.
IMPERVIOUS SURFACE
A surface which does not absorb water, including but not limited to buildings, parking areas, driveways, roadways, sidewalks, and any areas of concrete, masonry, brick, tile or asphalt.
INDUSTRIAL
Connected with the assembling, fabrication, finishing, manufacturing, packaging or processing of goods or the extraction of minerals.
(1) 
Includes but is not limited to laboratory and research; printing; warehousing, wholesale and storage; general contractors' offices and associated equipment storage; trade shops such as cabinetry, plumbing, electrical, and finish work; and fabric assembling.
(2) 
Includes but is not limited to reprocessing of petroleum products, asphalt preparations, cement manufacture or processing, rock crushing, lumber and sawmills, paper manufacturing, chemical processing, tanning, rendering, and slaughtering and/or butchering of cattle or other beasts for market.
INN
See "hotel."
INSTITUTIONAL
A building devoted to some public, governmental, educational, charitable, religious, medical or similar purpose.
LINE OF SIGHT
The direct view of the object from the designated scenic resource.
MOBILE HOME PARK
An area designed, planned or developed for the placement of two or more mobile homes. This term does not include mobile home parks which qualify as subdivisions under 30-A M.R.S.A. §§ 4401 to 4407 or Chapter 150, Subdivision of Land.
MOTEL
See "hotel."
MOUNTAIN SCENIC RESOURCE
The specific location, view, or corridor, as identified as a scenic resource in the Town of Bethel's Comprehensive Plan or by a state or federal agency, that consists of:
(1) 
A three-dimensional area extending out from a particular viewpoint on a public way or within a public recreational area, focusing on a single object, such as a mountain, resulting in a narrow corridor, or a group of objects, such as a downtown skyline or a mountain range, resulting in a panoramic view corridor; or
(2) 
Lateral terrain features such as valley sides or woodland as observed to either side of the observer, constraining the view into a narrow or particular field, as seen from a viewpoint on a public way or within a public recreational area.
MULTIFAMILY DWELLING
A building consisting of three or more attached dwelling units.
OPEN SPACE
Area not covered by an impervious surface, including but not limited to grass, shrubs, mulch, trees or other comparable surface covers and existing vegetative land and which is reserved for lawn, gardens, recreation or conservation.
PARABOLIC ANTENNA (also known as a "satellite dish antenna")
An antenna, which is bowl-shaped, designed for the reception and/or transmission of radio frequency communication signals in a specific directional pattern.
PARKING SPACE
An off-street area of 18 feet by nine feet for parking of motor vehicles exclusive of roadways and driveways. (See "handicapped parking space.")
PERSON
Any individual, firm, association, partnership, corporation, municipal or other local government entity, quasi-municipal entity, state agency, educational or charitable organization or institution or other legal entity.
RECREATIONAL VEHICLE
A vehicle or vehicular attachment for temporary sleeping or living quarters for one or more persons which is not a dwelling and which may include a pickup camper, travel trailer, tent trailer or motor home.
RESTAURANT
A structure in which the principal business is the sale (to the public) of food and beverages ready to consume.
RETAIL
Connected with the sale of goods and/or services to the ultimate consumer for direct use and consumption and not for trade.
SCREENING
Fences or any man-made structure, vegetation, earthworks or combination thereof.
SETBACK
The area between the property line or boundary line of a public right-of-way and any building or structure located on the premises. Setbacks are measured from the property line.
SHARED PARKING
A parking arrangement among property and/or business owners in close proximity that allows for safer pedestrian access.
SOLID WASTE
Useless, unwanted or discarded solid materials with insufficient liquid content to be free flowing, including, by way of example and not by limitation, rubbish, garbage, scrap materials, junk, refuse, inert fill material and landscape refuse, but not including septic tank sludge or agricultural wastes.
STORY
That portion of a building between one floor level and the next higher floor level or the roof. If a mezzanine/loft floor area exceeds 1/3 of the area of the floor immediately below, it shall be deemed to be a story. A basement shall be deemed to be a story when its ceiling is six or more feet above the finished grade. An attic shall not be deemed to be a story if unfinished and without human occupancy.
STRUCTURE
Anything constructed, erected or placed on the ground which is permanent, temporary, or mobile. Structures include, but are not limited to, buildings, mobile homes, recreational vehicles, piers and floats, and storage and processing facilities. Boundary walls, fences, roads, driveways, parking areas, and flagpoles are not considered structures.
SUBDIVISION
The division of a tract or parcel of land into three or more lots as defined in Chapter 150, Subdivision of Land, and applicable state statutes.
TELECOMMUNICATIONS TOWER AND RELATED FACILITIES
Any structure, antenna, tower, or other device which provides radio/television transmission, commercial mobile wireless services, unlicensed wireless services, cellular phone services, specialized mobile radio communications (SMR), common carrier wireless exchange phone services and personal communications service (PCS) or pager services.
TOURIST HOME/BOARDINGHOUSE/ROOMING HOUSE
See "bed-and-breakfast establishment."
USE
Any purpose for which a building or other structure or a tract of land may be designed, arranged, intended, maintained, or occupied; also any activity, occupation, business or operation carried on or intended to be carried on in a building or other structure or on a tract of land.
VARIANCE
A relaxation of terms for a disability or from a setback or dimensional standard as defined in 30-A M.R.S.A. § 4353 granted by the Board of Appeals and requiring satisfaction  of the test for undue hardship as defined in 30-A M.R.S.A. § 4353(4)
[Amended 6-9-2004]
VIEWSCAPE
The location which is identified either in the Town of Bethel's Comprehensive Plan or by a state or federal agency and which serves as the basis for the location and determination of a particular designated scenic resource.
WAIVER
A relaxation of the terms of this chapter from application requirements or performance standards or special regulations, granted by the Planning Board because of the special circumstances of the site such application requirements or because standards would not be applicable or would be an undue hardship, as defined under 30-A M.R.S.A. § 4353(4), on the applicant and, if modified, would not adversely affect the abutting landowners and the general health, safety and welfare of the Town.
[Amended 6-9-2004]
WASTE, LIQUID
Any liquid or waterborne sewage, garbage, sewage sludge, chemicals, biological materials, human body wastes, or any refuse or effluent in a liquid form generated from domestic, commercial or industrial activities, except any wastes containing insufficient liquid to be free flowing and wastes generated from agricultural activities or animal husbandry.
WELL
A potable water supply used for drinking purposes, including but not limited to a drilled well, dug well, or spring.
YARD
A space which may be occupied by steps into or out of a principal structure; a fence, wall or other yard accessories; landscaping for screening or recreational purposes; and a driveway not to be used for parking.
YARD OR GARAGE SALE
A noncommercial operation held briefly. A yard sale or garage sale shall be considered a commercial operation unless such sales are limited to three out of 30 consecutive days.
See the Town of Bethel Fee Schedule.