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Bath Planning Board approves business park growth

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Bath Planning Board approves business park growth

BATH — The Planning Board on Tuesday unanimously approved a final subdivision application for the third phase of the Wing Farm business park.

While the 25-acre, nine-lot expansion will be built in West Bath, all the impact on roads will be in Bath, where the first two phases are located. The first phase is developed, while the second is shovel-ready and being marketed.

Improvements to sight and safety at the intersection of Congress Avenue and Centre Street – the latter of which leads into Wing Farm Parkway – were a concern expressed by board members and members of the public during a February meeting. A large bush, a sign and a bench that have been visual obstructions at that intersection have already been moved, City Planner Jim Upham said.

He said he would ask the city arborist to reduce the obstruction caused by a pine tree about 200 feet north of the intersection on Congress Avenue in order to clear the line of sight.

The cost of long-term improvements, such as traffic signals, will be funded through impact fees paid by either the sellers or buyers of each of the 15 lots in the second and third Wing Farm phases, Upham said. That fee would be paid when Bath or West Bath transfers their respective lots to a developer. The money will go to Bath and be held in escrow until the city determines the improvements must be made.

Upham said traffic would be one factor triggering the installation of a traffic light, which must be approved by the Maine Department of Transportation, which has authority over Congress Avenue.

“Also, I think that there’s going to be a demand by people to get the light there sooner rather than later,” he said, “because I think that the more traffic that comes out of that business park, the more difficult it’s going to be to get out, to cross Congress Avenue, to turn. It’s just going to be a busier intersection.”

Bath’s approval was also required because King’s Highway, which runs from Wing Farm Parkway in Bath into the West Bath phase, will be improved. Approximately 350 feet of the road, where a sewer and water line will run, is in Bath.

Alex Lear can be reached at 373-9060 ext. 113 or alear@theforecaster.net.