Planning board tables employee housing application

PGC3 application would provide seasonal housing for 18 employees
Fri, 12/02/2022 - 4:00pm

    The Boothbay Harbor Planning Board wants more information on a proposed Bay Street employee housing project. Nov. 30, architect Vallery Tessier explained PGC3’s request to construct two employee housing units. PGC3 contracted Knickerbocker Group to redevelop a site at the corner of Bay Street and Atlantic Avenue. 

    Tessier explained the two units would include a kitchen, a living area and nine bedrooms each for seasonal employee housing. The development would mirror another PGC3 Bay Street employee housing development. She reported house No. 1 would replicate another Bay Street unit. The second would resemble a PGC3 property at 6 Bay St. Both units would also remain consistent with other Bay Street residences. 

    The current lot is over 25,000 square feet and previously had two buildings. In 2019, PGC3 demolished the lots. The lots have since remained vacant. “The lots were demolished with plans of redeveloping them as employee housing. They were combined which allows for developing it into multiple-dwelling housing in a general residential district. Neither building would be built in the shoreland zone,” Tessier said. 

    In the application, PGC3 officials responded “not applicable” to several questions. The application was tabled pending more complete responses along with additional project information. Planning board member Tom Minerich urged a “conditional approval” pending receiving requested information. “I’ve seen the other two employee housing units and they look beautiful. I’m sure the new ones will be beautiful as well,” he said. “Many of these questions don’t really matter much, so I don’t see why we can’t approve this conditionally, so they can start.”

    But other members wanted to see a traffic impact plan and explanation on an unfulfilled 2019 agreement to re-plant three 6-8 foot trees on the Bay Street property. The planning board will resume its site plan review on Wednesday, Dec. 14. If the board approves PGC3’s site plan, Code Enforcement Officer Geoff Smith would review the proposal for a building permit. 

    In other action, the board finalized its response to four remand questions requested by the appeals board. On Nov.9, the planning board answered four questions pertaining to an appeal regarding Eastside Waterfront Park. The planning board initially approved the project in September 2021. But concerns about alleged changes in the project’s scope and size led abutters Joseph and Jill Doyle to appeal the building permit. 

    The appeals hearing was held in December 2021. A decision was delayed until the appeals board received a planning board response regarding four specific application questions. The appeals board sent three questions regarding parking, and a fourth on whether Boothbay Harbor Waterfront Preservation had received all required permits from outside agencies. Nov. 9, the planning board answered the questions. The response was later refined by the board’s legal counsel. On Nov. 30, the board approved the final response. 

    There is no date set for an appeals board hearing to review the planning board’s response.