Bridge Street rezoning tabled, adjustments may be made

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YARMOUTH — The Town Council tabled a decision to create a new zone along Bridge Street.
The proposed Village III zone for limited, low-intensity businesses would encourage mixed-use and residential structures.
A few business owners had questions and comments regarding the zone’s allowed uses at the Dec. 18 meeting, which prompted councilors to delay a decision until they can get more information.
Ed and Sue Farrell, owners of the Downeast Village Motel and Restaurant, had questions and comments about the new zone’s allowed uses, and Sam Eddy and Ed Ashly spoke in favor of the proposed zone change.
Council Chairman Karl Steinbach said he didn’t want property owners to lose value because of the zone change, and was in favor of further researching the permitted uses and performance standards.
The Bridge Street zone is intended to provide a transition between the commercial and village areas, while protecting the surrounding neighborhoods from large commercial developments. The zone will include property that abuts Bridge Street from Main Street to Willow Street and along the Royal River. It does not include the Spar Hawk Mill or town-owned land along the river.
According to Town Manager Nat Tupper, the council will consider making a few compromises. He said the Yarmouth Auto lot may be excluded from the zoning map and councilors may consider allowing small restaurants or sandwich shops within the zone.
He said the decision will not go back to the Planning Board, but will be continued at the Jan. 5 council workshop.
Tupper said the council will be expected to vote on the changes at its Jan. 15 meeting.
In other business, councilors did not take action on the Royal River Corridor study group recommendations for preserving the corridor’s character, but received the report and passed it along to the Planning Board and Comprehensive Plan steering group.
Tupper said the Planning Board will be able to “tease out” portions of the plan for immediate improvements, and the steering group may be able to incorporate the recommendations into the Comprehensive Plan.
Councilors voted unanimously to accept amendments to the Shoreland Overlay and Resource Protection zones as follow-ups to comments from the Maine State Planning Office. They also unanimously decided to ban parking on Storer Street and to accept the Planning Board’s recommendations for the 2009-2014 Capital Improvement Plan.
The next council workshop is Monday, Jan. 5, at 7 p.m. at the Log Cabin on Main Street.

Amy Anderson can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 110, or aanderson@theforecaster.net.
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