Bath planners to vote again on Wing Farm business park

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BATH — The Planning Board will vote April 19 on a new notice of decision concerning the third phase of the Wing Farm business park.

That approval may include new conditions on the project, which the board discussed Tuesday.

The board originally approved the third phase last April, but a lawsuit filed the next month in Sagadahoc County Superior Court by Robert and Wendy Johansen prompted Justice Andrew Horton to remand the third Wing Farm phase to the Planning Board.

Horton ordered a second remand of the case after a hearing last December in West Bath District Court.

The third Wing Farm phase is a 25-acre, nine-lot expansion of the business park that will be built in West Bath. But all the road impact will be in Bath, the location of the first two phases. Bath’s approval is necessary because sewer and water lines will run along about 350 feet of King’s Highway.

The Johansens live at 520 Centre St., a property that does not abut the third Wing Farm phase, but is within 100 feet of two lots of that phase. Centre Street leads into Wing Farm Parkway and King’s Highway.

On Tuesday, the board stood by its decision on the impact work on King’s Highway would have on wetlands.

Board members noted that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers granted a permit to West Bath concerning the placement of fill in freshwater wetlands. The agency stated in its permit that it deemed that the project would have only minimal impact on the wetlands, according to a memo to the board from City Planner Jim Upham.

Another concern expressed by the Johansens was the project not having connectivity to any other street system. Wendy Johansen has expressed hope for a second and possibly third access road.

In amending its approval of the project last September, the Planning Board added the condition that businesses that locate in the West Bath phase must install sprinkler systems approved by the Bath code enforcement officer and fire chief. Upham noted at the time that with the phase’s lack of connectivity, if a fire were to occur in one of the buildings, it could be quelled by the sprinkler system while emergency crews are en route.

The board on Tuesday also discussed adding the condition that Anchor Road be made available for emergency access.

The Johansens have also been concerned about traffic growth caused by the development of phases two and three. Studies of turning movement counts are to be made at the intersection of Congress Avenue and Centre Street to determine when a traffic signal is warranted.

The board has also discussed placing painted “stop bars” far enough back from the intersection, once a signal is installed, to prevent stopped vehicles from interfering with turning trucks.

Alex Lear can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 113 or alear@theforecaster.net.

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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.