Bath planners approve shed for ship reconstruction

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BATH — The Planning Board on Tuesday unanimously approved the placement of a shed that will house the reconstructed pinnace Virginia.

The keel of that ship, based on one built at the Popham Colony in 1607-1608, was laid at a 19th century freight shed at the corner of Commercial and Lambard streets last month.

The pieces are to be built inside that structure and then assembled inside the board-approved boat shed, which will stand on land between the freight shed and the Kennebec River, according to Planning Director Jim Upham.

That temporary enclosure is to be 30 feet wide by 60 feet long, and would stand about 22 feet tall. The structure could stand about four years – the length of time Maine’s First Ship expects to need to build the Virginia.

Maine’s First Ship requested site plan and historic district approval for the boat shed, which will be composed of industrial-strength plastic stretched over a wooden frame. The north and south ends of the structure will be made of plywood.

The Planning Board also voted unanimously to recommend land use code text amendments to the City Council that would allow contract rezoning in the Plant Home Zone.

The council will must give the changes approval twice; the first vote is expected next month.

Alex Lear can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 113 or alear@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @learics.

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A Maine native and Colby College graduate, Alex has been covering coastal communities since 2001, and currently handles Bath, Topsham, Cumberland, and North Yarmouth. He and his wife, Lauren, live in the Portland area, and Alex recently released his third album of original music.