Boothbay Region Maritime Foundation set out plans for a new building, pier and series of floats Nov.12 in the most complete application planning board members said they have seen in a long time. Chair Tom Churchill said despite the lack of a Department of Environmental Protection permit, which is pending approval, the board still cannot issue a conditional approval.
“Our ordinance is clear that we have to have other required approvals in hand,” Churchill said. He said discussion could continue on a pre-application basis. “So when you do get that DEP approval, there shouldn't be any surprises.”
Gartley and Dorsky Engineering and Surveying’s Will Gartley represented the 85 and 87 Atlantic Ave. based 501(c)(3) nonprofit. Gartley said the project has obtained permits from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, a letter of no objection from the Maine Historic Preservation Commission and approval from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to change from Zone VE to Zone AE which permits foundation walls.
Plans also move the building off the pier and far enough from the road for a turning movement plan for WB 50 trucks to maneuver loading and unloading without blocking off Atlantic Avenue. The plan raises the height of the pier and building to match flood plain requirements by FEMA, Gartley said.
Board member Bill Hamblen argued that since the uses of the building are functionally water dependent and the property is in the Working Waterfront District, the building which hangs over the water atop the pier is conforming, not nonconforming as documents show.
“I don't think there's a mandate to move it back as far as practical. I think it's a good idea and I'm happy to see that, but I don't think our ordinances require it … We had some questions about the parking and the room in front of the building and, candidly, I'd like to see a little more room between the building and the street to ease the parking and delivery …”
Trucks will have to back into the property or pull in after turning around from the opposite direction, Gartley said. He said layout was designed to keep the building on foundation walls on land and not on the pier as it is now and any move to try and keep it on the pier will get push-back from FEMA.
“Part of that process is going through an alternatives analysis and trying to show them why we can't get it completely out of the water. Their preference would be no impact at all… It's not a permit that's issued without cost. The Foundation's going to have to pay for every square foot of impact they have. That's $4 a square foot, and that's doubled because it's considered a wetlands special certificate once you're below high water … We're trying to stay as much out of the resource as possible.”
Code Enforcement Officer Geoff Smith and board members said the marine-based portion of the application would need to go before selectmen since they handle all wharves and weirs applications.