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Old 12-02-2009, 03:13 PM
 
8,760 posts, read 16,104,943 times
Reputation: 3486

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Quote:
Originally Posted by banjoseth View Post
Maineah, are you seriously telling me nobody got upset about Freeport turning into what it is today? Do you know any Freeport old timers? Maybe the ones who stood to profit didn't mind, but I assure you there's a slew of people who deeply regret what has happened to their town. Freeport is only an extreme example. There are dozens of towns now kicking themselves because they see the result of having no zoning, no teeth in any planning board decisions, etc. Blue Hill might be in a position to profit from their experience, but no, we have a small group of very vocal property owners who scream bloody murder at the first suggestion of any infringement of their supposed rights and use intimidation tactics to keep opponents in line. I suppose if someone owned a Rembrandt they should be encouraged to set fire to it just to prove they legally can do whatever they want with their own property.
Sure people were upset about the changes in Freeport but they didn't speak up BEFORE the changes were made. They sat in the shadows and bitc**d to each other but NOT to those in charge of approving the changes. By the time they began to speak up it was far too late. There are a good many in Freeport now who will tell you the changes, though not welcome at the time, took a dumpy little shoe shop town and cleaned it up. You may not like the retail operations but they sure do bring in the revenue to a poor state.

 
Old 12-02-2009, 06:09 PM
 
Location: Waldo County
1,220 posts, read 3,442,813 times
Reputation: 1393
Quote:
Originally Posted by banjoseth View Post
Acadian Lion, meaning no disrespect, but I like Blue Hill the way it is. It's the people who are changing its character willy-nilly at present who clearly neither like it the way it is nor love and respect the old town. And if you'd had to move away in order to find a job you might find it difficult to make it back home yourself during the week to attend Planning Board or other meetings that are for some reason never scheduled on weekends.

No disrespect taken. You sound just like someone from New Jersey who thinks that whatever place in Maine they go to needs changing. In general, most small Maine towns like things pretty much the way they are and see little need for change or increases in regulation

As for the specific issue of the Legion Hall "renovations" - The columns, structurally speaking, are not only aesthetically unpleasing but overbuilt for what they support. Ergo, they are more expensive than they need to be. Posts of brick would have been perfectly acceptable if they'd chosen brick that matched the building - as was done across the street when the Library was added onto - and had they been considerably narrower.

Perhaps, and I will suggest that you contact the board of trustees who are responsible for that building and ask them about the decision process that they went through that resulted in the completed project.

I am going to Blue Hill on Friday and will look at the buiilding myself. I haven't seen it since around the time that construction began.


The irony of having no local oversight or meaningful regulation of changes to buildings in the Historic District is that people who are trained in these matters could have pointed out in this case where arriving at a more aesthetically pleasing result would also have been more economical.

This is true to a point. However one argument against such "zoning", because that what it is, is that in order to regulate what is done, the standards must be set by someone, or some group of someones. And who will do that? Probably the only way to really proceed would be for the town to hire an architectural and perhaps an historian to codify the architectural them of the town. From there, they might have to get very specific about colors, signs, shapes of mailboxes, and on and on. In the end there would be an enormous expenditure of money and an even larger number of pitched battles over "who says".

Now there is precedent in Blue Hill along these lines. There was once a land use ordinance that specified side lot and back lot set backs. One day someone who had enough connections with others in town found that he couldn't build a garage on his property because it would come to close to the side lot. At the next town election, the ordinance was repealed. I bought my property in Blue Hill sometime after that and was flabbergasted when I was told the story by the, then code enforcement officer.

Nevertheless, unless towns engage the issue of land use, changes in the demographics of towns will bring changes to the face of the town, many times not to the pleasure of those who "love" their town. Saying NO to any form of zoning, is ill conceived because changes take place not all of which are viewed as favorable.


But nobody wants to listen. Of course I'm frustrated. There's few places besides forums like this where somebody whose circumstances don't allow them to be 'on the spot' constantly CAN vent about issues that bother them.
Oh, to the contrary. You can always speak out at planning board and selectmen meetings all of which are open to the public by law. You can also write letters to the selectmen in favor of change. What might happen is the selectmen or planning board members may well ignore your suggestions, and just possibly because the majority constituency that they represent speak louder than you do, from away.

That is the democratic process that rules our land.
 
Old 12-02-2009, 08:39 PM
 
8,760 posts, read 16,104,943 times
Reputation: 3486
I have no horse in this dog show so I'll let you two hash it out.
 
Old 12-02-2009, 09:51 PM
 
1,061 posts, read 1,694,436 times
Reputation: 444
Quote:
Originally Posted by Acadianlion View Post
Oh, to the contrary. You can always speak out at planning board and selectmen meetings all of which are open to the public by law. You can also write letters to the selectmen in favor of change. What might happen is the selectmen or planning board members may well ignore your suggestions, and just possibly because the majority constituency that they represent speak louder than you do, from away.

That is the democratic process that rules our land.
A picture is worth a thousand words.

I'm really curious what this building looks like--I'd love to see a before and after picture.

Whereabouts in Blue Hill is it--maybe I can find it on Google Street view?
 
Old 12-03-2009, 02:46 AM
 
Location: Maine's garden spot
3,093 posts, read 5,421,255 times
Reputation: 3136
Quote:
Originally Posted by OutDoorNut View Post
A picture is worth a thousand words.

I'm really curious what this building looks like--I'd love to see a before and after picture.

Whereabouts in Blue Hill is it--maybe I can find it on Google Street view?


It's on main street as you go south up Tenney Hill. It will be on the right... 2nd buiding past union trust bank.
 
Old 12-03-2009, 08:44 AM
 
18 posts, read 36,862 times
Reputation: 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Acadianlion View Post
Oh, to the contrary. You can always speak out at planning board and selectmen meetings all of which are open to the public by law. You can also write letters to the selectmen in favor of change. What might happen is the selectmen or planning board members may well ignore your suggestions, and just possibly because the majority constituency that they represent speak louder than you do, from away.

That is the democratic process that rules our land.
Again with this insistence that I'm "from away" or "just like someone from New Jersey" who should keep his mouth shut because my legal residence happens to be out of state. My heart and soul are in Blue Hill, thank you very much, and I pour I every dollar and hour that I can into restoring my house there.

And, again, because I happen not to live in Blue Hill it is NOT possible for me to drop everything and drive 5 hours to attend planning board or other mid-week meetings. Also even if the Packet printed pertinent info. well in advance I'd still find out about most of these things too late.

As for the selectmen representing the interests of a majority constituency, it is to laugh. I have enough local info. at my command to know that 28 people showing up at a hastily-scheduled and poorly advertised special town meeting might as well be DESIGNED to result in rule by oligarchy. The same small cadre railroad over the rest of the town again and again either by methods such as this or by threat of ridicule and other types of intimidation.

I know one gentleman who was literally heaped with contempt in a meeting when he dared propose an alternative to what this "majority" wanted. That kind of thing gets around and the gentle good people of Blue Hill who really DO constitute a majority are often conflict-averse and tend not to want to put themselves in situations like that.

Some democracy.
 
Old 12-03-2009, 09:00 AM
 
18 posts, read 36,862 times
Reputation: 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by OutDoorNut View Post
A picture is worth a thousand words.

I'm really curious what this building looks like--I'd love to see a before and after picture.

Whereabouts in Blue Hill is it--maybe I can find it on Google Street view?
Indeed you can. North side of Main at the intersection with High Street. One of the issues they may have been trying to address is handicap access. All the more reason to assume the design ought to have been reviewed beforehand.
 
Old 12-03-2009, 09:17 AM
 
18 posts, read 36,862 times
Reputation: 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Acadianlion View Post
The irony of having no local oversight or meaningful regulation of changes to buildings in the Historic District is that people who are trained in these matters could have pointed out in this case where arriving at a more aesthetically pleasing result would also have been more economical.

This is true to a point. However one argument against such "zoning", because that what it is, is that in order to regulate what is done, the standards must be set by someone, or some group of someones. And who will do that? Probably the only way to really proceed would be for the town to hire an architectural and perhaps an historian to codify the architectural them of the town. From there, they might have to get very specific about colors, signs, shapes of mailboxes, and on and on. In the end there would be an enormous expenditure of money and an even larger number of pitched battles over "who says".

Now there is precedent in Blue Hill along these lines. There was once a land use ordinance that specified side lot and back lot set backs. One day someone who had enough connections with others in town found that he couldn't build a garage on his property because it would come to close to the side lot. At the next town election, the ordinance was repealed. I bought my property in Blue Hill sometime after that and was flabbergasted when I was told the story by the, then code enforcement officer.
Jackbooted thugs are not going to show up at your door to insist that you paint it a different color just because ANY kind of reasonable oversight is in place in a historic district. The Slippery Slope argument does not apply here.

I heard the garage setback story too. The usual thing in such cases is to apply for a variance, not get up in arms and repeal the ordinance altogether! It's like timber tresspass - I don't cut trees that are too close to my property line out of respect for tradition and courtesy to my neighbors, but it so happens it's also illegal for me to do so.

Because this guy pushed to get the setback ordinance repealed, now anybody who doesn't have the same kind of decency and respect can build anything right spang up against his neighbor's lot and there's no recourse. Talk about throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

Again, it's a vocal, pushy minority trampling on majority rights that we're talking about here, not an actual majority solemnly exercising the traditional right of majorities to have their own way.

Last edited by banjoseth; 12-03-2009 at 10:37 AM..
 
Old 12-03-2009, 09:27 AM
 
8,760 posts, read 16,104,943 times
Reputation: 3486
Wasn't Blue Hill invaded by granola types years ago?? It is always mentioned as an artsy type of place filled with out of staters boasting the same population makeup as Ogunquit. Is this correct?
 
Old 12-03-2009, 09:48 AM
 
18 posts, read 36,862 times
Reputation: 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maineah View Post
Wasn't Blue Hill invaded by granola types years ago?? It is always mentioned as an artsy type of place filled with out of staters boasting the same population makeup as Ogunquit. Is this correct?
Heh heh. Thought you didn't have a dog in this fight, Maineah. What happened to being a "quiet, loving conservative"? Don't start in gaybashing, now. Everybody knows what "the same population makeup as Ogunquit" is code for.
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