A Gorham family hopes a zoning amendment would prevent eviction of their pet mini-pig Wilbur. File photo

GORHAM — A proposed rule amendment to help a mini-pig stay with his human family will be reviewed Thursday after a slip-up forced a Planning Board meeting postponement Monday.

The Little Falls family of mini-pig Wilbur hopes the town will amend its rules to prevent him from being kicked out of a residential zone. At the behest of the Town Council, the Planning Board was to decide Monday whether to recommend language that would allow Wilbur, who turned 2 Sunday, to stay put.  But the Planning Board lacked a quorum when only three of its seven members showed up for Monday’s meeting.

Without a zoning amendment, Wilbur has a fat chance of staying. Cassidy St. Jernquist last fall asked the town’s help to keep Wilbur, her son’s pet pig, after a neighbor raised a stink about a farm animal living in a residential zone.

Since then, the issue of Wilbur has been bogged down in committees with a delay topped off by the quorum problem.

“We are not conducting business,” Planning Board Chairman George Fox said following a brief delay Monday night. “I apologize.”

Monday’s agenda is rescheduled for 7 p.m. Thursday, July 18, at the municipal center, 75 South St.

With a full Planning Board agenda Monday, a gathering of several applicants and their representatives were waiting to be heard. Barbara Skinner said Tuesday the lack of a quorum was a first in her 17 years as the board’s clerk.

The Planning Board usually meets the first Monday monthly but didn’t meet the week of July 4. While no roll call was taken Monday, the Planning Board members present in addition to Fox appeared to be James Anderson and Michael Richman. Other board members are Vice Chairman Scott Firmin, Molly Butler-Bailey, Vincent Grassi and Brian Plowman.

Town Council Chairman Benjamin Hartwell commented on the absentee matter when asked Tuesday by the American Journal. “We all lead very busy lives, but attendance is obviously a very important part of the commitment people make when they decide to hold a public office. I hope there is a compelling reason for the absences,” Hartwell said.

The Town Council had asked the Planning Board for its recommendation “to allow one farm animal under 50 pounds” on a lot under 40,000 square feet. The board’s Ordinance Committee proposed a change to allow “one neutered mini-pig under 16 inches in height and/or 100 pounds in weight at maturity.”

Upping the weight limit would likely relieve Code Enforcement from the chore of weighing Wilbur, who last year was an estimated 25 pounds and was expected to grow to about 50.

Wilbur is up to date on his shots by a veterinarian , St. Jenquist said, but he has yet to be neutered because of a diagnosed physical problem.

The Town Council will have final say in approving an amendment.

Other requests on Thursday’s agenda include a two-story, storage, maintenance and office building proposed on Mitchell Hill Road by James Dyer of Southern Maine Firewood; a four-story, Avesta Housing apartment building off School Street with 22 one bedroom and five, two-bedroom units; and a garage on Mosher Road, proposed by the First Russian Baptist Church.


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