Sign of the times

Following a Sept. 19 meeting attended by five local businesses, the Cape Elizabeth Ordinance Committee will soon consider an overhaul of town rules regarding so-called “sandwich board” signs.

According to Committee Chairperson Katharine Ray, her group dispatched Town Planner Maureen “O’Meara and Code Enforcement Officer Ben McDougal to bring back a set of ordinance updates to more clearly govern size, display types and permitted locations for the movable signs.

“There needs to be some additional regulation around it,” said Ray. “It’s unclear to the business owners, it’s unclear to us.”

Much of the current drive for reconsideration came at the request of Shore Things consignment shop owner Janice Stockton, who recently wrote the Town Council to ask for year-round use of the sign type, now limited to 90 days of display per year. The hope also is to mitigate the costs associated with the signs. “Most of our sign fees are a one-time fee, but this fee is charged on an annual basis,” said Ray.

Supreme school

The Maine Supreme Judicial Court will conduct its Oct. 9 session at Cape Elizabeth High School in one of three appearances it makes each year at Maine schools. Students in Ted Jordan’s AP government class will host the event, which gets underway at 8:55 a.m., attending all three scheduled hearings and then joining the justices for lunch. Upperclassmen also will get to sit in on the latter two hearings, which feature oral arguments from opposing attorneys. The three cases to be heard include: “Teresa Bell v. Randall Dawson, et al.” in which Bell, of North Berwick, is appealing a York County Superior Court ruling that found the Dawsons not responsible for a skateboarding injury Bell’s son sustained on their property; “Kennebec County v. Maine Public Employees Retirement System,” in which the county is appealing action by the MePERS board of trustees for failing to tell three employees of their right to join the retirement system; and, “Steven Lamarre v. State of Maine,” in which Lemarre is appealing a nine-year sentence in Cumberland County Superior Court for drug trafficking near a school on the basis of allegedly poor work by his court-appointed attorney.

Planning party

The nine-member Cape Elizabeth Town Center Planning Committee, which was convened in May to revisit a 20-year-old plan aimed at remaking the intersection of Shore and Scott Dyer Roads at Route 77 in the image of a typical New England village center, has called a public forum to gauge the feeling of the community. The meeting will be held at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 17, at town hall. The committee is expected to unveil several “rough-draft recommendations” for the area. Options to be put on the table include the establishment of “form-based” zoning, which focuses on the look of a building, rather than its use, options to increase the possibility of multifamily housing and commercial development in the area, creating a village green or “visual center” for the town and improving sidewalks and traffic flow. The committee will incorporate input from the meeting into a report due to the Town Council by year’s end.

Policy polling

The policy subcommittee of the Cape Elizabeth Board of Education is asking the public to weigh in on how the school department should deal with substance abuse prevention. An existing policy, in place since 2009, is up for review as part of an audit begun last year of all school policies. However, before rewriting old policy, committee members are asking parents, students and other community members to take a poll available online at where they can opine on topics such as whether parents should sign athletic agreement forms, if the policy should only cover behavior on school grounds, and if parents can secure lesser penalties for their children by revealing policy violations. In December 2012, several students were summonsed by policy for eating marijuana-laced cookies at the high school, while some avoided policy-mandated expulsions for trafficking by transferring to other schools.

Shred happens

Have you got sensitive documents you don’t need but don’t dare to throw out? The Cape Elizabeth Recycling Committee will sponsor a free paper-shredding event for local residents from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 19, at the recycling center on Dennison Drive. The shredding, to be done by Without a Trace Mobile Shredding Inc. of Scarborough, is limited to three boxes per vehicle. For more information, email [email protected] or call 799-4151.

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