Planning board approves BRMF application

Tue, 03/14/2023 - 9:30am

Boothbay Region Maritime Foundation received approval March 8 for its request to amend an approved site plan. The foundation received initial approvals on Dec. 9. 2020, for a site plan, and a Jan. 11, 2021 wharves and wiers application. President Deanne Tibbetts reported the foundation had replaced the structure at 87 Atlantic Ave., previously known as the Sea Pier and now as Carter’s Wharf. Tibbetts described the amended plan as a “minor revision” in the building’s and sea wall’s size. 

“It was a two-story building and the plan is for a one-story building,” she said. “We’ve received our Army Corps of Engineering permit, but are still waiting for the Department of Environmental Protection permit,” she said. The planning board was hesitant in approving the request without a DEP permit. Attorney John Cunningham advised the board it could approve the application without a DEP permit if they deemed it a “minor revision.”

In other action, the board voted, 4-0 with one abstention, to send a response to an appeals board letter. The planning board responded to a request for more information about their Jan. 13 decision approving a site plan application for PGC3, LLC. PGC3 wants to create housing serving 18 seasonal employees at the corner of Bay Street and Atlantic Avenue. John Sibily and Adrias Seitzer challenged the planning board’s interpretation of multi-use family and boarding house definitions in the land use code. 

The municipal land use codes do not mention employee housing. So the planning board could only rule on the application if they determined employee housing was a similar use to another land use code. The planning board ruled employee housing was a similar use to multifamily housing. While crafting the remand response, on March 8, Cunningham advised the board on interpreting the ordinance. “Even though you find it similar to multifamily housing, you don’t review it as multifamily housing, because it’s not,” he said. 

The planning board approved a three-page response describing how they reached the site plan approval decision. Board members Tom Churchill, Tom Minerich, Jon Dunsford and Bill Hamblen approved the response. Member Lee Corbin abstained. The response will be reviewed by the appeals board March 16. The planning board meets next at 6 p.m. Wednesday, April 12.