19 By-Way project wins approval in split vote
The 19 By-Way project got the go-ahead at the April 12 Boothbay Harbor Planning Board meeting. Board members William Hamblen, John Dunsford, Chris Swanson and John Hochstein voted to approve the project, also known as the ROMAR bowling alley project, with five conditions. Board member Margaret Perritt opposed approval.
Knickerbocker Group, representing 19 By-Way owner Rahul Anan, gave a final presentation to the board. Architectural designers Zander Shaw and Randy Smith answered the board's questions and concerns, and agreed to the five conditions of approval: The sidewalk, allowing public access as shown on the plans, must be maintained; the applicant shall make every effort to minimize the height and visual impact of any roof-mounted utilities; the applicant shall submit a storm water management plan; any accessory cafe shall be limited to nine seats as required by town ordinance; and a cable-railing system shall be used in place of a solid facade on the water side of the building.
Perritt expressed deep reservations about the design. She cited Boothbay Harbor ordinance section 170-33, which reads, “Proposed structure shall be related harmoniously to the terrain and to the existing buildings in the vicinity that have a visual relationship to the proposed buildings.” Smith explained to Perritt a final design was still six or seven months away, and could be developed further to be more in keeping with Perritt's vision of architectural harmony within the town.
“You'll have to forgive me. I moved up here from Colonial Virginia,” Perritt said. “I know how you can make these buildings modern, with plenty of floor space, and still have it blend in with the old architecture. I find this insulting. I just do, and that's my personal opinion.”
Also at the meeting, Peter Ripley, agent and general property manager for the Route 27 property Seascape Investments, LLC and Seascape Construction, LLC recently bought, described the owners’ intent. The 18 acres, located near Hammond Lumber, have two commercial properties and 500 feet of road frontage.
After a few questions regarding property and street aesthetics going forward, the board thanked Ripley and wished him and the owners good luck as the project moves forward.