Dayton Planning Board

February 21, 2012


Present: Remi Caron (Chair), Dan Plourde, Pat Sughrue, Rand Clark, Dick Hall, Valerie Cole (Alt.)

Town Employees Present: Jim Roberts (CEO)

Public: Rod Hooper, GMFD Chief


Administrative: The February 7, 2012 minutes were read and approved. Dan Plourde motioned, Pat Sughrue seconded.


Old Business:

FIREWORKS ORDINANCE: Chief Hooper attended the meeting to discuss the proposed ordinance regarding the sale and use of fireworks. Remi Caron presented a draft proposal and explained that the Board’s intent is to write an ordinance for town vote regarding the sales and use of fireworks (See Consumer Fireworks and Fireworks, attached.) Chief Hooper felt that the use detailed in the state’s law is complete (See PUBLIC Law, Chapter 416, LD 43, 125th Maine State Legislature, attached.) Jim Roberts noted that enforcement will be problematic: Chief Hooper agreed that the point that could be enforced by the Fire Department and the CEO is the point of sale.


Dick Hall reminded everyone that because fireworks have been illegal in the past, the use has been minimal. With use becoming legal, if it becomes a problem, probably the Sheriff’s Department will be involved. Chief Hooper did not feel that Dayton will have much of a problem with people using fireworks irresponsibly. He asked if the Board has more stringent ideas for sales and use other than that in the state law.


Remi Caron noted that the town draft should refer back to the state law. Chief Hooper asked if sellers would be required to have a specific permit for the storage and sale of fireworks: one that would be approved by the fire chief and the CEO, subject to Section 5.9, MRSA 223-A. Jim Roberts said that his understanding was that the restrictions on buildings could be prohibitive.


It was noted that the town ordinance should reference the PUBLIC Law Chapter 416 document regarding conditions on the storage on fireworks (Section 5.9 MRSA 223-A-4) In particular, the town ordinance should reference NFPA 1124. Dick Hall suggested that the words "and NFPA 1124" be included in Section 3.


Regarding the town draft Section 5.1.5, Chief Hooper would rather not be receiving calls whenever someone wants to set off fireworks. He explained that the Fire Department isn't staffed all day and that the non-emergency phone number may not be answered. Dick Hall suggested that Section 5.1.5 be deleted.


Chief Hooper noted there are consumer fireworks and commercial fireworks for display, such as those purchased by towns for the 4th of July.


Chief Hooper asked what is considered "high" for forest fire risk (draft Section 5.1.4), noting that there are five classes of fire danger and GMFD doesn't give a burn permit when the risk is above Level 3.  The sign in front of GMFD reads “moderate”, “high”, and “extreme”. Dick Hall suggested the term “Class 4 and above” could be inserted in parentheses.


Remi Caron reminded everyone that the biggest concern on the town survey referenced the Fire of '47, and there are probably more people in town against fireworks than for them. The Board should address that concern, and he wondered if Section 5.1.4 should read “moderate or greater.” Chief Hooper pointed out that if the risk on the 4th of July is rated “moderate”, then the town would not be able to put on fireworks after spending the money for them. One solution would be to limit consumer use to days rated less than “moderate.” Rand Clark clarified that this would place a standard that would be more restrictive, based on fears of the Fire of '47. He would not suggest that the Board be that restrictive.


Chief Hooper noted that fire danger goes down substantially in the evening due to the dew point and drop in temperature. He felt it would be sufficient to limit fireworks to days rated Level 3 and below. Dick Hall noted that the ordinance could include wording to address the use of commercial fireworks. Currently there isn't a process in place for the State Fire Marshall to notify local authorities about commercial fireworks. He would agree to the requirement that the local fire department should be notified about commercial fireworks. This would inform the chief and give him authority in the matter. If conditions are risky, a fire truck could be prepared and present.


Jim Roberts noted that the state statute on hours is more restrictive than those proposed in the draft; the Board probably does not want to be less restrictive. The Board decided to prohibit use between the hours of 10:00 PM and 9:00 AM. Exceptions are made for New Year’s Eve, when use is prohibited between 12:30 AM and 9:00 AM, and for July 4th, when use is prohibited between 11:00 PM and 9:00 AM.


Sales will be restricted to the commercial zone only. Board members decided that sales would require a Conditional Use Permit from the Planning Board as well as the required state permits. Dan Plourde noted there is a federal permit as well through ATF.


The Board will hold a public hearing to discuss the proposed ordinance on March 20th at 7:00 PM at Dayton Town Hall. This will allow time for a second public hearing in April if necessary.


ED AND SARAH LEBLANC, BICKFORD ROAD SUBDIVISION: The LeBlancs are still on vacation. Earlier in the day Jim Roberts forwarded an email to Board members from Mike Morse of MDEP detailing the State’s response. According to MDEP, “…the current map properly depicts a shoreland zoned stream in the subject location.” It is not known whether or not the LeBlancs have received this email.




The meeting adjourned at 7:45 PM. The next meeting is March 6th, 2012, 7:00 PM at Town Hall.




Valerie J. Cole, Secretary



Remi Caron, Chair

COPIES TO: Jim Roberts, Code Enforcement Officer; Selectmen; and Tax Assessor