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November 4, 2010

Nudity, porn, massage parlors once again on Waterville plate

By Amy Calder acalder@centralmaine.com
Staff Writer


WATERVILLE — Prohibiting pornography, nudity, escort services and massage parlors downtown is once again on the boiler plate.
Planning Board members in the next few weeks will consider making a recommendation to the City Council about whether such adult entertainment should be allowed between Union Street and Spring Street and Elm Street and the Kennebec River.
The territory essentially covers the downtown area.
City councilors Tuesday night voted 5-0 to refer to the Planning Board for public hearing and recommendation a proposed change to the zoning ordinance that would prohibit adult entertainment in that area of the city.
City councilors would make the final decision.
Massage therapists licensed by the state would still be allowed to practice downtown if adult entertainment is prohibited.
After Tuesday’s council vote to refer the matter to planners for recommendation, Council Chairman Dana W. Sennett, D-Ward 4, looked at City Planner Ann Beverage and said, “Good luck, Ann.”
Councilor Thomas R.W. Longstaff, D-Ward 6, said “Have fun.”
The issue comes back to the council after it was delayed several weeks ago. Councilors had been trying to approve needed changes to the zoning ordinance and because the adult entertainment issue was controversial, it slowed down a decision. So, councilors decided to approve ordinance changes without the adult entertainment piece and consider that issue separately.
In other matters at Tuesday’s meeting, councilors voted to declare a vacancy in the Ward 2 seat, vacated by Mary-Anne Beal, who resigned last week and moved to Oakland.
 City Manager Michael Roy said those interested in the position must have letters of interest to the city clerk’s office by Nov. 10.
On Nov. 16, the council will interview candidates in open session and then appoint someone to fill Beal’s unexpired term.
Councilors also voted to  approve modifying the Elm and Spring street intersection. The state Department of Transportation requested the city discuss a plan to reverse the traffic flow on the existing private drive serving the Catholic church property on Elm Street so that traffic is changed from “one way out” to  “one way in.” The goal is to make the traffic situation safer.
The church agreed to modify the private drive as requested. The drive is located between the church and Mid-Maine Chamber of Commerce building, which formerly housed the Maine State Credit Union.
Councilors also took a first vote to lease property that  is part of the city’s former landfill on Webb Road to Pine Tree Waste. Pine Tree has been using the site for several years for storage of trash containers but the city has had no formal lease with the company.
Pine Tree wants to make it a more permanent site. City officials continue to negotiate a lease and councilors will ultimately take two more votes on the matter.

Amy Calder — 861-9247
acalder@centralmaine.com


 

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