Town of Bethel, ME
Oxford County
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[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town of Bethel 4-26-1989, as amended through 6-13-2001.[1] Subsequent amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Street excavations — See Ch. 67, Art. II.
Building construction — See Ch. 96.
Floodplain management — See Ch. 105.
Road design and construction — See Ch. 125.
Sidewalks — See Ch. 125.
Shoreland zoning — See Ch. 132.
Site plan review — See Ch. 140.
Street names and numbering — See Ch. 146.
[1]
Editor's Note: Throughout this chapter, references to "plat/plan" were amended to "plan" 6-11-2003.
The purpose of this chapter shall be to promote the comfort, health, safety, and general welfare of the people, to protect the environment, and to provide for the orderly development of a sound and stable community.
A. 
Authority and title.
(1) 
This chapter is adopted pursuant to and consistent with home rule powers established in Article VIII of the Maine Constitution and 30-A M.R.S.A. § 3001.
(2) 
This chapter shall be known and cited as the "Subdivision Ordinance of the Town of Bethel."
B. 
Administration.
(1) 
The Bethel Planning Board shall administer this chapter.
(2) 
If any portion of the proposed subdivision crosses the boundary of an adjacent municipality, the Planning Board shall meet jointly with that municipality's Planning Board to review the subdivision.
[Amended 6-9-2010]
This chapter shall apply to all subdivisions in the Town of Bethel.
[Amended 6-14-2006; 6-13-2007; 6-9-2010]
A. 
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 participate at a regular meeting of the Planning Board to discuss a proposed development. A sketch plan and/or description of the proposed development may be presented at this time.
B. 
No binding commitments shall be made, except for the applicability of this section, between the property owner, developer, or his/her authorized agent and the Planning Board at this stage.
C. 
The request for a written determination of applicability shall not be considered the initiation of the review process.
[Amended 6-14-2006; 7-16-2008; 6-10-2009; 6-9-2010]
A. 
Introduction. The preliminary plan shall be drawn to a scale of not more than one inch equals 100 feet. 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 for preliminary plan approval 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 subdivision 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. Requirements for the preliminary 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 the 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 agent can be reached.
(c) 
If the 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 the 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 subdivided (option, land purchase contract, record ownership, etc.).
(h) 
(Reserved)
(i) 
State whether the preliminary plan covers the entire contiguous holdings of the applicant or not; if there is contiguous property owned by applicant, show on plan.
(2) 
Information on parcel to be subdivided.
(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 subdivided, certified by a registered land surveyor, tied to established reference points (attach to application).
(d) 
Current use of property.
(e) 
Acreage of parcel to be subdivided.
(f) 
(Reserved)
(g) 
Names and addresses of property owners abutting parcel to be subdivided and on opposite side of any road from parcel to be subdivided (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 subdivided is located within the Shoreland Zone.
(l) 
State whether any portion of the parcel to be subdivided is located within the floodplain.
(3) 
Information on subdivision.
(a) 
Proposed name of subdivision (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 subdivision the location of any river, stream, or brook within or abutting the subdivision 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 subdivision 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 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.
(4) 
Accompanying documents required for preliminary 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, as to the availability of fire hydrants and/or fire ponds and, if necessary, his recommendations for a safe environment for the subdivision.
(h) 
A soil erosion and sedimentation control plan for construction and for permanent control (attach to application). 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 subdivision 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 subdivision.
(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 a subdivision is located in the direct watershed of North, Songo or South Pond, a phosphorus impact analysis and control plan.
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 subdivision, it shall hold such public hearing within 30 days of having received a completed preliminary subdivision 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 two times. The date of the first 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 subdivision, 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 preliminary plan application. Within 30 days of the date of issuance of the receipt, the Planning Board shall review the preliminary plan and shall notify the subdivider in writing either that:
(1) 
The application is a complete preliminary plan 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 30 days of a public hearing or within 60 days of receipt of a complete application if no hearing is held, or within another time limit as may be otherwise mutually agreed to by the Board and the subdivider, make findings of fact on the application and approve, approve with conditions, or deny the preliminary plan. The Board shall specify in writing its findings of fact and reasons for any conditions or denial.
(2) 
When granting approval to a preliminary plan, the Board shall state the conditions of such approval, if any, with respect to:
(a) 
The specific changes which it will require in the final plan; and
(b) 
The character and extent of the required improvements for which waivers may have been requested and which in the Board's opinion may be waived without jeopardy to the public health, safety, and general welfare.
(3) 
Approval of a preliminary plan shall not constitute approval of the final plan or intent to approve the final plan but rather it shall be deemed an expression of approval of the design of the preliminary plan as a guide to the preparation of the final plan. The final plan shall be submitted for approval of the Board upon fulfillment of the requirements of this chapter and the conditions of preliminary approval, if any. Prior to the approval of the final plan, the Board may require additional changes or conditions the Board deems necessary as a result of the further study of a subdivision or as a result of additional information received, so that the final plan satisfies all the approval criteria set forth in this chapter or in 30-A M.R.S.A. § 4404 for subdivision approval.
[Amended 6-15-2005; 6-14-2006; 7-16-2008; 6-10-2009; 6-9-2010]
A. 
Time frame. Within six months of the date of Planning Board action on the preliminary plan, the subdivider shall submit the final plan to the Planning Board. Failure to submit the final plan within the designated time period shall require the submission of a new subdivision application.
B. 
Final plan contents. In addition to the requirements of the preliminary plan, the final plan shall consist of one or more maps or drawings drawn to a scale of not more than 100 feet to the inch. Plans for subdivisions containing more than 100 acres may be drawn at a scale of not more than 200 feet to the inch. Plans shall be no larger than 24 inches by 36 inches in size and shall have a margin of two inches outside of the borderline on the left side for binding and a one-inch margin outside the border along the remaining sides. If it is anticipated that the proposed subdivision will be connected to the public water system and/or public sewer system, additional copies shall be provided for the Bethel Water District and/or the Bethel Wastewater Treatment Department. Unless otherwise indicated by the Planning Board, the following items shall be required as part of the final plan submission:
(1) 
Registered land surveyor. The name, registration number, signature and embossed seal of the registered land surveyor who prepared the final plan (show on plan).
(2) 
Streets. The names and lines, lengths of all straight lines, the deflection of angles, radii, length of curves, and central angles of all curves, and tangent distances and bearings (show on plan).
(3) 
Open spaces. The designation of all easements, areas reserved for or dedicated to public use, and areas reserved for subdivider (show on plan).
(4) 
All lots shall be clearly marked with a range of street addresses in accordance with the United States Postal Service Regulations and 911 Enhanced System Development, giving the acreage of each lot.
(5) 
Permanent reference monuments. The location of permanent markers to be set at all lot corners, as shown on the plan.
(6) 
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.
C. 
Accompanying documents. Unless otherwise indicated by the Planning Board, the following items shall be required as part of the final plan submission:
(1) 
Subdivision 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. Before the recording of final subdivision plans, or as a condition of final approval, the Planning Board will 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 subdivision 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.
(7) 
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.
(8) 
Traffic impact study if required by the Planning Board or the Maine Department of Transportation.
(9) 
Tree growth penalty: if the project parcel is in tree growth, the penalty to remove the project area must be paid prior to final approval.
[Amended 6-9-2010]
A. 
An applicant shall present an amended plan and application to the Planning Assistant a minimum of two weeks prior to the requested Planning Board meeting. A review of the original plan and application will be made and all changes (including changes in lot lines, lot acreage, road location, and drainage) to the original plan shall be documented by the applicant and surveyor, engineer or other person who prepared the amended plan. The amended plan shall identify the original subdivision plan being amended.
B. 
The Planning Board shall determine if substantial changes to an approved plan will require a new application. If so determined, the applicant shall follow all procedures for new applications. Substantial changes would include changes such as relocation of roads or change in lot size by 50% or changes in overall drainage.
C. 
If the Planning Board determines that substantial changes are proposed, 10 copies of the documented changes, amended plans, and applications shall be submitted to the Town Office two weeks prior to the Planning Board meeting requested.
D. 
Upon receipt of an amended plan application, the Town of Bethel shall notify by mail all property owners abutting the parcel and across any street abutting the parcel.
E. 
Within 30 days of receipt of a complete application for an amended plan and application, the Planning Board shall take action to approve, approve with conditions, or deny the amended plan and application.
F. 
The amended plan fee shall be paid to the Town of Bethel at the time of submission of the amended plan and application. The fee shall be as set forth in the Town of Bethel Fee Schedule.
G. 
All amended plans must meet the requirements for subdivisions specified in § 150-9.
H. 
When a subdivision plan is presented for recording to a Register of Deeds and that plan is a revision or amendment to an existing plan, the Register shall indicate on the index for the original plan that it has been superseded by another plan and shall reference the book and page or cabinet and sheet on which the new plan is recorded. In addition, the Register shall ensure that the book and page or cabinet and sheet on which the original plan is recorded are referenced on the new plan.
I. 
An approved, revised or amended plan shall be recorded at the Registry of Deeds within 90 days. The Register shall indicate the date of recording, book and page, referenced on the new plan. Within 10 days of such registration, the applicant will provide the Planning Board with the date, book and page or cabinet and sheet of such registry.
[Amended 6-13-2012]
[Amended 6-9-2010; 6-13-2012]
Failure to complete substantial construction of the infrastructure on any subdivision of five or more lots (or fewer than five lots if it requires a road or roads to be constructed) within two years of the date of approval and signing of the plan shall render the plan null and void. Substantial construction is defined as the point at which the construction (or a specified part thereof) has progressed to where, as determined by the Planning Board, the construction (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 construction, 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. Approval of each phase of phased developments shall expire two years after approval of that phase with a total limit of five years after the initial approval date. Upon determining that a subdivision approval has expired under this section, the Planning Board shall have a notice placed in the Registry of Deeds to that effect. A one-year extension on the time limit may be granted, with cause, by a majority vote of the Planning Board. A request for an extension shall not be considered a new application and there shall be no abutter notification.
[Amended 6-15-2005; 6-14-2006; 6-13-2007; 7-16-2008; 6-9-2010]
In reviewing any proposed subdivision, the Planning Board shall consider the review criteria as set forth in the Subdivision Law, 30-A M.R.S.A. § 4404, and the standards in Subsection B below. Before granting approval, the Planning Board shall find that they have been or will be met. The burden of proof shall be upon the applicant.
A. 
State subdivision review criteria.
(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 subdivision.
(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 subdivision 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 if they 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 subdivision regulation or ordinance, the Comprehensive Plan, development plan or land use plan, if any. In making this determination, the municipal reviewing authority may interpret these ordinances and plans.
[Amended 6-10-2015]
(10) 
Financial and technical capacity: The subdivider 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 subdivider will determine, based on the Federal Emergency Management Agency's Flood Boundary and Floodway Maps and Flood Insurance Rate Maps, whether the subdivision is in a flood-prone area. The subdivider will determine the one-hundred-year flood elevation and flood hazard boundaries within the subdivision. The proposed subdivision plan must include a condition of plan approval requiring that principal structures within the subdivision 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 subdivision 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 subdivision 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 subdivision 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 subdivision 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 subdivision shall have a depth to shore frontage ratio greater than five to one.
(18) 
Lake phosphorus concentration: The long-term cumulative effects of the subdivision will not unreasonably increase a great pond's phosphorus concentration during the construction phase and life of the subdivision.
(19) 
Impact on adjoining municipality: For any proposed subdivision that crosses municipal boundaries, the proposed subdivision 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 subdivision is located.
(20) 
Lands subject to liquidation harvesting: timber on the parcel has not been harvested in violation of rules adopted pursuant to 12 M.R.S.A. § 8869(14). If a violation of rules adopted by the Maine Forest Service to substantially eliminate liquidation harvesting has occurred, the municipal reviewing authority must determine, prior to granting approval for the subdivision, that five years have elapsed from the date the landowner under whose ownership the harvest occurred acquired the parcel. A municipal reviewing authority may request technical assistance from the Department of Conservation, Bureau of Forestry, to determine whether a rule violation has occurred, or certified by a forester licensed pursuant to Title 32, Chapter 76. If a municipal reviewing authority requests technical assistance from the Bureau, the Bureau shall respond within five working days regarding its ability to provide assistance. If the Bureau agrees to provide assistance, it shall make a finding and determination as to whether a rule violation has occurred. The Bureau shall provide a written copy of its finding and determination to the municipal reviewing authority within 30 days of receipt of the municipal reviewing authority's request.
B. 
Specific standards.
(1) 
Conformance with other laws and regulations. If the proposed subdivision meets the definition of "subdivision" as defined in the Site Location Act, 38 M.R.S.A. § 482, the subdivider must secure the concurrent approval of the Board of Environmental Protection and the Bethel Planning Board before any construction activity may begin in the subdivision.
(2) 
(Reserved)[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Former Subsection B(2), regarding stormwater management plans, was repealed 6-10-2015.
(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 dwellings located in a subdivision 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) 
(Reserved)[2]
[2]
Editor's Note: Former Subsection B(6), regarding land not suitable for development, was repealed 6-10-2015.
(7) 
(Reserved)[3]
[3]
Editor's Note: Former Subsection B(7), regarding ditches, catch basins and storm drains, was repealed 6-10-2015.
(8) 
Water supply.
(a) 
(Reserved)[4]
[4]
Editor's Note: Former Subsection B(8)(a), regarding potable water requirements, was repealed 6-10-2015.
(b) 
The Planning Board, after notification to the Bethel Water District, the Bethel Fire Chief, and the Bethel Board of Selectmen, and after allowing a reasonable time for comment by them and by the applicant, shall determine whether connection to the public water supply, or connection to the public water supply and hydrants for fire protection, will be required or service to each lot by individual private well, or service to the subdivision by a privately owned water system, will be allowed. Consideration will be given to the advantages and disadvantages, both in terms of cost and in terms of health, safety and general welfare, of requiring connection to the public water supply.
(c) 
In subdivisions where a privately owned water system is allowed, the water system shall be constructed to present and accepted engineering standards by competent contractors and inspected by licensed plumbers and any other qualified technicians specified by the Planning Board.
(d) 
The responsibility for operation, maintenance, inspection, and testing of any privately owned water system shall be clearly stated in covenants written on the plan and attached to deeds for lots within the subdivision.
(e) 
Title 22 M.R.S.A. Chapter 601 sets out specific requirements for construction, staffing, operation and maintenance of public water systems, which are defined to include any privately owned system with at least 15 service connections regularly serving an average of at least 25 individuals daily at least 30 days out of the year.
(f) 
In areas where the Comprehensive Plan has identified the need for additional water storage capacity for fire-fighting purposes, the applicant shall provide adequate water storage facilities. Facilities may be underground cisterns or ponds with dry hydrants or other methods acceptable to the Fire Chief.
(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 subdivisions 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.
(c) 
Whenever a public road or a street in a subdivision is proposed, its design and construction shall conform to the standards specified in Chapter 125, Road Design and Construction, Article I.
(d) 
Whenever a private road in a subdivision is proposed, its design and construction shall conform to the standards specified in Chapter 125, Road Design and Construction, Article II.
(e) 
Adequate off-street parking space, properly arranged, shall be provided to meet the reasonably foreseeable needs of the subdivision. Off-street parking shall be designed so as not to require vehicles to back onto public roads.
(f) 
Streets shall be designed to discourage through traffic within residential subdivisions.
(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) 
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.
[Amended 6-10-2015]
(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) 
(Reserved)
(14) 
(Reserved)
(15) 
(Reserved)
(16) 
(Reserved)
(17) 
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.
(18) 
Archaeological sites. Any proposed subdivision 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.
(19) 
(Reserved)[5]
[5]
Editor's Note: Former Subsection B(19), regarding monuments, was repealed 6-10-2015.
(20) 
Historic buildings. The Planning Board shall consider a proposed subdivision's impacts on historic buildings as identified in the Bethel Comprehensive Plan dated June 1998, or most recent version. When a proposed subdivision will include an historic building the applicant will design the subdivision to minimize the impacts on the historic building.
(21) 
Lots.
(a) 
Lot lines shall be approximately perpendicular or radial to street lines but in any case shall be straight, unless prevented by topography or natural features from being so drawn.
(b) 
The lot size, width, depth, slope and orientation and the minimum setback lines shall be appropriate for the location of the subdivision and for the type of development and use planned.
(22) 
Large parcels. The subdivision of a tract of land into parcels larger than five acres shall be laid out to allow access for future division, unless further division is prohibited by covenant.
(23) 
Groundwater quality. For subdivisions that will contain lots that will be of less than 40,000 square feet and the most limiting factor for the purposes of subsurface wastewater disposal system design is less than 15 inches, the applicant shall provide a hydrogeologic assessment. The assessment shall contain at least the following information:
(a) 
A map showing the basic soils types.
(b) 
The depth to the water table at representative points throughout the subdivision.
(c) 
Drainage conditions throughout the subdivision.
(d) 
Data on the existing groundwater quality, either from test wells in the subdivision or from existing wells on neighboring properties.
(e) 
An analysis and evaluation of the effect of the subdivision on groundwater resources. In the case of residential developments, the evaluation shall, at a minimum, include a projection of post-development nitrate-nitrogen concentrations at any wells within the subdivision, or at the subdivision boundaries, or at a distance of 1,000 feet from potential contamination sources, whichever is a shorter distance.
(f) 
A map showing well exclusion areas.
(24) 
Open space subdivision.
(a) 
Policy and intent.
[1] 
It is the policy of the Town of Bethel to encourage the development of open space subdivisions in order to preserve a sense of space, provide for agriculture, forestry, and recreational land uses, preserve other resources identified in the Town of Bethel Comprehensive Plan, and blend new development with the traditional open and wooded agricultural and village landscapes of Bethel.
[2] 
This standard is intended to implement that policy by providing incentives that afford flexibility in street and lot layout and design and street frontage requirements to the landowner. It also allows the Planning Board to waive or reduce certain otherwise applicable standards and provisions of this chapter if such landowners commit to the permanent preservation of important open space resources. These incentives are designed to encourage greater flexibility and more innovative approaches to housing development and environmental design that will promote the most appropriate use of land and preservation of permanent open space or agricultural land, forest land, important natural features, wildlife habitat, water resources, ecological systems, and historic and scenic areas for the benefit of present and future residents.
(b) 
An open space subdivision achieves the purposes of this standard by reducing the lot size, frontage and setback requirements. It locates housing and accompanying uses in those areas where they have the smallest impact on identified environmental, wildlife, agricultural, forest, and other open space resources. These resources are then permanently preserved by covenants and restrictions or conservation easements.
(c) 
An individual may apply for approval of an open space subdivision either after sketch plan review of a conventional subdivision or by initially filing an application for an open space subdivision. In either case, the Planning Board shall review the application in accordance with 30-A M.R.S.A. § 4404 and this chapter.
[1] 
Pre-application procedure. Any applicant for an open space subdivision is encouraged, but not required, to submit at the pre-application stage a complete build-out plan for the entire parcel.
[2] 
Application procedure. The submission for an open space subdivision shall include all plans and materials required for a conventional subdivision.
[3] 
General requirements. In Planning Board review and approval of an open space subdivision, the following requirements shall apply and shall supersede any inconsistent or more restrictive provisions of this chapter and other Town of Bethel ordinances.
[a] 
Use and district requirements. All open space subdivisions shall meet the use standards of the districts in which they are located.
[b] 
Allowable density.
[i] 
Allowable density shall be based upon one of the following methods as determined by the applicant:
[A] 
Net residential density method, which is calculated in the following manner: determine the net residential acreage of the parcel by taking the total area of the parcel and subtracting in order the following: area in proposed rights-of-way, area of two or more contiguous acres with sustained slopes of 20% and greater, area of wetlands identified as Classes I, II and III under the Natural Resource Protection Act, area shown to be in floodway as designed in the Flood Boundary and Floodway Map prepared by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and area of the lot covered by surface waters, then divide the buildable area by the minimum lot size required.
[B] 
Simplified method, which is calculated in the following manner: determine the number of allowable dwelling units by taking 65% of the total lot area divided by the minimum lot size requirement.
[ii] 
The Planning Board may grant a density bonus of one lot or dwelling unit for each 10 lots or dwelling units when it makes a written finding that the open space subdivision satisfies the policies of the Comprehensive Plan and achieves the applicable purposes contained in Subsection B(24)(c)[4][a] to [e] below.
[4] 
Layout and siting standards. In planning the location and siting of residential structures in an open space subdivision, priority should be given to the preservation of the open space for its natural resource value. Human habitation activity should be located and sited on the least valuable natural resource portion of a parcel, taking into account the contours of the land and the steepness of slopes. The building lots on a parcel shall be laid out and the residential structures shall be sited according to the following principles. The Planning Board in its discretion shall resolve conflicts between these principles as applied to a particular site.
[a] 
Upon soils least suitable for agricultural use and in a manner that maximizes the usable area remaining for the designated open space use.
[b] 
Where agricultural, forestry, or recreational, whether existing or future uses, are particularly targeted for preservation.
[c] 
Within woodlands, or along the far edges of open agricultural fields adjacent to any woodland, in order to reduce encroachment upon agricultural soils and to enable new residential development to be visually absorbed by natural landscape features.
[d] 
In such manner that the boundaries between residential lots and active agricultural use, commercial forest land, and/or wildlife habitat are well buffered by vegetation, topography, streets or other barriers in order to minimize potential conflict between residential and agricultural and forestry uses.
[e] 
In locations where buildings may be oriented with respect to scenic vistas, natural landscape features, topography and natural drainage areas, in accordance with an overall plan for site development.
[5] 
Space standards.
[a] 
Shore frontage and shore setback requirements shall not be reduced below the minimum shore frontage or shore setback required.
[b] 
The required minimum land area per dwelling unit for the building envelope may be reduced to 20,000 square feet for development not served by public sewer. The building envelope shall contain a minimum of 20,000 square feet of land area that does not include one-hundred-year floodplains, areas of two or more acres of sustained slopes greater than 20%, or wetlands as defined by the Natural Resource Protection Act. The required minimum land area per dwelling unit for the building envelope may be reduced to 10,000 square feet for development served by public sewer. The building envelope shall contain a minimum of 10,000 square feet of land area that does not include one-hundred-year floodplains, areas of two or more acres of sustained slopes greater than 20%, or wetlands as defined by the Natural Resource Protection Act. If the lot area is reduced, the total open space in the development shall equal or exceed the sum of the areas by which the building lots are reduced below the minimum lot area normally required.
[c] 
Minimum street frontage requirements may be waived or modified by the Planning Board, provided that:
[i] 
Any applicable provisions regarding streets in Subsection B(24)(c)[6] below are satisfied; and
[ii] 
Adequate access and turnaround to and from all parcels by emergency vehicles can be ensured by private streets and/or common driveways.
[d] 
A reduction of required setback distances may be allowed at the discretion of the Planning Board, based upon the public benefits to be achieved from the design, provided that the front and rear setbacks shall be no less than 25 feet.
[e] 
No individual lot or dwelling unit shall have direct vehicular access onto a public street existing at the time of development.
[6] 
Streets.
[a] 
The Planning Board shall require private streets and common driveways to comply with the design standards set forth in Town of Bethel ordinances, except as provided in Subsection B(24)(c)[6](b) below.
[b] 
Travel ways and shoulders of privately owned streets and common driveways within open space subdivisions shall meet the following minimums:
[i] 
Common driveways serving two or fewer dwelling units: twelve-foot travel way.
[ii] 
Streets serving three to 10 units: sixteen-foot travel way and four-foot shoulders.
[iii] 
Streets serving 11 to 50 units: twenty-foot travel way and four-foot shoulders.
[7] 
Open space requirements. In Planning Board review and approval of a cluster/open space subdivision, the following requirements shall apply and shall supersede any inconsistent or more restrictive provision of this chapter:
[a] 
Open space uses. On all parcels, open space uses shall be appropriate to the site. Open space should include natural features located on the parcel(s), such as, but not limited to, agricultural land, forested acreage, wildlife habitat and historic features and sites. Open space shall be preserved and maintained subject to the following, as applicable:
[i] 
On parcels that contain significant portions of land suited to agriculture or commercial forestry, open space shall be preserved for agriculture or forestry, other compatible open space uses such as wildlife habitat, recreation (active or passive), and resource conservation.
[ii] 
When the principal purpose of preserving portions of the open space is the protection of natural resources such as wetlands, steep slopes, wildlife habitats, and stream corridors, open space uses in those portions may be limited to those which are no more intensive than passive recreation.
[b] 
Notations on plan.
[i] 
Open space, common lands, streets or facilities must be clearly labeled on the final plan as to their use or uses with respect to the portions of the open space that such use or uses apply, ownership, management, method of preservation, and the rights, if any, of the owners in the subdivision to such land or portions thereof.
[ii] 
The plan shall clearly show that the open space land is permanently reserved for open space purposes and shall contain a notation indicating the book and page of any conservation easements or deed restrictions required to be recorded to implement such reservations.
[c] 
Ownership of open space land. Open space land may be held in private ownership or owned in common by a homeowners' association (HOA); transferred to a nonprofit organization such as a conservation trust or association acceptable to the Planning Board; or held in such other form of ownership as the Planning Board finds adequate to achieve the purposes set forth in this Subsection B(24)(c)[7]. The Planning Board shall, in its review, require as a condition of approval provisions for the ongoing maintenance and associated costs for such maintenance of the open space.
[8] 
Homeowners' associations or agreements. Where any portion of a subdivision is proposed or required to be held in common by owners of lots, or owned in common by a homeowners' association (HOA) or similar entity, covenants for mandatory membership in the association setting forth the owners' rights, interest, privileges, responsibilities for maintenance, and obligations in the association and the common land, street or open space shall be approved by the Planning Board and included in the deed for each lot.
(25) 
Subdivisions with affordable housing.
(a) 
Purpose. The purpose of this standard is to encourage developers of residential subdivisions and multifamily developments to provide lots or units which are affordable to very low-, low- and median-income households as defined by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development and comply with the policies of the Bethel Comprehensive Plan.
(b) 
Incentive. The Planning Board may, in approving a residential subdivision (but not a mobile home park) and multifamily development, allow for an increase of up to 10% in the total number of lots or units if the applicant can meet the following criteria and provisions:
[1] 
Documentation is provided to the Planning Board that subsurface sewage disposal systems will be sufficient to meet the increased density if not served by public sewer;
[2] 
The Planning Board shall require all provisions of this chapter to be met except provisions relating to density;
[3] 
The applicant shall provide the Planning Board with information as to the upper income limits for very low, low and median family incomes prepared and published by the Department of Housing and Urban Development and affordability formulas and data used to calculate rents and prices;
[4] 
Prior to the initial occupancy of any multifamily dwelling and prior to any occupancy thereafter of any multifamily dwelling unit which the affordable housing incentive created, the Code Enforcement Officer shall be provided proof that the occupant(s) meets the very low-, low- or median-income criteria;
[5] 
The Planning Board shall require the applicant to provide proof that, upon transfer, sale or disposition of the multifamily unit and/or complex, those units created as the result of the affordable housing incentive shall continue to be occupied by very low-, low- or median-income households;
[6] 
Prior to the initial sale of any lot or lot and dwelling which the affordable housing incentive created, the Code Enforcement Officer shall be provided proof that the purchaser meets the very low-, low- or median-income criteria; and
[7] 
The Planning Board shall, at time of subdivision approval, require the deed to the lot or lots and dwelling units which are affordable to contain a transfer, sale or disposition clause that provides legally enforceable assurances that upon transfer, sale or disposition the property remains affordable to very low-, low- or median-income households. The Planning Board shall require, at a minimum, the following provisions to be contained in the deed:
[a] 
Transfer shall be to a very low-, low- or median-income household.
[b] 
Upon death of the owner, the property may be transferred to the following: spouse; child or children; or members of the household who have resided on the premises for at least one year.
[c] 
Future sale prices of lots which the affordable housing incentive created shall be based upon an inflation factor based upon the Consumer Price Index or, if no longer published, an equivalent index and an improvement factor.
[d] 
Future sale prices of lots and dwellings which the affordable housing incentive created shall be based upon an inflation factor based upon the Consumer Price Index or, if no longer published, an equivalent index, improvement factors and wear and tear factor.
[8] 
The term of such deed restrictions shall be 40 years.
A. 
Waiver authorized. Where the Planning Board makes written findings of fact that there are special circumstances of a particular parcel proposed to be subdivided, or an undue hardship as defined in 30-A M.R.S.A § 4353(4), it may waive portions of the submission requirements, unless otherwise indicated in the regulations, provided that the applicant has demonstrated that the performance standards of this chapter and the criteria of the subdivision statute have been or will be met and the public health, safety, and welfare are protected and provided that the waivers do not have the effect of nullifying the intent and purpose of the Comprehensive Plan or this chapter.
[Amended 6-11-2003; 6-9-2004]
B. 
Findings of fact required. Where the Planning Board makes written findings of fact that due to special circumstances of a particular lot proposed to be subdivided the provision of certain required improvements is not requisite to provide for the public health, safety or welfare, or is inappropriate because of inadequate or lacking connecting facilities adjacent to, or in proximity to, the proposed subdivision, it may waive the requirement for such improvements, subject to appropriate conditions, provided that the waivers do not have the effect of nullifying the intent and purpose of the Comprehensive Plan or this chapter, and further provided that the performance standards of this chapter and the criteria of the subdivision statute have been or will be met by the proposed subdivision.
C. 
Conditions. Waivers may only be granted in accordance with Subsections A and B of this section. When granting waivers, the Planning Board shall set conditions so that the purposes of this chapter are met.
D. 
Waivers to be shown on final plan. When the Planning Board grants a waiver to any of the improvements required by this chapter, the final plan, to be recorded at the Registry of Deeds, shall indicate the waivers granted and the date on which they were granted.
The effective date of this chapter is April 26, 1989, as voted upon by a majority of Planning Board members and amended and approved by Town of Bethel vote.
[Amended 6-14-2006]
This chapter may be amended by vote of a Town Meeting as provided in Chapter 5, Administration, Article VII, Amendments.
[Amended 6-9-2004]
A written appeal addressed to the Board of Appeals may be made within 30 days after any decision is rendered by the Planning Board by the applicant, abutting landowner, or any aggrieved party, when it is claimed that the provisions of this chapter do not apply or that the true intent of this chapter has been misconstrued or wrongfully applied. The Board of Appeals shall follow the procedure set forth in § 140-10A of Chapter 140, Site Plan Review.
A. 
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. The Attorney General, the municipality or the Planning Board of any municipality may institute proceedings to enjoin a violation of this chapter.
[Amended 7-16-2008]
B. 
Any 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. 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 Town of Bethel.
C. 
State law stipulates (38 M.R.S.A. Chapter 3, Subchapter I, Article 6) that no one may sell, lease, develop, build upon or convey for consideration any land in an unapproved and unregistered subdivision. Any person who, with intent to subdivide, starts any construction, installation, ditching, grading, road building, or other site development without first obtaining formal Planning Board approval of his final plan has no recourse against the Planning Board or the Town of Bethel should he fail to win approval. The magnitude of expenditure made without first obtaining such approval will lend no weight to the application nor increase the likelihood of approval.
In general, words and terms used in these regulations shall have their customary dictionary meanings. More specifically, certain words and terms used herein are defined as follows:
CONTIGUOUS LOTS
Lots which adjoin or touch at any line or point or are separated at any point by a body of water less than 15 feet wide.
DIRECT WATERSHED OF A GREAT POND
Any land area that contributes stormwater runoff either by surface water or subsurface flow to a great pond without such runoff traveling through another great pond.
EASEMENT
The authorization of a property owner for the use by another, and for a specified purpose, of any designated part of his/her property.
FLOODPLAIN
The lands adjacent to a water body which have been or may be covered by a regional flood. These areas are defined by the one-hundred-year floodplain as designated on the Federal Emergency Management Agency's Flood Insurance Rate Maps or Flood Hazard Boundary Maps.
FLOODWAY
The channel of a river or other watercourse and the adjacent land areas that must be reserved in order to discharge the base flood without cumulatively increasing the water surface elevation more than one foot.
FRESHWATER WETLAND
Freshwater swamps, marshes, bogs and similar areas which are 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 adapted for life in saturated soils, and not considered part of great pond, river, stream or brook. These areas may contain small stream channels or inclusions of land that do not conform to the criteria.
GREAT POND
Any inland body of water which in a natural state has a surface area in excess of 10 acres and any inland body of water artificially formed or increased which has a surface area in excess of 30 acres, except, for the purposes of this chapter, where the artificially formed or increased inland body of water is completely surrounded by land held by a single owner.
LOT
An area of land in one ownership, or leasehold, with ascertainable boundaries established by deed or instrument of record, or a segment of land ownership defined by lot boundary lines on a land subdivision plan duly approved by the Planning Board and recorded in the County Registry of Deeds.
MINIMUM LOT SIZE LAW
No person shall dispose of waste from any single-family residential unit by means of subsurface waste disposal unless such lot of land on which such single-family residential unit is located contains at least 20,000 square feet, and if the lot abuts a lake, pond, stream, river or tidal area it shall further have a minimum frontage of 100 feet on such body of water (12 M.R.S.A. § 4807-A).
OPEN SPACE SUBDIVISION
A subdivision in which the lot sizes are reduced below those normally required in return for permanent open 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.
PLANNING BOARD
The Planning Board of the Town of Bethel.
RIGHT-OF-WAY
The right of a person to pass over the land of another and, also, the path or piece of land over which passage is made.
SHORELAND ZONE
All land areas within 250 feet, horizontal distance, of the normal high-water mark of any great pond or river or within 250 feet of the upland edge of a freshwater wetland or 75 feet of a stream.
STREAM, RIVER or BROOK
A channel between defined banks. A channel is created by the action of surface water and has two or more of the following characteristics:
A. 
It is depicted as a solid or broken blue line on the most recent edition of the United States Geological Survey 7.5 minute series topography map or, if that is not available, a 15 minute series topography map.
B. 
It contains or is known to contain flowing water continuously for a period of at least three months of the year in most years.
C. 
The channel bed is primarily composed of material such as sand and gravel, parent material or bedrock that has been deposited or scoured by water.
D. 
The channel contains aquatic animals such as fish, aquatic insects or mollusks in the water or, if no surface water is present, in the stream bed.
E. 
The channel bed contains aquatic vegetation and is essentially devoid of upland vegetation.
SUBDIVISION
As defined in 30-A M.R.S.A. § 4401.
[Amended 6-11-2003]
TRACT OR PARCEL OF LAND
All contiguous land in the same ownership, provided that lands located on opposite sides of a public or private road shall be considered each a separate tract or parcel of land unless such road was established by the owner of land on both sides thereof.