Planning board approves Boothbay Sea and Science Center request

Mon, 11/21/2022 - 2:00pm

Boothbay Sea and Science Center received planning board approval Nov. 16 for the center’s change-of-use request. The center is planning to expand its operation by moving from Ocean Point Road  to 12 Carter Road. This summer, the center entered into a purchase-and-sale agreement with Mildred A. Carter’s estate to buy her property. The board approved a change of use from residential to education facility and employee housing.

The center plans to buy 1.33 acres of shorefront property, two houses and an outbuilding. The center opened in 2013 with a summer program teaching students about marine ecosystems in East Boothbay. The program had 120 students this summer, and board president Pauline Dion believes interest is strong enough for an expanded program. 

On Oct. 25, the center’s application was tabled due to questions about traffic patterns for the Route 96/Murray Hill Road intersection and Lobsterman’s Way. The board requested an internal traffic study as both safe and non-intrusive for the Carter Road neighborhood, and for motorists contending with the intersection. Another request was a plan delineating all center parking spots. The property is in a shorelamd overlay zone and an East Boothbay village district.

In other action, the board conditionally approved Atlantic Environmental, LLC’s request to construct a 2,600 kW DC solar energy project encompassing eight acres. Atlantic Environmental is planning to build a solar array on the outskirts of Boothbay Railway Village Museum’s property at 586 Wiscasset Road. Atlantic Environmental Senior Project Manager Lisa Vickers reported the company has a 20-year lease with options for additional five-year leases. She estimated the project could last 30 years. 

She reported Boothbay Solar plans to sell its electricity at a 10-15% discount from what customers typically pay Central Maine Power. She described potential customers as “off-takers,” – municipalities, large companies, and nonprofits. The property is in a commercial corridor district. 

The board placed three conditions for approval. The town attorney must review a bond prior to select board approval; also needed are fire chief approval of training, and contact information provided, and the applicant must submit a decommissioning permit from the Department of Environmental Protection.

Stockwell Environmental Consulting, Inc. of Southport received planning board approval for a wharves and wire permit. Lauren Stockwell represented clients Benjamin and Kimberly Harding of Kingfield. The couple sought approval to improve a pier on their Long Ledge Road property. The improvement consists of replacing a 40-foot by 3.5-foot runway with a 20-foot by 12-foot float along with adding a 20-foot by 12-float at the end. The property is in a shoreland overlay zone and coastal residential district. 

The board meets next at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 21 in the conference room.