Naples Special Town Meeting

By Dawn De Busk
Staff Writer

NAPLES — Residents attending the Naples special town meeting expressed a desire to see a bike shop locate where the Sunny Windows Café sits on its small parcel.

Most community members were willing to change the lot to a commercial zone so the previous business owners’ son could officially open his bicycle retail store.

But, people asked about the ability of the town to establish an ordinance that would prohibit uses other than retail on the property once it is changed to a commercial business zone.

Once it was clear that such an ordinance could be adopted by town meeting in June 2012, the zone change became more palatable.

A strong majority voted in favor of the zone change, which was required before Scott Kilton could operate the bike shop in the building where, for years, so many have enjoyed fresh-baked goods and breakfasts in the café run by his mother, Deborah Kilton.

During the public hearing on Article 2, Selectman Robert Caron Sr. summed up the sentiment of the voting community.

“I am excited about the bike shop,” he said. “We, in this state, keep telling ourselves we want more businesses and jobs to keep our children in the state. I’m glad David’s son chose Naples for his business.”

Earlier, resident Patricia Maxim asked why the town couldn’t grant an allowance for the bike shop only, but not for other commercial uses. She stressed that she wanted to see this bicycle shop open in Naples.

Naples Code Enforcement Officer Boni Rickett said an ordinance change is the only way the new business can operate there.

David Kilton, who owns the land, explained the parcel was too small to support the types of commercial businesses that had been mentioned around town — from a drinking establishment to a factory. He said his wife was unable to acquire a liquor license because a business serving beer and wine would have to provide more restrooms than the septic system allowed.

“Everyone in town is excited about the bicycle shop,” Selectman Christine Power said, adding that as a cyclist, she is personally pleased about the prospect. “How long would it take to change the ordinance so nothing else can go in there?”

Rickett estimated it would take a year because a vote at the annual town meeting in June would be needed; and the Ordinance Review Committee would not be able to complete the process of writing the new ordinance before this year’s town meeting.

During the special town meeting:

• As he has done many times, Selectman Rick Paraschak spoke in favor of installing fire suppression pipes along the Causeway. He was singing to the chorus. Without any more discussion, citizens voted in favor of allocating $80,000 to install the sections of underground water main. A small portion of the money will pay for the engineering plans to be drawn up for the remaining fire suppression project.

• Town Manager Derik Goodine explained the need for $10,000 to be re-allocated to the Legal Services account to pay bills for the remainder of the fiscal year. He said this was a matter of moving money from Pot A to Pot B. The majority of residents approved moving funds to cover the debt.

• “No” was all residents had to hear before they threw their support behind adopting the PACE Ordinance. The first question asked was: Will this cost the town anything? Goodine answered “no.” No more discussion was needed about PACE, a program administered through Efficiency Maine. PACE assists residents and towns with low-interest loans and rebate information to help with energy efficiency upgrades.

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