NEWRY —  At and Oct. 19 public hearing Newry residents heard Shelly Norton, the town appointed planning contractor of Androscoggin Valley Council of Governments, speak about changes to how the planning board will operate.

Also discussed were zoning maps. She summarized what had and hadn’t changed.

“The proposed changes to the Unified Development Review Ordinance are first changing the numbering to eliminate Roman numerals and use Arabic numbering for the section of the ordinance,” Norton explained.

Also eliminated are those who aren’t on the agenda.

“It allows the planning board to limit the number of items on the agenda if it feels it will be too full and make the meeting too late and ask them to push it to the next agenda.”

Norton explained some meetings had gone on until 10’o’clock at night.

“We also don’t want to wear our planning board members out and have them resign,” said Norton.

This new change would require applicants to submit two weeks prior to the meeting. Currently, the ordinance is structured so people can bring their application to the meeting. It doesn’t allow the board or staff to review the applications in advance.

“It reduces the numbers of copies and materials that have to be submitted, from 10 down to eight which aligns with the change that was made in the spring with the number of board members from five to three,” said Norton. “It now requires an electronic copy now be submitted.”

Newry Code Enforcement Officer Joelle Corey asked if the zoning map would be up to date. Norton said it would not.

Amy Bernard, Newry town administrator, said they received the tax map proofs.

“I’ve emailed CAAI and told them we’re good to go, so we should get our hard copies within the next week, and then I’m thinking by the end of the following week we will probably have a test website, if not the week after that,” Bernard said. “So we’re thinking by the end of November we’re definitely going to have that thing live and running. It’ll be pretty fancy, you click on it, your tax card pops up, you can go in and draw a map and say okay, this part is going to be changed.”

The town will either wait until May to vote, or hold a special town meeting regarding the maps.

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