Boothbay Harbor Planning Board

Board breathes life into old project, new pizzeria

Sprucewold Lodge owner gets approval
Fri, 05/10/2019 - 1:30pm

Boothbay Harbor will soon welcome a new business, Port's Pizzeria, at 28 Union Street's former Wok 'n Grill. Local businessman Jeff Teel, representing Cicci2 LLC, answered the board's questions on the application which was approved unanimously, with conditions.

Conditions will include submitting a parking plan outlining at least 12 spaces for the 32-seat restaurant and a lighting plan which will have to comply with the Harbor's dark sky rule. Teel said this should be a simple task.

Due to a shuffle in this new ownership, the ability for Brady's restaurant, opposite Port’s, to provide enough parking for its patrons is now being questioned. Said board chair Bill Hamblen, “Because there are conditions that have changed, I think they need to come back to the code enforcement officer and show that they are still compliant with Boothbay Harbor codes …”

CEO Geoff Smith said in a followup interview that the request was “toned down a bit” from a full fledged plan as he is working cooperatively with Brady’s owner Jen Mitchell simply to assure there is enough parking.

In a phone interview May 10, Mitchell suggested the issue is a “mindset change” by the planning board and she cannot understand why this has now become an issue. There is more than enough room for parking for both businesses, Mitchell said. Asked if Brady’s will surely be able to fulfill the board’s request to show enough parking exists for Brady’s, Mitchell said yes.

“We’re fine,” said Mitchell. “I’m a ‛glass is half full’ type of person anyway. The more businesses we can bring into the Harbor, the merrier.”

Local contractor Eric Marden, representing 8 Wharf Street LLC and owner Rahul Anand, brought forward a potential amendment to the approved application for the old Romar Bowling Alley lot at 19 By Way. The presentation illustrated a smaller building design.

“We're trying to hit a budget, here, and that's why we have amended it,” said Marden. “It went to pricing to be built last fall and prices were way too high, so we stopped the project. (Anand) has since brought us back in. He wants to build a building and he has to hit a particular price point.”

Marden said he was unsure if the altered design would have to undergo the long approval process. Hamblen noted the design is much simpler and easily meets the town's requirements.

Said Hamblen, “I think this is a legitimate amendment to a previously approved plan. You're staying within the same envelope, you're reducing sizes – my personal view, I think it's pretty straightforward.”

Marden was instructed to submit the design as an amendment to be considered at the next meeting.

Katama Acquisitions, owner of Sprucewold Lodge at 4 and 5 Nahanada Road, received unanimous approval to construct a new storage building and swimming pool and expand parking lots. The approval came with three conditions: Department of Environmental Protection approval, the swimming pool must be made available in the case of a local fire emergency, and storm water mitigation schedules suggested by the applicant must be honored.

William and Emily Anne Holly got unanimous approval to demolish structures and build a new cottage and garage at 19 Central Ave. The application wss previously tabled for more information.

Said Hamblen, “The only note I would make here for the record is that it does not fully meet the setback requirements on the northwest edge, but it is significantly better than the existing structure. We determined at the last meeting that this fell under the category of the greatest practical extent and in my personal opinion, I think you've done a great job of doing that …”

In elections for chair and vice-chair, Hamblen said he wanted to allow his fellow board members a chance at the helm. Tom Churchill and Chris Swanson were chosen unanimously for chair and vice chair, respectively.

The board meets next at 7 p.m. Wednesday, June 12 at the town office.