Bath retirement home revises expansion plan

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BATH — Although it received city approvals for expansion in 2013, the Plant Memorial Home is now proposing a revised project that addresses neighborhood concerns.

The 98-year-old Washington Street retirement community, which sits on a 28-acre riverfront campus, plans to submit its proposal to the Planning Board in August. Its board of directors has approved the plan.

The Home has 37 private apartments in a main building, and 10 apartments in five duplexes. The home had planned to build a three-story, 48,000-square-foot building with 45-47 more units, tear down four of the duplexes and build two triplexes in their place.

That plan has changed significantly.

The three-story building is off the table, since it “would obstruct some of our magnificent views … (and) not be as neighborhood-friendly as the cottages,” Linda MacMillan, the Home’s director of development and planning, said in an email June 29.

In its earlier plan, the Home worked with neighbors’ concerns over the impact of the project on the immediate area and the view of the river, and ultimately received Planning Board approval, City Manager Bill Giroux said Tuesday.

“This new proposal, on its face, appears to be even less of an impact,” he said.

“The Plant Home is an important asset for the community, and we hope that this most recent plan is something that will work well for them and for the neighborhood,” Giroux added.

Instead of the three-story building, the Home proposes five additional one-story duplex cottages, bringing the total number to 10.

“We believe that the 10 duplexes will accommodate the community needs for independent-living apartments,” MacMillan said, adding that construction costs are still being determined.

Three new “Riverview Cottages” would be built to the north of the original Plant building, while the other two would serve as an extension of the Orchard Lane Cottages on the south side.

No existing duplexes would be torn down.

“Our staff and board are dedicated and privileged to offer exceptional Independent and Assisted Living services to seniors in the Mid Coast area,” Kristi Hyde, Plant Home executive director, said in a June 26 press release. “We strive to accomplish this goal while being good neighbors and stewards of the land.”

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

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.