Oxford OKs revised Robinson Mill plan

0
1001
Members of the Planning Board, from left, Jarek Mains, Phil Jendrick, Shawn Morse and Chairwoman Denise Landsberg review a revised plan of the Robinson Mill with Code Enforcement Officer Joelle Corey-Whitman at the August 9 Planning Board meeting.

OXFORD — Oxford Planning Board members approved and signed a revised Robinson Mill Plan at their meeting August 9.

The modified plans shows existing conditions and updated property lines, including corrective deeds from abutting property owner Margaret Harmon and the Oxford Mill Revitalization Inc LLC. that surround town property containing one of the town sewer pumps.

Approval of the amended maps was a simple correction to show the redrawn lines after the sewer pump was installed, said Code Enforcement Officer Joelle Corey-Whitman.

A plan for the Thompson Lake Condominiums and Robinson Commons project has been on the books since 2012 but there has been no movement on that plan since then,  said Corey-Whitman.

In 2014, local developer Chuck Starbird said he hoped to renovate about 1,200 square-feet on the eastern portion of the 1840 Robinson Mill – a former woolen mill on Thompson Lake – into luxury apartments for the individuals 55 and older.

The town sold the site to Starbird in 2012 for $32,000 after it foreclosed on the complex in 2009 following nonpayment by previous owners of $244,920 in property taxes over a three-year period.

After the mill closed in 2004, plans to redevelop the property into residential condominiums and commercial space, including restaurants and a textile museum never succeeded.

The mill has not been connected to the town sewer yet, but has the stubs to proceed.

Transparency

The board also heard a presentation from Town Attorney Mary Costigan on the Freedom of Access Act, conflict of interest and other topics. The Planning Board is considered a quasi judicial board. Costigan said the members must be fair, be impartial and apply the law as written.

If a member has a pecuniary interest from a vote before the Planning Board that member must recuse himself or herself rather than abstain from a vote to avoid any appearance of influencing the vote, Costigan advised members, some of whom are builders.

If more than a quorum of members happen to meet, at the dump for example, it is a legal meeting and must meet requirements of a meeting. Most emails, messaging and other forms of correspondence concerning board matters is considered public record and available to the public upon request, she said.

“All of this is really about transparency,” said Costigan.

The board has undergone a turnover recently with alternate member Jarek Mains and member Phil Jendrick being recently appointed. Shawn Moody was appointed a member several months ago. Chairwoman Denise Landsberg and Dana Dillingham remain as long-serving members.

The board was also updated on proposed zoning regulation changes including a revision to the medical marijuana ordinance that will be acted on at Special Town Meeting in September.

ldixon@sunmediagroup.net