On April 22, Saco City Council did the right thing by voting 5 to 2 to table the potential allocation of $308,233 of taxpayer money toward a private developer’s site plan condition of approval to build a left turn lane at Rt. 112 and Simpson Road in Saco. (Councilors for Wards 3 and 4 voted in the minority.)

Five councilors requested more information from the city administrator: legal opinion on the intersection of the city’s contract zone with site plan and subdivision review ordinances, a compliance update, and financial capacity of The Ecology School (TES) to meet their one-third cost portion of the $924,700 turn lane.

Saco’s submission of a BPI grant was premature, as evidenced by the council’s request for critical missing information.

What is not clear is whether council will request independent legal review of the contract zone and site plan ordinances since the city attorney is implicitly responsible for Saco’s poor CZA process as the “architect” behind these weak contracts.

Citizens should review their tax dollars in action in the Feb. 6, oral arguments of the city
attorney’s appeal to the Maine Supreme Law Court of a lower court’s ruling on another CZA in Saco.

Without knowledge of City Administrator Bohenko and the council, he appealed this ruling to preserve a faulty view of CZAs as quasi “administrative” agreements rather than contracts based on significant legislative action by the council that suspend the zoning ordinance for individual projects.

View https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x08JeaYtCqw

Please attend the  council meeting Monday, May 6, at 6:30 p.m.

Inga Sandvoss Browne

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