Cape Elizabeth councilors review business zoning changes in advance of June 8 vote
CAPE ELIZABETH — The Town Council last week discussed some of the more controversial elements of a proposed zoning overhaul in the Business-A district, examining various recommendations from the Planning Board, Ordinance Committee and citizen comments in a workshop setting.
Though formal votes are not allowed during workshops, councilors indicated their feelings on various issues, which are set to be decided at the council's regular June 8 meeting.
At the workshop, held May 21, a majority of councilors supported the recommended rezoning of 553 Shore Road into the business district. The issue is generally opposed by the property's neighbors, especially those on Charles Road, which runs behind the three-story yellow house Lee Wilson hopes to turn into a small shop and office.
Most councilors did not feel the need to honor the request of Jane Waning to rezone her property at 551 Shore Road from the business to the residential zone, preferring to keep the current zoning. That property is currently split between the two zones, with the front and majority of the land within the business zone and a small portion at the back of the lot within the residential zone.
The dual zoning of the property is due to the fact that its back property line does not line up with neighboring lots, while the zoning boundary is drawn as a straight line through the back of the property. Town officials have said before that the split zoning is not unusual in similar situations.
Councilors generally approved of changes proposed by the Ordinance Committee, including shortening the list of allowable uses on lots smaller than 10,000 square feet and increasing regulations for properties within 100 feet of a residential property.
On some other matters, however, the council stepped back to recommendations made by the Planning Board, which were not adopted by the Ordinance Committee. Those recommendations include no restrictions on the number of counter stools in a BA-zone restaurant, an issue brought up by the managers of Rudy's on Route 77 at a public hearing earlier this month, and setting the maximum alcohol sales of a restaurant to 50 percent, rather than the 25 percent recommended by the Ordinance Committee.
Further discussion is expected at the June 8 meeting, when the council is scheduled to vote. The meeting will begin at 7:30 p.m. and will be televised.
Sarah Trent can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 108 or firstname.lastname@example.org.