This also has to do with the Dennett Road property. Remember STOP THE 900.
Kittery Town Council is to hold a public hearing on the Title 16 Zoning Map revision. This included the area of the Dennett Road Business park that we successfully stopped the 900 units from being built.
July 17th, 2023 at 6 PM at the 200 Rogers Rd. Kittery, Maine 03904
The Town Council Chambers.
The moratorium for building in the Business Park expires on August 8th, 2023. According to information Ihave received, this needs to be done to clean up the old original ordinance that we successfully got changed back too.
However, given what this Town has a habit of doing, it is important we all pay attention to the changes.
A simple change could have catastrophic implications and we need to be vigilant.
Saturday, June 24 will see a pretty cool but unlikely pairing of two Maine icons, separated by more than two centuries but sharing a microphone to celebrate our nation’s birthday.
For the fifth year, Kittery’s own Gen. William Whipple will return to his hometown to offer a public reading of the Declaration of Independence he signed back in 1776. He is the only one of this genius document’s 56 signers born in Maine.
And in twist that likely would have shocked the general nearly 250 years ago, he’s now scheduled to be introduced at the event by a woman who happens to be one of the most senior and influential members of the United States Senate – Susan Collins, originally of Caribou, Maine.
The event, known locally as Whipple’s Reading, will take place at Thresher Memorial Park, adjacent to Kittery Town Hall, at 0900 next Saturday. It essentially serves as a kickoff to local Independence Day celebrations throughout the area, which is fitting, since Kittery is Maine’s oldest town.
Personally, I love the idea of an 18th-century Maine legend being introduced by a 21st-century Maine legend to commemorate Independence Day. And having one of America’s Founding Fathers introduced by a powerful modern-day stateswoman reminds us just how far we’ve evolved in our remarkable maturation. Last year, another groundbreaking Mainer, Gov. Janet Mills, filled the same role.
But this will also be something of a full-circle experience for Sen. Collins and Kittery. Ten years ago this past April, she served as the keynote speaker for the dedication of the 129-foot USS Thresher Memorial flagpole in the middle of the town’s traffic circle. The pole is a celebrated local landmark today, but at the time there was some controversy over whether it should be installed at the site.
To me, her participation helped legitimize the project created to mark the 50th anniversary of the horrible loss of the Kittery-built Navy submarine. As it happens, next week’s ceremony will take place in a small park overlooking the flagpole, where the 129 feet of height represents the 129 men lost in the world’s worst submarine accident. And Whipple’s Reading will be right in front of the stone marker bearing the names of the lost Thresher crewmen and civilian workers who died that April morning in 1963.
There’s really a déjà vu aspect to this scenario. When I invited Sen. Collins to speak at the Thresher ceremony in 2013, I doubted she’d be able to fit the event into her busy schedule. Her staff initially indicated she couldn’t, but then worked some magic and made it happen. Likewise, I wasn’t all that optimistic when extending an invitation a decade later to our annual Whipple event, but she came through once again.
This time around, she’ll be introducing an individual whose impact has resonated in the Seacoast for centuries. Whipple – seaman, soldier, statesman and signer of the Declaration of Independence – was born in Kittery around 1730. There’s still a modernized version of the house where he grew up near the back gate of Portsmouth Naval Shipyard.
Whipple opted for a rugged way of life at sea as a cabin boy in his youth, and retired as a ship’s captain by the age of 30. After settling down across the Piscataqua River in Portsmouth, he became a merchant and a local leader of the American Revolution. He was appointed colonel of the local militia and chosen to represent the New Hampshire colony in the Second Continental Congress in 1776.
As a brigadier general in the state’s militia, he saw action at the pivotal Battle of Saratoga in 1777 and the less successful Battle of Rhode Island in 1778. His sword is still on display today at the Moffatt-Ladd House, the National Historic Landmark in Portsmouth where Whipple and his wife Katharine lived throughout the Revolution. The horse chestnut tree he planted upon his return home from Philadelphia after signing the Declaration now towers over the property.
(Spoiler alert: Gen. Whipple will be portrayed by a reenactor at the Independence Day ceremony, since he actually passed away in 1785.)
Collins’ participation in this year’s event isn’t due to her politics so much as her legacy as a longtime national leader, dating back to her first election to the Senate back in 1996. She has the longest perfect voting record in the history of the United States Senate, and is the first Republican woman to be elected to five terms in office.
As one of the few senators in Washington apparently capable of working with the opposing party, Collins has long been a power broker in the capital. Locally, the Republican has been a tenacious defender of Kittery’s historic shipyard.
These iconic Mainers will be joined at the ceremony by the brilliant youngsters of the Piscataqua Rangers Junior Fife & Drum Corps, who have marched and performed in every Whipple’s Reading event conducted so far, even during the pandemic. The shipyard’s Color Guard and the Honor Guard rifle team will both take part in the ceremony as well. While the Color Guard has also been a consistent staple of the annual ceremony, Saturday will mark the first appearance of the rifle team, which will fire a salute following the reading.
This year’s ceremony was mostly funded, appropriately, by the Shipyard’s Naval Civilian Managers Association. At the conclusion of the event, the neighboring Kittery Historical and Naval Museum will host an open house with refreshments.
D. Allan Kerr is the organizer of Kittery’s annual Whipple’s Reading event.
KITTERY, Maine — A nearly year-long, town-ordered halt on development in one area of town will soon expire. Officials are still evaluating the future of the land in question and how it should be zoned.
After community outcry against a proposed 900-unit residential and commercial development on Dennett Road and Route 236, the Town Council held a special meeting last summer to amend zoning rules and block the project, called Dennett Landing, from advancing before the Kittery Planning Board. A petition, created by former town councilor Charles Denault, called for the then-mixed-use neighborhood zone, to be replaced with its prior designation, the business park zone, which the council agreed to last July.
THE CITIZENS SPOKE HOW IT SHOULD BE ZONED. DO WE NEED ANOTHER PETITION.
We the people (citizens) stopped and banned CASINOS so we can change the charter again. I am up for the challenge.
Keep in mind the Town Manager lives in Massachusetts but we live here in Kittery.
According to my fresh sources, the developer is planning something. Don’t be surprised if the Council or planning board circumvents the partition that over 650 people signed. Grant it something should go there, but the one eyesore that has risen there is enough.
The 900 unit apartment house went away with a change of the zoning, but given the history of this town surprising the citizens with changes has been a main stay. More to come.
Perhaps the Town should mandate water be accessible at any future building site before the construction takes place. It may be there recently now but the current 300 had nothing as it is still being built.
Who did not think that one through? Is that called dodging a bullet? That is why their tearing up Dennett Road to install water lines.
Are you kidding me. Good thing that was not the Days Inn.
A recent June 15th, 2023 Seacoast Online editorial about the Saint Thomas Aquinas school by Former Kittery Town Councilor Jeffrey Thomson states ” The treatment by the current school administration of my former colleagues is indefensible, especially when one considers that the mission statement of the school is centered on the values of decency and caring found in the gospel teachings of Christ.”
he goes on to say: “While I have heard from many of my former students in the past month, one young man’s comment, in particular, speaks for so many: “STA was such a beacon of discourse and challenging each other’s thoughts. To see it go down like this is really painful.”
Jeffrey Thomson lives in Kittery, Maine.
Hmm, I’m sure someone could have reached out to him, but I doubt it.
HERE WE GO AGAIN. More development when the Comprehensive plan wanted dog parks out where the malls were and some apartments. Now we get more buildings and more housing. Look we need housing but at what cost?
In case you did not read it in the Portsmouth Enquirer the KPB Agenda
KITTERY, Maine — The Outlets at Kittery would be demolished under a new proposal calling for the construction of a 120-room hotel, 100-unit apartment building and a 10,000-square-foot retail and restaurant building along bustling Route 1.
The Kittery Planning Board is set to hear the mega-mixed-use redevelopment proposal for the first time this week. The 6.4-acre retail shopping plaza site, located at 283 Route 1, includes a large parking lot and is located next to the landmark Kittery Trading Post.
ITEM 2 – 283 Route 1 Mixed Use Master Site Development Plan – Sketch Plan Review Action: accept sketch plan or continue review. Neil Hansen of Tighe & Bond, Inc, representing the property owner, proposes to re-develop the 6.4-acre property located at 283 Route 1 with a mixed use project comprised of three separate buildings including a 120-room, 18,500 square foot hotel, a 100-unit, 25,000 square-foot apartment building, and a 10,000 square foot retail/ service building. The property is identified as Map 30 Lot 44, is within the C-1 Commercial 1 zoning district, and is currently developed with retail uses
In a few years, these questions will be undoubtedly be asked.
Who was minding the store when these projects got passed?
Are there back door tax deals, as was previously suggested before, being allowed again?
Who did not think of the vast amount of housing and the impact to the Kittery Services and infrastructures like the dump, sewer, public safety, roads etc?
What about the cost to residents for more teachers, police and fire fighters?
What about the cost and enlargement of the Towns near capacity sewer system and waste water facility?
What about the traffic?
What the hell happened to Kittery?
The Town Manager creates more positions this Town to build her empire, do we really need a MARIJUANA CZAR, FACEBOOK ADMINISTRATOR, DOG CONTROL BOARD, TRAFFIC CIRCLE GRASS MANAGER.?
We need housing, like single family homes. The jury is still out on multi-residential apartments and the soaring costs of rent. Ask Portsmouth how their rent ratio is going.
What should we do? Well perhaps Kittery should start by having a RENT CONTROL BOARD. Then see how many developers who want to line their pockets with cash feel about never turning a profit.
How about the demographics. What a large voting group. A Town Council candidate or petitioner would only have to campaign in a select few areas and garner all the votes for these new residents and we control the Town of Kittery. Hmmm… maybe I am on to something.
FREE TRASH PICKUP Done, PUBLIC SWIMMING POOL, Done, BAN THE DOGS on the Kittery Beaches Done.
Kittery needs to be cognizant and slow the expansion and fleecing of Kittery by big money developers who their only goal is to turn a profit. I am waiting for a developer to say, I will build a multi million dollar complex and it will be free rent based on a lottery system because I subscribe to the realization that we need more housing. I think not.
Kittery is being run by outsiders. Complete with a Town manager who lives in Massachussets and bringing the culture or SPENDAHOLICS to this small quaint northern town. Kittery is changing and soon you won’t recognize the Town in a few more years.
Picture a glass full of water with ice cubes filled to the brim. Once it is full, add one more ice cube. The answer is right there. Stop before it is too late.
The library was supposed to cost five million and we were supposed to see the Taylor Building for upwards of one million to offset the cost of the library. After it is built to the tune of six million (Say What) , the Town Manager decides to bring the Horse from the back of the cart and move it to the front and send out survey to see what the people’s vision would be of a five year plan that should already have been developed. What ?! this shouldhave been done before we spent the money on the library. Why have the people not come to the library?
Let us recreate everything we did at the community center and offer the same programs at the library. It worked at the KCC. The KCC was once almost in the Black under the leadership of Janice Grady. Where is the KCC in terms of Cost today.
Let us protect KITTERY and let’s do our homework, review and dissect everything about developing. Perhaps it is time a TAX CAP is implemented in KITTERY. Even consider a long range building moratorium.
Let us not vote on it and take time to learn what will the impact be in the future before we make changes to our way of life. We need to know everything and what was going to happen to Kittery before pulling the trigger on projects that contain buzzwords and make people giddy.
Building it before these questions are asked is a dangerous as walking on thin ice in april…since there are no sidewalks for the school kids. (for another story)
The tax money that these apartments bring does not lower your taxes, it allows for expansion of Town Government and the unseen liabilities will come out of your pocket.
For those who want it, I applaud your vision, and let us build them next to your homes and see what you think then.
KITTERY, Maine — As Maine’s iconic lobster industry faces challenges to its very survival, the state’s oldest town is rallying behind the men and women fighting for their livelihood.
A fundraising event called “Chowder’s On,” organized by three local residents, is taking place Feb. 26 at the Kittery Community Center. While tickets to the lobster stew luncheon have already sold out, both live and silent auctions will take place afterward in the center’s Star Theatre starting at 1 p.m.
Proceeds from the event will go toward legal challenges of federal regulations intended to protect the North Atlantic right whale, which the industry says instead endangers lobstermen already taking historic measures to accomplish the same goal.
Recent efforts by the state’s small but formidable congressional delegation and Gov. Janet Mills resulted in a six-year hold on new rules to allow time for new research to be considered. These changes had caused two environmental groups to downgrade the industry’s rating as a protector of right whales, which in turn resulted in the Whole Foods supermarket chain’s decision to stop carrying Maine lobsters.
All this despite the fact that no death of a right whale has ever been attributed to the state’s lobster fleet.
“This is one of the most perilous moments ever faced by Maine’s lobster industry,” Kevin Kelley of the Maine Lobsterman’s Association said recently, “but the six-year regulatory pause gives the industry a little bit of time and some hope that whatever rules are implemented by the federal government make sense.”
A call for using ‘real data’ to set policy on lobster
The Feb. 26 event is being organized by Kittery residents David Kaselauskas, a lobsterman for more than half a century; Charlene Hoyt, the mother and wife of local lobstermen; and Betsy Wish, a local artist whose affinity for lobstermen is so renowned it’s being featured in a March 1 segment on New Hampshire Public Television.
Kaselauskas, who has a master’s degree in microbiology from the University of New Hampshire, emphasizes “real data” has to be collected in order to put together regulations which will not only protect the right whale but also preserve the lobster industry. Current legislation does neither, he says.
But he also wants to make sure Mainers truly understand the commercial fishery’s impact on the state’s way of life.
“The further we travel towards Eastport the greater the reliance there is on the lobster industry,” he said recently. “Ghost towns will be popping up along the coast with the collapse of the lobster industry.”
Kaselauskas likes to point out that manufacturers of rope, special break-away links, buoys and buoy sticks, lobster trap wire and other components, bricks and netting all rely on the harvesters of Homarus Americanus. Traps cost anywhere between $100 and $175, he noted, so someone purchasing 800 traps is spending at least $80,000, plus roughly $15,000 for lines and buoys.
In addition, those who fish for the bait used in these traps make up “a large industry in itself, millions earned,” he added. But getting bait to the boats requires transportation, dealers, waterfront facilities which generate revenue for the town, refrigeration, salt, barrels, insurance, maintenance and “labor and more labor.”
“What is involved in the lobster industry is more than a guy and boat,” said Kaselauskas, who skippers the vessel Jersey Girl.
But that’s worth considering as well. Any action which diminishes the lobster fleet also impacts those who build the boats, he says, as well as those who operate boatyards where the boats are maintained, the marinas and moorings where the boats may tie up, those who fuel the boats and insure the boats and serve as the boats’ crew and so forth.
“Hopefully we catch a lobster and sell it to a dealer,” he continued, “who in turn can sell it to another dealer; sell it to a fish market; sell it to a restaurant; sell it to a processor; sell it to a foreign country.”
Again, this all requires transportation, either by road, rail or plane, Kaselauskas noted, as well as facilities and maintenance, including backup systems for potential power failures to ensure against the loss of thousands of dollars of live lobsters kept in tanks.
And this doesn’t even take into account the boon in tourism from out-of-state visitors enthralled with the storied image of the Maine lobsterman, he added.
Lobster industry’s massive impact on Maine economy
An economic impact report issued by Colby College in 2018 indicated that the lobster industry contributes $1 billion to the Maine economy each year, supporting 4,000 jobs, not including the link to local restaurants and tourism. And that’s before the value of 2021’s harvest shattered records by a whopping 75 percent increase over the previous year.
More than 80% of America’s lobsters are caught in Maine.
So it was quite a slap in the face last year when Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch in California and the London-based Marine Stewardship Council both “red-listed” their environmental ratings for the fishery.
Kelley, as director of advancement for the MLA, heads the organization’s fundraising efforts, and especially for the Save Maine Lobstermen campaign. The group’s mission is to make sure “the rules are based on sound science and will actually protect the endangered whale without decimating this heritage industry,” he said.
What to expect at Kittery fundraiser
The “Chowder’s On” luncheon will include lobster stew made by Betsy Wish from lobsters donated by five local dealers (54 pounds of meat valued at $2,700); clam chowder created by Charlene Hoyt from a family recipe and with clams collected by her husband and son; and various homemade pies. Hannaford Supermarket in York donated $300 toward ingredients for both the stew and the chowder.
The 100 tickets available for the community center feast sold out quickly, but those wishing to support Maine’s lobstermen can take part in the live and silent auctions being held afterward. Lil’s Café is providing coffee and pastries in the center’s Morgan Gallery for the event.
Auction items include a Pepperrell Cove lobstering adventure aboard Charlene’s husband Scott Hoyt’s boat Slow Mocean, a Lost Charter tuna cruise, Bar Harbor Hotel overnight stay and dinner, four Portsmouth Music Hall tickets for comedian Justin McKinney, a Wood Island tour, ten lobsters donated by Island Seafood, a Webber Spirit 2 Gas Grill provided by Kittery’s Ace Hardware, Portland Sea Dogs tickets, a Take Flight aerial adventure course, Woodland Farms beer basket and numerous other items.
Gift certificates have been donated from Kittery Trading Post, Rudders Public House, Perkins Cove Candies, Buoy Shack, New England Marine & Industrial, Blue Mermaid, Sanders Fish Market, Tributary Brewing Company, York River Landing, Weathervane Restaurant and Pepperrell Cove Restaurant, among others.
Wish is known locally as the “kayaker with cookies,” a retired Massachusetts art teacher who routinely paddles in local waters with her canine companion Maggie and delivers homemade cookies to lobstermen and others she encounters. An upcoming episode of NHPTV’s “Windows to the Wild” filmed last summer follows her exploits and includes interviews with local lobstermen.
Last year, Wish released a cookbook entitled “Kittery’s Maine Ingredients” to commemorate the 375thbirthday of the state’s oldest town. The volume includes photos, family anecdotes and lots of local history, as well as recipes dating back to the 1600s.
“Our goal is to raise awareness for the challenges facing our lobster/fishing community while raising money for the Maine Lobstermen’s Association,” she said of the Feb. 26 fundraiser.
Kaselauskas believes more empirical data needs to be collected in order to provide a clear picture of the right whale’s migration patterns. Industry leaders believe this is the actual reason for the creature’s diminished population in this region.
Kelley says rules intended by the U.S. government to reduce risks to the right whale by 60% were implemented last May. The recent hold on enforcement allows time for the industry to gather such information.
“Those rules remain in place under Congress’ action, it just prevents the government from imposing the harsher rules it was considering until at least December 2028,” he said.
Kittery may not be acting above board again. If it is not following Council Rules as was the case with the Chairperson improperly excusing Councilor Cam Ham from missing multiple council meetings which by the way is scheduled to happen again, the new alleged incident suggests a failure to follow the rules that could ultimately be a violation of Maine law.
Note: People should be outraged that an elected official can’t make the meetings and serve the people who elected them. I digress.
Maine Law requires training for elected and appointed officials along with members of the school board. These records must be kept and it was recently brought to my attention and it has been alleged that officials, staff and appointed officials may not have been following Maine Law. If this is truly the case, the Town of Kittery administrators who are responsible and charged with obeying State laws and the Town Charter and to ensure that Kittery is following Maine Law requirements may not have been doing their job. If that is the case, who is at fault? It could be a big deal, for if we over look the small stuff then what other things are not being followed…..one should ask?
A FOIA (Freedom of Information Request) was served on the Town Council and Manager and I received with a response within the legal time limit that said it will take four weeks to put my request together.
FOUR WEEKS…This is concerning since it should have been easily obtainable and these records should have been up to date without waiting for four weeks and allowing Kittery time to get their ducks in a row.
(This is a truncated FOIA Request delivered to Kittery)
Dear Chairperson Judith Spiller, or current chair and or Town Manager Amaral;
Under the Maine Freedom of Access Act § 402 et seq.,
I am requesting the dates and copies of the certification of any mandatory training of the current Town Councilors or Municipal officers, clerks, treasurers, assessors and budget committee members of municipal governments and officials of school units and school boards; regarding following MMA training requirements and any State of Maine requirements for elected, hired or appointed officials. i.e. Mandatory training on the Freedom of information act.
Kittery sent a response
(This is the Town’s truncated response)
The Town received your Freedom of Access Act request on Tuesday, November 15, 2022. This is to acknowledge receipt of the request as required by law, and provide initial response.
We estimate we will have researched and compiled records that correspond to your training records request within four weeks. I do not anticipate a cost for this request if the Town can electronically deliver the records (via email). If you wish to receive the records in hard copy, we will provide you with a follow-up communication estimating the cost of copying, as may be applicable.
I am not sure why it would take four weeks to get a few dozen documents. The documentation should be readily available unless Kittery needs to get caught up and get all the training done. We will see how this unfolds and we will post the results. In the mean time, the proper authorities in the State of Maine are being alerted to the alleged potential violation of Maine Law.
§412. Public records and proceedings training for certain officials and public access officers.
1. Training required. A public access officer and an official subject to this section shall complete a course of training on the requirements of this chapter relating to public records and proceedings. The official or public access officer shall complete the training not later than the 120th day after the date the official assumes the person’s duties as an official or the person is designated as a public access officer pursuant to section 413, subs
F. Municipal officers; municipal clerks, treasurers, managers or administrators, assessors and code enforcement officers and deputies for those positions; and planning board members and budget committee members of municipal governments; [PL 2021, c. 313, §6 (AMD).]
G. Superintendents, assistant superintendents and school board members of school administrative units; and
1. Civil violation. An officer or employee of a state government agency or local government entity who willfully violates this subchapter commits a civil violation.
[PL 2019, c. 247, §1 (NEW).]
2. Penalties. A state government agency or local government entity whose officer or employee commits a civil violation described in subsection 1 is subject to:
A. A fine of not more than $500 for a civil violation described in subsection 1; [PL 2019, c. 247, §1 (NEW).]
B. A fine of not more than $1,000 for a civil violation described in subsection 1 that was committed not more than 4 years after a previous adjudication of a civil violation described in subsection 1 by an officer or employee of the same state government agency or local government entity; or [PL 2019, c. 247, §1 (NEW).]
C. A fine of not more than $2,000 for a civil violation described in subsection 1 that was committed not more than 4 years after 2 or more previous adjudications of a civil violation described in subsection 1 by an officer or employee of the same state government agency or local government entity. [PL 2019, c. 247, §1 (NEW).]
Recently ourkittery reported on PFAS’s in the well water of several abutting residents to the Kittery land fill. We also provided pictures of trash from the 70s and 80s buried and exposed from the navy yard and other places which is extruding from the landfill and uprooting the soil. Breaching the landfill. Some trash is being pushed out from under the retention fence.
Perhaps you have heard about Camp Lejune and the Old Pease AFB with PFAS or Fairfield. What is Kittery and the powers that run our little Maine Town doing about it?
Well it appears that Kittery has spent thousand of dollars of your tax money to post the dump with no trespassing signs. These signs are posted conspicuously on the fence the delineates the property boundary of the dump and through the vast amount of woodlands that surrounds the dump. The signs warn you that you will be prosecuted if you trespass…..on town own land. However looking through the woods outside the dump and not on your Town own land, you will find a time capsule of trash that go back a half a decade. Oil residue or green slimy water draining to the watershed. The EPA needs to come take a look without the eyes or the political spin from the Town.
What is the Town of Kittery so afraid of. Have you read any stories from the Portsmouth Herald or from their investigative reporter on what Kittery is doing for mitigation. I think not! Oh well, let the Town keep denying anything is wrong.
Instead of threatening trespassers, How about publicizing the mitigation progress and how much money was spent so far bringing water to the residents who were affected. Perhaps the council could share with us, the taxpayers, the cost to date to bandaid the issue and keep it from the public. Perhaps the councilors would show the public that it is safe to drink the well water from these wells on the abutted properties during a televised council meeting. Just a thought!!
In honor of our Veterans and their service; Kittery / Eliot Memorial Post 188 of the American Legion invites Veterans and friends to an open house today at 3:00 at your renovated post home at 455 Main St. in Eliot.
This is open to the public – you need not be a member to attend.