Edgecomb nods market-café and visitor center

Mon, 02/11/2019 - 10:00am

Meeting Thursday evening, Feb. 7, the Edgecomb planning board quickly approved the site plan for a visitor information center and market-café on Route 1. Gayle Hunt and Bill Burge represented owners Scott Larson and Bruce Harris, partners in Water’s Edge Development, LLC.

Patricia Royall, executive director of the Boothbay Harbor Region Chamber of Commerce, said her organization is the prospective tenant for the planned visitor center. “This will give our whole region representation,” she told the board. 

The café is still being designed and will be open between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m., according to Burge. Sandwiches, salads, beer and wine will be offered and there is no plan to change the exterior of the buildings. There are adequate parking spaces and the existing structure for signage will be used as it is. One bathroom will be removed and more sinks will be added to the back of the market-café area.

The board members found the application for change of use to be complete and voted unanimously to approve the plans.

Robin Kerber of Freeport asked for time to discuss plans for the old schoolhouse property at 245 River Road.

Kerber is interested in buying the property to start a folk craft school. She plans to offer the spot as a field trip location for school groups during the week and as a place for the community to learn traditional Maine crafts on the weekends.

Speaking with the Boothbay Register about her vision, Kerber said she is combining her past experience and interests in her business. “We will cover growing and preserving food, backyard bee keeping and making ceramics using natural clay,” she said.

Kerber does not want to make an offer on the property without first knowing if her plans would meet planning board approval. There was a discussion concerning the existing septic system. Kerber said she wants to create an addition to the building and it will need to be placed where the current septic system is. There is a design for a new septic system she would like to use.

Questions about the lot size were answered when Selectman Mike Smith checked the town’s records and found the lot to be two acres.

Planning board members in general liked Kerber’s idea for the schoolhouse. “I think it’s a great idea,” Chairman Barry Hathorne told her. Board member David Nutt suggested Kerber word her purchase and sale agreement so that it is contingent on planning board approval of her plans. She was invited to return to the board when she is ready to move forward.

According to the website Old House Dreams (https://www.oldhousedreams.com/2018/11/17/1846-school-edgecomb-me/), the schoolhouse was built in 1846 and updated in 1967 to provide two bedrooms and one bath. It is adjacent to Colby Preserve.